AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MINERALOGICAL SOCIETIES
Volume 56, Number 7
IN THIS ISSUE
Concerns of safety issues in our shops, studios, or whatever we call our places where we work with lapidary concerns and jewelry making.
1. Ventilation: either have enough room or have some way to get enough fresh air that there is no danger of breathing problems.
2. Eye safety: a pair of safety glasses (either prescription or goggles) are needed when using machinery and rocks or minerals. In breaking stones, sawing stones, grinding stones, or polishing stones small pieces of rock could hit your eye and cause damage.
3. Chemicals that we use: care should be taken to be extremely safety minded when we use these toxic chemicals. Follow directions on the containers. Most chemicals that mix with water should be mixed into water, not water added to the chemicals.
4. Storage of chemicals: they should always be stored in a safe place with a good cover on them and out of reach of small children. I try to store mine in a wood rack with wooden dividers between the bottles or containers. They should always be labeled properly.
A few DO NOT'S:
A. Do not store gasoline or use it in a room where have a gas water heater or any gas appliances with pilot lights.
B. Do not haul acetylene in a closed trunk or car or truck cab without at least two windows open at least two inches. When there is an acetylene leak enough gas might build up to cause an explosion.
C. Do not try to use tools or torches when you are drowsy from medication. In fact it is a good idea to rest a little while before you go into your shop if you feel tired or sleepy.
D. Do not forget ventilation.
A. Do be careful.
Be careful and do good work.
from Dave Fordyce
I regret to inform you that another attempt at hindering fossil collecting in the U.S. has been introduced in the United States Senate. Introduced by Senator Akaka (D-HI) and co-sponsored by Senator Baucus, S-546, contains some of the same restrictions and guidelines on collecting fossils that the infamous "Baucus Bill" had several years ago.
The full text of the bill can be found at <www.fs.fed.us/geology/s546.rtf>.
Among other things, passage of the bill by Congress would create Class C and Class D felonies for certain offenses. It also declares any vertebrate fossils found in the U.S. to be the property of the "United States".
A.L.A.A. Director Peggy Blickfeldt is in the process of working with individuals on writing a counter proposal to this bill which will encompass the good points of this bill and the original bill introduced by A.L.A.A. at the time of the "Baucus Bill" legislation several years ago. We'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, it might not hurt to contact your legislator expressing your opposition to S-546 since it definitely would restrict your collecting and owning of vertebrate fossils.
from Ron Carman, AFMS President
By the time you read this article it will be time for the AFMS convention in Ventura, California. Each year I look forward to the annual convention and show, and from what I have heard this one will be another really fine event! I have communicated with the host club and show committee members several times, mostly by E-mail, and it sounds as if they are all ready to go. I know I'm not entirely ready, but by show time I should be. I intend to go out a little early to do some field collecting while I'm in California - it's so seldom I have the chance to get out there any more that I want to enjoy this opportunity. Maybe I can even find something - I'll tell you when I get there.
The annual convention and show is the big opportunity each year for members of all clubs in all the federations to get together and share information and enjoy each other's company. Many times I have heard the question asked "what can the federation do for me besides take my money?" and it can best be answered by seeing what goes on at the annual federation show. My best analogy is that the federation does for its member clubs the same thing that a club does for its individual members. As an individual rockhound you can do just so much, but as a member of a club with many rockhounds your knowledge and activities can me multiplied many times. In the same way, the joining of multiple clubs into federations can help each club. Members of the various constituent clubs can get together for meetings, shows, and field trips to many more places, since some clubs will have knowledge and access to sites that others don't. It gives us all a chance to share more about our diverse hobby with others who enjoy similar activities. Yes, there is a cost involved, with travel expenses and such if we go to different places, but remember that any hobby has its associated costs, both in money and time. But we do it because we like it. After all, what is any hobby for if not to enjoy? I first joined my home club in 1973, and in the past 29½ years I have had opportunities to travel all over the country except to the far northeast, and that will happen next year with the annual show in Syracuse, New York. If you are at the convention in Ventura you will hear more about that also. I hope to see you there and until then, let's all have a safe trip and safe year!
from Arlene Burkhalter, Treasurer
We're a step closer to a resolution of the theft of funds from the AFMS Scholarship Foundation.
Dan McLennan, former treasurer of the AFMS Scholarship Foundation pleaded guilty in a hearing in Federal District Court on April 9 to one count of mail fraud - frauds and swindles.
