Presidents Message – January 2002

Posted On January 1, 2002

A new year approaches.

As I write this presidents letter the holiday season is approaching and beyond that the New Year and all that will bring. As far as the OCA is concerned one of the first things to occur in 2002 will be the Board Member elections at the meeting in January.

For those of you who were present at the December meeting you will already be aware that we have a fair number of additional board members standing for election to the 11 positions next year. You should all receive a special Sirius Astronomer Ballot mailed first class in good time to allow you to consider your vote and post prior to the January meeting. Please do refer to the web site if you can where you will find prominent links to full information on each of the board members who are standing for election. here

Several board members including Bob Gill - our current vice president - have decided not to stand for re-election in 2002. I am very sad to see Bob step down - but you will be pleased to hear he will still be helping us with all things to do with the clubs Kuhn telescope.

This year has been my first as the president of the OCA and I feel that to a great extent although we have accomplished much - I want to accomplish so much more in this next year.

I am firmly committed to ensuring the OCA continues to attract new membership while at the same time ensuring that we have a significant depth of programs and activities that loyal members continue to get the benefits they have come to expect and more.

On the new member benefits side - I know that our beginners' class continues to be a huge success. Many of the non-members who go to this program run by Antonio Miro are taking full advantage of the offer to visit Anza each month - and everyone of these beginners that I have met at Anza are intending to become or have already become new members. Our outreach program is also very successful at spreading the word. I meet many new members who have joined us after experiencing the OCA at a school outreach led by Jim Benet and our other regular volunteers.

We had a great AstroImage 2001 conference this year - and I can tell you now that a whole new AstroImage is being planned for 2002 that will take this conference to a new level. All of the planning and management of this is being handled through the dedicated AstroImagers group led by Greg Pyros, Garth Buckles, Pat Stocker and others. The group now numbers more than 60 online members of which around 20 regularly meet at my offices every month. This group is an example where there is something for everyone. The membership ranges from people who have been members less than a year - to members who have been with us for nearly all of the 35 years or so we have been around. Indeed one of the members - Carlos Flores - is now a lifetime member of the OCA who lives in Georgia and joined the club just because of this one group.

I have now had the pleasure of running three Star Parties at Anza by running the clubs telescope - including hosting two Outreach events at the site for students and guests from Irvine Valley College. I feel entirely too privileged to be able to utilize such a magnificent asset as the clubs 22.5" Kuhn telescope. I intend to make full use of this wonderful resource in the coming year and hope that many other members will also enjoy the benefits of being a Star Member.

Come on 2002!

Liam Kennedy
"every day we are connecting ever more photons of light from distant galaxies to the eyes, hearts, minds and imaginations of our members and others in our community."