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Water Under the Bridge

Compiled by Bob Duke
The Daily Astorian, February 10, 2010

From the pages of Astoria's daily newspapers

10 years ago this week - 2000

The Astoria City Council stepped into the fray over the fate of North Tongue Point on Monday, urging the state to sell the land but not specifying which of the two competing sides should get it.

Mayor Willis Van Dusen broached the topic, saying it's time someone has another crack at developing the property and the state's 20-year ownership has yet to live up to expectations.

A growing body of scientific evidence is showing that salmon are more than just a majestic sport fish, a tasty entrée, an economic resource or a cultural icon.

From Alaska to California, they serve as a huge natural recycler, responsible for transporting organic material they eat in the oceans and store in their bodies before swimming to the headwaters of watersheds, leaving their rotting carcasses to feed insects, bears, plants, trees, and particularly baby salmon.

"The recycling role is so important that restoration of wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest is hinging on recognition of this issue," said Jeff Cederholm, a fisheries scientist with the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

Federal officials got swamped at the mouth of the Columbia River with a clear and impassioned message Tuesday night: Tear out the four lower Snake River dams.

For nearly three hours, a steady procession of local residents and members of fishing and conservation groups talked about the decline of salmon runs over the last three decades, repercussions on the community and the desire to bring the salmon back.

Nearly everyone who spoke told the federal government that tearing down the Snake River dams is one of the best ways to ensure salmon's return - and help revive a struggling commercial fishing industry.

Representatives from federal agencies - including the Army Corps of Engineers, National Marine Fisheries Service and the Bonneville Power Administration - were in Astoria Tuesday for the fourth of 15 public meetings in the Pacific Northwest focusing on salmon issues.

50 years ago - 1960

Fort Stevens Coffenbury State Park had 404,286 visitors in 1959, Superintendent C.H. Armstrong of the state park system reported today.

Armstrong described the park as one of the state's fastest growing spots for outdoor recreation.

Fort Stevens was second only to Yaquina Bay Park in Lincoln County, which had 828,810 visitors.

Thirty-two local Astoria-Megler bridge supporters returned late Thursday from a trip through Pacific and Grays Harbor counties, reporting success in stirring up interest and enthusiasm for the span.

Everywhere the party went they found citizens ready and eager to support legislation to empower Washington to share with Oregon the deficit financing in the early years of the bridge's existence.

The Wild Goose II, a mysterious white yacht that slipped into the Columbia River Monday, was docked at Englund Marine's wharf Tuesday morning, but none of the 15 persons aboard would give a clue to the vessel's destination.

The boat's captain, who said he has the vessel under charter, said he would give no statement as to where he and his companions were going. He said he slipped out of Seattle for Astoria to escape publicity.

Fifty Years ago: From Daily Budget, 1910 - City Physician Reames recommended construction of sewer systems in Uniontown and Uppertown to improve sanitary conditions in these districts.

75 years ago - 1935

The first round of the biennial fish fight has been fought in the legislature today.

To the house went the bill to bar traps and seines from the Columbia River. The senate, after more than two hours of heated debate, passed the bill, 23 to 7, late yesterday.

Only the argumentative ability of Senator F.M. Francoscovich, Republican, Clatsop, kept the bill from being re-referred to committee or postponed for final action until Monday.

"If you believe the fishing industry on the Columbia River should be destroyed," he told his fellow senators, "then vote against this bill."

A resolution calling upon the state of Oregon to celebrate during the year 1936 by "appropriate ceremonies" the 125th anniversary of its first permanent settlement at Astoria has been introduced in the house of representatives by Representatives Norblad and McGruder and Senator Frank Franciscovich.

Introduction of the resolution was sponsored by the Astoria Chamber of Commerce which plans to celebrate the anniversary date with a fiesta to be held here in the fall of 1936 in connection with the annual Astoria Regatta.

The federal public works administration today agreed the five coast highway bridges should be toll free and sent to J.M. Devers, state highway commission attorney, a bill with that provision for introduction to the legislature.

The local Chamber of Commerce delegation received a cordial reception from members of the state senate roads and highways committee in Salem Friday when it appeared to present arguments in favor of a project calling for free ferry service across the Columbia River at Astoria.

The growing importance of the Oregon coast road as a tourist artery was emphasized and prospective improvements to the Washington coast road pointed out, as was the need for a free transportation service across the river to provide for uninterrupted traffic along the coastal route.

Salmon Support 137 Other Species by Ed Hunt, Environment News Service, 7/6/00

Compiled by Bob Duke
Water Under the Bridge
The Daily Astorian, February 10, 2010

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