GLSHS CAMPAIGN TO LIMIT WATCHDOG'S PUBLIC ACCESS & FREEDOM OF SPEECH


Friend of Whitefish Point Watchdog Louie Dombroski was arrested for accessing the Whitefish Point Light Station in 2001. This charge was later dropped.

The Friends of Whitefish Point were instrumental in the Michigan Audubon Society 1999 lawsuit filed against GLSHS & U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to halt overdevelopment & commercialization at Whitefish Point. At the same time, they exposed GLSHS’s questionable use of public grant funds.

2001

What were they trying to hide?

GLSHS Campaign to Limit Watchdog's Freedom of Speech at Public Township Meetings

In 2001, GLSHS Executive Director Farnquist wrote the following to the Whitefish Township Board of Trustees about Friends of Whitefish Point watchdogs:

“Mr. Shapero is apparently a legitimate township resident with proper legal standing during township meetings. However, as you may note, the intention of the Shipwreck Society is to present information in a dignified, coherent and controlled manner. The Shipwreck Society has full and proper standing as a legitimate cultural business in Whitefish Township.

We do not like good residents leaving a township meeting about any issue that involves us. We also do not like hearing Mr. Shapero criticize us, over and over again, and waving our Form 990 in front of everyone as though there was something wrong with our accounting practices.

We understand that Mr. Shapero has a right to be heard. But we would like seriously to recommend that the township either 1) either designate a special forum at a separate meeting where we can debate Mr. Shapero’s concerns publicly for the benefit of township residents, or 2) limit Mr. Shapero and Mr. Dombroski to 5 minutes of public comment when they are going to discuss anything having to do with the Shipwreck Society.

We do not feel it is appropriate to continue Mr. Shapero’s debate at each township meeting. We believe that is a misuse of the township meeting.

The continued hostility we have heard from Mr. Shapero, and also from Mr. Dombroski, has the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, upon consultation with the Chippewa County Prosecutor and the Chippewa County Sheriff, as well as that of our own private attorney, to inform each of these gentleman that they are to stay off any property at Whitefish Point owned or administered by the Shipwreck Society, here. Mr. Shapero and Mr. Dombroski were given the originals of the enclosed letters by me at the conclusion of the May 2 township meeting.

The purpose of closing their access to property owned or administered by us is not in any way to get back at them. We wish to preserve the tranquility of the site and allow our staff to conduct without interruption or harassment.

This a private, sensitive matter. We prefer that you keep this information confidential. However, we would not be surprised if Mr. Shapero chooses to make it public, a well-known tactic he uses is martyrdom.”

GLSHS Tax Records -Form 990:
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007

GLSHS Financial Statements:
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
See GLSHS Public Access Agreements:
1) Coast Guard
2) Transfer Legislation
3) State of Michigan
4) MAS & USFWS
5) Whitefish Township

 

See the full 2001 GLSHS letter to Whitefish Township.

See 2005 letter to The Evening News Editor about public access & freedom of speech at Whitefish Point

See Local Politics

See
2002: GLSHS's failed attempt to silence Whitefish Point watchdogs by influencing the Whitefish Township Board of Trustees to violate Michigan's Open Meetings Act.

2008

What are they trying to hide?

GLSHS issued a series of "ban" letters to Whitefish Point watchdogs from 2001 - 2005. 

GLSHS lobbied Whitefish Township in 2005 to change their public access agreement in an effort to limit watchdog public access at Whitefish Point.

When a Whitefish Point Preservation Society Watchdog met with the Chippewa County Prosecutor in 2006 requesting that he assist the citizens of Chippewa County for the return of their tax dollars (more than $100,000 misused on a GLSHS project at Whitefish Point) and uphold the right to free speech and the Whitefish Point public access agreements. 

Instead, the County Prosecutor's office issued the following December 27, 2007 warrant for her arrest after taking photos at Whitefish Point.

On January 3, 2008, the GLSHS President issued a thinly veiled threat to limit public access to Whitefish Point and violate public access agreements they have signed.

See You Tube video for the
GLSHS President's 2008 comments about public access at Whitefish Point.

2009

The Chippewa County Circuit Court dismissed the trespass charge against a Whitefish Point Preservation Society watchdog on February 10, 2009. The Order for Dismissal was issued on 3/10/09. The Court declared that GLSHS may not ban law abiding members of the public from the Whitefish Point Light Station.

Parking at Whitefish Point
The public access agreements for Whitefish Point give access to the parking lots at Whitefish Point. GLSHS has been involved in controversy about Whitefish Point parking for many years that ranged from declaring the primary parking lot a county road turnaround in 1998 to threatening to put a gate up on a public road in 2008. See Whitefish Point Parking controversy for more information.

Handicapped Access at Whitefish Point

In 2005, the U.S. Access Board ordered the Michigan Department of Transportation to make a GLSHS building remodeled with Federal funds accessible to disabled people. The Crews Quarters building at the Whitefish Point Light Station was not in compliance with disability statutes until 2008.
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