Sunday, April 6, 2014

More Arizona Historical Society Nonsense

The following appears in recent AHS meeting minutes:

 Woosley said AHS is in discussions with the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) and a steering committee from the 48 Women group on a project for the El Zaribah building , the former Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum. The idea is for the facility to become a publiccenter for events, receptions, and programming that is inclusive with broad participation.  It would include mobile exhibits. The 48 Women group are committed to a $10 million fundraising effort. Woosley said that initially a core committee consisting of representatives from the 48 Women group, Brian McNeil and whomever he assigns from ADOA; together withUrman, Ponder and herself for AHS, will map the nature of the public/private relationship. She commented that this offers a real opportunity to establish a productive function for the building.

 Now that the failure of the Arizona Centennial Museum project is finally acknowledged, the reasonable thing to do would be to restore the mineral museum and its K-12 education programs for the children of Arizona.

Instead, the AHS wants to build another cocktail bar and entertainment center for the elite. They already have one at the Marley Center in Tempe.  It alone costs taxpayers million dollars a year and provides the public with little service.  Apparently, one is not enough.

A state agency that promotes cocktails and entertainment for the elite over children’s education is not something that taxpayers should be funding.  The AHS receives over 3 million dollars in cash from taxpayers each year. In addition, it receives free rent on the many state owned facilities across the state.

What do taxpayers receive in return?

Given all that public support, the AHS should be doing something for the good of the public.

The Arizona Historical Society
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Yuma, Arizona
Page 4, lines 95 through 110


  1. You have got to be kidding!!! After AHS, the Gov., and all connected with the failed Centennial Museum, which resulted in the closing of the historic Mining and Mineral Museum, we are now allowing the AHS to "keep" the building and they and DOA are going to find a productive use for the Polly Rosenbaum building which was specifically dedicated to the Mining and Mineral Museum. NEWSFLASH- the MMM was very productive and served more children and adults than all of the tax financed AHS museums together! They probably will rename the building, and hopefully someone will film them taking Polly's plaque off the building and put them on youtube! Leaving her name on the building would demean everything she stood for.

  2. Remember way back to the 5C's and the botched Centennial. Well, we can forget the 5C's because it took some not so astute planning to get where we are today. Some other distasteful C's were utilized. It started with Coveting the Poly Rosenbaum building, Collusion to destroy the historic Mining and Mineral Museum, Clandestine planning,Cover up to disregard the AHS statutes that were supposed the protect the MMM, and it all adds up to CORRUPTION. Maybe someday AZ politics will allow for a reasonable discussion of the whole fiasco and get the scientific state mineral collection under the control of a scientific organization. Then maybe the Group of 48 would also consider contributing to replacing the destroyed MMM.

  3. The current attendance for AHS Museums is horrible. What a waste. And who is this "48 Womens Group?" sounds like an ego trip for a bunch of rich Phoenix socialities.
    I read the Phoenix Magazine article and it said that the "Curator" of the rocks is Madison Barkly. And how much experience does she have for the $67,000 salary she draws. From I have read this may be her first job. Must be a friend of Bill Ponder? And what do the other curators at the AHS make? They must be really interested in what this person makes for little experience.

  4. The Phoenix Magazine article hopefully will ignite some renewed discussion over the fallout from the failure of our Centennial's Museum project. The 48Women's Group is mostly unknown because they formed as a legacy group during the Centennial and had a display about themselves in the AHS Marley Museum in Tempe. Total attendance that year was around 6,900; hardly anyone saw it. (Your tax dollars hard at work!!!) There are big issues that need to be discussed and resolved over the unnecessary closure and dismantling of the MMM. The lies told were that the AHS needed to start remodeling--never happened-- and that it was over money--the MMM was almost financially independent when given to AHS! Now the AHS and DOA, the two agencies that closed the historic Mining and Mineral Museum for our centennial,
    are trying to come up with a new use--forget the kids!
    The proposed "community/citizen center" is going to need a lot of transparency, as the community is the legislature, the lobby brigade, and gov't personnel. AHS has a state liquor license, so parties will certainly be "events". I wonder if there are cases of wine in the building already?

    A very big issue is who should have control of the state scientific mineral collection. When they shut the MMM down, AHS grabbed the collection and moved it to the Marley and put new numbers on it. That move separated it even more from the scientific paperwork that made it scientifically valuable. Because AHS has only one scientist, a curator who has a PHD, but no experience, the anxiety about scientific control and use is legitimate. Recent comments about putting the collection in various places across the state is distressing, as no one person can monitor the valuable pieces, and moving them increases the chance of damage. It would be prudent to return the collection to a scientific agency and let them loan out pieces that are less valuable.