10 years ago this week — 2010

The Columbia River jetties need vast improvement — and fast.

A century after the jetties were constructed, erosion has taken its toll on the front door of the Columbia River, and if they aren’t restored and rebuilt, the expected timeline before they fail is six to eight years, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who presented the project to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, at the South Jetty on Friday.

Wyden will be taking the request back to Washington, D.C., in support of the project and in hopes of securing the funding to do so.

The project is expected to cost more than $160 million for the first phase of restoration, and Wyden said he would be making the case, dollar-for-dollar, to those on the East Coast who don’t necessarily know what jetties are and why they are so important.

Not long after it helped swing the bar pilot boat Peacock into position in front of the Columbia River Maritime Museum, a 170,000-pound crane crashed on U.S. Highway 30 near John Day Friday evening.

Officials at the Oregon Department of Transportation say it looks like a broken booster axle is to blame for the accident.

Jennifer used to tell herself a story: “He only threatened to kill me once, but he didn’t really mean it.”

Threats, terror, children, emotional and financial security keep women and men in domestic violence situations.

“Every story is sad and different,” said Pat Burness, director of the Clatsop County Women’s Resource Center.

They all begin with love.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Jennifer, a survivor of domestic violence, was one of a number of people who spoke after a candlelight march on Wednesday night in Astoria.

The Women’s Resource Center, which has worked with women and victims of abuse for years, led over 100 people in a candlelit march. Carrying signs and candles, they walked from the Columbia River Maritime Museum to a conference room at Columbia Memorial Hospital several blocks away.

After years of abandonment, the John Jacob Astor Hotel lobby is back in business.

Plaster is missing from the pillars and there are holes in the ceiling but Becky Johnson and Paul Tuter, co-owners of Vintage Hardware, have never felt more at home.

They’ve spent a good portion of their lives salvaging items worn down by time, weather and use. Turning the Astor lobby and its adjacent commercial space into their new flagship store made sense.

Much like the furniture and houseware Vintage Hardware sells, the richness and beauty of the hotel is still obvious in the lobby, but so is the decay.

“We’ve been itching to get in here,” Tuter said.

50 years ago — 1970

A tremendous time and gracious hosts.

That summarized comments today from Mayor and Mrs. Harry Steinbock and 21 other Astoria-area residents who returned over the weekend from Walldorf, Germany, where they helped Astoria’s sister city celebrate its 1,200th anniversary. Walldorf is the birthplace of John Jacob Astor, for whom Astoria is named.

The Port of Astoria will cease dredging pier slips this Friday and will do no more dumping of dredge material in Youngs Bay in the immediate future, C.E. “Ted” Hodges, port manager, told some half dozen Astoria residents at the Port Commission’s meeting on Tuesday night. The residents had attended to protest the dumping.

The residents, all of whom have views of Youngs Bay from their homes, protested the unsightliness of the dredge material and indicated their intent to mount a petition drive in an attempt to have the dumping site changed.

“It looks like a bunch of garbage at low tide,” one man said. “It doesn’t improve our property any.”

The Port of Astoria Commission Tuesday night voted to meet with the city to see if the port docks and mooring basins can be included in the city’s sewage disposal system.

The action was taken after Commissioner Al Rissman said he anticipates government regulations in the near future would require port districts to provide for disposal of waste from ships visiting their docks and boats in their mooring basins.

The Astoria City Council seemed to agree Thursday to a second land trade in the block bordered by Duane, Exchange, Ninth and 10th streets, where the U.S. National Bank plans a new building and where the city has parking.

Council members met at noon with Joseph Labadie, of the bank’s Portland office, and expressed approval of the city paying $3,000 over two years, in exchange for which the bank would pave the southwestern corner of the block for city parking. The council can’t take action outside of an official meeting, so the matter may be on Monday night’s agenda.

A small audience heard a rundown Thursday night on what federal programs are available for construction of low-rent housing projects.

Vern Weiss, executive director of the Oregon Housing Development Corporation, spoke at Clatsop College on the many programs available and about the newly organized corporation. Near the end of the 1 1/2-hour meeting the need for a housing survey in Clatsop County was discussed.

75 years ago — 1945

Radio station KAST has begun operations in its new downtown studio quarters at 381 Commercial St., in the same building as the rationing board office.

The station’s studio was moved from its previous location at Commercial and Ninth streets. The station now has three studio location: downtown Astoria, Seaside and the Youngs Bay station.

The new quarters includes a reception room in front, a studio and office space in the back. KAST has moved the station’s Associated Press teletype to the front window of the new quarter, and will continue to receive 24 hour news reports there.

War time existence in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is described in a letter from Eric Frombom Jr., former night clerk at the Elliott Hotel, to Mr. and Mrs. Emill Nyman, of Astoria. The former Astorian is an interpreter in the American Legation at Helsinki, which recently returned to the country following restoration of full diplomatic relations.

“The Finns don’t seem to be starving,” he writes, “but the food is very poor and clothing is scarce. The hotels use paper bed sheets, but they aren’t so very bad. The fact is that you don’t have any of the luxury over here that we have in the states. There is no heat in the hotel. The hotel is just as modern as any in the states, only it isn’t as large. I doubt if I have ever seen more modern furniture in any hotel, even in the best in New York City. But it is so cold in my room that I can hardly move my pen with any accuracy. I have more or less gotten used to fish and that is all there is. Milk is scarce. Candy just cannot be had.”

The light cruiser Amsterdam will discharge 200 patients to the Astoria naval hospital sometime Sunday afternoon (the estimated time of arrival is 1 o’clock), the 13th Naval District said today.

After docking at the naval station, the fast cruiser of Halsey’s third fleet will proceed to Portland and further discharge nearly 1,000 returning Pacific veterans and remain along the seawall between the Morrison and Burnside bridges to take part in that city’s celebration of Navy Day.

Known throughout Fast Carrier Task Force 38 as the “Protector,” the Amsterdam came out of the war untouched, because her new type radar fire-control equipment turned the kamikaze attacks back in the closing days of the war.

The destroyer U.S.S. Franks, on the high seas bound to Astoria for Navy Day observance, has an Astoria seaman aboard who doesn’t know he is headed for his hometown.

The most surprised and happy man aboard the destroyer when she berths at Astoria will be George Huhtala, seaman first class, whose wife and 3-year-old daughter, Jane, reside at 665 Florence St. In his last letter to his family, the Astorian mentioned rumors to the effect that his ship might head for the states.

Huhtala has been in the U.S. Navy for more than a year. Off the Philippines, the 2,200-ton destroyer survived a typhoon, which damaged and even sank other war vessels. In her most dramatic exploit, the powerful destroyer of late design, disembarked 100 rangers on Okinawa some 10 days before the invasion. This landing party directed fire from the destroyer on targets it encountered in fulfilling its reconnaissance mission.

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