10 years ago this week — 2009

KNAPPA — Many decades ago, to protect a mainline logging road from flooding, a section of Knappa’s Big Creek was moved off its historic stream bed and into a new channel blasted out of bare basalt.

Safely out of the road’s way on Hampton Affiliates property, the creek hurtled through the rock-walled chute about six miles above Big Creek Fish Hatchery.

For the 25 years he’s worked for Hampton, logging supervisor Bud Henderson, also a member of the Nicolai-Wickiup Watershed Council, has known the chute was a problem.

But it became a real issue in 1994, when hatchery managers started allowing unmarked adult salmon and steelhead past the hatchery walls to spawn naturally in the creek bed.

The chute created a velocity barrier for the fish. The water was flowing so fast, it stopped salmon and trout from swimming through and accessing 11 miles of spawning grounds and rearing habitat above.

“Through fish monitoring we did through the watershed council, we determined that chute was an impediment to upstream migration of adult salmon and steelhead,” Henderson said. “It was a barrier to up and down stream migration of juvenile fish in almost all stages.”

This summer, a project coordinated by Hampton and the watershed council used over $388,000 to realign the mainline logging road, install two bridges, block off the chute and move the stream back to its historic channel.

The project lifted the barrier to valuable fish habitat above the hatchery, and could yield a major boost in natural fish production on the creek.

When fuel prices rocketed past $3 per gallon last year, lots of Clatsop County residents parked their cars and hopped on “The Bus.”

They must have enjoyed the ride. When gas prices went back down, ridership continued to grow.

Operated by Sunset Empire Transportation District, a fleet of more than 35 brightly colored environmentally friendly buses provide more than 8,000 rides a week, whisking people to work, school, shipping and doctor’s appointments.

The district’s goal is to be a model for the rest of rural Oregon.

The North Coast continued to be battered by a giant storm today with warnings of high surf and more rain and wind to come. As rain and wind lashed the region Thursday night, part of a deck collapsed at the Red Lion Inn in Astoria, plunging five guests into the Columbia River. All that remains of the deck is the handrail.

50 years ago — 1969

Two photos, taken from the Frank Woodfield collection and loaned by the present owners, Ed Ross and Joe Dyer, show some of the industrial life and celebrations that featured life in Astoria’s historic past.

The centennial celebration of 1911, marking the 100th anniversary of the city’s founding, was a notable event in Astoria history. Those were the early days of aviation. The Curtiss biplane, shown in one of the photos here, was brought down from Portland to perform for the festival. It was a highlight of the big festival.

SCAPPOOSE — A 210-foot gravel barge struck a bank and capsized Thursday, dumping its cargo into the Multnomah Channel of the Columbia River and sinking a 100-foot tugboat, which was pushing the barge.

Two crewmen on the tug, Noydena, escaped injury, said spokesman for Knappton Towboat Co. of Astoria and Portland.

The Noydena’s cabin and superstructure were torn off by the capsizing barge. Damage to both vessels was not known immediately, and the towboat company was trying to salvage the tug.

With the return of Fall, the ever popular Fort Stevens State Park returns to a quiet, scenic area used by a handful of people brave enough to ignore the rain and cold.

Those using Coffenbury Lake now include only a few brave sailors or hikers and seagulls.

The park invites its summer visitors to enjoy its lovely Coffenbury Lake, broad ocean beach and enormous campground. The camping area has room for 259 tents and 225 trailers. Val Jones, park manager, said there were 173,000 overnight guests during the 1968-69 fiscal year.

More than 250,000 cubic yards of earth had to be moved to prepare a site in Warrenton for the Northwest Aluminum reduction plant. A promotional advertisement stated “They Moved a Mountain to Develop This Site.”

After the grading job leveled the land, the project was ready for the construction of roads on site to be used for moving materials during the initial stages of construction.

“As the project develops, we at Northwest Aluminum look forward to becoming a good neighbor and member of the growing industrial community of the Sunset Empire,” the ad continued.

75 years ago — 1944

Mrs. R.K. Booth, 245 Kensington Ave., has something new in the way of Halloween “trick or treat” stories to offer today.

All evening long the neighborhood children with their grinning jack-o-lanterns jangled the door bell demanding sustenance. As the evening drew to a close, Mrs. Booth again answered a peal of the doorbell and was surprised to find two sailors waiting on her porch.

Grinning sheepishly, the two declared, “We get hungry, too!”

SEASIDE — Mrs. Paul D. Christerson has received word from her husband, a Navy lieutenant who was aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Princeton, that he is safe. The Princeton was sunk in the Philippines battle recently, but most of the crew were saved.

Mrs. Christerson is making her home here with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Cannon.

The new U.S. naval hospital, sprawled finger-like over the 60 acres of former pasture land and wooded knolls three miles southeast of Astoria near the Walluski River, has now received its first contingent of wounded and diseased young Navy men from the far flung reaches of the Pacific.

From trains, 400 of the men were swiftly transferred to ambulances and buses and sped to beds waiting to receive them now for nearly two weeks. The 22 nurses, 25 doctors — many with combat experience — and scores of naval corpsmen and Wave pharmacists are now busy at their task of restoring these patients to health as quickly as possible.

This huge 500-bed hospital — the only one of its kind in Oregon — must of necessity remain a curiosity to most Astorians. Its grounds and corridors will remain closed to all except the few with definite business or those whose own relatives and friends are patients there.

American voters in returning Franklin D. Roosevelt to the presidency for a fourth term have also given the Democratic Party a majority in Congress and the Senate, mounting returns from the nation’s first wartime election in 80 years showed today.

Astoria is quietly observing Armistice Day today with business houses and industrial plants generally closed throughout the city. American Legion flags are flying along all-but-deserted downtown streets this morning with traffic at a standstill.

Marine authorities have another sea mystery on their hands today — the case of a pilotless fishing boat, missing since Oct. 10 — and found wallowing in the Pacific, 40 miles west of Destruction Island, off the Olympic Peninsula, six days later.

Discovery of the vessel, The Quill, was disclosed by two Seattle men who sighted and boarded the abandoned ship.

They said they found almost $3,000 in the cabin, and that although the vessel was taking on some water, it was undamaged, with all troll lines set, and 300 pounds of rotting fish in the holds.

A gaff hook was missing from the rack, however, and belief was expressed that the owner of the boat, Victor Carlson, of Marysville, Washington, was thrown overboard and drowned while attempting to haul a fish aboard.

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