Shortly after Dan resigned as treasurer of the Foundation in 2000, several AFMS past presidents and current Scholarship Foundation officers began to suspect that some of the Scholarship funds were unaccounted for and questioned the amount in the investment fund. After much pressure from both the Foundation officers and AFMS President Steve Weinberger, Dan finally relinquished the books the following year. Cancelled checks and investment statements were obtained from banks and the investment firm and these confirmed that there was a large sum of unaccounted funds.
Investigation by Jon Spunaugle, Arlene Burkhalter and Lewis Elrod, a past AFMS President and retired fraud investigator, found that donated funds were correctly attributed to the Federations and Clubs, but income from invested money did not balance with statements. Through full cooperation the AFMS Board of Directors, Scholarship Board Members and the present and past Foundation officers, Lewis was able to build a case against Dan McLennan, and present it to the FBI, who started their own investigation of mail fraud and swindles. They soon agreed that the Foundation members had a good case to present for prosecution.
Those members directly involved in the investigation are have prepared Victims Statements on behalf of the Foundation in an attempt to recover funds for the Foundation.
Sentencing will occur sometime this summer following a study of the Victims Statements by the Judge handling the case. We'll let you know when this occurs.
from Howie Whiting, New Mexico State Director, RMFMS
As some of you know New Mexico Congressman Joe Skeen retired at the end of the last session of Congress. Joe has also been a good friend of rockhounds and we will miss him.
Congressman Steve Pearce won the last election and replace Joe. Both before the election and after I have discussed the issue of public land use with the congressman and explained to the best of my ability our problems both in collecting and in access. He seemed very interested.
Last month Congressman Pearce was a leader in sending a letter to Secretary Gale Norton stating that the will of congress is for multiple use and access to public lands and instructed the BLM to withdraw the wilderness handbook that sought to establish new policy guidelines for public lands.
I have written the attached letter to his office and hope that those of you who agree will also write a letter that thanks the congressman for his efforts. We need to convince our representatives that we care about this issue rather than allowing the opposition the win by default. Please support me in this and write or email him a letter of thanks.
You can contact him at <www.house.gov/pearce>.
March 13, 2003
The Honorable Steve Pearce
Re H.R. 652
I am writing you to urge you to oppose H.R. 652 (National Forest Ecosystem Protection Act) sponsored by Representative Robert Andrews of New Jersey.
This bill would be ludicrous if it was not so serious. The bill requires the phase out of commercial grazing on forestland.
This bill requires the Forest Service to designate *core wilderness areas" and surround them with "primitive areas" in which human activity is severely limited.
Logging, grazing, mining and recreation are being curtailed for the benefit for the sake of "Biosphere Reserves". This bill states "The Secretary shall begin closing unmapped roads, temporary roads and unimproved cherry-stemmed roads in primitive areas as soon as practicable." How are we to fight forest fires if we do not have temporary roads into the forest?
It appears that the concept of multiple use of public land is being replaced with a concept of no use of public land.
I strongly oppose this bill. I hope you do also and will use all of your influence to defeat its passage
Howell T Whiting
from Marge Collins, AFMS Program Competition Chair
You are invited to enter Program Competition. Share your knowledge of a favorite mineral, take viewers to a field trip location, demonstrate a lapidary / jewelry technique or present a program "Just for Juniors" with "rockhounds" across the country and be eligible for one of the cash prizes for Program Competition Winners.
In addition to the prestige of winning a national competition, up to four prizes of $200 will be given to the author(s) of programs that earn 95+ points in the 2004 AFMS Program Competition. The Winners are duplicated and distributed to the seven Regional Libraries. Numerous Clubs across the country look forward to borrowing these winning programs each year. AFMS Winners are the core and among the most popular programs in these Libraries.
Any non-commercial presentation suitable for use at Earth Science Club meetings, produced by a member(s) of an AFMS affiliate Society, may be submitted for Competition. Programs produced for "resale" are judged in a separate Competition - "Excellence in Education". Winners receive national publicity but no cash.
