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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 356
Location: Danbury, CT
I would caution anyone wanting to tell the City just how poorly they’ve cared for 503. They’re already in a defensive stance. If they should decide to keep the locomotive, I think an offer to provide some guidance regarding its continued care might be a nice way to leave it. Mileage may vary.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 497
Location: Winters, TX
I think Mr. Ellsworth does an excellent job on summing up the situation to date. His recommendations make sense as well, as long as they can be carried out with all due respect to the council members.

I've harped on the need for Jason to get legal advice in the past, but at this point I think a good PR man would go a long ways as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:47 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 567
Overmod wrote:
The mayor's own statements
Here is a September 17, 2017 New York Times article about Mayor Freeman:
Quote:
PORT ARTHUR, Tex. — On a winding street of older brick homes in the center of town, only one house is without a mountain of debris on the front yard. The house, a two-story at the end of the cul-de-sac, had not been spared by the recent storm, which submerged three-quarters of this coastal industrial city.

The homeowner, Derrick Ford Freeman, has just not had time to worry about his own affairs. He is the mayor of Port Arthur.

Normally the job of mayor is part-time, requiring only one white button-down shirt bearing his name and the city logo. Lately, his mother has been washing that shirt every morning. Mr. Freeman has spent his days racing around the city, lobbying a visiting senator for federal aid one moment, sitting next to a woman sobbing onto his shoulder the next. He has focused on practical matters like restoring trash pickup, reopening schools and finding homes for displaced families.

The mayor knows what residents have endured from Hurricane Harvey because he has gone through it himself. But he has set aside his troubles to look after his city’s much larger ones.

Like many of the people he has comforted, Mr. Freeman is not sure where his family will live when they return to Port Arthur. He does not have flood insurance. In the week after the storm, he, too, was rushing home before sundown in case he had to fend off looters.

Link to the full article: His Home Flooded, the Port Arthur Mayor Puts His City First


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:19 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:34 pm
Posts: 249
Chris Webster wrote:
Overmod wrote:
The mayor's own statements
Here is a September 17, 2017 New York Times article about Mayor Freeman:
Quote:
PORT ARTHUR, Tex. — On a winding street of older brick homes in the center of town, only one house is without a mountain of debris on the front yard. The house, a two-story at the end of the cul-de-sac, had not been spared by the recent storm, which submerged three-quarters of this coastal industrial city.

The homeowner, Derrick Ford Freeman, has just not had time to worry about his own affairs. He is the mayor of Port Arthur.

Normally the job of mayor is part-time, requiring only one white button-down shirt bearing his name and the city logo. Lately, his mother has been washing that shirt every morning. Mr. Freeman has spent his days racing around the city, lobbying a visiting senator for federal aid one moment, sitting next to a woman sobbing onto his shoulder the next. He has focused on practical matters like restoring trash pickup, reopening schools and finding homes for displaced families.

The mayor knows what residents have endured from Hurricane Harvey because he has gone through it himself. But he has set aside his troubles to look after his city’s much larger ones.

Like many of the people he has comforted, Mr. Freeman is not sure where his family will live when they return to Port Arthur. He does not have flood insurance. In the week after the storm, he, too, was rushing home before sundown in case he had to fend off looters.

Link to the full article: His Home Flooded, the Port Arthur Mayor Puts His City First

I said this once and I'll say it again the city of Port Arthur is absolutely broke which would make sense why they're making such a fuss about the #503. I don't think the locals had a fair say on this project Chris as the city mismanaged its own assets. In a perfect world I'd argue it might be better in this case to restore the locomotive locally than outsourcing it to Florida. I'm aware the arrangements have already been made but at what precedent does this give in light of its original fate. If at the least a storage site could be contributed in Port Arthur it might outweigh some of the city council's current concerns. These are clearly emotional people who whether you agree with their political motivations or not care about their city. I'd respectfully ask Mr. Sobczynski to reconsider his decision for I believe he's making a serious mistake.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:08 am
Posts: 407
There is only so much issue spotting that can be done from this vantage point. From 40,000 feet, one can point out possibilities but it is much harder to ascertain probabilities and certainties. Mr. Sobczynski needs boots on the ground. It is my hope that he has consulted with a local Port Arthur-area attorney who could spot all of the issues and give him advice on probable outcomes. Preferably someone with government construction contracting experience. Without accurately knowing the legal status of the three players here, he would be walking into a high-stakes poker game blindfolded.

Mr. Sobczynski has done a great job with this and he is maddeningly close to success, at least much closer than anyone imagined he could get. Wearing his emotions on his sleeve in full view of members of the press, the Port Arthur government, or the community will do him no good and only bring him further from his goal. To borrow a phrase from the NESCO shirts, he's got to "Keep Calm and Steam On".

I sent a very polite email to a coucilmember and may spend some time on a few more emails tonight. I hope it can move the needle on this a little. But now, it is largely all on Mr. Sobczynski's shoulders. I have nothing but admiration and respect for his dedication and effort and wish him the best of luck.


Last edited by Scranton Yard on Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:27 am
Posts: 50
Location: Dallas, Texas
The latest from Port Arthur News. Looks like another storm is a brewing...

http://www.panews.com/2018/03/02/city-c ... f-kcs-503/


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1745
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
I wrote a latter to the Mayor ( cc's to all 8 Council members) politely urging the City to work closely with Jason & Co. as the best way to ensure the locomotives future and address the City's issues in a no cost way to Port Arthur.

I will ask Jason to post it as an update on the Go Fund Me page along with a note asking other supporters to also write a personal letter to the Mayor asking for his and the Council's support for Jason's battle plan.

The more polite letters we can get to them before next Tuesday nights meeting the better.

IMHO-Ross Rowland

P.S. I would post it here except with my limited computer skills I have no clue how to get it from my email sent box to this RyPN thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:15 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 10:28 pm
Posts: 212
co614 wrote:
I wrote a latter to the Mayor ( cc's to all 8 Council members) politely urging the City to work closely with Jason & Co. as the best way to ensure the locomotives future and address the City's issues in a no cost way to Port Arthur.

The more polite letters we can get to them before next Tuesday nights meeting the better.

IMHO-Ross Rowland

P.S. I would post it here except with my limited computer skills I have no clue how to get it from my email sent box to this RyPN thread.



If you are using a Windows-based machine, it's simple. Have a reply box open here ready for typing. Open e-mail. Highlight the relevant text (left click on mouse and drag over text). When you have everything highlighted, hit Control+C. Put cursor in the reply box on this forum. Hit Control+V. That will copy/past all highlighted text.
Kevin


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:59 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:30 am
Posts: 153
If on Windows, you can also right click with your mouse by using the right side button of the mouse. When you have the mouse cursor over what you've highlighted, just right click and select "copy". Then you can right click again where you wish to copy your text to, and select "paste".

Kevin's way is faster and more efficient, but if you forget the keyboard shortcuts from time to time before you get used to it, just fall back on using the right button on your mouse.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:18 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 5:19 pm
Posts: 1745
Location: Pottstown,Pa.
Jason has posted a link to my letter on the Go Fund Me page with a request for others to write to Mayor Freeman prior to next Tuesday nights Council meeting. I would ask that all letters be polite and positive.

Hopefully we can create enough support to ensure a good outcome next Tuesday??

Time will tell.

Ross Rowland


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:47 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 4005
Location: Maine
My letter of support has been emailed to the entire City Council of Port Arthur.
This is a stand worth taking. You folks stood up for the 470, years ago. We can and should, save another locomotive. But here, I'm preaching to the choir.

Members of the City Council:
This letter is to request your attention to the sale and preservation of steam locomotive 503, to the authority of Jason Sobczynski and Nick Hovey. These men have vigorously defended the locomotive as an irreplaceable historic artifact, and have developed a fund to purchase and remove the locomotive from the dangers of weather and vandalism.
Steam locomotives have long ago ceased to be "scrap metal awaiting destruction" to "perishable antiques". A scrapper sees only immediate profit from selling the steel to a dealer, whereas a preservationist sees the longer vision of stabilizing and restoring a piece of history. There exists a generation of Americans who have never experienced the sounds, smells, and magic of operational steam railroading. You can be a part of either filling that void or blindly moving forward without a plan. Hundreds of preservation minded individuals have put their private donations on the preservation course. I ask you, as representatives of the people of Port Arthur, to be bold, make the proper decision, give the 503 a home and the opportunity to inspire and intrigue young Americans once more. If the city is unable to maintain and protect 503, the answer is not to destroy it as a solution.
The former Maine Central #470, was a park display in Maine for 62 years, before deterioration forced the city of Waterville to either sell it as an icon or scrap. Our organization purchased and moved the 240 ton locomotive to a restoration site, where today, it is undergoing a complete rebuild for service. Jason Sobczynski and Nick Hovey and their supporters can do the same. As a City Council, you should do likewise. There is no regret in doing the right thing, though the choice may difficult.
Deny the scrap merchant and do what is right for the sake of historical preservation.
Respectfully submitted,
Richard Glueck
President
New England Steam Corporation

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:46 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 325
Location: Oroville, CA
Here's the email I sent earlier today:
Honorable Derrick Freeman, Mayor
City of Port Arthur, Texas
444 4th. Street
Port Arthur,Texas 77640

Dear Mayor Freeman,

I became aware of the City’s decision to abate the Steam Locomotive 503 display to meet federal environmental standards, and avoid a non-compliance fine by a posting on Railway Preservation News. While I well-understand the dire economic straights most municipalities find themselves in, I also recognize the sentimentality of their citizens. My community has two Locomotives on display in its park, and my hometown also has one. All of these displays have been heavily vandalized in the past few years, and the locomotives themselves are subsuming to the elements. This is the nature of exposure to the elements; when these machines were in use, they rested in engine houses designed to protect them; they weren’t left out in the weather much except when actually operating. The three locomotives I am most familiar with are also victims of budget cuts; there is really no city money to maintain them; the last time they were even painted was by volunteer groups who donated their labor and materials.
Because part of your original solution was to have the 503 scrapped, it gained national attention—these locomotives are far to rare to be relegated to scrap metal; and oftentimes the cost of scrapping exceeds the metal value. None the less, the preservation community acted and nationally raised enough funds to purchase the locomotive intact from the scrap dealer it was sold to so it can be saved, and possibly even restored to operation.
Now the city council is hearing the common community emotional cry of “don’t take our locomotive away!” Unfortunately this cry does not recognize that leaving it on display will take it away by vandalism and exposure. It also doesn’t recognize the ongoing costs of maintaining such a display. This is one situation where it should be recognized that if you really love something, it is sometimes best to let it go.
I urge the city council to approach this issue with a logical mind-set and recognize economically and morally, the best thing is to allow the locomotive to go to preservationists who can afford to provide the care it needs so it can be appreciated by future generations.
Sincerely,
David Dewey
Former Curator, City of Oroville
Oroville, CA

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Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Celebrating the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:40 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 561
The approved bid


Attachments:
Port Arthur locomotive 503 contract approval.pdf [556.76 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 561
one of 2 competing bids

Full disclosure-the FOIA header and some essentially blank pages were omitted from these scans to help it fit within the forum's file requirements


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Port Arthur locomotive 503 non winning bid 1.pdf [635.14 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Trying to save the 503
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 561
The 2nd of the competing bids

Hint-compare all 3 bids to see what is included, and just as important, NOT included, in the various bids.


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Port Arthur locomotive 503 non winning bid 2.pdf [1.07 MiB]
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