Comic helps Astorian

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: January 6, 2012

garretyu

Another former Astorian is in the news. “Oh, once again the paparazzi caught me!” exclaimed CHEF DAYMON GARRETT EDWARDS, now headquartered in Seoul, Korea, where he owns TARTINE BAKERY & CAFE.

“Korea’s No. 1 comedian, YU CHAE-SUK, was filming in my area of town and decided to drop by for a little comic relief,” Daymon explained. “The format for that TV show was they had things to trade, and they went around Seoul to see if people would trade. They had some dried fish, persimmons, etc.

“They came down my alley and I was outside. They offered me the fish, I said no; then they offered me the persimmons, and I said yes. We went into the cafe and picked out a pie and joked around.

“During a lull, I said, ‘Do you want my autograph?’ Well, he was so shocked, because usually people ask for his, he was speechless – not easy for a comedian. Anyway, I gave him mine and then asked for his, and then we showed them to the camera.” They are pictured, Daymon on the left, and Yu Chae-Suk on the right.

“Later my pie was traded to a fisherman,” Daymon noted.

“It was fun, and of course, good for our business, since it was aired in prime time,” he continued. Unfortunately, the video of the show is not available for American viewers.

“Now the comedian’s fans are coming to our alley and taking pictures and eating our pie. It caused a stir with our neighbors – they wonder how a small pie baker like me can be so famous.”

In addition to selling pies, coffee, cornbread, waffles and German Pancakes (a big hit), “our biscuit recipe is from BRENDA PENNER’s aunt DELLA MAE WARNER, of Coffeyville, Kansas,” Daymon told the Ear. The biscuits are also a big seller.

The cafe was also recently featured in “Patissier,” the trade magazine for the Korean bakery industry, and in “Joonang Ilbo,” one of the top three newspapers in Korea.

“It just goes to show,” Daymon added, “if you take a new and interesting thing to somewhere where there is little competition for your product, it can have amazing results.”

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Is it Astor or Astoria Column?

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: January 6, 2012

acolumn

CLAYTON R. JONES SR. of Seattle, a frequent visitor to Gearhart, wrote to the Ear, quite vexed about the proper name of the ASTOR/ASTORIA COLUMN, pictured in a photo courtesy of the Astoria Historical Society. He felt the original name was the Astor Column, and that somehow, over the years, Astoria had changed the name to the Astoria Column, thereby “diminishing its history by denigrating the original name of Astor for this important landmark.”

The Ear was buffaloed, and as always with historical questions, turned to LIISA PENNER of the Clatsop County Historical Society. “The original name was Astoria Column,” Liisa said, “and that is the one preferred today, as a reminder that the column memorializes not just John Jacob Astor, but Capt. Robert Gray, Lewis and Clark and others contributing to the development of the area.”

Yet the answer was not as clear-cut as one would think. In a sampling of 50 years worth of Astoria City Directories, Liisa found that the name fluctuated back and forth between Astor and Astoria Column.

“In the printed brochures and newspapers in the 1920s and 1930s,” Liisa reported, “it appears to have been Astoria Column. In one brochure from about the 1950s or so, it is Astor Column, and all the more recent ones say Astoria.” It seemed the written record wasn’t really clear just what the name was/is.

So the Ear emailed for information at the Astoria Column website (www.astoriacolumn.org), and got a reply from PAULA BUE at the Astoria Column Gift Store and Visitor’s Center.

“We get this question a lot,” Paula wrote. “Technically it’s always been the Astoria Column in Astor Park. The monument was never meant to slight one explorer over another. But many of us grew up calling the Column the Astor Column, and for many decades the signage around town was quite inconsistent. Some signs said The Column, some said Astoria Column and some said Astor’s Column.”

“But, nobody changed the name,” she maintained. “We’ve just made it all more official and consistent.” So now you know – it’s the Astoria Column.

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

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Welsh tribe expedition

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: December 23, 2011

welsh

A nifty history lesson, courtesy of PETER MARSH (sea-to-summit.net), local outdoor and nautical writer: “… I have recently discovered that the early history of this area has a far stronger historical tie with WALES than with England!

