As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

February 25, 2015

I've chosen a picture of the Masonic building, taken in December of 1956 when it was the Bank of Bandon building, since it has now been accepted onto the National Register of Historic places. (See story below). Marge (Mrs. Ivan) Cook is busy sweeping the snow from the sidewalk in front of her house (now Grotto Gifts).

Masonic Building 1956
Masonic Building 1956

Anyone who doubts that Bandon was a lumbering hub in the early days will enjoy this picture of the Oliver Olson & Co. barge loading lumber at the Port dock in 1956. In those days, Hysters rather than visitors roamed the docks.

Loading lumber 1956
Loading lumber 1956

The third picture was taken in March of 1959 when independent log truck drivers carried out a one-day work stoppage in an attempt to get Moore Mill & Lumber Co. to pay them more for hauling the logs. The article in Western World explained that only that week most of the independent truckers had joined the Coos Bay Local of the Teamsters Union. Truck owner Don Fraser was the group's spokesman. The truckers sought an increase of $1.50 per thousand (board feet) or $9 in lieu of the $7.50 they were being paid.

Log truck drivers strike 1959
Log truck drivers strike 1959

Note Capps Motor Co., the Capps Chevron service station, and the Bandon Theater in the bottom left of the picture. The Highway 101 sign points to Coquille, Coos Bay and North Bend when Highway 101 was the highway now known as 42S. To get to Coos Bay and points north, it was necessary to go through Coquille as the Highway 101 that we know was not yet completed.

*           *           *

This is going to be relatively short today since I don't have much to write about and we are busy getting ready for former city manager Matt Winkel's retirement party tonight (which is when I generally write my column).

On the issue of city managers, I want to say that Bandon has been incredibly lucky to have had some great city managers . . . and our new city manager, Chris Good, is no exception. He's great and he's jumped right into the job with great enthusiasm, as has our new administrative assistant, Shannon Reinhardt, who replaced Bev Lanier.

Several people have asked us if Shannon is related to Reinhard . . . who operated a mechanic business in Bandon for many years. The obvious answer is "no" since Reinhard is his first name . . . not his last (which is Schoepel). And his is spelled without the "t."

Shannon's grandparents live in Bandon and her parents live in Myrtle Point, although they lived many years in Redding, Calif., where Shannon grew up.

Both she and Chris are great assets. I worried if we would be able to replace Bev and Matt with the same kind of quality people . . . and we have.

We also have two new councilors, Peter Braun and Madeline Seymour, and they have "hit the ground running," which is good. They are both very enthusiastic about joining the council and we're glad to have them.

*           *           *

Nothing amazes me any more as I read the ongoing saga of former governor John Kitzhaber and the entanglements involving his fiancé Cylvia Hayes. The latest, in the Sunday Oregonian, is a fight by Kitz' attorney Janet Hoffman to stop criminal investigators from getting personal emails stored on state computers.

(Good luck at that, I can tell you from personal experience, they don't even have to be on the state, or in my case city, computers to be public record.)

In a separate letter to Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, Hoffman is seeking a criminal investigation into how Kitzhaber's private emails were obtained by Willamette Week, the alternative paper which first broke the story back in October. (The stories are very revealing and can be read by Googling Willamette Week. If this saga of Hayes' greed and lack of boundaries interests you, you may well want to read some of these emails between she and Kitzhaber . . to get a clearer understanding as to why he was more than willing to resign).

But here's the twist: his attorney is asking for an independent investigator because the state attorney general (Rosenblum) is married to Willamette Week's publisher, Richard Meeker. (I'm sure that will be discussed even more thoroughly in Willamette Week . . . or maybe not).

And the beat goes on .....

*           *           *

The word is out: The State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation has asked the keeper of the National Register of Historic Places to add The First National Bank of Bandon (more commonly known as the Masonic building and the Bank of Bandon building) to the Register.

Attending the meeting where this decision was made were Harv Schubothe, representing the Greater Bandon Association, and intern Julie Larsen from State Main Street, representing the State Historic Preservation Office.

They made a compelling case for including the building on the Register.

In the end the Advisory Committee recognized two game changers in approving the request: first the Classical Revival innovative work of Marshfield architect and Swedish immigrant Benjamin Ostlind and this building as one of the surviving structures that he designed, and second the concrete construction (which was innovative at that time).Of the six Coos County concrete buildings built between 1887 and 1915, only this one remains today and because of the concrete construction survived the Bandon Fire of 1936.

This has personal significance to me since the Western World newspaper, which my grandfather bought in 1912, was in that building for many, many years (where The Cobbler's Bench is now). I went to work there in 1959, and my office was on the mezzanine (you can see the small windows half-way up the building) and we printed the paper on a huge old press in the basement.

I know we were still there when my grandfather died in 1962 and my uncle, Lou Felsheim, took over. We later moved into a building immediately east of McKay's, which is now their produce section. Our next office (when we no longer needed much space as the printing presses had been sold) was in the east portion of what is now Harbortown Events Center (now a real estate office). When Melody and Susan bought Western World in the early '80s, they moved up on the hill to the old Strain house, where the paper is still located today.

Enough history . . .

*           *           *

Many people have commented on the new direction of Ray's Food Place. Since coming out of bankruptcy, the store has done a complete "about face" with new products, new flooring and generally a whole new look.

If you want high-end products and a big selection of unusual and gourmet items ... head for Ray's ... but you will pay the price.

You'll find expensive wines, dozens of varieties of hot sauce, every kind of cheese you can imagine . . . and my favorite, The Wall Street Journal.

But if it's price you're looking for, and are willing to forgo all the things you never needed or didn't even know they made, shop at Price 'n' Pride.

A prime example: a small piece of Tillamook cheese (if you still buy that brand) costs 89 cents at Rays, and the same exact cheese is 2/$1 at Price 'n' Pride.

If your want lamb chops, go to P&P, but you may want to try Ray's stuffed portabella mushrooms . . . for $3, or steak stuffed with feta cheese and spinach, also very reasonably priced. A fun treat for those of who aren't gourmet cooks.

In some cases, Ray's prices are actually cheaper. For example, Ray's Organic Girl salads are less expensive than P&P ... so the best thing to do is visit both stores, look at their prices and what they have to offer, and shop accordingly.

You may be amazed at what you can find locally . . . .

*           *           *

I've never been a big fan of gambling and truly hate the fact that the state depends so much on the revenue to pay for state government.

Late last month, the Oregon Lottery Commission rejected a proposal to give video gambling retailers a bigger share of the projects . . . after executive director Jack Roberts recommended the increase in the hopes that retailers would do more "to bolster sales of the most lucrative form of gambling operated by the state," according to an article in The Oregonian. Retailers are paid on a sliding scale that produces an average commission of 23.9 percent.

Thanks heavens the Lottery Commission denied his request.

According to the article, players in Oregon "currently lose about $740 million a year in the video lottery machines, and about two-thirds of those losses are used by the state for a variety of programs ranging from education to state parks."

Not sure where they think this revenue comes from . . . but one needs only look at the people who flock to the machines after payday ... many of them compulsive gamblers, who don't know when it's time to stop.

The article didn't bother to mention the families who are devastated by the decision of a loved one . . . to be among those losing $740 million in a year ... and that is just in the video lottery machines operated by the state.

I can only imagine what the sum total of the losses would be if you counted all gambling, both state and Indian casinos, in this state.

It's sad . . . .

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

February 18, 2015

All three of this week's history photos were taken in 1959. The first was taken in January at a flue fire at the home of John Leuthold and his sister Dorothy (later Chappell) on Riverside Drive. Note the Shell Oil sign on the side of the pickup belonging to Howard Tucker, who is the one on the ladder heading toward the chimney. Howard owned the Shell station at that time.

