The Columbia press. (Astoria, Or.) 1949-current, July 30, 2021, Page 7, Image 7

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    The Columbia Press
July 30, 2021
Senior Moments
ZED by Duane M. Abel
with Emma Edwards
What are your epoch moments?
The following words cov-
ered almost an entire wall
of an Astoria medical of-
fice where I was waiting to
have my toes X-rayed: “The
development of the steam
engine marked an import-
ant epoch in the history of
industry.” There also was a
drawing of a steam-powered
I’m not sure about you, but
it has been a long time since
I’ve heard the word epoch or
thought about the marvels of
the first steam engine. Yet we
refer to what would be ep-
ochs nearly every day.
We may say, “That hap-
pened before our house re-
model” or “That occurred
when all our kids still lived
under our roof.” Periods of
time. Epochs.
The word is defined in the
Oxford Dictionary of English
as “a particular period of time
in history or in a person’s
life,” such as the Victorian
epoch. Its origin was first rec-
ognized in the early 17th cen-
tury and has been applied to
defining moments or periods
of time ever since.
Memorable epochs or peri-
ods of time (in no particular
order) from the last couple of
The steam engine.
The locomotive.
The telegraph.
The telephone.
Internal combustion engine.
Ironclad ships.
Electricity/light bulb.
The cotton gin.
And, more recently:
Nuclear power.
Microwave oven.
Vacuum cleaner.
Cell phones.
The internet.
How many of us define pe-
riods of time as “before we
moved here or there”? Or
maybe before little Anthony
was born was when we did
this or that.
Perhaps, in conversation,
the husband may correct his
wife when she is relating a
story and say something like
“No, dear, that happened the
year the Tigers last won the
World Series, which was in
1984!” Whereas her mem-
orable epochal events may
center around the births of
their children.
The simplest definition of
epoch is “an event or a time
that begins a new period or
And “defining periods,” of
course, can differ with eth-
nicity, location and age. It is
a period of time that is very
important in one’s life or in
local or world history -- a
period that is important or
I found the Charles Dick-
ens’ quotation I was looking
for. Yes! It is the opening line
of “A Tale of Two Cities.”
“It was the best of times;
it was the worst of times. It
was the age of wisdom; it was
the age of foolishness. It was
the epoch of belief; it was the
epoch of incredulity. It was
the season of light; it was the
season of darkness. It was
the spring of hope; it was the
winter of despair.”
What is your favorite epoch
in life?
Mayor’s Message
by Henry Balensifer III
Vacation rentals -- a bane or a boon?
Vacation rentals.
This is probably the most
misunderstood, desired, and
reviled of land uses currently
in Warrenton.
Some want to consider them
as second homes that generate
revenue while they live some-
where else. Some hate having,
essentially, a small motel next
door and dislike not knowing
who their neighbor is.
Still others think the owners
are exacerbating the housing
crisis by reducing potential
housing stock.
In short — there’s not a
shortage of opinions on the
Vacation rentals are the
commercial use of an entire
house for short term (less
than 30 days). When the
house is not being used as
temporary lodging, it is not
occupied by the owner nor a
long-term tenant.
Vacation rentals are an al-
lowed use in commercial
zones. With the exception
of grandfathered properties,
they are not allowed in resi-
dential zones.
This is not to be confused
with home-stay lodging,
which is when the property
owner lives in the house and
rents spare rooms for lodging
purposes. Home-stay lodging
is allowed, with a permit, in
residential zones.
Why are you reading about
problematic vacation rentals
in the papers lately, then? Be-
cause the city recently held an
owner accountable for failing
to meet the standards they
claimed they would abide by.
The city gave existing va-
cation rental owners a year
to register and comply with
new safety and livability
standards. By the start of this
year, the commission cod-
ified what specific vacation
rental properties were grand-
fathered, who owned them,
and made it so they could not
transfer the grandfather sta-
tus; should ownership trans-
fer, it would revert to resi-
dential use.
There were 11 properties
registered as vacation rent-
als in residential zones. As of
today, there are eight, with
a potential for that to be re-
duced to seven next month.
Two were removed from the
registry due to sales. Most re-
cently, one was revoked for
multiple code violations.
To date, Warrenton, Gear-
hart, and Astoria have taken
steps to reduce residential
vacation rental properties.
Clatsop County is consider-
ing a pilot program for con-
trolling the loss of housing
units as well.
In the short term, the goal
for Warrenton is to protect
neighborhood peace.
In the long term, it is to
ensure available housing is
not being taken offline and
to give our children a chance
to remain living here should
they wish.
Special columns in The Columbia Press
Every week: Senior Moments with Emma Edwards
Week 1: Financial Focus with Adam Miller
Week 2: Here’s to Your Health from CMH
Week 3: Off the Shelf by Kelly Knudsen
Final week: Mayor’s Message by Henry Balensifer