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Discussion Starter #1
Delta Queen

This is a very critical point. Anyone that would like to express their support for this STEAM vessel a key person to contact is your Congressman/woman and in particular:
The Save the Delta Queen Campaign Team has pinpointed a potential ally in the Senate. There is a good chance that we can persuade Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania to introduce exemption legislation for the Delta Queen. It is crucial that he hears from as many people as possible â€" especially from people living in Pennsylvania.

Please, if you can, contact Senator Specter and ask him to do whatever he can to get an exemption (preferably a permanent one) for the Delta Queen through the Senate. And please ask everyone you know â€" especially anyone who lives in Pennsylvania â€" to do the same. Also ask them to ask more people to do the same. Here’s where you can reach Sen. Specter:

The Hon. Arlen Specter
711 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4254
Fax: (202) 228-1229
Email through his web site: http://specter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm

Within the next two weeks we’re also going to deliver a set of petitions and resolutions to Sen. Specter’s office at Capitol Hill. This will consist of petitions, resolutions, and Steamboats.org petition messages that we’ve collected since our first delivery to them on April 18. Anyone who has petitions or resolutions, please let us know so we can give you details about whom to send them to and when.

The fight to save the Delta Queen has just begun!
 

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Well, Sir - I've done my bit from over here in deepest East Anglia, where folks turn out to see a cow-flop.

Y'see, out here in the rurials we are literally surrounded by the real evidence of what steam has done for us - much of this part of the world is actually below sea level - and without 24/7/365 pumping by steam engines in the time before the dismal took over we would all be water-breathers. In fact, even our little 7.25" gauge NG steam layout would be around 8 feet under water. [Details of location provided only via PM]

To see a grand old lady set in concrete instead of plying her way up and down the river where she was made for is a sin and shame, and I said as much to the Senator in my letter.

Get to it, you locals!

tac
 

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Charles,
I will be happy to do my part with this cause. My comment is, I always thought I was using steam power. When did we start using fake steam?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hmmm....ever since there were sparkies: fake steam locomotive/engines. Does that locomotive run on battery power, etc- NO it's a "real" steam locomotive. Given that the word "live" can be construed as "connected to electric power," as well as:
exerting force or containing energy; "live coals"; or "got a shock from a live wire"; I have made a conscious effort to use "real" steam vs. live steam.
 

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The issue is Fire Safety. The exemption being sought (through Congressional Legislation) is to the Safety at Sea Act which is under the jurisdiction of and enforcement by the U.S. Coast Guard: (below also from the (Save the Queen web site - further down the page Might be easier to read there):





Rep. Oberstar’s manipulatory tricks in his Delta Queen speech on the House of Representatives


Apr 27, 2008


It’s a shame that the discussion about the future of the Delta Queen became a partisan issue last week in the House of Representatives. We’re trying to change this back to a non-partisan discussion by showing where Rep. Oberstar used manipulatory tricks to get almost all of his fellow Democrat representatives to vote with him without looking at the facts and without using their brains before they voted.



Rep. Oberstar’s speech text is in green, while our comments are in black (preceeded by ">>".


The issue is Fire Safety. The exemption being sought (through Congressional Legislation) is to the Safety at Sea Act which is under the jurisdiction of and enforcement by the U.S. Coast Guard: (below also from the (Save the Queen web site - further down the page):





Rep. Oberstar’s manipulatory tricks in his Delta Queen speech on the House of Representatives


Apr 27, 2008


It’s a shame that the discussion about the future of the Delta Queen became a partisan issue last week in the House of Representatives. We’re trying to change this back to a non-partisan discussion by showing where Rep. Oberstar used manipulatory tricks to get almost all of his fellow Democrat representatives to vote with him without looking at the facts and without using their brains before they voted.



Rep. Oberstar’s speech text is in green, while our comments are in black (preceeded by ">>".



Just get your own picture of the situation. I’m trying to only present the facts and hold back with my personal opinion.



Mr. Speaker, I enormously respect the distinguished and amiable gentleman from Ohio, the weight-lifting champ of the House gym. When he walks on the floor, the weights quiver and shake in awe of his appearance.



He has been an advocate for the Delta Queen even back to last fall when I was in the Bethesda Naval Hospital for an operation to correct a long-standing injury to my neck. He sent a sheet cake with the Delta Queen emblazoned upon it to remind me of his diligence and of his enthusiasm for the Delta Queen. I could only eat one slice of it, but I assured him that the staff at the hospital, who had no idea what the Delta Queen was all about, appreciated this sheet cake from the very distinguished and caring gentleman from the State of Ohio.



But labor has nothing to do with this issue. I haven’t heard from a single person in any labor union about this matter.



>> What Rep. Oberstar doesn’t explain is why he totally changed his mind since just last year when he voted in favor of the Delta Queen exemption. And he has never explained how it comes that Majestic America Line is claiming the Union issue being the only reason for his opposition (see:

http://www.secinfo.com/d14D5a.u5dFm.8.htm, search on page for "Congressman Oberstar").



The Delta Queen was built in 1926 and carried 174 passengers, 88 state rooms. It has extensive wood superstructure. It has extensive wood interior and furniture, and for those reasons, the Coast Guard will not certify this vessel.



>> Simply not true. The Coast Guard has certified the Delta Queen numerous times in the past and just weeks ago. Citing a DQ crew member: "We passed our annual Coast Guard Inspection on Tuesday [= April 15, 2008] and received our new COI. The inspector was very impressed with the crew during the Fire and Abandon Ship drills."



>> Opposition is clear. The combustible construction of the vessel presents an unacceptable fire risk that cannot be mitigated by the addition of fire-suppression measures, says the Coast Guard. As such, the Coast Guard’s position remains unchanged. The Delta Queen should be prohibited from operating with overnight passengers. Since May 28, 1936, the United States has required that passenger vessels be constructed essentially of fire retardant material. In the interest of maritime safety, the Coast Guard, continuing their quote, has consistently opposed legislation to prolong the service of the Delta Queen. A vessel constructed of wood operating in the overnight passenger trade presents an unacceptable fire risk to its passengers and crew. It goes on at great length.



>> We’ve seen such a letter from a high-ranking Coast Guard officer, true. But nevertheless the Coast Guard has always issued certificates of inspection for the Delta Queen testifying her safety and compliance with the regulations while the Coast Guard could easily have refused the certificate in case the Delta Queen was not safe.

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The Delta Queen can operate in daytime but not at night.



In the operation of the trade on the Mississippi River, the worst disaster in history occurred, fire onboard a paddle wheeler. Yes, in the 19th century, but 1,700 people died 100 yards from shore.



Mr. Oberstar obviously is referring to the Sultana disaster of 1865 (see details: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~genepool/sultana.htm). That fire was caused by a boiler explosion, something absolutely untinkable as of today. At that time due to a lack of safety standards steamboats had an average lifetime of 3-5 years and boiler explosions were relatively common. The Delta Queen now is 82 years old and never had any major incidents in her whole lifetime. The Sultana could carry 376 persons, including crew, about double than the Delta Queen today. But the ruthless captain of the Sultana overloaded the boat with the incredible number of more than 1,700 passengers, mainly Civil soldiers on their way back home.



If it makes any sense to compare the Sultana with the Delta Queen, then we also have to compare the Titanic with modern cruise ships and stop (at least) all Alaska cruises immediately.



On March 22 of this year, of this year, the Delta Queen had a fire in the generating room requiring the use of their fixed C02 extinguishing system. Fortunately, no one was injured. The generator shorted, caused flames to shoot out the generator end.



Isn’t that just an example how safe the Delta Queen in fact is and how well her safety appliances are working? The fire detection and extinguishing systems acted exactly as designed and did their job flawlessly. By the way: According to our sources, the fire was caused by a generator overspeed, not a short. And the fire was contained to the generator space, which is basically a metal room within the boiler room. No wood even close to it.



Earlier this month, the Queen of the West, this April, a similar paddle wheel operated by the very same company that owns and operates the Delta Queen had a fire in the engine room, required evacuation of 177 passengers and crew. Three crew members were treated for smoke inhalation.



>> What does the Queen of the West have to do with the Delta Queen? She is an all-steel boat with a hydraulic-driven paddlewheel; no wooden superstructure, no steam.



Last year, in May, the Empress of the North, another excursion vessel operated by the same company owning the Delta Queen, ran aground in southeast Alaska, evacuating over 200 passengers and crew; fourth grounding of that vessel in less than 4 years.



>> Again, what does this have to do with the Delta Queen? And very important: The Queen of the West as well as the Empress of the North are of course Coast Guard certified vessels, the navigational crew of both boats of course are holding an appropriate license issued by the Coast Guard.



Now I can understand those who live along the Mississippi River, which starts nearly in my district all the way down to the Gulf, but friends, we would never stand for limiting safety on a 747 aircraft.



a) what does a 747 airplane have to do with a steamboat? b) nobody is talking about limiting the safety on the Delta Queen. The Delta Queen is safer than she’s ever been and absolutely up to modern standards and beyond.



And over a decade ago, a foreign airline was trying to remove over-wing exits from a 747.



>> Trying to remove over-wing exits in fact reduces safety on a 747. Renewing the Delta Queen’s exemption does not reduce safety but maintains the level of safety she had over the last at least 40 years since she is running under these exemptions from a law that was never made for riverboats but for sea-going passenger vessels. Remember: Great Lakes ships are exempt from this law by default; riverboats had just been forgotten about to exempt by default in that law.



Congressman Bill Clinger, Pennsylvania’s ranking Republican on the Committee on Aviation with me, we stopped them from doing that. We stopped the FAA from allowing that risk to safety. We should stop this risk to safety here. Fire at night is terrifying. Oppose the amendment.



(end of Rep. Oberstar’s speech)

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3 key facts about the Delta Queen exemption


Apr 23, 2008When talking to politicians and journalist about the exemption for the Delta Queen, there are three very important facts that everyone writing or deciding about this exemption should know:



>> 1) It’s the Coast Guard, not the US Congress who is genuinely reponsible for the safety of all boats on US inland rivers.

The Delta Queen has just received a certificate of inspection from the Coast Guard; according to DQ’s first mate "The inspector was very impressed with the crew during the Fire and Abandon Ship drills." (source: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=104885691&blogID=382056040)



>> 2) Exempting the Delta Queen from the Safety at Sea Act does not give the Delta Queen a direct permission to continue running as an overnight passenger vessel.

The boat still needs the Certificate of Inspection from the Coast Guard, which the Coast Guard can and must refuse in case the DQ is not considered being safe. The exemption just allows the Coast Guard to issue this certificate at all despite the existance of the Safety at Sea Act.



>> 3) We strongly believe that an American icon and National Historic Landmark like the Delta Queen must not be grounded by one single Representative by blocking legislation in his committee for obscure and impertinent reasons.

We strongly believe that in a modern democratic country the people’s representation, the full House and Senate of the United States have the right and duty to make this decision.



And of course, the Delta Queen does have a steel hull, only parts of the superstructure is made from wood. Why am I mentioning this? Well, because now and then journalists and politicians still seam to believe that the Delta Queen is a historic boat in a sense that she’s on the technical level of the mid 1800s steamboats, pre Civil War. To make hat clear: No, she’s not! She has very high, modern standards when it comes to safety. No doubt about that at all.



>> Please, help us saving the Delta Queen. Check the postings below to see what you can do, especially contacting the House Leadership. It’s really important. Don’t sit back and wait for others saving the DQ for you. Every phone call, every fax, every e-mail, every signed petition counts!
 
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