MER 2020 Election Notice

The Mid-Eastern Region of the NMRA is about to hold the Board of Directors Election for 2020. Voting will begin on 1 August and end on 8 September 2020. This election will select the MER President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary as well as decide the adoption of two changes to the MER Bylaws.
     

Those who are within the MER region will receive an electronic ballot on 1 August. Please participate. Our voter participation has averaged 29% over the last three years. Let’s break the record!
  You will find the candidate statements and the changes suggested for the bylaws in the July-August eLocal.

CANCELED – MER “Look South in 2020” Convention

Mid-Eastern Region

By Kurt Thompson, MMR

President, Mid-Eastern Region

There’s no way to sugarcoat the truth. Due to the continuing issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, I have decided, with the consent of the Board of Directors and in concert with the Carolina Southern Division Local Convention Committee (LCC) to postpone the convention. Yes, I used the word “postpone.”
After consultation with the Carolina Southern and James River Divisions, the respective LCCs have agreed for James River to relinquish the 2022 convention and the Carolina Southern team will push back their convention until 2022.
It’s with a heavy heart that this decision was made. With our membership falling mostly in the age range above 60 years of age, a significant number of us would be ill-served by having a convention. Also at this time, there is no assurance that the North Carolina Governor will have removed the various pandemic associated directives on social distancing and sheltering at home.
Now for the “positive spin”: for the 2021 Convention in Hunt Valley, MD. I hope that you each will work on one or two models to place in the model contest or in the Model Showcase for the Mt. Clare Junction Convention. As I mentioned in my email to the Region a couple of weeks ago, the stay at home order allows us to spend some dedicated time on our hobby.
As for myself, I’m working on my layout so that it will be operational for the convention, actually sooner. The structures may be mainly mock ups but the switching can still be done.
Chins up, folks. We’ll get through this and have some fun with our hobby while we do.

<https://mailchi.mp/9e8d2310d590/cancellation-of-the-look-south-in-2020-convention?e=8d5e4e9309>

MER Seeks Officers

Mid-Eastern Region

THE MER NEEDS YOU!

By Bob Charles, MMR

Yes, you! If you are a member in good standing and want to support your region with good ideas and real involvement, we need you to volunteer to serve as one of the four Officers for the Region. The MER Board of Directors meets 3 times per year; once at the MER convention. The deadline for nomination is May 30, 2020. The term of office is two years, with a limit of two terms for President and Vice President. The Treasurer and Secretary may server five consecutive terms. Any MER member in good standing can be nominated, either by him or herself or by another member with the candidate’s permission. The process is very simple.

Prepare a 200-word (max) statement outlining the nominee’s interest and qualifications for the position, and include a photo of the candidate. Send the nominations package – by May 30, 2020 – to all of the following nominations process officials…

Option – also by May 30, candidates may supply a 500-word statement suitable for placement on the MER Web site.

You can make a difference by giving something back to the hobby you thoroughly enjoy. This is your chance. Successful completion of three years in office fulfills most of the requirement for the Achievement Program “Association Official” certificate. Please respond in one email to all three committee members plus Director Morningstar to insure receipt of your nomination! That is all there is to it!

Deadlines and Schedules for 2020 Nominations and Balloting

Our Bylaws require the publication of deadlines and schedules for nominations and balloting for every year in the first issue of The Local of each year. The dates and schedule for nominations, ballot and election results are in Executive Handbook, Section 5, Policies, Article VI.

The dates for 2020 are:

May 30, 2020 — Deadline for receipt of self nominations sent to the Nominations Committee. Date for Nominations Committee to notify Board of Directors of slate of nominees validated by the Business Manager.

July 5, 2020 — You must be a member in good standing (paid up NMRA dues) based on the membership report supplied to the MER Business Manager from NMRA National as of 07/05 (the 5th of July) of every election year to be eligible to vote. If an individual is not a member or if membership has expired as indicated by the record supplied to the MER, and MER officials have not been informed by NMRA National of a valid renewal of membership by 07/05 (the 5th of July), that individual will not receive a ballot, nor be permitted to vote in that year’s election.

August 1, 2020 — Deadline for mailing paper ballots to members and for commencing electronic voting; could be mailed earlier depending on other deadline requirements.

September 8, 2020 — Deadline for electronic voting, also last day as shown by postmark for mailing paper ballots.

September 12, 2020 — Deadline for receipt by Balloting Committee of paper ballots sent by mail.

September 19, 2020 — Deadline for Ballot Committee to transmit results to President, the Director overseeing this committee, and the Business Manager.

September 26, 2020 — Deadline for The President to communicate the election results to candidates. The Business Manager also notifies the MER Web Master and the NMRA of the election results.

October 10, 2020 — Deadline for publishing election results on MER’s website.

Modeling With Uncertainty

Mid-Eastern Region

Dealing with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

By Kurt Thompson, MMR

President, Mid-Eastern Region

 

Folks:

As I write this note, we’ve all been put in a sort of “lock down” due to the Coronovirus (COVID-19). Each Division of the Region has already taken appropriate steps to comply with the various State of Emergency directives. I won’t list which events we have missed or are going to miss over the next four to eight weeks. It wouldn’t add anything positive.

I would like to echo some encouraging words I heard from Marty McGuirk on his blog a couple of days ago. First, our involvement in the hobby is just that, a hobby. Yes, we’ll be missing out on some of the social aspects of Division meetings and train shows and sales. Second, if I miss out on going to a show to buy something, it’s not a loss as I probably don’t have a real need for more stuff.

On Monday 3/16, I spent some additional time in my train room, working on the layout. With the new “standard” of not going out in the evenings, I’m hoping to get a lot of work done on my layout. It’s in the “some track work is done and some not done” stage. Today I pushed forward on that timeline.

Since my crystal ball is broken (and I haven’t found a reputable repair shop), I can only say: be careful with yourself and your health; get some modeling done, and maybe have something ready for judging or showing off at the first Division meet or MER convention in the Fall.

Now’s it time for me to head back to the train room and get some more track installed.

<https://mailchi.mp/ad78dc80c524/modeling-with-uncertainty?e=8d5e4e9309>

CANCELED – Mini Convention 2020

The SMD has CANCELED the 2020 Mini Con because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The 18 April event will not be rescheduled this calendar year. Subscribe to this blog for future details on the 2021 Mini Con. [-Ed.]

by Pete Clark

What:  Mainline Hobby Supply presents: The SMD Spring Mini Convention.

When:  Saturday, April 18, 2020. Doors open to the public from 9:00 am. to 4:00 pm.  Doors open for set up at 7:00 AM (vendors, modular layouts, clinicians ONLY).

Where:  Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Co., located at 13063 Monterey Lane, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214. This venue is directly across the road from Mainline Hobby. Attendees can park, free, to the north side of the fire hall nearest the convention entrance.

For a good time, be part of the Mini-Con!

Join your fellow SMD members in a day of great fun and fellowship. And, oh by the way, spread the joy of model railroading. Saturday April 18 2020, with the support of Mainline Hobby Supply, we will again host the very popular Mini-convention. New members might not know and old members might have forgotten, our format for the event, so allow me a quick review.

Informal clinics; morning: Hopefully 10 folks (You!) will volunteer to give one from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM and repeat it again from 11:00 AM to 12:00 noon. Not a formal presentation, just talk about a model railroading topic that’s of interest to you. Bring what you need to have as examples or visual aids. But remember, no projectors, no loudspeakers. It’s just you, talking to the attendees as they walk past your table. The guests are free to stay and talk with you for as long as they like, or move on when they choose. So, don’t think of it as a speech, don’t think of it as public speaking. It’s just you, talking to another interested model railroader, and maybe another will join in.

Note that officially you have an hour break from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. That’s to allow you to get a snack, visit the restroom, look around to see what other clinics are happening.

Then, hopefully, we get 10 other members to give 10 other clinics from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM and again from 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM.

We want 20 informal clinics (two groups of 10), so there’s plenty of room for you.

