April/May 2001 Issue

From the President's Desk

by Richard Greiner

If I sounded enthusiastic about the MAS last issue of the newsletter, and I was, I am really flying high over plans for the next spring/summer/fall season.

We have been discussing joining outside astronomical organizations. See information on pages 4 and 6 of this newsletter. As this newsletter reaches you, early April, we are about to have our Spring banquet. Note that the banquet is the third Friday of the month, April 20 (see below), so as to not interfere with Easter weekend. This year the banquet is on the West side at Delaney's Steak House. This place is a favorite of mine. Jim Delaney knows how to do steaks and prime rib.

Of more substance for the MAS, I am very excited about the progress being made by the Minor Planet Group within the MAS being headed by Greg Selleck. Even with the rough weather of the past fall and winter, this group has done some good initial work. We are now a registered observatory with the Minor Planet Center and are starting to report minor planet observations. The MAS has receive a gift of several major astronomy programs, Astronomers Control Panel, Pin Point and the OGA star field files. These were gifts from Doc G.

The most exciting project of all to me is our renovation program at YRS. Climaxing this program this month will be a new dome for the 10 foot building. That building is the one housing our 11 inch Celestron telescope. The building was rebuilt from the ground up two years ago and is still a strong stable structure which should stand for many years. This work was done by our former observatory director and several other members. But the dome has continued to be a problem. It has been and is very difficult to work with the old dome. It is also rapidly deteriorating. This past fall, the MAS moved forward with a directive to obtain a new dome for the building. As it turned out, not surprisingly, a 10 foot Pro Dome was found to be just right for the 10 foot building. I and the maker of the dome inspected the building this January and we concluded that the 10 foot Pro Dome would be ideal.

Thus I have decided to donate a new 10 foot Pro Dome to the MAS. The dome is valued at slightly over $7,000 and has been ordered and paid for. It should arrive early in April and will be installed as soon as possible after it arrives. I am hoping for and assuming that a few members will be eager to help assemble and erect the dome. The dome has a motor operated shutter and motor driven rotation. It can be fully automated to work with a "GoTo" telescope. The improvement to the 10 foot building will give us a greatly improved facility to aid members in doing additional observing at our dark site. When it is completed, we will have both the 12 inch telescope under computer control for viewing or imaging and a second high quality observatory for viewing and imaging. The 17 inch Dobsonian will still be available and with a little luck even the 16 inch might be up and running. I present this information to the MAS members with considerable pleasure.

Some of the best news of all for the coming season is that more activity is being planned at Yanna Research Station. The MAS is undertaking to set up a series of star parties at our dark site. We very soon will be setting up a schedule of star parties for members and a few additional parties for guest groups. From May though November we will have what are essentially star parties/open houses for members and their guests. This activity will return us to the great times we had in the recent past as a group looking at the skies together and enjoying each others enthusiasm for viewing new objects and some old friends. Members will, of course, also bring their own telescopes to share with friends. We have a good supply of powered pads for portable telescopes of any kind.

As you can see, there are many plans afoot and we only need your participation to make them a success. I hope I will see many of you, not only at meetings, but at the new series of star parties in the coming months.
 
 

MAS Spring Banquet Plans Announced

The MAS annual spring banquet will be held on April 20th at Delaney's, 449 Grand Canyon Drive, Madison. Socializing at 6 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m. Dinner selections: chicken breast $20; prime rib $25. Make check payable to MAS and send to Jane Breun, 11 Glenway Street, Madison, WI 53705 before Monday, April 16, 2001, indicating your dinner choices. Our speaker will be Dr. Chip Kobulnicky, Hubble Fellow at the UW Astronomy Department. His talk is entitled "How the Universe Is Stranger Than We Thought: Five Recent Astronomical Surprises." Dr. Kobulnicky received his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in 1997 and is currently a Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow at the UW-Madison.
 
