Hammond school

Hammond school in 1969.

10 years ago this week — 2009

Astoria’s deteriorating 17th Street Pier, which serves two U.S. Coast Guard cutters and visiting river cruise ships, will get a new lease on life.

At Monday’s meeting, the Astoria City Council voted to award a $96,382 contract to Bergerson Construction to repair it.

The 17th Street Pier is in such bad shape the city had to impose weight limits on it several years ago that prohibit vehicle access. The restriction forces delivery trucks to park on land, meaning crew members must hand-carry supplies to their vessels, City Manager Paul Benoit said.

A committee of 10 local financial and development experts gave the Port of Astoria a nod of approval this morning to borrow Clatsop County video lottery funds for the North Tongue Point purchase.

The unanimous “yes” vote from the panel will serve as a recommendation to the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners, which will vote on the load Jan. 28.

The classic design and uniform color of most fire engines make it hard for the average person to tell if one of the polished machines is the latest model or 20 years old. But to the practiced eye, modern fire engines are a whole different animal with many advantages over their predecessors when it comes to safety features, communications equipment and fire fighting capacity.

That’s why city leaders are so pleased that the Astoria Fire Department had secured a $228,143 federal grant to purchase a new urban/wildland interface fire engine.

50 years ago — 1969

Astoria’s largest fishing vessel will soon be under construction for Bumble Bee Seafoods at the J.M. Martimac Shipbuilding corporation yard in Tacoma, Wash., it was announced Monday by John S. McGowan, Bumble Bee president.

“Completion of the 650-ton tuna purse seiner late in 1969 will mark Bumble Bee’s first direct entry into the tuna purse seine fishery in the tropics,” McGowan said.

The new fast seiner will have an overall length of 165 feet and a beam of 34 feet.

Immediate action to control wandering dogs in Astoria will be requested of Clatsop County commissioners, the city council decided Monday night in authorizing City Manager Dale Curry to arrange a meeting with the county group and mayors of the other cities.

“We’re no further ahead with the problem than we were three years ago,” Curry said, “although the county has doubled its budget for dog control.”

The hike in interest rates is not expected to affect the Astoria area as much as other parts of the country due to a nation-wide building boom, financial officials said Wednesday.

It will have less effect here as Astorians are more savers than borrowers,” said Dean Tatom of the Bank of Astoria. “Of course, if Portland rates raise, we’ll have to go along.”

The boards of the Lewis and Clark and Warrenton-Hammond school districts voted Wednesday night to recommend merger of the two districts, which encompass some 1,300 youngsters.

The boards said Wednesday night in a joint meeting that merger probably couldn’t take place before July 1, 1970.

75 years ago — 1944

The executive committee of the Clatsop County chapter of the Oregon State Teachers Association will refer to the general chapter at its next meeting the committee’s resolution asking for an increase of teachers salaries to a minimum of $1,500 a year, it was learned this week.

The minimum salary was increased by the last legislature from $75 a month (on a nine-month basis to $1,200 a year.

The port of Astoria has signed a lease with the Navy providing for an annual rental of $90,000 on the port docks presently leased by the Navy for commissioning the Kaiser carriers, and has already received an installment of $60,000, it was learned Tuesday night at the port commission meeting.

A critical situation faces operators of service stations in the Astoria district by reason of failure of the motoring public to take seriously OPA gas coupon regulations, according to a representative oil company distributor. Service station operators will probably be forced to close their doors because of their inability to “cash” illegally filled-in coupons they have accepted from customers for gasoline purchases.

Replenishment of gasoline stocks depends entirely upon the number of legal coupons the service station operator has available, the wholesale distributor points out. It is understood that OPA investigators have been active in the Astoria district recently and that many violation of gas coupon regulations have been uncovered.

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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