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2012

Annual Report 2012

Reports of the Kingston Centre Executive and Committee Chairs

President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Auditor
Editor Ast. Day Equipment Loan Fall'N'Stars KAON
OAFTN Relay for Life Responsible Lighting Website NC Rep
Library


Agenda

AGM - Kingston Centre RASC, November 19, 2012.

  • Welcome
  • Presentation of Agenda
  • Approval of Agenda
  • Approval of minutes of the 2011 AGM
  • Reading of annual reports
    • President
    • Secretary (report and approval to update at year end.)
    • Treasurer
    • Library
    • National Council Representative
    • Editor
  • Centre Elections
    • Secretary
    • Librarian
    • Editor
    • National Council Representative
  • Adjourn with thanks.

President

President's Report, 2012 - RASC Kingston Centre

One of the duties of the Centre Executive is to produce a report on the year's activities. As your president it is my pleasure to be able to prepare this report for 2012. As I write the Centre membership seems to have reached a stable number of 66, changing little over the last few years.

The Centre continues to run meetings 10 months of the year leaving July and August without.

  • January 14th James Silvester (Queen's/RMC) spoke on: New analysis of stellar magnetic fields, rotational velocities and the distribution of rare elements.
  • February 11th, Astrophotography: many members participated and all manner of technique was discussed, from very low end, point and shoot at the eyepiece to software issues with CCD cameras.
  • March 10th miscellaneous observing related reports and short slide shows, National Council meeting report from the day's teleconference and promotion of several upcoming events including the Lennox and Addington County dark sky destination at the Sheffield Conservation Area and Terry Dickinson's efforts to assist them in promoting it.
  • April 14th Notes from an Executive retreat, Astroday plans, Sheffield Conservation site visit, Prospective sites for the Transit of Venus in June.
  • May12, Member Presentations: Comet Video, deep sky and solar photos.
  • June 9th, Transit of Venus Reports!
  • September 17th Observing reports including Fall'n'Stars activities, more Transit reports!
  • October 15th Dr. Jean-Marc Noel (RMC) spoke on: Northern Lights: everything you've always wanted to know about aurora.
  • November 19th: AGM and member contributions.
  • December 17th End-of-Year-Holiday-Celebration Dinner at Aunt Lucy's Restaurant, 6pm.

January to June the meetings preceeded the KAON session at the Queen's Observatory. These sessions always provide an enjoyable talk and a great chance to help out on the deck with telescopes and binoculars. There is always a Kingston Centre contingent on hand to participate and it is good fun with a turnout that is often up to 70. Attendance is consistently high now that the talk is held in a more spacious classroom. Many stay after the talk and visit the deck scopes. September marked a meeting night change to the 3rd Monday of the month as the combined KAON/ Meeting night did not yield the benefits that were expected.

Beyond KAON, more public outreach...

  • Mark Coady: March 31st at Armour Hill in Peterborough did public night sky observing for Earth Hour
  • April 28th, Astronomy Day: KC members Kim Hay, Hank Bartlett, Susan Gagnon, Brian Hunter, Kevin Kell. Did a solar session at Confederation Park downtown.
    April ?, The Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Science Fair, donation of prize.
  • Mark Coady:
    • May 26th at Quinte Mall parking lot did public solar observing (with Belleville Centre)
    • May 26th at Emily Provincial Park did night sky observing for Girl Guides camping there YES two events in one day!!!
  • May 30th at Warsaw Caves did night sky observing for Grade 9 and 12 students from Cawthra Park Secondary School in Mississauga who were camping there.
  • May 31st at Frink Outdoor Ed Centre did night sky observing (with Belleville Centre) for students camping there.
  • June 14th at St. Anne's Church in Peterborough did public solar observing. Transit of Venus for approximately 50 people attending a Parish Fun Fair.
  • June 5 Transit of Venus, two groups provided assistance to the public at Lemoine's Point with Dieter Brueckner and others at Fort Henry hill where various members attended.
  • June 15: Susan Gagnon and Doug Angle provided observing entertainment for camped out BioBlitz participants on Amherst Island.
  • July 13: Susan Gagnon and Tim Sietz did a demonstration and observing session for Girl Guides at Carruthers House and are eaten alive by mosquitos.
  • Hank Bartlett: October 23, Brownies, Tuesday Oct 23, 6:30pm - 8:00pm.
    Cloudy no observing, meteorites, chat, constellations. Left copies of star maps, star finders.
  • Fred Barrett continues to contribute to the Frontenac News with his What's Up in the Sky column.

