Author Topic: Folio Weekly Backpage Editorial: SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE  (Read 5189 times)

FayeforCure

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2589
  • Amsterdam: Persistent, Courageous, Compassionate
Folio Weekly Backpage Editorial: SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE
« on: June 29, 2009, 08:00:11 PM »
Folio Weekly: Backpage Editorial by Faye Armitage -- "SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE"

Backpage Editorial
Faye Armitage

Saving St. Augustine

St. Augustine’s small-town Spanish Colonial charm is in danger of being ruined by schlock. We love St. Augustine
and must preserve the beauty of endangered Matanzas Inlet sunsets, Anastasia Island beach mice, nesting leatherback turtles, soaring families of bald eagles and frolicking schools of manatees and whales. Florida’s First Coast deserves a first class National Park for the 500th anniversary of Spanish Florida (in 2013) and 450th anniversary of St. Augustine (in 2015).

The late U.S. Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill and Edward Boland of Massachusetts made history in
1958, courageously working to protect Cape Cod’s charm forever. Boland returned in 1958 from a trip to Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Within a fortnight, the two Massachusetts Democrats introduced the Cape Cod National Seashore Act (backed by John F. Kennedy only after he became president).
Commercial interests thought that a national seashore would be bad for business. They were wrong. Today we scoff at the quaint story of O’Neill and Boland being hung in effigy and booed in the Cape Cod towns of Wellfleet and Truro, where citizens, in their annual town meetings, voted against the bill.

Even JFK, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Profiles in Courage,” feared local commercial interests in Massachusetts when it came to proposing a national seashore. JFK later came aboard as president, to consider the National Seashore the best thing he ever did for Massachusetts. Today’s visitors to Cape Cod come from
around the world to partake of its charm, marshes, woodlands, beaches and towns that were saved thanks to the vision of Congressmen O’Neill and Boland.

A St. Augustine National Park was first proposed before World War II. The idea is five years older than President Harry S Truman’s national health insurance proposal. And as with national health care, Congress too often resembles a herd of turtles trying to write a symphony. It’s somewhat understandable that our two busy U.S. Senators (and Representative John Luigi Mica) haven’t introduced a National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway. Legislation moves glacially, except in emergencies.

We have one now.
Our local economy is in a state of emergency.

Businesses are dying. We’re ready forCongress to stimulate our economy and preserve our way of life by enacting a St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway Act, supported by a diverse group of citizens, from octogenarian environmental activist Robin Nadeau to former Republican
County Commission Chairperson John Sundeman to St. Augustine Democratic Club Chairperson Jeanne Moeller, among a growing group of people concerned about the declining quality of the tourist experience in St. Johns County.

A National Historical Park would preserve and protect St. Augustine’s historic downtown with the dignity and experience of the National Park Service, just as parts of Boston, New Bedford, Philadelphia and other historic cities are preserved. It would step into the breach left by the Florida legislature, Secretary of State, University of
Florida and city of St. Augustine, all of whom have been unable to repair crumbling buildings and historic monuments. A national historical park would preserve downtown streets and reduce congestion, improving the tourist experience and making it one that longer-staying (and biggerspending) historic and environmental
tourists will enjoy.

A national historic park managed by the National Park Service would portray history and nature accurately, as done in Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg and the Colonial National Historical Parkway.

There could also be a National Civil Rights and Indigenous History Museum, aimed at telling the region’s story of 11,000 years of human history, honoring Native Americans, African-Americans and the Civil Rights movement here, which helped win adoption of national antidiscrimination laws in 1964. The struggles on St. Augustine’s
streets and beaches, including the arrest of Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody’s mother and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., need to be retold and told well.

soldiers monument in St. Augustine’s Plaza
de la Constitucion, paying tribute to Civil
Rights Era activists whose efforts helped
break the Senate logjam and enact basic
nondiscrimination laws.

A national seashore and coastal parkway designation would protect the coast from uglification, as at other national seashores. We have 61 miles of coast here, and the transfer from county to federal jurisdiction
would save local tax monies and make environmental protection a priority on beaches where turtles land to give birth, and where beach mice and other critters scamper.

