10 years ago this week — 2009

The national economy isn’t much to celebrate these days, but the downturn hasn’t dampened coastal Independence Day festivities.

Fireworks displays will light the night skies Saturday in Astoria and Seaside and across the river in Long Beach and Ilwaco. There will be daytime parades in Warrenton, Seaside, Gearhart, Cannon Beach, Astoria and Ocean Park.

Despite belt-tightening in other spheres, it seems to be full steam ahead for the coast fireworks. The giant show in Vancouver, Washington — heralded as the “largest West of the Mississippi” — won’t be held this year because of the tough economic times, but that likely means more people heading for the coast to celebrate.

“Patriotism doesn’t change with the economy,” said David Glasson, finance director for the city of Long Beach.

Evelyn Leahy Hankel leafs through a photo album containing old family photos and letters from the queen of England.

When the queen was on a ship near Astoria, Hankel invited her over for a cup of tea. The queen regretfully declined the invitation. When she was abroad, she was not in charge of her schedule, she told Hankel.

Hankel, an Astoria resident, turned 90 in March. She raised 10 children, saw the world as an Army colonel’s wife, asked Dwight D. Eisenhower for a job for her husband and got it and published “Cumtux,” the quarterly magazine of the Clatsop County Historical Society.

Along the way, she became an expert on local family history.

On the Fourth of July she’ll celebrate 130 years of the Leahy family living in Astoria with a giant gathering. Nearly 100 people, relatives on the Irish side of the family, visit the Leahy homestead each year. The reunions are held on five acres of the original 160-acre homestead on Green Mountain in rural Astoria. Hankel inherited these five acres from her father.

Clatsop County formally took ownership of the Carlyle Apartments in Seaside this week. But the facility, which serves primarily lower-income residents, will remain in operation.

On Monday, Jeff Hazen, Clatsop County Board of Commissioners chairman, signed a contract that completes the transfer of the 26-unit apartment complex, which came into the county’s possession following a lengthy legal dispute.

50 years ago — 1969

Several hundred Pacific coast fishing boats will be in the ocean off Oregon and Washington and northern California in the next few weeks for the albacore tuna season.

But this year for the first time, about 500 of the boats will be in pursuit not only of fish but of scientific data as well. Skippers of the selected boats have volunteered to help collect information for Oregon State University’s largest cooperative oceanographic study so far.

Fishermen will record information in log books about ocean conditions in the areas where they prospect for fish and catch them.

The Astoria Planning Commission voted 4-3 to reconsider and go into more thoroughly its motion of June 10 recommending that a reconstructed Highway 30 be kept on the Astoria waterfront. A petition bearing 75 names from the business district was submitted against the idea of the highway bypassing the city.

Clatskanie Scramble Days is the big formal celebration over this three-day weekend. Seaside and Long Beach have fireworks displays on tap, Cannon Beach has a play, but the rest of the area is expected to celebrate quietly.

There will be no celebration in Astoria, and the annual affair in Warrenton has been canceled this year.

The long-delayed housing project being developed on a 44-acre tract of beach property in Seaside by Sunset Cove Inc. will resume soon after 16 months of litigation, according to William H. Holmstrom, president of the corporation.

“Resulting financing will satisfy all outstanding obligations of the firm and pave the way for platting and installation of utilities and streets,” Holmstrom said.

Offspring of Oregon and Washington salmon may help restock the Rhine River in West Germany and the Netherlands.

The State Department of Natural Resources in Michigan has formally agreed to donate one million or more Coho salmon eggs for the river.

The eggs are from fish hatched from eggs donated to Michigan by the two Northwest states.

CAPE KENNEDY, Fla. — Sealed in their spaceship atop towering Saturn 5 rocket, the Apollo 11 astronauts today participated in a practice launching for their moon landing journey.

The last major test before the July 16 liftoff was completed without a hitch as the spacemen took part in the final hours of a simulated countdown.

75 years ago — 1944

Editor’s note: The following is from the Wild Lifelines column by Billy McGregor.

The cry of “Fish On!” will soon be heard again on the river across from Astoria.

For the benefit of service people and others, who have never enjoyed trolling for salmon on the lower Columbia, I will endeavor a rough sketch of what it’s all about.

Although there is no closed season on salmon angling in the river, sport fishermen are nevertheless regulated by two factors. First, they must await the fall run of salmon; and second, they must wait until the commercial fishing season closes.

The fall spawning migration of Chinook salmon usually commences early in August and reaches its peak during the last of that month, continuing until September 10th or thereabout.

Prior to the fall run, the river is practically devoid of salmon, at least from a sport fishing standpoint. It is true that a few salmon occasionally are taken on sport gear from early in June to the August run; however, regular limit catches are not assured until the river is full of fish.

The commercial salmon fishing season usually closes for a period of 10 to 15 days starting on or near August 26th – the actual dates being determined each year in accordance with prevailing conditions.

At the close of the commercial season, a large number of commercial fishermen then make their boats and services available to sport fishermen. Therefore, unless you are one of the few fortunates who own a pleasure craft of some sort, you must wait until the commercial boats and operators are available.

It would be of comfort to you, however, to know that the salmon do not strike a lure too readily until the second or third day after the net fishing has stopped. There are probably two reasons for this. One being that the fish are more scarce when the net fishing is in progress, and the other being that in two days during the fall run, a large amount of fish will accumulate rapidly in certain areas when unmolested.

John E. Walker, 18, hospital apprentice first class, and son of Mr. and Mrs. A.P. Blake, 235 Ninth Street, Astoria, was a member of a Navy crew in the American assault force which invaded France. News of his part in the invasion came via a special V-mail letter form provided by the public relations office of the naval forces in Europe.

Walker was a student at Astoria High School at the time he joined the Navy.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross will start work immediately to produce thousands of surgical linens and dressings that will be put aboard the Kaiser attack transport ships, commissioning of which will be undertaken by the Astoria naval station following completion of the Kaiser aircraft carrier program this month.

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

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