The WSFA Journal

January 2009

Steve Smith, Editor
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January 2, 2009, First Friday

Minutes by Adrienne Ertman

Meeting called to order at 9:15 PM.

Treasurer's report:

$10,552.57, and dues are due. Someone raised a question about quorum; it was pointed out that, unusually, 100% of paid members were present at the meeting!

Capclave Past:

Has wrapped! Bob Macintosh reported that the con ended about $750 in the black.

Capclave Present:

Bill Lawhorn had nothing. Cathy Green asked if anyone was going to Arisia (no), but Elspeth Kovar volunteered to get some fliers to Arisia.

Capclave Future:

Is still looking for a hotel.


Reminded WSFAns of the upcoming trip to the National Air & Space Museum annex at Dulles. The Maryland carpool planned to meet at 9 AM at Erica Ginter's, the Virginia carpool at 9:30 AM at Fair Oaks Mall, by the Sears pickup. Brian Lewis noted that freezing rain was forecast for Sunday.


Website: Paul reported that directions to Cathy's were up. Bill Lawhorn is looking for retro reviews of novels published in 1959 for the Journal. Volunteers are encouraged! Steve absent: no news on the Journal. A motion was made and passed for Steve and Kit to get well soon!


Is waiting for submissions; someone asked about nominating stories by WSFAns. It's a no-go, as that would be a conflict of interest.

The Committee to Actually Discuss Science Fiction planned to discuss the January edition of F&SF.


Lee Strong noted that the dues situation had been previously covered. He also said that he needs to sit down with John Pomeranz to work on the 'getting right with the IRS' paperwork.

Special finance committee:

had a report! The report is in three parts: the first and the third are the 'why this amendment' stuff for the Journal. The second (middle) part is the resolution. Resolution follows, as read by Lee Strong:


Whereas: Improved reporting of Capclave or any other conventions' finances and membership metrics will provide better information to WSFA and will thereby enable the club to better manage its money and its chartered events (see Amendment I, sections A1 & A2); and

Whereas: Improved reporting will better protect club officers from misunderstandings by members within the club; and

Whereas: Improved reporting will better protect the club, its officers and members from legal problems that may arise from audits and investigations by state and federal authorities.


Be it resolved that: The Chairperson of Capclave or any other convention, in his own person or through officers he designates, shall deliver two written and oral reports per month at the First and Third Friday regular meetings. Reports will be of two types: milestone reports presented three times a year and tracking reports presented at each business meeting when milestone reports are not made. The chairperson will provide copies of all reports to the WSFA Treasurer for review and incorporation into the club accounts, and to the WSFA Secretary for incorporation into the club records. In addition, the convention treasurer or other financial officers will provide to the WSFA Treasurer any and all information this officer shall deem necessary to maintain complete financial records with due regard to his responsibilities of good faith and due diligence. Copies of these reports will be made available for review upon request to all club members in good standing with the proviso that financial information or other data which would tend to adversely affect the competitive position of WSFA in negotiations or other business activities may not be shared outside the club without the expressed consent of the Board of Directors or the committee of the whole.

The milestone reports shall be made as follows: during the First Friday meeting in January the chairperson will present a budget of anticipated and estimated expenses and revenues, and the signed hotel contract; during the First Friday meeting in August the chairperson will present a balance sheet showing actual expenditures and income to date; and during the First Friday meeting in December the chairperson will present a final balance sheet showing actual expenditures and revenues, and describing the disposition of profits and losses.

The tracking reports will consist of the following key metrics:

  1. Total expenses anticipated or expenses to date.
  2. Total revenue anticipated or revenue to date.
  3. Total profit/loss anticipated or profit/loss to date.
  4. Total paid memberships to break even or paid memberships to date.

Notwithstanding these requirements, convention chairpersons are encouraged to provide additional information concerning the management, problems, and opportunities that each convention may present. These requirements shall become part of the club standing rules and shall have immediate effect upon their adoption.


This report is neither the work of one person nor solely the outcome of finance committee deliberations, but is instead the product of the enthusiastic participation of the club as a whole. From the first spirited discussion of the initial resolution, to the committee's first open meeting, to the online input of the convention chairs and their function officers, to the many helpful suggestions and observations that various members have offered committee personnel in private communications, this report may, with justification, be said to have benefited from everyone's efforts. Even those opposed to some part of the resolution have helped illuminate the overall need for such an effort and strengthened the final product by pruning away the obscure or impractical. It is the committee's belief that the club can take a just pride in its seriousness and its desire to do its duty, and the convention officers can take comfort in the level of concerned interest in one of the club's signature events.

