Friday, December 18, 2015

The Board leading the blind


The prior post suggested it is time for the AHS Board of Directors to investigate the distorted history of the AHS. Further information indicates that would be useless. The Board itself has bought into the false history.

In April 2015, the AHS sent a letter to the Sierra Vista Herald about the veto of SB1200 (mineral museum restoration).  Prior posts have debunked the claims that letter made about SB1200 and related circumstances. The badly flawed letter ended with the following somewhat belligerent statement:


In 1864, the Legislative Assembly of Territorial Arizona created the Arizona Historical Society and directed it to collect and preserve “all historical facts” including “geological and mineralogical specimens.” In the face of challenges and critics, the Arizona Historical Society will continue to do just that.


Now, it is has been discovered that the phrases in quotes were extracted from the acts of the 1864 Arizona Territorial Legislature. They applied to the FIRST AHS which went defunct after a few years. They had no connection whatever to the Society of Arizona Pioneers, from which the AHS emerged many decades later.

The present day AHS (the SECOND in the State’s history) is dysfunctional at all levels. Even the Board does not know what the mission of the AHS is. Only rigorous Legislative oversight can clean up this mess.

References:

Acts, Resolutions and Memorials adopted by the First Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Arizona (September 26 to November 10, 1864). This booklet is in a bound volume by the University of Michigan Law School. The link is:

Sierra Vista Herald
A4 FRIDAY APRIL 24, 2015
OUR READERS’ VIEWS
Taking an issue with an editorial
To the Editor:
An April 13 opinion of the Sierra Vista Herald (OUR VIEW: Let’s end the honeymoon) lambasted Governor Doug Ducey for vetoing SB 1200, which would have transferred ownership of the former Mining and Mineral Museum from the Arizona Historical Society to the Arizona Geological Survey.

Before you decide if the governor’s veto was right or wrong, take a moment to understand what actually transpired in the years leading up to his action. The museum was not “closed without reason.” In 2010, Governor Jan Brewer intended to create a Centennial Museum to celebrate 100 years of Arizona history. The building tabbed for that role was the
Mining and Mineral Museum, and the Arizona Historical Society was selected to operate it. A $15 million museum was imagined, with exhibits honoring the famous five Cs of Arizona: cotton, cattle, copper, climate and citrus.

Then, the Great Recession hit, and the project stalled. A group of private citizens and business leaders charged with raising the $15 million could only raise $1.5 million. Engineering and architectural reviews of the building revealed serious structural problems which forced the 90-year-old building to be closed, with no money available for repairs.
With that, Arizona lost a popular museum which offered important insights into the history of the mining industry. Proponents of the Mining and Mineral Museum felt slighted, understandably so. While the fate of that building remains unresolved, the Arizona Historical Society has worked hard “so school kids could learn more about Arizona’s impressive mining and mineral history” as the paper’s editorial suggests. Dedicated mining and mineral exhibit space is open at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park in Tempe. Minerals in storage have been moved to appropriate and safe environments. A full digital inventory has been created for the first time; anyone can view it
at www.ArizonaHistoricalSociety.org/NaturalHistory. AHS loans mineral specimens, exhibits and educational materials to qualified institutions and organizations around the state – free of charge. People can see these displays in Tempe, Tucson, Prescott, Jerome, Miami, Casa Grande, Cave Creek and, soon, Yuma. New resources for school children and educators are helping them connect with this integral piece of Arizona history. Rock and mineral kits for teachers have been retooled –they are now light enough to be shipped, which expands the reach and impact of Arizona’s mineralogical collection.

In 1864, the Legislative Assembly of Territorial Arizona created the Arizona Historical Society and directed it to collect and preserve “all historical facts” including “geological and mineralogical specimens.” In the face of challenges and critics, the Arizona Historical Society will continue to do just that.

Leonard J. Marcisz
President and Chairman of the Board,
Arizona Historical Society

3 comments:

  1. The AHS Board needs to have Dr. Woosley attend their next Board meeting and lay out her claims for the 1864 founding date.
    If they don't they are enablers and party to this falsehood.

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  2. From the letter posted by the AHS President of the Board...it looks like he drank the cool aide too. What a fool.

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  3. You would think someone on the board would actually ask Woosley if all of the claims for the founding were true? Maybe they could do a little research? Are they that lazy? They claim to run the agency or guide it. Ant director of a museum wants the board to be quiet and do nothing but this is insane. This board does not raise money and they don't care what Woosley does. Both need to go.

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