ALERT – MER email SCAM

Mid-Eastern Region

By Kurt Thompson, MMR, President, Mid-Eastern Region, NMRA, Inc.

November 10, 2020

My fellow Mid-Eastern Region members:

It is November and we are approaching the holiday season which is a time of happiness and celebration and gift-giving. Sadly, someone is practicing to be the Grinch and is trading on the good name of the Mid-Eastern Region and me, as your President.

The MER has been struck by a scamming artist. The person has taken all the email addresses on the MER website and then masquerading as me, asked almost all the MER staff and the Division Superintendents to buy gift cards in support of a charitable cause. The culprit makes it sound very convincing. So much so that several members have called me and others have emailed me to verify the email as spam.

I will not forward the email here. Suffice to say, the closing salutation is incorrect and doesn’t carry my usual ending. Also the reply email address is not my official email address at all. When in doubt, let your mouse hover over the email address and look at the actual return address. It should be president@mer-nmra.com. If it’s not from the email address, it is not from me!!!

As President of the MER, I will never ask you to purchase gift cards or donate money to a cause, other than your donation to the MER itself. The MER is a 501(c)3 organization which means we can accept donations and they can be treated as a tax benefit to the donor. The MER does not make donations outside the organization.

The MER will take measures to strengthen the security of information on the website. 

If you ever receive an email purportedly from me as the President of the Mid-Eastern Region that asks you to purchase and mail gift cards, please stop and consider the nature of the request. It will be fraudulent. If you still question or feel that there may be some truth to the request in the email, feel free to call me on my cell phone which is listed on the MER webpage and in the NMRA Magazine.

If I don’t answer the phone call immediately, please leave me a message and DO NOT make any purchases based on the email. I will call you back within 24 hours. No purchase has to be made in haste that waiting 24 hours will cause the world to fail.

Wishing you a happy holiday season. May you and yours enjoy it.

Mount Clare Junction Update

THE 2021 NMRA MID-EASTERN REGION MODEL RAILROAD CONVENTION

The first monthly Mount Clare Junction newsletter has been released. Visit mtclarejct.com for more details and to sign up for future announcements.

The Mount Clare Junction team is interested in hearing from you. Click here to send us a message and let us know what you want to see and learn during the event.

Stay safe. Wear a mask. Socially distance.

Together we can be together in 2021.

[Post adapted from the MtClareJct.com newsletter. -ed]

MER Annual Group Meeting

My fellow MER members:

I would like to invite you to the MER Annual Group Meeting. Due to the pandemic, this meeting will be held virtually. The meeting will begin at 7 PM, Saturday, October 10, 2020. It will be held using the Zoom meeting service.

Links to both the Annual Group Meeting and the MER Board of Directors meeting are listed below. The MER Board of Directors meeting will be held on Thursday, October 8th at 7 PM.

Also there is a general service note for you to follow to install and use Zoom. This document was prepared for you by our Webmaster, Jeff Burch.

If you are not familiar with using Zoom, please do not wait until meeting time to attempt to use and install it. Jeff and I will open the meeting up between 6:30 and 6:45 PM Saturday evening.

I look forward to having as many of you attend as possible. This time the meeting is available virtually which means you don’t have to leave home to attend.

Kurt Thompson, MMR
President, Mid-Eastern Region, NMRA, Inc.

Detailed instructions regarding the MER-NMRA Board of Directors Meeting, please read if you plan to attend virtually.  http://mer-nmra.com/bod.html

Detailed instructions regarding the MER-NMRA Annual Group Meeting, please read if you plan to attend virtually.  http://mer-nmra.com/agm.html

Detailed instructions regarding the use of Zoom, please read if you plan to attend virtually.  http://mer-nmra.com/pdfs/mer_zoom_handbook.pdf

Invitation; Annual 2020 NMRA (Virtual) Meeting

By Kurt Thompson, MMR®

President MER/NMRA

Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic there will not be a National Convention this year. Because of this the required NMRA 2020 Annual Meeting of members also cannot be held. A virtual meeting will be held as per the following reminder I received from Bob Weinheimer, MMR® the NMRA Regional Advisory Council (RAC) Director.

