10 years ago this week — 2008

Clatsop County’s navigable waterways present problems for the Sheriff’s Marine Patrol.

The patrol’s responsibilities include enforcing boating and safety laws on a wide range of waterways, ranging from the county’s rivers to lakes and ocean stretches.

And in addition to a variety of waterways, the North Coast commonly has hazardous boating weather.

So, Clatsop County’s Chief Deputy Sheriff Paul Williams has been working for 2 1/2 years to replace the aging fleet.

And as other counties are struggling to find ways to keep day-to-day operations going, paying for an expensive new boat seemed a challenge, at best.

The latest boat to arrive in the fleet may make Clatsop County the envy of other public safety providers.

With the August delivery of a high-tech aluminum boat, the county sets the standard for on-the-water public safety.

The North Coast Land Conservancy has purchased a 107-acre property on Clatsop Plains that holds promise both for the endangered Silverspot butterfly and National Guard soldiers at Rilea Armed Forces Training Center.

The purchase was designed to allow the Oregon Military Department to utilize 68 acres of restricted habitat at Camp Rilea for training exercises. Restrictions intended to protect the butterfly would move to the 107 acres on Clatsop Plains, west of U.S. Highway 101.

Port of Astoria Commission members walked out of an unusual executive session Thursday with a nod from a dozen citizens and community leaders to move forward with its plans to purchase North Tongue point.

Former Port of Astoria commissioner Al Rissman, an invited guest to the session, summed up his advice to the board after the meeting. “Go for it,” he said.

50 years ago — 1968

The largest collection of candidates, under one roof, of the entire political campaign failed to draw more than three score voters to Zion Lutheran church for the annual League of Women Voters’ candidates’ fair Saturday.

Six tuna fishermen were airlifted to safety Monday night from the deck of the bait boat Donna B after the 51-foot vessel went aground one-fourth mile north of the north jetty.

Two helicopters from Astoria Coast Guard Air Station were dispatched to the scene about 10 p.m. One aircraft, piloted by Lt. Ronald Potter, made three trips to ferry the six Californians to the beach.

Does Astoria need a low rent housing program?

Mayor Harry Steinbock said he thought so Monday evening at the city council meeting, but Councilman Arnold Swanson questioned that much need exists.

The discussion arose after the council heard Clarence Singleton, chairman of the city Housing Authority of two decades ago, report that the authority still legally exists and could be reactivated if the council decides to go into low-rent housing as proposed recently by a representative of the Federal Housing and Urban Development Agency.

Singleton outlined several alternative methods for the city to get into public housing for low-income families. He said the most attractive one provided for the Housing Authority to lease properties from private owners for two to five years, then rent them at low cost to low-income families, with the federal government making up the deficit between rental and lease rates.

Three firms are interested in setting up retail fish outlets and grocery services at the West Astoria small boat harbor, basin manager Robert Lawlis informed port commissioners Tuesday night.

75 years ago — 1943

For “ably and efficiently” performing the “difficult task of landing personnel and supplies under the most adverse conditions of wind and sea on an unprotected beach in the Aleutians,” Martin K. Nielson, husband of Mrs. Agnes Nielson, 1554 Franklin Avenue, Astoria, recently received a letter of commendation from Vice Admiral T.C. Kincaid, commander of the North Pacific force, United States Pacific fleet, the 13th naval district has announced.

Nielson, now a shipfitter third class in the Seabees, was a fireman second class at the time he earned the citation. He was formerly an employee of Mason Ehrman company here.

Fire of unknown origin, but which might have started from flying sparks blown by a brisk southwest wind from the burner, completely destroyed the Warrenton shingle mill about 1:30 a.m. today, causing damage estimated by Charles Bronson, co-owner, at $15,000.

Lt. Gen. Delos C. Emmons, commanding general of the western defense command, today issued a proclamation liberalizing dimout regulations on the Pacific coast in the interests of industrial requirements, public safety and public morale.

In Astoria lighting restrictions applying to zone B will be in effect, unless later changed, it was agreed by David J. Lewis, OCD administrator here, and Brewer Billie, Astoria city manager.

Lewis said dimout driving as it has been in effect here will be relaxed to permit driving with regular dimmer lights, or lights on the depressed beam with full candlepower. This will probably apply to the whole of Astoria, as did the previous dimout, since it is impossible to check or earmark streets and avenues that are, from block to block, “visible from the sea.”

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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