Category Archives: 2000 / 2001

2001-01-31

Minutes of PGAS General Meeting – Jan 31, 2001

Meeting Hosted By: Bob Nelson
Number Attending: 12 members
Start Time: 7:30 pm

Read previous minutes/ agenda.

OLD BUSINESS:

R.A.S.C.:
As stated at the last executive meeting Brian B sent the letter to the RASC requesting the PGAS become a RASC Center.

Washrooms / Holding Tank Installation:

  • The weight to the shut off alarm still needs to be installed.
  • Gil is still talking to Jon about installing the freshwater. (see previous minutes for more details)
  • The lid to the tank still needs to be locked in some manner to prevent vandalism.
  • Bob K has installed the toilet and baseboard. Installing the sink requires additional work
  • The Jan 31, 2001 completion date will have to be extended hopefully, the washrooms will be installed for the upcoming open house season in March.

Dark Sky Activism:

  • Paul R. has been busy researching Dark Sky Activism – deciding what the goals and objectives of the committee should be and how to go about achieving them.
  • Paul R. will call a meeting of interested members in about two weeks to discuss. Gil S, Bob N, Fred V and Rob F all acknowledged a willingness to participate.

N.O.V.A. – New Observers to Visual Astronomy

  • Rob F. gave a short overview of what the part of the course will cover.
  • How to read Star Catalogues
  • How to run the telescopes
  • Finding and Identifying Constellations
  • NOVA will coincide with Members Night starting in March (every Saturday night)
  • Start Date: March 3 @ 8:00 pm

New Grant Application:

  • The wish list as it currently exists was presented to the members. (see previous minutes)
  • The members added additional items to the list.
  • Another washroom
  • Video system to project the scopes view into the classroom
  • Image intensifier (to go with video system)
  • Furniture – more chairs, a bed, new counters and cupboards.
  • Sound deadening
  • Portable planetarium
  • Carpeting in the main hall & entrance
  • Pop machine – create additional revenue from tours as well as a convenience for members.
  • The members started to categorize the list into most urgent and least urgent as well as long and short-term goals. The list so far:
  • Observing Deck and CCD camera were ranked as high priority – short-term.
  • Hiring a consultant to review the main scope and recommend changes to improve scope performance was ranked as the highest long-term priority.
  • Due to time restrictions work on the list was halted. The executive will work on prioritizing and categorizing the list at the next executive and present it to the members for review at the next meeting.

Gaming/ Financial Report:
Was sent in on Saturday, Jan 20, 2001 by Paul Roberts.

Finances:
At the last regular meeting (Dec 20, 2000) Paul was asked what the approximately $10,000 worth of miscellaneous expenses were for. At the time he did not know. At this meeting (Jan 31, 2001) he provided a breakdown of those expenses to the members.

NEW BUSINESS:

Finances:

  • Paul R. gave a brief report of the finances. Breakdown as follows:
  • Reg. Account (approx): $2,500.00
  • Gaming Account: $0
  • Cash (approx): $70.00
  • Total (approx) $2,570
  • Paul indicated that the gas bill has risen to about $126 / month.
  • Bob N brought up that we are paying Praxair about $70.00 / year for a hydrogen tank rental. The tank was used to hydrogenate 35mm film. No one has used it in the last few years. The club members voted to return it to save the money.

Technical:
Nothing New – Bob N

Fundraising:
Nothing new – still waiting for washrooms.

Security:
Gil S. still needs to look into the false alarms although; there hasn’t been any for a while.

Observing:

  • Brian B discussed his idea to have “Tour Hosts” and “Tour Helpers”
  • The idea is to have older more experienced members run the group tours with one or two newer less experienced members. This will help the newer members learn how to run tours and having more people involved will also help prevent burn-out among the members.
  • Brian has created a list of people wanting to be either hosts or helpers.
  • List of Hosts so far: Gil S, Bob N, Jon B, Brian P, Steve S, Brian B
  • List of Helpers so far: Doug W, Paul R, Frank B, Rob F.
  • Brian will send an email asking for more volunteers.
  • On Monday Feb 26 there will be a group tour of approximately 30 Brownies and Girl Guides. Jon B will host and Frank B will help out. Brian B will be unable to attend so a third person will need to be found.
  • Brian announced that he/ the club has taken on a work experience student from College Heights Secondary. As part of his work experience the student will: learn the constellations visible from PG, write an article for the Pegasus, give a presentation at the next meeting, keep an observing log, and use the main telescope to make observations in a variety of projects.
  • Brian B reported seeing an entry in the Resource Sign Out books at the observatory. Members are asked to please continue to use them so the club knows where its property is.

