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Re: Fwd: NJSM Future (?)

Rescued from truncation:

From: Jason Schein <scheijp@yahoo.com>
Date: April 27, 2010 9:44:29 PM EDT
To: undisclosed recipients: ;
Subject: NJSM Future (?)

   Dear friends and colleagues,

   I am starting to spread the word to the paleo community about =20
the very serious threats to the New Jersey State Museum that have =20
arisen recently.  I would like to encourage you to do the same - to =20=
spread the word to any of your friends and colleagues that have the =20=
slightest interest in anything the Museum does - education, fine =20
art, cultural history, archeology, and natural history =20
(paleontology, geology, ecology, etc., etc.).  I have to be careful =20=
though - there doesn't need to be an easy/obvious trail leading =20
back to me.

I've been told that we (Museum staff) have to be careful about what =20=
we say, partly because things are still undecided.  What I can say =20
is that the governor has eliminated our budget for the next fiscal =20
year (which begins July 1st, 2010) and "proposed" that we be =20
absorbed by Rutgers University.  It appears right now that RU may =20
not want us (after all, they were cut by tens of millions of =20
dollars by the governor, and are being "given" 3 Trenton =20
institutions without any money to operate them).  So, what happens =20
if Rutgers doesn't take us . . . ? ? ?  that remains to be =20
discussed.  There doesn't appear to be a backup plan, and we are =20
being completely left out of any discussions involving the Museum.  =20=
The governor's lawyers have been quoted in a recent public meeting =20
as saying that they "have no qualms about closing the Old Barracks =20
and the State Museum . . .", and I'm not 100% sure about this, but =20
I'm pretty sure they then followed that statement by saying " . . . =20=
and selling off the collections."  That would be the New Jersey =20
State Museum's collection - the State's treasures . . . which are =20
supposed to be owned by the people of New Jersey . . . many of =20
which were donated "to the people of New Jersey" - not the =20
governor.  These collections not only include priceless =20
paleontological specimens (multiple type specimens, rare eastern =20
dinosaurs, fossils of all ages collected on federal lands, dozens =20
of fossils that have been published on, taxidermy mounts of extinct =20=
animals, etc.) but also Civil War battle flags, priceless works of =20
art, and an enormous collection of archaeological artifacts from =20
many of the most important sites in eastern North America.

The governor's proposals are not theoretical, hypothetical, or even =20=
just scare tactics.  They are public knowledge, and you can see for =20=
yourself on the attachments to this e-mail.
    - 1st Attachment (03172010-key message): Page 2, 2nd paragraph =20
under "Making Tough Decisions"

    - 2nd attachment (DOS-responses11): last line in table on page =20
2.Thanks for your help in spreading the word, but please, don't =20
simply forward this message so my name won't show up in a direct =20
chain of e-mails.

1 last thing for now - the Museum's present budget is a pathetic ~=20
$2.4 million.  That's about $0.25/person/YEAR in the 2nd richest =20
state (by per capita personal income) in the union.  If it can =20
happen here, it can happen anywhere.

Thank you in advance for your help.  If someone could sound the =20
alarm on the Dino and Vert paleo e-mails lists, I sure would =20
appreciate it.

Thanks a lot,

The attachments, which of course didn't get through, are available from Schein upon request (according to another truncated e-mail).