As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 17, 2018


The first picture I am sharing this week was taken in 1962 in front of what was then my house along Highway 101 across from the cheese factory.

Highway work, 1962
Highway work, 1962

The negative envelope was tagged "highway work," and my guess is that the state was installing piling for the concrete bridge that led to my house and the cottage next door, or they could have been installing the culvert for Ferry Creek.

At any rate, you can see the Oregon Egg Producers building across the highway, which had been moved there in 1956 from its former location, adjacent to the cheese factory. While they were moving it across Ferry Creek, it broke several stringers across the creek and very nearly went into the water. Today it is the Highway 101 Marketplace.

The second picture was taken the same year, in August of 1962, during work along Third Street, which would be on the south side of the Egg Producers building.

Work along Third Street, 1962
Work along Third Street, 1962

This piece of equipment ended up in a ditch after part of the trench they were digging caved in. In the back you can see the foundry (owned by Henry Philpott) that was rebuilt soon after the Fire of 1936, but was torn down years later, and is now a vacant lot behind the commercial building at 101 and Harlem. The house is still there today.

The third picture shows the south side of the old Stephan Hotel at First and Chicago, which is one of the few buildings downtown to survive the Fire.

Stephan Hotel, 1976
Stephan Hotel, 1976

This picture was taken in 1976, long before the late Cliff Shaw purchased it for his still thriving Cranberry Sweets business. The small building attached to the hotel was the entrance to the apartments, several of which are still upstairs in the building. Today that is used as an emergency exit and not as an entrance to the building. It is fenced with chain link and is beautifully decorated with blooming flowers.

*           *           *

It's hard to believe that ballots will be in the mail very soon for the November election. I often rely on The Oregonian editors to guide me on the state ballot measures, and recently they had a lengthy editorial advising a "No" vote on ballot measures 103 (grocery tax ban), 104 (effort to write state policy via constitutional amendment), 105 (racial profiling) and 106 (forbidding the use of state dollars to pay for abortions).

The Oregonian put forth a good argument against 103, which they say could have many unintended consequences.

As for Measure 104, which seeks to make it harder for lawmakers to raise revenue, they say the logic is flawed. The measure, heavily backed by the Oregon Association of Realtors, would require that three-fifths of the legislators in each chamber approve not only tax bills, as they do now, but any proposal that results in increased revenue to the state.

One of the hottest topics is Measure 105 and concerns the sanctuary state issue.

The Oregonian editors point out that "more than 30 years ago, Oregon lawmakers made a powerful statement against racial profiling. With a 29-1 vote in the Oregon Senate and a 58-1 vote in the House, lawmakers created the nation's first sanctuary law.

"Oregon's sanctuary law forbids state and local police agencies from using public money or resources to enforce federal immigration laws when an individual's only offense (and that is key) is how he or she entered the country."

Voters should reject Measure 105, too, knowing that a 'no' vote will help to guarantee our ever-dwindling public safety dollars will be spent on policing local laws ... not those that federal agents are paid to enforce."

The Oregonian also strongly urges a no vote on Measure 106.

"If passed, Measure 106 would remove abortion from the list of medical procedures covered for low-income women on the Oregon Health Plan."

They add that "abortion rates in Oregon and nationwide have been on a downward trend for years, across all age and income groups. Voters here have swatted down six past attempts to alter abortion access, making it clear they believe this is a personal medical decision that Oregonians can be trusted to make. This initiative, too, should be rejected."

We need to think about the children of women who neither want them nor can afford to raise them.

*           *           *

I sat on my deck Sunday afternoon enjoying the wonderfully warm Indian Summer weather ... until I could not take the sound of barking dogs any longer. After over an hour of constant barking, I decided to track down where it was coming from, and found two very small dogs (but one with a healthy set of vocal cords) two blocks away on June Avenue.

I didn't see anyone around, so I don't know who owns the animals, but if I can hear them two blocks away I can only imagine what it must be like to live in the neighborhood.

*           *           *

I learned that long-time Bandon resident Jerry Lee died on Oct. 8 at the age of 78. Jerry was a year behind me in high school, and is the brother of Virginia Weaver. His wife, Debi, works at the post office.

Jerry worked for the county for a number of years, but he was best known as a top-notch photographer. I remember seeing lots of beautiful photos, and someone usually said, "It's a Jerry Lee."

Although I do not know the family, I heard that Jimmie C. McDaniel Jr., 48, died of a heart attack Oct. 1. He and his wife, Patty, moved to Bandon this summer and built a home here. He is related to the Sowers family, and was the operations supervisor at Ocean Spray Cranberries.

*           *           *

As I watched the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael, which hit landfall last week with winds up to 155 miles an hour, I thought back to Oct. 12, 1962, when the Pacific Northwest was struck by the devastating Columbus Day Storm.

I was a young reporter for the Western World and took enough pictures to fill a page and a half in the paper, including of Pacific High School, where several classrooms were destroyed ... not long after they had released the students. I think it hit around 2:30 in the afternoon, and I remember watching the roof of the hydro-electric department on Fillmore sail across the street and land in the parking lot of what is now the museum, but in those days was City Hall.

My father was remodeling a house on Dew Valley Road that he had just purchased, and when he didn't come home (no cell phones in those days), mother called Jack Dean and asked him to go look for dad. The road was completely covered with blown-down trees, so Jack ran across the field (which is now part of the Crossings Golf Course) and saw dad's pickup, (which had been pulling out of the driveway), with the passenger side completely smashed into the ground by a huge tree. He raced into the house calling dad's name ...and found him working away. "I knew someone would come sooner or later," he said. Had anyone been in the pickup that day, they would not have survived. I do remember dad (who was 6'4") saying that the winds were so strong that they repeatedly knocked him to the ground as he ran back into the house.

I could go on and on about that storm, but frankly I just pray we never see winds like that again, although we have had several in the last 56 years that did damage, but nothing like the Columbus Day Storm.

*           *           *

Molly Tuttle, the first performer of the new season for Bandon Showcase, was a roaring success Friday night. Tuttle, an accomplished guitarist, is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist songwriter with a distinctive voice.

She and her band played to a very enthusiastic crowd at the Sprague Theater, and many commented not only on her star performance, but the wonderful sound, which can be attributed to the "sound guy" Anthony Zunino.

It's also great to see Jeff Norris back in the driver's seat once again managing the theater. He's a real asset. . .

*           *           *

Thursday evening between 5:30 and 6:30, Umpqua Bank, Bandon IT and the Bandon Police Department will present an informational workshop and discussion on how to prevent and protect yourself and your loved ones from scams and fraud.

A spokesman for the bank said locals have been scammed lately, and they want to try and educate people about these scams.

A friend of mine was in the bank recently when she overhead bank employees and Bandon Police officers try to dissuade an elderly man from taking money out of his account to send to someone who had contacted him. "But he said he was a Christian," the man said, adding, "I asked him to swear on a stack of Bibles that he was a Christian, And he said he would."

These kinds of predators prey on elderly people, and unfortunately they seem to be successful.




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 10, 2018


I clearly remember taking this picture in 1963 because the football field was blanketed in snow. And in those days, that didn't occur very often, and when it did, it made the news (as in Western World).

Football stadium, 1963
Football stadium, 1963

But what I love about this photo today is the wonderful picture of the old football stadium on Dave Miller Field. I have so many memories (some great and some not so great) of climbing up the back ladder to get onto the roof and into the press box ... but no one was happier than I when they built a hatch at the back of the seats for us to get onto the roof. It was a sad day when an inspection said it needed to be torn down. I still wonder if it couldn't have been saved.

I can't find much information on the second picture except to say that these were beautification contest winners, and I think this was around 1966.

Beautification contest winners, 1966
Beautification contest winners, 1966

From left are Sherida Judy, BHS Principal Jerry Judy, Bill Smith, Supt. Roland L. Parks, Walt Dodrill, and Western World owner Warren Strycker. I was there, too, but on the other side of the camera.

The third picture was taken in August of 1958 as members of the Cranberry Court prepare to leave for Myrtle Point to march in the Coos County Fair Parade.

