Gettysburg National Military Park funding in crisis

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Otis Willie

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Mar 15, 2005, 5:11:56 PM3/15/05
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Gettysburg National Military Park funding in crisis
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05074/471595.stm

{EXCERPT} Pittsburgh Post Gazette, PA - 15 hours ago GETTYSBURG --
Gettysburg National Military Park must turn away school groups
requesting tours and has eliminated 10 full-time jobs in the last few
years......

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William G. Davis

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Mar 17, 2005, 11:21:35 AM3/17/05
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This is totally bogus.

WGD


"Otis Willie" <americanw...@pacbell.net> wrote in message
news:b5ne31p2bncgvdbuo...@4ax.com...

Robert Willett

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Mar 17, 2005, 1:23:52 PM3/17/05
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The Pittsburg news article cited did not have information about "turning
away school groups" but it did have a statement from the park management
concerning the shortfall in funds necessary to maintain the park. It also
specifically mentioned the loss of 10 employee positions over the past
several years.

Another specific mention was the deterioration of cannon wheels caused by
dampness in an inadequate storage facility where they awaited restoration
delayed by lack of funds. The storage facility was said to have doors that
did not close properly.

Although Gettysburg Park receives thousands of hours of volunteer help each
year, it like almost all of the nations national parks is suffering form
delayed maintenance due to inadequate budgets and the diversion of funds to
poorly attended pork barrel projects such as the national Railroad museum.
There is a real need for proper funding.

snip


William G. Davis

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Mar 17, 2005, 11:10:00 PM3/17/05
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"Robert Willett" <rbwi...@triad.rr.com> wrote in message
news:YWj_d.39086$_i3.1...@twister.southeast.rr.com...

> The Pittsburg news article cited did not have information about "turning
> away school groups" but it did have a statement from the park management
> concerning the shortfall in funds necessary to maintain the park. It also
> specifically mentioned the loss of 10 employee positions over the past
> several years.
>

No one gets turned away, Otis Willie is a dishonest horse's ass for posting
that crap and trying to sensationalize the news. The PPG reporter oughtt to
sue him.

The fact is, the operating budget is indeed slashed beyond to the bone, and
volunteers produce the equivilant of 40 full time employees to both sites
(GBNMP, and Eisenhower Presidential Site) every year.


> Another specific mention was the deterioration of cannon wheels caused by
> dampness in an inadequate storage facility where they awaited restoration
> delayed by lack of funds. The storage facility was said to have doors
> that
> did not close properly.

Everything is deteriorating. The rumors, however, paint a distorted
picture.

The fact is the Park Announced yesterday that new ground will be broken for
the new Visitor's center in June of this year. That means the project
should be finished by spring of 2007. That's up to $118 million, but it
will house the archives, and all the relics.

>
> Although Gettysburg Park receives thousands of hours of volunteer help
> each
> year, it like almost all of the nations national parks is suffering form
> delayed maintenance due to inadequate budgets and the diversion of funds
> to
> poorly attended pork barrel projects such as the national Railroad museum.
> There is a real need for proper funding.

The NPS still has to explain the $4 million outhouse at Delaware Water Gap.


The cannons will be fine, volunteers are assisting with the work of
restoring them, but it is slow because they require supervision and training
in what they are doing. The cannons on Benner's Hill were gone for almost a
year and a half. The tubes themselves were missing from the carriages for
another four months.

WGD

>
>
>
> snip
>
>


roto...@mailcity.com

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Mar 18, 2005, 3:57:23 PM3/18/05
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William G. Davis wrote:
> This is totally bogus.

There is a lot of Gettysburg park bogosity floating around, by the way.

The Willie link expired but here's a story nearly on-topic:
http://www.pennlive.com/news/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1110882090212770.xml

I posted some comments on the linked story (above) here:
http://cwbn.blogspot.com/2005/03/teetertottering-at-gettysburg.html

The gist of the matter is that the NPS is $49 million short (est.) in
the maintenance kitty while a *private association* is ginning up
megamillions to build a new visitor center/museum. The idea: attract
more visitors.

But Gettysburg visitors, in their millions, seem not to be paying their
own freight. How many millions more are needed before the barn gets
painted?

And whose money gets spent tearing down the Cyclorama in 2007?

You would think that this could be one of the crown jewels in the Park
Service collection. But it is a warning to any state trying to put
their battlefield land under the Feds.

I don't know what to make of the linked story; the situation seems so
out-of-control there seem to be no easy answers.

I assume the Willie story was a painful and dramatic cry for financial
help.

- Dimitri
http://cwbn.blogspot.com

William G. Davis

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Mar 18, 2005, 4:17:59 PM3/18/05
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<roto...@mailcity.com> wrote in message
news:1111179443.6...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...


You remember that old saw about the word "assume" don't you Dimitri?

Here is the story in brief:

They are short of day-to-day money. They are making up for that with the
help of volunteers.

No one, <repeat> No one, will ever be turned away. In the first place, they
have no way of doing that. The park is criss-crossed with public roads and
they do not have the authority to close those roads.

In spite of all the lack of funds, the work gets done. Go to the binaries
group where I will shortly post a series of photos taken this week of the
work being done on the south end of the battlefield clearing trees and
re-establishing the battlefield in its 1863 condition (plus monuments and
markers).

The private organization raising the funds for the new VC has passed the
halfway mark in funding, therefore the groundbreaking will occur in June.
That money is not coming out of the nomal maintenance budget, nor is the
normal maintenance budget being cut because of the new VC.

Now, if you have concerns about Gettysburg, or any other NPS site in trouble
because of funding cuts, call your congressman, but please don't go
spreading the lies that Otis Willie posts here. They aren't true. And
things are not as bad as they are made out to be.

Feel free to contact me at any time by email to get the straight story on
GBNMP, or the EPS.

WGD


Message has been deleted

William G. Davis

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Mar 18, 2005, 5:04:09 PM3/18/05
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<roto...@mailcity.com> wrote in message
news:1111179443.6...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
> William G. Davis wrote:
>> This is totally bogus.
>
> There is a lot of Gettysburg park bogosity floating around, by the way.
>
> The Willie link expired but here's a story nearly on-topic:
> http://www.pennlive.com/news/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1110882090212770.xml
>
> I posted some comments on the linked story (above) here:
> http://cwbn.blogspot.com/2005/03/teetertottering-at-gettysburg.html
I take very serious issue with what you wrote about the new Visitor's
Center.

For years people have been decrying the conditions under which the
relics and archives are kept in the current visitor's center. The
current VC is a hodgepodge of add ons to the original Rosensteel home,
which was doneted, complete with its collection of artifacts and
documents from the battle, to the NPS in the early 1960s.

The building is old, sees the traffic from millions of visitors every
year, and leaks like a seive. If those artifacts and archives are to
be saved, they need a new home. Hence the new visitor's center. That
need, along with the five year plan to restore much of the battlefield
to its original condition allowed the NPS to make the plans for the new
visitor's center big enough to house the collections, administrative
offices, Cyclorama painting, museum, bookstore, cafeteria, and electric
map. It also allowed them to get the current building and its
neighbor, the Cyclorama center (that hasn't worked since right after it
opened), and remove them, and their parking lots from the area of
Zeigler's Grove, a very important area of the battle.

The new VC will go down in the hollow where the ponds were at the old
Fantasyland Amusement Park south of Hunt Avenue between Taneytown Road
and Baltimore avenue. A new entrance road will be cut off Baltimore
south Kinzie's knoll.

The new VC is NOT superfluous, Dimitri, and frankly, I resent your
characterization of it as such.

Blogs are nice, but not when you:
A. hgihlight negatives, and
B. don't check your facts to gain a full understanding of what is going
on.

In this case, a bit of both.

Please correct your blog, Dimitri.