 

New Members

MAS welcomes the following new members since January 2001:

Terry Warnke
Paul Conrad
Scott Frey
Joan & Tom Pelnar
Doug & Mercedes Russell
 

Lee Price, 1944-2001

We are saddened to report that Lee Price, one of our mem bers and a friend to astronomy and astronomers, died in January of 2001. Lee and Peggy operated Knollwood Books in Oregon Wisconsin. They specialized in used and rare books in the areas of astronomy and space science and were known to amateurs and professionals throughout the world.

Lee was born Feb 19, 1944 in San Antonio, Texas. He married Margaret (Peggy) Ann Shiriff in June of 1966 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin. Lee graduated from the UW-Madison and received a masters degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He was a member of the Midwest Bookhunters, the American Astronomical Society and the British Astronomical Society. He served 26 years in the United States Navy including a tour as commanding office on the nuclear submarine USS Casimir Pulaski from 1982 until 1985.

He was also the NATO representative to the Turkish Navy in Ankara, Turkey from 1989 until 1991. His final tour of duty before retirement in 1992 was as an executive officer of the ROTC unit at UW-Madison. Lee's lifelong hobby centered around a love of the stars and the night sky and he was a skilled astronomical photographer. Lee succumbed after a long struggle with cancer at his home near Verona, Wisconsin.

He is survived by his wife Peggy, two daughters, his parents and other relatives. Memorial services will be held in spring at the VA National Cemetery. Burial will be at sea by the United States Navy. Memorials may be made to HospiceCare, Inc 5395 Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711.

Our sympathies go out to survivors and our thanks for Lee's contributions to the Madison Astronomical Society and the astronomical community everywhere.
 
 

High Altitude Astronomy?

by Don Michalski, BARS secretary

If you could observe at 100,000 feet above Earth's surface for a few hours, what would you like to see from near space?

The UW Badger Amateur Radio Society (BARS) would like to plan a joint high altitude balloon experiment with MAS. Amateur radio organizations have flown simple experiments up to altitudes of 100K feet where GPS data, temperature, and pressure are transmitted back to a receiving station. We would like to include something different ­ an astronomical mission.

Since I have extensive experience in designing instrumentation for the Space Astronomy Laboratory on our sounding rocket and satellite payloads, I think it possible to develop an instrument to send back useful scientific data that might be of interest to MAS. What is possible? Maybe, we could build up a photometer with filter(s) to measure sky background or light pollution? Optical polarization studies? A 35mm camera with filter can be flown. We could fly a CCD camera (maybe). Weight and power consumption is a concern. The astronomy experiment can't weigh much more than a pound or two. There will not be any attitude control system (ACS) aboard so the instrument will be mounted to either point down, to the horizon or tilt up. There will be no uplink commanding. Everything will be automatic-controlled by the on-board computer. Most likely, we will be able to recover the payload but there is no guarantee.

So, we need ideas. The time frame for beginning this project would be this fall. I can be contacted at 263-4685 (w), 274-1886 (h) or email: dem@sal.wisc.edu.

(More information about high altitude ballooning can be obtained at the following websites:

http://www.eoss.org/pubs/faqloon.htm

http://members.nbci.com/nss/
 
 

Lattis and Camosy place history at center stage

Two recent MAS meetings pro vided excellent content in the history of science. At the February meeting, Jim Lattis gave a talk on Newton, and in March, Art Camosy presented a historical approach to teaching high school astronomy.

Jim started the February meeting by pointing out several excellent biographies of Newton, as well as some of Newton's own work easily available in modern release as well as "annotated" editions. The talk began by presenting two ideas that permeated the age (late 17th century):

1. As above, so below (accepted as axiomatic, that there were mysterious human connections to the heavens). Mechanical philosophical thinkers rejected this world-view, and adopted instead:

2. Causation is impact (one body must contact another to have connection or causality, no "weird" forces allowed)

Newton was a conflicted and solitary person throughout his life. His illegitmacy and estranged relationship with his mother and stepfather must have left him questioning his very identity.

Educated in the classics at Cambridge, Newton rejected the Aristotelian universe and studied accepted much of the work of Kepler and Galileo, which he had to read on his own time. He fully rejected #1 and accepted #2 as outlined above.

Newton brought together Galileo's discoveries about motion on Earth, and Kepler's laws of planetary motion, and showed that they obeyed the same principles. He was able, mathematically, to show that these laws of motion were the result of a force which he called "universal gravitation" but for which he was unable to provide a mechanism whereby it worked. It did work though, so brilliantly that it firmly established the physical basis of the Copernican universe and finally crushed the Aristotelian division of the two realms, above and below the moon.

Newton's greatest success, ironically, put him at odds with the very world-view he accepted as real causation is impact. There must be physical contact of some kind to accompany the effects of a force. Newton couldn't explain the existance of gravity and stated this honestly, but it clearly bothered him, for he constantly referred to objects moving "as if" acted upon by a force. His hedging revealed his discomfort at the thought of action at a distance.

At the March meeting, MAS members were treated to a very enjoyable presentation by Art Camosy, science teacher at Memorial High School in Madison. For the past 10 years, Camosy has taught an elective astronomy course at Memorial. Inspired originally by astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan, Camosy doesn't cram the students full of interesting facts about the planets and stellar evolution in this year-long course. Instead, he uses a historical approach designed to foster an appreciation for the way science works, as well as a perspective on the importance of the night sky to our ancestors.

Making use of Memorial's planetarium, Camosy begins by having the students make careful observations: where does the sun rise and set throughout the year? How high does it get? How does the sun's path compare with that of the moon? How can we make sense of the motions of the planets? How do the motions of heavenly bodies change if our location on Earth is different? Being careful not to bias the students with "facts," Camosy then begins to introduce the ideas of the classical Greek astronomers. Ptolemy, Hipparchus, Aristarchus, Eratosthenes, Cleomedes, and so on. Over a several month period, he carefully presents the Ptolemaic model in elaborate detail, having the students perform exercies in noting how Ptolemy's system could account for all the motions noted by these early observers. He follows with several weeks each on Copernicus's system and how it explains the motions using fewer "parts" than Ptolemy's system. Clavius' response to Copernicus, Galileo's physics and telescopic observations, the observations of Tycho Brahe and the mathematical wrangling of Kepler,finally ending up with the unifying work of Newton.

The culmination of the course is in the spring time when, having digested and understood the Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler and Brahe, Camosy has the students recreate the trial of Galileo, with the students taking the role of Galileo's defenders against Camosy's inquisition. The students learn a hard-earned lesson about the risk associated with accepting arguments from authority instead of thinking for themselves. Galileo is convicted year after year.

Camosy's talk was interspersed with frequent questions from the assembled MAS members and guests, many of whom share a deep appreciation for the history of astronomy.
 
 

Calendar of Events:

April 10 7:00 pm, Space Place Guest Speaker: Dr. Hank Revercomb, director of the Space Science Engineering Center, "GIFTS Geosynchonus Imaging Fourier Transform Spectromoter." Space Place, 1605 S. Park St.

April 14 10:00 am, Space Place: Kay Kriewald's Family Workshop (a hands-on science activity for kids and adults). Space Place, 1605 S. Park St.

April 18 MMSD Planetarium: 5:30 pm Solar System Adventure, a children's show about the solar system. 6:45 & 8:00 pm, Solar System Update What's going on right now in solar system exploration? $1 for students, $2 for adults. Memorial High School, corner of Gammon and Mineral Point. 829-4053 for info.

April 20 Annual spring banquet at Delaney's, 449 Grand Canyon Drive, Madison. Socializing at 6 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m. Dinner selections: chicken breast $20; prime rib $25. Make check payable to MAS and send to Jane Breun, 11 Glenway Street, Madison, WI 53705 before Monday, April 16, 2001, indicating your dinner choices. Speaker will be Dr. Chip Kobulnicky, Hubble Fellow at the UW Astronomy Department. His talk is entitled "How the Universe Is Stranger Than We Thought: Five Recent Astronomical Surprises."

April 24 7:00 pm, Eyes on the Skies talk by Jim Lattis. Space Place, 1605 S. Park St.

April 25 6:00-9:00 pm, Memorial High School Planetarium, Astronomy as a hobby. Planetarium shows, exhibits and guest speakers to help you get started in the oldest hobby. Corner of Gammon and Mineral Point. 829-4053 for info.

April 27-28 Starry Night 2001, Westfield, WI. A star party for all. Contact Tom and Joan Pelnar for info: e-mail: rumples5@hotmail.com, fax: 262-782-8116, phone: 262-782-6226.

April 28 10:00 am, Space Place: Kay Kriewald's Family Workshop (a hands-on science activity for kids and adults). Space Place, 1605 S. Park St.

May 8 7:00 pm, Space Place Guest Speaker: Prof. Eric Wilcots, UW Madison Astronomy Department, speaking on research program planning for the South African Large Telescope. Space Place, 1605 S. Park St.

May 11 MAS monthly meeting: Dr. Don Cox, UW Space Physics, will speak about the acceleration of the expanson of the universe. Visitor/beginner meeting at 7:00, main meeting at 7:30. Space Place, 1605 S. Park St.

May 12 10:00 am, Space Place: Kay Kriewald's Family Workshop (a hands-on science activity for kids and adults). Space Place, 1605 S. Park St.

May 16 6:30 & 7:45 pm, MMSD Planetarium: Skywatching, what's up in the sky tonight? $1 for students, $2 for adults. Memorial High School, corner of Gammon and Mineral Point. 829-4053 for info.

May 22 7:00 pm, Eyes on the Skies: Jim Lattis. Space Place, 1605 S. Park St.

May 26 10:00 am, Space Place: Kay Kriewald's Family Workshop (a hands-on science activity for kids and adults). Space Place, 1605 S. Park St.

June 9 Annual MAS picnic at YRS. Election of officers for the next year, cookout and general fun in the sun. Observing that night if weather permits. Directions and additional details in the June issue of Capitol Skies.
 
 

APS Annual Meeting Coming to St. Paul in July

"Universe 2001" 113th Annual Meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the nation's oldest and largest general astronomy society, will be held July 13-18, 2001, St. Paul, Minnesota. Visit their website for registration info.
 
 

MAS membership in national astronomy organizations to be discussed at May meeting

We have in recent meetings been discussing how we might participate in the larger astronomical community. At least four major organizations hold interest for our members. Anyone can join these as individuals. They are Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO), International Occultation and Timing Association (IOTA), American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), International Darksky Association (IDA) and the Astronomical League.

Individual membership in these groups is ALPO $23, IDA $30, $25 AL, AAVSO $50 and IOTA $30 with an additional $20 for the newsletter. A number of MAS members are already members of some of these organizations. Additionally, some groups have club memberships. The MAS can join IDA for $50 and it can join the AL for $3 per member for all members. That is about $3 times the number of members or about $250.

The purposes of these groups has been discussed at some length at MAS meetings and will be considered further at the May meeting. Those interested in any action by the MAS toward membership in these organizations should attend the May meeting and be heard. A great deal of information about these clubs can be found on the internet. The URLs are:

www.lpl.arizona.edu/alpo

www.darksky.org

www.astroleague.org

www.aavso.org

www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/iotandx.htm

MAS member action is only required if the MAS as a whole wishes to join the Astronomical League or the International Dark Sky Association and thus wishes to spend MAS funds.

(See Wynn Wacker's perspective on rejoining the Astronomical League on page 6 of this issue. ­ed.)
 
 

Wisconsin Dark Skies

New email discussion list for local dark sky issues

by Karolyn Beebe

The extraordinary beauty of the stars in an unpolluted sky belongs to everyone, but it's washed out in wasted light over communities world wide. The Wisconsin Dark Sky forum is where advocates in the growing movement to stop light pollution in Wisconsin can exchange ideas and information. It's open to anyone interested in outdoor lighting designed and regulated to improve visibility, save energy, enhance the nighttime environment and preserve our precious night sky. To join, just point your web browser to:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WisconsinDarkSky
 
 

New Neighbors at YRS

I have recently made the acquaintance of Mr. and Mrs. Cox, who recently moved into the house across the street from YRS. I have stopped in on two occasions, both to invite them over to the observatory and most recently to alert them to the possibility of increased activity on the weekend of the planned Messier Marathon. On both occasions I found them to be very friendly and also somewhat interested in astronomy. Most encouraging is the fact that they share an astronomer's antipathy toward unnecessary lighting in general, and outdoor lighting in particular. I encourage other observatory users to take an opportunity to introduce yourselves, and to invite the Coxes to come over and see what we're all about.

