As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
August 30, 2017
The first picture I am sharing this week was taken in May of 1956, and according to information on the envelope, it was shortly after a fire had broken out in The Golden Rule building. The next picture on the roll was of store owner Bob Norton sweeping up glass from the front of the store. That location is now the Continuum Center.
Downtown Bandon, 1956
The picture was taken from in front of what is now called the Masonic Building, but in those days, it housed the Western World in the west part of the bottom floor. This was a few years before I went to work at W.W. so I imagine either my uncle or my grandfather took the picture.
You can see the M&L Grocery (now the parking lot adjacent to The Minute Cafe), the Cafe, Golden Rule, Croxall & Perry Grocery, Erdman's City Market and the small version of Lloyd's Cafe. The only signs visible on the right side of the street are Carr's Variety Store (now Bandon Baking Co.) and the Rexall Drug Store (now Winter River Books).
The second picture I am sharing is of Frank Tucker, right, who talks with then Governor Vic Atiyeh while standing on the Baltimore Avenue sidewalk across from what is now Foley's Irish Pub in March of 1981.
Governor Vic Atiyeh & Frank Tucker, 1981
Frank, who was a commercial fishermen when this photo was taken, died last week. He was in his early '80s and I believe he was a Bandon native, or for sure he went to school here, graduating in 1954. Among his survivors is a son, Frankie.
The third photo was taken in September of 1962 at the Port of Bandon dock where these two Coast Guard vessels apparently docked in those days. The reason I shared this photo is because of the background, which clearly shows the old Moore Mill Truck Shop, as well as the mill.
Port of Bandon dock, 1962
* * *
I am sure people are going to read and hear a lot about the proposed restriping of Highway 101 through Bandon, but I just hope they understand the benefits before they just jump on the "no way" bandwagon.
One of the chief proponents is our own Bandon Police Chief, Bob Webb. He understands more than most how the four lanes through town provide a speedway for travelers who want to get through town just as quickly as they can.
Another good reason for reducing the number of lanes from five (two each way plus a center turn lane) to three has to do with the safety of pedestrians crossing 101 at 9th Street, many of which are students on their way to and from school.
Improving safety at this crossing, which was the site of a fatal motorcycle accident just over a year ago, has been a topic of discussion with ODOT officials for quite some time. The proposed re-striping would improve safety by reducing the number of traffic lanes . . . providing pedestrians less exposure to vehicular traffic and eliminating the passing lane that played a part in the fatal accident. Reducing the distance to cross Highway 101 would also accommodate the addition of a flashing crosswalk light system without the need for a raised center median.
Other safety benefits, pointed out by City Manager Robert Mawson, include: the addition of a center lane from Chicago Avenue SE to June Avenue SE, which includes the Fillmore/Highway 101 intersection; new north- and southbound bicycle lanes; new parking and loading/unloading areas along the highway; and safer speeds with the reduction of passing lanes through the City.
Another benefit would be that people would be traveling 30 instead of often times 45 or 55 (and up) and they might actually stop and see what Bandon has to offer.
Right now they are hell-bent on getting through town as quickly as they can. And it is downright dangerous.
* * *
"No Cranberry Festival ? ?" was the headline on the front page of Western World in May 1963. Harris "Silver" Martindale, president of the Bandon Cranberry Festival Association, made it clear in that article that there would be no Cranberry Festival in September if community members and organizations did not step forward to make it happen.
A meeting had been called for the previous Friday at Lloyd's Cafe to get a feel of the community's attitude toward the festival.
Only seven people showed up. And that is when Silver made the decision. His statement was simple: "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."
That did it.
Another meeting was held a few days after the paper came out with a far greater attendance ... and the festival was scheduled for Sept. 21-23, with the VFW to head the Cranberry Fair, the Lions to take charge of the parade, the Chamber would be asked to handle the Coronation, and the Soroptimists and the Lions Auxiliary would take over decorating the stage for the coronation.
The high school would again be in charge of the Cranberry Bowl game, the Bandon Jaycees would again sponsor the Treasure Chest, the Bandon Fire Department would handle the Beef Barbecue, the Jaycees would have the raft race portion of the celebration, and the Ocean Spray Twirlers would take over the Square Dance Jamboree.
And yours truly (Mary Dufort) and the Western World would handle all publicity for the Festival.
For many years, the Festival Association continued to put on the Festival, but today that responsibility has been assumed by the Bandon Chamber of Commerce. It's a big job and we're happy that they continue to put on the Festival, which this year is Sept. 8-10 and marks the 71st year of the popular event.
There will be no coronation Friday night, as the lone princess will be crowned during the street dance on Saturday night. The Cranberry Bowl will now be held on Friday night instead of during the day on Saturday.
* * *
I know that the chamber feels that it's best to have the festival the same weekend every year, but when it falls in the same week as Labor Day, I think it will put a crimp in the plans of working people who have just enjoyed a three-day weekend only to ask for Friday off to head to Bandon.
In the old days, when the festival was held later in September or even in October, it gave the elementary school classes time to build some very impressive floats for the parade, but that is no longer the case as school is barely under way when the festival occurs.
Hopefully we will have some of our Indian Summer weather for the festival, with the wind dying down and the marine layer remaining offshore.
* * *
I generally write my column on Sunday evenings, but I moved it up a day this week so I can attend Port Director Gina Dearth's retirement party, which I would not want to miss.
I read the latest report on the Chetco Bar Fire, which is burning dangerously close to Brookings, and the weather was definitely not looking good for the weekend as the Chetco winds were expected to kick back up.
State Representative David Brock Smith, a Republican from Curry County, was the guest speaker at the regional League of Oregon Cities meeting in Coquille Wednesday, and part of his talk was about the Fire.
As he talked about the rapid spread of the Fire and the loss of several homes, he said: "People need to be held accountable for what has occurred and what will still occur," referring to federal policy.
An even stronger condemnation of what happened came from Cecilia and Layne Worlton, whose home was reduced to ash sometime Sunday as the Fire roared across the top of Gardner Ridge Road about a 14-mile drive from Brookings.
Their story appeared in the Aug. 23 issue of the Curry Coastal Pilot. And they want answers.
"For the Worltons, the sting of losing their home is made all the more worse by what they believe to be a failure of the U.S Forest Service to take preventative measures," explains the writer.
Worlton is quoted as saying: "I get that there's rules, but the Forest Service -- the only thing they were tasked with is preservation of structures. The day before the fire actually hit, I'm still here, five trucks sat at the intersection an eighth of a mile down from my house. All kinds of vehicles, cruising, just cruising past, and then no protection of the structure. None, absolutely none."
According to the Worltons, the response of the U.S. Forest Service stands in stark contrast to that of the Coos Forest Service (Protective Association) back in 2002 when the Biscuit Fire broke out.
The article closes with another quote from Cecilia Worlton. "Did somebody make a mistake? Just tell us what happened. Tell us why it got this far."
Those concerns are shared by David Brock Smith and other Curry officials.
* * *
I've been reading several letters from folks in both Portland and Eugene lately about the transient (traveler) problem in the downtown core of their cities.
I kept a portion of one letter, which pretty much explains how many feel about Eugene.
"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."
* * *
For quite a few years, I've been babying my GE side-by-side refrigerator, which has experienced periods of non-cooling ever since I moved here seven years ago. But this time, even though I pulled the back off the unit, cleaned away the dust and drained the hose, it was to no avail. I could not get the refrigerator below 60 degrees (which is dangerously high for food safety) and moved the perishables into the freezer side, which had also stopped functioning properly. That resulted in me throwing out most of the food, which had thawed out. But I was able to maintain a fairly constant refrigerator-like temperature by turning it from 0 to 1 every few hours... waiting the arrival of my new refrigerator from Sears, which is to be here Monday.
I will probably end up throwing out most of the food even though none of it is meat, but I just don't want to take a chance on eating spoiled food.
It's been a costly ($1559) lesson, and I should have gotten a new unit years ago before I invested $400 in a new thermostat. The next guess of the repairman was that I might need a new computer, but I decided I no longer wanted to take the expensive gamble.
A unit with French doors was the closest thing I could find to my beloved side-by-side because of the size limitations, as I didn't feel like cutting off the bottom of a cabinet to make one fit. Supposedly I have a quarter of an inch left with the new unit.
If I measured correctly!!
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
August 23, 2017
The first picture I am sharing was taken during the 1972 Cranberry Festival parade of Senator Sam Dement riding a horse in the parade.
Senator Sam Dement, 1972 Cranberry Festival parade
The large building in the background is the Arcade Garden Tavern, which is now the Inner Garden building on the corner of Chicago and Second Street. It is currently occupied by a real estate company, the Rolling Pin Bake and Brew and Pablo's Corner, a new restaurant offering Latin American cuisine.
It is always good to remember what a major role the Bandon Lions Club played in upgrading The Barn and City Park back in the day. This picture was taken in June of 1966 during a Lions Club work party in front of what was then The Barn.
Lions Club work party, 1966
Although I can't name them all, I do know most of them. In front, from left, are Al Froland, Howard Kehl, Russ Conn, George Kronenberg, Howard Tucker, Roland L. Parks, O.S. Valentine and an unidentified man. In the second row are Stuffy Hendrickson, Max Howe, Fred Moore and Eddie Waldrop. In back are John Fasnacht, Sam Schultz, Warren Strycker, Dr. Ben Grant, W. H. Johnston, an unidentified man and Ernie Wehner.
The Lions will also be remembered for spearheading the building of The Sprague Community Theater, with Ray Kelley and Dan Almich as supervisors. Dan is still active today with wife Anita in New Artists Productions bringing youth theater to the stage.
The last picture is of McNair's Home Town Hardware before it burned in an arson fire in the early l970s.
McNair's Home Town Hardware
At right you can see Davison's Market, later called Bandon Market (or maybe it was the other way around). It was also destroyed by fire but I am not sure of the year.
The hardware store was later rebuilt in block construction at the same location, and today it is the home of Bandon Brewing Co. The spot where Davison's was located is now a parking lot.
* * *
The event sponsored by the swimming pool committee, which was held near the skateboard ramp in City Park Saturday, seemed to be a big success judging from the number of people who stopped during the afternoon to enjoy a free hot dog or pulled pork sandwich, look at drawings of the proposed pool complex and tour the grounds where the pool will be built. Live music was provided by the band Done Deal.
A dedicated group of volunteers, spearheaded by Myra Lawson, Ann King and Sheila Levinsky, spent the afternoon educating people to get them excited about the prospect of a pool for Bandon.
Earlier I pledged $1,000, which is to be paid once construction gets under way, and I would be thrilled if I could write the check soon, but there is still much fundraising to be done.
I have confidence that the pool committee will find a way to make it happen.
* * *
I learned this week that Bandon's short-lived finance director, Harry Staven, had been hired as city administrator at Auburn, Mich., but was terminated after only a little more than a month on the job. The council fired him after multiple employees reported he created an "uncomfortable situation" inside City Hall, according to a press release I found on line.
"Members of the commission and the town's mayor aren't saying much about the termination, but said the seriousness of the city employees' complaints required the elected body to act quickly. Mayor Lee Kilbourn is serving as interim administrator in the meantime. Staven, who earned a salary of $70,000 and was on a 90-day probation period, declined to comment for this story."
Staven was active with the Bandon Lions Club during the less than a year that he worked for the City of Bandon.
A Google search on Staven indicated that he had served a number of months-long jobs, including a couple of months as city administrator at Lakeside, Or., before he was hired by former Bandon city manager Chris Good.
* * *
The front page of the Register Guard's Oregon Life Arts page on Aug. 10 had an interesting article about a former Langlois woman, Tere Tronson, whose husband, James, worked at one time for Western World.
The Tronsons own The Tronson Gallery of Contemporary Art in Springfield.
According to the article, Tere will be bringing an exhibit of work to her gallery that has never before been shown in Oregon.
The featured artist is Orval Dillingham, a longtime professor of art at California State University in Long Beach and Tere Tronson's father.
The R-G article said "his art has been shown in such prestigious venues as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis."
Her father died in 2007 after a battle with Alzheimer's disease.
The Gallery is open 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and the exhibit will be on display through Sept. 30. It is located at 740 Main Street in Springfield.
* * *
Speaking of the arts, don't forget that Friday (Aug. 25) is Alive After Five: Hot August Nights, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. throughout Old Town. Wine Walk proceeds (it's $10 to purchase the glass) benefit the Greater Bandon Association, an all volunteer Main Street organization. Proceeds are used to pay for other fun events including Night of 10,000 Lights, the Gorse Blossom Festival, and Volunteer of the Month program.
* * *
I pretty much waited until the proverbial last minute to purchase my eclipse glasses .... the Friday before the eclipse ... but judging from the number of posts Sunday on Facebook, there were still a lot of people looking for the glasses.
Emily Bright, owner of Auntie's Em's floral shop in the Continuum Center in Old Town, advertised Saturday evening that she still had 50 pair for sale, but by mid-day Sunday they were gone ... and people were still looking.
Since I am writing this before the eclipse, I have no idea what the weather was like or if the crowds in the area of totality proved to be as large as predicted/feared.
It reminded me of the frenzy of Y2K, as the year 2000 approached. But judging from some of the information coming out of the eastern Oregon area of Madras/Prineville, it may be a gridlock nightmare as people try to leave the area ... not to mention while they are there.
* * *
My boyfriend and I spent several days at Cougar Lane Lodge at Agness last week. We had a great time and I am ready to go back again, but maybe not until fall when it won't be so hot.
I checked the weather forecast carefully before I made the reservations, and it appeared that the temperature would be in the mid-80s, which I felt was bearable. Instead, on Wednesday, it reached 94 or 95 and if it hadn't been for the wonderful air conditioning in the room, I would have wanted to come home.
I know that quite a few Bandon people spend much of their summer in Agness, but the only people I saw were Tom and Marion Gant and two of their grandsons, who were preparing to go back to Bandon Thursday because they did not want to deal with the heat.
