the film
Economic and dam related articles

Water Under the Bridge

Compiled by Bob Duke
The Daily Astorian, January 13, 2010

10 years ago this week - 2000

Complaints about noisy generators may have the popular sternwheeler Queen of the West spending more time at the Port of Astoria docks - or elsewhere along the river - instead of the foot of 17th Street.

For years, the 230-foot Queen of the West has tied up at the Columbia River Maritime Museum providing easy access to downtown for its 146 guests and crew members.

Gripes have been mounting that the noise from the boat's generators is loud and disruptive. Don Haskell, who owns the Wecoma Partners building on the waterfront at 16th street, has made repeated complaints about the boat's generators. "It's been a continuous string of complaints," Mitch Mitchum, the city's public works director, told the city council on Monday.

The city wants the Queen to dock at the Port of Astoria unless there's a vacant spot at the 17th street dock where the U.S. Coast Guard cutters are moored.

It shouldn't have come as a surprise.

Local residents spent about an hour Wednesday night peppering U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith about two of the biggest projects on the Columbia-Snake River system.

But if residents were looking for the Republican from Eastern Oregon to support breaching the Snake River dams and quashing plans to deepen the Columbia River, it didn't happen.

Smith told the crowd of about 40 at the Columbia River Maritime Museum that he hasn't taken a position on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan to deepen the shipping channel between Astoria and Portland.

He also said he doesn't support dam removal on the Snake River, claiming there are other ways to improve salmon conditions that will have an equitable affect.

The state Transportation Commission adopted a $600 million wish list of state highway projects in hopes the specifics will persuade voters to pass a 5-cent gas tax increase this spring.

Included on the list is $33 million to build the long-sought Astoria Bypass, now called the Astoria Truck Route. The route would fork off U.S. Highway 30 at the John Day Bridge and connect with Oregon highway 202 in Astoria.

50 years ago - 1960

Walter Eldridge, San Francisco, engineering manager for American Can Company for the western states, is scheduled to arrive in Astoria Tuesday, according to company officials in Portland.

Eldridge presumably is coming to Astoria in connection with construction plans for the can factory the company plans to build on the north side of West Marine Drive just east off the CRPA Elmore cannery.

There is a trend for smaller established industries to leave congested industrial cities, along with new industries, in favor of the smaller towns.

In Astoria there is an opportunity to acquire some of these industries if a concentrated effort is made. There are numerous potential industrial sites, well-located and fairly priced. Installed or available are streets, sewers, utilities, rail and transportation facilities - awaiting on the erection of buildings.

The area offers business an ideal location, abundant skilled labor, ideal living conditions and low-cost hydro-electric power.

Recognition of Astoria as the place where "community television" originated is contained in a booklet, "Over the Horizon," just published by the National Community Television Association, Inc.

The booklet is a history and description of the industry involved in bringing television reception to fringe area communities by community cable systems.

The booklet, recently received here by Manager George Sampson of Clatsop Television Company, notes that in 1949 Astoria became the first city in the nation with a community television cable system.

The system was originated largely through the efforts of L.E. Parsons, at that time manager of radio station KAST. Noting that signals from Seattle television stations could be received dimly in Astoria, Parsons set up extra-strength antennae to receive the signals and devised a coaxial cable system to distribute the enhanced signals to clients.

75 years ago - 1935

Strict rules and regulations must be followed in the future by local groups which wish to use the community hall in the city park for meetings or social gatherings, City Manager James Convill announced Tuesday following a conference with Chief of Police John Acton. Drinking of beer or other liquor on the premises will positively not be tolerated, it was stated.

A new impetus to Astoria as a port should result from the elimination of the ten percent differential against this port and in favor of Portland and Vancouver from the inland empire south of the Snake River. In announcing their decision to put all northwest terminals on an equality basis, the railroads have included Astoria and thus have removed a handicap which has slowed down our port activities for more than a decade.

Astoria 35 years ago, 1900 - A railroad man who came down on last night's train is authority for the statement that there were 32 passengers with 25 cent tickets for Astoria who got off at Goble and there purchased tickets for Seattle, instead of purchasing them in Portland as they save about $1.50 by doing so. The railroad man said that the Northern Pacific would not stand this long and would surely be drawn into the local rate war.

Bob Duke
Water Under the Bridge
The Daily Astorian, January 13, 2010

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