Yesterday (4/20) in Federal Court Judge Michael McShane in Eugene heard from Mike Hagland the lawyer representing the Newport Fishermen’s Wives as well as the City of Newport, Lincoln County, the Port of Newport and Midwater Trawler’s Cooperative on why the lawsuit against the Coast Guard should be put on hold until the end of the year.According to Ginny Goblirsch with the Fishermen’s Wives the Coast Guard continued with their claim that the case should be dismissed because the agency presently has no intention to close the Newport Air Station and is therefore moot.
Ginny said their attorney’s presented a good case to the contrary. “Our attorney did a really great job of addressing those basic issues saying that the case is not moot, because nobody knows what the Coast Guard is going to do. It would be the best use of resources to put a stay on it so we don’t have to go through the expense of refiling if necessary.”
Hagland advocated for the judge to stay the case through the end of the year when the Congressional prohibition on decommissioning the Newport rescue helicopter sunsets. The Coast Guard admits that its budget for fiscal year 2016 contains no funding for the Newport Air Station at this time. There were several who showed up in court to show their support for the plaintiffs.
They included first responders, fishermen and the public who support having the Coast Guard helicopter kept in Newport. In the meantime Ginny said the congressional delegation is also continuing the fight on their end. Ginny said Judge McShane will be looking at all the testimony and reviewing the issue and will make a decision in the next couple of weeks.