President's Message

Original article appears in GuideStar August, 2015.

by Rene Gedaly, President

Finder chart

The weather is hot and the nights are short but this is the time of year many of us can get to the observatory and dark site to do some imaging or observing and a little picnicking with the family. It wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable if it weren’t for the dedication of Allen Wilkerson maintaining the grounds. Fortunately there’s a motley grounds crew that pitches in, but for some time now it’s been Allen at the helm. If it’s Saturday and you don’t see Allen on the field, look for him elsewhere on the site, maybe the observatory where he’s likely maintaining some of the equipment there. We can’t thank you enough, Allen. And in case you new members don’t know, Allen is also our Telescope Chairman, an elected position at the Annual Meeting. Want to check out a telescope from the loaner library? Find Allen’s contact info on page 2 and see what he’s got available.

Board’s summer

New tractor. That new tractor Allen’s sitting on in the photo is a beauty and has enough power to handle the field grass. Mike Edstrom quickly found a buyer for the old tractor to offset the cost, which was supplied by an anonymous donor. Thank you!

Nominating Committee. As is our tradition, the Vice President chairs the nominating committee and VP John Haynes is already ramping up the search—look for his article elsewhere in this GuideStar. Make this the year you join a committee, head one up, or join the board.

Astronomy Day 2015. Jessica Kingsley is our HAS liaison for A-Day 2015. At each membership meeting from now until October, she’ll be going over how you can volunteer for what’s billed as The Biggest Astronomy Event in Southeast Texas! A-Day is Oct 24.

All Clubs Meeting Oct 23, 2015. Another tradition we have at the HAS is to hold the October membership meeting coincident with the All Clubs meeting when it falls in October, which it does this year. We’ll be voting on this change at the August 7 membership meeting. If you haven’t made it to an All Clubs yet, give it a try. It’s fun seeing folks from the other clubs, and the speakers are great, too. And then there’s the door prizes …

Horkheimer Library Telescope. We won! HAS has won one of ten Orion 4.5 inch StarBlast Dobsonian Telescopes equipped with a Celestron 8-24 mm zoom eyepiece and commemorative plate given by the Horkheimer Charitable Fund. Thanks, Doug McCormick , for tipping us off about the Astronomical League drawing, Bill Pellerin for completing the winning entry, and Bram Weisman who will be modifying the scope to make it indestructible. The scope will be available for check out from the Houston Public Library System. Talk about outreach!

Video Meetings. The board approved using video conferencing technology to conduct committee meetings and board meetings. Regularly scheduled board meetings will continue to be held face-to-face.

AstronomyHouston.COM That’s right, soon everyone will be able to find us using top level domains .com, .net, and .org. Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen.

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