At the January 3, 2011 meeting of the Warren Astronomical Society, these changes were approved by our membership. The final, approved version of the bylaws may be found here.
As announced in December, the board plans to conduct a vote on changes to our bylaws at the January 3 meeting. The changes made to the by-laws are meant to reflect the way that the organization is actually run. We walked through each proposed change at the December Cranbrook meeting; this is for a reminder and for those who missed that meeting.
The entire bylaws documents, with revisions noted, can be downloaded here.
Please review the changes and consider them. We are hoping to get a majority of paying members to vote on these changes on Monday, as the current bylaws require a majority of the total membership to revise the bylaws. If you are able to, please attend the meeting and be prepared to pay your dues so that you can vote.
A list of the substantial revisions:
Honorary life membership has been revised so that the board can award it by unanimous vote. Previously, the board recommended it and the entirety of the membership voted on it. This is not how the last two honorary lifetime memberships were awarded.
College and Junior/Student membership have been combined into a single category, student membership. The board changed the dues for College and Junior Membership to be the same some years ago.
Expulsion of members has been changed so that a supermajority (five out of the seven) of the entire board can expel a member. Here is the old procedure: "Any member may be expelled from membership by the Board of Directors when in the judgment of the Board of Directors the interest of the Corporation will be served thereby. ...
"The Board of Directors shall then pass final decision upon the matter and upon a recommendation of simple majority of the Board of Directors, and provided such expulsion is approved by a majority of votes cast by the voting members in a regular or special meeting, the member's name will then be dropped from the membership roll."
The language seemed to be contradictory (the board can remove, but members must vote?). We have not had need to make use of this in ten years, but thought that resolving the contradiction was important.
The annual meeting has been moved from the October Macomb meeting to the November Cranbrook meeting. This is due to the significantly greater attendance at Cranbrook and the frequent collisions with star parties in October. The "annual" board meeting has been moved to that meeting as well. We also removed references to specific venues.
The Waiver of Notice clause has been removed, as nobody understands what it means. It seemed to mean that if officers missed a board meeting, they couldn't claim that decisions made there were invalid due to their absence. The sense of the board on this topic is, "Well, duh."
The voting procedure has been amended to make voting for uncontested positions by acclaim (the way all W.A.S. elections I have seen are conducted) a recognized election process.
Two new officer positions have been added: Outreach Director and Publications Director. They are not new positions and date back to the 70s at least, but have never been first-class offices.
The first and second vice president positions have been divided into separate articles, and their duties enumerated. Before, the language was extremely vague.
Officers can now be removed by a majority vote of the board rather than by the majority of the board AND a majority of the membership. This is how it was done the last time an officer was removed.
Mid-term vacancies in office are now filled by the board, rather than the more complicated series of rules in the current bylaws. This is how a mid-term vacancy was filled last time.
The fiscal year of the corporation has been changed to the calendar year to match the current membership year.
Finally, and most importantly, properly announced amendments to by-laws can now be approved by a majority of the membership at a meeting, instead of the majority of the total membership. Under the old system, changes to the by-laws are nearly impossible, since it is rare to have near half the membership at a meeting.
A lot of work and discussion have gone into these by-law changes. None of them are intended to change the way the Society operates, but rather to fit the way the Society operates now, to strengthen our bid for 501(c)(3) status. They should also make future changes much more possible to make.
The board hopes that you approve of these by-laws, that you attend Monday's meeting, and that you pay your dues so that you can vote. Thank you for your attention and participation in this important event.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
At the January 3, 2011 meeting of the Warren Astronomical Society, these changes were approved by our membership. The final, approved version of the bylaws may be found here.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
The 50th Anniversary 2011 Warren Astronomical Society calendar is complete and has been sent to the printers. The calendar features twelve original astronomical images from W.A.S. members and all currently known 2011 W.A.S. and astronomical events:
- Regular W.A.S. meetings
- Discussion group meetings
- Stargate open houses
- Major outreach events, like Astronomy at the Beach, Metro Beach Astronomy Night, and Farmington Hills Dark Skies Night
- W.A.S., Michigan, and national star parties
- Meteor showers, North American eclipses, moon phases, season changes
- Birthdays of prominent scientists, astronauts, astronomers, and others
UPDATE: The first printing is sold out. For the second printing, calendars are $20 (shipping, if needed, is extra), paid in advance.
