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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (July 30, 2019)
THE ASTORIAN • TuESdAy, July 30, 2019
JIM VAN NOSTRAND
Founded in 1873
JOHN D. BRUIJN
Good news on affordable housing
the right direction
robably no core issue on the
North Coast has been guar-
anteed to spark discussion
on this page more than affordable
Over the years, we have vigor-
ously campaigned for community
leaders to treat the matter as a cri-
sis. We cannot say that has hap-
pened, but as we read some recent
headlines on our news pages we are
Projects moving the front burner
and breaking ground are all signif-
icant steps toward solving our con-
stant problem. Job creation in the
tourism and service industries gen-
erally means low-paying positions.
So where are those workers going
The showcase cause for celebra-
tion is the old State Hotel building
on Marine Drive. It will take con-
siderable work and time for the pur-
chasers, all congregants at First
Presbyterian Church, to bring the
building up to code once the sale is
a done deal.
It once was home for 50 studio
apartments. Bringing some or all of
those back into livable units could
help fulfill a dynamic that urban
planners often tout — that tenants
living full-time in apartments above
commercial properties aid consid-
erably in creating a vital downtown
On the east side of town, devel-
oper Walt Postlewait from Craft3
seeks to build the Northpost Apart-
ments on property between 31st
and 32nd streets, near Safeway and
the Astoria Riverwalk.
These newly built low-income Driftwood Point apartments just north of the center of downtown Long Beach, Washington, attracted a
flood of applicants even while building work was under way.
That will add 66 units to the mix,
some to be used as short-term rent-
als and others for affordable rental
Another 12-unit apartment com-
plex on Alameda Avenue in Asto-
ria, previously used as a sober-liv-
ing facility by Klean Treatment
Centers, is planned now its Astoria
owners have sold the building.
While rents at these may be out
of the range of people working
low-income jobs, it is pleasing to
see more options added to the com-
In Washington’s Pacific County,
there are significant reasons for cel-
ebration. A 27-unit low-income
apartment complex called Drift-
wood Point, on vacant land on 10th
Street, just north of central Long
Beach, attracted a host of applicants
while the finishing touches were
still being put on the buildings.
That project came about, in
part, because the Joint Pacific
County Housing Authority, the
state of Washington, the city of
Long Beach, and other advocates
acknowledged the need — and
looked at potential problems as
challenges to overcome rather than
reasons not to press ahead.
More recently, a couple has pur-
chased the apartments at Sixth and
Washington (which have had an
admittedly checkered past), and
begun investing in their refurbish-
ment. Once completed, six more
homes will be available for peo-
ple to live on the Peninsula, close to
downtown Long Beach.
Several factors contribute to a
climate in which private developers
are willing to risk investing capital
into housing projects. These include
local governments having clearly
spelled out zoning and building
regulations while addressing envi-
ronmental and other concerns.
Often, these projects succeed, in
part, because an agency presents a
welcoming and helpful approach.
That must be signaled as policy by
mayors and commissioners, and not
merely rely on the personality of
the planner or other staff members
who receive the applications.
All this signals more variety in
housing options in our coastal com-
munities. Astoria and the Long
Beach Peninsula are attractive and
desirable places to work. But with-
out an affordable place to call
home, that dream is out of reach.
Taken together, these projects
show more positive, concrete action
than we can recall in a long, long
Letters should be exclusive to
Letters should be fewer than 250 words
and must include the writer’s name,
address and phone number. You will be
contacted to confirm authorship.
ow long do we have to put up
with President Donald Trump’s hate-
ful tweets? His latest attack on Rep.
Elijah Cummings and the city of Balti-
more was disgusting, immature and not
presidential. I was happy to read the reply
from the Baltimore Sun newspaper. As my
sister in Alaska said, “they nailed him to
I agree with everything the newspa-
per said about Trump. If you get a chance,
I feel we are living under a dictator now
and I don’t like it. I also worry what will
happen if he does not get elected. Will he
start another Civil War?
