Legislators Seek Protection Of Musicians' Instuments On Flights

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander led members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation in "demanding action that would protect musicians and their property in flight."

They stated, "Inconsistent airline policies fail to protect musical instruments, which are often lost or damaged when musicians travel from show to show. In 2012, Congress approved language meant to help musicians by requiring the FAA to set standards for the transport of guitars, flutes and other instruments. Suggestions included permitting passengers to stow their instruments in closets or purchase an extra seat for their musical cargo.

"The regulations were to be completed by Valentine’s Day – this Friday. Citing funding issues, the FAA hasn’t even started the rulemaking process."

In a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, several Tennessee lawmakers said they understand the FAA’s challenges, but urged the agency "to do more with less."

“We don’t expect our airlines to carry a tune, but we do expect them to carry our precious instruments safely,” Rep. Cooper said. “Any damaged guitar is a tragedy. As a banjo player, I believe the same is true of banjos (although some might disagree).”

“Musicians from Nashville and other parts of Tennessee fly all over the world to perform, and they shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to bring their instruments, or having them damaged along the way,” Senator Alexander said. “I supported the law requiring the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue regulations enabling musicians to bring their instruments aboard planes in 2012, and it’s time the federal government complies with that law.”

“It’s not always easy being a musician,” U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn said. “When flying away, musicians shouldn’t have to depend on a wing and a prayer with their guitars, banjos and ukuleles. I commend Congressman Cooper and Senator Alexander for taking the lead in resolving this issue.”

“For any consumer, damaged or missing luggage can be a terrible inconvenience,” U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen said. “But for musicians who rely on both their instruments and travel to earn a living, damaged or missing instruments can harm their ability to succeed and be detrimental to their careers. The FAA owes guidelines that adequately protect all passengers’ cargo to these hard-working individuals, and they are past due.”

Thirty-one additional House lawmakers signed the letter to Secretary Foxx.



Heritage House Shows The Scarlet Empress Dec. 10

Heritage House Arts & Civic Center rounds out the first season of the International Film Series with the sixth of the seven collaborations between actress Marlene Dietrich and director Josef Von Sternberg, the Scarlet Empress. It will be shown Sunday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m. Admission will be free.  Review for the Scarlet Empress: A highly fictionalized biopic of the ... (click for more)

An Evening With The Voices Of Lee To Take Place Dec. 6

Lee University’s Voices of Lee will present An Evening with the Voices of Lee to celebrate their new release, “A Cappella Christmas.” The concert will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. in Pangle Hall.  The performance will feature music from the new Christmas CD, which features songs such as “Little Drummer Boy, “Christmas Time is Here,” and “Have Yourself a Merry ... (click for more)

Man, 21, Shot While Walking Along E. 19th Street

A 21-year-old man was shot Friday afternoon as he waked along E. 19th Street. The victim was identified as Quincy McConnell. Chattanooga Police officers responded to a local hospital on a report of a gunshot victim arriving for treatment. The victim arrived at the hospital via personal vehicle. He suffered a non-life threatening injury. The victim said he was ... (click for more)

$100,000 Powereball Winner In Greeneville

A Tennessee Lottery Powerball player in Greeneville woke up Thanksgiving morning a $100,000 winner.  The as-yet-unknown player matched 4 of 5 white balls drawn plus the Powerball in the Wednesday night drawing, which has a base prize of $50,000. Since he or she added the Power Play option for a dollar, the prize was multiplied by the Power Play number drawn, which was ... (click for more)

Stormwater Fiasco And East Ridge Camping

When did the Chattanooga City Council get replaced by members of the East Ridge City Council? I don't recall a time in Chattanooga where they've voted to shoot the city in the foot more than they have lately.  If this goes through despite the environmental impact warnings and then Camp Jordan has increased flooding after spending millions on sports ball fields, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

The best story this Thanksgiving comes from the New Jersey Turnpike where a very attractive young woman ran out of gas last month. Kate McClure had little cash on her as she began to walk towards the closest gas station in the pitch-black dark. But she didn’t get far before a homeless man, his beard ragged and clothes filthy, told her this was a bad place for her to be.  ... (click for more)