Table of Contents
President's Message
From Youur Editor
Junior Members
All american Report
Membership Deveopment
Fall Business Meeting
Education Thru Sharing
Desert Wilderness Bill

Endangered Speceies
IRS Requirements
CFMS Scholarship
CFMS Insurance
Genie Light Fixture
CFMS SlidenVideo Program Library
AFMS President's Message
Program Aids
Letter RE: HR 554
Scholarship committee Report

President's Message

By Bural LaRue, CFMS President

Bural LaRue - CFMS President -  2007

Is your club growing? If you can say yes to that question, I congratulate you. You are promoting it and making it fun so people want to belong. If your answer is no, please look at what you•  re doing and make a few changes. Are your monthly meetings interesting? A meeting must hold your members•   attention and make them want to come back and bring a friend. If your meeting is dull, liven it up by getting your members involved. Have them share their latest finds. Bring in a guest speaker or have one of your members present a program. We have numerous programs in the Slide and Video Library. The Podium People lists many good speakers. Camp Paradise will be history by the time you read this. If you missed out on it this year, I hope to see you there in 2009.

Oh yes, Pat and I just returned from South Africa. We had a great time. We hope to share some photos and videos as soon as the editing gets done. Life is too short; I hope you make a friend laugh today, even if they•  re laughing at you.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow. Remember to have fun.

From Your Editor

By Fred Ott

fred Ott

It•  s time to update your Club Listing in Rock and Gem Magazine!

Each club has only until January 1st, 2009 to email your society information to: (or mail it to Rock & Gem Club Listing, P.O. Box 6925, Ventura, CA 93006-9899). Please provide your club•  s:

  • Name
  • Mailing Address*
  • Telephone Number
  • Website Address
  • Email Address
  • The city and state in which your club meets

* You may request that your club•  s address not be published


By Jim Brace-Thompson Junior Activities Chair

Jim Brace-Thompson

Having failed in my varied calls and approaches for someone to take over as CFMS Juniors Activities Chair these past two years, I•  d like to make a more modest proposal kids activities columns for the CFMS Newsletter, and I think I•  m starting to repeat myself. Rather than become stale (or offer pitiful paragraphs like this one), I welcome cohorts in crime who would be willing to meet with me as the occasion arises (at our annual show, at our semi-annual Directors meetings, etc.) and/or correspond via email or phone to discuss kids activities, ways to attract kids to our clubs, show ideas for kids, and other kid-related topics to supply suggestions, advice, and activities that we can pass along to our fellow CFMS clubs via the newsletter, the CFMS web site, Directors meeting, etc. If you like working with kids and have been doing some special kids activities within your club, please join me on the CFMS Juniors Activities Committee. Here•  s to having fun!


By Dot Beachler

Dot Beachler

Since many clubs have questioned Why should we do this? I will now repeat the objectives from the June 2007 CFMS newsletter.

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 recognition of exceptional clubs.

Next question has been •  How do I do this? Here are the Report Form Instructions:

  1. Each report 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.
  2. The document should have seven section dividers numbered 1 through 7, with the report form in Section 1, and the supporting information for each of the report sections following the appropriate section divider. There are no restrictions on number of pages in any section.
  3. When filling out the report 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 report in the early part of the following year. Remember that all requested information is for the prior year. Again, the December 2006 CFMS newsletter reports:

There are only seven sections on the entry form:

  • Section 1: General Information about your club.
  • Section 2: Service to Members or Guests.
  • Section 3: Publications and Publicity
  • Section 4: Support for Regional Federations.
  • Section 5: Community Relations
  • Section 6: Government Agency and Legislative Relations
  • Section 7: Overall Format and Presentation

Most of this information is easily obtained from the field trips, club shows, workshop, photos from club members, help at other club shows and youth group presentations. Remember, to keep our lands open for collecting, individuals and clubs can join ALAA, our lobbying organization. This will help Section 6 on the entry form.

With this information your club is ready to go! Start now as the new due date will be Jan. 31, 2009.


By Omer Goeden

Omer Goeden

Here's an idea that your society may want to pursue: sponsor a member to attend Camp Paradise and/or Zzyzx. Several societies now routinely pay for one of their members' attendance at Camp Paradise or Zzyzx as a means of supporting the C.F.M.S. Earth Sciences Studies and getting their members excited about these educational opportunities. One society holds a drawing (of adult members only) at their annual Christmas dinner each December. The "lucky winner" gets to attend the following year's Camp Paradise session courtesy of the society (the winner must pay for their own transportation costs). Another society conducts a raffle to determine a winner (and help defray costs). Either way, it's truly a win-win situation for everyone involved. If your society doesn't currently have such a program, please have your Board of Directors consider this very successful "member benefit".

Fall Business Meeting

By Pat LaRue

Pat LaRue

The annual Fall Business meeting and election of 2009 Officers will be held November 7- 9, 2008, at the Holiday Inn Plaza Park, off Hwy 198 in Visalia, CA. For those who have not been to this location in the past, take Hwy 198 exit east from Hwy 99. You will see the hotel located just south of the first off ramp past the airport.

Room reservations at the Holiday Inn can be made by phone at (559) 651-5000. o receive the special CFMS rate of $89 per night, tell them you are with CFMS. This rate is not available on the Internet. Cut-off date for this price is October 24. The first night•  s deposit or guarantee by credit card must accompany your reservation.

An informal Cracker Barrel will be held Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. As in the past, the Holiday Inn policy forbids our bringing snack foods to any of the meetings. The business meeting will be called to order on Saturday, November 8, at 9 a.m. President-elect C J Quitoriano will have a brief meeting of her 2009 committee chairpersons on Sunday a.m., time to be announced.

Banquet Menu•  Night in Tuscany Buffet

  • Traditional Caesar Salad w/ Garlic Parmesan Focaccia Croutons & Fresh Romano Served with Homemade Caesar Dressing
  • Dry Italian Meats Antipasto and Vegetable Platter
  • Caprice Pasta salad
  • Sliced Seasonal Fresh Fruit Display
  • Slow Roasted Pork Loin with Wild Mushroom Ragout
  • Herb Crested Chicken with Thyme Natural Jus
  • Wild Rice Pilaf, Basil Pesto Red Potatoes and Fresh Seasonal Vegetables
  • Tiramisu, Cappuccino Cheesecake and White Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse.

Meal includes rolls and butter, coffee and iced tea service; price $35: (includes tax & gratuity)

Make banquet reservations by October 31, 2008.

Mail your check payable to CFMS to:
Pat LaRue
PO Box 1657
Rialto, CA 92377-1657


By Lois Allmen

Lois Allmen Currently, our Federation Bylaws state:

Section 1, The Dues of Membership Societies

The dues of Membership Societies shall be One dollar and Fifty Cents ($1.50) annually per individual member of the local society, regardless of membership classification, including Junior members, but except CFMS Honorary members. The dues shall be payable on January 1st of each year based on a membership list of December 31st of the previous year which shall accompany the dues. Revised 11/03.

The CFMS Executive Board has requested a change in Article IV of the CFMS Bylaws for the following reasons:

Whereas AFMS and CFMS have been running a deficit budget for the past several years. And, whereas AFMS, in order to rectify their deficit, is proposing an increase of $.25 which brings the dues we pay them to $.75 per member (this to be voted on at their September Director•  s meeting, to go into effect in 2009).

Therefore, CFMS Board and Directors voted at the June 28, 2008 meeting in Ventura to increase AFMS dues per member by $.25. In order to keep up and rectify our CFMS deficit, we need to increase dues $.50 per member, for a total dues amount of $2.00 ($.75 to be forwarded to the AFMS; $1.25 would remain with the CFMS). If passed at our November meeting, the new dues structure will go into effect on January 1, 2009.

Note: Dues are currently $1.50 per member, of which $.50 is forwarded to the AFMS. Another $6.00 per member pays for our basic liability insurance policy for a total of $7.50 per member. This increase would make the total amount $8.00 per member.


By Loretta Ogden

Loretta Ogden

Recognize Your Members

The Long Beach Mineral & Gem Society would like to nominate Linda and Marty Dougherty for Rockhound of the Year.

With many older members of the club retiring, this couple has stepped into new leadership roles. They serve as club officers: Linda as secretary and Marty as the Federation Director. Both assist with the lapidary workshop, lead field trips and are responsible for the club display case at several club shows. At the recent Federation show they showed not only the club case but Marty•  s own cabochon case.

The Long Beach Mineral & Gem Society is very fortunate to have such an active and dedicated couple.

The Ventura Gem and Mineral Society would like to nominate Ron and Jean Wise for Rockhound of the Year.

On behalf of the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, I•  m pleased to put forward Ron and Jean Wise for Education Through Sharing. Ron and Jean have been society members for approximately 10 years.

Ron, along with Greg Davis, has been invaluable in maintaining our club workshop and, most recently, in helping to move material into temporary storage as our club seeks a new workshop home.

Ron (along with two buddies, who together make up •  The Three Amigos•  ) takes an active hand in assembling and running our annual Silent Auction, which has become one of our club•  s biggest annual fundraisers. If you were at the CFMS Show in June, you would have seen Ron in action; he was in charge of running the Silent Auction there, which raised over $4,000 for the CFMS Endowment Fund in memory of Ray Meisenheimer.

And Jean always takes an active hand in gathering us all together to assemble hundreds of grab bags in their garage and to assemble all the many prizes she then helps to award while running our Kids Booth at our annual show. And Ron and Jean do similar work for the nearby Oxnard club as well, to which they also belong! In addition, Jean serves as our Federation Director and Ron as our Second Vice President in charge of field trips. In fact, you•  re more likely to find him and Jean in the field than at home, and he takes us to some terrific locations.

Whenever there•  s a need for a strong, dedicated worker, as when trucking and hauling supplies for our annual show set-up, Ron is first in line. Our club is actually fortunate to have several dedicated individuals and couples who are deserving of the Education Through Sharing award, but for this year, it•  s Ron and Jean•  s turn, and an extremely well-deserved turn at that! Ron and Jean, we thank you both!

Jim Brace-Thompson, VGMS Membership Chair, on behalf of VGMS Board

The Fresno Gem and Mineral Society has the honor of nominating Dale Reith for Rockhound of the year. Dale was a Scholarship recipient and his first year with F.G.M.S was honorary. Dale's enthusiastic approach and contributions first started with accepting the publisher's position (newsletter-CHIPS); currently he coordinates the Silent Auction held at our monthly meeting, and is always there to answer any questions.

A rock collection was donated to the club; Dale saw an opportunity to thank the recipient and provide additional funding to the scholarship fund. He established a format for a Silent Auction to be held in our building at the fair. This involved a lot of hours, cataloging with pictures and a very detailed display and making sure after the fair each bidder was contacted. He still did this and put in long hours at the fair for our club.

Dale again volunteered to manage our 3 day spring sale at the club house this year. The club received another donation prior to the sale; with other members, he scrambled to prepare the collection. He spent many hours in preparing for this event; club lay-out, marking areas for the members to be able to set-up in appropriate areas, making signs, contacting other clubs and advising the news media of the sale date. Dale, thank you from all the members for jobs well done! F.G.M.S, Vickie Morris, Vice President

Just a firm ATTA BOY! for the Clubs who have sent in members to be honored and a request for more before October 1, 2008


By Chuck McKie

Chuck McKie

It has been quite a while since we had any shop safety. The following is from chapter two of the AFMS Safety Manual.

The following safety rules, if followed, will lessen the risk of possible harm or injury. Protect your eyes when chipping or grinding rocks. WEAR PROTECTIVE GLASSES. Run your grinding wheels no faster than the speed recommended by the manufacturer. Do not let your {Ceramic/stone}wheel become water logged. Keep it running until all water has been thrown out; otherwise, it will cause a heavy spot and make your wheel out of balance. Keep your wheel true. It will wear longer and there will be less chance of its parting while in use.

Keep all belt pulleys and belts covered. It may save a finger. Use dop sticks whenever possible. It may save a badly cut finger. A word of warning to those individuals who use dry sanding of their cabochons: Silicosis is a serious disease which is caused by the inhalation of fine silica dust. Use a dust mask or suction blower, or change to wet sanding. Silicosis cannot be cured!

Be careful with your alcohol lamp. It can cause a fire. Keep all containers properly labeled. Putting polishing powders in empty baking powder cans, for instance, without a proper label, can be dangerous. (If you put the polishing powder in an empty baking powder can, your wife could use it with disastrous results).

The use of Oxalic Acid, when properly used, greatly facilitates the polishing of agates. Oxalic Acid is caustic to the skin, as well as a frank poison, if accidentally ingested or inhaled. Also, getting some in the eyes from the spray from the polishing wheels, may cause a burn of the cornea, resulting in impaired eyesight. When using this acid, proper precautions must be taken.

It is advisable to apply the polish to the wheel with a brush. Wear protective glasses. It may be advisable, under certain circumstances, to wear protective gloves. Immediately wash any contact areas of the skin with soap and water. Medical attention may be advisable.

Sulfuric Acid and Nitric Acid are sometimes mixed with polishing compounds when faceting sapphire. They are also used in the polishing of sapphire cabochons on lead laps.

These acids are severe caustics and will cause severe burns if they come in contact with the skin or eyes. In using the techniques above, one must use the utmost precautions. Any contaminated areas must immediately be washed with soap and water. If any gets in the eyes, thoroughly irrigate with water and seek medical attention. The application of a baking-soda pack is often advisable or the sponging with a solution of baking soda in water to the burned area.

The polishing compounds we use today are, as a rule, relatively non-toxic, except to some individual. The use of detergents added to the polishing powders could cause dermatitis of the hands. This can be eliminated if the offending substance is eliminated.

The use of Epoxy Resins is very irritating to the skin, and severe cases of dermatitis have resulted. This can easily be prevented by not getting the hands in actual contact with the resins. Acetone will remove this, if you should get some resin on the skin. The various cutting oils used in the diamond saws are primary irritants to the skin, and will, in many individuals, produce dermatitis. Also, the fire hazard, in the use of certain cutting oils, must be realized and proper precautions taken. WARNING TO SILVER-SOLDERING ENTHUSI- ASTS: Silver brazing alloy, frequently called silver solder, is an extremely valuable industrial material. It is used for joining metals and alloys such as silver, copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel, carbon steel and dissimilar metal combinations where it is necessary to perform the joining of these metals at low temperatures. Fumes generated during brazing can be a serious hazard. Brazing fluxes generate fluoride fumes when heated.

Cadmium in silver brazing alloys vaporizes when overheated and produces cadmium oxide, a highly toxic substance. If cadmium oxide fumes are inhaled into the respiratory tract, they can cause pulmonary distress, shortness of breath, and in cases of severe exposure, may cause death.

Silver brazing filler metals containing cadmium are: BAg-1, GAg-1a and BAg-2 and BAg3. Since the boiling point of Cadmium is 1412 degrees F., brazing can be carried on safely using Bag-1 and BAg-1a classes of filler metal at temperatures below 1400 degrees F. BAg-2 and BAg-3 have recommended brazing temperatures of 1295 - 1550 degrees F. and 1270 to 1500 degrees F. respectively. Brazing can be carried out - safely - using temperatures below 1400 degrees F. Since temperatures in the upper portion of these ranges can be reached, it is important to provide adequate local exhaust ventilation or, where this is not possible, individual air-supplied respirators. (This article taken from, Working with Silver Solder, Public Health Service Publication No. 1518, U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare.)

Do not overload electrical outlets. If in doubt, have the circuits checked by an electrician.

Keep switches and motors in a dry place, where the water from the grinding will not splash on them.

Be sure to have all motors and outlets grounded. In case of faulty wiring or short circuit, the ground will absorb the shock -- not you! Standing on a rubber mat will give some protection. Electric shocks can cause death!

Suspicious wires lying on the floor or ground should be avoided -- at home, or on field trips.

They may be harmless, but if they are not, beware!

When a person suffers electric shock, it is important to use a stick or other such wooden object to separate him from the source before beginning resuscitation.

Desert Wilderness Bill

By Shirley Leeson

Shirley Leeson<
A new area of real concern is Diane Feinstein's Southern California Desert Wilderness bill that is coming to you in January, 2009.
Thanks to Jim Strain, Former PLAC Chair for this heads up. Jim can be reached at: 760-356-2361.

Public Lands Advisory Committee - South

By John Martin

John Martin


The habitat of the rockhound is diminishing at an astounding rate. More and more of its free roaming areas are being gobbled up each and every day by the changing environment. Soon the range of the Rockhound and its offspring the Pebble Pup will become so diminished that extinction will be imminent. As the environment changes, the ecosystem of the rockhound is slowly being replaced by the ecosystem known as •  Wilderness•  , which is a poisonous dead zone for the Rockhound and Pebble Pup. Soon they will go the way of the Smilodon, the California Grizzly Bear and the now extinct Naugas (which were hunted late in the last century for their hides that were used exclusively in the creation of the Bean Bag Chair).

What can be done to save the ecosystem and the free range habitat of the endangered Rockhound and Pebble Pup? We can do a lot if we ban together and take action now, before it is too late. We need to review all the facts, formulate a plan, distribute the plan and then execute the plan by contacting all of our elected representatives with our facts, figures and recommendations for saving the ecosystem of the rockhound.

Currently before congress there are 4 new wilderness bills and one bill that will make some fossil collecting and ownership a federal crime.

The California Wild Heritage Act and The Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act when passed by Congress could reduce the ecosystem of the rockhound, just in California, by around 3.26 Million acres of new wilderness habitats.

The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act when passed by congress will make the collecting and ownership of vertebrate fossils found on public land (BLM, USFS, and State land) a federal crime with punishment with fines and/or imprisonment. Collecting of these fossils on private land is allowed with the proof of collecting on the holder of the fossils. There needs to be allowances for the collecting, ownership and public display of these vertebrate fossils by the amateur collector without the fear of criminal prosecution or civil legal action. We all understand that significant finds like •  Sue•   need to be preserved for all to enjoy, but the collection, ownership and public display of smaller finds of non-significant, non-descript vertebrate fossils should be allowed in the legislation.

If we do not get involved and take a proactive approach the above legislation will become law and the Rockhound and Pebble Pups will become extinct just like their ecosystem and free range habitat.

So what can we do? First read the proposed legislation, determine the effect of the legislation in your collecting areas. Inform all of your club members of the urgency of the legislation. Formulate a response with recommendations that are attainable. Write letters to your elected officials and present your case and points. If we do not make our voices heard we will loose the battle of the Rockhound and we will become extinct. We can make our voices heard in Washington by supporting and joining the American Lands Access Association (ALAA) as clubs or as individuals.

Below are the Bills and their authors with links to the websites where full information on their status can be obtained.

S. 493: California Wild Heritage Act of 2007
Introduced by B. Boxer [D- CA]

H.R. 860: California Wild Heritage Act of 2007
Introduced by Hilda Solis [D-CA]

S. 3069: Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act
Introduced by B. Boxer [D- CA]

H.R. 6156: Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act
Introduced by Howard McKeon [R-CA]

H.R. 554: Paleontological Resources Preservation Act
Introduced by James McGovern [D-MA]

I have copies of all the above bills in MS Word format. If you or your club would like copies please send me a note with your email address and I will send them to you.


By Mike Kokinos
CFMS Tax Advisor

Mike Kokinos

Societies that do not have Federal tax exemption have attempted to file Form 990N. These were rejected even though the EIN (tax identification number) was provided.

The IRS exempt staff originally told me that the EIN master database would be used for filing the Form 990N. This was not the case. If you tried filing and were rejected, I recommended calling the IRS Exempt Organizations at toll free (877) 829-5500.

In a recent discussion with the IRS, they reiterated calling them and provide information about the attempt to file. They would not provide any helpful information about making the call. I suspect they prefer to handle these on an individual basis.

If your Society was unable to file for lack of an EIN, you must obtain it first. In some cases, you might not be sure the Society has an EIN. Chances are the Society actually has an EIN. Check with the Society•  s banking institution. They are required to obtain an EIN before allowing a bank account to be opened.

The late filing will not be a problem as it is a new program. In addition, revocation of exemption only occurs for not filing for three years.


By Jo Anna Ritchey

Jo Anna Ritchey

The Scholarship Committee is responsible for receiving funds and distributing those funds. Today I want to address the receiving part. The Scholarship Fund receives monies from clubs and individuals, usually as a way to memorialize members. Sometimes the check is the result of a special club activity like a Silent Auction or raffle. Occasionally we receive a large amount, but mostly the checks are for a more modest $10.00, $25.00, or $50.00. We are grateful for whatever is sent.

All checks are to be sent directly to Pat LaRue, the CFMS Secretary/Treasurer, who then deposits the checks and sends any correspondence along with a receipt to the Scholarship Committee, which in turn writes a thank you note for the donation.

The Scholarship Fund grows by these donations. The principal in this Scholarship Fund is not touched, as all Scholarships offered come from the interest earned from these funds. That is why we can offer several scholarships each year and still have money for scholarships next year. You will find in each Board of Directors package a recap of all financial activity in the Scholarship to date.


By Patt McDaniel

Pat McDaniel

Bud McMillin has asked that I address the following question: •  Why do Federation Societies need Directors and Officers Liability Insurance? What does it do for our society?

These are excellent questions and I am glad to have the opportunity to shed some light on •  Directors and Officers Liability Insurance•  .

Directors and officers of organizations take on an additional risk for personal liability claims, just by serving on the board of a nonprofit organization. By virtue of their positions within the nonprofit corporation, Directors and Officers are legally obligated to perform the duties with due diligence, obedience, and loyalty. Failure to perform one•  s duties through wrongful acts or negligence can be cause for suit. In our litigious climate, it is not uncommon for suits alleging wrongful acts to be groundless and/or opportunistic.

Directors and Officers may be held personally liable not only for their own acts and obligations but for those of the organization. The organization may also be sued, putting its assets at risk. This could destroy an organization. Directors and Officers can further be held liable for putting the organization at risk.

The first questions most people ask are, •  How is this different from the General Liability? Doesn•  t that cover directors and officers?•   The General Liability will defend the directors, officers and volunteers, and the organization itself, if they are being held responsible for bodily injury or property damage to another person. They will also pay any claim settlement. The General Liability has a few other coverages (such as libel or slander) but there are many potential claim situations that would not fall under the General Liability coverages.

So, the Directors and Officers Liability policy provides different coverages. In fact, the approach to defining •  coverage•   is very different. The D&O policy starts with a very broad idea: there is coverage for wrongful acts and alleged wrongful acts. It seems like that could cover just about everything!

From there they exclude what is not to be covered and the exclusions are all reasonable. With this method, a claim is covered unless the company can show in the policy wording that it is excluded.

This is much broader than the General Liability approach, where coverage must be specifically listed to apply. The exclusions on a D&O policy usually specifically exclude claims that should be covered by a general liability policy, an auto liability policy, a workers compensation policy, health insurance, or a pollution policy.

They also exclude deliberate criminal acts, though this does not exclude coverage for the other board members if they were not aware of the criminal behavior nor does it exclude coverage for the organization itself. Most policies also exclude coverage for service on another board but the CFMSI ARCH policy does add back coverage for service on a nonprofit board at the direction of the insured organization.

Most policies also exclude coverage for breach of contract claims but, again, the CFMSI ARCH policy will provide defense cost for such claims.

Clearly, I have tried to describe in simplified wording, just how the policy works. The policy wording is, of course, more detailed and complex, to address the many questions and situations that may come up. That wording is not only more accurate but is the legal governing document and one should not make assumptions based on the simplified descriptions I have offered here.

I hope however that is has been of some help in understanding how the Directors and Officers Liability policy can be of value to you, your organization•  s board and to the financial stability of the Federation and all of its member clubs. In most cases the risk of the clubs is very low, but the premium for this coverage is phenomenally low ($250) so that it is a wise business decision for most clubs.

We will soon have electronically fillable forms on our new web site (really!). Visit us there at .

Thanks and have a great month!

Patt Wilson McDaniel
McDaniel Insurance Services
Phone 805-646-9948, fax 805-646-997, toll free 800-400-7288
CA DOI #0820481

Genie Light Fixture

By John Martin

John Martin

For all of you using Diamond Pacific Genie or Titan Machines here is a story you can relate to. Have you ever been grinding away and had your hand slip and hit the rim of the light fixture? Ouch! Hot! That 75 to 100 watt incandescent Light bulb is hot and really using up the electricity.

Try to put one of the Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFB) in and they stick out the bottom of the light fixture causing all that light to go everywhere and not on your work. Then after a few days of use, the bulb breaks at the seams from all that vibration. The bulb is dangling from wires and the rest of the guts are still in the fixture with all that water splashing all around.

Alas, I have found the best of both worlds. Try one of those small Halogen 35 watt mini flood lamps. It puts a real bright light right on your work, the rim of the light fixture stays cool and you are only using 35 watts to get better light than the 75 •   100 incandescent bulb.

When selecting the halogen bulb, there are 2 sizes: one has a short neck, which will fit, but requires some creative twisting; the other style has a longer neck and will make the installation of the bulb in the fixture a breeze.

So when that inefficient 100 watt bulb finally blows out try a compact Halogen spot lamp as a replacement. Your work area will look brighter and you will be using less energy and running a lot cooler.

CFMS Slide and Video Program Library

By Bill Gissler

Bill Gissler

Six years ago in August 2002, the CFMS Officers learned that they had a problem. Richard Fuller, the chairman of the CFMS Slide and Video Program Library had died. Who would they get to replace him?

At the time I was completing my term as CFMS Treasurer and had decided for personal reasons not to follow up the ladder to presidency. Since Richard and I were both members of the Santa Clara Valley Gem & Mineral Society and he had helped me with Society meeting programs, I offered then CFMS President Jack Williams to chair the Program Library Committee. Jack's and the CFMS Officers' replacement problem was solved. For me the challenge was just beginning.

Within two months of starting on the assignment, I had to physically transfer the library to my home, inventory the programs and assets, and re-write the program catalog in a format where it could easily be included on the CFMS web site.

Thanks to help from Don Ogden, the revised library program catalog got on the website quicker than many officers and directors had expected. Having taken care of these immediate needs, I then developed a program loan tracking and monthly operation reporting system acceptable to Pat LaRue.

Well looking back over the 6 years, there is one goal that has not been accomplished. That is to train a person to take over the job on my departure. Is there a volunteer out there? If so, let CJ Quitoriano and her 2009 team know so that a smooth transition can be made in the future. If someone will step forward, Sharon and I will be able to spend even more time at our favorite activity SKI (stands for •  Spending Kids Inheritance•  ) on world wide travel.

AFMS President•  s Message

By Shirley Leeson

Shirley Leeson


For me, this has been a hectic two months. As I write this last message as AFMS President, we haven•  t yet had our convention meeting. There are so many things on the agenda for the meeting•  .. Next month as your IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT I will lead you through all that has been accomplished during the last year. And your new PRESIDENT, Joy Bourne, will lead you into the future.

The Paleo HR 554 bill gained momentum in a big way just before the House and Senate convened for their •  late summer vacation•  . We were energized by Congressman John Culberson, R, 7th District West Houston, Texas who is a rockhound himself and said he needed each rockhound throughout the U.S. to contact their congressman and let them know their feelings on the issue. We believe this bill will go directly to the floor to be voted on by all the congressmen. That•  s why we need you to contact your own congressman. There is a wonderful letter that was sent to a congressman in San Diego County by a rockhound/professional geologist who tells it like it is and will be if this bill is passed. One line of his inspirational letter is this: •  ..•  no one should have his access to knowledge restricted so that only a few anointed experts can pursue fossil collection and study.•   Remember, this land that they are taking away from us for the collection of fossils says: This land is YOUR land. Oh, really!

On a lighter note, Dee and I had the privilege of visiting and participating in the Canadian Federation•  s show and meeting in Edmonton, Alberta Canada Thursday, August 14th thru Saturday evening August 16th. This was arranged by Trudy Martin, S.C.R.I.B.E. president and long-time editor of the Calgary club and personal friend. We had a wonderful visit with those involved, President Dave Barclay of British Columbia, and his wife Maureen and also the new incoming president, Peter Hager, whose club will be Co-hosting the 2009 Canadian Federation show at the Expo Center, August 29-30, 2009 in Prince Albert , Saskatchewan, Canada. At their •  dinner meeting•   (this is really different from the way we have our meeting •   perhaps we should think about this possibility because we would have a full belly and feel better about passing controversial things •   just kidding) they made it abundantly clear that they are having the same problems •   access to their public lands •   that we are having. British Columbia isn•  t as restricted as Alberta and those clubs in British Columbia hope to keep it that way. On the other hand in Alberta someone recently found they were in trouble when they tried to sell some personally collected ammolite (the fossilized opalized ammonite shell) and the provincial government stepped in and said all such things were the property of the government even thought it was personally collected and had been in a personal collection. Take heed, this could happen here.

Part of our visit was to make the Canadian clubs aware that the AFMS Convention and Show will be hosted in 2009 in Billings, Montana. Just a skip and a hop across the border from many of the Canadian clubs. This event will be the closest that an AFMS convention and show has been in a number of years and we wanted to take advantage of this and invite our friends across the border to attend. We took with us a packet of the show and passed them out. All were enthusiastic and have put it on their calendar. Now for the good part, I have been in touch with Doug True, Show Chair for the Host club, Billings Gem and Mineral Society, and also Past President of the Northwest Federation. He has assigned me the •  Cracker Barrel•   event at the show on Friday evening, July 29th. This will be a totally different type of meeting because we•  re having the Canadian Federation included in making up the agenda. We both have problems with collecting, there are also many things we have in common that we need to bring out and explore. Don•  t forget, the Canadian rockhounds are numerous all along the Southwest border during the winter months. While some have become involved in the clubs in that area, we could reach out to all Canadians and make their stay in the southwest a real experience. They, in turn could help those rockhounds who venture into Canada. This is a win •   win situation. And by the time the AFMS convention and show rolls around July 30 •   August 2, 2009 we will have this all in place.

Lastly, I want to create a •  PHONE TREE•  . I•  ve found that when we really needed to reach people about the Paleo Bill 554, we didn•  t have a good means of communication. Would each of the clubs throughout the U.S. contact me with a NAME, EMAIL and Club/Region affiliation? Those of you who are willing to contact other clubs in your area and pass along strategic information are the people I•  m looking for. I promise that I won•  t use it for any other purposes except for emergencies of importance to rockhounds. We•  ll break it down into a state by state group and then by a smaller area. I•  m going to ask for help on seeing how this information can be disseminated without having it appear as SPAM and blocked. We have already started in California Federation and we are building a tree with each day that passes. This can work, but I desperately need you to help. If you care, contact me.


By Cheri George

Cheri George

Thanks to Ruth Bailey, I am pleased to add Rick Kennedy to the Speakers North listing of Podium People.

Rick Kennedy
65 Washington Street #264
Santa Clara, California 95050
Phone: 408-529-9690

FEE: Open, depending on distance traveled, standard club fee OK.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Electricity, and 8 ft table. Computer projector needed for virtual museum tour.

LENGTH OF PROGRAM: 15 minutes to 1 hour

ADVANCE NOTICE: At least one month, but more is always better!

AREA TRAVELED: California, I can do talks away from the Bay Area if I am doing a show in the area.


  1. Benitoite - Past, Present and Future; an overview of the history of the Benitoite Gem Mine complete with samples of both mineral specimens and gemstones.
  2. The Care and Feeding of Your Benitoite Specimen - A hands on demonstration of the etching process used to extract both gem material and specimen material.
  3. Virtual Museum Tour - Highlights of my visits to the Crater Rock Museum, Rice Museum, New Mexico Tech Museum and the cases from the 2008 Tucson Show.
  4. Rocks and Minerals and the Internet - A talk that focuses on both the buying and the selling side of the Internet.
  5. The Ethics of Field Collecting - It may sound heavy, but there are many things you can do to make your trip a successful one, even before you have left the house! Also deals with ethical situations once you are out in the field.

Earth's Treasures was formed in 1985 by Rick Kennedy while he was a geology student at U.C. Santa Cruz. Originally, mostly a field collector with an interest in minerals from the western United States, as the business has expanded he has specialized in fine minerals and rare ocalities including his favorite: The Benitoite Gem Mine.

Another aspect of Earth's Treasures business is specimen preparation and evaluation, especially of material from the Benitoite Gem Mine. Samples of our work will are here and most, if not all of the Gem Mine specimens you will see for sale on this site were prepared by Earth's Treasures.

Rick displays his "Rough and Cut" mineral and rare gem display at shows in the west and has given numerous programs to clubs and at shows on a variety of topics.


By Shirley Leeson

Shirley Leeson

The letter went to Congressman Brian Bilbray of San Diego County and is the best letter on this subject that I have seen.

This e-mail is in regard to Bill HR 554.

Bill HR 554 would make it a crime for individuals to collect fossils on public lands. I am a registered professional geologist with a half century of experience working as a geologist, which includes the collecting of fossils. I believe bill HR 554 is ill advised and unnecessary. I have been involved in voluntary teaching of geology, including fossils, to school children and adults. This is a pastime that millions of Americans practice and enjoy. I do not understand the purpose of restricting and criminalizing their free exercise of their right to use THEIR public lands. There are trillions of fossils in the rocks within the United States. The collecting of a few thousand or even tens of thousands of fossils each year will not deplete this resource in 1,000 centuries nor does it contribute any significant environmental impact. To appoint bureaucrats and law enforcement individuals, who are untrained in paleontology, to enforce this dumb law is ludicrous and another waste of taxes. I find it incredible that with all the problems facing this country you folks in Washington are wasting your time and our money on such absurdly silly legislature. A few paleontologists want to restrict their fellow Americans so that they alone can pursue this hobby. It is a hobby for them too, because people cannot make a living as paleontologists unless we taxpayers support them with grants of our money. No one should have his access to knowledge restricted so that only a few anointed experts can pursue fossil collection and study. Many of the finds and much research in paleontology occurs as a result of amateur and semi-professional research and collecting. What is next? Will only librarians be allowed to use the libraries or only biologists be allowed to go fishing? If this bill is passed, a family on a weekend outing can be jailed and fined for picking up a fossil even if they do not recognize it as a fossil. How do we restrict children from picking up a fossil any more than restricting them from picking a wild flower or catching a butterfly? Children need to explore nature to be children. Our scientists, including the very paleontologists promoting this law, come from a childhood curiosity that includes pastimes like fossil collecting. I became a geologist because of a childhood pastime of collecting fossils, which began at the age of 8 years. In my professional career, I have added billions of dollars in resources to our nation's benefit. Many other geologists share the same background and have made similar contributions. You have to decide if the passage of this stupid Bill HR 554 is worth the price of further diminishing our nation's available energy and mineral resources and our future supply of scientists. Or, perhaps in the future, we can also import our scientists from China too? I urge you to vote against bill HR 554.

Eugene V. Ciancanelli
California Professional Geologist #357


By Jennifer Haley, Chairperson

Let•  s start a rockhound reunion this fall by donating what each of you can as members and clubs to the CFMS Scholarship Fund. Making a donation of any amount each year is something to be proud of. Can you imagine at the Federation Business Meeting this November announcing that every club or a member of every club in our Federation mailed in a check of some amount? Now that would be fun. Please be sure your new members this year understand all of what CFMS does for us and what the Scholarship Fund is doing for others. Let•  s all pull together on this wonderful project. I am looking forward to writing "thank you" notes a good rock pile high!