CAAS Board Meeting Minutes 21 October 2017

( Pending approval at the next Board Meeting.)

Present: Bruce McMath, Darrell Heath, Carl Freyaldenhoven, Chris Lasley, Danny Flippo, Jeff Robertson, Ed Swaim, Steve Block, Jim Dixon, Perry Norwood, Rocky Togni, Nathan James

Approval of 15 April 2017 and 15 July 2017 Board Meeting minutes

Motion to approve the minutes for both previous meetings carried.

Item 1

2018 Budget

Motion to approve budget as presented and consider amendments if needed for items 2 and 6 on the agenda. One immediate change to be made, increase organization dues from $300 to $400 to cover $100 International Dark-Sky Association dues.

Motion carried

Item 2

What to do with surplus club money

Motion to give Treasurer discretion to look into CDs for investing surplus funds, amount to be determined by Treasurer.

Motion carried

Item 3

What to do with Club telescopes: Refractor and 14″ Dobsonian

Motion for Darrell Heath to select a team to develop a plan for housing the 14” Dobsonian.

Motions carried

Item 4

Question of whether to add a CAAS Facebook Group in addition to the CAAS Facebook Page

Motion to set up a Facebook Group as a place for club members to share information, member to member. Nathan James to set it up.

Motion carried

Item 5

Loaning club equipment

Motion to loan the Club 4” refractor to Steve Block in exchange for his 6” refractor, end date to be determined.

Motions carried

Item 6

Security camera replacement

Motion to amend the budget and allocate up to $511 to the Property Maintenance allocation for 3 Ubiquiti cameras and necessary cabling to be used to monitor the Observatory grounds. Danny Flippo will manage this project.

Motion carried

Item 7

Update on A/C unit status. During the 15 July 2017 Board Meeting the Board authorized up to $850 in funds to be allocated in the event the unit needs to be replaced. The approved 2018 Budget did not include this change; Jim Dixon will update the budget document with this previously approved change adding the amount to the Property Maintenance allocation.

Item 8

Memorial Garden upkeep

Motion to approve the plan of the Observatory Committee formed at the 15 July 2017 Board Meeting for moving the memorial monument to the memorial garden area and making improvements to memorial garden to provide consistent visibility for monument.

Motion carried

Meeting adjourned

CAAS Board Meeting Minutes 15 July 2017

(Minutes approved at the 21 October 2017 Board Meeting.)

Item 1

Proposal to approve a plan to locate a radio telescope dish at RRO. All conditions in the plan must be met before the dish can be moved to RRO. The proposed plan should include the following details.

  1. Fund raising, round 1 — moving the dish, modifying the mount, and constructing a new pier at RRO.
  2. Plan for moving the dish.
  3. Make modifications to the mount.
  4. Move the dish and mount it at RRO.
  5. Create a research plan.
  6. Fund raising, round 2 — (if needed) Purchase receiver and electronics.
  7. Set aside funding for removal of dish should the need arise.
  8. Preliminary location is behind the big observatory building

Motion carried by unanimous vote.

Item 2

Placement of memorial stele on RRO grounds.

Move monument to the memorial garden and make improvements to memorial garden to provide consistent visibility for monument. Observatory Committee to come up with plan, perhaps with a bench.

Motion carried by majority vote.

Item 3

(Bruce) CAAS to become a friend of natural skies and responsible lighting on the AR-IDA chapter website and add CAAS logo with link to CAAS site on th AR-IDA web site.

Motion carried by unanimous vote.

Item 4

Authorize up to $850 in funds to be moved to the appropriate budget line and spent  to replace heating/cooling unit in the club house should Doug Wilson not be able to fix the existing unit.

Motion carried by unanimous vote.

Board Meeting Minutes June 14, 2014

Central Arkansas Astronomical Society
Board Meeting Minutes
June 14, 2014

1. CAAS participation in the Dark Sky Park Coalition
2. Change in Club meeting nights in 2016
3. Review of RRORRT budget
4. Club member management ideas
5. Bylaws adoption
6. Hosting the MSRAL Conference in 2015

CAAS participation in the Dark Sky Park Coalition

On April 30, Bruce McMath, Darrell Heath and several other CAAS members met with individuals from UALR, UCA, Arkansas Tech University and the Arkansas Heritage Commission to form the steering Committee of the Arkansas Dark Sky Park Coalition (ADSPC). The goals of the ADSPC are create a greater awareness of the benefits of dark skies and advocate for their protection, and to establish one or more “Dark Sky Parks” in the state. The board voted on the Society’s participation in the coalition. Bruce McMath made a motion for Inclusion in the coalition and Rocky Togni seconded. The motion passed with full support of the board.

Change in Club meeting nights in 2016

Bruce McMath facilitated a discussion on changing the CAAS meetings to help promote more dark sky viewing on those nights. It was put forth that changing the meetings from the 2nd Saturday of each month beginning in the summer of 2016 to the Saturday falling near the last quarter moon would promote more participation in observing after the club meetings and continue to provide dark skies on club nights for another approximately sixteen months, at which time he proposed it should be changed again to the last quarter Saturday, etc.

Jim Dixon brought up the matter of our partnership with PMSP and WHSP. Any changes to club meetings should avoid conflicting with star parties. Jim suggested submitting available dates to the state parks early in the year to avoid conflicts. It was also put forth that the October 2014 Board meeting should set the dates for the 2016 meetings so that they can be made available to the parks and others. Changes in meeting nights will be published to the membership on the CAAS website, Night Sky Network newsletter and the CAAS member list serv.
A subsequent resolution was set forth:
On June 14, 2014, CAAS Board voted that going forward, after the current year, club meeting nights, should be changed when necessary, at approximately 16 month intervals, so as to provide moonless observing opportunities on club nights to the extent reasonably practical. Beginning in early 2015, the current meeting night will largely provide such conditions into the summer of 2016 at which point the second Saturday will approach the first quarter moon. At that point the meeting night should be changed to the Saturday of the month near the last quarter moon, providing another approximately 16 months of predominantly dark sky nights.
When the Board will meet in October 2014 to discuss the 2015 calendar, it should also set meeting nights through 2016, which practice should continue going forward so that potential dates for public star parties can be made available well in advance to coordinating entities.
Bruce McMath made a motion to pass the above resolution. Jim Dixon seconded the motion. The resolution passed.

Review of RRORRT Budget

Jim Dixon and Stephen Caldwell reported on the budget situation of the RRORRT project. As of June 14, 2014 the River Ridge Observatory Robotic Research Telescope project has spent $3,321.89 on construction and equipment. The project is set to finish the construction and installation phase under budget. The money for RRORRT was made possible by individual donations and a grant from the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium.

Club Member Management Ideas

Bruce McMath reported on his research and development of a Member Management system for the club. The goal is automate dues payment, build a member roster and contact list and help with member management and retention efforts. CAAS currently uses the NASA Night Sky Network program. Bruce reported on the advantages and limitations of the NSN, and his communications with The NSN on improvements. Bruce also cited his using a new member letter and the encouraging results since it’s implementation.

Bylaws Adoption

The CAAS Bylaws were amended and put in force October 2013, but were never formally voted on and adopted by the Board.
Bruce McMath made a motion that the Board adopt the Bylaws. Carl Fryaldenhoven seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously.

MSRAL 2015

Bruce McMath, Chris Lasley and John Reed recently attended the MSRAL conference in St. Louis. They reported on the conference to the Board and the subsequent Monthly meeting. The Board was asked to support a measure for CAAS to officially host the conference in 2015. The conference will be held on the UALR campus on June 5, 6 and 7. Bruce McMath and Darrell Heath will co-chair the effort.
Bruce McMath made a motion for CAAS to host the 2015 MSRAL conference. Jim Dixon seconded, and the motion was carried by the Board.

The Society hosted the MSRAL conference in 1995 and 2001.
The Mid-States Regional Astronomical League is comprised of astronomical clubs and societies from Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and Arkansas.
Board Members and Officers in Attendance
Darrell Heath
Bruce McMath
T.J. Colvin
Carl Freyaldenhoven
Jim Dixon
Stephen Caldwell
Chris Lasley

CAAS Members in Attendance
Jeff Creemer
Steve Block
Rocky Togni
Andrew Hradesky
Melanie Hradesky
Meeting minutes prepared by Stephen A. Caldwell, CAAS Secretary