Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Historical Society’s War of Words

Guest post by a mineral museum supporter who participated in Senate negotiations over HB 2251

 During the fight over HB 2251 (the bill to authorize using the Polly Rosenbaum building for the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum rather than  for  only the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum), the fate of the mineral museum was the focus of contentious argument before a senate hearing.  The words used by each side show very different intents and make a good third grade AIMS question:

Question:  Which word(s) does not belong in the following group?
                  A.  repurpose
                  B.  transform
                  C.  house
                  D.  fundamentally change

Alternate Question:  Which phrase does not mean the same as the other two?

A.    repurpose and transform
B.     fundamentally change
C.     house and maintain

Correct answer:  C for both questions.

“House” and “maintain” were the words used by the Arizona Legislature in the amended bill which passed.  The Arizona statutes now clearly state that the mineral museum shall be “housed” in the centennial museum. Repurpose, transform, and fundamentally change were words used by the Governor, the AZ Historical Society and the Centennial 2012 Foundation. They wanted to eliminate the mineral museum to make the entire building available for the centennial museum.

Incredibly, having destroyed the mineral museum anyway, the AHS is now arguing that they are “repurposing” the building but that it will still “house” both the mineral museum and the centennial museum in accordance with the statutes.

Except for the outdoor mining equipment, the mineral museum is gone!   The AHS is even attempting to remove the equipment.

The AHS is playing games with words.

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