We spent the weekend in Astoria enjoying a rare dry spell in what is possibly Oregon's most blustery locale. The Fisher Poets were in town doing their annual thing - demanding our attention, making us laugh and gracing us with their salty stories for a few fleeting days. A walk around town revealed several familiar vacant storefronts, but not nearly as many as past years. Many new businesses are making a go of it from breweries and restaurants to specialty shops and a great farmers market. No, Astoria is changing - for better or for worse. I think for the better. Tourism is up bringing money into the area, and civic development like the new Square Are encouraging. The Square incorporates a beautiful cultural garden with thoughtful installations commemorating Chinese Americans for their contribution to Astoria society in the early days. I just hope it doesn't lose too much of the goonie and seedy seaport character that gives it its charm.