Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Hot Springs National Park (AR) Park Canine Identifies Drug Package Mailed To Post Office
Ranger Clint Forte and his partner “Saki,” a two-year-old German shepherd recently acquired by the park, were asked to assist the Hot Springs Drug Task Force with the identification of a suspicious package at the post office on November 21st.
Members of the task force had determined that a package containing illegal narcotics might be coming to the post office and notified the postmaster, who intercepted it. Several packages were placed on the floor and Saki was asked to examine them. Saki immediately alerted on a package sent to a 50-year-old city resident.
Shortly thereafter, the man’s wife arrived at the post office to pick up the package and was detained by officers. She gave them permission to search the package, which was found to contain nearly four pounds of marijuana.
The man was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a crime punishable by up to six years in prison. The street value of the marijuana was estimated to be $24,000.
[Submitted by Josie Fernandez, Superintendent]
NEWS AND NOTES
John F Kennedy National Historic Site (MA) President Kennedy Remembered At Park Event
Over a thousand visitors joined rangers and volunteers at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Day of Mourning last weekend. Events included a new ranger program using the principles of facilitated dialog to ask questions about loss and belonging, a special exhibit, and a memorial ceremony.
John F. Kennedy NHS has served over the years as a memorial focal point for the town of Brookline. Three days after the assassination, locals gathered together at the slain president's birthplace at 83 Beals Street. Some of the crowd came from a memorial service at nearby Temple Kehillath Israel; others had heard about the event planned in part by Brookline High School students.
The assembled heard words from local religious leaders, laid a wreath at the home, sang America and witnessed a 21 gun salute to the president. From that moment forward, the home took on special significance as a place to mourn the Kennedy family and remains so today.
The Kennedy’s first home became part of the National Park Service in 1967, following significant work by the President’s mother, Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, to return the home to its 1917 appearance, the year of the president’s birth. While Mrs. Kennedy stated her intention was to share her family’s early years and show how people lived in 1917, the memorial aspect has always been important.
This year’s event seemed like an ideal time to reflect further on memorial aspects of the home with new programming that encouraged visitors to ask questions about their own experiences with loss and remembrance. The program used the principles of facilitated dialog and received very positive feedback.
Visitors toured the home on Friday through Sunday. After exploring the home where Kennedy spent his first years, they had the opportunity to learn more about how the country reacted to his death. Since 1999, the site has been collecting visitor’s memories about Kennedy’s assassination. A small sampling of these stories were on display, along with books for visitors to add their story to the collection.
At 2 p.m. on a frigid Sunday afternoon, over 100 visitors gathered together just as they did in 1963 to remember President Kennedy. Rangers read proclamations from Lyndon Johnson and the Brookline Board of Selectmen declaring November 25, 1963 a National Day of Mourning.
A highlight was a letter from Representative Joe Kennedy III, grandson of Robert Kennedy and US Representative for this area. The program also included words from Father Clary of St. Mary’s of the Assumption Church and Rabbi Hamilton of Temple Kehillath Israel. And as in 1963, the event concluded with a singing of “America” by Lena Schorge, a student at Edward Devotion School, the same one John F. Kennedy attended in Brookline.
The event brought together community members just as it did in 1963, and the park was pleased to offer a place for reflection on John F. Kennedy’s life 50 years later.
[Submitted by Sara Patton]
Fort Scott National Historic Site (KS) First Kansas Colored Infantry Mural Comes To Park
Students from Royal Valley Middle School in tiny Mayetta, Kansas (population 341), are hoping to have a big influence in garnering recognition for the first African American unit to participate in combat during the American Civil War.
Fort Scott National Historic Site recently hosted a presentation by three high school freshmen and their former middle school history teacher about the four-foot-by-eight-foot mural that they and some seventy classmates conceived and created over the past several years.
The mural honors the legacy of the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry, which was recruited at Fort Scott in 1862 and which became the first African American unit to serve in combat later that year at Island Mound, Missouri.
Federalized in 1863, the regiment was re-designated the 79th United States Colored Infantry (New) and served in the Trans-Mississippi until mustered out in October 1865.
While conducting research about African American involvement in the Civil War, the students came to realize that this trailblazing Kansas unit had very little public recognition in its home state. They contacted the State House architect in Topeka to determine requirements for having a statue erected on the Capitol grounds.
To their surprise, the official stated that legislation was passed in 2001 for a mural to be placed in the Kansas State Capitol (where other murals hang, most notably one venerating abolitionist John Brown) to honor the First Kansas Colored. Unfortunately, appropriations did not follow and a national recession further stalled plans. So the students took matters into their own hands.
With a grant from the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, they began working with their middle school history and art teachers on a small mural to test composition ideas. Students challenged each other over how best to tell the unit’s story. After refining their design the students began creating the traveling mural.
