The BATTLE REPORT
San Jacinto Battleground/Battleship TEXAS State Historic Site
Report for October 9, 2006 through October 15, 2006 Now on the web at www.usstexasbb35.com & www.texianlegacy.com
“The purpose of this newsletter is to communicate the site’s day-to-day natural and cultural resource management activities. Our goal is to inform and educate our staff, partners, and friends – and those we have yet to meet – Welcome!”
We are pleased to announce the appointment of J. Andrew Smith as the new Battleship TEXAS Ship Manager, effective November 1, 2006. Mr. Smith rose to the top among formidable competition, which consisted of five other contenders. Smith is a native Houstonian, 6th generation Texan and a long time admirer of the Battleship Texas and the San Jacinto Battleground. He has spent 8 years working and volunteering at the Houston Museum of Natural Science prior to coming on board the Battleship Texas. Additionally, he works as a contract archeologist in the Gulf Coast Region for a cultural resource management company. He graduated from South Houston High School and after 8 years in the US Army and Texas Army National Guard, completed his degree in Anthropology from the University of Houston, with concentrations in archeology and geography. He spent several summers in Grenada during his time at U.H. studying indigenous wooden boats and boat “culture” and one summer in Peru working on a pre-Incan conservation project. Most recently, he went to Kansas as part of a team to excavate and date perhaps the largest meteorite ever found. Andy has been married for two years, and he and his wife are expecting their first child in December. In their free time they enjoy traveling, playing backgammon and spending time with their family, friends and 3-legged dog “Captain”. We look forward to Andy reporting for duty in a few weeks, on November 1.
We have an update to our lead story in last week’s issue, regarding the $20 million SAFETEA grant from TXDOT. Chris Greer, of our TPWD Infrastructure Division and Project Manager for the battleship, informed us that Infrastructure Division Director Steve Whiston has spoken with Kelley Hoffman of TXDOT, who in turn has been in communication with both Ric Williamson, Texas Transportation Commission Chairman and TXDOT Executive Director Michael Behrens. Behrens has also been in direct contact with TPWD Executive Director Bob Cook and according to Greer, “has pledged to begin work on a coordinated and concerted effort between our agencies to do whatever it takes to revise or edit the application to bring it into compliance with the funding program.” Chris promises to keep us informed as we learn more along the way. Stay tuned!
Jeff Dunn, Vice President of the Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground, wrote two letters this week to TXDOT, one to Executive Director Michael Behrens and another to Cultural Resources Director Lisa Hart. Dunn, as Chairman of the San Jacinto Historical Advisory Board, also wrote a letter to TPWD Executive Director Bob Cook. The primary focus of each of the three letters was to oppose the proposed location of the San Jacinto Visitor Center. Once again, stay tuned for further updates.
October 9 – October 15, 2006