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Here is an overall view of the main reading room of the new Astor Library, showing for the most part students at study. The well-illuminated room is cheery in colors of royal blue, magenta and hot pink. The library houses 50,000 books, including many uncatalogued volumes located on the mezzanine level. Book capacity is 60,000 volumes. Reading area seats 58.

10 years ago this week — 2007

Even on blustery days, Astoria’s River Trail has a charm that draws bicycle riders, dog walkers, joggers and strollers. On sunny days, the paved path along the Columbia River is a magnet for locals and visitors alike, a link between the city and its waterfront. And all summer long and into the fall, the Astoria Riverfront Trolley adds color and excitement.

Envisioned as early as 1989 by then-community development director Paul Benoit and the late urban planner Robert Murase, the River Trail, known as the Riverwalk in the downtown area, has grown in phases over the years, starting with two blocks between 15th and 17th streets. It now extends from the Port of Astoria on the west, all the way to 44th Street on the east side of town. The city’s goal is for the River Trail to extend from Smith Point on the Astoria side of the New Youngs Bay Bridge, eastward to Tongue Point, a distance of 5.1 miles.

The trail will edge closer to that goal thanks to a $78,384 grant awarded by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s Recreational Trails Program to extend the River Trail to 49th Street. On Monday, the Astoria City Council accepted the grant. And agreeing with Benoit, who is now Astoria’s city manager, that the Riverwalk is one of the city’s “premier tourist-related facilities,” the council agreed to tap into Promote Astoria Funds to come up with its required $19,597 match.

50 years ago — 1967

The new Astor Library with its component Flag Room in the Veterans Memorial section of the building will be dedicated in a public ceremony Sunday at 2 p.m.

Arriving Saturday for the event will be Gavin and Lady Irene Astor, representing the family of Lord John Jacob Astor in the United Kingdom, whose original donation of $100,000 in 1964 was the start of the construction fund for the new library, the first civic building erected in Astoria for a specific nation. Joining them from England for the occasion will be British Consul Sir James McDonald and his wife Lady McDonald.

Arriving Sunday will be Gov. Tom McCall. His party, including Mrs. McCall, will be met at the Youngs Bay bridge by an escort provided by the Astoria Fire Department. The governor will give the dedication address at the ceremonies.

RAYMOND, Wash. — A young housewife escaped with her life and little else Tuesday when an F-106 jet fighter crashed next to her home, showering it with burning material which ignited it and burned it to the ground.

Mrs. Jim Lebreck, 30, was alone in the house, 7 miles northeast of here, when the crash occurred about noon.

The Lebrecks’ three children were away at school and Lebreck was at work.

Astoria’s one and only member of Oregon’s meter maid corps said Wednesday afternoon she would not wear “one of those silly helmets,” as state Attorney General Robert Y. Thornton ruled earlier in the day.

Thornton ruled that meter maid carts used by most parking ticket dealers in the state are motorcycles and as such are bound by all laws pertaining to them.

The 1967 session of the Oregon Legislature passed a law requiring motorcycle riders to wear protective helmets at all times.

Marlyss Parker, Astoria’s meter maid, said she would object to the crushing effect of a helmet on her hairdo.

She wears her blonde hair in a bouffant style that could easily fall victim to the headgear.

What would she do if ordered to wear a helmet? Well, she left that possibility up in the (h)air!

75 years ago — 1942

The old German war cannon, which rested in solemn dignity on the Clatsop County Courthouse lawn for more than a decade, today became a public curiosity as a happy hunk of scrap worth at least $65,000 worth of war bonds.

The big cannon was moved to a downtown corner by the Clatsop Post of the American Legion Friday night, with appropriate ceremonies. On it are inscribed more than a hundred names of persons who have purchased bonds during the last week.

Some Seasiders were certain that an air raid was in prospect Friday evening when lights all over the city went out, but they were quickly reassured.

The power failure was caused when a tire on a car driven by Robert Lee Mastin of Tillamook blew out and the machine careened into an electric light pole on Third Avenue just east of Holladay Street. The pole fell on Mastin’s car but he was not injured and the car was only slightly damaged

Lights were out from 7:30 p.m., the time of the accident, until about 10:30.

Fifteen and perhaps 20 trucks will assemble at civilian defense headquarters Sunday morning to receive orders for an attack on scrap mounds throughout Astoria and environs in one of the strangest “fleets” ever mobilized, Neil Morfitt, civilian defense chief said today.

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