1959 flue fire
1959 flue fire

The second picture is one of very few that we've found of the meeting room of City Hall, when it was located at Fillmore and Highway 101, now the home of the Bandon museum. This was the long table where the councilors met. The people in this picture are members of the Centennial Committee and this was taken in February of 1959. Among those pictured are, from left, Marge Boak, Elaine Kehl, Ralph Yockey, unknown, and Edgar Capps. Dr. Ben Grant is chairing the meeting. Second from back on the right side is Ernie Wehner (long-time owner of the Wayside Motel) and the woman at the end of the table is Theresa Devereux, who was a correspondent for the Coos Bay Times (now the World).

City Hall meeting room, 1959
City Hall meeting room, 1959

The Teamsters Union was striking Moore Mill & Lumber Co. in April of 1959, when the third picture was taken.

Teamsters Union striking Moore Mill & Lumber, 1959
Teamsters Union striking Moore Mill & Lumber, 1959

*           *           *

The front page of Saturday's Oregonian was covered with a huge picture of John Kitzhaber, and the story of his resignation as long-time governor of Oregon.

The saddest part of the story is his complete denial that he, and his girlfriend, Cylvia Hayes, might, indeed, be responsible for his downfall. It wasn't the media or his own party that was responsible. They just asked him to do the responsible thing: resign. And reluctantly, he did.

I have read the Oregonian and the Salem Statesman Journal religiously since this whole "affair" started, and the only Democrat that actually stood up for him was former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury of Bandon, who said the whole thing had been blown out of proportion. Sorry, Bill, I know he is a good friend of yours, but you are wrong.

I could even understand Kitzhaber's frustration if those urging him to resign were Republicans; but they weren't, they were members of his own party, who control both the House and the Senate.

Steve Duin, long-time Oregonian columnist, said it best: "Kitzhaber was distracted, engrossed, myopic. Hayes filled the screen. Her happiness became more important to him than the commonweal. She was the one trusted adviser who saw nothing wrong with that. And when it all went wrong, all the good Kitzhaber did, and all the good he still meant to do, vanished amid his pathetic stabs at damage control." He ends by saying, "I'd argue that in love and desperation, Kitzhaber and Hayes created their own mythology, a fantasy world in which public office was available for private benefit and Hayes belonged on the grand stage.

"She didn't. John Kitzhaber was the last to know. Exit, humiliated."

He had every opportunity to kick her to the proverbial curb, as he was faced with surprise after surprise about the woman he professed to love, but he didn't.

Now they can both go quietly into the sunset.

You have to wonder if she will remain by his side, given their 20-year age difference and her obvious greed for the limelight. That remains to be seen.

*           *           *

It was good to learn that a wanted fugitive, who first surfaced in Port Orford last week, has been caught: in Brookings. I wondered after reading that police had found a truck, stolen out of Lancaster County, South Carolina, by the wanted fugitive, Harold Donnell Melton, if he would head north toward Bandon . . . or south toward the California line.

And it appears he chose the latter route, as a Curry County Sheriff's Deputy Jared Gray spotted a person riding a bicycle fitting Melton's description just north of Brookings and contacted him. At first Melton, who was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm, gave a false name but then admitted who he was and that he was wanted out of South Carolina. He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Curry County Jail in Gold Beach.

*           *           *

I had to force myself to come in Sunday afternoon to write my column as I was busy soaking up the sun and trying to convince myself that it really is only the middle of February.

My youngster sister, Mindy, and her daughter, Erin, visited this week from their home in Vancouver, Wash., where Mindy teaches junior high, and they were so thankful to be able to spend quality time on the beach and sitting outside in the sun at Molly's house.

*           *           *

While scanning in my negatives the other night, I found a couple of my long-time friend, John Kronenberg. Even though I haven't seen him in many years I still remember him fondly.

At any rate, I know that he has recently moved from Arizona, where he spent many years, to a senior facility in Portland to be near his sister, Jean Kronenberg Rittenour, who also has a home in Bandon.

The pictures that I refer to were taken over 50 years ago, and I do remember that we were in John's office at Kronenberg Logging Co., owned by his father, Jack.

I sent two of the pictures to Jeannie, and she printed them out and took them over to John. He said, "I remember those pictures . . . but where is the third one? She took three that day."