>
> The gist of the matter is that the NPS is $49 million short (est.) in
> the maintenance kitty while a *private association* is ginning up
> megamillions to build a new visitor center/museum. The idea: attract
> more visitors.
>
> But Gettysburg visitors, in their millions, seem not to be paying
their
> own freight. How many millions more are needed before the barn gets
> painted?

Visitors are not charges one red cent to tour the battlefield on their
own, or to visit the museum. The NPS makes nothing off the visitors to
the park. They do generate some cash from the Bookstore concession.
No charge is made for parking.

Dimitri, you are spreading a very incorrect impression of things here
because you have not checked your facts.


>
> And whose money gets spent tearing down the Cyclorama in 2007?

The private organization's money, Dimitri. But who are you implying
has to pay?

Stop it, Dimitiri, you are verging onto dishonest ground.

WGD


snip of more disinformation.


roto...@mailcity.com

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Mar 18, 2005, 6:20:44 PM3/18/05
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William G. Davis wrote:
> I take very serious issue with what you wrote about the new Visitor's
> Center.

I questioned whether one needs one's friends to pay for building a new
center if park maintenance is running $49 million in the red as per
this article.

> For years people have been decrying the conditions under which the
> relics and archives are kept in the current visitor's center. The
> current VC is a hodgepodge of add ons to the original Rosensteel
home,
> which was doneted, complete with its collection of artifacts and
> documents from the battle, to the NPS in the early 1960s.

<more context snipped>

Good context.

> The new VC is NOT superfluous, Dimitri, and frankly, I resent your
> characterization of it as such.

Duly noted.

> Blogs are nice, but not when you:
> A. hgihlight negatives, and
> B. don't check your facts to gain a full understanding of what is
going
> on.
> In this case, a bit of both.
> Please correct your blog, Dimitri.

I may record your objections. Meanwhile, you should be reading my blog
every day so that that these incidents don't happen in the future.

> Visitors are not charges one red cent to tour the battlefield on
their
> own, or to visit the museum. The NPS makes nothing off the visitors
to
> the park. They do generate some cash from the Bookstore concession.
> No charge is made for parking.

Understood. But this is catastrophic largesse with a $49 million
deficit. If some rule prevents charging admission, shake these millions
down for more and larger donations. Hard - get in their freeloading
faces.

> Dimitri, you are spreading a very incorrect impression of things here
> because you have not checked your facts.

The facts come from my linked article (not Otis Willie's); the
conclusions are mine.

> > And whose money gets spent tearing down the Cyclorama in 2007?
> The private organization's money, Dimitri. But who are you implying
> has to pay?

I am asking why an organization $49 million in the hole is tearing down
(or getting its friends to pay for tearing down) the Cyclorama to build
a new center to attract even more (free) visitors. If the answer is
that the Cyclorama is preventing construction of the new center and
that the new center is needed to save deteriorating holdings - good;
but that does not deal with the core issue of priorities and
mismanagement.

> Stop it, Dimitiri, you are verging onto dishonest ground.

Take it easy. I asked for yours and others opinions and you have
obliged.

- Dimitri
http://cwbn.blogspot.com

William G. Davis

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Mar 18, 2005, 7:03:49 PM3/18/05
to

<roto...@mailcity.com> wrote in message
news:1111188044....@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> William G. Davis wrote:
>> I take very serious issue with what you wrote about the new Visitor's
>> Center.
>
> I questioned whether one needs one's friends to pay for building a new
> center if park maintenance is running $49 million in the red as per
> this article.

No, you called the new Visitor's Center superfluous. Where do you think
some of that maintenance occurs?

And that is not a group of friends, it is a non-profit organization put
together solely for the purpose of raising all the money for the new VC
WITHOUT TAPPING ANNUAL FUNDS FROM THE NPS BUDGET.

Its what you have not dug up in the way of background that makes what you
wwrote so dangerous, Dimitri. You did not do your homework.

As a result you are broadcasting incorrect information and giving a bad
impression of things surrounding the park about which you know very little.

There are descriptions for what you have done.


>
>> For years people have been decrying the conditions under which the
>> relics and archives are kept in the current visitor's center. The
>> current VC is a hodgepodge of add ons to the original Rosensteel
> home,
>> which was doneted, complete with its collection of artifacts and
>> documents from the battle, to the NPS in the early 1960s.
> <more context snipped>
>
> Good context.
>
>> The new VC is NOT superfluous, Dimitri, and frankly, I resent your
>> characterization of it as such.
>
> Duly noted.
>
>> Blogs are nice, but not when you:
>> A. hgihlight negatives, and
>> B. don't check your facts to gain a full understanding of what is
> going
>> on.
>> In this case, a bit of both.
>> Please correct your blog, Dimitri.
>
> I may record your objections. Meanwhile, you should be reading my blog
> every day so that that these incidents don't happen in the future.

Perhaps I will, but I do not presume to be an expert on all that you write
about, or even on much of it at all, but this is something to which I have
been very close for years, and of which I have a full working knowledge.
What I don't know about this plan, I can contact someone and get the correct
answer.


>
>> Visitors are not charges one red cent to tour the battlefield on
> their
>> own, or to visit the museum. The NPS makes nothing off the visitors
> to
>> the park. They do generate some cash from the Bookstore concession.
>> No charge is made for parking.
>
> Understood. But this is catastrophic largesse with a $49 million
> deficit.

You don't see it obviously. You decry the lack of funding for routine
maintenance. Yet you also claim the spending of privately raised funds to
build a new visitor's center as part of a plan to restore the battlefield to
pristine conditions is catastrophic largesse. I have already told you that
nothing is going undone in terms of routine maintenance. The only visible
effects are that it takes longer to get the artillery restored than it used
to, and they aren't mowing as far from the roads as they used to.


If some rule prevents charging admission, shake these millions
> down for more and larger donations. Hard - get in their freeloading
> faces.
>

Bullshit, Dimitri! You'd be the first to cry foul over that! That park
belongs to the people of this nation. The NPS is NOT allowed to ask for
donations.


>> Dimitri, you are spreading a very incorrect impression of things here
>> because you have not checked your facts.
>
> The facts come from my linked article (not Otis Willie's); the
> conclusions are mine.

And they are incorrect.


>
>> > And whose money gets spent tearing down the Cyclorama in 2007?
>> The private organization's money, Dimitri. But who are you implying
>> has to pay?
>
> I am asking why an organization $49 million in the hole is tearing down
> (or getting its friends to pay for tearing down) the Cyclorama to build
> a new center to attract even more (free) visitors. If the answer is
> that the Cyclorama is preventing construction of the new center and
> that the new center is needed to save deteriorating holdings - good;
> but that does not deal with the core issue of priorities and
> mismanagement.

See above, Dimitri.

>
>> Stop it, Dimitiri, you are verging onto dishonest ground.
>
> Take it easy. I asked for yours and others opinions and you have
> obliged.

No, you are defending something you did wrong. You should not have posted
your blog before checking this stuff out. You are cranked up in the wrong
direction on this. And it will get you in trouble because you do not
understand what you ARE saying and how wrong it is.

I offered you a place to check things out any time. The new VC is not being
built with budgetary money. It is privately raised funds. It has no effect
whatsoever on the daily operating budget of the park. If you have a problem
with the missing $49 million, then TELL CONGRESS! That's where your wrath
belongs.

WGD


>
> - Dimitri
> http://cwbn.blogspot.com
>


Robert Willett

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Mar 18, 2005, 9:51:28 PM3/18/05
to

snip

1. The new Visitors Center at Gettysburg fills several needs including
a. A much improved facility for displaying and conserving the many
artifacts and documents now in the hands of the NPS.
b. Easier and more comfortable access to the vistors center for the
public.
c. Allowing the area now occupied by the Visitors Center to be returned
to the condition existing at the time of the battle.
d. Achieving these significant improvement without expenditure of the
already strapped public funds available to NPS.

