6…2007

2007 Articles, Editorials, Letters to the Editor
NOTE: The archives below contain many links that are no longer operable.

 

 

 

 

national treasure
December 14, 2007
Letter to the editor, Daily Press
I agree with those who advocate that historic Fort Monroe be preserved as a federal park. Fort Monroe, a Civil War-era structure, belongs to all Americans. The city of Hampton hopes to build expensive homes, condominiums and shops on the site. This is a national concern, not a local or regional issue.
Zack Loesch
Gloucester Point

Cost of closing Fort Monroe now $288M: Pentagon’s price tag to close the post soared 298 percent
Dec. 13, 2007
Daily Press front-page article
Why has the government cost estimate for closing Fort Monroe suddenly quadrupled? What are the chances for further increases in that estimate? The Daily Press was unable to find out from Brian J. Lepore of the Government Accountability Office. Most unclear is the cost of environmental and ordnance cleanup. Still, government estimates continue to say that closing Fort Monroe as planned will still save taxpayers lots of money in the long run. But here’s a question that ought to be asked more often: Why are we apparently planning to spend perhaps many hundreds of millions of federal dollars to clean up the post for development that is inappropriate anyway? Surely it costs far less to ensure the safety of land that is not going to be built upon. So why not instead use just a fraction of that federal money to cover transition costs en route to making Fort Monroe into a grand public place with lots of green space, under some sort of permanent federal stewardship?

Speak up on Monroe: Two opportunities to share your comments
Dec. 3, 2007
Daily Press editorial
At Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park, we believe that it’s great to ask people to speak up about Fort Monroe, that the Daily Press editors are wise to warn Hampton’s taxpayers that Virginia’s leaders — if they miss the chance to make Fort Monroe a federally backed grand public place — will be placing those taxpayers at risk, and that it’s unfortunate that the DP editors have become so gloomy about this enormous strategic opportunity for the region and the Commonwealth of Virginia. So CFMNP‘s Steve Corneliussen annotated this copy of the editorial before posting it.

Park service will hear citizens on fort’s future
December 1, 2007
Daily Press op-ed
In this very brief piece, CFMNP‘s Scott Butler urges readers to attend and speak up at the National Park Service’s  public meeting, 6:30 P.M., Thursday, Dec. 6, at Northampton Community Center, 1435-A Todds Lane, Hampton. Now is the time for Americans in general — Fort Monroe’s actual owners, from across Tidewater and elsewhere – to make plain that a self-sustaining Fort Monroe National Park is the answer, not only for the financial enrichment sought by Hampton, but for wider general enrichment in multiple senses starting with the financial one.

Park-in-Waiting That Needs a Push
Nov. 25, 2007
Washington Post
Op-ed
by by Steve Corneliussen of Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park . (This piece updates Washington Post readers on what Steve discussed concerning Fort Monroe in a previous Post op-ed from April 23, 2006.)

National Treasure Needs Richmond Voices for Preservation
Nov. 14, 2007
Richmond Times Dispatch
Op-ed
by by Steve Corneliussen of Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park.

We should tell the full-circle story of slavery at Old Point Comfort
Oct. 27, 2007
Daily Press op-ed
CFMNP
‘s Scott Butler’s Oct. 27 Daily Press op-ed argues that although “the tragic but ultimately inspiring story of American slavery will be told at the National Slavery Museum, it must also be told at Old Point Comfort, where it was lived” — where it was lived starting when the ship carrying the first African-Americans stopped in 1619 at Old Point Comfort, which two centuries later became the site of the moated stone fortress that we think of as old today.

Sounding the Trumpets
Oct. 23, 2007
Port Folio Weekly
Sara Piccini’s latest Fort Monroe article covers the premiere and panel discussion of WHRO’s documentary.

Fort’s future a political minefield
Stall and Gear point to “proof” that Miller wants to hand Monroe over to developers

Oct. 13, 2007
This Daily Press article covers Republican candidate Tricia Stall’s introduction of Fort Monroe into her Virginia senate campaign against Democrat John Miller. The winner will not only gain the first district senate seat, but will automatically have a seat on the Fort Monroe Authority. CFMNP‘s Steve Corneliussen inserted italicized annotations into this copy of the article. See also the summary Steve wrote of the campaign mailer in question.

Area equipped to ride out economic bumps
Oct. 6, 2007
Daily Press
Sometimes local economic analyses have looked at the Army’s departure from Fort Monroe as only a half-empty glass, without noticing the glass-half-full aspects of Fort Monroe as an enormous strategic asset for the region. This news report may be useful to bear in mind when discussing all of that. It says that “the economic news is more favorable for Hampton Roads than for other parts of the country because of the area’s affordability for business, a relatively stable housing market and the positive impact of international trade, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. He named Hampton Roads, with its growing ports, as one of a handful of spots on the East Coast that is [sic] globally oriented and therefore better equipped to ride out economic bumps.”

FEATURE DESTINATION: The Future of Freedom’s Fortress
Chesapeake Bay Magazine
September 2007
The September issue of Chesapeake Bay Magazine is well worth finding because of Paul Clancy’s fine feature article on Fort Monroe. It’s better to see the actual magazine because of the equally fine photos by Steve Earley, but the main text, with sidebar texts appended, is easy to find on the Web via the “Past Table of Contents” link.

How About a Historic Quadrangle?
June 19, 2007 (“Juneteenth”)
Steven T. Corneliussen
Richmond Times-Dispatch 
In this op-ed pieceCitizens for a Fort Monroe National Park‘s Steve Corneliussen argues that we have not properly understood Fort Monroe’s Civil War “Contraband” story, and that when we see it more clearly, we’ll also see that Fort Monroe has enormous importance in the history of freedom itself. The piece proposes that Virginia’s Historic Triangle should become a Historic Quadrangle with Fort Monroe as the fourth corner, linked with the Mariners’ Museum’s Monitor Center. (We’ve also posted the as-submitted version, from which the editors removed material at the end concerning APVA Preservation Virginia’s and the Civil War Preservation Trust’s formal announcements that Fort Monroe is in danger of inappropriate development.)

Fort Monroe Incorporated?
June 19, 2007
This Daily Press news report‘s subheadline says “The state development authority suggests that the key to Fort Monroe’s future is finding somebody to pay for it.” In the article, there’s no mention of an idea that state and national preservation leaders have endorsed: the possibility of an innovatively self-sustaining national park along the lines of San Francisco’s Presidio. But then again, reporter Jim Hodges is only being accurate, for the national park idea was seldom mentioned at the June 18 meeting of the new 18-member Fort Monroe planning panel. That “development authority” includes a disproportionate number of private citizens from Hampton — seven — as well as five Kaine administration officials. The panel contains zero private-citizen members from outside Hampton — and three of the panel’s four legislator members were absent.

