Water under the bridge

An advertisement from 1943.

10 years ago this week — 2008

The Oregon Transportation Commission approved $3.6 million for the Port of Astoria and the city of Newport to develop passenger air service to Portland International Airport. It is one of 30 projects that will receive funding through the $100 million lottery-bond-backed Connect Oregon II program.

“Man, I’m so excited,” said Port Commission Chairman Dan Hess. “When it was here before we used it a lot ... Anything we can do to help bring people to the coast is great.”

Astoria Music Festival agencies will be in for an extra treat — as if world-class opera and chamber music weren’t enough — when film and TV actor David Ogden Stiers joins the Festival Orchestra to narrate Felix Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Festival Grand Finale, 4 p.m. Sunday at the Liberty Theater.

Stiers is best known for his portrayal of Major Winchester on the long-running TV show “M*A*S*H,” and his career has included many more film and TV appearances, as well as numerous voices for animated characters in Disney films. He is also a classically trained musician and the guest conductor of the Newport Symphony.

Skyrocketing gas prices may change some North Coast crime-fighting strategies and municipal public works operations.

But Seaside Police Chief Bob Gross refuses to cut back.

“We haven’t cut back on patrols or cut back on what we’re doing.” he said.

The Seaside Police Department has seen an increase in its fuel expenditures over the last few budget cycles. The current budget allots $25,000 for “gas, oil and fuel.” Chief Gross estimates that patrol cars use between $1,500 and $2,000 worth of fuel a month.

50 years ago — 1968

Tapiola park was a seething mass of junior Astorians Wednesday as the circus came to town Wednesday morning.

Hundreds were on hand to watch long trains of bright wagons pull into the circus lot where the Carson and Barnes four-ring circus scheduled two performances during the day.

Early comers were hired on the spot to spread canvas as one of the bulls, a trained elephant, towed a power-driven stake setter around the outline of the big top.

Others peered through bars as trainers washed down Goliath, the giant hippo, fed the bulls and horses and lined up power lines for the grand opening at 2:30 p.m.

Contrary to advance information, Sky King, Kirby Grant, did not arrive in the plane he uses in television movies. He arrived somewhat behind schedule in a bright blue car after a trip from Tillamook, last night’s stand. The television personality is star of the show.

An Oregon contribution to the war effort in south Vietnam, the ferry M.R. Chessman, is scheduled tentatively to leave Astoria Wednesday for the long trip overseas.

A plan for comprehensive development of the Columbia River was advanced by Marvin Durning, Seattle, winner in 1966 of the National Conservationists of the Year Award.

Durning’s plan called for development of educational, historic, cultural and scenic resources of the river from Canada to the sea.

75 years ago — 1943

Mrs. Alberta Leota Lansing, once a Navy wife in Astoria living at the Trullinger apartments, will be sponsor at launching of a destroyer escort vessel, U.S.S. Lansing, marking one of the greatest tributes that could be accorded the memory of a fallen war hero of the United States.

The ship is named for her late husband, William H. Lansing, 28, an aviation machinist’s mate, first class, who was killed by enemy fire in the Aleutian islands on June 11, 1942.

Posthumous honors with the presentation of the Purple Heart to Mrs. May Peldo, route 1, Astoria, sister of Don G. Halstead (Haataja) recently killed in action in the Africa area, have been announced from war department headquarters in Washington.

This is the first such high army award to be made to a local youth during World War II.

The vanguard of WAVE officers to be stationed at the Naval Air Station, Astoria, arrived here last week, it was announced today by the commanding officer.

Each of these young women has had exceptional educational background and business experience which warranted her commission in the organization.

Planning to complete three of the proposed emergency radio units by the end of the week, David J. Lewis, defense coordinator, today appealed to the people of Astoria and Clatsop County to donate old radios, particularly car radios, to the defense council. He asked that they be turned in as soon as possible.

Astoria gets its second big-time show of radio and screen luminaries in two years tonight when the famed Camel Caravan will perform at the USO house in all-community exhibition, free to the whole wide world.

The Caravan performers, all 23 of them, agreed to take the stage for the Astoria civilians as well as servicemen upon their own vote on a suggestion put forward by Joey Rardin, master of ceremonies. Brewer A. Billie, Astoria city manager and chairman of the USO recreation, has been trying to get the Caravan to play at the USO house, as the first anniversary of the Camel Caravan’s dedication of the $250,000 building just a year ago.

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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