10 years ago this week — 2009

Local businesses reaped the benefits of an explosion of visitors on the North Oregon and Southwest Washington coasts this weekend.

Hot weather inland, a Saturday Fourth of July, relatively low gas prices and cancellation of Fort Vancouver’s annual fireworks display drove more people to the coast than usual.

Hotels and restaurants report impressive sales, but grocery stores really went gangbusters, as people stocked up on food for outdoor barbecues.

Chuck Winn, manager of Sid’s Grocery Store in Long Beach, Washington, said weekend sales in his store were up 15-20 percent over last year. They were the best he’s seen in his 45 years there.

Using the best wood Northwest forests have to offer, volunteers with the Camp 18 Logging Museum are building a memorial to fallen Oregon loggers in Elsie.

Northwest Oregon’s logging industry has pooled its resources and drummed up $80,000 in donation over the past year to build the Camp 18 Loggers memorial — despite the hard times that have been cutting into timber markets since the housing market collapse.

Once complete, the 864-square-foot memorial building will house a life-size bronze timber faller cutting a tree, as well as rows of bronze plaques honoring lifelong loggers. It is scheduled for dedication Aug. 30.

Every winter, it seems, the weather buoys at the mouth of the Columbia River break down when they’re needed the most — as big seas and stormy weather threaten the safety of vessels crossing the bar.

The same weather that knocks the buoys out often prevents the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from repairing them — sometimes for six months or longer. When they’re working, the buoys are the main source of information about wave height and wind speed at the mouth of the Columbia.

“It’s like having a sprinkler system that doesn’t work in the heat,” said Port of Ilwaco Executive Director Jim Neva. “In the winter it goes out, and it stays out until summer.”

Crashing buoys — and the long gap in service between repairs — are problematic for a number of river-user groups who are now working together to purchase additional buoys that would provide basic, year-round data on incoming waves and weather.

50 years ago — 1969

Beach resorts were thronged over the Fourth of July holiday. Apparently a three-day weekend offset cool, cloudy weather and brought many inlanders to the coast.

Clatsop County commissioners and members of the parks committee toured the south end of the county Monday evening to observe different projects going on at Fishhawk Falls park and at Spruce Run.

Fishhawk Falls, being developed this year by the county road department and boys enrolled in the annual summer youth work program, is the newest county park. It is located 25 miles from Astoria on Highway 202 near Jewell. Only a small part of the acreage has been improved to date, but next year all or most of the 40 acres will be in operation as an overnight camping area with tables and fireplaces.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Oregon will start to find out tonight when 23 contestants start competition in the Miss Oregon Pageant, at the Seaside High School gymnasium.

Clatsop County’s candidate brunette Margie Huhta, of Svensen, and others in the field rehearsed Wednesday afternoon on the gymnasium stage after posing in travel clothes and bathing suits.

Miss Huhta, 5-foot-6, 121 pounds and 35-24-35, said she had become a “believer” in the pageant program because it is a benefit and an inspiration for the girls in it.

A state highway department crew moved onto Commercial Street in Astoria today to resurface that heavily traveled roadway. The new layer of asphalt should please motorists, but the city of Astoria was a little put out because the paving covered newly painted crosswalk stripes.

“We would have liked to have known in advance that they were going to pave it.” said City Manager Dale Curry.

They call one of their sailing vessels the Fun and Games. It’s an odds-on bet they change that name before their voyage is over.

Nineteen Portland-based youth are in the Astoria West End Mooring Basin with two three-hulled trimarans. They’re making final preparation for a 2½ year cruise around the world, and most of them have never sailed the open sea.

CAPE KENNEDY, Fla. — Crews of specialists painstakingly inspected the Saturn 5 rocket and Apollo 11 spaceship today, with only hours remaining before the start of the countdown for the moon-landing mission launch.

75 years ago — 1944

The soil conservation work done along the Clatsop beaches by the CCC was and is the greatest achievement in the field of wind erosion of dune lands in the United States, if not in the world, according to Dean William Schoenfeld of Oregon State College, who was in Astoria Friday for the purpose of inspecting the project.

Schoenfeld found the work so well done that, not only has erosion of the dunelands been practically stopped, but the growth of dune grasses and small trees is so marked that the soil will be held permanently if grazing is not again permitted on these lands.

Dr. William Faber, Washington, D.C., assistant director for program development of the war manpower commission, said today that the ability of Portland-area shipyards to increase production sufficient to meet current ship delivery schedules, depended upon immediate recruitment of 11,500 out-of-state workmen, plus “everyone staying on the job.”

Faber, who is here to confer with employment officers and WMX\C officials, said that factors combine to make the manpower problems more critical than at any other time since Peal Harbor.

WASHINGTON — President Roosevelt today announced that he would accept a fourth-term renomination by next week’s Democratic National Convention.

About 4,500 pounds of albacore tuna, much of it taken by jig fishermen, started turning up at Astoria canneries Wednesday and today, marking the first substantial receipts of albacore for the 1944 season, and matching to the day the first jig-caught albacore of the 1943 season.

Between 700 and 800 Columbia River marked salmon have been recovered since June 12, according to Floyd G. Bryant, aquatic biologist of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service who has been collecting marked salmon here for the past three years. This number is considerably more than from the increase in marking experiments of the past few years. The federal bureau alone has turned loose at least a half million marked fish.

Shore police were called to a local theater Thursday night to quell a disturbance involving naval personnel. The disturbance resulted in a brief interruption of the picture being shown while a spectacular ejection of several patrons of the show house was staged. Two sailors are in the city jail today, while disorderly conduct charges are being prepared against them, according to Chief of Police John Acton.

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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