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New site for ALCC

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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Thu May 06, 2004 7:28 am


A friend sent me this info along with the current newsletter, so I wanted to share it with the group.

NEW ALCC WEB SITE

Mike Vogel, ALCC President, reports that the ALCC finally is on-line, with a web site designed to be most useful to lighthouse preservation practitioners. The new site, http://www.alcc.info, includes news of upcoming training opportunities and general conferences as well as posted copies of ALCC position and research papers, the text of the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act, and links to valuable resources and organizations.

Also posted on this site is the National Fresnel Lens Inventory, developed initially by the ALCC and Buffalo Lighthouse Association in printed form and then expanded and greatly improved by lens researchers Al and Helen Gademsky of Ohio and lens historian Tom Tag. The posted version is Tom's highly detailed database prepared to specifications developed by the Optics Work Group of the World Lighthouse Society, and serves as the first national posting for what some day should be a global inventory of classic lighthouse lenses. Thanks also are due Wayne Wheeler for his initial encouragement of the lens inventory effort more than a dozen years ago.

The ALCC could use a good volunteer webmaster for this site, by the way. Contact Mike at vogel@buffnet.net if you are interested.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM AT BURNT ISLAND LIGHT STATION FOCUSES ON BOTH CULTURAL AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Elaine Jones, Educational Director for Burnt Island Light Station has put together a media package for promoting the program she has developed at that station. Some excerpts are included below. For more information, visit http://www.maine.gov/dmr/education/burntisle.htm or contact Elaine at elaine.jones@state.me.us.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) acquired the Burnt Island Light Station in 1998 as part of the Maine Lights Program. Transformed into an educational and recreational facility for the people of Maine and the nation, the buildings have been restored and redecorated to 1950. An educational curriculum focuses on topics relating to Maine’s maritime heritage, coastal environment, marine fisheries, and conservation. During the spring and fall, the five-acre island serves as an exceptional outdoor school for students and teachers from around the state. School children discover the varied life found in and around the rocky shore, sand beach, meadow, and maritime forest as they explore the island and participate in experiential learning activities. Local elementary schools participate in day trips to the island, while children from the middle school level spend up to three days and two nights tenting out.

On June 30, 2003, a new educational program called the Burnt Island Living Lighthouse opened to the public. The light station’s beautifully restored buildings serve as a "living" history museum where interpreters in period clothing portray a lighthouse family who once called Burnt Island home. A natural history walk around the perimeter trail follows the "living" history component, where interpreters point out the flora and fauna indigenous to Maine’s coast, as well as the geological features of this picturesque island. Visitors also learn about Maine’s marine resources, the methods used to harvest them, and the measures used to conserve them. During the final segment of the three-hour tour, visitors climb the winding stairs into the lantern room; view the historic photographs and documents in the covered walkway museum; sport fish off the rocks; or picnic by the waterfront.

There are very few, if any, lighthouses in the nation that offer living and natural history interpretation to the extent of the Burnt Island program. The living history component entertains the public as it teaches about the life and times of the station, while the natural history segment creates awareness of our fisheries, and the need to protect our environment and its resources. An added bonus is the boat ride aboard the Novelty, which provides participants with a spectacular view of one of Maine’s most beautiful harbors. Recreational boaters and kayakers enjoy important public access to one more unique piece of Maine's coastline as a result of a new docking system and moorings.

The restoration effort has promoted intergovernmental cooperation, formed partnerships with the private sector, preserved a deteriorating historic site, created an outstanding educational and recreational facility for the public, and contributed to our state and local economies. In order to fund the project, grants were received from federal, state, and local organizations, as well as private donations from individuals and local businesses. A cost-effective approach was to utilize the volunteer labor of AmeriCorps, Maine Conservation Corps, Boy Scouts, Landmark Volunteers, Master Gardeners, former lighthouse keepers, teachers, students, and citizens from within and outside the community. Today, these supporters are all proud of having been part of a cooperative effort that has transformed an abandoned site into a facility that showcases our region's historic and natural resources.

ALCC WRITES NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR ON CURRITUCK

Mike Vogel, ALCC president, wrote the following letter of concern regarding the recent developments surrounding Currituck Lighthouse:

"I am writing to ask your intervention in an increasingly disturbing and damaging dispute that has led the leadership of one North Carolina county to risk the cultural heritage and tourism benefits of its region. As head of the American Lighthouse Coordinating Committee, a national leadership council and forum for the lighthouse preservation movement, I also wish to express concern that this local power struggle could impact efforts nationwide to preserve and restore historic lighthouses.

Currituck County, as I’m sure you are well aware, has mounted intense efforts to gain ownership of the historic Currituck Beach Lighthouse despite a proven track record of restoration and stewardship by Outer Banks Conservationists, the group that launched an expensive and lengthy preservation effort at a time when the county regarded the old tower as a public nuisance. That lighthouse is now the county’s primary tourism draw, but petty and apparently retaliatory actions by county leaders may force its closing.

This is a complex issue, but the underlying damage to the State of North Carolina is clear. The Currituck Lighthouse dispute is drawing significant attention within a large national lighthouse community. The county – and by extension, the state – is increasingly the subject of disdain and ridicule for these actions. But even more important and longer-lasting damage may be done, if this dispute undercuts the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000, under which Outer Banks Conservationists was deemed the most capable steward of the lighthouse among those who submitted applications – including Currituck County, although its application missed the process deadline. It is that possibility of national process damage that most concerns the ALCC.

