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Continuing education....

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    Continuing education....

    It would appear that Congressman Bruce Braley still isn't quite familiar with the DELTA QUEEN's issue:

    [FONT=Arial]Thank you for contacting me regarding the Delta Queen steamboat[/FONT][FONT=Arial] and H.R. 3852, which would extend certain exemptions to fire safety standards[/FONT][FONT=Arial].[/FONT][FONT=Arial] This is an important issue and [/FONT][FONT=Arial]I appreciate you sharing[/FONT][FONT=Arial] your views with me.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]For the [/FONT][FONT=Arial]last 40 years, the Delta Queen [/FONT][FONT=Arial]has sailed under a special exemption from international stan[/FONT][FONT=Arial]dards for Safety of Life at Sea[/FONT][FONT=Arial]. Because h[/FONT][FONT=Arial]er wooden superstructure does not[/FONT][FONT=Arial] meet current fire standards, Congress has [/FONT][FONT=Arial]passed exemptions to the fire safety rule[/FONT][FONT=Arial] to [/FONT][FONT=Arial]allow her to continue to operate with the traditional, wooden hull[/FONT][FONT=Arial].[/FONT][FONT=Arial] The current exemption is set to expire in November 2008.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial]I understand [/FONT][FONT=Arial]the attraction of the Delta Queen, and its historical significance. I also understand the reasons that Congress instituted fire safety standards on watercraft that carry more than 50 passengers. Please know that I am hearing from all sides on this issue, I am studying H.R. 3852, and I will keep you[/FONT][FONT=Arial]r[/FONT][FONT=Arial] concerns in mind as this issue moves forward in the 110[/FONT][FONT=Arial]th[/FONT][FONT=Arial] Congress.[/FONT]


    Bruce Braley
    Member of Congress

    It's nice that he (or a member of his staff) took the time to respond to constituent correspondence, and that he is willing to listen to all sides. However, I sincerely hope that his understanding of the issue is not representative of the Congress at large.

    The letter you received is a virtual duplicate of others from Reps. John Yarmuth (KY) and Michael Bilirakis (FL). It's called fence sitting and is typical of the milk toast representation from the current group of elected officials across the country. All they seem to do is spew out pablum and accomplish very little.


      Hi, Jon & Jim:
      Some 40 + years fighting and bleeding in the trenches of political/civic initiatives [i.e. 'activism a la 1960s] makes me agree with you, Jim, on the letter Jon received. Yet, he did receive 'something.' I found in the past that communications are received and identified with a 'return' cut from the same format with a different date and name slid in at the top. At times I've had to do the same in the name of time and efficiency. A sign of the times. I learned never to underestimate these people as their wheels grind slowly but very finely and they do have very l-o-n-g memories and their manila desk folders soon bulge with papers. All we can do is preservere with courtesy, diplomacy in the proper tone. What would I do if in their positions?

      R. Dale Flick


        Looks like yesterday was the "mass mailing" day from the Congressman's office on the Delta Queen exemption. Rep. Braley's office also sent me the identical e-mail about the "wooden-hull" Delta Queen! The proper response is to thank him for considering our request, thank and encourage him to study the real facts of the case (as explained in the video, for instance), and to state positively that once the fire safety "issue" has been researched and studied and understood, that we are confident of the future contined operation of the boat. Getting into a prolonged debate is fruitless and will not serve the boat well. However, I must admit that I couldn't help myself but correct the "wood hull" statement by giving the Congressman the actual facts: in a polite and non-obtrusive manner, of course. Let's keep at it! And we must remember to NEVER do anything that would burn bridges behind us. We can encourage, provide accurate information, and invite people to study the real facts, but we can never make up their mind for them. Hopefully, the truth in the matter will do that. If not, then we've done all we can do.


          My, my if you all are getting those kind of blah-blah answers, I can't wait to hear from the members of the Transportation Committee who all received individual letters from me.
          The American Queen awaits tomorrow - maybe I'll have responses waiting when I return home on the 22nd. Ha! Ha! I will pass them on if I do.
          We here in Cincinnati are happy that a Resolution is being voted on the 18th of December presented by Councilwoman Leslie Ghiz. R.Dale Flick will try to attend that meeting!