As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

February 22, 2017

The first picture I am sharing this week was taken at the Bandon Westmost Golf Course clubhouse in June of 1973 as a group of lady golfers prepare to tee off.

Bandon Westmost Golf Course, 1973
Bandon Westmost Golf Course, 1973

The clubhouse was located at the far north end of the golf course property, and was a hub of activity for the many golfers in Bandon. Behind the golfers, to the west, you can see Windermere Motel.

I can identify two of the golfers, including Betty Baird, left, and Dorothy Sherertz, far right. Betty will observe her 99th birthday on March 30. Her sister, Marjorie Stephenson of Bandon, will be (or was, depending on when you are reading this) 103 on Feb. 22.

The second photo, which I believe was taken around 1977, shows big fuel tanks being moved from the property east of the Shell Station.

Removing fuel tanks, 1977
Removing fuel tanks, 1977

In the background you can see the Coast Lumber Yard, and across the street, the old city hall, which at that time was the Old City Hall restaurant. It is now the Bandon Historical Society museum. The Station Restaurant sits where the Shell station was back then.

The third photo is George Bennett's tombstone, taken in May 1973, on the 100th anniversary of his locating in Bandon, Oregon, from his birthplace in Bandon, County of Cork, Ireland.

George Bennett's tombstone
George Bennett's tombstone

The inscription says that Bennett, who died Oct. 15, 1900 at the age of 73, founded Bandon. Bennett is well known as having introduced Irish Furze (gorse) the Bandon.

*           *           *

The first annual Gorse Blossom Festival appeared to be a big success, but having talked to the Greater Bandon Association's executive director Sunday, Harv Schubothe, he assured me that the three-day event proved to be a learning experience for those who worked so hard to put it on.

And that there would undoubtedly be some changes next year.

The biggest complaint that I heard was that you had to pay a $15 entry fee each of the three days, and when you got inside with your free glass, you had to pay for wine, beer and food.

He said they have already discussed ways to make it better; one would be to charge a small admittance fee with the understanding that once inside you would pay for food and drink. Or charge a bigger entry fee (maybe $10), but let people know that would be good for a glass of wine and some free hors de oeuvres. I paid my $15 on Friday, and spent less than an hour there, looking over the booths, enjoying the pictures of gorse fires which I had provided to Wild Rivers Coast Alliance for their slide show (but grimacing when I saw that pretty-much-agreed awful picture of me in the gorse headdress) and listening to the music.

I understand the Bloody Mary Walk on Sunday morning was sold out, so I know it was a big success, and others posted pictures of the beer dinners, which were apparently a big hit.

I would definitely have returned both Saturday and Sunday to talk with people and support the vendors ... but not when I knew it would be another $15 to get in each day. I guess one positive change could be that a person could pay a $15 entry fee, which would be good for the entire weekend. That way, the vendors would be assured of more people stopping by their booths.

All in all, it was a big success and thanks go to Rushel Reed, GBA's Dana Nichols and Lori Osborne from The Beverage Barn for all their hard work. There were a lot more people involved, including sponsors and volunteers, and hopefully they will be recognized at some point.

*           *           *

Bandon lost two long-time residents during the past week, Lillie Spady and Naomi (Nona) Franson, both of whom were 91 years old.

Lillie was the wife of Myron Spady, long-time city attorney who practiced law in Bandon for many years. In addition to Myron, she is survived by three sons, Marshall, Mark and Mike. Preceding her in death were son Tim and daughter Susan.

Having served on the city council while Myron was city attorney, I had the opportunity to attend several city parties at Myron and Lillie's home, and there was no more gracious hostess than Lillie Spady. She was beautiful, both inside and out. Lillie had suffered from dementia for some time, and Myron lovingly cared for her.

Myron and Lillie, who were long-time members of the First Presbyterian Church, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in October of 2014.

A memorial service for Lillie will be held Saturday, March 4, at 2 p.m. at the Presbyterian church.