Nona Dodrill Scott and Jerry Calame have also been spending quite a bit of time there, but had returned to Bandon for the 90th birthday celebration of her mother, Barbara Dodrill.
Cougar Lane Lodge is owned by Scott and Nic McNair, sons of Bill and Cherie McNair.
Bill has many ties to Bandon as his father, Dr. Raymond McNair, graduated from high school here in the same class as my mother (1934), and his grandparents, Ray and Alpha McNair, owned McNair Hardware, founded by Ray's father (Archibald) in 1898. In the late '90s author Dow Beckham said McNair Hardware was Bandon's largest operating enterprise.
Bill later sold the McNair Building to Jon Hawkins, who has opened Bandon Brewing Co. His wife, Dr. Nicole Erenfeld, plans to move her optometry business, Bandon Vision Center, into the building soon. Thankfully, they are keeping the name McNair Building, which is prominently displayed on the front of the building with an impressive sign.
The McNair family also own both jet boat services, which ferry people up and down the Rogue River daily throughout the summer months.
Since purchasing Cougar Lane Lodge, the McNairs have made many upgrades, including completely refurbishing the six motel rooms, two of which are kitchenettes with decks overlooking the Wild and Scenic Rogue River.
Their restaurant is well known for its barbecued meats, and is a popular jet boat lunch stop.
The only downside of the trip was my decision to return to Bandon via Powers. The first 10-12 miles of the 35-mile trip is wash-boardy gravel, which made driving very difficult ... especially when we met a fully loaded logging truck on the narrow road. About half way to pavement I began to silently apologize to my Honda CRV for putting it through the torture but we finally made it safe and sound ... even though those 10 or 12 miles took over an hour to navigate.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
August 16, 2017
Who remembers that more than 50 years ago (Sept. 25, 1966, to be exact) there were band concerts in City Park ... much like they have today but in the old bandstand.
Concert in City Park, 1966
You can see by the sign that the concerts were sponsored by the American Federation of Musicians, #520, Coos Bay, and Southwestern Oregon College. The conductor was Frank Leuck, who was around for many years on the music scene. It appears from the sign that they performed on Sunday afternoons at different venues throughout the county, including the Coos County Fair (held in late August in those days) and Bullards Beach State Park.
Unfortunately there is no date on the second picture I am sharing, but it is clearly the road being built/graded to the South Jetty, so it may have been taken in the '60s.
Jetty road construction, 1960s
You can see that the big spurt in development had not yet taken place, and things look much different down there today.
The third picture was taken in June of 1980 as Ken Butler, one of his sons (maybe port commissioner Wayne) and Rick Wirt (right) work on Kenny's boat, the Pescadero, in June of 1980. The Butlers have been operating commercial fishing boats out of the local harbor for many years.
Ken Butler's boat, the Pescadero, 1980
* * *
On Monday, Aug. 21, Coos County will witness a partial solar eclipse, which requires protective eyewear to be seen safely. Coos County will be just outside the line of totality and experience a large percentage of coverage during the event. Over the course of two hours, the sun will slowly be blocked by the moon resulting in near darkness for almost two minutes.
Watching the solar eclipse without proper eye protection can cause a lifetime of vision damage. Looking directly at the eclipse can cause serious, permanent eye injury. In Coos County, at no point will it be safe to look at the eclipse without eye protection, according to a press release from the Public Health ER Preparedness Coordinator.
In addition to wearing certified glasses, people are reminded not to look at the sun through a camera, binoculars or other optical device while using solar glasses of viewers.
The eclipse will reach its maximum coverage in Coos County between 10:15 and 10:25 in the morning.
* * *
If I lived in Coos Bay/Empire, or anywhere else in Oregon for that matter, I would be furious over the news that small amounts of meth, heroin and cocaine are about to be decriminalized by Oregon lawmakers.
For the life of me, I cannot figure out why a "user amount" of addictive drugs like meth, cocaine or heroin should not be considered felonies. And I know a lot of police officers and district attorneys who feel the same way.
What promoted this bill by the Democratically controlled legislature: A report that showed that African Americans are incarcerated at a rate 4.5 times more than white offenders, yet they make up only 2 percent of the Oregon population. They are also convicted of felony drug possession at more than double the rate of white offenders, according to a well-written article in The World.
Frankly, I don't care who is caught doing hard drugs, they need to pay the price rather than be left on the streets to steal to support their habit. And making these three drugs a misdemeanor will have the opposite effect.
District Attorney Paul Frasier says although the new bill is intended to reduce racism in law enforcement, he also feels that money is a driving factor because it costs the state money to fund community corrections.
