Seacoast Division President’s Message
March 30, 2021

 

 

Hello Model Railroaders,

With the Winter of 2021 officially behind us, it appears as though warmer weather has finally started to reach all of us, here in Northern New England. I hope that this has been a productive winter for each of you, as you work on various layout or modeling projects. My helix is actually starting to take shape as I begin to lay roadbed and track on the approach from the lower level of my layout into the helix. If you have a specific project that you have been working on, I would like to ask each of you to consider sharing a few pictures along with some words with us, on our Division web site, regarding your efforts.

It is certainly great news that the Covid19 vaccination efforts have swung into high gear. By now, I am thinking that most of you have been fully vaccinated or have secured appointments to have that done. If you haven’t done so, I would highly encourage you to get vaccinated.

Board of Directors Meeting

On April 6, 2021, the Seacoast Division Board of Directors will hold our next virtual meeting. As a reminder, Seacoast Division Board of Directors meetings are open to all Seacoast Division members. If you have an issue or item where you feel the need to address the Board of Directors, or if you just want to listen in to one of the BOD meetings, please contact me and I will send you the meeting information.

One of the items the Board will be discussing is when we can safely return to holding “in-person” Quarterly Events. If you have any thoughts or opinions about this subject, please contact me prior to the BOD meetings and I will be happy to share your opinions with the Board members.

NERx Convention

As most of you are aware by now, the NER will be hosting another NERx Virtual Convention. The convention will take place on April 10 & 11, 2021, from 2 to 6 pm and 7 to 11 pm eastern time on both days. There are some great clinics and layout tours that you can experience. The schedule of events is posted on our Division web site or you can go this direct link [http://www.nerx.org/index.html#events] to get the information. Please consider attending the NERx convention.

Seacoast Division Virtual Spring Event

The Seacoast Division Virtual Spring Event will take place on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Similar to our past virtual events, we will start at 10:00 am and hopefully finish by 12:00 pm. We have 2 great clinics to present to you, one from Joe Linquata on “Creating Rigid Foam Scenery”, and the other from Dave Emery on “Designing and Laying Out Scratch Built Structures.” There will also be a video tour of John Newick’s Central Maine and Aroostook N scale layout. Additionally, we will have a “What’s On Your Workbench” session where some of you will be showing us your recent modeling efforts.

I will send out the Zoom meeting information on the day before the Event. I will also plan a “practice” Zoom session meeting for either Wednesday or Thursday evening the week prior to the Event. These practice sessions are a great way to become familiar with the Zoom log-in procedures and also are a chance to see and catch up on the latest goings-on with your train buddies that you haven’t seen for a while. We have a lot of fun at these practice sessions! Please think about joining us!

Request

I sent this out to you in my previous President’s Message and I wanted to give this one more chance before I pull it. I received this email from a fellow model railroader:

I found your email address on the Seacoast Division NMRA website. I am based in Bedford, NH and have a large collection of model train magazines. It contains a few decades of Model Railroader and others. Do you know of anyone who might be interested in such a collection? Thank you.

If there is anyone interested in this gentleman’s magazine collection, please let me know and I will provide his email address to you. Thanks for your consideration.

Division Staff Openings

Our Division Webmaster would like to step down from his duties. If you are the type of person that is very tech savvy and would be interested in running and maintaining our Division website, if you have those skills, please contact me. Thank you!

I am very happy to report that Seacoast Division member Ken Moller has volunteered to join the Faulter Fund Committee. Thank you, Ken!


That’s all I have for you at this time. Please consider writing an article for our “Switch Tower” newsletter. All of our members would love to hear from any of you regarding your model railroading efforts or adventures. Please join us at the upcoming NERx Virtual Convention and our Spring Seacoast Division Zoom Event.

Best regards,

Tage Erickson
Seacoast Division President

 

Hello Model Railroaders!

 
Christmas and New Years are just around the corner and then it will be time for our January Winter Virtual Meeting.  I want to wish each of you a very happy Holiday Season.  For most of us, I think it will be very good to put this year in the rear view mirror.  It looks like 2021 will be a better time coming as our country begins the long inoculation process for Covid19.  Based on the latest information that I get from the news, I am thinking the earliest we might consider restarting the Division in-person Events will be for the October Fall Event.  If we feel it is safe enough to have the Summer Event, then we will do it then.
 
Presidents Report for 2020
 
2020 has certainly been an interesting year for most of us.  The Division started off very well with our Winter Event, held at the Westbrook Community Center in Westbrook, Maine on January 4, 2020.  But once the pandemic hit the world, around the middle of March, everything came to an abrupt halt.  We had to cancel our Spring and Summer Events, but we were able to have a Virtual Fall Event on Saturday, October 24, 2020.  And as mentioned above, our next Virtual Event will be on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 10:00 AM.
 
But in spite of the pandemic, the Division was functioning.  We managed to get the Chip Faulter Fund organized by getting the charter written and approved by the Board of Directors.  But the pandemic has effected the Faulter Fund by shutting down all of the organizations that the Fund would target for possible support.  It is hoped that these organizations will be back in business later this coming year, so that we can get busy with the business of the Fund.  The Division was also able to receive approval from the US Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  This will make it easier for the Division to receive or accept donations from other sources.
 
The Division Board of Directors was able to hold several Virtual Board meetings this year.  These meetings occurred on April 2, May 29, July 15, September 2, October 14, and November 10.  Seacoast Division Board of Directors meetings are open to all Seacoast Division members.  If you have an issue or item where you feel the need to address the Board of Directors, or if you just want to listen in to one of the BOD meetings, please contact me and I will send you the meeting information.  We don’t have a set published schedule for BOD meetings.  We try to have a BOD meeting during the week prior to each Virtual Event, but sometimes that doesn’t work for various reasons.  We also have meetings at other times, when deemed necessary.  The next BOD meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 5, 2021at 10:00 AM.  So please contact me if you need to attend a BOD meeting.
 
This year, we have been encouraging all of you to share your modeling projects with us by submitting them to our webmaster, Steve Russo, so they can be listed and shown on our website.  To those of you that have done so, thank you very much for your efforts and your support.  With most of us being cooped up this year, I am thinking there are many of you that have been working steadily on your layouts or a favorite modeling project.  Please consider doing a clinic or providing a short briefing for one of our Virtual Events.  If you can do that, please contact Glenn Mitchell and let him know about it, so he can get you included on the schedule. Sharing your work with others is one of the important things that you can do to promote our great hobby.
 
Due to the pandemic, all of the local Model Train Shows in Maine and New Hampshire were cancelled or postponed until further notice.  This will certainly carry over into year 2021.  There is no way to know when these gatherings will be restarted.  When they do resume, our Seacoast Division will support every show that we are able to.  Sadly, the annual January Train Show in Springfield, MA has been cancelled for 2021.  Without a doubt, I am looking forward to the day that I can report to you about our modeling endeavors, without having to reference something related to Covid19.
 
In spite of it all, our hobby continues.  I feel that our Division is very strong and is flourishing quite well in spite of the obstacles.  This Division and the entire NMRA is about the trains.  When we concentrate our efforts on that one thing, everything else seems to fall in place very well.  So I want to encourage each of you to keep working on your layouts and enjoying the many benefits of this great hobby and your membership in the NMRA.  Please think about sharing some of your efforts with the rest of us.
 
Our quarterly publication, The Switchtower, continues to get great reviews by all that read it, both inside and outside of the Division.  But our editor Geoff Anthony, is always looking for articles and pictures to publish.  These articles and pictures come from all of you, our members.  Please consider writing an article or sending a picture with captions and descriptions to Geoff Anthony.  Thank you!
 
2021 Elections
 
As you all should know by now, our 2021 election process is underway.  By this time, I was hoping to have more ballots submitted, then there is presently.  If you haven’t voted yet, please take the time to submit a ballot either by mail or by email.  It is important that we get as many members to participate as possible.  Regardless of the fact that we only have 3 candidates for the 3 positions, we think that this may be the best way for the Division to vote in all future elections.  So please show your support for this by sending the Division Secretary your voting ballot.  I have again, enclosed the voting procedures with this message.  All the ballots must be in the possession of the Division Secretary by Monday, January 4, 2021.  This message and the Division Voting Procedures will also be listed on the Division web site, seacoastnmra.org.   The election results will be announced at the Virtual Zoom meeting on January 9, 2021, and also published on the Division web site.
 
In closing, let me thank all of you for the continuous support that I get as your Division President.  It means a lot to me, because this is your organization.  Thank you!  Again, I want to wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season and I wish you all the happiest of New Years and a prosperous, productive and healthy 2021.
 
Best regards,
 
Tage Erickson
Seacoast Division President

Greetings Model Railroaders!

