President’s message – February 2003

Posted On February 1, 2003

by Barbara Toy

The New Board of Directors:

The big news around this time in the OCA year is the election of the new Board of Trustees. As you may have noticed, there have been a few changes from last year. One of the biggest changes, of course, is that Liam Kennedy is stepping down from the presidency, and will be a Trustee-At-Large for the coming year. He is still our webmaster, and still in charge of such important items as the weather station, the WeatherCam and the Anza broadband project. He’s still very active in the Outreach program, the AstroImagers SIG, and in planning for AstroImage 2003, among many other club-related activities. You will undoubtedly continue to see a lot of him even if he’s no longer our very own President Kennedy.

I feel very lucky to have two past presidents among the Trustees this year. Russell Sipe, who preceded Liam as president, returns as a Trustee. Russell continues to give us the benefit of his considerable experience and a ring-side seat for the continuing saga of Star Cruiser. I particularly appreciate his ability to nudge Board meetings along when we get bogged down, a skill that helps keep the meetings moving toward (we hope) a reasonable adjourning time.

Bob Buchheim, Tony Obra, Tim Hogle and Gary Schones were all Trustees last year and continue to serve in 2003. Dave Radosevich, who has done all of the great work on the Kuhn over the past few months, also joins the board this year. Charlie Oostdyk returns as Treasurer, and Bruce Crowe as Secretary. We are very pleased to welcome Joel Harris, once again, as Vice President.

Another big change on the Board this year is that we will be losing Carol Copp as a Trustee. We truly appreciate the many years she served on the Board. I’ve had the pleasure of serving with her for the last two years, and appreciate the historical perspective and intelligence she’s brought to our discussions. I’ll miss the wryly humorous side-comments she would often share with me when I was sitting next to her during our meetings. I hope this break from Board responsibilities will give her more time for observing and other activities. If it should happen that she still wants to spend time with us at the meetings, we’ll be delighted to see her!

Stephen Eubanks is also leaving the board as Trustee, but I am happy to report that he will continue in his position as Anza House Coordinator, so we will continue to work closely with him and to benefit from his energy and insight.

Kuhn update:

It’s such a pleasure to share good news. At the January Board meeting, Dave Radosevich reported that all of the major work on the Kuhn is now done. After fine-tuning the system and collimating the optics, there is a good chance that it will be operating at the next star party. I hope, if you are at Anza for the star party, you come up to the observatory and get a chance to see for yourself how much brighter the image is in the eyepiece with the new mirror coatings, how much quieter the Kuhn is, and how much more smoothly it runs.

As you may know, you have to be a Star Member and be trained on the operation of the observatory as well as the operation of the Kuhn in order to be qualified to run it. Yet, in the past, we had only one trainer. We’re planning to train a group of existing Star Members on the new system. These volunteers will be able to train additional Star Members. Upon completion, we expect to retrain existing Star Members on the new system. Subsequent training of new Star Members can be done quickly, so that, once the Kuhn is ready for general use, it really can be used.

This is a great club, and it is my honor to serve as its president. Thank you for entrusting me with this position. You can be sure I will do my best to live up to the high standards set by my predecessors. Fortunately, a lot of them are still around to help me do that!

May the coming year be happy, productive and interesting for all of us!