Web Page:
Matthew B. has updated the site the group tour section of the web page to include the new tour rates.

Promotional:

  • Bob N will supply Brian B with logos and copy so he can create plaques to thank major contributors and founding members. – Brian has not received any info from Bob yet.
  • Brian B dropped off brochures at the PG Public Library and the Girl Guide office. People are also taking about 5 brochures per week from the counter at SpeeDee Printers.

RASC Calendars:
Paul R. took orders for the RASC calendar. He will order them in the next few weeks.
Gil S and Bob N both placed an order

RASC General Assembly:
The RASC General Assembly will be held in the month of June – London, Ontario
This is the meeting that the PGAS application for joining the RASC will be voted on.

Newsletter:
Gil S reported a there was a lack of articles in the January Pegasus. He made a bit of a plea to the members to write more articles so he can keep the newsletters “local” (not have to include articles from websites)

MEETING EVENTS:

Constellation of the Month:

  • Doug W gave a presentation about the constellation Monoceros: The Unicorn
  • Doug discussed many objects of interest in this often-overlooked constellation including the Cone Nebula and Christmas tree cluster.
  • Note: Doug W has found a great website with free constellation charts. The charts also have a list of objects to view visually, through binoculars and through telescopes. The site is www.skymaps.com

CCDSoft:
Gil S gave a brief demonstration of the clubs CCD operating software.

Shareware Astronomy Programs:
Bob N gave a presentation showing a collection of shareware and freeware astronomy programs including one he made himself! These programs are going to be included on the Members CD-Rom.

Black holes:
Paul R showed a computer movie that he downloaded from NASA on black holes.

Meeting Adjourned: 10:00 pm

2001-01-17

Minutes of PGAS Executive Meeting – Jan 17, 2001

Meeting Hosted By: Bob Nelson
Attending Executive: Gil Self, Brian Battersby, Steve Senger, Paul Roberts
Attending Committee Chairs: Bob Klick
Absent: Rob Frith

Start Time: 7:45 pm

Read previous minutes/ agenda.

OLD BUSINESS:

Washrooms / Holding Tank Installation:

  • The inside seam of the tank was sealed with tar.
  • The weight to the shut off alarm still needs to be installed.
  • Gil has been talking to Jon about the fresh water tank. Gil has set a deadline for the end of the week for Jon to get him the materials. If Jon doesn’t then Gil will make a list of the needed items and hand it over to Bob Klick. Bob will purchase from a supplier he knows to get a good price. The executive gave its okay to spending a couple of hundred dollars in order to get the necessary materials as needed.
  • The lid to the tank still needs to be locked in some manner to prevent vandalism.
  • Bob K will go out in the next 10 days and install the sink and toilet. He will also put the baseboard up.
  • The Jan 31, 2001 completion date is still to have the water/ sewage system up and working is still in effect.

Dark Sky Activism:
Paul R. will call a meeting of interested members to decide what the objectives of the group will be. One first thought is to get city council out for a tour/ meeting.

N.O.V.A. – New Observers to Visual Astronomy
Rob F. has an article regarding NOVA prepared for the next Pegasus issue.

New Grant Application:

  • Last years grant is spent.
  • Must make an application for a new grant.
  • A “wish list” of items needed by the club still needs to be made.
  • List so far: Deck, SVGA Projector, Software, Club Laptop, Hands-on science displays for the classroom and noise reduction for the classroom, viewing deck, finish parking lot, computer operated slide projector show, motorized drive system to open & close dome/ rotate, new CCD camera (buy a used one?), upgrade the network to high speed (10/100), buy a custom built professional drive for the scope, new worm gear for scope, new mount for scope (inverted fork design), Hire a design consultant to come up with a plan to modify the scope – Bob suggests brining in someone from the D.A.O. to this end.
  • The executive would like to make a 5-10 year plan for the building, telescope and classroom.