Apparently Dimitri is under the impression that the NPS could have required
these private funds to be made available to the NPS for ongoing operations
of the park. That is not the case. I guess he would rather see the NPS
turn down this opportunity and have neither a new Visitors Center nor
additional operating funds. When you deal with donors they control how
funds are used.

2. The new Cyclorama building.
a. Improved envirionmental controls that will result in better
preservation of the painting.
b. Improved presentation of the panorama including a better sound and
light system.
c. Again clearing the site of events during the battle by moving the
Cyclorama away from the current site.
d. Accomplishing this with private funds as opposed to limited public
funds.


3. Charging fees to visit the park As has been stated the very geographic
layout of the park makes it almost impossible to enforce a fee. I would
speculate it would cost as much to enforce the fee as can reasonably be
expected to be collected from fees. Of course the higher the fee the
greater the incentive to avoid it.

4. Putting pressure on contributors to contribute to the ongoing budget
rather than the projects of their interest. Well if Dimitri can figure out
how to do that I am sure every college and university academic who would
like to get their hands on the funds contributed by athletic supporters will
love to hear from him.


fredthebutcher

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Mar 18, 2005, 11:13:37 PM3/18/05
to

Sadly, the facts get in the way of the negative distortions that
Dimitri would rather post.

That's pretty sad. He still has it up.

The sad thing about a blog is that you can't respond to it directly.

fred

William G. Davis

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Mar 19, 2005, 8:53:46 AM3/19/05
to
> William G. Davis wrote:
>> This is totally bogus.
>
> There is a lot of Gettysburg park bogosity floating around, by the way.
 
The really disturbing thing about this is that even after being shown how wrong he is, Dimitri IRRESPONSIBLY retains his IRRESPONSIBLY written blog out there for all to see. 
 
Dimitri would rather post a dishonest blog to create a controversy, than to maintain any semblence of integrity by posting the truth. 
 
This is an example of why very few people should post blogs, and why they will never replace responsible journalistic reporting.  Blog writers like Dimitri pander to the darker side of folks, starting with his own penchant for conspiracies. 
 
So much for his credibility. 
 
WGD

William G. Davis

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Mar 20, 2005, 8:46:02 AM3/20/05
to
Posting a portion of my post here that objected to your blog does not excuse
your total lack of responsibility for posting and then maintaining a blog
that is full of distortions and dishonesties, Dimitri.

Take the offensive, dishonest piece of trash down.

I'm sure it doesn't matter to you that you have now lost all credibility
with me, but I can guarantee you I am not the only one who feels this way.

Shame on you for your total lack of ethics.

WGD


<roto...@mailcity.com> wrote in message
news:1111179443.6...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

Tim Reese

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Mar 20, 2005, 3:11:35 PM3/20/05
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This discussion appears to revolve around Dimitri's considered
assertion that a new Gettysburg VC complex is self-evidently
"superfluous," his term. The dictionary instructs us that
"superfluous" means "more than is wanted, needed, or useful."
Were it simply a matter of NPS requirements to meet administrative
mandate, the obvious avenue for fixing any problems would be The
Congress. A public mandate requires public support and, in the case of
maintenance shortfall, public redress if indeed cited "maintenance"
is essential to meet a basic mandate. By definition Dimitri is quite
correct.

But let's cut to the chase. We're not talking about a new VC
strictly within agency requirements, are we. Rather it's a matter of
prostituting a government-run site for profit via commercial
partnership, this done under the aegis of public shortfall offset by
private economic involvement with open-ended entanglements.

Were any of us to run up a multi-million-dollar household maintenance
deficit we would be forced to put away the check book and behave
ourselves until we were again flush, maybe declare bankruptcy. Instead,
the NPS eagerly reaches for someone else's check book (with their
studied consent) and continues merrily making monumental plans without
getting its house in order first. Where's the accountability? The
image of fiddling while Rome burns comes to mind.

Put the rancor away and ask yourself a few hard questions. Can existing
Gettysburg facilities be adequately repaired within existing budget or
potential increases? Since its creation, has the park mandate been to
make accessible the battlefield itself, or to provide generationally
improved entertainment venues such as a Cyclorama, multiple gift shops,
theaters, electric maps, or infrequently used archives? Does
entertainment override education, carnival over classroom? Do
employment, salaries, and bureaucracy-building come into play? What
portion of the park budget do these embrace? How many staff members are
employed to what purposes, and have these been logically assigned
according to base Congressional mandate? Is a Congressional audit in
order here?

As a retired Federal employee and 30-year Gettysburg visitor (I live
nearby) well positioned to have observed quixotic policy changes
throughout that time frame, I'm forced to deeply question "facts"
routinely served up at the park and herein purported to portray what
Gettysburg is, what "millions of visitors" want, and what remedies
can best alleviate perceived "problems." This is the age of
spin-doctoring, sometimes of venomous name calling whereby real
common-sense issues are lost in purposeful rhetoric.

Is a new VC complex really "wanted, needed or useful"? By park
definition we must say NO to the last two adjectives. One will likely
say YES to the first, provided he has a stake. It's the battlefield,
not the profitable sand castles pop culture erects on it. Commercially
profiting from historical sites is intellectually dishonest and morally
bankrupt.

Robert Willett

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Mar 20, 2005, 4:12:54 PM3/20/05
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"Tim Reese" <tjre...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:1111349495....@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

I disagree. What's wrong with a useful private profit making facility that
fills a public need.

Remember the current visitors center was for many years a private for profit
facility.


Message has been deleted

Robert Willett

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Mar 21, 2005, 11:09:53 AM3/21/05
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"Tim Reese" <tjre...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:1111358129.6...@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> Two wrongs don't make a right. "Public need?" How euphemistic, a
> self-fulfilling prophesy by indeterminate authority.

That is asuming we accept that your two wrongs are wrongs which I don't.
>
> The park was created by surviving veterans solely for access and
> appreciation, nothing more. All else amounts to latter-day
> entertainment enhancement from which the visiting public derives no
> direct benefit unless that is the specific target. That's why far
> more people consider a visit to the VC more fundamental than traversing
> the battlefield itself. Eliminate that and you return to purpose-driven
> visitation alone, its seminal raison d'etre. History is remote from a
> bus window, though admittedly convenient and comfortable, preferably
> with a shopping bag full of gift shop goodies. There's a metaphor for
> you.
>

While a few like you might understand the battle without visiting the VC
most who go there need the VC to appreciate what they are seeing. I think
this is the flaw of your view. Kind of like the canoe fans in my area who
want to stiop a park on the New River because it will spoil their semi
private access to that stretch of the river.


> For years the battlefield struggled to rise above the town carnival.
> Now it eagerly matches it. But perhaps you are right. Maybe this is
> precisely the "public need." Tourism is, after all, dollar-driven
> and the customer is always right. But let the fox into the hen house
> and all you'll get is chicken in every pot. Any ideal, however sacred,
> is negotiable these days I suppose.


>
> Choose. My ancestors pre-ordained my choice. I'm compelled to eshewe
> tourism in deference to battlefield sanctity and decorum. It's all a
> matter of respect, however out of vogue that may be. What would Hancock
> say?
>

Let's see tourism unless conducted by purists is wrong. Sorry but that
comes across as very elitist. If they don't see it my way they must be
wrong.


Bruce Martin

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Mar 21, 2005, 11:22:19 AM3/21/05
to

Robert Willett wrote:

Hey Bob- congrats on State making the Sweet Sixteen.

dro...@gmail.com

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Mar 21, 2005, 11:32:43 AM3/21/05
to
Good points on the theme "A new Visitor's Center is not a crazy idea."

You and Davis are correct: it is not a crazy idea. But it is
superfluous and with a $49 million deficit, it looks foolish from a lot
of angles.

Your fee point is interesting. And you are correct that "pressure on
contributors to contribute to the ongoing budget" is problematic.

