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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Aug. 10, 2019)
146TH YEAR, NO. 18
WEEKEND EDITION // SATuRdAY, AuguST 10, 2019
Similar tactics in
By KATIE FRANKOWICZ
Hailey Hoffman/The Astorian
Mara Dowaliby was crowned queen of the 2019 Astoria Regatta on Wednesday night.
Astoria Regatta queen
Festival is a
By LUCY KLEINER
ara Dowaliby has wanted to be
an Astoria Regatta queen since
she was 8 years old. This year,
her dream came true.
“It’s in the blood,” she said.
When Grocery Outlet wanted to
build a new store in Seaside, develop-
ers faced resistance from Protect Pacific
The nonprofit claimed to represent
people in the area and across the region,
but city leaders never discovered who
was behind the organization. The only
person they interacted with directly was
Karl Anuta, a Portland environmental
Now another group, Responsible
Growth Astoria, has emerged to chal-
lenge a Grocery Outlet near Mill Pond.
Organizers claim they are local res-
idents and merchants, but they have
declined to provide any identifying infor-
mation other than their attorney, Anuta.
“The membership of the group is
something that they don’t want revealed
for probably good reasons,” Anuta
explained. Citing attorney-client privi-
lege, he described the group only as “a
coalition of a number of different folks.”
“The problem is that if you get into
who is part of a group, people focus on
the who not what is the group’s position,”
he said. “What is the substance of their
message? What are they saying and is
that a good thing or a bad thing?”
See Challenge, Page A3
See Regatta, Page A6
See a photo gallery of families
celebrating Regatta in Warrenton.
Regatta princesses Caitlin Hillman, Serena Moha and Kayla Helligso take a photo
with Mara Dowaliby after her coronation.
Coastal hotelier buys Atomic Motel in Astoria
Motel sold by
A quarter century on the court
By EDWARD STRATTON
By NICOLE BALES
The estate of the late Rob-
ert “Jake” Jacob has sold the
Atomic Motel in Astoria to
Mark Frank for $2.5 million.
Frank and his stepmother,
Barbara, formerly in the bowl-
ing alley business, formed Frank
Hospitality in 2014 and pur-
chased the Coastal Inn in Long
Beach, Washington, where he
and his family live.
The company now has 11
properties, including motels in
Seaside, Lincoln City and West-
port, Washington. The com-
pany targets smaller, indepen-
dent lodgings like the 29-room
Atomic Motel, Frank said.
“Astoria has always been a
target for us,” he said. “We’re
only a half hour away, and we
know the market really well.
And Astoria is just a strong,
strong market for hotels.”
Jacob, the developer of the
Cannery Pier Hotel, died last
year. He owned the Atomic, for-
merly the Lamplighter Motel,
for more than 20 years. After
trying to sell the motel in 2016,
he reached out to a friend who
recommended rebranding the
property into its current retro
Las Vegas feel.
Frank plans to keep that same
feel while making improve-
ments to the rooms, he said.
After 25 years on the bench, Clat-
sop County Circuit Court Judge Paula
Brownhill will retire in November.
Brownhill, 68, is the presiding judge
of the court. She was appointed by Gov.
Barbara Roberts to fill Judge Thomas
Edison’s position in 1994 and elected
Brownhill did not plan on finishing
another six-year term and didn’t think it
was fair to run and win
reelection only to leave,
She hopes Gov. Kate
Brown will appoint a new
judge before she retires.
The primary election is
“I decided it was best Judge Paula
to do it before the elec-
tion and if I do it now
then someone has an opportunity to be
appointed to the position before the elec-
tion to see if it’s something they really
want to do,” Brownhill said.
Lee Merrill, the trial court administra-
tor, is also retiring this fall.
“Lee and I work really well together,”
Brownhill said. “It seemed like a good
Photos by Edward Stratton/The Astorian
Mark Frank, of Frank Hotels,
recently purchased the Atomic
Motel in Astoria.
The estate of Robert ‘Jake’ Jacob sold the Atomic Motel to Mark
Frank for $2.5 million.
“They’ve done a really
great job turning this business
around,” he said. “There’s not
a lot I have to do to make it a
lot better. I think we’re going to
keep updating the concept with
the retro, by bringing in some
more artwork and things like
The sale comes as Jacob’s
estate prepares to sell the Can-
nery Pier to Vancouver, Wash-
ington-based Vesta Hospital-
ity. The Holiday Inn Express
& Suites a few blocks west
recently sold from local owners
David and Linda Weber to Ida-
ho-based Braintree Hospitality
for more than $17 million.
Several other hotels have
been proposed in Astoria,
including two Marriott-branded
properties by developer Mark
Hollander and a boutique lodg-
ing next to Buoy Beer Co. by the
developers behind Adrift Hotel
in Long Beach.
See Brownhill, Page A6