Wednesday, 19 August 2015 17:23

President's Message for August 2015

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August President's Message

By: Barry Simon

If our calendar year can be compared to a horse racing track, summertime is the backstretch and we are about to enter the far turn for the final push and sprint to the year’s finish line. We can see that finish line but the race is not yet done and we still have a lot of things ahead of us that can have an effect on how we finish the year. More about all of this later, I want to first talk about our August meeting which will take place in about 1 week.


 Reminder first – the August meeting will be held at St. Benedict’s Church located at 20370 Smith Road in Covington. For those of you on the southshore, please allow extra time to make it to the meeting location. You can find a map which will help you get to the meeting on the PAS website.


In addition, there has been some program changes – please ignore all earlier announcements as to what the program will be for August. Due to various schedule conflicts and computer issues, earlier announced programs have been pushed back. What the program will be at the August meeting will be


The Deep South Regional StarGaze – What’s Up in Early November


In this program we will review just what objects are targets for us to observe (or photograph) in early November skies. (This program will feature a number of very nice photos of some of these celestial showpieces.) In addition I will do a brief overview of the Deep South Regional StarGaze, mostly for the benefit of our newer members who have not yet attended a star party. (According to our July roster update, we have 15 new member families so far for 2015. Hopefully we can add some more new members before the end of the year!)


With the end of 2015 looming ahead of us we also start to think about where we are and where we want to go as the club moves forward. One key element of all of this is Elections and Officers. When I took office for 2015 I had some pretty lofty goals for the year.


1st Vice President John Martinez shared these goals and we, along with the rest of the officers, have been working very hard to both increase activity within the club and in turn, to increase our membership. I can absolutely say we are headed in the right direction. The PAS has 15 new members since the 1st of the year. We have co-sponsored the Alex Fillipenko lecture, we have done 2 major outreach events at Bogue Chitto State Park and we have a program schedule which is typically set months in advance. We have completed a questionnaire/survey and we have a better idea about what everyone wants. We are in the process of implementing this wish list.


Having said all this I have to say that I am not yet satisfied with our progress and I know we still have a lot of work to do. One key element of all of this is working as a team. One way we do this is to have regular officers meetings and develop a good plan to meet our goals. I want to finish the job that has been starting. Doing this means continuing as club president. This is something that I have the time to do and it is something that I want to do. All of the other officers feel the same way. This is not to say that if anyone wants to run for any office that they should not do so; they absolutely should. If you do want to run for an office, please contact Jason Talley and let him know. You can find some information about the responsibilities of the different positions in the Member Documents within the PAS website.


I guess that is about it for now…..oh, one final thing – 11 PAS members made it up to the Feliciana Retreat Center between Thursday August 13th and Sunday the 16th for a last minute star party. Sort of a DSRSG Pre-Season Game in a way. Steve Edmiston, our only Thursday attendee had good skies on that night. Friday was not a good astronomy night but Saturday surprised us with about 3 or 4 hours of nice skies (mag 6.4 limit). The experience was well worth the time. I will also show a few photos at the meeting from this event.


I hope to see a lot of you in Covington on the 28th!


Barry Simon, President


Pontchartrain Astronomy Society


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