A hearing and meeting at Lud. City Hall at 10am on Wednesday, April 6th, will discuss options to close our local USCG station Ludington during the boating off-season. How will this affect our winter fisherman on the ice? How about freighters still coming and going in ice conditions? How about the fact this could lead the station closing down in it's entirety at some later date if they determine the station is no longer affordable or warranted? A BIG STEP in the wrong direction if you ask me. Look at the local link provided from the Beacon Newspaper. I guess the City Mgr., LPD Chief, and others are going to go ask questions and make comments. Seems unnecessary to me.
I heard about this and I think having a part time USCG presence is unacceptable. Many questions need to be answered. My guess is this cost cutting is part of Obama's strategy to weaken all of the military services.
Here's a link to the COLDNews story on the event. Hopefully, I will attend tomorrow's meeting and see both sides of the issue. If the USCG can make a valid case for the hour-reductions and make a concession that there will always be a Ludington CG presence in the navigating months.
I believe there is a lot of fat to be trimmed in the federal budget and I would like to see their justification for making this trimming above others. Mostly, however, I want to see our local big-government officials whine to the USCG about how a full-time presence is needed here despite any cost-benefit analysis to the contrary proffered by the Feds.
I went to the meeting this morning which lasted about 80 minutes and plan on writing some coverage on it later. For the record, the USCG officials representing the region (including Ludington's own) are enthusiastically backing the plan. It is not yet a done deal, but it looks like their study and their inertia is on the way to making Ludington a seasonal presence in regard to the USCG.
The main impetus of the reason is that our particular region covers Frankfort down to Pentwater, and Manistee is more centrally located and has bigger facilities for more personnel. This wasn't well received by Mason County officials. You can bet Manistee officials are happy though when they become the area's superstation.
How long before the report is available on Wednesday meeting or was that posted elsewhere?
Or am I now required to file under the FOIA to see the data? :-)
On a related note I see also that " U.S. Coast Guard plans to end year-round search-and-rescue operations out of Station Muskegon, making it a seasonal station."
"Under the plan, starting in 2017 response crews will staff Station Muskegon Friday through Sunday during the summer months." Was there any mention of doing that here? Operating only on weekends during the summer?
One of the unasked questions I had at the meeting, was "Where is the study this action is based on?"
I didn't ask myself because I came into the meeting without a lot of solid research into the background of this decision, I figured the study the USC officials mentioned throughout were released. I searched the USCG website afterwards and could find no reference there to the 'study' which made this move almost a sure thing. As typical at this meeting, the local officials were too busy fretting about how it would affect them, and not about whether the findings of a mysterious study were reasonable. They could be, but the public won't know without the release of the study you paid for with your tax money that they seem to want to keep their little secret.
I hope to put forth my full take on this by Monday morning.