President’s Message January 2022

Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to 2022! I don’t know about you but I’m tired
of all the uncertainty. I long for the times when we can meet in person and actually
talk to each other and have people looking through our telescopes. Will that be this
year? It seems to be a moving target. Since I had COVID over Thanksgiving week, I
would never criticize anyone for being careful. We still need to be diligent.
I very much appreciate those who voted for me. Erik deserves a round of applause for
leading us through some very difficult times. And frankly, I’m glad he’s setting up the
equipment for the meetings instead of me! We need to all stick together as a club.
We all have new habits and routines now. Many of us don’t leave our homes unless it
is absolutely necessary. Maybe we have new interests. Let’s not give up on astronomy! Let’s not lose the passion that each of us had for watching the sky. Keep looking
As I put in an article last month, we need to develop some new leaders for the group.
It’s a self-preservation issue, really. Look for more on this and possibly even an anonymous survey in the new year. What are the barriers for getting more involved in the
club? Is it time? Expertise? Before we can tackle a problem, we need to identify it.
And it isn’t my goal to coerce people into serving, but more of removing possible misconceptions and making things easier so that more might step up. I also wrote that I’m
not planning on running in 2023 – this is a “12-month interim job” in my mind. But lets
not wait until October to ask people to serve this year. More to come on this issue.
You will see in the club news section that we had an anonymous donation of a 22-inch
Dobsonian on a tracking platform! We thank our extremely generous donor! But we
also have other telescopes at the observatory site, some on piers and some a bit more
mobile. Personally I do not want the observatory to become a storage shed where it’s
tough to walk inside due to the many telescopes. I’m also a believer in that a telescope
that isn’t being used is a waste. We are forming a committee to make recommendations to the club on what to do with the instruments. Which ones are user-friendly?
Which are in good shape and which need work? And which ones should we maybe
sell? If you’d like to serve on such a committee, let me know. The idea is that discussions can occur outside our regular meetings but we will discuss the committee’s recommendations as a group.
The officers will be meeting soon to map out the year. I’ve been in contact with the
forest preserve about some possible Middle Fork dates (nothing set in stone yet). Erik
set us up through March as far as speakers for club meetings go. If you would like to
present at a meeting, let me know and we’ll get you scheduled. Remember, you just
do your talk – you don’t have to set-up all of the equipment at the planetarium.
Again, happy new year. Lets hope for a return to some sort of normalcy.
Clear Skies,


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