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March 2000
2000 Editors' Awards February 2000 March 2000 April 2000 May 2000 June 2000 September 2000 October 2000 December 2000


All American Club Award Program
President's Message - Working Together
George F. Kunz Competition
A Chat with Izzie B
Website Update
Safety - Now What Do I Do?

What is A.L.A.A.?
History - Didn't Know That!
Junior Programs
Food For Thought
Where to Host a Club/Society Home Page
AFMS Program Competition - What Are You Doing This Summer?
New Mineral Named For Juniata Curtis


All American Club Award Program
from Lyle & Colleen Kugler

Established in 1967 by the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies and the seven regional federations, the All-American Club Award is meant to:

Encourage local club members to share their expertise and enthusiasm for the hobby within their respective regions.

Provide a model for organizing an annual historical account for the posterity of each club, and offer an opportunity for national recognition of exceptional clubs.

Just as the award is focused on quality effort that enables members to grow and clubs to flourish, it is also focused on quality that the All American Club Award judges seek in evaluating applications for regional and national honors. Completeness of the report is important, and quality is valued over quantity. The clubs' respective regional chairman must receive entries by the date they specify. This is not a competition of one club against others. This is an evaluation of quality based on a standard of excellence. Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards are granted for achievement of point in the appropriate scoring range. Only the top regional and national awards are determined on a high point basis. To allow more equality, separate top awards will be given for large clubs (100 or more members), small clubs (up to 99 members), and organized junior divisions (5 or more members).

Report Form Instructions

Each entry is to be submitted as a single document limited to a maximum of 100 sheets (one or two sided) including text and graphics. A loose-leaf notebook is a suitable binder.

The document should have six section dividers with numbers 1 through 6, with the entry form in Section 1 and the supporting information for each of the entry sections following the appropriate divider. There is no restriction on the number of pages in any section.

When filling out the entry form, mark all appropriate blanks and enter numbers or other information where requested. Assemble requested supporting materials and lists following the appropriate section divider, and then insert photos or other graphics following the typed information.

You will be completing the year's entry in the early part of the following year. Remember that all requested information is for the prior year.

Here are the names and addresses for four of the Regional All American Club Chairman.

California Federation
    Bob Beachler 
    C 89 Buckskin Lane
    Rolling Hills Ests, Cal. 90274-4253
    E-mail: rbbeachler@juno.com

South Central Federation
    Delbert Speed
    4680 Wisteria
    Dallas, Texas 75211-8026
    E-mail: llispeed@wwol.com

Eastern Federation
    Hazel Remaley
    R D #3 Box 316A 
    Gillett, Pa. 16925
    E-mail: northridge@exotrope.net

Midwest Federation
    Randy Phillips
    1139 Crooks St.
    Green Bay, Wi. 54301
    currently no E-mail

If you are in one of the Regional Federations not listed here, contact the Federation president to determine who your chairman is.

Working Together
by Dan Lingelbach, AFMS President

This month I want to high light an idea presented in an article in the Oct, Nov, Dec 99 Alerts and Action the ALAA Newsletter. This article titled Wilderness or Backcountry Recreation, "BCRA'S" came from one in the Blue Ribbon Coalition by Clark L. Collins and Rod Jones.

The idea is that instead of being on the defensive all the time regarding Wilderness, that we become proactive and present an alternative designation to Wilderness, called Backcountry Recreation Areas. This designation would allow traditional multiple use activities with the emphasis on promoting and protecting recreation, not systematically eliminating it as in "Wilderness". This would provide the land managers an additional option on how to manage our public lands for multiple use. The basic tenant for managing public lands should be the greatest benefit for the largest number of people. This is not in conflict with protecting our environment as a livable environment is definitely a benefit to us. Locking up public land in a wilderness should not be the only way and may not be the best way to protect it. The Wilderness Area is contrary to the idea of the greatest benefit for the largest number of people and all the public land should not be treated that way. Wilderness is only accessible to a select few.

In general, recreationalists are not anti-environmentalist and there are many examples where recreationalists are helping to clean up the environment. Unfortunately, land managers encounter conflicting regulations with so many on the books. Sometimes this results is ridiculous actions being taken, such as the one reported where a man was supposedly charged with an offense on public land for picking up trash. It used to be that land managers had some flexibility in managing to take care of local situations. Now with so much chance of litigation from outside groups, they can't manage to account for local conditions. Regulations can't cover every situation, even though those in Washington are trying, some judgment must be allowed to be exercised by the land managers. Recreational organizations can be of great help to a land manager, such as helping to inventory all the roads in an area or to providing hosts for camping areas. This is where local clubs can help as they should be interacting with the land managers in their area to see how they can assist them in their job. Once we get to know them and they us, maybe we are closer to wanting the same thing than we think.

