As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

March 22, 2017

The first two pictures that I am sharing this week were taken on the same day in September of 1962 as the new Fillmore Avenue sewer was installed. The first picture is looking north on Fillmore, with the old Coast Lumber Yard on the left and Bob Schultz' Bandon Plumbing building on the right. In the background you can see Moore Mill and Lumber Co.

Fillmore Avenue sewer installation, 1962
Fillmore Avenue sewer installation, 1962

The lot where the lumber yard sat is now a gravel parking lot, serving The Laurel. The Bandon Plumbing site is part of the Station Restaurant property, and is now occupied by a new women's clothing business, known as Klutch.

The second picture shows Highway 101 (Second Street) being torn up to make way for the sewer.

Sewer installation, 1962
Sewer installation, 1962

The service station at right later became Ray Hallinan's Bandon Book & Stationery, and still later was Gibson Graphics (which has since moved up the hill to the spot vacated by Takashi Haruna when he retired). You can see the Bandon Beauty Shoppe building, which held several businesses, and is now home to Forget-Me-Knots quilt shop. Beyond that is the Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op, now the site of the new Face Rock Creamery. Back to the service station, my dad, Bill Dufort, had what I believe was the first Gilmore station in Bandon at that location in about 1941.

I'm not exactly sure when the third picture was taken, but I remember the incident well. Onlookers line the beach at the South Jetty as they watch the Meridian Blue sailboat try to right itself and make it out of the surf. I believe it was trying to enter the harbor when it went around the south jetty and headed toward the beach.

Meridian Blue, South Jetty Beach
Meridian Blue, South Jetty Beach

*           *           *

It is hard for me to come to grips with the news recently that the University of Oregon will be raising its tuition more than 10 percent next year, and has issued pink slips for more than 80 employees.

Two days later, it's reported that David Reaves, who worked 26 hours with the U of O football program before he was arrested for drunk driving and other offenses, was paid $63,750 by the University. I guess it was $3,750 for the hours he worked and a $60,000 bonus for something ... which I am sure was not for good behavior or making the University proud. He resigned several days after his arrest.

In fact, another of Willy Taggart's new coaches, who was a passenger the night that Reaves was arrested, has also since resigned.

Not sure how much money he was/will be paid.

Talk about the tale of two universities. This is a classic!!

And you could lump Oregon's basketball program into the mix. It is coached by one classy guy, Dana Altman, and win or lose, his club has made Oregonians proud.

(As I write this, Oregon roared back from a 10-point deficit to beat Rhode Island 75-72 to advance to the Sweet 16.)

*           *           *

I've been so busy watching the "March Madness" basketball games this week that I haven't even thought about my column, and it's showing as I race back and forth between the Oregon/Rhode Island game and my computer.

*           *           *

One of my faithful readers, Richard Hancock, commented on the picture of the logs piled on the lot across from the port's Marketplace building, which appeared in the March 8 column. "The stack of logs ... seems to be from the river cleanup done about the '70s and '80s. All the abandoned log booms, docks, etc. were cleared out and a lot of really good timber was salvaged. In the pile of logs there are several with large holes where the boom chains were fastened. Also several are notched for deck planks. In the timber heyday there were many miles of log storage booms and many millions of board feet of logs at any given time on the Coquille River."

Thanks, Dick, for the information.

*           *           *

The news continues to be grim about the $22 billion shortfall in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), which threatens public services across the state.

The bottom line, according to an article in The Oregonian, is that "government compensation costs will climb 30 percent in five years, far outpacing revenue growth, study says."

The study was done by the Portland State University's Center for Public Service.

"The study found that compensation costs are far outpacing projected revenue growth, and in the absence of some extraordinary windfall -- perhaps from new taxes -- the mismatch will leave state government employers with little alternative but to reduce their workforce, perhaps by as much as 10 percent."

This, of course, affects more than state government employers. It could have a dramatic affect on city government, as well.

"The cost increases are being driven in large part by the spike in government employers' required contributions to the state's underfunded pension system, which are expected to nearly double as a percentage of payroll over the next five years. At the end of that period, many jurisdictions, including some school districts, will be spending more than $4,000 in retirement costs for every $10,000 they spend on base salaries.

"Coupled with rising health insurance costs, cost of living raises and regular 'step' pay increases for employees, the study projected that the total compensation costs for a typical public employee will climb 30 percent in the next five years, or at an annual compound rate above 5 percent.

