McImpressed & McCheering

April 24, 2008

img_3490.JPGToday I had a wonderful opportunity and I grabbed it. I received an e-mail from the Young Republicans (who obviously aren’t aware I am 40 – lol) that John MCain would hold a Town Hall meeting at Xavier University today in New Orleans. I grabbed it and drove across Lake Pontchartrain after paying too much for gas. This event wasn’t well publicized and the crowd was very small and intimate. I somehow manged to get a front row seat.

I was surrounded by a bunch of college students and I really enjoyed picking their brains and listening to their thoughts about McCain before he came out to speak. The first to speak was Dr. Norman Francis, the President of the University and a hero who got the University back up and running just 4 months after Katrina. Next to speak was former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer. Then, Cindy MCain graciously introduced her husband and it was transparent that she believes in him with all her heart.

Physical impressions: Cindy is absolutely breathtaking with gorgeous blue eyes. She plays the Presidential Candidate’s wife just perfectly and will make the ideal First Lady! All I could think of was how much she sacrifices of her private life just by by campaigning with her husband every day!John McCain is not as tall as I thought he was, he is thin and at first sight appeared older than I remember or have seen. However, after 2 minutes of speaking I saw a man whose age makes me want him to be our next President even more. He was fit, very virile & energetic. I saw the in front of me our future President and First Lady!

My hesitations: My two reservations about John McCain have always been were his age and his reported “hot temper.” After being in a room with him for over an hour – I feel perfectly comfortable with him and have no hesitations whatsoever!

Passion: John McCain is everything that the American people need right now. He is patriotic, passionate, sincere, a real person, sensible and he is NOT more of the same. He is not trying to sell you on things you want to hear but is trying to educate the American people on the things he truly believes in.

Public Speaking: I was absolutely blown away with the manner he spoke and how he fielded every question asked of him. He spoke about: Iraq, New Orleans, his gas tax holiday proposal, wetland & coastal preservation and restoration, global climate changes, pork barrel spending, charter schools, his criticism of the Bush administration on how Iraq was handled pre-Patreus, his criticism of the way the Federal Government handled Katrina, public education, tax cuts, his looking forward to debating with the Democratic candidate, the respect he has for the other candidates, the need of the American people to all do a higher service than for themselves, Iran, and his wanting to be a President for ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!

John McCain is everything we need right now! I stand behind him 100%! Hooah!!!!c/p at Hooah Wife

New cruise boat launched on bet tourism tide is turning

The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) June 27, 2002 | Becky Kramer Staff writer Tourism magnate Duane Hagadone stood waving on the prow of the Osprey, while cables slowly lowered the 45-ton cruise boat into the Spokane River.

The newest addition to the fleet of Lake Coeur Cruise boats hit the water with a splash. Soon, it was turning circles in the river.

“You think of kids spinning in the parking lot. This is the grown- up version,” chuckled Cindy Ulen, who came to watch the boat’s maiden voyage.

The 149-seat Osprey was launched Wednesday amid gleeful fanfare that included a champagne christening, and expectations for a better tourism season. As the cruise boat glided serenely along the tree- lined river, industry officials said they’ve turned the corner on a rocky 18-month period marked by declining hotel-motel receipts in Kootenai County. website coeur d alene resort

“We’re back to slightly better than last year,” said Hagadone Hospitality President Jerry Jaeger, commenting on business at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and the Coeur d’Alene Inn.

Although the privately held company doesn’t release revenue figures, Jaeger said revenues dropped significantly between September and March.

Every room in the Coeur d’Alene Resort was full on Sept. 11, but occupancy plummeted to 20 percent in the weeks following the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

“We really depend on that fly-in traffic,” Jaeger said. “We had groups booked from the East Coast, and the airports were closed.” “People just wouldn’t get on an airplane,” said Hagadone, chairman of the Hagadone Corp., which owns Hagadone Hospitality.

After years of steady growth, the 2 percent tax collected on Kootenai County’s hotel-motel revenues was down in 2001. The decline actually started last summer, as fewer families took out-of-town vacations and companies cut back on meeting travel.

The trend continued this year. Receipts collected through May of this year are down another 10 percent, compared to the first five months of 2001.

Hotels are only one of the sectors affected by softness in the tourism market. Lodging accounts for about 30 percent of a traveler’s spending. Transportation, meals, shopping and recreation also contribute to the final tab, said Jonathan Coe, general manager of the Coeur d’Alene Area Chamber of Commerce. coeur d alene resort

“It’s coming back, though I wouldn’t say it’s coming back in a rush,” Coe said. “It’s a slow, gradual return.” Timing of the rebound is tied to the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s large influence in North Idaho’s tourism industry. The resort caters to corporate, fly-in travelers, and that segment has been slower to bounce back, Coe said.

As for leisure travelers, North Idaho should see some spin-off traffic this summer and fall from visitors retracing the Lewis and Clark trail, said state Tourism Director Carl Wilgus in an interview from Boise.

“If it’s going to be a hot summer, people will go where they can be cool. And if that’s not ocean beaches, it will be lake beaches,” Wilgus said.

If those tourists hit Lake Coeur d’Alene, there’s a fair chance they’ll end up on a cruise. The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s five cruise boats ferry about 150,000 people on the lake each year.

“It’s the largest freshwater fleet in the western United States,” Jaeger said.

Coeur d’Alene Lake Cruises have been a fixture on the lake since the 1920s, when John Finney started a pleasure boat excursion. Finney’s nephew, Fred Finney, eventually purchased the company and later sold it to Hagadone Hospitality.

Fred Finney built the entire fleet of cruise boats in operation on the lake. And he still runs the operation as general manager. During the summer, he runs his office out of one of the boats.

“It’s the best job,” said Finney, as he piloted the Osprey toward the dock at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

This sidebar appeared with the story:

BEHIND THE HEADLINES Tourism took plunge Occupancy at the Coeur d’Alene Resort plummeted to only 20 percent in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Wednesday’s launch of the Osprey signals that tourism in North Idaho is on the rebound.

Becky Kramer Staff writer

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When election time comes, I will hold my nose and vote for John McCain. Of the three possible choices, he is the only one that even remotely reflects my worldview and my political views. But he should not take that vote as an unreserved endorsement: it is not. I have a great many reservations about his positions. I am not the least concerned about his age, though I would prefer a younger candidate. I have very little concern about his temper, though that has gotten more than one person in trouble, me included. I AM greatly concerned about his political views, and his political record. He is certainly conservative when compared with Obama, but for heaven's sake, JOHN KERRY is conservative when compared to Obama. No, Ma'am: I'll vote for him (nose held), but for my money he is a far cry from being "everything we need right now".


He is, hopefully, better than clinton and obama sama though he is no better on dealing with illegal immigrants. That and his preference for opposing republicans rather than democrats.

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