A good example of this interaction is the dedication of the Hauser Beds in the BLM Wiley Well District (25 miles southwest of Blythe, CA) as a Rockhound Educational and Recreational Area. This dedication is scheduled for January 31, 2000 at the Hauser Beds. This was accomplished through the efforts of many in the California Federation with final action from the CFMS Public Lands Advisory Committee. This has long been a site to dig geodes and hopefully this will continue. The BLM representatives will be there for the pot luck dinner and to give a campfire talk. ( This won't be printed till after the dedication but hopefully the April issue will have a report of it.)

The Backcountry Recreation Area designation could be a great consensus building idea. Rockhounding should be considered a bona fide recreational activity. Make sure your Congressman knows that you think it should be. 

George F. Kunz Competition
from the New York Mineralogical Club

The New York Mineralogical Club (NYMC), founded in 1886, is dedicated to the purpose of increasing interest in the science of mineralogy through the collecting, describing, and displaying of minerals and associated gemstones. In order to further the interest and research in regional mineralogy, the NYMC announces the 2000 Kunz Prize competition for the best paper about eastern United States mineralogy or American gemstones. All authors are invited to submit original articles to the above address by October 1, 2000. The competition, named after George F. Kunz, founder of the NYMC, carries a $500 first prize.

Subject matter is up to the writer, but papers are restricted to places, people, and events east of the Allegheny Plateau (from Georgia to central Maine). Suggested topics include (but are not restricted to): description of new mineral or gem localities, mineralogy of active or rediscovered "lost" locations, crystal morphology of specific localities, or historical mineralogical perspectives. The NYMC membership is primarily amateur, and papers should be appropriate to that audience. Thus., highly technical articles are not encouraged.

For further information and complete entry forms, please write to the New York Mineralogical Club, Kunz Prize Coordinator, PO Box 77, Planetarium Station, New York, NY 10024-0077.

A Chat With Izzie B
from Isabella Burns, President-elect

Commemoration of Special Dates

It is difficult to concentrate tonight, as the first major astrological event of the millennium, that we can see, is in progress - the eclipse of the moon. It started at 6:00 PM and now it is spectacular, showing a deep orange hue over part of the moon. Pardon me while I take another peek. Its' cloudy. Things about our solar system, universe, and/or earth intrigue me.

Last October the members of Whittier Gem & Mineral Society hosted their 50th Show. As the California Department of Education had some new science requirements, such as fourth grade students are to be taught "the properties of rocks", they invited over forty classes of fourth grade students to it. Wes Lingerfelt, a former CFMS Officer, had told about Earth Science Week. With a little nudget, Mayor Nordbak proclaimed the week of October 10 - 16, 1999 Earth Science Week in Whittier. Earth Science week was established by the Association of American State Geologists in 1997 to urge all citizens to participate in it. It seems a natural for us as collectors of rocks, minerals and fossils. They provide packets of ideas, posters and learning materials. Seek information on the 2000 ESW from the website <www.earthscienceweek.org> or e-mail <jjackson@agiweb.org> or write Julia Jackson, American Geological Institute, 4220 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22302-1502.

National Lands Day is the last Saturday of September. Last year, "Together for the Desert" group held a clean up of Mule Canyon, near Barstow in the Mojave Desert. This was announced on the CFMS Website and several clubs had members helping that day. Each year four areas are chosen by the BLM on that day, but I am sure there are other areas of Public Lands (or Private land), used extensively, that could use a clean up.

Other dates or things that might lead to club events that would build our status are Earth Day, held in April each year, or some of your community designated days that commerate events. I heard some one talking about a "Geology Journey" around their own area, where someone, such as a college professor explains the geology of the country side.

I hope this gives you some ideas for presenting earth science programs from our point of view for your members and the public. Another look outside reveals nothing, clouds are completely covering the moon. There is another eclipse in July.

