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Volume 1, Issue 27                                                                               August 19, 2017


Boat Collision on Columbia River on Saturday

Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office

By Deputy Wes Humphries

On 8/12/17, at approximately 8:34 am, the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol and the United States Coast Guard responded to a reported boat collision in the Columbia River near Tansy Point. An aluminum 20’ 7” Weldcraft vessel operated by Christopher McMahon age 45 was trolling for salmon in the area and had two passengers on board, Bryan Maess age 47 and Roni Durham age 57. A fiberglass 31’ Bayliner Trophy operated by Marlin Larsen age 74 was traveling up river with his passengers Adam Forrester age 20 and Timothy Forrester age 52. 

The Bayliner collided with the Weldcraft significantly damaging the vessel. McMahon, Maess and Durham were able to jump from the Weldcraft into the Columbia River just before the collision occurred. Several other boaters in the area quickly came to their aid. McMahon, Maess and Durham were treated at Columbia Memorial Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

The incident is currently under investigation by the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office. Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor. Larsen was cited and released for Reckless Operation, 3 counts of Recklessly Endangering and 3 counts of Assault in the 4th degree.

The Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind boaters that accidents happen quickly and with little warning. It is always best practice to wear your life jackets and keep a constant lookout for developing hazardous situations.

The Atomic Motel: “We’re Fun!”

By Taylee Gittins

Locals  in  Astoria,  Oregon  have  probably  driven  past  it  a  hundred  times, but  have  you  noticed  the  change?  Featuring  a  tiny  and blue classic car, a  new weenie cart as well as a colorful new sign, stating, “We’re Fun!”  It’s hard to miss! 

The  Atomic  Motel  on  Marine  Drive,  located  next  to  the  Astoria  Pig ‘N Pancake, is one of Astoria’s newer attractions. Previously known as the Lamplighter Motel, the establishment went under major reconstruction in June of 2016. They changed not only the name of the motel, but everything on the inside.

The  motel  took  on  a  new  life  inspired  by  the  Rat  Pack  era  of  the  great 1950’s. Complete with cardboard cutout of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra playing in the lobby, you can even catch a  showing  of a  sitcom  or  movie  made  in  the  50’s. The interior color scheme has been changed to a vibrant orange and and blue with pictures on the walls of movie stars and scenes.

“Fun” is how I would now describe the Atomic Motel. With a name like that, who wouldn’t  want  to  stay  there!  With  a  slight  change  in  price  from  before,  it  is  still very affordable for what you get with a room.

So, if you want a change in our fast paced lifestyle or are looking for a unique recommendation to pass along to travelers, book a room at the Atomic. Get taken back to a simpler time!

“The Atomic Motel offers a fun experience in a period furnished property at a great price... and with special “of the era” treats and surprises. If you want a stay in a place that is cool, hip, fresh, affordable, sparkling clean and super friendly, the Atomic is the right choice for you. We have the charming “Mom and Pop” couple living on site (Barbara and Dan - married for decades and still enjoying it!), complimentary coffee, tea, fresh fruit and local Scandinavian pastries as well as pet-friendly rooms for your own Astro (a delightful dog made famous by “The Jetsons” television series of the 1960’s).’

“The Atomic Motel is just a block away from the beautiful Astoria River Walk and Columbia River Waterfront Trolley. We’ll give you the inside scoop on all there is to do here... although you might just want to hang out in the lobby in our Jetson Egg Chairs with Dean Martin enjoying “local brews, chips & salsa, sometimes soups and stews.” We can’t wait to meet you! 

“Another great perk at the Atomic Motel, grab two retro cruiser bikes and explore the town and pedal the river walk. Another fun freebie. Have fun meeting people at our retro spacious lobby while having snacks and a brew. Instead of the blasé’ big box hotels, try the Atomic.”


Scrambling for Health

By Sally Freeman

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park hosts the 8th annual free South Slough Scramble on Saturday, September 30 at 9:00 a.m.  All 5k/10k participants will get a finisher’s medal.  There will also be a safety and health fair along with prize drawings.  The start/finish line and the health fair will be at the park’s Netul Landing, approximately 1½ miles south of Fort Clatsop. 

Come for either an approximately 5k walk/run or a roughly 10k run along the park’s trails.  Both loops will take participants along the ups and downs of the South Slough Trail, into the coastal hills, and along the Lewis and Clark River.  The routes cross a number of scenic boardwalks and bridges and are not accessible for most wheelchairs or strollers. Please, no pets on the course (leashed pets are welcome at the health fair). Registration is from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. at Netul Landing.  Participants younger than 18, must have their registration signed by a parent or guardian.