Although slide programs remain popular, with the changes in technology, we look forward to computer aided productions - both in VHS and CD-ROM formats. One caution: If you are using a digital camera, be sure the resolution is high enough to give a good picture. Ideally, slides or negatives can be scanned for the sharpest images. If you want more information about Program Competition contact your Regional Program Librarian or AFMS Program Competition Coordinator:
By Jim Brace-Thompson, Junior Activities Chair
In this month's column-the sixth in my series proposing a merit badge set of activities for junior members-I turn to an activity sure to put a gleam in a kid's eye: the lapidary arts! As with any art, successfully completing a lapidary project requires training and planning, guidance by an experienced mentor, and practice, practice, and more hands-on practice.
To assist kids in the training/planning phase, you should help them get access to an illustrated guidebook, such as James Mitchell's The Rockhound's Handbook, Pansy Kraus's Introduction to Lapidary, Jack Cox's Cabochon Cutting, etc. There are a lot of great books, and often at least one dealer at a rock show carries a selection. Better yet, prepare simplified guidelines of your own. In the Ventura (California) Gem and Mineral Society, member Wayne Ehlers sponsors cab-making workshops for kids and adults alike, and he's prepared a set of handouts. In basic, step-by-step fashion, these include instructions for making a cab, useful hints, and a glossary of lapidary terms (what's a cab? a blank? a preform?). Who's the most experienced lapidary artist in your club? Work with that person to prepare a set of handouts like these to distribute to your junior members, with emphasis on one or two basic arts (e.g., cutting and shaping a cab, wirewrapping, soapstone carving) to get kids' feet wet.
Most importantly, before anyone is allowed to flip on a single power switch in a club workshop, they should be required to read and sign a sheet outlining workshop safety rules and learn about all equipment. Machinery can be dangerous. Help kids learn how to operate rock saws, grinding wheels, and other tools safely and make sure an experienced adult is present in helping them through their projects. Whether working with kids or adults: safety first!
Finally, your club should prepare a good supply of agate or jasper slabs, chunks of soapstone, and/or spools of wire to give kids a plentiful supply of material with which to experiment and practice. Then you should schedule and sponsor several supervised sessions with as many adults assisting to give kids as much one-on-one guidance as possible, and with parental attendance required as well. Then, to help kids earn a Lapidary Arts badge or merit award, guide them through several activities:
I welcome comments on the various merit badge ideas and activities I've been describing these past few months (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as ideas of your own. What activities have you tried that are turning your junior members into budding lapidary artists while-as always-having fun?
from Bonnie Glismann Eastern Federation
Patricia Barker of the North Shore Rock and Mineral Club has been nominated as the AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year by Josephine MacIndewar. I am pleased to have the opportunity to nominate and write about this valuable member of our club. She has served in the following capacities; Secretary, Membership Chair, Hospitality Chair for several years, and Federation Representative for seven years. She takes part in all extended club field trips. Pat has also written six very impressive articles in magazines such as Rocks and Minerals, Gems and Minerals, Matrix, and Lapidary Journal. She also writes articles for our newsletter and informative obituaries for long-time members who have passed. I admire Pat's repertoire of special accomplishments in the hobby, and value her as a fellow rockhound, club member and friend.
nominated by Josephine MacIndewar
Bill Shelton has been nominated as the AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year for the Lapidary and Mineral Society of Central Connecticut, Inc. He writes articles for the bulletin newsletter, gives talks to clubs all around the state, makes almost every meeting and volunteers at the club's annual show.
nominated by Jeff Fast, president
The Flint Rock & Gem Club nominates Dr Gerald Smith for the 2003 Rockhound of the Year. Jerry and his wife Christine have been members of our rock club for over 45 years. He has been President, Vice-President and worked on our rock shows since their inception. Jerry has taught lapidary at the Flint club for over 40 years and also teaches at the William Holland school in Georgia. Jerry also teaches rock and mineral identification. Jerry has been an inspiration to two generations of rockhounds in our area. We, therefore, recommend Gerald Smith for Rockhound of the Year - 2003.
submitted by Frank Beaven, past President
from B. Jay Bowman, AFMS Uniform Rules Committee Member
Exhibiting used to be about showing off what one had collected, cabbed, faceted, or turned into jewelry or artwork. Today, it seems; the only thing is winning the trophy. Why has this come about? I'm not sure, but it seems our whole society is all about competing. Yes, it is nice to be a winner but winning isn't everything.