Quantities are limited - please email email@example.com by WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24 to reserve yours and receive payment instructions.
Preview this year's photos:
Wondering what these images were taken or created with? The imagers report:
"Equipment used was my 152mm A&M APO refractor, SBIG 6303e camera, AP Mount for my own pictures."
"Modified Canon 450d SLR on a 80mm Orion ED, guiding with a Meade DSI3 on a 127mm Orion achromat. Each was about 15 - 5 min stacked images with Deep Sky Stacker."
"My image was taken with an experimental design with some machining help from Bob Berta. It consists of an f/6.3 focal reducer, MOAG off axis guider, SBIG remote head guider, narrowband filters, adaptive optics and ST-2000 ccd. Image through 12" GPS LX200 scope in light polluted skies of Dearborn Heights.
It was taken with:
9.0 hours of Hydrogen Alpha,
1.5 hours of Oxygen III
2.3 hours of blue"
"M-31 was taken at Bill Beers's spring star party this year. Omega Cent and M81-82 at the 2009 TSP. All were 5 minute stacks with a Celestron CGE mount (Celestron CGE Pro for M-31), 11" Celestron Schmidt-Cass with a Starizona Hyperstar bringing the f ratio to f/2.0, and QHY8 color CCD camera cooled to -45 below ambient.
The scope was polar aligned and guided with an SBIG ST-7 camera (1/2 second frames) through a Tak FS-78 piggy backed to the C-11.
M-31 was 11 X 5 minutes (the sun was coming up, or I'd have taken 3 hours worth, and we were skunked the rest of the party), M81-M82 12 X 5 min, and Omega Cent 8 X 5 min."
"My equipment was two eyes, a lounge chair, a printout of the night sky with constellations and relative magnitude of various stars to help me gauge the brightness of each meteor. The paper was then inserted into a plastic sleeve. A wax pencil was used to trace out the path of each meteor, the time each meteor occured and the relative magnitude of each meteor. Some meteors were quite bright.
After the observation concluded the paper and plastic sleeve were scanned and enhanced in photoshop.
For aesthetic purposes the meteor occurrence time and magnitude were deleted."
Monday, October 18, 2010
Annual election of Warren Astronomical Society officers will take place at our Macomb meeting this Thursday, October 21. Six of the seven current officers are running for re-election, and so far nobody has said they are running against them. One position is open for a new officer, and so far nobody has said they will run for that position.
These six officers are running for re-election:
Gary Ross, President
Jon Blum, First Vice President
Bob Berta, Second Vice President
Jonathan Kade, Treasurer
Therese Oldani, Secretary
Steve Uitti, Publications
The open officer position is Outreach. Diane Hall is not running for re-election. We would like to hear about anyone who would like to run for this board position. Please email any board member, or tell any board member at the beginning of the meeting on Thursday, if you would like to run for Outreach.
Any club member can run for any position on the board. If you would like to run against any of the officers who are running for re-election, please email any board member, or tell any board member at the beginning of the meeting on Thursday, or make an announcement to the membership at the meeting, or ask another member to nominate you during the election.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
It is our sad duty to report that Larry Kalinowski, the "Comet Man," has passed away. This is the 49th year of the Society's existence; Larry has been a member for 48 of them.
Larry's contributions to the society were countless. For many years, Larry wrote the Computer/Astro Chatter column for our WASP newsletter. His dedication to comet observing and his desire for other members to join him in rigorous observing led him to take over our observing award program, in which capacity he awarded hundreds of his beautiful hand-made badges to members who earned them. He created, hand-made, and sold a "barlow extender" to allow people on limited budgets to boost their magnification without buying new eyepieces. If there was a project we worked on, an event we hosted, or a way he could help fellow members, Larry did it, with enthusiasm, skill, and caring.
