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Tuesday night the Warrenton City Commission considered a proposal to increase funding for the Community Library through a renewed 5-year operation levy that will boost property taxes in the city.

 

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson is using his powers to waylay some of the effects of a recently passed Senate Bill that he says effectively stacks the deck against the people's right to veto legislative tax increases.

Two historically iconic restaurant buildings are about to be replaced by a new hotel development on Astoria's west end waterfront.  Many would remember the Ship Inn when Jill and Fenton Stokeld opened the place based on an English pub-style bar with a dining room along the waterfront off 2nd street. It was a place where local notables hung out.  Just as popular in its heyday was the Dutch Cup that shared the parking lot with Ship Inn. The Dutch Cup was comfort food heaven for fishermen, loggers, and affordable family dining. The restaurants eventually changed hands and the Dutch Cup became Stephanie's Cabin which is vacant today. A big change may be coming.

One of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest’s iconic fish, native steelhead trout, have been migrating over Willamette Falls in Portland to spawn in Cascade Mountain rivers for millennia. They are now at high risk of going extinct, based on a new analysis by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

Listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1999 due primarily to the impacts of federal dams and habitat loss, wild native Willamette steelhead has now slipped to high risk of extinction. Willamette steelhead now faces a new and growing threat from male sea lions that have learned to exploit the fish as they congregate below Willamette Falls before navigating upriver to spawn.

The 2017 Astoria Regatta Festival begins on Wednesday, August 9th and for many, the premiere event is the Saturday Grand Land Parade.  The parade committee is tasked with working on all the details and that includes giving the public a heads up about what to expect for temporary street closures necessary for everyone's safety. Traffic will be disrupted throughout the downtown area beginning at about 8 am Saturday. While longtime locals are well aware of this annual tradition, it may come as surprise to newcomers.

A bill introduced by Oregon’s Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to strengthen Oregon’s crab fishery passed the United States Senate and will now head to the president’s desk for signature into law. The bill permanently extends a decades-long fishery management agreement that has been vital to the Pacific Northwest’s Dungeness crab fishery.

Without offering any details publically, Astoria Chief of Police Brad Johnston announced his retirement suddenly this week.  Johnston has served in the department for 25 years working his way into the top job.  Johnston also served as Assistant City Manager for a two year period and tendered his resignation from that position in early July of this year.

Johnston, who has encouraged his department to use social media as an effective public outreach tool, used his Facebook page to publish the announcement.  

He writes:"When I came here I said my goal was to change my little corner of the world. I hope I have done so for the better. As I move on to other opportunities, I will always hold this time and place as special. I have rolled in your gutters with those who would harm the community; I have held the hands of victims in pain. You have welcomed me into your lives. I will leave here with plenty of scars inside and out but I will also leave here with a heart that is fuller for the experience. I have had the pleasure of working with amazing people in the Police Department, the City, and the Community."

He adds: "My departure is sudden but necessary. I hope it will be good for the community and the department. Until we meet again, it was my privilege to serve you."

 

 

 

The United States Coast Guard celebrates 227 years of service today, August 4, 2017.  It was August of 1790 when President George Washington signed an act authorizing the construction of ten vessels to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. Originally known as the “revenue cutters” the service grew with the country and expanded in both mission and size.  It would be difficult to detail here everything the Coast Guard accomplishes and the multitude of lives saved by the dedicated men and women who work to fulfill those missions but a brief history would be appropriate as we celebrate this vital service.

Three people died and a fourth suffered life-threatening injuries in a three vehicle head-on collision Wednesday on the coastal highway leading to Newport. Highway 20 was closed for hours following that crash.

The investigation revealed the cause concluding an eastbound 2003 Dodge Dakota pickup crossed the center line crashing head-on into a westbound 2015 Chevy Equinox which led to a rear end collision involving a 2005 Honda Odessey van which had been following closely behind the Chevy and was unable to stop. The Dodge pickup became engulfed in flames.

 

With forecasters predicting continued hot temperatures this week the Oregon Department of Forestry Astoria District has increased the fire danger level in Clatsop County twice so far imposing tighter restrictions.

 July 29, 2017, deputies from the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office, officers from the Seaside Police Department, and the Warrenton Police K9 team executed a search warrant at the residence at 1226 E Avenue, 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 and the Seaside Police Department.

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