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Author Topic: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser  (Read 556 times)

punxnotdead

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2006, 08:56:28 AM »

 
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I think these places help bring more awareness to the general public of the value of the natural world that would otherwise not be in their.  They don't have to be dirtbag climbers to vote for someone who cares about our White Mountains, or any national park or forest for that matter.
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RANT- But most of these places no longer exist (except for the obvious ones).  So what you are saying is that the AMC builds these monstrosities so that we are more aware of the natural world?  What a crock of shiznit!  The money hungry hippie wannabe poser trust fund babies should focus more on free lectures, tours etc. if public awareness was their main goal.  I cant believe that a $100 a night lodging, or lecture, or mini class, is going right back into the environment.

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Tomcat

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2006, 09:02:49 AM »

Hmmm.D-man,if it was me,I'd want to know how much people that work at the Observatory are paid before I would be fund raising for them.Some people make a pretty handsome living out of it I believe.You work a shift of a week or two,and not too strenuous at that and then get that much time off,great gig if you can get it.

I find it interesting that they charge fees for the outreach programs and such.If you stop and think about this they are not doing the weather observation as a public service,they put a price tag on it like everything else.My point is that you want to look at where the 1.1 million dollars goes besides heating oil.A lot of it goes to pretty fat"non- profit" jobs that are more than most people here in the valley make.

Non-profits. The AMC is one,the CEO makes over 250,000.00 a year,way to not turn a profit.The Highland Center was part of a thirty million dollar fundraising campaign,way not to turn a profit...

I can't imagine what the connection between a hotel from the 1800's and today is in anyone's mind.Do you think that we should clear cut all of Crawford Notch? That went on then too.In the 1800's people took a train to the mountains and needed to be"right there".Those days are over,people have cars.

We differ greatly in our views about the need for "interpretive centers" and the like. I resent the one in Acadia,and dispise the Highland Center's gross arrogance.I do not approve of the " parking pass '' program either.The largest corporate supporter of the parking pass program is Disney.What does that tell you?



The Highland Center could serve the same function up the road a couple of miles into Bretton Woods,but the AMC thinks they own and operate the White Mountains,and they can do what they want.When the forest service holds those exhaustive input sessions that they formulate the master plan from,practically no one represents the common man,or the average climber.There are special interest groups there out the ying,and the AMC is always at the head of the list,then come groups like ATV clubs,rockhound clubs etc.And then loggers and the like.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2006, 09:04:31 AM by Tomcat »
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benlewis

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2006, 11:03:34 PM »

Let us not forget about all the trail work that the AMC does to help us all access these beautiful mountains we live and play in.  I work at Lakes of the Clouds and I have to say that we try our hardest to keep people on the trail and off the delicate alpine life.  Our naturalist and researchers do a program every night and try to educate loads of goofers that otherwise would traipse all over the diapensia and whatnot.  Maybe you are right that some of these people would not be in the alpine zone at all if not for the huts, which would lessen the impact dramatically, but I think the huts also help bring people in that would not be able to enjoy the beauty of it all otherwise.  And this also educates these people so they can hopefully enjoy and care for the alpine zone for years to come.  And to get back on topic, I go in the observatory all the time, and there a bunch of great guys in their doing worthwhile and intersting work.  They only changes to the summit should be getting rid of everything except the observatory (including the parking lot and road!).  And yes, even as an AMC friend, I too think the Highland Center is totally out of whack.  It is so different than all other AMC establishments, and represents a whole different crazy side to the AMC.
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old_school

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2006, 11:16:11 PM »


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I cant believe that a $100 a night lodging, or lecture, or mini class, is going right back into the environment.
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Amen brotha!

We just got back from a 4 day trip to the Gunks and they are charging $15 a head to climb for the day. I ranted about this several months ago when I thought the price of admission was $10 (which seemed to be high at the time). To hike or bike up at the Gunks it will run you $6....huh? How can they justify a $9 difference??? Hire three more rangers to stand around at the overpass to drink coffee and bust people without passes? I understand the rescue thing....but $15 a head is robbery.

How much of this cash is fed back into maintaning anchors, trail work, (nasty shitter?)? Where does this money go but up???

I will step down from my soap box and quiet my ranting...I just don't like the direction that all this is going!
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jnut

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2006, 06:18:47 AM »


why make a parralel between the word 'nonprofit' and the necessity to have no budget? there is a board of directors and built in checks and balances that were responsible for the decision to hire and pay that person (the AMC CEO), to build that building, etc. there are years and years of planning to back it up. thats not to say i agree with it, but these organizations are built very similarly to corporate america because that is all our culture knows.  the only way to get a good professional manager/director type is to pay them professional wages, so i actually feel somewhat better to know an organizaiton is paying someone the right amount of money to manage such a huge budget.

again, i am not defending the decisions being made, but pointing out that a legitimate well run nonprofit can still run a multi million dollar budget. and that goes hand in hand with paying professionals what they deserve. i would venture to guess that ceo took some kind of paycut in order to do that job anyway. if there are fingers to be pointed, it should be at their board of directors, and the strategic plan that was probably put into action years ago approving the site and size of that buildling.

as far as the observatory, i know they are struggling immensely financially, which could mean the cutting of services, etc over coming years. which is heartbreaking because i have already seen them lose some of the young and upcoming scientists doing air quality and other research - to companies that are able to pay them more.  and the observatory is in no way responsible for the road or the building. as a nonprofit they are guests up there and it is your park/forest services that are behind it. 

just be careful where fingers are being pointed and generalizations are being made.

janet

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Dave

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2006, 07:57:46 AM »


Let us not forget about all the trail work that the AMC does to help us all access these beautiful mountains we live and play in.


Is the trailwork supposed to make up for the absolute dump that is found around the Lake of the Clouds hut?
Talk about trashing the enviroment! The AMC has way to much control of what goes on in the white mountains. Get rid of the huts and the highland center resort! 250,000 for the head of the AMC. If that is right it sounds like a pretty good gig.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 08:00:11 AM by Dave »
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Tomcat

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2006, 08:15:46 AM »

If the Observatory is"struggling immensely financially"they are doing a pretty good job of hiding it.They have moved three times in North Conway,starting in the building that now houses North Country Fair Jewelers,then into the building that now has the Childrens Museum,that got remodeled by Carl Hanson,a high end builder from Lake Winnipesaukee,and now on to the big brick building that used to be a bank across from Eastern Slope Inn.Each time bigger and better.

And we shall just overlook the multimillion dollar sky laser project with the security gate there in Bartlett.

Jnut,the need for a suitable manager at the AMC was not lost on me.That said something very odd went on there with the Highland Center,I have met a great many former,and some current,AMC members that are at odds with what the AMC did there,and some have posted up here. I think overall the thing is a flop,the parking lot remains almost empty all the time.In fact I have not met anyone that approves of it.

I get weary of that AMC attitude that without them to interpret everything for us all we would just be lost.Great contrast between Benlewis's post and Dave's earlier one about those "summit hosts".
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Dave

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2006, 08:20:38 AM »

The Salvation Army's Commissioner Todd Bassett receives a salary of only $13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2 billion dollar organization.


250,000 for the ceo of the Ask for Money club is a very good gig!!!

No further comment necessary!!!
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Mike_B

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2006, 01:50:56 PM »

I don't know enough about the AMC to take a position on this one, but the Salvation Army is the exception rather than the rule on charity organizations. First, it is structured very differently and is in fact an evangelical protestant church, according to one source. Bassett is on a mission from God, quite literally, and besides, I'm sure he gets some support from his congregation for his worldly purposes.
Other non-profit CEOs salaries: "Brian Gallagher, President of the United Way receives a $375,000 base salary (plus numerous expensive benefits) and the Red Cross President Marsha Evans receives $450,000 plus benefits."
see http://www.conservativetruth.org/archives/tombarrett/12-01-02.shtml (perhaps where you got your figure for Barrett?)
Just thought I'd put out more of the story...
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Dave

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2006, 03:04:15 PM »

Thier religous affiliation has nothing to do with anything! They are one of the largest charitable orginizations in the world and will help anyone. The Wall St. Journal has also rated them as one of the best charities to give to because of thier low expenses. United Way is rated as one of the worst.

This is getting off course though. The point is 250,000 for the ceo of the AMC is rediculous. We can do fine in the mountains without them. Alpine stewards, take a walk around lake of the clouds and see what great stewards they are. The area around the hut is a dump!
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DLottmann

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2006, 10:25:07 PM »

...This is getting off course though...

You're telling me... I thought I started a post seeking help with a fundraiser for the MWO, and this has turned into an AMC thing... oh well... I guess it's all conected somehow...
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Sieve

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2006, 10:01:37 AM »

Very interesting debate. The AMC clearly evokes passions on both sides, but especially among those of you who want it out of the Whites completely, want the huts gone, and resent the intrusion of city people who come up to "your" mountains for the weekend. You have established a convenient hierarchy in your own minds where you, alone, are endowed with the right to enjoy the mountains, and where only you are consientious/knowledgable enough to practive Leave no Trace techniques that minimize the impact on "your" mountains.

I often see pitons or a bolts sticking out of an otherwise unsullied rock surface, or a piece of colored webbing frozen to the side of a picturesque gully where someone set up a rappell. Or chalk marks up and down the rock. I suppose this isnt littering in your minds?

The real question here is one that was asked ealrier but was lost in all of the rhetorical posturing and demagoguery: Do the benefits that the AMC affords outweigh the costs? In order to answer this question we need to take an honest look at both sides. Let's start with the costs.

Costs (to name a few):
*Increased foot traffic in alpine environments
*"Domestication" of wilderness by bringing 100/night stays with full meals to the alpine zone and below, and all of the environmental and human costs that come out of that
*Increased motor traffic in the valley

Benefits (to name a few):

*Increased awareness of the mountains among a population that might otherwise not have such an experience
*Focus on stewardship and Leave No Trace that educates people new to the mountains on how to behave

I understand that the increased foot traffic can do damage, the auto traffice is an annoyance (you must hate my out-of-state plates) and that the AMC has "changed"the landscape  of the Whites. But I believe there is a far greater good that you are missing here, and that is what the AMC has done to help create a culture of conservation and respect for the mountains. For many people, the AMC (and similar organizations: the GMC in VT, for example) have been the entre into an incredible new world of andventure that would otherwise have been unattainable given the requirements of their daily city lives. The AMC acts as a entry-point for people to discover the beauty, charm and power of the mountains that are just afew hours drive from their home.

Most importantly - and this is my point - these city people go home wiser for their experiences. They make better citizens - engaged in the issues of conservation and the numerous threats to our wilderness that come from pollution, development and the policies of this administration. Not every person who takes an AMC trip will be a changed person. Apallachian Money CLub - call it what you want. You are right - the AMC is selling. They are selling the mountains to a population who, unlike you guys, has not bought in. And by broadening that sale, they hope, by their mission, to broaden through experience and awareness the conservation efforts that will keep these and other mountains around and unsullied for futiure generations. Like any beauracracy, they make mistakes. And the AMC must constantly be pushed to practice what it preaches (the Highland Center is the perfect example of a mistake in promoting the culture of consumption that the AMC should oppose). They must be held accountable for their huts and the impact, such as the mess you guys cite at Lakes.  But I believe these overall benefits are huge and this mission is vital.


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benlewis

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2006, 11:20:48 AM »

I don't know why everyone keeps saying the lakes of the clouds area is a dump.  Any place with as high traffic looks the same, and the way it looks isnt bad.  There was some construction debris for a little while, but that is all cleaned up and I like to think that we run a pretty tight ship on the cleanup over there.  And by the way, I am writing this from the observatory right now, and they are doing all kinds of good stuff up here.  If you want to complain about the top of Washington, lets talk about the hundreds of tourists driving up the auto road and the cafeteria full of goofers.
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Tomcat

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2006, 08:41:47 AM »

Yo sieve,nice try to paint the people that are opposed to some of the actions and AMC programs as elistists that want "city people" out of "your" mountains, but you are dead wrong my friend. It's the AMC that thinks they are "their" mountains,not the people that live here. I have not met a soul in the local climbing community that resents people from away coming here,hiking here,climbing here,not one.I could not care less what license plates you have.

I don't even mind the Pinkham Notch camp.It adds color and a neat twist to the Whites,but I do mind the prevailing attitude that both you and Benlewis have that everyone needs to be educated about the proper way to enjoy the mountains.Ben works for the AMC,do you? Are you a member? Another poster here is a guide.You guys are all about educating others,and seem convinced that is the only way to get there,take a course,see a seminar,get a lecture,join a club. And of course,the AMC way is the right way isn't it?

I came to climbing and enjoying the mountains a different way.I think that if you have it in your soul to be in the mountains then you will learn all that you need without someone serving it to you on a platter,for a price.I don't believe for a minute that everyone should have a mountain experience sampling to see if maybe it stirs their soul,I knew from my early teens I wanted to live and play in high wild places.Ben's posts are pleasant enough,but he seldom misses calling the unwashed masses goofers,and that is so typical of the AMC attitude.

I have friends that come up and drive to the top of Mount Washington and coast down to the huts where they stay overnight and then coast down to the base.Without the AMC this would not be possible,I'd prefer that.I think you should have to be able and willing to hike up first,call that elitist if it suits your need,but it's not,it's part of the magic and pull of the mountains.

I learned to climb the old fashioned way,we toproped the six climbs that we could get a rope over,bought some nuts and biners and slings and started leading.We made tons of mistakes,and I would say it was the most dangerous part of my climbing life,and I would not trade it for all the courses and lectures in the world.Ditto the mountains,we made mistakes,had false starts,epics,nightmare descents after dark.Some of my best memories.

So I am OK that the AMC has a lock on the Whites at certain points,but in their unbridled and unchecked zeal to educate the "goofers" they have grabbed up Crawford Notch now too,as if their way is the only way.And they see fit not just to have a hut system,but to arrogantly stand on the very summits and lecture to anyone who happens by.That just sucks.

Tom
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Dave

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Re: Mount Washington Observatory Fundraiser
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2006, 10:06:50 AM »

Tom, Spent the last day thinking about how I would respond to Seive and Benlewis but you have done a great job! There is really nothing I could add to what you have said other than you summed up my feelings on the issue beautifully. Dave R
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