WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Another strategic moment for those trying to keep the Newport Coast Guard Helo base open

Coast Guard  File photo

Coast Guard
File photo

From Fishermen’s Wives Ginny Goblirsch

Competing positions on what should happen to the Newport Fishermen’s Wives’ lawsuit against the Coast Guard will be heard in Federal Court before Judge Michael McShane in Eugene on April 20 at 10:00 am.

The Coast Guard claims that the case should be dismissed because the agency “presently has no intention to close” the Newport Air Station and is therefore no longer a legal issue. Plaintiffs, who include the Newport Fishermen’s Wives as well as the City of Newport, Lincoln County, the Port of Newport and Midwater Trawler’s Cooperative, have asked for a postponement of the case through the end of the year when the Congressional prohibition on shutting down the Newport rescue helicopter ends.

In a recent filing, the Coast Guard admits that its budget for fiscal year 2016 contains no funding for the Newport Air Station. “Given the lack of funding in the budget, we have a real fear that the Coast Guard will close the Newport Air Station as soon as the one-year reprieve from Congress runs out on January 1, 2016,” said Ginny Goblirsch of the Newport Fishermen’s Wives. “It makes much more sense for this case to be put on hold through the end of the year when we will know what the Coast Guard is going to do. To dismiss the case now and force its refiling in just nine months is a waste of resources for both sides and the federal court.”

According to the court papers filed by Fishermen’s Wives and others, “From a judicial efficiency standpoint, a nine-month postponement of this case, coinciding with the Congressional prohibition on closing the station, makes good practical sense and should be granted by the judge.”

The request goes before a federal judge April 20th in Federal Court in Eugene.

For further information, contact Ginny Goblirsch at (541) 765-2193 or Mike Haglund at (503) 225-0777.

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