Exhibiting should be a learning experience. An experience that should make the exhibitor leave with good feelings, not mad at the judges and everyone associated with the show. Because of the trophy only mentality, many people have, in recent years, entered into the competition in a higher group than they were really ready for. They have received scores that were very respectable for the group that they should have been in but blamed the judges and others for what they considered poor scores. They missed the learning experience by not moving up through the groups.
I will agree that in the past many judges were more concerned with tearing apart an exhibit than helping the exhibitor to improve. But my belief is that most of those judges are no longer active and most judges today will give the exhibitor the benefit of the doubt and that scoring usually more than fair. Some judges will disagree with what I am going to say now but I think that most would still be fair and helpful if a competitor followed this advice.
I will use faceting as an example. I have had many people tell me that because of the requirement for a stone smaller than three millimeters they would not enter competition. OK! You are just starting out and you have not yet got the confidence to try a two and a half millimeter stone. You do have one maybe four millimeters or smaller, you have all the other required elements, different cuts, stones of a different hardness etc. so enter as a novice. You will lose five points for not having the small stone. Maybe lose a few points on showmanship. Possibly lose a few on workmanship, but, unless every thing is a total mess you should end up with 70 or more points, enough for a blue ribbon, probably a first place blue ribbon. But in addition you will gain some experience in exhibiting as well as learning some tips from the judges about how to improve your workmanship. Next time you will do better.
What I have just said could be transferred to any other class. You don't have the best specimens in the world but many are pretty good. Enter them in the proper class as a novice and get the experience as well as learning how to improve your case. Again you should get a very respectable novice score. And again I say this could be done in any class. You don't have to wait until every thing you have is perfect and then try to enter as a master. You lose a lot of valuable information about judging when you do that.
I will also state that for this to work for you, you must go into this competition with a mindset that you will be learning something. If you are unsatisfied with the judges comments and don't think they help you then talk to the judging chairman and see if you can't get better explanations. However if you go into this with a confrontational attitude then you won't learn no matter how helpful the judges try to be.
I would ask all editors to put this in your newsletters so that everyone has a chance to read it, not just the people who receive this newsletter.
from Brenda Hankins
The article printed below is just a short segment of the upcoming AFMS publication commemorating the journey of Lewis & Clark. Watch for an announcement about publication sometime in late fall.
Lewis and Clark Trail, National Park Service Marker #1 - Lewis and Clark State Memorial, Hartford, Illinois
Imagine that you and your family or scout troop, or group of friends are gathering together to embark upon the vacation of a lifetime. You are going to take the road/water/trail trip from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean that you have been planning for about three years. Of course, you don't have all the details worked out yet, but you do have enough done to be ready to go. Your group has individuals with pretty keen travel skills, so you are eager to just get started. Let's also suppose that none of you have been West nor have seen pictures of the West. As you sit there at Camp Dubois, looking across the Mississippi River and up the Missouri River, what would you be thinking about the West?
You might be thinking about who you would meet and if they would be nice to you. You'd worry about finding good places to sleep, and good food would be at the top of the list, too. The temperature would be important to you'd hopefully not too hot and certainly not too cold. You would think about the animals you might meet and whether they would be big or small, cute or dangerous.
Something else to think about is what kind of land you would have to cross. It is a long way to the Pacific Ocean. You would be certain you and your family could get across and get back home, but would the land be flat or hilly? Would there be marshes, quicksand, or tough mountain passes to find and cross? What about the rivers; would they be deep, wide, or swift? Would the ground be covered with timber, soil, or rocks?
As May 14, 1804, approached, the men of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were at their camp at Camp Dubois thinking the same kinds of things about the trip they were about to begin. They, too, would be traveling West through land they had ever seen. They were confident they would make it there and back, but they were also concerned about the land forms that might prevent them from reaching the Pacific Ocean.
Thank goodness they didn't really know just how tough it would be! They were accustomed to living and working on the East coast; a land that, although hilly and rugged in places, was manageable. The Corps of Discovery was about to enter a land that would itself be as unbelievable as many of the experiences they had along the way.
Look at the eleven stone pillars of the Lewis and Clark Monument, and notice the "rock" in the middle. Some have said it is of Rocky Mountain granite. Take a close look so that you can compare this rock with what you find when you travel across the Rocky Mountains. By the way, why do you think this Monument includes eleven stone pillars?
from George Loud
Last month I alerted you to an attempt to cut funding, and force the closing of the Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum in Phoenix Arizona. I'm pleased this month to give you an update.
