As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
May 24, 2017
The first picture I am sharing is the First National Bank building a few days after the Fire of 1936.
First National Bank building after the Fire of 1936
It may look like a burned out shell, but my grandfather was able to reopen the Western World within little more than a week after the Fire because of its concrete block construction.
I was so excited while looking at old newspapers on line last week, to find out more about the beautiful block building, which was built by First National Bank in 1914 and today is known as the Masonic building. It is one of only a few commercial buildings that survived the Bandon Fire of 1936. The others include the old Stephan Hotel (which now houses Cranberry Sweets), the former Coast Lumber Yard (which was torn down some years ago), the Bob-Otto Court (where the Shell station now sits) and the Breuer building, which still stands today as a vacation rental dwelling between Edgewaters and the Port of Bandon's old Coast Guard building. Many of the industrial buildings, like Moore Mill and others built on piling over the water, did survive, but most of the commercial and residential structures were wiped out except for a few in East Bandon, where the high school was located in those days.
Here's an article from the front page of the March 31, 1914, issue of the Bandon Recorder:
"The new First National Bank building, which is now nearing completion, is one of the finest and most modern buildings in Southwestern Oregon, and is as near fire-proof as a building can be made. The only wood there is in the building is the door and window casings.
"The floors on both the first and second floors are made of concrete and as has been said the building is as near fire proof . . . and will probably be standing intact in a hundred years, should it not be torn down by human design.
"The first story is divided into two rooms, one of which will be used for the banking business and the other will be let out as a store room, and the building is so arranged that at any time the bank needs the entire first floor, it can be arranged in short order.
"There is a full basement to the building and the second story will be office rooms and the suites will be modern in every particular. The building will be heated with hot water and every room will have both hot and cold water, in fact everything that could be imagined to make the building up-do-date."
It is ironic that they made two mentions of the building being fire proof since the building was completed three months before the first big fire which struck the business district in 1914.
The area that burned was along First Street, so it was not near this building, which is on the west end of Second Street. But the building definitely survived the Fire of 1936. At that time, the Western World was located on the west end of the first floor ... the same spot where The Cobbler's Bench is now. Shortly after the fire, the Bank of Bandon moved into the spot formerly occupied by First National Bank, as their building (at the foot of Oregon Avenue where Wall Street met First Street) was destroyed in the Fire.
History shows that on April 3, 1925, (just over 10 years after they built the new concrete building) the First National Bank closed its doors in Bandon and the national bank examiner took charge. In 1924 auditors had found cashier Roy Corson $17,000 short in funds. He was sentenced to federal prison but was released within months, as he was apparently able to repay the money. Depositors ultimately received only 75 percent of the money they had in the bank at the time it closed.
"The closing of the bank reflected the trend in the nation's economy. Throughout the country banks began to fail. By the 1929 stock market crash local citizens had begun to adjust to the economic downturn," according to information in Dow Beckham's book, Bandon By-The-Sea.
It's neat to know that just over 100 years after the building was complete, a grant has been awarded to the Greater Bandon Association to begin repairing exterior damage, which has occurred over the years. The builders, of course, had no idea that Bandon would survive two disastrous fires, but they made sure this building would stand.
The second picture I am sharing is the Bandon High School, which was in East Bandon on property where the baseball field is now located.
Bandon High School
It survived the Fire as did the adjacent gymnasium, which was then partitioned off for grade school classes, as the grade school had been in west Bandon (about where it is now) and it burned.
The high school was on the bluff, and Marge Lange (who later became Mrs. Melvin Boak) recounts in Dow Beckham's book that she could see the river and the ocean from her second-story room, where she taught high school English.
The "new" high school was opened in 1950, and later burned in an arson fire in January of 1974. Joan DeCosta Goodbrod recalls that hers was the first class to graduate from the new high school.
The third picture was taken in 1973 of the US Post Office, which was on Baltimore Avenue in the building that now houses Foley's Irish Pub.
US Post Office, 1973
Over the years, my two favorite postmasters were John B. "Jack" Wade and Jack Ward. You needed to know the combination to get into your post office box and it wasn't always easy to remember. But someone at the window would generally get your mail for you . . .
In 1940, Jack Wade was postmaster and Caroline McDiarmid was the assistant. When this picture was taken, I believe Jack Ward was the postmaster.
It appears from one of my history books that the post office was on Baltimore at the time of the fire, but the building burned. It later went into the Stephan building and then moved to the Coast Lumber building, which was situated on what is now a vacant lot across Fillmore from the Station Restaurant.
* * *
I heard last week that long-time resident, Leroy Nelson, died while fishing on Klamath Lake. He and his wife, Marge, owned Twin Firs, a business on Highway 42S just outside of town. Back in the late '50s, Leroy worked at the Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op. I believe he was in his mid-70s.
* * *
There is no way to describe MarLo Dance Studio's presentation of Sleeping Beauty, which played at the Sprague over the weekend, except to say it is director Maria Merriam's gift to the community.
I continue to be amazed by the quality of the dance programs put on by MarLo through the years. I still remember when her mother, Alice Stadelman, introduced dance to the community when Maria and her siblings were young. And both Alice and Francis continue to help with the productions today as do other members of Maria's extended family.
The choreography was superb, the sound was first rate, the lighting was fabulous and so were the costumes.
At the close of the program, the dance instructors, Trish Shropshire, Lu Lei Napier, Jordan Chandler and Maria, were introduced to rousing applause.
Parking was a bit of a problem as there were probably 500 people at city park that night, including the sold-out crowd at the Sprague, an estimated 150 people at the Democratic dinner next door and Little League activity in another part of the complex.
* * *
It was quite an honor for the Bandon Chamber of Commerce to receive the 2016 Outstanding Oregon Website Award from the Oregon Tourism Commission.
The commission's annual Travel and Tourism Industry Achievement Awards recognize people and organizations across the state that go the extra mile to enhance the travel and tourism industry in Oregon.
"We're thrilled and honored to receive the website award. This kind of industry recognition is especially exciting for our community because the web project involved so many of our Bandon Chamber business members," said Julie Miller, Executive Director for the chamber.
"To me this award celebrates creative excellence, love of Bandon and all that it is to each of us. To be recognized statewide as the foremost website in the state -- promoting the business of tourism, our members and their businesses, and for being an economic driver for the community -- is impressive," said past president Margaret Pounder.
The new website, bandon.com, launched in April 2016.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
May 17, 2017
The issue of gorse has been on our minds for many years, as evidenced by the first picture I am sharing, which was taken during a mutual aid training course hosted by the Bandon Fire Department in May of 1965.
Gorse fire demonstration, 1965
Howard Tucker is in the foreground alongside a demonstration gorse fire. Looking at him is Fred Cox, and behind him are Buster Jacobs and in the white shirt, Pete Goodbrod. The community remains surrounded by gorse today, and it is one of the top projects being undertaken by Jim Seeley and the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance.
The second photo, looking south on Highway 101, was taken in 1966 from the property where Fred Carleton's office and business building are now located.
Looking south on Highway 101, 1966
This is before city hall was built on the east side of the highway and before Harbor View Motel (now Bandon Inn) was built. At top right you can see the hall adjacent to Holy Trinity Catholic Church, originally built as a convent and now used as a gathering place by the church.
The third photo was taken in 1971 at Bandon Westmost Golf Course, and pictures Jim Curran in the background, Brad Hurley, left, and Kevin Murray, right, probably headed out for some practice at what will always be my all-time favorite course. Actually I'm only guessing that it was taken at the course, since it was the only golf course in Bandon in those days.
Bandon Westmost Golf Course, 1971
* * *
Bandon's own Takashi Haruna was one of 25 people who became United States citizens Friday during a ceremony at the federal courthouse in Eugene.
Takashi and his wife, Robin, pastor of Unity Church of Bandon, are well-known and well-loved in the community.
Congratulations Takashi . . . also my very favorite computer repairman and a close neighbor.
* * *
I'm not exactly sure who to thank for sponsoring the Lion Sons concert last Sunday night at the Sprague Theater, but I think Candace Kreitlow would be a good start. Even though it was short notice that this exciting trio, who sang the songs of The Kingston Trio, would be appearing, there was a good crowd on hand. It was a benefit for the BHS Speech Team and the Bandon Swimming Pool committee.
Two of the three Lion Sons, including son Josh Reynolds, are related to one of the original Kingston Trio members, Nick Reynolds, who lived for many years with his family up Elk River. Another member of the trio was Nick's nephew, Mike Marvin, and Mike's musical brother Tim Gorelangton. Accompanying the group on stage was Bandon native Gary Robertson, son of Earle and Linda Robertson, who played an electric bass.
During the concert the group paid tribute to Dr. Del and Ann Remy and their son, Gary, all of whom were in the audience. Del was the family doctor. Also introduced was Careen Pierce, who had both Gary Robertson and Gary Remy in her second grade class.
