Topic

historical preservation

13 petitions

Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Keith Weaver, Scott E. Bennett

Save the historic Big White River Bridge!

What We're Trying To Do and Why: The Friends of the Historic White River Bridge at Clarendon is a 501(c)3 non-profit that came together in 2014 around the cause of saving the historic Big White River Bridge for two reasons: It is a national treasure (listed on the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the U.S. Department of Interior), a gorgeous landmark worthy of preservation (see video) It will play a vital role as part of a larger effort to develop outdoor and eco-tourism in the Arkansas Delta, a region that is simultaneously one of the most beautiful and the most poor in the United States. Specifically, our mission is to adapt the historic bridge for use by cyclists, hikers, pedestrians, and wildlife / bird watchers, so that it can serve as a vehicle for tourism-based economic development in the Arkansas Delta. If successful, the converted bridge will be one of the longest and most scenic pedestrian and cycling bridges in the United States, as well as one of the longest elevated bird viewing platforms in the world, complete with spectacular viewing afforded by the Mississippi Flyway of migratory birds which hourglasses to its narrowest point in this area.   What We've Done So Far: With the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department on the verge of letting bids to demolish the bridge (in fulfillment of an agreement made with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that enabled them to build the vehicle bridge that replaced the historic bridge), the Friends of the White River Bridge filed suit.  What We're Asking: All we are asking is that these agencies conduct the proper studies and analyses to ascertain whether the destruction of this magnificent landmark serves a greater good or would be a tragic mistake based on outdated and/or incomplete information. [See "The Details" section at the very bottom if you want the full scoop] Specifically, we are petitioning the following agencies to take the following actions to ensure this vital decision is made with the best possible information in hand:   ITEM 1: Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department (AHTD): Commit to the preservation of the entirety of the historic White River Bridge (per the provisions of USC Title 23, Chapter 1, Section 144(g) and the Arkansas Historic Bridge program) – including the still extant western and eastern approaches – should either of the following occur: AHTD is relieved of its obligation to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to demolish the bridge, OR... AHTD learns after conducting the proper study on the impact of the demolition of the bridge on bicycling that a sufficiently negative impact will result ITEM 2: Cache River National Wildlife Refuge / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Commit to release AHTD of its obligation to the demolish the historic White River Bridge should either of the following occur: An updated hydrological study reveals that the demolition of the historic Bridge is not ecologically necessary, OR... It is determined by a proper study and analysis that the demolition and removal of the historic Bridge may negatively affect the threatened Rabbitsfoot mussel or its designated critical habitat Bottom Line: Given the tremendous enthusiasm for saving the historic bridge, the irreparable harm that would come from its destruction, the enormous potential upside to the region if the bridge is adapted as planned, and the lack of any urgent need to demolish the bridge, we ask that the relevant agencies simply take their time, conduct the proper studies with an open mind, and make every reasonable effort to accommodate those who wish to preserve this magnificent structure and enable it to enrich the lives of all who encounter it.    ===========================================OPTIONAL READING: The Details: The basis of our case is built on three arguments, all of which have merit:  Change of Circumstances: Hydrology – The argument for removing the bridge is primarily based on an outdated and obsolete hydrology study conducted in 2003. As part of construction on the new bridge, a lengthy berm (which was highlighted in the original study as the primary cause of water flow concerns) was removed. Our position is that the removal of the berm has created such a substantial change in water flows that a new hydrology study is required. If the problems that demolishing the bridge were intended to solve have already been solved, there's no reason to move forward. The U.S. Geological Survey, who did the original hydrology study, has indicated that a new study would make sense. Change of Circumstances: Endangered Species – The Rabbitsfoot mussel, which occupies the White River, was listed as a threatened species in 2013. In 2015, the area in the vicinity of the historic bridge was designated as critical habitat for the Rabbitsfoot mussel. When the plans were originally made to demolish the historic bridge after constructing the new one, these environmental issues were not considered. A quick subsequent study was done, but it is our contention that this study was inadequate. Violation of State Law: Impact on Bicycling Was Not Considered – Ten years ago when the Highway Department considered alternatives to tearing the bridge down, it never considered the impact on bicycles even though Arkansas law required it to do so. So not only should this obligation be fulfilled, but given the growth in bicycling regionally and nationally, revisiting this crucial obligation is simply the right thing to do. 

Friends of the Historic White River Bridge at Clarendon
1,542 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Geri Byrne

Stop the Proposed Fence at the Tulelake Municipal Airport, site of the former Tule Lake Segregation Center, California

Modoc County, California, approved a 5-year $3.5 million airport development plan that includes a massive, 3-mile long, barbed-wire topped 8-foot high fence.  Having an airport, even a small and primitive airport, operating in the middle of the Tule Lake concentration camp site, is inappropriate and demeans the memory of more than 24,000 people who were incarcerated in Tule Lake. The proposed fence closes off remembrance of this civil and human rights tragedy, and it will destroy the integrity of this unique historic site. The fence will eliminate opportunities for Japanese Americans and others to visit, reflect and mourn. This exclusion will be a permanent legacy of Modoc County’s and the Federal Aviation Administration's failure to comprehend the traumatic injustice created by the racism, fed by wartime greed and hysteria and failed political leadership that led to the mass incarceration. The Tule Lake site has not yet been comprehensively surveyed to document surface and subsurface historic WWII resources. Consequently, it is a priority to identify structures and artifacts before more damage to the site takes place.  In July 2014, the Tule Lake Committee sought legally-mandated environmental review of the entire airport area, which occupies two-thirds of the former Tule Lake site.  However, instead of conducting careful examination of the entire area WITHIN the fence project, including subsurface review, the County and the FAA have argued their environmental responsibility is confined to surveying only a narrow strip of land where the 3-mile long fence would directly lie.    In the past year, the Tule Lake Committee participated in talks with Modoc County, the FAA, other state and federal agencies and local representatives, hoping to promote understanding of the historic site’s significance, urging it be protected, not destroyed.  Seeking a long-term solution to the problem of preserving an irreplaceable historic site, we raised the issue of moving the Tulelake airport to a less sensitive nearby location. It was clear to all interested parties that a small airport can be moved.  It is not possible to move a historic site. Thank you for signing our petition! We are grateful for your support. PS – Please like or follow our Facebook page (@SaveTuleLake) to receive updates on our campaign. 

Satsuki Ina with Stop the Fence at Tulelake Airport
37,970 supporters
This petition won 3 months ago

Petition to Kathleen Wynne, Charles Sousa, Eleanor McMahon, Han Dong, Joe Cressy

Save 401 Richmond

401 Richmond Street West is a restored, heritage-designated, industrial building turned arts-and-culture hub in downtown Toronto. It is home to over 140 artists, cultural producers, social innovators, microenterprises, galleries, festivals, and shops. Now looming property tax increases threaten to price tenants out of this long-time sanctuary for dozens of Toronto's non-profit cultural organizations. "401 Richmond, a beloved downtown hub of non-profit culture organizations in a reclaimed factory, has been hit with a property tax increase that could spell its end." - The Toronto Star The Premier and others in her government need to take action and update provincial tax policy now in order to ensure the preservation of cultural centers like 401 Richmond. The last tax assessment is terrifyingly high -- it's now a matter of great urgency. "This building and its extraordinary roster of tenants was made possible through the generosity and vision of its owners - a rarity in Toronto, and an example the city needs! It must be protected!" - Vera Frenkel In 2012, UrbanSpace, the building’s owner, paid close to $447,000 in property taxes, with its rate increasing steadily to that point at 1 per cent per year. Then in 2013, it jumped to $520,280. By 2016, the bill was within a few hundred dollars of $700,000. Without some kind of intervention, the building’s 2017 tax bill will be $846,210.73. "City council has delivered a clear statement to the province: New provincial tax policy is necessary if we are going to protect and support important buildings like 401 Richmond," - Ward 20 Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy While UrbanSpace has absorbed the worst of the increases, tenants have shared some pain. And with taxes projected to go as high as $1.29 million by 2020.The only way for this address to pay the proposed tax is for the current building to be torn down and a 40-storey tower built to replace it -- action needs to be taken immediately. "Please don't let artists and creators be dispersed and driven out of the heart of the city! A totally sterile urban landscape is not what we need!" - Margaret Atwood Please sign and share this petition if you wish to protect 401 Richmond as well as other cultural and creative centers like it. To go the extra mile you can call and/or write to your MPP and tell them to change the provincial tax rules that inappropriately tax heritage buildings. What to Share on Social Media Link: http://save401richmond.com Hashtag: #save401richmond Twitter: @Kathleen_Wynne @SousaCharles @EMcMahonMPP @401Richmond Square Logo: http://bit.ly/2sUyjPZ *for Instagram sharing Full Logo: http://bit.ly/2sReLv7 Where to Send Letters Premier Kathleen Wynne Legislative Building Queen’s Park Toronto, ON M7A 1A1 (Photo Eduardo Lima, Metro)

Phil Tucker
12,649 supporters