Fishing vessel sinks off Siletz Bay – Crew rescued by Newport Coast Guard Helo and Depoe Bay MLB

November 29, 2014

FV-Blazer crew rescued by  Coast Guard air and sea on Saturday, November 29, 2014

FV-Blazer crew rescued by Coast Guard air and sea on Saturday, November 29, 2014

Coast Guard crews rescued five people after their vessel sank eight miles west of Siletz Bay early Saturday.

Three of the survivors were rescued from their life raft by an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Facility Newport and treated for minor injuries by EMS at the Newport Municipal Airport. The other two survivors were transferred from the life raft to a 47-foot Motor Life Boat (MLB) from Coast Guard Station Depoe Bay and were evaluated by EMS at the station.

“The preparedness of the crew of Blazer was exceptional,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Blanchard, search and rescue coordinator at Coast Guard Sector North Bend, Oregon. “They recognized when they needed help and took the steps necessary to put themselves in a position where we could quickly and safely bring them home to their families. Having the proper safety equipment and training to use it is essential for all mariners, especially commercial fishermen of the Pacific Northwest.”

Coast Guard Sector North Bend watchstanders received a mayday call over VHF-FM radio channel 16 at 4:17 a.m. from the crew of the 75-foot fishing vessel Blazer stating that they were disabled, taking on water, and jettisoning their crab pots.

Approximately 10 minutes after the initial mayday call, the Blazer crew reported that they were putting on immersion suits and deploying their life raft. Sector North Bend watchstanders then lost communication with the crew of the vessel.

The MLB crew launched at 4:41 a.m. in response and the Dolphin crew launched at 4:45 a.m.

The Dolphin crew located the heavily listing Blazer and its crew nearby in a life raft, at 5:04 a.m. The aircrew lowered a rescue swimmer into the water at 5:20 a.m. to assess the condition of the crewmembers in the life raft.

After everyone in the life raft was accounted for, the Dolphin crew hoisted three of the survivors into the aircraft. The MLB crew arrived on scene at 6 a.m. and transferred the remaining two survivors to the MLB.

The Blazer sank in 420 feet of water with reportedly 2,000 gallons of diesel aboard. There have been no reports of pollution at this time. Sector North Bend pollution responders are monitoring the situation and will respond if needed.

Coast Guard officials will work with the owner to establish a salvage plan for the vessel, if possible. The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Weather on scene at the time of the incident was reportedly winds at 30 to 35 mph with seas of 15 feet and rain. The air temperature was 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the water temperature was 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

The F/V Blazer is owned by DDR Fisheries out of Bothell (near Seattle), WA but is homeported in Newport.

A Newport Coast Guard helicopter crew was on scene and hovering over the crewmen in 19 minutes whereas, due to heavy seas, the Depoe Bay Coast Guard motorlifeboat took over an hour longer to get on scene. It demonstrates very clearly the critical need for the Newport Coast Guard Air Facility to remain open rather than closed December 15th under orders of the Commandant of the Coast Guard based in Washington DC. Fishermen’s Wives along with Lincoln County Commissioners, Newport Port Commissioners and the Newport City Council have filed a request with the federal court in Eugene to order the Coast Guard to keep the Newport Air Facility open until the Coast Guard goes through the proper legal steps to even consider closing the facility. That court hearing is set for December 11th.

As for this morning’s rescue off Siletz Bay the Fishermen’s Wives issued this statement:

We are, once again, grateful for the amazing work of our USCG for this morning’s rescue of the crew on the F/V Blazer. Three were rescued by the helo from our Newport Air Station, and two by the MLB from Depoe Bay. This is just another example of how important our helo is here…

http://www.newslincolncounty.com/

My personal Wal-Mart horror: What it’s like working here as a mom

NOTE:  Many Walmart workers our striking on Black Friday for reasonable wages and working conditions.  While there is not a strike at our local Walmart, it is important that those who shop at Walmart be aware of the deplorable working conditions their purchases are supporting and that everyone understand that the poor working conditions at Walmart translate into those of us who are taxpayers subsidizing the wages of Walmart workers by providing food stamps and other government assistance.  Also remember that the Walton family (the primary shareholders of Walmart stock) is the wealthiest family in the world; it could also be thought of as the greediest family in the world as in reality we, the taxpayers and consumers at Walmart, are also subsidizing the wealth of the Walton family as we provide the government benefits that Walmart should be providing to its workers.

