Monday, March 28, 2011

US Congress passes Sixth FY 2011 Continuing Resolution; SAT and Preserve America Funding Eliminated

By Preservation Action

In a blow to preservationists, after months of advocacy, on March 17 the Senate approved the short-term Continuing Resolution (CR), (H.Res. 167, sponsored by Rep. Harold Rogers, R-KY) passed by the House at the end of last week that eliminates approximately $6 billion in FY 2011 funding. At the end of the day, legislators used the list of programs the President proposed for elimination as the basis for a number of their cuts. Among these programs, as Preservation Action and its partners has been following, is Save America’s Treasures and Preserve America. Together the programs represent approximately $30 million in funding.

This comes after more than 250 preservationists descended upon the Hill last week for “Advocacy Day.” Funding for preservation programs was one of the key asks.

While the authorization for the programs remains, zeroing out funding does not bode well for their future. Despite significant support for the programs among legislators, it may be next to impossible to get funding for FY 2011 restored in any future CR given the focus on both sides of the aisle on spending cuts.

Based upon last week’s visits on the Hill, however, legislators may be open to providing some funding for SAT and PA in FY 2012, albeit at greatly reduced levels. The ask being made by preservationists for FY 2012 is $50 million for State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs), $11 million for Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs), and $9 million for Save America's Treasures and Preserve America (combined), funded out of the Historic Preservation Fund. This represents 10% less than the combined funding for these programs in FY 2008 - a strategy that has been extremely well received.

By far, however, the greatest interest seems to be in preservation tax credit legislation - another key agenda item delivered during Hill visits last week. To learn more about the legislative agenda delivered during Advocacy Day, visit

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Workshop

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Workshop

Aloha community members! Join us in a free workshop to explore the NAGPRA law and implementing regulations as they relate to Native Hawaiian Organizations and Lineal Descendants on Tuesday, March 15th at Hālau o Haumea at the UH Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies. This workshop will feature Ms. Jan Bernstein of Bernstein & Associates – NAGPRA Consultants.

We believe that access to information empowers us to care for our kuleana and advocate for our people. For this reason, we are hosting this informational workshop to assist Native Hawaiian community leaders involved in the management, preservation, and stweardship of our cultural heritage.

Registration is free and includes all workshop materials and meals (breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack). An electronic certificate of completion will be issued to all participants. Seats are limited and registration is required.

Event: Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Workshop

Where: Hālau o Haumea at the UH Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies
(2645 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822)

When: Tuesday, March 15, 2011: 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

If you would like to attend this workshop, please email the following information to or by fax at (808) 655-6654, or by mail to: 5019 Po‘ola St., Honolulu, HI 96821.

Workshop Registration Information

Organization & Title
State & Zip Code

Should you have any questions, please contact us at (808) 655-9694. Upon receipt of your registration form, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


The Cultural Landscape Foundation is seeking nominations of significant at-risk parks, gardens, horticultural features and working landscapes to be featured in the 2011 Landslide: The Landscape I Love.

Go to to learn more about this year's Landslide and submit a nomination of an individual and landscape. The deadline for nominations is March 31.

Since its inception in 2003, the Landslide initiative has spotlighted more than 150 significant at-risk parks, gardens, horticultural features, and working landscapes. This year's theme will again do so by calling attention to the places that embody our shared landscape heritage and the people that work tirelessly to preserve, interpret and protect them. Help us bring attention to individuals and the sites they love-nominate an at-risk cultural landscape and the person working to preserve it to the 2011 Landslide.

Researchers find whaling ship from 1823 wreck

By Audrey McAvoy
Associated Press / February 11, 2011

HONOLULU—A fierce sperm whale sank the first whaling ship under George Pollard's command and inspired the classic American novel "Moby-Dick". A mere two years later, a second whaler captained by Pollard struck a a coral reef during a night storm and sank in shallow water.

Marine archaeologists scouring remote atolls 600 miles northwest of Honolulu have found the wreck site of Pollard's second vessel -- the Two Brothers -- which went down in 1823.

Most of the wooden Nantucket whaling ship disintegrated in Hawaii's warm waters in the nearly two centuries since. But researchers found several harpoons, a hook used to strip whales of their blubber, and try pots or large cauldrons whalers used to turn whale blubber into oil. Corals have grown around and on top of many of the objects, swallowing them into the reef.

"To find the physical remains of something that seems to have been lost to time is pretty amazing," said Nathaniel Philbrick, an author and historian who spent more than three years researching the Essex -- and its fatal encounter with the whale -- the Two Brothers and their captain. "It just makes you realize these stories are more than stories. They're about real lives."

Officials from the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument -- one of the world's largest marine reserves -- were due to announce their findings at a news conference Friday, exactly 188 years after the Two Brothers sank.

Kelly Gleason, the maritime archaeologist who led the discovery, first saw the ship's anchor in 2008 while surveying French Frigate Shoals. The anchor could have belonged to any one of three 19th century whaling ships that sank at this atoll. But additional artifacts found by Gleason's team over the next two years -- like the cast iron cooking pots scattered around the wreck site -- were unmistakably from the 1820s, while the other two vessels sank in 1859 and 1867.

The sinking of the Two Brothers was relatively uneventful compared to the Essex's epic run-in with the whale. After the Essex capsized, Pollard and fellow crew members drifted at sea without food and water for three months before they were rescued. To survive, Pollard and others resorted to cannibalism, including eating one of the captain's cousins.

Still, Thomas Nickerson, a crew member who served under Pollard both on the Essex and the Two Brothers, later described his boss as being in a daze as they had to abandon ship for the second time. "Capt. pollard (sic) reluctantly got into the boat just as they were about Shove off from the Ship," he wrote. Fortunately, the Two Brothers was sailing with a fellow whaling ship, the Martha, which had taken shelter near a rock. When the sun rose, the 20 or so crew members of the Two Brothers rowed over to the Martha which picked them up. They all survived. Pollard gave up whaling, though he was just in his mid-30s, and returned to Nantucket, Mass., where he became a night watchman -- a position of considerably lower status in the whaling town than captain.

While the sperm whale attack inspired Melville to write "Moby-Dick," the author isn't believed to have used Pollard as the basis for the book's notorious Capt. Ahab.
Melville actually didn't meet Pollard until about a year after his novel was published, some three decades after Two Brothers sank. Philbrick said the meeting left a strong impression on the author, whose creation hadn't been an immediate critical or commercial success.

"He was a man who had the worst cards possible dealt to him but was continuing on with nobility and great dignity," Philbrick said. "He is the anti-Ahab. Ahab is enlisting the devil and whatever to fulfill his crackpot schemes. Pollard was someone who had seen the worst but was quietly going about his life with the utmost humility."

The Two Brothers wrecked in water only 10 to 15 feet deep, and would have likely been stripped clean had it wrecked closer to a populated area. But the isolation of French Frigate Shoals means the site has been untouched. "We had the opportunity to find something that's probably as close to being a time capsule as we could get," Gleason said.

The Two Brothers was like other New England whaling ships of the time, in that its crew sailed thousands of miles from home hunting whales to harvest their blubber. They boiled the fat of the massive marine mammals into oil used to light lamps in cities from New York to London and to power early industry.

The appetite for whale blubber oil, however, meant the ships quickly exhausted successive whale grounds. The Essex was far off the coast of South America when the sperm whale rammed into it. The Two Brothers was passing through poorly mapped waters northwest of the main Hawaiian islands on the way to recently discovered whale grounds closer to Japan when it hit the reef.

"It was kind of like this ship trap of atolls," Gleason said. "It went from about 40 feet to all of the sudden they were in about 10 feet of water."

For Hawaii, the discovery is a reminder of the great upheaval the whaling industry brought to a kingdom still adjusting to life after the first European travelers arrived.

The hundreds of whaling ships that called on Hawaii's ports starting in 1819 boosted the kingdom's economy, but this mostly benefitted a few men who became suppliers to the vessels, said Jonathan Osorio, a professor of Hawaiian studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. The arrival of thousands of outsiders -- some of whom claimed Hawaiian law had no jurisdiction over them because they were American or European -- challenged the young monarchy.

Gleason said the artifacts are due to go on display at the marine monument's Discovery Center in Hilo and she hopes the exhibit will travel to Nantucket. The archeologists also have more surveying to do: there's still no accounting for another five whaling ships that sank in the atolls that now make up the Papahanaumokuakea monument.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Kona Historical Society to Offer Free Workshop on Recording Oral Histories

Do you know of some family stories that you’d like to preserve for future generations? Do you have a relative with a story to tell? Do you have a story to tell? Warren Nishimoto from the UH Manoa Center for Oral History and coauthor of the book Talking Hawaii’s Story will be presenting a workshop in partnership with the Kona Historical Society on how to record oral histories. The workshop is free and will be held on Thursday, March 24, 10:00am - 2:00pm at Christ Church Community Center, Kealakekua.

This will be a 4 hour workshop geared toward the community member with no previous training and is a step-by-step, “hands-on” instruction for the layman who wishes to document their community’s or organization’s stories or family members’ life experiences. Bring a bag lunch and an optional recorder for practicing, everything else will be provided. The number of spaces is limited for this opportunity, so reserve yours soon by calling 808-323-3222 or emailing

Kona’s Oral History Readings, Book Signing & Membership Meeting

Kona Historical Society will hold a meeting on Thursday, March 24, 5:00 - 7:00PM at Christ Church Community Center, Kealakekua. After a short membership meeting, Warren Nishimoto from the UH-Manoa Center for Oral History will introduce readings of oral histories he and his co-editors compiled in their book, Talking Hawaii's Story: Oral Histories of an Island People.

Featured will be the oral histories of plantation worker/boxer Severo Dinson , farmer /entertainer Martina Kekuewa Fuentevilla, road worker/farmer John Santana, and Kona cowboy William "Willie" Thompson-- all of whom were interviewed about their lives in Kona by the Center for Oral History in 1980 and included in Talking Hawaii's Story. The readings will be done by Nyla Fujii-Babb, Wayland Quintero and William Ha`o.

This book will be available for purchase and signing, following the presentation. Refreshments will be served and potluck pūpū are always welcome. Not a member? No problem, come anyway, we'd love to meet you! For more info call us at 808-323-3222 or email at

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