AFMS Web Site Update
from Marty Hart, AFMS Webmaster

Many AFMS Officers and Committee members have given permission to list contact information on the AFMS web site. The URL <http://www.amfed.org/officers2000.htm> points to this information. The contact information is being maintained in one location on the web site, so the information can easily be updated and maintained. This also allows space for additional information.

As I have browsed through many of the club web sites, I've seen many people have stumbled across the logo artwork located on <http://www.amfed.org/logos.htm>. The diamond shaped AFMS logo is of better quality than has generally been available in the past. This is a good source for the image to use on newsletters and web sites. If anyone has other good quality AFMS images available, I will make them available on the web site if I can get a copy. A good printed copy would be very acceptable, since I can scan the image.

Be sure and check for your club's web site listing at <http://www.amfed.org/club.htm>. Any additions or updates to the listing would be greatly appreciated.

Our first email discussion group "AFMS Faceters E-mail List" has been very successful. Our administrator and moderator, Bob Keller has been doing a great job developing this section. Visit <http://www.amfed.org/faceters/> for more information or to join the list.

When you are browsing the site, be sure and try the "Contents" button on the top of the page. This will give you a table of contents listing of the site. The "What's New" section lists major updates to the site. The "Site Search" button on the top of the page allows searching the AFMS web site.

Now What Do I Do?
by Mel Albright, AFMS Safety Chair

Meredith reached to the campfire to get the skillet and burned her hand. A snake bit Matt. Joe stepped on an old bottle and cut his foot. Mabel tripped and turned her ankle. Zach cut his hand and it's bleeding like mad. Jessica is having a seizure. Trouble, trouble, trouble.

In this day and age, everyone knows how to dial 911. Most everyone has heard of what to do for a heart attack. Many know first aid for choking. But few know the first aid for other mishaps and catastrophes. Do you? Does someone in your club? Is there a trained person on every field trip?

If your answer was "no", then you are typical. Years ago, first aid training was widespread and many knew at least the basics. But, in this day and age of 911 and gauze bandages, few people know first aid. We ARE engaged in a hobby that carries some risk. We work with power tools. We frequent rough territory far from help. We hammer, chisel, dig, grind, and pry. We get around snakes and spiders and scorpions. So, it would be good if YOU knew some first aid for common problems. And it would be good for your club to have a person trained in first aid, a first aid manual, and a good first aid kit.

The kit is for another time. For now, just know that good ones can be bought for a reasonable price.

Training is first aid may be harder. But, check with the Red Cross, the Scouts, a fireman, or your hospital to find out if classes are available in your area.

When a medical problem strikes, what you do may be the difference between life and death. You can make a difference. A good first aid and emergency care handbook will give you all the information you need _ quickly, easily, and clearly. Injuries, illnesses, and medical emergencies should be included. First-aid techniques you can practice should be there so you're prepared when need comes. Life saving techniques, how to transport a victim with head or neck injuries and more should be there. There should be a comprehensive index, a complete listing by subject and symptoms for fast reference, and an alphabetical listing.

Three readily available general first aid books are available from well-known national sources:

The American Medical Association Handbook of First Aid & Emergency Care by Stanley M. Zydio, James A. Hill (Editor), Stanley M. Zydlo (Contributor) _ about $10.

The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook by Kathleen Handal M.D., Kathleen A. Handal (Contributor), Elizabeth H. Dole _ about $20.

First Aid Handbook by National Safety Council (Editor), Alton L. Thygerson _ about $10

How about your club having one on hand and available at all club activities?

What Is A.L.A.A.?
excerpts from the ALAA Webpage

The American Lands Access Association is a 501(c)(4) organization whose primary purpose is to promote and ensure the rights of amateur fossil and mineral collecting, recreational prospecting and mining, and the use of public and private lands for educational and recreational purposes ; and to carry the voice of all amateur collectors and hobbyists to our elected officials, government regulators and public land managers. All money raised by the association can go toward lobbying activity.

ALAA has become an organization that is present wherever there are hobbyist and recreational users of our public lands whose interests and concerns are not being heard or are being jeopardized by proposed policy, regulation or legislation at the local, state and federal level. Over the years, ALAA has earned the respect of public officials from Washington, DC to state capitols across the country as the voice of the amateur and recreational users of public lands. The Association has also formed working relationships with many other organizations fighting for private property rights and multiple use of public lands including the Blue Ribbon Coalition, the Alliance for America as well as treasure hunters, metal detectorists, fishing and hunting enthusiasts, and mining and timber interests. With this network of contacts, the Association reaches into every State and into every Congressional District in the country on a national level. That network provides a swift and effective response to issues brought to our attention.

