Author Topic: A post that was copied off of the TVA web page,  (Read 2866 times)

Offline Darrin

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A post that was copied off of the TVA web page,
« on: June 27, 2014, 07:09:48 PM »
All,

A great friend of mine Tim Calvert, posted this today on the TVA website and honestly I believe that we need to get behind this and have HSIB explain to all of us as to why they are refusing to have them onboard as a crew. While I understand micro-managing and miss-managment this has gone way too far.


This story suddenly appeared on my facebook page. Please share it! It was posted on something called reddit. I have no idea what that is but our story is very well told and support from the public is building.

Baltimore, MD - Long an icon of Baltimore's Inner Harbor and a visible reminder of the establishment of the area as a tourist destination, USS Torsk, moored at Pier 3 alongside the National Aquarium, languished for almost two decades with indifferent and irregular maintenance until 1997, when a dedicated core of people began to take the Maryland Submarine Memorial under their care.
Comprised of veterans of various military services, including the submarine fleet, as well as family members and many who just loved the boats, the Torsk Volunteer Association began the long, tedious, and difficult task of bringing the Galloping Ghost of the Japanese Coast back to life, restoring the boat as much as possible to resemble what it would have looked like while still serving the nation proudly as late as 1968. For 17 years, the group met almost every Saturday at 7am to begin a day's work polishing brass, repairing systems, fixing lights, cleaning, and any and all of the sundry maintenance tasks that the submarine required, taking over and assisting the Museum staff with preserving the vessel for the public. None of them were paid for their work, and many went deeply out-of-pocket in their efforts to preserve the boat.
In April of 2014, after 17 years of service, the Torsk Volunteer Association was rather unceremoniously dismissed from their service on Torsk. No explanation was given; locks were changed and they were informed that they were no longer permitted to board.
As a long-time Baltimore resident who remembers Torsk when the only color inside was that old public-school-blue everywhere, and who witnessed (and had a hand in presiding over) some of the restoration (and critical damage control) on the boat, this situation is both disappointing and critically dangerous.
No one currently employed at the Museum is a qualified submariner; the Torsk Volunteer Association included at least one sailor who served on Torsk. No one currently in a position of leadership in the Museum is even a blue-water service veteran; the Torsk Volunteer Association is comprised of sailors and service members with extensive experience. The Museum recently invested a large sum of money in drydocking Torsk and Constellation both, but many of the Torsk Volunteer Association provided the expertise and critical on-board support - at some personal risk - to keep the boat in good order.
The Torsk Volunteers have taken extensive and expensive risks in supporting the Maryland Submarine Memorial as a living, vital attraction for people worldwide to visit, learn, and experience. Many of them have donated personal belongings and historic artifacts to Torsk to improve the visitor experience.
Those of you who care, who remember Torsk from back in the day, or who have visited and seen the boat's steady recovery over these last years, please consider a telephone call or letter to the Director of the Historic Ships in Baltimore Museum, urging him to reinstate the Torsk Volunteer Association's access to the boat in order to continue to facilitate the old girl's return to her former glory.
The Historic Ships in Baltimore can be reached at their website, or by mail or phone. (Information is on their website.)
If you do decide to contact the Museum, please be respectful in your conversation.
Please note: I have not been a member of the Torsk Volunteer Association for several years, nor am I affiliated professionally with them. I am a history student, and a Baltimore-area resident with a love of the boat.
Thanks for reading, /r/Baltimore. Together, maybe, we can help keep the old girl's dedicated crew around.

Offline Darrin

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Re: A post that was copied off of the TVA web page,
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2014, 08:53:25 PM »
here is a copy of what I sent Chris Rowsom at HSIB.. BTW his email is crowsom@historicships.org

Sir,


My name is Darrin Singer and I am a former TM3(SS) (Torpedomans Mate 3d Class Submarine Service) and a Retired US ARMY Staff Sergeant whom has been a Torsk Volunteer since 2004.


With that being said is that why after 17 years of the Torsk Volunteer Association being onboard the USS Torsk is the Torsk Volunteer Association no longer allowed as a whole to come onboard and continue their restoration efforts once more as a whole instead of being individuals and having to have your approval to continue the restoration effort on the Torsk?


The Torsk Volunteer Association has given so much of their own time and monies to include donations of Volunteers whom could not be onboard to help restore her once more and some of the Volunteers employers that have helped and donated their monies and equipment to also try and help restore her over the years to include the Torsk Volunteer Association becoming a 501c entity to help with the funding to restore the Torsk once more to include the grants which BMM/HSIB recieves grants annually .


Over the last 17 years the Torsk Volunteer Association has donated so much of their own monies and time and labor to travel to Newport News, Va to visit the James River Reserve Fleet (JRRF)  and then go to Philidelphia Reserve Fleet to remove historic pieces of equipment and parts and while doing so paying for their own fuel, food and lodging expenses from each location and back with no expense to BMM/HSIB.


Not to mention the Torsk Volunteer Association spending their own monies, time and labor that were freely given weekly just to maintain and restore her back to her 1968 configuration and make the Torsk live more and more each week so that the tourist's understand what we as Submariners did in very tough times during both WWII and then later on during the cold war to include the Cuban Missile Crisis.


The list of things that the Torsk Volunteer Association and others have had donated or on loaned to the Torsk Volunteer Association is absolutely amazing and without the Torsk Volunteer Association the City of Baltimore and the rest of the world would have in my opinion lost this incredible piece of history that has been lovingly maintained and restored once more by the Torsk Volunteer Association.


I personally have no idea as to how much revenue is generated by the USS Torsk each month, IF you take the time to go through the Torsk Volunteer Association website you Sir will see how far the Torsk has come over the last 17 years.


What I do know Sir is that when I was able to come up to Baltimore and see the Torsk once more and then work on the Torsk, is that she looked so much more alive then when I saw her last and I truly believe that removing the Torsk Volunteer Association from the Torsk was an incredibly HUGE mistake.


It is sad to say that the people from not only Baltimore but the people from around the world are the ones whom are truly suffering and will continue to suffer until this situation is resolved with the Torsk Volunteer Association and they are allowed onboard once more as a whole crew and not as individuals.


V/R


Darrin Singer

SSG, USA (RET)

FRMR TM3(SS)

FRMR EO3(SS)

Offline Darrin

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Re: A post that was copied off of the TVA web page,
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2014, 06:54:48 PM »
Here was his standard release version of what he believes to be the truth behind the matter.. NO ONE from TVA was ever told of these changes and honestly we would have all signed the release forms that he claims that we have refused to sign which BTW are done every year prior to a work weekened..


Historic Ships in Baltimore, formerly the Baltimore Maritime Museum, has valued the support of the Torsk Volunteer Association for many years, and individuals are welcome to continue volunteering.

Historic Ships in Baltimore and its parent organization, Living Classrooms Foundation, are committed to preserving and maintaining Baltimore’s fleet of historic vessels and to caring for the related collections. Our staff members are highly qualified and our Board members are very committed to the stewardship of the fleet, with our Chair being a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and our Vice Chair, Tony Whitman, being a diesel submarine veteran. Christopher Rowsom is the Executive Director and is responsible for the staff and programming aboard the ship, and has been managing educational vessels and programming for Living Classrooms Foundation on Baltimore's harbor for 29 years. The most recent examples of our commitment are the preservation of the USCGC Taney fantail deck, the 2011 dry docking of USS Torsk and USS Constellation, and the just completed re-decking of USS Torsk. We are grateful to members of the Torsk Volunteer Association for providing valuable assistance for both the Torsk dry docking and deck project.

The historic vessels that make up the Historic Ships in Baltimore are valuable assets to the City and region and they serve as "living classrooms" for students and the general public. We have developed new volunteer protocols we have to follow in order to comply with museum best practices and with legal and insurance requirements. Volunteers must complete an application form, a release form, a media release, and background checks. This is imperative for the protection of our vessels and the safety of all our constituents, including visitors, volunteers, students, staff and the City of Baltimore itself.” Members of the Torsk Volunteer Association have chosen not to sign the release form or provide their contact information and thus, have not returned to service. As a nonprofit organization, we are grateful for the support of all our volunteers; and the individuals who are members of the Torsk Volunteer Association are welcome to continue volunteering on the boat, and should connect with our Director of Community Outreach and Volunteerism, Rebekah Meyer, to complete the required paperwork. In April, we updated our security system according to our safety and security protocols in order to protect our historic vessels, staff, volunteers, and students and visitors to the ships. Anyone wishing to volunteer should coordinate with Rebekah Meyer at Living Classrooms.
 
We hope to continue our relationship with volunteers from the Torsk Volunteer Association and sincerely hope they understand the importance of our policies in order to maintain the safety of all those served by Historic Ships and Living Classrooms.

Offline Darrin

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Re: A post that was copied off of the TVA web page,
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2014, 06:59:00 PM »
That message was also sent to one of the Baltimore newspapers and when confronted with this information Chief Mike and Bruce stood up and told the truth and not the fiction that Chris Rowsom ad HSIB has tried to tell to back peddle and tap dance away from the issue. I have sent him a counter email which he has responded to telling me that the policy is going to be changed and to be patient.

Offline Fred Tannenbaum

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Re: A post that was copied off of the TVA web page,
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2014, 07:18:05 PM »
Hope so! Good luck!

Offline Gil Bohannon

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Re: A post that was copied off of the TVA web page,
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2014, 09:26:53 AM »
So Rowsom said the policy will change and we are to be patient? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm - I wonder how many of us will be left once that policy change is in effect.

Anyway...

Gil


Offline Evil Tracey of Torsk

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Re: A post that was copied off of the TVA web page,
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2014, 12:37:43 PM »
He wants to protect all of our stuff on Torsk from us.  

« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 02:14:01 PM by Evil Tracey of Torsk »