Join in with SMD members and friends like:

  • Dennis Blank, Jr. (Lighting SD40-2’s with LED’s)
  • Bob Johnson (Rolling stock tune up for reliable operations)
  • Jerry Skeim (Structures & modeling water)
  • Andrew Dodge (Building a retirement model railroad)
  • Ken Kime (How to make molds and castings for making hopper cars.)
  • Don Florwick (TBD)
  • Bill  Reynolds (TBD)
  • Gary Nastase (Roadbed and ballasting)
  • Bob Geldmacher (Making pine trees)
  • Bob Morningstar (Make your own current keeper)
  • John Madden (DCC++)
  • Dave Thalman (Weathering & loading coal hoppers)
  • Ron Polimeni (Budget model railroading)
  • Harvey Heyser (Layout design)
  • Lee Rainey (TBD)
  • Jane Clarke (TBD)
  • John Glaab (Working on brass locomotives)
  • John King (Modify Kadee couplers to be more user friendly)
  • Dotti Polimeni (Painting Downtown Deco hydrocal kits)
  • Frank Benenati, Dave Sweeney and Tom Fedor (MARRS modules).

I can hear you saying, “Come on Pete. Look at that list. You must not need me.”  Wrong. We have space for you. More important, Like Uncle Sam says, “I want you!” And the members and guests who will come to the Mini want to see you and learn about the topic that interests you. Many on my list would be happy to give their spot to you, the new guy or gal. We have room for you. Can I make that any clearer?

I can hear you saying, “But I don’t know what to do.”  You may recall me writing this in the past, or saying it at a monthly meeting. “Just bring a model and work on it.”  I really mean it. No-one seems to believe it, but it’s been done and it’s very popular.

Make and take clinics: At 10:00 AM we will also have two “Make and take” clinics. Jeff Grove of Carolina Craftsman Kits will again donate a group of (small, easy) craftsman kits and Mainline will again donate (small, easy) styrene (plastic) DPM – 36000 – modular learning kit. Just like last year we’ll encourage young people by giving them priority on the make & take sign up lists. Also, another way you can help is by bringing tools to loan for these clinics. X-Acto knives, glue, and, well, look for a list of items once our build leaders (Brian Greenawalt, David Sweeney, and Tom Fedor) have had time to think about it.

Modular layouts: We hope to have a modular layout or two set up and running during the morning as well. I’m having better luck this year, and have gotten “probably” from two (Steve Sherrill and Wayne Betty). But we still can use more. So please contact me (Pete Clarke) if you are aware of a modular group and have contact information for that group. Email me at ebtmx5@aol.com or call 301- 253-4913.

Speaking of layouts, Brian Wolfe of Mainline Hobby Supply will have his layout open to tour during the Mini-Con.

Clubs and Societies: This would be a great opportunity to promote your club or historical society! So far, none have signed up. Please contact me to reserve your table at ebtmx5@aol.com or call 301- 253-4913.

For sale: There will be some vendors there with model railroad stuff for sale. Carolina Craftsman Kits, Dwarvin Enterprises (Fiber optic system of lights) and Bob Van Zant (HO locomotives and misc. stuff) have all signed up and we are waiting to hear back from more. And of course, you can, and should, carefully walk across the street to Mainline Hobby Supply. Tell them thanks for supporting this event by making a purchase, and while you are talking to them, say “Thanks for sponsoring the Mini” out loud.

Raffle: Again this year we will purchase a $150 gift certificate from Mainline and sell raffle tickets ($10 each) through the morning. Also, HobbyTown USA – Frederick (Richard Benjamin) has donated a $50 gift certificate that we will give as a door prize. Both of these will happen at 1:00 PM.

Formal clinics: Also, at 1:00 PM we convert from informal to formal clinics. We hope to have a speaker from the Mid-Eastern Region (MER) tell us of the plans for the MER’s annual fall convention. Alex Polimeni will speak on Model railroading as game design, and noted historian and author Lee Rainey will speak on “Shortline Operating Patterns: What to Consider in Designing a Schedule.”

Food: We will have food and beverages on site. This will also be handled by SMD members.

The Mini-Con is almost here. We still need you to make it happen. Please contact me and offer to help. Mostly we need folks to give informal clinics. Everyone who’s done one of these clinics has had a great time. If you have questions, I’d be happy to talk with you about it. There are other things you can do, we’ll need extension cords, tools for the make & take clinics, help at the registration desk, morning set up and afternoon clean up. Just can’t do any of those? Attend, and then tell others about it.

Follow the SMD blog for Mini-Con updates at smdnmra.org.