Music lovers were treated to a special moment when Candace came on stage with her harp and accompanied the group when they sang Where Have All The Flowers Gone. I would have loved to have heard more of her accompaniment.
I am guessing the Reynolds family still owns their property on Elk River as the men said they were headed down there after the concert.
I look forward to hearing this group again, and definitely would attend if they play on the local stage.
Again, a special thanks to whoever made this possible ...
* * *
Our new city manager, Robert Mawson, experienced a tragedy in his family last week, and he and his wife are now in Utah with their son and his family.
On Wednesday evening, Robert received word that his daughter-in-law, Jennie Mawson, had suffered an aneurysm and was being transported to a large hospital in Salt Lake City.
Robert and his wife, Danel, left immediately for Utah. The next day, Jennie died, leaving a husband and five children.
Our prayers go out to Robert and his family.
* * *
I have featured several pictures lately of the old First National Bank building (now referred to as the Masonic Building). While I won't share another picture of the building this week, I do have plenty of news involving it.
First, Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, announced that the Greater Bandon Association has been awarded a $100,000 Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant to repair, rehabilitate and paint the building.
The work has been organized into three phases, with the first to be the repair of concrete, re-plastering of deteriorated surfaces and painting of the front and both sides of the building. The second phase includes the removal and replacement of an existing failed retaining wall on the backside including waterproofing and drainage to prevent water from entering the building's basement. This is work that will be supported with the Oregon Main Street grant.
Included in the second phase also is the construction of a new emergency platform and stairs as well as a new emergency exit door to meet fire and safety standards. The third and final phase will be concrete repair and painting of the backside to match the other three sides. GBA is seeking other grant support for these work phases, according to spokesman Harv Schubothe.
* * *
Nancy Evans mentioned to me recently that Bandon Organic Growers (BOG) would love to once again host the "little" Bandon Farmers Market in her courtyard at the entrance to Old Town.
This was one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday morning, and it was fun to find the occasional box of fresh raspberries or huckleberries, as well as strawberries from Valley Flora in Langlois.
This would not compete with the big market hosted by the Port of Bandon, which opened again last weekend, but would be for the little guy who only has a little home-grown produce that they'd like to share. It would be free to vendors on a first-come, first-served basis, and would start the second Saturday in July and continue until the Saturday after the Cranberry Festival ... from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Let me know if you're interested and I'll pass the word along ....
* * *
Saw a post on Facebook about former Bandon resident and 1964 BHS graduate David Barnekoff being injured in a wreck last week. David and his wife Elizabeth live in El Dorado Hills, Calif. David reportedly suffered a fractured sternum and a few torn muscles. Judging from the damage to the front end of his car, I'd say he is lucky he didn't suffer worse injuries.
* * *
Was pleasantly surprised to run into Martin and Nancy Hauser in Old Town Friday evening as we were leaving Broken Anchor. The Hausers were former owners of the Station Restaurant and moved to Kona, Hawaii, 11 years ago.
They are contemplating moving to Prescott, Ariz., to be near family.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
May 10, 2017
The first picture I am sharing was taken before the Fire of 1936, and I have chosen it because last week I mentioned that I was not sure where the Rex Theatre was located. In this picture, taken from First Street looking due south at the First National Bank building (Masonic building as it is known today), you can see the Rex sign between the clothing store and the Hotel Bandon.
Before the Fire of 1936
Today that would be the site of Ed Landucci's building on Alabama, which is rented by Olivia Andor of Olivia's Cottage. I believe Bo Shindler's grandfather, Otto Shindler, owned the Rexall Drug Store in the Ellingson building before the fire. Later he opened on Second Street in the building now housing Winter River Books.
The second picture is what Bandon High School looked like before it was destroyed in an arson fire in 1974. I believe it was built in about 1950. This was a beautiful building, and the enclosed porch was particularly popular with the students.
Bandon High School before the arson fire of 1974
Not only did the high school burn in January of 1974, but I believe it was that same week that drugs and 40 loaded firearms were found in weekend raids, one of which was in Bandon. Among those arrested in Bandon was a federal fugitive from Texas. As I was deputized by the sheriff's office in those days (mostly for police photography) I was at the scene of the local raid, which occurred in the middle of the night in a small house one block off the highway behind what was then Bandon Food Center (building now owned by Larry Hardin). That would make a separate story as I was in the front room alone while the narcotics detectives were in a back shed examining a vat of chemicals used to make meth ...when one of the wanted subjects drove up to the front door.