It was this spirited cooperation with the committee's deliberations that has led to the uncovering of information that would, in our minds, necessitate further work outside the scope of the instructions to perfect the initial resolution that the finance committee received from the committee of the whole when it was formed. It was during the development of information with regard to the treasurer-specific language that the overall inadequate state of WSFA's financial reporting came to light. Given that the club is in the process of reapplying for tax exempt status, and as a result may be facing an audit of its books, the finance committee views the fact that those books are not currently in a condition to pass such an audit as a matter of grave and urgent concern.

Therefore, the finance committee recommends to the committee of the whole that it be allowed to continue its work to assist WSFA's Treasurer in perfecting our financial records and suggesting such legislative improvements or amendments as may be desirable to rectify the situation and prevent its future recurrence.


The committee made some quick language edits:

Paragraph 1: 'see Amendment I' should be ‘see Article I’

Brian Lewis asked about state and national issues

And there were some language edits:

Elspeth Kovar had one question about the language used to describe the tracking reports, and another question about hotel language (Section 2, paragraph 1: 'The Chairperson of Capclave or any other convention' ' insert 'WSFA' before 'convention'. Same paragraph: ”financial information or other data which would tend to adversely affect the“ replace 'would tend to' with 'might'. Section 2, paragraph 3: '1.) Total expenses anticipated or expenses to date' to 'and/or'.) and about making hotel information available to club members without exposing it to hotels we are negotiating with. Chris G. assured her that the intent was to do that.

Charles Abel pointed out that the amendment as presented put Bill Lawhorn on the spot: he'd have to start giving reports at that meeting.

Barry Newton went back to the hotel contract language: the convention committee should have access to the contract, and mentioned electronic access. Chris G. focused on paper not computer copies.

Wording question: 'Capclave' versus' 'WSFA conventions'.

Paul Haggerty suggested that the January report would be 'pie in the sky' and meaningless: only the hotel contract is relevant. He also suggested that the amendment as written is a nuclear option for a nonissue.

Elspeth Kovar said this isn't a nonissue; she's not comfortable with the amendment, but thinks the club should develop some financial oversight.

Sam Scheiner mentioned conventional weapons, not nuclear. But he also thinks the amendment calls for way too much reporting. The January report is basically a December redux. Since most of the expenditures occur immediately before or during the con, the August report has no expenses to report. There aren't any to report until October. Lee Strong said that the calendar scheduling isn't critical: we can amend it! The goal is to report without over-reporting. Why are we trying to make this amendment to the bylaws? First, for better financial oversight. Second, in the context of the club's renewal of its tax-exempt status, it's better to do the internal audit to avoid external auditing.

Elspeth suggested changing the hotel contract reporting time and budget submission time.

Bill Lawhorn pointed out that the club wants to see the financial numbers so it knows what it's responsible for. However, the way the amendment is currently written, all the financial report occurs after the con chair has signed the hotel contract, Capclave's major financial obligation! At that point, all the club can do is figure out how hard it will have to work to meet Capclave's financial obligations. More than half of the con's budget is the hotel contract, maybe we need to report before the contract is signed.

Ern Lilley pointed out that if the con chair is doing stuff the club doesn't want him or her doing, what can the club do? Either remove the con chair or pull the plug on the con.

Sam Lubell made a motion to table the discussion until the Capclave Far Future (Gayle Surrette) could attend the discussion. A discussion of how to properly phrase the motion to allow further discussion at the third Friday meeting (which Gayle wouldn't be able to attend) while making no final decisions until she could weigh in. The final motion was: move to postpone voting at least until February 1st Friday, with a proviso to discuss at the next meeting. Sam Lubell's motion passed and Chris G's motion to amend the bylaws was tabled.

Old business:

the Scheiners thanked the club for the fruit arrangement.

New business:

Executive board meeting after the business meeting. Barry Newton moved for three huzzahs for the Scheiners.

New people:

Adrienne Ertman apologized to anyone attending their first meeting. Fortunately, no one was. The club welcomed Robin and Mike Sullivan to their second meeting, and David Bartell and Ross Chalmer to their third.


Meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:25 PM.


Adrienne Ertman, Judy Newton, Barry Newton, Sam Scheiner, Judy Scheiner, Drew Bittner, Elspeth Kovar, Michael Walsh, Sandra Marshall, Bob Macintosh, Brian Lewis, David Bartell, Bill Lawhorn, Sarah Mitchell, Christopher E. Neumann, Charles Abel, Ross Chalmer, Christina Abel, Michael Sullivan, Robin Sullivan, Michael Walsh, Paul Haggerty, Lee Strong, Rebecca Prather, Sam Lubell, George Shaner, Madeleine Yeh, Cathy Green, Ivy Yap

January 16, 2009, Third Friday

Minutes by Steve Smith.

