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U.S. House of Representatives District 5 Candidates forum


U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.

A forum was held recently at Chinook Winds in Lincoln City for candidates for the 5th Congressional District in Oregon. Brad Taylor of Oregon Coast Productions videoed the forum. To see what they and other political office candidates had to say for themselves, just check with Oregon Coast Productions by clicking here.

HMSC’s Research Vessel Wecoma departs Newport for the last time, after 35 years of ocean research

The R/V Wecoma, the standard bearer for the Hatfield Marine Science Center’s programs for deep sea oceanographic research, was towed away from its berth at HMSC and out to sea Wednesday, enroute to Ensenada, Mexico. There it will be cut up into scrap. A serious crack in her hull was not cost effective to fix and so it was decided that her sister ship, the Oceanus, based at Woods Hole near Boston, would replace her.

After the transfer of scientific equipment, computers and other necessities for oceanographic research from the Wecoma to the Oceanus, the Wecoma was lassoed by a heavy tug and was hauled out and under the Yaquina Bay Bridge which the ship saw for the first time in 1976, when it began its symbiotic career with humans at HMSC.

The Wecoma sailed mostly in the eastern Pacific, occasionally venturing out as far as the Hawaiian Islands, Tahiti and Guam, as far north as the Bering Sea off western Alaska and as far south as Peru. The Wecoma was the platform for scientists to study ocean temperatures, chemistry, salinities and dissolved oxygen, all critical to understanding ocean fisheries and sea-going mammals. The ship was also a launch pad for what are called “gliders,” robotic underwater watercraft that glide back and forth over vast areas of ocean terrain, recording data which is transferred to scientists on the surface. The Wecoma most recently retrieved many seismographic devices from the ocean floor off Washington and Oregon that recorded seismic activity along the famed Cascadia Subduction Zone. It is the subject of much scientific interest and concern. Marine geologists at OSU recently issued the results of an 11 year study suggesting that the subduction zone has a 40% chance of causing a large earthquake and resulting tsunami over the next fifty years. Wecoma’s successor, sister ship R/V Oceanus, will certainly be picking up where the Wecoma left off at closely monitoring seismicity off the Oregon Coast.

A well assembled and eminently readable history of R/V Wecoma’s service to ocean sciences at Hatfield Marine Science Center can be found on the internet on the HMSC website. The synopsis is the product of much research and collation by HMSC marine scientist Jane Huyer, a frequent sailor on the Wecoma, herself pursuing a myriad of seaward scientific missions.

Here’s the link to her story of R/V Wecoma’s contribution to the advancement of ocean sciences. Click here.

After 35 years as OSU Research Vessel, the R/V Wecoma leaves port for the last time


R/V Wecoma heading out the bar for the last time
Peter Zerr photo
Click photo to enlarge

After being stripped of equipment and her fuel tanks emptied, the R/V Wecoma, sitting well above her water line, today was towed out of Yaquina Bay and across the bar into the open sea. The tug doing the pulling will tow the Wecoma south to Ensenada, Mexico, where it will be scrapped, according to Hatfield Marine Science Center.

The Wecoma first crossed the bar as a new ship in 1976 and led many a mission all over the eastern Pacific, including the Hawaiian Islands and the Bering Sea off Alaska. The recent discovery of a hull crack, that was not cost-effective to repair, doomed the vessel and has since been replaced by the R/V Oceanus, which recently arrived from it’s mothball berth at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution near Boston. It already carries much of the scientific equipment that was aboard the Wecoma.

We have video of the Wecoma leaving port which we are now processing. It should be up later tonight.

Notice to our readers…

News Lincoln County has received phone calls and emails from readers wondering why a particular crime story was removed from the website this morning.

This is all we can tell you.

We pulled a story off the website this morning that involved a major crime that is under investigation. We listed the nature of the crime and its location. As far as we know nobody was hurt.

The police took notice and called us and stated the story was compromising their investigation. We had no choice but to pull it. However we will inquire as to how a story that provided only cursory details would compromise an investigation, when knowledge of the incident had already been circulated widely throughout the town a number of hours even before we posted the story.

We owe an explanation on that part of it to our readers. However, such an explanation can, by no means, be expected soon. It would, obviously, depend on the circumstances of the investigation. Generally, saving lives and doing no harm to an investigation must be prime directives in any community.

We’ll let you know when it’s possible for us to let you know.

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