10 years ago this week — 2009

When the 88-year-old son of a lumber baron died following a fall in 2005, he left a gift to North Coast conservation supporters.

Norman Yeon left a large cash donation to the conservation group Friends of the Columbia Gorge.

He also left a valuable piece of North Coast real estate near Gearhart to the Trust for Public Lands.

The transfer of ownership of that 104 ½-acre tract to the North Coast Land Conservancy — a local land trust — was completed June 5, clearing the way for it to become part of the Lewis and Clark national Historical Park. And the property, which contains a cabin retreat that was probably designed by Yeon’s prominent architect brother, John Yeon, who once owned a significant portion of Cannon Beach, is slated to become a nationally prominent environmental leadership classroom.

GARIBALDI — Access to a clam digging site has been restored through a cooperative effort of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and several stakeholder groups. Reconstruction of the 12th Street stairway has been completed, re-establishing pedestrian access to the Garibaldi clam flats.

The new steel-reinforced concrete structure replaces an aluminum stairway washed away during a storm in the early 1990s. Since then people have been reaching the clam beds it provides just off U.S. Highway 101, said Ron Rehn, project coordinator for ODFW’s North Coast Watershed District, who noted that most of the clamming in Tillamook Bay is accessible only by boat.

The stairway is part of the 12th Street Pier complex, located next to the waterfront just one block off Highway 101 on the north end of Garibaldi. ODFW owns a parking lot next to the pier. The site provides crabbing and fishing opportunities to the public.

“I am a victim of the handling characteristics of the car,” explained prominent Portland attorney Akin C. Blitz, whose firm does work for North Coast governments.

Blitz was in Clatsop County Courtroom 200 Thursday to argue why he didn’t deserve a speeding ticket.

Oregon State Police trooper David Corkett busted Blitz last Labor Day weekend for traveling 76 in a 55 mph zone.

Blitz argued that Corkett and the philosophy of the Astoria office of the OSP were inconsistent with Oregon’s policies and standards.

Blitz offered a PowerPoint presentation in the courtroom about his car’s fancy features during the two-hour trial. He used “expert” testimony from a mechanic to argue that he had a high-performance BMW 535xi that was safe to drive at high speeds.

But Clatsop County Circuit Court Judge Philip Nelson disagreed with Blitz. He found Blitz guilty of violating the basic rule and fined him $182.

50 years ago — 1969

The Coast Guard rescued a sinking vessel Friday through the combined efforts of a helicopter from the Astoria Air Station and a motor lifeboat from Tillamook Bay, a spokesman said.

A call was received by the Coast Guard at 1 p.m. that the Tomahawk, Portland, had hit a submerged object about two miles off the mouth of Tillamook Bay and was sinking. The helicopters were dispatched from the Air Station, and a 36-foot lifeboat was sent from Tillamook Bay, the Coast Guard said.

As soon as the lifeboat arrived, the operator, Leland Harman of Portland, was rescued, and the stricken vessel was taken into tow. While being towed, several portable pumps were taken aboard, and the vessel was kept floating until it could be towed into Garibaldi.

Two U.S. salmon fishermen lost several miles of fish lines Sunday when a Russian stern trawler moved through the area they were fishing.

The Sally Kay and Mary Stewart, both from Eureka, Calif., put their lines down about 20 miles west of the mouth of the Columbia, and because they knew the Russian was in the area, called the bureau of commercial fisheries to get an interpreter so the Russians could be told where the lines were and could avoid the area. No interpreter was available, however, and when the boats returned to retrieve their gear, they discovered the damage.

The Nippon Maru, a Japanese training vessel, arrived in Astoria today at the face of Pier 2. It is four-masted, bark-rigged sailing craft.

While in Astoria, the ship’s company will tour Fort Clatsop, the Astoria Column and the Columbia River Maritime Museum with Jean Hallaux. Tour arrangements were made by Port of Astoria, Chamber of Commerce, city of Astoria and the Board of County Commissioners.

Astoria Mayor Harry Steinbock presented Capt. Isao Ikeda and his officers with a key to the city and a miniature Astoria Column.

Saturday’s the day for all residents of Uppertown, Uniontown, and adjacent areas of the community to proclaim and enjoy traditions of the countries of their heritage at the second annual Scandinavian Midsummer Festival. Events will begin at 1 p.m. at the 4-H Fairgrounds, concluding with dancing in the evening.

Two more ships scheduled to load logs for Japan bypassed the Port of Astoria this week. Because of the Master, Mates and Pilots strike, Port Manager Ted Hodges has established that the area loses $30-$40,000 worth of business each time a ship fails to load.

The Senyo Maru and Matsushima Maru, both Japanese, have proceeded to Olympia and Tacoma.

Meanwhile, logs continued to be stockpiled at Tongue Point and on three rivers — Youngs, Lewis and Clark and Skipanon.

75 years ago — 1944

Three men are dead, one was rescued at sea and one was injured in three airplane accidents near mouth of the Columbia River last weekend.

Two of the accidents involved Navy planes and one an Army fighter plane that undershot the runway at the airport facility of the U.S. Naval Air Station here.

Col. C.S. Doney, commanding officer of Fort Stevens, announced today that WACs at the fort will be detailed to serve as color bearers marking what is believed to be the first U.S. Army post in the world to employ the use of women as color detail.

The decision permitting women to serve in this capacity resulted from the shortage of soldiers, Doney said.

The Aleutian Islands are now presenting military authorities with a problem much like the one the Warrenton sand dunes made for Clatsop County, according to word from an advanced Aleutian base.

Russell Annabel, United Press correspondent in the Aleutians, wrote, “The old timers around here used to congratulate themselves on having survived everything in the weather man’s book; wind, snow, ice, rain and fog. But this month the Aleutians came up with a new one and it’s a dilly — dust storms.

“The Army engineers have been engaged for two years here in one of the largest dirt-moving operations ever carried out anywhere, but the williwaws this spring are showing them some new tricks. The engineers took the tough island sod off and moved mountains to make room for military installations, and with the sod off and the sand and volcanic ash exposed, the wild Aleutian winds are starting where the engineers quit.”

The way such wind and sand activity starts has been seen on the coast of Clatsop County, as well as in other sections of the Oregon coast, Afton Zundel, county agriculture agent, pointed out.

“The Aleutian situation might be comparable to the situation here,” Zundel said, “only here grazing started it, tramping over the hills and scarring the topsoil in spots that the wind blew bigger and bigger.”

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

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