[nfbwatlk] Fwd: Articles to share / Word from Appleton

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Thu Mar 31 19:38:52 CDT 2011

Here's the Tacoma News-Tribune article:

Hearing pits cultural programs against each other
Posted By Jordan Schrader on March 31, 2011 at 12:01 pm
At a hearing today on a plan that aims to save the history museums in
Tacoma, Spokane and Olympia by merging them with other cultural and arts
programs, critics focused on the plan's potential effect on the State
The library would be consolidated into the new Department of Heritage, Arts
and Culture under Rep. Jeannie Darneille's bill. It would be funded in part
by money that otherwise would be set aside for future construction of a new
building to house the library and history-related programs.
Library supporters said it's working well in its current home, Secretary of
State Sam Reed's office, and shouldn't move to a new agency. Some also
worried about snatching money from the planned building on the Capitol
Campus, the Heritage Center.
The audience at the hearing was full of patrons of the Washington Talking
Book and Braille Library, a part of the State Library that serves the blind.
Among the users of the downtown Seattle braille library's 459,000-item
collection is Greg Jack of Olympia, who has used it since he was a boy
growing up in Spokane. Jack checks out several books a month, both
audiobooks that he downloads and braille books that come by mail. Just now
he's reading Typee by Herman Melville.
Jack worries about the effect of budget cuts on services like the braille
books produced locally by volunteers, but he and other patrons don't think
combining it with other agencies is the right solution. Patrons are involved
with the agency through a patron advisory council, and Jack wonders if their
voice will remain effective if the library becomes "part of a bigger
bureaucracy," he said.
Similarly, Reed told lawmakers he hates to think what would happen if the
braille library were "put into the bowels of a mega-agency."
There were a few voices of support among backers of the State Arts
Commission that Gov. Chris Gregoire has called for eliminating and the State
Historical Society and Eastern Washington State Historical Society whose
museums Gregoire has proposed mothballing. All would survive under
Darneille's proposal.
Greg Pierce, a lobbyist for the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, called it a
"creative solution" to save the Tacoma history museum that Pierce said
educates thousands of students every year.
The committee could vote Friday, determining whether the turf war will
continue between supporters of the threatened programs and the
yet-to-be-built Heritage Center.
Reed called grabbing money from the Heritage project an ill-advised "light
bulb snatch," while others said it makes sense to take the money to fund
today's needs.
"It's illogical to defund the State Historical Society," said Lauren Danner,
former director of the State Capital Museum, "while setting aside money for
a new Heritage Center that, even if built, could never be the society's

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Mike Mello
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 4:24 PM
To: NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List
Subject: [nfbwatlk] Fwd: Articles to share / Word from Appleton

Thanks to Jacob, and Mike for attendding this hearing!!
-Mike Mello

Hi - I don't think I can post on NFBW, but here are two articles that have
just come out if you can share them.  Also, I got an 
email from Rep. Appleton saying she and Rep. Hunt are drafting an ammendment
to remove the State Library from the bill - 
fingers crossed!  You guys did a fantastic job and I can thank you enough!




===================END FORWARDED MESSAGE===================

Michael J. Mello

mike at mello.com

(208) 301-0565

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