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Old 08-05-2007, 10:57 AM
David Dewey David Dewey is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Northern California above Lake Oroville on "Dewey Mountain"
Posts: 1,153
Default Letter I sent to everyone/group I know!

HI all,
Here is what I sent to all my Yahoo Groups, and my mailing list (and Paul Harvey too!) I've also added my "saved the DQ" signature to all my emails--you might want to too!

Hi All,
As most of you know, I spent two weeks this spring aboard the steam powered sternwheel riverboat, the Delta Queen, on this, her 80th year. Back in 1969 she was the last overnight steamboat left operating on American waters, and Congress had passed a new legislation designed to make Ocean travel safer for the public. This legislation outlawed wood in overnight passenger vessels on the high seas. Because of poor wording, it also affected ANY American ship (or boat), including the Delta Queen, which never is more than a few minutes from shore (and is designed to be beached on shore, that's how they "dock" for all those interesting river stops they make, like the Oak Alley Plantation), and is actually taller than any of the rivers she is traveling. In addition, the wood has been treated with NASA designed fire-retarding paints, and has a modern sprinkling system covering every space onboard--even the little tiny bathrooms we get on the upper decks!
But back to that law, in 1970 she was granted a 3 year exemption, and the whole tale is very long, but it was a case of the public forcing Congress to pass a popular piece of legislation--which had to be on the sly, as the Merchant Marine committee chairperson was dead-set against it (despite unanimous passage by the Senate). Six times since, the exemption has been renewed (why it wasn't permanent is still a mystery), and the Delta Queen has been carefully cared for, with modern safety appliances and training added as they were developed. She has a perfect safety record, and even was "Steamboat 1" for a week with President Carter and family on board. Well, the exemption runs out next year, in 17 months to be exact. The company that runs her has given up trying to get the legislation passed--there is a Union fight going on, and a new Committee head that apparently doesn't like the boat either. When the company announced on August1 that they were giving up the fight, and 2008 would be the final cruises of the Delta Queen, a number of us enthusiasts started a grass-roots campaign to SAVE THE DELTA QUEEN. We think we have enough time, and enough interest to get congress to once again listen to the people they purport to represent. We have no financial interest, no big PR company, just a group of Americans, who love the Delta Queen, and want to keep the National Landmark status boat operating, carrying people into the next decade, preserving the living history of Steamboating on the American Rivers.
So why this long letter? To get YOU to write your congressperson and to visit www.save-the-delta-queen.org or www.steamboats.org to see what you can do to help us SAVE THE DELTA QUEEN!
Thanks for reading through to here and I now return you to your regular programming.
Steamcerely,
David Dewey
PS, if anyone knows how to reach Jay Leno, Paul Harvey, President Carter, we would really like to get them onboard too!
SAVE THE DELTA QUEEN!
www.save-the-delta-queen.org
Help save this American Icon, it IS up to you!
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