10 questions with Conover Hunt
Fort’s fate rests on her forte of preservation
June 18, 2007
In this front-page article, Jim Hodges of the Daily Press profiles Conover Hunt. She’s the interim director of the new 18-person planning panel for Fort Monroe, the “Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority,” or FMFADA.

Forward, Together
June 16, 2007
This Daily Press editorial
offers Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park a chance to continue the discussion that we saw raised by the June 6 news article that’s posted, and commented on, below on this page. Concerning Colonial Williamsburg president Colin Campbell’s call for a regional approach to history tourism, we ask: How about making the Historic Triangle into a Historic Quadrangle by adding a Civil War component? That could come by way of the world-class Monitor Center at the Mariners’ Museum working with a world-class Fort Monroe National Park, which would be highlighted as not just a place where slavery began to die, but as the place where slavery began to die.

Citizens should monitor Fort Monroe planning process
June 16, 2007
Delegate Tom Gear
Daily Press op-ed

Another opportunity for waterfront park
June 16, 2007
Letter to the editor of the Daily Press
    I applaud your editorial “A stitch in time,” June 11 [[available below on this CFMNP page]], in which you stated the need to save public access to the waterfront while it’s still possible. The counties of James City and Isle of Wight have set aside large tracts of waterfront land to serve the recreational needs of their citizens.
    How can it be that the cities of Hampton Roads, with so much waterfront, have not had the foresight to set aside a significant piece of land for a large waterfront park?
    We have one opportunity in front of us now. Future generations will clearly see our wisdom or lack of it as we proceed to determine the future of Fort Monroe. The “we” is important because the open space at Fort Monroe should not be subdivided to profit a few. We need every acre of this open space, with its magnificent waterfront views, to maintain the quality of life that Hampton Roads is capable of providing.
    With all of its historical and recreational assets, Fort Monroe can become the primary reason for many people coming to this area. We will lose Fort Monroe as an Army post in 2011. Instead of compounding that loss by remaking this national treasure to look like so many other developed areas, let’s embrace its uniqueness and make it the historical and waterfront park that we all need and can be proud of for many years to come.
Adrian Whitcomb
Newport News

Hampton seeks $1M it spent on Fort Monroe
Daily Press news report
June 16, 2007

Twin victories on Bay Oaks
June 12, 2007
Here’s why this Virginian-Pilot editorial is interesting for true friends of Fort Monroe. Norfolk City Council wanted to build upscale houses on publicly owned near-bayfront green space. Citizens opposed the idea, and took steps to overcome it. The city council used public money to hire lawyers to thwart the public will – and the city council lost resoundingly and embarrassingly. In Hampton, the city council closely controls the city’s participation in the SuperFADA, the new 18-person planning panel for Fort Monroe. Recently Hampton formally reiterated, somewhat emphatically, that — in Hampton’s view, anyway — the public last summer demanded that the heart of the potential green space at Fort Monroe be filled with upscale houses. Almost no private citizens who actually participated in last summer’s public meetings about Fort Monroe believe that claim about the public will. Does Hampton City Council still intend to thwart the public will? If so, could the public defeat them as resoundingly as was done in Norfolk?  (Please see also Kerry Dougherty’s June 12Virginian-Pilot column about Bay Oaks.)

A stitch in time: Save public access to waterfront, while it’s still possible
June 11, 2007
This is the Daily Press editorial referred to in Adrian Whitcomb’s June 16 letter, posted above. Mr. Whitcomb points out that what the Daily Press editors say here about saving public waterfront in James City County and Isle of Wight County also applies to Fort Monroe.

Benefits of regional cooperation emphasized
With Jamestown 2007′s end in sight, the CW Foundation president says the answer to “Now what?” is to keep pushing for common goals.
Daily Press news report
By Victor Reklaitis
June 6, 2007
Here Colonial Williamsburg president Colin Campbell calls for a regional approach to history tourism in an article that emphasizes the Historic Triangle and that ends with his offering the post-Jamestown-celebration question “Now what?” At Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park, we’d respectfully answer that question this way: How about a Historic Quadrangle adding the Civil War? That could come by way of the world-class Monitor Center at the Mariners’ Museum working with a world-class Fort Monroe National Park, which could be highlighted as not just a place where slavery began to die, but as the place where slavery began to die.

The battle of Fort Monroe is inevitable, some say
Daily Press
John M. R. Bull
June 5, 2007
The subheadline for this news report about Fort Monroe’s ordnance cleanup problem includes the Daily Press’s usual unexamined implication that Fort Monroe belongs to Hampton rather than to all of us: ”Cleaning up buried munitions at the Hampton Army post will take years, cost a ton of money and likely result in many arguments.” At one point the article notes that it’s assumed — the article doesn’t say by whom – that homes will be built at Fort Monroe, and at another point it refers to ”citizens who will eventually buy Fort Monroe property.” (See the new Fort Monroe planning panel’s proposed bylaws for more on the unexamined, undiscussed, and appalling idea that we already know that we are going to sell off Fort Monroe.) The Daily Press has never seen fit to look comprehensively into the green-space aspect of the Fort Monroe question. If the paper did, they might even find occasion to point out that green space with new live oak trees and bike paths is a sensible, safe way to avoid ballooning cleanup costs and to avoid the years and years of hassle that this article calls inevitable.

Jamestown and Old Point Comfort are linked by history
Op-ed by CFMNP‘s Scott Butler
Daily Press
June 2, 2007
Scott argues that Jamestown and Old Point Comfort represent bookends for the slavery era. (Please see also an interesting comment sent in by Mr. Calvin Pearson of Hampton,who argues that evidence proves that the first ship carrying Africans did not just stop at Point Comfort in 1619, but landed there.)

“Involve all FADA members in Ft. Monroe”
Letter to the editor of the Daily Press
By Karen Detweiler
June 2, 2007
Karen Detweiler of Hampton is a stalwart friend of Fort Monroe. Here’s an excerpt from her letter: “Why does the 18-person FADA [the new state planning panel] have a five-person executive committee that will screen information given to the full board? … Now we have a situation in which a majority of three can control information and thus outcomes.” Read more.

[Daily Press editors on history's importance, cont.]
June 2, 2007
On June 1, the Daily Press ran a five-paragraph article on the front of the local section, “Virginia ranks 2nd in historic restoration: The state earns high marks from the National Park Service for its program for the second year in a row.” A June 2 editorial amplified that. At the Daily Press, this comes in the context of the first two parts of a major Sunday feature series on the history of history — that is, on the status of history in our present culture. Great stuff – but please see also several of the history-related entries on this page from late May and early June, especially the entry for May 25.

Daily Press editors on developers’ money in Virginia politics
May 31, 3007
This Daily Press editorial praising the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) includes a key observation: “From VPAP you learn that developers and real estate interests stuff more money into state politicians’ pockets than any other industry — $14.9 million in 2005 and 2006.”

Ernie Gates on importance of Fort Monroe history, cont.
May 31, 2007
Comment and response from p. A2 “Feedback” in the Daily Press :
Gene: Bentley Boyd is to be congratulated for a superior series on history. As someone who was born in the fifties and grew up in the sixties, I find his articles exciting and thought-provoking. I had a history teacher tell me once that history is always changing and it is all about the interpretation and that whatever era or time you are in, that is what will determine the way history will be perceived and written. An excellent series and I look forward to the rest of his writing.
Editor [i.e., Mr. Ernie Gates, editor and vice president of the Daily Press]: Thanks. We think the series, which will continue next month and afterward, is especially timely in the year of the Jamestown 2007 events. But it’s also a bottom-line question for a lot of big enterprises and investments locally, from the well-established Colonial Williamsburg to the long-term prospects for Fort Monroe.

Hampton déjà vu
May 31, 2007
Letter to the editor of the Daily Press from Bonnie K. Nealon of Toano:

As a former Hampton resident, one has only to follow the ongoing Buckroe Beach saga to foresee what will occur if Hampton gains control of Fort Monroe.

‘Super Fada’ now at the helm
By Sara Piccini
Port Folio Weekly
May. 30, 2007
Please see also Sara Piccini’s cover story “Defending the Fort,” linked from the March 20, 2007, entry below on this page.

[Editor downplays Ft Monroe's endangerment]
Daily Press “Feedback” column entry
May 26, 2007
What’s your opinion about the Daily Press’s downplaying of the news that Fort Monroe has been listed as “most endangered”?

Attempted power play led to Fort Monroe shakeup
Daily Press news report
May 25, 2007
(Please see also the May 24 entry below.)

Newspapers scant APVA “most endangered” declaration
May 25, 2007
On May 24, APVA Preservation Virginia included Fort Monroe in its announcement of eleven “Most Endangered Historic Sites in Virginia for 2007.” The May 25 Daily Press downplayed the news, as discussed in the May 26 blurb above. The Richmond Times-Dispatch appears to have ignored the news. The Virginian-Pilot’s article covered the news, but that article required the response that’s included at the bottom of our copy of their report.

Two removed from Monroe group
Daily Press news report
May 24, 2007
This article and its May 25 follow-up (please see above) shed light on the intensity of the desire of a powerful handful of people in Hampton to control the future of Fort Monroe.
 The new state law concerning Virginia’s planning for post-Army Fort Monroe gave the Hampton City Council all seven of the private-citizen appointments to the new 18-member Fort Monroe Federal Area Development Authority, the SuperFADA. By firing two of those appointees immediately after the panel’s first meeting — as reported in the news article linked from this blurb – the city council has revealed how closely it is controlling, or at least seeking to control, the planning process. In another planning process, one that is paralleling the state’s, the Army and various “consulting party” organizations, including Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park, are planning for closing Fort Monroe in accordance with federal historic preservation laws. At a recent meeting that took place as part of that parallel process (please see the May 16 entry below), Hampton submitted to the Army a written statement that resurrected and urged adoption of Hampton’s 2006 plan to build upscale houses on much of the potential green space at Fort Monroe. The Army, which has worked closely with the powerful handful in Hampton who want to build those houses, closed that meeting to the press.

Ft. Monroe put on conversion fast track
Daily Press news report
Authority convenes to discuss Fort Monroe’s fate
Virginian-Pilot news report
May 22, 2007

These articles report on some of what happened at the first meeting of the newly reconstituted Fort Monroe planning panel, but unfortunately both may leave a misimpression about Del. Tom Gear’s hesitancy concerning the memorandum of agreement that had been crafted in private between the city of Hampton and Governor Kaine’s administration. The reason Del. Gear had not read the MOA was the same as the reason that others on the panel presumably had not read it: it was not available to any but a few people until the meeting began. The MOA is an important document, with deep implications about the future of Fort Monroe. Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park, which has been asking to see the MOA for over half a year, is now studying it. As to Del. Gear — whatever the local newspapers, or any of the rest of us, may think of his conservative Republican politics — there’s a strong case to be made that what may be portrayed in these two articles as questionable hesitancy was actually civic responsibility.

“A Lifeline for the Parks”
New York Times editorial
May 21, 2007
The Times praises the Bush administration — and how often does THAT happen? — for a national park funding request that is ”$208 million more than last year, and … among the largest dollar increases proposed in the agency’s 90-year history.” 

Next step for Fort Monroe
The Army base’s recently named Federal Area Development Authority will hold its first meeting today.
Daily Press news report
May 21, 2007

Ignored on Monroe
Letter to the editor
Daily Press
May 18, 2007
In this letter Mr. Al Gammler of Hampton criticizes the city’s leaders for failing to listen to citizens. Luckily, however, there’s still hope that the Fort Monroe planning process will not be based as much on the Hampton-owns-it presumption as he seems to assume. On the other hand, though, it’s also true that the Daily Press editors mistakenly captioned a small photo that accompanied the May 12 letter to which Mr. Gammler refers. The photo showed only the moated fortress, and the caption misreported that “Hampton is planning for the reuse of Fort Monroe” — which is technically true, but obscures the reality that the planning no longer involves Hampton alone. Or at least, so we can hope.

Fresh start
New Fort Monroe planning group gets down to work
Daily Press editorial (with annotations by CFMNP‘s Steve Corneliussen)
May 17, 2007

Debate over fort’s fate turns private
Daily Press news report by Jim Hodges
May 16, 2007
For this news report about the May 15, 2007, ”Section 106″ meeting at Fort Monroe, the Daily Press’s Jim Hodges cobbled together information supplied to him by Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park‘s Steve Corneliussen and others. The meeting required representatives of public organizations to discuss the implications of federal law concerning the future of a publicly owned asset. Yet Fort Monroe’s post commander, Col. Jason Evans, closed the meeting to the press. Whether or not the colonel’s action was legal, and whether or not it defied the letter of freedom-of-information laws, it plainly trampled the spirit of democratic openness. Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park respectfully requests that the colonel work actively to keep the entire Fort Monroe planning process completely open.

Report on fort is worth $1M, Hampton says
Daily Press news report
May 15, 2007
This Daily Press news report describes Hampton’s effort to shift to Richmond the cost of planning Fort Monroe’s future, now that Richmond has taken control of the planning process (albeit in apparent partnership with Hampton). The article contains annotations by CFMNP‘s Steve Corneliussen.

[Daily Press misreports that Hampton is planning Ft Monroe reuse]
May 12, 2007
On the editorial page in the letters column, beneath a thumbnail aerial photo of Fort Monroe’s moated fortress, the Daily Press placed a caption that misreports the new planning situation, but represents the prevalent view since 2005 among unskeptical Virginia journalists: “Hampton is planning for the reuse of Fort Monroe.” That’s technically true, of course, but obscures the fact that at long last, there’s now at least some representation from outside Hampton on the planning panel (albeit with no private citizens from anywhere but Hampton).

Two more members named to Fort Monroe panel
Virginian-Pilot news report
Williamsburg historian to join Fort Monroe board

Daily Press news report
May 10, 2007
These articles report that Gov. Kaine has appointed Catharine M. Gilliam, Virginia Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, and Dr. Rex M. Ellis, Vice President for the Historic Area at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, to the new Fort Monroe planning panel.

Save Fort Monroe
Op-ed by CFMNP’s Scott Butler
April 30, 2007
Inside Business

Scott presents the economic good sense of a Fort Monroe National Park.

Hampton referenda
Letter to the editor, Daily Press
April 15, 2007
    I could not help but compare the recent favoring by Hampton City Council of a referendum in November on whether Hampton should support the state’s new transportation bill with the council’s outright refusal in 2005 of a referendum on the Buckroe Master Plan’s Bayfront Initiative.
    When the council believes the public is behind it on an issue, it has no objections to requesting a public vote on the issue. The same was true for the 2002 referendum.
    On the other hand, back in 2005, the council knew a significant number of Hampton residents were not behind the city’s plan to cut up and sell off Buckroe’s Lots B to developers for upscale housing.
    The council was fully aware the majority of Hampton residents wanted Lots B developed into a magnificent bayfront park for our current and future generations, and the council knew that if Hampton residents were given the opportunity for a public vote on Lots B, the council and city staff would not get what they wanted for Buckroe’s Lots B.
    I do not want Hampton readership of the Daily Press to think I am beating something to death by bringing up Buckroe’s Lots B again. I only request they view the two issues objectively when I say the Hampton City Council plays with different sets of rules when it comes to really wanting to hear from Hampton residents.
    Sandra Canepa, Hampton [[Note from Steve Corneliussen: Ms. Canepa leads the Buckroe Green Space effort.]]

Find park funding
Letter to the editor of the Daily Press
From Richard I. Edwards of Hartfield
April 14, 2007
To the editor of the Daily Press:
The recent editorial suggesting Fort Monroe should not be a national park, using Skyline Drive funding issues as a model, makes little sense (“More on Monroe,” March 21). (Read entire letter; see editorial in question below on this page.)

Hampton’s History

Letter to the editor of the Daily Press

April 13, 2007

Calvin Pearson of Hampton argues that the ship carrying first Africans in Virginia didn’t just stop at Point Comfort, but actually landed there.

Follow Presidio model
Letter to the editor of the Daily Press
April 13, 2007
From Richard Moe, President, National Trust for Historic Preservation
To the editor of the Daily Press:
    Visitors to Fort Monroe are always impressed by its dramatic waterfront setting, well-maintained historic structures and unique place in our nation’s military and African-American history. The Army has provided exemplary stewardship over the years, and today Fort Monroe is a national treasure of the highest caliber.
    The National Trust and many others now are working to ensure the preservation of this and other historic military posts that will be vacated under the Base Closure and Realignment Commission. National Trust staffer Rob Nieweg serves on the Fort Monroe re-use steering committee. Everyone who cares about our rich heritage wants to secure a bright future for Fort Monroe. Here’s how we can ensure success:
    It is imperative that the fort’s historic structures remain in productive use and are permanently protected against inappropriate change. Preservation easements must be established to protect existing features, and state-of-the-art design standards must be developed to govern the architectural design, scale and location of new construction.
    Responsibility for implementing the land-use master plan must be entrusted to an entity with vision and expertise. Fortunately, there is an excellent model: The Presidio Trust, which oversees the redevelopment of San Francisco’s Presidio, an 800-building former military post and (like Fort Monroe) a National Historic Landmark. It could provide a blueprint for Fort Monroe.
    We are pleased that the Federal Area Development Authority has been strengthened to meet the challenges posed by this critical undertaking. As the reconstituted FADA establishes its scope, it should include full consideration of other models for redevelopment, including that offered by the ongoing work at the Presidio. Patience, careful deliberation and cooperation among local, state and national stakeholders are absolutely essential.
Richard Moe
President, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Washington, D.C.

Park Monroe 
Daily Press
April 2, 2007
In this letter to the editor, national park veteran Alec Gould, a member of CFMNP‘s advisory board, advocates the Presidio model for Fort Monroe in response to the Daily Press’s March 21 editorial (which is also available, below on this page).

Daily Press front page news headline
March 31, 2007
A blurb at the very top center of the Daily Press’s front page reported highly encouraging thoughts from Governor Kaine: “On the future of Fort Monroe: Kaine says his highest priorities are preserving the historic character of the base while also encouraging recreation and open space.” And a March 27 press release quoted the governor saying, “Fort Monroe is a national treasure that must be preserved, protected, and easily accessible to the public.” This is progress. Two years ago, no Virginia leaders were calling Fort Monroe a national treasure or highlighting recreation and green space along with history. Let’s work with Governor Kaine to keep things going in the right direction.

[Pair of annotated Daily Press news articles]

Daily Press

March 30, 2007
These two Daily Press articles report on the venting that four Hampton city councilmen leveled toward CFMNP President H. O. Malone on March 28. The first of the two articles begins, “A Hampton city councilman slapped away an olive branch offered by the head of a group that wants Fort Monroe to become a national park.” A few clarifying annotations have been inserted.

Fort Monroe funding undecided
Daily Press news article
March 26, 2007
Reporter Jim Hodges’s article carries the subheadline “The bill creating a new authority on the post’s future doesn’t specify who pays.” At Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park, we would agree that Fort Monroe should never have been defined as the responsibility of Hampton’s taxpayers and should not be their responsibility in the future, since Fort Monroe belongs to the public generally.

We must preserve our historic sites
Letter to the editor of the Daily Press
March 26, 2007
    I read that Fort Monroe, Cedar Creek, seven battlefields in the Northern Piedmont and battlefield sites in Petersburg were on the “at risk” list for Civil War sites (“Fort Monroe on group’s list of ‘at risk’ Civil War sites,” March 14). What a tragedy for the young people of Virginia, especially in the Hampton Roads area. It’s one thing to read about history; it’s another when you can walk the same paths that our forefathers walked in trying to establish a new world of freedom.
    What a legacy we have here, from the first English-speaking settlement at Jamestown to the victory at Yorktown, which was the climax to the Revolutionary War. The battles fought in Petersburg, Northern Virginia and here in Hampton Roads all played a major part in establishing this country.
    I hope our government leaders, especially those from the Virginia localities that will be affected by these decisions, will do all they can to keep this from happening. Growth and progress is good, but you have to know where you’ve been in order to know where you’re going. Our forefathers fought many battles and forged many paths so that future generations would be able to have the freedoms they never knew but wanted.
    Thanks to them we have those freedoms. What a tragedy it would be to lose these areas of history so that more shopping centers, apartments, condos and entertainment areas can be created. We have enough of these as it is.
P.W. Dennis
Newport News

Options are ‘wide open’ for new state authority on Fort Monroe
Virginian-Pilot news report by Dave Forster
March 25, 2007
This brief news article covers the Kaine administration’s outlook concerning Fort Monroe.

More on Monroe: Some thoughts about the national park option
Daily Press editorial
March 21, 2007
Here the Daily Press editors suggest an underfunding impediment to a Fort Monroe National Park. But they leave unmentioned that President Bush wants record park budgets, they don’t consider that Virginia’s taxpayers shouldn’t take sole responsibility for a national treasure, and they don’t address the self-sustaining national park that’s evolving at San Francisco’s Presidio — like Fort Monroe, only with less history. Also unexplained is the editorial’s pessimism about Fort Monroe’s heritage tourism potential, even though University of Pennsylvania Historian Robert F. Engs says that when African-Americans cast off bondage and came to Fort Monroe early in the Civil War, slavery began to die and liberty truly began to live. Surely in a state drawing Civil War tourists, that story alone — if marketed with vision — could make Fort Monroe a huge attraction. But then, at Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park, we often suspect that the biggest impediment to the national park option is simply a lack of vision.

Defending the Fort
Port Folio Weekly cover story
March 20, 2007
Sara Piccini — a standard-setter when it comes to in-depth reporting on Fort Monroe’s future –  investigates the national park option.
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He wants tourists to enjoy the ‘historic quadrangle’
Steve Corneliussen believes the Hampton Army post’s becoming a national park makes economic sense
Daily Press news article
March 19, 2007
The Daily Press’s Jim Hodges profiled CFMNP‘s Steve Corneliussen with the emphasis entirely on Fort Monroe.

Fort Monroe: A bigger, better planning body inherits a big job
Daily Press editorial
March 19, 2007
At Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park, we agree with much in this editorial, but we have inserted a few annotations.

[SPECIAL NOTE: STRONG PUBLIC SENTIMENT FOR A NATIONAL PARK]
March 17, 2007
The Daily Press today indirectly illustrated the strength of public sentiment for a Fort Monroe National Park. Concerning results from an editorial-page survey seeking letters to the editor about a fuel tax to pay for roadbuilding, an editorial calls the nearly 70 responses ”an astonishing number compared with the usual reaction to ‘What do you think?’ editorials or almost any issue” and “a flood.” All but three responders supported the fuel tax. Please compare that to the Daily Press’s Aug. 2, 2006, editorial reporting on a “What do you think?” survey that asked if Fort Monroe should become a national park. That survey drew responses from 80 readers, with the ”great majority — 80 percent — favor[ing] national park status; the rest either didn’t answer the question or suggested another approach.” True, no sensible person claims that these surveys are scientific – but can any sensible person predict that the public would accept a business-as-usual approach to post-Army Fort Monroe?

Fort Monroe on list of “at risk” Civil War sites
Daily Press news report
March 14, 2007
This Daily Press news article is headlined: “Fort Monroe on list of ‘at risk’ Civil War sites: A preservation organization says five Virginia locations are threatened by development.” The article reports that the Civil War Preservation Trust has declared ten sites endangered and fifteen more — including Fort Monroe — at risk. With a membership of over 70,000, the CWPT is the nation’s largest organization devoted to preserving Civil War sites. The organization says that this announcement is “more than a list of threatened historic sites — it is also a roadmap for saving the last remaining links to a moment in history that defined us as a nation.” Read more at the CWPT’s Web site. Last fall, the CWPT issued a resolution in support of a Fort Monroe National Park.

Reuse process restarting
Daily Press news report
March 13, 2007
This Daily Press news article is headlined: “Reuse process restarting: Gov. Kaine has until March 26 to sign the bill creating a new state authority that will be in charge of Fort Monroe’s future.” (We’ve inserted two clarifying annotations at the end.)

National park material
Daily Press
March 8, 2007
This letter to the editor says, “There is a fundamental conflict of interest with Hampton having a major or even a significant role in the decision on what should be done with Fort Monroe. … The issue should be the nation’s interest in the preservation of a truly unique historical and recreational site for the nation and for Virginia.” (Boldfacing added.)

National park funding
Daily Press
March 7, 2007
In this letter to the editor, Catharine Gilliam, Virginia program manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, comments on President Bush’s historic boost to the national parks, which was described last month in a National Park Service press release. The New York Times reported that the president said, “I hope the citizens’ groups who are concerned about the parks beat a hasty trail to the Congress and remind the Congress about what we have done, and what we need to do as good stewards of the parks.” Now, what was that question again about how, especially during the Bush era, the U. S. couldn’t even afford to consider a new national park at Fort Monroe?

State creates larger board to oversee Fort Monroe’s future
Kate Wiltrout
Virginian-Pilot news article
Feb. 27, 2007
This news article from the Norfolk paper gives a good summary of how things stand coming out of the General Assembly session.  See also a special page showing the bill that’s on the governor’s desk.

Lawmakers agree to increase size of Fort Monroe panel
Feb. 25, 2007
Daily Press news report by Kimball Payne

NATIONAL PARK OPTION OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZED IN LAW SENT FOR GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE! True, as the Daily Press news article shows, the General Assembly is sending to Governor Kaine pretty much what the governor wanted: a bill by which Hampton retains substantial control in an expanded planning panel, with lots of involvement by Kaine administration officials. But the bill also contains a provision for a National Park Service “reconnaissance survey” of the national park option. Though not the congressionally mandated, comprehensive feasibility study that many have been asking for, it’s a serious step in the right direction. (To see for yourself what the differences are in the kinds of studies, please consult Resource Topics for Parklands, a National Park Service document, especially the bottom of page 4.)

Fort’s potential
Feb. 23, 2007
Letter to the editor of the Daily Press
Thank you for a thoughtful and thorough examination of Fort Monroe’s future in the editorial “Fort Monroe,” Feb. 16. However, I must chide you for suggesting that converting the fort to a park might “get in the way” of generating economic output. In fact, national parks (as well as state and local parks) bring millions of tourists and millions of dollars to Virginia each year. Public green space helps boost property values and lure new employers. To pit conservation against economic growth is to perpetuate a false dichotomy. In the case of Fort Monroe, proponents of a park have cited another former Army base, San Francisco’s Presidio, as a model. There, existing structures were renovated and leased to high-tech businesses and professional firms. The resulting revenue helps sustain the park’s open spaces and historic structures. Similar redevelopment at Fort Monroe would lure high-wage employers as well as tourists, many of whom now bypass the city en route to Williamsburg and the Colonial National Historical Park. In contrast, selling off parcels for the construction of large-scale condos and office buildings would significantly exacerbate the city’s traffic woes. (Tourists, unlike commuters, travel at off-peak times.)

Of the two competing bills now before the General Assembly, Virginia’s conservationists have determined that Del. Tom Gear’s proposal is superior. This bill, H.B. 3180, brings more stakeholders to the table and requires that Virginia and the city of Hampton properly consider the entire area’s potential as a national park. Given the fort’s significance to our nation, and to African-Americans in particular, anything less would be shamefully shortsighted.

Nathan Lott
Executive director, Virginia Conservation Network
Richmond

No federal role means a compromised Fort Monroe
Feb. 22, 2007
Three letter-writers respond to a Virginian-Pilot editorial: CFMNP‘s Mark Perreault, National Park Service career veteran Ron Wilson, and retired military historian David L. Rosmer.

Keep options open for Fort Monroe
Feb. 19, 2007
Letter to the editor of the Daily Press
from CFMNP‘s president, H. O. Malone
    The editorial “Fort Monroe,” Feb. 16, compares the two competing bills in the Virginia House and Senate. It does not point out that the state Senate bill fails to address the important issue: ultimate jurisdiction over the property. The editorial deplores the idea of the governor handing over the old Army post to Hampton or its Federal Area Development Authority, but that is exactly what Sen. Marty Williams’ bill authorizes. That strange provision, based on the unsubstantiated assumption that an “early” cleanup is necessary, creates the fiction that the FADA is not an instrumentality of the commonwealth, which cannot accept contaminated land. Del. Tom Gear’s bill leaves that responsibility to the Army, which is far better equipped to manage such a task
    The Senate bill is all about facilitating the privatization of prime waterfront land that has been in the public domain for almost 400 years.
    National parks are proven to bring enormous economic benefits to their gateway communities and the potential of a national park in the middle of Hampton Roads deserves to be studied. No such study is contemplated in the Senate bill. Gear’s House bill allows the exploration of all options, including a national park working in partnership with a federal trust to generate income from the existing resources at Fort Monroe to reduce the demands on the federal budget. By omitting any language calling for Congress to authorize a National Park Service resource study, the Senate bill effectively excludes that option from the table.
    All of Fort Monroe was designated in 1960 by the secretary of the interior as a site possessing “exceptional value in commemorating and illustrating the history of the United States.” Let’s find out whether the National Park Service really does not want Fort Monroe before we release the federal government from its responsibility to maintain a site of national historic significance.
Henry O. Malone
President, Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park

Bills seek to protect integrity of Fort Monroe
By Kate Wiltrout
The Virginian-Pilot
Feb. 19, 2007
This news report begins, “Fort Monroe’s future after the Army leaves in 2011 may hinge on what happens this week in Richmond. Local legislators and state officials are seeking a compromise that would protect the 570-acre stone fort’s venerable history, preserve public access to the waterfront and provide an economic boost to offset the loss of Army salaries and spending.” (Read more)

The better plan for Fort Monroe
Letter to the editor of the Daily Press
Feb. 18, 2007
    Fort Monroe belongs to all of us. With its 2011 closing approaching, two competing visions of the future of this historic post have emerged. The question is whether “Freedom’s Fortress” will be able to survive its transition to civilian life as a park, with its great historic, scenic and recreational assets intact, or, alternatively, whether large sections of open waterfront land will be subdivided to become another neighborhood of the city of Hampton.
    Despite requests from many citizens, the political leadership of Hampton has failed to go on record as favoring the concept of a Fort Monroe National Park. During recent months of planning, representatives of Hampton have promoted major residential development on this land. When the Army leaves, most of the property will revert to state ownership.
    This is not an issue for Hampton alone to decide. Will the citizens of Virginia be better served by a residential development on this historic property, or will it continue to serve the public in the form of a national park?
    I urge all concerned citizens to become more aware of the issues at hand, including the economic benefits that a national park would provide to the Hampton Roads area. Support Del. Tom Gear’s bill, HB3180, which explicitly states that no decision concerning reuse should be made without the input of the National Park Service. Instead of selling off large portions of this historic Army post to developers for temporary gain, let’s create a Fort Monroe National Park that we can all benefit from and be proud of.
Adrian Whitcomb, Newport News

[ANNOTATED PAIR OF EDITORIALS]
Feb. 16, 2007  
Both the Virginian-Pilot and the Daily Press have offered major editorials this morning concerning Fort Monroe. In both cases the editorial boards offer a mixture of good news and bad news — with an error or two of plain fact in the Pilot’s editorial. The link leads to a page containing both editorials, with annotations hastily offered early on the morning of the 16th by CFMNP‘s Steve Corneliussen.

Time to reconcile two bills on fort
Daily Press article
By Kimball Payne
Feb. 15, 2007
“State lawmakers are getting ready to try to negotiate an agreement on a pair of bills aimed at guiding the future of Fort Monroe after the Army leaves in 2011. Sen. Marty Williams, R-Newport News, and Del. Tom Gear, R-Hampton, both have legislation altering the local panel tagged by the Department of Defense to oversee the transition to a post-Army future.” Read more.

TWO VIEWS ON FORT MONROE: Senate bill threatens its survival
Virginian-Pilot op-ed by CFMNP‘s Louis Guy
Feb. 14, 2007
“The outcome between these two radically different bills,” writes the Norfolk Historical Society’s president, referring to the Kaine-Williams bill and the Tom Gear bill in the General Assembly,  ”depends on the public response to this outrage. Are we mad as hell at the very idea that prized open space at Fort Monroe, existing or potential, would be turned over to developers?” The Pilot paired Louis’s Gear-supporting op-ed with one by two Kaine administration cabinet secretaries who support Kaine-Williams. (The administration’s op-ed was substantially the same as the one they published in the Daily Press; for that, please see the second Feb. 10 entry below.)

Monroe plan shifts to history
Daily Press news article
By Jim Hodges
Feb. 13, 2007
This news article’s “lede” sentence tells pretty much the whole story: “Reacting to criticism in public forums that [Hampton's] reuse plan for Fort Monroe accents business at the price of heritage, a consultant offered adjustments Monday that place greater emphasis on history.”

Keep citizens on top in review boards
Virginian-Pilot editorial
Feb. 11, 2007
“In a state where many of those who write laws have strong business or municipal interests, more citizen voices, not fewer, can serve as a check on runaway power.” This editorial is not about Fort Monroe, but its underlying principle applies directly.

Would a Fort Monroe National Park be feasible?
Daily Press op-ed
By CFMNP‘s Scott Butler
Feb. 10, 2007
“Thus for the first time,” Scott writes, “there is now the possibility of a serious attempt to answer two important questions: Is a Fort Monroe National Park possible? Would it be an economic asset to Hampton and the rest of the Peninsula?”

The commonwealth’s vision for Fort Monroe
(The link leads to an annotated copy.)
Daily Press op-ed
By L. Preston Bryant, Jr., and Patrick O. Gottschalk
Feb. 10, 2007
This op-ed promotes the Kaine-Williams bill in the General Assembly, which seeks — in effect — to donate Fort Monroe to Hampton on an emergency basis for narrowly envisioned development. The Daily Press gave the op-ed an inaccurate headline, for the vision presented here by two members of Gov. Kaine’s cabinet is not the commonwealth’s vision; it’s merely the Kaine administration’s. No one has yet tried to find out what the commonwealth’s vision might be, though Del. Tom Gear’s bill in the General Assembly tries to get that process started. Please see CFMNP‘s main response to this Kaine administration op-ed, a letter from Mark Perreault. Please see also a single-page handout that explains to legislators why Del. Gear’s bill is superior to Sen. Williams’s.

Monroe alternative
Letter to the editor of the Daily Press
(From Louis Guy, CFMNP treasurer and president of the Norfolk Historical Society. This letter rebuts Sen. Marty Williams’s Feb. 3 Daily Press op-ed and debunks the Senate bill that the senator and Governor Kaine are promoting.)

Feb. 8, 2007
    If we believe state Sen. Marty Williams about Fort Monroe, I bet he has some oceanfront property in Arizona to sell us (“Protecting Fort Monroe is at the core of the process,” Feb. 3). His bill, requested by the governor, is to turn Fort Monroe over to the Hampton-dominated authority – without ever considering who will own it.
    Look at the Virginia General Assembly Web site. In the state’s own impact statement on the Williams bill, it says, “This bill authorizes the Governor to convey the property comprising Fort Monroe to the Federal Area Development Authority created by the City of Hampton,” and that this FADA “is not an agency of the Commonwealth.”
    It was rushed through the Senate last week with an “emergency clause.” The power brokers anxious to get their hands on developable land at Old Point Comfort are using scare tactics about the environmental cleanup. But everyone knows that the Army has a legal mandate to clean it up, and no one disputes that. It has been public property for 398 years and in continuous use by the U.S. Army for more than 180 years.
    Why this invented panic now?
    Fortunately we have two legislative bodies in Virginia, and the House is listening to Del. Tom Gear. His substitute bill proposes that Virginia look at the several options for Fort Monroe’s future before the state commits itself to sell or give away this wonderful national monument and recreational treasure.
Louis L. Guy Jr., Norfolk

Concern for Fort Monroe
Editorial Feedback comment
Daily Press editorial page
Feb. 8, 2007
I’m calling regarding the excellent editorial on Fort Monroe (“Don’t do it”) and a letter that was so eloquently written by H. O. Malone (“Call for a park study”) on Feb. 1. I am concerned about Fort Monroe and would like to see the National Park Service take over when the Army leaves. There should be public access. We have a great bit of history there that we should share. History and tourism go hand in hand.
Ruth Smith

More on Monroe: The governor’s approach won’t solve the basic problem
Daily Press editorial
3 Feb. 2007
The Daily Press editorial board continues to show the way for Governor Kaine and Senator Williams, this time by debunking the Kaine-Williams bill (SB1392) that the Senate has sent to the House of Delegates. That bill’s actual effect is to give Hampton de facto control of Fort Monroe; one thing that needs debunking is the claim that it does not have that de facto effect. CFMNP‘s Steve Corneliussen has placed a few annotations into our posted copy, though not to take issue with the editors.

Off Base: What Will Happen to Historic Military Base Set to Close in Four Years?

Preservation Online

Feb. 2, 2007

This article featuring Fort Monroe and CFMNP was at one point the “Story of the Week” of the online magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It’s gratifying to see this recognition of Fort Monroe’s national importance, even if the article misses the mark slightly on one or two of the political complexities.

Call for park study
Letter to the editor of the Daily Press
(From Dr. H. O. Malone, CFMNP president. This letter appeared next to the Feb. 1 editorial listed just below.)
Feb. 1, 2007
    The outstanding and timely editorial on the future of Fort Monroe (“Fort Monroe,” Jan. 25) has two problems. First, it still goes under the assumption that Hampton owns the federal acreage that is not going to revert to the commonwealth, whereas it actually belongs to the American people and its fate is as yet undetermined; second, the editorial makes no mention of the option of asking Congress to authorize the National Park Service to direct its considerable expertise toward the feasibility of a national park as the way to preserve and manage the cultural and natural resources of the entire 570 acres comprising Fort Monroe.
    Such a study would be done at no cost to the city of Hampton or the commonwealth, and economic analyses show that national parks bring windfall benefits to gateway cities. With four years and eight months still remaining before the Army departs, we will exclude the national park option if Virginia does not expeditiously ask our congressional delegation to seek authorization by Congress to let the study begin.
H.O. Malone
Hampton

Don’t do it: Some advice for the governor about Fort Monroe
Daily Press editorial
1 Feb. 2007
This full-page editorial called strongly on Governor Kaine to consider his legacy before choosing a new course for Fort Monroe. Here’s an important excerpt, with boldfacing added: “There are signs that Kaine is preparing to hand over to the city the most critical parts of Fort Monroe … . He should not, and a review of Hampton’s track record will tell him why. … [T]he state cannot shuck responsibility for it off on a local government … . This is legacy-making stuff. Kaine can leave office having overseen a fabulous plan for a fabulous asset owned by all the people of Virginia, a plan that will be a boon to this entire corner of the state. Or he can leave having made the wrong call, one that will compromise a never-again opportunity. There’s plenty of evidence to help him make a decision. He just has to pay attention.”

Fort Monroe
What’s needed: A better planning group, not cover for a bad decision
Daily Press editorial
25 Jan. 2007
The blue link in the headline above leads to the same annotated copy that we posted almost immediately when this editorial appeared. A bit over a week later, Del. Tom Gear’s bill proposing what the subheadline called for — “a better planning group” — had passed through a subcommittee and a committee and was about to be considered by the full House. (For more about that bill, please see the special update for Feb. 2 in the Updates archive.)  The “NEWblurb announcing the editorial and linking to it said: GREAT NEWS: DAILY PRESS EDITORIAL: ”WHAT’S NEEDED: A BETTER PLANNING GROUP, NOT COVER FOR A BAD DECISION.” Citizens for a Fort Monroe National Park will be respectfully requesting that Governor Kaine, members of his administration, Senator Marty Williams, the Virginia Senate leadership – and indeed all in both houses of the General Assembly – closely consider what these editors are saying.

Governor Kaine seeks help from senators
Daily Press news article
23 Jan. 2007
By Jim Hodges
The blue link in the headline above leads to the same annotated copy that we posted almost immediately when the article appeared. A bit over a week later, we learned that the Senate bill that the article describes had passed the Senate. The home page “NEWblurb announcing the article and linking to it said:  TERRIBLE NEWS: GOV. KAINE SEEKS “EARLY TRANSFER” TO HAMPTON TO “SPEED THE PROCESS OF REDEVELOPING FORT MONROE.” After months of mostly silence and lots of secrecy, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has finally revealed his choice for this national treasure that is being inherited by all Virginians. He has chosen profoundly unwisely. But at least we now finally know where we stand. Read a Daily Press article hurriedly annotated by CFMNP’s Steve Corneliussen. True friends of Fort Monroe — as well as people who simply want the best for Hampton Roads and Virginia — will be hearing more soon.

Will Fort Monroe serve parochial or strategic interests?
Virginian-Pilot op-ed
18 Jan. 2007
This op-ed by CFMNP’s Steve Corneliussen assesses the Fort Monroe situation in the General Assembly and with the Kaine administration. Some signs are hopeful.

Redeveloping Buckroe: Homeowners are needed, but so is a spirit of compromise
January 15, 2007
Daily Press editorial
Though the Buckroe Beach situation bears on the Fort Monroe question, we don’t post everything that comes up about Buckroe. However, this editorial’s last two paragraphs, including the one called “postscript,” may be of particular interest. What does the Daily Press editorial board mean when it says, “Since development isn’t possible at the north end of the base, a spectacular waterfront treasure will be added to Hampton’s collection”? Is the Daily Press presupposing that Hampton will take at least part of Fort Monroe? (The area in question is not covered by the old deeds that cause most of Fort Monroe to revert to Virginia’s ownwership when the Army leaves.)

Take the long view
Daily Press letter to the editor
17 Jan. 2007
Hampton’s current plan for the development of Fort Monroe gives almost no attention to the long-term benefits that would accrue if a true national park were created on the approximately 570 acres of Fort Monroe. The city seems to be focused on how the maximum dollars can be extracted from the area without really looking at the long-term costs of maintenance and operation.

Numerous national studies have repeatedly shown that parks benefit an area because visitors spend money in the local communities and create jobs. The many historic themes at Fort Monroe make it easy to predict that there would be a lot of visitors if it were to become a national park. Open space and the wonderful beach will bring many more. Those visitors will spend money for lodging, meals and souvenirs. They will also visit other merchants.

It is important to realize that a stable economy based on a national park is forever. The same cannot be said for the current concept of creating an elite neighborhood for the few who can afford to live there. Such a neighborhood will generate some increased real estate taxes for the city, but will it be enough to protect the historic structures, maintain quality open space and assure free and long-term public access?

Hampton and the commonwealth must do a serious analysis of the currently planned “take-the-money-and-run” approach, versus the long-term benefits of a new Fort Monroe National Park.
Ron Wilson, Norfolk
[Ron Wilson completed a long and varied career in the National Park Service. He is a special advisor to CFMNP.]

Gear wants second opinions on post’s future
Daily Press article
12 Jan. 2007
This article reports on Del. Tom Gear’s legislative initiatives to seek a Washington study of the national park option and to create a state study commission on Fort Monroe. CFMNP’s Steve Corneliussen has placed annotations into our posted copy.

Kaine eyes more people for Fort Monroe board
Daily Press front-page news article
9 Jan. 2007
The Kaine administration is still being secretive about its work with the powerful handful of Hamptonians who want to transform the heart of a national historic landmark district into what amounts to a gated community without the gate. But it’s time, those combined forces believe, to try some state legislation toward that end. So on the eve of the General Assembly session, news about that proposed legislation has finally come out, as reported here. CFMNP’s Steve Corneliussen has interjected some [[italicized double-bracketed annotations like this]] in the news article.

Environmental Harmony
New York Times editorial
1 Jan. 2007
This editorial — available in full at NYTimes.com – speaks of rising “hopes that progress can be made [in Congress] on vital matters like global warming, oil dependency, national parks and threatened wetlands.” The editors present a “wish list” that includes “robust financing for the national parks.”

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