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Most long-time locals have a story to tell about the Astoria YMCA.  For decades it was a community gathering spot, a place where kids learned to swim, or used the gym for pickup basketball on rainy days. The first Monster Bash was held there in 1984 as an autograph party with Director Richard Donner and some stars from The Goonies returning to the town that October after the production had wrapped location shooting earlier.

 Three years after that momentous affair the YMCA closed and the building remained empty until the Lewis and Clark Christian Academy took over and remodeled the building for their new home in 1990. The historic windows, trim and old ironwork was removed or altered to single panes which dramatically changed the look of the structure.

Now the old YMCA is coming alive once again under the auspices of new owner Noel Weber, an Idaho man with a family reputation for classic sign design, lettering and gilding gold leaf.  The signage on the new Carruthers Restaurant in downtown Astoria is a local example of Weber’s work.

 

The Coast Guard transported an ill fisherman off the commercial fishing vessel Kandi Dawn 75 miles offshore of Lincoln City, Oregon, early Tuesday morning.

Today Cascades Inc. inaugurated its new cutting-edge $64 million paper products manufacturing facility in Scappoose, Oregon. The facility complements its paper plant in nearby St. Helens, Oregon, converting that material into tissue paper and paper towel products. The project creates dozens of good-paying jobs in rural Columbia County.

Citizens filled the Astoria city council chamber to overflowing last night as the council held a public hearing on two proposals to shore up the city’s deficit ridden Parks and Recreation Department.

 The possibility of closing down the city aquatic center provided the catalyst for all that public attention. In his agenda memo, City Manager Brett Estes described the financial package staff brought for consideration a life raft approach that would keep parks operations minimally functional for a period of time until a better permanent funding option is developed to get the department back on its feet. He wrote that if the council decided not to go ahead with the funding plan then staff felt it would be necessary to shut down the aquatic center at the end of August this year, take both youth and adult recreation programs off the schedule for next summer and focus remaining resources on parks upkeep.

An Astoria man was arrested outside his Brownsmead residence on the evening of Friday, July 14, 2017. The 50-year-old man identified as GREG HOWARD SMITH, born September 7, 1966, was lodged in the Clatsop County Jail on numerous sex abuse and drug related charges. Smith is already a registered sex offender following a 2006 conviction in Columbia County for which he was sentenced to over 6 years in prison for one count each of Sodomy II and Sex Abuse I. At the time of his arrest Smith was in compliance with Oregon's sex offender registration requirements. Smith is known by some local residents as "Greg Tyrone Jesus"; a name he also uses on Facebook. 

On July 14, 2017, deputies from the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office, officers from the Seaside Police Department, and the Cannon Beach K9 team executed a search warrant at the residence at 429 South Holladay Drive, Seaside, Oregon. The search warrant was granted based upon information received and developed through a coordinated drug trafficking and child welfare investigation by the Sheriff's Office, the Seaside Police Department, and Child Protective Services. 

The closure of the Astoria Aquatic Center and ending youth and adult sports programs at the end of August hangs in the balance as the city council considers staffs plan to raise an additional $425,000 at Monday’s regular session.

On July 12, 2017, deputies from the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office and officers from the Seaside Police Department executed a search warrant at the residence at 841 2nd Ave, Seaside. The search warrant was granted based upon information received and developed through a coordinated drug trafficking investigation by the Sheriff's Office and the Seaside Police Department. 

 

Coast Guard oil spill responders oversaw the removal of 1,000 gallons of an oily water mixture from the commercial fishing vessel Western Skies after it sank in the Warrenton Marina Sunday.

Coast Guard incident management division personnel, from Sector Columbia River, opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for $40,000 and hired Global Diving and Salvage to conduct cleanup and pollution recovery efforts.

The oil removal was completed at 9:45 p.m. Sunday. Responders conducted a site visit to assess the vessel, Monday morning and observed residual sheening. Global Diving and Salvage replaced the absorbent boom and pads that continue to absorb any remaining product on the water. Coast Guard responders will return to assess the vessel Tuesday.

Coast Guard crews and marina personnel have attempted to contact the vessel owner, but have so far been unable to reach the registered owner.

 

 

With the growing use of heroin across the United States – a trend mirrored in Oregon and Clatsop County – public health agencies are seeing rising rates of infectious diseases that are often associated with injection drug use, including HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and syphilis. The rising drug use rates also pose a hazard to the rest of a community in the threat from improperly disposed of needles.

You can't always get what you want. But, if you try, sometimes you get what you need. The words to the old Rolling Stones song would seem to apply to Astoria's problem with it's Parks and Recreation Department. It's also something for the Astoria City Council and the City Manager to consider. Ask yourself, Do we really NEED all this?

First, let us take a moment to define the problem.

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