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cjdaley
02-02-2009, 07:27 PM
Since 1963 Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) has been a premier 19th Century living history museum. Encompassing over 209 acres, the out door museum was designed to be a safe haven in the growing urban sprawl on Long Island. All but one of the 52 buildings were moved to OBVR from other locations in an effort to save them from demolition.

For over 45 years, OBVR has opened the doors of the restored homes, farms and businesses to visitors and school children. OBVR hosts the Long Island Fair, a traditional county agricultural fair that draws tens of thousands of visitors, and through most of the year the village supports a steady series of family-friendly events and exhibits, including old-time "base ball" tournaments.

The buildings range in restored age from 1795 to 1876, and since the 1980s they have hosted scores of Civil War living history events.

Now there is a plan in place under Nassau County Executive Suozzi's recent deficit reduction plan to close OBVR this spring. All county museum staff have been unofficially been told that we will be laid off early this spring. This could possibly mark the end of one of the nation's living history landmarks and educational resource.

On behalf of the OBVR staff and the historic landmark, I implore you to write to those you feel would help us to stay open.

Here are some suggestions of people you should contact:

Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi
1550 Franklin Avenue, Mineola, NY 11501
(516) 571-3131
Email: http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/CountyExecutive/email.html

NY Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand
531 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-4451

NY Senator Charles E. Schumer
313 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
(202) 224-6542
Web Form: schumer.senate.gov/new_website/contact.cfm

Representative Timothy H. Bishop 202-225-3826 202-225-3143 http://timbishop.house.gov/?sectionid=96§iontree=796

Representative Steve J. Israel 202-225-3335 202-225-4669 http://www.house.gov/formisrael/contact.html

Representative Peter T. King 202-225-7896 202-226-2279 pete.king@mail.house.gov

Representative Carolyn McCarthy 202-225-5516 202-225-5758 http://www.house.gov/writerep/

Representative Gary L. Ackerman 202-225-2601 202-225-1589 http://www.house.gov/ackerman/pages/contact.html

On a personal note: I've spent my entire adult life devoted to living history because of my tenure at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. I was an interpreter there in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I learned to sew there, I met amazing historians there and I was first exposed to Civil War reenacting while working there. Please help my former co-workers Save our History at Old Bethpage Village Restoration

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1279/675906793_b8889c0fe3.jpg?v=0

http://hot-links.ws/oldbeth.jpg

http://www.newyorkcivilwar.com/2006beth_25.jpg

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1366/686407916_1f0129c5f1.jpg?v=0

KarinTimour
02-03-2009, 12:17 AM
Dear Chris:

Thank you for posting this, will be getting letters in the mail tomorrow,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting-- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

MMurphy
02-03-2009, 03:45 PM
Letters will be out tomorrow...I have a sneaky suspicion though (and this just may be me), but that there is a "developer" that is just kind of "drooling at the thought" of "what can be put there, since it's not going to be used any more..."

:(

Swag
02-03-2009, 10:05 PM
I read about this on the "other" forum, and was saddened, that yet another excellent historical interpretation site is being destroyed. I urge everyone to write a letter immediately, if you care about preservation at all.

bob 125th nysvi
02-05-2009, 10:16 PM
now I'm an ex-LIer and love the place but let me ask you this.

Has ANYBODY come up with a suggestion of what else could be cut out of the County Budget in order to come up with the money to keep the place open?

Saying to the pols 'You can't' ain't going to carry any weight unless you can tell them 'You could do this instead'.

Let's be real. The property taxes on LI are just killing everybody (even with the STAR program my mom pays over 9k a year on a small 45 year old 4 bedroom cape on 1/3 of an acre) and you are going to have trouble rallying public support without an alternate plan.

And we all want the gov't to cut spending, so what are our other choices?

And 209 acres like that on LI, if there is a developer he's got to be dangling 25-35 million in front of the county. It is going to be real hard for them to pass up that sort of cash.

So you got any economic talking points we can use?

cjdaley
02-06-2009, 07:22 AM
Great post Bob, you really do bring up a crucial point in this whole thing.

To my knowledge there is no plan. This was just announced about 72 hours ago.

Right now the first step is to build a grass roots base of people to let our leaders know how much we need museums to remain open. I'm asking you Bob and all the forum members to help me out with that.