Friends in the W.A.S. - Larry with friends in November 2009
Please share your memories of Larry with your fellow club members any way you can. The board is putting together something for the visitation, so emails to firstname.lastname@example.org would be much appreciated. You can leave or read reminiscences on the visitation page. We will all miss him greatly.
Funeral arrangements and visitation information is as follows:
Kaul Funeral Home
35201 Garfield (near 15 Mile Road)
Clinton Township, MI 48035
Visitation is from 3-9 Thursday, May 6th and from 10-11am Friday, May 7th. Funeral services start at 11 AM Friday.
Mark John Christensen sends these photos:
Saturday, February 20, 2010
We are currently near opposition with Vesta, the fourth asteroid discovered and the second most massive object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. This huge lumpy rock was discovered in 1802, as you might have heard at Sandra Macika's talk on Thursday. Right now, since it's near its closest to Earth, it's very bright and easy to find.
It's even easier to find, because it's right near the very bright and very beautiful white and gold double star Algieba, in the constellation Leo. Here's how to get there.
First, find the main stars in the constellation Leo. It's to the east of Mars, in Cancer, which should be very easy to spot, and north and to the west of Saturn, which is in Virgo. See this map, derived from the March 2010 SkyMaps sky map:
Next, find Algieba, aka Gamma Leonis. From there, Vesta is very easy to find using binoculars or a telescope with very low magnification. This chart, created with Starry Night, is for tonight:
Vesta is not moving very fast through this field, so it should remain easy to spot using this chart for a few more days - you will notice its position among the "fixed stars" changes.
Sky and Telescope have a great observing guide to allow you to follow Vesta's path through the sky in coming weeks. Print it out and keep it handy for your observing sessions. Download it here.
Enjoy! Make sure to share your observations with the group.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Elections were conducted October 15, 2009, and the proposed candidates have been duly elected.
It's now October, which means that it's Election Month for the Warren Astronomical Society. All but one of the board members are term-limited out of their current office, so it's a wide-open field for those interested.
Here are the necessary duties for each position. An officer can delegate these duties to someone else, but is responsible for seeing that the duties are carried out.
The president's job is to preside over the twice-monthly general meetings and the monthly Board of Directors meetings, appoint all committee chairmen and authorize payment of all bills. All club expenditures in excess of $100.00 must be approved by the president.
Candidate: Gary M. Ross
G. M. Ross was/ is First Vice-President for 2008 and 2009. His first Society meeting was in early 1962. He sporatically attended in the 1970s, but did not join until recently at the urging of Brian Klaus.
His goals as President:
The first vice-president is the Program Chair, who recruits and manages the guest speakers for each meeting, including the end-of-year Banquet. The first VP can also preside over meetings in the absence of the president.
Candidate: Jon Blum
Jon Blum has been a member of the Warren Astronomical Society since 2004. He has presented talks to our club about choosing a telescope, astronomy gadgets, and astronomy in New Mexico, Texas, Maui, and Scandanavia.
The job of the First Vice President is to schedule speakers for our meetings. Jon's goals in that position for the coming year will be to continue the excellent work of past VP's in scheduling our wonderful members to speak, provide more information for members about upcoming speakers, limit speakers to no more than one hour, help all members get to know each other by name, and help new people at every meeting to learn more about our club so that they will want to become members.
The second vice-president, or Observatory Chair, oversees and maintains Stargate Observatory and all equipment owned by the club. The second VP can also preside over meetings in the absence of the president.
Candidate: Bob Berta
Bob Berta is a candidate for 2nd Vice President. The duties include maintaining and scheduling events and open house public observing at the clubs Stargate Observatory. In addition the position involves outreach to scouting organizations, schools, the Detroit Metro Park representatives, etc.
Bob says: "I have served two terms as club secretary, two terms as 2nd Vice President and 2 terms as President. I am again running for this office because I enjoyed it when I was in the position before and felt I made some major improvements and made additional contacts. I also have several ideas for additional upgrades to the club observatory as well as completing the repairs that were started in 2009."