But Gettysburg is a mess and the visitor's center is putting a cherry
on this "cake."

Best,
Dimitri

Message has been deleted

Robert Willett

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Mar 21, 2005, 12:02:51 PM3/21/05
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"Bruce Martin" <mart...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:423EF69A...@worldnet.att.net...
>
>
snip> >

> >
> Hey Bob- congrats on State making the Sweet Sixteen.
>

Appreciate that. The guys played very hard.

Note that the Big 10 and ACC each have three teams in the Sweet 16. At
least two of the six will not make the Great 8 as Wisconsin plays N. C.
State and Duke plays Michigan State in the first rounds this weekend. The
Duke/Michigan State game is a rematch of the Big Ten/ACC Shootout earlier
this season. Duke won that game.


Robert Willett

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Mar 21, 2005, 12:06:05 PM3/21/05
to

<dro...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1111422763.9...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

> Good points on the theme "A new Visitor's Center is not a crazy idea."
>
> You and Davis are correct: it is not a crazy idea. But it is
> superfluous and with a $49 million deficit, it looks foolish from a lot
> of angles.

Please explain how a new visitors center paid with private funds looks
foolish because there is a 49 million dollar annual shortfall in public fund
s for the park. What would be foolish is to turn down the chance to get a
new visitors center without putting pressure on already short public funds.


>
> Your fee point is interesting. And you are correct that "pressure on
> contributors to contribute to the ongoing budget" is problematic.
>
> But Gettysburg is a mess and the visitor's center is putting a cherry
> on this "cake."

Care to eloborate on that view.
>
> Best,
> Dimitri
>


Robert Willett

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 12:09:58 PM3/21/05
to

"Tim Reese" <tjre...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:1111423181.2...@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> Okay. I agree that we disagree, usually the case with chat rooms.
> Thanks for your valued input.
>
> One minor point though. I don't think it elitist to hold a public trust
> to its original intent. Possession is nine points of the law. Also, the
> Iegal maxim is "Qui tacit consentire," silence betokens consent.

I think your view of "original intent" is wrong. The original intent was to
have the public who was not there understand, appreciate and honor what was
done there by those who fought. Hence attracting the general public not
just the much fewer afficiendos is fulfilling the original intent.
>
> I for one hardly qualify as elite. Can't afford to pay attention. :)
> I'll clam up, which I suppose means I consent.
>


ray o'hara

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 12:31:06 PM3/21/05
to

Robert Willett wrote:
> That is asuming we accept that your two wrongs are wrongs which I
don't.
>
i agree with you,


> While a few like you might understand the battle without visiting the
VC
> most who go there need the VC to appreciate what they are seeing. I
think
> this is the flaw of your view. Kind of like the canoe fans in my
area who
> want to stiop a park on the New River because it will spoil their
semi
> private access to that stretch of the river.
>


you have hit the nail on the head, people like tim want everyone to
wear a hair shirt and talk in hushed tones, hell we should make the
people of gettysburg abandon the town imagine their gaul trying to make
a living on an available resource.

many elitists think parks are for those who can afford the time and
the hoi polloi can go pound sand, really, how dare people with lives
and families think they have the right to casually visit somewhere and
expect that there be facilities to help them out.


> > Any ideal, however sacred,
> > is negotiable these days I suppose.
>
>
>> > Choose. My ancestors pre-ordained my choice. I'm compelled to
eshewe
> > tourism in deference to battlefield sanctity and decorum. It's all
a
> > matter of respect, however out of vogue that may be. What would
Hancock
> > say?
> >
>

when he went there tim wasn't a tourist? was he there as a pilgrim? a
penitent?

he must have the pure thoughts and heart of religios zealot.


> Let's see tourism unless conducted by purists is wrong. Sorry but
that
> comes across as very elitist. If they don't see it my way they must
be
> wrong.


again you are right.

ray o'hara

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 12:37:14 PM3/21/05
to

Tim Reese wrote:
> Okay. I agree that we disagree, usually the case with chat rooms.
> Thanks for your valued input.
>
> One minor point though. I don't think it elitist to hold a public
trust
> to its original intent. Possession is nine points of the law. Also,
the
> Iegal maxim is "Qui tacit consentire," silence betokens consent.
>
> I for one hardly qualify as elite. Can't afford to pay attention. :)
> I'll clam up, which I suppose means I consent.

you most assuredly qualify as an elitist, you seem to think you have a
line on the correct attitude and behavoir. its an historic site not a
religious shrine.

no elitist ever thinks he's an elitist, your sense of rightousness
makes you believe you have the only correct view and folks that don't
approach it with your hairshirt mentality are sullying the place, that
is elitism.

ray o'hara

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 12:44:23 PM3/21/05
to

Tim Reese wrote:
> Okay. I agree that we disagree, usually the case with chat rooms.
> Thanks for your valued input.
>

this isn't a chat room. it's a news group, a completely different
animal.

> One minor point though. I don't think it elitist to hold a public
trust
> to its original intent. Possession is nine points of the law. Also,
the
> Iegal maxim is "Qui tacit consentire," silence betokens consent.
>

the original intent? and you are the interperter of that? the original
intent is for people to go there and learn about it, that is the point
of all historic sites to learn about the past. not as a religious
shrine.

William G. Davis

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 12:45:13 PM3/21/05
to

"Robert Willett" <rbwi...@triad.rr.com> wrote in message
news:1aD%d.30813$nZ.15...@twister.southeast.rr.com...


If he does it will simply be more of his assinine rhetoric based on an
ignorance of the subject at hand, or an unwillingness to be truthful and
accurate.

WGD


William G. Davis

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 12:44:00 PM3/21/05
to
Spoken with the voice of ignorance.

Sorry, Dimitri, you've lost all my respect for you.

WGD


<dro...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1111422763.9...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

William G. Davis

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 4:19:44 PM3/21/05
to

"Tim Reese" <tjre...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:1111436064.8...@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> You're arguing semantics.
>
> Hancock et al created a battlefield set-aside for the self-evident
> reasons you state, not to view circular paintings, drool over
> collections, purchase the latest pop storytelling, or to acquire post
> cards, key chains, or cafeteria cuisine.

Hancock had nothing to do with the startup of the set-aside. It was done by
a private attorney named David McConaughey who, after contacting Governor
Curtin in 1863, began to acquire land with his own money for his newly
established Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association. It was to be a
military shrine to the soldiers. And that is exactly what the GBNMP remains
today. Interpretive Rangers of the NPS, and Licensed Battlefield Guides do
NOT engage in "pop storytelling".

The GAR veterans took over the GBMA in the 1880s, and by 1894, thanks to
their efforts the Gettysburg Battlefield was established as a Park by
Congress, and placed under control of the War Department. By the 1930s,
with most of the GAR veterans passing away, the GBMA pretty much died out,
too. It was revived in the 1960s by TV's Charlie Weaver (Cliff Arquette),
and former president and Gettysburg resident Dwight Eisenhower. They
openbed the revived organization up as the Gettysburg Battlefield
Preservation Association, an organization that is still going strong
preserving property and buildings for eventual transfer to the National Park
Service.

Aficionados need
> entertainment; inquiring visitors do not.

I think you do not know what you are saying here. On the battlefield, there
is no difference.


The field speaks for itself
> ably assisted by a rudimentary park brochure. It's not the general
> public now being attracted, rather their money.

That is untrue. Patently untrue.


High-minded motives are
> just PR to justify expense and external meddling with an agenda.

Pray tell, what agenda is that?


>
> As a professional tour guide I can assure you that most visitors never
> "get it" because they can't screen out the cacophony of competing
> commercial interests.

So, are you a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg?


I knew this trend had gone too far when people I
> was guiding insisted that I take them to battlefield points, in
> sequence, according to the movie script. They wanted to vicariously
> re-visit the film. Commercialism feeds pop perceptions, itself elitist
> by definition.


