The Morning Report

Monday, April 27, 2015

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INCIDENTS



Editor’s Desk
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NEWS AND NOTES



Statue Of Liberty National Monument (NJ,NY)
Reading Rainbow Shines A Light On Immigration

Ellis Island visitors received a surprise visit from actor LaVar Burton last Tuesday as he filmed an episode on immigration for his new telecast.

Reading Rainbow, a leading education program for three decades, has engaged generations of children on literature related to select topics. Burton and his production team wanted to film a chapter on immigration, pointing to the continued importance of immigration in the lives of younger audiences.

The production team filmed a “From Ellis Island to Tenement Museum” segment, recreating an experience many immigrants encountered roughly a century ago. Burton visited Ellis Island to showcase the medical and legal procedures.

Burton spoke of the boat ride, the challenges in communication, and the different feelings that immigrants shared with settling in a new land. Earlier in the morning, the crew of Reading Rainbow stopped at the Tenement Museum. Burton met with Victoria Confino, a 14-year old Sephardic Jewish girl living in the Lower East Side in the year 1916, as portrayed by an actress.

While the show acknowledged that about 100 million Americans can trace their ancestry to Ellis Island, Burton also recognized the contributions that immigration has made today. The 2010 United States Census, as an example, points out one in four citizens are either immigrants or children of immigrants.

The episode will also feature interviews of people with a more recent relationship to immigration. Overall, Burton spoke of the diversity of immigrants coming to the United States, past and present, and is encouraging young viewers to share their own personal immigration stories.

Reading Rainbow has helped the “Find Your Park” campaign take on additional meaning for the multiple generations of fans who have enjoyed the show. The segment will be broadcasted in August 2015.  

Ellis Island is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. From 1892 to 1924, Ellis Island was America's largest and most active immigration station, where over 12 million immigrants were processed. On average, the inspection process took approximately 3-7 hours. For the vast majority of immigrants, Ellis Island truly was an "Island of Hope" - the first stop on their way to new opportunities and experiences in America. For the rest, it became the "Island of Tears,” a place where families were separated and individuals were denied entry into this country. Come and visit us to retrace the immigrant journey today. 

[Submitted by Peter Wong, Peter_Wong@nps.gov, 646-356-2180]


Pacific West Region
Passing Of Budget Analyst Sophia Walker

Sophia Walker, long-time budget analyst for Pacific West Region, passed away on April 19th. 

A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area most of her life, Sophia had worked in the Pacific West Regional Comptroller's Office since 1999.

Sophia graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco and attended the City College of San Francisco when she began her career with the federal government in 1980.  While still attending high school, she worked as a part-time student aid with the U.S. Forest Service Regional Office.  She worked there in several administrative positions, becoming a management analyst in 1989.

Sophia remained in that role with the Forest Service until moving to the National Park Service in 1999.  She received numerous awards during her time with both agencies for her exemplary service.

Sophia was much loved by her colleagues as a very caring and conscientious individual who was always ready "with a smile and willingness" to help her coworkers.  Sophia was widely regarded as a solution-oriented employee.  

She is survived by her five sisters and three brothers and a host of many other relatives.  She will be deeply missed by all.

George Washington Memorial Parkway (MD)
David Rodriguez Selected As Administrative Support Assistant

David Omar Rodriguez has been selected for the position of administrative support assistant in the superintendent’s office at George Washington Memorial Parkway in northern Virginia.

His appointment was one of a number of personnel changes in the park, which recently reorganized to better meet the needs of the millions of people who visit the urban park while continuing to operate within its current fiscal appropriations. 

 “The management team and I went through a rigorous interview process to ensure the best candidates were selected not only leading up to the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, but for the next decade,” said Superintendent Alex Romero. “I believe we have accomplished that with all the selections we have made.”

David was born in Brooklyn, New York, before moving to Puerto Rico. Through a temporary summer employment program for minors, he started working at the age of 15 in what became his hometown of Ceiba, a small town located on the island’s east coast.

In his early twenties he joined the National Guard, becoming a military police officer as well as a certified armorer while serving on U.S. Army installations in Central America. Once his service was done, he finished both an associate degree in information management and a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

David’s first job with the National Park Service was with the maintenance division at San Juan National Historic Site.  He left the park as an interpretive ranger working on the front line as well as developing curriculum based education programs and leading Youth Conservation Corps employees. 

His hobbies are reading science fiction and fantasy novels, writing short stories, listening to music, hiking, playing with his dogs, and going to plays. 

“This is a new adventure for me,” he says, “and I look forward to working with the team at GWMP as we approach the Centennial of the National Park Service.”

[Submitted by Aaron LaRocca, Chief of Staff ]


George Washington Memorial Parkway (MD)
Stephen Pisani Named Park’s Historical Architect

Stephen Pisani has been selected as the historical architect for George Washington Memorial Parkway in northern Virginia.

His appointment was one of a number of personnel changes in the park, which recently reorganized to better meet the needs of the millions of people who visit the urban park while continuing to operate within its current fiscal appropriations. 

 “The management team and I went through a rigorous interview process to ensure the best candidates were selected not only leading up to the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, but for the next decade,” said Superintendent Alex Romero. “I believe we have accomplished that with all the selections we have made.”

Stephen grew up in Bedford, Massachusetts. He first joined the National Park Service in 1985 as a seasonal employee, working summers on Northeast Regional Office preservation crews while studying architectural engineering at the Franklin Institute of Boston and Boston Architectural Center.

After a few years working in the private sector, he returned to the Northeast Regional Office, spending several years working as a carpenter on preservation projects throughout the Northeast Region.  There he honed his skills on reading historic buildings and acquired a respect and sensitivity for maintaining the integrity of historic fabric. 

In 1995, Stephen applied his years of education and hands-on preservation experience to join the group of historical architects and conservators based at the region’s Historic Architecture, Conservation and Engineering Center based in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Stephen’s 20 years as a historical architect have been dedicated to the ongoing stewardship of many key structures in Northeast Region. Travelling extensively, Stephen’s work has taken him as far north as Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada, south to many parks in Virginia, including his recent work on the Appomattox Manor at Petersburg National Battlefield, the preservation of multiple structures at Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park, and as far west as Seneca Falls, New York, overseeing the rehabilitation work on the Wesleyan Chapel at Women’s Rights National Historical Park.

Stephen is still fascinated by old buildings and is passionate about his work, bringing his wide experience in conditions assessment, preservation and construction oversight. He still enjoys picking up his tools and lending a hand when he can.

Stephen enjoys travelling with his wife Caroline throughout the USA and overseas, visiting historic properties along the way. In addition, Stephen enjoys cooking and playing music with friends.

“George Washington Memorial Parkway is a jewel within the National Capital Region,” he says. “I look forward to working with the team at GWMP as we approach the Centennial of the National Park Service and contribute to the stewardship of the Park’s natural and cultural resources for the next generation.”

[Submitted by Aaron LaRocca, Chief of Staff]


Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs
Weekly Legislative Activities Report

The Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs puts out weekly reports on hearings, new legislation and other activities on the Hill. This report covers activities in Congress for the week ending April 24th.

In order to obtain the full text of any of the bills that appear below, click on the following link: http://thomas.loc.gov/ . That will take you to Thomas, the Library of Congress legislative tracking system. Enter the bill number in the “Search Bill Text” block, being sure to also click on the “Bill Number” option below the block.

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New Public Laws

Nothing to report.

Floor Action

Nothing to report. 


Committee Activity

On April 22nd, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing on the reauthorization of and potential reforms to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  Michael Conner, Deputy Secretary, testified for the department.

New Bills Introduced

The following new bills of interest to the NPS were introduced:

  • S. 1007 (Portman, R-OH), a bill to amend the Dayton Aviation Heritage Preservation Act of 1992 to rename a site of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.
  • S. 1024 (Kirk, R-IL), a bill to authorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 1923 (Ryan, D-OH-13), a bill to require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to appoint a coordinator for issues relating to harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 1949 (Butterfield, D-NC-1), to provide for the consideration and submission of site and design proposals for the National Liberty Memorial approved for establishment in the District of Columbia.
  • H.R. 1991 (Bishop, R-UT-1), to extend the authority of the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 2014 (Kind, D-WI-3), to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to carry out programs and activities that connect Americans, especially children, youth, and families, with the outdoors.
  • S. 1069 (Blumenthal, D-CT), to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow a credit against income tax for qualified conservation contributions which include National Scenic Trails.
  • S. 1074 (Baldwin, D-WI), to clarify the status of the North Country, Ice Age, and New England National Scenic Trails as units of the National Park System, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1078 (Heinrich, D-NM), to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to carry out programs and activities that connect people in the United States, especially children, youth, and families, with the outdoors.

Upcoming Committee Activity

On April 29th, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on “Flying Under the Radar: Securing Washington, D.C. Airspace.”  The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. in room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  Robert MacLean, Chief of the US Park Police, will testify for the department.

On April 29th, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold an oversight hearing on “Zero Accountability: The Consequences of Politically Driven Science.”  The hearing will take place at 2:00 pm in Room 1334.  The Department has not been asked to testify.

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For additional information, please visit the Legislative and Congressional Affairs Office website at http://www.nps.gov/legal/

[Submitted by Andrea Dekoter]


CAREER OPPORTUNITIES



Katmai National Park & Preserve (AK)
GS-1640-12 Chief Of Maintenance

Katmai National Park and Preserve is seeking candidates for the position of the park’s chief of maintenance.

Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

Please call Superintendent Diane Chung at 907-246-2120 or at the park headquarters phone number at 907-246-3305.

It closes on May 7th.
 More Information...
Death Valley National Park (CA)
GS-1101-9/11 Fee And Revenue Business Manager

Death Valley National Park has issued an announcement for a fee and revenue business manager.