"Individual government employers have varying capacities to absorb that kind of inflation, the study noted. Some, like utility districts, can raise fees. But property-tax-dependent cities and counties are constitutionally limited in their ability to generate new revenue."

*           *           *

I guess no one who reads the paper would say they hadn't seen it coming. But a study commissioned by the City of Eugene to look at the homeless problems in downtown Eugene was hard-hitting and to the point.

Eugene hired a New York-based firm to offer suggestions on how to make downtown public spaces more welcoming, active and safe.

The study found that downtown Eugene has reached a "crisis level." Words used to describe downtown ranged from "dirty" and "unsafe," to "dangerous."

It's something that downtown merchants have known for years, and they've watched the problem worsen year after year as people simply choose not to shop there because they are tired of being intimidated and harassed.

The council did take a step toward addressing the problem by outlawing dogs in the area, unless the dog owner lives downtown or operates a business.

To emphasize that the problem has gotten worse in recent years, it was pointed out that calls for police assistance have risen 46 percent in the last three years.

An editorial in the Register-Guard emphasized the problems:

"A deal to fill a vacant downtown location collapsed at the last minute when the company CEO took one look at downtown Eugene, went back to the airport and got on his plane."

Over the years, permissiveness has seemed to be the city's answer more often than not . . . and it is coming back to haunt them.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

March 15, 2017

The first picture I am sharing is more than 100 years old, and comes in the form of an old postcard I recently purchased on line. The title reads: "Dairy farm at Bandon, Ore."

Queen Anne's Cottage
Queen Anne's Cottage

Before I even read the note on the back, I was amused to see Face Rock as the backdrop for the four or five cows grazing in the foreground. The only structure was a two-story house nearby on the bluff overlooking the historic rock.

The note written to a Mrs. J.A. Church of Hoquiam, Wash., dated Oct. 25, 1913, reads: "Mama has part of a letter started to you but is so busy she has not finished it yet. Don't you remember Queen Anne's Cottage? This is it. There just happened to be some cattle grazing there so they called it a dairy ranch." It was signed V.I.

Actually they didn't call it a dairy ranch, but who's counting. Farm or ranch? It was neither.

The house in the photo must have been the nucleus for what later became Queen Anne Cottages (several of which are still standing just south of 11th Street on Beach Loop Road), built by the late W. J. Sweet and named after his daughter, Anne, who later married my uncle, L L. Felsheim, and who died last year.

The second picture I am sharing is pretty much of an embarrassment as I seldom care to share photos of me (this one is with Carolyn Roemer on the right) in my high school days, but it was the configuration of the cheese factory complex across the highway that I have tried to describe several times to old-timers, none of whom remembered what I was talking about.

Crown Feed & Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op
Crown Feed & Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op

This was taken sometime in the '50s in the front yard of my family's home long before the chain-link fence was installed after the platform crossing Ferry Creek was removed.

But I digress. On the left is the Crown Feed store, and at right, separated by a street/driveway is the Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op. The Crown Feed building was later moved across Ferry Creek and Grand Avenue to where it sits now as the pink building that houses the marketplace. Once it was gone, cheese factory manager Wesley Chappell and the board of directors began to expand the cheese factory, which is the way it looked for many years until it was purchased by Tillamook and later torn down.

I am only sorry that big semi truck was in the way, but you can clearly see a street between the two buildings.

The third picture was taken on Second Street during the 1966 Cranberry Festival parade.

1966 Cranberry Festival parade
1966 Cranberry Festival parade

The Ebb Tide building is now the home of Esscents Candles & Accessories, and upstairs Paul Hay recently opened his Pazaz Media Group business.

I wish I could identify some of the children walking behind the float, but I can't. I do think I see Peter Prahar and Marshall Spady on the sidewalk below the Ebb Tide sign. Both were in the BHS Class of 1969.

*           *           *

I hope people enjoy the old pictures of Bandon, many from before the fire of 1936, but this weekend I spent a lot of time trolling the Internet looking for historic photos and postcards. Unfortunately for my pocketbook, I found quite a few, and my guess is I spent well over $150 on them. I plan to share them in the coming weeks.

*           *           *

I was sorry to learn of the death of Ollie Jones, who I heard died last week in Eugene. Ollie served as director of the Bandon Youth Center for some time, and was also a current member of the city's parks and recreation commission.

*           *           *

People probably get tired of me talking about vicious dogs, but my latest story had an unfortunate ending ... for the city's code enforcement officer, David Kimes, who is also chairman of our planning commission.

