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Fighting on the home front

 
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:43 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 292
Blog Entries: 13
Default Fighting on the home front

Here are some goings-on around the "Dubuque office" of our campaign:

Dad wrote a letter to the editor of the Telegraph Herald, the largest circulation newspaper in the area. Here is the complete text (also available here):

Delta Queen worth saving
David Tschiggfrie, 2723 Shetland Court

On the heels of the tragic news of the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis, also comes the shocking news that the steamer Delta Queen will cease operation forever in November 2008.

Majestic America Line, new owners of the veteran sternwheeler, announced two days ago that Congress has denied the steamboat any further exemption from the Safety of Life at Sea law, exemptions under which she has operated safely and successfully since 1970.

In that year, a tremendous outpouring of support from hundreds of thousands of Americans saved the Delta Queen at the 11th hour. And now, once again this historic and irreplaceable steamboat is being threatened with extinction, and she desperately needs our help. It's time to contact our U.S. Congressmen, urging them to support a permanent exemption for this boat. Once she is gone, her likes will never be seen again.

This city has a long and colorful history connected to the Mississippi River and its steamboats, and the Queen's visits here are a highlight of the summer and fall along the river's banks.

The Delta Queen, a national historic landmark, is the last vintage, authentic overnight passenger steamboat in the United States, preserving a 196-year history of steamboating on America's rivers.

So write your Congressmen to help save the Delta Queen. Her days are numbered, and so are ours if we hope to make a difference in preserving a piece of our history. Do not wait.


I've been making inquiries to local and federal officials regarding the full text of Public Law 89-777. As of today, the only response I've received is from Len Sutter, Office of Chief Counsel of the United States Maritime Administration. Here are some highlights:

[SIZE=2]FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEATH OR INJURY TO PASSENGERS. Sections 2[/SIZE] [SIZE=2]and 3 of Public Law 89-777, approved November 6, 1966 (80 STAT. 1356),[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]provides for financial responsibility for death or injury to passengers.

[/SIZE][SIZE=2]Section 2 of Public Law 89-777, generally requires each owner or[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]charterer of an American or foreign-flag vessel having berth or[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]stateroom accommodations of 50 or more passengers, and embarking[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]passengers at U.S. ports, to establish, under regulations prescribed by[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), financial responsibility to meet[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]any liability he may incur for death or injury to passengers or other[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]person on voyages to or from U. S. ports, in an amount based upon the[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]number of passenger accommodations aboard the vessel, as set forth in[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]the section.

[/SIZE][SIZE=2]The purpose of these financial responsibility requirements is to insure[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]that adequate assets or insurance are available to pay judgments for[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]damages for death or injury to any person, including passengers or crew[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]members, or for nonperformance of the transportation. The primary[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]thrust of Public Law 89-777, concerned passenger vessel safety[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]standards. The genesis of the legislation was the fire aboard the[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]38-year-old Panamanian-flag cruise ship SS YARMOUTH CASTLE on November[/SIZE] [SIZE=2]13, 1965, that resulted in the loss of 90 lives. This vessel was[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]operated out of Miami, and the vast majority of the passengers were U.S.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]citizens.

[/SIZE]
[SIZE=2]The email contained little more, certainly not the full text. Mr. Sutter also referred me to the local library, where apparently the full text may be found. If this is the case, look for another posting from me soon containing it.

I've been sending letters to every kind of representative I can find. In addition, I plan on contacting local radio stations to see if I can get some airtime. I'll be taking a flyer to Staples to get copies made, and hopefully man a station near the river to hand them out. Dad and I also talked about the possibility of getting the museum here involved, by running a weekly program or something similar.

Anyone have more ideas?
[/SIZE]
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