 
I wanted to get this out sooner, but there has been lots of other activity in my life, lately.  Please accept my apologies for this.  I hope you all have been busy with your modeling projects and/or layout construction during the pandemic.  It would be really nice if some of you would be interested in sharing your efforts with the members.  We are in desperate need for some articles in the next edition of the Switch Tower!  Please contact Geoff Anthony and/or Steve Russo if you have something that would be of interest to all the members.
 
To that end, It has become very clear that if we are to continue as a functioning organization, we will have to find better ways to do it, since we can’t meet in person.  Our Fall Event scheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2020, will be held virtually as a Zoom meeting.  Glenn Mitchell will be sending out the information regarding that.  I will be following that up with more communication just prior to the meeting.  I am assuming that some of you are familiar with Zoom meetings.  I know that there are those that are not familiar with Zoom.  We will have some time during the week prior to the Meeting for you to practice with the Zoom software.  So stay tuned for that!
 
Our next election, normally scheduled for our annual meeting held in January, will be done via email this year.  There will be more information about that coming soon.  Please be patient with me on this.  I will get the information to you!
 
We also have a requirement to provide one clinician and one layout tour, done virtually, to the NER for inclusion in the program for the 2020 NER Convention which will take place virtually from December 1 through December 4, 2020.  In order to accomplish this, I am hoping that there is one of our members that owns or has access to a video camera that you would be willing to let us use for this purpose.  We have a member that has volunteered the use of his layout for this purpose.  All we need is a video camera and someone that can operate it.  If anyone can help us with this, please contact me immediately.  Thank you!
 
That’s it for now.  I will be sending out separate messages for the Faulter Fund, the Zoom meeting procedures, and again for Election procedures in the coming weeks.
 
My best regards to you all,
 
Tage Erickson
Seacoast Division President

Hello Seacoast Division Members,

 
I hope this message finds all of you doing well, in spite of the startling increase in coronavirus cases that is sweeping our country.  It’s time to update you and pass along the Voting Procedures, so that we can all vote in the Division election.  But before we get on to the business of voting, I want to say a few things about where we are as a Division with respect to Covid19.
 
On Saturday, October 24th, the Seacoast Division held our first ever virtual Zoom meeting.  By all accounts, the meeting was a great success.  Tom Oxnard and Bob Kotsonis provided 2 terrific clinics and several of our members provided brief show & tell presentations that were also really great.  We had about 25 members participate, including some of our members that were living out of State, and also our NMRA President, Pete Magoun was in attendance.  In my opinion, virtual meetings are the way of the future.
 
The Board of Directors has thoroughly discussed the issue of when we can resume in-person quarterly events and has reached the conclusion that we cannot do that at this time.  Also, the Seacoast Division will not be sponsoring any other in-person meetings of members or non-members.  In spite of the recent announcement by 2 pharmaceutical companies that a vaccine approval is imminent, it will likely be another 6 to 8 months before that is widely available.  It is simply not safe to have in-person meetings.  Therefore, we will be conducting virtual Zoom meetings in place of our quarterly events, until further notice.  This is the safest thing to do under these circumstances.
 
So I would like to strongly encourage every member to consider joining us at a Virtual Event.  Our next Virtual Event is planned for Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 10:00 am.  Please make an effort to be a part of this Event.  You’ll be very glad that you did!
 
Voting Procedures
 
 
The election process starts now.  The voting procedures for the election are enclosed.  We need each of you to please take the time to open the enclosed document and read it very thoroughly.  There are two ways to vote, by mail and by e-mail.  Please follow the instructions carefully.  We would like everyone to have the opportunity to vote.  Yes, I know there are only 3 candidates for the 3 positions on the Board of Directors, and this seems like a waste of effort.  I can assure you, it is not.  Please review the bios for the 3 candidates and vote accordingly.  If there is another Division member that you would like to vote for, please enter that person’s name on your ballot.  All the ballots must be in the possession of the Division Secretary by Monday, January 4, 2021.
 
This message and the Division Voting Procedures will also be listed on the Division web site, seacoastnmra.org.   The election results will be announced at the Virtual Zoom meeting on January 9, 2021, and also published on the Division web site.
 
In closing, l just wanted to say that it has been a pleasure to have had the opportunity to be your Division President for the past 2 1/2 years.  I will be requesting the Division Board of Directors to approve my application for another 1 year term as your Division President.
 
Thank you!  I hope to see all of you at our next Virtual Zoom meeting on January 9, 2021.  I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!
 
Best regards,
 
Tage Erickson
Seacoast Division President