I happened to see Jeannie in town Saturday and she mentioned what John had said. I told her I was pretty sure the two I had sent her were all there was, but as I sat there thinking, I remembered that there was a third one but I hadn't sent it because it wasn't a good picture of him. I flagged her down as she walked past the Bakery and told her he was right and that I would send her the third picture as soon as I got home.

How's that for a memory?

*           *           *

I am not sure if this will actually occur, but I saw an AP story this week that indicated Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, had filed a bill to renew federal timber subsidies for formerly timber-dependent counties. The Secure Rural Schools Program made up for federal timber revenues that declined as environmental protections reduced logging on the national forests, but last year it expired and was not renewed.

The bill calls for sharing $360 million with more than 700 counties across the country. Nearly a third would go to Oregon counties like Curry, Coos and Douglas, which were particularly hard hit by the downturn in logging and the subsequent political maneuvering.

The bill would restore funding for three years at 2011 levels. It certainly would never replace the amounts that went to the counties in the heyday of logging, before the days of the "spotted owl," but any added revenue would be important to the cash-strapped counties in our area.

*           *           *

The influence-peddling scenario of now former "first lady" Cylvia Hayes touched as far south as Curry County, even though a spokesman for the Governor denied that it occurred.

The minutes of the July 15, 2013, Port of Port Orford Commission meeting said: "Commissioner Dianne Schofield shares with her board that she 'attended a meeting where the idea of a National Marine Sanctuary, possibly in the Port Orford area, was being spearheaded by the Oregon First Lady, Cylvia Hayes'."

In an email, Bandon Port general manager Gina Dearth explained the disappointment of the South Coast ports, who had all opposed the Blanco designation . . . adding "can we trust in the process? Ms. Hayes has been a proponent since at least July 2013. This is a classic example of 'from the top down' if there ever was one. While we're disappointed, we're not surprised," Dearth said.

Gabriela Goldfarb, policy advisor for natural resources for the governor's office, said she had heard about the quote and wanted to set the record straight, saying she wanted to "categorically state that First Lady Cylvia Hayes is not 'spearheading' or in any way involved in advancing any national marine sanctuary proposal."

In an email sent June 10, 2014, Gina thanked her for "clarifying any of the myths that may be associated with the minutes of two separate meetings held in Port Orford in the same month in 2013.

"Obviously this is a very serious topic for the people of the south coast where a proposal has been drafted, as it directly affects our livelihoods and our livability," said Dearth, urging that both "proposers and opponents carefully watch their words and actions, use the proper channels (OPAC) and no longer do end runs to the Governor or the First Lady."

At least as far as the "First Lady" is concerned, she is no longer an issue . . .

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

February 11, 2015

The first picture in my history series this week was taken in October 1966, with some kind of a circus bus pulling into a service station on the corner of Highway 101 and Fillmore (now the site of Gibson Graphics). You can also see two other service stations, Chevron and Shell, across the highway and what is now Forget-Me-Knots quilt shop behind the bus. Note that in those days people were allowed to park along the highway, until it got so dangerous with people opening their car doors into the traffic, that parking was removed.

Circus bus, 1966
Circus bus, 1966

The second photo was taken in May of 1959 of Pete Goodbrod and Bill Burgher, umpires for a high school game, conferring over the rule book. The baseball field was on the south side of Ninth Street. The industrial arts building was across the parking lot from the west end of the high school (on the north side of Ninth) and adjacent to the music room. Among those sitting in the stands, long-since torn down, were Bill Bowman (in white pants) and Jim Olson, far right. Pete Goodbrod still lives in Bandon with his wife, Joan, and Bill Burgher lives in Coos Bay near his son, Bill.

Umpires, 1959
Umpires, 1959

In the third picture, you get a better view of the relationship between the industrial arts building and the music room in this photo, taken in April of 1959 during an evacuation drill. The envelope is titled "CD alert, school evacuation." It was across Ninth Street from what is now the school district office and former kindergarten building. Long time teacher Ernie Neal, who now lives in Salem with his wife, Ellen, is shown at the left, in front of the students. A short distance away is another teacher, Rea Tresidder. Band director Lew Wright is standing in the doorway of the music building.