Parks and Rec (museums) are the first thing to get cut these days. For example, Colonial Williamsburg, Plimouth Plantation, Pamplin Historical Park, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Victory Center have all lost employees and programming in the last few months.

Just on Long Island alone they have these museum problems:


Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum Plans to cut hours or personnel in spring. Vacant position of collections manager going unfilled.
Cradle of Aviation Museum Eliminated showings of poorly attended classic IMAX movies on weekday afternoons and cut part-time staff accordingly.
Heckscher Museum of Art 5-percent salary cut. Reduced budget for exhibits and events.
Long Island Children's Museum Canceled February weekend program exploring maritime activities and art. Imposed hiring and salary freeze.
Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages Cutting staff and programs.
Parrish Art Museum Eliminated half dozen positions. Deferred construction of a new $81-million facility in Water Mill.
Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum Could close at end of February unless county OKs bailout plan.
Walt Whitman Birthplace May shut doors in April.


These museums are private and government funded, yet they are are suffering. In states like NY and CA who are facing particularly tough economic times, those museums will almost certainly face their last days as a museum.

If all these museums close, then a portion of our education about the past will be lost forever. The 150+ year old buildings at Old Bethpage will fall apart very quickly. This will all have happened on our watch.

Please, all I'm asking for right now is for you to write to our leaders. Let them know about this issue. We can help them come up with a plan, but if they close it without hearing our voices, there will be no chance to re-open down the line.

KarinTimour
02-06-2009, 10:52 PM
First a couple of points: To the best of my knowledge, the County Executive's office is NOT talking about ripping the village down and selling the land to developers.

They are talking about laying off all the staff, and the first vote on this comes this Monday. Most of the houses at Old Bethpage are over 100 years old. It doesn't take much neglect for a house that old to start to decay, and a few years of neglect could doom several of the houses.

Yes, we'll need to strategize on what to propose as alteratives, but as Chris points out, many of us have been working on this for less than a week, while holding down full time jobs elsewhere. The Nassau County Legislature's full time job is figuring out how much money they need to run the government and they don't have to have agreement on that until April 1.

Old Bethpage Village to them is small beans -- these are the opening salvos of the mud wrestling that we're going to be seeing straight through the spring, and perhaps into the summer. New York State has a lousy record of on-time budgets -- in the past 30 years we've had about 2.

But representative government is about speaking up when the legislators do something you don't agree with. Sometimes you can immediately point to what should be done instead. Often you need to sit down and talk together to figure out another solution. I'm sure that those of us who care about historic buildings will sit down and see what can be done.

But that will take time.

In the meantime, this Monday the Nassau County Legislature is going to vote on whether to lay off all the staff at Old Bethpage Village. If this happens, many of those staff will immediately begin job hunting. Some will move immediately. Let's face it, the skills needed to keep up this many historic buildings, staff them, and run the museum don't grow on trees.

If we won't stand up for preserving historic buildings and a unique space in the area that has been welcoming to us for decades, who will?

We're asking you to make a call. Yes, you. Yes, I know you don't live on Long Island. Guess what -- I don't either. But I know a number of things:

a. The Village is a non-polluting, low-cost source of local revenue. Tourism is an industry. People who would have traveled in other years to Florida or Virginia aren't going to be able to afford those trips. As money gets tight, people take shorter trips and trips closer to home. People repeatedly say that they travel to attractions like Old Bethpage Village, because is a much lower cost alterative to spend a day there than to spend a day at Disney World.

b. All of the houses at Old Bethpage were preserved through much tighter times than these, for more than 100 years. Earlier generations cared enough about them that they paid for their preservation and upkeep through the 1970s recession, World War I, World War II, and the Great Depression. And we're such wimps we're going to turn our back on that and let these buildings rot now?

c. We talk all the time about how children don't read, they are sitting around staring at screens (TV, computers, gameboys) for hours. All that stuff is canned, and it can't compete with live human people, showing kids how they harnessed horses, worked with draft animals, cooked, sang, played musical instruments, wove, etc. There are generations of school children whose imaginations have been set on fire at Old Bethpage and places like it. Places like Old Bethpage have many lessions to teach, not least of which is how to do more with less.

We are part of the richest nation on earth. Times are tough, but we aren't yet at the point where we have to pull the covers over our heads and turn our faces to the wall.

When people look at us, they see a lot of grownups playing make believe and dress up. Old Bethpage has been welcoming to living historians for it's entire history -- It's time to step up to the plate and give back. If places like Old Bethpage are closed, we'll be reenacting in city parks between the hot dog concession and the Mr. Softee Truck.

So what is to be done?

This Monday, the Nassau County Legislature is taking a vote to lay off the staff of Old Bethpage.

The first step is to keep them from laying everyone off on Monday.



Thomas Suozzi and as many Nassau County Legislators as possible need to hear from us.

They need to hear from you whether or not you live on Long Island. Several years ago there was a move to lay off all the staff at Fort Snelling, and the legislators were stunned to hear that people outside the area cared about the Fort. If we could stop Disney World from moving into Northern Virginia, we can stop the staff of Old Bethpage from being laid off this Monday. People who live on Long Island, your calls will matter most, call your own legislator first. Those of us who live outside Long Island, we can still call and add our voices. Calls and faxes count, no matter where you live.


1. Call them. Early and often. Call today, call through the weekend and overwhelm their answering machine or keep their answering service busy through the weekend. Keep calling on Monday.

2. They will be keeping a tally of how many calls they get for or against the layoffs. Don't worry about having to discuss this with the person on the other end of the phone. They will just listen to you for about 3 minutes, thank you for calling and get you off the line.

Here's what to say when you call:
"I'm calling to fight the closing of Old Bethpage Village. I heard there will be a vote on Monday to lay off the staff. I am strongly opposed to laying off the Old Bethpage Village staff and will be watching who votes to close the village...."

If you want, add something here about why you think the Village is important.

They may try to explain that this is not a vote to close the village, just to "authorize" the layoffs if they are needed in the future. They may say that it's just an adminstrative vote, nothing to worry about. They may say this wouldn't be necessary if the unions would "work with them."

Don't be fooled -- we don't want to give them advance permission to lay people off in the dark of the night on some unspecified date in the future.

3. Is a long rant better than a short statement and getting off the phone? There are two different perspectives on this. Keeping in mind they are keeping a tally with just the number of calls received on either side of the issue, 5 short calls are probably better than one 15 minute rant. On the other hand, some people aim to try to keep the phone engaged for as long as possible, to keep them from being able to do any other business that day and impress upon them how difficult their lives are going to be if the vote goes the wrong way. Use either strategy, depending on what feels best to you, probably both will have some impact.

4. Remember, it's the NASSAU COUNTY LEGISLATURE who will be voting on Monday. Thomas Suozzi, and every member of the Nassau County Legislature need to hear from every one of us today or through the weekend. Don't waste time for the next four days on the State Senators or Assemblypeople, the Governor or Barak Obama. Only Nassau County Legislators will be voting on Monday. That's who needs to hear from us, loud and clear. Put the pressure where the votes are. If we win this vote, that buys time to focus on the next step. If we lose this vote, we're likely dead in the water.

5. Fax them. You can send them your letters or emails by fax. Again, letters with a stamp carry more weight, but a fax can get there by Monday. And yes, they are old fashioned, a fax carrys more weight than an email, even though you may send them from the same keyboard.

Who needs to hear from you:
Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi
Telephone: (516) 571-3131 Fax: 516-571-4000

Finance Committee Members:
Chair: Roger Corbin
Telephone: 516-571-6202 Fax: 516-571-6761

Vice Chair: Wayne Wink
Telephone: 516-571-6211 Fax: 516-571-6271

Ranking Member: John Ciotti
Telephone: 516-571-6203 Fax: 516-571-6732

Finance Committee Members:
Kevan Abraham
Telephone: 516-571-6201 Fax: 516-571-6187

Denise Ford
Telephone: 516-571-6204 Fax: 516-571-6264

Joseph Scannell
Telephone: 516-571-6205 Fax: 516-571-0291

Vincent Mascarella
Telephone: 516-571-6208 Fax: 516-571-6268

Richard Nicolello
Telephone: 516-571-6209 Fax: 516-571-6166

Judi Bosworth
Telephone: 516-571-6210 Fax: 516-571-0405

Additional Legislators (Will be voting Monday, not on the Finance Committeee)

Frances Becker
Telephone: 516-571-6206 Fax: 516-571-6133

Jeffrey Toback
Telephone: 516-571-6207 Fax: 516-571-6287

Peter Schmitt
Telephone: 516-571-6212 Fax: 516-571-6734

Norma Gonsalves
Telephone: 516-571-6213 Fax: 516-571-6746

David Meijas
Telephone: 516-571-6214 Fax: 516-571-6134

Dennis Dunn
Telephone: 516-571-6215 Fax: 516-571-6235

Judith Jacobs
Telephone: 516-571-6216 Fax: 516-571-6287

Edward Mangano
Telephone: 516-571-6217 Fax: 516-571-6277

Diane Yatauro
Telephone: 516-571-6216 Fax: 516-571-6158

David Dennenburg
Telephone: 516-571-6219 Fax: 516-571-3907


6. I think its a fine idea to show up Monday with a sign that says "Save Old Bethpage Village -- Vote No on Layoffs." Can't help, might get some coverage on the evening news.

7. If I had more notice, I'd take off work myself, but I'm only just hearing about this vote and I have obligations at work that I can't avoid.

8. We can win this vote -- and showing them we mean business at this stage of the game can only help as we move forward into the spring.

Take Action Today and Straight through the weekend!

Save Old Bethpage Village!

Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

KarinTimour
02-07-2009, 01:35 PM
now I'm an ex-LIer and love the place but let me ask you this.

Has ANYBODY come up with a suggestion of what else could be cut out of the County Budget in order to come up with the money to keep the place open?

Saying to the pols 'You can't' ain't going to carry any weight unless you can tell them 'You could do this instead'.

Let's be real. The property taxes on LI are just killing everybody (even with the STAR program my mom pays over 9k a year on a small 45 year old 4 bedroom cape on 1/3 of an acre) and you are going to have trouble rallying public support without an alternate plan.

And we all want the gov't to cut spending, so what are our other choices?

And 209 acres like that on LI, if there is a developer he's got to be dangling 25-35 million in front of the county. It is going to be real hard for them to pass up that sort of cash.

So you got any economic talking points we can use?

Dear Bob:

You're talking good sense, and if they don't vote to lay off the staff Monday, we'll certainly need to come up with alternate suggestions.

However, I just heard on Friday that they were voting for layoffs on Monday. So there hasn't been time to read the poposed Nassau County Budget for FY 2009-10.

The buildings are landmarked. As far as I know they're not currently considering selling the land out from under the Village. Drooling developers aren't a new sight on Long Island. But without staff, a little neglect and some hard storms this winter will set more of them up for decay that will necessitate pulling them down.

If we get past this vote on Monday, we'll certainly have to read the budget and come up with some alternatives, and then ask for meetings with the Legislators, the unions and whatever other interested parties have a stake in this.

If we lose the vote Monday, well, the staff will be laid off, and they'll start looking for work and moving out of the area.

In the meantime, we need calls and faxes to the legislators, if only to buy time to formulate an alternative proposal.

Bob, your help would be appreciated. One or two calls to Nassau Legislators this weekend could make a difference.

Sincerely,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

KarinTimour
02-10-2009, 01:21 AM
Folks:

I just got in this evening, to the wonderful news that the Nassau County Legislature has postponed the vote on closing Old Bethpage Village. This is a temporary repreave -- they could decide in two weeks to put it to a vote. But the good news is that a) they blinked and b) they can't vote until the next time they are in session, which is two weeks from today.

Savor it -- you helped us head them off at the pass on this vote. While not (yet) ultimate victory, hearing from so many people across the county, the state and the nation definately caused them to think twice.

Word has it that the unions and the Legislature are sitting down to the negotiating table, which is a good second step.

Thanks are due to all of you who called, faxed, emailed or wrote letters to the Legislators. Your voices carried weight and helped to stave off immediate closure, which buys us time to do some more strategic organizing and figure out our next steps.

Please keep this fight on your agenda. We will definately keep you up to speed on developments, and I strongly suspect we're going to need your good right arms a few more times between now and April (which is when the new budget is supposed to be in place).

When the people lead, the leaders will follow.

Thank you all for your time, efforts and caring. It came through and it has had an impact.

Sincerely,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

reb64
02-12-2009, 10:03 PM
Great post Bob, you really do bring up a crucial point in this whole thing.

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum Plans to cut hours or personnel in spring. Vacant position of collections manager going unfilled.

Cradle of Aviation Museum Eliminated showings of poorly attended classic IMAX movies on weekday afternoons and cut part-time staff accordingly.

Heckscher Museum of Art 5-percent salary cut. Reduced budget for exhibits and events.

Long Island Children's Museum Canceled February weekend program exploring maritime activities and art. Imposed hiring and salary freeze.

Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages Cutting staff and programs.

Parrish Art Museum Eliminated half dozen positions. Deferred construction of a new $81-million facility in Water Mill.

Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum Could close at end of February unless county OKs bailout plan.

Walt Whitman Birthplace May shut doors in April.


"

I wouldnt miss a museum dedicated to a openly gay poet much. or the modern art junk. most of these museums may be covered under other already established places.

cjdaley
02-13-2009, 10:47 AM
I wouldnt miss a museum dedicated to a openly gay poet much. or the modern art junk.

...and those museums wouldn't miss you much either.

billwatson2
02-13-2009, 03:21 PM
"I wouldnt miss a museum dedicated to a openly gay poet much. or the modern art junk. most of these museums may be covered under other already established places."

Now, don't think that way.

Think what you'd miss if people who wouldn't miss museums dedicated to slaveholders and traitors shared your attitude.

The past, all of it, belongs to all of us. If you're willing to obscure part of it because of personal partisan viewpoints based on modern issues, you help put all of it at risk.

reb64
02-13-2009, 05:15 PM
Now, don't think that way.

Think what you'd miss if people who wouldn't miss museums dedicated to slaveholders and traitors shared your attitude.

The past, all of it, belongs to all of us. If you're willing to obscure part of it because of personal partisan viewpoints based on modern issues, you help put all of it at risk.


I am constantly reading of partiality by members concerning anything southern slanted or northern slanted. there is nothing non partisan about us. thats why I give to cwpt and others to do what i cant.

But as to your museums of slave holders and traitors. I might stop into grants or benedict arnolds museums.

cjdaley
02-22-2009, 07:46 PM
If you have not already sign the online petition to save OBVR at the following link, please do so. http://www.petitiononline.com/saveOBVR/petition.html It will be presented at the meeting tomorrow.

Mods,
Would it be possible to split this thread into a conversation about 1) saving a historic site and 2) silly comments?

tompritchett
02-22-2009, 07:59 PM
Mods,
Would it be possible to split this thread into a conversation about 1) saving a historic site and 2) silly comments?

Unfortunately if I suspect more "silly comments" would pop back into the serious thread. If the thread was longer and was more fragmented I might consider it but as it stands there really is no need as of now.

cjdaley
02-22-2009, 08:45 PM
Unfortunately if I suspect more "silly comments" would pop back into the serious thread. If the thread was longer and was more fragmented I might consider it but as it stands there really is no need as of now.

Understood.

KarinTimour
02-22-2009, 08:51 PM
Yes, we know you helped already. Yes, we know it's Sunday night.

But we need you now as we have never needed you before.

We're on the eve of the vote as to whether to keep Old Bethpage open or not -- the vote that was tabled two weeks ago will be held this Monday.

Why should you care?
Historic spaces are being shuttered all over the country. Often, we hear only after it's too late or when nothing can be done. Pamphlin Park, The Old Statehouse, Morristown. All the museums in a given state.

This time we can do something. This time you can help fight for history.

We just need that little extra bit to get us over the top. This isn't a case of millions of dollars being needed.

And most of the Legislature is on our side.

It's those in the "middle of the road" who are waffling, but who have the votes to make the difference.

Help make up their minds.

"You can't teach history without Computers and Videoscreens"
Many of you have said how much you dislike the new Gettysburg Visitors' Center, the Animatronic Lincoln Museum with holographic Lincoln Ghosts and mannikins that tape loop the Gettysburg Address.

Old Bethpage is the opposite. It's real. The buildings are real, the living historians and live musicians are real.

It puts the lie to "we have to have automated computers to teach history." The chance to hold a hard tack, scrub on a washboard, sing along while someone plays an instrument, write with a slate pencil, gather kindling, touch a cow, chase a chicken, all of these are mesmerizing to today's children, and all can be experienced at Old Bethpage. Teachers see real improvement in schoolwork after a visit to the village.

Teacher Education
Not only does it inspire children, local teachers have been holding free workshops for each other to explain how to use the Village to teach math, reading, spelling and other topics. How to weave your lesson plans around the magic of the village. If this isn't an example of "use of local resources," and "added value" I don't know what is. Teaching consultants could get big fees for doing what local teachers are doing with each other for free.

Additional Source of Revenue
For those of you who aren't familiar with the village, they hold an 1870s fair every fall, and they've built a fair building to house it. An increasing number of couples, looking for an unusual spot for a wedding reception have been renting this building out. Until this year it didn't have a bathroom, so the rental fee was lower because any wedding party had to rent portable bathrooms to use it. If it had bathrooms, it could be rented at a higher fee, and more couples could use it on the weekends, thus providing an added source of funding. Wedding receptions are pricy events to hold, and a site with the Village's ambiance could command a healthy fee. Construction has already begun on those bathrooms, and they were to be completed this spring. If the village closes, this source of revenue will also be lost.

Why do I need to do something today?
You raised such an outcy two weeks ago, that the Legislature tabled the vote for two weeks, in hopes that you'd forget or get distracted.

These buildings aren't Disney Replicas, they aren't "based on an idea from Carl Sandburg of what a tavern looked like" -- they are the real deal. Buildings that were lived in and used by real people for 100 years (some of them nearly 200 years). Historic homes decay without constant vigilance. If the village closes, the buildings will be shuttered, the maintenance staff will be discharged and it will moulder, perhaps for years. Left alone to rot for years, some will decay past repair.

They were saved from being pulled down and gathered from every corner of Long Island. They were maintained through the Panic of the 1870s, the 1970s Recession, two World Wars and the Great Depression. Don't let it be said that our generation locked the doors and walked away.

Send a clear message that we didn't forget, and that we care about history, in every corner of this country. Yes, Long Island residents will carry the most weight on this vote. But even those of us who don't live on the Island can send a message that we travel, we spend money on historic sites and museums, and we vote.

What you can do:

1. Sign the electronic petition -- it takes less than a minute.

Link: http://www.petitiononline.com/saveOBVR/petition.html

2. Leave an email for a legislator -- cut and paste your favorite paragraphs from the arguments above. Or use your own words. Here's the link to all their emails:

Link: http://www.petitiononline.com/saveOBVR/petition.html

3. Leave them a message -- their phone mail will be open all night, and they'll be voting tomorrow.
Who needs to hear from you:
Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi
Telephone: (516) 571-3131 Fax: 516-571-4000

Finance Committee Members:
Chair: Roger Corbin
Telephone: 516-571-6202 Fax: 516-571-6761

Vice Chair: Wayne Wink
Telephone: 516-571-6211 Fax: 516-571-6271

Ranking Member: John Ciotti
Telephone: 516-571-6203 Fax: 516-571-6732

Finance Committee Members:
Kevan Abraham
Telephone: 516-571-6201 Fax: 516-571-6187

Denise Ford
Telephone: 516-571-6204 Fax: 516-571-6264

Joseph Scannell
Telephone: 516-571-6205 Fax: 516-571-0291

Vincent Mascarella
Telephone: 516-571-6208 Fax: 516-571-6268

Richard Nicolello
Telephone: 516-571-6209 Fax: 516-571-6166

Judi Bosworth
Telephone: 516-571-6210 Fax: 516-571-0405

Additional Legislators (Will be voting Monday, not on the Finance Committeee)

Frances Becker
Telephone: 516-571-6206 Fax: 516-571-6133

Jeffrey Toback
Telephone: 516-571-6207 Fax: 516-571-6287

Peter Schmitt
Telephone: 516-571-6212 Fax: 516-571-6734

Norma Gonsalves
Telephone: 516-571-6213 Fax: 516-571-6746

David Meijas
Telephone: 516-571-6214 Fax: 516-571-6134

Dennis Dunn
Telephone: 516-571-6215 Fax: 516-571-6235

Judith Jacobs
Telephone: 516-571-6216 Fax: 516-571-6287

Edward Mangano
Telephone: 516-571-6217 Fax: 516-571-6277

Diane Yatauro
Telephone: 516-571-6216 Fax: 516-571-6158

David Dennenburg
Telephone: 516-571-6219 Fax: 516-571-3907


SAVE OLD BETHPAGE! WE CAN WIN!

Sincerely,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

bob 125th nysvi
02-24-2009, 12:21 AM
the "silly" comments do raise a real issue?

What art/musuems are worth saving and from whos perspective?

For example I am not a fan of 'modern' art and it goes back to me attending an art exhibit at the Met in which some dope had hung a matteress on a canvas, burnt it and called it "Burnt Matress #3" (I always wondered what had happened to Burnt Matteress' 1 & 2) valued at $10,000 (in the Mid 70s I might add). If you think I think a dime of my taxpayers money should go toward paying the salary of the idiot who decided that was art your nuts.

The reality of this issue is that not all history should be preserved. If you subscribe to the theory that it should I expect you to tear down your house and declare the land a historical site because 'history' happened there. Just maybe not big history.

So let's agree that all art and all history are not equal.

Now there are a couple of mitigating factors here.

On average the level of wealth in Nassau County is fairly high so they should be able to afford to preserve this site. Two they spend like drunken sailors so that negates point one.

However this is NOT money that would be spent to create a new musuem (say the aforementioned 'gay artists' museum) but to preserve an already preserved piece of history. The cost of which to restore the place after letting it get run down would be many times greater than the savings created by letting it get run down.

I have always been an advocate of letting the patrons of art (or history) foot the bill for preserving their pet items. Certainly Nassau County SHOULD invest in this site because of its unique educational value in an increasingly urban wilderness. However maybe it is time for the patrons and users and STAFF to be willing to foot an increasing portion of the burden to keep the site viable.

And in the interest of full disclosure (1) my stepfather is a artist of some note locally on LI (2) Is related to several of the families who colonized Long Island (3) Was born in a house that is now a "Historical Site" owned and operated by a not-for-profit organization formed to preserve sites in the area.

So my familial interests run deep on preserving LI's history but I also realize that the pool of money DOES have a bottom.

But as things go this site deserves some sort of compromise to keep it viable.

KarinTimour
02-24-2009, 01:35 AM
I just got home and it's been a really long day, so I'll limit this to the basics:

1. Thank you all for everything you did to help with the efforts on Old Bethpage.

Here's what I heard happened today at the hearings:

2. There was a good turnout supporting our position.

3. The petition was presented (thank you to all who signed it).

4. Several people gave testimony in person.

5. The Nassau County Executive said a number of nice things, most importantly that he's sitting down with the Unions and hopefully things will get worked out. In the meantime, they have removed the motion from the docket to close Old Bethpage, the other museums, parks and recreation.

6. Personally, I'm very relieved that they addressed this at their meeting. I don't currently think that we're completely out of the woods -- until the Legislature has finalized and adopted their budget.

7. I've seen politicians do a U-turn in the dark of night before.

Am going to bed now, will hear what others have to say in the morning.

Sincere thanks,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

billwatson2
03-15-2009, 04:20 PM
Can I bring this to the front burner again?

If it is resolved, and the village is open, as it seems, I'd like to ask those closest to the situation whether it would be a good thing to try to muster a higher than usual turnout for this year's CW events at Old Bethpage Village. I see on the Bethpage Web site that there are a number of events. I am not sure of the site's capacity. I'm seeking guidance on whether to drum up more interest this year among relatively close groups that haven't made this event in the past, especially since we seem to have other events in eclipse here and there.

From a certain standpoint the ability of Bethpage Village to bring in outsiders to drop a few bucks on gas, dinner, lodging and whatnot is a positive. It might not matter so much to this metropolitan location as it would to Bug Tussle, Pa., but still.... if I go I'm sending a letter to the county telling them I was there and about how much I spent. Multiply that by 400 or so and you've got another argument for keeping the thing open.

Thoughts?

KarinTimour
03-15-2009, 06:02 PM
Dear Bill:

I have been remiss in not posting this information sooner. Yes, it looks as though Old Bethpage was definatively saved this week, on March 9th the County Executive and the unions reached an understanding that will allow the museums, parks and recreational facilities to remain open through FY 2009-10. While this is a wonderful victory and so many of you here helped this to happen, it is very wise to start planning now for what we can do to avoid being in this situation again in the spring of 2010.

I can't speak to your question about how many reenactors Old Bethpage can handle, since I"m not organizing any of the Civil War events there. I'm sure that one of the members of the 119th New York will be along shortly and can speak to how many are already signed up, how much space they have, etc.

Personally, I think your point is well taken about the power of a letter written to a local politician that says "I was at Old Bethpage for the Civil War event on [fill in date here] and spend [fill in amount here] on food, gas, local hotels while in your district. Our unit brought [fill in number of people] and we all stayed for a week to see some of the other Long Island Museums and spent [$$$] while we were there."

The email below appeared on March 9, and was written by Jim McKenna, the Executive Director of Old Bethpage Village.

<<On March 9th The County of Nassau and the CSEA Local 830 after a month of negotiations came to an agreement to prevent the layoff of hundreds of county employees, which of course means Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Garvies Point Museum and the other currently staffed county museums and parks will remain open. Old Bethpage Village is scheduled to open to the general public on Wednesday, April 1st, with the first weekend program scheduled for Saturday, April 4th. The agreement between the County and the Union needs to be ratified by the Local 830 membership and the County Executive is also seeking to entice over 300 county workers to retire with what seems to be a very generous incentive plan. I know that a least one of Old Bethpage Village’s long time staff members will be retiring this spring and will be sorely missed.



I would like to thank everyone that made their pleas to keep Old Bethpage Village open known to the County Executive, Nassau County Legislature, CSEA Local 830 and to the news media. In particular thanks to Christopher Thomas, his brother Tim, Alison, Tara and all of the people who created and wrote into the Facebook page and who created, signed and commented on the petition. The petition was presented to the Nassau County Legislature at the last Legislative meeting and will be formally presented with all of the additional names, totaling nearly 5,000 names, to the County Executive’s Office next week. The other petitions initiated by the NY Mutuals and the 14th Brooklyn Regiment will also be presented to the County Executive and Legislature. I am also grateful for the help of people like Frank and Frankie Ruiz of the 14th Brooklyn Regiment for their support in so many ways, including clueing in Channel 2 News and writing some excellent posts and some great grass roots support. My thanks to Eric Miklich and Tom Fesolowitch from the NY Mutuals and leaders of the internationally known Old Bethpage Village Old Time Base Ball League for their support on their website and for initiating a nationwide historic base ball movement to keep OBVR open. Aren’t we all glad Eric didn’t take a swing at Conan when he charged Eric on the pitcher’s mound? FYI. Some awesome Base Ball Matches and the L.I. Rabbit Show are planned for Saturday April 4th … keep that in your plans.



I need to thank Karin Timour for her assistance in getting out the word that we needed to contact our Legislators and to Rob Walker of the 119th N.Y. Volunteers for his updating the Long Island Historical Re-enacting community. My sincere and great thanks goes out to Mark Adler, Captain of the 119th N.Y. Volunteers, for coming to the Nassau Legislature and organizing support from the 119th and from the Model A Ford Club of Long Island. Thank you everyone who came down in support of Old Bethpage Village at our Nassau County Legislative meetings and made themselves heard, despite waiting hours to be heard. Robin Heaney, Guy Smith, Chris and Tim … thank you for your words to our Legislators. Beth Chamberlain & Christine Scott… thanks for coming to the Legislature and for your constant support. Chris Daley, all the way in Tidewater Virginia, thank you for initiating support among the greater Civil War Re-enacting community. I’m glad I hired you way back when … really glad!



And the greatest thanks goes to Janet Demarest who has supported the Save OBVR from the moment she was called, from helping to organize, speaking so eloquently at both County Legislative meetings and for being a very good friend through this all …. Janet, Thank You. And to my friend Robert Hansen, Secretary-Treasurer of the Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties … my sincere thanks for your personal support, advice, editing and organization. Robert … thank you for getting me through this!



I know I’m missing someone and I apologize in advance. Without the help of many concerned citizens and dedicated volunteers I do not believe we could have kept Old Bethpage Village open. Nassau’s Museums and Parks were created for the enjoyment of all its citizens for all time. Let us hope that in the future our museum and parks do not fall victim to such circumstances again. We’ll keep everyone informed as new and better things develop.



And Conan O’Brien, wherever you are, Thank You for airing that wonderful Base Ball sketch at the most important time in Old Bethpage Village’s life. We were glad to have you visit … come back any time you want!



Jim McKenna>>
__________________



HUGE Thank yous to all who helped us by signing the electronic petition, calling, faxing, emailing or sending letters. Every little bit helped to put us over the top, and you have helped save not only Old Bethpage Village, but several other museums, and an entire network of sports and recreation facillities which will provide free and low-cost ways for children and families to get healthy exercise this spring and summer.

In these tough times, to be able to get out and swim, play basketball or just take a walk in a park will be a real help for so many families.

Thank you everyone for making this happen,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society