Water under the bridge

The 21,000-ton Norwegian freighter Amica.

10 years ago this week — 2008

A Gearhart man has been arrested in connection with the theft of the bronze Sacagawea statue from Fort Clatsop last weekend.

“It’s cut up into lots of little pieces,” Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin said of the statue. “There’s nothing left of it. It’s completely destroyed.”

On Sunday, Marcus D. Bologna, 42, joined three Bend residents who were arrested after the statue turned up at a Central Oregon scrap metal dealer.

Astoria’s biggest vulnerabilities in a major earthquake could be threefold: communications, fuel for emergency vehicles and backup generators, and disruptions in water lines.

Those were the key issues that emerged during a summit by a panel from the American society of Civil Engineers. Members of the nonprofit group toured the region over the weekend to investigate the performance of critical infrastructure during the early December storm, which toppled essential systems throughout Clatsop County like dominoes, severing access to communities outside the North Coast.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski believes liquefied natural gas could be one “bridge” that keeps Oregon energized until renewable sources come on line.

At a meeting of the Associated Press News Executives of Oregon in Salem, the governor clarified his position on LNG, which has stirred debate as three terminal proposals and four pipeline projects in the state make their way through the federal permitting process.

Port of Astoria leaders have grown to fear the month of February. And they’re not alone.

As Feb. 1 draws near, public agencies and private companies alike are reminded that there’s only one month left to complete maintenance and construction jobs in the Columbia River.

It’s the shortest month of the year, and for those who are trying to finish dredging projects, it goes by fast.

50 years ago — 1968

Fire flared through the main woodworking shop building of Astoria Marine Construction company, leveling it and doing damage estimated at $100,000. The loss was about half covered by insurance. Five fire departments managed to confine flames to the one building, saving a machine shop about 15 yards to the northeast and the large buildings and shipways built for Navy minesweepers production in World War II.

One of the greatest new pieces of equipment in law enforcement is how Sheriff Carl Bondietti described some television equipment his department recently acquired.

Bondietti said the equipment, including a camera, some recording tape, audio recorder and a viewing screen, is useful primarily in recording evidence and interrogations of suspects.

A basic use is for drunken driving suspects.

The Norwegian freighter Amica, of 21,000 gross tons, is due at the Astoria port docks to begin loading the largest single log cargo ever loaded on the Columbia River — more than 8 million board feet for Japan. The Astoria longshoremen are expected to load the huge cargo in eight days, with the Amica scheduled to sail February 9.

Negotiations between Salem treasure hunter Tony Mareno and the State Corporation Commission probably will be settled by late this week.

A state official said after talking with Mareno by telephone that “both sides” appear near agreement. Indications are that percentages offered by Mareno to persons aiding in his search for the legendary Neahkahnie treasure will be listed as a security sale and the securities will have to be registered with the corporation commissioner.

Mareno said he would resume his hunt on the northern Oregon coast at Manzanita once the legal issue is settled.

75 years ago — 1943


The Astoria Marine Construction company was the first going shipyard on the Lower Columbia River in World War II. A going concern long before that the yard was quickly transformed into a wartime operation for construction of Navy minesweepers. An original contract for four ships was later supplemented by a second contract for eight. Then came successive contracts for many tugs and sub chasers. This expansion just didn’t happen without cause. The reason is found in performance, speed and reliability.


A Coast Guard disbursing office for all personnel among the myriad Coast Guard facilities between the Columbia River and the California line will open in new offices on the ground floor corner of the Commodore hotel in Astoria February 1, under direction of Lt. (j.g.) C.V. Rudolph, disbursing officer, it was announced.

The office will be a branch of the Coast Guard headquarters financial office in Seattle. From Astoria will go out all funds paid to Coast Guard personnel, including pay checks, travel mileage vouchers, and some funds for clothing purchases as well as clothing itself.

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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