David had gone out to a residence one day last week to do an inspection. He and the property owner were standing in the front yard talking, when a gust of wind blew the front door open and out bounded an Australian Shepherd dog.

"I love dogs, so I put my arm down, thinking he would come up to me. Instead, without a sound, he made two bounds toward me, grabbed my arm and bit me," Kimes said. The wound required a trip to the hospital and six stitches. But Kimes says he still loves dogs, even though the blood oozing through the bandage a day or so after the incident told me a different story. But that's me.

The hospital called animal control, but as of Saturday, I don't believe any action had been taken by the police.

The property owner was new to the community and David wasn't exactly sure how to spell his name. And since I don't know him, I won't be printing his name unless he is issued a citation.

My guess is that wasn't the dog's first unfriendly encounter . . .

*           *           *

The Bandon Police Department has issued a statement warning residents about a rash of car break-ins and urging locals to hide valuables. The release, which was written last week, said there had been seven reports of car break-ins since Monday, March 6. In addition, there have been two reports of stolen vehicles in the past two weeks.

All car break-ins usually have one thing in common: there is something left in the vehicle worth stealing. Most thefts are crimes of opportunity that could be easily prevented by taking some preventive measures, explained the police department spokesman.

People are advised not to leave valuables (guns, GPS units, cell phones, loose change, packages, bags, etc.) in their vehicle in plain sight. "When you arrive at your final destination, remove all personal or valuable items from the vehicle," said the press release.

They also advise drivers to remove evidence of valuables such as GPS suction cups, mounting brackets and cell phone chargers; try to park in a well-lit area; install and use an alarm system in your vehicle; and lock all of your vehicle's doors.

*           *           *

Dan Barnett, owner of Billy Smoothboars, posted something on Facebook Sunday that is worth repeating. I won't print the legion of comments that followed his post, most of which were written by people who love his restaurant, but I think his concerns are valid.

Here is what he said: "To everyone on both sides of the aisle ... the election is over and you must deal with it! With that said, I am hearing that someone or more than just one person is unhappy about the 'Trump' sign on the property behind our restaurant which we do not own. (He has capitalized the last part of that sentence for emphasis). If you don't want to eat at Billy Smoothboars because of the sign ...the sign is NOT ours and was put up by the person that owns that property! Just trying to set the record straight."

I hope I have helped Dan set the record straight ...

We have already reserved Billy Smoothboars for our class reunion this summer . . .as that is where we held our last reunion five years ago and had a great time.

*           *           *

While reading the Wall Street Journal a week ago last Sunday, I came upon a small column, which features expensive houses from different parts of the country. And one of them was a huge log home just outside of Gold Beach.

Probably not coincidentally, Homestead Log Homes had a video on the Internet a couple of days later highlighting the home, which I believe is or was for sale for a paltry $15 million.

I guess you could say "that's how the other half (well probably not) lives."

*           *           *

Speaking of price, in last week's column I mentioned that Fred Gernandt and Kirk Day had lowered the price on the parking lot property, across from the Old Town Marketplace, to $1.75 million. That is what I was told by several representatives of the city and the port, but Fred said the price has not been lowered because no offer was received.

Guess they're still holding out for "the big bucks."

All I can say is "good luck with that ...."

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

March 08, 2017

The first picture I am sharing this week was probably taken in the '70s, and shows logs stacked on the lot along First Street, across from what is now the Port of Bandon's Old Town Marketplace building.

Logs along First Street
Logs along First Street

Not sure where the logs came from, but I do know that Jim Perry had a portable sawmill on the property for several years. Or they might have been part of the port's work in the harbor.

In the background you can see the top of what was then Graydon Stinnett's Bandon Fisheries building, generally described as the "blue building." It was later painted green, and is no longer referred to by its color, but by its use.

The parking lot property is currently leased to the city for use as a parking lot, but is for sale by Fred Gernandt and Kirk Day. They were asking $1.9 million, but I understand that just recently the price was lowered to about $1.75 million.

It is also "home" to a number of rather ugly garbage bins, belonging to various merchants in Old Town, most of whom have no space for a receptacle of that size.

The second picture was taken in August of 1960 as construction was completed on the laundromat building on 11th, behind what is now Bank of the Cascades, and across the street and southeast of Ocean Crest Elementary School.

New laundromat building, 1960
New laundromat building, 1960

Later it became Jan Ujhazi's Tea Cozy, and now houses the Dog Style Boutique which sells products and services for dogs.

