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Commentaries and editorials

Water Under the Bridge

Compiled by Bob Duke
The Daily Astorian, January 16, 2013

From the pages of Astoria's daily newspapers

10 years ago - 2003

A dogged effort by state Rep. Betsy Johnson netted three rail cars to create an excursion-style passenger service between Portland and Astoria for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial celebration.

Oregon's Legislative Emergency Board, which handles lawmakers' business when the full Legislature is not in session, last week appropriated $442,000 to the Oregon Department of Transportation for the purchase of three "Budd Cars" from the British Columbia provincial government.

Passenger service on the recently refurbished short line connecting Astoria and Portland could begin as soon as late spring, with marketing efforts to begin immediately, said Johnson, a Scappoose Democrat.

A federal judge has ruled the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is meeting its legal obligations under the Clean Water Act for operating dams on the lower Snake River in Washington -- despite evidence the river gets hot enough to harm endangered salmon.

The ruling Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge Helen Frye in Portland was a setback for environmental groups and others hoping to build pressure for the federal government to dismantle the four dams on the lower Snake to help struggling salmon runs by restoring natural conditions.

The number of tour boat visitors to Astoria was down in 2002, but a new sternwheeler is scheduled to call here eight times in 2003.

The Empress of the North, under construction at a Puget Sound boatyard, will have room enough for 235 passengers. At 360-feet long, the 1800s-style river boat will be substantially larger than her sister ship, the sternwheeler Queen of the West.

"She's gonna be gorgeous," said Robert Wengel, vice president of maritime operations for the American West Steamboat Company.

Polyester fleece mingled with 18th-century army uniforms and Indian headdresses in a chilly Virginia afternoon Tuesday in "the kickoff to the kickoff," the opening ceremonies of the week-long commencement of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.

50 years ago - 1963

A drizzling rain that froze when it hit the chilled ground produced a perilous coating of ice over much of the Sunset empire from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning.

At least five persons in Astoria were hurt from slipping and falling on icy porches or sidewalks.

The Astoria Maritime Museum project is receiving more enthusiasm abroad so far than it is locally, Chairman Rolf Klep told board members at a meeting Monday evening.

Klep reported progress toward opening one or two rooms in the Maritime Museum building at 16th and Exchange in the near future, to display artifacts already accumulated by the association.

Financial support so far has come mainly from out of town, Klep said. The Columbia River Maritime Museum association has $6,500 in its treasury.

The Columbia River Maritime Museum association has been asking prominent citizens in many parts of the U.S. to accept advisory committee membership and has had good response.

Among those solicited was President J.F. Kennedy and he has written two letters to the association, one declining regretfully the offer of committee membership because of press of other affairs. In the other letter the president commended the museum project and offered to urge Navy cooperation.

A near-blizzard slammed up the Atlantic coast on gale winds, smothered new York City under 5 to 10 foot drifts and pounded into New England today.

75 years ago - 1938

Approximately 20 men, claiming to be the bulk of the union members employed by the Old Faithful cannery, today declared they were the victims of a lockout at the cannery, established a picket line and work at Astoria's infant vegetable and fruit canning industry was stalemated.

The management declared the lay-off occurred Saturday night when canning operations at the plant, located on the old Astoria box factory site, made it no longer necessary to retain 50 employes comprising two shifts.

In keeping with a recent decision of the supreme court, the Astoria City Commission Monday night repealed the ordinance regulating the operation of pinball machines in this city and introduced an emergency ordinance, effective on February 1 when the old one expires, providing for licensing of the devices for amusement only.

The city is not a party in any sense to avoiding compliance with the law as interpreted by the supreme court, City Manager J.O. Convill explained today. He said the city was in need of funds and believed the devices could be operated legally strictly for amusement with certain changes in their mechanism.

For an hour Wednesday night the freighter Jacob Luckenbach hovered on the terrible rim of Peacock spit -- and destruction -- before the outbound ship and its crew was saved by a bold and desperate change of course to the south into the trough of one of the season's worst seas. The ship, which crossed out of the river in an eight-mile ebb, escaped after a death struggle when the powerful engines finally made headway against the strong northerly set of raging seas. She was severely pounded, but wired that she had suffered no heavy damage. Today the Luckenbach is heading for Seattle.

The Old Faithful vegetable and kraut packing plant, closed for a week by a picket line placed around it by the plant union, will resume operations in the morning, from all indications, under an agreement arrived at after a series of conferences but which has yet to be ratified by the membership of the union. The union is meeting this afternoon.

Related Pages:
At Last Corps Needs to Fix Snake Dams by Editorial Board, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2/26/1
Judge Orders Change in Dams by Jonathan Brinckman, The Oregonian, 2/17/1
Court Says 4 Dams Violating Water Act by Staff and Wire reports, Spokesman Review, 2/17/1
Corps Must Fix Snake Dams to Save Fish by Associated Press, Tri-City Herald, 2/17/1
Corps Must Comply w/ Water Standard by Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune, 2/17/1

Compiled by Bob Duke
Water Under the Bridge
The Daily Astorian, January 16, 2013

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