SMD NMRA January 12 Meeting Reminder

Alex Polimeni, superintendent (2017-2020), NMRA South Mountain Division. (Tom Fedor)

Happy New Year, everyone!

With the hope that you’ve all had a Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season, I’d like to extend an invitation to our January meeting at Richard Benjamin’s Hobbytown USA location in Frederick, MD. Doors will be open by 2PM, with the business meeting to follow. Hobbytown’s address is …

454 Prospect Blvd., Frederick, MD 21701

In lieu of our typical home layout tour, SMD has been invited to visit the Frederick County Society of Model Engineers club car! Their doors will open at noon. If you have time, leave home a little earlier and come see what they’ve been working on! The FCSME club car is at …

423 East Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21701

As always, if you need to catch up on last months meeting- I know I did, since I missed it!- you will find meeting minutes HERE.

In other news, the deadline for the Spring Wheel Report is fast approaching on Feb. 15th! Share with us what you’ve been working on this winter, or even what projects you’re planning for this coming year. 

April’s Mini-Con is also coming up, so if you’re signed up to give an informal clinic- or even a formal clinic, like I’m doing- absolutely don’t do like me and wait until the last minute to prepare it! April may seem months away but is, in fact, functionally tomorrow.

Speaking of the Mini-Con, I’ve only just now realized an error made it into the Winter Wheel Report; the Mini-Con will be held Saturday, April 18th, not April 20th. How did I notice this? By looking up the date so I could refer an interested friend who needs to apply for leave at work in advance, of course! Do make sure to invite your friends, relatives, coworkers, *their* friends, relatives, coworkers…

Here’s to another great year for the South Mountain Division!

Alex Polimeni, Superintendent 

SMD Draft Meeting Minutes – December 8, 2019

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

Division members met at Bob Morningstar’s home near Greencastle, PA.  10 were present.  After viewing the host’s layout and socializing, Assistant Superintendant Jerry Skeim called the business meeting to order (in the Superintendant’s absence).

19.12-1 Paymaster’s Report:  Paymaster Ray Price reported that the Division has $4115.08 in its bank account, the same as in November.

19.12-2 Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes): 

– The Clerk summarized the revised draft minutes for the October meeting.  Item #18.10-5, revised with the assistance of Tom Fedor (webmaster), should read as follows:  “Web Site:  Tom Fedor, Wheel Report editor, reported that SMD member Richard Benjamin (owner of Hobby Town USA, Frederick) supports the Division by covering the cost of domain registration and annual renewals, which are currently paid through FY2020.  Richard’s business and personal web hosting service now hosts SMD’s domain.  While the web site is up, its main content (the blog for Division news and features) has not yet been re-created on Richard’s server.  Tom and Richard are working to re-establish the blog.”  Pete Clarke made the following motion (second by Ray Price):

Motion:  That the draft Minutes for the October 2019 meeting be approved as revised.  The motion passed unanimously.

  • The Clerk summarized the revised draft minutes for the November meeting (previously distributed by e-mail).    Ron Polimeni made the following motion (second by Pete Clarke):

Motion:  That the draft Minutes for the November 2019 meeting be approved as submitted.  The motion passed unanimously.

Comment:  Per the winter Wheel Report, the January meeting will include a layout tour of the Frederick County Society of Model Engineers’ layout followed by a formal meeting at HobbyTown USA, Frederick store (not the Airport per the minutes).

Old Business:

19.9-7 2020 Mini-Con will be April 18, 2020:  In addition to the description he wrote for the Winter Wheel Report, Chair Pete Clarke reported the following.

a. Informal Clinics:  3 or 4 slots remain to be filled.

d. Formal Clinics:  Three have been lined up.

1) MER – short presentation for the fall regional convention in Charlotte, NC.,

2) Alex Polimeni – Model railroading [operations] as game design, and

3) Lee Rainey – Shortline operating patterns:  What to consider when designing a schedule.

Pete requested that SMD members in attendance please move to the front of the audience for the formal clinics for the presenters’ convenience and to make more of an audience.

19.10-6 White Elephant Table:  (This item, previously covered under the Mini-Con minute, will now be considered under its own entry because of the SMD’s October 2019 decision not to sponsor a Division table at the Mini-Con.)  Frank Benenati, who has been looking into possibilities for the SMD, reported these alternatives:  a good show at Westminster – Lion’s Club ($22 per table), Brunswick Train Days ($20-$25 per table), the Hagerstown Model Railroad Club shows (in November & February), and the Mont Alto show (inexpensive tables but more of a garage sale).  Frank continued his report with some logistics.  The SMD would need a central place to receive items to be sold, a written record must be kept, and stickers will be needed for pricing. It was discussed that it would be best if members with items being sold be present at the show and that there be an agreement what to do with unsold items.

