The Honorable Thad Cochran

Chairman

Committee on Appropriations

S-128 United States Capitol

Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Patrick Leahy

Vice Chairman

Committee on Appropriations

S-146A United States Capitol

Washington, DC 20510

 

Dear Chairman Cochran and Vice Chairman Leahy,

 As the Appropriations Committee continues its work on a supplemental disaster request to aid communities in California, Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, we write to encourage you to include relief for communities affected by longstanding and ongoing fisheries disasters.  

 All fisheries, including commercial, recreational, charter, and fisheries of importance to American Indians and Alaska Natives are central components in the economy and culture of many coastal communities. In Pacific coastal states, fisheries support a diverse hub of commerce including shipbuilders, hotels, restaurants, and vessel support services among others. Prolonged diminished returns in fisheries have stifled economic development, threatened the financial stability of fishing families dependent upon the industry’s vitality, and severely endangered Native American subsistence and ceremonial harvests.  

 As of January 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce has declared a total of nine fisheries disasters in Alaska, California, and Washington state, with several other disaster declarations pending official designation. While the complete economic impact is difficult to evaluate, NOAA Fisheries has estimated that the total direct losses for all outstanding declared fisheries disasters are equal to approximately $150 Million in Alaska, $140 Million in California, and $117 Million in Washington state. With the knowledge that these estimates may increase with subsequent declarations, we respectfully ask that these figures be used as a point of reference during consideration of any relief appropriations.  

 The Senate should act swiftly to provide emergency funding to these communities whose livelihoods depend on resilient, sustainable, and healthy fisheries. Additionally, we commit to working with you and other committees of jurisdiction toward a solution that brings more immediate relief once a fisheries disaster has been declared. The longer these disasters go unaddressed, the more precarious the situation becomes for communities and families impacted.

 As the Senate works to develop a robust and adequate disaster package for those affected by other natural disasters across the country, we look forward to working with you to ensure that these longstanding fisheries disasters are also included. 

 We appreciate your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

A recent article in USA Today outlines city celebrations for the New Year that mirror the big ball drop in New York Times Square.

For example, did you know that Atlanta drops an 800-pound peach? The Hard Rock Cafe drops a ten-foot guitar in Memphis. The home city for the maker of the Easter favorite Peeps candy drops a 400-pound Peeps Chick and goes a step further with an annual PeepsFest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  There are more examples of communities throughout the country that perform New Years drops of culturally significant icons to mark the beginning of the New Year.

It's clear that Astoria must close the "Drop Gap" by doing the same.

But questions are two: What to drop and from what do we drop it?

We could follow the long-standing example taken from a convenience store in Clay's Corner, North Carolina which has for many years dropped a live possum which, while controversial because it involves a live animal, as continued long after the store that began the tradition closed up and has been abandoned for quite some time.

While more than a few would like to see a seal drop here, the animal is not only protected but is largely uncooperative in such matters.

 

In seriously considering this idea it has been suggested that an artistically stylized 400-pound Chinook Salmon be ceremoniously dropped from the Astoria Column touching the ground at precisely midnight launching a brief explosion of fireworks.  It's also thought that perhaps the drop should take place off the Megler Bridge using a scale model of the Astoria Trolley appropriately lit.

 

It's going to take some more thought but ultimately whatever is dropped and from where it is dropped should say something about our community and it's proud history.

Happy New Year!

 

tf 

 

 

A recent article in USA Today outlines city celebrations for the New Year that mirror the big ball drop in New York Times Square.

For example, did you know that Atlanta drops an 800-pound peach? The Hard Rock Cafe drops a ten-foot guitar in Memphis. The home city for the maker of the Easter favorite Peeps candy drops a 400-pound Peeps Chick and goes a step further with an annual PeepsFest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  There are more examples of communities throughout the country that perform New Years drops of culturally significant icons to mark the beginning of the New Year.

It's clear that Astoria must close the "Drop Gap" by doing the same.

But questions are two: What to drop and from what do we drop it?

We could follow the long-standing example taken from a convenience store in Clay's Corner, North Carolina which has for many years dropped a live possum which, while controversial because it involves a live animal, as continued long after the store that began the tradition closed up and has been abandoned for quite some time.

While more than a few would like to see a seal drop here, the animal is not only protected but is largely uncooperative in such matters.

 

In seriously considering this idea it has been suggested that an artistically stylized 400-pound Chinook Salmon be ceremoniously dropped from the Astoria Column touching the ground at precisely midnight launching a brief explosion of fireworks.  It's also thought that perhaps the drop should take place off the Megler Bridge using a scale model of the Astoria Trolley appropriately lit.

 

It's going to take some more thought but ultimately whatever is dropped and from where it is dropped should say something about our community and it's proud history.

Happy New Year!

 

tf 

 

 

Northwest Lending Group