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American drivers are beginning to feel more comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles, according to a new study from AAA. The annual survey reveals that 63 percent of U.S. drivers report feeling afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, a significant decrease from 78 percent in early 2017. Millennial and male drivers are the most trusting of autonomous technologies, with only half reporting they would be afraid to ride in a self-driving car.

With the big earthquake, early Tuesday morning in Alaska came a tsunami watch for the west coast and some residents wonder why the sirens didn't sound and warning texts didn't go out for Seaside. The city has responded by using the opportunity to educate people a little more about how city officials respond to different alert levels.  Seaside city spokesman John Rahl writes 

 

The Oregon Health Authority has launched a new web portal that will allow people to easily find inspection reports for facilities such as restaurants, swimming pools, and hotels.

The portal is part of an updated statewide licensing and inspection system. This updated system will also collect inspection data in a way that will help OHA and county health departments better identify violation trends.

Boom contains an oil sheen around a pier near the Cannery Pier Hotel in downtown Astoria, Oregon, Jan. 21, 2018.  Coast Guard Sector Columbia River’s Incident Management Division (IMD) team from Astoria conducted oil testing on impacted areas, which came back negative for contaminants. 
 U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Sector Columbia River aircrew.

UPDATED- Coast Guard and local salvage personnel discovered the potential source of the oil sheen and are working to minimize environmental impacts on the Columbia River near Astoria, Saturday.

Astoria City Councilor Bruce Jones represents the Uppertown neighborhood where these fires have neighbors on edge, some spending sleepless nights worried that they may be next in what appears to be a string of fires purposefully set although it's not immediately clear that every fire was arson caused at this point.

A Coast Guard aircrew rescued three men after they became stranded by the rising tide at Indian Beach, Wednesday.

The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Sector Columbia River safely hoisted the men and transported them to Cannon Beach Fire Department personnel waiting on shore.

Sector watchstanders received a report from Seaside 911 dispatchers with a request for assistance at 12:20 p.m. after the three men, who were fishing in tide pools, became stranded due to high tide.

There were no reported injuries at the time of the rescue.

The Coast Guard rescued a man who was stranded by a high tide at Hug Point near Cannon Beach, Sunday afternoon.

 

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast returned home to Astoria on Dec. 24 following a 50-day counterdrug patrol in the Eastern Pacific.

The Steadfast crew patrolled international waters off the coasts of Mexico and Central America, disrupting Transnational Organized Crime networks through joint interagency counterdrug operations.

Steadfast crewmembers interdicted five separate vessels engaged in suspected illegal drug smuggling. During the patrol crewmembers detected and boarded a low profile vessel, a custom fabricated boat specifically built to evade law enforcement. The five interdictions resulted in a total seizure of approximately 12,000 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of over $180 million wholesale.

The Astoria Public Works Department remains an effective team of professionals with the announcement of two moves to promote from within the department responsible for a boatload of projects in the city.

 

Opening day for the Dungeness Crab season is next Monday, January 15th. At long last, the boats will be going out preparing to drop crab pots on Friday during a pre-soak period through the weekend.

Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley today called on their colleagues to include funding for coastal communities damaged by fisheries disasters as part of any disaster relief package that moves through Congress.  

In the letter, the senators noted that as of this month, Congress has yet to address nine fisheries disasters, with several other disasters pending official declaration. The senators urged swift action to provide emergency funding to communities that depend on resilient, sustainable, and healthy fisheries, highlighting how important the industry is to local economies and native communities.

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