The discussion pointed out the possibility of attracting more members for the NMRA if the SMD is present at these events.  Bob Morningstar will investigate if the NMRA can assist in acquiring a banner to advertise the table.

New Business:

19.12-3 Host Bob Morningstar welcomed everyone to his HO Western Maryland layout.

19.12-5 Achievement Program:  AP Chair Jane Clarke reported that both Bob Morningstar’s Electrical Engineer certificate and Dave Thalman’s Gold Spike Award have been submitted for NMRA action.

19.12-6 Candidates for Superintendant:  Alex Polimeni has indicated he will not be able to run for re-election because of the many other things happening in his life (especially getting married).  Those interested in the office are encouraged to put themselves forward and are reminded of the AP credits possible.

19.12-7 Region Newsletter Editor:  Bob Morningstar reported the position is open and suggested anyone interested contact the MER.

Adjournment:

The Assistant Superintendant accepted a motion to adjourn.  The next meeting on January 12, 2020 will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the HobbyTown USA, Frederick store following a layout tour of the Frederick County Society of Model Engineers’ layout (from 12 – 2p.m.).

Following the meeting, host Bob Morningstar presented a clinic on soldering.  He stressed using the right equipment (to achieve the right heat level), the right solder, the right rosin flux (not acid based), good contact between the parts to be soldered, and keeping the iron clean.  (Metal kitchen pot scouring pads are a good choice for the latter.)

SMD NMRA meeting reminder

POLIMENI
Alex Polimeni, superintendent

With the holidays upon us, I’d like to invite everyone to take a break from the pressures of Christmas cheer and join the South Mountain Division for our December membership meeting at Bob Morningstar’s home this coming Sunday, Dec. 8th. 

Set in 1983 and featuring completed scenery, Bob models the Western Maryland Railway in HO scale. Doors open at 2PM for the layout tour, with the meeting and a clinic on soldering to promptly follow. Division members will find the street address in your winter Wheel Report. You may also contact me for Bob’s Address at southmountaindiv@gmail.com.

Bob asks that folks park either in the driveway or along the side of the road; the driveway should accommodate about 10 cars if everyone parks close enough. Minutes from the last meeting can be read here.

In other news, I’m afraid I won’t be able to make this month’s meeting as my fiance and I will be out of town attending a convention in Chicago. In my stead, I’ve asked assistant super Jerry Skeim to preside; go easy on him, huh?

Customarily, this is where I’d say I hope to see you all soon, but considering that I won’t have the chance until next month, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy new year! May the holidays bring you joy, and Santa, the toy trains you asked for…

Alex Polimeni, Superintendent

November 10 meeting minutes

Submitted by Harvey Heyser, Clerk

South Mountain Division Mid-Eastern Region – National Model Railroad Association

Draft Meeting Minutes – November 10, 2019

Division members met at Dave Thalman’s home near Winchester, VA.  8 were present.  After viewing the host’s layout and socializing, Superintendent Alex Polimeni called the business meeting to order.

19.11-1 Paymaster’s Report:  Paymaster Ray Price reported that the Division has $4115.08 in its bank account, the same as in October.  The Paymaster expects up-coming expenses for the Wheel Report and for Mini-Con 2020 preparations:  raffle and concessions.

19.11-2 Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes):  The Clerk summarized the draft minutes for the October meeting.  Because there was confusion about the minute related to the web site, the Clerk requested that approval of the minutes be delayed.  Those present agreed.

Old Business:

18.10-5 Web Site:  Tom Fedor is now the Webmaster.

19.9-7 2020 Mini-Con will be April 18, 2020:  There was minimal discussion in Chair Pete Clarke’s absence.

b. Food:  Members brought up the need to have bottled water for attendees.

19.9-9 Bob Law’s Open House was very successful.

New Business:

19.11-3 Host Dave Thalman welcomed everyone to his HO layout.  Tracks around the two 4 track helixes were operating smoothly.

19.11-4 Future Meeting for January 2020:  The Frederick Airport was suggested as a possible location for the meeting with, perhaps, a visit to the Frederick Society layout close-by.  Arrangements for using the Airport facilities can be made at the last minute.  There will be a charge for drinks.

19.11-5 Visitor:  Bob Hiller, N scaler and high-rail collector, introduced himself to the SMD, and members provided information about the NMRA.

19.11-6 Winchester MRRC:  Andy Arnold reported the Club has demolished and removed its layout but is finding that alternative locations are very costly.

19.11-7 SMD member Bob Morningstar has been elected MER Director.

Adjournment:  The Chair accepted a motion to adjourn.  The next meeting will be held at Bob Morningstar’s home near Greencastle, PA on December 8,2019.  Assistant Superintendent Jerry Skeim will preside in the Superintendent’s absence.

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

Following the meeting, host Dave Thalman presented a clinic about weathering with washes, Pan Pastels, and acrylics.  He stressed doing weathering in the same light as on the layout.

October SMD Meeting Change Notice

The SMD monthly business meeting, previously scheduled for Sunday, 13 Oct., has been moved to 20 Oct., due to a conflict with the MER’s annual convention, The Liberty Bell Special.

The meeting time and host have not changed. Member, John Madden will welcome us to his residence in Mount Airy, MD from 2-5 PM, now on 20 October. For the street address please contact the Division at SouthMountainDiv@gmail.com.

Clutter from the Super’s Desk

Alex Polimeni, superintendent (2017-2020), NMRA South Mountain Division. (Tom Fedor)

And we’re back!

I hope everyone’s had a terrific summer, and I’d like to invite you all to join the South Mountain Division at Jeff Grove’s home outside of Hagerstown, MD this coming Sunday, September 15. Doors open 2PM for a layout tour, with the business meeting and a clinic to follow.  Please email southmountaindiv@gmail.com if you need Jeff’s street address.

Jeff says you’re free to enter the basement through the side door, and asks only that folks be considerate and don’t block his neighbor’s driveways.  As always, you can catch up on last May’s meeting courtesy of our Clerk’s impeccably edited minutes, in this previous post http://smdnmra.org/blog/2019/09/14/draft-meeting-minutes-may-19-2019/.

In other news, now is the perfect time to get family and friends involved in the hobby with an NMRA Railpass! This discounted trial membership runs for 9 months- or, exactly the duration of the SMD season. Short of that, don’t hesitate to simply bring along a guest who might be interested in what we’re all about, either.

On that note, I’d invite everyone to check out AP Chair Jane Clarke’s article in the fall Wheel Report and on the SMD Blog regarding improving your modeling with the Achievement Program- something I’m hoping to get in on myself this winter.

Hope to see you all soon,

Alex Polimeni, Superintendent, Div 10

Draft Meeting Minutes – May 19, 2019

South Mountain Division

Mid-East Region – National Model Railroad Association

Draft Meeting Minutes – May 19, 2019

There was no SMD business meeting in April because the Division hosted its annual Mini-Con.

Division members met at Bill Wilson’s home in Mt. Airy, MD.  17 or so were present.  After viewing the host’s layout and socializing, Superintendant Alex Polimeni called the business meeting to order.

19.5-1 Paymaster’s Report:  Paymaster Ray Price reported that the Division has $4357.47 in its bank account including the proceeds from the 2019 Mini-Con and the white elephant sale held at that event.  The Paymaster reported that expenses for the Mini-Con have been reimbursed.

19.5-2 Clerk’s Report (Meeting Minutes):  Clerk Harvey Heyser summarized the draft minutes (previously distributed by e-mail).  Bob Johnson made the following motion (seconded by Brian Greenawalt):

Motion:  That the draft Minutes for the March 2019 meeting be approved as submitted.  The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business:

18.10-4 2019 Mini-Con Recap:  In the absence of Chair Pete Clarke, the Superintendant thanked all who participated and reported the following.  232 attended – the most ever.  The raffle produced $220 in proceeds; the white elephant table produced $133 in proceeds.  Expenses for the SMD of $28 resulted in the Division bank account balance increasing by approximately $325.  Brian Wolfe and Pete Clarke have expressed their interest in doing another Mini-Con in 2020.

Reimbursing Mainline Hobbies for their expenses in renting the Fire Hall and publicizing the event:  There was a discussion of what to do with the proceeds.  Last year, the SMD bought a page in Mainline’s fall layout tour book.  Since the white elephant table was more successful than anticipated, concern was expressed that sales at the Mini-Con might detract from Mainline’s business.  It was suggested that the SMD take a table at a local train show instead of having the white elephant table at the Mini-Con.  It was noted that some people who placed items on the table intended some or all of the proceeds to be donated to the Division.  The discussion concluded with a consensus to get Mainline involved in the decision of what to do with the proceeds and whether to continue to have the white elephant table.

Harvey Heyser made the following motion (seconded by Tom Fedor):

Motion:  That the SMD take out a page in the Mainline fall layout tour book.

Bob Johnson proposed the following amendment:  That the discussion of profits be tabled until a future meeting.

As the amendment was acceptable to those proposing the motion, the following amended motion was discussed and voted on:

Amended Motion:  That the SMD take out a page in the Mainline fall layout tour book and that the discussion of profits be tabled until a future meeting.  The motion passed unanimously.

Before the vote, the Superintendant clarified that neither the amount nor the source of the funds (raffle or white elephant proceeds) was specified by the motion.  The Superintendant will coordinate with Pete Clarke.

19.3-4 E-mails to Members:  Superintendant Polimeni reported continuing difficulties reaching addresses from the Division’s G-mail accounts.  People can communicate with the Division, but we cannot send out e-mails to multiple addresses.  (The SMD is considered “junk mail.”)  There may be a way to fix the situation.  The Superintendant will continue trying. 

New Business:

19.5-3 Host Bill Wilson welcomed everyone to his freelanced HO 1950’s B & O layout.

19.5-4 Election of Officers:  The Superintendant distributed a statement regarding the election of officers (prepared with reference to the by-laws and with input from Tom Fedor).  Those present reviewed and discussed the statement.  It was noted that Nominations Chair Scott Schill was no longer an NMRA member, but he had indicated to the Superintendant that he had received no nominations other than for the current officers.  The current officers took responsibility for not more closely following the by-law provisions.  Postponing the election until a special meeting in June was discussed

Bob Johnson made the following motion (seconded by Jeff Adams):

Motion:  That the SMD temporarily suspend pertinent sections of the by-laws and proceed with the election.  The motion was passed unanimously with 2 abstentions (Paymaster and Clerk – conflict of interest) and with the Superintendant not voting (per Robert’s Rules of Order).

The Superintendant called for nominations from the floor.  There were none.  Dave Thalman made the following motion (seconded by Don Florwick):

Motion:  That the nominations for election of officers for the 2019-2020 year be closed.  The motion was passed unanimously with 2 abstentions (Paymaster and Clerk – conflict of interest) and with the Superintendant not voting (per Robert’s Rules of Order).

Don Florwick made the following motion (seconded by Brian Greenawalt):

Motion to cast a unanimous ballot for re-election of the current officers.  The motion was passed unanimously with 2 abstentions (Paymaster and Clerk) and with the Superintendant not voting (per Robert’s Rules of Order).

There was discussion of the need for Division members to share the load and to be willing to take elected positions.  It was also noted that the Superintendant relies on his (appointed) Advisory Committee – all members with experience as elected officers.

19.5-5 Reading Railroad Prototype Modelers Meet, September 13-15, 2019:  Flyers provided to the Division were passed out.  Information is available at www.ReadingRRMM.com.

19.5-6 SMD Yahoo group:  Since current moderator Andy Dodge has left the Division, Tom Fedor will take over that position.

19.5-7 Year end review and future plans:  The Superintendant reported the Division is active and the Mini-Con is very much appreciated not only by area modelers but also by the MER.  He still has things he has not accomplished especially related to digital exposure for the Division and to the achievement program.

19.5-8 Recruiting new NMRA and SMD members:  The need to reach out to Mini-Con attendees was brought up.  Also brought up was the desire to reach out to local clubs and museums.  Problems with the G-mail account (item #19.3-4 above) have hampered efforts to reach out by e-mail.

19.5-9 Frederick Model Railroad Club:  Tom Fedor reported the Club may have to move their 80 ft baggage car.  The land owner is contemplating sale of the property in the next couple of years.  Any ideas or leads will be appreciated.

19.5-10 Future meeting site:  Jeff Adams indicated the Western Maryland Ry. Historical society would be interested in hosting an SMD meeting.

Adjournment:  The Chair accepted a motion to adjourn.  Notice of the fall meetings will be communicated to the members.

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

Following the meeting, member Bob Geldmacher, who works in association with Scenic Express, gave an extensive and detailed review and demonstration of scenery products currently available.  Not only did he have numerous samples for viewing, but he also demonstrated how those samples are applied.