President Stone called the December Business Meeting of the NSAAC to order at 8:08 PM. There were 5 members present plus 6 Board members. There was not a quorum. Meeting was information only.
Secretary: No report.
Treasurer: Kevin Ackert sent the following information for this business meeting. As of today we are showing a profit of $1,707, but we have not yet paid our insurance $429.00 or purchased any YAP awards. We’ve got about $4,500 in the checking account and $9,470 in the land fund which can’t be touched without amending the bylaws. Kevin’s prediction is that membership income will remain where it is at now for the next year, or possibly decrease again for next year. Based upon our fiscal situation Kevin recommends that the YAP budget for 2014 be set for $1,000.
Membership: No Report.
Early Meeting Announcements: Open forum on the agenda after New Business
Merrimack College: New noise in RA axis and the focuser needs to be repaired. Ron Sampson will try to fix the pinon gear. Bill Drown, Kevin Ackert, and Bryan Stone had 12 visitors on Nov 20th. Fred Sammartino entertained over 30 visitors on December 4th.
We are down to three official staff people running the observatory for clear Wednesdays. In Kevin’s opinion it is not in the best interest of Merrimack College, NSAAC or the general public, to operate this observatory for the public with one person at hand. Due to the concerns for the safety of the public, the equipment in the observatory, and enjoyment and safety, and liability of the staff person, it is Kevin’s recommendation that the NSAAC discontinue operating the observatory until there is a volunteer system in place to assure that there are a minimum of two people on hand for the duration of any night NSAAC opens the observatory.
If anyone is interested in assisting at the observatory please contact Kevin Ackert.
Salem State: Dennis Gudzevich reported open 3 Mondays in November. On the 4th there were 12 visitors, on the 21st there were 25 and 18 on the 27th.
News, Correspondence, and Upcoming Activities:
Star Party Committee: The star party season is over. There are7events planned for the spring; mostly star parties that were cancelled due to weather. Sanborn School donated $250 to the club for the star party.
Telescope Clinic: No Activity.
YAP Program: Last year we awarded five telescope and five binoculars. We have one telescope and one pair of poor binoculars in stock. With a recommended budget of $1,000 for 2014 we should plan on purchasing two telescopes and some sort of secondary prizes other than poor binoculars. The decisions can be made in the spring. We will be voting for approval of the YAP budget at the January business meeting.
The astronomers without borders 5 inch reflecting telescope is being reviewed in the upcoming Sky and Telescope magazine. The Orion 6 inch dob and the Bushnell dob are more expensive. The board and Kevin will decide which to purchase at a future board meeting.
Old Business: The club still would like to find other volunteers to do star party presentations. If anyone is interested please contact Brewster LaMacchia.
The calendars and the RASC handbooks were distributed.
Richard Leucke has a key to the light to be put in the club mailbox at Veasey after he finds a magnetic storage container.
New Business: The board will ask the Dick Luecke to get back to Veasey about the calendar and meeting dates.
Ralph Pass discussed the upcoming problems with Meade. Meade decided to design in USA and make in China. China wanted to do it all in China so they purchased Meade and got rid of all the USA management.
A volunteer for Chairman of the election committee is need by the January meeting. See Kevin Hocker if interested.
Board meeting set for Monday, December 16th 7:30 PM at Veasey.
Meeting adjourned 9:50 PM.
John Hobbs, Secretary NSAAC