In March of 1974, fire destroyed the Bandon Market (Davison's Market), and although it was at first thought to have been arson, it was later determined that it probably started in the rear meat-cutting room. It was built by Noah Davison in 1938 on the corner of Delaware and Highway 101, on what is now a vacant parking lot across from the McNair Building (Bandon Brewing Co.). It was later sold to his son, Earle, who changed the name to Bandon Market.
The third picture was taken in 1971 during a circus event, which I believe was in Bandon City Park. It may have been the Pickle Family Circus, but I am not sure.
Circus event in City Park, 1971
At any rate, pictured are Ann (Mrs. Del) Remy, right, holding daughter Lee Ann. Next to her is Betty (Mrs. John) Abbott, and next to her is Alfred Owens.
In front, from left, are Gary Remy, Kerrie Abbott, John Abbott and an unidentified little boy.
* * *
Several people have approached me lately to ask how I am voting on Ballot Measure 6-162, which has apparently been designed to keep out Jordan Cove, but could impact other utilities, including the City of Bandon. I urge people to vote NO on this measure.
For more details on how it could impact the City, there is a page of information in this month's utility bill from the City of Bandon. That explains it much better than I can.
* * *
I have learned of the death of a local man, Pete Paradies, 75, who had suffered from heart problems and other health issues for several years. Pete was very active in Holy Trinity Catholic Church and had many friends.
I also heard from my second cousin, Doug Stearns, that his mother, Barbara Stearns, had died Sunday evening, April 23. Barbara and her late husband (my cousin) Gene Stearns lived in Bandon for many years until Gene, a tugboat captain, was transferred to Seattle in 1963. Barbara turned 94 last Aug. 10.
She was a beautiful woman, with an opera voice that was truly amazing. In addition to her immediate family, which includes son Doug and daughter, Kristine, and several grandchildren, Barbara was a sister to the late Betty MacDonald, who was married for many years to our beloved police chief, Big Mac.
Doug and his wife, Candy, were vacationing in Bandon when they got word that his mother was not doing well. They immediately returned to Bellevue and were able to spend time with her that weekend. "She went peacefully and, in fact, was still joking until the end," Doug told me.
Kristine's son, Derek Matheson, is the city manager in Kent, Wash., and he and his wife, Meredith, and their four young daughters often vacation in Bandon.
* * *
You may have seen a trolley from Jacksonville, Ore., driving around Bandon this week . . . or parked in the lower City of Bandon yard off Fillmore.
At any rate the purchase of this beautiful trolley is a joint venture of the Port of Bandon and the City of Bandon, and once it has been refurbished and upgraded, you will probably see it being used to transport people from one spot to another in the Bandon area.
This is a ride I won't want to miss.
* * *
I continue to be amused at the number of ads that are being placed by the man who came to town last month and began spending money "like it grew on trees."
But since he stopped giving away gift certificates and merchandise, he has taken to placing ads in Coffee Break and the Aspire, sometimes with his name and phone number, but more generally just his PO box ... 846.
This week's ads read: "Anyone who has been damaged by anyone. I would like to help you get justice. PO Box 846, Bandon, OR 97411." Another said, "Trustworthy person needed to help run business(s). Send resume, and salary requirements to" . . . and he listed his name and address.
At the moment he is (or was) renting an office space in an uptown building, but not sure how long that is going to last.
I would be interested to hear from anyone who has responded to one of his ads ....
* * *
Wow. Things happen faster than I can keep up with. Thanks to the careful eye of Fred Carleton, he advised me that my article about former Bandon Police Chief Rick Lewis in last week's column was not correct.
I explained that Rick had been mistaken for the 30-year police officer Rick Lewis, who had recently been named police chief of the City of Springfield. (Not sure how enviable that would be since the mayor's son was recently arrested for slashing people's tires).
At any rate, our Rick Lewis was (and that's the key word) mayor of Silverton for several years.
But in February he was sworn in as the State Representative for House District 18 after being appointed to fill the vacant seat.
Although state law did not require him to step away from his mayor job, to which he was first elected in 2014 and then again in 2016, he decided to do so. "It became clear that there were some outstanding constitutional questions that could expose both the city and the legislature to some risks," Rick was quoted as saying.
Lewis was appointed to the position vacated by Rep. Vic Gilliam of Silverton, who had served since 2007. Gilliam was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and was forced to retire.
My father died from Lou Gehrig's, which is an extremely debilitating disease.
