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Clatsop County invites applications for two upcoming openings on its Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission is the county's committee for citizen involvement on development and land use issues, such as zoning, natural resources, transportation, natural hazards, economic development, housing, farm and forest lands and coastal zones. The commission makes land use decisions on variances, conditional uses and subdivisions. It also makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on amendments to the comprehensive plan and its implementing ordinances. The Planning Commission regularly meets the second Tuesday of each month, in Astoria.

During the regularly scheduled Port of Astoria Commission Meeting /Work Session on May 5, 2015, the Commission unanimously endorsed Bruce Buckmaster's nomination to fill a vacancy on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The Port of Astoria is actively engaged with both the sport and commercial fishing industry and recognizes Buckmaster leadership as Director of Salmon for All.

In a news release the port states that Salmon for All has always strived to support a balanced approach for all fisheries and the Commission feels that Buckmaster has an unrivaled knowledge of the issues relevant to the fisheries of the Columbia River and is best suited for the job. The Commission has authorized staff to forward a letter to Governor Brown encouraging her to select Bruce Buckmaster.

On Monday the majority of the Astoria City Council voted in favor of sending a letter to the Governor also in support of Buckmaster's appointment, Councilors Herzig and Nemlowill abstained saying they did not know Buckmaster and there wasn't enough information provided before Monday's meeting to allow them to decide the matter.

Three days of a four-day razor clam dig have been canceled on all ocean beaches because of public health concerns, state shellfish managers said today.

The opening will continue as planned Thursday on Long Beach and Twin Harbors beaches after state health officials cleared that day's dig.

A sewer line installation project on U.S. 101 is planned between Cullaby Lake Lane and Deerfield Lane/Perkins Road that will cause some night time delays starting May 17. The sewer line work is expected to be completed in 3 to 4 weeks.

The project begins on Sunday night, May 17 with flaggers controlling two-way traffic. Motorists should expect some delays. The work is scheduled Sunday through Thursday from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. There will be no work on Friday and Saturday nights.

Motorists should drive with caution through the construction zone.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., last night introduced legislation to update America's aging power grid and provide more reliable, low-cost, renewable energy to consumers in the Pacific Northwest and across the country.

The Smart Grid Act of 2015 establishes a Department of Energy program that provides competitive, cost-share grants to cities, electric utilities, and local businesses seeking to invest in innovative smart grid technologies, such as smart household appliances and plug-in vehicles. It also requires DOE to begin the process for developing standards for data sharing and communications between electricity users and providers on the grid to improve grid reliability and efficiency.

An emeritus Oregon State University geologist, who was one of the first scientists to point to the possibility of a major earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, outlines some of the world's seismic "time bombs" in a forthcoming book.

Critical repairs beginning at MCR North Jetty.  Stone is arriving and crews are preparing for some heavy lifting at the North Jetty in Cape Disappointment State Park, Washington.

"High crude oil costs and a number of refinery issues are fueling price jumps at the pumps. For the week, the national average for regular unleaded rises eight cents to $2.63 while Oregon's average shoots up 14 cents to $2.97. Both averages are at their highest prices of the year so far," says AAA Oregon/Idaho Public Affairs Director Marie Dodds. "Despite the increases, gas prices are still much lower than a year ago. The current national average is $1.05 less than it was a year ago, while Oregon's average is 91 cents less."

The Oregon House today approved two bills designed to improve trust and credibility between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. The bills update and clarify rules that govern recordings by and of police officers. A third bill will improve accountability in local courts.

It might have been the best feel-good moment of the week in Astoria when nearly 100 residents joined together in support of babies by participating in the 2015 March for Babies to benefit March of Dimes. Maritime Memorial Park was packed with strollers, families and corporate teams who raised $25,000 to help babies be born healthy. Throughout Oregon and SW Washington, 10 walks raised a total of $900,000.

Pacific Power is making a new mobile app available to its customers via smartphone or tablet that lets them do more while on the go.

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