B.C. Society Act Annual Report:
Paul Roberts will submit the report on Jan 18, 2001.

R.A.S.C.:
Brian B sent the letter to the RASC requesting the PGAS become a RASC Center.

Building Coordinator:
Bob K has accepted the position of Building Coordinator. (Thank you!)

Security:

  • Gil S. still needs to look into the false alarms although; there hasn’t been any for a while.
  • The security company should be able to provide info on which alarm has been set off so we can fix the problem.
  • Gil will also ask the security company who is on the emergency contact list.

Borrowing of Equipment:
Sign out books have been posted in the observatory. When members take equipment and resources are required to right down when they took it, where they took it and when they will bring it back. For major items (telescopes and accessories) Brian B must be phoned.

Parking Lot:
The club needs to put up markers to show where people can park. –not done yet.

New Members Handbook:
Brian B has started on the book. So far a rough outline has been created. Bob N will be forwarding his best collection of shareware astronomy software to include on the CD-Rom.

NEW BUSINESS:

Finances:
Reg. Account: $3,156.36
Gaming Account: $- 428.24
Total: $3,114.12 (Paul shouldn’t this be $2,728.12 ?)

Gaming/ Financial Report:
To be completed by Saturday, Jan 20, 2001 by Paul Roberts.

Membership:

  • Paul R. reports there are currently 20 paid members.
  • Steve S. will write up a notice for the next newsletter asking for the payment of outstanding dues. He will forward it to Brian B to be printed and inserted when the newsletter is put together.

Group Tours:

  • Due to a recent unexpectedly small donation after a group tour a rate system will be implemented. For tours of 15 or less a fee of $30.00 will be charged for each person over 15 an additional $2.00 will be added.
  • Brian B will create a list of 5 or 6 people to serve as tour hosts. Likely candidates are: Steve S, Gil S, Bob N, Jon & Jean B. Brian P will also be approached.
  • A list of apprentice host/ helpers will also be created so we can have enough help & security at the tours as well as train future hosts. Brian will ask for volunteers at the next meeting.

Technical:

  • Gil will install the modem he has into the classroom computer.
  • Newtonian secondary work is proceeding. Bob N is meeting with Claus in the next few days to work out an electronic control for flipping the new secondary mirror.
  • At Gil’s request Bob N will also ask Claus if he can design a circuit to enable 3 slide projectors to receive audio/ advance from a computer to enable a computer controlled slide show presentation. The idea would be to have a slide show run itself without the need for a club member to speak.
  • Matthew Burke has added Bob N’s new article on what you can do in astronomy to the web site. The article includes numerous www links to sites discussed in the article.

Building:

  • Bob K suggests not developing the room at the end of the hall into anything more than storage so the club will be able to keep the option of expanding the building to the east.
  • Paul R gave Brian B water tokens for the cooler at the observatory. Brian will take the empty bottles when he goes out to the Jan 18 group tour and return them at the next group tour, Jan 26.

Next Meeting:
Steve S will do the constellation of the month. Orion.

Newsletter:
Gil S will include a schedule of events in the newsletter. It will consist of meeting dates, times, location as well as things like yearly meteor showers. He will forward a copy to Brian B to be used in the new members handbook.

R.A.S.C.

  • Paul R. expressed an interest in representing the club at the next General Assembly of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. At the meeting the PGAS will hopefully be voted into the R.A.S.C.
  • Paul R. would like the date of the General Assembly printed in the newsletter and members encouraged to attend.
  • Paul R . would like to offer the opportunity to PGAS members to purchase a R.A.S.C. calendar. A notice will be placed in the next newsletter and the order will be placed following the January meeting.

Meeting Adjourned: 10:00 pm

2000-12-20

Minutes of PGAS Executive Meeting – Dec 20, 2000

Meeting Hosted By: Bob Nelson
Attending Executive: Gil Self, Brian Battersby, Steve Senger, Rob Frith
Absent: Paul Roberts

Start Time: 7:35 pm

Read previous minutes/ agenda.

OLD BUSINESS:

Washrooms / Holding Tank Installation:

  • The holding tank has been hydro tested, inspected and buried. The inspector requires us to seal the inside seam of the tank with tar and add a weight to the shut off alarm.
  • Jon B’s dad has the plan and materials to install the water tanks.
  • The lid to the tank should also be locked in some manner to prevent vandalism.
  • The executive set the date of Jan 31, 2001 to have the water/ sewage system up and working.

Slide Projector:
Due to lack of funds the slide projector has not been picked up from Spee-Dee Printers pending the payment of the washrooms/ holding tank.

Dark Sky Activism:
Paul R. is still interested but currently unavailable.

N.O.V.A. – New Observers to Visual Astronomy
Rob F. will have a program ready for March 2001.

New Grant Application:

  • Last years grant is spent.
  • Must make an application for a new grant.
  • A “wish list” of items needed by the club still needs to be made.
  • List so far: Deck, SVGA Projector, Software, Club Laptop, Hands-on science displays for the classroom and noise reduction for the classroom.
  • The executive would like to make a 5-year plan for the building, telescope and classroom.

NEW BUSINESS:

Finances:

  • Steve Senger gave report on finances. It should be noted that Paul R is the treasurer and Steve did not have the exact information available. Breakdown as follows:
  • Reg. Account: $3,000.00 approx.
  • Gaming Account: $3,990.00 approx
  • Total: $6,990.00 approx.
  • There is about $4834 dollars in unpaid bills for the tank and installation, BC Gas, Telus and washrooms. Gil will also need to buy some more supplies (ie. breakers)
  • Brian B submitted a bill for removing the water from the holding tank from Supreme Septic Services. The amount was $160.50. The executive issued a cheque. (Brian paid the bill on Dec 22, 2000)
  • Brian Baker gave the club a bill for his services. The executive deemed the handwritten bill unacceptable. A motion was made and passed to ask Brian Baker to submit a proper bill.

Financial Report:
Paul R must submit the Financial Report to the Gaming Commission.

Society Annual Report:
The societies annual report must be completed. Bob N in charge.

Building Coordinator:
Bob K has been asked to be the Building Coordinator. He has not accepted or declined at this time.

Classroom Noise:
The executive decided to look into some sort of sound reduction device in the classroom to reduce the echos and noise. Some ideas: curtains, pads for the chairs and sound absorbing sheets of material. This should be priced out and figured into the new grant.

Parking Lot:
The club needs to put up markers to show where people can park.

Observing:

  • The executive decided to look into getting educational videos describing basic astronomy concepts to aid in NOVA.
  • Rob F requested a finder scope be added to the 10” Dob.

Borrowing of Equipment:
Brian B will be in charge of keeping track of the clubs equipment. Signs and sign out books will be posted in the observatory. When members take equipment and resources they will be required to right down when they took it, where they took it and when they will bring it back. For major items (telescopes and accessories) Brian B must be phoned.

New Members Handbook:
The executive discussed the creation of a handbook to give to new members. The book will include such items as: observers log, sky charts, WWW links, free software (HALLO Northern Sky and others), list of key holders and phone numbers, open house schedule, members night schedule, basic observing techniques, suggested clothing, how to observe using binoculars. Brian B is in charge of this project.

Observing Deck:
Gil brought forward the idea of the deck again. It will be factored into the money requested in the new grant. Gil will work on drawing up some plans. The general idea is to have isolated piers, binocular viewing stations, benches and power on an elevated deck to help see over the trees and feel safer from animals.

Group Tours:
On Jan 12 a group of students from Houston will be coming down for a tour. Steve S, Rob F, Jon & Jean B and Brian B will all help out. The classroom needs to be cleaned before then.

Fundraising:
Bob N. brought up the idea of approaching companies and asking for a small $100 donation. We would publish the names of the contributors in the newsletter and put a logo on the wall.

Security:
Gil S will look into the false alarms although; there hasn’t been any for a while.

R.A.S.C.:
Brian B will draft a letter to be mailed to the RASC requesting the PGAS become a RASC center.

Meeting Adjourned: 9:30 pm

2000-11-29

Minutes of PGAS General Meeting – Nov 29, 2000

Meeting Hosted By: Gil Self
Number Attending: 12 members
Start Time: 7:40 pm

Read previous minutes/ agenda.

OLD BUSINESS:

R.A.S.C.:

  • If it joined the PGAS would become officially affiliated next fall. Subject to approval by the R.A.S.C.
  • If it joined the PGAS will offer new members a $10 introductory fee for their 1st year.
  • Once it joins the club members will receive the publications of the R.A.S.C.
  • Motion by Bob K. to join the R.A.S.C. (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada)
  • Seconded by Fred V.
  • Motion to join R.A.S.C. – passed. – No Contrary Minded.

Washrooms / Holding Tank Installation:

  • Tank has been installed – Thanks to Jon B. for his hard work!
  • Some more plumbing work inside the building going to the tank is required. Gil S. is looking after.
  • Gil S & Jon B have installed flow alarm in the tank. This prevents the tank from over filling.
  • The possibility exists of needing to do a “water test” before the tank in covered up as part of the Reg. District inspection. Jon B & Gil S will look after if this is necessary.
  • Once Reg. District inspects the tank it can be buried – hopefully sometime in the first week of December.
  • Bob K. brought up concerns about the plumbing in the washrooms. He will go out on Saturday (Dec 2) to inspect and make recommendations. Bob K will also try and locate a free piece of lino to cover the washroom floor with.

Slide Projector:
Slide Projector has been ordered as per Nov 15 Exec Meeting. Cost $660 + tax. Thank you to Spee-Dee Printers for selling it to us at cost.

Dark Sky Activism:

  • Paul R. will chair.
  • Gil S. passed over the information he had collected to date to Paul R.
  • The 1st objective of the Dark Sky committee will be to ask council to pass a by-law requiring all new buildings to conform to Dark Sky lighting standards.

N.O.V.A. – New Observers to Visual Astronomy
Rob F. will chair this project. Brian B. will assist.

NEW BUSINESS:

Finances:

  • Paul R. gave report on finances. A complete handout was provided to attending members. Breakdown as follows:
  • (Oct 1, 1999 to Sept 30, 2000):
  • Reg. Account: $1,630,55 – $2,401.23
  • Gaming Account: $17,278.69 – $5,268.58
  • Total: $18,909.24 – $7,669.81
  • Oct. 2000 was not included in report. Gil S. reported that approximately $700 was spent on items relating to the washrooms and holding tank installation in October. This is out of the gaming account. The tank and contractor have no dollar figure as of yet.

Technical:
Bob N. is in charge of the new flip mirror Newtonian system. It should be completed within a couple of months.

Christmas Party:
Paul R. brought forward the idea of having a Christmas Party. Not much interest was shown. Due to the late date we will not have a Christmas party this year. It was a good idea. Next year we will try and get it going earlier.

Computer Server:
Paul R. & Matthew B. will get the new server up and running for remote access to the PGAO network as soon as they can.

Fundraising:

  • Still looking for a chairperson to step forward.
  • Bob N. brought up the idea of approaching companies and asking for a small $100 donation. We would publish the names of the contributors.
  • Club should use the observatory to raise funds. I.e. Have a company come out for an evening and at the end donate. This will be more feasible once the washrooms are complete.
  • Fred V. reinitiated discussion of letting UNBC use the scope as part of their Astronomy course. Club members were worried about possible damage and loss of use of the facilities. No plans for approaching UNBC were made or for further discussion.

Observing Director:

  • Brian B. will chair this position.
  • Members Nights will run Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, March, April, May & possibly into June.
  • Scope Bookings – club members can call Brian B. to book the scope for a given night.
  • Those without keys can also book the scope. Brian B will coordinated with a key holding member to accompany them. Call Brian B @ 564-4789 or email: lfaux@bcgroup.net
  • Blackburn Secondary would like one or more members to participate in their Health & Leisure day. No members accepted the offer at the meeting. Brian B will continue to try and find a member(s) to go.
  • Twain Sullivan Elementary from Houston will most likely make a trip down in December or January as part of their school curriculum. Brian B will coordinate.

Web Page:
Matthew B. has updated the site. However the club needs a member to maintain the site on a regular basis if you can help contact Gil Self.

Archivist:
Judy Wyper volunteered to chair this new position. If any members have any newspaper clipping, photos etc. to do with the club please pass them on to Judy so she can archive them.

Promotional:
Bob N will supply Brian B with logos and copy so he can create plaques to thank major contributors and founding members.

Work-Bee:
A work-bee to install tank and finish washrooms will be held on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 1:00 pm. A sign up sheet was passed around the meeting.

MEETING EVENTS:

Constellation of the Month:
Brian B gave a presentation about the constellation Auriga. Bob N suggested that members could use constellation star charts and pictures, like the one of Auriga used in the presentation to hone their star recognition skills in the winter months.

Baffling a Telescope:
Bob N gave a presentation showing his method of determining where to place baffles in a telescope tube. He also discussed why baffles are needed. A handout describing his method was given to attending members.

Meeting Adjourned: 9:45 pm

2000-11-15

Minutes of PGAS Executive Meeting – Nov 15, 2000

Meeting Hosted By: Gil Self
Attending Executive: Gil Self, Paul Roberts, Brian Battersby, Steve Senger, Rob Frith
Absent: Bob Nelson

Start Time: 7:40 pm

Read previous minutes/ agenda.

OLD BUSINESS:

Washrooms / Holding Tank Installation:

  • Paul R. phoned Jon B. to get details of what has been accomplished so far – Jon will phone back.
  • The Executive voted to pay for the tank as soon as it is know what the cost is (Unanimous).
  • The Executive agreed to ask Mr. Baker to dig the hole for tank. Gil will contact him.
  • The Executive gave themselves the deadline of Sat. Nov 25 to install the tank.

Slide Projector:
Executive has decided to go ahead and buy the slide projector with the money that Xerox donated for that purpose. The money is in the General Account. Brian B will check with Spee-Dee Printers & Office Products to see about getting a good price.

Dark Sky Activism:
Paul R. will get on it as soon as possible. Brian B & Gil S. will help him out.

N.O.V.A. – New Observers to Visual Astronomy
Rob F. and Brian B. will take on this project.

NEW BUSINESS:

Finances:

  • Steve Senger gave report on finances. Breakdown as follows:
  • Reg. Account: $2,401.23
  • Gaming Account: $5,268.58
  • Total: $7,669.81

General Meeting:
Decided Gil S. will chair next meeting, Brian will do Const. Of month – Auriga.

New Grant Application:
Decided Executive and General Members will brainstorm to make a new list of items desired to apply for a new grant. Members will be asked to submit their ideas via email & Newsletter.

Christmas Party:
Paul R. brought forward the idea of having a Christmas Party at an as yet undecided location, preferably PGAO if tank and water is installed.

Computer Server:
Paul R. will get the new server up and running for remote access to the PGAO network.

Fundraising:

  • The Executive has decided to fundraising in the following ways; Donation Jar and Group Tours with emphasis on clubs such as Rotary.
  • Gil S. will include a piece in the newsletter asking for a Chairperson to step forward.

Group Tours:
The club needs a new Tour Coordinator. Gil S. will include a request for a person to step forward next general meeting.

Security:
Paul R. brought up an idea for video surveillance monitored by members via the internet.

Dues:
Dues are due. This fact will be included in the next general meeting agenda & a notice in newsletter.

Insurance:
The Executive decided to review our insurance policy. Paul R. in charge.

Motion:

  • The incoming Treasurer, Paul Roberts made a motion to accept the financial statements as presented by the exiting Treasurer, Steve Senger and absolve the incoming Treasurer of any responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be present.
  • Seconded by: Rob Frith.

Meeting Adjourned: 9:30 pm