Water under the bridge

An advertisement from 2008.

10 years ago this week — 2008

Akio Egawa, consul general of the Japanese Consulate in Portland, paid his second visit to Astoria in two years.

And this time he wasn’t forced to leave quickly to avoid an impending storm. His visit in February 2006 was cut short by the threat from an Oregon Coast squall.

Egawa was here Thursday to help celebrate the Feb. 3 anniversary of the 1824 birth of Ranald MacDonald, the Astoria native who is believed to be the first English teacher in Japan — the town was then known as Fort George.

Egawa said his job is to promote Japanese interests in Portland, and he was delighted to attend the gathering.

Plans for a four-story hotel on the riverfront between 38th and 39th streets cleared another hurdle Tuesday.

On a 4 to 2 vote, the Astoria Planning Commission gave final approval for a height variance request from developer Floyd Holcom that will allow the proposed hotel to be considerably taller than the maximum 28 feet allowed in the tourist-oriented Shoreland zone. The variance had received tentative approval at the May 6 meeting.

The National Park Service is sprucing up Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.

After all, how often do you have a 50th anniversary celebration?

The park celebrates its 50th this weekend.

Park employees have mowed grass along the highway leading up to the park’s entrance, creating a refined look in sharp contrast to the acres of trees blown flat beyond the road.

David Szymanski, the superintendent, said help from the public has played an important role in preparations for this weekend’s celebrations.

He said following the Dec. 2-3 storm that blew down hundreds of trees in the park many people called offering their help for the cleanup. But conditions were too dangerous for the park to allow people to help.

50 years ago — 1968

Presidential candidate Robert Kennedy invoked the spirit of Lewis and Clark and lashed at the “politics of joy” preached by Herbert Humphrey as he addressed more than 2,000 people in the Safeway parking lot Friday.

This was the major public appearance of a morning’s visit in Clatsop County in which the candidate also hiked on the Clatsop beach and splashed briefly in the surf for national network television cameras.

Approximately 100 small boats, about evenly divided between pleasure and commercial craft, were reported out across the Columbia River bar early Thursday by Cape Disappointment Coast Guard station.

Crewmen were alerted for possible accidents at sea over the long holiday weekend as were airmen at Astoria Coast Guard Air station, a spokesman said.

Coast Guard patrols by air and sea observed 37 Russian trawlers and one Japanese vessel operating off the Oregon and Washington coast during the week ending May 23, according to the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries.

Construction West, Inc., resumed work Wednesday on grading 200 cleared acres of the Northwest Aluminum company plant site at Warrenton. Work halted Thursday for Memorial day but will resume Friday, weather permitting.

Consumption of fish in the United States has almost doubled in 10 years, but the American fisherman’s share of the domestic market has plummeted from about 60 percent to 29 percent.

The United States has dropped from second to sixth among the world’s fish-producing nations.

“This is a tragedy of our times,” says Sen. Warren G. Magnuson, D-Wash.

“And there is no indication that this downward trend will be reversed,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

75 years ago — 1943

First shipment of 11 cases of cigarettes, consigned to Co. L of Astoria, New Guinea, will go forward this week, contributions to the Overseas Cigarette Fund having reached the $250 necessary for the purchase of 110,000 cigarettes at 5 cents a package. The company adds one case for each 10 purchased. The cigarettes will be distributed free to the overseas men through army service officers.

Much has been heard here about the mosquito pest of New Guinea, where many Astoria young men are fighting with the 41st Division and the “mossies” seem to be a topic of quips among the men over there. A couple of the tall tales which have gained currency among the troops are contained in a recent letter written home by Sgt. Bob Chessman of Co. L. One has it that a soldier woke up in the middle of one night and heard the “dog tags” about his neck jingling. Looking down he was amazed to see two mosquitoes turning them over and reading the inscriptions. They shook their heads in disgust as they winged off to another cot, one of them remarking, “wrong type blood.” The other is to the effect that one species of mosquito is so large that, when one alighted on an airdrome, the ground crew filled it half full of gas before discovering it was not a bomber.

Rear Adm. Ross F. McIntyre, surgeon general of the Navy, and President Roosevelt’s personal physician, said in San Francisco Wednesday that the navy will start soon on construction of a 500-bed temporary hospital at Tongue Point to handled wounded servicemen moved here from the San Francisco bay area and Seattle.

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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