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Bumble Bee Seafood's new shrimp shell removing machine is demonstrated by John Farrell, foreman in charge of Astoria's first shrimp cannery, which began operation in 1968 at the Elmore cannery.

10 years ago this week — 2008

At 800 feet below the earth’s surface, things can easily go wrong.

For the scientists and drilling crew installing geophysical monitoring equipment in Naselle in the past couple of weeks, that’s the depth that had to be achieved.

Overseen by UNAVCO, this installation is part of the Plate Boundary Observatory project, an operation designed to increase the understanding of earthquakes and other seismic activity. UNAVCO is a nonprofit consortium funded by the National Science Foundation and the NASA.

Replacing the staircase at the Astoria Column will cost the city $200,000 if the City Council agrees to a proposal presented at Monday’s meeting by Jordan Schnitzer, president of the nonprofit Friends of the Astoria Column. That’s almost half the projected $418,000 budget for fixing the steps, which have been out of commission for months. Schnitzer is aiming for the staircase, which spirals up the interior of the famous landmark, to be reopened to the public by the first two weeks in July.

Astoria High School coach Dave Gasser returned from Tillamook Thursday as the winningest baseball coach in Oregon history. Led by a fire engine, the team bus pulled onto the school parking lot around 10 p.m. to a crowd awaiting its arrival.

Given the fact that the Astoria Fishermen outscored Tillamook in three games last year by a combined 50-3 — and 35-6 the year before that — a baseball game between the Fish and the Cheesemakers normally wouldn’t draw much attention.

But there they were Thursday afternoon at Tillamook, playing in front of radio, newspaper and television reporters, including Astoria student Micah Dugan, filming for KGW News Channel 8 in Portland.

50 years ago — 1968

These are busy days at the Port of Astoria, as indicated by the announcement that tonnage volume for the first quarter of 1968 was double the volume of the first quarter of 1967.

The Port is so busy that port commissioners are looking at the East End Basin breakwater as a temporary loading spot for log ships.

It is pleasant to have the Port booming like this, for its prosperity spreads through the community, but one wonders if the evident rapid acceleration of the log export trade won’t bring reprisals soon.

Conversations have taken place in Japan involving officials of our government and log buyers, with a view to persuading the Japanese to ease off voluntarily on their log buying, but it doesn’t appear that these talks have produced much result.

Now the lumber industry, seeing more logs go overseas each month, will become more demanding that there be remedial legislation.

Astoria’s first shrimp canning plant began operations Wednesday when Bumble Bee Seafoods started its newly installed shrimp peeling and canning line at the Elmore plant.

Announcement of the new industry was made by John S. McGowan, Bumble Bee president.

Bumble Bee started marketing north Pacific canned shrimp last year, packed to the firm’s specifications by Pacific Shrimp, Inc., of Warrenton, and the same marketing arrangement will continue this season. McGowan said.

The young, the poor and the crippled of Atlanta trudged through a foggy rain today to pay their last respects to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

75 years ago — 1943

The office of price administration today set out to control the cost of “eating out” by authorizing ceiling prices on restaurant meals.

But officials admitted that although they can set maximum prices for the cost of a restaurant dinner, they have virtually no control over the size of portions or the quality of the food.

A far more abundant supply of fresh, deep-sea fish will be available immediately it appeared today as relaxation of commercial fishing regulations along the Pacific coasts of Oregon and Washington were announced by Capt. W.H. Munter, district coast guard officer at Seattle.

The rulings permit fishing fleets new liberties in entering and leaving certain harbors and the Strait of Juan de Fuca at night and in early morning.

The ports and waters to which the new regulations apply are: Strait of Juan de Fuca, Quillayute River, Grays Harbor, Columbia River, Depoe Bay and Coos Bay.

The industrial council of the office of price administration is ready to recommend the first “break through” of meat rationing lines and propose tripling the amount of the weekly meat ration for loggers, it was learned today.

The council, it was understood, will propose that the present ration of about two pounds a week be increased for loggers to between six and seven pounds – the standard Army field ration – to end work stoppages in logging camps. If granted, the concession will place OPA under more pressure for similar concessions to miners and other workers who expend considerable energy daily.

Too many violations of civil defense regulations concerning dimming headlights of cars at night have been reported recently, according to D.J. Lewis, defense coordinator. The state defense council has warned that many lights are not properly equipped, and that drivers must depend on their parking lights, which are unsatisfactory.

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

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