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  National Park Service Reorganizes Contra Costa County Units with Headquarters in Richmond – and Other Rosie News
May 29, 2005

(See attached PDF file for version with photos)

The National Park Service has reorganized, under a single superintendent located in Richmond, its entire Contra Costa County organization, which consists of four units: Rosie the Riveter World war II/Home Front National Historical Park, John Muir National Historic Site, Eugene O’Neil National Historic Site and Port Chicago Navel Magazine National Memorial.

The General Superintendent located in Richmond will be upgraded to a GS-14, and a number of highly qualified applicants are currently vying for the job, with selection expected as soon as mid-June 2005. The larger staff will provide greater flexibility in applying resources to al the Contra Costa County parks as well as expanding programming and providing greater operational efficiency. A deputy superintendent will be located in Martinez, responsible for the day to day operation of all four areas.  Howard Levitt, currently Chief of Interpretation for Golden Gate National Recreation Area, on loan, is currently Acting Superintendent for Rosie the Riveter World war II/Home Front National Historical Park, spanning the gap left when former Superintendent Judy Hart retired and the next permanent superintendent will be appointed.

The annual budget for Rosie the Riveter World war II/Home Front National Historical Park has been increased from an embarrassing $179,000 to a slightly more respectable $485,000, but perhaps more importantly, the reorganization will enable a Park Service Planner and Cultural Resources Specialist to be added to the Richmond staff as well as upgrading of the Park Ranger position. Other resources, such as a Volunteer Coordinator, will be available to “Rosie” as well as the other Contra Costa units.

The National Park Service has now officially approved a $4.5 million funding package for the Visitor Center to be located in the Ford Assembly Plant. This will enable detailed planning to start this year.

The Red Oak Victory has been moved to Shipyard 3, where it will soon undergo a $1 million facelift. The ship is accessible to the public and can be reached via a new access road from the south end of Canal Boulevard.

Design has been completed for foundation work to enable the historic Whirley Crane currently located at Richmond Levin Terminal to be moved to Shipyard 3 for eventual public viewing. This crane was originally used by Henry Kaiser to build Grand Coulee Dam in 1935 and was moved to the Richmond Kaiser Shipyard No. 1 1941. The crane has been donated by Richmond Levin Terminal, and the relocation is a massive volunteer project.

A grant from PG&E to the Rosie the Riveter Trust for $50,000 over two years will fund various outreach programs targeted at the Richmond community, including a major community event in the spring of 2006.