* * *
I'm always interested to see what others say about us in area newspapers. There was a neat letter to the editor in a recent issue of the Brookings Harbor Pilot, which mentioned Bandon, or more specifically the Port of Bandon.
In a letter urging people to vote for Angi Christian for the Port of Brookings Harbor commission, the writer says, in part:
"Time to start thinking fun and festivities at the Port of Brookings Harbor right?
"A lively boardwalk bustling with tourists enjoying the numerous retail shops, markets and restaurants? Oops, sorry. Wrong city! That's Bandon by the Sea, just up the coast, with half the population, but a thriving port and boardwalk, and a woman port director to boot!
"Let's have a port that's vibrant and solvent for people to enjoy year-round."
This is not the first time I have heard or read positive comments from Bookings residents about our port and what it has to offer, and I am sure it won't be the last.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
May 03, 2017
The first picture I am sharing is one of Bandon's theaters that existed before the Fire of 1936. Not sure where the Rex Theatre was located, but my guess is this picture was taken sometime in the mid-'20s because, when I blew it up, I could see the movies that were being advertised.
The special feature, showing Sunday and Monday, starred Douglas Fairbanks and Wallace Beery in The Mollycoddle, which came out in 1920. The show slated for Tuesday and Wednesday was The Millionaire Cowboy, featuring Lefty Flynn, which was released in 1924.
This is such a stately old building, and I can just envision what it must have looked like inside.
The second picture was taken during the Cranberry Bowl in 1966 as the band, directed by Dennis Lindahl, played during halftime.
Cranberry Bowl, 1966
In the background you can see the baseball field, complete with a large grandstand, and the dugouts on either side. Across Ninth Street, and barely visible in the picture, is Bandon High School, which was destroyed in an arson fire in 1974. If I blew it up I could probably recognize a lot of the people standing on the other side of the field, which was a popular viewing spot in those days. The baseball field was later dismantled, and rebuilt in East Bandon near the old quonset hut, and the layout of the football field was changed to facilitate the track which circles it. This picture was taken from the old football grandstand, which was later torn down to make way for the "improvements."
I am not sure what year the third photo was taken, but I chose it because of the flooding.
Prosper home flooded by Coquille River
All you can see is the top of the white picket fence and J.W. Howard's mailbox. I am pretty sure this house was in Prosper and belonged to the Howard family, of which many descendants still live in Bandon today. Since this negative was part of the those I saved from being thrown out by a former owner of Western World, this was probably taken in the late '50s or the '60s. I can only guess what the inside of the house looked like after the water (probably from the Coquille River) receded.
* * *
Speaking of flooding, I have received a number of emails and personal contacts regarding just how much rain we have had since the rain year began Oct.1. And I can tell you it is all over the proverbial map.
I spoke again to the man, who said he had recorded 150 inches between Oct. 1 and around mid-April, and he stands firm with his readings. And he also confirmed that he had checked with two others, who had recorded similar amounts.
But others disagree, while still others have their own high figures.
Bo Shindler, who lives in Gold Beach, said the official Gold Beach rainfall from Oct. 1 to April 23 was 110.20 inches. A normal year, for the same time period, would have been 68.72.
He also heard from a fellow in a chat room in Brookings who said he had recorded 132.50 inches from Oct. 1 through March 31.
Gerald Terp sent me his figures, and he's recorded 82.15 inches through March. I believe he lives on Third Street up behind Face Rock Creamery.
His calendar year totals fluctuate greatly, indicating only 34.19 for all of 2013, 71.63 for 2014 and 72.80 for 2016.
Ben Fisher, manager of Bullards Beach State Park, which is the official NOAA weather station for Bandon, recorded 71.20 through March.
An item online April 27 said that Astoria had recorded a record 167 days of measureable rain since Oct. 1, amounting to 84.52 inches.
A spokesman for the Astoria Chamber summed up what a lot of us had been feeling: "The last couple of winters have been mild, but it's been pretty dreary this year. People are pretty depressed. The locals are used to it ... kind of ... but it's been an extreme year, and people are pretty sick of it."
Amen. Now let's hope spring is really here and we can enjoy the much-missed sunshine.
I did find online that the record rainfall in Bandon, for a single day, was 7.04 inches on February 9, 1961. I will have to look that up in the old Western World newspapers and see what kind of flooding might have occurred from that much rain in a single day.
* * *
I want to remind everyone that this Saturday, May 6, the Bandon Museum will be hosting a program featuring Bob Fisher, long-time Bandon resident, who helped rescue 11 people from the Elizabeth Olson, and four months later survived a boat wreck that took the life of the skipper. The program is set for 2 p.m. at the museum. Along with Mr. Fisher, Reg Pullen and I will be facilitating the program, with help from museum board president Jim Proehl.
