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Old 300 chugs along the tracks in Astoria.

10 years ago this week — 2007

The Astoria Riverfront Trolley may seem to be propelled along the tracks by a diesel generator, but it’s actually powered by about 100 volunteers. As conductors, motormen, and in many other capacities, they all contribute their talent and efforts to make the trolley a success.

On Wednesday, a core group of about a dozen volunteers who spent January and February refurbishing Old 300 received recognition. They were honored at a celebration hosted by the Astoria Trolley Association and attended by community leaders.

“It hasn’t been in this good shape since 1913 … It’s truly in showroom condition,” said the trolley association’s president, Willis Van Dusen, who also serves as Astoria’s mayor. Noting that this is the trolley’s eighth year of operation in Astoria, he said its success symbolizes the value of teamwork.

“Everyone in town owns it. Everyone thinks it’s their trolley. And that’s the way we like it,” Van Dusen said.

The big guns are heading to Astoria to help tackle the slide.

And that could mean money to help the city.

Federal Emergency Management Agency and Oregon Emergency Management officials will be in Astoria March 29 to view the landslide above west Bond Street and consider possible funding support for repairs.

Thanks to a united and effective congressional delegation, and with incredible local support, the final piece of the Lewis and Clark legacy here at the mouth of the Columbia River is secure for all time.

News came Tuesday that the National Park Service is allocating $2.5 million to purchase a permanent conservation easement on the forest backdrop to Station Camp, the explorers’ primary encampment on the Washington side of the river. This also is a positive testimonial to the foresight of the park service and of the Bush administration as a whole in this matter; one could not wish for better support than this park receives. The McGowan-Garvin family deserves praise for its patience, cooperation and civic-mindedness.

50 years ago — 1967

FLORENCE – Coast Guardsmen here aren’t sure what to believe.

They made a dash across the treacherous Siuslaw River bar during the weekend to confirm the identity of an alleged Russian fishing trawler.

A commercial fishing boat from Newport reported the vessel was moving slowly southward about 6 miles out at sea.

It took about 80 miles for the Coast Guard launch to get within spying distance of the vessel. But to the men’s dismay, the “Russian trawler” turned out to be the Astoria-based Coast Guard cutter Yocona.

The New Hope of Astoria, largest drag boat in Oregon, returned from the Alaska king island crab fishery Tuesday night with 6,400 cases of the huge crab.

The New Hope, owned by George Moskovita, spent nine months fishing out of the Kodiak island town of Alitak for salmon late last summer and crab during the winter.

The dragger landed about 700,000 pounds of king crab during the winter.

More corpswomen were arriving this week at the new Tongue Point Job Corps Center for Women.

A group of 65 came in Tuesday evening from San Francisco bay area, where they were recruited. A second group of approximately 50 is due tonight from Austin, Texas, regional office of Office of Economic Opportunity.

75 years ago — 1942

TILLAMOOK — A guerrilla army of 1,500 men adopting the Indian fighting strategy of their pioneer grandfathers, stands ready to defend Oregon homes against infiltration and parachute invasion tactics.

The minute-man army has no uniforms, no parade grounds and no name. Its members call themselves the “Tillamook Guerrillas” and they report for action in whatever clothes they are wearing when called.

Approximately 1,500 men participated in weekend maneuvers taking their first training in guerrilla warfare. They carried their favorite rifles and shotguns to stations in sandpits and cliffs along the ocean and in timbered mountain passes leading inland.

The hills echoed with the roar of gunfire as the woods-wise farmers, loggers and townsmen trained their sights on imaginary invaders in terrain where they formerly had hunted deer.

If an invader should attempt to land on the Oregon Coast, the riflemen would be assigned as snipers to harry ground forces. The shotgun experts would be ready to pick off parachutists as they would ducks or geese.

Col. Stewart Arnold, blind commander of the guerrillas, expressed satisfaction with the work of his men in their first war games.

“These boys really don’t need much practice,” he said. “They just like to keep their eyes sharp and don’t waste much powder.”

Mrs. Constance Edde Van Dusen, native born Astorian, wife of Lloyd Van Dusen, and member of a prominent Astoria family, died at her home in the Nehalem Valley yesterday afternoon following a short illness.

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

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