OPINION 6A THE DAILY ASTORIAN • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2017 Founded in 1873 DAVID F. PERO, Publisher & Editor LAURA SELLERS, Managing Editor BETTY SMITH, Advertising Manager CARL EARL, Systems Manager JOHN D. BRUIJN, Production Manager DEBRA BLOOM, Business Manager Water under the bridge Compiled by Bob Duke From the pages of Astoria’s daily newspapers GUEST COLUMN Fighting for the budget Oregonians deserve The Daily Astorian/File Old 300 chugs along the tracks in Astoria. 10 years ago this week — 2007 The Astoria Riverfront Trolley may seem to be propelled along the tracks by a diesel generator, but it’s actually powered by about 100 volun- teers. As conductors, motormen, and in many other capacities, they all con- tribute their talent and efforts to make the trolley a success. On Wednesday, a core group of about a dozen volunteers who spent January and February refurbishing Old 300 received recognition. They were honored at a celebration hosted by the Astoria Trolley Association and attended by community leaders. “It hasn’t been in this good shape since 1913 … It’s truly in showroom condition,” said the trolley association’s president, Willis Van Dusen, who also serves as Astoria’s mayor. Noting that this is the trolley’s eighth year of operation in Astoria, he said its success symbolizes the value of teamwork. “Everyone in town owns it. Everyone thinks it’s their trolley. And that’s the way we like it,” Van Dusen said. The big guns are heading to Astoria to help tackle the slide. And that could mean money to help the city. Federal Emergency Management Agency and Oregon Emer- gency Management officials will be in Astoria March 29 to view the landslide above west Bond Street and consider possible fund- ing support for repairs. Thanks to a united and effective congressional delegation, and with incredible local support, the final piece of the Lewis and Clark legacy here at the mouth of the Columbia River is secure for all time. News came Tuesday that the National Park Service is allocating $2.5 million to purchase a permanent conservation easement on the forest back- drop to Station Camp, the explorers’ primary encampment on the Wash- ington side of the river. This also is a positive testimonial to the foresight of the park service and of the Bush administration as a whole in this mat- ter; one could not wish for better support than this park receives. The McGowan-Garvin family deserves praise for its patience, cooperation and civic-mindedness. 50 years ago — 1967 FLORENCE – Coast Guardsmen here aren’t sure what to believe. They made a dash across the treacherous Siuslaw River bar during the weekend to confirm the identity of an alleged Russian fishing trawler. A commercial fishing boat from Newport reported the vessel was moving slowly southward about 6 miles out at sea. It took about 80 miles for the Coast Guard launch to get within spying distance of the vessel. But to the men’s dismay, the “Russian trawler” turned out to be the Astoria-based Coast Guard cutter Yocona. The New Hope of Astoria, largest drag boat in Oregon, returned from the Alaska king island crab fishery Tuesday night with 6,400 cases of the huge crab. The New Hope, owned by George Moskovita, spent nine months fish- ing out of the Kodiak island town of Alitak for salmon late last summer and crab during the winter. The dragger landed about 700,000 pounds of king crab during the winter. More corpswomen were arriving this week at the new Tongue Point Job Corps Center for Women. A group of 65 came in Tuesday evening from San Francisco bay area, where they were recruited. A second group of approx- imately 50 is due tonight from Austin, Texas, regional office of Office of Economic Opportunity. 75 years ago — 1942 TILLAMOOK — A guerrilla army of 1,500 men adopting the Indian fighting strategy of their pioneer grandfathers, stands ready to defend Ore- gon homes against infiltration and parachute invasion tactics. The minute-man army has no uniforms, no parade grounds and no name. Its members call themselves the “Tillamook Guerrillas” and they report for action in whatever clothes they are wearing when called. Approximately 1,500 men participated in weekend maneuvers taking their first training in guerrilla warfare. They carried their favorite rifles and shotguns to stations in sandpits and cliffs along the ocean and in timbered mountain passes leading inland. The hills echoed with the roar of gunfire as the woods-wise farmers, loggers and townsmen trained their sights on imaginary invaders in terrain where they formerly had hunted deer. If an invader should attempt to land on the Oregon Coast, the riflemen would be assigned as snipers to harry ground forces. The shotgun experts would be ready to pick off parachutists as they would ducks or geese. Col. Stewart Arnold, blind commander of the guerrillas, expressed satis- faction with the work of his men in their first war games. “These boys really don’t need much practice,” he said. “They just like to keep their eyes sharp and don’t waste much powder.” Damian Mulinix/EO Media Group The U.S. Coast Guard is facing a cut under President Donald Trump’s budget proposal. By JEFF MERKLEY Special to The Daily Astorian G rowing up, my family was like a lot of Oregon families: My dad was a millwright and my mom stayed at home. At that time, a single working income could buy a three-bedroom ranch house, an annual camping trip, and a dinner out a couple times a year. We had enough to have faith in the American Dream. Life’s a lot tougher today for working families, and rural and small town communities are feel- ing it most. Life’s going to get even tougher if the Trump administration’s recent budget proposals get through. At a time we need creative ideas to build economic opportunity in rural America, the new budget proposes an unprecedented 26 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which includes the Rural Development Agency and the U.S. Forest Service, in addition to essential agricultural programs. This is an assault on rural communities’ most basic needs. From slashing investment in small business growth and job creation, to threatening access to clean drinking water, to reducing funding to prevent and fight wildfires, the cut hurts farmers, ranchers, chil- dren, and timber communities. The Trump budget guts pay- ments in lieu of taxes — funding for counties that have large tracts of federal lands that don’t generate property taxes — by $100 million this year alone, stripping from Oregon counties critical funding for public safety, social services, transportation and housing. It decimates the public broad- casting program that supports local news services extending from Astoria to Baker City, Oakridge to Ashland. The cut destroys almost half of the funding news services in rural Oregon rely on. The budget would eliminate the entire $175 million Essential Air Service program that is vital to keep small, remote airports operating. It would dramatically defund programs to get doctors and I will work with the true champions for rural America in both parties to fight for the programs that give Oregonians the opportunity to share in the economy they help create, and ensure future generations have the chance to thrive. other health care providers to rural communities. It would end grants for rural transportation projects; cut off rural entrepreneurs from loans; and push huge costs onto rural water system ratepayers. The Trump budget even seeks a devastating $1.3 billion cut to the budget of the U.S. Coast Guard, which just last weekend rescued three Oregonians. Millionaires and billionaires in big cities are doing great; they don’t need the government to invest in their success. Rural communities are facing unprece- dented challenges, and we need to crank up investment in essential programs and infrastructure — that is, the opposite of Trump’s budget proposals. This month I partnered with bipartisan colleagues in Congress to introduce the Timber Innovation Act, which would support Oregon’s innovative uses of wood for con- struction and manufacturing. I’ve helped preserve and reopen small airports and save small-town post offices, both of which are essential in today’s interconnected economy. I’ve pushed to bring bipartisan sense to our wildland firefighting. I’ve used my position as the ranking member of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee to fight for research that helps our farmers fight off pests and improve their yields. There is so much to do to move our smaller communities forward. But instead, this administration’s budget is an enormous step backward. The American Dream is one of equal opportunity for the child of a middle-class millwright and the child of a wealthy CEO. But this administration’s budget takes us even further from this most fundamental ideal, eviscerating the programs that create that opportu- nity and level the playing field in our rural communities, where they are needed most. We need to move closer to the American Dream. I will work with the true champions for rural America in both parties to fight for the programs that give Oregonians the opportunity to share in the economy they help create, and ensure future generations have the chance to thrive. Jeff Merkley is a U.S. senator for Oregon.