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At around 1:30 am on September 28, 2017, officers were investigating a theft at Maxwell's restaurant when they received a report of a fight at the Old Oregon Tavern. Two males accused of assaulting other patrons at the tavern attempted to flee upon officers' arrival but were detained. Joel Bergeman, 44, and Tyler Boettcher, 23, both from Astoria, were taken into custody after Boettcher fought with the officers and attempted to choke one of the officers with his hands, causing minor injuries.

The board opened a public hearing on a proposed ordinance regulating short-term vacation rentals, then voted to table the ordinance. A work session will be scheduled in order to allow further discussion by the commissioners before the ordinance is brought back for consideration.

The ordinance as presented would have required property owners who rent out dwelling units for periods of up to 30 consecutive nights to acquire a permit and meet minimum standards on electrical, heating and septic systems, stairways, decks and balconies, and the number and location of emergency exits, smoke alarms, and fire extinguishers.

The new rules would only apply to unincorporated areas of Clatsop County with the exception of Arch Cape which already has short-term rental rules in place.

 

Researchers say nearly 300 species of fish, mussels and other sea critters hitchhiked across the Pacific Ocean on debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, washing ashore alive in the United States.

The researchers and outside experts say it the largest and longest marine migration ever documented. The scientists and colleagues combed the beaches of Washington, Oregon, California, British Columbia, Alaska, and Hawaii and tracked the species to their Japanese origins.

Study lead author James Carlton at Williams College says this could be a problem if the critters take root, pushing out native species. He calls it "ecological roulette."

Scientists found 289 separate Japanese species made the 4,800-mile trek across the Pacific to the West Coast.

The study is in Thursday's journal Science.

 

The Clatsop County Jail was the subject of a work session last night with the county board of commissioners looking for solutions to ongoing issues there.  The jail has a capped capacity of 60 beds and it’s never been enough.  There have been several attempts to remedy the situation over the years but it has always come down to bond issues that voters did not support to rebuild, remodel, or build something new with sufficient capacity. 

The term “maker culture” is a new way to express a universe of disciplines revolving around craftsmanship, technology, and artistic creation.

Makerspaces is part of that culture, providing space and, in some cases, the tools for artists and craftspeople to do their work and to share their expertise with others. Today there are hundreds of maker spaces in the United States, ranging in size from a few dozen members to several hundred, and offering, usually for a monthly membership fee, access to tools, technology, and classes. Makerspaces is a manifestation of so-called sharing economy business models, pooling resources to time-share expensive equipment.

The first razor clam opening of the fall season hinges on an additional marine toxin test that will be conducted early next week.

State shellfish managers had hoped to announce today whether the dig, tentatively scheduled for Oct. 6-7, would proceed. However, state health officials have asked for an additional round of toxin tests due to rising levels of domoic acid. A natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

The investigation into the natural gas leak and fire at Comfort Suites in Astoria Monday night continues. Yesterday, members of the Clatsop County Fire Investigation Team and Oregon State Police Arson Investigators worked at the scene trying to identify the cause of the gas leak and fire. 

At this time the ignition source that triggered the fire remains unknown.  Investigators were able to determine that the gas leak was not caused by mechanical failure.

After 35 years with the city of Astoria, Public Works Director Ken Cook has announced his retirement set for the end of November.

Monday night Astoria Fire Department and an Officer from Astoria Police Department were dispatched to the Comfort Suites in East Astoria for a report of a natural gas leak behind the building.

 

A collaborative project between researchers and the West Coast sablefish fishing industry is showing promise for reducing the number of seabirds caught in longline fishing gear, in particular, several albatross species including one threatened with extinction.

The combination of using streamer lines (also called bird-scaring lines) to protect longline fishing gear from seabird attacks on baits, and setting hooks at night when the birds are less active can significantly reduce seabird mortality, the researchers say.

Results of the study were just published in the journal Fisheries Research.

The Clatsop County Commission will consider regulating short-term vacation rentals with a new ordinance that is intended to "ensure the safety and well-being of renters and limit conflicts with neighbors." according to a news release this (Monday) morning. 

The county points to the growing use of residential homes as vacation rentals as the reason the new rules are being considered and commissioners are asking for public comment in a hearing on a proposed short-term rental ordinance at its regular meeting Wednesday, Sept. 27 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial St., Astoria.

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