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 Post subject: OT, butPreservation “Save the Delta Queen” Bill up for vote
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 273
Location: Oroville, CA
As I have posted before, I am trying to help save America's Last traditional Overnight Steamboat. We have two bills in congress, but little interest in them--However, today I recieved word that the Senate bill was voted out of committee to be placed before the Senate for voting!
We do have an uphill battle as The American Cruise Lines has hired a lobbyist to prevent the bills from passing, Blank Rome Government Relations. So far they have spent over $150,000 to stop the bill. ACL has their own, modern, boats cruising the inland waterways and doesn’t want the competition.
So, to get it to pass, we need everyone to contact their Senators right away to support the bill. After it passes, we’ll need to go after the members of the House of Representatives.
Here's the background, so you don't have to search for the past postings:
I am asking you to help save an American Icon, the Steamboat Delta Queen. What makes this unusual is that we are not asking for any money, but for a minute of your time to stand up and be counted that you believe the American Steamboat Heritage is important by writing or phoning your congressional representatives.
Here’s the issue in a nutshell: The Delta Queen steamboat has a wooden superstructure, so cannot operate without an exemption from the 1960s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) law which forbids wooden superstructures on an overnight passenger boat. Because of the Delta Queens impeccable safety record spanning over 80 years, her modern fire suppression systems, and her ability to land on the river shore within minutes of a need, Congress has granted an exemption many times until 2008, when their inaction ended the Delta Queen’s travels. The boat has languished since then, but a new company owns her, and wants to run her again so folks can experience the great Steamboat era once more. To do so, they have two bills in congress that need to be acted upon; in the House, HR 1248, and in the Senate S 1717.


Would you please contact your senator and ask them to support this non-partisan bill, which spends no money, just gives the Delta Queen permission to run again. We are hoping a “groundswell” of communications to Congress will get the bills voted upon. If you need your representative’s name, email, phone number or other contact information, go to this website: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
If you want to know more about the delta queen’s story, there is this u-tube video from 2007: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdD0LYHv2N4
And a video on the safety equipment on board: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiB7aQoOPhg


Here is a sample text you may use, please feel free to personalize it however you wish:

"Senator _____;
I am writing you today to ask you to support S 1717 as it will help save a piece of American Heritage, the Legendary Steamboat Delta Queen, by giving her permission to operate on the American Inland Waterways. She has a spotless safety record going back over 80 years, and will provide jobs and tourism to the many small towns along those waterways; all this at no cost to Congress or to our tax dollars. Please be aware that American Cruise Lines, who operates cruise boats on the inland waterways, has mounted a campaign against this legislation thru Blank Rome Government Relations, so far spending $150,000, just to keep the Delta Queen from providing any competition to their boats. We are a grass-roots effort and don’t have that kind of money to counter them; Please, check the facts, the Delta Queen is a safe boat and is important to our American Heritage!
In these days of complex issues, this is a simple one; please don’t let it be overlooked in this busy election year. Thank you.
Sincerely,
"
It would be great if we could get this boat running again, both for preserving history and for the income it provides all the small river towns where she stops. It's estimated that it provides a $36 Million dollar boost to the area's economy when running.

_________________
Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: OT, butPreservation “Save the Delta Queen” Bill up for v
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 273
Location: Oroville, CA
Here's a picture of the DQ back in 2008


Attachments:
File comment: Just a pic of the boat back when she was running (2008)
DQ at landing web.jpg
DQ at landing web.jpg [ 43.98 KiB | Viewed 1543 times ]

_________________
Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.
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 Post subject: Re: OT, butPreservation “Save the Delta Queen” Bill up for v
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:00 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 273
Location: Oroville, CA
This just in; those of you whose Senators are listed, please let them know you support the legislation!
S. 1717 was approved as part of a package of several agenda items in one voice vote, the motion was made by Senator Nelson from Florida. Anyone living in Florida needs to send him a big thank you.

Four no votes were recorded, Booker from New Jersey, Schatz from Hawaii, Cantwell from Washington and Blumenthal from Connecticut. We need our supporters in those states to contact them and change their minds.

We also need the Kentucky folks to get McConnell to get the bill to the Senate floor for passage. Don't let him kill it just by not scheduling it.

_________________
Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: OT, butPreservation “Save the Delta Queen” Bill up for v
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:38 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:24 am
Posts: 470
Location: Canada
Political Fix
Senate committee passes plan for Delta Queen to again steam on the Mississippi
By Chuck Raasch St. Louis Post-Dispatch Jun 29, 2016 (4)
Delta Queen
The Delta Queen docked in St. Louis, on Aug. 8, 1997, during her 50th anniversary cruise. The legendary steamboat first traveled up the Mississippi after making a trip from California in 1947. Post-Dispatch file photo
WASHINGTON • The possibility of the historic Delta Queen again cruising the Mississippi River and its tributaries took one step closer to reality when the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday approved a plan to allow that.

The measure now goes to the Senate for full approval and would need House of Representatives concurrence and a presidential signature to become law.

Introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio and supported by Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., the bill would reinstate a decades-long exemption to allow the boat to operate from its new home port of Kimmswick, in Jefferson County.

It's not a foregone conclusion. Brown and others previously tried unsuccessfully to exempt the 88-room privately owned steamboat from the 1966 safety laws barring wooden vessels from carrying more than 50 passengers overnight. Opponents of the exemption worry that the Delta Queen and other older wooden boats are potential firetraps that could put passengers at risk.



McCaskill and Blunt said the 1920s-era wooden steamboat would operate cruises out of about 80 ports. According to a joint statement by McCaskill and Blunt, the St. Louis region would get 170 new jobs and more than $36 million in annual economic impact if the plan goes through.

The Delta Queen carried three U.S. Presidents, various other dignitaries, and thousands of other passengers through the tributaries of the Mississippi River for a good part of the last century. It also served as a naval ship during World War II, and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

The Delta Queen was exempted from federal regulations of passenger ships carrying 50 or more passengers overnight on domestic U.S. waters, but that exemption expired in 2008. The new bill would restore the exemption but also require at least 10 percent of the wooden parts of the ship to annually be modified to adhere to federal safety standards.

Blunt called the Delta Queen a “national treasure” and McCaskill said the potential economic benefits would “allow the Delta Queen to serve as far more than an historic landmark and tourist attraction.”

Tags
Delta Queen Mississippi River Roy Blunt Claire Mccaskill Sherrod Brown Queen
Chuck Raasch
Chuck Raasch is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


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 Post subject: Re: OT, butPreservation “Save the Delta Queen” Bill up for v
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:52 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 273
Location: Oroville, CA
The wooden "firetrap" issue comes up by opponents who do not know the Delta Queen. The DQ has the same type of fire suppression system that our military naval vessels have; every area is covered by the sprinkler system, as well as being monitored with heat rise sensors. Every cabin has direct access to the outer decks, no maze of inside corridors to get lost in. Her 85+ year safety record speaks to her passengers' safety. In addition, a watch person is on duty 24/7 who has to key in at watch stations throughout the boat.
As to other boats, there are none that fit the carefully worded exemption; although not named in the legislation, the Delta Queen is the only vessel that meets the legislation's wording.
Back when she was running, Conde Nast's 'Traveler' magazine rated various cruise ships. The Delta Queen was listed as having the fewest on-board amenities, BUT having the highest repeat passenger use of all listed ships. I am safer onboard the DQ than I am in my own home.
Past opposition to the exemption was from the Seafarer's Union, who wanted to make an example out of the then non-union boat; current opposition comes mostly from the CEO of American Cruise Lines, who has spent over $150,000 to try to defeat the legislation.

_________________
Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: OT, butPreservation “Save the Delta Queen” Bill up for v
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:55 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm
Posts: 828
Quote:
"The wooden "firetrap" issue comes up by opponents who do not know the Delta Queen. The DQ has the same type of fire suppression system that our military naval vessels have; every area is covered by the sprinkler system, as well as being monitored with heat rise sensors"...


I would be happier if I did not remember that this and more was said about the fire system on the Morro Castle.

This 10% per year 'remediation' interests me. Are they saying that the wood needs to be replaced with noncombustible alternative material? That it has to be specially encapsulated or dip-treated? There must be some technical collateral associated with that provision ... what is it, and what does it mean for the people restoring and operating the Queen?

_________________
R.M.Ellsworth


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 Post subject: Re: OT, butPreservation “Save the Delta Queen” Bill up for v
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:19 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 273
Location: Oroville, CA
First, a ship at sea (and in a heavy storm) is nothing like the Delta Queen on the Rivers. The Delta Queen is never more than 5 minutes from "beaching" herself, lowering the gangplank, and letting everyone walk off the boat to land. There are also escape slides and other escape systems in place already.
The Morrow Castle did have some fire monitors, but no sprinkler system such as the DQ has--which would have put out that storage room fire before it could become dangerous. The Morrow's fire hoses were mostly disconnected, and the crew was not trained in firefighting, which the DQ's crew is, and drills are practiced frequently. All passengers on the DQ participate in a fire drill where the application of life vests is practiced and inspected.
Comparing the two is apples and oranges, and to consider the Morrow's fire systems anything like the DQ's is a misrepresentation.
The 10% is a plan to continue the replacement of wooden structural members with metal while retaining the visible historical integrity. The pilot house has, for years, been supported on steel posts, replacing the wooden support structure. Most of the first deck is metal reinforced (some of it part of the original design) There are also plans to upgrade the boiler room with even better bulkheads.
As I have stated before, I'm safer onboard the DQ than I am in my own home. I also consider the travel I have to take to board the DQ the most dangerous part of my trip! In fact, on our return flight from our last visit to the DQ, several people in the airplane were injured and taken off (upon landing) on gurneys and ambulances when we unexpectedly hit some very sever turbulence.

_________________
Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Help save the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!
Write your congressman to support and co-sponsor House Resolution HR-619. This bill only grants her permission to run; there is no cost to us taxpayers.


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 Post subject: Re: OT, butPreservation “Save the Delta Queen” Bill up for v
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:26 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:47 am
Posts: 210
Location: www.frrm.org
I will second all that David has said. I've been aboard the DQ several times, including 7 night cruises. The boat is better protected from fire than most hotels.
-JH


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 Post subject: Re: OT, butPreservation “Save the Delta Queen” Bill up for v
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:56 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1753
Regarding fireproofing and structural issues on the Delta Queen, here is information from a post by Phillip Johnson on steamboats.org. Philip is actively involved with the current owners.

Quote:
The Delta Queen has been undergoing structural fire-load reduction modifications since the 1990's, and you never noticed. All of the sundeck bathrooms and forward cabins, and some of the Texas Deck have been replaced with non combustible materials, with only the visible top surface being paneled in wood. This protects the authentic appearance, while meeting the USCG requirements in order to let the vessel sail. I think you'd be shocked how much of the Delta Queen is non-combustible already.


Wesley


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