Friday, March 30, 2012

Legislature approved inefficiency and redundancy

The Arizona Historical Society website ( currently includes the following:

Passport to Geology: Minerals from Around the World

In this one-hour adventure, Curator of Mineralogy Dr. Madison Barkley will showcase some incredible mineral and rock specimens from all over the world, and you will be able to view them right here in Arizona.
Free with $5 general museum admission.
Saturday April 21, 2012
10:30 am – 12:00 pm   949 E. 2nd St. Tucson AZ 85719


The Tucson area is already served by the mineral museum at the University of Arizona which is open to the public.

Metropolitan Phoenix now has no mineral museum.

Admission at the former Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in Phoenix was only $2 rather than $5.

The AHS mineral program is currently costing taxpayers more than the mineral museum in Phoenix did when it closed. The mineral museum was operated by volunteers and self-supported staff. The AHS mineral program has a state paid employee.

Tens of thousands (per year) of metropolitan Phoenix students are now being deprived of free  K-12 mineral museum education programs that supported the state mandated education curriculum.

Less for more!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rewriting Arizona history?

The previous post discussed a scheduled Centennial Conference presentation that included the Arizona Experience Museum (AKA the Arizona Centennial Museum). A year ago that museum was being billed as the “centerpiece of the centennial celebration” and as the “number one signature project." Now, that presentation has suddenly vanished from the program.  Apparently, the centennial conference will ignore the “centerpiece”.

Also gone is a presentation about mining:

FROM THE GROUND UP, Vivia Strang, Arizona State Historic Preservation Office

It would be impossible to write the history of Arizona without including a long and colorful chapter on mining. From the time Coronado came searching for the Seven Cities of Cibola, the quest for mineral wealth has never died, and the history of Arizona is etched with tales of gold, silver, and copper. More than 400,000 mining claims have been recorded in Arizona, and it is estimated that over the years more than 4,000 companies were formed for the purpose of mining.

Apparently, a “long and colorful chapter” of Arizona history is simply being erased.  Are Arizona historians afraid of recent history?  Will the elimination of the top rated and historic Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum as a result of the Arizona Centennial Museum boondoggle be ignored? Is Arizona history being rewritten?

Note: Helpful links to this blog are being routinely removed from the Centennial Conference Facebook page.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Arizona Centennial Conference to discuss Arizona Experience Museum fiasco

The Arizona Centennial Conference is being held at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix on April 18, 2012 through April 22, 2012. According to the agenda (

Featured are more than 54 presentations by locally and nationally recognized speakers on topics pertaining to Arizona’s rich history. On-site and off-site personal development workshops, poster sessions, historic tours and a dedicated exhibit area for vendors are included.  ---- and the Museum Association of Arizona’s annual meeting and award luncheon is held in addition to the Governor’s Award for Historical Preservation.

The agenda shows one session of particular interest:

ONE SIZE DOESN'T FIT ALL: A PRESERVATION BALANCING ACT, Dennis Barrie and Matthew Jennings, Westlake Reed Leskosky.

The restoration and adaptive reuse of three museums present a broad array of preservation issues and offer insights into the give and take between economics and authenticity, restoration, technology and sustainability. The projects include Tovrea Castle house museum and gardens in Phoenix; The Arizona Experience museum celebrating the state's 2012 centennial and beyond; and the Mob Museum in Las Vegas.

Exactly how will Barrie and Jennings present the Arizona Experience Museum? Nothing was preserved, nothing was restored, and nothing was even reused.

However, a top rated piece of Arizona’s unique mining heritage, dating back to 1884, was destroyed.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Virtual museum replaces real thing?

An Arizona Republic news article about the Arizona Experience website includes the following three paragraphs:

The virtual museum is an alternative to the shuttered Mining and Minerals Museum in downtown Phoenix, which closed in April.

The virtual mineral-education museum aims to compensate for the Mining and Minerals Museum, which closed amid budget cuts. But those fond of the museum said the website is a poor substitute for the actual building, which was visited by about 25,000 school children a year.

The museum was closed as part of the consolidation of the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources into the Arizona Geological Survey. The agencies merged last year, and Brewer recently signed a bill merging them in statute.

The first paragraph may be true if an alternative may be a far less than satisfactory substitute.  The second and third paragraphs are clearly untrue, and show that that AHS and the Governor’s office are still providing the news media with bogus information.

The closure of the mineral museum had absolutely nothing to do with budget cuts. The entire mineral museum budget was transferred to the AHS. No money was saved.

The mineral museum was not closed as part of any consolidation. A separate bill, in a prior legislative session, transferred the mineral museum to the AHS. The AHS, not the AZGS, is responsible for the illegal closure of the mineral museum.

These persisting misrepresentations have been debunked many times, beginning with the initial post on this blog.

Digging into state’s history
Virtual museum gives peek into Arizona's mines
Ryan Randazzo
The Arizona Republic, page D1, Thursday March 15, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Arizona Experience Museum mess keeps growing

The failed 5C Arizona Centennial Museum morphed in the Arizona Experience Museum.  The failed Arizona Experience Museum then morphed into, which supposedly would have been the museums website if there had been such a museum. As a result, we now have:

  • The Arizona Historical Society diverted from preserving Arizona history.  It is now busy, using tax dollars, forecasting the future and supposedly developing science education programs. 
  • Arizona Geological Survey resources diverted from its mission. Tasked with developing the Arizona Centennial Commission’s Arizona Experience website, it is now forced to support biology, astronomy, ranching, agriculture, sports and recreation, and even Indian culture.
  •  A completely empty and unnamed building at 1502 West Washington in Phoenix. Since the AHS is being funded for both rent and staff, that building is costing taxpayers more than it did when it was the top rated mineral museum.
  • Arizona children deprived of former self-supporting K-12 earth science education programs. Those programs used to support the state mandated education standards.  Arizona teachers were left with no alternate means of support for a specialty they are not trained in.

In exchange, we have, which is nothing but a liability. It presents almost nothing that is not already on the internet. However, taxpayer supported staff will have an unending job trying to keep the links updated. Like the Arizona Experience Museum, is simply a state operated boondoggle will waste resources until it too eventually dies.