Friday, January 27, 2012

Save the Kalakala, Mr. President

image borrowed from Bing

Kalakala Alliance Foundation
Steve Rodrigues, President
PO Box 1475
Tacoma, WA. 98402
Tel (206)234-2045

July 20, 2010

Honorable Mr. President Obama,
White House
Washington D.C., USA

Dear Honorable President of the United States of America,

I am Steve Rodrigues and President of the Kalakala Alliance Foundation (KAF). KAF is registered to do business in the State of Washington as a legal federal 501 (C) 3 Non-Profit Organization. Since November 2003 I had to believe that it has become my American duty to learn how to seek the freedoms and liberties that could help save the MV Kalakala. And, in doing so, I had to have faith and hope that, “all things are possible to them that believe”. Seven years ago, I first learned of and became owner of the MV Kalakala. It has taken 7 years to find out all about her significances related to both our state and nation’s transportation history. And, I have already shared such information with the State of Washington public officials without any responses. Now, we have a need to share with you and the Secretary of the Interior all her nationally significant evidences, so that, she can be considered as one of our national landmarks. And, you and the Secretary must know, that all our past efforts have failed within the local, statewide, and recently within Washington D.C. Today, you can help by considering, in a timely manner, the use of your Presidential powers to authorize the MV Kalakala and a site to be protected under the use of the Antiquity Act 1906.

Today, after failing in the State, we had to leave, gather extensive background knowledge, and other historical records related to the Kalakala and other American registered national landmarks. January 27, 2010 I started such efforts while on the “Kalakala’s walk of HOPE” across America. We now have witnessed and been able to see why the Antiquity Act 1906 was originally created. And, it is a fact that over 400 years ago, April 26, 1607, that our first English Colonists landed on the soils known today as Ft. Henry located at Virginia Beach, Virginia. Our first settlements of Jamestown and Williamsburg were established shortly thereafter. Since the early 1600’s other Peabody Family, English colonists, would also come to and land in American soil to become free men within the New England States. That after the revolutionary war with the British by 1776 our colonies became a free nation. And, that our nation’s forefathers created the Bill of Rights that is now our nations Constitution. And, over the centuries our nation has had to create new laws to protect the beauty of our nation and other treasured landmarks before they become destroyed. And, it is a fact that by 1906, our nation created Antiquity Act 1906 to prevent such total loss of our nation’s most significant antiquities.

Since 1895, over 115 years ago, our State of Washington has suffered many losses of such potential antiquities. And today, we must ask you to help us prevent such antiquities (water transportation) from being lost forever. The Kalakala is the last of our state’s only remaining heritage and culture related to our past original Black Ball Line. After, only 59 years of state control, we are about to lose 100 years of our original ferry system heritages that were inherited by the State of Washington June 1, 1951.
It is with a sincere heart, and a shame that I must resort to asking you, the President of the United States of America, to use our nation’s constitutional law known as the Antiquity Act 1906 to protect them. Under such a law, the Kalakala can become situated upon a tract held in private ownership, the tract, or so much thereof as may be necessary for the proper care and management of the Kalakala, may be relinquished to the Government, and the Secretary of Interior is to authorize and to accept the relinquishment of such tract in behalf of the Government of the United States. And, to please consider the Kalakala to become registered with a level of national significance to establish her as a national landmark structure.

I am asking you, Honorable Mr. President, President of HOPE, for a future meeting to present and discuss the 1935 MV Kalakala and the Antiquities Act of 1906-16-USC 431-433.
It states in part:
Section 2.
“ That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected: Provided, That when such objects are situated upon a tract covered by a bonafied unperfected claim or held in private ownership, the tract, or so much thereof as may be necessary for the proper care and management of the object, may be relinquished to the Government, and the Secretary of Interior is hereby authorized to accept the relinquishment of such tracts in behalf of the Government of the United States.”
For more information on the Antiquities Act, go to:

Time has become of the essence, and we ask that your immediate review includes; (especially the 2005 timeline link), and our KAF information submitted to the Secretary: National Parks Service (NPS) (2006 National Register of Historic Places copy, July 20, 2010 KAF cover letter, narrative, and supporting notes to NPS, Copy of the 2008 Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant and bibliography
KAF has reached a critical point in time proving that we have exhausted all past efforts. We have been unable to find a way for the great State of Washington to see what we have seen and want to share. So, we must find a way to overcome their past and future powers, neglects, and transportation heritage policy delays regarding the safe harbor, protection, and preservation for the Kalakala in the future.

Therefore, after 59 years, we ultimately need to share her national credibility’s enabling the consideration of federal protections to prevent continued physical deteriorations while the Kalakala is afloat within Puget Sound waterways. And, to prevent the loss of a representation of cornerstone of the original Black Ball Ferry Line heritage and culture, known as the Kalakala. The Black Ball Line and the significant Peabody Family legends helped build America.

It has been a great privilege and honor, as a good steward and caretaker of the Kalakala, to deny the troublesome conditions subjected to the Kalakala since 1967, 43 years, by the powers of government. Also, to deny such state powers that could sink the Kalakala instead of allowing her to be taken out of water and onto land. The State has a law that all ships 62 feet and longer must go to a shipyard for major repairs. The Kalakala could never be repaired at a dry-dock located at a shipyard! The costs would never be feasible at a shipyard. Although, a marine rail and or the world’s largest ship lift are methods of getting the Kalakala out of water for long term feasible major repairs is possible in America today. And, it is sad to think that the state has never given the Kalakala a work permit where she is on the water in Tacoma, Washington! The word “deny” has two definitions, according to Webster. To deny in one sense, is to withhold from, as to deny bread from the hungry. To deny in another sense, is to declare to be not true, to repudiate as utterly false. Therefore, I begin by stating, “I have been given a divine gift of faith, strength, and fully deny that we have forever nearly lost 200 years of our Black Ball Line (New York to Liverpool and Puget Sound) physical related heritage, culture, and significant Peabody Family legends who all helped to build, and gave birth to our state ferry system for not a cent of tax payer money on June 1, 1951. And, it is now time for the government to stop denying the Kalakala the gifts she fully deserves from the government.


The MV Kalakala’s walk of Hope trail ends here in Washington D.C. Her story should not end under the torches at a scrap yard, nor should her story be simply written and bound between the pages of a historian’s book. She has always served America and its citizens well. The President of the United States of America must know that, as in the past, she always belonged to the people and will always belong to the people of America. No matter private or publicly owned and managed she must be given the freedoms and liberties of being protected with safe harbor for perpetuity. And, given such she can become protected, preserved, and once again shine to be shared with 100’s of millions more of Americans and people from around the world. She is a one of a kind, unique and national treasure ferry. Please, we ask that you alone now consider using your Presidential authority and use of the Antiquity Act 1906 to save these antiquities before it is too late physically to save her for perpetuity.

Kalakala’s last walk of Hope is that the President and Secretary helps to assure the Kalakala to be granted national level of significance and become a national landmark in America. Steve can be contacted anytime via email, and can become available for a meeting with the President or Secretary given at least 7 business days notice.

Steve Rodrigues, President, KAF
United States Secretary of Interior Secretary Salazar
United States Washington, California, Alaska, and New York State Senators and Congressional Rep’s, NPS, National Register of Historic Places interim keeper of the records,
US Coast Guard Washington D.C. Commandant
Governor, State of Washington, Olympia, WA.
Governor-State of California, Sacramento, CA.
Governor-State of Alaska, Juneau, AK.


1)Copy of MV Kalakala 2010 NPS National Register of Historic Places New Narrative(original 2006 register is available on line via NPS),
2)Copy of 2008 Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant Interviewer comments,
3)Copy of 2009 SAT bibliography, and
4)Other past state and national public records are available upon request (both to the President and Secretary).

Supporting Comments to the United States President requesting the use of his powers to protect the MV Kalakala and a safe harbor under the Antiquity Act 1906

It is important today that true supportive national historical background information is provided for your review. Such chronological supportive materials can be used to confirm and to justify the many reasons we ask you to consider the MV Kalakala and a safe harbor protected as antiquities under the use of the Antiquity Act 1906. Although, the Kalakala (formerly Peralta) mostly served the City of Seattle during her ferry service life she also served San Francisco as the Peralta 1927-1933. Her homeport was Coleman Dock, and asking the President and Secretary to protect the Kalakala and provide her a federal safe harbor. The Washington Street Boat Landing Facility is only one alternative site. We have found other potential local, state, and federal sites that can provide the necessary short and long term safe harbor. They include locations states of Washington, California, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia. The Kalakala, World’s first streamline art deco ferry, must be taken out of water and placed onto dry land while undergoing long term major hull and superstructure restorations. But, the Antiquity Act 1906 is our first necessary miracle. She can be assured a homeport, and with it comes the long deserved national level of significance, local and state acceptability’s, and will enhance her to secure private funding from a sound and viable future projected business operating plan.

Rejected past 25 years (1985-2010)
Significant exhaustive efforts, not just under our new ownership during the past 7 years, but combined efforts since 1985 (25 years) have been devoted to saving her as an antiquity. Yes, efforts started over 25 years ago by Mr. Green and his partner’s idea that was presented to the City of Kodiak, State of Alaska, and City of Seattle; “that the Kalakala was a national treasure, and deserved to be returned to Seattle after being buried in the State of Alaska for nearly 20 years”. Their proposal ended after being denied by the City of Seattle Economic Development Director at the time requesting safe harbor within Seattle’s waterfront. Today, 25 years later, the City of Seattle past Director, is now our State of Washington Department of Transportation Washington State Ferries Director! And, ultimately not only has Mr. Green failed (1985) but the original Kalakala Foundation failed (1998-2003: dissolved and sold Kalakala under federal superior court forced bankruptcy sale), and today under the guidance’s of a new Kalakala Alliance Foundation board of directors we are finally asking your review and support.

So, Steve Rodrigues, on January 27, 2010 started the, “Kalakala’s walk of HOPE” across USA, and the trail will end in Washington D.C. Today, I am here in Washington D.C., and have already been knocking on all the right doors within Congress, National Parks Service, National Archives, US Coast Guard, and US Department of Interior Secretary towards the last remaining efforts to save the Kalakala and her safe harbor. No Senators, Congressman, Congresswoman have yet given Steve a chance (only some staff have or are willing to meet). But, the Kalakala’s walk of Hope still has one last effort of HOPE. And, Steve is knocking on your White House door to see if he can get a meeting with the President to discuss the last steps of the Kalakala’s walk of Hope. He is now asking the President to consider using his powers of the Antiquities Act 1906 to save the Kalakala as a structure that deserves the protection as one of our nation’s antiquities and national landmarks.

Reasons to consider the MV Kalakala National with National Level of Significances
Important individuals of the past
The Peabody family, Dr. Adolph Diesel, Anhauser Busch, Sulzer Brothers, Raytheon, and the Boeing Company all are important individuals and businesses who truly, without them, the Kalakala would have never been an American icon, become a legend, nor be able to become registered within the National

Register of Historic Places with national levels of significances. And, without the famous Peabody family the Kalakala would have never been envisioned at all.
The 1935 MV Kalakala (formerly 1927 Peralta) and the original Black Ball Line fleet
The 1935 MV Kalakala (formerly 1927 Peralta) and the original Black Ball Line fleet impacted many of our nation’s States of California, Washington, Alaska, and New York in their significant past. And, other highly significant persons and businesses who built America’s land and water transportation systems have influences that allow her to retain such national levels of significances.

Other comparative National Treasures across America

The Kalakala is as significant as many other ships in America. Such as, USS Intrepid, USS Massachusetts, last operating Liberty ships Jeremiah and Brown, USS Constitution (Old Ironsides), C.W. Morgan, SS Queen Mary, SS Berkeley, many replica of Packet and Schooner ships, SS United States, SS Virginia V, naval submarines, USS “Eagle”, C.A. Thayer, MV Santa Rosa, and many other non-profit organizations like Mystic Seaport and many other maritime museums, such as, San Francisco National Maritime Museum have similar national significances that represent a piece of our nations landmarks or maritime treasures. The Kalakala compares to be equal to or even to have beyond others national significances, and deserves equal status regardless of what she looks like today. The C.W. Morgan has had tender loving care for over 45 years now, and is only 2 years away from being 100% restored to enable her to ply the Atlantic again. This time to greet the whales as a friend not a foe.

The Kalakala is such that, she is a one of a kind, architecturally unique, and a vessel that has never been forgotten by thousands of enthusiasts from around the world. Her unique architectural, engineering, and mechanical national significances do represent many eras of America’s historic major events that are significant in America past.

She deserves to be approved by the Secretary with a national level of significance and registered within the National Register of Historic Places. And, she deserves to be considered by the President to be recognized as an antiquity and become one of our nation’s national landmarks. She deserves t be given federal protection under the Presidents authority to use the Antiquity Act 1906.

My last Hope is that the President and the Secretary can see what the State has never wanted to see. And, that our leaders in government stop denying the Kalakala the gifts she fully deserves of being a national treasure.

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