The Morning Report

Thursday, April 10, 2014

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INCIDENTS



Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park (OH)
Park Employee Convicted Of Embezzlement

On February 4th, park administrative assistant Samartra "Marty" Anderson pleaded guilty to a charge of theft by deception in the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

Between March, 2010, and April, 2013, Anderson knowingly purchased property or services in excess of $1,000 for her personal use with her government-issued credit card. The purchases were typically small and the items purchased were added to larger park-approved purchases. They included energy drinks, crafting paper, Halloween candy, memberships, etc. Some of the purchases were larger and/or more recognizable, such as tobacco products, milk, diapers and rental equipment.

It is possible that hundreds of these types of purchases may have been made, but it wasn’t possible to determine the actual amount because approximately 75% of the receipts were missing. Restitution in the amount of $2,500 was agreed to in court. It’s believed that Anderson deprived the National Park Service of up to $5,000 worth of property over the period in question.

Anderson also admitted to additional embezzlements, starting in 2007, but evidence was lacking or missing to pursue those illegal purchases. The court approved Anderson for an intervention in lieu of prosecution program. She must admit her guilt in court, pay restitution, and adhere to probation conditions for one year or the felony conviction will be fully implemented.

Special Agent Chris Schrader and Chief Ranger Rick Perkins investigated.

[Submitted by Rick Perkins, Chief Ranger]


Joshua Tree National Park (CA)
Two Motorcyclists Killed In Head-On Collision

Rangers responded to a report of a head-on collision between two motorcycles near the park’s west entrance on the afternoon of April 6th.

While the rangers were en route to the accident, three volunteer park SAR team members reached the scene. They advised that one of the motorcyclists had died and that the other had been critically injured.

Investigation revealed that a 27-year-old man who was probably driving his motorcycle at high speed lost control of it, crossed the center line on a corner, and hit the second motorcycle head-on, killing its operator, a woman from British Columbia in her early 60s. She was pronounced dead at the scene.  The man was flown to Desert Regional Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

California Highway Patrol officers are leading the investigation, which is ongoing. The main park road was closed for approximately three hours.

[Submitted by Jennifer Albrinck]


NEWS AND NOTES



National Mall and Memorial Parks (DC)
Commemoration Held Of Marian Anderson Concert

The National Mall and Memorial Parks commemorated the 75th anniversary of Marian Anderson’s historic Easter Sunday concert with a ceremony on Wednesday, April 9th, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where Anderson performed in 1939. 

In partnership with the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS), the program focused on engaging youth with the Marian Anderson story and the national parks. Secretary of the Interior Jewell took part in the commemorative event.

Superintendent Bob Vogel welcomed the audience after a performance by the Washington Performing Arts Society’s Children of the Gospel Choir.  Students from a DC area high school presented a short history of Marian Anderson’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial. 

The students already had a connection to the National Park Service, as part of the National Park Foundation’s Park Stewards program. Focusing on service learning projects in national parks, they have formed a club called PITCH, an acronym for "Parks are Ideal for Teaching Cool History." 

Following an audio clip of former Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes introducing Marian Anderson and her performance of “My Country, “Tis of Thee” – also known as “America” – the current secretary spoke about the historic event and about the importance of young people to the future of national parks. 

Ranger Monamma Al-Ghuiyy, from President’s Park, inspired the crowd with her story of meeting Marian Anderson and how it had affected her life. Fourth grader Sky Jabali-Rainey impressed the audience with her first person presentation as Marian Anderson. The program concluded with a musical performance and artist from the WPAS, a third grade class from a Washington elementary school, and the WPAS Children of the Gospel Choir.

Secretary Ickes, with the support of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, arranged for Marian Anderson to perform at the Lincoln Memorial after she had been denied access to the segregated Daughters of the American Revolution’s Constitution Hall.  A crowd of 75,000 people gathered to hear her performance. 

The Lincoln Memorial has been a symbol of freedom and equality since that time, and may have served as inspiration for the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Click on the link below to see a short video of Marian Anderson singing at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939.

[Submitted by Jennifer Epstein]

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Victim Assistance Program Office
This Week Is National Crime Victim’s Rights Week

This week, the National Park Service is joining with the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in recognizing National Crime Victim’s Rights Week. 

The theme this year is “30 Years, Restoring the Balance of Justice.” In 1984 the Victims of Crime Act was passed to help the victims of criminal actions through means other than just punishment of the criminal.  A federal victims’ compensation account was established and funded by fines assessed in federal criminal convictions. The law also included provisions to assist state programs that compensated the victims of crimes. Since 1984, over $1 billion in funds have been distributed to assist the victims of crime. 

