President’s Message May 2022

I started last month’s message with “it’s finally spring.” Then why am I writing this message with frost warnings out? Welcome to the Midwest, eh?
I think I may owe the club an apology. I didn’t do a very good job managing the April
meeting. Mike Lockwood did a great talk about his mirror-making business (thank you,
Mike!) and then I was planning on a discussion about power at the observatory. We
had that but it sort of got out of hand. We DO have an offer on the table to accept a
donation to help pay for grid power and my intent was to debate the pros and cons of
that power source. And we didn’t really do that. At the May meeting, I plan to make a
motion to pursue grid power and two right-of-way agreements. If I can get a second,
then, by Robert’s Rules, we have discussion, and then we vote. Now if it gets voted
down, that’s fine. But then we can take the next step. At least we’ve made a decision.
There was a spirited discussion on solar power at the observatory and Mike Lockwood
projected the system he uses on the planetarium dome. That will continue in May.
Our donor is interested in solar but would like a proposal from the club. So it’s not a
blank check. We’ll talk about some options.
There’s a lot going on in the club right now. We switched some items around on the
“new” 22-inch truss tube Dobsonian at the observatory so now our secondary can be
heated to prevent due. And we have a light shroud around the trusses and a Telrad
finder mounted. As this issue goes to press, Jim Wehmer is in the process of taking the
donated 10-inch automated telescope to the observatory to be mounted on the east
pier. Thanks to Mike Rosenberger for getting our riding mowers prepped. It’s a thankless job but very important to our operation. If you want to be on the mow list, let me
know! We could use a few more people. Plus we still have our in-person viewing sessions coming up. If you can volunteer for one, we could use ya! So,
yes, a lot going on and I tried to capture all of it in this issue, but things
may change between the publication
date and the May 12th meeting (hey,
it happened in April!). I hope you
can join us in May, either in-person
or online. We do “social distance”
in the planetarium dome.
Before the next meeting we’ll have
our first “Market at the Square.”
Many thanks to the UI Physics department for sponsoring the
“Science at the Market” tent. Since the May 7th date was agreed to so quickly (we
have the first weekend, I believe), I can’t make it as I have radio duties Saturday morning and no time to ask for May 7th off. I hope some of you can volunteer. Thanks to
Jim Wehmer we have a new club banner (though I wish I knew where the old one was
See ya soon, I hope!

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