Perhaps they wanted to try to understand it in the context of the film. And
the film's context was not all that bad, nor was its timeline out of whack.
All LBGs are trained to put their tours into the context of the persons who
hire them. If a family from South Carolina hires a tour guide, he's going
to take them to Culp's Hill, the Rose Farm, East Cavalry Field and
Wheatfield; from Alabama, and he'll take them to Little Round Top, and the
Slyder Farm, Bushman Farm, and so on. They are tailored tours.

>
> Want a parallel example? Go to the Smithsonian. In the mid-'90s the
> Museum of American History transformed itself into a public-private
> partnership to offset its failure to acquire traditional Congressional
> budgetary increases. The place had become widely known as "Babylon on
> the Mall" for its unabashed decadence.

I find it amazing the way you phrase things like the Smithsonian's
"...failure to acquire traditional Congressional budgetary increases." like
it is the Smithsonian's fault. You did the same thing in another post when
talking about Gettysburg Battlefield National Military Park. I suppose you
are an expert on obtaining Congressional funding, too?

For God's sake, don't ever dare blame anything on Congress!


>
> Now it has become a curious paradox of competing and widely divergent
> commercial, social, and political interests, each hell-bent on getting
> the visitor's "mind right." If one can empty their pockets along
> the way, so much the better. Above all else, preserve the
> bureaucracy... as comfortably as possible. You wouldn't believe what
> goes on behind the scenes, so I'll spare you.

As a recent visitor to the Smithsonian, I found their gift shop tasteful,
and not overbearing, and I did not notice all the people lurking in the
shadows to take my money. Are you sure we are talking about the same
museum?


>
> This is what GNMP proposes to embrace in the near future. Rationalize
> as you like, but the end result will be the same. If you put all your
> cookies in someone else's basket, they will eat them. There's one
> born every minute.

What, exactly, is it you think the GBNMP proposes to embrace? What
dastardly deeds do you suppose they are up to?


snip
>
> The new VC complex is a done deal anyway. So the subject is moot. The
> horse is out of the barn. Let it run. Many have bet on it. History for
> sale.

But who's buying?

The developer is entitled to a profit. The developer is investing in the
new VC. The developer will get money from the profits for 25 years, and
then the connection is severed. During that time the developer is
responsible for the maintenance and upkeep. No repeat of the Cyclorama
Building that broke shortly after it opened. Total ownership and operation
reverts to the NPS in 25 years. In the meantime, they have full use of the
building.

In the meantime, Gettysburg is getting a long overdue new Visitor/Cyclorama
Center, a new film to show in its new theater, and a snack bar, as well as a
museum, offices, and maintenance work space. All of it housed in a
beautifully designed building, in a non-historic part of the battlefield, in
a beautiful setting, yet close to the main Union line on Hancock Avenue.
It is also getting an opportunity to remove two archaic eyesores that have
been less than functional for quite a while, and thus restore an historic
part of the Battlefield to its 1863 condition. The closing of the Steinwehr
Avenue entrances to the park will slowly strangle the businesses there,
allowing their removal (just as the Home Sweet Home Motel was removed a year
ago), to create a more accurate condition of the battle area.

Everything in the current Visitor's Center, and everything in the current
Cyclorama Center, and more is going into the new VC. The current Visitor's
Center is beyond repair, let alone remodeling it, thus making the new
Visitor's Center NOT superfluous. The Cyclorama Center has not worked for
years, instead showing a staionary cyclorama, and providing office and
library space for the park employees.

Apparently you get your information from the same unreliable place Dimitri
does.

WGD
>


Message has been deleted

ray o'hara

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 2:30:16 PM3/21/05
to

"William G. Davis" <je...@pa7MAPSON9th.org> wrote in message
news:DsWdnUdW5tF...@adelphia.com...

> Spoken with the voice of ignorance.
>
> Sorry, Dimitri, you've lost all my respect for you.

that's a point in his favor, your respect carries no weight, hell you can't
even admit who you are half the time and sometimes i think you don't know it
yourself.

don't top post.


dro...@gmail.com

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 5:31:40 PM3/21/05
to
If your dead fell on that ground would it not be a shrine? What are
those shrine-like monuments doing there? They seem short on educational
content and long on reverence invocation, I think.

If "that is the point of all historic sites to learn about the past,"
then these people are way out of line:

CWPT: "The American heroes of the Civil War call out to us across the
generations to remind us of our duty to preserve their legacy. If we
don't act now, we risk losing these irreplaceable historic treasures
forever. Please join us, get involved, and help us in preserving this
*sacred land* while there is still time."
http://www.civilwar.org/getinvolved.htm

CVBTS: "All across America, urban development threatens to destroy our
nation's *most sacred ground.* "
http://www.cvbt.org/challenge.htm

FOWB: "the public may view first hand *this hallowed and bloody
ground.*"
http://www.fowb.org/page9.html

Friends of Gettysburg: "... on behalf of all generations of Americans,
to *honor,* support, protect, and enhance, the resources."
http://www.friendsofgettysburg.org/background.html

GBPA: (Quoting Eisenhower) "....the battlefield should be preserved as
a remembrance of the sacrifices made by men who fought for the things
in which they believed."
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=battlefield+preservation

More "elitism"?

- Dimitri
http://cwbn.blogspot.com

fredthebutcher

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 5:07:24 PM3/21/05
to
Go away you drunk!


"ray o'hara" <r...@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:lfWdncpS8ud...@comcast.com...

William G. Davis

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 6:16:45 PM3/21/05
to

<dro...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1111444300.5...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

Its nice to see you are starting to do your homework Dimitri, but you have a
very long way to go to restore your credibility.


Gathering quotes off the internet doesn't mean you have researched this
enough to know what you are talking about.

You have no idea what limits are placed on the National Park Service, and by
extension the GBNMP by Congress.

Here's a hint: without your "superfluous" new visitor's center the archives
and relics presently in the existing buildings will be subject to
increasingly deteriorating conditions every day, and there will be no money
to repair either building in the budget. Not this year, not in the past ten
years, not in the next ten years.

Your incredibly misinformed blog and ignorant insistance to stand by your
words is doing damage, not help. Your word pictures have succeeded in
splashing graffiti over an excellent cooperative effort.

Tell me Dimitri, do you have any idea how monuments, statues, historic
buildings, battkefields and parks are funded in the United Kingdom?

WGD


Howard G

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 7:21:46 PM3/21/05
to
"William G. Davis":

Is it true that the 79th Pennsylvania had more deserters than names on the
muster rolls?

Bruce Martin

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 7:43:22 PM3/21/05
to

Howard G wrote:

Hey Howard- If you want to take on Davis, take him on. Leave the 79th PA
out of it. They deseve better.

Robert Willett

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 8:13:51 PM3/21/05
to

<dro...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1111444300.5...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

And none of the above sponsors a view of the park that says it shouldn't try
to attract the widest spectrum of the public possible. In other words you
have to twist them to support your views.


Jane Margaret Laight

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 8:42:02 PM3/21/05
to
I gingerly enter in on this discussion by offering up for discussion
this site reference, which would appear to be a bit more on point than
Otis Willie's article--this site, part of the Natural Resources Defense
Council's site--would appear to be to have a clearer view of the
situation:

http://www.nrdc.org/land/parks/roh/gettysburg.asp

comments welcomed

Jane Margaret Laight
Chapel Hill NC

William G. Davis

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 9:51:37 PM3/21/05
to

"Jane Margaret Laight" <jml2...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1111455722.2...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

I would normally agree with you Ms Laight, however, the date on that article
is 1997. Since that time an awful lot has happened, including the
development of a draft management plan for the future of the Battlefield,
the endowment in perpetuity by the Gettysburg Monuments Project of all
Pennsylvania monuments, markers, etc, (except the Pennsylvania Memorial),
the endowment in perpetuity of all New Jersey monuments by the State of New
Jersey, which frees up an awful lot of money for the rest of the monuments
and markers. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Memorial has just recently
completed a two year restoration, including the full repair of the inside of
the base, and foundation, damaged by water over the years. It still needs
work, but its not going to fall down now, and is fully open to visitors.
They also corrected a number of the bronze tablets that surround the base.
The Friends of the National Park at Gettysburg, a preservation organization,
has purchased the motel on the corner of Long Lane and Steinwehr Avenue for
the Park, which promptly leveled it, hauled it out, and planted grass on the
site. The only thing that now stands on that corner is the 8th Ohio
Infantry Monument. The Friends have also spent thousands of volunteer hours
building fences all over the Battlefield, especially along US Avenue near
the Trostle Farm. The friends, other volunteers, and some of the park
naturalists have spent hundreds of hours planting period shrubbery in newly
cleared areas. The Park Service obtained the Warfield House (located on the
corner of Millerstown Road and West Confederate Avenue...that pretty place
real close to the Eisenhower Tower) and will be restoring it to its 1863
condition. Since 1996, the Law Enforcement Rangers have been administering
a volunteer program called Park Watch, formed in response to the rising
incidence rate and cost of vandalism to the monuments on the Battlefield.
Thousands of hours of volunteer time by hundreds of volunteers are spent
patrolling the Battlefield watching over the park resources, and cutting the
damage to almost zero annually. Volunteers from the USS Eisenhower, and the
USS Gettysburg arrive twice a year to volunteer on the Battlefield. Groups,
re-enactors for example, adopt a site and clean it...usually, their unit's
monument. They'll come out several times a year and clean up around their
monument, do some landscaping etc. Twice a year, the Meade Society does
this around the Meade Equestrial statue on Cemetery Ridge, and continues on
down the ridge slope to the Leister Farm, clearing brush, and cleaning up.

Last year, volunteers gave enough time to the GBNMP and the EOS to equal 40
full time employees.

Currently there are two contracts under way that have contractors thinning,
or in some cases, clearing large areas of trees to restore the 1863 view.

All of this work is part of the Management Plan drafted several years ago,
and approved for implementation.

Ongoing maintenance of monuments is done using the latest technology in
preservation. Those monuments have been coated with all manner of
substances in the past, some of which actually did damage. But great care
is taken when cleaning and polishing the monuments.

The final area of the 1997 article on your indicated website deals with the
Visitor's Center and the Cyclorama Center. Both are in bad physical
condition, and in the case of the Visitor's Center, which was originally the
home of the Rosensteel Family until they sold it to the park along with
their museum collection in the early 1960s, the building has been added onto
several times until it grew to its present size. It leaks, horribly in bad
weather.

The deal to build the new visitor's center will provide the safe, secure
place for those relics, and archives, and put them all under one roof, which
should help with staffing problems for researchers. To be perfectly honest,
I have never had any problems getting in to the library there to do
research. I never had any problems down at Harper's Ferry, either, where I
just about everything was on microfilm, and they just handed you the boxes
and sat you in front of a reader.

Gettysburg is not that informal.

My whole point has been this. To deal with Congressional budget cuts over
the years, the park has come to rely on an army of volunteers who do more
and more excellent work every year. They have also been the recipients of
several endowments which take care of a large segment of the monuments. The
monuments do not suffer from lack of care. They do suffer from vandalism,
which is on the rise again (there is a serial sword thief at work, taking
swords from statues), and from the increased flow of automobiles and buses
that cross the Battlefield. Autos, particularly SUVs, have accounted for
four serious accidents in the past two years involving monuments or cannons.

Let me also address the turning away of visitors. The article mentions the
turning away of 25% of requests for "intensive student tours". Perhaps the
one single group hardest on the landscape are the occupants of the hundreds
of school buses that arrive day after day in mid spring through the end of
the school year, and then again for three months in the fall. Six months of
buses full of kids, five days a week, and sometimes six if you count the
church groups, running all over the Battlefield. On top of that, the summer
months see the school kids replaced by tens of thousands of boyscouts, who
take half the campsites around the area, and fill up MacMillan's Woods camp
area on the Battlefield. Now the scouts are pretty good. You see them
doing their 8 mile hikes in long, stretched out lines, trailed by exhausted
scout masters and parents. But the school kids are brutal. An example:
in the spring, the kids come through and when they see the Forsythia
blooming down in Devil's Den, they each break off a branch and carry it
around. One bus, 40 kids, maybe 30 get forsythia branches. 20 buses,
that's six hundred branches. That's one day. In three days there is no
forsythia left.

Many of the school tours come through with no guide. Those that do, the
Intensive Student Tours, have guides or Interpretive Rangers. There are
only so many to go around. Once they are booked, the groups are going to be
turned down for a guide or a ranger. They are not turned down for visiting
the park. All groups, including school groups are asked to register at the
Park Visitor's Center. No one is turned away. All visitors are welcome.

Yes the Park is financially strapped. But they get by, and nothing is lost,
and no one is turned away. And the work starts in three months to build the
new visitor's center. with funds that do not come from the NPS budget.

I hope this helps put that article in perspective. It probably should have
been taken down at least 5 years ago. It is woefully out of date.

Thanks,

WGD


Jane Margaret Laight

unread,
Mar 21, 2005, 10:08:05 PM3/21/05
to

William G. Davis wrote:

<snip>


>
> I hope this helps put that article in perspective. It probably
should have
> been taken down at least 5 years ago. It is woefully out of date.
>
> Thanks,
>
> WGD

Thank you for your informative post. I have sent a note to the National
Resource Defense Council requesting an explanation, and if I do get one
back, if you wish, I'll send it on. With the information you do have,
it may not be a bad idea to set up a website, or indeed, add on to
theirs, with your updated information.

I was out at Gettysburg about six years ago, and found it to have been
a thoroughly enjoyable experience; I do need to come back out and take
a more informed look at it, I suspect. Hopefully I'll get a chance to
do so in the very near future.

Thanks again.

ray o'hara

unread,
Mar 22, 2005, 2:10:57 PM3/22/05
to

"William G. Davis" <je...@pa7MAPSON9th.org> wrote in message
news:6YOdnY5BfPb...@adelphia.com...
> Not even close, Dimitri.
>
> I'm done with you.
>
> WGD


like you count. and you're lying too. you'll be ripping on dimitri again
, if not as JEff than as fred.

and to dimitri's credit he posted your objections to his views on his blog.
i can'timagine you'd ever be so even handed.

it's laughably sad that you two think you are fooling anybody.


roto...@mailcity.com

unread,
Mar 22, 2005, 12:07:37 PM3/22/05
to
On a related topic, Google has indexed your comments:
http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:F94HgFDRaJAJ:cwbn.blogspot.com/2005/03/gettysburg-case-for-new-visitors.html+gettysburg+visitor%27s+center&hl=en

And I have linked the post with your comments to my original post.

Cheer up, Jeff.

- Dimitri
http://cwbn.blogspot.com

William G. Davis

unread,
Mar 22, 2005, 1:30:33 PM3/22/05
to
Not even close, Dimitri.

I'm done with you.

WGD


<roto...@mailcity.com> wrote in message
news:1111511257.1...@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

William G. Davis

unread,
Mar 24, 2005, 12:30:01 PM3/24/05
to

"Tim Reese" <tjre...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:1111358129.6...@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
> Two wrongs don't make a right. "Public need?" How euphemistic, a
> self-fulfilling prophesy by indeterminate authority.

There are no wrongs here. There is only steardship by a group that tries to
do the best it can, by making the best decisions it knows how to make. If
there were fraud, or abuse involved, you might have a case. Only in
hindsight can you look at a decision made in the past by the park and say it
was wrong. And they will be the first to tell you they have made mistakes
in the past.

>
> The park was created by surviving veterans solely for access and
> appreciation, nothing more.

No, it was not. You are ignoring the facts and creating your own to bolster
your argument. That is dishonest.

The park was created first by a local attorney who began buying up the land
with his own money in the name of the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial
Association. At one point commercial ventures were allowed on the
battlefield. Most of them are gone, now, including the advertisements for
local goods and service painted on the rocks at Culp's Hill, and the one
time trolley line that snaked through the park. The veterans themselves
forced that out. The Park Service forced out the National Tower, the Home
Sweet Home Motel, many restaurants and stores that once resided on the
battlefield. In World War I and shortly thereafter, Picket's Charge was
used by the US Army (which at the time administered the Battlefield) for the
Camp Colt Tank training ground, where a young officer named Eisenhower first
fell in love with the area. You wouldn't know it today. You might be old
enough to remember that you used to be able to drive out onto the face of
Little Round Top, and at the High Water Mark, you could drive right out to
the Angle.

You really need to understand the history of the Battlefield after the
battle, which you obviously do not, to understand what is cgoing on now in
its proper context. You keep assigning fabricated reasons for things.


All else amounts to latter-day
> entertainment enhancement from which the visiting public derives no
> direct benefit unless that is the specific target.

What kind of a statement is this? Entertainment? Not on your life.
Education? You bet! People go to the Battlefield for a myriad of reasons,
but most often it is to learn what happened there, and to learn about what
happened there in order to better understand it. It is no easy task for
either the visitor, or the park, to fulfill those needs. They try to do it
in the best and most conducive to learning way that they can. Visitors go
to the Visitor's Center for a number of reasons: they need a comfort
station, they want to see the museum and/or electric map to better
understand the battle, ditto for going to the bookstore, or they want a
guide, or a trip to the Eisenhower Farm. All of this is conducive to
learning, and all of it is supplied at the Visitor's Center. It is not
entertainment.

That's why far
> more people consider a visit to the VC more fundamental than traversing
> the battlefield itself. Eliminate that and you return to purpose-driven
> visitation alone, its seminal raison d'etre.

Good Lord what a ridiculous statement! The soldiers are all gone. So they
cannot come back to the Battlefield now and honor themselves or pay their
respects. So the succeeding generations are left to interpret the
Battlefield in a different manner. It exists as a place to pay homage to
the men who fought here, and a place to learn. It is a place of history,
and if you will not learn from history...

History is remote from a
> bus window, though admittedly convenient and comfortable, preferably
> with a shopping bag full of gift shop goodies. There's a metaphor for
> you.

People tour the Battlefield in the way that suits them at the time. They
have a freedom of choice to do so. They could walk it, bike it, ride a
horse through it, tour by car, or bus. Some persons come in a group because
that is the most economical way to do it for them. This is America, bub,
and they have the right to choose how they view their history. It's their
Battlefield.

>
> For years the battlefield struggled to rise above the town carnival.
> Now it eagerly matches it.

It's not matching anything. You are as misinformed as Dimitri. The town is
being included in the Park's history, as it should be. The NPS now is a
joint owner of the Wills House down on the Diamond. Shuttles will run from
downtown to the Visitor's Center and back moving people who want to park on
the Battlefield lots, and walk around downtown. There is much of historical
interest in town.


But perhaps you are right. Maybe this is
> precisely the "public need." Tourism is, after all, dollar-driven
> and the customer is always right. But let the fox into the hen house
> and all you'll get is chicken in every pot. Any ideal, however sacred,


> is negotiable these days I suppose.

Oh good grief! Its a real town, for God's sake. People live there! Would
you deny them the right to make a living? People have been making a living
from that Battlefield since July 1, 1863 when the first grave diggers went
out. David wills had to let a contract in the fall of 1863 to hire a team
of grave diggers to exhume the bodies buried on the battlefield and move
them into the Soldiers' National Cemetery. Should they have not charged for
their service? I mean it was just to build this showy new cemetery on the
hill next to town! They even got the President of the US and the greatest
American orator of the time to come and dedicate it, so they could attract
more people to the event!

People in the area make their livelihood from the Battlefield. They have
since the battle. Would you deny them that right?


> Choose. My ancestors pre-ordained my choice. I'm compelled to eshewe
> tourism in deference to battlefield sanctity and decorum. It's all a
> matter of respect, however out of vogue that may be. What would Hancock
> say?

Hancock would be honored at the efforts by the NPS to restore the
Battlefield to its pristine 1863 condition plus monumentization. It creates
the largest momument of all...the Battlefield itself, and provides it with
an unobtrusive, yet pleasant place for the visitor to go to start their
journey back in time to 1863...a place to learn, to see portrayed in lights,
or on film, or in print what occurred there in that year, and to discuss the
causes of it. To become forearmed with as much knowledge of the events as
they can absorb before going out across the grounds.

That''s not a bad thing. That's a good thing. The Veterans would love it.
It honors them all. Even Dan Sickles, and A. P. Hill. Even Edward O'Neal,
and Alfred Iverson. Every man jack.

WGD


William G. Davis

unread,
Mar 24, 2005, 1:10:58 PM3/24/05
to

"Tim Reese" <tjre...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:1111349495....@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> This discussion appears to revolve around Dimitri's considered
> assertion that a new Gettysburg VC complex is self-evidently
> "superfluous," his term. The dictionary instructs us that
> "superfluous" means "more than is wanted, needed, or useful."
> Were it simply a matter of NPS requirements to meet administrative
> mandate, the obvious avenue for fixing any problems would be The
> Congress. A public mandate requires public support and, in the case of
> maintenance shortfall, public redress if indeed cited "maintenance"
> is essential to meet a basic mandate. By definition Dimitri is quite
> correct.

No, he is dead wrong, as are you.


>
> But let's cut to the chase. We're not talking about a new VC
> strictly within agency requirements, are we.

What "Agency requirements" would those be?


Rather it's a matter of
> prostituting a government-run site for profit via commercial
> partnership, this done under the aegis of public shortfall offset by
> private economic involvement with open-ended entanglements.

Patently false. There is nothing entangled, or open-ended about it. More
of your misinformation. Please stop. It becomes dishonest as you are
presenting it.

So, the NPS takes out a 25 year mortgage on a new VC because there are not
funds in the budget now, or in the near or distant future to pay for a new
VC, and the mortgage holder gets to make a profit from some of the
concessions in it in exchange for not charging interest, or principle,
thereby not imposing further on the taxpayers, and you find this "everybody
wins" deal to be unacceptable.

>
> Were any of us to run up a multi-million-dollar household maintenance
> deficit we would be forced to put away the check book and behave
> ourselves until we were again flush, maybe declare bankruptcy. Instead,
> the NPS eagerly reaches for someone else's check book (with their
> studied consent) and continues merrily making monumental plans without
> getting its house in order first. Where's the accountability? The
> image of fiddling while Rome burns comes to mind.

More misinformation. Where were you during the 50 public meetings? Did you
ever get a free copy of the Management Plan, when it was issued as a draft,
so you could make comment on it?


>
> Put the rancor away

Sorry, what? Who is it that is displaying rancor here?


and ask yourself a few hard questions. Can existing
> Gettysburg facilities be adequately repaired within existing budget or
> potential increases?

No, nor are they worth repairing. They are also occupying historic ground
unhistorically.


Since its creation, has the park mandate been to
> make accessible the battlefield itself,

yes


or to provide generationally
> improved entertainment venues such as a Cyclorama,

Ah, and here we get to the "device", where the interrogator selects words
that artificially limit your choices.

The Cyclorama as entertainment? Golly, I never heard it described that way.
I never saw popcorn for sale there, or peanut shells on the floor.


multiple gift shops,
> theaters, electric maps, or infrequently used archives? Does
> entertainment override education, carnival over classroom?

Carnival? What canival? And who says education has to occur in a
classroom? These are simply more of your dishonest depictions of things to
bolster your argument, which is basically groundless.


Do
> employment, salaries, and bureaucracy-building come into play?

Well, let me see, the Gettysburg Battlefield National Military Park and
Eisenhower Presidential Site are at less than half the staff they were in
the late 1980s. So much for your bureaucracy bull.


What
> portion of the park budget do these embrace? How many staff members are
> employed to what purposes, and have these been logically assigned
> according to base Congressional mandate? Is a Congressional audit in
> order here?

Congress audits the entire National Park Service annually at budget time.
There are hearings. Have you ever attended one? Obviously not, or you
would not be hurling these wild, dishonest charges about.


>
> As a retired Federal employee and 30-year Gettysburg visitor (I live
> nearby) well positioned to have observed quixotic policy changes
> throughout that time frame, I'm forced to deeply question "facts"
> routinely served up at the park and herein purported to portray what
> Gettysburg is, what "millions of visitors" want, and what remedies
> can best alleviate perceived "problems." This is the age of
> spin-doctoring, sometimes of venomous name calling whereby real
> common-sense issues are lost in purposeful rhetoric.

You are the one doing the spinning here, and in defense of Dimitri, who has
to deal with the issues of his own irresponsibility and dishonesty. So far,
your 30 years of visiting Gettysburg, and your Federal service seem to have
left you with a distorted view of things, and a penchant for spinning false
impressions and dishonestly backing up your arguements.


>
> Is a new VC complex really "wanted, needed or useful"? By park
> definition we must say NO to the last two adjectives. One will likely
> say YES to the first, provided he has a stake. It's the battlefield,
> not the profitable sand castles pop culture erects on it. Commercially
> profiting from historical sites is intellectually dishonest and morally
> bankrupt.
>

Tell you what. You get your way and then watch the Visitor's Center that
exists crumble. It is not far from being unsafe. So to address your
"spin", yes it is needed and useful. And very much wanted.

What is intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt is the false
impression you and Dimitiri have tried to create here. Neither one of you
knows what's actually going on and why, or what has gone on in the past, and
why. Neither one of you participated in the public meetings, or
Congressional hearings. Both of you have irresponsibly gone on the
offensive and purposely created false impressions and made clearly dishonest
statements, passing them off as facts. That is where the intellectual
dishonest and moral bankkruptcy lies, not with the Park.

Shame on you. After your whoppers that have been exposed here, I doubt your
sincerity. And I certainly do not trust you or Dimitri to tell me the
truth.

WGD


Tim Reese

unread,
Mar 24, 2005, 3:30:08 PM3/24/05
to
Several colleagues warned me not to venture into chat rooms, a realm
awash in bored, ego-centric crackpots with entirely too much leisure
time. I should have listened.

Enjoy your new VC complex, Mr. Davis. You're welcome to it. I've
read enough sanctimonious nonsense. Your cumulative insults once again
reveal that all childish anger is rooted in equally childish fear.
I'm out of here.

Caveat emptor.

William G. Davis

unread,
Mar 24, 2005, 3:40:45 PM3/24/05
to

"Tim Reese" <tjre...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:1111696208.6...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

> Several colleagues warned me not to venture into chat rooms, a realm
> awash in bored, ego-centric crackpots with entirely too much leisure
> time. I should have listened.

Hard to reconcile yourself as one of them and Dimitri as another?

It's not a chatroom, Mr. Reese.


>
> Enjoy your new VC complex, Mr. Davis. You're welcome to it. I've
> read enough sanctimonious nonsense. Your cumulative insults once again
> reveal that all childish anger is rooted in equally childish fear.
> I'm out of here.

Well, if you find the truth insulting, that's on you, and you are, of
course, welcome to leave. Should you stay, I certainly would expect you to
keep from using such dastardly tactics again and acting as Dimitri's shill.

He is wrong and you were wrong. And both of you dishonestly so. Neither of
you has a grasp of the facts in the matter. If showing that is insulting,
again, that's on you.

>
> Caveat emptor.
>
Indeed. You and Dimitri were selling and I was not buying.

WGD

Tim Reese

unread,
Mar 24, 2005, 3:44:15 PM3/24/05
to
Seek professional help, you lunatic.

William G. Davis

unread,
Mar 24, 2005, 5:36:45 PM3/24/05
to

"Tim Reese" <tjre...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:1111697055....@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
> Seek professional help, you lunatic.
>

"Ah, my fans! I love 'em!"

WGD


Drazen Kramaric

unread,
Mar 31, 2005, 4:35:49 AM3/31/05
to
On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 16:19:44 -0500, "William G. Davis"
<je...@pa7MAPSON9th.org> wrote:


>All LBGs are trained to put their tours into the context of the persons who
>hire them. If a family from South Carolina hires a tour guide, he's going
>to take them to Culp's Hill, the Rose Farm, East Cavalry Field and
>Wheatfield; from Alabama, and he'll take them to Little Round Top, and the
>Slyder Farm, Bushman Farm, and so on. They are tailored tours.

I guess I'd have to visit them all, in sequential order, :o)

Anyway, is there substantial percentage of foreign visitors in
Gettysburg?

This year, I am not going to make it over the ocean due to health
problems, but there's always hope for 2006.


Drax

Phil Leigh

unread,
Mar 31, 2005, 10:50:43 AM3/31/05
to

"Drazen Kramaric" <draxNEV...@post.htnet.hr> wrote in message
news:424bbd84...@news.htnet.hr...


Whatever your health problems I trust that you recognize that most everyone
around here wishes you a speedy return to normal functionality.

-- Phil


William G. Davis

unread,
Apr 4, 2005, 4:39:00 PM4/4/05
to

"Drazen Kramaric" <draxNEV...@post.htnet.hr> wrote in message
news:424bbd84...@news.htnet.hr...
> On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 16:19:44 -0500, "William G. Davis"
> <je...@pa7MAPSON9th.org> wrote:
>
>
>>All LBGs are trained to put their tours into the context of the persons
>>who
>>hire them. If a family from South Carolina hires a tour guide, he's going
>>to take them to Culp's Hill, the Rose Farm, East Cavalry Field and
>>Wheatfield; from Alabama, and he'll take them to Little Round Top, and the
>>Slyder Farm, Bushman Farm, and so on. They are tailored tours.
>
> I guess I'd have to visit them all, in sequential order, :o)
>
> Anyway, is there substantial percentage of foreign visitors in
> Gettysburg?

Hard to really tell. You can see those of oriental extraction and hear them
speaking Japanese, Chinese, etc. One can assume they are foreign visitors.
More difficult are occidental foreign visitors, unless you actually hear
them speaking a foreign language. I'd say a fair amount of visitors, at
least 5-10 % are foreign, and that is discounting any Canadians. Hard to
consider them foreign, actually. Sometimes the foreign visitors know more
than the American ones.


>
> This year, I am not going to make it over the ocean due to health
> problems, but there's always hope for 2006.

Sorry to hear that. Look forward to your visit in 2006. I wish you and
your family better health!

WGD


>
>
> Drax


ray o'hara

unread,
Apr 4, 2005, 11:53:43 PM4/4/05
to

William G. Davis wrote:
> "Drazen Kramaric" <draxNEV...@post.htnet.hr> wrote in message
> >
> > Anyway, is there substantial percentage of foreign visitors in
> > Gettysburg?
>
> Hard to really tell. You can see those of oriental extraction and
hear them
> speaking Japanese, Chinese, etc. One can assume they are foreign
visitors.
> More difficult are occidental foreign visitors, unless you actually
hear
> them speaking a foreign language. I'd say a fair amount of visitors,
at
> least 5-10 % are foreign, and that is discounting any Canadians.
Hard to
> consider them foreign, actually. Sometimes the foreign visitors
know more
> than the American ones.
>

i always look at the guest books to see where people come from. guest
books are a great idea. and i find californians to be more foreign than
canadians.

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