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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, January 26, 2002

Maritime museum directors ousted

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

The Bishop Museum has dismissed the board of directors of the Hawai'i Maritime Center and will take more direct control of the Honolulu Harbor attraction.

The museum has owned the Maritime Center since 1995.

Tim Guard, chairman of the former Maritime Center Board and president and general manager of McCabe, Hamilton & Renny, said the Bishop Museum board's decision became final this week.

Guard said the museum board members gave "manifold reasons," for their actions, pertaining mostly to the financial status of the Maritime Center.

"We've had attendance problems," Guard said. "But since Sept. 11, attendance has fallen off even more dramatically."

"We've had an extensive need for operating subsidies," he said. "We've needed $300,000 annually to keep the doors open."

Also, the mortgage still owed on the Maritime Center to First Hawaiian Bank totals nearly $1.5 million, Guard said, "and the bank was concerned about who would be responsible for the payment of this obligation."

Guard said that some members of the Maritime Center board are concerned about the future of the center.

Bob Krauss, a long-time Advertiser journalist and a founding board member of the Maritime Center, said he is one of those concerned about the center's future.

Guard, however, said he believes Bishop Museum director William Yancey Brown "clearly recognizes the importance of the Maritime Center. He has assured me it is one of his highest priorities.

"The Maritime Center is a cultural icon here in Hawai'i. They (museum directors) will provide it with good stewardship."