FYI – The following text was sent to 750 news people.
The Arizona Historical Society, a state funded agency, is having an effect on Arizona’s future, and it is not a good one. In 2010, the AHS gained control of the state owned Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in Phoenix. At the time, 40,000 children per year were served in various ways by the museum’s K-12 earth science education programs. Memorable learning experiences at the mineral museum inspired some students to pursue careers in science and engineering. In early 2011, the AHS locked the doors, even though it continues to receive approximately a half million dollars of state money a year to operate the museum. The reason for the closure, which violated state statutes, has never been explained.
In 2015, the State Legislature voted to transfer all mineral museum assets to another state agency that is able and willing to restore the mineral museum and the K-12 education programs. Bipartisan support for the transfer was overwhelming. Only two representatives (out of 60) and three senators (out of 30) voted against the bill. Unfortunately, AHS lobbyists were able to persuade Arizona’s new Governor to veto the bill. The AHS wants to convert the building into an “event center” with restaurant and cocktail bar. Many suspect the goal sounds like a lounge for lobbyists on the Capitol Mall.
Professors in Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon report that universities in the USA are producing less than half the economic geologists that will be needed to support our industrialized economy. Arizona is the number one non fuel mining state in the USA and produces two thirds of the nation’s copper. Arizona will therefore be disproportionately damaged by a shortage of geologists. The AHS must not be permitted to damage education and the economy to pursue selfish interests that will only benefit lobbyists.
Complete details are available on the blog Mineral Museum Madness at www.minmumad.blogspot.com