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 Mission Statement of the Eastbay Astronomical Society

 The Eastbay Astronomical Society is committed to the promotion of a greater community interest and participation in the science of astronomy and to the dissemination of technical and scientific information on the subject.

A principal method for accomplishing this goal is to participate actively in programs to teach the principles of astronomy, as well as an awareness of the night sky, to children of the San Francisco Bay Area in cooperation with other organizations.

The Society also is committed to offering technical assistance in operating and maintaining the instruments and equipment of the Chabot Space & Science Center, of whose parent Joint Powers Agreement it is a member.

The Society is determined to express its leadership among organizations with similar goals by taking an active role in sponsoring such key programs as the lessening of light pollution.
The Society will endeavor to serve its members by providing a forum for the discussion of matters of interest in the fields of astronomy, space sciences, earth sciences, and meteorology. It will encourage its members in their individual accomplishments in pursuit of astronomy-related goals, such as astrophotography, optics, observing, education and community service.

Roberts Rules
By Carter Roberts, President

 

The pre-opening events at the Chabot Space and Science Center have gone very well. Especially noteworthy was the evening for major donors on August 3. Kingsley Wightman was able to attend and after the last planetarium show, Kevin Medlock had Kingsley running the Zeiss projector. As this is being written we are a few hours from the Grand Opening and Rachel is very close to being ready for use. The observing platform is ready and will be installed this weekend.
  In the upper photo, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown joins Oakland City Councilmember Dick Spees, Dan Wightman, and Chabot Space and Science Center Board Vice-Chair Bob Brauer in welcoming Kingsley Wightman to Chabot.
In the lower photo, Kingsley Wightman is at the controls of the Zeiss Universarium projector.
 

The new Chabot Space & Science Center has received a great deal of coverage in the local media. Among the articles I have seen are front-page items in all major newspapers. Colorful articles have also appeared in Sunset magazine and in Via magazine of the AAA. TV coverage has been extensive, too.

It has been suggested that we develop a rough outline of topics for our monthly meetings for the next year. Anyone with ideas or suggestions please contact Dave Rodrigues at DaveVRod@aol.com.
A membership renewal form is being included with this mailing. Those of you who subscribe to Sky & Telescope or Astronomy should renew soon to reduce your flood of renewal notices.
The Bort Meadow Party
was an unqualified success this year, as the fog and clouds stayed away, and the Moon posed nicely over the treetops for more than a hundred youngsters and adults who enjoyed this annual event on August 4.

As he did last year, Doug Dooley, EAS member and Cubmaster of Pack 722 of Castro Valley, led his Cub Scouts in laying out a scale model of the Solar System along the meadow and extending more than a quarter mile along an adjoining trail. Marked by color-coordinated glow sticks, the planets were represented at a scale where the Sun was the size of a softball, four inches in diameter.



Susan Ramos, East Bay Regional Park naturalist, conducted her popular trivia contest for the younger group, handing out Milky Way prizes to the lucky know-it-alls. Dave Rodrigues was once again the Wizard of the evening, demonstrating his scientific apparatus that is only the size of a quarter. And supervising telescopes and fielding questions were the following EAS members: Harry Betancourt, Phil Crabbe, Debbie Dyke, Conrad Jung, Amelia Marshall, Ellis Myers, Carter Roberts, Don Saito, Don Stone, and Ken Swagerty.


Refractor Mentioned by AL
The Astronomical League has placed The Refractor among those meriting honorable mention in the League’s third annual Mabel Sterns Award recognizing outstanding member-club newsletters. [Editor's note: This means only that thirteen or more newsletters were submitted for judging.]

According to Bob Gent, Vice-president of the Astronomical League, in his press release: “One of the most difficult jobs in any club is that of newsletter editor, and the Astronomical League’s Mabel Sterns Award honors those dedicated volunteer newsletter editors. This award is named in honor of the first newsletter editor of the League. There were dozens of excellent nominations, and the competition was very intense. [Editor's note: Correction—there may have been 25 entries.] The judges complained that this year was very difficult work because all of the newsletters were only of the highest quality.

“Our first place winner is Glendon L. Howell, editor of the Back Bay Observer, newsletter of the Back Bay Amateur Astronomers in Chesapeake, Virginia. In the words of the BBAA president, Kent Blackwell, “Glen has been doing an outstanding job as our newsletter editor for about 20 years.” Recently, Glen has become very active in efforts to protect the beauty of our night skies. Last fall, he and other BBAA members held a very successful joint meeting of the International Dark-Sky Association and the Virginia Association of Astronomical Societies. Based upon Glen’s encouragement, a major Norfolk area newspaper ran a front page article about this meeting including a beautiful front page photo of a starry night. Glen’s enthusiasm led the paper to be very supportive, and this brought the subject of light pollution to local officials and the general public. For his many years of dedicated service as astronomer and newsletter editor, the Astronomical League proudly presents the 2000 Mabel Sterns Award to Glendon Howell.

“Our second place award winner is Jim Anderson, editor of Observations, newsletter of the Chester County Astronomical Society in Thornton, Pennsylvania. In addition to producing the club’s outstanding newsletter, Jim serves his club as Astronomical League correspondent, as an observing awards coordinator, and he has established a new e-mail service for the newsletter. The judges received letters from not only the club president, but the vice-president describing Jim’s dedication to astronomy. He not only produces an award winning newsletter, and has done this for many years. In addition, he is always active with club meetings and public outreach programs. Jim is a remarkable astronomer and well deserving of this award.

“Michael Cissell, editor of Via Stellaris, the newsletter of the Van Braun Astronomical Society in Huntsville, Alabama, wins third place in the 2000 Mabel Sterns competition. Michael produces a very classy, professional looking newsletter. Michael includes excellent graphics, formatting, and astronomically interesting side bars. This newsletter is a work of art, and our judges were impressed with Michael’s talents.

“Our fourth place winner is Tom Klekamp, from Mandeville, Louisiana. He is the editor of the Pontchartrain Astronomical Society newsletter, PAS Times. According to Barry Simon, president of the PAS, “Tom has been doing a really great job with our newsletter.” In addition to other achievements, Tom is a leader in the community. Thanks to Tom’s tireless efforts, Mandeville, Louisiana now has a very comprehensive outdoor lighting ordinance that will preserve the night skies, conserve energy, and improve visibility through reduced glare.

“Fifth place is awarded to Frank Baratta, editor of the RVAS Newsletter, in Roanoke, Virginia. Frank has been providing outstanding service to the Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society for nearly a decade. Club president, John Goss put it best by stating, “Our newsletter is the cornerstone of our club, it binds our members together, and in fact, many members stated that the RVAS Newsletter is their favorite benefit of membership.”

Arranged in alphabetical order, Honorable Mention went to:
Cincinnati [Ohio] Astronomical Society, Editor: Bill Gwynne
Eastbay [California] Astronomical Society, Editor: Ellis Myers
Kalamazoo [Michigan] Astronomical Society, Editor: Richard Bell
Longmont [Colorado] Astronomical Society, Editor: Jim Sapp
Louisville [Kentucky] Amateur Astronomers, Editor Pat Peak
Peoria [Illinois] Astronomical Society, Illinois, Editors: John Barra, Michael & Jessica Frasca, and Calene Fleming
Southwest Montana Astronomical Society, Editor: Mel McCarver
Spokane [Washington] Astronomical Society, Retired Editor: R.L. Dietz for many years outstanding service
Springfield [Vermont] Telescope Makers, Editor Wayne Zuhl

This is the second successive year that the Refractor has received Honorable Mention in this award program.


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