We will, in fact, devote one of our sessions in this October’s national Maritime Heritage Conference in Norfolk, Virginia, to examination of the Currituck dispute, as part of a larger conference track dealing with the lighthouse preservation act. The conference, a triennial gathering of maritime preservation groups from museums and museum ships to lighthouses and sailing associations, was last held in 2001 in Wilmington, N.C. Should you or a member of your administration wish to participate in the Currituck session, I would be pleased to extend an invitation.

There will be much to discuss. Neither the county nor the state’s Congressional leadership has covered itself in glory during this process, which has evolved from a legitimate and hardly unique consideration of preservation versus tourism goals to a squabble involving zoning, how much parking is needed, and who gets to use the restrooms that are on adjoining county land but were funded with help from the conservation group. The bizarre involvement of Rep. Walter B. Jones, who was deservedly pilloried in Congressional Quarterly for his efforts to undermine the national preservation act he had co-sponsored, stands out. So do the repeated calls upon the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security, which have much more important tasks at hand, for audits and reviews of the conservation group’s performance.

Our concern is not just for the impact of all this on the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, which is important enough, but for the effect this dispute may have on a carefully crafted process to ensure the best possible effort to preserve all of the nation’s lighthouses, an important aspect of a maritime nation’s cultural history. Your concern may center more intensely on this lighthouse as an aspect of your state’s own maritime history, and on the suffering national reputation of North Carolina within a community that figures significantly in the growing field of cultural tourism.

But it is in both our interests to bring this dispute to a stop, and shape a future in which both the conservationists best suited to maintain this tower and a county that benefits from its survival and enhancement can work together for what should be their common good."

BODIE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE GETS NEW STRIPES

Rob Bolling at Cape Hatteras National Seashore sent along the following press release:

"The Bodie Island Lighthouse will be receiving a fresh coat of black and white as National Park Service contractors begin work on painting the 132 year-old tower this week. The Lighthouse will receive a pressure washing and prime coat prior to the painting. In addition to the exterior painting, the interior of the attached oil house and hallway will also be painted. Some minor work will be done on the oil house door and windows. The entire project is anticipated to take several weeks to complete. This paint work is part of the on-going Save America's Treasures (SAT) project at the Bodie Island Lighthouse. The State of North Carolina has matched the SAT grant to fund planning, analysis, lead paint removal, and documentation of this nationally significant maritime property. The SAT and NC funded project is necessary to prepare for eventual restoration and stabilization of the lighthouse, which has not received major preservation work since it was constructed."

* * * * * * * *

This electronic newsletter is brought to you by the American Lighthouse Coordinating Committee (ALCC), a consortium of organizations and individuals dedicated to lighthouse preservation, restoration and rehabilitation. The ALCC seeks to develop consensus positions on issues of broad and far-reaching significance to the lighthouse community, share knowledge and expertise on lighthouse preservation issues with the Coast Guard and other government and lighthouse organizations, and serve as a central communication and coordination point to keep the lighthouse community informed about critical issues. The ALCC serves as a voice for the community. Visit the ALCC's web site at www.alcc.info.

Please send items of interest to the lighthouse preservation community to Candace Clifford at <jcclifford@earthlink.net>. Sorry, items marketing lighthouse promotional items will generally not be accepted. Anyone wishing to unsubscribe should send a message to that effect to jcclifford@earthlink.net.
Leah
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Postby Ross » Thu May 06, 2004 8:18 am


I posted the ALCC part on the front page ;)
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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Thu May 06, 2004 10:15 am


I am honored, although I did have a little help from a friend. :oops: :D
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Postby Pharoslvr » Thu May 06, 2004 10:51 am


Thanks, Leah...for sharing that information with us!!
Could someone tell me who comprises the ALCC with some bio information as well as where the group is home-based?

Thanks,
Brent :)

P.S. The inventory list of lenses is very impressive!!
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Postby Hersh » Thu May 06, 2004 11:11 am


I had no idea who the ALCC was until I clicked on the link. Thanks Leah
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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Thu May 06, 2004 12:58 pm


Hey, Brent, if you volunteer to be their new Webmaster, I'll bet you could find out! :wink:
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Postby vacastle » Thu May 06, 2004 4:21 pm


Actually, if you look in their "About Us" section, it will give you the names, and you will recognize a bunch of them!

Judy
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Postby Leah Loar-Mays » Thu May 06, 2004 6:27 pm


I certainly hope that one of them isn't the Assbag!! :evil:
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Postby Larry » Thu May 06, 2004 7:21 pm


Very cool lens list.

Want a sortable version? Open the page and do a Select All from the Edit menu. Then do a copy from the edit menu. Open your spreadsheet program, select the first cell, and paste. Viola! A sortable lens list! :D

"Assbag"? Did I miss something?
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Postby Hersh » Thu May 06, 2004 9:59 pm


Larry, check the thread about the Currituck 10 day deadline. It's a reference to Jones, the arch nemesis of the OBC.
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Postby mikev » Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:41 am


Just a note to let anyone interested know that the American Lighthouse Coordinating Committee web site is fully functional again at a new URL. We're at www.alcc.ws instead of the older alcc.info (it's a long story, and you don't want to know).

The site's of most interest to those actually running lighthouse sites or involved in preservation, but it does include the U.S. Fresnel lens inventory. That inventory will be updated soon.
Mike Vogel
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