Pay my electric bill, or daughter’s graduation fees? Here’s what’s actually happening at America’s largest employer

A photo of the author

A photo of the author

This Saturday, my daughter is graduating from high school. She’s worked so hard, and I couldn’t be more proud. Later this summer she will head to Eastern University in Florida, where I am proud to say she has received a full four-year scholarship.

But graduation itself has been a tough moment for my family. I recently had to choose between paying the electric bill and covering my daughter’s Tikia graduation fees. At the last minute, I got the school to give us a waiver.

I wish I could say this was the first time that I was deciding between bills, but this is a constant struggle in our family and a small example of what is means to be a Wal-Mart mom. As a parent, I don’t want to tell my kids that it is dinner or shoes, but that is what we are facing.

We work hard to provide for our families, but most days, there just is not enough money or time. I try to save money every way that I can – even getting on the bus and train for a two-hour round trip to get to work.

And trying to get enough hours to make ends meet and be around for my kids has been incredibly difficult with Wal-Mart’s scheduling demands.

At first, I had what Wal-Mart calls an “open schedule,” meaning that I had to be available to work any shift, on any day.  My shifts were all over the place – a few hours in the morning one day, a few hours in the evening the next. And every week, it was different.

Finding childcare — especially on short notice and with an irregular schedule – was a constant challenge. Ultimately, it became impossible to be available 24-7 for Wal-Mart.

Even though I was afraid of what it would mean to lose work hours if I changed my availability, I have to make sure my kids were taken care of. And with my change in availability, Wal-Mart cut my hours. Sometimes, I’m only on the schedule for 12 hours a week.

Even when I was working closer to full-time hours, my expected take-home salary was only $18,000 this year, but now that my hours are reduced, it’s hard to know what I will bring home this year.

Perhaps not surprisingly, my family gets help. We rely on D.C.’s public healthcare system, food stamps, and we live in low-income housing.

Wal-Mart has a total disregard for its responsibility to provide good jobs to the 825,000 women who help make the company $16 billion in annual profits. And the truth is I wish that I did not have to rely on taxpayer-funded programs, but in the economy that Wal-Mart’s creating, this is our reality.

For other Wal-Mart moms – those who are expecting – things are really bad at the stores. Some, like Tiffany Beroid, are forced to choose between their jobs and their health when they’re pregnant.

Tiffany visited her doctor about midway through her pregnancy, and her doctor wanted her to stop working. But needing the money to keep food on the table for her 5-year old daughter and to try to put a few dollars aside for when the baby came, Tiffany instead asked the doctor for a note to request some small modifications and adjustments. Really, it was as simple as limiting heavy lifting and extra bathroom breaks.

Wal-Mart refused, and Tiffany kept working so she did not lose her paycheck, even against the doctor’s recommendation.

As the situation worsened, Tiffany had to take an unpaid leave. She was on full bed rest for the final trimester of her pregnancy as a result of the strain.

In March, after Tiffany and some associate-shareholders and women’s right attorneys had been calling on the company to make sure the policy was at least in line with the law, Wal-Mart changed the policy.

But after Tiffany spoke out about this, Wal-Mart fired her.

Now, how could a supposedly family-friendly company treat moms this way?

That is why Wal-Mart moms are on strike against this kind of illegal retaliation, which by the way, the National Labor Relations Board is prosecuting this week in the largest complaint in Wal-Mart’s history.

Moms are strong, and together our voices can make an impact. Even at the largest employer for women in the country.

We’ve seen our new CEO, Mr. McMillon, make some changes to improve jobs and staffing. But we need more, and we need them now. We need Mr. McMillon to lead Wal-Mart in a direction that our country can be proud of, and that means paying Wal-Mart moms, dads and all of us at least $25,000 a year and providing full-time work. We want protections for pregnant moms and respect on the job.

Gail Todd has worked at Walmart for over 2 years in Landover, Maryland. She is a member or OUR Walmart — the worker organization calling on Walmart to end illegal retaliation, publicly commit to pay workers $25,000 a year and provide full-time work.

http://www.salon.com/2014/06/06/my_personal_wal_mart_horror_what_its_like_working_here_as_a_mom/

Justice Scalia Explains What Was Wrong With The Ferguson Grand Jury

NOTE:  The headline to this article does not appear to be exactly accurate.  Perhaps it should read something like “Justice Scalia’s earlier decisions Explain What Was Wrong With the Ferguson Grand Jury”.  I don’t believe Scalia actually commented on the Ferguson case.  That being said, this article explains how the Grand Jury process was greatly deviated from in the Ferguson case, which probably explains why there was not an indictment.

