Wednesday, April 11, 2012
A TALE OF TWO CENTENNIALS
Anonymous guest post:
On a recent visit to New Mexico I discovered that 2012 was also their Centennial Year. The contrast between the activities, enthusiasm and participation between New Mexico and Arizona was striking.
The first big difference was noticeable just driving into New Mexico. It didn’t take long to notice the number of cars and other vehicles with the New Mexico centennial license plate proudly displayed. They also had t-shirts with the license plate on them. This was obviously planned and promoted well in advance. In Arizona, I have to admit that we finally have one, but I have never seen one on a vehicle. Worse than that, the Centennial 12 Foundation borrowed the $32,000 for the set-up for the special plate from the Dept. of Transportation. Have we sold enough to pay that off???
Another contrast was the advertising cities, large and small, had available in brochures about the centennial activities for their community. The centennial items for sale were found at events in communities, and people talked about their history, and had information about the celebrations all over the state.
Finally, the starkest contrast was their “signature” project vs. ours. For New Mexico, the Governor’s initiative was the Centennial Children’s Legacy Fund. This incredible project raised money to serve their children through projects that will enhance the education and welfare of children. This gift to the children for the next 100 years will be administered by a private foundation in the form of grants to organizations helping children. Money was raised through a series of Centennial Balls in cities, and through citizen donations, and is ongoing. WOW!
In Arizona, we dishonored students and their desire for earth science education, by abruptly closing the historic and self-supporting Mining and Mineral Museum. This was done to promote our governor’s (and AHS’S) fantasy of a 5C’s Centennial Museum, turned into the non-existent Arizona Experience Museum. This “signature” project barged in and replaced or diminished more reasonable centennial projects, and was based on the very false assumption that businesses and people would just love to give their money to the state to promote the Governor’s legacy! Our centennial is mired in controversy, disappointment, and anger. We managed to take away from our children, and now have an empty building. I’m planning to send a check to the Children’s Legacy Fund in New Mexico—giving is better than taking away. They got it right!