The mural is filled with symbolism. While the breaking of the chains of slavery, soldiering, and the desire for equal rights are obvious, other points are more subtle. The soldiers are moving forward, not looking back, as the glow of a new dawn flows across their shoulders. Across the bottom of the mural the unit banner initially shows fraying and tearing, symbolic of others’ fears that former slaves did not have the courage to fight.
Yet, to the right, the scroll is firmly knit, demonstrating respect earned on the battlefield. One New York newspaper correspondent, having seen the First Kansas Colored in combat, declared that “they fought like tigers.” Two faces, one nationally known, the other largely unknown beyond Kansas, are prominent. Abraham Lincoln, who’s Emancipation Proclamation changed the nation, is flanked by James Lane, who despite widespread criticism made the decision to recruit African Americans to defend Kansas and the Union.
Fort Scott National Historic Site was appropriately the mural’s first stop of many for what the students hope will eventually lead to completion of a State House mural to honor the memory of the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry.
[Submitted by Bill Fischer, Historian] More Information...
Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Services Glen Anderson Selected As Branch Chief
Glen Anderson has been selected to lead the Office of Professional Responsibility as its branch chief. This office has oversight and management of internal affairs investigations throughout the National Park Service.
Complaints can result in formal investigations, which are a management tool to provide the highest level of integrity and public service while allowing for due process.
Glen's understanding and appreciation for individual and agency integrity is well regarded. His career with the National Park Service has spanned more than two decades, beginning in July, 1988. During that time, Glen gained field and supervisory experience.
Glen has been the office’s acting branch chief, developing a workload analysis, organizational design, and policy in furtherance of the Service’s efforts to stand up a modest OPR office. He has demonstrated his ability to work collaboratively within the agency as well as externally.
These skills are essential to the position and will enable OPR to move forward as part of the Division of Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Services, which manages over 20 national programs that fulfill a wide range of NPS public safety and resource protection responsibilities.
[Submitted by Charles Cuvelier, Division Chief]
Office of Learning and Development 50th Anniversary Of Albright Training Center Celebrated
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the construction of Albright Training Center, located at Grand Canyon National Park. Ten members of the first ranger class to attend the center in 1963 and their partners gathered with staff for a first ever class reunion at the Albright campus last May.
The 50th anniversary of the class and the training center inspired the event, which resulted in goodwill shared across NPS generations from the generalist elders to the more specialized ‘youngsters’ (current employees) of Grand Canyon National Park and Albright Training Center.
“It is so good in times of budget cuts, to be reminded of earlier times of tougher hardships that were surmounted by these men’s stellar careers,” said Laura Rotegard, current center superintendent. “They could have held their reunion anywhere, but the interaction with today’s NPS staff at the original location which was for most, their earliest NPS training, primed the pump that led to stories revealing amazing lessons to be learned, like how to supervise someone like Ed Abbey.”
Capturing these stories was accomplished by the class voluntarily participating with park and center staff through individual oral histories. The center plans to use both video and audio clips for future training curricula. The class toured the park, met independently with park leadership, attended an NPS issues forum they developed with park and former staff, and just celebrated the accomplishments that time and reflection allowed them to recognize.
Not to be missed, eight ‘women behind the men’ attended with stories of their own -- like Jan Johnson, wife of retired superintendent Einar Johnson, who left a recipe for biscuits with the staff, and an accompanying story from Lava Beds. It seems the biscuits came in handy (along with a generous amount of hospitality) smoothing over the ire of an investigative team. Jan told us that breaking (homemade) bread with strangers put many issues into better perspective. That’s a leadership strategy to be considered.
Both groups of attendees remarked on the obvious differences between then and now -- from a three-month-long Introduction to Park Operations class of 62 students per year that reached 0.4 % of the 7,000 employees in 1963 to a two-week-long Fundamentals class that reaches approximately 750 employees/year comprising 4% of the agency’s 20,000+ staff. This comparison prompted one attendee to remark, “it still seems to be an elite opportunity.”
For more information about the 50 years of the Albright Training Center, to schedule a training class, lodging, or class reunion, or to obtain a digital copy of your class photo, call (928) 638-7981.
[Submitted by Victoria Allen, 928-638-7982]
Cumberland Island National Seashore (GA) Superintendent Fred Boyles To Retire
Fred Boyles, the superintendent of Cumberland island National Seashore, will retire at the end of November, ending a 33-year career with the National Park Service.
Boyles' career prior to coming to Cumberland Island in 2009 included work in the Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Moores Creek National Battlefield, Andersonville National Historic Site, and Jimmy Carter National Historic Site. While superintendent at Cumberland Island, he implemented the lands and legacies tours and supervised the completion of the former reserved properties management plan.
“Fred will be sorely missed as a leader and a friend to many NPS employees. His steady hand and grace under pressure has calmed the waters many times in his career, particularly with challenges faced at Cumberland Island. We wish him well,” said Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin.
