Sunday, May 8, 2011

Students respond to Governor's recycled hogwash

The May 6th post reported how the governors office responded to a students petition to save the mineral museum with recycled hogwash. The students were insulted, and further outraged. The students' response to the Governor follows:

Lupe Lerma, Director of Constituent Services May 4, 2011
Office of the Governor
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Dear Ms. Lerma,

We received your letter, and after reading it several times, looked at each other and said “this just doesn’t make sense-something is very wrong!” First of all, the information is out of date. The Centennial Museum is not opening in time for the actual 100th birthday, and the Governer, the Historical Society, and the Centennial Foundation all admit that it won’t. Secondly, there is no plan to keep the MMM in existence or to save the incredible outdoor equipment. All of the pictures of the Centennial Museum, now known as The Arizona Experience, show the working equipment gone. The Gallagher Firm even said that all of it would be relocated! We have also sent the RFQ, which the Centennial Foundation issued describing the new museum and it tells the general contractor what must be in it. (See attached) Please note that the MMM is never mentioned, but there is plently of room for an auditorium, event space, (cocktail lounge for politicians and lobbyists), offices for the entire Historical Society who already have offices, and a long list of displays that will replace the MMM! Also note the very lengthy closure period. On Saturday April 30th, the staff was fired and the doors locked.

After considering how disconnected what is really happening is from your information, we showed your letter to our blogger. He read the letter and he recognized much of your letter as a copy of and direct quotations of the spin he and others got from the Governer’s office a year or more ago! You need to read it on message board. We now understand why your letter made no sense, and, frankly we are disgusted and insulted with being treated this way. We also suggest that you check as there will be a new blog!

You failed to address the real, and current issues of the Student Action Committee to Save Our Mining and Minerals Museum. Since we wrote and sent the petition, even more serious evidence of our elimination has appeared.

1. We question the gimmick of a birthday gift from a Governor, when our state is broke. However, pushing this on taxpayers, who will have to pay for the Historical Society to manage and maintain the Arizona Experience, is financially unwise. Unlike the MMM which is almost totally self-funded, the AHS is heavily into state funding and keeps asking for more. Worse than that, the Centennial Foundation, and AHS have not raised even close to the $15.5 million needed just to build the expensive Arizona Experience Museum. (See attached article on Centennial Snags) What is Plan B? It’s not about the rent because the Governor gave the rent to the Historical Society, so we have to think she’s desperately wanted the MMM building from the beginning.

2. Our biggest issue is that HB 2251 passed and was signed by the Governor last year. It authorizes the AHS to have a 5C’s Centennial Museum and to “house” the MMM. We are now facing closure because the Governor and the AHS no longer understand the meaning of “house,” which AHS did the past 10 months, and are now substituting it with the word “transform.” To help you understand how our only earth science museum and its excellent educational program is being sacrificed for yet another history museum, you need to see the recent Horizon segments about the issue. You can access them at KAET Channel 8 or from the above blog we gave you. Just click on the “Video” tab. The second segment will show you our MMM. The first Horizon segment presented by AHS flat out admitted that there would be fundamental changes to the MMM and cases of minerals we use would no longer be there, they would be scattered all over the state in other museums. No matter how you look at it, it’s not “housing” the MMM! The first segment was scary in that history was also redefined as imagining the future and sent us running for our Webster’s dictionary. Safe-Webster still understands history and that it is past written record! He also knows that the verbs “house” and “transform” do not mean the same thing!

3. The MMM was forced to be part of AHS, no other options were considered. Our scientific museum is Not Safe. Students do not need another AZ Historical Museum, it is not questioned on any of our national exams. The Arizona students need all the help they can get in math and science! So why is our only, and well-respected earth science museum being sacrificed so the Governor and AHS can imagine the future? AZ ranks 49th in education. Please tell the Governor that if education is really her priority, she needs to carefully read her mail and save the MMM! It won’t cost AZ Taxpayers.

4. We will not be celebrating AZ’s Centennial, we’ll be remembering how our MMM was essentially destroyed and names like Polly Rosenbaum and Gov. Rose Mofford who supported us, were “Dishonored instead of Honored.”

After you have read our letter, and referenced and the blog, we would appreciate a response addressing these issues.


Student Action Committee to Save MMM
Anthony L. Occhiuzzi, Advisor
Nicole Rae Vollhardt, Student

1 comment:

  1. This can stopped if everybody writes the Arizona Board of Directors. Who do you think Woosley and Ponder work for. Only they can fire both of them. Woosley is the target. Ponder is just a spineless minion. He does only what Woosley tells him.
    The problem is both Woosley and the Board of Directors have no capacity to raise money. So if Woosley leaves then the AHS will slide into a much smaller agency. With only the capacity to collect artifacts, protect them and have the research library. Maybe for the next 10 years or so until the economic downturn is over maybe that is OK. The membership is so small and do they really need the "public programming" they claim is so important.If nobody comes into the museums then who are they serving? The taxpayers certainly dont care. They are spending what little resources they have on party houses for lobbyists and friends of Brewer for the "Centennial" that nobody cares about and nobody can afford. What is the point.
    Brewer was looking for a "whore agency" to do her bidding and nobody was left to do the job. The Az State Parks has nobody left. The Az Dept of Library and Archives/Capitol Museum was too smart to get involved. So I guess the AHS was left holding the bag. The Papago Park AHS Museum is too far away for people to drive to and the exhibits already cover the five "C"s (all boring). Guess its too far for people to walk across the street with a cocktail!!
    Woosley on the KAET interview makes you believe that Brewer should have hired a science museum for the AZ Experience displays. Is there some kind of relationship between Woosley and the "out of state" expensive, sole source exhibits company. So what happened to the state system of three bids? lol
    Write the AHS Board of Directors. The AHS Admin has their names. The names are public record. Find them and tell them what you think. Better to be poor and have honor than be what they are now.