Evacuation drill, 1959
Evacuation drill, 1959

*           *           *

Probably most of you haven't heard of the weekly magazine called "Us." I had never purchased it and am simply not interested in learning whether Bruce Jenner is transitioning or about Jennifer Aniston's painful childhood. But last week, much to my surprise, I received a copy of Us in my mailbox, addressed to Mary S. Schamehorn (I have never ever used an "S" for my middle initial) at the correct P.O. Box. And the subscription is good until April 2016. The problem is: I did not subscribe to this magazine and I am sure my sisters would not subscribe to it for me either.

The only weekly magazine that I subscribe to (and it's spendy) is The Week, which is a lot like the old Time or Newsweek magazines, and touches on a lot of issues, both national and international . . .but not on the lives of celebrities who seem to occupy way too much news-space these days.

I guess I just need to tear off the address label and send it back to them, asking them to remove my name.

Maybe I should ask for a refund . . . and see what happens. In the outside chance (and highly unlikely) that someone did subscribe to this for me (as a joke), why would it be for a year and three months. Even that doesn't make sense.

*           *           *

I thought I recognized the name of the Coquille woman killed in a car crash on Highway 38 last week (Virginia Whalen-Jennings). And a few days later I learned why.

She was the grandmother of the two brothers who were spending the night with her in June when her trailer (parked at River's Edge RV Park) caught fire, and the brothers died. A third grandson, Caden Teddleton, survived but was badly burned. She was home at the time of the fire, but managed to get out.

It's hard to imagine that another tragedy could befall this family, but that appears to be the case.

Mrs. Whalen-Jennings was riding in a car, driven by another woman, which was hit head-on by a vehicle driven by a Coos Bay woman, who, for some unexplained reason, crossed the center line and caused the wreck. This occurred around 3:45 in the afternoon just south of Elkton.

*           *           *

For some reason, someone brought several copies of the Feb. 3 Mail Tribune (Medford's newspaper) and left them in the Bakery that day, and I happened to pick one up.

Maybe it had something to do with the front-page article titled "Cow Creek to lay off 93 workers," which tied the layoffs to the Coquille Indian Tribe's plans to build a casino in Medford.

The Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe put part of the blame on "an effort by another tribe to open a casino in Medford." The layoffs were effective immediately.

The Cow Creek Tribe operates a casino, hotel and travel facilities in Canyonville.

In a press release, tribal chairman Michel Rondeau said the tribe is still feeling the effects of the Great Recession.

"He took a shot at the Coquille Tribe, which is based in Coos County but is attempting to build a casino in Medford, calling the plan a 'potentially devastating threat' to his tribe.

"A neighboring tribe's intent to build an illegal casino in Medford demands our business approach to be more conservative. We have had to respond to this reality," said Rondeau, adding that the plans of the Coquille Tribe to build a casino 180 miles from their existing casino on the coast (Coos Bay) "affects our employment base in such a negative way."

Regardless of how you feel about the Coquille Tribe's plans, it is hard to figure out how a casino that has not even been approved, let alone built, could have such an immediate economic impact on the Cow Creek Tribe that they would be forced to lay off 10 percent of their work force.

A hearing was to be held that day (Feb. 3) by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to determine whether the Medford land could be placed in trust. And Coquille Tribe spokesman Ray Doering said the Coquille's proposal is undergoing significant environmental review.

I guess it's easier to blame someone than to admit there's been a downturn in the number of people gambling ... whether it be casinos or the state-run lottery (which, in my estimation is a good thing).

*           *           *

I love feeding the birds ... but unfortunately it often means I am also feeding the tree rats (if there are such a thing) and the raccoons. The birds love suet and generally I take the suet holder in at night because by morning the suet is generally gone. I have seen several rats climbing around in a tree to get at it, so I think they are the culprits.

But last night I forgot to take it in, and this morning, the only thing left is the iron hook that was securely holding the feeder (well, so I thought). It's lying on the deck and the suet and the holder are gone. So, unless I have some pretty strong rats, I am pretty sure it was the raccoons who took the suet. I guess if it had been easier to open, they would have just feasted on it in the tree . . . but since they couldn't get it open, they took it "home" to feast on it. I think I'd better just stick to bird seed.

Instead of chasing the stray orange cat away, maybe I'd better station him at night under the tree as I am sure that neither the rats nor the raccoons would want to tangle with him . . . but the birds are no match for him either, so I do everything I can to discourage him from making my backyard his home.

*           *           *

There's a neat article on the sports page of the weekend Wall Street Journal titled "63 Women And Me Go On a Buddy Trip," which talks about a trip to Bandon Dunes last month. The author accompanied 63 female golfers, most of whom live in the San Francisco Bay area and range in age from 41 to 76.

Fifty of the 63 women were on the same commuter jet flight to North Bend.

"Due to fog, our flight was delayed, then canceled, then miraculously reinstated. Later we learned why: A Bandon Dunes executive with ties to the airline had intervened. The resort didn't want to lose its largest all-woman group ever, trouncing the previous record of 20," said the author John Paul Newport.

The writer says the women were much more excited about the journey than any group of men he'd traveled with ... and I understand they were greeted by near-perfect January weather.

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort continues to "put us on the map" in such a positive way.

*           *           *

The latest issue of Governing Magazine contained a lot of statistics, which compared one state to another, and in most areas (they didn't rate beauty and livability), Oregon did not fare well.

Oregon ranks ninth out of 50 states for its 2012 suicide rate (17.8 per 100,000 people), and a five-year change of +21.9 percent.

Washington ranked 22nd and California was 43rd.

Those states with suicide rates higher than Oregon's were Wyoming 1st, Alaska 2nd, Montana 3rd, New Mexico 4th, Utah 5th, Colorado 6th, Idaho 7th and Nevada 8th. The state with the lowest suicide rate was New Jersey, followed by New York and Massachusetts.

Another graph showed the percentage of food stamp recipients in each state, with the dark green color being the highest percentage. Only Oregon and New Mexico fell into that category in the entire western half of the United States.

Mississippi had the highest percentage at 22.13, followed by New Mexico 21 percent, Oregon at 20.9 percent, Louisiana at 20.6 percent and Tennessee at 20.4 percent.

*           *           *

I seldom enter a photography contest, but after learning (four hours before the deadline) that By The Sea Gallery (in the Continuum Building in Old Town) was urging people to enter their photos, I raced home, grabbed from the walls the only three (of mine) that are framed and entered them. I earned an honorable mention ribbon on two of the three photos, including an 11x14 black and white photo of the lighthouse, which I printed on rough-finish paper and then hand colored ... many years ago. It was my first and last venture at hand-coloring, and it hung on the wall at mother's house until she died two years ago.

It's different ... to say the least.

So if you're in town one of these days you may want to stop by the Gallery and look at all the photos, some of which are really stunning and were rewarded with first, second and third-place ribbons.

They also have a lot of other beautiful hand-crafted merchandise that is available for sale, ranging from hand-painted gourds, paintings, felted notepad and smart phone covers, pottery, colorful night-lights and hand-woven scarves.

*           *           *

As I get deeper and deeper into my bookmaking project, I decided to try a company other than Shutterfly and found a Groupon for an outfit called MyPublisher, which turned out to be incredibly difficult. It took me hours to just get onto the website and download the software, let alone start making the book. I did call for support and mentioned to the woman on the phone that this was so much harder than Shutterfly. She didn't take kindly to that remark and said she had no idea about anything to do with Shutterfly. I should have recommended that they pattern their books after that company ... but I just kept my mouth shut.

I finally did complete one book, even though I paid for three coupons, but won't order another until the first one comes and I look at the quality. It may well be that the savings from the coupon may not be worth the stress of designing the book.

So if you're planning to put together a photo book, you may want to try Shutterfly first. It's easy and the quality is terrific ... even though it's a bit expensive.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

February 04, 2015

The first picture I am sharing in this week's column is this beautiful old car, which is carrying Mayor Don Goddard down the Cranberry Festival parade route in 1972. Note the Arcade Garden Tavern in the background. Not sure who owned this shiny old car.

Cranberry Festival Parade 1972
Cranberry Festival Parade 1972

When I was in grade school (Ocean Crest Elementary), a highlight of the Christmas season was boarding a big yellow school bus (if it was raining) to head across the highway to Gene Bifano's Market and Motel for Christmas treats. Not only did he play Santa at Christmastime, but he also gave out candy on Halloween. The motel/market was located on the south corner of 101 and 11th, where Umpqua Bank now sits.

Bifano's Market and Motel
Bifano's Market and Motel

Mr. Bifano, who was born in Italy, moved to Bandon in 1934, and became a naturalized citizen in 1940. When he first arrived in Bandon, he worked as a janitor for the Bank of Bandon, then started a shoe-shine business until he burned out in the fire of 1936. He later moved to Coquille, but moved back to Bandon in the spring of 1941, where he leased, and later bought, the small store and motel from Ed Rauschert. He operated the market until he died of a heart attack at the age of 63 in January of 1956. After he died, his wife, Winnie, operated the store with the help of family members until she sold the store and remarried.

Gene Bifano
Gene Bifano

Not sure when the last picture was taken, but you can get an idea what the old Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op looked like ... compared to the Face Rock Creamery that now occupies the east end of the property.

Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op
Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op

*           *           *

The fabulous weather of the last two weeks made me wonder if I was in Southern California or Florida. Could this really be the Oregon Coast? After missing a couple of gorgeous sunsets last week, I decided to grab my camera and head for the beach Saturday night. Even though the sunset we (all those guys on the beach with their tripods) had hoped for failed to materialize, I have never seen so many cars in the beach parking lots. There were at least 25 cars at Face Rock Viewpoint, and most of them empty indicating they were enjoying a walk on the beach. And the 11th Street access was so crowded that one guy actually drove his pickup up on the grass to park. I've never seen it this busy, even in the middle of summer.

There were several labyrinths on the beach, just south of Face Rock, and children were having a great time running through the maze. Not sure if this is the same guy that posts a lot on Facebook, but they were great.

January weather had pretty much returned Sunday as it was a pretty gray day, although not much rain. The weather report indicates that we can expect rain off and on for the next week . . .but hey, this is the middle of winter, isn't it?

*           *           *

I guess I don't know what it means to have your phones on the "Do Not Call List" because it certainly hasn't worked lately. On average, during a weekday I receive 4 to 5 calls on my cell phone. The latest is "Kelly from Consumer Law," who has outdone "Rachel from Card Services" in the last week. The number that she calls from is 318-240-6523.

Generally I just close the phone as soon as I realize it is a robo call, but I decided to press "1" as they advised if I were interested in the consumer issue. It rang four times and no one answered. Then a voice came on asking me to leave a message . . . but as soon as I began to leave a message, the voice said: " the user's box is full and cannot accept more calls. Sorry an error has occurred."

If anyone has figured out how to rid our lives of this nuisance, I'd surely appreciate hearing about it before I break my leg trying to get to the phone ...

*           *           *

As I was reading the OregonLive account of local cranberry growers Allen and Carol Russell, who have been accused of bankruptcy fraud by Banner Bank, I looked further on the same site and found something very interesting.

The headline reads: "Prominent Republican campaign Treasurer accused of bankruptcy fraud."

It recounted the issues involving the bankruptcy and adds:
"Why this is a political story is because Carol Russell is also one of the most prolific treasurers for Republican political campaigns and PACs (Political Action Committees) and Ballot measures. In Oregon, all political committees and campaigns must designate a treasurer who is required to keep the records for contributions and expenditures for the committee, and to file the reports with the Secretary of State. These reports are posted on ORESTAR, the state reporting website.

"A search of ORESTAR by treasurer shows that as of today, there are 97 campaigns and committees that list Carol Russell as their treasurer. Some of those committees and PACs are most likely inactive currently, but many are still active, and Ms. Russell is still their treasurer."

*           *           *

My obsession in producing books on Shutterfly has not abated. Friday night I put together another book of black and white pictures from "old Bandon" as I refer to the '50s, '60s and '70s.

And last night I finished the fourth book of Bandon Playhouse productions, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," featuring our own city councilor Peter Braun as Mac (the part that Jack Nicholson made famous). The pictures are good, but they can't compare with the colorful extravaganza of "My Fair Lady," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Chicago," which are wonderful . . . if I do say so myself.

I've now done four or five different Bandon Beach books, one of the pelicans, one of just lighthouses, MarLo Dance Studio's Snow White and another which highlights other MarLo productions.

One of my latest, which I just got back a few days ago, is filled with pictures of the arson fire, which destroyed Bandon High School in 1974. Some of the pictures show students digging through the remains of their school, Principal Bob Stolz meeting with teachers and the student body in the junior high gym, which survived the fire, and Supt. Otis Murray already planning to build a new school.

I sent off two packages of books this week, one each of the black and white "Bandon" photos and a smaller beach book to BHS graduates (Diane Blake and Jill Chappell) who had seen them when they were here a couple of weeks ago. If any of my readers are interested, just email me at and I'll give you the details. City Attorney Fred Carleton bought the first book, and was surprised to find a picture of the vacant land where his office now sits. And I even autographed it for him...

I am blown away at the quality of these books and wish that I'd known about Shutterfly years ago, but fortunately I have kept my digital files on backup discs and auxiliary hard-drives for years.

*           *           *

I meant to write a letter to the editor when I read the big headline in Western World on Jan. 22: "Petitioners hope to widen candidate pool."

Tom Stadelman told me about his proposal more than a year ago (before Rob Taylor and Larry Saunders got involved) and it had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with finding more candidates to run for office. In fact he and his attorney sent me the charter amendment that they were proposing.

Tom, and others that I know, simply felt that if you own property inside the city limits (a large business comes to mind) that the owners of that property should be able to run for the city council.

I couldn't believe it when I saw each of the councilors and the mayor mentioned in the article as to how many terms we had served and how often we had had competition. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite accurate and Amy assured me she would be putting in a correction this week to say that I had competition three times (Nancy Evans, David Kimes and Mike Claassen), rather than two, and Brian served only one term as mayor.

But mistakes aside, what a slap in the face to the hundreds of people in Bandon who ARE already eligible to run for city office (including Rob Taylor).

It appears that it is Taylor who is concerned about the number of years members of the council have served ... I don't believe the article quoted Tom Stadelman.

I can't help but feel there are many qualified people in the present city limits who can run for office if, and when, they choose. There are very few restrictions ...

Rob is also quoted as saying; "Many of the people in city government have been there for more than two terms and MOST (my emphasis) of the time they run unchallenged."

I think he will see that if he goes back quite a few years, that there were almost always more than three candidates running for the three vacant council seats . . . and the voters chose the ones they wanted. I went back 14 years, and in all but one of those years, the city council seats were contested; sometimes 5 or 6 people ran for the three seats.

I can't help but feel that someone has the responsibility to see if statements like that are accurate before they appear in print as gospel ... The information was easily accessible on the Coos County Elections website.

As far as the mayor's race, it is true that three times I have run unopposed ... and three times I had some pretty stiff competition.

As far as committees and commissioners are concerned, the city already allows two members of the planning commission to live outside the city limits, and the water resources committee also has several out-of-town positions.

Years ago (1962)when I ran (and won) a seat on the hospital board, you had to be a property owner to run for a board position and that definitely could keep people out of the race ... but that is no longer a restriction.

People I have talked to since the article appeared feel that if people want to run for city office, they need to move into town. I guess the voters will decide if the initiative makes it onto the ballot.

Taylor's remarks about Urban Renewal dollars hardly warrant clarification. He has let it be known that he does not like Urban Renewal; but I can tell you for certain that the new Face Rock Creamery would not have been built had the city's Urban Renewal Agency not been able to purchase the property.

If that's one of the controversial projects he refers to in the W. W. article, you be the judge of that. Buying that property was money well spent!!

previous columns by Mary Schamehorn