Water under the bridge

1968 — Kirby Grant, idol of millions of younger television viewers as “Sky King,” will star Wednesday at two performances of the four-ring Carson and Barnes circus in Tapiola park.

10 years ago this week — 2008

Leaders of a revolutionary project in oceanography have spent the past year drafting designs for an ocean observatory off the Pacific Northwest coast. Now, the team of experts at the University of Washington has preliminary approval to build their elaborate underwater research lab, part of which will use power and bandwidth from Warrenton to study the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

Program Director John Delaney, an oceanography professor at UW, toured the Oregon Coast this week with assistant director Michael Kelly and project manager Pete Barletto to discuss their vision with community members.

The project would install powerful fiberoptic cables on the seafloor, allowing scientists to deploy robots, cameras and sensors to study underwater biology, chemistry and geology in greater detail then before.

While there’s little evidence today, salmon once ran so thick down the Skipanon you could cross the river walking on their backs. Old-timers say the fish were so fat and juicy, they could satisfy a farmer’s livestock.

Wild stocks may never return to the abundance of local lore, but Warrenton High School students are working to bring salmon back to a place they haven’t lived for decades: the Skipanon River.

“See How They Run: WHS Fisheries Project” has students rearing fish, tracking their migration patterns and measuring their effects on the Skipanon River ecosystem. The idea is to develop specific school programs related to salmon hatching, nurturing and growth, working closely with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries biologists.

50 years ago — 1968

Victor Ogunnubi, a 21-year-old Nigerian, is a world traveler and he likes Astoria better than any other place he’s been.

“The people in Astoria are much more friendly than they are on the east coast and in England and in other parts of the world. Astoria’s much more of a ‘community’ city,” Ogunnubi said Monday.

The African has just finished spring term at Clatsop Community college. He plans to work in a fish cannery this summer, then enroll at a California college in the fall.

It’s fortunate Ogunnubi likes Astoria, because he’s somewhat stranded here.

The Chamber of Commerce is asking opinions of its members this week on a solution for downtown highway congestion.

A special chamber committee has been studying the problem for several weeks, particularly with respect to possible rerouting of the highway through the Astoria business district. Howard Hendricks is chairman.

Work is progressing at the Northwest Aluminum company’s plant site as much as weather permits. Construction West equipment is working on drainage of a gulch in the northwest corner of the 200-acre cleared tract. Construction West officials said it is still too wet under the earth surface for real grading work to start, but drying is progressing fast.

A new Australian reel, first of its kind to be sent from Australia to the U.S., will be on display in Cannon Beach when the Volunteer Beach Patrol here dedicates a new rescue truck Saturday afternoon to the memory of the late Delno McCoy.

The rescue reel is aluminum, on a stainless steel frame, and has 45 yards of line that a swimmer can carry into the surf to attach to a person in distress.

75 years ago — 1943

The most hectic week’s business in local shoe store history is coming to a close today with footwear emporiums still swamped with customers, who have forced the locking of shoe store doors several times in the past few days, when their numbers taxed the facilities of establishments.

“We’ve done a normal month’s business in the last six days,” declared a Commercial Street shoe man. “What does it mean? Well, your guess is as good as ours. We probably won’t be able to replenish our stocks to the point where they were before the rush began. We may just sell what we’ve got and then out to the shipyard.”

Similar conditions in the shoe business here are understood to exist in all parts of the country.

The meat supply situation in Astoria is again approaching the critical stage today as retail meat operators comb the countryside to secure beef to replenish their scant stocks and deluge the wholesale meat establishments with inquiries about when they may expect to be able to buy something in the more regular trade channels.

Word was received today from Frederick A. Cuthbert, Oregon senior representative for the federal housing agency, that Washington has approved conversion of the old Astoria city hall into a 67-person dormitory to house single men as part of Astoria’s emergency war housing.

The YMS-140, the 10th minesweeper completed by Astoria Marine Construction company, and YT-312, the firm’s first harbor tug, will be launched into the waters of the Lewis and Clark river in ceremonies planned for Saturday afternoon.

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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