On another level, many officers, directors and members of the Association have developed ongoing working relationships with local, state and federal officials and legislators. This other network provides us with immediate access to and an impact on many proposals for changing regulations, policy or legislation before they become set in the concrete of implementation.

ALAA is also there when there are confrontations in the field and when proposals are made for expanding federal ownership of land such as publicizing and fighting the Heritage Corridor Act, and other attempts to establish additional wilderness areas under federal control.

Your help is needed to continue the struggle to protect public lands for the public!

To learn more about ALAA, 
visit them on the world wide web at 

I Didn't Know That!
by Shirley Leeson, AFMS Historian

In searching through the AFMS history I came across the Banquet Talk by outgoing AFMS President Bernice L Rexin. It was published in the AFMS Education-Information Newsletter, Sept/Oct 1967. It's something I didn't know and thought you might find it as interesting as I did....

"During the early nineteen hundreds the United States government sent geological survey teams out to map the West. Ranchers were impressed by their enthusiasm and gave them a name to fit their eagerness, "ROCKHOUNDS." With this name they also gave them their respect.

You have inherited this name and it has caught the public's fancy because it is lively and expressive of all facets of our hobby from digging up dinosaur bones to cutting gems. You also have the public's respect because you have made this name a distinguished one by your many worthwhile activities, such as promoting earth science education, giving scholarships, and developing your lapidary skills to the extent that your best is now being shown in museums.

This is your informal name, we are properly known as amateur earth scientists and lapidaries. Both names are needed for there are times when the use of the informal is more effective than the formal, and vice versa.

Because the Rockhounds have made the American Federation an organization to be proud of, I have been proud of the privilege of serving as your president."

We have this information because Dorothy Lee, Past AFMS President donated a number of early newsletters to me as we were putting together the AFMS 50th Anniversary booklet.

Please help me locate other early AFMS Newsletters. If you or one of your "retired" editors have any old copies of the AFMS Newsletter, circa 1950s through 1980s, please send them to me. I am also looking for Earth Science magazines from the Midwest. They seem to have more AFMS information than the others.

I will be doing an article each month about, "Did You Know" or "Speaking of the Past" with someone who has intimate knowledge of the past...

Shirley Leeson
AFMS Historian
6155 Haas St.
La Mesa, CA 91942-4312

Junior Programs
by Kathy and Bob Miller, AFMS Junior Activities Chairs

A common topic that surfaces in almost all discussions of club status is the age of the membership. Is your average age of club members over 50? How many youths attend club functions and what are you as club leaders and members doing about it!

Many clubs are special interest groups. They only like lapidary, or jewelry making, or faceting, or just socializing. You may think there is nothing wrong with that, but does it appeal to the younger people and are you passing on your skills and knowledge to juniors and their parents?

All youngsters need is a chance to learn something about the hobby, then they will show us what they will and can do. The following are just a few general tips or ideas toward bringing in and keeping junior members an active part of your club.

  1. If there are juniors in your club, devote at least 15 minutes of each program just for them. Many times you will find that the juniors know as much, or even more, about the hobby than do the adults. Adults will learn from the junior part of the meeting. It might even be good to have a separate Program Chairman for the junior part of the program.
  2. Many juniors will do an outstanding job of putting on part of a program. Try a complete program put on by the junior members.
  3. Junior members make good hosts and hostesses for the registration tables. The little ones can draw the numbers for the prize drawings, etc.
  4. If there are enough juniors to form a club of their own, encourage them to do so. They can have their own officers and committees. One or more of the adults can act as advisors to the juniors.
  5. The juniors can be given the grab bag or kid's corner concession at the annual show. If there is a junior club, the proceeds from this can finance the junior club for another year.
  6. Give them a change to display, and to meet the public by demonstrating at the annual show if they are interested in lapidary.
  7. The juniors can make jewelry and sell this at the annual show.

Here are a few ways to attract juniors and parents to your club. 

  1. Put a display case in local schools and libraries along with information of your club.
  2. Ask Boy and Girl Scout and 4 H leaders for the opportunity to give a program or display at a meeting.
  3. Ask the local schools science teachers if you can give a short program on their next earth science segment, or possibly lead them on a field trip.
  4. Volunteer as a club to participate at community events that involve children by having a club booth with free handouts and specimens for youth. (Teachers love this too.)

Food For Thought
by Pat LaRue, CFMS President (A speech given to the Federation)

Let me open by simply saying that someone else was supposed to be standing up here tonight sharing her thoughts with you. Unfortunately that was not to be; Bev Hafeli was really looking forward to serving you as your President in 2000 and was hard at work planning her year when the diagnosis came that would irreversibly change those plans. Our thoughts and prayers need to be with her and Joe as she faces a battle very few of us can even begin to imagine.

When Ken called me in late August with the news and asked if I would consider serving another term, my initial thought was why not move the two vice-presidents up one more spot on the ballot and find someone willing to step in and serve as 2nd vice president. Unfortunately the two vice-presidents didn't quite agree with that proposed arrangement, so when push came to shove, I said yes. There really wasn't any valid reason to say no. Now it appears that I get to really earn that Golden Bear Award presented to me in June.

CFMS stands at the brink of the first century of the new millennium. During my first term as your president, I frequently referred to the need to prepare for the future not only by looking at how we conduct day to day business within our clubs but also how we meet the changing needs of our membership. As I observe clubs in my southern California region,, I've noted that the ones which address the changing needs of their membership by expanding workshop hours, having good programs, sponsoring regular outings and field trips, mailing out quality newsletters on a regular basis and actively seeking new members seem to be alive and well. The ones which don't go out of their way to recruit new members and keep the existing ones happy and informed stagnate.

During my first term I commented that the majority of the CFMS leadership and directors belonged to my mother's generation. Today I observe that while still outnumbered, more and more of my generation and younger proudly sit out there (and up here) assuming their roles as CFMS leaders. Twenty years ago as a 30 something newcomer, my thoughts and ideas were not always welcomed if it meant making some kind of radical change in the way we did things. The lesson I learned is that while change is good, continually trying to reinvent the wheel is generally an exercise in futility with the end result being that total frustration is experienced by everyone involved and not much is accomplished except the realization that all the old wheel needed was a little TLC instead of a complete redesign.

As we welcome the new millennium, the clubs and CFMS have to meet the challenge of the future. Most of the things we do are just fine; like that proverbial wheel, all they need is a little preventive maintenance. There are many areas where some attention should be paid. Let's look at just two.

The first area is communication. In the past, we had a phone number and a home address at which we could be reached. Now we still have a home address and a phone number; but many of us now have cell phone, fax or pager numbers, and an e-mail address or two. Lest we miss a call, we have answering machines or voice mail at home and the office. Keeping this in mind did you take a long hard look at the last CFMS roster? Some of the clubs did not have a contact phone number or e-mail address listed. How can an interested person or another CFMS member get in touch if this basic contact information is not available or is incorrect? Don't say let them write a letter to the club address. Many people won't bother to write a letter and letters may languish in club mail boxes for weeks on end. The roster comes out annually and is not easily changed; the website can be updated any time change is needed. If your club changes its contact phone number or e-mail address, send a quick note to the webmaster and he will update the information as soon as possible. All directors must make it his/her responsibility to make certain club contact information is current.

The Internet has revolutionized the way information is presented. Anyone with a computer and web access can literally obtain information on just about topic out there and share ideas with people around the world at minimal cost. The Internet is a wonderful tool but until everyone owns a computer, it can not be the answer to all of our communication needs. The Internet will continue to expand its influence in the future. We must learn to use its resources but use sound judgment in what we post and what links we create within our club sites. The CFMS has an image to protect and needs the promotion of its programs confined to its site alone. The Internet Committee and webmaster are charged with the responsibility of making sure nothing which would present CFMS or its member clubs in a negative manner is ever posted to its site. We ask that everyone within the CFMS family respect this policy.

Another area is field trips. Field trips have long been considered an important activity of our clubs. Many younger members join to have the opportunity to visit collecting areas and have a good time in the field. Future field trips must out of necessity include a field safety component which includes the leader being responsible for enforcing safety rules in the field. Clubs need to get serious about putting their policies in writing and not being afraid to enforce them even if it means telling someone to leave after fair warning goes unheeded. All of us marvel at how seldom someone actually gets hurt despite seeing every rule in `the book broken. But even one injury is one injury too many particularly if it could have been prevented. Given the nature of our sue happy society, we can't be too careful. An ideal seminar topic for the coming year is Safety as it relates not only to field trips, but also to our club workshops. A complete revision of the old Safety Manual is definitely in order and needs to be started in the coming months. A copy of the current AFMS manual is on the website. Parts of it are scary!

In the western United States we will continue to deal with the issue of land closures and restrictions on how we use the public lands. Because our collecting activities are defined as "casual use" we actually face fewer threats to continued land use than the prospecting clubs whose members are referred to as small miners. Believe it or not, the person who dry washes for a weekend on a small club claim in the desert can be subject to the same rules and regulations imposed on a multi-million dollar mining operation. It is becoming more and more difficult to own and maintain non-patented claims regardless of whether the mineral in question is gold or a gemstone material. What is the best strategy for the present and probably the foreseeable future? Let's continue to work positively with the agencies which are charged with enforcing the rules; be willing to compromise. Bear in mind that the general public has little idea of what we do on our field trips and neither do the regulators; it is up to us to show them. We must continue to educate the public and present positive images in our communities and above all in the field.

Despite all, we must continue to stay aware of what is happening. It is not fair to expect the PLAC or ALAA or any of the other groups to fight the battle by themselves. It takes a vocal majority to be heard; why are the so-called "green groups" staying ahead? They aren't afraid to be heard - they write letters, stage protests, raise large sums of money, rally prominent people to their cause. What do most of us do? You know the answer to that one. That must change!

The CFMS enters the 21st millennium in good shape all things considered. Thanks to Bob and Ken and the rest of the 1999 Executive Committee, we have the most comprehensive liability insurance policy for our clubs that we've ever had. Sure it cost more, but in retrospect we never had this complete a policy before. Our Endowment Fund has now grown to the level where its income can be used in a financial emergency. We have shows in the planning stages through 2003. There is a great team of people waiting to work on behalf of the CFMS and its members in the coming year.

In conclusion I wish to express my thanks to all the hardworking CFMS friends who sent me little notes and e-mails offering encouragement and expressing their appreciation for my saying yes to this job when I could just as easily have said no. Thank you.

Where to Host a Club/Society Home Page
by Marty Hart, AFMS Webmaster

First, what is a URL? URL is an acronym for Universal Resource Locator, also sometimes known as Uniform Resource Locator. The URL is a means of specifying the location of information on the Internet for WWW (World Wide Web) clients. The home page of your club would have an URL and all the other pages would have different URLs. The URL for the AFMS web site home page is <http://www.amfed.org>.

A couple of more quick definitions. An Internet Access Provider provides you a means to access the Internet. They usually give you other services as part of the package such as email and web space to host a home page. A Host Provider provides space on their computers for hosting a web site and makes it available on the Internet. They are not required to provide Internet access for you to access the Internet with your computer, but only your site, which they are hosting on their computer(s).

The first obvious solution to provide a home for the club home page has sometimes been to use the web space provided by a personal Internet access account. The personal account was probably provided by an outstanding member that is doing above the call of duty. While this may be a free solution to the Club or Society, it also has some concerns that may not be initially obvious. The WWW is very dynamic and the available resources are always changing. Therefore as you look for a home or happen to be looking to update your site, there are several things to look at now. If you already have a home page, you may not want to change it right now, but keep some of following items in mind for the future. Some of the items of concern when using a personal Internet access account's web space feature are:

bulletIt is difficult to change a URL once it is established. 
bulletIt can be difficult to locate all sites that point to the old URL. Web sites can be very slow to change links.
bulletSome sites rarely or never update content. You could easily take a year to change links on other sites. 
bulletSearch engines can retain links to old URLs for a long time. Since the WWW is very dynamic and options are always changing, it may be desirable to change Internet Access Providers. But since the web page space is provided as part of the Internet Access Providers account, the URL will be lost when the account is closed.
bulletThe role of webmaster is difficult to change, since is being hosted on a personal account. Would other offices of the organization be allowed to become this unchangeable?

The home page of an organization can be a vital link to rest of the world. Establishing a permanent URL that is linked to by sites all over the world allows an organization to be very accessible. Besides brand recognition, we now have URL recognition being a very valuable commodity. The URL of the organization should be permanent and under the control of the organization. It is very aggravating to hit dead links. An opportunity to be seen is now given to another site that is not at the end of a dead link.

So what is a better solution for an URL? There are a lot of host providers on the Internet willing to host your clubs web site for free. If you use one of these providers, then your URL will contain their domain name in your URL. <http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Trails/3085/> is an example of this type of URL provided by GeoCities. Most of these providers are willing to host your site for free if you will allow them to advertise on your site. Therefore advertising actually pays for your site. Different providers have different requirements for advertising and you will need to evaluate their terms. For a fee, some of these providers, as well as other providers will host your site without any advertising. Fees might range from $30 or more per year. You may even find a provider willing to host your site for free with any advertising. The market is constantly changing. There are a lot of new providers every week and also a lot of providers dropping out. So look at the provider's history. This type of solution allows you to maintain a constant URL that is not dependent on using a specific Internet Access Provider and allows different people to act as webmaster. It does require using the specific provider to host the site, since your site will be a part of their domain. Changing host providers will change your URL.

Another solution is to own your own domain name. <http://www.pogmc.org/> is an example of this type of URL. This has all of the benefits of the previous example, plus since you own the domain name, you can let any host provider host your site and still have the same URL. If your host provider goes out of business, or you like the services of another provider, then you simply change host providers. Your URL is still the same, and links to your site, as well as all the documents with your URL are still correct. The minimum cost for doing this is $35 per year that is required to register your domain name with InterNic. Costs for host providers range from free to thousands of dollars per month to host your site. Again by accepting advertising, there are host providers that will to host your site and domain name for free. This is probably a good solution for larger organizations since there are fees that must be maintained. Even $35 can be a large budget items for some of the smaller organizations.

Visit the page at <http://www.amfed.org/web/webmasters.htm> for links and more information related to this article. Links are included to help you find a host provider, as well as free Internet Access, email, and other services.

What Are You Doing This Summer?
by Marge Collins , AFMS Program Competition Coordinator

Are you going on a field trip, taking part in a hobby-related workshop or visiting a museum with displays of minerals and gems? Why not take a camera (or camcorder) along and take slides (or video) which can be made into a presentation? You can show it to your Club, then enter it in AFMS Program Competition. If your program takes a 1st - or even a high 2nd Place, it will be made available to Club members across the country, so they can learn from and share your experience! The top prizes are $200.00 cash - surely enough to defray the expenses involved!

If you are interested in making a slide or video presentation, the following suggestions can help you earn a high score from viewers and judges and limit the expenses if you will be taking slides.

Tips to earn a high score

  1. Present your subject in a way that creates interest and anticipation without being "cutesy" or "kitsch"!
  2. Be sure information is accurate and up to date. Do not include irrelevant details.
  3. Use enough slides to keep narration moving along. Some suggest 100 words per slide is maximum.
  4. Good quality slides/ images are essential - not over or under exposed, subject is clear, good backgrounds, Good developing and proper care of film is more important to the quality of slides than film brand name. (Don't let film "roast" in the camera or out!)
  5. Include Title and End slides - and Credits, if others have helped you.
  6. If copyrighted slides are included, obtain written permission from producer.
  7. Show your program to someone not involved in the production. Ask for a candid evaluation and be willing to do some rewrite - remember, even professional authors have editors!
  8. Request "Judging Form" (For more information) to see how judges evaluate a program.
  9. Watch the time. 40 or 50 minutes is usually max. for adults - 20 minutes for Juniors.
  10. Also, it is better to leave viewers wanting to know a bit more than to have them wondering when the program will end!
  11. Although videos are far less expensive, consider if you will be able to edit and add extra shots to tell the complete story.

Tips to make a slide program less expensive

  1. Shop around for slide film. Fuji and several others cost less and are excellent quality.
    - Watch for discounted "out of date" slide film. You should not be able to detect any loss of quality. Try to use within months.
    - Consider a mail order source for rolls or bulk film. ** if you use Kodak film, choose Ektachrome - developing costs less than Kodachrome. ***Do not be tempted to use Seattle Film Works or 3M film for slides. Duplicators will not assure good color duplication.
  1. Check around for a good developer. 
    - Consider Walmart - slides from them go to a Kodak lab 
    - Some labs offer prepaid mailers for processing - cost can be competitive.
  2. Plan your presentation. Make a list of slides you'll need, so you won't take unnecessary slides or come up short. But it is good to have more than one to choose from.
  3. As you snap the pictures, make each one the best possible - so you won't waste slides: focus carefully; watch the lighting/exposure, subject must be easy to see; try to avoid distractions in the background. Something new - I've heard it is possible to take a slide of a digital image on a computer screen. Use tripod and a slow shutter speed. Do a test!