“MERIWETHER LEWIS’ father was descended from Welsh immigrants, and even President THOMAS JEFFERSON recognized his Welsh ancestry. Coincidentally, the only map that Lewis and Clark had when they began their epic journey was drawn by a Welshman named JOHN EVANS. Little was known about the land west of the Missouri, and besides the fabled Northwest Passage, the expedition was also hoping to find the mythical MADOGWYS, the ‘lost tribe’ of Welsh Indians!

“I learned all these surprising facts from a booklet titled ‘The Welsh in America,’ published by the Welsh Assembly Government, which also suggests that Lewis spoke Welsh. I can’t vouch for that, but you can check most of my story by searching the web.

“Welsh literary culture is represented by the great Welsh literary festival the ‘eisteddfod’ that originated in the 12th century and was revived in the 1850s. The West Coast Eisteddfod is run by the Meriwether Lewis Memorial Eisteddfod Foundation (mlmef.org).

“At the end of the year, we traditionally celebrate the arrival of the Corps of Discovery at the site of Fort Clatsop, so this year, let’s not forget the part the Welsh played in opening up the frontier! … Amongst the many Astorians with Nordic ancestry, there must be a few with names like Lewis, Jones or Owens who are part of the great Welsh diaspora.”

Peter Marsh, who is English, “still finds Welsh spelling inscrutable.” Nonetheless, he added, “I now consider myself an ‘honorary’ Welshman.”

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon. 

Published in: on October 19, 2013 at 6:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Bridge connects old friends

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: December 23, 2011

kroning

Another entry in the “It’s a Small World” file: “I learned bridge at my mother’s knee in Bulawayo, a small town in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in Southern Africa, where I grew up,” SUE KRONING told the Ear. She is pictured, right.

“One of my classmates at Townsend High School for Girls was NELLY HASSOUN, and I still have a recipe, ‘Nelly’s Fruit Cake,’ in my tatty old recipe book, from the days when we played bridge together as young married women,” Sue recounted. “Recently, at the NATIONAL BRIDGE TOURNAMENT in Seattle, Nelly and I found ourselves playing at the same table – remarkable, since there were thousands of participants. Only our accents led us to discover the connection.” Nelly is pictured, left.

“It was enormous fun to reconnect with her,” Sue added, “and her husband, COLIN GORDON, now living in Los Angeles, after almost 50 years.”

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Short hair and cars only

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: December 23, 2011

parking2

DAVID KINMAN was alerted by his daughter, CHRISTINA PICKLES, to take a photo of a sunken PARKING SIGN next time he was going for a haircut. He took these photos, above, on 10th Street near Duane Street, with FRANK STEWART, aka Frank the Barber, stepping in to give a height comparison.

The “No vehicles taller than this sign” is only about a foot above the ground. Which leaves the Ear wondering … are even elves subject to city of Astoria parking regulations now?

 Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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News travels back in time

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: December 16, 2011

triweekly

The Ear can’t resist passing on a few little goodies from the TRI-WEEKLY ASTORIAN, dated Saturday, Dec. 20, 1873.

An AD: “U.S. Mail and Express. From Astoria to Clatsop Beach! Fast horses! Good Carriage! Leaves Astoria every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. Arrive same morning … (returning) Monday, Wednesday and Friday, connecting with steamer to Portland each way. Distance 24 miles, fare $1.50. H.B. Parker, Proprietor.”

Under CITY INTELLIGENCE:

“The 17th here was mild and springlike, the 18th cold as blazes … Eben Parker started for Portland with the letter mail at 10:30 a.m. Thursday … Adams of Nehalem reports a foot of snow on that river, and from eight to 12 feet on the route beyond, to Forest Grove … There are 50,650 acres of agricultural lands in this county, of an equalized value of $239,751.60.”

Under NEWSY ITEMS:

“Captain Jack’s widows have shaken off their mourning, and now stand out arrayed in 16 yards of red and orange flannel and No. nine cavalry boots … Dio Lewis denies the statement attributed to him that beans were good for the complexion. He says he would not eat beans if he was black as a black cat, or as yellow as a sunflower … Mr. Davis, of California, found a box containing $40,000 in gold, and he became so excited over it that he dropped dead. People should beware how they find $40,000.”

 Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 19, 2013 at 5:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Otters dance for the holidays

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By Elleda WIlson

Posted: December 16, 2011

otters4

“A family of FOUR RIVER OTTERS put on an impressive fishing clinic for Astoria locals Friday afternoon at MILL POND,” DAN MORGADO told the Ear.

He and his wife, SHELLEY, “spotted the four otters giving chase to a frightened carp. The carp was captured once and escaped, but four against one proved too challenging for the reeling fish,” Dan reported. “It was captured again just moments after its daring flee to safety. The second catch proved fatal as the otters, working as efficiently as a pack of wolves, hauled the 14-inch carp onto the piling structure of our home. From there, they sectioned the carp into shareable pieces, looking more like savage hyenas than lovable and playful river otters.”

Dan’s photos are above, of “the catch” and dinner time.

“The feeding frenzy lasted for about 45 minutes before the otter family retired to happy frolics and the cat-like cleaning duties which they are better known for,” Dan continued. “Many passersby stopped to watch the spectacle, hoping to glean fishing tips from the impressive anglers.”

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm  Comments (1)  
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Egg is first for family

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: December 9, 2011

boysegg

Pictured, in a photo submitted by PATRICK McGEE, BENTON MOORE, left, and RAYCE McGEE, “experiencing that first home-grown egg from Benton’s chickens!” Rayce is Patrick and KC McGee’s grandson. Benton’s parents are DARYL and CINDY MOORE.

“Benton’s family had been raising a brood of young chicks which had finally reached laying age and this was the first egg, found under a bush,” Patrick explained, “and these two were as proud as if they had laid it themselves, as you can discern in their expression. Most of all, look at those faces – could they epitomize two young friends any better?” Nope.

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Snowball lands on passing ship

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: December 9, 2011

snowball

Astorian ERIKA McKAY wondered, “What is that giant snowball doing on this boat?” Her photo of the ship passing by Astoria, taken Nov. 30, is pictured above. “We’ve been having fun taking guesses as to what this is!” The Ear figures it’s safe to bet she wasn’t the only one wondering.

Our local ship expert, JOANNE RIDEOUT, self-confessed ship geek, has the answer: “It’s the PACIFIC TRACKER. She’s a military vessel that works for the Missile Defense Agency. The big golf ball on the stern is a huge radar array. So she’s able to do really sophisticated radar tracking.”

“This ship is actually a renovated commercial ship,” Joanne added, “that was completely redone fairly recently at the Portland shipyard for this new specialized use.”

The Ear did a little research, and found that the ship, originally the SS MORMACDRACO, built in 1964, has indeed undergone an amazing external transformation to become an X-Band transportable radar ship. You can read about it, and see photos, here: http://tinyurl.com/pactracker

The article, by U.S. Coast Guard Lt. NATHAN MENEFEE, describes the vessel as “an old workhorse that has been around for a few years, in fact, it is still powered by steam, and besides what you see on the outside, the interior of the house and machinery plant largely remain unchanged.”

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Be alert to salmon crossing

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: December 9, 2011

salmoncross

The Ear got a chuckle when OREGON COAST TODAY (oregoncoasttoday.com) posted this cryptic photo above, on its Facebook page this week, about a subject close to the heart of most North Coasters: salmon.

The caption explains it all: “Funny that there’s no official Oregon Department of Transportation sign for ‘SALMON CROSSING.’ Get on that, Salem! This is posted right now on East Devils Lake Road in Lincoln City, at Rock Creek, where Devils Lake’s endangered coho salmon migrate upstream, occasionally using the passing lane when high water covers the pavement.” And now you know why the salmon crossed the road.

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Junk is worth saving

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: December 9, 2011

junk

“A very interesting boat was rescued by the Coast Guard Monday off the mouth of the Columbia River: a vintage wooden CHINESE JUNK, built in China in 1925,” JOANNE RIDEOUT of THE SHIP REPORT (shipreport.net) told the Ear. Her name is the FLYING DRAGON, and she’s pictured, above.

Have a little money stashed away? The boat’s price has been reduced to $148,000, and it’s a beauty. You can see more photos, and read about the specifications of the vessel, at http://tinyurl.com/astjunk

The website says she’s got more than 1,000 square feet of canvas, and can do 10 knots under sail. Here’s a bit of the sales pitch: “Built on the shores of Hong Kong … she spent the majority of her life as a fishing boat … She was bought by an airline pilot and converted into a cruiser in the 1960s. Bought by Northwest Orient Airlines, the Flying Dragon was brought overseas to Spokane, Wash., in 1974, to be the airline’s floating pavilion in the World Fair. After the fair, she saw many owners and eventually ended up in Astoria, being used as a brothel.” Honest, that’s what it claims.