POSTED ON NOVEMBER 26, 2014 AT 10:13 AM UPDATED: NOVEMBER 26, 2014 AT 11:57 AM

Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia

On Monday, Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown. But that decision was the result of a process that turned the purpose of a grand jury on its head.

Justice Antonin Scalia, in the 1992 Supreme Court case of United States v. Williams, explained what the role of a grand jury has been for hundreds of years.

It is the grand jury’s function not ‘to enquire … upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,’ or otherwise to try the suspect’s defenses, but only to examine ‘upon what foundation [the charge] is made’ by the prosecutor. Respublica v. Shaffer, 1 Dall. 236 (O. T. Phila. 1788); see also F. Wharton, Criminal Pleading and Practice § 360, pp. 248-249 (8th ed. 1880). As a consequence, neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.

This passage was first highlighted by attorney Ian Samuel, a former clerk to Justice Scalia.

In contrast, McCulloch allowed Wilson to testify for hours before the grand jury and presented them with every scrap of exculpatory evidence available. In his press conference, McCulloch said that the grand jury did not indict because eyewitness testimony that established Wilson was acting in self-defense was contradicted by other exculpatory evidence. What McCulloch didn’t say is that he was under no obligation to present such evidence to the grand jury. The only reason one would present such evidence is to reduce the chances that the grand jury would indict Darren Wilson.

Compare Justice Scalia’s description of the role of the grand jury to what the prosecutors told the Ferguson grand jury before they started their deliberations:

And you must find probable cause to believe that Darren Wilson did not act in lawful self-defense and you must find probable cause to believe that Darren Wilson did not use lawful force in making an arrest. If you find those things, which is kind of like finding a negative, you cannot return an indictment on anything or true bill unless you find both of those things. Because both are complete defenses to any offense and they both have been raised in his, in the evidence.

As Justice Scalia explained the evidence to support these “complete defenses,” including Wilson’s testimony, was only included by McCulloch by ignoring how grand juries historically work.

There were several eyewitness accounts that strongly suggested Wilson did not act in self-defense. McCulloch could have, and his critics say should have, presented that evidence to the grand jury and likely returned an indictment in days, not months. It’s a low bar, which is why virtually all grand juries return indictments.

But McCulloch chose a different path.

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/11/26/3597322/justice-scalia-explains-what-was-wrong-with-the-ferguson-grand-jury/

NOW Condemns Grand Jury’s Failure to Indict Police Officer Darren Wilson, Calls for Action to End Racial Injustice Against Women and Men of Color | National Organization for Women

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill
11.24.2014
Washington, D.C. – The criminal justice system has failed in Ferguson, Missouri. NOW condemns the grand jury’s refusal to indict Darren Wilson, the white officer who shot Michael Brown dead after stopping him for walking in the street instead of on the sidewalk. Michael Brown, an African American 19-year-old, was unarmed.

NOW deplores the fact that our justice system has utterly failed Michael Brown’s family and community. Even worse is the spectacle of the authorities’ militarized response to peaceful demonstrations, a response that is all too similar to the inhumane and racist tactics used in the Deep South against civil rights protesters in the 50s and 60s.

The crisis in Ferguson reveals a racial divide in the U.S. that far too many would rather ignore. We cannot ignore it any more.

We call on the authorities to halt all use of military weaponry against demonstrators and to respect their constitutional right of peaceful assembly and protest.

Ferguson is only one of a horrific number of incidents that add up to a pandemic of overpolicing and underprotection in communities of color throughout the United States. In addition to Michael Brown, we also mourn the loss of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. Additionally, NOW calls for recognition that women of color are targets too — from Yvette Smith in Texas to Eleanor Bumpurs in Brooklyn to Tarika Wilson in Lima, Ohio.

Federal and state authorities must take action to end the nationwide crisis of police brutality in communities of color. To have any hope of being effective, that action must include women as well as men, and girls as well as boys.

NOW salutes the peaceful protesters in Ferguson and beyond, and stands in solidarity with their demand for justice.

NOW Condemns Grand Jury's Failure to Indict Police Officer Darren Wilson, Calls for Action to End Racial Injustice Against Women and Men of Color | National Organization for Women.

Outraged: Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal Responds to Ferguson Decision

by on • 10:10 PM

via Elvert Barnes

via Elvert Barnes

This should have been a public trial. Wilson should have been charged immediately after the shooting of Michael Brown, who was shot at least six times and left unattended to in the streets of Ferguson for at least four hours.

