September Presidents message:
Welcome to the September edition of the Sirius Astronomer.
August was a very interesting month for those who braved Anza. We have had the most water fall ever-since I can remember! Just a few hours before our famous Starbque, Anza was hit with a monsoonal flow that caused multiple thunderstorms dumping over 2 inches of rain and hail. Not to mention lots of lighting. I was returning from the local dump when Elder creek road lived up to its name! Its really is a creek! This was my first ever real live flash flood. As Paul, John and I drove back on dry road, we saw a wall of water flow down from the higher elevations and quickly turn Elder creek into a river. In some spots the river gouged out as much as four feet deep ruts carrying mud and debris towards us. Don Lynn was arriving during this onset and ended up stranded along side the road waiting for the river to pass. It was all over in minutes returning Anza to its peaceful nature. We ended up with a lake at the football field!
Despite the rains earlier in the day, we had quite a crowd for our annual Starbque. My estimate at one point during the festivities was over 60 people. Plenty of food and the barbeque was on high! Craig Bobchin brought Sausages, I brought hamburgers, Jim Benet brought his famous roast beef, and one member brought 2 racks of beef ribs. Darlene, our nearest neighbor had alerted most of the surrounding neighborhood which brought us 14 neighbors. This is the most we have had in quite some time. Most stayed until dark to observe! All in all, it was a great time. If you missed it, there’s always next year..
At our last board meeting, several pad and observatory licensees attended expressing their views on current developments like the increase in fees. While the fee increase is not a popular task and one the board spent several months with, most all licensees understood the reasons and agreed. In the pad letter that was sent out, I had called the pad increase “a moderate increase” which was to some an understatement. I recognize that the increase represents a 2.5 times increase over the next year and that is in no way moderate! I do feel like the board needs to better explain why the increases where necessary so here is a short summary. The main drivers for the increase come from several factors. In no particular order- here they are: We spend an average of $150 per month for electricity with only about a 1/3 going to the Anza House. We spend about $2k-$4k per year in general maintenance (i.e. rode work, gravel, water) annually. We are undergoing a revamp of the internet system which is costing over $3k. License fees where only bringing in roughly $3.5k to supplement the above costs. While others use Anza, the board felt that Licensee’s use the facilities more often and therefore benefit more than the general user of Anza. With this increase of fees, Licensee’s will see improvements like more graveled roads, better electrical supply and improved internet capabilities.
We have resurrected the Anza Site Committee. In future months, you will read about the progress and direction of the new developments at Anza. We are planning to build 38 new pad sites and a host of private observatory sites on the North West corner of our lot. A new access road will also be added. This is a major development for Anza and will require you’re input. Any member is encouraged to participate by attending the bi-monthly meetings. Contact Bob Buchheim for information regarding times and location. Information is also located on our website (calendar section). By attending, you can help shape and implement these exciting changes at Anza.
New lights in the Observatory! Thanks to member Bruce Waddington, we have new lighting in the warming room. This was a much needed change and Bruce stepped up and devoted his talent! Many thanks from the club Bruce!
Our August general meeting brought us another deserving recipient. Steve Condrey was selected by the board as our August recipient. We recognize the countless hours of unselfish devotion that Steve gives each month as Editor of the Sirius Astronomer. Our newsletter is the best in the business and Steve has certainly kept it that way.
Don Lynn was our July recipient recognized for his service to the Anza site. You can always find Don on Sunday after the crowds is gone, fixing and repairing many aspects that Anza defines. Don has restored much of the parameter fence. He is responsible for keeping our water flowing. He continues to find things needing attention and is why we honor his talents and dedication. Every time you flush at Anza, think of Don! Oh by the way “Happy 60th Birthday Don”
Who will be this month’s honored recipient! It could be any of you who keep this club the way it is - Top notch and full of many talents.
Thanks for reading and see you at Anza and the September meeting!