September 27, 2001

President Barry Shupp called the meeting to order at 7:05 PM, with eleven members present:

Paul Becker Priscilla Andrews Dave Brown
Ryan Hannahoe Ron Kunkel Kathy Matisko
Clarence Sensenig Linda Sensenig Barry Shupp
Melody Gardner Barb Geigle

After the secretary’s summary of the previous board meeting, Treasurer Linda Sensenig said she collected $276.00 at the last general meeting (adding to the club balance of $7,810.32), but most of it will soon be going out for dues and magazine renewals. Linda proposed including a survey with the new member packet, with questions such as what observing equipment the person has and whether they’re interested in helping at star watches and/or fundraisers. Barb suggested adding a few lines for the person’s name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.

Paul reported that the two-day Berks Youth Expo at the Fairgrounds Square Mall was a bust, bringing in only $52. The question was raised as to whether it’s worth the man-hours. Maybe we should shorten it in the future. The board decided to discuss options the next time we get the application.

LVAAS’s MegaMeet attracted about 100 people, which was not bad considering that there was a star watch at Cherry Springs the same night. Temperatures were pleasant and skies were clear. Priscilla, who helped to found the event, voiced disappointment in BCAAS’s showing and suggested pushing it more in future years.

Ryan asked for help with his Schuylkill Valley group at the Hawk Mountain Scout Camp. He proposed that the school’s donation to BCAAS be turned over to the American Red Cross, which the Board approved.

Paul has agreed to keep BCAAS observing equipment at his house. These include a 4-inch refractor, 10-inch Dob, C-11, and 8-inch LX200. A rental policy will be written by Paul, Linda, and Barry for loaning the equipment to members, and Paul will keep tabs on who has what. Ryan will set up a training program on using the C-11 and LX200 so borrowers know how to handle them properly before taking them out.

Extensive discussion was devoted to the C-11 mount and whether the club should fix it or buy a new one. The topic inevitably turned to whether or not we’ll be building an observatory and the expense and labor involved. Priscilla pointed out that LVAAS’s observatory is seldom used; most seasoned observers use their own telescopes. Paul suggested buying a trailer to haul our scopes, and Dave described the setups he had seen at Cherry Springs. This idea was met with general enthusiasm, as it involves less cost, little maintenance, and freedom to follow the dark skies.

As Ron has work obligations right now, the observing programs will be put on hold for a bit. He will present a synopsis of each AL certificate program at Members’ Night in November. Also at that time, Paul will speak about his summer trip to Africa to see the solar eclipse, and another member will give a talk on physics. Barry will open it to the general membership at the next meeting.

Final arrangements were made for Dr. Jacob Trombka to speak in October, including lodging, dinner, presentation equipment, and media coverage. Priscilla offered to make a gift basket with special treats from the local area.

Dave reported that he was interviewed on WEEU’s "Jack Holcomb’s Backyard" last Saturday from 9:00 to 10:00 AM. He spoke on astronomy and has a studio copy of the tape if anyone wants to listen to it.

Ideas for upcoming programs were discussed, and Ryan suggested planning our 30th anniversary celebration for 2003. Should we have one big-named speaker or several throughout the year, or perhaps use a local celebrity? Dave would like to invite John Dobson to an all-out shindig in August at his farm. It was decided that these ideas will be explored further at the next board meeting and at 9:10 PM, the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Matisko