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 at 10 a.m. Monday, April 20.
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 moot. 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 stay of the case through the end of the year when the Congressional prohibition on decommissioning the Newport rescue helicopter sunsets.
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 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 papers filed by plaintiffs, “From a judicial efficiency standpoint, a nine month stay of this case that coincides with the duration of the legislative stay makes good practical sense and should be granted.”
For more information, contact Ginny Goblirsch at 541-765-2193 or Mike Haglund at 503-225-0777.