Ferry sale

An ad from 1944.

10 years ago this week — 2009

Unemployment rates on the North Coast continued to climb in February as layoffs continued across the state and the nation.

Clatsop County’s seasonally adjusted employment rate rose for the 10th consecutive month in February to 8.4 percent, up from 7.4 percent in January, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

The county’s rate was relatively low compared with the rest of the state, which reached 10.8 percent unemployment in February. But it was higher that the national rate of 8.1 percent and up dramatically from 4.5 percent the year before.

The Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce is in critical financial condition, with enough money only to pay the next round of bills and cover the next payroll.

“Then we’ll have enough left over for the next two or three weeks, and that’s it,” said the chamber’s accountant, Buzz Johnson.

Nearly 80 business owners who gathered in a town hall meeting Tuesday listened to Johnson compare the chamber’s worrisome financial situation to the last scene of the movie “Thelma and Louise.” In the movie, the two women drove over a cliff.

Fort Columbia State Park in Chinook, Wash., will be “mothballed,” under terms of a plan developed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission in case the Legislature cuts the agency’s funding by $22.9 million.

Being mothballed means the gate would be closed, and utilities would be turned off. Restrooms would be locked. State Parks would provide minimal stewardship oversight. Rangers would not cite citizens who enter on foot.

Fort Columbia State Park is a 593-acre day-use historical park with 6,400 feet of freshwater shoreline on the Columbia River. The park celebrates a military site that constituted the harbor defense of the Columbia River from 1896 to 1947. Though popular with locals, Fort Columbia is among the least-visited park facilities in Pacific County.

50 years ago — 1969

A proposal to create a regional port authority on the lower Columbia River drew the support of the Port of Portland today — and the opposition of the Portland Public Dock Commission.

Portland Mayor Tery Schrunk characterized the bill as an attempt to grab $50 million worth of dock commission facilities.

But the bill’s supporters said the bill is necessary to coordinate the planning for the lower Columbia River.

The bill would let people in three counties work to create a regional port authority out of the ports of Portland, St. Helens and Astoria.

Financial figures of Bill Hoag’s Astoria Transit System show the bus line netted profits of $2,147 in 1968 and $3,624 in 1967.

Hoag, who offered last month to sell his three-bus operation to the city for $1 before September, showed The Daily Astorian figures on his operation for calendar 1967 and 1968. The city has made no reply

Announcement this week that Greyhound again wants to stop its Astoria-Seaside and Seaside-Astoria service comes shortly after news that Astoria’s city bus operation can’t make it much longer.

The two operations are in trouble for different reasons — too few passengers on the Greyhound runs and too high an overhead for the Astoria buses — but they are both cases of public transportation heading for the barn. And that would mean even more dependence on the automobile.

Astoria Plywood Corp. announced it will close down all operations in the mill except necessary maintenance at the end of the workday today, and will remain idle for at least a week. The closure will affect all employees except maintenance office personnel, or a total of 230 employees, 175 of whom are stockholders in the corporation, Jim Whitney, board chairman, said.

75 years ago — 1944

Community ceiling prices went into effect on approximately 600 items of dry groceries throughout the lower Columbia and adjacent coastal area on Monday, according to C.W. Nevius, district OPA price representative, Nevius declared this step the biggest simplification of price controls that has yet touched the consumers or dealers of this area.

Prices are listed for the various classes of stores, with all grocers in the area subject to the scheduled community ceilings. No grocer is permitted to charge higher prices than appear on the list published for his class of store. A store may, however, charge less than stimulated prices, Nevius stressed.

A number of Nehalem-area loggers have been remarking about the unusual fact that they had not seen any deer all winter, but still more unusual was the fact that the first one seen was a white buck feeding near the CCC bridge above Foss as the men were coming home from work Monday evening.

The animal had an injured leg, evidently from a “hunting accident” last season, and was entirely white except for a tinge of orange in a few spots.

An Associated Press dispatch appearing earlier this week said President Roosevelt “apparently does not favor any special draft deferments for the commercial fishing industry.”

Asked a question along that line at his press-radio conference today, Mr. Roosevelt said that about a year ago a proposal was submitted which required a month for 20 or 30 government employees to check on.

“They came up with the conclusion, he added, that boys of 16 can catch fish as well as boys of 18. Older people also can catch fish, he said.”

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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