Executive efforts:

The Centre benefits greatly from the executive members who are always working away in the background, thinking of new ways to do things etc. Kim Hay increases the Centre footprint with facebook, local ads for meetings and the holiday dinner out. Kevin Kell keeps our books and the Centre website in ship shape and prompts communication when the rest of us have fallen silent. The house on Colebrook Road is always keen to take on a new project or 6. Walter continues to monitor Centre activities and thanks to his careful recording of the observing reports we know that there are clear skies in Kingston area once in a while. His efforts with Regulus are always beautiful and informative. Our National Council Rep. Brian Hunter has done a magnificent job of keeping Kingston on the radar at National, and by all accounts it is done with no effort what-so-ever! Not like the old days where you really had to work at it. David Maguire keeps our Library growing with excellent book choices and devotes a fair bit of personal real estate to the project. The executive also sent out a membership survey in the form of a mail in postcard to get meeting feedback. With a mail out last year for the 50th anniversary and the post cards this year the executive sees benefit in an annual 'real' mail out beyond the regular website/email contact.

Doug remains the caretaker of the Venor scope and arranged to have it recoated this summer. That included driving it to a U.S. site and back. The Centre continues to search for an affordable home for the centre scopes where they can be enjoyed under suitable skies. A real estate contact was made in an effort to find those little known corners of the country side.

We also had times of minimal effort and maximum enjoyment!

  • March 29th the Queen's Cave Lecture: Chris Impy spoke to a full auditorium with a video overflow room on The Search for Life in the Universe.
  • May's KAON speaker was Terry Dickinson: The Largest Telescope in the world. (Chile).
  • June 5th, there was a members gathering for the Transit. Some members who do outreach all year, every year wanted a chance to take their own photos and socialize with friends.
  • August 17th 5 Centre members sampled the Elbow Lake Biological Research Station (Queen's) as a potential observing site.
  • September 14 to 16, Fall'N'Stars dark sky camping weekend with Belleville Centre.

Several members make the rest of us envious with their personal efforts. Winchester Observatory's photometric data collection, Starlight Cascade's all sky and Radio Jove, and Kevin Fetter's regular satellite chasing reports on Space Weather. The Centre is lucky to have several avid astrophotographers who share their work regularly, from full sky stellar and aurora, to deepsky and solar.

This year we acknowledge the contributions of two individuals. After a long hiatus the Novice and the A. Vibert Douglas awards will be presented to Rose-Marie Burke and Mark Coady respectively.

With the New Year on the horizon and a new executive chosen tonight we look forward to another year of making time for astronomy in our busy lives, to share our enthusiasm with the public and each other, to encourage the integration of astronomy and its allied sciences into lives that often devalue science and deny the need in society for critical thought.

Susan Gagnon - President, RASC-KC 2011-2012

This report was also published in Regulus, 2012 Dec, page 9.

Vice-President

Vice President's Report, RASC-KC, Kim Hay

I was welcomed to the board in December 2011. In the last year, my position included helping the President and Secretary when necessary. Promoting the Centre in the local media, looking after our Facebook page and making arrangements for International Astronomy Day which was held on Saturday April 28 by holding a solar daytime event at Confederation Basin Park from 1-3 p.m.

Bringing the Earth Centre Universe (ETU) certificate program to Centre as well as the other RASC observing programs, will help to make our plans for 2013 to see our Centre have more outings and events for our members. We are currently looking at the upcoming year with this in mind and our members input would be appreciated.

Keeping track of all the volunteer hours that our Centre (KAON) public events and members obtain and submitting them to the RASC website.

The Executive and Membership manuals are also being worked on to be more productive to our current centre setup; these should be completed in 2013.

For the upcoming year (2013) I will continue to promote the Centre in the same manner with media, and work on member observing nights and programs, fill in where needed to help our centre maintain its viability.

Secretary

2012 Secretary's Report

The Secretary's Report was included with the Presidents' report above.

Treasurer

Treasurer's Report 2011-2012 Kevin Kell (2010 Jan - present)

Annual General Meeting Monday November 19th 2012, 7 pm Room 324 Ellis Hall Queen's University

Previous Treasurer Kim Hay - 2008 Feb - 2009 Nov, position vacant 2009 Nov - 2010 Jan

Auditor 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and 2011-2012- Doug Angle

Our finances were audited by Doug Angle and his report is available below

Summary: Another quiet year for the Centre. Some one time expenses to recoat the 60cm Venor Telescope mirror (not recoated since the first light 2003 April and the construction of a portable observatory for the 40cm telescope. Our membership level as of 2012 September 30 was 68, continuing to be the lowest in a decade.

Total Income: $3293, Total Expenses: $3232, Net: $59

Income notes: membership fees ($23) $1511 or 46% of revenue, up from 41% last year

Total donations this fiscal year were $410, up from $380 last year.

I class $508 of the operating expenses as a capital project associated with the Observatory fund and will have a motion for the Board to transfer that amount out of the fund at the next meeting. So our “operating budget” net was actually $59+$508=$567.

2012 Sep 30
Banquet              $0.00
Fallnstars         $649.14
General          $8,505.17
Observatory     $15,079.67
Reserve            $500.00
special projects $1,500.00
Total           $26,233.98

What does the future hold? Until our activity level goes up, our expenditures will remain low and we will continue to aim for balanced budgets in the future. Investment returns should become significant with rising interest rates and more capital under investments. We have $20k invested in GIC’s returning an average of 1.5% or $300. We will have to ramp up our charitable spending to not lose too much ground with the Canada Revenue Agency. We are continuing to look for land to base it on as well as a base for an observing group.


Kevin Kell, RASC-KC Treasurer 2011-2012

Auditor

2012 November 19

2012 RASC Audit report

The RASC is “dedicated to the advancement of astronomy and allied sciences”. Accounting is not one of those allied sciences. For us it is a means to an end; to ensure the good governance of the Kingston Centre, and to inform the members of how Centre money is being spent. I'm satisfied that the accounts of the centre are in good standing. Further, there are reasonable controls on who has authority to spend money, and full records of these expenses, and that these expenses are consistent with the goals of the Centre.

There are some quirks however. The bank statements show more money than the balance sheet, probably because of the difficulty in keeping accurate records of sales at meetings, cash floats and the like. Small discrepancies like that are to be expected for an organization like ours.

In last year's audit report, I recommended that expenditures be authorized by motions at board meetings or by clear authorization limits. I'm happy to see evidence that that recommendation has been implemented. However, a couple of years ago, I had commented that records and value of our equipment be part of the financial report. That was followed up at the time but I didn't find such records with the financial statements this year.

Thanks to the executive, and particularly the treasurer for their upstanding management of the Centre and it's finances.


Doug Angle, Auditor RASCKC 2011-2012

Editor

No Report.

Equipment Loan

No Report.

Kevin Kell, Loan Coordinator.

Fall'N'Stars

Report:
Regulus, 2012 Oct, page 2.

Kingston Astronomy Outreach Network (KAON)

Coordinator: Susan Gagnon

References:
Regulus, 2012 Feb, page 6 (2012 January 14 session)
Regulus, 2012 Mar, page 3 (2012 February 11 session)
Regulus, 2012 Sep, page 2 (2012 July 13 session)
Regulus, 2012 Oct, page 3 (2012 September 8 session)

Librarian

Librarian's Report November 19, 2012.

The Centre's library is kept at the home of the librarian.
A listing of the books in the main collection can be found through the centre's web site though it is out of date.
A selection of books is brought for the members' review and borrowing to meetings when the librarian is in town that day.
A sign out sheet is kept with the books.
Members can contact the librarian between meetings if they wish to enquire about or borrow a book.
Contact information is in the newsletters.

The most recent purchases have consisted of:

  • Astronomical Sketching: A Step-by-Step Introduction, Richard Handy
  • Sketching the Moon: An Astronomical Artist's Guide, Richard Handy

Kim Hay is thanked for her suggestions.

Suggestions for other books are welcomed.

David Maguire, Librarian

Observational Astronomy for the Novice (OAFTN)

OAFTN was not run this year.

Relay for Life

No report.

Responsible Lighting

No report.

Website

Chair: Walter MacDonald
Members: Kevin Kell, Kim Hay

No report.

National Council Representative

Brian Hunter was our rep for 2012.

References:
Regulus, 2012 Apr, page 2 (March 10th NC meeting)

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