Nearly 300 million people visit the national parks each year. Fortunately, only a small number fall victim to criminal activity, but, if they do, the Service is prepared to assist. The NPS has partnered with the Department of Justice to build a Victim Assistance Program Office based in Washington DC.  This office provides support to field units and officers as they provide assistance to those who may have experienced such things as theft or injury.

An example of how the program has worked in the Southeast Arizona Group occurred last August, when a park employee was assaulted while on duty.  Within hours of the assault, in coordination with the NPS Victim Assistance Program Office, the FBI sent a victim’s specialist to the hospital and began providing support in the form of food and hotel vouchers for the family. 

It is this type of support that cannot be overlooked in terms of helping a victim and his or her family cope with an unexpected tragedy. Though federal law requires that we provide information to victims of crime about resources available to them, it is equally important that we link the victim and their families to the services.  This has been a tremendous help to our employee who was assaulted and will aid in her physical and mental recovery. 

To learn more about the program, your responsibilities, and available resources, please visit the Office of Victims of Crime website at http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw/.

[Submitted by H. Lane Baker, Superintendent, Southeast Arizona Grouop]


United States Park Police
Officer April Ramos Recognized For DUI Enforcement Efforts

On Tuesday, April 8th, United States Park Police Master Patrol Officer April Ramos from the San Francisco Field Office was recognized by the California Office of Traffic Safety and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for her enforcement efforts in 2013.

In addition to her arrest statistics, Ramos has also assumed a leadership role in training and assisting other USPP officers and NPS protection rangers in DUI enforcement.

Ramos has also continued her efforts in partnering with neighboring jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay area with respect to DUI training, checkpoint operations, and offering her Spanish language skills during investigations.

This is the sixth time that Ramos has been recognized by MADD.

[Submitted by Captain Gregory T. Monahan]


Lake Mead National Recreation Area (AZ,NV)
Volunteers Clean Up Locations In Willow Beach Area

Approximately 60 volunteers donated a total of 290 hours last month to clean up three locations in the greater Willow Beach area at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.  Volunteers served as divers, paddlers, and land cleaners to remove litter and other debris left behind at Lake Mead. 

This is the first year this organized event has taken place at Lake Mead.  Originally scheduled to occur in October of 2013, the government shutdown postponed the event.  After the shutdown, the park continued to work with the Lower Colorado River Water Trail Alliance Group to reschedule the event for March. 

Some of the special projects volunteers focused on included removing litter on the Lower Colorado River Water Trail, dive operations to clean and remove debris and litter from the marina and fishing pier, litter removal from Jumbo Wash, cutting and thinning of vegetation, and work to delineate trails leading between beaches. 

Overall, volunteers filled a full 30 yard roll off and one third of a second with trash, debris, and vegetation. The 30 yard roll offs were donated by Boulder City Disposal, Inc. 

The total estimated value of volunteer time for this event is approximately $20,500.  This estimate includes volunteer time, labor, donated raffle prizes, donated dumpsters, cost of food and water for volunteers, and donated boats and canoes used to support the diving activities. The event was conducted and completed without injury or mishaps to volunteers or staff. 

This special volunteer event was made possible through collaboration with groups from the Lower Colorado River Water Trail Alliance Group, including Forever Resorts, Desert Adventures, Desert River Kayakers, and the National Park Service, and the National Parks Conservation Association.

Specifically, the Alliance brought forth the vision to carry out the event.  They assisted in the overall planning process and provided registration assistance and photo documentation.  Desert Adventures and Desert River Kayakers donated 20 canoes and provided support staff to oversee paddle craft clean-up.  Forever Resorts assisted in obtaining a special event permit for dive activities, provided employees to assist in dive operations and dive boat support, registered divers, donated 30 yard roll offs, coordinated all food services, provided boat support, and donated four raffle prizes. 

The National Parks Conservation Association provided funding towards food, water bottles, and other funds through private donors.  Lake Mead NRA provided the location and overall guidance and direction for the event, provided tools and equipment, coordinated news releases, registration, and clean-up sites, and provided employees to help with the clean-up event.

This successful event will be used in the future to help organize more events like this that help to keep Lake Mead National Recreation Area beautiful and clean.

[Submitted by Nancy Bernard, Volunteer Program Manager]


San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (CA)
National Poetry Month Celebrated With Maritime Poem Webpage

During April's National Poetry Month, San Francisco Maritime NHP is celebrating the lyrical side of the sea with a special “Maritime Poem in Your Pocket” webpage.

This month, we suggest that you print out one of these short poems (or choose one of your own) and add it to your pocket! Throughout the month, park staff will also be recording their favorite sea-tinged poems and posting them to the park’s website and Facebook page.

We invite you to enjoy ranger Christine Baird's reading of the classic “A Wanderer's Song” by John Masefield – and challenge you to share a poem of your own.

[Submitted by Lynn Cullivan, lynn_cullivan@nps.gov, 415-561-7006]

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CAREER OPPORTUNITIES



Great Smoky Mountains National Park
GL-0025-9 Protection Rangers (Laterals)

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking candidates to fill one or more full-time GL-9 protection positions in the Cades Cove area.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers participate in the full spectrum of frontcountry and backcountry emergency services operations, including law enforcement, SAR, EMS and wildland fire. The park offers outstanding opportunities to develop and maintain a broad set of traditional ranger skills. There are also opportunities for advanced training, including participation in the FTEP program. 

Affordable housing is available in the surrounding communities of Blount County, including the city of Maryville. These communities offer schools, churches, grocery and national retail stores as well as a wide variety of entertainment opportunities.  Knoxville is less than an hour’s drive from the park.

Only candidates who possess Type I or Type II NPS law enforcement commission are eligible to apply. 

To apply, please send the following documents to steve_spanyer@nps.gov by COB on April 25th: 

  • OF-612, Optional Application for Employment; resume; or equivalent
  • Copy of most recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action
  • Verification of valid NPS Law Enforcement Commission
  • Copy of most recent performance appraisal
  • A list of professional and personal references, including contact information

For more information, you can contact Supervisory Park Ranger Steve Spanyer at 865-448-4105.

Intermountain Region
GS-0341-11 Administrative Officer (Detail)

Dates: 04/09/2014 - 04/30/2014

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in Southern Colorado is seeking interested candidates for a detail as the park's administrative officer. The EOD date will be on or about June 15th, but the date is negotiable.

Applications for this detail will be accepted from April 9th through April 30th.  Information regarding this detail provided below:    

This announcement is for individuals who wish to be considered for a temporary detail opportunity of 90-120 days. This is strictly a detail opportunity, not a temporary promotion.


The person selected for this detail will serve as the xhief of the administrative division and as a member of the park's leadership team along with the superintendent and other division chiefs. The detailee will manage and coordinate the full range of administrative services in support of park operations with the assistance of a GS-7 administrative assistant.  In addition to administrative operations, the detailee will manage the park's fee program with the assistance of a GS-7 fee specialist and three to four seasonal visitor use assistants.

The park has a base budget of approximately $2.2M and a staff of about 40 (20 permanents and 20 summer seasonals). About $600,000 in recreational fees are collected annually.

Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve includes just over 149,000 acres and has a range of habitats and environments, from the tallest dunes in North America to 13,000-foot alpine peaks.  Eighty-five percent of the park is either designated or proposed wilderness.  Recreational opportunities abound.  The park receives an average of 250,000 visitors annually.  Summers feature temperatures in the 70s, afternoon rains in late summer, and plenty of sunshine.  

The nearest town is Alamosa (pop 9,000), 35 miles from park headquarters and the park's housing area.  It offers a full variety of services -- stores, restaurants, motels, medical services, and religious institutions -- as well as the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center.  Alamosa is home to Adams State University and to a branch of Trinidad State Junior College.  An airport in Alamosa provides daily commercial flights to Denver.

During this detail, up to one half of the selectee's salary may be paid by Great Sand Dunes, with the remaining portion paid by the selectee's home park. All travel and per diem costs will also be paid by Great Sand Dunes. Government housing, fully furnished including washer/dryer, is available. This is a detail opportunity, not a temporary promotion. Selectee’s salary will remain the same.

Please contact Lisa Carrico at (719) 378-6311 with additional questions about the detail opportunity.

To apply, interested individuals should discuss the opportunity with their first-line supervisors and obtain concurrence from their superintendents or managers prior to applying. Once approval is gained, interested individuals should submit a one-page resume detailing work history, educational background, and any special qualifications they might possess.

Resumes should be submitted by electronic mail to:  Lisa Carrico at Lisa_Carrico@nps.gov, no later than April 30th.

[Submitted by Lisa Carrico, Superintendent, lisa_carrico@nps.gov, (719) 378-6311]