In September, watch Ken Burns’ PBS documentary “Our National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” Think of how uplifting it will be to be able to drive from Ponte Vedra to Marineland as a tourist or resident, secure in the knowledge that the beaches will survive and not be turned into some unreasonable facsimile of Miami.
Think of the economic efficiency and environmental benefits of entrusting city and county parks, seashore water managementdistrict land and at least five state parks (including Anastasia and Guana- Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Reserve) to one world-class organization (the National Park Service) to protect, preserve
and interpret, rather than allowing the land to be ripped apart by greed.

Think of the good jobs that will encourage young people to stay here, working as National Park Service employees and contractors. Think of historic interpreters and environmental tour guides who are rewarded with a federal showcase, inviting the world to a world-class destination.

Let’s enlist Congress and the president to help us tell our region’s rich history —including the story of the Indians, African-American slaves and Minorcan and Greek indentured servants (who escaped to St.
Augustine from New Smyrna Beach, “voting with their feet” against slavery by contract. Indentured servitude was outlawed along with regular slavery with the 13th Amendment in 1865.
Think of how our tourist economy will be stimulated and jobs created and preserved by preserving the stunning vistas that draw people here, not uglifying them with massive high-rises, suburban sprawl and unsafe homes built in wetlands.
Think of how fourth-graders now and in the future, from all over Florida, will be rewarded for their studies of Florida history by helping preserve “the real Florida” — St. Augustine and St. Johns County — forever.
It is up to us to learn from the young and to protect Northeast Florida for families, flora, fauna and the future. Visit staugustgreen.com for more information and let your neighbors and national and local leaders know what you think. 

Faye Armitage lives in Fruit Cove. In 2008, she ran against nine-term Congressional incumbent John Mica, receiving nearly 150,000 votes.



A National Historical Park would preserve and protect St. Augustine’s historic downtown with the dignity
and experience of the National Park Service, just as parts of Boston, New Bedford, Philadelphia and
other historic cities are preserved.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.
Basic American bi-partisan tradition: Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman were honorary chairmen of Planned Parenthood

Ocklawaha

  • Phd. Ferroequinology
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10437
  • Monster of Mobility! Ocklawaha is Robert Mann
    • LIGHT RAIL JACKSONVILLE
Re: Folio Weekly Backpage Editorial: SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 11:37:01 PM »
Quote
Located just 30 minutes north of Boston, the Lowell National Historic Park (LNHP) uses three replica and one restored original trolley to circulate visitors within this large National Park site. The park electrified a portion of the existing rail trackage in this former mill complex, and now operates 1.2 miles of trackage in a "T" configuration connecting the key visitor areas in the park.
 
Development: By the 1970s, Lowell had lost much of its industrial economic base. The water-powered mills which had once made it America's number one textile producing town had been abandoned. Partnering with the National Park Service, a plan was created to use tourism as the base to generate new uses for 1.5 million square feet of vacant 19th-Century mill space. Beginning in 1978, NPS created an industrial heritage park which preserves and interprets the history of the American Industrial Revolution in Lowell. The largely intact historic district includes an array of restored buildings,  including an operating textile mill, and 5.6 miles of power canals, now converted for use in transporting visitors. The trolley line began operation in 1984, and is used in conjunction with the canals to provide tours at the site. The park currently receives over 500,000 annual visitors.
 
Equipment: The three replica cars at Lowell represent Gomaco's entry into the replica trolley field. The first two cars are patterned after a classic New England open car, or "breezer", and were delivered in 1984. A third car was built in 1987 to another New England design, that of a Brill "Semi-convertible" car which is better suited to all-weather operation. All three of the cars utilize running gear and other mechanical components from Melbourne W-2 cars. In addition to the three Gomaco replicas, a New Orleans Perley Thomas car from the Seashore Trolley Museum also operates at the site.

St. Augustine and South Beach Railway, and the St. Augustine and North Beach Railway, became THE ST. JOHNS ELECTRIC RAILWAY. It connected both beaches, downtown, west St. Augustine and the neighborhoods. As were most small town systems, it was a very early victim of the auto era. A most interesting sidebar to it's abandonment in the mid 1920's was a visionary resident who burst on the scene, and laid out a vision of a historic tourist mecca. The streetcars according to the plan would become famous, a calling card, known around the world. They laughed him out of town. NPS? What better spot?

OCKLAWAHA

mtraininjax

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5419
Re: Folio Weekly Backpage Editorial: SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2009, 08:46:31 AM »
Seems these days we all need rail to save our lives. Great to know.
And, that $115 will save Jacksonville from financial ruin. - Mayor John Peyton

“This is a game-changer. This is what I mean when I say taking Jacksonville to the next level.”
-Mayor Alvin Brown on new video boards at Everbank Field

FayeforCure

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2589
  • Amsterdam: Persistent, Courageous, Compassionate
Re: Folio Weekly Backpage Editorial: SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2009, 11:03:23 AM »
'The National Parks': See the film, volunteer and get in free



By Jayne Clark, USA TODAY

Sept. 18, 2009 

Ken Burns did it for the Civil War, baseball and jazz. And many are betting his latest project will heighten the profile of the national parks, too.

Even before the filmmaker's The National Parks: America's Best Idea hits the airwaves on Sept. 27, the 12-hour series is generating buzz, thanks to heavy promotion and its tie-in with several high-profile events.

On Sept. 26, National Public Lands Day, a number of national parks will screen previews of Burns' film. Admission to all 391 national parks and public lands overseen by seven other federal agencies is free that day. And visitors who participate in volunteer projects will receive a voucher for admission to the park of their choice, valid for a year.

In Washington, the day will end with a celebration on the Ellipse, where another screening will take place.

Series highlights also will be shown in New York's Central Park on Wednesday, with a free concert featuring performances by Counting Crows, Alison Krauss, Carole King and others. The show is the centerpiece of National Parks Week NYC beginning Saturday. And on Monday, a commission will issue recommendations in Washington on the future of the parks.

"There's such a love affair with our national parks, but they're profoundly threatened," says Tom Kiernan, president of the non-profit National Parks Conservation Association, a co-sponsor of the New York events. "The Ken Burns film speaks to the history of the parks. And the commission's report speaks to the future of the parks."

The national parks, which get more than 275 million visitors annually, have been chronically underfunded, with a yearly budget shortfall of $600 million, Kiernan says.

National Public Lands Day, now in its 16th year, solicits volunteers to work on projects ranging from clearing trails to planting trees. For a state-by-state listing of the day's events and volunteer opportunities: http://www.nps.gov/september26/ or http://publiclandsday.org. For details on National Parks Week NYC: http://www.feelfree.org.
 

 
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2009-09-17-national-park-events_N.htm
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 11:04:56 AM by FayeforCure »
In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.
Basic American bi-partisan tradition: Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman were honorary chairmen of Planned Parenthood

Jason

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4298
  • I am the man in the box...
Re: Folio Weekly Backpage Editorial: SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2009, 12:53:47 PM »
What kinds of complications would arise if portions of a developed municipality become a "National Park".  Who governs and makes decisions?  The feds or the city?  Typically, the national park land is owned by the federal government.

Still, I think the influx of preservation money could be a massive boon to the economy.

Captain Zissou

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3835
Re: Folio Weekly Backpage Editorial: SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2009, 01:12:14 PM »
Folio Weekly: Backpage Editorial by Faye Armitage -- "SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE"

Faye Armitage lives in Fruit Cove. In 2008, she ran against nine-term Congressional incumbent John Mica, receiving nearly 150,000 votes.




It's all so clear to me now......

Clem1029

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 254
Re: Folio Weekly Backpage Editorial: SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2009, 01:14:46 PM »
It's all so clear to me now......
Yeah, I had about the same reaction a few weeks ago. Funny how that little nugget helps make more sense out of things, eh? ;)

Captain Zissou

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3835
Re: Folio Weekly Backpage Editorial: SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2009, 01:17:06 PM »
^ It sure does.  I was wondering why it seemed like there was such a vendetta against John Mica in all of her posts.  Not anymore.

civil42806

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1404
Re: Folio Weekly Backpage Editorial: SAVING ST. AUGUSTINE
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2009, 01:46:17 PM »
"St. Augustine’s small-town Spanish Colonial charm is in danger of being ruined by schlock"

St.  Augustine has always had lots of schlock and kitsch, actually theres a lot less now than there used to be.  It isn't clear from the post are you recommending the coastline or portions of the City itself?