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Astoria junior high school will rise on this site in the James Street area. Site has been cleared and road in foreground constructed. Pile driving was scheduled to start this week.

10 years ago this week — 2007

Commercial fishermen on the North Coast say they can’t afford to have the government close any more near-shore ocean fishing grounds, but a marine reserve plan backed by conservation groups and Gov. Ted Kulongoski aims to do just that.

Plans to close sections of the 3-mile stretch of state waters off the Oregon Coast to extractive uses such as fishing have been the works for years through a group of stakeholders appointed by the governor to the Oregon Ocean Policy Advisory Council. With the recent advancement of wave energy projects — an alternative energy form that could further reduce open fishing grounds — the council is now at the heart of a controversial question that has coastal communities on edge: How should Oregon manage its ocean waters?

Stephen Hildreth, the Clatsop County Animal Control supervisor, said he has a big wish list for the animal shelter.

And Christmas is coming early this year.

The estate of Grace Larson of Astoria — who died last November — is presenting the shelter with a check for $200,949 at 5 p.m. today before the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Larson and her husband, Carl, who died in 2002, loved dogs and cats. They always had at least one cat. Carl was a longtime logger and Grace, who worked at Bumble Bee Seafoods for 40 years, retired in 1980.

The only stipulation put on her gift was that it be used to benefit cats and dogs.

50 years ago — 1967

SEASIDE — Testimony submitted to the Oregon legislative interim committee on highways here Monday morning indicated concern of coastal communities over control of traffic, vandalism, litter and moral conduct on the beaches.

The committee also heard criticism of the new Beach Bill by a Tillamook attorney representing a Neskowin engineering firm.

The Beach Bill critic was C. Ray Johnson, Tillamook, who called for test of constitutionality of the Beach Bill, which he described as a poor law, hastily enacted under hysteria.

Johnson challenged the theory of public ownership acquired through use, which is basic to the Beach Bill.

Site work for the new Astoria junior high school is substantially complete, Superintendent Roy Seeborg reported Wednesday. Paving of Klaskanine Avenue from Ninth to 11th, a new street opened up to provide access to the school site, was in progress this week.

Driving of foundation piling was progressing well, Seeborg said. It will be finished in two weeks, when placing of forms for the concrete building foundations will start.

75 years ago — 1942

A four-star scrap metal drive, built around a campaign to “sell” the old cannon on the courthouse lawn for thousands of dollars in war bonds, is taking shape here this week.

Groundwork for the scrap collection effort is being laid by Neil Morfitt, chairman of the salvage committee working with Floyd Foster, city chief, and Afton Zundel, head of the work in the county. Tentative plans call for participation of every school child in the county, banded together as “Scouts” and flying squadrons of muscle men to both find and bunch the scrap metals for pickup by a fleet of trucks.

The idea of “selling” the old German artillery piece was born in the red head of Rusty Coleman, George Amato’s master of ceremonies, who sold more than $5,000 worth of war bonds and stamps almost single handedly at a recent victory rally in downtown Astoria.

“If you haven’t used it during the last six months, and you’re not going to use it in the next six months — then it’s scrap.”

Neil Morfitt, chairman of the scrap salvage committee here, said today that if “you find by this test that something you own is scrap, then its place is on the firing line … and the firing line begins in Astoria’s scrap salvage depots.”

A special midnight showing of Abbott and Costello’s “Pardon My Sarong” and Lt. Com. John Ford’s technicolor pictures of the “Battle of Midway” will be held Friday at the Liberty Theater, with admission being a $25 war bond or larger, A.M. Dunlop, theater manager said today.

The showing will be the Liberty Theater’s contribution in the nationwide “Salute to Heroes” drive, under sponsorship of the motion picture industry to sell $1,000,000,000 in war bonds and stamps during September.

The Midway battle pictures were taken by Ford, who although wounded severely, stayed with his camera to shoot the remarkable pictures which are described as among the most dramatic ever exhibited.

Three-quarters of the Astoria High School students who have been helping local canneries during the large fall run of salmon have returned to their classes, according to an announcement today by A.C. Hampton, superintendent of schools.

At the peak of the run, more than 100 boys and girls were working in local packing plants, and registration figures now show that 75 of these students are again regularly attending classes.

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

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