Underwater Archaeological Society Of Chicago
President Bob Rushman greeted twenty members.
Treasurer Karen Rushman reported that we have $10,552 in our account.
Secretary Carol Sommers stated that the minutes are available on line and also on the table.
Elections: The new officers of UASC are President-Dean Nolan, Vice-President-Colin Bertling, Treasurer- John Bell, Secretary-Carol Sommers.
ICSSD – There was a good showing at the President’s Night Dinner and UASC won the Club of the Year Award. The plaque was displayed in the front of the hall.
On March 19, the Underwater Competition will take place and Tom volunteered to be our captain. See Illinois Scuba Council.org for more detail.
Website – Our announcement list has 710 names and it takes two hours to send messages to everyone. Dean mentioned that Chicago Scuba Meet-up uses The Meeting Site which costs $179.88 per year. One sets up an event and posts it and the site sends out the information to members. The downside is that everyone must go to the site and join. Comments were that it could be used to announce events to people who are not members, it may help to attract a younger audience, and it’s affordable for our group.
Events – This coming Friday, December 2, the Christmas Tree Ship will arrive at Navy Pier at 8 am. Our World Underwater will take place February 24-26.
There will be additional NAS courses by Dave Thompson and we will also be diving a wreck 501C3 status will be pursued for UASC.
Featured Speaker – Bob Nelson, the last harbormaster of Chicago, discussed and read passages from his book Dirty Water about the graft and corruption in the managing of the Chicago harbors. Bob’s four predecessors (87-93) were sent to prison and mayor Harold Washington hired Bob to clean the harbors up. He resisted continued attempts at corruption and bribery for his entire tenure as harbormaster. Nine of Bob’s fourteen inherited staff were indicted. The entire culture of bribery had to be changed. In the past, to get a slip, one had to buy a chain mooring line from the harbormaster for an exorbitant price or your boat would mysteriously break loose in the next storm and smash up. The reason was that if you didn’t pay the bribe, you were given a “soft” chain which broke easily.
During the presentation and ensuing Q & A period, some interesting comments and facts came up which follow. Monroe Harbor was built in the 1920’s and had a seaplane ramp. It had 1,000 boats with only a few tenders which is now improved since the Chicago Park District took it over. Now, for $100 a year, boaters owning slips have access to tender service. Police used to throw slot machines and dismantled guns into the lake by the crib. There used to be a wave tank under Soldiers’ Field where pier designs were tested. Bob later became the CEO of the Hammond Port Authority and said that the income from the Harrah's Casino replaced the influence of the former heavy industry in the area.