Cranberry Court, 1958
Cranberry Court, 1958

Not sure what the boat was all about, but it was obviously some kind of a prop. This picture was taken alongside McNair Hardware. In the back you can see the bridge off First Street that led out to the west side of the Moore Mill Truck Shop. Princesses include, front, left, Carleen Metzger, Peggy Hunt, Bette Garoutte; back, Linda Sutherland, Darlyn (Susie) Ward, Jerene Albertson and Judy Howard.

*           *           *

Someone who chose not to sign his or her name posted flyers all over town last week prior to Tuesday night's City Council meeting, which read: "Aquatic Center 'pool' in city park?? It's not located where you think! Protect our Park. Attend Bandon City Council meeting ..."

No one came to either me or the city manager and asked to have the item on the agenda for either a discussion or an action item. They just went around and put up their posters.

There was an item at the end of the agenda, 8.1, that was the report from the parks and recreation commission explaining to the council that they had staked out three locations in city park, which they felt might accommodate a pool. But it was not on the agenda for discussion, which is what I told several people who arrived before the meeting started. They wanted to sign up to speak, and I asked several of them which items they wanted to speak about, as most people were there for the LUBA remand hearing, and when they said, "the pool," I politely explained that it was not on the agenda for discussion. And true to my explanation, it was not discussed. I felt it was only fair to let them know that it was not on the agenda (and we also announced it at the start of the meeting) so people would not have to sit through a meeting, which ended up lasting two and a half hours, waiting for an item that was never going to be discussed. How fair would that have been?

But someone took issue with that and posted an unsigned letter which indicates that I "confronted" them for wanting to comment on the pool. I confronted no one; I simply told them it was not on the agenda.

It is possible that the same people who posted the flyers around town, without identifying themselves, are also the ones who wrote the unsigned letter.

Unfortunately, much of the unrest (and misinformation) is coming from a group of people who live on the fringe of City Park and do not want a pool in their backyard. I understand that, but I am not sure this is the way to go about making your voices heard.

The writer (unsigned) questions how the mayor could, "with a clearly stated and monetarily supported conflict of interest in favor of the pool lobby, legally have the deciding vote if there is a tie in City Council on this matter."

Not sure what that means as it would infer that I would be paid by the pool committee or receive money if it's built. Nothing could be further from the truth. I stand to make nothing. But I have pledged, that once the pool is underway, I would contribute $5,000 toward the pool, which I believe would be considered more of a hardship to my financial well-being than a conflict of interest. That's the problem with unsigned letters; you don't have to be responsible for your irresponsible and untrue remarks. Sad, but true.

As far as the ballot measure is concerned, people who do not feel that the city should use taxpayer dollars to pay for operation and maintenance of a pool should vote yes on Ballot Measure 6-172, which amends the charter. If the no votes prevail, the charter will not be changed.

It is not a vote on whether or not there will be a pool in Bandon, nor on where it will be located.

*           *           *

I went to two art shows over the weekend, including Saturday at By The Sea Gallery (located in their spacious new gallery next to the Station Restaurant on Fillmore Avenue) and on Sunday to the opening of the new show at the hospital.

I noticed some particularly striking contemporary paintings on the wall in the dining room of the hospital, which indicated they were there at the request of the family of Roberta (Bobbie) Stewart, "who has passed away recently."

Bobbie was well known by many in the community, having been active in environmental causes, and I had not heard that she died.

The small note which accompanied her paintings said she had lived in Livermore, Calif., where she worked, raised her two sons and obtained her degree before moving to Bandon in 1994.

*           *           *

Tuesday night's council meeting was particularly long and interesting. The main item on the agenda was a Land Use Board of Appeals remand hearing on a Vacation Rental Dwelling on Spinnaker, off Seabird. On a split vote, the planning commission had granted approval for the VRD. The neighbors appealed, and the council overturned the planning commission decision on a 5-1 vote (Peter Braun).

But LUBA said our findings for denial were not strong enough, so we held another hearing on the record, but postponed the decision until November when all the councilors could be present as Councilor Madeline Seymour had been called away by the unexpected death of her brother (who had just been here on Cranberry weekend).

The applicant for the VRD was a Chinese man named Frank Gu, who was represented by a Eugene attorney. Mr. Gu also spoke during the hearing.

