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In an attempt to get the newsletter to you faster, and at less expense, we are considering digital delivery as an option. Digital delivery includes any of the following three methods: 1) having the newsletter emailed to you in Acrobat PDF format, 2) getting an emailed notice that the PDF file is available for download from the EAS website, or 3) viewing the contents of the newsletter directly off the website, without downloading anything.

Here are the advantages of digital delivery to you and the Association:

1. It costs $$ to print a hardcopy newsletter; digital newsletters cost nothing to produce.

2. It costs $$ to mail out a hardcopy newsletter; digital delivery is essentially free.

3. It takes time to physically prepare hardcopies for mailing (folding, stapling, addressing, sorting) that puts a strain on volunteers (especially the Editor!)

4. To keep hardcopy mailing expenses down, we send the newsletter out bulk, which, while cheaper than 1st class postage, is in many cases slower - as slow as two weeks or more. This has caused some members to regularly miss meetings and events. Digital delivery is nearly instantaneous, and...

5. If we can send a decent percentage of newsletters out digitally, we can stop using bulk mail, and start using 1st class, which, while not instantaneous, is still faster.

6. Digital delivery is better for the environment. No trees are used to make digital newsletters.

7. Digital newsletters can be viewed in color, are easier to store, and can usually be printed onto paper at will.

8. With increased net income from lowered newsletter expenses, there will be extra money to pursue the higher goals of the EAS, and will delay dues increases.

Each member may choose whichever method best suits them: regular mail, or one of the three email methods listed in the top paragraph, above. I need to get an idea of how many of you would be willing to get your newsletter delivered digitally, so I can make a proposal to the Board to change our operating procedures. If you would be willing (and you're a current EAS member), please send me an email at donsaito@pacbell.net and let me know. If you don't want it digitally, do nothing. If you have any comments or questions, contact me by email or my daytime phone (510) 587-6052.

Thank you for your time and consideration!



Why should anyone want to join the EAS? Our monthly meetings, newsletter (on the web), star parties, library access, telescope makers' workshop, access to Rachel and Leah (and someday, Nellie, the 36" reflector), are all totally free and open to the public. We don't even really charge for the cookies at the meetings. The EAS Board is considering increasing the value of being a member by making some of EAS's assets more for "members only." We'd like your input as to what you think of this idea.
Another thing we're thinking of doing is changing the date, time and/or place of the monthly meeting. Here are the options:

a. Change nothing (meet on first Saturday of the month at 7:30pm)
b. Meet on first Saturday of month at 5:30pm in Tien Megadome Theatre (TMT).
c. Meet on first (or whatever) Thursday of the month at 7:30pm in TMT.

Issues: If it's viewable, Friday and Saturday evenings have heavy public foot traffic; this can make going out to the telescopes to view after the meeting difficult. Also, EAS volunteers are not available to help Conrad with public viewing while they are attending the club meeting. Having the meeting on Saturday at 5:30pm allows us to meet in a nicer space (TMT), but we'd have only have 90 minutes to work with; that's not really enough. Meeting on Thursday nights allows us to meet in the TMT with plenty of time, and have free access to the telescopes afterwards for viewing.
We are also thinking of reorganizing the general meeting schedule, putting the lecture as the first part of the meeting, with free access to members, and paid access to non-members. The business portion of the meeting would be held after a refreshment break, and kept short - perhaps 30 minutes. In other clubs, this format tends to attract more members to meetings (they don't have to wait through the business part of the meeting to hear the guest speaker). It can also even bring in welcome revenue for both the EAS and Chabot; we might even be able to afford better speakers! Making non-members pay to hear guest speakers is a powerful incentive for non-members to become new members. Chabot's "Distinguished Lecturer Series" regularly packs 'em in. The EAS could do the same thing, make more money for itself and Chabot, and get more members in the offing.

Do you think we should do this: yes? no?

Again, email me or call me and let me know. (My contact info is just to the left of this paragraph, in the other column on this page.

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