You are here

2009

Annual Report 2009

Reports of the Kingston Centre Executive and Committee Chairs

President Vice-President Secretary Treasurer Auditor
Editor Ast. Day / IYA2009 Equipment Loan Fall'N'Stars KAON
OAFTN Relay for Life Responsible Lighting Website NC Rep
Library

Agenda

RASC-KC 2009 Annual General Meeting -- Friday, November 13, 2009

AGENDA
  1. Approval of the Agenda.
  2. Consideration and Adoption of the 2008 Annual General Meeting Minutes.
  3. Consideration and Approval of the Reports of Council.
  4. Presentation and Adoption of Financial Statements.
  5. Centre Elections - Slate proposed by Nomination Committee.
    • President - 2 years for 2009-2011
    • Vice President - 2 years for 2009-2011
    • Treasurer - 2 years for 2009-2011
    • National Council Rep (vacant) - 2008-2010
  6. Election of Auditor
  7. Other Business
  8. Adjourn meeting

President

2008-2009 was another quiet year for us at the RASC-Kingston Centre. We ran with 6/7 Board of Directors, not being able to fill the National Council Representative slot. Other Board Members (Susan Gagnon, Kevin Kell) stepped in to represent us at the meetings.

We have been provincially incorporated for 4 years now and registered as a federal charity for 3 years and are still battling government paperwork. Our federal charitable status is embarrassing in that we spend far more on our charitable educational activities than we take in from donations that we have a huge surplus in our Disbursement Quota (this is a very good thing).

Following up on last year's initiatives, of logging1 every volunteer hour performed by the Centre, from 2008 Oct to 2009 September was: 1053, compared to 776 hours in 2007-2008. Most of this increase resulted from International Year of Astronomy activities.

No Observational Astronomy for the Novice (OAFTN) course was run due to perceived low demand and the volunteer labour required for the IYA activities. No Awards Banquet was held in 2009 for much the same reasons as past: low membership interest in general and no awards to award.

Two of our members did succeed with National Awards this year: Kim Hay and Walter MacDonald were recipients of the RASC Service Award. Congratulations! Past Kingston Centre recipients: A. Vibert Douglas (1963), Leo Enright (1986), Mark Kaye (2006), Kevin Kell (2006.)

Our Equipment Loan program activity has declined. I suspect more and more members are able to afford the equipment they want, what with falling retail prices over the last 20 years. Most used were the data projector and screen for talks and the specialty eyepieces.

Our regular 2nd Friday meetings stabilized at about 25 people in attendance. We continued the tradition of summer hiatus in July and August and suspended publication of Regulus for those months as well.

In September 2009 we took a large step by discontinuing the default publishing of Regulus on paper and mailing to all members2. This was switched to sending out on paper to NO member unless they specifically requested it. Our expectation were perhaps to have 25% of members continuing to receive paper. In reality it was 5%. So far feedback has been good with great support from the members about accessing Regulus online in high resolution and in colour. We are among the last to join all but a few other centres in this move and this move will help the Centre financially in almost eliminating our regular single largest line item of expense and weather the financial downturns better. We continue to send out an email a few days after the start of each month to include timely reminders to all members with email addresses registered.

The Roboscope project continues to run into small glitches and is still not operational. Work continues.

Some of our ongoing and regular successes in Public Outreach and Education include 12 public observing sessions of the Kingston Astronomy Outreach Network (KAON) bringing in about 957 people3 to the eyepiece, International Astronomy Day (406 people), and the Cancer Society Relay for Life (402 people).

We were able to form up a volunteer team to assist with Fall'N'Stars Star Party this year and we took the lead with Kim Hay as Chair, Susan Gagnon, Hank Bartlett and myself as committee members.

Membership Fees were stable this past year, as has been our membership numbers, at around 105. For ordinary members in Canada the membership fee is $67 + $5 Kingston surcharge. Of the $67, we get $23 to fund our operations. For youth membership is now $44, or which we get $13.70. If you live in the United States, it gets worse. Fees are $83 + $5 for ordinary members, $57 for youth. Internationally they are $112+$5 for ordinary and $86 for youth.

In 2010 we hope to shift our focus away from a very successful year out public outreach in conjunction with Queens Physics, RMC Physics and the International Year of Astronomy and focus more on our own members again. This may come about in the form of another effort to hold Observing Group Meetings, workshops on telescope use or groups working towards various certificates.

I instituted the 50 in 50 Challenge, whereby the members of the Centre will attempt to achieve a total of 50 observing certificates by the end of our 50th anniversary in December 2011. We had 25 at the start of the challenge. A poster display and brochures were created to aid in this, as well as updating the Centre generic brochure 3 times over the year and publishing small on-demand numbers of them.

I wish to express my thanks, gratitude and "WELL DONE!" to those members who have stepped up to assist in running the club. The volunteer pool continues to crumble and those left standing are showing definite signs of smoldering burnout. None of these duties and responsibilities are meant to be onerous but at times they can get that way. We've attempted to alter events and jobs and match them up with members who enjoy performing a particular activity anyway and that has met with some measure of success.

In closing, I'd like to leave with a little bit of a request to members. Feedback. That's it. Feedback. If you have ideas, communicate them. You can reach us by:

telephone 613-377-6029
by email kingston@rasc.ca,
in person at meetings and events...
or even on paper by sending a piece of mail to Box 1793 Kingston Ontario Canada K7L 5J6.

Thoughts, questions, or even better yet, articles for Regulus, project ideas, meeting thoughts for speakers and activities... the list is potentially endless.

Sincerely and in hopes of clear skies,

Kevin Kell, RASC-KC President


President's Report References

(1) RASC-KC Volunteer Log Monthly Summaries

2008
Oct 77 hours Nov 107 hours Dec 66 hours
2009
Jan 92 hours Feb 46 hours Mar 106 hours
Apr 84 hours May 113 hours Jun 70 hours
Jul 54 hours Aug 40 hours Sep 198 hours

Total: 1053 volunteer person hours for 2008-2009.

(2) Current Benefits of Membership

12 months membership of RASC-KC; 6 issues Skynews magazine, 1 copy of the Observer's Handbook, 1 year's worth of Centre e-newsletters online the web site with free paper versions on request, one year's worth of the RASC E-Journal online, use of the Centre's Library, use of the Centre's Equipment Loan program, discounts to Sky&Telescope magazine subscriptions; eligible for observing certificates (ETU, Messier, NGC, Williamson, Deep Sky Challenge, David Levy's Dark Sky Gems)

(3) KAON attendance 2008

2008
Oct 110 people Nov 67 people Dec ?? people
2009
Jan 117 people Feb 65 people Mar 133 people
Apr 165 people May 24 people Jun 15 people
Jul 53 people Aug 53 people Sep 155 people

Total: 957 volunteer person hours for 2008-2009

Vice-President

Meeting summary 2008-09:

October 2008 "Remote Controlled Astrophotography" by P. Mortfield
November 2008 Annual General Meeting includes Elections Dan Falk will discuss his book, "In Search of Time."
December 2008 Members' night.
January 2008 The International Year of Astronomy Kim Hay (Kingston Centre) and Stephan Courteau (Queen's University) provided an update on joint efforts of the RASC, Queen's, and RMC in the IYA.
February 2009 "Large Programs" that have been established at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Dr Gregg Wade
March 2008 The One Metre Initiative: A New Major Observatory in Canada
Speaker: Frank Roy, Elektra Observatories.
April 2009 The Search for Dark Matter: A New Role for Sudbury Neutrino Observatory
Speaker: Dr. Wolfgang Rau, Queen's University
May 2008 Amateur Radio Astronomy
Speaker: Marcus Leech, Shirley's
Bay Radio Astronomy Consortium.
June 2009 Members' Night
September Members' Night
October 2009 Members' Night
November 2009 Annual General Meeting, Elections, and a Movie
December 2009 A Perspective of Space Programs Beyond North America
Speaker: Second Lieutenant, Raymond Francis, former member of the European Space Agency

This was a full schedule and overall I was happy with the variety of topics covered by invited speakers. Our Members' Nights were very full as well and there is a suggestion that there needs to be a rebalance of the content. Now that I have learned something about being the VP and about the meeting content, I have a few suggestions for the future. I would limit our invited speakers to one per quarter unless an unusual opportunity presented itself. One per quarter would allow more time to advertise that event well and possibly make our public meetings more public. One Members' Night per quarter would allow more member participation. As the "speaker" portion of the meeting is usually no more than an hour, including questions, there would be a limit of 4 members with a time limit of 15 minutes each (set up time would be included so set up ahead of time would be advantageous). This accounts for only 8 of our 10 meeting slots of the year. For the remaining 2, I would suggest a workshop or two. There is plenty of talent in the club and I know that there are folks out there with ideas. If you have an idea about meeting format, content, etc., please bring your ideas along to the AGM and tell me all about it. I know that I have to work on my ability to stop the run-on speaker but I am not too good at it yet, so come and have your say.

Susan Gagnon, VP

Secretary

We currently have a total of 101 Society members: 92 Regular members, 2 Youth members, and 7 Life members.

Except for July and August, Regular Meetings were held on the second Friday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in Theatre A or D, Stirling Hall, Queen's University.

January 9 Kim Hay & Stephan Courteau "International Year of Astronomy"
February 13 Dr. Gregg Wade "'Large Programs' at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope"
March 13 Frank Roy "The One Meter Initiative: A New Major Observatory in Canada"
April 10 Dr. Wolfgang Rau "The Search for Dark Matter: A New Role for SNO"
May 8 Marcus Leech "Amateur Radio Astronomy"
June 12 Members' Night featuring short presentations by Kevin Kell, Leo Enright, Leslie Roberts, Steve Manders, Doug Angle.
September 11 Members' Night featuring short presentations by Brian Hunter, Walter MacDonald, Kevin Kell, Mark Kaye, Doug Angle.
October 9 Members' Night featuring short presentations by Leslie Roberts, Kevin Kell.

The Kingston Centre offered public observing for Astronomy Day. Displays and public observing were offered at the charity event "Relay for Life". Members also gave presentations at several area schools, local clubs, and offered public observing at the Charleston Lake Star Party. As well, a prize was contributed to the area Science Fair. International Year of Astronomy events were held in conjunction with Queen's University and the Royal Military College.

Our monthly public observing sessions were held at the Queen's University Observatory, in partnership with the Queen's University Physics Department.

The Fall `N' Stars 2009 star party, hosted jointly with the RASC Belleville Centre, was once again a great experience for all who attended.

In the fall, we started offering our newsletter Regulus mainly in electronic form, with a paper copy sent to only those members requesting it.

Work continues on a Remote Operated Telescope.

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Hart
Secretary, RASC - Kingston Centre

Treasurer

Financial Statements in PDF format: icon
2008/09 Profit & Loss Statement (9 KB PDF file).
2008/09 Balance Sheet (5 KB PDF file) - shown in table below.

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada-Kingston Centre
Balance Sheet As of September 30, 2009

ASSETS
  Current Assets
Chequing/Savings
      Banquet Account 202.50
      Cash on Hand 329.50
      Fall'N'Stars 927.75
      General Operating Account 4,212.19
      Observatory 12,951.05
      Reserve 500.00
      Special Projects 1,500.00
    Total Chequing/Savings 20,622.99
    Other Current Assets
      12000 - Undeposited Funds 116.25
      12100 - Inventory Asset 943.27
    Total Other Current Assets 1,059.52
  Total Current Assets 21,682.51
TOTAL ASSETS 21,682.51
 
LIABILITIES & EQUITY
  Liabilities
    Current Liabilities
      Accounts Payable
        20000 - Accounts Payable 544.46
      Total Accounts Payable 544.46
    Total Current Liabilities 544.46
  Total Liabilities 544.46
  Equity
    30000 - Opening Bal Equity 19,114.00
    32000 - Retained Earnings 3,721.06
    Net Income -1,697.01
  Total Equity 21,138.05
TOTAL LIABILITIES & EQUITY 21,682.51

Notes to Board and Auditor for RASC-KC Books 2008-09

One concern of the Profit Loss Statement shows a -653.02 for RASC Calendars. It is a write off of RASC Calendars at the end of 2008 and again at the end of September. an order has been placed with National Office for only 25 Calendars as we are losing money on these. This year, we hope to ahve them by November, otherwise, we will not have time to sell them for the coming 2010 year. The market is now flooded with calendars, and being early to get them out is key.

Our income was lower this year: we are currently down to 102 members. We have lose one life member to a transfer to another centre, and another life member to passing away. Our winner of the Science Fair has not sent in her application for membership, but we do have two youth members. We had no major functions for the members this year, no dinners, cut our expenses on the printing and distribution of newsletters. Currently there are only 5 members that want paper copies of the newsletter. There are no summer meetings. Queen's is still fronting the money for the room for the meetings, but who knows how long this arrangement will continue with the Queen's Physics department under financial constraints.

The RASC-KC Executive approved a budget last year indicating a deficit of $1617.33; we had an actual deficit of $1697.01. This increased cost was due to the rental of Lake Ontario Park for the September 19th IYA event. We also purchased the Galileo Telescopes as an inventory item, and not an IYA expense. The number of telescopes purchased was lower than we had originally expected. Since we had delays in receiving a quote, and higher prices, we had cancelled the idea altogether. A fellow RASC Centre (London) had more than they needed and approached us to see if we wanted any. We purchased 25 at a cost of $750.00. These will be sold, and used for education purposes.

A hindrance in receiving donations directly from National Office when members renew, forces the centre to keep asking and promoting donations to members. The new computer system (iMIS) is not set-up to accept these donations yet, despite our signing of the Fee Agreement with National Office. Also not received from National Office yet, is the centres' payout portion of the Life Members fund, which was approved at the August 2009 NC council meeting. Centres have signed a letter stating they would look after Life Members. This is expected income for the next fiscal year.

(...List of materials included for Auditor and outstanding cheques, and note re: September bank statement...)

From the Auditor's recommendations of 2008:

  1. We now have cash/sales logs for cash at meetings for sales, however we are not writing receipts for transactions over $25.00 unless the person requests it.
  2. Implemented the deposit slip template for further deposit details.
  3. The account numbers have been increased and expanded for future use.

The next treasurer may not want to use the Quck Pro Books program, and use another, or Excel but that will be the decision of the next board. All information, passwords, and a burned copy of existing files will be created and turned over to the next Treasuruer after the November 13, 2009 meeting.

Submitted by Kim Hay, on the best of her knowledge the books for the RASC Kingston Centre are accurate and true.

Kim Hay
October 25, 2009

Auditor

Auditor's Report in PDF format: 2009 Auditor's Report (94 KB PDF file).

To: The executive and members of the
Kingston Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

Date: 2009 11 12

I have been presented with the Treasurer's 2008-09 Annual Report for the Kingston Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. It is signed by the treasurer, Kim Hay.

I have examined the Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Statement and they appear to be an accurate reflection of the year's transactions and the current financial state of the Centre. The transactions detailed in the General Ledger are consistent with the activities of the Centre. There are two receipts missing but they are for clearly identified and justified expenses.

The Net Loss for the year $1697.01 is clearly not sustainable. However, this has not been a normal year in two key respects. First the fact of the International Year of Astronomy has led to at least two significant expenses. The planispheres cost $734.50 and the Galileoscopes cost $750.00, accounting for most of the loss. Some of the cost of the Galileoscopes will be recovered in future years and the Planispheres have been a valuable educational resource. Second, the National Office is in a state of flux and some Centre income has not arrived. In other respects, such as the electronic newsletter, steps have been taken to bring costs under control and I do not expect the losses to continue.

Brian K. Hunter
Auditor

Editor

Joe Benderavage kindly continued to produce Regulus through to the end of 2008. Thanks for doing this Joe, and for all your hard work as editor over the previous couple of years!

Regulus was overhauled in time for the January 2009 issue. CorelDRAW X3 is used to layout the newsletter and to generate the PDF versions (one for members-only, one for the general public). The aim is to have about 10 pages per issue, but of course this will vary depending on circumstances.

The publishing schedule for 2009 was monthly, except for July and August. (There may be July or August issues in the future at the editor's discretion, depending on circumstances at the time.) Paper issues were produced for January, March, and May. Starting with the September 2009 issue, paper copies are produced and mailed only for the half dozen or so members that requested them. This will save the Centre a considerable amount of money on what had become its biggest budgetary line item. Almost all of the membership now get Regulus as a PDF file from the website. (It should be noted that most other RASC Centres have preceded the Kingston Centre in moving to paperless newsletter distribution.) This benefits members through faster access to issues when they are released, and gives them a full-colour newsletter with higher-quality pictures, hyperlinks, and text-search capabilities.

Observing reports have come to be a significant part of Regulus this year; these are gleaned from the RASCals and KC-Chat e-mail lists along with some added commentary. Feedback on this so far has been positive. Some meeting reports have been enhanced by member e-mail comments and some articles have been built from e-mails. I see this as a win-win situation since the newsletter has a much more abundant and stable supply of timely and relevant material and members get to contribute more since it seems to be much easier to write an e-mail message than an "article." Adding in some hyperlinks and a few public-domain pictures from the Internet rounds out Regulus quite nicely each month. (The odd image taken at slooh.com can be found sprinkled throughout various issues as well.)

Material for Regulus is accepted on every day of the year. Several members contributed significant amounts of material to Regulus, and this is greatly appreciated. (After all, the editor doesn't want to have to generate all the material for the newsletter!) I won't name them here for fear of missing someone, but looking back through the 2009 issues will make it clear who the contributors were! If you haven't written something for Regulus, please consider doing so in 2010.

Respectfully submitted,
Walter MacDonald.

Astronomy Day / IYA 2009

IYA 2009

References:
Regulus, 2009 Jan, pp. 8-9 (IYA)
Regulus, 2009 Feb, page 2 (100 Hours of Astronomy)
Regulus, 2009 Apr, pp. 9-10 (IYA)
Regulus, 2009 May, page 3 (IYA)
Regulus, 2009 Sep, page 11 (IYA August 6 session)
Regulus, 2009 Sep, page 12 (IYA Murphy's Point)
Regulus, 2009 Sep, page 15 (IYA August 13 session)

With great expectations for IYA, the RASC KC, RMC and Queen's have started off the year with celebrations of Galileo himself. A talk at Queen's in January kicked off our event, with Mayor Harvey Rosen declaring January 10, 2009 as International Year of Astronomy 2009 Kick-off Day in Kingston.

Each month, we celebrated IYA2009 along with our KOAN sessions. The RASC-Kingston Centre purchased over 2000 Star Finders to give away at various events, along with Astro Cards, Mary Lou's New Telescope book for grades 1-6, Sidewalk Astronomers Booklet.

The Centre did send off 17 copies of Mary Lou's New Telescope to the Kingston Frontenac Library System to have copies in all the libraries. Next will be to send off copies to the Lennox and Addington Library System.

RMC and Queen's have taken on most of the school visits, with some Kingston members helping out. We have reported our numbers on the Canadian IYA website, to be included in the 1,000,000 Galileo Moments. To date, Kingston has recorded over 79 events. Also, as of today, the Galileo mark is sitting at 953,907.

We still have October 26th, talk at Queen's by Prof William Harris (McMaster University) "Galileo, Shakespeare, and van Gogh: Creative Reactions to the End of the World", November 14th the History of Astronomy Jamboree and in December a wrap up IYA events. See the Kingston IYA website for a listing of this years events.

Links:
Kingston IYA Website
Canadian IYA Website
International IYA Website

We did secure the purchase of 25 Galileo Telescopes in which they will be sold, and used for educational purposes. The KAON program has 4 telescopes.

Astronomy Day:

Report: Regulus, 2009 Jun, page 8. icon

This was covered off in report to the Newsletter earlier but we had two groups working Astronomy Day, May 2, 2009. One group in Kingston with over 402 people and the other group in Perth, with a good turnout. The weather held off and gave us sunshine, and using packets of educational material to hand out was much easier. I would suggest that we use the Farmers Market at the Kingston Market Square for Astronomy Day 2010 if the board so decides to do this event in 2010.

Kim Hay, Chair

Equipment Loan

Activity continues to decrease with the equipment loan program. In the last 12 months there have been less than a dozen pieces signed out, most notably the data projector and slide screen for talks, the SQMeter, the 19mm and 31mm eyepieces and the Douglas 25cm telescope.

With this level of activity and the shear amount of space required to store the items, and the lack of a permanent home in the form of a warmroom/storage shed, we may want to start considering selling off some of the items instead of constantly accumulating more.

The long term plan is to store these items at the Centre's future observatory site and make them more readily available to sign out.

The list on http://kingston.rasc.ca/equipment.php is incomplete, mainly because the items are scattered about several storage locations over the last decade+ and physically finding them is a challenge at the present time. Some examples of items not on the catalog are two spectrographs donated in 2008, some new ATM equipment donated just this month and many education displays and material, some optical tube assemblies donated last year that need work, etc.

Alternative storage such as a dedicated storage trailer are too costly ($2k+), renting a storage unit (approx $1200/year) are not realistic.

Kevin Kell, Loan Coordinator.

Fall'N'Stars

Chair: Kim Hay
Members: Susan Gagnon, Hank Bartlett, Kevin Kell

Report: Regulus, 2009 Oct, page 9 | Pictures

Kingston Astronomy Outreach Network (KAON)

Coordinator: Susan Gagnon

References:
Regulus, 2009 Feb, page 7 (January 10 session)
Regulus, 2009 Mar, page 5 (February 14 session)
Regulus, 2009 Apr, page 12 (March 14 session)
Regulus, 2009 May, page 9 (April 11 session)
Regulus, 2009 Sep, page 10 (May 9, June 13, July 9 sessions)
Regulus, 2009 Sep, page 11 (August 8 session)
Regulus, 2009 Oct, page 10 (September 19 session)

As of the AGM, we will have conducted 10 of the 12 scheduled KAON sessions for this year. A total of 851 visitors took advantage of the opportunity to come to the Ellis Hall roof and tour the dome, hear an astronomical talk, and, when clear at all, view the sky through small scopes on the observing deck. The turnout has been good for IYA, surpassing last year's numbers by approximately 300 with two sessions remaining. Visits from the Mayor and from Galileo himself did not hurt. September's event at Lake Ontario Park was also a refreshing change. The centre was responsible for presenting four of the 12 talks this year and they were as follows:

  • The Evolution of Galileo's Scope, Susan Gagnon.
  • Observing the Moon, Fred Barrett.
  • Observing Aids Found Online, Susan Gagnon.
  • The Galilean Moons, Brian Hunter.

On evenings when it is clear and Queen's is covering the talk, there is a minimum of three RASC volunteers required to keep up with the demands of the crowd. When people are not looking through a scope they want to talk astronomy. For some time now our volunteer base for KAON has consisted of the same five volunteers. However when there were issues with someone not being able to make it out, a message to the chat list always elicited a generous and quick response that has been much appreciated.

Due to volunteer fatigue in the Centre and a similar issue at Queen's there will be a pull back in the traditional joint observing session format. Preliminary discussions are leading to 5 or 6 joint sessions in 2010. I will be making a proposal to Queen's in the next month suggesting how we make the most of our combined resources. Queen's may of course choose to operate monthly if they find the manpower.

Easing of the KAON load will enable some of us to move on and engage in other projects that interest us and we look forward to 2010. Thanks to all of the 2009 volunteers and to all who came out just to see what all the fuss was about in IYA!

Librarian

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. A selection of books is brought for the members' review and borrowing with the librarian to meetings. A sign out sheet is kept with the books. Members can contact the librarian between meetings if they wish to borrow a book. Contact information is in the newsletters. The planned holding place for the library will be in the warm room of the centre's observatory when that project is completed.

Recent acquisitions that have been made are in consideration of the 50 Certificates in 50 years campaign proposed by Kevin Kell:

  • The Cambridge Double Star Atlas by James Mullaney, and
  • Atlas of the Messier Objects: Highlights of the Deep Sky, by Ronald Stoyan, and
  • Stephen James O'Meara's Observing the Night Sky with Binoculars: A Simple Guide to the Heavens, by Stephen James O'Meara.

Kim & Kevin this year found & acquired donations from NASA, Rick Huziak of the Saskatoon Centre. Also, the library has received a DVD of a March 1990 talk given by Clyde Tombaugh in Kingston.

The Toronto Centre sent their extra copies of Regulus from 1981 & 1982.

As always, suggestions for books to be purchased are always gratefully received and have lead to many of the purchases in past years.

David Maguire, Librarian

Observational Astronomy for the Novice (OAFTN)

OAFTN was not run this year.

Relay for Life

Report: Regulus, 2009 Jun, page 3.

This event was clear and was manned by two Kingston Centre members. There were over 300+ people who came to look through the telescopes. This is always an emotional event, but well worth the time and effort. I would suggest two people outside the Board could do this, as long as there is support for supplies.

Kim Hay, Chair

Responsible Lighting

This committee has not done a lot this past year. Keeping up with emails from the RASC LPA list on other centres activities is very educational. The only thing that the committee has done is to purchase 100 sets of 9 LPA related cards, which the Current Board has, a copy. These can be used for educational purposes, and sent off to Conservation Areas.

In closing, I have enjoyed doing all the job functions over the last year, but I will not be chairing any committees in the 2009-2010 year.

Kim Hay, Chair

Website

Chair: Walter MacDonald
Members: Kevin Kell, Kim Hay

With the solid foundation laid down a couple of years ago, the website continues to improve incrementally as the months go by. The site continues to run on a server (under Linux Fedora 11 and Linux kernel version 2.6.29.6-217.2.16.fc11.i586) at Queen's University, which is maintained and supported by Kevin Kell. The server hardware was donated some years back but that hardware has long since died. The current hardware is not property of the Kingston Centre but its use is donated to the Centre and it is shared with other groups. Current content for RASC-KC is approximately 5.7 GB. Incremental backups occur daily after midnight.

Website usage for the year is given below. Traffic is fairly consistent except for dips in October and December and a slight surge in August.

Website Usage Stats

Summary by Month as at 2009 September 15
  Daily Avg   Monthly Totals
Month Hits Files Pages Visits Sites Kbytes Visits Pages Files Hits
Sep 2009 6709 5041 2818 753 1960 8889716 11303 42274 75616 100646
Aug 2009 7143 5194 3392 858 3002 16092495 26623 105153 161032 221433
Jul 2009 5828 4114 2639 674 2689 8909988 20919 81837 127541 180681
Jun 2009 5862 4011 2621 557 2481 5529856 16739 78649 120351 175885
May 2009 4975 3422 2351 529 2628 6325417 16428 72903 106110 154253
Apr 2009 5431 3573 2369 482 2885 7689140 14480 71090 107193 162936
Mar 2009 5528 3988 2305 382 3292 6323332 11863 71463 123658 171377
Feb 2009 5812 4474 2936 452 2692 5781274 12669 82233 125291 162757
Jan 2009 5673 4221 3302 400 2873 11643445 12400 102389 130881 175872
Dec 2008 3946 2986 1631 313 2867 5571586 9704 50574 92593 122333
Nov 2008 5855 4676 1696 400 2791 4956368 12005 50901 140294 175654
Oct 2008 3615 2892 1554 417 2091 3305321 12939 48191 89670 112092
Totals 91017938 178072 857657 1400230 1915919

A new URL, kingston.rasc.ca, can be used to access the site. XHTML, PHP, and MySQL continue to power the site, and pages are maintained at the code level. A few tweaks have been made to the style sheets, but as far as the overall design goes the site has been stable for some time now. So it is that changes over the last year have almost exclusively involved the addition of new material, which this report will enumerate.

A freeware photo gallery continues to enhance the website, and contains more of our members' photos than ever before. Several pages of the website have been enhanced by inclusion of randomly selected images from this gallery system, which adds to the dynamic content of the site.

Speaking of dynamic content, a "This Day in History" feature has been added to the front page with interesting tidbits of astronomy and space-related information as well as a selection of important events in the history of the RASC and the Kingston Centre. RASC and AAVSO news are automatically updated every 24 hours to provide additional dynamic content on the front page.

A local archive for RASC material was set up in the Publications section of the website. The publicly accessible part of this archive consists of pages for:

The Members Only section of the website now contains a complete archive of Bulletin and JRASC issues, RASC Annual Reports, as well as various other astronomical materials.

The Library section of the website has also been expanded with more links of interest added to the right column (as well as a randomly featured book from the Centre's library collection), three new pages that index RASC publications (Out of Old Books, Other Features, Bios & Obits), and a new page with information on Membership Certificate awards. The pages containing the meeting reports have been heavily hyperlinked to relevant issues of Regulus in order to increase their value as a historical reference. A "KC News Archive" has been established to store Centre news items that appear on the front page of the website. On the Members Only side, the collection of Centre annual reports has been expanded.

Respectfully submitted,
Walter MacDonald.

National Council Representative

This position was vacant this year.

References:
Regulus, 2009 Apr, page 9 (March 28th NC meeting)
Regulus, 2009 Sep, pp. 6-9 (GA NC meetings)

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer