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Last update: 29-Mar-2014 rev 1

COMARA-IRAA Picnic May 18, 2014 at Seneca Creek State Park

The 5th Annual COMARA-IRAA Picnic will be held at Senec Creek State Park near Gaithersburg - just a short distance from I-270. Cost is $12 for member and 0ne guest. Payment due by May 9. Either by check or Paypal (through the IRAA web site. See the announcement at COMARA-IRAA Picnic 2014 at Seneca Creek State Park for details.

View of the lake at Senaca State Park Menu:
-- Spit-roasted chicken, grilled burgers andhot dogs,
-- salads,
-- dessert,
-- cool refreshments, and
-- limited beer & wine.

Next Board Meeting

Tue, May 13, 2014, 11:30am
Chez Kinzie

Jeff Binckes Piano Recital

Mon, Apr 28, 2014, 1:30pm
JCC Rockville Kreeger Auditorium


Sun, May 18 2014
Seneca Creek State Park
Gaithersburg, MD


Jeff Binckes Piano Concert Rescheduled to April 28

Our own Jeff Binckes has extended an intitation to COMARA members to a Lecture-Recital he planned to present March 17in March. The DC-MD-VA area woke up to a covering of snow that morning. Schools were cancelled and so was the concert. The concert is now scheduled for April 28 at 1:30pm. Photo of Jeff Binckes

It will take place at the KREEGER AUDITORIUM, at the Jewish Community Center (JCC), 6125 MONTROSE Road (same as Randolph Road but on the West Side of Rockville Pike), at 1:30 PM.

I will be presenting a unique program Entitled: 150 Years of Spanish Piano Music by such master composers as Enrique GRANADOS, Isaac Albeniz, Joaquin TURINA, Manuel de Falla, and perhaps a more recent Cuban composer, Ernesto Lecuona.

The concert is free of charge and free parking is available at the center (allow about 10 minutes to find your parking place!).

All COMARA members and a guest are invited to attend.
-- Jeff Binckes --

In the meantime, my friends at PianoCraft have asked me to play essentially the same program at their Rothenberg Concert Hall located in their beautiful new facility at 211 Perry Parkway, Suite 2, Gaithersburg, MD. 20877, on Saturday evening, May 10, starting with a free wine and cheese and other goodies reception before the concert at around 7 PM and then the concert itself will commence at around 7:45 PM and will last about 1 hour.

The best way to reach PianoCraft is to take EXIT 10 off RT.270 and then, once on the exit ramp, turn left towards Gaithersburg and then take the next left, at a stop light, onto Perry Parkway and then find their facility on the right hand side of the road after about 1/4 mile. The folks at PianoCraft ask you to RSVP via so they will be able to plan for the number of people attending. A plus with this venue is that their adjacent showroom contains some of the world's finest US and imported pianos, both new and re-built instruments refurbished on site by expert craftmen. I will playing the program on an entirely hand-made Steingraeber Concert Grand, which is certainly one of the best pianos on the entire planet.

New Year's Resolution

Did you know that COMARA has 750 members? As you receive your first COMARA newsletter for 2014, the COMARA Board of Directors wishes to thank each of the 165 members who paid their COMARA dues in 2013. Special thanks to the 5 that have recently sent in their membership dues and the 126 members who already prepaid their memberships during 2013 for this year.

For the 620 members who have not yet paid their annual 2014 membership dues, please add a small item to your New Year's Resolutions - help COMARA's mission of keeping the COMSAT Legacy alive and support COMARA's operational expenses by contributing $15 to COMARA for 2014. Better yet, contribute $30 to COMARA for both 2014 and 2015.

Your dues are badly needed to keep the Newsletters coming to you and to keep the wonderful COMARA web site up to date with the latest listing of events, publications, and member information. What better way to find and reach out to your former Comsat colleagues than by logging into

Please do log onto the COMARA web site to verify that we have a current working email address for you. Because of rising postage costs, we will only use the US Post Office to mail out Newsletters to those members who are paid up for 2014 and do not have a working email address. All members, whether they pay their dues or not, will continue to receive Newsletters and other important communications, so long as we have a valid email address for you in our data base. We will continue to protect your privacy. We never share your email address with anyone or any entity that is not part of COMARA.

To help us keep up the good work, please make your membership contributions for 2014. Make out your check to COMARA and mail the check to

PO Box 34594
Bethesda, MD 20827

First Wednesday in December 2013 Pictures

First Wednesday in December 2013 Photos on COMARA SkyDrive

Pictures from the First Wednesday December 2013 are available from an album in the COMARA SkyDrive.
See the text following the Annual Meeting Pictures for some tips to navigate through the album.
SkyDrive is free online storage for sharing photos and documents available with any MSN mail account (hotmail, live, outlook).

2013 Annual Meeting and Social Pictures

2013 Annual Photos on COMARA SkyDrive
Pictures from the 2013 Annual Meeting are available from an album in the COMARA SkyDrive.
SkyDrive is free online storage for sharing photos and documents available with any MSN mail account (hotmail, live, outlook).

  • Click any photo in the array to view that photo.
  • When the cursor displays a plus sign, click to hide the extra info.
    The photo will the be displayed in a larger size with navigation buttons.
    Click again to return to the display with extra info.
  • When the cursor displays a minus sign, click to see the extra info.
  • There is a link to start a slide show when the extra info is displayed.

Most people in the photos have been tagged. Mouse over the face to see the tag. If you find an error or can identify someone who is not tagged, send an email to so we can fix it. Include the photo name in the email.

Several additional photo collections will be available in the next few days. The First Wednesday in December 2013 photos will be next. Denis Curtin forwarded several photos from the Ancient Mariners luncheon. Paul Schrantz forwarded a few photos from a 1980 Marisat meeting. For now, the photo collections are being uploaded to our SkyDrive account. Skydrive has a number of useful features:

  • SkyDrive takes care of making the size of images fit the screen.
  • Images can be displayed from thumbnails, left and right buttons, or slide show.
  • Tagss can be added to individuals.
  • A caption can be added to any photo.
  • You can download any image.
  • The photos are still private; the link from COMARA is needed to view them.
  • You can download any image.

Feel free to let the webmaster know if you like the display. If you would like to help with adding tags or captions, let the webmaster know.

What's New
Benefits Information
John McLucas Book
In Memoriam
Board of Directors
  • Joe Pelton - 2011
  • Denis Curtin - 2011
  • Bob Kinzie - 2011
  • Maury Mechanick - 2012
  • Paul Schrantz - 2012
  • Peter Jacxsens - 2012
  • Fred Kelly - 2013
  • Geza Serenyi - 2013
  • Ron Johnson - 2013
  • Maury Mechanick - President
  • Fred Kelly - Secretary
  • Geza Serenyi - Treasurer
  • Denis Curtin - Social
  • Peter Jacxsens - Membership
  • Ron Johnson - 1st Wednesday
  • Jack Hannon - Benefits
  • Paul Schrantz - Legacy
  • Ron Garlow - Webmaster

04-Oct-2013 rev3