The treasurer maintains a current list of club members and their addresses, collects dues ad other monies, is accountable for the receipt and disbursement of club property, makes a written report of the club's accounts at each monthly board meeting, files all necessary tax and financial records for the club, and sign all checks. The treasurer also sells club merchandise and runs the 50/50 raffle at each meeting.
Candidate: Jonathan Kade
Jonathan Kade was the 2008-2009 secretary and has been a member of the Warren Astronomical Society since 2007.
His goals as treasurer for 2010 are securing registered nonprofit status for the W.A.S., providing online membership and renewal forms, issuing new membership cards and member handbooks, and expanding new member services.
The secretary does more than take minutes at the general meetings; the minutes from the monthly board meetings are actually the most critical part of the job. Secretarial duties taking membership counts at meetings, writing "beg letters" for the annual banquet, keeping the board informed of issues at work, and communication with members.
Candidate: Therese Oldani
Therese Oldani has an active member since 2003.
Therese says, "My goals are to help to continue the engaged productive efforts our board has developed in the past, and to help in any way I can to keep the energy going. I responded to the need by being asked to run for secretary. I'm interested in serving the other members of the board, the members of WAS at large with a wide scope on the greater outreach of astronomy in the public venue. I bring a creative eager spirit to the board and promise to learn the role of secretary to the best of my abilities."
The publications officer is responsible for the monthly production of the offical WAS newsletter, the WASP, and other official WAS publications, such as the upcoming 2011 50th anniversary retrospective. This does not mean it's a one-man job; the WASP can be the joint effort of a team of writers, designers, and editors, all under the guidance of the publications chair. (The WASP editorship is technically a separate position under the jurisdiction of the publications chair.)
Candidates: Stephen Uitti
The outreach chair is responsible for club communications with the outside world: scout groups, other clubs, and the press.
Candidate: Diane Hall (incumbent)
Diane Hall became Outreach Director in 2009 and has been a member of the Warren Astronomical Society since 2007.
Her goals as the outreach chair for 2010 are solidifying a relationship between the W.A.S and Metro Beach Metropark, using that relationship as a base to serve the club's "home territory" of Macomb County, and to expand the membership of the W.A.S. by reaching those who are intimidated by the tech-happy side of astronomy.
As you see, most candidates are running unopposed. Nominations for office will be accepted right up to the election, which will take place at the Thursday (Macomb) meeting on October 15. Special voting arrangements, most likely via phone, will be made for those attending the WAS Star Party in Cadillac that evening. All candidates for office must be members in good standing of the WAS-- no guests, sorry. You must also be a member in good standing to vote.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The Warren Astronomical Society invites Michigan astronomy club members and their families to our annual picnic and the grand reopening of Stargate Observatory.
WHAT'S UP?Family day and family night
Games, nature walks, fishing, sky tours – for club members and their families only!
Bring your tent or your pop-up trailer and spend a night under the stars!
It's a new-moon weekend, so bring your biggest scope and test the limits of our skies.
Take a peek through our classic, hand-built 12.5” classical Cassegrain telescope under an all-new roof and freshly refinished dome, or use all 22” of the Big Dob's aperture.
Twenty-five summer objects chosen by WAS Awards Chair Larry Kalinowski will be your targets. There are two entry groups: for those using computer assist and for those using manual telescopes.
All you have to do is slew to the correct object, get it in the center of the eyepiece, and call out for a judge, who will check it off your list. You will have one hour to complete the course, earning fame (a Messier Contest Winner badge from Larry) and fortune (half of the gate receipts). If the hour elapses before anybody finishes, shame on us - but the observer with the most finds will win.
The entrance fee is a measly single dollar. Preregistration is requested but not required.
WHEN?July 25th, from 2 PM to the wee hours.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?Your own:
- picnic blanket
- picnic basket
- maybe a dish to pass.
We will provide soft drinks, shelter, hot dogs, condiments, snacks, and grills. Tents/campers optional.
Contact Therese Oldani ( ), WAS Picnic coordinator, for more information or if you have anything to contribute.