I am writing this message from
freezing cold Boston, MA. Sky & Telescope is
holding a Web summit meeting to make plans for the
future of www.skypub.com. The day before I arrived,
I was in shorts walking around Tri-City Park in
Placentia. Today my breath is frozen on my moustache
and I am remembering why I love living in California.
A standard joke around the Sky & Telescope offices
when I'm in town involves my lobbying efforts to
get the company to move to Southern California.
The editors are all with me. The non-editors are
This being the first president's
message since club elections I thought I might say
a few words about the "State of the Club."
I feel privileged to serve as President of the largest
local astronomy club in the country (and probably
the world). During the past year, we have accomplished
a number of good things and are right now in the
midst of planning and implementing great things
for OCA and our community.
We are in the midst of an attempt
to make the club's 22" telescope user-friendly
and easily accessible to all club members. The observatory,
the telescope, the cameras, the supporting computers
and other equipment are being cleaned, overhauled,
and updated as part of a program to turn the OCA
Observatory into a turn-key observing system.
Anza House became fully operational this past year
and has provided warming, cooking, and sleeping
areas for many visitors to our club site.
A task force has been formed to explore the creation
of a comprehensive educational program that will
take our existing educational efforts, expand them,
and serve our club and community with astronomy
education at all age levels.
Two of our members are conducting an intense and
successful asteroid discovery program using the
club telescope. As time goes on, we plan to expand
this program using OCA club volunteers. If you are
interested in this project contact Minor White at
949-830-7349. The OCA Board
is interested in supporting other member research
programs. If you have a candidate project in mind
please contact me at 714-281-0651.
Our outreach programs have expanded the number of
public star parties we host, our library has greatly
expanded and continues to grow to meeting the needs
of the membership, and our website has become one
of the best club astronomy sites anywhere. I will
admit to a bit of bias on this last point. Speaking
of the web site, I have turned over ocastronomers.org
to Liam Kennedy who brings a wealth of web savvy
and tools to the job of OCA Webmaster. Look for
continued improvements to the site this year. And
last, but not least, the club newsletter continues
its key role in club communications and education.
Not surprisingly, there have been increasing costs
in nearly every aspect of the club's operations.
The cost of the club newsletter, an essential club
service, has increased more than 200% during the
past eleven years. In that same time, the cost of
our insurance has risen by more than 300%. It is
a credit to the leadership of this club over the
past years that we have been able to hold the line
on fees for all those years in light of these cost
increases. However, more than a year ago, it became
apparent that to keep the club financially sound
while fulfilling the club's mission to provide quality
experiences in observing, educating, and supporting
member research, it became necessary to increase
club fees. The increase instituted this past year
was the same, percentagewise, as our last increase
eleven years ago and will allow the club to press
forward in providing a quality astronomical experience
for its members and increase our ability to grow
the hobby here in Orange County. Thank you for your
"The goodness of the night upon you"
Othello Act 1 Scene 2