After finding the junk in Kalama, Wash., in 2000, in 2001, the Flying Dragon was finally restored by, and is used as a floating studio by, sculptor and world sailor JERRY JOSLIN and his son, SERGEI, who is also a sculptor. Their website, joslinstudios.com, has lots of photos of the vessel before and during the restoration.

“Right now she’s at the Port of Ilwaco, where the Coast Guard towed her after she began taking on water off Clatsop Spit Monday afternoon,” Joanne reported. “It’s a really neat boat.” With quite a history.

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon. 

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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This little piggy went to Astoria

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: December 2, 2011

piggy

CYNDI MUDGE was eagerly anticipating her first adventure babysitting for OSCAR THE PIG, aka Piggy. “I can’t wait!” she exclaimed. “I’m hoping it’s a good match, but am worried my house is not pig-friendly.”

Things did not get off to an auspicious start. “The trip just to my house literally scared the poop out of him,” Cyndi revealed. “He hated the drive to Astoria.”

Worse yet, once he got here, he wouldn’t come out of his crate. Pictured above, left, Oscar in hiding. Finally, his “mother,” ANGIE BULAKITES, stopped by on her lunch break to coax him out.

“Now he is happily digging the weeds out of my yard,” said Cyndi, who was delighted at this turn of events. So was Oscar, as you can see, above right. “He loves to root, chew on my shoe laces, and eat,” she reported. The Ear loves a happy ending.

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Deckhand lands on buoy

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: December 2, 2011

buoy

“Nineteen-year old DONALD T. NELSON, deckhand on the PILOT BOAT COLUMBIA, stands upon Buoy No. 2 at the mouth of the Columbia River in this 1948 photo,” his son, JEFFREY NELSON wrote to the Ear about the photo he sent in, above, with a close-up shot on the right.

“My dad, who went on to work for the COLUMBIA RIVER BAR PILOTS for 39 years and operated the PILOT BOAT PEACOCK for 21 years – now an on-land exhibit at the Columbia River Maritime Museum – wanted his photo taken back in the day,” Jeffrey explained.

“Fellow deckhand MIKE O’BRIEN dropped him off from the ‘pulling boat’ from the Columbia and snapped the shot. Then, as a joke, he and CAPT. LEEBECK left him on the buoy for a full hour. Leebeck and O’Brien found this immensely funny. When my dad was picked up, he told me O’Brien hid in the fo’c’sle aboard the Columbia to avoid bodily harm.” The Ear can certainly understand why. “The framed photo now graces my dad’s living room wall.”

“Don Nelson holds the record (50,000 plus) for most crossings of the Columbia River bar,” Jeffrey proudly declared. “He is 83 years old, and has been retired for 20 years. His scrapbook of photos is being used as source material by author MICHAEL HAGLUND for an upcoming book on the Columbia River Bar Pilots.”

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 6:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Couple has a gift for veterinary hospital

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: December 2, 2011

santabulldog

Like a lot of people, the Ear included, WANDA and CLIFF LECKBEE are huge fans of beloved local veterinarian DR. LARRY GOZA. This Christmas, they decided to do something to show their appreciation.

The couple are driving from their home in Longview, Wash., to the COLUMBIA VETERINARY HOSPITAL on 31st Street to create a “Photo with Santa” opportunity, and the photos will be printed right on the spot. They will be there from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, and Monday through Friday Dec. 19 to 23. The office is closed from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Why are the Leckbees doing this? To raise money for the pet hospital’s fund for those who can’t afford veterinary care, and to help defray spay/neuter costs. People can come in for a photo, or just donate directly to the cause.

Cliff makes a lively Santa, and he’s pictured above, left, on his Santa throne, and above right, with one of Dr. Goza’s patients.

“He’ll take a photo with anything but a Burmese python,” Wanda said, laughing.

“Oh, I’d do it, it’s for a good cause,” Cliff countered.

Cliff said he heard a lot about Dr. Goza from a “rescue lady.” When he got a rescue Redbone Coonhound, he took it to Dr. Goza, who “helped him a lot.”

“This is a chance to repay him,” Cliff observed. “He’s just a great man. I wanted to do something for him.”

This isn’t Cliff’s first foray into Santa-Land. He’s been portraying the jolly old elf for about 25 years, once even for a TV special in 1999, “StarSkates Goes Country” – filmed in Reno, Nev., and starring skater KRISTI YAMAGUCHI – where he met country singers MARTINA McBRIDE (whose children sat on his lap) and BRYAN WHITE.

If you want to have your child or pet (or both) take a photo with Santa, here’s the perfect chance to do it, and better yet, help the pet hospital’s fund for needy animals at the same time.

“He’s one of the most amazing men I’ve ever met in my entire life,” Cliff declared, speaking of Dr. Goza. “He’s got a heart of gold.”

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 6:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Auklet gets some TLC

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: November 25, 2011

auklet

“A small RHINOCEROS AUKLET (Cerorhinca monocerata) took refuge from this nasty weather at the SEASIDE AQUARIUM recently,” TIFFANY BOOTHE of the aquarium told the Ear. “The bird, found struggling on the beach, was transported to the WILDLIFE CENTER OF THE NORTH COAST, where it will be rehabbed and eventually released back into the wild.”

Pictured above, in a photo by Tiffany, the bird looks pretty perky after its ordeal and rescue.

The Ear couldn’t figure out where the “rhinoceros” part of the bird’s name came into play, but finally found out from some online research that it’s because of a horn-like structure at the base of its bill. The auklet is actually a member of the puffin family, Tiffany told the Ear.

A few other Rhinoceros Auklet facts, from the Alaska SeaLife Center (alaskasealife.org): They are nocturnal, and dig burrows up to 20 feet long with a nest chamber at the end. They fly close to the water’s surface at 35 to 50 miles per hour. And, they beat their wings and “fly” under water and snap up fish, and can fly long distances carrying three to six fish at a time. Amazingly, they have been recorded as diving as deep as 300 feet or more below the surface.

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The jury’s still out

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: November 25, 2011

mkujala

Warrenton trawl fisherman PAUL KUJALA was featured in a recent nine-minute segment of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s (OPB) Oregon Field Guide by VINCE PATTON, “NW Trawlers Dealing With Biggest Change In 50 Years.”

Paul is pictured above, in a screen shot from the televised episode. You can see it, and read the article, here: http://tinyurl.com/opbkujala. Oregon Field Guide went aboard Paul’s trawler, CAPE WINDY, to go out fishing and film the segment, which is about the new quota system for trawl fishermen.

The article explains the new deal for those who aren’t up to speed on the new fishing rules: “Under the old system all the trawl boats shared a quota. If one boat caught too much of a particularly threatened kind of fish, then every trawler on the West Coast had to stop fishing. The new system divvies up the quotas boat by boat. Now if someone catches too much of one fish, only that boat gets shut down.”

So what did Paul have to say about the new quota? “So far it’s the jury’s still out a little bit. There’s pluses and minuses. The individual accountability was attractive to a lot of the fishermen, so that you couldn’t step on my toes, I couldn’t step on yours. Now, with the individual catch shares, individually, we all have a certain amount of fish.”

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Newborn whale washes ashore

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: November 18, 2011

babywhale

“On Monday, a NEWBORN KILLER WHALE washed ashore 100 yards north of the beach approach in Seaview, Wash.,” TIFFANY BOOTHE of the SEASIDE AQUARIUM told the Ear. “The small female whale, measuring just less than 8 feet, was recovered by Fish and Wildlife officer BRETT HOPKINS.” Tiffany’s photo is above.

Seaside Aquarium Manger KEITH CHANDLER met Brett in Ilwaco, Wash., and took the whale to marine mammal expert DALIN D’ALESSANDRO. She took the whale back with her to Portland State University, where Dr. DEBBIE DUFFIELD will perform a necropsy. Tiffany reported that experts have already determined that the animal probably died of complications from a hiatal hernia.

They hope to determine which of the three regional ecological groups this whale belonged to: residents, transients or offshore. “Each of these ecotypes has distinctive genetics, calls, social structure, ecological roles and local ranges,” Tiffany explained.

She also kindly provided some orca facts: “Newborn killer whales measure approximately 8 feet and weigh about 400 pounds. Gestation for killer whales is around 15 months. Calves will nurse for about two years. Females usually will only produce one calf every five years, and in their lifetime, probably give birth to about five calves. Females can live into their 70s and perhaps into their 90s, but males usually do not exceed a lifespan of 30 years.”

“This is a very valuable specimen,” Tiffany revealed. “Killer whales are one of the most studied marine mammals, and information obtained by such a rare find can be quite valuable. This is the first killer whale to wash ashore in our area in about eight years, and the first newborn killer whale to wash ashore in our area in the 16-year history of Seaside Aquarium’s involvement with the Stranding Network.”

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Raised in Astoria

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: November 18, 2011

moxley

Portland-based band THE SLANTS, who describe themselves as “the only all-Asian-American dance rock band in the world” on their Facebook page (facebook.com/theslants), are on tour, and will make a stop in Astoria to perform at 9 p.m. Saturday at HAZEL’S, 1313 Marine Drive.

The band, often described as playing Chinatown Dance Rock, will be in town to promote their new album, “PAGEANTRY,” and there’s no cover charge.

The Ear only recently became aware that the band has a strong connection to Astoria. Lead vocalist ARON MOXLEY, pictured above, left, the Vietnamese member of the group, was a child refugee, and was raised in Astoria.

“I graduated from Astoria High in 1992,” Aron told the Ear. “I was freshman class president, student body vice president and class clown.” He even wrote a song about his home town. “On our last album I wrote a SONG CALLED ‘ASTORIA.’ It’s about the fishing boats that I was deckhand on, and the mouth of the Columbia.”

“I’ve been the lead singer of The Slants since 2007,” he continued, “and we’ve toured the country six times. Here’s something interesting: we’re doing a USO TOUR at the end of the year. We’ll be playing for the troops in Germany, Bosnia and Kosovo. I’m pretty excited about that!”

The other members of The Slants are SIMON YOUNG (bass), JOHNNY FONTANILLA (guitar), TYLER CHEN (drums/vocals), THAIPHOON DAO (guitar/keys) and KEN SIMON (everything else). “We’re currently writing and recoding our third album,” Aron added.

You can hear some of their music at http://tinyurl.com/slantsrock. The Ear sheepishly admits to cubicle chair-dancing to “Astoria,” No. 35 on the playlist, which they are planning to play Saturday night.

 “If you come down to Hazel’s,” Aron promised, “be prepared to get your faces melted off with the hot rock of The Slants!”

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mushroom is crowned king

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: November 11, 2011

bolete

Astorian and artist BOBBY WILSON likes to ride his bike all over Clatsop County. In his travels recently, he encountered a MUSHROOM the size of … well, what do you compare a mushroom to, anyway? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) describes it as “a hamburger bun on a thick stalk.” But the Ear thinks that’s an understatement.

Pictured above, the titanic fungus next to a hand, so you have some idea of scale. It’s a King Boletus (Boletus edulis), also known as a King Bolete.

Yup, it’s edible, and the Ear had visions of simmering shrooms in sherry and butter. But not so fast, the MCE cautions: A few boletes are poisonous. To avoid these, don’t eat any boletes that have orange or red pores … Some boletes, while not poisonous, are very distasteful … If the cap is slimy, peel off the slime layer; it sometimes causes diarrhea.”

And don’t forget this one: “Bugs seem to like boletes as much as people do, so check your specimens carefully.” Yikes.

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Unknown is now known

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By Elleda Wilson

Posted: November 11, 2011

manion

The Ear always loves a little history mystery. The original caption for the photo above, researched by LIISA PENNER at the Clatsop County Historical Society is as follows:

“At one of two ceremonies to sign the bill for the bridge over the Columbia River at Astoria. Seated, left to right: state Sen. DAN THIEL, unknown (woman), Gov. MARK HATFIELD and state Rep. BILL HOLMSTROM. Standing at right is Astoria Mayor HARRY STEINBOCK. Standing left, unknown (man).”

The unknown man at left is unknown no more. “The unidentified person standing at the left is my father, WILLIAM ROSCOE MANION,” MICHAEL T. MANION of Warrenton wrote, “who was president of the Port of Astoria at the time this picture was taken, and was recognized in an editorial about that time, in the Portland Oregonian, as one of the people who was instrumental in causing legislation for the bill being presented and passed.”

“I have one of the pens that Gov. Hatfield used to sign the bill in my possession,” he added.

Reprinted with the permission of The Daily Astorian of Astoria, Oregon.

Published in: on October 13, 2013 at 5:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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