From outsourcing bureaucracies, to firing museum directors, the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area project, based out of Lawrence , Kansas has had its share of controversy.
Perhaps the most telling piece of evidence yet, that Freedom's Frontier is not about preserving history, but securing $10,000,000 for a "heritage grant" that would threaten not only Missouri (and now seemingly Kansas history as well) but the property rights in both states.
It looks like I was right on track when my article, "Lawrence, KS Economic Woes Real Motive Behind Freedom's Frontier? " was published on Jan. 27, 2008 on the Op Ed News website.
A Letter to the Editor published in the Topeka Capital-Journal published on May 4 , 2008, confirms what I and many others have been saying for quite some time.
While the backers of Freedom's Frontier in Lawrence have been portraying that it is an effort to "preserve" history, the author of the letter,PAUL M. BAHNMAIER of LeCompton, Ks writes...
"I was shocked when I read in The Capital-Journal that a member of the Kansas Legislature, a Mission Hills senator, proposed selling the state historic sites.
To sell our history is to sell our souls.
It was suggested that a panel be appointed to determine the importance of the state historic sites. Be assured that although this may not happen now, once this seed is sown it will surely grow.
I would like to propose to this future panel that it consider selling not the historic sites, but the land surrounding the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka, and even the museum itself, before it considers selling off the historic sites located throughout Kansas. The museum is merely a new, modern structure of no particular historical significance.
However, the sites are buildings where historic events occurred and people made history. Many of these historic sites are more than 150 years old, are National Historic Landmarks and are partners in the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area.
Tourism is one of the leading industries in America, and our Kansas historic sites play a major role in attracting state, national and international visitors to Kansas to learn about our great history. Kansas history is not for sale to the highest bidder."
So why would the State of Kansas want to sell off historic sites that are partners in the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area?
My guess is that it has always been about the money and not Kansas history and certainly not Missouri history.
They have the necessary partners signed up for Freedom's Frontier, to portray wide support for the project, but as from the begining, the only real support for the project is limited to Lawrence and the eastern Kansas area.
Freedom's Frontier is about securing $10,000,000 for Lawrence, Ks. This should serve as a warning to historic sites in southern and western Kansas, as well as western Missouri who have decided to become "partners" in Freedom's Frontier.
Allying yourself with those who have promised to promote tourism and preserve your historic sight might be the one thing that destroys it.