The third picture was taken during a Cranberry Festival parade, sometime in the early '60s. This picture was taken on Second Street in front of Bandon Shoe Repair and Sadye's Confectionary (far left), which is now the Alloro restaurant.

Cranberry Festival parade, early '60s
Cranberry Festival parade, early '60s

At this time, McNair Hardware was adjacent to the shoe shop (owned by Walt and Pearl Ingwersen), but was a smaller building further east. The hardware store was destroyed by fire in 1975, and the present block building was erected a short time later. It is now the home of Bandon Brewing Co.

I can see Walter (Bud) Garoutte on the sidewalk, and I believe that is Mrs. Dean Woolley at the sewing machine on the float.

*           *           *

We attended the Bandon Youth Center's Bite of Bandon Saturday night, and as, usual, it was a great event, with plenty of wonderful food to enjoy, as well as silent and oral auctions.

We left after the oral auction was through, but did not stick around long enough to hear who won the People's Choice awards or the other awards, but I am sure Amy will have the information in this week's paper, or you can probably find it on line.

Restaurants donating their time and "bites" were The Alloro Wine Bar and Restaurant, Bandon Brewing Company, BHS culinary arts students, Big Wheel General Store, Coastal Mist Fine Chocolates, Edgewater's, Face Rock Creamery, Foley's Irish Pub, Lord Bennett's Restaurant, Pastries and Pizza, RayJen Coffee Co., Ray's Market & Deli, The Minute Cafe, The Rolling Pin Bake & Brew (coffee), The Spoon Restaurant (of Langlois) and The Broken Anchor Bar & Grill.

At least that is the list that was on the program, so if some of them weren't there, or others were added at the last minute, I am not sure.

Beverage sponsors were Arch Rock Brewery, Bandon Rain, Beverage Barn and Columbia Distributors.

The Bite of Bandon $1,000 event sponsor was Banner Bank.

Although the publicity indicated that the doors would not open until 6, they did actually let us in to the lobby area a bit earlier, which was probably a good idea because that is where the silent auction items were set up, and it gave people a chance to look at the items and decide what they wanted to bid on before the doors to the restaurant showcase were opened.

Besides the weather outside was bitterly cold and rainy.

Some of the great bites that we enjoyed were Alloro's rabbit soup, RayJen's Nitro carbonated cold coffee, Foley's shepherd pie, four flavors of miniature cupcakes from The Rolling Pin (I really loved the lemon), a savory and a chocolate croissant from Coastal Mist, and some great pizzas ... just to name a few.

*           *           *

In the tribute I wrote last week to Tim Belmont, I spelled his name Belmonte because that is how Olivia said he wanted his name spelled as that would be the Italian spelling. And we all know how much Tim loved Italy. She even showed me different merchandise tags, on which Tim had spelled it with the "e." So if you read me online you saw it with an e, but Amy (and rightfully so) corrected it in the print copy.

I really did know the "correct" spelling, but chose to honor the wishes of his friend Olivia ... and ultimately Tim's.

*           *           *

I just want to remind everyone that this is the last weekend to see Steel Magnolias, which is a really great production.

I did learn that only about 20 people attended Friday night's show and I think there were 32 people there Saturday night.

When I think of the hard work that the cast and crew have put into producing such a top-notch program, it makes me sad that so few people support shows like this.

For a town our size, Bandon is indeed fortunate to have both the Sprague Theater and the Community Center (Barn), which are pretty much owned and operated by the city, which is a good thing because a private business could not afford to put on shows that do not make a profit.

But that is one of the things that makes our theater so special; we are able to provide a venue for small community productions, along with the Bandon Showcase offerings.

This weekend Steel Magnolias will be competing with the Booster Club's dessert auction Saturday night and the three-day South Coast Clambake annual music festival, being held at the Mill Casino Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

No one should complain about there being "nothing to do" in Coos County, because there is plenty . . . if you are just willing to take advantage of and support what is being offered.

*           *           *

Speaking of things to do, there are several big events planned for Saturday, May 6.

At 2 p.m., Bandon's museum will once again present the shipwreck program featuring local resident Bob Fisher, who spoke to a packed house several weeks ago as he told his story of helping rescue 11 men from the sinking Elizabeth Olson and, four months later, his own rescue from a tug wreck that took the life of the skipper.

The program was so successful that a number of people have asked us to share it again. I was part of the program, having been on the scene for both the boat wreck and the rescue as a cub reporter for Western World.

I also later found a magazine which carried the entire story, along with on-the-spot pictures of the Elizabeth Olson wreck taken by my uncle Lou Felsheim. I will be sharing that magazine for our May 6 program.

Then, that night, the always popular Bandon Rotary Wine and Cheese event will be held at the Community Center.

*           *           *

In case you opened your utility bill that came last week only to discover that the $10 rate increase (which voters approved in November) was not on the bill ...even though the city manager's newsletter in the same envelope said that it would be, there is an explanation.

Not sure that it's a good one, but it was a snafu in the city office, which resulted in the necessary council resolution not getting to the clerk who would have programmed the increase into the computer.

But it will be on your bill for sure next month, and City Manger Robert Mawson has assured us that they do not intend to make up the lost revenue.

It was frustrating to say the least, but all I can say is "mistakes happen," no matter how hard we work to avoid them.

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Just a note to remind people that Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 12, and people are advised to turn their clocks ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night.

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I learned this week that former city councilwoman Marina Gardiner died Sept. 9, 2015, at the age of 97. Not sure why we are just now hearing about this, but I do know that Marina was believed to be the only woman to have served on two city councils: Bandon (1976 to 1981) and Wilsonville. She also served as administrative assistant to the late Glenn L. Jackson, who was a member of the Oregon State Highway Commission for 20 years and a long-time newsman.

I joined the council in 1977 and served with Marina. She was a strong-willed but dedicated councilor who brought a lot of knowledge to the table.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

March 01, 2017

Last spring I wrote quite a bit about the Safeway store in Bandon, but since then I have found an even better picture which, although grainy and out of focus, shows exactly where the Safeway store was located after the Fire. At least I think this is after the Fire of 1936 since my records indicate the new Safeway store was built in either late 1935 or 1936, so it wasn't there long before it was a victim of the Fire. Their new store opened Nov. 6, 1936, less than two months after the Fire. You can see it here on the corner of Highway 101 and Delaware, where the McNair building now sits.

Safeway store, 1936
Safeway store, 1936

On the east side of Delaware is Bandon Market (also known as Davison's Market) and next to that is Bob-Otto Court, which survived the Fire and served as a central clearing house for a lot of things in the immediate aftermath. Behind Davison's Market is the building which now houses Dr. Sharen Strong's dental practice. I think one of the tiny buildings west of Safeway is a shoe repair shop, and next to that is Sadye's Confectionery (where I entered my working career making milkshakes and sodas).

The second picture was taken before the Fire, and in the foreground you can see the Golden Rule store, which later relocated to Second Street and is now the Continuum Center building.

Before the fire
Before the fire

East of that you can see Capps Motor Co. and Bank of Bandon, both of which relocated to Second Street after the Fire. The Hartman Theatre was west of Golden Rule, where a house, the Na So Mah exhibit and a pole building now stand, across from and just west of the Port of Bandon's Old Town Market building.

The third photo was taken in June of 1972 during the building of the first Gorman Motel. Behind it is the former restaurant building, and across 11th (as you head to Coquille Point) is the site of the second Gorman Motel, which is the only one of these buildings still standing.

Construction of the first Gorman Motel, 1972
Construction of the first Gorman Motel, 1972

The property (including the Gorman Motel) is owned by Mike Keiser of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, and eventually will be developed.

*           *           *

Friends and customers of Tim Belmonte are trying to deal with their grief after learning that Tim had died suddenly Tuesday night (Feb. 21) of an apparent heart attack at the age of 63.

Tim had been a hairdresser in Bandon, and earlier in Langlois, for a number of years and had made many friends both personally and professionally.

He owned the beauty shop, Tim and Evies, in the Fern Park business center on Baltimore in uptown Bandon. with Evelyn Sweet (granddaughter of A.W. "Bill" Sweet of North Bend.)

One of his best friends was Olivia Andor, owner of Olivia's Cottage in Old Town, who was particularly close to Tim, and carried a number of products from Italy that Tim had brought back from his many trips to his beloved "second home," in the Tuscany region. He was slated to make another trip in April.

Last April, a number of women accompanied him on a trip to Lucca, Italy, including my sister, Molly Dufort.

Among his survivors are his daughter, Maria Forty of Bandon.

Tim was a great guy and he will truly be missed by all who knew him.

A celebration of life honoring Tim will be held Saturday (March 4) at 3 p.m. at the old Langlois Cheese Factory in Langlois. People are urged to wear red, which was Tim's favorite color.

