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Fw: National Park Service Attacks S.F. Sea Scouts

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  • Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS
    ... From: chuck shea To: Various Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 8:22 PM Subject: National Park Service Attacks S.F. Sea Scouts Hi All, Well, In San
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 17, 2009
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      ----- Original Message -----
      To: Various
      Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 8:22 PM
      Subject: National Park Service Attacks S.F. Sea Scouts

      Hi All,

      Well, In San Francisco... if it isn't one thing, it is another!
      This time it is the National Park Service attacking the Sea Scouts in San Francisco.
      The National Park Services in San Francisco is making unprecedented moves to eliminate a program that has been in San Francisco, providing maritime training since the 1920's.
      It now appears that Kate Richardson, Superintendent of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, is the one leading the attack on the program and is single minded in her personal effort to destroy this program.
      Is this the same person who tried to steal the Ship's Bell from the USS San Francisco CA -38?
      When the National Park Service took over the Aquatic park area it was understood that the Sea Scout program would remain as is and untouched by the NPS.
      This has not happen! Since President Nixon declared the Golden Gate National Park. These bureaucrats have been whittling away at this,. the Only Scouting program in San Francisco that provides maritime training, 
      Remember the first attack against Scouting took place in San Francisco in 1973.
      I have listed below a Status report by Mr. John Verdoia, Committee Chairman of the Sea Scouts. 
      Please read the report below.
      Also I would like to request that a letter or phone call be made to Senators Feinstein and Boxer and Representative Pelosi's office to ask them halt this discrimination by the NPS against Sea Scouting.
      Best Regards
      Chuck Shea,President
      San Francisco Council
      Navy League of the United States
      The San Francisco Sea Scout program is facing unprecedented challenges which threaten to eliminate the quality maritime experience we have been delivering to San Francisco youth for over three generations. We wish to inform you of recent developments between the National Park Service (NPS) and the Sea Scouts, regarding the San Francisco Sea Scout Base.
      The San Francisco Sea Scout program has operated at Aquatic Park for over 70 years, serving the city’s young men and women with a program steeped in practical boat maintenance, small boat sailing and maritime history, as well as teamwork and community service. The Base has been home to numerous Sea Scout Ships over the years, and is currently the home port of several historic vessels operated by three Sea Scout units – one being Northern California’s only all female sailing Sea Scout unit.
      Our program has always been centered around traditional wooden whaleboats. In the early 1950s, the San Francisco Sea Scout Base was outfitted with a set of manually operated whaleboat davits which allowed us to haul out our boats to perform tasks ranging from routine maintenance to complete vessel restoration. Our youth members quickly become adept at hauling out our vessels safely, and practicing maritime skills associated with these historic boats – which are integral components of our project-based training. The absolute heart of our program is teaching, and conducting boat preservation and maintenance – practices directly aligned with the youth program goals of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
      The San Francisco Sea Scout Base and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park function under the parameters outlined in the Park’s General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Report of 1997. In fact, the Sea Scout Base is located in the Cultural Zone of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. It appears that it was the intention of the Management Plan to allow for the continued use of the Sea Scout Base by Scouts, as it was recognized that our program supplies a critical cultural and educational component, particularly as it relates to youth.
      For many years, we have operated our programs at the Base under a Cooperative Agreement between Boy Scouts of America (BSA), our parent organization, and NPS. During this time -- specifically, in 2003 -- the Sea Scout Base underwent significant retrofitting and rehabilitation with the cost borne by BSA.
      In March of 2008, we received from NPS a Draft Cooperative Agreement for our review. We responded with commentary for continued discussion, but we heard nothing back from NPS. Later, during the summer, we learned that the Cooperative Agreement was to be replaced by a Special Use Permit, but 2008 ended without our receiving either draft agreement, or a request to engage in further discussion.
      On January 21, 2009, Kate Richardson, Superintendent of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, sent us a Special Use Permit, the terms of which she declared to be non-negotiable. The new document effectively cripples our program by imposing the following new operating parameters:
      - No haul out of any vessels,
      - No maintenance work of any kind - no sanding, no painting,
      - Only four moorings (instead of the necessary ten).
      In her covering letter, the Superintendent states that the Scouts "may have until the end of March [i.e., next month] to relocate their vessels, shop and other equipment." This means that, within just a few weeks, we would be obliged to:
      - Relocate our ongoing historical whaleboat restoration project,
      - Empty all our storage lockers, sail lockers and the workshop,
      - Remove all small boats except for two dinghies (no more than 10 feet long, as per  the limitation imposed by the Special Use Permit).
      Superintendent Richardson also mentions, in her covering letter, having received violations during environmental, safety and fire protection audits. She appears to be using compliance issues as a reason to dismantle the Sea Scout program. We have requested identification and substantiation of possible violations but have not received any citation information from Superintendent Richardson.
      The Sea Scouts rigorously follow the same standards and environmental protection rules that NPS staff follow for their boat work at Hyde St. Pier. Over the course of the past years, we have responded immediately to fire and safety inspection punch lists, and we have never been the object of an environmental citation or violation.
      Our program is predicated on the ability to haul and maintain our vessels at our site at little or no cost. Sea Scouts could never afford to pay boat yards for the haul-out and repair work we have been doing at our own facility. And even if it were affordable, the use of professional shipwrights would deprive us of teaching opportunities that are the cornerstone of our program.
      Furthermore, Superintendent Richardson proposes curtailment of our activities by:
      - Limiting keys for building access, reducing the number of keys available to us from 30 to four. This severely restricts our all-volunteer program.
      - Limiting hours of access to the Sea Scout Base. This will eliminate our traditional overnight activities.
      - Mandating the relocation of 60% of our program vessels.
      - Eliminating ongoing historic boat restoration projects.
      - Locking Sea Scouts out of interior building space and locker space.
      - Removing all signage from the Sea Scout Base, so the building cannot be identified as the Sea Scout Base.
      If implemented, these restrictions will fundamentally change, and possibly destroy, the San Francisco Sea Scout program which has been successfully conducted for over 70 years. For almost a year, NPS has ignored our requests for discussion regarding our tenancy; left our moorings to break, putting our vessels on the beach; and harassed our volunteers. It is unfair, and without precedent, for Superintendent Richardson to impose such onerous terms -- without any input from Sea Scouts, and with such an unreasonably short time to comply.
      To insure the continuation of critical program elements and the Sea Scout tradition at Aquatic Park, we intend to proceed as follows:
           - Resist any attempt by NPS to remove our program from the
             Sea Scout Base.
           - Seek a long-term tenancy agreement similar to our prior
              Cooperative Agreement.
           - Call upon NPS to live up to their responsibilities by providing 
              maintenance for the facility and docks.
           - Request ten safe moorings in Aquatic Park Lagoon and
             permission to set up and maintain those moorings ourselves.
      It is our hope that NPS may be encouraged to work within the guidelines
      of their own  General Management Plan of 1997 and to recognize the proven value to San Francisco youth, both now and in later life, of the Sea Scout program at Aquatic Park.
      If you, as a supporter of educating young people in seamanship and maritime skills, have suggestions as to how we can work most effectively to preserve and carry on the San Francisco Sea Scout program, please tell us. If you know of others who might wish to provide assistance, please introduce us.
      To offer advice and help, please contact me at 415.269.0357, jverdoia@..., or by mail -- 35 Loraine Court, San Francisco, CA 94118.
      With warmest thanks in advance,
      John Verdoia
      Committee Chairman
      Sea Scout Ships Corsair and Viking
    • capt.ob@comcast.net
      ... From: capt ob To: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 02:13:19 +0000 (UTC) Subject: Re: [PMMC-NLUS] Fw: National Park Service Attacks S.F. Sea
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 17, 2009
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        ----- Original Message -----

        From: capt ob

        To: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com

        Sent: Wed, 18 Feb 2009 02:13:19 +0000 (UTC)

        Subject: Re: [PMMC-NLUS] Fw: National Park Service Attacks S.F. Sea Scouts

        Dear Sirs:

        I am proud to say that I  was a Sea Scout, jouning in May 1956....The Sea Scouts provided supervised activities and proper examples of moral rectitude.  I received the highest award..Quartermaster Sea Scout...Many of us went to sea in the Navy, Coast Guard and the Merchant Marine...I retired as an Officer in both the Navy and the Merchant Marine...the seamanship, swimming, first aid and  life saving skills that I learned as a young man benefited me all my life..in peace and war...Never in our history have young men and women needed Sea Scouting more than now...To learn water safety, teamwork, and gain the satisfaction of accomplishing assignments and hard tasks provides unlimited opportunities....for growth..mentally, spiritually and phyisically...The Sea Scout Base takes up little space and has been a fixture in Aquatic Park for generations...It is self-sustaining and costs little, if any tax dollars...It would be a sin to eliminate this progam for our youngsters. To be Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful,Friendly, Courteous, Kind , Obediant, Cheerful,Thrifty,Brave Clean, and Reverent (The Scout Oath) has been my mantra and my goal all of my life...I will be 67 on Feb 18th, and will never forget the lessons Ilearned in the Sea Scouts...God Bless the Sea Scouts, God Bless America....

                        Captain K.C. O'Brien USMM (ret)

                        Quartermaster Sea Scout

                        Sea Scout Ship Navigator 120
        ----- Original Message -----

        From: Pacific Merchant Marine Council, NLUS

        To: PMMC-NLUS@yahoogroups.com

        Sent: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 17:09:43 +0000 (UTC)

        Subject: [PMMC-NLUS] Fw: National Park Service Attacks S.F. Sea Scouts




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