The Commandant for the Coast Guard in the Pacific Northwest is expected to get an earful this evening when another Newport area Town Hall meeting kicks off at 5:30pm
The meeting, being held at the Newport Campus of Oregon Coast Community College, is expected to draw an overflow crowd of residents that are angry at just the thought of the Coast Guard closing down their rescue helicopter facility at the Newport Airport. Although they agree that enhanced navigational and emergency radio beacons greatly reduce search times for helos overhead, the time it takes for the Coast Guard to fly from North Bend or near Astoria is long enough that they’d be looking for bodies rather than survivors. Ocean temperatures off the central coast are cold – not like Miami Florida or the east coast or Gulf of Mexico which are fed by a warm southerly flow. The waters off Oregon can and do kill within 15 to 20 minutes.
The commanding Admiral of Coast Guard-Northwest is flying down from Seattle to try to explain what many contend is the unexplanable – that the Coast Guard would all but abandon their mission along the Oregon Coast just to save a tiny portion of the Coast Guard budget.
Those attending are urged to be civil and not create a huge background noise of sideline conversations.
Congressman Kurt Schrader will be moderating the meeting with State Senator Arnie Roblan and State Representative David Gomberg on hand as well.
It will be packed so arrive no later than around 5pm for a decent parking place and a seat where you can see and hear what is going on.