Throughout his tenure with the National Park Service, Boyles oversaw a number of signature projects. As superintendent of Andersonville, he shepherded the construction of the National Prisoner of War Museum, which honors the sacrifices of all POWs in American history. At the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, he oversaw the development of the park's general management plan and the restoration of both Plains High School and the Carter Boyhood Farm. As superintendent of Moores Creek National Battlefield, he led the effort to remove the state highway from the park and restore the battlefield landscape to its historic appearance.
“Working in these special places that help define us all as Americans has been the honor of a lifetime,” says Boyles. “As a boy I was always fascinated with history and nature, so working as a National Park Service ranger has been a dream job for me and I feel blessed to have been so fortunate.”
“The hardest part of this transition for me will not be wearing the National Park Service uniform any longer,” he says. “I have always been proud to wear this uniform for all that it stands for in the nearly 100 years that the National Park Service has been protecting America's special places.”
Boyles is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Clemson University. He taught geography, history and economics in public school in Waycross, Georgia, in the mid-1970s prior to working for the NPS. In addition to working for the NPS, he serves as a captain in the Navy Reserve Supply Corps and drills at the Navy Operational Support Center at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
He begins a new assignment for the Navy in December at Port Hueneme, California. Boyles and his wife of 37 years, Debbie Beverly of Waycross, cherish time spent with their daughter and son, their spouses, and two grandchildren, all of whom reside in Athens, Georgia.
[Submitted by Maggie Tyler, firstname.lastname@example.org, 912-882-4336 x 257]
Coronado National Memorial (AZ) Scenic Overlook Restored Through Interagency Effort
Montezuma Pass, a scenic overlook with views into Mexico and the San Pedro River and San Rafael Valleys, recently received a facelift due in part to a partnership between the National Park Service, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Homeland Security.
The overlook is used by most visitors to the memorial and until March of 2013 the area had seen many years of weathering in the hot desert sun. The old composting toilets were in terrible shape and in need of replacement due to safety concerns for visitors and employees. A planned DHS tower project, also located at Montezuma Pass, would limit visitor access to the old restroom facilities.
The original NPS project was funded through repair-rehab and 20% fee demo money and was greatly needed to update the old guardrail system, which was not to code, and the building of new restrooms. In addition, several upgrades to provide for full accessibility were needed, but not able to be funded under the original project.
An agreement reached among the partnering agencies allowed for the demolition of the old restroom facilities, courtesy of the DHS. This freed up NPS funds for the park to do additional work to tie in the new restrooms, ramada, and parking lot into one accessible area for park visitors.
A new ADA compliant sidewalk has been installed and the old railing has been replaced with OSHA compliant stone decorated railings. The entire overlook now has a 'pulled together' look and greatly contributes to the visitor experience at Coronado National Memorial.
[Submitted by Julena Campbell, Chief of Interpretation, Southeast Arizona Group]
Glacier National Park GS-0856-9 Electronics Technician (Lateral)
Glacier National Park is seeking candidates interested in a lateral move into an electronics technician position.
The person selected will provide full service support for radio operations and electronic systems within Glacier National Park. The position is full time subject to furlough. Non-pay status is expected to be four pay-periods (two months) during the winter months.
The person selected will:
- Provide coordination, installation, maintenance and operation services for parkwide radio and electronics systems.
- Assist in radio and electronic system design through consultation with other specialists, radio users, consultants, etc.
- Plan projects and ensure that they follow park, NPS and DOI guidelines and plans.
- Design and write code plugs for portable and mobile subscriber units and base stations.
- Program and tune radio repeater modules to park specifications.
- Plan and execute a scheduled maintenance program for all radio and electronics components.
- Support a large customer base that is geographically dispersed within the park.
- Conduct training for customers on proper use of equipment.
- Establish and maintain a quality assurance program for radio and electronics equipment.
The person selected must obtain and maintain a tower climbing certification recognized by the National Park Service in order to install wireless radio and telecommunications systems on towers up to 120 feet in height and the aviation B3 certification necessary to fly to remote radio repeater locations to perform required duties. She/he will also be required to hike or ride horseback to remote sites over distances and at elevation carrying a moderate to heavy pack.
Questions regarding the technical aspects of this position should be directed to Tim Gilk, 406-888-7860, email@example.com .
Interested applicants should submit the following:
- A detailed resume and a document specifically addressing the following: 1) Skill and experience installing mobile (vehicle) radio subscriber units; 2) knowledge and ability to design and maintain a drop-link radio repeater system; 3) skill at training customers in the use of radio communication equipment; 4) experience and ability to design and write radio channeling programs (code plugs).
- A current SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, and an SF-50 confirming reassignment eligibility if different/not current
- A copy of your current or latest performance appraisal
Email documents to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Glacier National Park, Attn: Mary Lou Fitzpatrick, Human Resources Office, PO Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936.
Applications/resumes must be received by December 6th.