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February 2000

The State of the Club

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 being stubborn.

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 continued support.


"The goodness of the night upon you"
Othello Act 1 Scene 2

Russell Sipe

Prior Presidents Messages
 July 2017 President's Message
 June 2017 President's Message
 May 2017 President's Message
 April 2017 President's Message
 March 2017 President's Message
 2012 OCA Board Election Results
 April 2010 President's Message
 February 2010 President's Message
 January 2010 President's Message
 November 2009 President's Message
 October 2009 President's Message
 September 2009 President's Message
 August 2009 President's Message
 July 2009 President's Message
 June 2009 President's Message
 March 2009 President's Message
 May 2008 President's Message
 June 2008 President's Message
 July 2008 President's Message
 August 2008 President's Message
 September 2008 President's Message
 October 2008 President's Message
 November 2008 President's Message
 December 2008 President's Message
 January 2009 President's Message
 February 2009 President's Message
 April 2008 President's Message
 March 2008 President's Message
 February 2008 President's Message
 January 2008 President's Message
 December 2007 President's Message
 November 2007 President's Message
 October 2007 President's Message
 September 2007 President's Message
 August 2007 President's Message
 July 2007 President's Message
 June 2007 President's Message
 May 2007 President's Message
 April 2007 President's Message
 March 2007 President's Message
 January 2007 President's Message
 December 2006 President's Message
 November 2006 President's Message
 October 2006 President's Message
 September 2006 President's Message
 August 2006 President's Message
 July 2006 President's Message
 June 2006 President's Message
 May 2006 President's Message
 April 2006 President's Message
 March 2006 President's Message
 Around OCA for February, 2006
 February 2005 President's Message
 January 2005 President's Message
 December 2004 President's Message
 November 2004 President's Message
 October 2004 President's Message
 August 2004 President's Message
 July 2004 President's Message
 June 2004 President's Message
 May 2004 President's Message
 April 2004 Presidentís Message
 March 2004 President's Message
 February 2004 President's Message
 January 2004 President's Message
 November 2003 President's Message
 October 2003 President's Message
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