Water Under The Bridge

Astoria's reserve fleet, at one time filling Cathlamet Bay with 225 vessels, faded into the past in 1968 as the last of the mothballed ships, the C4 transport General R.L. Howze, sailed under tow for San Francisco.

10 years ago this week — 2008

As people hustled to meet Tuesday’s tax-filing deadline, a small group of Clatsop County residents led demonstrations in Seaside and outside the Astoria post office, joining a national protest of income tax and the Federal Reserve, the U.S. central banking system.

“The principal reason our great country was founded was the distress of the colonies who were suffering under oppression through taxation,” said Angela Fairless,a Clatsop Community College student who organized the local protests. “We now suffer under very similar economic oppression.”

Erica Johnson stood on the deck of the Columbia River Bar Pilots’ new signal-orange pilot boat gripping a bottle of champagne.

“I christen thee Columbia,” she said. “God bless her and all who sail with her.”

Then, with one hard whack, she broke the bottle over the side of the $4.2 million vessel and, according to longtime maritime traditions, sealed another layer of protection into the hardy, extreme-weather boat.

About 50 people crowded onto the 17th Street dock outside the Columbia River Maritime Museum for the christening of the new pilot boat Wednesday.

Western Oregon Waste is taking recycling to new levels along the North Coast.

Bob Emrick, the owner and chief executive officer of WOW, said he’d been looking for a location where he could integrate the north and south county operations since coming to Clatsop County in 1995.

“All that time we’ve been looking for a permanent (home). We’ve finally found it,” Emrick said.

50 years ago — 1968

Log exports are hurting the domestic lumber industry, including Astoria Plywood corporation, Manager Elmer Brown of that firm told chamber of commerce members Friday at the membership luncheon.

The industry does not want to eliminate log exports, but is concerned about unregulated export of raw logs from the public forests, Brown declared.

In the past two years 26 northwest plywood mills closed, eliminating 4,200 jobs, and 40 sawmills closed, eliminating 4,000 more jobs, Brown said.

Contractors have begun driving test pilings on the eastern portion of the 200-acre clearing area where Northwest Aluminum company plans construction of a $142 million aluminum plant, Harold Hare, resident engineer for Parsons – Jurden company, said Thursday. The test pilings are being put down on the site of some of the larger buildings, tanks and other heavy construction.

An order restricting log exports from federal lands in the Northwest was announced Wednesday night by Agriculture Secretary Orville L. Freeman.

The new policy, announced by Freeman at a news conference, requires that a major part of timber sold from federal lands in Western Oregon and Western Washington receive primary processing in the United States.

75 years ago — 1943

Men who worked as loggers in the Northwest’s woods and forests will be returned to the camps to offset a critical shortage of manpower in the logging industry, according to L.C. Stoll, area director of the war manpower commission.

The precedent-shattering move, as outlined by Stoll, asked cooperation of employers, the loggers, organized labor, the army and navy and the maritime commission to get employers to release skilled woodsmen for work in the timber lands.

Holding that an American army of V-Home presents a third front against the enemy, the Oregon State Defense Council has started a statewide campaign to put V-Home stickers in the window of every home.

The five points of the V-Home campaign are conservation, salvage, guarding information, buying war bonds, and air raid protection.

The local campaign will be directed by Cliff Dopps, chief air raid warden, and by Mrs. L.M. Spalding, chairman of women’s activities. The stickers have the insignia, “We are prepared — This is a V-Home.”

The air raid warden must certify that:

1. Equipment recommended locally for handling enemy bombs has been assembled.

2. A refuge room has been prepared and made as safe as possible.

3. The premises have been cleaned and unnecessary inflammable material has been removed.

4. Dimout regulations are being observed.

Inspecting, among other things, the sites for the proposed 200-bed naval hospital, Congressman James W. Mott is today completing his trip to this area for the house committee on naval affairs with trips to Seaside, where its Chamber of Commerce has several sites, and to the Tillamook blimp base.

The site preferred by local naval officials is on top of Telegraph Hill in west Astoria, just east of the G.C. Pauling and Dr. Lowell homes. It is an unplatted area of approximately 20 acres owned by the county and has been offered to the navy. It is the same site offered 12 years ago to the government for a veterans’ hospital.

The highest point in west Astoria, it commands a view of the ocean, up the Columbia and also to the south, is in a very quiet area and is close to the three naval establishments here, Tongue Point, the Astoria naval station at the port and the airport across the bay. For these reasons, the naval officers characterize it as ideal.

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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