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Battle for Fran O'Brien's
MUDVILLE GAZETTE ^ | April 12, 2006 | BUZZ PATTERSON

Posted on 04/12/2006 5:41:50 PM PDT by radar101

Hello all,

This past Friday night I was privileged to visit Fran O'Brien's steakhouse in the Capitol Hilton, Washington, DC. Every Friday night, Hal Koster, the restaurant manager and Vietnam Vet, invites our wounded soldiers convalescing at nearby Walter Reed Army Center to a free steak dinner and drinks. It was supposedly a "slow" night for our heroes as many were on a ski trip in Colorado. But I walked into an absolutely packed room of wounded soldiers and their families enjoying a minor but well-deserved recognition for their service to our country.

I've also discovered since then that the Hilton Corporation will not be renewing the lease. Apparently, there are too many "liability issues" in accommodating American heroes in wheelchairs. In fact , the lease (and therefore the dinners) will expire in a few short weeks. If America had responded as we would in the past, this would be inconsequential really. Obviously we have not and it is a tragic commentary on today's PC-ness.

Please read the attached e-mail with more of the details.

Best, Buzz

Buzz Patterson Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (Retired)


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Maryland; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: buzzpatterson; capitalhilton; franobriens; hilton; military; steakhouse; supportourtroops; wia; woundedwarriors
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1 posted on 04/12/2006 5:41:52 PM PDT by radar101
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To: radar101

I'm starting to really despise the bean counters who make decisions in corporate America.


2 posted on 04/12/2006 5:43:11 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: MoJo2001; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub

Canteen ping!


3 posted on 04/12/2006 5:52:47 PM PDT by hipaatwo
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To: radar101; kristinn; tgslTakoma
DC Chapter Ping????????

I need to get this to my Vets. This could be a PR disaster for Hilton.

4 posted on 04/12/2006 6:00:03 PM PDT by W04Man (Bush2004 Grassroots Campaign We Did It! NOW.... PLEASE STAY THE COURSE!)
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To: W04Man

Please feel free to contact the following individuals:

Corporate Media Inquiries/Community Affairs

Hilton Hotels Corporation - Beverly Hills, California
Kathy Shepard - Vice President - Corporate Communications
Candace Hollis - Senior Manager - Corporate Communications
Phone: +1 310 205-4656
Fax: +1 310 205-7678

Hilton International
Linda Bain - Vice President of Group Communications
Phone: +44 20 7856 8293
Fax: +44 20 7856 8463

Investor Relations

Hilton Hotels Corporation - Beverly Hills, California
Atish Shah - Vice President - Investor Relations
Phone: +1 310-205-8664
Fax: +1 310 205-7686

Hilton International
Julian Arlett - Head of Investor Relations
Phone: +44 20 7856 8449
Fax: +44 20 7856 8463

North American Media Inquiries (U.S., Canada and Mexico Hotels, Developments, Programs and Services)

Hilton, Conrad
Jeanne Datz Rice - Director of Communications
Phone: +1 310 205-4545
Fax: +1 310 205-7880

Hilton Garden Inn
Agnes Sibal - Manager - Brand Communications
Phone: +1 310 205-4545
Fax: +1 310 205-7880

Doubletree Hotels
Thomas Wingham - Director - Brand Communications
Phone: +1 310 205-4545
Fax: +1 310 205-7880

Embassy Suites Hotels
Dawn Ray - Senior Manager - Brand Communications
Phone: +1 310 205-4545
Fax: +1 310 205-7880

Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites
Bonnie Cameron - Director - Brand Communications
Tori Walsh - Assistant Manager - Brand Communications
Phone: +1 901 374-6462
Fax: +1 901 374-5543

Homewood Suites by Hilton
Michael Bielskis - Manager - Brand Communications
Phone: +1 901 374-5954
Fax: +1 901 374-5543

Hilton Grand Vacations Company
Elena Norman - Senior Director - Communications
Phone: +1 407 521-3100
Fax: +1 407 521-3112

Europe, Australasia, Africa, South America Media Inquiries Hotels, Developments, Programs and Services

Hilton, Scandic
Elaine Hayes - Head of Public Relations
Phone: +44 20 7856 8293
Fax: +44 20 7856 8463

Conrad
Catherine Couplan - Public Relations Director
Phone: +32 2 542 4790
Fax: +32 2 542 4300

5 posted on 04/12/2006 6:11:26 PM PDT by hipaatwo
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To: radar101

Remember when bars and restaurants went out of their way to cater to men and women in uniform? Is that age now part of the distant past?


