10 years ago this week — 2006
A lot of people ride their bicycles along Astoria’s popular Riverwalk. Most are riding just for the fun of it, or because they enjoy the exercise. But a few bicyclists are there to make sure everyone else has a good time.
They are police assistants.
The police assistants are for the most part teenagers who volunteer their time to answer visitors’ questions and provide extra sets of eyes and cars for Astoria police officers along the riverfront, downtown and in city parks. They carry police radios, but they have no law enforcement authority.
People angry about the dangerous Safeway intersection at 33rd Street and Lief Erikson Drive packed Astoria City Hall Monday.
Don Webb, an outspoken proponent of a long-promised traffic light at the intersection, presented a stack of petitions to the City Council, demanding its speedy installation. He said 1,031 people had signed it — not only residents of the east side neighborhood, but people from all over Astoria and even Pacific County, Wash., residents who shop at Safeway.
Restoration of Astoria’s Doughboy Monument was a heartening event. A grassroots effort gathered the money to refurbish the statue of a World War I soldier and one of the two restrooms at the base of the monument. All of this was commemorated at a recent ceremony.
While virtually every town in England has a monument to the dead of World War I, relatively fewer American small towns have such a monument as splendid as Astoria’s. The Doughboy’s existence in Astoria is a testament to the horror of that war and the mourning that ensued. It was known as “the war to end all wars.” But 10 years after the Doughboy’s 1926 dedication, the run-up to World War II was under way.
50 years ago — 1966
The first accident on the Astoria Bridge occurred Sunday afternoon, during a day that saw 3,989 cross the bridge, causing many delays and much congestion.
Traffic congestion on the bridge was so great Sunday that state police were called out to help control it.
The State Department said today that Soviet fishery experts have agreed to limit Russian fishing within 12 miles of the Washington-Oregon coast.
The Russians also agreed that “special instructions would be issued to the Soviet fleet in this area reiterating earlier instructions not to fish for salmon.”
Oregon Highway department counted 2,317 vehicles over the Astoria Bridge Monday and 2,467 Tuesday, bringing the five-day total since its opening to 15,733 vehicles, and average of more the 3,100 daily.
Tuesday saw the first vehicle breakdown on the bridge when a motorist’s car stalled in mid-bridge. Highway department officials rushed out with a can of gasoline, but it developed the car had battery trouble and was given help in starting the engine.
Sale of the John Jacob Astor hotel by the Osburn interests to a corporation headed by professional motel and hotel operators was in process today, perhaps to be consummated before nightfall.
75 years ago — 1941
Parachute troops poured out of 30 or more “red” enemy transport planes on both sides of the Columbia River mouth at daybreak today and this afternoon were closely besieging harbor defenses of the Columbia, in an opening phase of war maneuvers which ultimately will involve 100,000 troops in the northwest.
Trucks, jeeps and other military vehicles whizzed on Clatsop Plains, steel-helmeted soldiers guarded bridges and road junctions in the territory surrounding Fort Stevens as the red invaders pressed their attack seeking to control the mouth of the Columbia River.
Theoretically the invaders, who also seized the Clatsop airport, had commandeered cars from passersby and 900 of them were attacking Fort Stevens.
Theoretically another force had landed in the same way on the north shore of the Columbia River and was attacking Forts Canby and Columbia.
“The attack has been checked and a main line of resistance established on the outskirts of Fort Stevens,” said a communication from harbor defense headquarters this afternoon.
Another 900 parachutists who landed at North head were theoretically surrounded and all troops at Fort Stevens were to be thrown into the battle to destroy the enemy force on the Oregon shore and send support to Fort Canby.
Recent completion of the Four-H club fair building across Exchange Street from Gyro field has eliminated one of the greatest worries in the minds of the night show, dance and Pirates Den chairmen for it offers a central location which will keep the evening crowds during the traditional four-day celebration concentrated within a small area.