Naomi Franson, known to most people as Nona, was the wife of the late Harry Franson, who was a Bandon police officer for many years when he and Chief D. S. "Big Mac" MacDonald made up the two-man police department. I worked at Western World with Nona's daughter, Mary Franson, so I got to know both Nona and Mary well. Mary survives at the family home on 11th Street. Nona also had another daughter, Carolyn, who died several years ago. Nona and the late Eloise Bowder were sisters.

*           *           *

Anybody who thinks we have had more than our share of rain this winter is correct.

Although the press release for the rainfall on Super Bowl weekend (Feb. 5-6) is for Newport, my guess is that the figures are pretty much the same for most of the coastal communities, who were hit particularly hard by the heavy rains.

Rain records, including one more than a century old, were shattered the weekend of Feb. 5 in Newport when 4.44 inches of rain fell, according to the National Weather Service of Portland. The broke the 119-year-old record of 2.4 inches set in 1898. Sunday also surpassed the single-day record for the month in Newport. That was Feb. 8, 1898, after 4 inches fell. At Portland International Airport, the rain broke a 71-year-old record for Feb. 5 with 2.19 inches. Sunday (Feb. 6) was also the wettest February day since 1941, which is the year officials started recording amounts at PDX.

So it's not just your imagination. We have had a tremendous amount of rain this winter . . .

*           *           *

Back to the weather, City Manager Robert Mawson sent the council an update last week to give us more detailed information about the electric outages the city experienced Feb. 8 and 9.

We pride ourselves on how few times people on our service are without electricity, but we were slammed by high winds which caused fallen trees and limbs ... and resulted in a number of outages.

On Feb. 8, at approximately 10:30 p.m., the entire east circuit of the city's electric distribution system went down, which resulted in an estimated 700 to 800 customers being without power.

"Enough calls were coming to the sheriff's dispatch office that they issued a major power outage notification, which triggered activation of City office staff to assist in answering and processing customer calls. Power was restored to all customers between midnight at 12:45 a.m.

"On Feb. 9, calls started coming in about 6:30 a.m. from Goss Lane. Service was restored at approximately 7:30 a.m. Half a dozen customers were affected. About 8 a.m. other calls were received from Bates Road and Ohio Ave NE, which affected a dozen customers. Service was restored there before 9 a.m.

"Not long after, we were notified that trees had fall on Croft Lake Road breaking two poles and damaging two others. The scene was rendered safe and a flagger was stationed there until materials could be accumulated and crews were available to make the repairs. Service was restored at approximately 2:30 p.m."

*           *           *

Fans of good theater will be happy to know that the Bandon Playhouse is presenting Steel Magnolias, which opens Friday night (Feb. 24) and plays Feb. 25, 26, March 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, with Friday and Saturday night shows starting at 7 and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. General admission is $15.

Jeff Norris is directing the production, with Cindy Hay as stage manager and Peter Braun assisting as acting coach. The cast includes Deb Holmes as Truvy, Amanda Morton as Shelby, Bobbi Neason as Clairee, Sarah Sinko as Annelle, Bobbi Wilson as M'Lynn, and Perri Rask as Ouiser Boudreaux.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

February 15, 2017

The first picture I am sharing this week was taken during the Cranberry Festival in 1962 as the parade travels down Second Street in front of what was then Capps Motor Co. and the Bandon Theater.

Cranberry Festival parade, 1962
Cranberry Festival parade, 1962

Today it's the Harbortown Events Center and a vacant lot. The first float was entered by Careen Pierce's class; the second one by Nellie Biggar's class and the third one was from Darlene Terp's class.

The second photo was taken during the '50s and again is a shot from the Cranberry Festival parade.

Cranberry Festival parade, 1950s
Cranberry Festival parade, 1950s

But it's the great picture of the old secondhand store in the background that I wanted to share. I know the store was still there in the mid-'60s because my State Policeman husband bought me a 22 pistol (which I still have) from the store. It sits just west of where Brewed Awakenings is now as well as the adjacent motel.

The third picture was taken in March of 1981 during a visit by the sitting governor, Vic Atiyeh, who stands on the Baltimore Avenue sidewalk talking to Bandon native Frank Tucker.

Governor Vic Atiyeh visits Bandon, 1981
Governor Vic Atiyeh visits Bandon, 1981

I covered his visit to town and remember that he stopped both at the cheese factory and at the port dock. The building on the left that you can see behind Frank is now Foley's Irish Pub.

*           *           *

I have been concerned about a pickup full of garbage at a house on south June Avenue (directly across from the hospital's new specialty clinic and in full view of all who drive out of their parking lot). I brought it to the city's attention on several occasions, but was told that we (the city) really couldn't do anything until it was determined if the abandoned house was in foreclosure, and if a bank had taken possession.

But I couldn't help but feel that there had to be something that could be done about garbage that had sat there for at least six months. I was quite vocal about it at our last council meeting, and the city attorney said it would be fine if I wanted to raise the money to have the garbage hauled away, but the city shouldn't pay for it because it might not be able to recoup the cost.

Police Chief Bob Webb also understood my frustrations, and the next day he contacted the owner, who lives in Coos Bay, and told him to remove the garbage. But the guy said he did not have the finances to do it. Bob insisted that he get rid of it, but wasn't sure that was going to happen.

At about the same time I was calling Bill Richardson, who manages Bandon Disposal, and he said he would have his guys pick it up at no cost to the city. He said, "Is it ok if we wait until tomorrow to pick it up?" I laughed saying it had been there for six months and another couple of days weren't going to matter. I thanked him profusely for his help.

But the next day, shortly after it was picked up, Chief Webb drove by and saw that it was gone. He called and told me that the owner must have hauled it away despite saying he couldn't afford to.

I explained that it was Bandon Disposal who had actually hauled it off. Neither of us knew the other was trying to take care of the problem. But we both acted ... and it got done.

And Bob also learned that the property is not in foreclosure, which means the city can start the nuisance abatement process to get rid of the falling down trailer house and the old vehicles that are lying around.

Hopefully by summer that property can be cleaned up and be an asset to the neighborhood, instead of an eyesore.

*           *           *

Was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of gorse removal and bank work that had occurred along the bluff around Eighth Street, and decided to see who was responsible for the work.

I received word from Jim Seeley of Wild Rivers Coast Alliance explaining what has taken place out there.

"The work was a part of the steep slopes gorse removal demonstration project on Coquille Point supervised by the Gorse Action Group and US Fish and Wildlife Service. Wild Rivers Coast Alliance funded the GAG's participation in this project and a pictorial history of work as it was being performed.

"The project combined GAG funds and USFWS funds for the removal of gorse on the steep slopes from Madison Avenue through the staircase at 11th Street. The contract was overseen by Alexis Brickner of the GAG and Eric Mruz of USFWS. Contracted work was completed by Rick Borello of All Terrain Brushing and Mowing and Liza Ehle of By-the-sea-Gardens who also oversaw the work of inmate crews from Shutter Creek to remove the gorse ... by hand in many places.

"Phase II funding for replanting the hillside with native species is being sought by USFWS. They are planning to incorporate the Go Native project at Bandon High School for propagating the native plants."

The area looks great, and will be even better once it is stabilized with native plants.

*           *           *

It's been a bad start for new University of Oregon football coach Willie Taggart, and it got even worse last week.

As many are aware, his new strength coach worked the players to the point that three of them ended up in the hospital . . . including two who spent a week hospitalized. The university suspended him for a month without pay.

Then his new co-offensive coordinator David Reaves was arrested for DUII, reckless driving and reckless endangerment stemming from a Jan. 22 police stop in downtown Eugene. He was also cited for failing to drive within a lane, failing to obey a traffic control device, making an improper left turn and refusing to take a breath test for intoxicants.

The university announced the day of his arrest that it planned to fire him . . . which came just five days after he was hired on a two-year contract that would have paid him $300,000 a year.

It turned out that Oregon receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty was a passenger in the car at the time of the stop, but he was not charged.

But this week, Dougherty also handed in his resignation.

The Oregonian later reported that Taggart referred to the stories about the incidents as "bogus" stories. Not sure what he meant by that, but he did not deny they were true.

Maybe he meant he wished the stories hadn't made the papers. Who knows?

*           *           *

If you are on Facebook, you are probably all too familiar with your page being hacked. Whatever that means.

I know that five times in the last few months someone has sent out "friend" requests to people who are already my friends on Facebook. If they know they are already my friends, they just delete the request. But some click on it.

That's where my confusion begins. I don't know what happens when you click on a request that is not valid ... and not from someone you know.

In my case, someone reported each of my hacks (or cloning as some people call it) to Facebook. Several times I have changed my password, but it certainly did not keep it from happening again.

My question is: what happens if you do nothing?

*           *           *

I read two things on the marijuana issue this week, and have decided to share a bit of information from both of them.

The first is titled "pot problems on the rise," and was written by Mehmet Oz, M.D., host of "The Dr. Oz Show."

He refers to the states who have legalized recreational marijuana, including Oregon, but his data is obviously based on the use of medical marijuana.

"No wonder marijuana use more than doubled from 2001 to 2013. Unfortunately, according to a study in JAMA Psychiatry, in 2012-13, nearly 30 percent of users had marijuana use disorder, otherwise known as MUD.

"That's a huge percentage. Symptoms include problems with normal functioning, cravings, and withdrawal symptoms, such as inability to sleep, restlessness, nervousness, anger or depression within a week of ceasing heavy use.

"There are also neurocognitive and psychiatric repercussions of MUD, especially in young people and young adults.

"When researchers at Columbia University Medical Center looked at the brains of folks who started smoking cannabis at 16, became dependent by 20 and have been dependent for the past seven years, they found that compared with nonsmokers they had lower dopamine release in brain areas that affect learning and working memory tasks."

He adds that "if someone you love needs help with marijuana dependence, go to"

Here is the good news which appeared in the paper several weeks ago: "The Oregon Department of Revenue announced Friday that taxes on recreational marijuana sales brought in $60.2 million in 2016. The state has been collecting recreational marijuana taxes since January 2016."

Sorry that the good news is so much shorter than the "bad" news ... but that's the way it is.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

February 08, 2017

The location of the first picture I am sharing this week will be a bit hard to describe as the area where this was taken, back in 1960, has completely changed.

Scout Camporee, 1960
Scout Camporee, 1960

The street on which the Scout Camporee was held, which can be seen behind the parked vehicles, is Wall Street ... or at least where Wall Street used to be. The lumber is stacked on the gravel parking lot that now serves the Old Town Marketplace and Old Town. Wall Street was the short street which ran along the bank behind the parking lot (about where the garbage totes are now). Fifty-five years ago, when Moore Mill & Lumber Co. was in full production, lumber was stored on every available lot.

Reg Pullen alluded to that Saturday during the Shipwreck program at the museum as he and Bob Fisher (whose heroic rescue of 10 men from the Elizabeth Olson in 1960 we were celebrating) talked about commerce ... both ocean and local.

Pullen explained that Moore Mill was producing so much lumber in those days that ships and barges often took chances crossing the Bandon bar in an attempt to keep up with the huge stacks of lumber which were loaded onto vessels headed to other markets.

The second picture, taken from a copy of a 1937 Western World which I found among my uncle's possessions, shows Windermere at Bandon-By-The-Sea, said to be "artistic cottages built by J.F.T. Kirkup, opposite Westmost Golf Course at Bandon Beach."

Windermere at Bandon-By-The-Sea, 1937
Windermere at Bandon-By-The-Sea, 1937

Windermere still stands proudly today, but the golf course is gone, with part of that property now the site of the Best Western Inn at Face Rock motel complex.

I know that these newspaper reproductions don't print as well as they should, but there are no negatives available for pictures like this third one, which was also taken in 1937, not long after the Fire.

Temporary housing, 1937
Temporary housing, 1937

The caption reads: "The above picture shows the long combination dwelling units, built on city property near the high school by the federal Works Progress Administration, all of which have been occupied since completion and have proved invaluable in affording temporary quarters during the past few months. The entire project has been turned over to the City of Bandon, whose officials are carrying out the original housing relief plan as intended by the federal authorities."

If I am not mistaken there may be one more piece of this unit still standing in east Bandon, but it may have been the one removed in the last year or so. In the back you can see the high school and the gymnasium, both of which survived the Fire.

As the grade school was destroyed in the fire, the elementary students attended school in the gymnasium until a new school could be built at its present location on 11th Street West.

Both the high school and the gym have long since been torn down, or burned by the fire department (in the case of the old gym). I believe the new high school, built in west Bandon and destroyed in an arson fire in 1974, was opened in about 1950.

*           *           *

While going through the April 15, 1937, paper, I found an item heralding the birth of the first baby born in the new R.V. Leep Memorial Hospital.

"The first patient in the hospital, which opened Tuesday, was Mrs. Robert Norton, who at 7:42 a.m. Tuesday gave birth to a five and one-half pound daughter. This child has been named Barbara."

The baby was Barbara Norton McMahon, who died last month and whose celebration of life on Jan. 28 drew standing room only crowds to comfort her husband, Jack, and other family members.

The hospital was on First Street on what is now a vacant lot across from the boat basin. You can still see the concrete arch, which was part of the property.

*           *           *

Speaking of standing room only crowds, our program at the museum Saturday drew a big crowd who wanted to hear Bob Fisher's story, and they were not disappointed. Bob, who is in his early 80s, described vividly the rescue of 10 men on the Elizabeth Olson on Nov. 30, 1960, and the accident nearly four months later (March 27, 1961) which took the life of his skipper (Red Pedersen) and nearly cost him his life. It was a moving story, highlighted by the pictures of both wrecks taken by my late uncle L. L. Felsheim, accompanied by the stories I had written and an editorial about the lack of Coast Guard presence written by my grandfather, L. D. Felsheim.

The only other person besides Bob and I who were on scene was Bo Shindler (now living in Gold Beach), who remembers watching from the Ocean Drive window of his grandmother, Geneva Shindler.

It was great to see Bob's sons, Ben, Jim and Ralph, and other family members on hand to hear their dad.

It appears that we may soon outgrow our space at the museum for such programs, as more and more people turn out to enjoy a bit of history. Jim Proehl (museum board president) and I (as vice president) have talked about moving to a new location, or holding the same program at two different times.

The reason we don't want to move the programs out of the museum (which can seat 50 to 60 comfortably) is that we want people to visit the museum and see the tremendous trove of historical photos, memorabilia and implements that we have there.

We also need more volunteers to staff the front desk, and if you think you might be interested in learning what that entails, you could contact Gail Propeck Nix, the new executive director, at the museum. Or talk to any of the board members.

*           *           *

Although I saw people milling around the sidewalk talking with a police officer, I did not know until just before the museum program started that two cars had hit almost head-on at 101 and Fillmore, causing both vehicles to be inoperable.

I do know that the car that was traveling north on Highway 101 was occupied by three Crescent City, Calif., residents and a toddler. The other driver, who apparently was southbound turning left onto Fillmore, was a woman, but I have received no information on the name of the driver or what happened.

The young couple got a ride to Coos Bay/North Bend where their insurance agent told them they could rent a car. But the rental agency he recommended was closed on Saturdays.

So they called another car rental agency at the North Bend airport, and the woman advised them that she was closing in just a few minutes, but they persuaded her to stay open long enough for them to get there. Which she did.

But after explaining that they would not accept a debit card, the agent closed the window and the stranded motorist left, which meant it was too late to find a rental vehicle... as the only available rental agency had closed.

So they ended up calling someone in Crescent City to come to Bandon to get pick them up.

My advice to you is not to get into an accident in Coos County if you end up needing a rental car, because they don't seem to be available after 4 p.m. on Saturday . . . not sure about Sunday, but definitely not available on Saturday evening or night.

*           *           *

I knew that a lot of my friends had been sick with the flu in January, but I had no idea just how serious it was until I read the latest CEO report from Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center.

Here's what the CEO had to say: "This flu season appears to be the most severe in a while and this ongoing outbreak, combined with the ice and snow storms that hit last month and again early this month, has really challenged all area healthcare providers.

"For the first time in many years we had to notify EMS that we were on diversion status (could not take any more patients the weekend of Jan. 6-7 and they had to be taken to other hospitals in the area). The snow and ice storm that weekend restricted our ability to transfer patients to a higher level of care as both Peace Health (in Springfield) and Bay Area (Coos Bay) went to diversion status themselves due to storm-related staff shortages.

"This delay in our ability to transfer patients, combined with our own flu-related increased patient volumes, resulted in our going to diversion status. Thanks to our many staff who rose to the challenge (came in on their day off and/or stayed beyond the end of their scheduled shift)."

Also because of the flu, the hospital was full several days, which meant that the inpatient count for December was the highest of the year at 121.

*           *           *

The memorial service for June Korenko, who died Jan. 27, will be held Saturday, Feb. 11, at 2 p.m. at the Bandon First Presbyterian Church, where she had attended for many years.

June will be remembered for her beautiful voice as well as her wonderful smile and loving ways.

*           *           *

I mentioned the City of Bandon's utility bills last week, indicating that the size of the bill depends on two things: usage and how long between meter-read dates. But I forgot to mention that the bill you received last week is already a month old, because of the time it takes to read, process and send out the bills.

So, next month's bill, which you will receive at the end of February, will be for usage in January. I did not want to mislead people into thinking that the bill reflected that month's usage. It does not. It is already about 30 days old.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

February 01, 2017

The three pictures that I am sharing this week tell the story of two dramatic rescues ... one which ended without loss of the life, and the other which did.

This is a sneak preview of the "shipwrecks" program Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Bandon Historical Society Museum, which will feature the man who played a big role in helping to rescue 11 men when the 127-foot sea-going tug Elizabeth Olson struck the north jetty and capsized on Nov. 30, 1960.

Bob Fisher, who has spent most of his life in Bandon and is now in his 80s, will be at the museum to share his story. But I will tell you a bit about what happened because I was on the scene as reporter for both events, which were recorded in the pictures I am sharing, taken by my uncle, Lou Felsheim.

Bob was the deckhand on the tug "Rebel," which was skippered by A. T. "Red" Pedersen of Coos Bay. The Tug had entered the harbor only minutes before the Elizabeth Olson and was standing by with radio communication between the two skippers, when the big tug went aground. Ten of the 11 men on the Elizabeth were saved by the heroic efforts of Pedersen and Fisher, who plucked them one by one out of the water. The 11th man was able to swim to the north jetty.

But tragedy struck almost four months later (March 27, 1961) when the Rebel was hit by a wave and flipped over as they attempted to enter the Bandon harbor. Deckhand Fisher was saved from the raging waters by friends and Moore Mill employees over an hour after the crash. He had clung to the upturned boat for more than an hour before he was washed into the sea by a huge wave, as onlookers gazed in horror from the shore. Red Pedersen's body washed ashore about two weeks later.

The first picture is the rescue of the men from the Elizabeth Olson, shortly before it broke in half.

The wreck of the Elizabeth Olson
The wreck of the Elizabeth Olson

The second photo shows Bob's brother-in-law Ralph Davidson and other local men (mostly Moore Mill employees) as they pull Fisher from the sea onto the beach at what is now Bullards Beach State Park (managed today by Fisher's son, Ben).

Bob Fisher pulled from the sea
Bob Fisher pulled from the sea

Bob Fisher is shown in the third picture as he rested in Southern Coos General hospital after his rescue.

Bob Fisher after his rescue
Bob Fisher after his rescue

My uncle later sent a letter to anyone who would listen urging that the two be recognized for their efforts. I cannot find the article, but I do know that Fisher and Pedersen (posthumously) were honored for their rescue efforts.

The Coast Guard basically played no role in either rescue, and my grandfather (who was publisher) had plenty to say about that with two front-page editorials.

To learn more about the story, you won't want to miss the museum program Saturday at 2.

*           *           *

Bandon lost one of its most beloved senior citizens with the death last week of June Korenko, sister of Barbara Dodrill and mother of Susie Jones and Bill Korenko. June had made her home at Pacific View until she took a bad fall several months ago. I searched Susie's Facebook page, but I didn't find anything about a service. If a service is planned, I am sure it will be in Coffee Break or Western World.

I have also learned of the deaths of two former long-time residents of Bandon, Phyllis Ray and Val McMahon. I believe both of them lived in the Eugene area near family.

Phyllis and her late husband, Bob, owned Ray's Pharmacy for many years, and their four children, Bob (deceased) , Steve, Chris and Martha, all attended Bandon schools. You could not find a more kind and gentle soul than Phyllis Ray, and Marti said she died peacefully at the age of 92 on Jan. 27.

Val, who was 90, died Jan. 23 in Eugene. She and Wally and their seven children lived here for many years, having moved here in the early '50s. Their second eldest son, John, still lives here. Val worked in the high school office for some years and Wally was a custodian for the school district. She had seven children, 17 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life for Val (Valda Johnson McMahon) will be held March 4 in Eugene.

*           *           *

My friend routinely walks pretty much everywhere he goes . . .the beach, Old Town, Bandon Shopping Center. He walks everywhere.

And twice in the last week he has encountered unfriendly dogs.

Last Tuesday he was walking about dusk along 11th, near Harrison, when he saw a young woman coming toward him with a dog on a short leash. When the two passed on the sidewalk, the dog leaped up and bit him on the arm. Thankfully, he had on a heavy coat, so it did not reach the skin. He does not know who the person was with the dog, but said it was a medium-sized slender white dog.

Several days later, he was walking on Edison, near the Presbyterian Church, when someone behind him yelled "Watch out," and he turned to see a small dog headed straight for him. The dog tried to grab his ankles, but he was able to keep it away from him. The man and the boy with the dog did not have it on a leash, but the man made it seem as if this was a rare occurrence.

I think we both know that is not the case.

*           *           *

Several weeks ago, during the big snowstorm in Portland, I received a call from a man who asked me if he had reached city hall. I told him, no, but that I was the mayor. He said he was a contractor in Connecticut and he wondered if snow and ice were a big problem in Brandon . . . I corrected it to Bandon and began laughing, because outside it was a beautiful sunny day. No ice or snow.

Talk about an ambulance chaser. He was trying to solicit business from across the country, but he probably should not have started with a coastal community.

I told him he might want to call Eugene or Portland, but that we didn't need his services.

*           *           *

I received a press release from NeighborWorks Umpqua this week about an investment of $45,000 they have made, in partnership with South Western Oregon Food System Collaborative and Rural Development Initiatives, in businesses located on the south coast of Oregon.

One of those grants, for $10,000, was made to a Bandon business.

Watson's Live Seafood, located in the Port of Bandon's marketplace building, received the money to set up a tank system for live fish onsite.

Watson's Live Seafood is described as "a live seafood market located in Old Town Bandon that provides fresh locally caught seafood to the local market."

Another grant recipient was Mach-1 Industries of Port Orford, who received $21,500 to support the purchase of air tanks and air circulation for Dulse production. Dulse is a type of seaweed that is rich in nutrients.

The third went to SeaCoast Compost of Charleston, who received $13,500 to purchase a trammel screen needed to scale up production of a biodynamic compost product.

NeighborWorks Umpqua is a rural-focused housing and community development non-profit committed to equity through economic, social and environmental sustainability, and promoting opportunity for all, according to information in the press release.

*           *           *

I've been reading comments on Facebook from people who have received their electric bills from Pacific Power or Coos-Curry Electric, and they are shocked by the dramatic increase.

City of Bandon bills are probably in the mail, or at least will be by Tuesday, and I am sure they will also show a huge increase.

The bills are based on two things: your usage and the number of days between bills.

I remember last year that because of the holidays, the time between meter reads was something like 34 days . . . which made the bills even higher.

But extremely cold weather, like we have been having for the last six weeks, is reason enough for your bill to go up. But if it is even higher than you are expecting, look at your bill and see how many days have elapsed since the meter was last read.

It should balance out next month ...

Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn