Heritage Week 2008
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The Hub Of Carbon County...
Founded in 1881, the City of Helper was named for the "helper"
locomotives that were needed to push the heavy coal trains over the steep
As the town began to grow, scores of immigrants
moved to Helper to find the American Dream toiling on the railroad and in
the nearby coal mines. The largest of the groups came from Italy, followed
closely by the Greeks and the Yugoslavians. Helper soon became known as
the town of 29 varieties -- even though there was a giant "57"
on the hill which referenced the steak sauce's commercials. Those immigrants
have left behind a legacy that still flavors the City of Helper, Utah. Helper's
Historic Main Street is listed on the National Historic Register preserving
it's unique heritage.
Today, Helper, Utah is a thoroughly modern
city boasting a population of nearly 2,000 people. Helper offers visitors
and permanent residents numerous business and recreational opportunities
Due to issues with Helper City, Heritage
Week and its operation have been turned over to a non-profit organization
that is NOT associated with Helper City Corporation, nor the Western Mining
& Railroad Museum.
For the last couple of years Heritage Week was financed and orchestrated
by Teply Graphic Arts & Publishing, LLC for the benefit of the Western
Mining & Railroad Museum. New "issues" with Helper City Corporation
caused the Heritage Week Committee to turn Heritage Week over to a more
Darrin Teply, Director of the Eastern Utah
Tourism & History Association stated, "after the apparent misappropriation
of funds from last year's Heritage Week by Helper City Corporation, (I)
will see to it that this fine event will continue and that monies will actually
make it to worthwhile projects that will better this community."
Check back as more details and events will
be posted on this web site...
Expansion Update: The Murder of the Golden Goose...
2008 Heritage Week's Bordello Ball raised $1019
for the Western Mining & Railroad Museum's Building Expansion. Unfortunately,
it appears that the money went into Helper City's General Fund instead of
the Museum's Building Expansion Fund as directed. This apparent misappropriation
of money lead to an investigation by the Western Mining & Railroad Museum's
Director and Board, with amounts potentially being more than $135,000 missing
from the Museum's Expansion Fund. The Mayor has stated that those "earmarked
monies will be pushed out of the General Fund and pushed into the earmarked
accounts someday." However, when the Western Mining & Railroad
Museum Board demanded to know exactly when, the Mayor refused to answer.
December 9, 2008 :: Iceberg Mascaro
Destroys Museum's "Unsinkable" Ship.
Unfortunately, Helper City's response was to create a smokescreen "Audit
turned Witch Hunt turned Inquisition" complete with threats of physical
violence and dismissal of the Western Mining & Railroad Museum's Director,
Board and volunteers for questioning the location and inaccessibility of
those monies and questioning the actions of its assigned Councilman. These
actions and comments by the Museum's Councilman and of the Utah State Auditor's
Office has caused many to opine if this is a "group of rogue auditors
abusing their office while receiving financial benefits." Originally
designated as a one day audit, this Inquisition is now firmly in its fourth
month of failed muckraking and wasting of tax payer dollars.
Museum Director SueAnn Martell said, "only
under Helper's current administration can you raise $1.5 million dollars
for Museum projects and then have your job threatened and be personally
threatened, slandered and libeled. This is a sad situation for a small town
that is just struggling to stay alive."
This situation is further becoming a quagmire
due to Helper's Mayor, the Museum's Councilman and the City Recorder's further
attempts to smother the Museum Board and its Director by ignoring and overriding
established City Ordinances and the Western Mining & Railroad Museum's
Museum, special events supporter and tourism
professional, Darrin Teply, said "this whole situation has gone beyond
ridiculous, Russian Museums and their staff were treated better during the
collapse of the Soviet Union than the Western Mining & Railroad Museum
is being treated now."
Don't fear gentle viewers, the Museum Building
Committee has now raised over $1 million dollars for the Museum Expansion
Project and the project WILL BE BUILT, corruption be damned. Stay tuned...
keep checking back as more details and documents and audio tape files will
be posted to this web site...
Today, due to extensive levels of harassment
and City corruption, Western Mining & Railroad Museum Director SueAnn
Martell and Assistant Director Brande Sherman "resigned under duress."
Following harassment tactics by Helper Police in yet a third Witch Hunt
investigation, Martell, Sherman, 25 Museum volunteers, most of the voting
Museum Board members and some of the Museum Expansion Committee tendered
immediate resignations. Additionally, gift shop vendors pulled their consignment
merchandise and temporary loan exhibits were removed by their rightful owners.
"I fail to see that when we're accusing Councilman Mascaro of wrongs
with the Museum, he can be expected to run an 'impartial City investigation'
-- especially when he's harassing, slandering and defaming us," said
Darrin Teply. "It's like asking Richard Nixon's corpse to provide the
missing 18 minutes of the Watergate tapes -- it's still not going to happen."
Teply added "It's become obvious that Helper's Unholy Trinity will
just continue to create Kangaroo Court Investigations supported with the
blind backing of most of the City Council in closed doors sessions without
checking any facts... furthering my opinion, I'm so damned proud that Helper
is making Illinois look good... we've got Helper Police and Councilmen yanking
laws that aren't written in any books out of their butts and threatening
women and their families... can you say 'coercion?'"
Here is a copy
of SueAnn Martell's Open Letter of Thanks to the citizens of Helper and
February 5th, 2009 :: Helper City Councilman
Jensen Resigns; Disgusted with Levels of On-going Corruption.
You all have asked about the on-going
situation in Helper and all of the B.S. slanderfest and other "Boss
Hogg Games" going on. I think the attachment at the end of this post
more than points to the true problems within Helper.
In my opinion as a tourism professional, Helper business owner and as
someone who put over a thousand hours of volunteer time and several thousand
dollars more of volunteer services and finances into the Helper Museum (not
to mention that I still have a valid RFP contract with Helper City Corporation);
it's sad that in losing Councilman Jensen, we lost the ONE councilman who
was actually working towards improving Helper, the ONE councilman who actually
came down and actually participated in all Museum events, the ONE councilman
who actually asked questions and listened, the ONE councilman who actually
came down and looked over and read financial records and the ONE councilman
who worked towards promoting the City's tourism and economic resurgence.
In my opinion, it's an even sadder situation that both Utah State Government
& Federal Government admitted to knowing that this government corruption
was a normal situation for Helper (even citing Dagget County as worse),
but yet refused to do anything about it... if this was the Wasatch Front
I'm sure that they'd be all over it. I'm conservatively estimating that
a minimum of $30,000 of tax payer money (auditor salaries, travel and other
expenses) has now been wasted in this on-going Witch Hunt (audit) by the
state... with zero concrete results other than yet more innuendo and rhetoric
from Helper City Corporation based on extremely questionable statements
and City records! (Some falsified/misleading records which were already
admitted by the City Recorder in Council meetings to be created from non-existant
sources.) It's even sadder that the State of Utah and Carbon County claim
that they have almost no money for tourism and museums, yet money is being
wasted on this unproductive Witch Hunt! Maybe it's time for Carbon County
to take over Helper City Government. Hopefully, the local media (yes, that's
you Sun Advocate) won't drop the ball again... it's called "research
your facts and statements before publishing" C.J.!
Here is a copy of
ex-councilman Phillip "P.J" Jensen's Open Letter of Resignation
to the Citizens of Helper and Carbon County.
Can't stop the signal... details will continue to be posted here...
coming as spare time allows now that my other business projects have received
national recognition and praise...