Work Party and Board Meeting 1/12/2008

The Central Arkansas Astronomical Society met Saturday afternoon for our yearly grounds maintenance party. We beat back the wilderness, piling up a good bonfire’s worth of brush and also assorted salvage materials from the corner of the West Observatory area. That salvage included some steel fencing and studs and other items. We would some member who has a truck to haul it off to the dump if they would. John and Pat also rerouted some of the electrical wiring in the East Observatory to assist in Wade’s renovation of that building.

At 5 PM, we abandoned the 45 degree, overcast sprinkles for a warm class room for our board meeting.

  • John Reed will contact the Pinnacle Mountain State Park about the Master Naturalist program to find out what we will need to do.
  • Astronomy Day conflicts with our meeting night this year. It was decided to cancel the meeting unless there was some need for a short business meeting in which case we would hold it there at the Visitor’s Center.
  • James Fisher will invite Stuart Parkerson, the publisher of Astronomy Technology Today to a future meeting.
  • John Reed put out a call for presentations. He has a few lined up but needs more.
  • We discussed projects for the year:
    • Water treat the three decks.
    • Paint the picnic table.
    • The front building, used for storage and bathroom, is deteriorating. Mainly the foundation is rotting but the building itself is pretty old and in need of TLC. It was generally agreed that fixing it up will be an enormous and expensive task and we decided to investigate the purchase of a new building instead. In previous years this would have been untenable but this year we will pay off the note on the classroom and so we ought to be in a better situation after that. Rocky agreed to check into this solution.
  • James will head up contacting the three counties around us to try to set up a “light protection zoneâ€? around CAAS in an effort to reduce or at least halt the increase of light pollution in the area around CAAS.
  • James will contact the Aerospace Museum about having an early morning showing of “Seeing in the Darkâ€? as a lead-in event for the Astronomy Day events at Pinnacle Mountain State Park.
  • Don Ferren has agreed to do a Messier Marathon presentation at the March meeting as a lead-in to holding one at the property this year.
  • While on the topic of presentations, we decided to invite Scott Austin from UCA and Jim Robertson from Arkansas Tech to CAAS. Perhaps someone at UALR as well although since Al Grauer retired we don’t know who that would be.
  • We discussed Wade’s renovations and his concerns that the climate control in his warm room will cost CAAS money since he plans to leave it on continuously. Pat agreed to monitor the cost compared to last year and let Wade reimburse CAAS for difference.

Jim Dixon

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