10 years ago this week — 2009

John West first set foot in Astoria on July 14, 1850.

Exactly 159 years later — on Tuesday — a memorial marker was dedicated to him at Bradley State Park.

The project was spearheaded by a relative who wanted his kin to be remembered.

West first came to Oregon in 1850 after Congress passed the Oregon Donation Land Claim Act. He claimed land along the Columbia River in an area that would eventually be known as Westport, a small town about 22 miles east of Astoria.

He set up shop: farming, building, and planning. He started the Westport post office and a water-powered sawmill, ran a general merchandising store, and began a salmon cannery that exported salmon all over the world. His name lives on in the John West Salmon brand of salmon products now owned by H.J. Heinz.

Congressman Brian Baird called on fellow members of Congress to quickly pass legislation that will finally restore federal recognition to the Chinook Nation.

Baird, whose district includes Pacific County, Washington, testified before the House Natural Resources Committee in favor of his bill, as did tribal Chairman Ray Gardner.

When you’re only 13 years old and you have your own unique skateboarding style, you must be doing something right.

“It’s the ‘Oregon skate style’,” said Brandi Tabor, mother of Justyce Tabor of Seaside. “Made in Oregon. It’s hers and hers alone. A lot of other girls will do the same trick over and over and over, because they go to the same camps and have the same instructors.”

Apparently that’s one advantage of not going to skateboarding camps.

Meanwhile, the summer is Justyce Tabor’s time to shine. Once again, the Seaside youth is traveling to West Coast locations in Washington, Oregon, and California, winning more tournaments, gaining new friends and improving her skills.

The spirit for learning at the Gnat Creek Fish Hatchery has often been dampened by the weather.

On the North Coast, the window of dry weather is often too short. But a new pavilion at the Hatchery promises to extend the learning seasons.

Garth Gale, the new hatchery manager, said instructors and sponsors hustle to bring students to the facility in May, before classes let out, or in September and October.

The construction of a covered pavilion at the hatchery — known as the watershed education building — will allow visitors to dry off if North Coast weather tries to outwit instructors.

50 years ago — 1969

Margaret Elaine “Margie” Huhta, a pretty, dark-haired Clatsop County girl of Finnish descent, began her reign today as Miss Oregon after a Saturday night victory that appeared to surprise a large Miss Oregon Pageant audience.

The slender 20-year-old college student, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Huhta, of Svensen, edged statuesque Lynn Grenz, Miss Milwaukie, in a dramatic finish on the Seaside High School gymnasium stage.

Miss Huhta, who showed graceful poise in her stage appearances, broke into tears on the stage runway as her backers shouted their delight.

CAPE KENNEDY — With the men and their ship working perfectly, America’s Apollo 11 astronauts hurtled through space today on a voyage of the ages, the first attempt to land men on the moon.

PORTLAND — The new Miss Oregon came to Portland on Monday for a news conference and said her selection at Seaside Saturday night had made a lot of changes in her plans.

She had expected to be a junior at the University of Oregon in the fall. However, she will go to Atlantic City in September for the Miss America Pageant and does not expect to enter the university at Eugene.

A bet between fishermen out of Warrenton Deep Sea Fishing Charter Service as to which boat would land the biggest fish drove a crew to land a shark Tuesday.

The shark, estimated to weigh between 45 and 30 pounds, latched onto a line held by Leona Walker of Inglewood, Calif. She was assisted by two young men who helped land the gray creature.

Crews of rival boats told the shark fishermen they didn’t have to go that far to win the bet.

ABOARD USS HORNET — The men who opened the Moon Age returned to their home planet today, received a chemical bath before the eyes of the world and were hoisted aboard this carrier for a welcome from President Nixon.

75 years ago — 1944

Frank Snyder, skipper of the halibut fishing boat Lei Lani, is back in his home port of Warrenton, with a tale of the sea lanes and ocean currents that comes near challenging belief.

While cruising some six miles off Destruction Point south of Seattle a week ago, Snyder saw what he believed to be a fisherman’s yellow slicker floating in the water. His curiosity changed to astonishment as he drew near the object and discovered that it was a yellowed pillowcase filled with papers and official documents from the ill-fated aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, lost nearly two years ago off Midway Island in the Pacific.

Snyder dried the soaked papers on his stove in the Lei Lani galley and turned them over to Coast Guard authorities at La Push, Washington, on the Quileute Indian reservation. Presumably the pillowcase floated across the Pacific Ocean in the Japanese current.

A rush of over 200 youngsters greeted the opening of the YMCA Red Cross “learn to swim” campaign, according to Mrs. Gwen Craft. Swim instructors were kept busy registering the crowd.

Of the 200, approximately 100 are beginners and are expected to learn the rudiments of swimming during this week.

The office of coordinator of fisheries has announced that, with few exceptions, it will not approve applications for priorities for construction of any additional fishing vessels during the remainder of the year, according to Leif Halsan, local representative of the fisheries coordinator.

Word from the Department of the Interior explains that construction of fishing vessels during the first half of 1944 has been so accelerated that materials originally estimated for the entire year have been greatly depleted.

A large part of Clatsop County’s forest lands will be closed to other than authorized civilian traffic after Monday by order of the governor as a fire preventive measure, it was announced today by Herb Kyle, district fire warden at Jewell.

The closure is the same as that placed in effect a year ago and lifted about time of the hunting season in later September.

Bob Duke is the author of the weekly Water Under the Bridge column in The Daily Astorian. Contact him at beachduke@gmail.com

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