As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

August 31, 2016


The first picture I am sharing this week is the Bandon waterfront, taken more than 50 years ago ... in 1958. I can still remember how it looked back then, which is so different than the area looks today. This was taken from the hill above Oregon Avenue, across from the Catholic Church.

Bandon waterfront, 1958
Bandon waterfront, 1958

Lumber is piled on what is now the vacant lot, which provides parking for Old Town and the Old Town Market. The small white building on the waterfront, in the middle of the picture, was the Port of Bandon office, which is now Tony's Crab Shack. Further east is the former Bandon Fisheries/Bandon Seafood building, which was later replaced by the "new" Port of Bandon office, and is now The Loft restaurant.

This was taken before The Arcade was built, and you can see the back of what is now The Big Wheel. This was a busy harbor when this picture was taken with lumber coming from Moore Mill, visible in the background, as is the Moore Mill Truck Shop.

It's hard to remember what the harbor area looked like before it became the wonderful tourist/local attraction that it is today.

The second photo was taken in 1966 in the old fire hall, which was on the west end of the City Hall (now the Bandon Historical Society museum).

Old fire hall, 1966
Old fire hall, 1966

Firemen posing for the picture were Lyle Hall (inside the truck), and from left, Gene Scott, Earl Robertson, Neil Jarvis and Mickey Hurley. This truck was owned by the combined Bandon City and Rural Fire Department.

Today, all fire equipment belongs to the Bandon Rural Fire District, with whom the city contracts for fire service at a cost of around $90,000 a year, which is a tremendous value for the city.

The third picture is the old gymnasium in east Bandon, as the fire department is preparing to burn it down.

Old gymnasium in east Bandon, 1980
Old gymnasium in east Bandon, 1980

I am not completely sure of the date, but I believe it was around 1980. In the foreground you can see Fire Chief Lanny Boston carrying what appears to be a long ladder. This was located in what would now be around the northwest corner of the baseball field.

When I was in high school, in the mid to late '50s, we were bused across town for P.E. every day, and that was the home of our dances and other social activities.

*           *           *

I don't know the final count on how many people came out to tour the city's water plant and enjoy hot dogs and ice cream on Saturday, but there was pretty much a steady flow of people who stopped by during the day.

The event was hosted by members of the city's Utility Commission, with several city employees lending a hand.

As people are aware, the city is asking voters to approve a $10 increase in residential water bills and a $20 increase in commercial accounts.

I will be discussing this issue more in the coming weeks as I stress the importance of the city being able to maintain its water system while at the same time maintaining some of the lowest utility rates in the area.

*           *           *

Talk about interesting weather. We went from one of the hottest days of the year Thursday to heavy fog and overcast conditions on Friday ... to a combination of fog and later sun on Saturday.

Three of my sister's grandchildren were visiting this weekend, including two from Oklahoma who had not been here in quite a few years, and on Friday they were determined to have a picnic on the beach ... in spite of the fact that the sun never bothered to peek out.

They took a little charcoal grill to the beach, realizing that fires were probably not allowed at this time of year, but from all accounts the hot dogs were barely edible (make that blackened).

Judging from the pictures, however, they seemed to have fun . . . and pretty much had the beach all to themselves . . . .

*           *           *

I was appalled to learn that the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem before the game Friday, saying he was protesting treatment of African Americans and minorities in the United States.

His coach, former University of Oregon and fired Tennessee Titans coach Chip Kelly, said it was up to his players whether they wanted to stand or sit.

What people should really be protesting is the fact that Kaepernick signed a six-year $114 million contract, including a $12,328,760 signing bonus, a $61 million guarantee and an average annual salary of $19 million.

As far as I am concerned, his attitude does little or nothing to improve race relations.

*           *           *

I had forgotten to look at the police report/sheriff's log for Curry County the week after the Cape Blanco music festival, but I did see the log for Sunday (July 31) in the next issue of the Curry Coastal Pilot.

There were 20 calls on Sunday and four more on Monday, ranging from minors in possession of alcohol, to hit and run, disorderly conduct, disturbance, harassment . . . and the list goes on and on.

I know a lot of people are sad that the music festival has chosen to move to a new venue next summer ... but my guess is the Curry County Sheriff's Department is not among them.

They have much larger "fish to fry." In the same issue, there is a front-page article titled "Big pot farm linked to cartel." Authorities found just under 12,000 mature marijuana plants, which an officer from the Del Norte Sheriff's Office said was clearly "a Mexican grow operation." Although no one was at the site, officers found two rifles and some items "that may have identified one person."

One officer said that in the three decades he had worked for Del Norte County (Crescent City), he had never seen a grow operation of that magnitude.

"Our biggest issue is that these people are in the forest, making a mess, and not even trying to hide their work.

"Our main goal is to clear it out, let our presence be known, let them know they're not going to make any money off it, and hopefully they will stop the operations," he said.

*           *           *

A Bandon native and her granddaughter, Peggy Goergen of Brookings and Jessie Goergen of Nashville, were grand marshals of last weekend's Curry County Fair.

The former Peggy Hunt (daughter of Lloyd and Anella Hunt) graduated from Bandon High School in 1959, married Bill Goergen in 1964 and moved to Brookings where he was a commercial salmon fisherman. Peggy served as Dean of the Southwestern Oregon Community College extension in Curry County for many years. She has a Master's Degree from Oregon State University in education.

Peggy and Bill have six children, two of whom still live in Brookings.

Jessie Goergen sang at talent shows at both the Curry County and the Oregon State fairs, winning there twice. She eventually gave the opening performance for Gretchen Wilson, known for her hit, "Red Neck Woman," who took a liking to the Oregon songster and invited Jessie to Nashville. Now Jessie is touring widely promoting her album, "Drop a Line." Jessie graduated from Linfield College on a music scholarship with a degree in political science and music.

Nancy is a cousin of Debbie Llewellyn and Barry Winters and their siblings.

*           *           *

Some things I read in the paper never cease to amaze me. One in point was in the Register-Guard last week about a Brier, Wash., police officer (who had been a Washington State trooper for 25 years), who was fired because he "left the town unattended' when he responded to the nearby town of Mukilteo (12 miles away) after he heard a radio report of an active shooter.

"I heard officers on the scene who felt they were in a vulnerable position with a possible shooter on the roof and they were asking for officers to respond," said the officer. And he did.

Three young people were killed and a fourth was injured when a man started shooting at a party.

The officer said he understood the chief's position (to fire him) but that common sense told him to go help with the active shooter.

Neither the chief nor the mayor returned calls for comment . . .

It will be interesting to see the fallout from the chief's decision.

*           *           *

Heard from Gary Scorby this week reminding me that Barbara Wright Averill, Cranberry queen in 1954, has also passed away. There may be others, in addition to Carole Cameron, Allyson Anthony and Garlene Stone, but I am not sure.




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

August 24, 2016


The first picture I am sharing this week was taken in 1959 during Bandon’s Oregon Centennial kickoff, with a dance held in the middle of Second Street in front of what is now Lloyd’s Café.

Bandon’s Oregon Centennial kickoff, 1959
Bandon’s Oregon Centennial kickoff, 1959

Back then, this was Erdman’s City Market, with the smaller version of Lloyd’s next door, which was later incorporated into the much larger Lloyd’s. The café, located in the heart of Old Town, is now owned by Janice and Jonathan Davis, and has been closed for several years. Next to Lloyd’s you can see the Pastime Tavern, now the home of Bandon Sweets & Treats. The only people I actually recognize in the picture are Carla Mack (now Lumley) holding a child, and her grandmother, Louise (Mrs. Blackie) Miller, behind her. They are underneath the Erdman’s sign. People dressed in period costumes for the centennial events, and the celebration brought huge crowds to the streets.

I know I have probably shared this picture before, or at least one like it, but I have new and interesting information about The Barn, which I found in the May 10, 1945, Western World. The headline read: “Dance to benefit Community Hall.”

The Barn, 1975
The Barn, 1975

It told of plans by the Junior Women’s Club to host the benefit dance to raise money for the new community hall that was being established in city park, under City of Bandon supervision.

“The city bought the big horse barn building erected in city park by the Coast Guard and used for only a short time. It is a substantial structure and lends itself well to remodeling plans that will convert it into a spacious, comfortable, recreational hall. All civic organizations are backing the project, but the Junior Women have been the most active in raising money. They have already contributed $100 which they made on a previous dance, and with this as a downpayment the committee in charge of remodeling has bought $390 worth of hardwood flooring which is to be laid by volunteer labor. Bum Gartin’s orchestra will play for the dance and tickets are being sold at 60 cents per person. It is expected that everyone will buy tickets whether they plan to attend or not as the contribution will add just that much more toward paying for the remodeling of the building.” This was definitely a community effort. I am sure they could never have dreamed of the spacious facility that is there today.

The third picture was probably taken during the ‘50s and features Howard Ohman, a native of Bandon, who could be seen daily riding his bicycle around town . . . always with his favorite cigar in his mouth. When I was young, I remember that he delivered milk to our house… on his trusty bicycle.

Howard Ohman, 1950
Howard Ohman, 1950

*           *           *

You know you’re having a bad day when you see your desktop computer walking out the door in the arms of Takashi Haruna . . . in the hope that he can bring it back to life. I have been having a lot of problems lately, and that culminated with a two-hour attempt to get my computer to turn on long enough to open my emails. Takashi fortunately lives only a few houses away from me and he answered my cry for help, including looking at my laptop and discovering that I did have a Word document, which is allowing me to write my column this week. But it isn’t the same. I am sure I will struggle through, but I am just praying he can repair my big computer so I can be back in business. Thank heavens I had put most of my photos on an auxiliary hard drive, so I am not completely lost.

*           *           *

Bandon is becoming well-known for its neat shops and gourmet restaurants, and one of the newest to open in Old Town is The Laurel, located on the corner of Filmore and Highway 101, in the building that once housed a car dealership and later several real estate offices.

The new owner, Lisa Schilling, has turned it into a delightful vintage home and garden shop, with a few antiques. She and four other women have individual spaces in The Laurel, including Allegra Bridges and Lani Reynolds, who moved their Patina shop from the Pedway; Kate Mcullough, who calls her shop Details; Diane Divird, owner of Berryhill, and Lori Copeland, whose shop is known as La Boheme.

Lisa came up with the name “The Laurel” based on her love of plants, which she carries in her shop, along with candles, topiaries, antiques and host of other gifts and items for the home.

The shop, which opened July 1, is open seven days a week during the summer, and will be open six days a week, with more limited hours, during the winter months, according to Lisa.

*           *           *

I’ve been battling a cold for six weeks, which has now settled in my ear. A friend told me to try something that had worked for his family for many years, and I thought “why not.” It wasn’t long before I figured out the “why not” as I could easily have burned my house down … by not following the directions he gave me.

He said to heat salt in a frying pan, put two socks in a glass, to hold them upright, and pour the hot salt in the socks, and lay the hot socks against my ear. But I figured it would take too long to heat the salt on the stove, so I elected to put the salt in the socks, inside the glass, and put the whole thing in the microwave. Things were okay for the first two minutes, but it was when I decided it wasn’t hot enough that things began to go awry. I added another minute to the timer and went into the living room to watch the Olympics …rushing back into the kitchen when I smelled burning material.

I threw open the door of the microwave to find my socks with a bunch of burn holes in them, and the rim of the glass broken. To say that it was hot was an understatement. I waited for it to cool to the touch, and then pushed the burned spots into the sock and went ahead and waited for it to cool down long enough to apply it on my ear. I will have to admit that it did feel better for a short time, but by the next morning, my ear was completely plugged again. Since it has been 6 weeks since I first contracted the throat problem, I guess it is probably time to go to the doctor. But I am pretty sure she will give me antibiotics, and I really don’t like to take them until I really need them.

But maybe that time is now before I try any other self-remedies!!

*           *           *

As this is the 70th anniversary of Bandon’s Cranberry Festival, past Cranberry queens are being encouraged to attend the coronation, Friday night, Sept. 9, at The Sprague Theater in City Park. Past queens will be given free seats at the coronation and will be introduced to the audience.

Past queens are asked to contact Mary Carol Roberson at the chamber, so they can get an idea of how many will attend. Their number is 541-347-9616.

I do know that the only mother-daughters trio of past queens (Joan DeCosta Goodbrod, 1949; Michelle Goodbrod, 1972, and Cindy Goodbrod, 1974) are planning to attend.

I don’t have a complete list of the past queens, but I know that at least three of them (Garlene Stone, 1955; Carole Cameron, 1962, and Allyson Anthony, 1964) have passed away.

*           *           *

I have learned that a Bandon High School graduate Heather Cleeton Kimble died in her sleep last week at the age of 41 in her North Bend home. Friends said they spent several days with her at the Coos County Fair a few weeks ago, along with her 14-year-old daughter who was there with her horse, and they were shocked to learn of her death. She was married to Kurt Kimble. I believe her mother, Jennifer Cleeton, still lives in Bandon, and worked for many years at Bree’s, when it was located in the Bandon Shopping Center.




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

August 17, 2016


The first picture I am sharing this week shows Second Street/Highway 101 torn up while installing the sewer in September of 1962.

Installing sewer Second Street 1962
Installing sewer, Second Street, 1962

The Mobil gas station is now the former Gibson Graphics building on the corner of Fillmore and 101, across from the museum. In the late '70s it was the home of Ray Hallinan's Bandon Book and Stationery.

The service station was originally a Gilmore station, and was built by my late father, Bill Dufort, in 1940. Next to it is the former Kay building, which later belonged to the Holman family, who operated Bandon Beauty Shoppe. At this time it also housed Thelma and Herbert Lindvall's insurance agency, and is now Forget-Me-Knots quilt shop. Beyond that you can see the Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op, famous for Bandon's Cheddar Cheese. This is now the site of Face Rock Creamery.

What can only be considered as an on-going problem is how to eradicate gorse. When this picture was taken in May of 1958, a crew member from Ground Sprayers Inc. was busy spraying chemicals on gorse from their "Power Wagon." Judging from the amount of gorse in our area, it doesn't appear that much of anything works ... without exceptional effort, such as Mike Keiser has demonstrated at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

Spraying gorse, 1958
Spraying gorse, 1958

I remember taking the third picture, back in the late '70s, when commercial fishing was at its peak, as boats unloaded their catch at the end of Chicago Avenue ...before the Port of Bandon built their new office building, which is now the home of The Loft Restaurant.

Commercial fishing boat unloading its catch, '70s
Commercial fishing boat unloading its catch, '70s

*           *           *

I was sorry to learn that Joan Goodbrod's sister, Judy DeCosta Sickels, had died last Monday at the age of 75 of pancreatic cancer. Judy and her husband, Glenn, lived in Port Orford for many years, and she was a 1959 graduate of Bandon High School. Among her survivors are three sons.

A graveside service was held Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Holy Trinity Cemetery.

*           *           *

It's been a hard few weeks for Joan, but she did receive some good news recently when she and her husband, Pete, were named grand marshals for this year's Cranberry Festival parade. Joan and her two daughters, Michelle and Cindy, were all three cranberry queens, so this makes the honor even more special. Both Michelle and Cindy will be here for festival weekend as past court members are being honored at this ... the 70th anniversary of the festival.

I have also learned that Pete and Joan will be celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary on the first day of the festival, Friday, Sept. 9.

*           *           *

I sometimes wonder about our priorities when I read that a Coquille couple, Ronald and Dorothea Joling, received longer prison sentences (8 years for Ronald and four years for his wife) for tax evasion ...than did the McMinnville couple who nearly starved two young foster children to death.

The story about the abuse ... both physical and emotional ... was so egregious, that health officials said the children probably would have starved to death had they been in the couple's care much longer.

They received prison sentences of two and a half years.

The sad part about the story is that the Oregon Department of Human Services had received repeated alerts about the situation, according to a story in the Oregonian .. but apparently did not remove them from the home until it was almost too late.

Even though the Coquille couple, both of whom are 73, were already serving their prison sentences, the government recommended much stiffer sentences "to send a strong message to anyone who might harass and intimidate government officials for doing their jobs."

U.S. District Judge Michael McShane said he was troubled by the recommendation that could have resulted in the couple spending more time behind bars than many people who are convicted of violent crimes under Oregon laws. I say good for Judge McShane, although he did add 6 months to Mr. Joling's sentence and 30 days to his wife's.

We see evidence of that every day when we read about heinous crimes being committed by people who have a "rap sheet" a mile long ... but have spent little time behind bars.

*           *           *

Having recently eaten at SWOCC's Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, I wasn't surprised that their student team had cooked their way to the national championship in the American Culinary Federation National Competition last month.

An article in The World explains that after presenting their four-course meal . . . they had to wait two days for the results, announced at the awards gala.

If you ever have a chance to attend an event there, you don't want to miss it. Their food is fabulous, as is the presentation. It's great to know that their efforts have been recognized on the national stage.

Second place went to a student culinary team from New York.

*           *           *

I was so proud of my little planter of bright red geraniums that I decided to move them from my fenced back yard to the front of the house so others could enjoy them, along with the big stalks of tiger lilies, growing in the front planter.

Big mistake.

By the second day, all but one of the geraniums had been eaten by the deer . . . and now they are busy working their way up the stems of the tiger lilies, some of which are apparently out of their reach.

Fortunately, they don't like dahlias ... at least not yet ... as mine are coming on nicely.

These guys apparently live in the Ferry Creek drainage, which is southeast of my home on Harlem Avenue.

I now understand why people have high fences . . . or dogs . . . or both.

*           *           *

Steve Buck (Mongo) has advised me that although this week's column will be ready for my Monday morning viewers, next week's won't be posted until Tuesday (Aug. 23) as he will be traveling . . . .

*           *           *

The grown children of the couple from Springfield, who died in the motel fire in Newport last week, are asking questions. They were told that their mom and dad slept through the fire, and they are trying to figure out why the smoke detectors did not go off . . . or if there were active smoke detectors.

It would be virtually impossible for two adults to sleep through the high pitched screech of a detector in a small motel room.

They were one of two couples who died in the blaze, both on the second floor. In addition, the fire displaced 50 people.

State law requires a smoke detector in good working order "in every room of the hotel (motel) that is regularly used for sleeping."

I am sure we haven't heard the end of this story.

*           *           *

I have requested a copy of the accident report for the fatal accident involving a motorcycle passenger, which occurred recently at the crosswalk between Price 'n Pride and the Dairy Queen.

At this time it has not yet been released by District Attorney Paul Frazier, according to Chief Bob Webb.

But according to witnesses, and verified by Price 'n Pride's video camera, a young woman was on the sidewalk on the east side of the highway. Both Chief Webb and Sergeant Larry Lynch confirmed that although she had not yet stepped into the crosswalk, a car had stopped. The motorcycle came up behind the vehicle, swerved around it into the adjacent lane, in front of the pickup, and the operator slammed on the brakes when he realized why the vehicle was stopped. At that point, they were hit from behind by the pickup.

City officials met with three ODOT representatives last week to discuss what can be done to make that area safer.

One suggestion, which was supported by Chief Webb and the city, was to return that area to three-lane traffic (two lanes and a center left-turn lane), with a bump-out which would allow pedestrians to safely wait for traffic to clear. This would also likely add bike lanes and landscaping, and the flashing lights could still be installed. The crosswalk would also be left where it is rather than move it to the north, which was an earlier suggestion.

This could potentially be the first phase in narrowing all of Highway 101 down to three lanes with a left-turn lane all the way through town, which would definitely make it safer to turn off the highway at the Fillmore light.

Public forums would be held to get input from the citizens and the business people before anything is actually implemented.

Everyone felt that it would definitely slow down the traffic, as many out-of-state people are simply traveling through and appear to have no regard for speed limits.

One of the most dangerous scenarios for pedestrian trying to cross five lanes (without a traffic light) is that although vehicles in one or two lanes may stop, others do not know why they are stopped (or simply do not care) and speed through the crosswalk, with many near-misses reported. Doing away with those outside lanes would eliminate that problem and definitely slow down the traffic.

Locals know the area and for the most part are cautious and careful . . .but it's a major highway and many people just want to get through town as quickly as possible to their destination.

The city also asked if the speed limit could be lowered in that area, but the state seemed hesitant about that request.




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

August 10, 2016


The first picture I am sharing this week is Bill Pullen's Evinrude/McCulloch Chain Saw shop, taken in 1956. Today, the much larger store is Phil Lehosit's Ace Hardware store. I believe this store may have been a Western Auto back then, but I don't see any sign on the front of the store to indicate that. I am pretty sure that I have the right location, but if I don't, I am sure someone will correct me.

Bill Pullen's Evinrude/McCulloch Chain Saw shop, 1956
Bill Pullen's Evinrude/McCulloch Chain Saw shop, 1956

The second photo, which I believe was taken in the '60s, was Panter Feed Store, owned by Ernie Panter, which was next to the US Post Office building, barely visible at left.

Panter Feed Store
Panter Feed Store

You can see electrician Howard Kehl's van in front of the store. Today this is one of Old Town's longest-operating anchor businesses, The Big Wheel, owned by the Whitmer family, next to Noel Foley's Irish pub.

The most remarkable change over the year is the complete transformation of the property in the third photo, which was taken after a big storm at 11th and Elmira. You can see the Perry mill across 11th Street.

After a big storm at 11th and Elmira
After a big storm at 11th and Elmira

Today, the building, barely visible in the left side of the picture when it was the home of Sid Perry, is Anne Sobbota's Sage Gallery/Bandon Discovery Center. Anne and her husband have done a beautiful job of transforming the property, but it's always interesting to see what it looked like "in the old days."

The white house next to the Perry home is still there on the north side of 11th, closer to Fillmore Avenue. That area has undergone a lot of change over the years.

*           *           *

Bandon has lost one of its most faithful and dedicated volunteers. Joan Russell, who with husband Bill, has spent hundreds of hours volunteering for this community, died Saturday night at the age of 80. Bill and Joan were instrumental in forming Shoreline Education Awareness (SEA) and were very involved with Bandon Cares.

They lived in my neighborhood and were the sparkplugs behind mapping our neighborhood in preparation for "the big one." Even though she has not been well for some time, Joan was always willing to help when needed.

She will be missed . . .

*           *           *

I sympathize with the hospital board and what they have gone through recently in making the tough decision to fire CEO Charles Johnston in a unanimous vote.

But what I cannot come to grips with is giving a year's severance ($160,000) to a man who has been fired. This is the same severance package that was given to my friend Jim Wathen, who was also fired by the board, and is now returning as the interim. Hopefully Jim, as interim, will be able to calm the fears of employees.

This is taxpayer money!! I can understand a severance package of three or four months (which is what we gave our former city manager Chris Good, who resigned) but a year's salary, for someone who is fired, is ridiculous. If this were a private, doctor-owned hospital, that would be one thing. But this hospital has struggled financially for years (although it seems now to be on the uptick), but if you can't find a CEO without guaranteeing him or her an entire year's salary, something is very wrong with the process.

I can even understand if you hire someone fresh out of college, with huge student debts. . . but that has not been the case in recent years. We all know that the benefit packages for most public jobs (city manager, hospital CEO, school superintendent) are generous, but to add a year's salary on top of the benefits is overkill.

Prior to our last city manager, who resigned after 14 months, Bandon had two city managers, who spanned nearly 40 years, and our contracts did not contain severance pay. The board/council can always negotiate a severance package of some kind, depending on the circumstances surrounding the departure, but to guarantee that kind of a severance package, with taxpayer dollars, is difficult to justify.

I've been told that is the hospital industry standard, but I would have to see that in writing before I would be convinced that you couldn't get a responsible, capable, competent person to take a job in Bandon, at a salary of $160,000 a year ... without severance pay.

Having twice served on the hospital board, dating back to my first stint in 1962, I can say that like any public service/elected position, it is a thankless job and I appreciate the dedication of the hospital board.

But I am urging them to reconsider the "golden parachute" for their next hire.

*           *           *

After I wrote my column last Sunday evening, I posted an update on Facebook about the huge snake that was said to be slithering around in the east Bandon area off Highway 42S.

Unfortunately, my column item appeared in Western World, and I should have alerted Amy to the update, but the police chief did not call me until Tuesday afternoon, and I figured it would be too late for the paper.

At any rate, the chief said he had talked with a reliable person who has seen the snake, which he believes is about 12 feet long. Chief has also seen the tracks which are seven to eight inches wide. This is around the Bandon city limits east of town. Another person may have seen it near the cemetery east of Bandon behind Bandon Wayside Motel, so that is the original area where a person first reported the snake to be.

The chief advises people in that area to keep their small dogs and cats inside. He also said efforts are being made to trap the snake alive. He said the person who told him he saw it is 110 percent reliable and he definitely believes it is out there. And if you see it please call the Bandon Police Department or other law enforcement.

Others who had posted earlier about the snake had not actually said they had seen it, so people were apprehensive about whether or not it existed. But the chief is convinced that it does, although I have read nothing new about it.

Someone did post Aug. 4 that it may be a reticulated python.

The question most people have, besides has it been caught, is how did it get loose in the first place? Was it someone's "pet," or did someone release it in that area. When and if it is located, those questions still may not be answered.

Not sure I would come forward and admit to losing/letting loose a snake that has frightened so many people in that area.

*           *           *

The tragedy that occurred last week in Myrtle Point, involving a 15-year-old boy shooting an intruder in the home of his father, is personal to my sister, because he is the son of a friend of hers, and the whole family is pretty traumatized.

My sister's friend had just dropped off her son at the home of his father, when a 33-year-old Myrtle Point man, Kenneth John Edwards III, (who is known to the police) broke into their home. Fearing for his safety, the boy grabbed a shotgun and fired at the guy, hitting him in the leg. The man was taken to Riverbend Hospital in Springfield, with serious but not life-threatening injuries. District Attorney Paul Frasier said the matter will be referred to the grand jury to see what charges should be filed against Edwards.

But the trauma that the young boy experienced is something he will never forget.

Had the boy not been at the home, it might have been an even more tragic ending because his father utilizes a wheelchair, and it could have been difficult for him to fend off an intruder.

The more I hear about home invasions, the more convinced I am that having a weapon available, and the training to know what to do, only makes sense.

*           *           *

I have been busy watching the Rio Olympics since they began Friday night.

I have a favorite story from the 1984 winter Olympics in Sarajevo.

At the time I was dating a North Bend coach/teacher Rich Armstrong, and I knew his niece Debbie Armstrong was skiing for the United States. I remember that Rich and I were having dinner with family members when he began telling us about Debbie, and after we left the house, a friend who had joined us for dinner remarked: "yeah, she's probably the water girl for the team" or something to that effect.

The next morning at 5 a.m., my phone rang. I jumped out of bed to hear Rich screaming "turn on the TV, turn on the TV, Debbie just won the first gold medal for the United States." And she had.

Several weeks after the Olympics were over, Debbie came to North Bend to see her grandmother and her uncle, and I got to meet her. I believe she was also on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and somewhere in my collection, I still have an autographed copy.

That's my Olympics story . . .

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It was sad to learn that long-time legislator Dr. Alan Bates, 71, of Medford died suddenly Friday while fishing with his son on the Rogue River. Dr. Bates was in the state Senate and was a member of the Democratic party.

Ironically, several years ago, he had saved the life of a colleague (a Republican) who suffered a heart attack on the floor of the state Capitol.

Senator Bates and his son had stopped to clean their fish, and the Senator walked down to the river. After about 10 minutes, his son went looking for his father and found him in the water, dead.

There was no evidence of foul play, and he is believed to have suffered some sort of a medical event, and an autopsy was scheduled.




As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

August 03, 2016


After having been one of the very few commercial structures that survived the Bandon Fire of 1936, the old Breuer building caught fire in August of 1961, and thanks to the work of the Bandon Volunteer Fire Department, they were able to quell the blaze before it did much damage.

Breuer Building fire, 1961
Breuer Building fire, 1961

At right, in front of the Coast Guard station, you can see the fire truck, which had already put considerable water on the building, as evidenced by the water running off the awning. You can still see whiffs of smoke coming off the roof. At this point, crabs were being sold out of the dilapidated building ... 3 for $1 for large ones or 50 cents each.

This is the picture I chose for my first book of "old Bandon," titled "Only a memory ... of bygone days." The locals have loved this book and I only have one left.

The second picture reminds us of the days when the Cranberry Festival parade went west on Second Street in the downtown area ... before it became Old Town.

Cranberry Festival parade, 1957
Cranberry Festival parade, 1957

This picture was taken in 1957 as floats travel in front of Boone's Hardware, far left, Bob and Phyllis Ray's pharmacy, Virginia Kaping Hendrickson's Bandon Florist and Gift Shop and Merritt J. Senter's insurance agency. All of these buildings are now owned by Lynn Davies, who has several shops in Old Town, including the card shop (in the former hardware building) and the toy shop (in the Senter building).

The children in this picture, who are walking behind the float King Neptune and the Beachcombers, would be about 65 now. Directly below the Entering One Way Grid sign I can see Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Bohles. He taught here for many years. And at the curb below the Pharmacy sign is Bob Ray, who has come out to take pictures.

The third picture was taken in 1973 as a lot is cleared along First Street, probably for the new Arcade Tavern.

Clearing a lot along First Street, 1973
Clearing a lot along First Street, 1973

The small white building in the picture was the Port of Bandon office, and is now part of Tony's Crab Shack. In the background you can see the old Moore Mill truck shop before it began to deteriorate and was later torn down. The man at far left watching the work is Alfred Owen, who was always on the scene when anything was happening. On the night that an arsonist set fire to the high school complex (in January of 1974), I took a picture of Alfred carrying band instruments out of the burning building.