It was during the testimony that a woman who lives in the area, Maureen O'Neill, said she felt that if Mr. Gu's name had been Smith, we never would have denied his application, inferring that our decision was race based. She wrote the same statement, but enlarged on it, in her written testimony.

Nothing could be further from the truth, as was pointed out quite clearly by Councilor Geri Procetto at the close of the hearing. To say we were stunned is an understatement.

When someone builds what was essentially a five-bedroom house in a neighborhood of smaller manufactured homes, it got the attention of the neighbors ... and that was the crux of the issue, not Mr. Gu's nationality.

His attorney pointed out that with the conditions put on the VRD permit by the planning commission, it was far less likely to be a nuisance in the neighborhood than would a large house with no restrictions, which could be a long-term rental.

That decision will be up to the council . . .

*           *           *

Tony Chatman, who heads up the Bandon Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), attended the council meeting and invited us to attend the upcoming CERT training, which begins Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Bandon Fire Hall from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The public is urged to take the training, which is held weekly through Dec. 11. Classes include introduction to disaster preparedness, Oct. 16; fire safety, Oct. 23; disaster medical operations, Oct. 30; medical disaster operations II, Nov. 6; light search and rescue operations, Nov. 13; CERT organization, Nov. 20; disaster psychology, Nov. 27; terrorism and CERT, Dec. 4; and final, Dec. 11.

For more information people can contact Tony at 541-551-0361.




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 03, 2018


I still remember all the fun that the Bandon Lions Club had during the celebration of Oregon's Centennial in 1959. Oregon became the 33rd state on Feb. 14, 1859, and communities like Bandon celebrated throughout the year.

Oregon Centennial parade, 1959
Oregon Centennial parade, 1959

This picture was taken in June of 1959 as a group of Lions paraded down Second Street, with signs which read "Unfair to Bandon Centennial, No Whiskers," and "Unfair to Fire Dept. Whisker Club."

I can only identify two of the men, and that would be owner of Larsen's Cleaners, Ronnie Larsen, second, and behind him is Glenn Scofield, who was principal of Harbor Lights School.

Among those watching them parade downtown is Helen Dunham, who is standing in front of Boone's Hardware, which she ran for many years. I think the man standing next to her is Ernie Panter, long a businessman in Bandon. That is now the home of Lynn Davies' Bandon Card & Gift Shop. Next to the hardware store was Ray's Pharmacy (owned by Bob and Phyllis Ray), Bandon Florist and Gift shop, and The Senter Agency, owned by Merritt J. Senter. Today those buildings are all owned by Lynn Davies and her family.

The second picture, taken in March of 1973, was an all too familiar scene in those days as three men attempt to right a small fishing boat that had sunk at the dock.

Small fishing boat sunk at the dock
Small fishing boat sunk at the dock, 1973

In the foreground is the Port of Bandon tug Active, and I think the fishing vessel Lively Lady is alongside the dock. As you can see, this was before the building that now houses the Old Town Marketplace was built as the large building in the background is the old Coast Guard Station.

The third picture is another photo of Bandon Lions Club members and the area we now know as Old Town, although in those days it was simply "downtown."

Lions Bill Cook, and Russ Conn, 1971
Lions Bill Cook, and Russ Conn, 1971

This picture was taken in February of 1971 as Lions Bill Cook, left, and Russ Conn, head into the Capps Motor Co. showroom with some items for the annual Bandon Lions Club March of Dimes auction. Note the old golf clubs, clothes hamper and a couple of used lamps.

*           *           *

Something that no board of directors or city council ever wants to hear .... occurred at Thursday night's meeting of the Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center board when CEO JoDee Tittle announced that she had taken a job in California and will be resigning her position effective in-mid November.

When she was hired less than two years ago (late January of 2017) she signed a three-year contract.

She told the board that her family is the reason she's leaving, explaining that "transitioning to the coastal climate is challenging."

The irony is that we have had some pretty glorious weather in recent months so I am not sure what kind of weather they were expecting on the Southern Oregon Coast.

The family, which includes her husband and two daughters, also purchased a home soon after arriving in Bandon, which was a good sign that she planned to stay.

I have talked to three members of the five-member board, and they had no idea that she was looking for another job, nor that she planned to leave. In fact, one member of the board had a one-on-one conversation with her last Monday, and she made no mention of having taken another job. I understand the Leadership Team knew, but not the hospital board.

Tittle has taken a job with Plumas District Hospital, located in Quincy, Calif., a town of 1,728 people. It is a 25-bed general medical and surgical hospital in what one review described as an older facility.

The husband of an employee of the district said the employees loved JoDee. "The powers that be need to figure out why she's leaving because she helped attract good talent . . .", he said.

I am pretty sure the hospital board would love to know the real reason she is leaving as it appears from his remarks that it is more than the coastal weather.

The board will hold a special meeting Wednesday night (Oct. 10) at 7 p.m. at the hospital to talk about the transition. The public is welcome to attend.

Having gone through the city manager hiring process twice in the last four years as mayor, I don't envy the board. They have a difficult task ahead of them but I know they will rise to the occasion.

*           *           *

Another event that is taking place Wednesday at 6 o'clock at The Barn/Community Center is a meet and greet to introduce the personable new chamber executive director Ruthie Painter to the community.

I stopped into the visitor center last week to meet her, and was pleased with her enthusiasm and willingness to get up to speed in her new job. She has big shoes to fill after the long-time ED Julie Miller resigned to take another position which admittedly is one with a "lot less stress."

*           *           *

Next week I will talk again about the City of Bandon ballot measure 6-172 that will be on the November ballot. A yes vote means the city charter will be changed to prohibit public dollars from being spent to operate or maintain a swimming pool.

It does not determine whether or not a swimming pool will be built, or where it will be located, and if someone tries to tell you that, they are not being truthful.

Along with the local measure, I will also pass along the Oregonian editorial board's recommendation on Ballot Measures 103, 104, 105 and 106, which is a recommended NO vote on each of them.

*           *           *

I learned this week that long-time Bandon resident Dieter Kunz died last Friday at the age of 85. He and his wife, Patti, have been here many years, and at one time he owned and operated Dieter's Foreign Car Service in the Coos Bay area. He would have celebrated his 86th birthday in November.

*           *           *

The Gaels Readers Theater is presenting their popular Bandon Burns program Sunday afternoon, Oct. 7, at 2 p.m. in the Sprague Community Theater.

They had several sold-out performances last year, so if you didn't have an opportunity to attend or would like to hear Bandon Fire survivors' stories again, don't miss this program. It's $5 at the door.

*           *           *

I've read several pretty negative comments discussing the conduct of (some of) the University of Oregon fans last Saturday after Oregon lost to Stanford in overtime. One video which went viral pictures a man, with no shirt on, leaning over the railing giving the Stanford players the finger as they head into their locker room. (Like it was their fault Oregon lost the game??)

And you expected a different result after learning that people would be allowed to tailgate (make that party) for a longer period of time before and after the game even though they would not be allowed to re-enter once they left the game?

The University of Oregon was asking that tailgating be allowed for six hours on game day ... up from the normal four hours. Any idea how that might improve conduct or ability to drive on game day?

*           *           *

I haven't read about this in any other paper, but the Sept. 19 issue of the Curry Coastal Pilot contained a big headline: "Handicapped patron dies in lot."

Apparently a paraplegic woman from Texas, who was 56 years old, was traveling the state with two companions. They had allegedly reserved a handicapped accessible room at the Brookings Inn, but when they got there, it was discovered that their room was on the second floor, with no wheelchair access.

Unable to find a room (it was Labor Day weekend) anywhere in the area, the trio agreed that one of the women would spend the night in the truck with the handicapped woman, while the other stayed in the second-floor room.

But at 7:30 a.m. the woman reportedly stopped breathing and died in the parking lot in spite of efforts by EMTs to revive her.

One of the three woman said she had confirmed that they had an accessible room on at least two separate occasions, but it wasn't until it was too late that one of the clerks said that she had, in fact, made the reservation (which others denied), but the night crew had moved another booking downstairs.

Not sure how this will end . . .


Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn


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