I encourage all that are interested to either participate or submit questions as directed below.

Region Presidents,

This is a reminder that the subject meeting will take place starting at 3 PM EDT Sunday September 13.  This is the event required by Ohio law and normally conducted one evening at the national convention.  As that wasn’t possible this year, this will be a virtual event.

To participate please send a note to John Stevens, Vice President for Administration at vpadmin@nmra.org by September 4.  If you wish to submit a question to President Pete Magoun MMR® please send the question to Rick Coble, NMRA Secretary, at secy@nmra.org by September 4. 

Please feel free to distribute this to members in your Region.

Bob Weinheimer MMR®

NMRA RAC Director

SMD Draft Meeting Minutes – August 28, 2020

Minutes submitted by Clerk Harvey Heyser

This meeting was scheduled as a test zoom call, but during the test, participants realized that some South Mountain Division business had to be conducted in order to make Division membership meetings possible in the fall of 2020. The following minutes record actions taken in regard to the business discussed.

Participants: Alex Polimeni – Superintendent, Ray Price – Paymaster, Harvey Heyser – Clerk, Jerry Skeim – Assistant Superintendent, and Bob Morningstar, Mid East Region Director and technical advisor for the test zoom call.

Prior to the discussion of business, Bob Morningstar shared his extensive experience with zoom technology and participation in many zoom meetings with varying levels of security required. He shared his knowledge of zoom’s capabilities and features.

Items Discussed: (in rough order discussed)

1. Zoom License: Discussion of the need for a remote/distanced meeting format during the pandemic indicated there is a need for the SMD to obtain it own zoom license. The anticipated cost will be in the area of $150. Paymaster Price indicated that the Division’s bank balance is roughly $3900. Harvey Heyser made the following motion (second by Jerry Skeim):

Motion: That the Division obtain a zoom license for a cost in the neighborhood of $150.  The motion passed by a unanimous vote of the Division officers present.

Discussion following the motion led to a decision that the Superintendent in office will host and run zoom meetings.

2. Future Meetings: It was decided to try to maintain the customary meeting schedule (second Sunday of the month – September to May – 2 pm.) with the usual adjustments for the Mini-Con and Mother’s day.

3. Election (postponed because of the pandemic): Every effort will be made to hold the election for 2020-21 officers at the September remote meeting.All current candidates were present and participated; none made an objection. Members will be notified by immediate (8-29-20 date – two weeks before the date of the regular meeting) e-mail for those, whose electronic address the SMD has, or by USPS for those SMD does not have an electronic address. Superintendent Polimeni will handle the notification. The Wheel Report will also have a notice, but Editor Tom Fedor is currently busy enough with work that he may not be able to get the newsletter out immediately.

Proxy votes will be sent to the Nomination Chair Ron Polimeni and forwarded to the Clerk for casting.

4. Election process (at meeting): Superintendent Polimeni will preside over this portion of the meeting. 

First, a Division member needs to make a motion to waive the requirement for an in-person meeting because of the pandemic.

Second, Superintendent Polimeni will ask if there are any nominations from the floor.

Third, (if there are no nominations from the floor) a Division member needs to make a motion to elect the slate of nominees by acclimation. Otherwise, Superintendent Polimeni will call a vote.  The Clerk will vote all proxies and tally the votes.

Fourth, the newly elected Superintendent will preside over the remainder of the meeting (although turning over the zoom hosting capability may have to wait until the October meeting).

That concluded the Division business conducted during the test zoom call.

During subsequent discussion of the logistics of remote zoom meetings, Director Morningstar recommended holding at least one pre-meeting zoom test call for the members. He volunteered to run the test call(s). That will give technically challenged members an opportunity to get familiar with the technology. Director Morningstar also recommended starting regular meetings 1/2 hour before scheduled to allow everyone to get connected before business starts (especially for the first remote meeting). Once admitted to the zoom session, members can step away for a few minutes until the actual meeting start time.

Zoom Test Call Concluded: The participants hung up/disconnected.