NOAA and other federal agencies substantially shut down in Newport – Only safety and security personnel still working. Head Start still running but nervous.
NOAA Commander Captain Wade Blake told NewsLincolnCounty.com today that they’ve furlough a very substantial portion of their work force at South Beach. Two ships out at sea are enroute back to Newport, arriving this weekend. Another NOAA vessel remains tied up at the dock on Kodiak Island, Alaska.
He said that the only personnel remaining on duty are mainly safety and security personnel to keep an eye on things around the MOC-P Headquarters.
In the meantime, at last report 17 U.S. House republicans have announced they are willing to end the stalemate and vote for a clean budget bill and leave Obamacare alone. However, House Speaker John Boehner is refusing to reconvene the House despite those announcements.
Meanwhile Lincoln County Commission Chair Bill Hall says that the county has received word that although the county’s Head Start program in Toledo, Newport and Lincoln City are still operating, if the government shut down continues for more than a few weeks they’ll have to follow suit. Hall said Head Start is a very important program for low income pre-school children in the county. Martha Lyons of Community Services Consortium, which operates the local Head Start program says layoff notices (they’re really just warnings at this point) will go out Thursday to those working in the Head Start program in Lincoln City, Newport and Toledo. The notices say that within 28 days, if funding remains cut off, the CSC will have to shut down the program. She said many families rely on Head Start and that other forms of educational child care are not readily available at anything close to an affordable price for low income families. Lyons says she deeply hopes that the Congress can find a way to straighten things out back in Washington so that many families, not just in Lincoln County, wont’ have to endure such painful disruptions.
Note from a federal employee at South Beach:
Hi Dave. I am a South Beach resident and have been following your site for about a year or so. I noticed yesterday that you had a piece on how the government shut down was influencing the NOAA MOC_P facility that recently relocated to Newport. I would like to point out several things, first several distinct NOAA groups have been a presence at Hatfield Marine Science Center for decades. I would point out, and have included a pdf with some photographs, that there are a bunch of Federal agencies at Hatfield that are impacted by the Shut down including US Fish and Wildlife, US EPA, NOAA National Marine Fisheries, NOAA Alaska center, USDA and USGS. All of these groups have been furloughed which impacts not only the Federal employees but also all of the contractors (e.g. janitorial services, landscaping services, maintenance workers, etc.). Since Hatfield is probably one of the largest employer in Lincoln County and many of the folks who work there are associated with Federal agencies, this is a substantial hit to Newport. This in addition to the impact at the MOC-P, national parks (Yaquina head light house, Cape Perpetua, etc.) and potentially even the Coast Guard. Thanks for your consideration.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Federal employee.
Other agencies closed by the shutdown: