Its stunning raid of Seattle-based NOAA ships culminates a story going back 40 years, and rewards some smart economic planning

By Floyd McKay

Newport's stunning capture of the Seattle-based Pacific Marine Operations Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with its 10 research vessels, has its roots over 40 years ago, when Oregon Gov. Mark O. Hatfield presided over the creation of a marine science research laboratory at the small Oregon port, a facility that prospered as Hatfield moved to the U.S. Senate and became a huge player in federal appropriations.

As Hatfield climbed the ladder, eventually chairing Senate Appropriations, the Oregon State University laboratory at…

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