Friends of the Zeiss                                         Public Statement For

P.O. Box 1041                                                                        Board of Directors,

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230-1041 U.S.A.                       Regional Asset District

Telephone: 412-561-7876                                                      By Glenn A. Walsh:

Electronic Mail: < >      Children’s Museum Needs

Internet Web Site: < >               Additional Revenue


2007 August 27


Good evening, I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mount Lebanon, Project Director of

Friends of the Zeiss.


This year, the Children’s Museum has submitted two capital requests for consideration by the

Allegheny Regional Asset District Board of Directors. They are asking for $3,882 to repair steps

to the Old Post Office building—steps which are now only used for emergency exit. As with

last year’s capital request of money to repair the Post Office roof, the small amount needed to

repair the Post Office steps could have easily been programmed into the Children’s Museum’s

$29 million capital campaign. They have known of the problems with these steps for many years,

as they used special metal steps, placed over-top the original steps, when this was the main Museum



Again, they chose to use the capital campaign funds for gutting the Buhl Planetarium Theater,

Observatory, Lecture Hall, and astronomical inscription from the Bible while deferring the needs

of these steps. Now, they want the taxpayers to pay for repairs, to steps in a building they own, that

should have been paid for during their capital campaign. We applaud your refusal to fund last year’s

capital request and ask that you refuse to fund this request for the same reason.


Regarding the $23,500 capital request for new computer equipment, we believe that the systematic

replacement and upgrading of computer equipment should be a regular line-item in their operating

budget. If RAD provides more money for computers, there would be a greater pubic benefit by

giving this money to the library systems’ Electronic Information Network.


The Children’s Museum’s operating request asks that RAD help “offset the anticipated $200,000

reduction in state support this fiscal year.” We do not believe it is RAD’s role to offset losses in other

governmental funding. And, with the needs of many other assets in this region, we do not think that

RAD can afford to set such a precedent.


What the Children’s Museum needs is more revenue. And, to receive more revenue, the Children’s

Museum needs additional attractions to bring more people into their complex.


Return of the historic Buhl Planetarium equipment and artifacts would provide new attractions to

bring new people into the Children’s Museum. In particular, people will come, probably from all over

the country, to see shows performed using Buhl’s Zeiss II Projector, the oldest operable major

planetarium projector in the world ! With a good marketing campaign, this will bring more

people into the building. And, at the same time, it will help teach Science to children visiting

the Children’s Museum.


Before the Children’s Museum receives additional RAD funding, they should take steps to

increase their revenue by returning the historic Buhl Planetarium equipment and artifacts as

additional Museum attractions. We, respectfully, ask that you direct the Children’s Museum to

take such steps, before increasing their annual allocation of RAD funds.


Thank you..