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Arkansas Waterway Hearing Right on the Mark

The Office of Management and Budget’s turnabout on funding for operation and maintenance of the Ouachita River system is encouraging. On May 12, OMB announced the addition of $8 million to their budget request for the Ouachita, which had consisted of only $1.974 million for recreation, bringing the total to $9.974 million -- a figure the Corps of Engineers says will allow them to continue to operate the waterway.

A number of people claimed credit for influencing this change of heart, and it is difficult to know what effect various calls, letters and meetings had on the decision. It is known, though, that the announced increase came after a meeting in the Arkansas Legislature in which interested parties presented their take on the value of this waterway. The testimony worked, and the waterway was funded (pending approval of the budget by the Senate). We have included an edited version of the testimony, starting on page 26, and it goes on for a number of pages. Even though it has already done its job, it is of value to the industry as an example of the type of information that should be presented to legislators and the general public about every navigable waterway in the country. Only then will they know what would be lost if these low-cost, ecologically sound highways are lost.

NEW ST. PAUL DISTRICT DREDGE
The new St. Paul District dredge will be named the Dredge Goetz after our friend Bill Goetz, who was a member of WEDA and known to many who are still around. It will be an honor to see the dredge working, knowing it is named after a man who was considered the father of the dredging program in the Upper Mississippi River.

The new towboat is named after the first St. Paul District Engineer, Gouverneur K. Warren, who was also a Union officer in the U.S. Civil War. It so happened that I was reading a book called Carrying the Flag, about an incident during the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse battles, and Warren was an important figure throughout the book. The author is Gordon C. Rhea, and I highly recommend the book to all Civil War buffs as a very clear description of that campaign, which is recorded as the greatest, most useless slaughter in history.

FAREWELL TO DON SANDAU
Sad news came this month with the death of Don Sandau, whose obituary appears on page 12. He kept up his subscription to IDR after he retired, and we talked about once a year. Once when the topic turned to grass, which I was having a hard time establishing in my arid Colorado property, he sent me 50 pounds of seed he and his family had produced on their Oregon farm, and he remained interested in how that grass was growing. We will miss Don, and extend kindest sympathy to his family for their loss.

THE SEA ADMIRAL CONTEST
Five people entered my contest to name my relative whose statue stands in the town square of Bridgwater, Somerset in England, who was an admiral in the British Navy. The answer was General at Sea Robert Blake, the "Greatest Admiral until Nelson" and "Father of the British Navy".
We put the names of all the contestants into a hat, and Johan Wichers of Marin, visiting Colorado with his wife Anneke, chose the winner, which was John Tamplin of Seafloor Systems. John will receive a DVD of the movie Master and Commander, and all the others will receive a consolation prize to be announced. The other contestants were: Joe Hackenbracht, who sent more information on Admiral Blake, including that there is a memorial window to him in the Harvard University library; Bill Power, Steve Wilson and Tom Yarger. Thank you all for entering!

Judith Powers
Editor

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