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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Having seen some of the good road movers in action, I'm sure you could just back up the trailer to the track and winch the cars onto the trailer. That was the painfully obvious answer when I first looked at the side view.....


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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:09 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
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Location: S.F. Bay Area
Hold on. So this equipment is 200 feet away from the active rail of a preservation railroad?


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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:36 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:58 am
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Quote:
Hold on. So this equipment is 200 feet away from the active rail of a preservation railroad?


On the other side of a CSX mainline. However, NYSW is closer and should be receptive to helping.

Looks like an easy move, doesn't it? I've been deeply involved in around thirty road moves, five flatcar moves, and plenty of work over temporary track, so I know full well how easy it should be. With any other property owner this stuff could roll right out with a bunch of volunteer work and some second hand track material.

I don't envy these guys, having to work with the Children's Museum.

Steve Hunter


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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:39 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:29 am
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Well....Just going from the overhead picture above, you should be able to build a ramp track. if you go with a pretty steep grade, you can be at the track level by the time you get the diner to the far side of the parking lot.....that puts the other end at about the first drive way. Then, if you lay down some gravel first, you can "spin" the car to line up for the approach to the NYSW track, with only a minimal, temporary, removal of the fencing and poles,etc in the paking lot.
do that three times, say two to three days work, not counting prep time for the ramp parts and such....and of course getting the use of two good size dozers or loaders. Total cost at a guess, under $10K?...that would be with equipment rental,permits,etc.
Of course, that all depends on permissions from the railroad,museum,etc.
I don't see the platform being a problem, as it was extended around the car for access to it....


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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:31 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
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Wow - the plot has really thickened:
Utica Observer-Dispatch (newspaper): Children's Museum may have dodged fines by not filing deed - Board members and the director of the Children's Museum might have dodged hefty fines and penalties through sheer, dumb luck (March 30, 2014)

Museum Director Marlene Brown, who is the cause of the U&MV Chapter's problem, claims to have taken possession of 60% of the museum's building back in 2011..... however, she never filed the real estate transfer paperwork, nor did she pay taxes on the transaction. She and the Museum Board also failed to get approval from the NY State Attorney General’s Office and the required court order for the transfer of assets.

A short quote of the article:
Quote:
Numerous interviews and examination of documents related to the purported transfer of a 60 percent share of the museum’s $500,000 building to Director Marlene Brown appear to show the transaction never was finalized........ In September of [2011], a limited liability company was formed in which Brown held a 60 percent share and the museum, which owned the building, a 40 percent share.

A document signed by then-board President John Nogas stated that Brown was owed about $250,000 in back pay and the building share was compensation.

Nogas now says he feels “duped” by Brown.

“It just seems I didn’t understand what was going on with the museum at the time,” he said. “I thought this was all on the up and up. Now I feel I should have asked more questions.”

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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:53 am 

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Here are two more articles by Utica, NY Observer Dispatch newspaper reporter Elizabeth Cooper, describing irregularities at the Children's Museum of History, Science & Technology in Utica, NY, and the "museum board's two warring factions":

Children's Museum board members say Brown suspended; she disagrees - A small group of members of the Children's Museum Board of Directors say they have suspended Executive Director Marlene Brown. Brown said she is not suspended and accused the leader of the group, Christopher Gordon, of “committing fraud, out and out.” (April 3, 2014)

and

Children's Museum's use of grant funds scrutinized - With the Children's Museum board of directors still in disarray, questions about the organization's finances are being raised, including the use of grant funds. (April 13, 2014)

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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:59 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:07 am
Posts: 588
Thanks for the update(s)....

There are some very questionable practices here -- a 'unanimous' vote for a major action by the board at a meeting which just the minimum quorum was present (3 out of 9) and the practice of giving contractors a partial payment and 'partial donation' for certain projects, particularly if these 'donations' are considered tax deductible.

Just wonder if the museum has a good lawyer because he/she could be busy !

Bob H


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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:15 am
Posts: 569
Heavenrich wrote:
There are some very questionable practices here -- a 'unanimous' vote for a major action by the board at a meeting which just the minimum quorum was present (3 out of 9) and the practice of giving contractors a partial payment and 'partial donation' for certain projects, particularly if these 'donations' are considered tax deductible.


Bob,

I agree with the first part (unanimous vote with 1/3 of board present) could sound fishy, all depends on the organization's By-Laws. My opinion (beyond this) will be held off till I have more info.

The second is not that uncommon option for non-profit projects. The payment covers materials and/or what the vender/contractor can't afford to write off till the following April, and the donation covers equivalent wage for their time, and any donated items. The vendor/contractor just needs to make sure they can justify both halves of the project costs (both the donation and payment) should the IRS come knocking.

Rich C.


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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
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Oneida County, NY District Attorney Scott McNamara confirms that his office is investigating the troubled Utica Children's Museum of History, Science & Technology:

Utica, NY Observer Dispatch newspaper: District Attorney investigating Children's Museum (April 18, 2014)

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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:03 pm 

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Another article by the Utica Observer-Dispatch newspaper about the Utica, NY Children's Museum:
Woes continue for Children's Musem: No fire inspections in last 10 years

A newspaper investigation of fire and codes department records found:
  • No record of any fire inspection in the past 10 years, though state law requires them either annually or every three years, depending on the size of the building.
  • No record of a certificate of occupancy.
  • An unaddressed codes violation from 2008 for problems with cracks and separating brickwork on the west side of the building.
  • No record of elevator inspections since 2012, though they are required every six months.

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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 11:00 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
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An editorial from today's newspaper:
Observer-Dispatch newspaper editorial - OUR VIEW: Close museum, fix problems

Utica, NY Observer-Dispatch newspaper wrote:
Owning up to violations and other miscues at Utica’s Children’s Museum is like a game of hot potato. Those responsible are passing blame from one to another while the situation continues to disintegrate in the shadow of an investigation of the whole operation by the Oneida County District Attorney’s office.

One thing is clear: The museum should be closed until the latest problems are rectified.

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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 1:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2464
The obvious answer is to close the museum, scrap the trains and tear up the track they are on.

That way, work could start on converting that land into a trail. It is widely known that trails are economic drivers and will bring prosperity to the Adirondack region. Utica can lead way. We want trails, not trains!



Allow me to readjust my sarcasm filter...


Rob





Chris Webster wrote:
An editorial from today's newspaper:
Observer-Dispatch newspaper editorial - OUR VIEW: Close museum, fix problems

Utica, NY Observer-Dispatch newspaper wrote:
Owning up to violations and other miscues at Utica’s Children’s Museum is like a game of hot potato. Those responsible are passing blame from one to another while the situation continues to disintegrate in the shadow of an investigation of the whole operation by the Oneida County District Attorney’s office.

One thing is clear: The museum should be closed until the latest problems are rectified.


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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:31 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
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Another update from the Utica Observer-Dispatch newspaper on the Utica, NY Children's Museum:
Fire chief: Children's Museum violations 'negligence' (June 1, 2014)

Utica Observer Dispatch newspaper wrote:
Utica Fire Chief Russell Brooks has slammed the Children’s Museum, calling the number and severity of fire and codes infractions “negligence.”

Now, museum officials have been given an appearance ticket to address the situation and a reinspection is set for Monday, June 16.

“I view this whole package as children being at risk, and also firefighters,” Brooks said.

and
Quote:
Immediately after the May 19 inspection, which took about three hours, the museum announced it would be closing for a month to address the issues.

Over the past few months, there have been successive revelations of possible financial and administrative irregularities at the museum. The Oneida County District Attorney’s Office is investigating the finances.

The institution’s board has split, with half supporting Director Marlene Brown and half calling for her ouster.

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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
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Back in 2010, the Utica, NY Children's Museum's Director Marlene Brown claimed that the U&MV Chapter's equipment posed a safety issue to the museum:

Utica Observer Dispatch newspaper, October 7, 2010 wrote:
"We had a major concern about safety issues,” Brown said. “It’s like a wake-up call. We are responsible for the safety on that property. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything personal.”
Source: Utica Observer-Dispatch newspaper article "Group seeks new home for historic trains" (Oct. 7, 2010)

However, judging by recent news articles, the U&MV Chapter's equipment was actually the safest part of the museum! Judge for yourself by reading these three recent articles:

(1) Time-Warner Cable News: Codes Violations Force Children's Museum in Utica to Temporarily Close (Jun 2, 2014)
Quote:
Fire officials said the museum never registered for a New York state fire inspection, which is mandated by a state law created in 2008. Fire officials conducted a long overdue inspection of the building two weeks ago.

"One of the issues was they ran wiring down a vacant non-use chimney along with a gas line. And that just isn't acceptable," said [Utica Fire Chief Russell Brooks].

(2) Utica Observer Dispatch newspaper: Children's Museum hearing adjourned - A hearing in Utica City Court over the museum's failure to register for fore and codes inspections has been adjourned to a later date. (Jun 9, 2014)
Quote:
Utica Fire Chief Russ Brooks declined to comment on Monday’s hearing, but said that he expects the museum will face “a significant penalty” for not following the state law that requires places of public assembly to register for inspections.

“In the event that does not occur, then there is a message out there to all others that haven’t registered that they will get a pass,” he said.

The follow-up inspection is now set for June 30. Brooks said some of the items in need of change could be quite expensive to fix.


(3) Utica Observer Dispatch: OUR VIEW: City codes, fire rules must be enforced (Jun 15, 2014)
Quote:
Giving the Children’s Museum a pass on its failure to have up-to-date fire and codes inspections when its case returns to Utica City Court next month will not be acceptable. A slap on the wrist will set a precedent and lower the city’s bar on a state law that can make a difference between life and death.

Last Monday, City Court Judge Gerald Popeo adjourned the hearing until July 7, after the museum will have had a follow-up inspection. It was closed after a May 19 inspection that found 26 violations, some quite serious. Before May 19, the museum had not been inspected for at least 10 years, a review of city inspection records found. Museum officials have agreed to fix the problems in time for the second inspection, scheduled for June 30.

Harsh penalties needed

That’s fine, but there needs to be harsh penalties for the gross negligence. The violations — ranging from improper electrical work to lack of an evacuation plan — are particularly egregious since the museum catered to children. The place was a tragedy waiting to happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Update on Utica & Mohawk Valley NRHS Equipment (9/6/2013
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:43 pm 

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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
With all due respect, this thread has devolved from a "can someone save these cars?' thread into a not-very-worthy "bash the Children's Museum" thread.

I would kindly suggest to Brother Webster that most of us are not very interested in the minutiae of how the current situation evolved; rather, we want to know IF saving these cars is 1) a worthy goal, and 2) realistically feasible. The malestrom surrounding this Museum is only important with regards to if the cars will be preserved and how, and/or what might be demanded of any potential saviors as a result (donation? auction? scrap value? etc.).


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