*           *           *

Southern Coos Hospital is losing one of its most dedicated employees, who is highly regarded by those who work for and with her.

Carol Meijer, chief nursing officer, will retire April 1, concluding a 50-year career as a Registered Nurse.

Rachel Beissel, currently the nursing manager, will move into the CNO position when Carol retires.

*           *           *

In other news from the hospital, provided to me by board member Carol Acklin, the new CEO JoDee Tittle is moving Southern Coos Hospital forward into a Transitional Post-Acute Care Program, which will allow patients who have stays in other hospitals to finish their recovery at the local hospital.

The proposed project was developed by Allevant (a subsidiary of the Mayo Health System) with endorsement and funding from an Oregon state grant in coordination with the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Healthcare Systems.

All of the funding to pay for the Allevant consulting services for the first three years of this project comes from an Oregon state grant. The hospital district is required to provide a commitment of staff time toward the training and development of the program.

Once the district begins to see added swing bed patient volumes the program is projected to have a positive financial impact.

Kudos to the hospital district and its board of directors for working to enhance the services offered locally.

*           *           *

We went to opening night of Steel Magnolias, and I want to let everyone know that it is a wonderful show, and one you won't want to miss. The acting is superb and the story is powerful: about friendships and how they can carry you through the good and the bad.

I knew two of the six women in the show ... Bobbi Neason and Sarah Sinko ... and it was fun to watch them perform on stage. All six were great and delivered their punch lines perfectly. The others are Amanda Morton, Deb Holmes, Bobbi Wilson and Perri Rask.

It's good to see Paul and Cindy Hay and their son, Josiah, back in town and involved in the theater once again. Paul is the president of Bandon Playhouse, and Cindy and Josiah helped out back stage, along with MaryJane Hammons and Lori Straley.

Jeff Norris is directing Steel Magnolias, with Cindy Hay as assistant director and Paul Hay as producer.

Steel Magnolias runs weekends (Fridays and Saturdays at 7 and Sundays at 2 at the Sprague Theater) through March 12.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Bandon Ace Hardware, Bandon Mercantile or at the door.

A lot of work goes into producing a show like this, and they need the community's support to continue endeavors like this.

*           *           *

Although I know it's been in the area newspapers, I forgot to mention last week that the body of 31-year-old Jayson Dean Thomas of Elmira was found on Horsfall Beach Feb. 11. Thomas and his three-year-old son, who was in a backpack carrier, were swept out to sea by a sneaker wave at a beach near Floras Lake (50 miles south of Horsfall Beach) on Jan. 15 as his wife stood helplessly by.

The body of the child has not been found.

*           *           *

For the third time in the last few weeks, the Douglas County Sheriff's office has sent out a press release to advise people in certain areas of the county (including Reedsport) that their 9-1-1 system was down. This weekend the system was down in the Myrtle Creek area.

The release did say that people with cell phones probably can get through to the dispatch center, but those with only land lines cannot.

It may be time to figure out why these outages are occurring before someone's life is lost because a loved one can't call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance.

*           *           *

Several times recently I have seen Facebook posts by people who are looking for the "best" dentist in Bandon, or the surrounding area. While eating Good 'n Plenty licorice last month, I broke a big filling out of one of my close-to-the-front teeth, and I could pretty much see that it would require a crown because there wasn't enough tooth left to hold a filling.

So I went to Dr. Andrew Oas at Bandon Coastal Dental (in the yellow and white house on Baltimore across from Vicki G's) and I was extremely impressed.

Not only is he very personable (he loves to tell stories), but he is very competent, and I could not be happier with his work. His staff is great, and if you're looking for a dentist, I would highly recommend him. Their phone number is 541-329-0550.

It was interesting to learn that dental was his second career. He had been a tennis professional before deciding to attend dental school. And I'm glad he did.

*           *           *

I just received a press release about a fatal two-car crash this morning (Saturday) between Bandon and Coos Bay on Highway 101, at 8:40 a.m. near milepost 249.

A 2010 Ford Taurus was northbound on Highway 101 when the driver saw an oncoming southbound white 2004 Nissan Xterra began to fishtail and cross its lane. The vehicles collided in the northbound lane and the Nissan caught fire, which resulted in the Nissan driver being declared dead at the scene. As of Saturday evening, his identity had not been revealed, pending notification of the next of kin. The occupants of the Taurus were taken to Bay Area Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Snow fell in Southwestern Oregon and other parts of the state Friday, which resulted in ice and snow on the roadways, causing dangerous driving conditions.

Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn