No headline.

This is what remains of the once-proud Astoria reserve fleet base of the U.S. Maritime Administration. Twenty ships remain, most of them Liberties destined for the scrap heap. Soon the whole fleet, which once totaled more than 200, will be gone under a deliberate Maritime Administration policy to close the Astoria base, best on the West Coast, and build up the other two bases at Olympia, Washington, and Suisun Bay, California.

10 years ago this week — 2007

This dredging season will be another nail-biter for the Port of Astoria.

The four-month window for dredging in the Columbia River opened Thursday, but the Port still doesn’t have approvals to dredge key parts of the waterfront.

It could be another three months before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issues the required permits, according to Port compliance officer Lora Eddy, who said permitting agencies were working through a “backlog” of other applications for projects such as channel deepening and the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas terminal.

The agency in charge of restoring Northwest salmon concluded Wednesday that the latest court ordered plan for running federal dams in the Columbia and Snake river basins is not likely to jeopardize the survival of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead.

“The picture that emerges is not pretty, but it is hopeful,” said Bob Lohn, Northwest director of NOAA Fisheries.

If you didn’t notice the speed limit has been reduced from 35 mph to 30 mph on a portion of U.S. Highway 30, from 16th Street and Marine Drive to 34th Street and Lief Erikson Drive, you’re not alone.

It was news to Mayor Willis Van Dusen and the Astoria City Council when Walt Wollenbecker, who lives on the east side of town, brought it to their attention at Monday night’s meeting.

Wollenbecker wondered what was going on — and when it happened.

Van Dusen turned to acting Astoria Police Chief Alan Oja, who said his department didn’t know about the change until Monday morning. He subsequently found out that the Oregon Department of Transportation had installed 30 mph speed limit signs Friday.

50 years ago — 1967

The tug Salvage Chief anchored the Captaliannes S. just downriver from the Port of Astoria about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday after pulling the grounded Greek ship from the sands of Clatsop Spit at 11:20 a.m.

Retrieving the freighter from the spit was being heralded in Astoria as a great event in the annals of Columbia River shipwrecks. No other ship has been salvaged from Clatsop Spit inside the river. The Queen of the Pacific was pulled free of Clatsop Spit mouth of where the south jetty now stands in 1883 by five tugboats.

LONG BEACH, Wash. — A joint legislative subcommittee heard testimony that a bridge across the mouth of Willapa Bay would cost $48 million and could be the most expensive, least-traveled toll bridge in the state.

The state highway department made the cost estimate and added it would take a subsidy of about $1 million to keep the operation going if the toll was $1.50.

The bridge would handle about 900 cars daily, compared with more than 1,000 for the $3 million Vernita bridge in Benton County, now the least traveled bridge in the toll bridge system.

The bridge would cost twice as much as the Evergreen Point floating bridge in Seattle, which has a 25,000-car volume daily.

While in other sections of the country last night, Halloween pranksters caused problems, there were only “the usual” reports of All Hallows Eve troubles in Astoria.

Astoria police said they were told of shaving cream being squirted on cars and windows and balloons filled with water being thrown at people.

75 years ago — 1942

All dwelling unit rents in Astoria and Clatsop County were frozen as of Sunday, Nov. 1 at the March 1, 1942 levels and landlords will be required by law immediately to drop their rents to figures they were charging last March, it was announced today by the rental division of the office price administration.

A total of 7.6 inches fell here in October and on the last day of the month a deluge of 3.45 inches neared the highest rainfall recorded during the last 15 years, Milo Carpenter, official U.S. weather observer said today.

On Nov. 22 mileage rationing becomes a fact in Clatsop County. After that day no gasoline for operation of any gasoline engine, whether stationary, afloat or in rolling vehicles may be purchased without coupons from mileage rationing banks.

Mileage rationing all appears to be confusing. There has been a lot of talk, most of it unconfirmed and half-told rumor, about what is coming. But the plan for mileage rationing is simple, although there will be many difficult problems involved in satisfying everyone’s real needs for varying amounts of gasoline.

HOLLYWOOD — Errol Flynn received a one-day respite for movie heroics today between charges by a pair of 17-year-old beauties that he had intimate relations with them.

Bob Duke is the author of the weekly Water Under the Bridge column in The Astorian. Contact him at