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Coming up at Monday's Astoria Council meeting there are two agreements for use of the Astoria Aquatic Center by outside parties and the council will be asked to approve an engineering contract without competitive bidding for work on the city headworks and Dam. The council will get its first look at a new inventory of all Parks and Rec managed trees in the city.

Astoria police arrested a man accused of multiple car prowls a few days ago. Police caught the suspect with the goods and are still working to get those items back to the rightful owners. Astoria officer Gerig still has cell phones, a GPS, two large flat-screen TVs, and sunglasses along with several other minor items that have not been claimed.

The Oregon Department of Forestry, in conjunction with several other majority landowners in this area (Hampton Tree Farms, Clatsop County and the City of Astoria), is going to be closing the gate on the East end of pipeline road in an effort to mitigate the risk of fire during the 2017 fire season.  This is also in regards to the anticipated influx of the people visiting Oregon for the Solar Eclipse.  These measures are being taken in an effort to try and keep the forest safe.  These restrictions will go into effect beginning Wednesday, August 16, 2017, at 8:00 a.m.

 With extremely high temperatures and lack of precipitation during the past month along with curing fuels and drier weather conditions have led to this closure.  “The fuels are very dry and it would not take much for a fire to start and take off,” said Neal Bond, Protection Unit Forester for the Oregon Department of Forestry in Astoria.    

 This closure would only prohibit unauthorized motorized access into this forest basin until fire season is over.  This usually occurs sometime in mid to late October.  Note that non-motorized access by the public for recreational purposes would still be allowed. 

Sunset Empire Transportation District has announced that bus routes in Clatsop County may be delayed or canceled due to a lot of people traveling through the area to view the solar eclipse on August 21st.

Executive Director Jeff Hazen said that “the Oregon Department of Transportation has predicted that those traveling on Oregon highways on the days before and after the solar eclipse, may experience the biggest traffic event in Oregon history and residents should prepare ahead for delays, cancellations or closures”.

Bus routes may be significantly delayed or canceled if the highways in Clatsop County experience gridlock. The District issue press releases as necessary to announce any cancellations and KAST will pass that information to you here and on Facebook along with broadcast announcements. 

Transporation planners say the public should expect some challenging traffic conditions beginning on August 18th through August 23.  

It's suggested you keep your vehicle topped off with fuel and stock up at the grocery store early.

The Coast Guard reminds the public of important safety measures as personnel prepare for an influx of visitors to the Oregon Coast and federal waterways leading up to and through the solar eclipse event happening, Monday.

State of Oregon representatives expect more than a million tourists to visit Oregon beaches, towns and campgrounds as the Eclipse could be visible in Oregon for the first time since 1979.

Many of the tourists who come to see the eclipse will be unfamiliar with the Oregon Coastline and its many waterways. They also won’t be fully aware of the dangers that come from regular changing weather, sea conditions, incoming and outgoing tides, rough and unstable cliffsides and many other potential dangers that are present along the coast.

 

On Saturday, August 12 at approximately 8:34 am, the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol and the United States Coast Guard responded to a reported boat collision in the Columbia River near Tansy Point. An aluminum 20' 7" Weldcraft vessel operated by Christopher McMahon age 45 was trolling for salmon in the area and had two passengers on board, Bryan Maess age 47 and Roni Durham age 57. A fiberglass 31' Bayliner Trophy operated by Marlin Larsen age 74 was traveling up the river with his passengers Adam Forrester age 20 and Timothy Forrester age 52. 

Saturday weather was perfect for Astoria’s signature event. The 2017 Astoria Regatta features many events through the course of the festival week but the highlights come on Saturday with a busy Regatta Square serving up food and drink and family fun capped by one of the oldest parades in the Northwest.  The Grand Land Parade.

Fire Trucks and High School Athletics champions, city and state officials and festival dignitaries riding in shiny convertibles, bag pipers, and marching bands paraded down the street. Past Regatta Queens and courts were honored along with the 2017 court riding aboard the impressive, award winning Regatta Festival float that has garnered awards in other Northwest parades this year. The Astoria Clowns made their usual appearance long before the actual parade began. But then, that’s a beloved tradition.

One of the very impressive entries came from a 4x4 club calling themselves ‘Sons of Beaches”. The patriotic local organization often helps out people who get stuck on the beach, towing them out of the soft sand, or rescuing those who park a little too close to the surf and stay a little too long. Last year the club featured all the current flags of the military services along with historical flags. This year there was a blocks long lineup of club members in vehicles festooned with flags and a float paying tribute to the armed forces featuring a giant rendering of soldiers raising the flag on Iwo Jima. It won a top award, the Admiral’s Award for the club’s efforts.

Things became controversial when it was pointed out that one of the vehicles had a version of what most people think of as the Confederate flag.  The flag is often flown with other U.S. flags in events such as this acknowledging the deaths brought by the War Between the States which Northerners call the Civil War.  The rebel flag has become controversial today due to its adoption by racist hate groups so for many it is now representative of hatred and bigotry.

It has been just nine years since Clatsop Community Bank set up shop as the only locally owned bank in the county and today reports surpassing $90 million in assets and $80 million in deposits.

The City of Astoria announced  Late Friday that Geoff Spalding has agreed to serve as the Interim Chief of Police. Chief Spalding retired from the Beaverton Police Department in 2016 and will be joining the City of Astoria Police Department on August ­28, 2017.

Astoria's Fort George Brewery is in the permitting process to build a big new facility at Warrenton's North Coast Business Park.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public comment on the wetlands permit. The applicant’s stated purpose is to expand the brewing warehouse, and distribution capacity of Fort George Brewery and Fort George Distribution to meet current and future market demands, and to do so at a single centralized location.

The President of the Astoria Longshore Union (ILWU 50), Chris Connaway has filed an appeal of a planning commission decision to allow a child development center to relocate to Port property near the central docks.

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