Crossover switch installed

1969 — This crossover switch was installed between double tracks at Pier 2 of the Port of Astoria as part of a $3 million facelifting job for the pier which has taken much of the past four years.

10 years ago this week — 2009

Ken Aiken’s view of the presidential inaugural parade Tuesday won’t be great, but at least he’ll be there in person. The Astoria resident will see the parade from behind the business end of his trumpet and a music sheet as he marches down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Aiken has been invited to march in the parade, which follows the swearing-in of President Barack Obama, with 101 other members of Get a Life Marching Band.

WASHINGTON — Stepping into history, Barack Hussein Obama grasped the reins of power as America’s first black president today, saying the nation must choose “hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord” to overcome the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Members of Seaside’s Tsunami Advisory Group are thinking large. And rightly so, says Mayor Don Larson.

After all, they’re planning for a large event — an earthquake and tsunami that could wipe out most of Seaside.

But while Larson admits that the committee’s recommendations — to rebuild five bridges, install five footbridges, expand the existing cache of supplies and stock up on cots and sleeping bags to take care of a summer population of 20,000 to 50,000 people — are worth considering, he’s not sure where the $28 million the group estimates the plan may cost will come from.

The Port of Astoria Commission approved an air service revenue guarantee with SeaPort Airlines Tuesday night.

Pending approval from the Newport City Council and review by the Oregon Department of Transportation, SeaPort will begin offering passenger flights from the coast to Portland on March 15.

50 years ago — 1969

New showers of powdered snow fell Monday morning on streets already coated with ice, closed all schools in Clatsop County and made driving hazardous on all highways in and out of the city.

Astoria’s city manager said Monday night the State Highway department’s proposed rerouting of Highway 30 between Tongue Point and Fernhill indicates to him that the state will bring the upgraded highway through downtown Astoria “first.”

Dale Curry told the City Council he thinks the highway will eventually be rerouted south of the Astoria hills but not in the immediate future.

A Portland dock official said Monday that the 40-foot channel depth of the Columbia River will enable Portland to handle major container and cargo vessels.

John Fulton, chairman of the Commission of Public Docks, said Gov. Tom McCall’s “Project 70’s Task Force” made a fictitious report when it said the focus of ocean shipping activity may have to shift from Portland to Astoria.

A barrage of letters to Oregon congressmen may be the deciding factor in retention of Tongue Point Job Corps Center, retiring president Bill Van Dusen told members of the Clatsop Community Relations Council Tuesday night in the center’s library building.

75 years ago — 1944

The 75-foot deep-sea fishing two-masted schooner Electra, of Seattle, ran aground on Clatsop spit about 8 p.m. Wednesday with eight men aboard and today is high and dry, with no better than an even chance of getting off at high water slack in the morning.

The big boat, which had been fishing shark and was inbound for Astoria, hit the spit about due south of buoy No. 14 at the river mouth, and piled ashore west of jetty sands. Captain Ness and his crew of seven were removed from the grounded craft early this morning by Coast Guardsmen from the Point Adams station.

Emmett D. Towler, principal of Astoria High School, announced today that he had received word from representatives of the Northwest School Crediting association, placing the local high school again on the list of educational institutions whose graduates are eligible to enter universities and colleges without qualifying examinations. Astoria High School has been on the favored list of the crediting association since 1918.

Last Friday afternoon, a very sad-eyed sailor from the Astoria Naval Air Station entered the Astorian-Budget. He was low. He wanted to run an ad. He was beginning a furlough in the worst possible way. He had lost his wallet containing $100 on the eve of his departure for his home in Memphis, Tenn.

The boy left for Memphis anyway, and is en route now.

An Astoria woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, appeared at the newspaper office. She had, she said, found a wallet on the street. In it was $100. It belonged to the heartsick sailor.

He has been notified of the “find” and its safekeeping until his return.

From his navy station “somewhere in the southwest Pacific,” J.R. “Bob” Burns, pharmacist mate third class, sends “thanks a million” for a gift of cigarettes he recently received bearing the card of the Astoria Kiwanis club and the Astorian-Budget.

Bob Duke is the author of the weekly Water Under the Bridge column in The Astorian. Contact him at

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