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Continuing the Count

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    Continuing the Count

    Our elected officials still continue to double talk trying to ride the fence. Below is a letter I received over the weekend from John Yarmouth, first term representative, who represents Louisville, Kentucky. See if you can tell whether he supports the exemption or is against it. How will he vote?

    And I quote:

    "Thank you for contacting me to express your support for the DELTA QUEEN steamboat. I appreciate the benefit of your views on this important issue.

    As a longtime Louisville resident, I have many great memories of watching the DELTA QUEEN and the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE participate in the Derby Festival Great Steamboat Race. The boat race is an important part of derby festivities - dating back to as far as 1963. Many Louisville residents look forward to the race each year, creating a great following for the DELTA QUEEN and the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE.

    Unfortunately, the DELTA QUEEN faces an uphill battle this year to continue river operations. The 1966 Safety of Life at Sea Law forbids any vessel from carrying over 50 overnight passengers if it is constructed primarily of wood. The purpose of this restriction is to protect passengers from potential fire hazards. The DELTA QUEEN bypassed this restriction for years with a special exemption from Congress. With the current exemption set to expire in November, 2008, Congress must pass another exemption so the DELTA QUEEN can continue river operations."

    **(I have to wonder where he got all this information -, you reckon?)!**

    And he continues:

    "Please be assured I will monitor this issue closely in the months ahead and make sure my colleagues understand the DELTA QUEEN's strong following in Louisville. Thank you again for taking the time to contact me on this important issue. I hope you stay in touch".

    He can bet his last bottom dollar I will stay in touch! What's your opinion? Will he vote yes or no?

    My humble opinion: He will vote where the MONEY is!


      Originally posted by Jim Blum View Post
      My humble opinion: He will vote where the MONEY is!
      That doesn't bode well!



        He needs more positive information. He's on the fence now because he doen't really know what is going on. As I keep saying, THIS ISSUE WAS RESOLVED ALMOST 40 YEARS AGO, when the DQ SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN A PERMANENT EXEMPTION.


          Here is a reply from the 8th District Representative, Jim Marshall of Georgia:

          "Thank you for contacting me in support of extending the Congressional exemption for the Steamboat DELTA QUEEN.

          This issue is under the jurisdiction of the House Transportation Committee, which I do not serve on. I do not know if members of this committee will bring the DELTA QUEEN exemption to the House Floor for a vote. If they do, I will keep your thoughts in my mind. They certainly seem reasonable."

          In my opinion looks like we got another fence rider here. GEEEZZZZ! In my opinion why can't these guys ever make a commitment ahead of time? In my opinion are the words yes or no in their vocabulary? In my opinion do they take a class when taking office on how to skirt a direct question or were they born with the ability to double talk? How hard can this be? F R U S T R A T I O N!!!!!!
          Last edited by Jo Ann Schoen; 10-05-2007, 09:01 AM.


            Jo Ann,
            This is where we have to stay strong and keep the goal in mind! Remember, the opposit of Pro is Con, the opposite of Progress is Congress!! :).
            Wonderful article you had in the paper, and I just sent a comment--we ALL should send in comments!!
            Keep them cards and letters comin'
            Hmm, now if we could steam a boat up to the halls of congress--that would get their attention!
            Too early in the day for this kind of crazy thinkin'!!
            David D.


              I am the one who lives in Mr. Marshall's district. I was pleased that he took the time to reply to my letter, not with a form letter, but in a manner which indicated he had read what I had written to him. Although he did not say how he would vote, if the exemption is brought to the House Floor, he did say he would keep my thoughts in mind and that they seem reasonable. I did appreciate that positive comment.

              I admire and appreciate all the work Jo Ann has done and is doing. She has inspired me to write to Mr. Marshall and to the Senators in my state, as well as to follow David's lead to write to city officials in Chattanooga asking for a resolution in support of the DQ. I chose Chattanooga because I will be boarding the DQ there a few weeks from now, as I have in each of the last two years.


                "I will be boarding"... rub it in, Pat--you're gonna be on board and I'm not AAUGH!! Have a wonderful time (what else can you have on the DQ?).
                Keep up the great work!
                David D.


                  I just got off a phone call with an aide to one of the Indiana Senators. She said they had not seen a ground swell of contact yet in support of the exemption. IT IS IMPERATIVE WE ALL contact our Congressional offices. She said petitions were fine also. We also need those Resolutions signed and sent to the offices of the Represenatives and Senators. A sample resolution has been posted previously.

                  We MUST work harder and get more support. We can't let the DELTA QUEEN die on our watch. We HAVE to save her for our children and their children. Lots of the United States will be having lovely weather this weekend. Now is the time to get out there and work those festivals and stand in front of Walmart and gather support for the DELTA QUEEN. She is depending on us. Only we can make this happen. Don't think someone else will do this. It will take all us, the 500+ who have signed the on line petition. You can't just sign the on line petition and then not do anything else, if you really do want her to keep running. This is going to take a group effort.



                    Ok, I'm gonna take what I saw as a positive thing...

                    Deb and I just got off of two back-to-back DQ cruises, ten nights total, absolutely wonderful as always. Very, VERY hard to get off the ol' gal in BNA. Anyways...

                    The whole 10 night trip, I did my song and dance, getting the true word out. A few things were different from our end of August cruise. First of all, about 1/2 of the passengers ALREADY knew that the exemption issues were pure BS, i.e. purely a union thing that had nothing to do with safety issues, unlike literially nobody knowing the truth in August. Second, I only had one passenger ask me about the "wooden hull", unlike in August where that seemed to be the question of the minute from everybody. And lastly, every town we stopped in needed NO encouragement from me to either support a resolution, push the petition sheets, and/or talk with other town councils/mayors about why the DQ should continue. I gathered from multiple governments that we talked to that mayors had already scheduled talks with a lot of other mayors, same with town councils, before I opened my mouth.

                    I got about 140 signatures and we passed out these really spiffy packets that we created to the town governments in Dover, Paducah and Grandview. I did my 20 minute talk to the full Grandview elected group in the Texas Bar, as we gave them a boat tour. All of them signed our petition...

                    I'm encouraged.

                    In addition, the crew, quite a few individual members who shall remain nameless, are openly visually and VERBALLY supporting the campaign, if you catch my drift. A complete turn arround from August, where wearing THE symbol or talking about the exemption was thought to be instant pink slip...

                    Another passenger is taking over the reins of getting the word out this week, she listened in real good to my dog and pony show, and we had lots and lots of copies made of the wonderful stuff that JoAnn has created for handouts...


                      Jo Ann did not create those handouts, I was just able to sneak them onboard. They came right off the save-the-delta-queen site. Thanks goes to Franz and I believe Jonathan and David. Now if we could just have a "plant" on every trip from now until the end of the season. GREAT work Bruno. And just think it was just in August that you were camera shy!! So can you and Deb manage another trip in November to keep up the good work?!?!?!


                        The "handouts" were big 9" x 12" manila envelopes with a DQ postcard and other Save the Queen stuff taped to the front with my and Deb's address, and of course with appropriate postage. Inside were lots of petitions and the two page "save the Delta Queen" flyer along with the sample letter to a member of congress. This way it doesn't cost anybody dime one to return something to us. And I will say I was DAMN proud that this idea and the execution of this idea was the result of a DQ crewmember, bless him...and if anybody is reading WAY TOO MUCH INTO THIS, the crewmember is NOT who you suspect it is...

                        Can't wait to see what we get back in return....


                          Last month I spoke personally with Sen. Charles Grassley (Rep. IA) about the future of the DQ. He seemed genuinely interested in her plight, and promised to look into the matter. I just recieved a letter from him stating that he has contacted the Coast Guard with regard to this issue. He promises to be back in touch as soon as the response is recieved.
                          Unfortunately, of all the committies Chuck serves on, transportation is not among them, but he commands a great deal of respect and influence in the Senate. One can only hope. Every little bit helps.


                            Thanks Greg. We've been informed that the exemption might make it to the House floor in the next two to three weeks. Keep your fingers crossed.


                              Greg -

                              I wrote to Sen. Grassley as well. He replied to me with the exact same message, that he would confer with the USCG on this matter. Today U sent him a response letter explaining that the Coast Guard is made up of entirely blue water officers, who have no experience with riverboats, much less ones that run on steam.