Presidents Message – February 2001

Posted On February 1, 2001

The Elections are over....

The elections are over, the votes counted, for technical reasons I hear only a few were discarded (I don't think anyone will be calling the lawyers over those). The result is in, hence why I am writing the February Presidents message. It is entirely my privilege to serve the OCA as it's President for this new millennium year (as Russell Sipe our previous President said at the last meeting - "I am one of those"). I must give a heartfelt thank you to Russell Sipe and the other retiring board members for their astute leadership of the club over the past year.

Russell - you are an inspiration to many of us in the club - it has been a pleasure serving on the Board with you over the past year. Your legacy as President - one related to your strong leadership - and emphasis on extending the education and research opportunities of the club will definitely be a priority of the mine and the boards going forward. I look forward to being able to call on your dedication and knowledge as you continue as a Board member.

Jay Glowacki is retiring from the board - as Vice President, he had the responsibility for finding speakers for the clubs meetings. He is leaving us with the memories (and some videos on the web site) of a string of first class speaking engagements over the past year - and a future list of exciting speakers deep into this year. Thank you, Jay.

Jim Benet is also retiring from the board - but will thankfully remain an extremely active leader of the clubs Outreach programs and the upcoming AstroImage 2001 conference. Thank you, Jim.

I feel it is also very appropriate to pause and consider all the additional OCA members who commit so much of their time and energy to making this club what it is. You only have to view the OCA contacts list on the web site to realize there are many additional members who support the OCA. From Chris McGill as our editor for the Sirius Astronomer (fantastic job over the past year Chris), Don Lynn for the Anza Site Maintenance (and great efforts with the new Pads at Anza), Cathy Bailey Weinberger as Librarian and Roy Weinberger as Anza House Coordinator, Antonio Miro who runs our Beginners Astronomy program, Henry Fry for managing the Telescope Loaner Program, to the members who run the various special interest groups (Ken McLeod - EOA, Gordon Pattison - Astrophysics, Garth Buckles - AstroImagers) and Robert Buchheim who runs our Silverado Star Parties. Thank you all.

We have some great things going on right now and coming up soon….

The "Teach the Universe" course was presented by OCA Member Sue Hayden to a number of teachers on Thursday January 18th at El Camino Real High School with help from Bob Gill. This is just the first in a developing program - sponsored by the OCA - to help extend the Astronomy bug out to more students than ever.

Our AstroImage 2001 conference will be hosted at Cal State Fullerton on March 10th. Please register now - space is limited for this not-to-be-missed event for everyone interested in the art and science of astrophotography of the digital and film kind.

The March star party at Anza is planned to be a focus for a great Messier Marathon this year - with just about perfect timing for the event. We are planning to have electricity extended down to the new pads we have just installed at Anza by that time - so mark your calendars and plan to be there.

Upcoming meetings will entertain and educate us with well known and respected presenters from the astronomical and science community starting In February with Ken Nealson from JPL on "Astrobiology: "The Search for Life Beyond the Earth", In March we will have Sky & Tel, editor-in-chief, Rick Fienberg, in April Dennis Mammana with "Stars Belong to Everyone" and May David Balch presenting "WOW! The Most Incredible Thing You'll Ever See".

I can hardly wait.

Liam Kennedy
"The universe is full of magical things
patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper"