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 Round Two

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Don
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PostSubject: Round Two   Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:46 pm

Spent the morning with a bunch of fellow herpers and other exotic owners up at the General Assembly building this morning. First, I'd like to say that this bill appears to be tabled until next year, however, the Chair of the Ag committee can bring it up for a vote (and that could happen next week). If that happens, we will need more folks to show up for support. You don't have to do anything but be there to help show numbers. You do not have to prepare a speech, showing up is the most important thing.

The group that I went with was generally well received. Many of our conversations were with legislative aids, who said that there has been a swarm of email opposing this bill. The sponsor of the bill's legislative aid said that the sponsor was pulling the bill to be reintroduced next year. Senator Stuart, walked into the office very briefly as we were talking to his aid. He said "I love animals and will vote NO". That was nice to hear. Another Senator we met with said that it would take a lot of convincing for him to vote for it. So, when we met with the actual Senators, we had good results.

The troubling part, is many of the aids just took notes and acknowledge our concerns, but did not say if their Senators supported or opposed the bill. There were between 25 - 30 of us there representing the community. One aid asked us who we were with and it was so cool to say "no one, we are all individual citizens concerned about this bill". On the bad side, HSUS was coming in behind us talking to the same people.

Larry (of VHS and Leftoflarry here) was there and did a very good job. Dr. Stahl from Fairfax was with us to lend his voice. Also, the owner of Luray Caverns Zoo was there. Lots of good people showed up and I wanted to thank David Means for organizing the folks here. Ryan was there (out of uniform) better known here as ezekiel21. Met some others who I didn't recognize their name. We may have to wear screen name badges to recognize each other next time!

Keep your Thursday next week open. We may need you.
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ezekiel21
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PostSubject: Re: Round Two   Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:42 pm

Lol, I should have warn it! Imma wear my dress blues next week. It's gonna be rough on Thursday, I work the night before have to drive out to Richmond, and then hurry back home for work again that night........ no rest for the wicked Very Happy but it will be completely worth it. I had a blast believe it or not. Met some very nice senators, that just sounds weird to me. And some great herpers and other exotic animal keepers. I hope to see similar faces and of coarse some news one (hopefully a bunch of new ones) next week, if need be. It was good to see you again Don, and it was nice to meet more people that share my interest.
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jw
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PostSubject: Re: Round Two   Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:25 pm

Don,

Thanks for the update.

For what it is worth: Mark Kilby is the owner of the Luray Zoo. The Zoo is in close proximity to Luray Caverns, but is not associated with them.

Thanks to everyone that attended!
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Don
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PostSubject: Re: Round Two   Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:39 pm

I was wondering about that because I don't recall seeing a zoo at the caverns. Wish we had name tags. It would have been much easier remembering everyone's name.
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fuzz
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PostSubject: Re: Round Two   Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:28 pm

Thanks guys!
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smd58
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PostSubject: Re: Round Two   Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:08 pm

Were they tabling to look into it further?
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David_Means
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PostSubject: Re: Round Two   Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:05 pm

smd58 wrote:
Were they tabling to look into it further?

Yes, there is a very big chance HB 1242 will be back next year. SB 477 is likely to be tabled for this year, but may still be heard this coming Thursday. SB 477 is still a threat and we still need to be sending letters and making phone calls until it’s tabled or dead.
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David_Means
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PostSubject: Re: Round Two   Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:14 pm

As Don said above, we all need to be ready to show up in Richmond next Thursday if SB 477 is put on the docket. We’ll only have 24-48 hours notice that it’s on the docket. So please be prepared to take off work and make the drive to Richmond at the drop of a hat. We have a few people to talk for us, but we need bodies the room and halls to show our numbers.
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VAReptileRescue
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PostSubject: Re: Round Two   Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:58 pm

It was nice to meet so many of the herpers in VA, many of whom I've emailed with. As one of the few herper chicks there, I was pleased with the turnout and thought you guys looked downright presentable. LOL

I'll see ya'll next week, if needed.

--Bonnie Keller
VA Reptile Rescue, Inc.
www.vareptilerescue.org
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zues
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PostSubject: Re: Round Two   Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:13 pm

If we are needed in Richmond next week I will driving from Newport News. I will have 5 or 6 extra seats. It would be a shame to make the drive with empty seats when the bodies are badly needed to show support.
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David_Means
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PostSubject: Re: Round Two   Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:22 am

I'll give an update soon, it's been a long day and I need rest. I will say this...I had a blast today!!! We had some great people show up today and we all had fun. It's nice to meet new people and while having fun fighting for our rights. Thank you to all those who took time out of their busy day to come to Richmond.

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leftoflarry
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PostSubject: Re: Round Two   Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:51 pm

Thanks to everyone who showed up yesterday. It was a productive and enlightening exercise. I'll come down on Thursday if need be. I'm hoping that the sponsor of the bill will pull it, at least until next year. Cheers!!!
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