The Daily Star
---- — Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.
25 years ago
Oct. 26, 1988
Science professors at the State University College at Oneonta met Tuesday to review plans designed to strengthen a recently developed astronomy concentration in the physics department. The plans include buying a second observatory dome.
Meanwhile, about 160 SUCO students have been using a portable telescope to watch the stars this semester because weather and other maintenance projects have delayed relocating the observatory to the College Camp.
But — weather permitting — cement for the observatory may be poured at the camp today, said Charles Mazurak, college facilities coordinator. And after the cement sets for a few weeks, the observatory will be moved, he said. Sheds for seven other telescopes also will be relocated at the camp.
The observatory was taken off the Physical Science Building No. 2 last summer because the building’s roof needed repairs. It is being permanently relocated because the roof wasn’t designed for the student traffic that astronomy classes were attracting. And “light pollution” from SUCO’s recreational “bubble,” Hartwick’s new soccer field lights and city lights interfered with nighttime star-gazing.
SUCO has a 12-inch Cassegrain and a 14-inch Cassegrain, among smaller telescopes, said Michael Merilan, assistant professor. The second observatory would provide permanent housing for the 14-inch telescope, which was recently upgraded with computer equipment, he said.
50 years ago
Oct. 26, 1963
The drop-out rate of students who failed to return to Oneonta Senior and Junior High schools following the 1963 summer vacation ranged from the maximum of two percent at the Senior High School to one percent at Junior High.
Figures reflecting the drop out rate following the summer months have been compiled as a part of a study sparked by a request last July 24 by President John F. Kennedy. In a letter to school boards all over America, Mr. Kennedy asked educators for their help in combating the drop out problem.
After the letter had been discussed locally, a study was ordered and the report made public by Administrative Assistant Robert C. White.
Here is what he found out:
In all 16 students failed to return to the Senior High School after the summer recess. Of this number 12 were boys and four were girls, he said, and of the dozen boys who failed to enroll for the autumn semester, six had enlisted in one or another of the armed services.
At Junior High School eight children failed to enroll in the fall, Mr. White said. He explained that seven of the eight drop-outs at JHS were boys.
As a comparison figures, OHS Principal Charles H. Belden set the percentage of Oneonta young people who went on to higher institutions of education in 1963 at 65 percent of the graduates.