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Water Under the Bridge: Aug. 23, 2017

From the pages of Astoria’s daily newspapers

Published on August 23, 2017 12:01AM

Last changed on August 23, 2017 8:45AM

A U.S. Navy minesweeper built at Astoria Marine Construction Co. in Lewis and Clark.

The Daily Astorian/File

A U.S. Navy minesweeper built at Astoria Marine Construction Co. in Lewis and Clark.

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10 years ago this week — 2007

WARRENTON – Repairing the Columbia River’s South Jetty — and bracing it against the destructive force of ocean waves — is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle.

With 20-to 30-ton rocks.

Miles out from the jetty’s base, Steve Osberg mans the puzzle pieces from the cab of a crane at a repair site Wednesday, grasping a 29-ton metamorphic mass with 40-ton tongs and nestling it into a complementary hole as best he can.

He drops the rock with a splash into a wedge of water, attempting to fill a gap in the jetty structure, but then decides the pieces don’t fit. Using the crane’s claw, he picks the rock back up to reposition it.

“There’s no uniform or perfect rock out here,” said project foreman Andy Bushnell. “You have to keep trying and trying and trying.”

This fall, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is wrapping up two years of interim repairs to the South Jetty, placing the last of 171,000 tons of new rock into holes that had weakened about a mile of the 7-mile structure. The work is designed to bolster the protective barrier between the Pacific Ocean and the mouth of the river for eight to 10 years, maintaining safe passage for ships and preserving an estimated $14 billion pillar of the regional economy.

An expert review of NorthernStar Natural Gas Co.’s draft emergency response plan found the company hasn’t covered all the bases to ensure public safety if a liquefied natural gas terminal is built at Bradwood Landing.

In fact, consultants hired by Clatsop County to review public safety issues connected with the proposed LNG project found more than two dozen holes in the company’s plan’s — many of which, they concluded, could directly impact county residents, taxpayers and first responders.

50 years ago —­- 1967

Pierre, the tomcat, is in the dog house. But good.

The feline holds forth at the Clatsop County Courthouse, preferring mainly the basement quarters and the bailiwick of District Judge Harold T. Johnson.

Sheriff Carl Bondietti is also a friend of Pierre. Or was.

Gossip at the courthouse is that Pierre ran true to form — or almost — regarding that old saying about the cat that swallowed the canary.

This time, however, Pierre gulped the evidence, a salmon head that is.

The piece of evidence the other day concerned an “undersized salmon,” and it was about 2 inches less when hungry Pierre got through. It was the tastiest meal in along time for this sleek fellow.

The Astoria City Council authorized purchase of a radar unit for use of the police department and indicated they favor raising overtime parking violation fines from 50 cents to $1 at a meeting Monday evening in council chambers in City Hall.

Police Chief Paul Bettiol had requested that his department be permitted to purchase without bid a Stephenson radar Speedalyzer for $1,295. In communication, he noted that his unit was most popular from standpoint of service and reliability.

A survey by opinion-sampler Louis Harris finds that Americans, by a slim 46 percent to 43 percent margin, are now opposed to the program to land a man on the moon. More than 60 percent said they would oppose it if the Russians were not in competition with us.

75 years ago — 1942

A keeper of the dazzling Tillamook Rock light, which slashes the darkness that things afloat may see, early this morning became the first injury victim of Astoria’s dim-out.

Ed Laschinger, 60-year-old lighthouse keeper, was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital after having been struck by Joe Melvin’s car on 14th and Duane streets at 11:45 p.m. Monday. He was not critically hurt, although suffering injuries to his shoulder and hip. Details of the accident were not known, except that it appeared to have been the result of the dim-out.

City and civilian defense authorities here decided today that the entire city of Astoria would be indefinitely dimmed out, owing to impossible difficulties which would plague law enforcement should zoning of the city’s corporate areas be attempted.

City Manager G.T. McClean said that survey of city streets, completed by Engineer Harold Olavik, proved the area west of 18th and east of Second streets would be in complete dim-out, with some streets among the intervening blocks likewise dimmed to normal vehicular traffic.

This being the case, McClean agreed with Chief of Police John Acton and David J. Lewis, defense administrator, that total dim-out would be required, since the task of posting all intersections then expecting motorists to observe the hundreds of signs would create an untenable situation.

The Astoria Marine Construction Co. will launch the fourth $700,000 U.S. Navy minesweeper at its Lewis and Clark yards Saturday, climaxing a year’s operation in which the company and its 200-man crew have high-balled $3 million worth of fighting ships for the American war effort and shattered every record in the Northwest for this type of construction.

The event focuses attention on the Astoria firm’s brilliant record. Starting on minesweeper construction two and three months later than any other Northwest yard, Astoria Marine not only delivered the first ship to the Navy but also delivered two completed vessels before any other yard delivered one.



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