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The big news this week is the firing of Charles Johnston, the CEO of Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center, which occurred during the regular meeting Thursday night.

According to information contained in a press release, issued by Scott McEachern, Foundation executive director, the board went into executive session "to review and evaluate" the job performance of Johnston.

"Mr. Johnston chose not to exercise his privilege to request that it be conducted in open session," read the release. Present were the district's legal counsel Robin Miller and the five board members, Esther Williams, Bob Hundhausen, Carol Acklin, David Allen and Brian Vick.

The press release did not say if the decision was unanimous, but the gist of the board's commentary following the decision to fire was that it felt that it was in the best interest of the district to move immediately toward replacing him with a new Chief Executive Officer.

The board will hold a special meeting Thursday, Aug. 4, at 7 at the hospital's main conference room to discuss CEO transition topics.

The board discussed similar action a year ago, but apparently did not have the votes necessary to terminate and agreed to extend Mr. Johnston's contract for a year and a half. He has been with the district for three years.

This is just one of the personnel changes that have taken place lately. Jay Straley, who worked in the lab for many years, is no longer there, nor is Craig Holland, husband of Dr. Megan Holland, who managed the district's clinic.

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As Bandon prepares for its annual cranberry festival, I was interested in an item that appeared in the Western World in the spring of 1963 advising the community that Bandon would not have a festival that year unless "a much greater interest is shown by various organizations and individuals in the community."

Harris "Silver" Martindale was president of the Bandon Cranberry Festival Association who made the decision.

In a public statement, Martindale (who was related to the late Bob Martindale), said: "Being a community project and due to lack of interest the Cranberry Festival will not be held this year. Thanks to all the people who helped to make the festival a success in past years."

Apparently the front-page article did the trick ... because the community got involved and there was a festival that year. And if memory (or my records) serves me, Donna Tucker was the queen that year.

We are fortunate that the Bandon Chamber of Commerce spearheads the festival every year. It's a lot of work and other groups take part, but it's the chamber that makes sure everything gets done.

This year's festival is set for Sept. 9-11.

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A Facebook post by Goodnight Lucas has generated quite a bit (to say the least) of interest in the past week. He said that someone came into his store on Highway 42S to say that a 16-foot python or boa constrictor was loose in the area of Randall Road, which is on the north side of 42S across from the road that leads to the state fish hatchery.

KCBY carried a story which indicated the ODFW has received several reports of the large snake, but they said it is about 12 feet long. "Sightings of the snake have been along Highway 42, off Highway 101."

I am not sure that part is true. There was nothing on Facebook about anyone actually seeing it, but Goodnight said there are numerous slime trails eight-inches wide which have been observed.

Officials say Coos County Animal Control has already responded to the area, but hasn't yet found the snake.

If anyone does see it, wildlife department officials say not to try to catch it, but to keep your distance and call Coos County Animal Control right away.

One post said it had reportedly been in the area for a month, but no one seems to know where it came from.

I am still wondering if anyone has actually seen it . . .stay tuned.

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The month of July has been a deadly one for small planes in the Brookings-Crescent City area, with one crashing into the ocean after leaving the Brookings airport on the night of the Fourth of July and a second going down after leaving the Crescent City, Calif., airport, 26 miles away, Friday.

The first plane carried a Grants Pass man, his 17-year-old son and another 17-year-old youth who had watched the fireworks with the pilot's wife and other children. Long-time pilots fear that the pilot had become disoriented when he flew over the ocean and could not see the horizon. So far, the bodies of the pilot, John Belnap, 46, and his son, Max, 17, (a member of former Bandon star Stan Goodell's cross country team) have been located., The body of Ryan Merker, 17, who was flying for the first time, has not been located.

The second crash involved a medical transport plane that had left the Crescent City airport, bound for Oakland, Calif., with a flight nurse, a transport medic, a patient and the pilot.

About 360 miles from the Crescent City airport, the pilot declared an emergency around 1 a.m., when he said there was smoke in the cockpit.

He planned to return to Crescent City but the plane vanished from radar 5 miles north of the Arcata-Eureka Airport. Rescue teams found the crash site hours later on land owned by a private timber company about 280 miles north of San Francisco. The four bodies were found at the scene.

The plane was part of Cal-Ore Life Flight, which transports patients throughout Northern California and Oregon.


Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn


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