The Ford Foundation's interest in Astoria is exciting. Sandra Swain reported in last Thursday's edition that Ford will consider an application from the City of Astoria for assistance in its waterfront visioning exercise.

That assistance would involve use of new computer software that creates a three-dimensional computer model, where land-use planning strategies can be implemented virtually and their effects on a city or neighborhood and its inhabitants tracked in real time.

Shorebank Enterprise Cascadia brought the Ford Foundation here last October for meetings involving its trustees as well as program staff.

While Astoria is in the midst of an economic and cultural rebirth, the town is also at a tipping point, which puts a number of items in play. One of those places in jeopardy is the waterfront. Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen and the city council are commendably planning this visioning program. With Ford's help, it should be highly informative.

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