10 years ago this week — 2007
What started out as a bomb scare that closed downtown Seaside on Broadway between Holladay Drive an Edgewood Street ended up being an anti-climactic accident.
At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, a van fire was reported on Broadway Bridge near the Bridge Tender Tavern in Seaside.
Shortly after firefighters arrived, they began evacuating nearby buildings and businesses after observing what looked like a small pipe bomb.
According to Seaside Police Chief Bob Gross, firefighters were dispatched to the van and on arrival reported hearing a “whooshing” sound coming from the vehicle.
“Because of the smoke and sound, we suspected a bomb and called the Oregon State Police bomb squad,” said Gross.
A member of the bomb squad, wearing a blast suit for safety, inspected the vehicle twice before an all-clear was issued.
“It appears to just be a battery that overheated and exploded,” said Detective Karl Farber, of Pendleton, of the OSP bomb squad.
For 100 years, Astoria has been buying electricity from Pacific Power. If all goes as city leaders hope, some energy may be flowing in the opposite direction soon, as Astoria prepares to get into the power business.
Like Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw into gold, spinning turbines could turn wind and rain — ingredients Astoria has in abundance — into cash for city coffers. Unlike the fairytale character, Astoria is looking to science instead of alchemy to effect the transformation.
50 years ago — 1967
Wind gusts up to 54 mph shook the U.S. Weather Bureau’s Clatsop airport station just before noon Friday as a cold front swept through the area. A warm front ahead of it moved through early this morning, causing high winds that continued all morning.
Coast Guard helicopters lifted all the crew off a Greek freighter aground on Clatsop Spit Sunday night as 16-foot waves pounded the craft. Twenty men and two women rode ashore in the copters.
The 384-foot Captaliannes S., inbound with 3,000 tons of Norwegian fish meal, was knocked out of the main channel by a large wave between 7 and 8 p.m. It went aground on the outer end of Clatsop Spit.
It was one of the worst marine disasters at the river entrance in several years.
As the small Greek freighter crashed on the sands where many ships’ bones lie buried, the crew was able to get off a brief radio appeal for help and to send up flares.
Whether mail call or breakfast was the high point climaxing a long evening was a tossup as a weary, relieved and happy-under-the-circumstances Greek crew spent most of the morning drinking coffee and discussing five hours of harrowing experience in the storm-tossed Columbia River entrance. Mail was brought from Portland by the ship’s agent.
Attempts to pull the grounded Greek freighter Captaliannes S. from its position on the outside edge of Clatsop Spit were to be made again on Tuesday evening high tide after attempts by the tug Salvage Chief failed on two earlier high tides.
For the first time since the Greek ship Captaliannes S. went aground on Clatsop Spit Sunday night, members of its crew staying at the John Jacob Astor Hotel had smiles on their faces when they came downstairs for breakfast at 9 a.m. Thursday.
The smiles came from their feeling now that citizens of Astoria were helping them. The crew expressed thanks to the city for helping them obtain things they need.
75 years ago — 1942
ILWACO, Wash. — Bill O’Meara, electrician’s mate third class, who has been spending a 20-day furlough at his home here, was on duty on the USS Astoria when she was sunk by the Japs in Tulagi harbor, Solomon Islands, on August 7.
Leaving Pearl Harbor shortly before Dec. 7, the Astoria steamed to southern seas water. O’Meara states the ship had withstood an almost continuous onslaught of major engagements with the Japs without a scar, and was then assigned in task force taking the U.S. Marines to Guadalcanal, when the fatal attack came.
SEAVIEW, Wash. — The colorful career of Joe Knowles as backwoods guide, lecturer, artist and author came to an end at 4 a.m. this morning at his home near Ilwaco.
He came to Seaview in 1917 to direct a group of Boy Scouts and found the country so much to his liking that he made his permanent residence here. The cottage in which he died he had built with his own hands.
Among the paintings for which he is well-known are the series of murals entitled “Winning of the West” in the Monticello Hotel at Longview.
Literally thousands of Astorians lined Commercial Street Tuesday afternoon and almost 2,000 of them jammed the USO-recreation building last night in celebration of Astoria’s first wartime Navy Day.