Sunday, November 12, 2006

Voting and Flooding in Astoria

The Astoria elections are over, and I can breathe a sigh of relief. The mayor, Willis Van Dusen, is still mayor, despite the efforts of do-gooders with sour grapes on their breath. He's the best salesman for the city of Astoria to come along in a few generations, and it's right and fitting that he just keep right on doing his magic thing. Congrats, Mayor!

The other issue that sent me over the edge was the college bond - a misguided effort to trick the unwitting and gull the public into relocating the local Clatsop Community College to a bog in a slide zone (aka the local high school football field). The reason? Perhaps to free up the current location, an immensely choice and valuable chunk of land up on the hill overlooking the river, for a land grab and sale to the highest bidder? Condos, anyone? I think NOT.

Of course, that wasn't the reason stated, which was some insipid blather about moving the college closer to (failing) businesses, such as the silly overpriced Aquatics Center, to boost local business. Fortunately, the voters of Clatsop County are not stupid, as was supposed by the promoters of this probably underhanded plan, and the college bond was resoundingly voted down two to one. Hooray for Clatsop County voters!

Now perhaps the college board will actually be forced to sit down on their cosseted tuffets and come up with a SENSIBLE plan to renovate and repair the existing campus, instead of being allowed to indulge in expensive fantasies involving swampland in a flood zone.

Speaking of flood zones, the start of rainy season was heralded with a monsoon of epic proportions. Fortunately, there was very little effect on Astoria, but the neighboring towns like Seaside got nailed. Tillamook tried to pull a "Malibu" and chunks of it jumped into the ocean like lemmings, leaving waterfront land-owners suddenly minus a yard and teetering on the edge of a cliff. It's hard to be sympathetic with them, though. After all, it's not news that the oceans reclaim land on a regular basis, and by putting a house in a spot like that, it's like thumbing your nose at Mother Nature. You know, like that old Toyota ad, "You asked for it. You got it."

Now that rainy season is under way, it's time to batten down the hatches and settle in for a nice winter snooze. Which sounds pretty damn good right about now while the rain is typing on the window and the wind is whipping around the corner. Nightey night.

Astoria Photografpix

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