What a way to exercise!Volunteers preparing for Astoria's gently used "Books in Bloom" sale are finding that hauling books is great exercise.

Sale Coordinator Cyndi Lee has been skipping her three-times-a-week workouts at Curves. Lee says that carrying donated books, records and other items to the library basement for sorting is giving her plenty of exercise and strength-training.

Teenager Alex Ferber passed up playing golf and instead helped fill up Astor Library Friends Association member Laurie Caplan's car with books donated by Gladys Cummings. Then he made two dozen trips to the basement with the bags of books.

The book sale, to benefit the Astoria Public Library, is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 24. There is an opening night sale only for members of ALFA, including those who join at the door, from 4 to 8 p.m. April 23. The sale, at the library 450 10th St., features thousands of books, records, CDs, audio books, videos, and tapes.

The first Prosecutor's Oscar, the PROSCAR, goes to ... Clatsop County District Attorney JOSH MARQUIS! Nicknamed the Josh Marquis Prime-Time Award, the Proscar is bestowed for consistently portraying prosecutors in a positive light in the national media.

It was presented to Marquis at the March meeting of the National District Attorneys Association in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He admits he's probably one of the most often-quoted DAs in the country. The reason? "I return phone calls," he modestly explains.

The PROSCAR will be presented on an "ad hoc" basis, which apparently is legalese for "whenever we feel like it."

What if Astoria suddenly gained an extra 6,000 people in a single day? That could happen Sept. 27, when three ocean-going cruise ships and a big river cruiser call here all at once.

"It'll probably be the biggest cruise ship day Astoria has ever seen," gloated DAN BARTLETT, Astoria's city manager. Even over the phone, the Ear could see him smiling at the thought.

BRUCE CONNER of Sundial Travel and BILL COOK, deputy director of the Port of Astoria, are among those who have worked hard to put Astoria on the cruise ship map. Obviously their efforts are paying off. Scheduled to call at Astoria Sept. 27 are Holland America's Zaandam and Amsterdam, each with 1,400 passengers and 700 crew members, and Norwegian Cruise Lines' Norway Sun, with 2,000 passengers and a 968 person crew. The Empress of the North will tie up at the city's 17th Street Pier, on its way back from Alaska.

It's a Cruise Ship Roundup, right here in River City.

Everyone at the Ear loves a good bowl of spicy chili, so we were thrilled to hear about a chili contest fund-raiser to support the WOMEN'S RECOVERY HOUSE in Seaside. The House offers a safe, sober place for women without children who are recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. The chili contest will be held at 5 p.m. May 8 at the Riverside Recovery Club, next to the Recovery House, at 1530 S. Roosevelt Drive. Cost is $3 per person, $5 per couple or $7 per family. For more information, call Program Director ANNE HOCKERSMITH at 739-2534 or House Manager SALINA GRIEP at 739-0149.

The Friends of Ecola Creek Forest Reserve in Cannon Beach are $30,000 closer to their fund-raising goal, thanks to an anonymous donation, Chairman RON LOGAN said.

The contribution brings the total amount either secured or committed to $237,160. This is 61 percent of the total goal of $387,500.

The Friends group is raising money to help purchase a 120-acre parcel of forest land from the Weyerhaeuser Company. The forest is adjacent to the city's municipal watershed, east of U.S. Highway 101. The land would join another 40 acres that the city purchased last summer and another 54 acres that the city already owned to create a forest reserve that will maintain local water quality and natural habitat. The Friends group has partnered with the City of Cannon Beach and the North Coast Land Conservancy to raise the funds to purchase the property.

All donations are tax deductible and should be made payable to Friends of Ecola Creek Forest Reserve, P.O. Box 678, Cannon Beach, OR 97110. Donations may also be made via the group's Web site at (www.ecolacreek.org). Donation envelopes will be available at Cannon Beach City Hall, 163 E. Gower St.

The Associated Press reports that after a six-year search two researchers say they've solved the mystery of the name "Oregon."

Thomas Love, a Linfield College anthropology professor, and Ives Goddard, a Smithsonian Institution linguist, say "Oregon," is derived from "wauregan," a Connecticut tribe's pidgin word for "good, beautiful."

They also argue that "wauregan" was related to another Eastern tribe's word "olighin," which means "beautiful river" - and that link led to the use of "wauregan" in naming a Northwest river flowing into the Pacific Ocean.

Their conclusions are due for publication in the summer issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly.

They contend that British army officer, Maj. Robert Rogers, learned "wauregan" from Mohegan tribesmen who helped guide him in the Ohio River Valley from 1758 to 1760.

Regarded in American history both as a first-rate frontiersman and a two-bit land speculator, Rogers is acknowledged as the first person to use the term "Ouragon." That came in his unsuccessful 1765 petition to the English seeking financing to search for a fabled passage linking the coasts. Rogers applied "Ouragon" to an unnamed river on maps.

The authors suggest different theories for why Rogers wrote "Ouragon" rather than "wauregan" - such as different translations or shifts in tribal pronunciation. Others, however, disagree on whether textbooks, encyclopedias and place-name guides will have to be rewritten.

"It's a very interesting theory," said Lewis L. McArthur, compiler of "Oregon Geographic Names." "But I'm not prepared to come out and say this is the answer." Three years ago, the same quarterly published a paper concluding Oregon's name derived from that of a highly sought fish oil, or "grease," found and traded in the region.

Well the Ear prefers the "beautiful" part, even if we have to thank a British chap.

Speaking of blokes, send us your ears! If you have an item for In One Ear, send it to Patrick Webb, Managing Editor, The Daily Astorian, P.O. Box 210, Astoria OR 97103 or e-mail pwebb@dailyastorian.com. Include a daytime phone number for follow-up calls.

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