Archive for the 'San Francisco' Tag

Well, before one of the more successful San Francisco Fleet Weeks in recent history winds down, here’s a little summary of what we set out to do, presented by Google Earth…The video is a little rocky, so if you can, run the Google Earth Tour (just make sure your volume for the embedded Google Earth video player is on mute!). But the video/tour gives you a good idea of what the folks who put together Fleet Week set out to do this week–and it sets the stage for the future! So…quit reading and go watch the San Francisco Fleet Week Video.
View this tour in Google Earth: Download KML
(Download the latest version of Google Earth here.)



A few weeks after the USNI blog disclosed that the non-profit group once slated to receive the ex-USS IOWA (BB-61) was more hot air than substance, the Navy is now re-opening the bidding process for the ship!

It’s sure nice to know the Navy listens to the blogosphere…

Anybody interested in working to see the Iowa preserved in San Francisco? If so, let’s talk. Shoot me an email.

For the rest of the story, go here.



Is the organization attempting to “save” the ex-USS Iowa (BB-61) telling the truth?

With the agreement to shed the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, the ex-USS Iowa is set to be disposed of in about seven years. To save the Iowa, the Navy’s designated partner, “Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square”, must raise $15-20 million dollars.

But the President of “Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square,” Elaine Merylin Wong, is saying some things that make me question her credibility.

Look at the recent news coverage. As the the Governor of Iowa, Chet Culver, signed on to support fundraising efforts, Wong said, according to the Des Moines Register, her organization has done quite a lot:

Already, $4 million has been raised and spent, and another $18 million to $20 million is needed to prepare the USS Iowa for public visitation, Wong said.

The article also said Wong painted a dire picture of the ship’s condition:

“Today, the ship is somewhat of a bathtub itself. It draws in copious amounts of ocean water, said Merilyn Wong”

But that…well, that horrible news on the ship’s condition totally contradicts what Wong said earlier in the month. A few days ago, the Courthouse News Service reported this:

Wong says the inside of the ship is in “pristine condition,” and says it has “received at least $1.5 million in work in the last four or five years.”

The nonprofit hopes to raise another $18 million on top of the $4 million it already has raised to restore the Iowa.

So what is the deal? Is the Iowa’s interior “pristine” or shipping a “copious” amount of water?

And… more worryingly, if the “Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square” has raised and spent $4 million dollars (never mind the $1.5 million supposedly spent on interior work–I’m assuming that’s money the government has spent on things like dehumidifying the vessel), where is it?

Where did $4 million dollars go? There’s no record of this amount of money ever entering the nonprofit’s books.

None of the $4 million dollars that the “Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square” has “already raised” shows up on the Form 990s nonprofits are required to file on an annual basis. In fact, the 990s point to an organization starved for funds. They detail an organization that is, quite frankly, a horrible–almost incompetent–fundraiser.

According to the 2006 and 2008 990s, the Historic Ships Memorial at Pacific Square took in $16,595 in 2002, $26,782 in 2003, $11,930 in 2004, $15,147 in 2005, $25,254 in 2006, $41,459 in 2007, and $ 30,905 in 2008.

That’s not anywhere near $4 million dollars.

So…where’s the money? For a nonprofit, the public gets to know these things.

See more at NEXTNAVY.COM



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