We had a full house the first time we presented the program, and we're hoping for another big crowd Saturday.
It is a fascinating first-person story about bravery and heroism.
* * *
Even though I was not there, I need to talk about an incident that occurred Friday night at Foley's Irish Pub in Old Town involving my sister, Molly Dufort; local bookkeeper Catherine Kahn; former Western World editor Melody Gillard-Juarez; and relative newcomers, Tom and Jackie Orsi, retired professionals who moved to Bandon several years ago.
It all started when their favorite waitress told the group that she had been advised by the owner that she could no longer split checks, but that one person had to pay the entire bill. This is not the first problem that has arisen over that policy, but from what I understand, it probably had one of the worst endings, with the entire group being kicked out by the owners and told not to return after someone questioned the policy. My sister was so concerned with the escalation that she ended up calling 9-1-1 and told the dispatcher what was happening. She later talked to a police officer, but by that time they had left the establishment.
Rather than try to explain what happened, I went to Yelp.com and looked at the posts from Melody, Jackie and Tom, and it pretty much tells the story. The word that I would use to best describe it is: sad and so unnecessary.
These are people who ate there three or four times a month; not to mention my sisters, who had begun eating lunch there on weekends. All they wanted was for each one to have his or her own ticket ... rather than expect one person to pay the entire bill (which on New Years Eve several years ago was $159). Makes complete sense to me . . .
* * *
Last week I mentioned a man, who has recently moved to Bandon from Northern California and has become very "generous" with his money. He has also spent quite a lot on ads in Coffee Break, but instead of using his name and phone number, he is often advertising under P. O. Box 846.
There were several interesting ads in the April 26 edition, including: WANTED 24/7/365: armed guard(s). Box 846, Bandon. Another read: "GOLD/SILVER buy/sell at spot + $1. PO Box 846, Bandon. Another reads: "DREAMING of owning a profitable business? Call," and he lists his name and phone number. A fourth thanks everyone in Bandon, OR. who "has treated me with respect." But it has no name, phone number or box number, so I am only assuming he placed the ad.
When a local businessman went into his store last Monday morning he found a business card, which had been slipped through his door. On the back it reads: "IOU $100 - Phil." On the front is his name and address. It was hard to figure out since the local man didn't even know the guy ... let alone that he would owe him anything. That was a week ago . . . and he never came back.
And the saga continues ...
* * *
I received a nice note and a clipping from the Eugene Register-Guard this week from a woman I met years ago at St. John's Episcopal Church. The clipping was a picture and a story about a Rick Lewis being named police chief of Springfield. My friend questioned why there was no mention of his being chief at Bandon some years ago, as she had been very fond of him.
Unfortunately it was not "our" Rick Lewis that had been promoted to the job after many years with the Springfield PD.
It certainly is a coincidence that two Oregon police chiefs would have the same name, but I went on line and printed out a picture of "our" Rick Lewis, who has retired from police work and is now the mayor of Silverton.
I talked with him at the League of Oregon Cities convention in Salem last September, and he's hardly changed a bit ... except he was there as an elected official rather than a city employee.
Rick was chief here 30 years ago.
* * *
Last month I read an interesting article in The Oregonian which said Oregon is still a top source for illegal marijuana, in spite of the fact that both medical and recreational are legal.
It said "nothing has been done to change Oregon's long-standing reputation as a leading black market exporter of premium cannabis, state police say in a new analysis obtained by The Oregonian/Oregon Live," according to the article.
Leading the way are Jackson, Multnomah, Josephine, Lane, Deschutes and Washington counties. Two the four cities listed as having the greatest level of connection to black market destinations were in Southern Oregon: Medford and Grants Pass. The prime markets include Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Idaho, none of which have recreational marijuana laws.
Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick said medical marijuana growers are the chief source of black market cannabis leaving the state. "She said she's confident that tight regulation of the recreational marijuana program is keeping it from leaking out of the system," said the article.
The state police report found that Oregon "exported cannabis to the black market at a rate twice that of Washington, home to medical and recreational marijuana programs."
The report also pointed out something that we have known for a long time: "the medical marijuana program had a long history of loose regulation that has made it ripe for exploitation."
It concluded with a frightening statistic: nationwide, the government programs of Medicare and Medicaid paid out $7.6 million for medical care for hash oil burn victims between 2013 and 2016."
Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn