Any one here able to help. I know we have a few from New York. And at least 1 member who worked on Mary A Whalen.
Crisis at PortSideCrisis at PortSide, help save us & MARY A. WHALEN
February 17, 2012
Posted by Carolina Salguero
Here is some urgent news and a call for your support so that PortSide NewYork can stay open and the tanker MARY A. WHALEN can be saved. Please read and forward this flyer about our meeting on Monday 2/27/12.
[B]The Bad News:[/B]
We will not be getting a home in Atlantic Basin in time to keep us in business. The EDC has told us they have to re-RFP the space. Such RFP’s take a long time to be issued and to be decided, and many never lead to any decision at all; so PortSide has decided to move on.
PortSide needs to have a home confirmed by April 30[SUP]th[/SUP], or we will close and the tanker MARY A. WHALEN will likely be scrapped, as there are few commercial uses for her.
You may wonder why we cannot continue with the MARY A. WHALEN docked in the Red Hook Containerport. PortSide is very grateful for that berth, but the need to secure the port means there are Homeland Security regulations and Port Authority rules that prevent us from using the ship for programs or revenue generating activities there. More on that at bottom of the post.
Without a location where YOU can visit us, PortSide cannot meet its goals for the community, or earn money with the ship, and cannot continue.
[B]Some Good News:[/B]
We have have identified several locations that we think could work for us, including some nearby. We are fully engaged in reaching out to those places
[B]Help us continue programs like these!:[/B]
We created the public performance in a local container port, with the TankerOpera. We created the first cultural program in GMD shipyard in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. We introduced the Dutch Flat Bottom Fleet to Atlantic Basin and created the first public programs there including 44 events during July and August 2010 and the free sails on the Clipper City earlier in the year. We created the first free, public, bilingual historic ship tours in NYC during[I]Concierto Tipico[/I], a salsa concert in Sunset Park.
We created an important 9/11 exhibit about how the marine industry evacuated hundreds of thousands of people on 9/11 and went on to help NYC recover from the attacks.
And, PortSide NewYork is the first - and only - group to save a tanker ship in the USA for public use. We did the paperwork to have the MARY A. WHALEN deemed eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
[B]More good news:[/B]
PortSide does not need to be in the new home by the end of April (though that would be a blessing); we just need it confirmed to enable fundraising.
[B]How real estate affects funding:[/B]
Funders want to see that an organization has a stable base of operations and that programs can occur on a predictable basis. Up until now, PortSide has been forced to negotiate permits for every event we have ever done, and we have never received permission on more than 3 weeks notice! After months of planning, one big event, the Dutch Flat Bottom Fleet Open House of 2009, was approved only nine days in advance. Our summer 2010 permit for Atlantic Basin took 7 months to negotiate and was only cleared 20 days in advance.
PortSide has been negotiating for a publicly accessible home for almost seven years.
As you all know, homelessness is an exhausting proposition. It makes it hard to get things done.
I am sharing this news with you in the hope that you will support PortSide and help us bring this real estate hunt to a speedy conclusion. PortSide needs a real home for our ship so we can deliver the programs we have promised and I keenly want to deliver.
It’s been six years and nine months since we did our business plan funded by the Department of Small Business Services (SBS). It is four years and five months since we responded to the EDC RFEI for Atlantic Basin, and five years since we responded to an EDC RFP for Atlantic Basin.
In late 2008, the EDC promised PortSide and the community that PortSide would have a home in Atlantic Basin. Meanwhile, the EDC asked us to do programs there every year, which we did, but without the security of an underlying ongoing lease agreement, we did not have the ability to apply for grants, seek major donors and conduct fundraisers based on a known schedule of programs. Under those conditions, planning and doing programming is not sustainable.
What we did do in Atlantic Basin and all our other temporary outposts is provide a taste of what we will do when we have a place where we can flourish. If PortSide can do as much as we have while homeless, imagine how much more we can do with a proper home!
We have plans and the capability to do more for you in the future; we just need a place to do it. I ask you to please come to PortSide’s meeting at 6:30pm on Monday 2/27 at LICH and help PortSide by speaking up and stepping up.
[B]Details about why staying in the Red Hook Containerport is not viable:[/B]
For example, if you don’t have a Homeland Security ID, a TWIC card, we have to escort you five blocks from the gate to the ship. Since the onset of TWIC cards in March 2009, each card holder could only escort five visitors who did not have a TWIC. It is pretty hard to get a school group here under such circumstances; and large audiences such as attended the 2007 opera are impossible.
As of new rules effective Monday February 13, I am now the only person at PortSide NewYork who can escort any visitors at all. That means only five non-TWIC card holders can come to a meeting at our office on the ship, or tour the boat, or work on a volunteer day.
Posted 1 hour ago by Carolina Salguero
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