Presidents Message – June 2001

Posted On June 1, 2001

We need your input!

As announced at the April and May meetings – the OCA board has created an on-line Members survey. As of this writing (June 1st) there have been a total of 50 members who have responded. We obviously have a long way to go before we have a representative sample from our over 700 members.

The survey will remain open until the end of June. It is vital as many members as possible complete the survey. The results of this survey may impact our (your) clubs direction for the next five years or so at least. Make sure that you have had your comments – and your ideas included in this process!

You can get to the survey right from the OCA’s home page – under the announcement lists on the right side of the page.

Of the 50 or so survey respondents so far – many have left specific comments with their ideas for improving our club (this is exactly what we want).

A selection of these comments are shown below;

About the OCA Meetings…

“Unfortunately, I'm not able to attend the meetings as often as I would like due to other commitments, but based on the meetings I have attended and the summaries posted on the OCA website, I support the present meeting structure and focus. The speakers are outstanding... I can't imagine another astronomy club that offers a better assortment of speakers (both pros and amateurs) or topics.” * Great feedback

“My main reason for attending monthly meetings is for the monthly speaker and lately the topics have not been of much interest.” * Look for some VERY interesting and stimulating speakers and topics coming up.

About Anza

“Light the stairs to the restrooms and have lighting along paths. A red LED every so many feet would be nice.” * Good suggestion.

“Signs should be made larger and clearer. Painting them white so they'd show up in the dark would be helpful.” * Excellent idea – we need to setup a painting day at Anza…

“I understand that the club is investigating both wireless Internet access and a wireless network. Both of these projects sound very interesting and beneficial to members.” * This is in planning right now – we’ll keep everyone informed when we are closer to a solution.

“Put the microwave dish on a track and add a winch motor drive to lower the dish when not in use. Sometimes it is desirable to see the northwest sky when viewing on the Kuhn.” *good idea – we have plans to remove the dish now (as it is unused)

Member benefits

“I think the activities that OCA provides are comprehensive and well focused. There's something for everyone whether they're a beginner, a casual amateur, or a serious amateur doing research. Jim Benet does a great job coordinating the Outreach events and I believe these are very important to grow enthusiasm for the hobby.” *Thanks for the feedback – and Jim does deserve the high praise!

“I Would like to see intermediate/beginner group class held at star parties for members/ new members. I do not have the time to attend beginner classes and would like to have a more hands on approach rather than the classroom. It would also be a good way to meet other members.” * great idea.

OCA Website

“Tell us more about the telescope loaner program” * done – see website!

“The website is not updated soon enough, nor on a regular basis.” * agreed – we’ll see what we can do. If anyone has content (news, information, images, articles) please send it.

“Note; I am nearly 68 and retired. I have been in poor health for some time so this web site is my best link to club activities. ….. one of early O.C.A members”

That was just a small selection of the comments. Every single comment will be read and considered by the board when we review the survey results at the end of June. My little responses to the comments above are entirely my own.

The OCA Board is planning on a special get-together to review the survey results and to develop an action plan around the feedback we receive. We will of course be communicating with you on the survey results and on any resulting changes and additions to club benefits that may result.

There was one specific comment from a Member who believes that OCA Board meetings are not open to the membership to attend. I wanted to ensure every member understands that you all have a right to attend any of our board meetings. This is your club and we are here to serve your interests. Board meetings are scheduled about every 2 months and are generally held at the offices of divine in Irvine. Details on the board meetings can be found at

Get to that Survey. Your club needs your input!

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."