­Neil Robinson
 
 

From the Editor

At the March meeting, Geoffrey Holt, director of the Madison Metropolitan School District's planetarium, was unanimously voted to be the recipient of the 2001 MAS Astronomy Outreach and Education Award. The award will be presented at the banquet on April 20th, but unfortunately Geoff won't be able to attend. He has promised to come to the May meeting to meet and greet MAS members. Look for a full report on this award in the next Capitol Skies.

This issue of the newsletter contains information critical to all observing members: the issue of lawn mowing at the Yanna Research Station. Please see Tim's Observatory Director's column on page 7. Though I'm sure all observing members will not be thrilled at the prospect of mowing, I'd remind you ahead of time that this is a small price to pay for our facility. If all observing members participate, it will mean a total of two commitments to mow every three years.

I also note that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of MAS. I'd like to see MAS members discuss ways to celebrate this important milestone. Perhaps a birthday party at one of our meetings this fall? Or perhaps a public star party at some location in Madison?

­JR
 
 

Special Event Notice

Celebrating "Turn off the TV Week"

April 25, 6:00-9:00 pm

Memorial High School Planetarium

Astronomy as a Hobby

MAS members encouraged to come and meet the public. Set up a display of your astrophotos, show off your equipment, answer questions. Contact John Rummel or Geoff Holt
(829-4053) for details.







The Astronomical League: To Join Or Not To Join?

by Wynn Wacker

The Madison Astronomical Society is considering rejoining the Astronomical League a number of years after having dropped out. Many of our newer members are unfamiliar with the AL and the reasons the MAS quit the League. I will present here what I see as the issues members should be aware of before they vote to rejoin the League. Like any organization which has lasted more than half a century, The AL does have some good points.

The Astronomical League is an organization comprised mainly of amateur astronomical societies, though individuals may join as at-large members. The League was formed in the late 1940s and MAS was one of the founding member societies. Its stated purpose is to "advance the science of astronomy" a mission which it carries out primarily though encouraging interaction between societies and individual amateur astronomers at regional and national conventions, some programs to promote the growth of astronomical societies, and some educational programs and publications for its members. Chief among the publications is the newsletter, The Reflector, which is published quarterly and (nominally) goes to all of the membership of League. This is also the largest budget item for the AL, and the ostensible reason why the League charges societies $3 for each of their members. There are also a number of good manuals for observing, astronomy education, and running astronomical societies. These are quite reasonably priced, and AL members get a 10% discount and free S&H (though you can avoid shipping by buying them at the conventions).

The chief contact many AL members have with the League is at the conventions, and I believe that these events are the chief attraction for some of the MAS members who wish to rejoin. The AL is divided into 10 geographical regions across the U.S. (we're in the North Central region, or NCRAL) and each region holds an annual convention in additional to the annual national convention. The regional conventions are usually one or two day affairs, while the national conventions generally run from a Wednesday through a Saturday. In addition to conducting League business, the conventions feature talks by amateurs and a few lectures by professionals, as well as field-trips, booths from sellers of equipment and books, and a concluding banquet. I attended my first NCRAL convention (hosted by the MAS) in 1965 and my first national convention in 1968.

While the conventions were interesting and a chance to meet amateurs from other cities, I soon became disappointed with the League itself. For an organization with the clout of hundreds of astronomical societies, it seemed to have remarkably little purpose. The serious observing programs were carried out by organizations like AAVSO, ALPO, and IOTA. Light-pollution was attracting a lot of attention in the 1960's, but the League had no program to deal with this problem and it was necessary to form the International Dark Sky Association to address it. Even Astronomy Day, which the League now promotes, did not originate with it. The League officers, particularly at the national level, served for many years, which resulted in a stodgy complaisance in League activities. The main interest of the national officers was in building an endowment fund to provide a hired staffer to do the clerical work.

The decision of the MAS to quit the League resulted from the experience of our officers when we hosted the 1993 national AL convention. The League broke its own by-laws in failing to provide help in organizing the convention. They did, however, manage over a period of months to communicate a set of restrictions and obligations which added to the financial burden of MAS, including covering the cost of League officers attending. Some of these had not been placed on other host societies.

One controversy involved the MAS decision to change the format from sessions of submitted papers to workshops conducted by leading amateurs. The workshops went over extremely well and have since been used in other AL conventions. However, some League officials were adamantly opposed and remained so until after the convention. We also lost confidence in the AL's handling of funds when the League Treasurer was unable to answer some simple financial questions put to him by our Treasurer (Joe Keys). In the end, the convention was huge success, drawing over 330 people. When it came time to divvy up the profits, the League took about 75%. I suppose they thought this was generous, since the by-laws allow them to take 85% (losses, as sometimes occur, are also divided as the AL Council wishes, with the host society taking no less than 15% of that cut as well), but under the circumstances most of the MAS felt themselves ill-used.

Following the convention debacle, the MAS officers and many members decided that they did not wish to continue sending dues to the AL. Dropping out of the League was controversial as some long-time MAS members wished to remain affiliated. The MAS offered a compromise whereby those members who wished to remain in the League would have their dues submitted, while the rest of us would abstain and go without The Reflector. League officials flatly rejected this offer citing their by-laws, while admitting some other societies operated this way. The first vote to leave the League (11/93) was rejected 11-10. A member who had not been present at that meeting (Ray Zit) made a new motion two months later (1/94) which passed 26-1. Some members who opposed quitting AL still speak of "that snowy evening" when their supporters were absent, but the fact is that sentiment to leave was widespread.

My objections to rejoining are: 1) Expense It would cost over $250 annually, and over $330 annually if the contemplated $1 dues increase is implemented. We could buy a small telescope for a school or worthy student for that kind of money. Or, how about additional benefits for our own members (free cap/mug to each new member?) 2) Lack of Return You don't have to be a member to go to the conventions. The host societies are anxious not to take a loss in these affairs and welcome all comers. You can get The Reflector for $8/year or be a member-at-large with a vote in League affairs for $25/year. We could make a club officer or the Capitol Skies editor a member-at-large for 1/10th the price and post the important information in the Capitol Skies and on our website. How many of you will go to an AL convention if MAS is a member, but not if it isn't? 3) Lack of Purpose The AL's real purpose is to stage conventions and publish The Reflector. Only a fraction of the 16,000 members attend the conventions, and the newsletter could easily be replaced by web-publishing at greatly reduced cost. I would much rather send the money to IDA, which at least is promoting a program of real importance to amateur astronomers.

It is up to you to decide what is the best course for the Madison Astronomical Society. I would, however, like to point out how difficult it has been to find individuals willing to serve as MAS officers without the added burdens imposed by the League. We have problems getting people to sign-up to mow the lawn at YRS. How many are anxious to undertake the burden of organizing and running a convention here in Madison? Remember that NCRAL conventions take place in May, when many people have competing obligations with respect to school. If you wish to join the AL, will YOU do the work involved?

(Wynn's original text was too lengthy to include in the Capitol Skies in its entirety. See the MAS website for the full text version. -ed.)

Read Wynn's Full Length Article

Important Observatory News: Lawn Mowing Schedule for YRS

Spring is arriving at YRS. The observatory moles (the tiny, furry, burrowing four leggers, not the spies) have left their usual mess of molehills. Please use your red flashlights when walking about in the dark to avoid stumbling over one or getting muddy shoes.

Some other critters (deer? coyotes?) have been snagging the aluminum siding corners off the Koster Memorial Observatory building. I suspect that they are scratching their backs. If anyone sees what is doing this let me know.

The new dome that is being installed on the Art Koster Observatory, the C11 building, will be a real luxury. I'm sure that usage will go up on our 11 inch scope as a result. Observing members should contact me for instruction on operating this new dome as it will be power driven.

