No headline.

The 16-story container crane arrives in Hammond Wednesday after making a monthlong, 5,800-mile journey across the Pacific Ocean from Shanghai, China.

10 years ago this week — 2008

Cloaked in darkness and enveloped in fog, the Port of Portland’s 16-story container crane snuck under the Astoria Bridge at 5:30 this morning while most of the town was still asleep.

For a few bleary-eyed onlookers, a glimmer of light atop the loaded Chinese ship Zhen Hua 17 gave the only indication of just how close it came to touching the span as it slipped by.

According to Columbia River Bar Pilot Capt. Mike Tierney, who was at the helm during the crossing, it came pretty darn close. Three Port of Portland engineers perched on the 185-foot crane measured just 4 feet of clearance.

“They high-fived the beam as they went underneath it,” said Tierney.

As Tierney and Bar Pilot Capt. Gary Lewin steered the ship toward the bridge, they had to speed up to beat a wall of fog rolling in. Thick fog could have delayed the crossing by blocking the laser the engineers use to measure the clearance.

Not so fast, Clatsop County.

Opponents of the Bradwood Landing liquefied natural gas project may still find a way to block the recent approval of the land use application for the $600 million LNG receiving terminal and sendout pipeline 20 miles east of Astoria.

Last week, after six months of deliberation, the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners signed the paperwork approving 27 changes to county land use laws that grant Bradwood Landing project developer Northern Star Natural Gas Inc. a Land Use Compatibility Statement, a key local piece of the federal LNG permitting process.

Since then, a group of county residents has been working on a ballot referendum that, if passed, would reverse on the county’s approvals and punch a hole in the project.

The referendum would ask voters if they approve of the county board’s decision to allow natural gas pipelines to run through land zoned for open space, parks and recreation (OPR) with a conditional-use permit. Before the Bradwood landing decision, pipelines were not a permitted use in OPR zones.

50 years ago — 1968

The City Council will seek a consultation with the Clatsop County commissioners regarding future use of the property at Sixth and Commercial which the city has used as a children’s playground for many years.

The county owns the property and recently asked the city parks and recreation commission that it be returned to the county for use as a parking lot.

The parks and recreation commission recommended to the council that the city retain the property for playground use.

Astoria-bound barge 535, owned by Pacific Inland Navigation company of Vancouver, turned turtle at 1 a.m. Wednesday at the western tip of Wallace Island near Westport, spewing part of its oil cargo into the Columbia River.

Coast Guard sources said oil could be traced from the site of the mishap around Puget Island and as far west as the mouth of the river.

Extent of the impact of Tongue Point Job Corps Center on the economy of Astoria and Clatsop County is indicated in a report issued by the University of Oregon, which operates the center under contract with the federal office of Economic Opportunity. The report covers cost information from the center’s inception to Oct. 31, 1967.

Between Dec. 15, 1965, when work was started to convert the former naval air base into a training facility for disadvantaged youth, and the end of October 1967, total expenditures of the center were $14,360,773. This included salaries and wages, payroll assessments, materials and services, travel, equipment overhead and modification and rehabilitation of the base.

While not all of the $14,360,773 total was spent in the immediate area, much of it was, a center spokesman said.

75 years ago — 1943

Operations of Astoria’s laundries are at a standstill today as a result of a decision of members of the local laundry workers union and truck drivers union at a special meeting Wednesday night to cease work until their demands for higher wages are granted.

Waters near Grays Harbor, Washington, were being searched today for three Navy flyers missing after heavy seas Saturday swamped both a medium-sized Navy plane and a larger craft trying to rescue its crew members.

Astoria hotel operators are facing a critical situation today by reason of the closing of the two local laundries Thursday morning. While rumors of military intervention are rife on the street, there are no actual developments in the laundry situation.

Alleged troubles from food rationing is no excuse to give for the closing of restaurants, George Peeke, chairman of the food panel of the rationing board, declared today in a sharp rebuke to a number of eating places which have closed recently.

The ration board is not trying to put any restaurant out of business, Peeke declared. Rather, this is a time when every restaurant is needed as the city’s population continues to grow.

Astoria laundry workers are back on the job today at the Troy and Crystal laundry plants, closed since Thursday morning.

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