Water under the bridge

The historic boxcar given to the state of Oregon by the Republic of France arrives in 1968. It's an exact replica of those which carried 40 men or eight horses from Paris to the front-line trenches of World War I. Members of the local 40 and 8 brought it from Salem, painting and restoring its exterior and wooden shields representing the provinces of France. The boxcar is now on display next to the Fort Stevens visitor center.

10 years ago this week — 2008

At about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a kite surfer in Half Moon Bay, after he became exhausted off Westport, Wash.

Around the same time, a Coast Guard crew pulled an 18-year-old woman from waters near Grays Harbor, Wash., her energy sapped after a struggle in unexpectedly tough conditions while surfing.

Within the hour, a man was reported missing in the surf off Seaside. He made it back to shore, apparently barely scraping by. After collapsing, he was taken to the hospital.

The surge in search-and-rescue activity is “standard for this time of year,” said Bob Coster, a civilian search and rescue controller at Coast Guard Group Astoria.

“People don’t remember how dangerous it is,” Coster said this morning. “They get out there, underestimate the conditions and get in trouble.”

A formal request from Bornstein Seafoods Inc. to lease parking space on Pier 1 drew protests from Port of Astoria commissioners Larry Pfund and Bill Hunsinger at a special board meeting Tuesday.

Bornstein is planning to make its processing plant at the Port into a tourist attraction called the Oregon Fish Factory, which would invite visitors to see fish processing in action and learn about the seafood industry.

To accommodate the influx of visitors, the company is looking to pave a parking lot on 26,500 square feet (0.61 acres) of land just north of the plant on Pier 1.

That concept didn’t sit well with Pfund and Hunsinger, who said they’d prefer to reserve the pier space for water-dependent commerce.

Ilwaco High School won its first state golf championship Wednesday, as Jack Whealdon, Todd Oakes, Ryan Kukula, and Patrick Whealdon amassed 86.5 points, enough to defeat Charles Wright Academy by five points on the links-style course at North Bellingham Golf Course in the Washington state 1A golf tournament.

50 years ago — 1968

Nez Perce braves trotted out of the forest and threw themselves prostrate at the feet of Snoqualmi, war chief of the Wallamets.

Across a flickering camp fire, a war party of Yakimas crouched behind portable undergrowth, awaiting the signal to attack.

Off to the south toward Saddle mountain, the whole world seemed to explode in the glare of red fire, bursting rockets and the concussion of dynamite.

It sounds fantastic but it actually happened back in 1911 when Astorians celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of their city.

The Astoria of 1911 was a sprawling, brawling lumber and seaport town where sailors, loggers, fishermen and cannery workers met to blow off steam.

As the Daily Astorian remarked, “the town was feeling its oats.”

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy flew into Clatsop Airport an hour late this morning and was mobbed by about 750 people, with young predominating.

Sen. And Mrs. Kennedy followed a procession of reporters and cameramen off his big four-engined plane, right into a charging mass of humanity that stormed up to the plane ramp.

Kennedy spoke a few brief words through a bull horn at the foot of the ramp, commenting on “this beautiful part of this beautiful state,” and urging that we all work together in a common endeavor.”

75 years ago — 1943

The navy department bureau of ships has advised Senator McNary that if additional drydock facilities are needed on the Pacific coast, Astoria will be again be considered as a site. This is in reply to representations by the Astoria Chamber of Commerce which has for some time urged the Astoria location.

Previously, it is explained, Astoria was passed by because other locations were more advantageous. The bureau further said that a private company might construct a marine railway at its own expense and if this materializes the project will be approved by the bureau.

The Secretary of Navy has approved a $74,500 barracks building at the U.S. Naval Air Station here, to house 170 WAVES to be assigned to local naval installations, it was learned today from Washington.

Eighty-five Clatsop County 4-H club girls and boys will leave Tuesday morning for Corvallis, where they will spend 10 days on the Oregon State college campus, attending the annual 4-H club summer school. Approximately 1,600 boys and girls in 4-H work are expected to attend from over the state.

At summer school, activities include classes pertaining to agriculture and home economics in the mornings. This year’s class program will emphasize food production and preservation, fire prevention, farm machinery repair, and other important war topics.

The week of May 31 to June 5 was proclaimed today “Clean-up and Paint-up week” in Astoria by Mayor Orval Eaton, with all citizens asked to cooperate in the campaign.

While the more practical phases of the clean-up drive include the elimination of fire hazards, Mayor Eaton declared that the general appearance of the city is also of importance at this time when many visitors and newcomers are arriving in Astoria every day.

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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