Sunday, June 30, 2013

$400,000 for nothing

Page 200 of the FY 2014 Arizona JBLC Baseline Budget Book (Arizona Historical Society funding) contains the following:

The Baseline includes $410,500 and 1 FTE Position from the General Fund in FY 2014 for the Arizona Experience Museum. These amounts are unchanged from 2013.

This line item funds personnel and rent of the Arizona Experience Museum, previously called the Centennial Museum. The facility was previously the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum on the Capitol Mall. The museum closed May 1, 2011 for renovations. The Arizona Historical Society does not currently have an estimated reopening date.

Why does the legislature continue funding the AHS for a nonexistent museum that has no plan and no schedule?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Significance of AZ mining

A recent article in the Tucson Citizen describes the great significance of Arizona mining.  It briefly reviews the vital importance of minerals in modern life, the rich history of Arizona mining, and the economic importance of Arizona mining. It notes that Nevada is the only state with greater mineral production than Arizona. Finally, it described current Arizona mining operations in some detail.

How unfortunate that Arizona’s elected leaders and the Arizona Historical Society do not appreciate the obvious facts presented in this article. The pointless elimination of the once top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum erased a vital bit of Arizona history and was an insult to the mining industry.  It was also, as detailed in prior posts, a serious blow to K-12 science education.

Based on the facts succinctly outlined by Jonathan DuHamel in the Tucson Citizen, the museum should be restored.  Hopefully, the future will provide more enlightened elected leadership.

The value of mining in Arizona
by Jonathan DuHamel on Jun. 18, 2013, under Geology, Politics
Wry Heat -

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

100,000 kids cheated

Three years ago, the initial, June 5, 2010 blog post documented the hostile takeover of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum by the Arizona Historical Society. Although the mineral museum curator resigned shortly thereafter, self-supported employees and volunteers operated the mineral museum for nearly another school year. They served 50,000 children, half participating in class field trips and half brought by family members or friends. 

Then, the AHS abruptly closed the mineral museum, even though some school and scout field trips were still scheduled. The closing was irrational, since funds for the proposed replacement (Arizona Experience Museum) had not been raised.

The building has now stood locked and empty during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years. One hundred thousand school children have now been cheated out of a unique and memorable learning experience. The AHS will not answer questions about either the museum or the mineral collection. Apparently, there are now no plans of any kind for the empty building.

Nevertheless, the AHS continues to receive approximately $500,000 in state funds each year for a non-museum. They even hired staff after the closure of the mineral museum.

One million dollars (thus far) for nothing!