Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Centennial Museum connection to Rio Nuevo

The Rio Nuevo scandal in Tucson is becoming infamous for government waste and corruption. The FBI is currently investigating how $230 million of state funds vanished with little progress.

The AHS was a part of the Rio Nuevo debacle.  They spent $1.4 million to design a new history museum that is so expensive it will probably never be built. Eventual construction is especially unlikely since the AHS failed to raise any funds.

The AHS contractors for Rio Nuevo were Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis, Minnesota and  Gallagher & Associates of Bethesda, Md..  Those are the same sole source contractors AHS selected (via the Centennial 2012 Foundation) for their 5C Arizona Centennial Museum in Phoenix.

With just a few months to go before the centennial, no construction work has been done on the centennial museum and the fundraising effort has failed. Once again, money spent on expensive plans will produce nothing.

Once again, history is repeating itself.

Fentress Architects to Design New Arizona Museum
The Daily Journal
 ENR Mountain States serves Colorado
, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Prominent Arizona Historical Society?

An introductory letter in the Arizona Historical Society’s 2011 annual report contains the following paragraph:

Like other prominent historical societies across the United States, AHS has added what may be described as a natural history component to its programming, as the state entrusted us with one of the finest mineral collections anywhere. Staff is currently developing public programming that will utilize this remarkable resource to provide geosciences-based learning opportunities.

 Why, in well over a century, has the self-proclaimed “prominent” AHS not produced a top rated history museum?

Why does their deca million dollar Marley Center Museum draw so few visitors?

Whatever, other than delusions of competence, gives them the idea that they are qualified to present natural history and geoscience “learning opportunities”?
Is the AHS prominent or notorious?

Note: The state did not “entrust “the AHS with the mineral collection. Using lobbyists and secret meetings, the AHS hijacked the top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum from the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources. They subsequently destroyed it and its K-12 earth science education programs

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Centennial Way project receives recognition

Like the Arizona Centennial Museum, Centennial Way is a Signature Project of the Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation.  These two projects account for over two thirds of the original $30 million centennial budget.

ABC 15 news recently covered progress on Centennial Way and revealed that taxpayers are getting a double whammy.  Not only is the project completely unnecessary, they are apparently paying too much for the work that is actually being done.

Bureaucrats use every possible way to waste federal stimulus money. 

Reference (article and video):
$7M sidewalk irks some Valley taxpayers: ABC15 Investigation reveals how $7M sidewalk project cost taxpayers over $1M more than expected
By: Dave Biscobing, November 17, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Governor Brewer’s hollow words

On October 16, 2012, the Arizona Science Center hosted the kickoff for the first annual Arizona SciTech Festival.  The festival is being organized by the Arizona Technology Council and will be begin in February 2012, Arizona’s centennial month. Who of all people presented the opening remarks?  Governor Jan Brewer, who is certainly no friend of science education. Three excerpts from the Governors remarks (in no particular order) follow:

Education is one of my highest priorities ---- Arizona’s leadership in science and technology education is important for our state, and for our children ----  A key goal of the SciTech Festival is to interest students of all ages and cultures in future career opportunities around science, engineering and technology. But career opportunities require a strong education.

Imagine that.

Following the Governor’s capricious (no money was saved) closing of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum and the abrupt termination of the K-12 earth science education programs, tens of thousands (per year) of children are being deprived of a lifetime learning experience.  How many science and engineering careers will never be inspired because of her selfish* and irresponsible action?

(* she wanted the building for her failed Arizona 5Cs Centennial Museum project)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Arizona’s centennial specialty plate

Arizona Republic, letters to the editor, Nov. 15 2011:

The Arizona Centennial Foundation’s specialty license plate is finally available. According to the Arizona Republic, $17 of each $25 for the plate will go to the Foundation for its events and projects. The Republics October 30th story was half correct about the funds. Up thru June 2012, the funds do support centennial events and projects as stated.  However, after that (per 2011 Senate Bill 1262) they go to the Arizona Historical Society for their already failed Arizona Centennial Museum project. Donors should know what is actually happening to their money.

Like the Foundations' logo, the plate is simply a scrambled Arizona flag.  Ironically, it prominently features the copper star representing Arizona’s copper industry.  Since funds from the plate will ultimately go to the AHS, they will help finance the destruction of the mineral museum and Arizona’s copper legacy.

Arizonans should boycott this specialty plate.

Elvina Nawagunda Clemente, Cronkite news
Specialty plates to raise money for the centennial
Arizona Republic, October 30th, 2011, page B5

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Is history in the way of Centennial Way?

An October enews letter from the Arizona Centennial 2012 Commission proclaims “Centennial Way is Looking Good”. The announcement describing progress on this “highly anticipated project” continues as follows: 

Construction for our Signature Project, Centennial Way, began in May and is still underway! A combined effort between the Arizona Department of Transportation, the city of Phoenix and the Arizona Centennial Commission, this project will re-work this entire street into a beautiful gateway to our State Capitol.

Work has progressed from 7th Avenue to the former mineral museum building. Progress is illustrated with the following before and after photos.

Do Centennial Way planners now intend to remove the “ugly” historic mining equipment still at the former mineral museum to make room for their “beautiful gateway”?

Is this a good use of $7 million in public funds?