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Water under the bridge: 1968 — facelift for downtown Astoria?

From the pages of Astoria’s daily newspapers

Published on September 12, 2018 11:16AM

2008 — A Civil War re-enactment at Fort Stevens State Park.

2008 — A Civil War re-enactment at Fort Stevens State Park.


10 years ago this week — 2008

Seaside will receive international attention as the town where hundreds of runners finish the Hood to Coast relay race when a documentary film is released next spring.

A film crew accompanied the race organizers during the event, which took runners 197 miles from Mount Hood to Seaside Aug. 22 to 24.

The documentary will be shown at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals, race organizer Bob Foote told the Seaside city Council.

“It will provide worldwide exposure for Seaside,” said Foote, who gave the city “kudos” for being a “great host.”

Foote then presented the Council with a $17,000 check from race proceeds. He said the money was to go to renovation of Seltzer Park near the Cove in South Seaside.

The Port of Astoria and the city of Newport have been struggling to agree on how to select an airline to provide passenger air service between the coast and Portland. On Tuesday, the Newport city Council rescinded its 5-2 vote to contract with Cape Air of Massachusetts and agreed to go back out for bids.

About 200 U.S. Coast Guard aviators descended on Astoria as the annual Pterodactyl Roost began.

The annual meeting of the Coast Guard Aviation Association, a fraternal organization also known as Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl, brings together pilots and other flight-crew members for four days of sightseeing at the Graveyard of the Pacific.

Vice Admiral Vivien Crea, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, will also attend part of the event. Second in command in the Coast Guard, Crea is the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. military.

50 years ago — 1968

Port of Astoria Manager C.E. Hodges told the port commission, “I have been assured by the Northwest Aluminum company that in spite of the revenue bonds, they are going to build the Warrenton plant.”

Northwest Aluminum Vice President Richard Peck was in Astoria but could not be reached for comment. It was fairly apparent, however, that Peck had been told of Hodge’s statement to the commission. Peck issued no word himself.

What the phrase “in spite of the revenue bonds” meant was not clear.

Sale of $150 million in municipal revenue bonds by the Port of Astoria to finance construction of Northwest’s plant will reportedly be made this fall. The sale was first scheduled for this summer, but Peck said on his last Astoria visit that the tremendous job of getting the necessary backing for the bonds was responsible for the delay.

There has also been some question on what firms would go into the Warrenton venture with Northwest. Japanese firms were at first announced as participants with Northwest, which is headquartered in New York. In recent weeks, however, there have been several reports that the venture will involve U.S. firms only.

A proposal to give downtown Astoria a facelift — putting in big areas of off-street parking, making the retail area more attractive and forming governmental and tourist-commercial complexes — was presented to city officials and the public. Richard Ivey of Cornell, Howland, Hayes and Merryfield (CHHM), engineers and planners, presented the results of a year’s planning financed by a grant from the federal government.

Proposed plan — what Ivey called “a general concept” — would involve vacating parts of the business section for parking, mall-like areas and new businesses and realigning part of Marine Drive, among other things.

“If we don’t move soon to make a logical downtown area, a lack of convenient downtown parking may give rise to shopping centers on the perimeter of the city,” said Allen Cellar, acting chairman of the city planning commission. “I think the time is late for acting.”

75 years ago — 1943

Mrs. Wilburt Bjork made one of the outstanding catches of the Labor Day weekend fishing when she landed a previously hooked fish from the river near Megler. Reeling in her line when the strike came, Mrs. Bjork found that she hooked another line. First came the 35-pound fish from the river and then another fisherman’s line, pole and complete angling outfit.

Ensign Lucia Brown of the WAVES will be in Astoria September 13-18 to assist young women in this area in presenting their applications for the WAVES, it was announced by Recruiting Specialist Hal Eustis, in charge of the Astoria U.S. Navy recruiting substation.



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