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SMA Board Minutes - Jul. 18, 2020

· Board Minutes

Southern Maine Astronomers

Board of Directors’ Meeting


July 18, 2020

The meeting convened at 10 a.m. Directors present included Al DiSabitino, Forrest Sumner, Ron Thompson, James Shields, Rowan Gobeil-Bain, Rob Burgess and club member Russ Pinozzotto.

Matters discussed::

  1. At our August meeting we will hear from Dwight with a follow-up on his Leviathan of Parsontown and from Russ on a new constellation.  We still need to fill in some gaps.  I offered to fill in with an update on Mars 2020, Perseverance that is set to launch on 7/30.
  2. We have no plans for future meetings.  The Program Committee is George and Rowan, with me ex-officio.  I am going to ask the three of us to meet via Zoom and split up a list of possible speakers that we can collectively pursue and build three or four months of program stability.    If any Directors have talks they would like to give, please let us know.  We also need to get back to the 5-minute bios on famous or less-than-famous astronomers.
  3. With zoom meeting we can have up to 100 attendees.  Russ will provide contact info on all Maine clubs and we will invite them to publicize our meetings and to join us.
  4. We need to coordinate publicity responsibility between the Program Committee and the Outreach Committee.
  5. James was complimented for setting up our Facebook page and keeping it current.
  6. We agreed to try to get posters out to grocery stores, libraries and coffee shops.  James has distributed several in Scarborough.  He and Bob have a stack of posters for distribution if you need some.  I still have about 50, so let me know if I can get you some.
  7. The Equipment Committee needs to get our two instruments up for sale.  We should start with an email to club members and then to all Maine, NH and MA clubs.  Then Astro Mart, Cloudy Nights, etc.  There is still uncertainty around the club telescope lending program and where equipment should be stored when not on loan, and how and by whom it would be checked out.  The Equipment Committee needs to figure this out and if it is deemed unworkable because of no central club facility Rob recommended we cancel the program and probably sell the equipment.
  8. The Committee Tasks worksheet that Al devised should be reviewed by each committee and the various tasks that we identified for each committee should be prioritized.  This prioritization can then be presented to the full board at an upcoming meeting.
  9. Rob reported on Scarborough’s recent conversion of streetlights to LEDs, as well as Rockland’s efforts.  He also reported on Tucson’s efforts of converting nearly 20,000 streetlights to smart LED fixtures at 3000k.  The conversion has saved the City $2.1MM annually, and reduced sky glow by 7%, and blue light emissions by 34%.
  10. Rob asked each attendee for their top three areas where the cub should focus.  Most of the comments revolved around outreach, leveraging our role with libraries to get posters in place, promoting club meetings with sister clubs, and exploring virtual star parties, and working with groups like Boy and Girl Scouts.  Al suggested reviewing our new member welcome package that might include a hat and other logoed items.
  11. Rob raised the request of the group CREA for a star party in Topsham in late September at the Highland Green Golf Course, with a group of about 25, and social distancing.  There was some reluctance to commit, but Rob said we might use the Revolution imager as an alternative to eyepiece observing and SkyMap/laser pointing.  We need to determine interest within the club to support that star party.

The meeting adjourned at 11:30.

Respectfully submitted,

Rob Burgess