Eastside Astronomical Society: promoting interest in astronomy to Seattle's eastside community
was installed in 1974, the government grant dried up and there was no money left over for other needed equipment. Items such as special effects projectors, a sound mixing panel, a reel-to-reel tape recorder, and a lot of bare necessities such as work lights for the back of the dome, dimmer switches, slides, slide carousels, and the electronic wiring for all of it were needed, so the real work of "The Friends" began. The charter was to promote the BCC planetarium by assisting financially in its operation, maintenance and improvement. Members began donating their time in assisting the science staff by putting on public planetarium shows in order to get enough for all those items needed by new planetariums. "The Friends" gave BCC $2,800 in 1975 for use in the planetarium.
Eventually, large and small telescopes (6-inch and 8-inch Schmidt Cassegrains) and two 13.1-inch Dobsonian "Odyssey 1" telescopes would be purchased for use at star parties and by the astronomy class instructors. Money was set aside for a classic 14-incher with the idea of expanding upward to build an observatory. The director of plant operations at BCC agreed that the plan was sound and that specifications were agreeable to the original architect. A check for $4,400 was given to the college for purchase of the 14-inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope, but an observatory did not materialize for more than twenty years, even though the president of the college at the time, Dr. Thomas O’Connell, had assured "The Friends", in a letter, that BCC was moving to acquire the necessary funding for a dome to house the telescope. Others at the college in those days (1978) did not share the vision of Dr. O’Connell and "The Friends".
The original directors of "Friends of the Planetarium" in 1973 were Dr. Willard Geer, Lois Watson, Joie Soper, V. Robert Baker, Morris Weatherford and Everett Reagan. By 1974, the first officers were Dr. Johan Telkamp (pres.), Dr. Eckart Schmidt (vice-pres.), Everett Nelson (treas.) and Judy Mason (sect.). Instructor Jim Rostirolla soon became the science division’s planetarium director. However, BCC didn't have the funds to cover his salary, so it was agreed that money donated by "The Friends" could be used to pay him.
- Eastside Astronomical Society
- Bellevue WA
- United States 98008