I have never net Tom Barnidge, columnist for the Contra Costa Times, but I gather that his assignment is to be sort of curmudgeon-in-chief. In today’s column, he chose to bash Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park:
The wisdom of sequestration is finally beginning to sink in. Until mandated federal budget cuts forced the National Park Service to comb through its expenses with a fine-tooth comb, we had no idea that John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez and Eugene O'Neil National Historic Site in Danville were such massive contributors to the national deficit. If number crunchers are serious about getting the country into the black, they probably should take a good, hard look at that lavish Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Memorial Park in Richmond.
I don’t know where Barnidge gets his information, but perhaps he should seek a more reliable source. What he apparently does not know is that if there was ever a national park done on the cheap, it is Rosie the Riveter. Maybe he was being facetious, but it’s hard to tell. Consider the following:
- Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park is unique among national parks in that the National Park Service owns nothing in the park. All the designated sites are owned by other public agencies or private owners, The National Park Service had to buy nothing.
- The Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park Visitor Center was provided free of charge by Eddie Orton, part of his agreement with the City of Richmond for the sale and development of the former Ford Assembly Plant.
- Staff for all of the Contra Costa national parks, including John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez and Eugene O'Neil National Historic Site in Danville, has been provided free office space by the City of Richmond for some 13 years.
- Construction and Rehabilitation of key sites of Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park, including the former Ford Assembly Building, the Maritime Child Care Center, the Riggers Loft, The SS Red Oak Victory and the Rosie the Riveter Memorial have been paid for by private developers, Rosie the Riveter Trust, Richmond Museum Association and the City of Richmond at no cost to the National Park Service. The total cost of these projects is in the tens of millions of dollars.
I am expecting both a retraction and an apology from Barnidge for his reckless and inaccurate characterization, and I urge E-FORUM readers to demand the same by contacting him at email@example.com.