Friday, April 15, 2011

Students outraged over Arizona Centennial Museum double cross

As explained in prior posts, a compromise was negotiated following the Arizona Centennial Museum controversy in early 2010. Following the supposedly democratic process, the centennial museum bill was amended to protect and preserve the mineral museum within the centennial museum.  In April 2010, Judge C.E. Jones published a "My turn" editorial in the Arizona Republic assuring students that the new law would be followed.

Now, a year later, the Arizona Historical Society and the Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation are defiantly ignoring portions of the law that they do not like (Judge Jones is president of the Foundation). Their preliminary plans virtually eliminate all traces of the mineral museum. Even worse, they absolutely refuses to discuss what will become of the mineral collection and mining artifacts.  The AHS has even terminated the K-12 earth science education programs. If the AHS has their way, future Arizona students will be deprived of this lifetime learning experience.

This is unacceptable.

Arizona students are signing petitions to insist on a remedy to this blatant violation of an Arizona law they helped establish. The petitions are being delivered to the Arizona legislature, and will also be distributed to various news media.  The student’s petition follows:


        Last year Governor Brewer announced her “Birthday Gift” to the State of Arizona as the AZ Centennial Museum.  It was to replace our current AZ Mining and Minerals Museum, which emphasizes the Earth Sciences being taught in our state.  We worked hard with the science community in protesting the proposed AZ Centennial Museum, as it would be just another history museum. We encouraged the amendments to HB 2251 that “housed” our Mining and Minerals Museum and kept the displays and historic equipment under the AZ Historical Society. We were so proud to have played a vital part in the solution that allowed a Centennial/Mining and Mineral Museum, “this was a democracy in action.”  The bill passed and the Governor signed it. We thought our museum was safe. WRONG!!  It will be closed on June 1, 2011.

            The AZ Historical Society did “house” our Mining and Minerals Museum this year without cost to them, because our museum is nearly self-supporting.  Now we hear that the Governor, and the AZ Centennial Foundation are breaking the law by closing the Mining and Mineral Museum on June 1st.  They changed the idea of “housing the minerals” and are now using the word “transforming” with pictures showing our  AZ Mining Minerals Museum gone, not even mentioned.
    We wish to express the following points:
1.    We have re-read our Arizona Government policies, and simply cannot find giving “birthday gifts” that cost taxpayers $14,000,000.
2.    We could not find anything that said it was OK for the Governor, or any organization that receives money from the taxpayers, to choose not to follow the state laws.
3.    This has been a nightmare and we ask you to repeal HB 2251 and give our Mining and Minerals Museum back to a scientific organization where it “really will be safe.”
4.    Why is AZ celebrating our Centennial by destroying our Mining and Minerals Museum?  Please Help Us!

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