I have just returned from spending time with my disabled daughter in Astoria, Ore., helping her get situated in a new apartment. Astoria is located at the mouth of the Columbia River with access to Washington state just across the river by a very high, four-mile long bridge. Astoria is a beautiful old town; in fact, the oldest settlement west of the Mississippi, of Victorian homes, some built by sea captains, and originally called Ft. George under the British. The mouth of the Columbia has been called "the graveyard of the Pacific" because of the many ships that have shipwrecked there crossing the bar. It is much safer now to cross and is the port entrance to Longview, Wash., and Portland, Ore. Astoria was the western end of the Lewis-Clark Expedition of 1804-06, and their winter headquarters of Ft. Clatsop is still maintained there. This year is the 200th anniversary of that great exploration sanctioned by President Jefferson that expanded our country from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean.
But, I want to comment on something modern. Fred Meyer was the Pop Walton of the Northwest. Although long dead, his stores still bear his name and are flourishing. My daughter and I shopped in the Fred Meyer store there and I have never seen such a system of recycling. Of course, Oregon has always been far ahead in conservation, but the Fred Meyer system of four receptacle mouths gobbling up bottles and cans as placed in them, and a receipt dispensed after to be cashed in the store is state-of-the-art.
Also, in the store is a large area where people can scan all their purchases and the cost is displayed and totaled before paying, so customers are able to know what they must pay. It was accurate and easy for my daughter to do. A customer service person is always available.
I was so impressed and wonder why California and Arizona have not done this. We have so many plastic and aluminum containers that need to be recycled. Let's push for more modern recycling and I hope the big stores will try to visit Fred Meyer to see this innovative recycling and weighing, price scanning and totaling help for the shopper, particularly grocery shopping. It was really neat.
Wanda Walker, Payson