Frasier is quoted as saying: "I just think that the statutes that have been passed will make my job more difficult and do more harm than good." And Sheriff Craig Zanni has a similar opinion.
Here's what Oregon's sadly weak governor, Kate Brown, had to say on the subject:
"While we still have much work ahead, HB 2355 represents an important step toward creating a more equitable justice system to better serve all Oregonians. Addressing disparities that too often fall along racial and socioeconomic lines should not be political issues. Here in Oregon, we're demonstrating that we can make meaningful progress to improve the lives of Oregonians by working together around our shared values."
Unfortunately, these are not the values shared by those at the front lines who deal every day with drug abuse ... and their victims.
This is just one more reason that I will not be supporting Kate Brown when she seeks re-election in 2018.
* * *
I use my debit card for all my local purchases as I do not carry checks and I seldom pay with cash. So when I learned that my new First Interstate Bank debit card would be effective Aug. 4 (to replace my Bank of the Cascades card), I immediately cut my BOC card into little pieces and threw it in the garbage.
I had activated my new card and was happy to see that I would be allowed to use my old PIN number, so all was good, or so I thought.
That was until I was trying to use it at the Dollar Store for eight items . . . and twice my card was refused. Fortunately I had $8 in cash out in my car or I guess I would have had to put my items back on the shelf. I knew it had nothing to do with the amount of money I had in my checking account, because I use it pretty much as a savings, so there is more than adequate money in my account.
I went up to Bank of the Cascades where I learned that instead of Aug. 4, the card would not be good until Aug. 14 and in the meantime I could use my old card.
Yes, I could have ... had I not cut it into small pieces.
I am not going to start using a credit card for groceries, so I guess I will have to start paying with cash.
I guess the moral of this story is . . . don't cut up your old debit/credit card until you know your new one works.
* * *
To add insult to injury, on Aug. 11th I received a letter from First Interstate, dated Aug. 1, telling me that I had not activated my debit card yet and unless I did so right away, I would not be able to use it on Aug. 14.
Well, actually I did, and if they had told me when I activated it that it wasn't good until Aug. 14, I might not have had it declined.
Change is never easy . . . but I continue to have confidence in those who work at the bank, who are working hard to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.
* * *
We went to see The Wizard of Oz Friday night, and it was a special treat. The special effects alone are worth the price of admission, but that is just one small part of the terrific experience. I loved Zeta Hay as Dorothy, and unless you have seen Heather Bouher play the Wicked Witch of the West, you have missed great theater!!
I can't say enough about this production, which is directed by Jeff Norris and produced by Paul Hay ... except that you definitely don't want to miss it.
It's playing Thursday through Sunday for two more weekends (through Aug. 27) so you have plenty of time to see it once ... or even twice. I plan to go again and take enough pictures to put together one of my photo books.
If you don't have a ticket, don't worry you can always purchase one at the door.
* * *
When I wrote last week that PenAir was pulling out of North Bend, I did not realize that this meant that there would be no commuter air service to Portland, which is basically the hub for many of the major airlines.
The Southwest Oregon Regional Airport board has issued a press release, letting people know that they are doing everything they can to provide air service to Portland.
SORA plans to apply for grant funding from the Oregon Department of Aviation for marketing dollars to shore up existing air service to San Francisco and Denver, and is working with aviation consultants to identify carriers that may provide air service between North Bend and Portland.
Regional airports must typically subsidize routes until financial viability is established. Southwest Oregon Regional Airport has partnered with Bandon Dunes Golf Resort to support the existing Denver flight, and will apply for additional grant funding ... to help pay for a new carrier who will provide air service to Portland.
It has been a struggle to provide adequate air service ever since Horizon/Alaska Air pulled out of North Bend on Oct. 11, 2008, after providing service since 1982.
SkyWest ended its long-running service to Portland from North Bend Feb. 16, 2012. SeaPort began daily flights to Portland in January 2012, but ended that service in 2016. PenAir began flying to Portland from North Bend March 21, 2016, and pulled out in August of this year.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
August 09, 2017
I never thought I'd see the day when one of these trolley (cable car) vehicles might be operating in Bandon, but by next season, you're sure to see one around town.
Trolley in Bandon, 1966
This picture was taken more than 50 years ago (October of 1966) of a trolley that just happened to pull into Bandon and was a cool subject for the Western World photographer.
The Port of Bandon and the City of Bandon have combined resources to buy a $5,000 used trolley from the historic city of Jacksonville. It is now being housed in one of the bays of the City's new shop, and will undergo some mechanical upgrades and refurbishment this winter in preparation for operating next summer. In addition to the cash outlay, the port also gave Jacksonville six of the port-built new oak barrel trash cans to go along with others they have purchased over the years.
The one in the photo was a California State cable car out of San Francisco, operating on O'Farrell, Jones and Hyde Streets. Not exactly sure what it was doing in Bandon, but it was headed for the Mobil service station on the corner of 101 and Fillmore when we snapped this photo. Across the street you can see George Chappell's Standard/Chevron Station, and to its right the Bandon Beauty Shoppe in the building which now houses the Forget-Me-Knots Quilt Shop.
I'm always amazed at just how many improvements have been made to the Port of Bandon docks over the years. This picture was taken in February 1960. The envelope says "city dock," but it is pretty clearly port property.
Bandon docks, 1960
The third picture was taken in November of 1975 when the new post office was being built at 12th and Baltimore.
Bandon Post Office construction, 1975
Although you can't see it in this picture, the photo that I had a hard time identifying in last week's column was apparently the house directly across 12th from the post office. I believe at some point it was moved to that location, and may have been Fred Carleton's law office, and later Ed Landucci's Oregon Properties office, but I am pretty sure that is the house in question.
* * *
An article in The World Saturday about the homeless situation in the Empire area of Coos Bay, and what many say is the resulting crime wave, has generated a lot of feedback on Facebook. The thrust of the article was that tensions are rising between the community and the homeless population, and many fear it will result in bloodshed if a person breaks into the wrong house and gets shot.
Sunday morning there was another post on Facebook about a burglary, where someone trashed the home of a 75-year-old woman, while she was in California celebrating her birthday.
Many blame the Nancy Devereux Center on Newmark Avenue in Empire, whose main goal is to help the homeless, but others say it is a lifesaver for those in need. At a recent community meeting, tempers flared, which ended in the Devereux Center CEO breaking down in tears, and Police Chief Rodger Craddock having to escort a man out of the meeting "to cool him down."
Coos Bay City Councilor and former KCBY executive and now CEO of radio station KDCQ Stephanie Crouse Kilmer had this to say about the situation:
"We know for a fact that there were some being bused in. But today a woman reported a green bus dropped off several in the Three Rivers parking lot on Tuesday. I just don't know how you get ahead of it or work on the situation when transients are getting trucked in."
One man directed his comments to Devereux Center CEO Tara Johnson, who did say they try to control the problem and have even trespassed people from the center.
"You don't live here, you don't sit with your 7-year-old at night while she is asleep with your .45 on your lap waiting for someone to break in. We want to live in our homes and feel safe and comfortable. We can't because of your clientele," said one of the neighbors.
Coos Bay was recently listed as the most dangerous place to live in Oregon, with a population of more than 5,000 (except for Portland), because of its soaring crime rate.
Recently, Eugene committed $1 million to provide more shelter for homeless people, according to The Register-Guard.
"That's money that Craddock said Coos Bay doesn't have," according to the article in The World.
* * *
On a happier note, the Port of Bandon commission has hired a new director, Jeff Griffin, to replace 30-year port employee Gina Dearth, who will be retiring at the end of the month.
The commission had some impressive candidates for the job, including port employee Linda Phillips, State Representative David Brock Smith, Bullards Park manager Ben Fisher, former San Francisco port official Hedley Prince, former port employee Steven Leskin and Griffin.
Gina, who started at the lowest position and worked her way to the executive director, admitted that this has been a tough thing for her to do. "I am so connected, invested and protective of the port and this community, so much so, that I had to do an intervention on myself to retire! But I got there."
She had high praise for Griffin.
"He knows the agencies and permitting and all the players I deal with from the administrative end. I got to know him pretty well during all the months of the Coalition (South Coast Ports) maneuvering for the state-owned dredge. I really feel like he is a perfect fit and that I'm leaving the port knowing that it will only keep moving forward in the right direction. He's fortunate to come to work for such a great commission and in such a beautiful place. He's completely aware, his background gave him many years of opportunities to see government at its finest and its worse," said Dearth.
Griffin will be in Bandon Tuesday through Thursday for the month of September, while he transitions, sells his home in Ashland and finds a place here, before starting permanently Oct. 1.
He served as regional coordinator for the Office of the Governor of Oregon, Regional Solutions Team from 2000 to 2016.
He received his bachelor degree in marine biology from the University of California in 1986, and a master of business administration from Western Washington University in 1990.
Robert Mawson and I were invited to meet him last week prior to an executive session of the port commission, and I can truly say I was very impressed. He will be a good fit for Bandon, but it will be hard to replace Gina, who has worked tirelessly for the port and the community for many years.
* * *
I saw a Facebook post Sunday that said that Mark Hendrix (Lee) had been released from the hospital, but for his safety, family members are not saying where he is because his assault is still under investigation.
His aunt, Kathy Rogers, said: "Mark has a long road ahead to full recovery, so please keep him in your prayers and hearts."
Mark was critically injured after being struck repeatedly in the head in an assault that occurred in Coos Bay. One man has been arrested in connection with the crime.
* * *
Although the tickets have long since been sold out, the benefit for Todd Freitag, 42, who is battling pancreatic cancer, will be held Saturday night at the Bandon Community Center/The Barn.
The Freitags are a well-known and popular Bandon family, and friends are hoping to generate a sizeable amount of money to help the young family. Todd's wife, Courtney, is the daughter of Vicki Gernandt, and the couple have two young adult children.
Although I was not able to get a ticket, I did donate several 16x20 matted photographs, as well as 40 or 50 4x6 prints of my best photos for the silent auction.
It always amazes me how the community comes together to help families in crisis, and this is just one more example.
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It was not good news to learn that Pen Air, the small carrier that served this area out of the North Bend airport, is ending its service in the Pacific Northwest effective Aug. 8.
One woman said she had a ticket to Portland on Aug. 11. They did refund her money, but that doesn't help her get to the Portland airport for a connecting flight.
So many of us still remember the good ole' days when this area was served by Horizon/Alaska Air. Maybe we didn't realize how good we had it with that carrier ... but we sure do now.
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A 47-foot commercial fishing vessel caught fire and burned some 20 miles west of Cape Blanco Lighthouse Saturday. The two men aboard the Beverly B were able to launch a life raft after the vessel caught fire.
Fortunately, a volunteer light keeper at Cape Blanco saw the fire and alerted the Coast Guard, who went to the aid of the men. They took them and their raft to port in Brookings.
The Coast Guard press release did not say who was aboard the vessel nor where they were from, but commercial fishermen may well recognize the name of the boat.
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The latest Bandon Playhouse production, "The Wizard of Oz," opens Thursday night, Aug. 10, and will play Thursday through Sunday for the next three weekends. Show times are 7 p.m. except for the Sunday matinees at 2.
The play is being directed by Jeff Norris and produced by Paul Hay.
Ticket prices are $15 for adults, and $13 for children and senior citizens. They can be purchased at the box office an hour before the show starts, or on line by Googling Wizard of Oz at Sprague Theater.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
August 02, 2017
The first picture I am sharing was taken in 1972 when Margaret and Ed Gorman were building their first motel, at the corner of Beach Loop and 11th.
Motel construction, 1972
Behind it is a restaurant building, that was later torn down after both properties were purchased by Bandon Dunes owner Mike Keiser. At the far right you can see a trailer house parked at the site where the Gormans built their second motel, which they called Gorman Motel at Coquille Point. The motel had fallen into disrepair over the years before being purchased by Keiser and upgraded.
Recently, Keiser announced plans to tear down the motel at Coquille Point and replace it with a more modern structure, complete with a rooftop deck, which will be a decided upgrade for the property and add to our prime lodging facilities.
Most people don't remember when Rogge Lumber Co. operated a mill along Highway 101 just east of Bullards Bridge. This picture features a loaded barge (the J. Whitney Olson) in October of 1966 alongside the mill.
Barge at Rogge Lumber, 1966
Dow Beckham's book "Bandon By The Sea," has an interesting article about Ken Rogge, who came to Coos County in 1952.
Beckham writes: "As the saying went in those days, 'there was a sawmill behind every stump.' The market after World War II was running strong and there were over 100 small sawmills between the California stateline and Coos Bay. Most people knew them as 'gyppo' mills; however, some referred to them as 'brush' mills. Within a decade, however, the ever fickle market changed and most of the mills closed.
"Instead of failing, Kenneth Rogge expanded. He bought a larger mill about three miles south of Bandon. Near the Coquille River east of the Highway 101 bridge (the picture I am sharing), Rogge established a planing mill in a building that he purchased from Roseburg lumberman Kenneth Ford. Then, competing directly in the market with the large companies and without a timber base, he faced tremendous challenges. Rogge bid competitively for timber on the open market and month after month, year after year, met his payroll. He bought the FSP sawmill on Cape Blanco Road from A. William Sweet. Rogge ran it for 10 years. He expanded further by closing the Cape Blanco mill and moved part of the machinery to Wallowa where he built a larger stud mill.
"How did Ken Rogge make a success of the lumber business when others failed? Did he have a special amulet or charm, or was it that he knew something other men did not? Yes, he knew something others did not. He knew his business."
The third picture was taken in May of 1971 at the intersection of Highway 101 and 11th Street.
Intersection of Highway 101 and 11th Street, 1971
I can see that the signs are clearly pointing down 11th to Westmost Golf Course, and Bandon State Park. But I am just not sure where the photographer was standing (and it could well have been me who took the picture). It would appear that the small building (Stout Realty) was on the east side of the highway where Umpqua Bank now stands, but I am just not sure that is true because I don't recognize the two-story house that you can see over the top of the vehicle. Maybe one of my readers will have a better perspective about this picture than I do.
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There is some good news on the cheese front. Face Rock Creamery won two national awards at the American Cheese Society 2017 competition last week in Denver, Colo. Spokesman Daniel Graham said "cheese with altitude" was the slogan for this year, referring to the mile-high city.
"There were the most entrants ever with 2024 different cheeses (from numerous categories) that arrived for judging ... and only a small percentage took home any awards," he said.
The judges really liked Face Rock's cloth-bound peppercorn and the apricot fromage.
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Peggy Backholm of Bandon Inn shared a Trip Advisor post on Facebook Sunday titled "15 Picture Perfect Beach Towns for Your West Coast Vacation."
Wow. Bandon was number three in an impressive group of beach towns, including Anacortes, Wash., as the top beach and Avila Beach, Ca., as number two. The other three Oregon beaches to make the top 15 were Gearhart (9), Newport (11) and Pacific City (12).
California pretty much dominated the list with Cambria, Capitola, Carmel, Cayucos, Laguna Beach, Pacific Grove and Seal Beach. Also named to the list in Washington were Friday Harbor and Westport.
Here's what Trip Advisor had to say about Bandon: "If broad, flat beaches, towering rock spires, and wild waves align with your idea of paradise, Bandon is the place for your West Coast beach vacation. Along the shore, you'll be surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery on the Oregon coast; further inland, you'll be smitten with the restaurants, boutiques, and galleries of the historic shopping district. Go horseback riding beside the ocean and grab your camera and capture the sunset at Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint."
Below that it added: Eat: Alloro Wine Bar and Restaurant; Play: Bullards Beach State Park; See: Washed Ashore Exhibit Gallery; and Stay: See all 80-plus rentals in Bandon.
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It's always good to be able to laugh at yourself, and along those lines I have a good one to tell on myself.
My boyfriend and I had gone to Coquille a couple of weeks ago to take in the latest Sawdust Theater production (starring that night was Bandon's own Dan Barnett from Billy Smoothboars as the villain).
He was busy paying for the tickets and I was standing quietly alongside of him ... until my shoulder brushed a framed picture hanging on the wall, which crashed loudly to the ground, spreading shards of glass.
I, of course, was mortified, but even more so when I saw that it was a framed poster of "How To Get To Bandon." Not very good PR for the mayor.
People knew who I was, so everyone got a good laugh out of it ... but several of the women, elegantly dressed in bright red gowns, had to take time out from welcoming theatergoers to sweep up the glass.
I am not even sure what happened, but it came dangerously close to hitting me on the head . . . which might not have been quite so funny.
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Coos Bay continues to "take it on the chin." After being named one of the worst cities in Oregon to live in, they took an ever bigger hit this week when they topped the list of the 10 most dangerous cities in Oregon . . . over 5,000 population of which there are 47. Portland was not included in the stats, which were reportedly compiled from the annual FBI report.
Coos Bay, with a population of 16,056, pretty much led the statistics in property crimes. The writer of the post said residents in Coos Bay had a 1 in 16 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2015.
Others who had the dubious honor of making the list were Lincoln City, Grants Pass, Astoria, Cottage Grove, Madras, Springfield, Klamath Falls and Lebanon.
One only has to read the Facebook posts from Coos Bay to see that crime has become a very serious problem in that area.
My guess is that much of it had to do with repeat offenders who were not kept in jail because of the lack of jail beds.
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It's not very often that we see heat advisories for the South Coast, but today I saw a warning in The World, for unusually warm days beginning Tuesday.
Ordinarily I would not pay too much attention to those kind of advisories because they generally don't pertain to our area, but I was planning to spend Tuesday and Wednesday at Patrick Creek Lodge near Gasquet, which is inland from Crescent City on Highway 199. I have spent quite a bit of time there in the last four or five years, and the one thing that I could never get used to -- even in 85 degree weather -- was the fact that there is no air conditioning in the rooms, and even with a fan blowing on me, it was still pretty stifling.
And when I saw that it is supposed to be 103 in Powers on Wednesday, I knew I had better rethink my vacation plans . . . for a time when cooler weather will prevail. The 103 temp was to be followed by 98 and 95, so inland they are in for a hot one.
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Last week I mentioned that I had talked with Kathy Rogers and she said her nephew, Mark Hendrix (Lee), was getting better after being critically injured in an assault in Coos Bay last week. But I saw that she posted again Friday indicating that Mark was still in a coma. He is at OHSU in Portland, where he has a team of good doctors. Hopefully he will pull through and be better soon, but the head injuries were said to be extremely serious. Mark is the son of Karen and Rick Lee.
A Coos Bay man was arrested in connection with the assault.
Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn