Thursday, 29 December 2016 13:00

January 2017 President's Message

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What was it that Yogi Berra said? "It's like déjávu all over again." Maybe, maybe not. Looking ahead at 2017, we will be looping around the annual calendar track once again. Gas in the car, everything checked out and the pit crew (the PAS officers and all active members) ready to win the race. So what is the race and how do we win it? The race we will be running in this year, like the year before has a simple goal — it is called progress.

We want to finish the year with the club a bit stronger, a bit larger and with a larger participation pool than what the club is when the year starts. Sounds kind of silly I know, but if you look at it, that is exactly what we need to do for 2017 to be considered an successful year. We will promote the club as much as we can and we will participate in a lot of outreach events as we did this past year. We can meet our goals with good participation from the membership. The reward will be better meeting attendance, more excitement at the meetings and fresh new faces to help in the effort. I will talk more about plans for the year at our January meeting.

I also need to report, as most of you know, that we are having some issues with the SPMOS Observing Site lease. We were "informed" last October that our lease would not be renewed. As of this writing, in spite of efforts to get clarification about our use of the site, the property owner has not communicated with us at all. We have tried to find out more, but have had no luck. As the communication we got was merely a voice message left on an answer machine, technically our lease is modified to a month to month lease until we get written communication giving us better direction. That direction could range from a new, and perhaps shorter term lease or a written request to vacate the site. If that happens, we have no choice, we will have 30 days to vacate SPMOS, a site that has been our club observing site for the past 23 years. Frankly, we are not sure what the end result of all of this will be. We are assuming that we will get some use out of the site, and that optimism has resulted in continued resurrection of the SPMOS bunkhouse. Believe me, as we learn more, we will communicate it.

Lease issues aside, we are optimistic that 2017 will be a good year for the Pontchartrain Astronomy Society. To do this we will be trying to involve more of the membership in club activities. As I said last month, one thing we need to do is to get coverage for all outreach events and for activities like Astronomy Day.

Incoming PAS 1st Vice-President, Bill Davis informed me that the program for the January 6th, 2017 PAS general meeting will be "Astrophotography, Planetary Capturing and Processing" and given by PAS member Connor Matherne.

Hope to see a good crowd for the January meeting!

Barry Simon, President
Pontchartrain Astronomy Society

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