Water under the bridge

1968 — USS Colonial (LSD-18) will be an Astoria Regatta visitor. The ship was built in 1945 and operated for several years in the western Pacific. It also saw duty during the Korean War.

10 years ago this week — 2008

Port of Astoria and city of Newport leaders will meet next week to select a proposal from one of two companies interested in providing passenger air service between the coast and Portland.

The two agencies have a $3.6 million grant through the state’s ConnectOregon II program to subsidize the cost of establishing air service. Two companies, Cape Air of Massachusetts and Air Azul of Florida, have submitted proposals to provide at least two daily, nine-passenger flights to Portland from each city.

The effort to bring air service back to the coast comes as rising fuel prices and stagnant ticket sales are causing airlines to abandon their flights to smaller markets elsewhere in Oregon.

The end is in sight for Ilwaco residents wondering when the fire station is going to be rebuilt.

Officials say as soon as a building permit is issued, work will begin on the new station at 301 S.E. Spruce St. The expected completion date is mid-March 2009. The station burned in 2006.

50 years ago — 1968

The 9th annual Gearhart rodeo Saturday and Sunday was the most successful one held so far, rodeo association officials said today.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 people were estimated to have attended, with fine weather helping make the event succeed.

Eastbound traffic on Sunset highway became so thick late Sunday on the eastern segment of the road that state police had to divert some vehicles via Banks junction to the Forest Grove-Beaverton-Portland road.

The congestion became bad about 8:30 p.m. as traffic coming in on Wilson River road from Tillamook merged with that moving east on Sunset highway.

State police said that Sunset Highway’s stretch of four-lane road eastward from Portland is being extended to the Wilson River-Sunset highway junction and that when this is done the traffic problem on busy weekends will be much alleviated.

Missing since Tuesday night, the drag boat Rodoma of Astoria was the object of an intensive search by Coast Guard air and surface craft Thursday morning.

David Thomas of Blue Ridge, skipper of the missing 66-footer, radioed the Coast Guard late Tuesday that his vessel had struck a log about 12 miles off Cape Perpetua and was in danger of sinking in 50 fathoms of water.

Soviet trawlers moved northward during the week ending July 25, with 30 sighted off the Washington coast during three aerial patrols and one surface search by the Coast Guard, according the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries.

Fort Stevens state park, enlarged this summer to a total 485 sites for campers, is enjoying another boom season.

Val Jones, superintendent of the park, reported that the number of visitors is slightly down from 1967 totals, due probably to a considerable cooler and damper early summer season this year, but that the people are staying longer.

Survivor of a harrowing 41 hours at sea in an open life raft, skipper Dave Thomas of the ill-fated dragger Rodoma was in exhausted sleep today in his modest home in Astoria.

Thomas was pulled from the sea shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday by the Coast Guard cutter Modoc after his tiny gray-blue raft was sighted, 30 miles southwest of Newport, from a Coast Guard Albatross flying out of Port Angeles.

75 years ago — 1943

Astoria’s long series of apartment house fires, called to public attention first during the disastrous blaze at the Astoria rooming house on Jan. 24 when 30 people were made homeless and six hospitalized, climaxed last week with the West End conflagration centering in rooming houses and homes housing more than 200.

In recent months there have been 27 apartment house fires in Astoria in addition to the almost daily reports of fires in dwellings where one or more families are housed. Many of the fires have been classed as of undetermined origin, while others appear on the record of the local fire department under the general heading of “flue fires.”

Albacore tuna surged into Astoria canneries in increasing volumes today and there were two deliveries Monday of soupfin shark which totaled 2,207 pounds and commanded the season’s high price of $5.45 a pound.

The Columbia River Salmon company paid two boats more than $12,038 for their shark, the high boat being Ferdinand Sandness Lincoln with 1,707 pounds. The Argo had 563 pounds.

Grocery shoppers, beginning Aug. 1, will have to give up three ration points more per pound for seven frozen foods — fruits, berries, green beans, lima beans, cut corn, peas, and spinach — and one point more per pound for tomato juice.

The new point values, announced today by the office of price administration, will apply to blue stamps R, S and T which become valid Aug. 1. There were no point value changes in such regular canned foods as corn, beans and peas.

Observance of Aug. 1-7 as Aircraft Warning Service week in Pacific coast states will get under way in Astoria officially with a public meeting scheduled for Monday night at the USO house, Mike Cosovich, Clatsop County director of the “eyes aloft” program, said today.

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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