I have been to YRS several times in the past few weeks and have observed that the field has been too soft and wet to support vehicles. Please walk into the field for the next few weeks, or until you can ascertain that the ground has dried and hardened sufficiently to support vehicles without causing damage and ruts (or getting your vehicle stuck!).

Lawn Mowing at YRS

This year Madison Astronomical Society observing members will take up the task of lawn mowing and trimming at the Yanna Research Station. Prior to this the job had been handled by MAS Life Member Leroy Yanna. Leroy has gone past 80 years now (I know it's hard to believe when you look at him but I'm sure he's telling the truth) and has decided to retire from mowing and relax in the shade a little. Good for Leroy. So now we more youthful types will have to step in and keep the place trim. Here are the new, official rules of mowing.

YRS Lawn Mowing Rules

1. Mowing will be provided by all non-exempted Observing Members.

2. Mowing will be scheduled bi-weekly from the beginning of May through the end of October. The schedule on the roster will specify the time periods. The schedule is non-specific as to any particular days but, rather, only the weeks that the mowing should be done. Specific days may be determined by the mowing members themselves providing flexibility for personal schedules, accommodation of bad weather or conditions, or any scheduled events at YRS.

3. Mowing will not be done during rainy or overly wet conditions.

4. Two persons will be assigned for each scheduled mowing to accomplish grass cutting and trimming.

5. Members will be able to sign up for preferred dates on a first-come-first-served basis in February and March. Sign up cutoff will be the copy deadline for the April newsletter. Members may sign up either at regular MAS meetings or by contacting the Observatory Director.

6. Members who don't select their own mowing dates will be assigned to the schedule on the basis of alphabetical order by the Observatory Director.

7. The mowing roster and a list of non-exempted Observing Members with their phone numbers will be published in the April Newsletter.

8. Persons unable to perform their mowing duties on their assigned dates will have to arrange for their own substitutions. The Observatory Director must be notified of any substitutions.

9. Persons having completed their mowing duties will be rotated to the bottom of the roster.

10. Persons having arranged for a substitute will be rotated to the top of the portion of the roster yet to be assigned. Substitutions should be arranged, if possible, from the list of unassigned members.

11. A copy of the mowing roster will be posted in the YRS clubhouse. Persons having completed their mowing duties must initial the roster in the ìcompletedî column.

12. A gas powered, self-propelled mower, gas powered string trimmer, and suitable fuel will be provided by the MAS. These are stored in the utility shed.

Questions? Please call the Observatory Director, Tim Ellestad, at 608 233-3305.
 

Observing Members Mowing

The Week of:
 
April 30 William Jollie 244-8371 John Rummel 827-5116
May 14 Tom Hall 238-3007 Neil Robinson 238-4429
May 28 Tim Ellestad 233-3305 Mary Ellestad 233-3305
June 11 Thomas E. Brissette 833-4225 Thomas A. Miskelly 238-3992
June 25 Gregory J. Sellek 288-0928 Joe Hermolin 249-5021
July 9 Richard Creager 255-9365 Ron & Dee Lovaas 831-7235
July 23 Jeff Peronto 825-2281 Jody Baird 608-884-6563
August 6 Tom Jacobs 271-5872 Richard Gerou 271-2988
August 20 Jane Breun 238-8706 Mark Simmons 608-655-4339
September 3 Wynn Wacker 274-1829 Gilbert C. Lubcke 836-1047
September 17 Patrick Carey 276-1460 Larry Greischar 414-623-4018
October 1 Allan Henn 608-643-8181 Paul E. Marrione
October 15 Gene & Andy Knutson 238-1674 Michael A. McDowell 836-1478
October 29 Ryan Mikolash 825-7565 Matthew Mills - 608-754-6808

Substitute List

Jeff Hanson - 271-0271
Benjamin Senson - 238-7364
Jerry Sullivan - 831-7421
Robert Terrell - 833-8828
David Weier - 241-1444
Robert Willett - 455-2808
Terry Young - 231-1118
Ralph Zebell - 221-9786


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