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Out & About in Cleveland

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Coffee and Conversation

Our first event for Friday, March 20th, was a "Coffee and Conversation" with U.S. Congressman David Joyce which was put on by the Mentor Chamber of Commerce at the Holiday Inn on Reynolds Road. About 20 people turned up for this event including Ms. Laura Miller Gray, President of the Andy Nowacki Foundation. Ms. Gray recalled that years ago Ms. Margaret W. Wong helped a friend of hers adopt children from China. We also met Mr. Wayne G. Reese, the Owner of Pip Printing in Mentor where we sometimes stop to make copies and/or use the computer when we are out and about in the Mentor/Painesville area.

During his time with us, Congressman Joyce talked about such topics as the need for certain reforms at the Veterans Administration and praised the work of Mr. Robert A. McDonald, Secretary of Veterans Affairs; the need for regulatory reform for small businesses; the need to balance the federal budget; the potential for the RNC convention to be a big success; the need for the Keystone Pipeline which President Obama opposes; and the importance of maintaining a consistent amount of funding to maintain the Great Lakes which might be reduced in the next federal budget.

Afterwards, we talked to the congressman briefly about the potential for comprehensive immigration reform and he indicated that the chances for this are not too good due to a logjam between people who want to emphasize border security and those who want a path to citizenship. Unfortunately, he also indicated that the chances of a separate bill passing to extend the number of H1B visas seemed remote.

Before we left we talked about this issue for a moment with Mr. Al DiFranco, the new President/CEO of the Mentor Chamber of Commerce and Ms. Maggie Sheely, Manager of the Great Lakes Region Congressional and Public Affairs of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Both agreed with us on the need for immigration reform and to increase the number of H1B's.

On a more hopeful level, we won today's door prize which was donated by MaryAnn's Family Hearing in Painesville Township. It was a bag of Berardi's Fresh Roast Cinn-A-Nut coffee which we will savor on upcoming cool spring mornings.

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