Click on the link below for a copy of the announcement with full details on duties, area information, and procedures for applying.

It closes on May 8th.
 More Information...
Big Bend National Park (TX)
GS-13 Chief Of Administration (Detail)

Big Bend National Park is seeking candidates for a detail of 90 to 120 days as the park’s administrative officer. The announcement closes on May 1st. The EOD date will be May 26th or June 1st.

The selectee will be responsible for overall management of Big Bend National Park’s business services, including information technology, budget and finance, property, internal controls and routine HR duties that fall outside SHRO responsibility. She/he will work closely with SHRO and MABO staff duty-stationed at Big Bend, as well as administrative staff in other park divisions. 

The AO directly or indirectly supervises seven employees.  Other duties include management of the housing program (over 110 units in five locations), and park A/OPC (charge card program coordinator).  The selectee will also be working closely with the superintendent and management team on the completion of the park’s annual assurance statement. 

During this detail, salary will continue to be paid by the selectee’s home park.  Travel and per diem will be paid by Big Bend National Park.  Government housing will be utilized for this assignment. 

Interested individuals should discuss the opportunity with their first-line supervisor and obtain concurrence from the Superintendent or Manager 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.  Please include your current title, series, and grade on your resume.  Resumes should be submitted by electronic mail to Cindy_Ott-Jones@nps.gov no later than May 1st. 

This is a detail opportunity, not a temporary promotion.  Selectee’s salary will remain the same.  Please contact Superintendent Cindy Ott-Jones, Cindy_Ott-Jones@nps.gov at 432-477-1102 or Administrative Officer Ken Bigley, Ken_Bigley@nps.gov, at 432-477-1105 with additional questions about the detail opportunity.

Zion National Park (UT)
GL-0025-9 Protection Ranger (Detail)

Zion National Park is seeking a permanent, subject-to-furlough GL-9 protection ranger for a three-month detail (June through August) in the park’s Canyon District.

A Type I or II LE commission is required.  EMT-B certification and structural fire and technical SAR qualifications are desirable but not required.  Housing is available in the historic Grotto House.

Zion National Park sees approximately 3.2 million visitors a year, with about 90% of the visitation occurring in the small developed area of Zion Canyon.  Zion Canyon contains two of the three campgrounds for the park, a concession hotel and four employee dorms, the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, Zion Human History Museum, concession run horse rides and shuttle system. 

The park has a progressive technical rescue program and its own multi-level transporting ambulance and structural fire brigade. The park provides mutual aid upon request to the local town of Springdale/Rockville for law enforcement, EMS and structural fire support.  Zion sees 4,000 incidents annually with over 275 medicals, 80 SARs, 30 structural fire call outs and 80 agency assists.  After hours callouts for the park (medicals, structural fire, alarm calls etc.) average 50 a year.  

Located in Washington, Iron, and Kane counties in southwestern Utah, Zion National Park encompasses some of the most scenic canyon country in the United States. The park is characterized by high plateaus, a labyrinth of narrow, deep, sandstone canyons, and striking rock towers and mesas. The North Fork of the Virgin River has carved a spectacular gorge through Zion Canyon, where sandstone walls rise 2,000 to 3,000 feet above the canyon floor. The southern part of the park is a lower desert area, with colorful mesas bordered by rocky canyons and washes. The northern sections of the park are higher plateaus covered by forests.

If you are interested in the position at Zion National Park please submit a resume and your most recent SF-50 by COB May 14th to Janel Basset, Human Resources, Zion NP.

Intermountain Region
GS-0190-11/12 Cultural Anthropology Program Manager (Detail)

Intermountain Region has issued an announcement for a 90 to 120 day detail as the region’s cultural anthropology program manager.

The person selected will serve as the regional cultural anthropology program manager. She/he will direct an intricate program of cultural anthropology/ethnography activities involving sensitive and complex topics that may impact a wide variety of park management activities. The selectee advises park and regional management on natural (flora and fauna) and cultural (sites, structures, objects, and landscapes) ethnographic resources, and arranges and conducts ethnographic research for planning documents and resource studies.  Program management activities include developing work plans, schedules, scopes of work, and cost estimates for ethnographic research projects; negotiating cooperative agreements, contracts, and interagency agreements to effectively carry out resource stewardship goals; and assisting staff in parks, regions, and support offices by providing direct professional and programmatic advice and support.  This position requires excellent verbal and written communication skills and a commitment to developing and maintaining effective working relationships with American Indian tribes and other distinct cultural communities with traditional associations to IMR park lands and resources. 

The EOD date is set for May 11th but is negotiable.

Interested individuals should submit a one-page resume detailing work history, educational background, and any special qualifications they might possess. Please include your current title, series, and grade on your resume.  Resumes should be submitted by electronic mail to Karen Wurzburger, karen_wurzburger@nps.gov, Contact her with any questions about this detail opportunity.

The announcement closes on May 1st.