February Thaw Notes

I hope it’s sunny where you are today; what’s more beautiful than a sunny Friday? It’s rainy and cloudy in the Lake Champlain Valley, but it’s going to be over 50 degrees — that’s practically the middle of spring. Spring fever, anyone? Old Man Winter will be back tomorrow, however.  Whatever your Friday looks like, I hope you’re happy, loving your job or your studies, and appreciating the historic and modern environments in which we all live.

A question for all readers:

Are you a member of a preservation organization? How about a young preservationists group? A school sponsored preservation club? I’m interested to know the range of groups and their missions, however small or larger. If you could leave a comment below or email me at preservationinpink@gmail.com, with information about your group, I’d appreciate it. Thank you!

And an important note from the news: our time for preservation advocacy and activism is becoming more important than ever. If you’ve read Preservation Nation lately, you’ve seen that President Barack Obama has proposed cutting critical preservation funding in his budget. A snippet from the article by Margaret Foster:

Yesterday, President Obama sent his 2012 budget proposal to Capitol Hill, delivering a painful blow to preservationists: Two federal grant programs, Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America, were eliminated, slashing the Historic Preservation Fund by 23 percent. Other sources for historic preservation were also cut severely. Funding for National Heritage Areas was reduced by half. And the National Park Service’s construction budget, the account that funds maintenance on historic structures, took a 35 percent hit.

National Trust President Stephanie Meeks was “profoundly disappointed by the cuts in historic preservation funding,” she said in a statement yesterday. “By choosing to eliminate this critical [Save America’s Treasures] program, the Administration is abandoning the federal government’s primary role as stewards of our history. Viewed as a piece of the overall budget, this program is obviously miniscule. … Without adequate funding, we will lose many of the important places that help us understand who we are as a nation.”

Chin up, preservationists — we’re used to uphill battles.  Follow the issue of preservation funding at Preservation Nation.

And a random note: are you a Twitter user? For me, it’s all Preservation in Pink blog posts that are sent to twitter, and not much else from here, but sometimes Twitter is a good way to catch preservation news that I’ve missed across the blogosphere and other places. Should PiP be following you? Let me know!

Have a great weekend.

2008 Election & Historic Preservation

November 4, 2008 is quickly approaching and I’m surprisingly interested and excited, unlike previous election years.  Once I accepted that politicians are politicians and it’s possibly a bunch of campaign promises, I’ve enjoyed watching debates and reading articles. 

This post is not about political opinions, just to clarify.  However, I deem myself far under qualified to discuss politics associated with historic preservation.  Therefore, I ask all of you readers for comments or a post answering the following questions.  What can you say about the future of the historic preservation field (and those related) after the next election?  What will happen if Obama becomes President? What will happen if McCain becomes President?  Can anyone offer an educated comparison?  Or what about historic preservation in terms of local and state elections – in the end, which of the elections will matter the most to historic preservation? There are so many factors to consider when voting. I won’t belabor them here, but I am curious to know which factors people consider when thinking about their lines of work.

Here are some articles for perusal if anyone is interested in responding to this post.  On the democratic side, I found Historic Preservation for Obama (HPfO), which is “a grassroots network of those in the historic preservation and rehabilitation communities, was formed to help realize this blueprint for America.”  I cannot find a similar site for John McCain. However, First Lady Laura Bush is the chairwoman of Preserve America, so that gives the Republican side a boost.  Will Cindy McCain take over Laura Bush’s role if given the chance?

Maybe this Democrat vs. Republican on the issue of historic preservation is actually quite simple.  Still, if someone could offer an educated political commentary, Preservation in Pink would very much appreciate it. Just no mudslinging, okay?