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Flash!BPAA kicks off fundraising for the John H Rudolph Planetarium, color brochure in Adobe format explains it all.

Read the BPAA Response to Proposal for Sports Field Lighting in Battle Point Park, presented to Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District on June 14, 2005, in MS-Word format.

Also, here is a brochure on the Facts about Lights in the Park in Adobe Acrobat format.

BPAA Newsletters :    

New Winter, 2005-2006

Fall, 2005

July & August, 2005

May & June, 2005

March & April, 2005

January & February, 2005

November & December, 2004

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November & December, 2003

Special Issue Celebrating the Life and Work of John Rudolph

September & October, 2003 (big file, 2 meg, be patient)

July & August, 2003

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January & February, 2003

November & December, 2002

September & October, 2002

July & August, 2002

May & June, 2002

March & April, 2002

January & February, 2002 (Text only)

November & December, 2001 (Text only)

21 June 2005

Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District

Attn: Perry Barrett

P.O. Box 10010

Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Dear Mr. Barrett:

We support the position of the Battle Point Astronomical Association

(BPAA) in opposing sports field lighting at Battle Point Park.

Observatories contribute greatly to the public understanding and

enjoyment of science. Bright lights from sports fields destroy the

usefulness of observatories. Amateur and professional astronomers have

fought battles all over the country to preserve reasonably dark skies so

that both scientists and the general public can investigate and marvel

at the wonders of the universe. We are sorry to learn that the

usefulness of Battle Point Observatory is being threatened. At the

University of Washington campus in light-polluted Seattle we wish we had

such a nice dark site as Battle Point Park!

So many people today have not had a chance to see a dark night sky.

Battle Point Park has been providing an opportunity to residents of

Bainbridge Island and beyond to have a unique experience. Hardly any

lights pollute the view of the skies. You can see the stars!

Furthermore, there is a large telescope there and maybe some other

amateur telescopes and you might have a chance to look at something

beyond the Earth. The Battle Point Astronomical Observatory provides a

chance to get in touch with the natural world in a way that no other

experience provides. Why would Battle Point Park choose to destroy such

a treasure?

Having sports field lighting on in early evening hours compromises the

observatory in several ways. First, young people would not be able to

attend observatory functions because they have to go to bed. The same

evening hours that kids would be playing sports are the ones where some

of them might also choose to stargaze instead. As for the general

public, even adults don't usually want to attend an observatory open

house or a star party late at night. In addition to weather constraints

(You can't predict the weather and you observe when you can.), some

astronomical phenomena might be visible only in the early evening. For

example, the planet Venus is setting about 10 p.m. right now. Or there

might be a lunar occultation (moon covers up a star) at 6 p.m. PST in

November. It the lights are on, observing is severely compromised.

We hope that the Bainbridge Island Park and Recreation District will

reject the proposal to put sports field lighting in Battle Point Park.

The Battle Point Observatory is an important resource for the community

and the region. Its mission and effectiveness should be protected.

Sincerely yours,

Janice DeCosmo

Director, Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Education

Julie Lutz

Associate Director, Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

Research Professor of Astronomy

Robert Winglee

Associate Director, Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium

Professor of Earth and Space Sciences

*Education message:  We proudly participate in Project AstroBio. More information on Project Astro is available from the University of Washington and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Volunteers Always Needed

Note from the President Emeritus, Mac Gardiner:

The Grand Opening, on the December (1997) solstice, marked the start of the transition of BPAA activities from an emphasis on construction, through a meld of the two, to an emphasis on operations.

This certainly doesn't mean that construction and development will cease.  Much more can and will be done to complete the initial phase of a working facility.  And that is just the start.  

It also doesn't mean that there haven't been useful, educational, and enjoyable operational activities to date.  Far from it.

However, now there is room and equipment available to start many operations for which many people have been waiting.  This provides opportunities for activities that are useful and enjoyable, and that will enable this amateur organization to mature. We have chosen to abstain from government grants and the like to ensure that we will not become dependent on them.  This means that we have to find a way to do that without using any paid positions. There are a few amateur astronomical organizations that have prospered for decades, operating in that mode, and they provide a fine example.

We simply must expand our organization structure to cover all these tasks, some of which are clerical, custodial, or routine, and also essential.  Further, this being an amateur organization, we have to accept the fact that those given responsibilities cannot always be available, and therefore backups must be available.  (It also means that there can be mobility in the assignments).

Don't worry if you have had no experience for the task.  All of us have taken on things that were completly unfamiliar at the start.  Learning is fun!

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