The bottom line:

- Most Clubs still want good slide programs. 
- It is important for us to share our interest in this hobby so newcomers will have current information about field trips and see interesting presentations of educational and gemcraft topics. 
- You can be the inspiration for a new generation of "Rockhounds"!!

QUESTIONS? Contact your Regional Program Librarian OR

Marge Collins
3017 Niles-Buchanan Rd.
Buchanan MI 49107 
phone: (616) 695-4314

New Mineral Named For Juniata Curtis
from Beverly Moreau

In a joint announcement made at the 35th Annual Pacific Micromount Conference in Redlands, California on January 29, 2000, Dr. William S. Wise of the Department of Geological Sciences, University of California at Santa Barbara and Dr. Anthony R. Kampf, Curator of Mineral Sciences Section, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, confirmed the approval by the IMA of a new mineral named "juanitaite" for Juanita Curtis. Juanita served the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies as their first Executive Secretary from 1961 to 1989. She and her husband, Bob Curtis (now deceased), were avid collectors and micromounters. In 1969 Juanita was honored with the Federations,s Golden Bear Award, and more recently was named as one of their Scholarship Honorees The following written statement regarding the discovery, description and naming of the mineral was issued jointly by Dr. Wise, Dr. Kampf, and Dr. George R. Rossman, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology: "In September of 1971, a group of four collectors, Juanita and husband Charles (Bob) Curtis, Wayne Leicht and Fred Croad, visited the Gold Hill mine in Utah. On the dump immediately west of the 30-foot level adit (see Kokinos and Wise, 1993, Fig. 2), they noticed weathered fragments of limonitic gossan bearing a green mineral that they took for malachite (but which was later determined to be mixite). Juanita noticed native gold in the matrix, which spurred Wayne and Bob to venture through a crawl hole into the shallow inclined adit. Here they found similar material in place in the walls. They collected approximately two flats of this material.

"A couple of weeks later, while examining the material more closely, Juanita noticed dark spots appearing much like pepper scattered on many of the specimens. Under the microscope she observed these to be clusters of olive green plates with bronzy reflections. They didn't match anything she had seen before from Gold Hill, so she sent them to Bill Wise for identification. Powder diffraction and chemical analysis indicated that the mineral was new, but it was not until recently that crystals of sufficient quality to complete the description were recognized in the original material.

The new mineral is named :"juanitaite" for Juanita Curtis. This name was chosen rather than "curtisite", because the latter was originally applied to a mineral described in 1926, which in 1975 was determined to be a mixture of hydrocarbons. The new mineral and name have been approved by the Commission on New Minerals and Mineral names, IMA. Specimens LACMNH #45266 and #45267 are designated as cotypes and are deposited in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History."

In their joint statement, Bill Wise and Tony Kampf related the process through which the mineral was finally approved. After the first application was submitted by Dr. Wise, the mineral was returned for further studies. At that time, he requested those studies to be made by Dr. Kampf at the L A. County Museum, and upon completion of the studies, another application was submitted. Once again, the IMA requested studies of a different nature, and these were placed in the capable hands of Dr. George Rossman. Upon completion of the further studies, a third application was submitted. Word of the approval reached Dr. Wise late in 1999, and the official announcement is scheduled to appear in an imminent issue of the Mineral Record.

Timing of the announcement by Dr. Wise and Dr. Kampf could not have been more meaningful. The Pacific Micromount Conference, founded at the suggestion of Juanita Curtis in 1966, celebrated its 35th anniversary at their January meeting. In 1965, Juanita expressed to Dr. Fred Pough, then Curator of the Santa Barbara County Museum of Natural History, a wish that there could be a local micromount conference, such as was being held in the eastern part of the United States. Dr. Pough responded with an offer to host the conference at the Museum, and Juanita began sending out invitations for a conference in early 1966. Over 100 reservations resulted. During the past 35 years, the conference has been hosted in various locations, including Santa Monica, Torrance Westwood and Pasadena. For the past twelve years the location has been at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands. The conference , traditionally held the last weekend in January, is sponsored by the Southern California Micro-Mineralogists, based in Long Beach, California, and draws participants from many states in the U. S., from Canada, Bolivia, and from New Zealand and Australia. Inquiries about future conferences may be addressed to Beverly Moreau, Registrar, at <bcmoreau@4dnet.com>.


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