Hello Model Railroaders,

 

It has been a while since I sent a message out to you and I hope that you all are healthy and doing well.  This year 2020 is turning into something that no one could have predicted.  The civil unrest is a real tragedy, and like the coronavirus, it will leave our country scarred and have a profound effect on our future.  Here in the middle of the woods of Maine, life goes on as it always does each Spring.  I hope you all are enjoying the Spring weather as much as I am.  While I haven’t been working as much on the layout, I have been getting a lot of work done around the house and property.  Hopefully, there will be time for a round of golf this week. 

The Seacoast Division Board of Directors met via a Zoom meeting this past Friday, May 29, 2020.  The minutes from that meeting should be posted on the web site within the next week or so.  There were several main topics of discussion that I need to go over with all of you.

 

Upcoming 2020 Seacoast Division Events

 

The Board has decided to cancel the 2020 Summer Event which was scheduled to be held on July 25th at the Great Falls Model Railroad Club.  We felt this was necessary due to the continuing uncertainty regarding the Coronavirus pandemic.  Given the average age of our membership, we felt it was still too risky to try and run an Event with all the State mandated social distancing requirements that the GFMRC would have to comply with in order to host us.  We also felt that many of you would not want to take a chance on attending, given all the risk factors.  Personally, I would be devastated if any of you contracted this virus because you were exposed to someone at one of our Events.   

There are still way too many unknowns about this virus, and the course of action that the country has chosen to deal with it, has not generated a lot of confidence in people.  I know there are some very smart people that are working very hard to develop a vaccine that will work.  Until this happens, I think it will be a while before we all are comfortable getting back to something close to a normal lifestyle. 

So we will now focus our efforts on the Fall Event which is scheduled to take place in Stratham, NH on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 10:00 AM.  This is all predicated on what the requirements of the Town of Stratham, and the State of New Hampshire will be, in order for us to conduct the Event at the Stratham Fire House.  We need presenters to put on 3 to 4 clinics at this event, so if you have any ideas, please contact Glenn Mitchell and let him know.

 

Upcoming 2021 Election Procedures

 

This is the time of year when we have to start making plans for our elections for calendar year 2021.  Each year, the Division members elect/re-elect 3 members to the Board of Directors, normally done at the Winter Meeting in early January.  In the next several weeks, we need to organize a Nominating Committee that is composed of 2 to 3 members who will be responsible for soliciting our membership for anyone that is interested in being a Board member.  If you would like to help the Division and be a member of the Nominating committee, please contact me. 

We will also be temporarily modifying our normal voting procedures by using email balloting and absentee balloting, in addition to our normal voting in person at the January membership meeting.  The new procedures will allow all Division members to vote in the election, and will allow those members who will not feel comfortable attending the meeting due to Coronavirus concerns, the opportunity to vote in the election.   

This procedure will be done on a trial basis for this year only.  If it works well and we get support for it from our members, then the Board will consider making a change in the By-Laws that would make the new election procedures permanent.  The exact details of these new temporary election procedures will be published via a separate email after the Board of Directors has approved them.  The next Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for July 15, 2020.

 

2020 NER Convention “Mill City”

 

The 2020 NER Convention “Mill City” is still scheduled to happen over the Columbus Day weekend in October in Westford, MA.  The details can be found on the NER web site nernmra.org or the convention web site http://www.millcity2020.org.  This convention has not been canceled.  I am hopeful that there will be reasonable procedures in place that will allow the convention to happen.  As you all know, these regional conventions rely heavily on clinics, layout tours and operating sessions to provide interesting activities.  Let’s hope the convention organizers can come up with a way that these events can continue so that we all feel safe about attending them.  

 

NMRA President’s Award

 

It is my distinct pleasure and an honor to announce that Rich Breton has been awarded the 2020 Northeastern Region NMRA President’s Award.  This is a very prestigious award that is presented to a member in each NMRA Region that has devoted many years of dedicated service to the Region, the local Division and the hobby, and otherwise has never been recognized for his/her efforts.  Rich has been an NMRA and Division member for over 36 years.  During that time, he has served on many committees, authored a countless number of outstanding clinics, and served as a Division Board member and Division President for 6 years.  He is a tremendous person and a very outstanding modeler.  He has reached out to members in need and provides support to other organizations such as the Heritage Park Railroad Museum in Union, NH. 

Each Division in the NER was asked to nominate a person to received this award.  Rich was chosen ahead of some very well respected individuals in our region.  We are very fortunate to have Rich as member of the Seacoast Division.  Rich is scheduled to received this award at the evening banquet of the NER Convention.  Pete Magoun, our NMRA President is planning to be there to present the award to Rich.  I hope that as many of you as possible can attend the convention and be there to support Rich at the banquet ceremony.

 

Chip Faulter Fund

 

The assets of the Chip Faulter Fund have now reached just slightly over $10,000.00.  Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, there has been no effort to reach out to other organizations that may have eligible candidates that can receive support from the Fund.  As restrictions from the Coronavirus pandemic ease, I expect that there will be increased activity for the Fund.  However it may take some time for this to develop.   

In my last message to you all, I asked for volunteers that would be willing to join the Faulter Fund Operating Committee.  To date, I have received a response from only one (1) person that has volunteered.  We still need at least 2 more members to join the Operating Committee.  Please consider helping us with this worthy endeavor.   

Also, the IRS is still considering the Division’s request for IRS 501(c)(3) status.  To date, I have received 2 requests for clarification from the IRS and have spoken with the IRS person who is making the judgment.  It has been 6 months since I submitted the application and we still have no resolution.  More to follow on this, I hope.

 

Workbench Projects

 

During this pandemic, if you have been working on a particular project on your layout and would like to share your efforts with us, please send a few photos and a brief description to our webmaster, Steve Russo at .  Steve will put these on our Division website so that all of us can see what you have been up to. 

 

So that’s it for now!  Please remember that we need some help from you for the Nominating Committee and the Faulter Fund Operating Committee.  Please consider volunteering for one of these committees.

 

Stay safe and healthy and I will update you all in another month or so.  Thank you!

 

Best regards,

 

Tage Erickson

Seacoast Division President

 

PS: Here is a photo of my latest loco project.  This is a Stewart C630 chassis that I bought very used and added a Bowser Reading shell and did a CR patch and weathering job to.  I installed a TCS 1533 WOW Sound decoder and Keep-Alive.  It runs and sounds great!