If Brown, who was an unarmed Black teenager, can’t get justice when the entire world is watching, how can any other Black person expect to receive justice if shot by a white police officer?

If this was an isolated case it would still be an atrocity, but it is not. There is a pattern and practice of police brutality against people of color in the United States, especially against Black women and men. Let us not forget the 13 Black women who were raped and sexually assaulted by an on-duty Oklahoma City police officer. In just the last two weeks, 2 more Black women, Tanesha Anderson and Aura Rosser, were gunned down by officers in Ohio and Michigan, respectively.

Robert McCulloch, the prosecutor in the Brown case has never indicted any police officer involved in any shooting and chose to slow walk this case. He used a secretive grand jury, instead of charging the officer and allowing this to be a public trial.

This is a grave injustice. The failure to hold a public trial disrespects the African American majority in Ferguson that peacefully demanded transparency. The Black community’s legitimate grievances have been disrespected. Instead, Ferguson and Missouri have acted with a militarized response from day one, until today when the Governor has called out both the National Guard and declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the decision.

We urge the Prosecutor to honor his word to release all evidence produced in front of the Grand Jury. Now more than ever, the Department of Justice Civil Rights investigation and action is needed as soon as possible.

Ferguson has put the nation on edge because this is not simply about Ferguson, but it is about a broader US experience of a culture of impunity surrounding members of law enforcement in dealing with African Americans and Latinos.  There is now testimony from a large coalition of American citizens representing Black constituencies from not only Ferguson, but also Chicago, Miami, Ohio, and other areas with the United Nations Committee Against Torture to classify this pattern of excessive police force as a form of torture in the United States, not only on the street, but also in prisons.

Eleanor Smeal

Eleanor Smeal

Eleanor Smeal

As Co-Founder and President of the Feminist Majority Foundation and former President of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Eleanor Smeal has led efforts for the economic, political, and social equality and empowerment of women worldwide for over three decades.

Women not equal to men: Turkey’s Erdogan

Ilmars Znotins

© Provided by AFP Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has encouraged every woman to have three children and wants to limit abortion rights and access to the morning-after pill

© Provided by AFP Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has encouraged every woman to have three children and wants to limit abortion rights and access to the morning-after pill

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday declared that women are not equal to men and launched a bitter attack against feminists in Turkey, claiming they reject the concept of motherhood.

Speaking at a summit in Istanbul on justice for women, the devoutly Muslim president said that biological differences between women and men meant they cannot serve the same functions in life.

“Our religion (Islam) has defined a position for women (in society): motherhood,” Erdogan told an audience of Turkish women including his own daughter Sumeyye.

“Some people can understand this, while others can’t. You cannot explain this to feminists because they don’t not accept the concept of motherhood.”

He recalled: “I would kiss my mother’s feet because they smelled of paradise. She would glance coyly and cry sometimes.

“Motherhood is something else.”

He went on to say that women and men cannot be treated equally “because it is against human nature.”

“Their characters, habits and physiques are different…. You cannot place a mother breastfeeding her baby on an equal footing with men.

“You cannot get women to do every kind of work men can do, as in Communist regimes.

“You cannot tell them to go out and dig the soil. This is against their delicate nature.”

Erdogan was apparently referring to the practise during and after World War II for women in Communist states like the USSR to do heavy manual work in factories or in roles such as tram drivers.

The Islamic-rooted government of Erdogan has long been accused by critics of seeking to erode the country’s secular principles and limiting the civil liberties of women.

Erdogan has also drawn the ire of feminist groups for declaring that every woman in Turkey should have three children and with proposals to limit abortion rights and the morning-after pill.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/Women-not-equal-to-men-Turkeys-Erdogan/ar-BBfA1gM?ocid=ansnewsafp11

No Indictment for Michael Brown’s Killer

Nel's New Day

Geraldo Rivera, pretend journalist on the Fox network, usually feeds the racist watchers by denigrating minorities. His position on the killing of Trayvon Martin is that it was his fault for being “dressed like a thug,” wearing a hoodie. About the arrests of Democrats such as Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon and California State Senator Leeland Yee, Rivera said:

“Usually, the politicians who are robbing on the Democratic side tend to be ethnic politicians, as in these cases…We are the antidote to that particular problem.”

When he failed to feed the racist watchers, however, they turned on him. His support for President Obama’s executive actions on immigration led to racist, violent messages on Rivera’s Facebook page.

Rivera said on the air:

 “Bravo Mr. President for having the courage or political will or for doing the hard cold political calculation finally to do the right thing for five million undocumented, but…

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