Things are looking good for the Port of Astoria proposal for state grant funding to repair Pier Two. Depending on the outcome of storm damage claims, the Port could be looking at a fresh start for its marine infrastructure

The funding to support the work would come from transportation dollars designated for the Connect Oregon 6 program. Grants under that program are considered for marine, rail, and aviation and multimodal projects throughout the state. Port Executive Director Jim Knight says that his project was bumped up the priority list at a review committee meeting this month.

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Port of Astoria executive director Jim Knight is fielding an idea that could well resolve the multiple issues arising from the uncertified levees in Warrenton.

Knight is suggesting that it may be possible to build new levees just inland from the existing earthen structures protecting the skipanon and the regional airport. It would cost many millions of dollars to accomplish. He is suggesting that perhaps that money could come from the Bonneville Power Administration.

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UPDATE:   Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin tells KAST News that Monday's search by the county Dive team had to called off due to rough water Monday afternoon.  The team had been searching for a man who reportedly fell off a boat that was tied up to a fueling dock on the Astoria waterfront between 5th and 6th streets.  No further details have been released regarding the victim, the boat he was on or the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The search began following an emergency call to Astoria Dispatch around 8:00 am Monday morning. Many people watched from the riverwalk as a Cost Guard Helicopter joined in that search, making slow passes over the waterfront in an attempt to locate the victim.  Two Coast Guard boats, boats from the sheriff's office, and the county dive team combed the murky waters under difficult conditions as the winds drove waves along the shore. Bergin told KAST News that by 3:00 pm Divers had to abandon the search as the rough waters became too dangerous to dive.  The Sheriff said that with the incident happening close to the main river channel he has doubts that a body will be recovered due to the swift tidal currents.

Port of Astoria Executive Director Jim Knight said this morning he was contacted by the authorities with a request that he help with the search by sending staff to check under the docks on Monday. He said his crew searched and found no sign of a body.

Sheriff Bergin says the case has been handed over to the Astoria Police Department for follow-up

KAST news will continue to update this story as new information becomes available.

 

Weyerhaeuser has agreed to donate land to the Seaside School District that would allow the relocation of the district schools that are now in the Tsunami Inundation zone.

In a news release District Superintendent Doug Dougherty said the 80 acre donation uphill from Seaside Heights Elementary was found to be the safest relocation site after extensive field studies by the Oregon Department of Geologic and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) found the parcel meets three specifications. The land is stable, will not liquefy during an earthquake, and is at least 80 to 100 feet in elevation.

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Each year the North Coast celebrates some deep ties to Scandinavian culture with the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds.

The event started out as a small folk festival held at Astoria High School each June featuring traditional dancing, a May Pole, and a Tug Of War pitting the men of different lodges representing the Danes, Swedes, Fins, Norwegians and, at one point, Icelanders competing for bragging rights.

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The final draft of the Astoria Parks and Recreation Master Plan will be modified following discussion at the Wednesday morning advisory committee meeting. After hearing public comment regarding the possible sale of under-utilized parks and facilities the Mayor’s citizen committee asked that Planner Ian Sisson clarify that point.

Sisson told KAST News that the final wording will be more specific about those properties that might be sold at some point. Sisson said there are very few that don’t have deed restrictions preventing their use for anything other than parks. The major focus is working toward combining the city Aquatic Center with the city Recreation Center. That change would make the current recreation center building on Youngs Bay surplus. The plan calls for continuing to make accommodation in some for public access to boat launch facilities currently on the bay but would close the Astoria Recreation Center and explore replacing the current parks maintenance building.

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ConnectOregon is a lottery-backed bond initiative to invest in air, rail, marine, transit, and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure. The money can't be used for highway work, instead the program focus is on intermodal transport improvements. This is the sixth year of the program in Oregon and has resulted in millions of dollars applied to built or improve docks, runways and airfield operations, improve rail lines and provide safer ways for pedestrians and bicyclists to get around.

For our area that would mean big improvements to the port docks, new facilties at the airport, more places for barges to tie up in the river, and a new home for emergency medical service.

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Two of the Portland area’s most ambitious developers, once rejected for a west basin redevelopment plan by the Astoria Port Commission, are now busy selling their latest idea to deal with the need for homeless sheltering in the metro area.

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The Oregon Department of Forestry, is restricting a motorized access point into the Astoria Basin in an effort to mitigate the risk of fire during the 2016 fire season and to reduce garbage dumping. This restriction went into effect Monday, June 13, 2016, at 12:00 p.m.  With a dry spring and recent high temperatures, fuels are drier than average for this time of year. These conditions, along with continued vandalism and garbage dumping, have led to the closure of this access point.

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An 18 year old Yakima man was arrested Saturday morning on several charges after he lost control of his Ford SUV on Highway 30 in Clatsop County.

Oregon State Police say Christian Luis Bernal-Sawyer was driving at high speed when he lost control on a curve and ran into the guardrail spinning the vehicle which hit another section of guard rail. The SUV then slid sideways covering both eastbound lanes.

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Coast Guard crews removed 10 children and two adults from a sailboat, which went aground on Bird Rock north of Shaw Island Sunday.

The rescued children and two adults are being transported to Cornet Bay, Whidbey Island, while three adults stayed aboard the Cutty Sark, a 58-foot sailing vessel, where they are planning to refloat the vessel at high tide which is midnight.

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