This third and final event in the 2017 Lewis & Clark Trail Series is sponsored by the Lewis & Clark National Park Association, Providence Seaside Hospital, and Sunset Empire Parks & Recreation District. 

The park is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  National Public Lands Day is an annual event to encourage everyone to visit federal lands such as national parks. Admission to all National Park Service sites is free September 30.

For more information, call the park at (503) 861-2471 or visit the park’s web site at or find the park on Facebook at LewisandClarkNationalHistoricalPark.

Young Pedestrians Barely Make It Home

Astoria Police Department

By Taylee Gittins

As  some modern  movies  and  tv  shows  are very  blatantly  encouraging,  teens today are spending less of their time studying and planning for their future. More often than not, they are experimenting with intoxicants with other local teenagers and friends. Not  only  is  it  a  problem  for  young  people,  but  it’s  also dangerous  to  be  under  the  influence  of  any  intoxicant  while  trying  to  drive  or walk home.

On  the  night  of  Friday,  August  11,  a  concerning  call  was  made  to  the Astoria  Dispatch Team  about  a  group  of  teenagers  walking  down  Niagara  and  11th. Reportedly, the young cohorts were being  loud  and unable to keep upright, often falling  down.  The  caller  was  worried  they  were  intoxicated  and requested  an  officer  to  look  into  it.  When  the  officer  arrived,  however,  the suspected group was  nowhere to be found. Hopefully, they all made it home safe. Walking drunk is always just as life threatening as driving drunk. Remember, a pedestrian is killed by a car every two hours of every day. Keeping sober minded on the streets will greatly reduce that awful statistic and will help to ensure that your precious life doesn’t become part of the data.

Back to School Registrations

Astoria Area: All Schools

Compiled by Wendi Agalzoff-LaRue

Astoria School District is gearing up for the first day of school on September 5, 2017. Each of the four schools within the District and contact information can be found in the outline below.  

Knappa School District located just east of Astoria is also holding registration for their Hilda Lahti Elementary and Knappa High School.  

John Jacob Astor Elementary (grades K-2). Location: 3550 Franklin Avenue, Astoria Oregon. Phone 503.325.6672. Registration for the 2017-2018 school year will be held through August 14 - 25, 2017 8 AM - 3 PM. 1st and 2nd grade students will have orientation on September 5 and first day of school September 6. Kindergarten teachers will also be hosting conferences for incoming kindergartners on Tuesday September 5 and Wednesday September 6.  First day of school for Kindergartners will be Thursday September 7.

Lewis and Clark Elementary (grades 3-5). Location: 92179 Lewis and Clark Road Astoria, OR. Phone: 503.325.2032. Registration through 3:00 PM, August 25, 2017.

Astoria Middle School (grades 6-8). Location: 1100 Klaskanine Avenue Astoria, OR. Phone: 503.325.4331. Registration for Astoria Middle School 2017-2018 School Year will be August 21, 12:00 PM - 7 PM, and August 22, 9 AM - 3 PM, (closed noon - 1:00 PM for lunch). Students can pick up schedules, lockers, pay fees, deposit to lunch accounts, speak with transportation department, and turn in forms that are coming in the mail. Helpful Hint from staff: Avoid the long line to pay fees at registration by coming in any other weekday between registration and the first day of school or by mailing a check to the office.  Summer Hours for the office are 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

Astoria High School (grades 9-12). Location: 1001 W. Marine Drive Astoria, OR. Phone: 503.325.3911. 2017-2018 Registration: August 24th - Senior Registration. 8 AM - 11 AM and 12 PM - 3 PM. August 25 - Junior Registration. 8 AM - 11 AM and 12 PM - 3 PM. August 29th - Sophomore Registration. 8 AM - 11 AM and 12 PM - 3 PM. August 30th - Freshmen Registration. 8 AM - 11 AM and 12 PM - 3 PM.

Knappa School Campus. Location: 41535 Old Hwy 30 Knappa, Oregon. Phone: 503.458.5993. Registration will be held August 23 –25, 8 AM - 3:30 PM. For more information contact the Knappa School District.

Assistance League of the Columbia Pacific Recipient of $3930 Check

By Pat Roscoe

Left to right: Mo’s Assistant General Manager Nick Wright; Assistance League Columbia Pacific Board Members:  Karyn Grass, Jessica  Newhall, Karen Radditz, Cheri McGowan, Rosemary Baker-Monaghan, Sally LaCoste, Pat Roscoe and Mo’s Staff Manger Brett Latimer. 

Assistance League of the Columbia Pacific is pleased to be the recipient of $3930 donation! Donation from  all proceed s raised from  Mo’s  Seafood and Chowder in Astoria  Grand Opening June 22, 2017. The $3930 Donation will help many of our local school children in need!

Assistance League Columbia Pacific’s philanthropic programs. Operation School Bell Program: 2016-2017 school year Assistance League of Columbia provide new shoes, coats and school clothing for 692 School Children in the 15 Clatsop County Schools. Additional ALCP Programs are: Duffel Bag.  Bags filled with personal items , give care and comfort to children being placed in foster care system. Cinderella’s Closet 500 Gowns.   All area girls invited to come and select a dress to borrow for their school dances. School Activity Sponsorship Program.  Funds for fee and gear for our local children’s  sport, cultural , art and scholastic based school activities.

Assistance League is a volunteer organization focused on promoting self esteem and emotional well being of children in our communities.  To become a member or  more information,  please visit or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Public Invite

Clatsop Soil and Water Conservation District Meeting Announcement

By Misty Ogier

The next regular meeting for the Clatsop SWCD will be Wednesday, September 13, at 10:00 AM, in the District office. We are located at 750 Commercial Street, #207 upstairs in the Astoria US Post Office building.  The public is invited to attend.  Please contact Misty to make arrangements for any needed accommodations at 503-325-4571.

The friendly and professional staff of CSWCD work tirelessly with landowners to achieve land management goals and act as a resource for technical assistance, resource utilization and conservation planning services, and project funding programs. It is our aim to orchestrate projects that will enable landowners to utilize their natural resources while improving water quality, conserving soil integrity, and promoting animal health.

What are Conservation Districts? Soil Conservation Districts were created after the devastating “Dust Bowl” of the 1930’s. This catastrophic event brought to the nation’s attention the need to conserve the quality of soil and renewable natural resources. President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed these resource management issues by passing the Soil Conservation Act of 1935 and establishing a federal branch of government dedicated to natural resource conservation.

After only 2 years of managing natural resource conservation, the United States Department of Agriculture determined that projects and assistance should be addressed at the local level. Therefore, in 1939 Oregon Legislature passed legislation enabling the establishment of conservation districts throughout Oregon. These districts were then charged with leading programs to protect local, renewable, natural resources.

History of Clatsop County Soil and Water Conservation District. During the 30’s, coastal Clatsop County residents were facing large “blow-outs” of sand from the dunes along the Pacific Ocean. These “blow-outs” were large amounts of sand being removed from strong gusts of wind and were a result of un-restricted grazing of livestock on dune grasses. Together the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Clatsop County residents, and Soil Conservation Districts worked to stabilize the dunes.

Clatsop County formed two Soil Conservation Districts: Necanicum Soil Conservation District in November, 1940 and the Warrenton Dunes Soil Conservation District in March, 1941. These districts, along with the CCC began to stabilize the “blow-outs” by driving pickets into the sand in parallel fences. This grid of fences provided a barrier to catch sand, enabling dune formation. The two districts then planted European beach grass (Ammophila arenaria), Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) and shore pine (Pinus contorta) to re-establish vegetation along the coast. By July, 1944 the dunes had re-vegetated and stabilized.

Throughout the 40’s and 50’s federal and state governments worked to develop additional conservation efforts and continued to encourage conservation on the local level. In 1963 the Oregon Legislature added “and Water” to the name of Soil Conservation Districts. Consequently, Clatsop Soil and Water Conservation District (a county wide conservation district) was formed in October 1964.

The existing Necanicum SCD consolidated with Clatsop SWCD in March 1966 and Warrenton Dune SCD consolidated in March, 1972. Today, Clatsop SWCD is county wide and is able to provide free assistance to any resident of Clatsop County. Clatsop SWCD also works with municipal, state, and federal agencies to improve water quality and utilize the county’s renewable resources responsibly.

Today, Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) exist in every county of the United States. The 45 Districts within the state of Oregon are considered subdivisions of state government, but function as individual, local, non-regulatory units. Each District is led by a locally-elected board of directors.

Volunteer for the Great Columbia Crossing!

Press Release

Did you know the Great Columbia Crossing is GREAT because of its awesome, amazing, stellar, super, friendly and all around wonderful volunteers? We want to continue to live up to our greatness with your help! 

On the morning of the race, October 15, we need volunteers to help with participant check-in, shuttle bus loading, distributing water & snacks at the finish line and more! Volunteers will be stationed at the starting line at the Dismal Nitch Rest Area and the finish line near the Red Building in Astoria. 

We also need volunteers to help with race set up on the course and participant check-in at the Chamber the three days prior to the event, October 12-14. Over these four days, we have about 80 volunteer shifts we need to fill.

To volunteer, please sign up online.

Or stop by the Chamber to fill out a paper volunteer application. Find out more information about volunteering -- and the race itself -- on our event website.!1923657/false/false

Protect Your Eyes During the Solar Eclipse

By Annamaria Morrill

If you are planning to observe the total solar eclipse, it is good to know that there is only a brief moment when it is safe to look at the sun without protecting your eyes. This moment, called “totality,” is when the moon covers the sun all the way and only a thin circle can be seen.

Looking at the sun at this point is as safe as looking at a full moon. The “totality” can last about one or two minutes in some locations. The partial eclipse, that happens before and after, can last a few hours, and should never be looked at without an approved kind of protection. 

Experts say that a solar eclipse can cause permanent damage to the retina, the light sensitive part at the back of the eye. Even the tiny crescent is still bright enough to burn the retina. In some cases, this damage cause permanent blindness. Safe solar viewers, or other approved methods are crucial when observing the eclipse. Homemade filters, or regular sunglasses should never be used, because even the darker lenses still transmit thousands of times too much sunlight. Any other viewing devices, such as telescopes, binoculars or cameras should only be used with the proper equipment.  

According to the NASA website, all glasses or viewers need to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2, an international safety standard. These special-purpose solar viewers, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand held solar viewers are safe to use to look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun. See the link for an approved product list:

Some protective viewers are available locally. Fred Meyer, for instance, carries inexpensive filters, made by Explore Scientist LLC, that cost only $1.99/each. These viewers are listed safe on the link given above. 

The NASA website also recommends a #14, or darker, welder’s glass, which is one of the most widely used filters for safe eclipse viewing. A welding glass that allows one to see the landscape is not safe. Aluminized mylar, manufactured specifically for solar observation can also be used. A pinhole projector, which is easy to make using only a cardboard box or a paper plate is often used as an alternative method. The idea is not to look at the sun at all, but let the reflection be projected to a surface for safe viewing.

Bayley’s Beads and a Diamond Ring. It will be a historical moment in America on August 21st when the total solar eclipse can be seen from the West Coast to the East Coast. People all over the world will be traveling to various U.S locations where the eclipse will be seen. To be able to see the total solar eclipse one needs to be in the path of totality, which is about 70 miles wide. Lincoln City, Oregon, will first see a partial eclipse at 9:05 AM (PST), and reach the total Solar Eclipse at 10:16 AM. The Total Eclipse then will move across 14 states within one hour and 40 minutes ending near Charleston, South Carolina, at 2:48 PM (EST). The full map of locations, and an accurate schedule can be found from the NASA website (see the link below).

When using the proper eye protection, one can see how some light rays called “Baily’s Beads,” are shining around the moon’s edges as the moon moves in front of the sun.  As the moon continues to move these light rays diminish until there is only one bright spot left. This makes the sun look like a giant diamond ring. When this bright spot completely disappears, and the “totality” is reached, it is the only time when it is safe to look at the sun with a naked eye. As soon as there will be more light appearing to another side, it is time to use protection again.     

As the moon continues to move across the sun, a crescent will begin to grow larger on the opposite side from where the “Baily’s Beads” shone at the beginning. It is very important to have your eyes protected before the first flash of sunlight appears around the edges of the moon. The final stages of the eclipse will repeat the “diamond ring” and the “Baily’s Beads” before the entire sun will be visible again. 

A Word from an Eye Doctor. Vista Optical optometrist Dr. Neal J. Garhofer, whose practice is located inside Fred Meyer, has seen a couple of patients who have gotten permanent eye damage caused by solar eclipse they looked at in earlier years. He mentions one patient who could not see a part of a given letter during a regular eye exam. Part of this eye was damaged permanently. 

Dr. Garhofer says that it is very important to follow the safety guidelines and use only NASA approved viewers. He says that the safest way to look at the eclipse would be with something like welding goggles that are all dark.

It is also important to check to make sure that there would not be any scratches, or open sides that the light could possibly enter the eye, even when using the approved viewers, he says. 

Dr. Garhofer is not planning to observe the eclipse at all because he would not like to risk his own eye sight.

“I would not personally even look at the eclipse, but rather learn more about it from TV news or pictures.”

More information about the safety, and how to prepare for the 2017 Solar Eclipse can be found from NASA website: or general information

More information on how to observe the solar eclipse safely, and simple instructions on how to make a pinhole projector can be found in this Youtube video:

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Police Log derives from information in the online records maintained by the Astoria Police Department 

The press does not have access to written police reports.

Information in the police department log is deemed reliable and 

Clatsop Current News Group

 is not responsible for mistakes made available as public record by
the Astoria Police Department.

Parents with children in school may contact 503-338-0818 to request that their names be omitted from Police Logs. The decision of Clatsop Current News Group is final.

Any person arrested is innocent until found guilty in a court of law.