Immediately after learning of the pending cuts to the budget of the Museum I called Bob Jones, Senior Editor of Rock & Gem Magazine. Bob started calling friends, got many of the members of the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show organizing committee involved, and was able to almost single-handedly "fix" the problem.
I also contacted the Arizona Tourist people and the Arizona State Senate Office as well as the President of the University of Arizona, all of whom offered to help, which they did.
By the time Bob got through with his calls, the major mining companies of Arizona were in the act as well.
Thanks to the efforts of Bob Jones and his friends, as well as the letters written by many of us in the "rockhounding" community, the museum will remain open, at least for this year.
from Shirley Leeson, Historian
DR. LLOYD WILLIAM STAPLES
WILLIAM G. MELTON,
DON E. CRABTREE
QUINCY D. HOWELL
DR. RUTH HOPSON KEEN
DR. THOMAS T. ZWICK
DR. ALBERT A. EGGERS
DR. CLYDE T. HARDY
DR. ERNEST HENRY GILMOUR
DR. MICHAEL W. HAGER
DR. EUGENE P. KIVER
GLEN & DOROTHY LEE
DR. GEORGE WILLIAMS
DR. MICHAEL KIM McCARTER
DR. PAUL KARL LINK
DR. R. SCOTT BABCOCK
DR. RICHARD W. MOYLE
DR. RUSSELL BOGGS
LESTER G. ZEIHEN
DR. EWART MERLIN BALDWIN
DR. SIDNEY ASH
DR. V. STANDISH MALLORY
DR. KARL LEOPOLD HUTTERER
EDMUND J. WILLIAMS
NATHAN "NATE" MURPHY
DR. VERNER B. TOVREA
DR. H. PETER KNUDSEN,
from Shirley Leeson, AFMS Historian
It seems that "Cal" was always there. He made the most interesting items out of recycled "stuff' for editors. Many of us, old time editors, still have and use some of the things Cal donated as door prizes at those events.
Cal edited and published his club bulletin for many years and his covers were mostly in several colors. It was done by cutting several stencils for the same page and reprinting them over and over to get the many colors of ink used for the drawing. That's dedication.
Cal edited and published the CFMS Newsletter from 1972 through 1975 and published the Newsletter through 1979. Ask any officer who served during those years what Cal meant to them.
He cranked out thousands of sheets of paper through the years that helped editors throughout the CFMS. Have an Editor's Breakfast at the convention, and Cal was there. Have a workshop for editors, and Cal was there with words of wisdom, enthusiasm and humor. He was our conscience. He reminded us not to put information about dub members being on vacation, UNTIL they returned. Safety even back in the 70's was important. He traveled all over the state in his Volkswagen van helping editors.
Cal was a charter member of S. C. R. 1. B, E. which he helped organize in 1978 because he felt that Editors of club newsletters were not receiving the help or recognition they deserved. SCRIBE went on to include editors from all over the U.S. and Canada, and currently has a Canadian newsletter editor, Trudy Martin, as President.
In 1981 Cal and Shirley Leeson decided to host an editor's symposium (Cal always liked big words) at Quartzsite. Cal printed and put out the flyers, sent notices to all editors in CFMS and beyond. He came prepared with his recycled door prizes and handouts. It was a smashing success and to this day, is still going on as a SCRIBE event.
Recognizing the many years of service to the CFMS Cal & Betty were awarded the CFMS's highest honor in 1980, The Golden Bear Award and in 1995-96 they were again recognized by the CFMS and chosen as The CFMS Honorary Scholarship Recipients.
Both Cal and his wife Betty could be counted on to help wherever and whenever they were needed. They judged bulletins for many regional Bulletin Aid Chairmen and also judged at the AFMS level always giving helpful suggestions to the editors.
Cal passed away March 30th with his family around him. He was in his 90's and very frail. We are told it was pneumonia.
Marion Fowler wrote: "The obituary in Cal's home town won't tell about his enthusiasm for getting people of all ages interested in minerals and gems and earth science in general." "It won't tell of his generosity in giving away his handmade tools for both rockhounds and editors." "Or his persistence in getting a fine mineral museum established in his home town of Pacific Grove."
All this is Cal's legacy. It could go on for pages, but I'll close with this: "Cal, you were one of a kind. No one can take your place ...... a friend, and very proud of it.
Last Revised on
October 17, 2011