By  Newport Coast Guard Helicopter Station Gets A Reprieve Will Remain Open Until January 2016

Newport Coast Guard Helicopter Station Gets A Reprieve Will Remain Open Until January 2016

Dated: 12/15/2014

Views: 301

Follow on Twitter 
on December 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM, updated December 10, 2014 at 5:25 PM


Members of Oregon's and South Carolina's congressional delegations found a way around the U.S. Coast Guard's internal budgeting process Wednesday, passing a bill that blocks the agency from closing its helicopter air stations at Newport and Charleston, S.C.Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., called the Coast Guard authorization bill "a literal lifesaver," saying the helicopter search-and-rescue operations are "essential to the safety of fishermen, recreational boaters and tourists."With the Coast Guard vowing to close the Newport Air Station by next week, members and their staffers embarked on "a full-court press"to get the new language inserted in the authorization bill, said Merkley spokesperson Martina McLennan.The bill, which passed the Senate Wednesday morning and the House Wednesday evening, requires the Coast Guard to keep its air stations open through Jan. 1, 2016. Its passage was announced by Merkley, Sen. Ron Wyden, Reps. Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader and Suzanne Bonamici.The Coast Guard announced earlier this fall that it planned to save money by ending its practice of sending a helicopter and a crew from southern Oregon to operate out of Newport. The announcement alarmed fishermen and elected officials, who argued that the search and rescue capability was an essential backstop to the central coast's commercial and recreational fishing industries.Newport Fishermen's Wives, a Newport nonprofit, along with the city of Newport and others, sued the Coast Guard in federal court in Eugene, asking a judge to block the Coast Guard's plans."The litigation was all about giving the delegation time to solve this problem politically," said Mike Haglund, the Portland lawyer who's representing the Fishermen's Wives.A hearing had been scheduled on the injunction request in Eugene Thursday and Haglund said he will continue to seek the injunction to insure there are no gaps in the helicopter's presence in Newport. Late Wednesday, Judge Michael McShane canceled the hearing and scheduled a telephone conference with the lawyers.Jennifer Schock Stevenson, president of Newport Fishermen's Wives, said she was "very surprised and very excited" to learn the Coast Guard helicopter would continue to fly from the Newport air station. She said she hoped the reprieve would give the Congressional delegation time to have a continuing conversation with the Coast Guard about keeping the station permanently in place.Stevenson, who grew up in a fishing family and whose husband is a commercial fisherman, said a delayed rescue effort could be "the difference between life and death."When she visits Newport's memorial to fishermen lost at sea, "I know the names on that memorial."I don't want to put any more names on that memorial."-Mike Francis
Becky Shiffer
Here for your housing needs

Latest Blog Posts

Americans Rank Real Estate Best Investment For 7 Years Running INFOGRAPHIC

Some Highlights Real estate has outranked stocks, savings accounts, and gold as the best long-term investment among Americans for the past 7 years. The belief in the stability

Read More

Best Time To Sell When Competition Is At An AllTime Low

In a recent survey of home sellers by Qualtrics, 87% of respondents said they were concerned their home won’t sell because of the pandemic and resulting economic recession. Of the

Read More

Is The Health Crisis Driving Buyers Out Of Urban Areas

The pandemic has caused consumers to re-examine the components that make up the “perfect home.” Many families are no longer comfortable with the locations and layouts of their existing homes.

Read More

A Historic Rebound For The Housing Market

Pending Home Sales increased by 44.3% in May, registering the highest month-over-month gain in the index since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) started tracking this metric in

Read More