Over the past year we have seen some significant
deterioration in the timely delivery of the Sirius Astronomer
newsletter. Some members have been complaining that
their copy has not been delivered until well after the
OCA general meeting (held on the second Friday of each
The Sirius Astronomer is mailed
out purely by the efforts of one long-term OCA trustee.
None-other than our Treasurer/Membership Secretary Charlie
Oostdyk. The printers deliver the newsletter to him
(all 850 copies). Charlie then prints out a label for
every member and then sticks these onto each and every
copy of the newsletter. He then delivers the mail to
the Costa Mesa post-office for bulk-mail delivery. The
delivery problems have all occurred due to "improvements"
in the local postal facilities and their use of automated
mailing/sorting equipment. The sad fact is that our
newsletter was not the most compatible with these new
systems - which meant that invariably our mailing got
left at the bottom of the stack of deliveries to do.
Through the introduction of
an additional fold in the newsletter and a slight repositioning
of the mailing label we seem to have struck gold as
far as being able to make our newsletter more friendly
to these automated systems. The initial signs are that
our newsletter is being delivered more promptly than
ever - with many people receiving their copy prior to
the OCA meeting.
Please let us know if the
delivery of the Sirius Astronomer Newsletter has improved
by filling out the survey to the right
We hope that the delivery
has improved- but if it has not we need to know about
it so we can continue to work on the problem and get
Take a look at the July newsletter
and compare the quality of the images/photos with the
August version. You should all see that we are using
better/brighter paper and that graphics quality has
We have improved the printing quality
by moving our newsletter printing to a completely new
printing company based in Irvine. This printer allows
us to submit the newsletter entirely electronically
(we upload a high-quality print format file to them
via the web). The mechanism for actually producing the
newsletter is then handled via the high quality and
high speed printing systems they have available.
Actually - the cost of printing
using this new printer has nearly dropped in half!
It is not often that you can
improve a problem by throwing less money at it!
Due to the drop in the costs
for producing the newsletter we have decided to produce
a special version of the Sirius Astronomer every quarter.
This version will have a full-color section to allow
us to display some of the remarkable full color and
high quality graphics that many of our members achieve
with their own equipment. As well as providing this
new full-color section the entire publication for that
month will be printed at an even higher quality than
normal. The overall annual costs for printing the newsletter
are now increased by just $80 per month over the prior
version. Well worth the small increase I think!
The October version of the Sirius
Astronomer should be the first version which includes
the full color section. Look for further announcements
from the new Sirius Astronomer Editor, Darren Thibodeau
regarding this new capability.