The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Discussions Underway for MHI Seed Money

Eight major heritage organizations are working together to persuade the Seattle City Council to place $150,000 in the 2007-2008 budget for the Maritime Heritage Initiative. The organizations requested the money earlier this year, but it was left out by the mayor's office. The money would jump-start operations for a planned historic shipyard at North Lake Union, help heritage orgs plan ship restorations, deliver new public programs at South Lake Union Park, and expand outreach efforts. (Full disclosure: it's possible the seed money will benefit Maritime Heritage Network.) The organizations have so far met with councilmembers David Della, Tom Rasmussen, and Peter Steinbrueck.

There will be a public hearing on the budget October 30 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.


Anonymous Nathaniel Howe said...

I think pursuing the $150,000 as best we can is the right direction to be going at the present juncture.
The Seattle maritime heritage 'ball' has finally gotten rolling again in recent months and it is vital to keep that momentum and add to it. One of the best ways to do so is to perform real restoration work on some of the historic ships. Given the high costs of commercial yards, the North Lake Union maritime heritage shipyard is the only viable option.
So maritime heritage supporters should do everything in their capacity to secure that remarkably small pricetag of $150,000 to keep things moving. If the city believes it is in its interests to help, wonderful. We can broaden the donor base later. Right now, maritime heritage should do whatever is necesary to secure those meager funds and seize the North Lake Union shipyard opportunity.
But Joe raises an important point--Wawona's money should not be tapped for the shipyard because that $400,000 earmarked for her is her last chance. Given the state of decay in her timbers, the pressing need for her to relocate from the South Lake Union Park project site, and her iconic place in the region's maritime history, that $400,000 must be made available to Wawona. Her survival should take priority over the shipyard for the loss of that ship would do as much to destroy the momentum of the maritime heritage community as the status quo.

7:58 AM


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