Let me tell you the story of how and why I moved to Astoria. I was born and raised in a small town, about the size of Astoria, in Washington. When I got out of high school, class of 1959, there were very few job opportunities, so I joined the U.S. Navy.
While I was in the Navy, I married a hometown girl, and by the time I got out of the Navy, we had our first child. We couldn't wait to move back home, and we did. Things had not improved in the time we were gone, and most of the people we went to school with had moved out of the area - more than 90 percent. We stuck it out for about a year and nearly starved to death. Why? Because the people turned down all the major industries that wanted to locate in the area. Let's just keep it a nice place to live and retire.
My sister had moved to Astoria when she got out of school in 1955, and she told me there were jobs available. Since I had other relatives in the area, we moved. My great-grandparents had owned the old Warrenton hotel in the early 1900s, and I had visited the area many times as a child.
It's like watching a rerun of my home town. Every industry that wants to locate here is discouraged. You can't remain the same. You either grow or shrink, and if you can't provide jobs for the young people, they will be forced to move. Soon the town reaches the point that it will take 50 years to rebound.
I watch the anti-liquefied natural gas people out picketing against LNG, and soon I'm sure the same people will be out against Walmart. It's nice to keep things the same, but when young people have to move to find a job, then reality starts to set in, and it will take 50 years to climb back to prosperity.