Meeting called to order at 9:21 PM, VP Adrienne Erdman presiding at the Madigans'. There was a motion to table Bill Lawhorn.

Treasurer's report:

Tina Abel

$10114.07. Current membership is 29 paid members. We are starting internal audits. Anyone who has any money info, contact Tina. Go back to Jan 2003. We need 5 years of data.

Capclave Past:

Sam Scheiner

Wrapped. See the attached final balance sheet

Capclave Present:

Bill Lawhorn

Capclave Future:

Gayle Surrette

Nothing. The hunt for hotels continues.

Capclave Far Future:

Not yet


Sam Lubell

Field trip to the Air and Space Museum Annex at Dulles Airport. A good time was had by all.


Steve Smith (Editor), Paul & Gayle Surette (Webmasters)

Directions to the Fifth Friday are on line.


Colleen Cahill

Letters have gone out to publishers. We've already had 9 stories submitted.

The Committee to Actually Discuss Science Fiction:

Bill Lawhorn

Has read all of Asimov's this month. Bill issues a challenge to write Retro Reviews Challenge ' write reviews of books that came out in 1959.


Colleen Cahill, Judy Newton, Lee Strong

Please pay dues. We're still trying to get right with the IRS

Finance Committee:

Adrienne Erdman

Much discussion of detailed language of an amendment to exempt current conventions/chairs.

Amendment to last sentence of the main motion. “These requirements shall become part of the club standing rules for all conventions in 2011 and beyond.”

Back to the main motion. Lee was informed that he couldn't collapse until after the meeting.

Tina said hotel language was too vague.

Mac doesn't like hotel stuff at all.

Brian wants to put a lower limit on expenses.

Adrienne wants to require the con chair and hotel liaison to both sign the contract.

Chris wants to break the hotel stuff out to a separate motion.

Lee moved to strike hotel language. Motion passed.

Tabled until Gayle is present.

Put on announce list. Everybody should be on the WSFA announcement list.

Old business:

Fifth Friday at Adrienne Ertman's will start sevenish. Bill Lawhorn says that everybody should bring a sixpack of cheap beer.

New business:


New people:



Meeting unanimously adjourned at 10:36 PM.


Charles Abel, Christina Abel, Drew Bittner, Ross Chalmer, Adrienne Ertman, Erica Ginter, Lydia Ginter, Paul Haggerty, Brian Lewis, Sam Lubell, Bob Macintosh, Barry Newton, Judy Newton, Steve Smith, Bill Squire, Lee Strong, Michael Walsh, Ivy Yap.

Capclave 2008 Final Financials

From Bob Macintosh, Capclave 2008 Treasurer:

Capclave 2008 Final Financials
Revenue Expenses
Memberships $8,860.00
Dealers $1,430.00
Ad Revenue $120.00
SWFA Silent Auction $720.00
Repay of 2009 Loan $1,000.00
Pay Pal Fees $21.85
Credit Cards Fees $298.35
Refunds - Dealers $40.00
Refunds - Memberships $10.00
Loan to Capclave 2009 $1,000.00
Postage $52.00
Mailing - Post Cards $11.02
Publicity $419.05
Cake Decorations $10.97
GoH Gifts $300.00
GoH Travel $80.00
GoH Suite/ Per Diem $641.10
Hotel - Rental $5,088.00
Hotel - Catering $238.50
Consuite $702.69
Program Book $952.80
Restaurant Guide $184.40
Registration $388.41
SWFA Silent Auction - Owed $720.00
Totals $12,130.00 $11,159.14
Excess Revenue over Expenses $970.86
Overall Capclave Carryover to Capclave 2009
(less the amount due the SWFA Silent Auction)

WSFA History

Ten Years Ago

January 1999

Sam Lubell gave us some SF characters' New Years Resolutions.

“No more smoochies with Angel. He bites.” — Buffy

Twenty Years Ago

January 1989

The Journal featured a short story by Lee Strong, Doing the Details.

Thirty Years Ago

January 1979

Disclave memberships on sale. $3.00 until the end of February!


From the Editor

Late again (or is it “late still”?).

— Steve Smith, Editor, The WSFA Journal

The WSFA Journal is the official publication of the Washington Science Fiction Association.
Copyright © 2008 WSFA, Inc.
All rights reserved
ISSN 0894-5411