Shame on politicians
want to congratulate The Astorian’s
editorial board for printing the opin-
ion piece, written by Dick Hughes, about
state Sen. Brian Boquist’s statements and
actions at the end of the last Oregon legis-
lative session “Boquist decision leaves all
unsatisfied” (July 23).
I felt this was an extremely balanced
and well-written commentary that gave
me a lot of information that I would never
have been aware of, except for reading it
in the paper.
Approximately 80 percent of the opin-
ion page was taken by this article, and
allowed for the writer to state the facts
as he understood them, and allowed him
to cover this subject better than any pol-
itician of either party using their normal
spin cycle to paint the picture they want to
I personally detest rhetoric from any
side, and I resent false responses from the
people who wanted to pretend that they
felt personally threatened.
I know that there is a lot of
crazy gun violence in this day and age.
But what I see is both political parties
being as inflammatory as they can be in
order to try and sway the public to their
All letters are subject to editing for space,
grammar, and, on occasion, factual
accuracy. Only two letters per writer are
allowed each month.
Letters written in response to other letter
writers should address the issue at hand
and, rather than mentioning the writer by
name, should refer to the headline and
date the letter was published. Discourse
should be civil and people should be
referred to in a respectful manner. Letters
in poor taste will not be printed.
Shame on the politicians; thank you,
Dick Hughes and The Astorian editorial
Public at risk
worked for many years at leading facil-
ities as a level one trauma nurse. Pro-
viders at leading medical institutions are
using a device and procedure that has no
Federal Drug Administration testing for
safety or effectiveness.
The procedure, called electroshock,
involves up to 450 volts and greater to the
brain. In the past, it was only approved
for use in severe depression and as a last
resort, but not any longer. It is used for
many conditions, and on our children,
veterans and during pregnancy. This is a
Under the guise of help, it is actually
inflicting traumatic brain injuries (TBI) at
a minimum, now proven in a court of law.
Suits are being pursued around product lia-
bility, medical malpractice and against the
FDA. There are billions involved in the
U.S. annually. Trusted providers are crim-
inally failing in their duty to warn, protect
and not harm.
Patients have been discounted in their
complaints by their providers, second-
ary to fear of litigation. They have been
harmed under the guise of help for great
profits. It is time to expose this, despite
the monies, positions and reputations
I ask that electroconvulsive ther-
apy (ECT) patients now be seen as TBI
patients in their outcomes, so that they
may access needed rehabilitative services
that all other TBI patients have at their
disposal. The public is at great risk, and
the issue will no longer be swept under
the carpet. For information, go to bit.ly/
earhart has a fairly new tree-trimming
ordinance, passed a few months ago,
to allow residents affected by trees on city
dunelands to trim the trees affecting their
views, among other reasons.
Unfortunately, the city is interpreting
the ordinance much too zealously, lead-
ing to maimed and disfigured trees on city-
owned parklands. But Gearhart has no
parks master plan in place that would cur-
tail this kind of damage. In fact, the city
does not even have a parks planning pro-
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mit_letters, in person at 949 Exchange
St. in Astoria or 1555 North Roosevelt in
Seaside, or mail to Letters to the Editor,
P.O. Box 210, Astoria, OR 97103.
cess in the works. The butchering of city
trees by homeowners with an agenda of
their own is the result.
Oregon Coast Alliance (ORCA) has
twice called on Gearhart officials to inter-
pret the ordinance more narrowly, and
begin a parks planning process, but the
city has not responded.
It is certainly past time for Gearhart to
begin a parks discussion, before the city’s
treasured public landscapes are irrevoca-
bly scarred. Gearhart’s residents need the
public process required for a parks mas-
ter plan, to voice their opinions and craft a
framework to protect the public’s land.
ORCA wonders why city officials have
refused not only to begin a discussion
about city parks, but also refused ORCA
the courtesy of a response to our con-
cerns. Surely, in a matter touching on the
management of public property that ben-
efits Gearhart residents and visitors alike,
a response is due, especially as ORCA
offered to assist in any way available with
launching a parks planning process.
CAMERON La FOLLETTE