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The city of Astoria recently requested that residents start conserving water use as a voluntary measure. Conserving water anytime makes good sense as a household cost-saving measure. There are a number of sites on line that offer suggestions for steps anyone can take to use less water and take advantage of water saving fixtures.  Some of those suggestions were passed on to the public at last Moday's City Council meeting by Public Works.  We've added a few more ideas:

On August 18th, the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office received a call of an extensive vandalism of a dump truck located in a heavily wooded area off of the Trap Creek Main Line. The reporting party advised that the truck was demolished. Deputies responded to the scene to investigate. Upon arrival deputies learned that two other pieces of heavy equipment were also on site. Evidence at the scene made it very apparent that the two pieces of machinery were utilized to cause the damage. Several trees in the general vicinity were also damaged. The truck, a 1988 Western Star belonging to Greg Queener of Rosburg WA., was a total loss estimated between thirty and fifty thousand dollars.

State and County officials in Clatsop County are stepping up restrictions on recreational activities in the County due to record low fuel moistures and the high wildfire danger. Effective at 1:00 am August 20, all open flames will be prohibited on all lands in Clatsop County. This ban applies to all public and private property, the entire Clatsop State Forest, Clatsop County Parks, and all properties owned and managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department including ocean shores. Camp fire permits and burn barrel permits that have been issued by the Oregon Department of Forestry and Rural Fire Departments are rescinded until further notice.

Open fires are already banned outside of designated sites and campgrounds, including campfires, charcoal fire, cooking fires and warming fires. Use of wood-burning devices, used in conjunction with temporary dwellings, including tents and trailers, is prohibited. Portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels are allowed.

This ban is in effect until further notice. There are other areas also increasing precautions. 

Due to extreme fire conditions statewide and elsewhere around the region, local officials are banning campfires throughout Tillamook County effective immediately.

Campfire permits that have been issued by the Oregon Department of Forestry and rural fire departments are rescinded until further notice. This ban applies to the entire Tillamook State Forest, Tillamook County Parks, Bureau of Land Management lands, all properties owned and managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department including ocean shores, and ODF protected public and private lands.

This means NO
* Campfires (prohibited even in established fire rings/pits
* Cooking fires (including charcoal and briquettes)
* Tiki torches
* Candles
* Sky Lanterns

Campers may continue to use portable cooking stoves using liquefied or bottled fuels where permitted, with extreme caution.
In addition, the public is reminded that a campfire ban is already in place for Siuslaw National Forest lands east of Highway 101.

Pedestrian safety has been a hot topic of discussion in Astoria off and on for years.  It's one of those debates that seems to coincide with increasing tourist traffic and the return of shorter days heading toward fall.  Astoria is not alone in the ongoing battle.  Other communities use a number of different techniques hoping to increase driver awareness of walkers.

Public concerns over unintended consequences turned the tide Tuesday sending the county planning department back to the drawing board over a proposed Tsunami Overlay Zone. The far reaching plan would contain several new requirements including a new set of rules for construction permitting in areas determined to be at high risk for major flooding from wave run up if a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and the sure to come accompanying tsunami wave were to run up as far as state scientists believe it might.

The 16th street combined sewer overflow project is stopped in mid-stream as it was discovered the project that tears up city streets to lay new sewer and water pipes will directly conflict with Clatsop community college plans to tear down patriot hall in preparation for new construction approved by voters. There will be some additional cost involved that the college has offered to pick up to delay further street work until next summer. In other action this week:

Drivers and bicyclists who use State Route 4 west of Cathlamet should plan for an eight-week detour this summer.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will temporarily close both directions of SR 4 between Risk Road and Elochoman Valley Road from Monday, Aug. 17 to Oct. 2.

Race the Wave, a 5K and 10K tsunami preparedness fun run and walk, is returning to Cannon Beach Sept. 13.  The run begins along the beach, follows a scenic evacuation route through the city, and ends out of the tsunami inundation zone. A post-race free preparedness fair will feature grilled hot dogs, games and giveaways, a photo booth and more.  Registration includes a race t-shirt, timing, swag bag, and shuttle service between the race start, end and preparedness fair. Register before August 13 for $5 off: bit.ly/racethewave  Knowing – and practicing – tsunami evacuation routes is a simple and important preparedness action, said Tiffany Brown, Clatsop County Emergency Manager.

Astoria's Liberty Theater has won a grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust.  Funding will be used to restore and preserve the exterior historic wooden windows on the second-floor level.

Clatsop County Manager Scott Somers announced his resignation Wednesday.

Somers has accepted the position of city manager of College Park, Maryland. His last day with the county will be on or before Sept. 30.

Lt. Tom Condit relieved Lt. Scott McGrew as commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, Washington, Monday.

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