The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, January 19, 2018, WEEKEND EDITION, Image 1

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    145TH YEAR, NO. 144
Waves crash over
the South Jetty
at Fort Stevens
State Park.
Colin Murphey
The Daily Astorian
North Coast reflects on Trump
Activists believe they’ve made a mark
County voter
registration rose
by 7 percent
The Daily Astorian
cott Lee, chairman of the Clatsop County
Board of Commissioners, stood outside
his bike shop on the corner of 11th Street
and Marine Drive on a drizzly January after-
noon last year.
Lee had been distressed for two months
after Donald Trump was elected president.
Even his father, a Vietnam War veteran who
had voted Republican since 1960 and often
disagrees with his son politically, could
not bring himself to vote for the billionaire
But on that January day, hundreds of peo-
ple strode through downtown Astoria as part
of the Women’s March to counter Trump’s
inauguration. On the first full day of Trump’s
presidency, Lee wore a smile.
“I was very pleased to see one of the largest
marches I had ever seen in Astoria,” Lee said.
“After such a difficult time, it brought hope
back to me. I was really hopeful people could
push back against the Trump regime.”
The march was like an exorcism for pro-
gressive activists disappointed with the elec-
tion. Many directed the energy from the march
into a grassroots call to action.
“My concern is that I didn’t want it to
stop. I wanted to turn it into action,” said Deb
Vanasse, one of the march organizers. “We
need civic engagement. This is no time for
complacency from our perspective.”
Vanasse and a handful of others launched
Indivisible North Coast Oregon, which is
loosely affiliated with a nationwide activ-
ist organization started by former congres-
sional staffers. The movement encourages
civic engagement and promotes progressive
Photos by Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian
Activists voiced their opinions in front of the Clatsop County Courthouse in September.
Republicans hopeful about president
For supporters, few
cracks after an
unsteady first year
Map shows where President Trump
earned votes in Clatsop County.
Page 7A
The Daily Astorian
House was an unqualified success.
ARRENTON — Christine Bridgens
Trump’s low job approval rating —
likes President Donald Trump on
39 percent, according to Gallup — is
shrugged off as inaccurate. The spe-
the economy and national security,
cial counsel’s investigation into Russia’s
the way the Republican has lifted regulations
meddling in the election, which has led
on business, the way he has defended the coun-
try on the international stage.
to federal charges against several of Trump’s
“There’s nothing I don’t support about what
former advisers, is dismissed as a politically
he has done to put America first,” said Brid-
motivated witch hunt. The warnings from
gens, who serves on the Warrenton Planning
Democrats and some establishment Republi-
cans that Trump is a demagogue who is steer-
ing the country in a dangerous direction are
Michael Seppa, a retired dairy farmer in
mocked as hysteria.
Lewis and Clark, likes that Trump was the
Jim Hoffman, the chairman of the
first president in 26 years to speak at
county’s Republican Central Commit-
the American Farm Bureau Federa-
tion’s annual convention, a nod to rural
tee, who lives in Gearhart, believes
most local Republicans are optimistic.
“I talk to people every day that are
“I think he’s actually done way bet-
ter than the press and everybody gives
just so happy with what he’s doing,”
he said, even some he doesn’t know.
him credit for,” said Seppa, the board
“They see my Jeep running around and
chairman of the Clatsop Soil and Water
they have a tendency to open up and
Conservation District. “I think the tax
start talking with me.”
cuts are going to be helpful. I just think
he’s got us headed in the right direction
“Well, it’s got a Trump-Pence sticker for
as far as foreign and national policy.”
one,” Hoffman said. “The wheel cover on the
Clatsop County reliably votes for Demo-
crats in presidential elections. Trump, despite
back says, ‘Help save America, have your lib-
eral spayed or neutered.’”
being the most polarizing Republican to win
the party’s nomination in the modern polit-
ical era, still captured 41 percent of the vote
Asked to assess Trump’s first year, Trump
here in 2016. Trump’s footprint in the county
voters interviewed by The Daily Astorian —
was roughly the same as former Massachusetts
including several, like Bridgens and Seppa,
Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012 — 41 percent —
who represent precincts on the Republican
and U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona in 2008
Central Committee — did not mention Russia
— 39 percent.
or the parade of other controversies that have
Like across Oregon and the United States,
undermined his administration.
there is something of an urban and rural chasm.
“I had a lot of confidence in his honesty, his
Trump fared better in Warrenton and in rural
business sense, his faithfulness to America,” Brid-
precincts like Lewis and Clark, Knappa and
gens said of her view of Trump before the elec-
Olney, while former U.S. Secretary of State
tion. “I think he is a sincere man who loves this
Hillary Clinton, the Democrat, won in Astoria,
country and cares a great deal about its success.
Gearhart, Seaside and Cannon Beach.
For many voters in Trumpville, the billion-
See VOTERS, Page 7A
aire real estate tycoon’s first year in the White
Preservationists spar over demolition request
Appeal headed
to City Council
The Daily Astorian
Ted Osborn realizes it’s
The retired architect and
former president of the Lower
Columbia Preservation Society
— who once presented plans
to save the dilapidated Waldorf
Hotel downtown and received
an award from the city for his-
toric preservation — wants to
tear down a historic building.
At a Historic Landmarks
Commission meeting Wednes-
day night, he argued that a
long-neglected house-turned-
apartments he and his wife
bought last summer on Ala-
meda Avenue is past the point
of saving.
Six of the seven commis-
sioners were present and all of
them said they could see both
sides of the issue.
Commissioner McAndrew
Burns pointed out that every-
one in the room, whether they
were in favor of demolish-
ing the 110-year-old building
or not, was a preservationist,
dedicated to Astoria’s historic
“It’s difficult when every-
one is right,” Commissioner
Kevin McHone observed.
Ultimately, half of the com-
mission agreed with Osborn’s
argument, questioning the his-
toric value of a building that has
undergone substantial changes
over the decades as well as the
feasibility of trying to restore it
after so many years of neglect.
The other half did not,
agreeing instead with the
Lower Columbia Preservation
Society and city staff who said
Osborn had not exhausted all
of his options for restoring an
important piece of Astoria’s
City staff recommended
denying Osborn’s request,
saying it did not meet the
city’s criteria.
The vote split down the
middle — 3-3 — and Osborn’s
request failed.
After talking it over, Osborn
and his wife, Wendy, have
decided to appeal the deci-
sion to the City Council.
Maybe there was a time when
the building could have been
saved, he said.
He believes pieces of
it — features like win-
dows and old growth tim-
bers — could still be sal-
vaged, but the whole building?
“I hate tearing down buildings,
but this is no longer a building,”
See HOUSE, Page 7A
Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian
A house on Alameda Street
in Astoria is the subject of
a preservation debate.