Fremont Peak impending closure

In an effort to close California’s significant budget gap, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has significantly cut funding to the state park system. This is forcing the California State park system to propose closing several state parks, including Fremont Peak State Park, which is where the FPOA Challenger telescope lives.

This closure, if it stands, would be a significant blow to amateur astronomy and to astronomy education in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Fremont Peak Observatory is maintained by over a hundred amateur astronomers who serve the entire region, providing educational opportunities including viewing opportunities, classroom visits, participation in scientific research projects, internships for community college students, lectures, and educational projects and activities. Local schools from elementary classrooms up through community colleges use the resources provided by FPOA.

In a letter to members FPOA president Doug Brown asks for help to:

identify decision-makers,
draft appeal letter templates for distribution to our members and customers, draft media releases,
or make effective contact with representatives and media

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Fremont Peak Star-B-Que August 2nd

2007 Star-B-QueIt’s that time again, on August 2nd, Fremont Peak Observatory will host it’s annual ‘Star-B-Que’, a public event where first you eat, and then you look at the stars!  See this link for the official announcement. The picture to the left is from last year, and you can see a good (albeit smoky) time is being had by all.  Click on the picture to go to my Picasa Web Albums folder with pictures from last year.

You do not need to be a member of the Observatory Association to come.  The Potluck feed starts at 5:00 PM.  Please bring a side dish, dessert, salad or your favorite dish to share.  Parking is limited, so get there early.

After the food and fun there is the famous “Astronomical Gastronomical” contest, where astronomy-themed dishes are judged on presentation, originality, and (of course) flavor.  My oldest daughter was asked to be a judge last year, which she really enjoyed.

There will be a raffle with various items (including the CD I made last year, newly revised and updated for 2008!)  If you don’t get one for a raffle item, I’d be happy to burn you one for only $10.