6 posted on 04/12/2006 6:20:35 PM PDT by popdonnelly
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To: radar101
Here's more, from The Mudville Gazette:

MAYDAY! MAYDAY!! MAYDAY!!!

Flight, we need your help!

This is long but you need to read it all.

I'm Jim McDaniel, webmaster for the 174th Assault Helicopter Company's web site. I refer you to one of our web pages that I put together back in 2004. It is about Hal Koster, one of our 174th crew chiefs from Vietnam. Hal crewed the UH-1C SHARK gunships that I flew 1967-68. Hal and I flew together. Please see the page about his restaurant and his support of our veterans at http://www.174ahc.org/koster-iraq.htm.

Now, having read the page, Hal has continued to host our veteran amputees every Friday night. I have been to several of the dinners, and it is absolutely WONDERFUL what Hal has been doing at significant effort and personal expense (every dollar he spends on our veterans could be money he puts in his pocket). You really have to be one of these dinners to fully appreciate what this means to these soldiers.

Well I received this message (below) from Jack Cunningham, and I couldn't believe it. I was last in Hal's on St. Patrick's Day, and Hal didn't mention his difficulties to me then. I just called Hal and he confirmed for me this report is TRUE. Hilton has terminated his lease and the restaurant has been ordered closed on April 31 (just over TWO WEEKS from now). Apparently Hal's support of our wounded veterans is playing a MAJOR part in Hilton's decision to shut him down. Part of it is that Hilton has refused to put in wheelchair access to the restaurant and their concern over liability if one of the amputees should be injured in the restaurant.

I can't believe it! Just how callous can this company be?

It Hilton does this, I will NEVER set foot in a Hilton Hotel again. And I am going to tell them that. If you agree, it is IMPERATIVE you let Hilton know immediately of your feelings. In two weeks (April 31, 2006) it'll be too late. Below are names, e-mail addresses, and website addresses for Hilton.

Hal has NOT asked for any support on this from me or any of us, but he absolutely needs our support.

Call or write to Hilton NOW. Let them know how you feel.

Thank you, and please feel free to forward this to any people or organizations you believe could help.

Jim McDaniel
174th AHC Webmaster
http://www.174ahc.org
jim.mcd@cox.net
174th AHC Dolphin pilot 1967
174th AHC Shark pilot 1968
116th AHC Hornet pilot 1971 "Nothing Impossible"

============ Jack Cunningham's note ===============

Fran O'Brien's Restaurant in Washington, DC should be given a special award for true American Patriotism, instead the restaurant is being closed by the Hilton Hotels. Please read the email and send the Hilton Family your comments...

Thanks
Jack Cunningham

7 posted on 04/12/2006 6:29:17 PM PDT by tgslTakoma
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To: 1 Olgoat; 103198; 10Ring; 11Bush; 1stbn27; 2ndClassCitizen; 2SterlingConservatives; 2yearlurker; ...
DC Chapter ping!

Am also waiting for more info from a local contact, and will post as received...

8 posted on 04/12/2006 6:31:30 PM PDT by tgslTakoma
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To: Kathy in Alaska; StarCMC

Ping.
You have got to be kidding me.

This ain't right.


9 posted on 04/12/2006 6:47:42 PM PDT by gate2wire
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To: radar101

More Hilton contacts from Proud Army Mom at http://youbetchaimapam.blogspot.com/2006/04/ok-youre-making-mom-real-mad-now.html

Dan Boyle (212) 838-1558

daniel_a_boyle@hilton.com

Brian Kellaher (202) 393-1000


10 posted on 04/12/2006 6:49:13 PM PDT by concentric circles
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To: gate2wire; Coop

Ok - so - time to get busy here.


11 posted on 04/12/2006 6:49:51 PM PDT by StarCMC (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing...thank you Sarge.)
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 359Henrie; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; acad1228; AirForceMom; ...

Canteen Ping

Can you all send some emails on this??


12 posted on 04/12/2006 6:53:29 PM PDT by StarCMC (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing...thank you Sarge.)
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To: tgslTakoma
Part of it is that Hilton has refused to put in wheelchair access to the restaurant and their concern over liability if one of the amputees should be injured in the restaurant.

is this in violation of ADA laws/regs? I'm familiar with ADA as it relates to transit, not with hotels/restaurants and the like.

13 posted on 04/12/2006 7:00:23 PM PDT by feefee (rovian salt carrier)
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To: Tribune7
I'm starting to really despise the bean counters who make decisions in corporate America.

The bean counters...and the trial lawyers who would otherwise take advantage.

14 posted on 04/12/2006 7:03:15 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: Temple Owl

check this


15 posted on 04/12/2006 7:13:57 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7
I'm starting to really despise the bean counters who make decisions in corporate America

Yeah capitalism sucks. We need a committee to decide how capital is allocated. Power to the people!

16 posted on 04/12/2006 7:19:18 PM PDT by Wheee The People
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To: tgslTakoma

April 31st will never come.

Let's hope their oversight can be used legally against Hilton.


17 posted on 04/12/2006 7:20:46 PM PDT by George from New England
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To: Tribune7

bump


18 posted on 04/12/2006 7:28:48 PM PDT by Temple Owl (Excelsior! Onward and upward.)
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To: Wheee The People
Yeah capitalism sucks. We need a committee to decide how capital is allocated. Power to the people!

What we need are fewer gutless, stupid people in corporate America.

And you do recognize that it part of our capitalist system to withold patronage from Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites etc. and recommend to our friends that they should too, right?

19 posted on 04/12/2006 7:29:52 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7
I believe whatever you say comrade.
20 posted on 04/12/2006 7:32:57 PM PDT by Wheee The People
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To: Wheee The People

Whatever, beancounter.


21 posted on 04/12/2006 7:34:59 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7

Please Sir...may I be on your committee? I will be able to allocate funds to your wish.


22 posted on 04/12/2006 7:37:47 PM PDT by Wheee The People
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To: Wheee The People
Please Sir...may I be on your committee?

Someone who wants to pull the rug from under a guy helping disabled veterans? I don't think so.

23 posted on 04/12/2006 7:43:09 PM PDT by Tribune7
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: radar101

Un. Frickin. Be. Lievable!


26 posted on 04/12/2006 8:13:28 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Walk it off, Snack Fairy!)
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To: radar101
My e-mail to Hilton:
I've just heard a horrible rumor that Fran O'Brien's lease for the steakhouse at the Capitol Hilton in Washington, DC, will not be renewed because of liability concerns about his hosting dinners for wounded service vets in wheelchairs.

Tell me this is not true?

I hope this helps coming through their own Hilton Honors customer service line.
27 posted on 04/12/2006 8:17:07 PM PDT by FormerLib ("...the past ten years in Kosovo will be replayed here in what some call Aztlan.")
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To: W04Man

Do you know how much the Hilton charges for a keg of beer?


28 posted on 04/12/2006 8:20:59 PM PDT by freema (Proud Marine FRiend, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: radar101
This (fragging Fran O'Briens) is one of many examples of why I will never support eliminating corporate income taxes. They don't deserve it.

Other examples:

You get the picture. However, I would tax them at the rate of 10 percent, rather than 35. They would be grateful, if they know what's good for them.

29 posted on 04/12/2006 8:26:54 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Walk it off, Snack Fairy!)
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To: Tribune7

Consider the source. Thank you for supporting our troops. Don't let unimportant anti-Americans get under your skin. They can't stop us from sending out letters and e-mails.


30 posted on 04/12/2006 8:28:58 PM PDT by BykrBayb ("We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will give you no rest.")
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To: abner; Abundy; AGreatPer; alisasny; ALlRightAllTheTime; AlwaysFree; AnnaSASsyFR; Angelwood; ...

PING!

Apologies to those pinged previously.


31 posted on 04/12/2006 8:29:08 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Walk it off, Snack Fairy!)
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To: BykrBayb

:-)


32 posted on 04/12/2006 8:31:43 PM PDT by Tribune7
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To: Tribune7
I am a veteran. But I'm also an accountant. Which do you hate more? Veterans or capitalist? It's so hard to be on the right side these days.
33 posted on 04/12/2006 8:33:43 PM PDT by Wheee The People
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To: okie01

The lawyers tell the bean counters the world is going to end because this and then that might happen and we must protect our stock holders.
Happens every day


34 posted on 04/12/2006 8:35:32 PM PDT by bybybill (RATS WIN, WE LOSE)
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To: Wheee The People
It's so hard to be on the right side these days.

So which side are you on?

35 posted on 04/12/2006 8:39:02 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Protect American jobs. Don't hire illegals.)
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To: tgslTakoma
Fran O'Brien's Restaurant in Washington, DC should be given a special award for true American Patriotism, instead the restaurant is being closed by the Hilton Hotels.

I agree! This is outrageous. I'll ping my lists, tgslTakoma... wish I could do more.

36 posted on 04/12/2006 8:40:29 PM PDT by nutmeg ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." - Hillary Clinton 6/28/04)
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To: VeniVidiVici

I'm on the side of America. As a veteran I served to stop people from destroying our democratic and capitalistic system. Which side are you on?


37 posted on 04/12/2006 8:41:33 PM PDT by Wheee The People
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To: radar101

Hilton Corporation?

Hmmm...

b@st@rds


38 posted on 04/12/2006 8:42:19 PM PDT by conservativebabe
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To: StarFan; Dutchy; alisasny; BobFromNJ; BUNNY2003; Cacique; Clemenza; Coleus; cyborg; DKNY; ...
This just ain't right ping!

Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my ‘miscellaneous’ ping list.

39 posted on 04/12/2006 8:42:31 PM PDT by nutmeg ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." - Hillary Clinton 6/28/04)
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To: hipaatwo

I will be sending a letter. I am also going to ask my father to get in touch with higher-ups at the American Dental Association, and see if they would be willing to avoid planning any conferences at Hilton properties. I don't know if they (the ADA) will go for it, but it's worth a shot. (My dad is a long-time member of the ADA and the president of our local dental association. He's also a veteran.)


40 posted on 04/12/2006 8:42:54 PM PDT by AirForceBrat23
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To: NautiNurse; doug from upland; Mia T; ALOHA RONNIE; jwalsh07; Born Conservative; mhking; ...
This just ain't right ping!
41 posted on 04/12/2006 8:43:29 PM PDT by nutmeg ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." - Hillary Clinton 6/28/04)
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To: radar101

Hilton, eh?


42 posted on 04/12/2006 8:43:49 PM PDT by Natchez Hawk (What's so funny about the first, second, and fourth Amendments?)
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To: radar101

Maybe they should get rid of Paris instead!


43 posted on 04/12/2006 8:45:13 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Walk it off, Snack Fairy!)
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To: radar101

"I've also discovered since then that the Hilton Corporation will not be renewing the lease. Apparently, there are too many "liability issues" in accommodating American heroes in wheelchairs"

Let's get some verification of this before we go off...

But if its true there should be hell to pay.


44 posted on 04/12/2006 8:46:12 PM PDT by gondramB (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.)
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To: #1CTYankee; .303 Brit; 2nd amendment mama; Agamemnon; AGBRUHN; always vigilant; Alter Kaker; ...
This just ain't right ping!
45 posted on 04/12/2006 8:46:17 PM PDT by nutmeg ("We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." - Hillary Clinton 6/28/04)
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To: Wheee The People
As a veteran I served to stop people from destroying our democratic and capitalistic system. Which side are you on?

Really. So that means belittling folks who want to help by putting pressure on Hilton.

Or I suppose your version of a "democratic and capitalistic system" would be one where noone would complain of poor service and unpopular decisions.

46 posted on 04/12/2006 8:48:21 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Protect American jobs. Don't hire illegals.)
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; Chieftain

Did you see this?


47 posted on 04/12/2006 8:50:21 PM PDT by BykrBayb ("We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will give you no rest.")
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To: radar101
Here is the only recent news story I can find. It mentions the dinners but doesn't say the lease isnt being renewed and it doesn;'t say the lease is not being renewed because of veterans in wheel chairs. I'd like to know more. What is the source of information that the restaurant is closing for this reason?

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/opinion/story.asp?ID=121379
48 posted on 04/12/2006 8:51:51 PM PDT by gondramB (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.)
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To: VeniVidiVici
I'm willing to be on your committee. I renounce all allegiance to accounting and capitalism. I demand that Hilton not make a profit.

Please let me be a member of the committe. Power to the people.

49 posted on 04/12/2006 8:52:32 PM PDT by Wheee The People
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I smell CodePink!


50 posted on 04/12/2006 8:52:37 PM PDT by PleaDeal (Concretebob for Pres. in '08)
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