Portland, OR – Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Representatives Kurt Schrader, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter Defazio and Earl Blumenauer made the following joint statement after learning that Rear Admiral Richard Gromlich has agreed to attend a community meeting in Newport on Monday, October 20th to discuss the U.S. Coast Guard’s decision to close its Newport rescue helicopter facility.
“We are pleased that the U.S. Coast Guard has listened to our request and will attend the community meeting in Newport to hear directly from community leaders and the public about the Coast Guard’s decision to close the rescue helicopter facility in Newport. It was extremely ill advised that the Coast Guard made this decision without hearing from the community and then were planning to miss this important public forum.
“We have been urging the Coast Guard to either delay its decision or reverse it completely and while we haven’t gotten the final decision we are hoping for, we are encouraged that Admiral Gromlich will be coming down to Newport to listen to residents. This is a step in the right direction.
“This fight isn’t over yet and we will continue to work together to ensure that the safety of Oregonians whose livelihoods depend on the ocean are not threatened by this decision.”