Water Under the Bridge

This photograph of Sen. Robert Kennedy was taken at Clatsop airport when he arrived May 24 on a campaign visit. The shooting of Kennedy, so recent a visitor here, shocked Clatsop residents early the morning of June 6. Lights shone through the night in many homes as citizens stayed up to watch the night's events on television. Kennedy moved freely about in big crowds during his local visit and would have been an easy target for a madman's bullet.

10 years ago this week — 2008

Astoria has earned national recognition for its efforts to promote “a sense of place” at the mouth of the Columbia River.

It was announced Monday that it will be the focus of a new initiative from the Ford Foundation, the New York-based institution which is one of the world’s leading philanthropic organizations, with an endowment of more than $12 billion.

Mayor Willis Van Dusen revealed the details at a press conference attended by Astoria City Council members Pete Roscoe, Russ Warr and Blair Henningsgaard, City Manager Paul Benoit, Community Development Director Brett Estes and other key leaders.

“It’s my privilege to be here with the City Council” to announce that the Ford Foundation has selected Astoria as one of four cities that will participate in a “very exciting visioning plan that will help our community meet the challenges of the future,” Van Dusen said.

The historian Chet Orloff has said there is history on every street corner in Astoria, if you know what you’re looking at. The same can be said of the forests, rovers and streams that define Clatsop and Pacific counties. A thousands-year-old native culture was flourishing when the American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led their expedition down the Columbia River.

Last weekend’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Fort Clatsop National Memorial was a celebration of an aspect of the history that makes the Columbia-Pacific region a special place.

Tempers flared at the Port of Astoria commission meeting Tuesday as board members argued over Bornstein Seafoods’ request to lease parking space on Pier 1 for the Oregon Fish Factory tourist attraction.

Commissioner Bill Hunsinger traded barbs with Andrew and Jay Bornstein, and Commissioner Floyd Holcom laid blame on the Port for being disorganized.

But eventually the board agreed 3-1 to allow Port interim Executive Director Ron Larsen to negotiate a three-year parking lease of 26,720 square feet of land on Pier 1.

50 years ago — 1968

The 44-year-old, recently remodeled club house of Astoria Country Club burned to the ground early Saturday morning in a fire of unknown origin.

George Abrahamsen, country club president, said the building will be rebuilt.

Latest word from Big Creek hatchery is that fish will have pierced noses this year.

At least, that will be true for 86,000 tiny silver salmon now being processed at the hatchery through an unusual device which implants a minute sliver of coded wire in the nose of each fish.

“It’s all part of a study in genetics,” explained Jim Graybill, a graduate student at Oregon State University, who supervises the process.

A collection of noteworthy photographs of the Columbia River, from its source to its mouth, is included in “Moods of the Columbia,” a book just published by Archie Satterfield, former news man with the Seaside Signal and Longview News, now of Seattle.

Satterfield has compiled a slick-paper book, 13 inches square, containing 56 pages of photographs by some of the top photographers of the Northwest, all devoted to the Columbia in its various moods.

There is a great deal of confusion about ownership of beach lands that needs to be cleared up.

Bill Hay, Cannon Beach, whose fencing of beach property he claims he owns was one of the things that stirred up all the hullabaloo inland about saving the beaches, is proposing to file suit to establish his title. This should result in a court decision that will help materially to clarify the situation.

It seems quite probable that the courts are going to find some private titles to beach property are valid and that the state, if it wants to save the beaches, must spend some money to buy up such titles.

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, felled like his president brother by an assassin’s bullet, died early June 6.

75 years ago — 1943

One thousand dozen crabs, believed to be the largest haul in the history of Pacific coast fishing, were caught at Destruction Island and delivered to Lars Andersen, Westport fish buyer, by the 45-foot Lucin, captained by Roy Furfiord of Westport.

At $2 a dozen, the price now being paid for crabs, the 12,000 crabs brought in $2,000 for Furfiord and his crew, Even Sharp and Alex Peppin, both of Westport.

The catch was the largest Andersen has ever seen in 20 years as a buyer and fisherman. The crabs were the largest Andersen had ever seen.

A cluster of compact, little homes — rolled into Astoria on wheels and plunked on stilts where once surged the waters of Scow Bay — will be opened late this month to tap off the pressure of home-hungry people due to arrive in this growing defense area.

The trailer village, built by the federal public housing authority, now contains 50 units. One hundred more are to arrive. They were assigned here, some coming from Tillamook, as result of local appeals for housing help. And it is expected they will be filled soon by war workers, construction employees, and civilian personnel at army and navy centers who are working and being recruited to work at a dozen spots in this county.

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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