As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
July 26, 2017
I love the first picture, not only for its shock value (a car on the roof of a building) but for letting readers know how different that area looks today.
Bandon Bookkeeping, 1966
The car, of course, is on a transport truck parked along Highway 101 in back of the building on Second Street that is now the Hickory Museum (across from Bandon Coffee Cafe). At the time this picture was taken in December of 1966, the building was Tom McGinty's Bandon Bookkeeping office. Next to it, where the Bandon Visitor Center is today, was the Capps Motor Co. used car lot and probably still their service station.
The second picture was taken in April of 1966 and features a large barge of lumber headed out from the local port dock with a load of lumber from Moore Mill & Lumber Co. It pretty much dwarfs the Coast Guard boat which is berthed at the dock.
Lumber barge, 1966
The third picture is one I found in my late uncle's darkroom. On the back was printed: "diesel owned by Elmore Drane."
Floating dredge, 1920s
I looked up Mr. Drane in the history books and determined that this was probably taken in the 1920s. I am not sure how well you can see it, but it appears to be some kind of a two-story house on a floating dredge/barge. You can see what later became the Moore Mill Truck Shop in the background, as well as (at far right) what was Nestle's Condensery, although it might have been something else in those days. After only six years in business, Nestle's closed its plant in 1925. Later, the Bandon Cedar Manufacturing Co. went into the old Nestle's building before it moved to Coos Bay in the late '20s. In another issue, I will tell the story of Nestle's years in Bandon and what happened to force them to leave town.
* * *
I have been keeping track of the number of motorcycle fatalities that have occurred on Oregon highways in recent weeks, but did not recognize the name of the fourth victim, who was killed July 18 east of Sweet Home.
It was not until I saw a story in the World did I realize that the man who died was John Harvey Weeks, 65, of Salem, who was librarian and teacher at Bandon High School in the mid to late '70s. The article did not say that he had ever been at Bandon, only that he was the former North Bend High School athletic director and Siuslaw High School principal.
John Weeks, 1976
He was driving a 2015 BMW motorcycle when, for unknown reasons, it veered into the oncoming lane and struck a log truck.
After leaving Siuslaw, he was an assistant principal at Sprague High School in Salem and director of curriculum and instruction for the Salem-Keizer School District.
I am sharing a photo that came out of one of our annuals. Former students and I will definitely remember Mr. Weeks as a wonderful guy and a real friend.
* * *
The story of a missing hiker out of Curry County had local ties. Rex Nuttbrock (BHS Class of 1965) of Damascus, Ore., and his 40-year-old daughter, Amy Nuttbrock of Albany, Calif., were staying with Bo Shindler and his wife in the Shindler's cabin on the Rogue River.
Bo had dropped off Amy at Game Lake at about 9:30 a.m. on July 18 so she could hike from there down to the mouth of Lawson Creek on the Illinois River above Oak Flat in Agness. He was scheduled to pick her up later that day.
When darkness fell and Nuttbrock did not show up, Bo called the sheriff's office, who agreed to start the search the following morning.
Bo said the USFS advised that the Game Lake to Oak Flat trail was open and in good shape. "In fact, a section has been totally grown over following the Biscuit and Silver fires. She made it about halfway before running into dense brush and got lost when trying to turn around and backtrack out. when she figured out that she was lost she turned down the hill into the creek bottom which was very rugged. That's where they found her hungry/scratched up/tired but Ok," said Shindler.
He told me that after the first day's search was unsuccessful, Search And Rescue was provided with a photo of Amy and from the photo they identified the shoe she was wearing. SAR then used Amazon to look at shoe after shoe until they had something close and could identify the sole. The first day ground searchers had taken cell phone photos of the footprints they found and with the matched sole patterns marked the print locations on a master search map.
The second day search was focused on the area identified on the map as having her footprints and they found her in an area about one-half mile from where they had located her footprints, Shindler said.
On July 20 Cal Ore Life Flight owner Dan Brattain and Sheriff John Ward spotted Nuttbrock from the air in a small opening amongst dense timber alongside of a small creek approximately a mile and three quarters west of the Illinois River. It was determined that the best way to get her out safely was to ask the U.S. Coast Guard to assist with doing an air lift. At about 11:45 that morning, the Coast guard arrived on scene, lowered a rescue swimmer down and air lifted her out of the area and flew her to the Agness airstrip. From there she was flown to the Gold Beach airport by Brattain to be reunited with her father and Shindler.
When asked about her ordeal, Nuttbrock said she was not prepared for the conditions and assumed there would be a well-marked and maintained trail. This was not the case and she found herself in a life or death situation, according to a press release from Sheriff Ward.
* * *
Most of you have probably read about a former Bandon man, Mark Hendrix (Lee), 30, who was badly beaten in an assault, which occurred late last week in Coos Bay. Because of the severity of his injuries, Mark was flown to OHSU in Portland where he was said to be in critical condition from a skull fracture which caused serious brain injury.
Mark is the son of Karen and Rick Lee of Bandon and the nephew of Kathy (Giz) Rogers.
I talked with Kathy Saturday and she said no one was allowed to visit him, not even his parents. But Sunday she posted on Facebook that he had been taken off the ventilator, which meant that he was improving.
Although one Coos Bay man, Jacob Daniel Evans, 27, has been arrested in connection with the assault, it appears that others may have been involved.
Kathy and Karen's sister-in-law, Connie Crum, is the sister of a Bandon woman, Crystal Martin, who has been missing for over a month and still has not been located. A Facebook post from her friend Ann Waldrop said she may be in the Rogue River area between Powers and Gold Beach, although she was last seen in Bandon.
My thoughts are with the family, and I hope that Mark gets better soon and that officials can locate Crystal.
* * *
On a happier note. I want to remind people that Valley Flora produce is now available at Nancy Evans' store, across from Bandon Coffee Cafe, Wednesdays through Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
I purchased strawberries there last week and they were wonderful. In addition to strawberries, she often has beets, fennel, Abby's Greens, Walla Walla onions, and a host of other farm fresh produce from Valley Flora Farms in Langlois.
The little shop will be open until just after the Cranberry Festival, so if you want to enjoy the most beautiful, healthy fresh locally grown produce anywhere, you will want to stop by Nancy's shop.
* * *
A lot of people may not know George and Dona Flier, but those of us who do are glad they chose to move to Bandon several years ago. George celebrated his 85th birthday on June 30, and Dona turned 82 on July 20. George is a veteran, both are active in the local VFW, and they are "still going strong."
* * *
This weekend, more than 20 members of the Bandon High School Class of 1957 gathered for our 60th class reunion, with a wonderful Friday night dinner hosted by our classmate Jerome Johnson and his beautiful wife Danielle on their spacious back deck. Saturday night 40 of us (which included spouses, boyfriends, sons and daughters) gathered at Billy Smoothboars for dinner.
Of the 43 students in our graduating class, 20 attended, which is great considering that 13 have passed away. Others joined us who had been with us in high school but had left before graduation.
Always optimistic, we have planned another reunion in three years.
One of our classmates, Ramona Edwards Harvey, had intended to come, although she had been battling cancer, but unfortunately she died two weeks before the reunion. Another member of our class, Vydel Violette Robertson, lost her husband, Starlin, several days before the reunion, so she did not attend.
Two class members, Jim Caddell (from Texas) and Larry Wold, who we had not seen in many years, did attend as did Dennis Chesselet, who recently suffered a stroke, but is doing quite well considering.
I helped LaDonna Holman Hinerman in making arrangements for the reunion, and as a special treat, I put together several books of pictures from the past. Classmate Wayne Campbell also gave out 11x19 posters, with each classmate's photo superimposed on the windows of the high school. Colleen Colgrove Melhorn brought copies of the Tiger News from May 20, 1957, which generated a lot of laughs.
I don't believe we wrote our own "Senior Wills," but mine was spot on: It said, "I, Mary Dufort, will my housekeeping abilities to anybody who wants to wade in."
I guess it was no secret that I was pretty messy in those days; thankfully I changed for the better over the years ... well, a little bit anyway.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
July 19, 2017
The first picture I am sharing this week was taken in June of 1959 of Postmaster Jack Ward looking at a pigeon, who had made his way into the post office. What I love about this picture are the boxes, which required a combination to get into them. If I remember correctly, for those of us who couldn't remember the combination, Jack or one of his helpers was always ready to get our mail for us.
Pigeon in the post office, 1959
The building, which is on Baltimore Avenue in Old Town, is now the home of Foley's Irish Pub.
While going through my collection of old papers, I found a story from October of 1952, headlined "New Building Being Erected For Post Office."
Here's what the article had to say: "Work is well under way in the construction of a new post office building for Bandon, which is to be located facing Baltimore Avenue between the Croxall & Perry grocery building (now the TV shop owned by the Elliott family) and the Panter Feed Store building (now the home of The Big Wheel).
"Kronenberg (George) & Waldrop (Eddie) will be owners of the building, a frame structure with asbestos siding, 30x70 feet in size, with ample room for an added 300 post office lock boxes, which will be installed within a few months after occupation.
"Contract for the construction was recently awarded to Vern Brown, local contractor, who was the low bidder for the job. Pouring concrete for the foundation was started this week and it is understood that the building will have a driveway on the south side (now the Pedway) to permit mail trucks to discharge and load at the rear entrance."
Vern Brown was best known as the builder and owner of Sunset Motel, which today is owned by his daughter and family, former mayor Judy Brown Densmore, and operated by her son, Bryan Longland.
I always wondered what prompted the installation of parking meters in the downtown area of Bandon, now known as Old Town. An article in Western World dated Nov. 27, 1952, answered that question.
It was because the post office was expected to cause a major traffic problem at its new location.
"Since Bandon does not have mail delivery, except on star routes, all living within the city must go to the post office for their mail. Nearly everyone travels by car these days and the expected parking problem may require several aspirins on the part of officials," according to the W.W. article.
The parking meters remained for quite a few years, and I remember taking a photo of Big Mac (Police Chief D.S. MacDonald) and Harry (Officer Franson) removing them, but I am not sure of the date.
It might have been a lot simpler to designate a few parking spaces on Baltimore as 5-minute spots rather than put parking meters throughout town, but I wasn't on the city council in those days nor had I started working at Western World, so no one consulted me (maybe since I was in the 7th grade but even then I am sure I would have had an opinion). Kidding, of course.
The second picture was taken in May of 1959 and the negative envelope was titled "sailboat in trouble."
Sailboat in trouble, 1959
I love this photo because it is such a good picture of the old Moore Mill Truck Shop. You can see the sailboat just to the left of the two other boats, who have gone to its rescue. At right of the truck shop you can see the Moore Mill Retail Shop, which I recall passing by on a daily basis when I went to my first job in 1958, which was in the payroll department at the mill. I didn't last long as my heart was in the newspaper business and my grandfather needed me at Western World, which was probably one of the best decisions I ever made. For one thing, I definitely would not have saved all the negatives which I share each week with all of you.
The third picture was taken in August of 1960 and the envelope was titled "highway project."
Highway project, 1960
The 76 station is now the home of Banner Bank, on the corner of 11th and Highway 101. It's not hard to get your bearings when you see the big McKay's Market sign, which is pretty much back at its same location after years of being known as Price 'n Pride. Behind the service station you can see the back of the original Western Bank, which had a number of different names after starting out downtown as Bank of Bandon.
* * *
I am always intrigued by my friends and family who have loved ones who are well into their 90s. On a recent weekend, four 1965 BHS graduates gathered to celebrate one of the group's 50th wedding anniversary. Kathy Lindvall and her husband Dick Copsy of Eugene were celebrating their anniversary, and the three classmates who served in their wedding, Nancy Goddard Murphy, Sally Baird Johnson and my sister Molly Dufort, joined in their celebration. Accompanying Dick and Kathy was her mother, long-time Bandon businesswoman, Thelma Lindvall, who is 93 and still very active.
I am including our mother, Martha Felsheim Dufort, in the story as she died four years ago at the age of 96.
Nancy's dad, former mayor/councilor Don Goddard of Bandon, is 94. Sally's mother, Betty Bullard Baird of Bandon, will turn 100 in March, and Betty's sister, Marjorie Bullard Stephenson of Bandon, will be 104 in February.
With the exception of Thelma Lindvall, I believe the others either are all natives or grew up here and have been here many years.
* * *
I saw an item online last week indicating that the body of an older man had been found on the North Loop Trail of the horse camp area at Bullards Beach State Park on the morning of July 4.
But he had no identification on him, and at that time, he had not been identified. Officials did not suspect foul play. It does seem strange that if someone in the park had gone for a walk and not come back that no one would report him missing. Or why would he leave his wallet behind to go on a walk?
He was described as white, with brown hair and a graying beard and mustache.
Or, did someone see him on the trail and remove his wallet? It will be interesting to see who this is and what happened to him.
Later: After I originally wrote this, I learned that he had been identified, but his name had not been released. One person on Facebook said he had been seen at the Mission in Coos Bay and others said they had seen him around Fred Meyer.
* * *
It's always interesting to see how Oregon fares in a nationwide poll. I happened upon one from the Wall Street Journal titled "states with the best and worst schools," which proved to be a real eye-opener.
Massachusetts rated number one; Nevada was at the very bottom, but Oregon was not far behind, coming in at number 39.
Our neighbor to the north, Washington, was 20th, while California, to the south, was 41st.
Oregon, with a C-minus rating, was 20th when it came to per-pupil spending at $10,963, but its graduation rate was third lowest in the nation at 73.8 percent. The percentage of three and four-year-olds enrolled in pre-school was 21st lowest at 43.1 percent.
Here's what they had to say about Oregon; "Academic achievement among Oregon's younger public school students lags behind that of their peers around the country. Of Oregon's fourth graders, 37.1% are proficient in math and 33.9 % in reading, slightly below the corresponding 39.4% and 34.8% national shares. However by eighth grade, Oregon's public school students have more than made up the lost ground. Of the state's eighth graders, 33.7% are proficient in math and 35.7% in reading, slightly higher than the comparable 32.1% and 32.7% national shares.
"Despite the larger than typical share of eighth grade Oregon students able to grasp fundamental academic concepts, the state's graduation rate is among the worst in the country. At 73.8%, Oregon's graduation rate is the third lowest of all states and well below the 83.2% national graduation rate."
* * *
I need some computer advice. A couple of mornings ago, my boyfriend sent me an email outlining movie times, etc., for an outing that evening. But it never came. That evening he forwarded it to me again, which came in seconds.
But the next morning, not only did I receive his first email, but I received six of them. And that was just the beginning. I normally have 30 to 40 emails a day, but that morning there were 228 because each of the emails had at least eight copies, and the League of Oregon Cities bulletin came into my email 18 times. There were 12 copies of the one which ended up in my spam folder.
Not only is this frustrating, but it is slowing down my computer. If any of you have experienced this or know what might be causing it, please email me (even if I do get 8 copies of it), and let me know.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
July 12, 2017
While going through a bunch of old papers in my uncle's garage last year, I discovered an entire set of 1952 Western Worlds. The first picture I am sharing came out of a December 1952 issue, and is headlined "Old Bullards Ferry Days Are Numbered."
Bullards Ferry, 1952
The photo is great, but it was the information below it that really interested me. I can remember many times riding with my grandmother or my parents as we crossed the river to head over to Randolph, Bullards (where the park is now), Prosper or other points on the north side of the river.
Here is a bit of history about that ferry: "Starting in February 1909, the ferry has served the area for nearly 44 years and will no doubt have rounded out its 45th birthday before the bridge is ready to take its place.
"R.W. Bullard, pioneer rancher, storekeeper and postmaster, was the first ferryman. He furnished the boats and scows and other materials to the county for $50 a month. The first barge was pulled with a rowboat and as traffic increased rope lines were anchored on both shores.
"Today (1952) the ferry is propelled by a Ford industrial engine and Skagit donkey winch. This was installed in 1936, before which a separate power boat was used. The operating budget for the current fiscal year is $18,800. Now an average of 4,000 vehicles, including 1,000 trucks, cross the ferry each month. Passengers number between 13 and 14 thousand.
"Operators at present are F.S. Younce, chief; A.E. Brown, assistant; and C.I. Turner, relief man."
F. S. Younce was the grandfather of Bill Smith of Bandon, whose late mother was Mary Younce. R. W. Bullard was the great-grandfather of Sally Baird Johnson and Suzy Baird Webber, both of Elk River, and the grandfather of Betty Baird, who will be 100 in March and her sister, Marjorie Stephenson, who will be 104 in February.
I remember being with my grandmother one day when the ferry got stuck in the middle of the river. I was probably in sixth or seventh grade, and prone to drama in those days as I was sure we were all going to drown.
The second picture is one of my favorites. It was taken on Second Street in 1970 when Bob and Phyllis Ray had their pharmacy in the building which now houses Winter River Books. It was later purchased by Dave and Gena Swenson who called it Bandon Pharmacy, which later moved up to the top of the hill in the building which is now the Beverage Barn.
Ray's Pharmacy, 1970
Next to the pharmacy is the building that housed Carr's Variety for many years, but at that time was Hazel's Antique Bottles, owned by Hazel Colgrove. It is now the Bandon Baking Co. bakery.
The third picture was taken in June of 1965 as Anne and Gordy Texley were building the Snack Shack, which is now the home of the Mexican restaurant, Rancho Viejo, at the intersection of Highway 42S and Highway 101. It has been interesting to watch the building expand in size, and in uses, over the years.
Snack Shack, 1965
* * *
There is a new "feature" on KVAL news at 11 p.m., which, for the life of me, I can't figure out. Each night, the weather girl (or guy on weekends) gives the Fish and Game report, which lets people know the best times each 24-hour period to go fishing and hunting.
But often the "best time" for either sport is in the middle of the night. For example, one report last week said the best time to go fishing or hunting would be 11:40 a.m. and 11:40 p.m., which would be 20 minutes before midnight.
They can't seriously be advocating for night hunting, can they?
* * *
Not a list that I would want Bandon to be on ... and fortunately we aren't listed as one of the 15 worst places to live in Oregon.
But our neighbor Coos Bay is 10th on the list.
Others who made the list, starting with No. 1 Madras include Klamath Falls, Milton-Freewater, Ontario, Prineville, Cottage Grove, Sweet Home, Redmond, Sheridan, Coos Bay, Umatilla, Sutherlin, Springfield, Medford and Woodburn.
Most of the cities made the list because of high unemployment or low property values.
Not Coos Bay. They made the list for their high crime rate and low school funding.
Not sure who put this together, but if I were a city or chamber official from Coos Bay, I would be trying to combat that negative image ... if possible.
I am sure the high crime rate has a lot to do with the fact that for the last couple of years, of the 200 jail beds available in Coos County, only 48 of them have been open because of the difficulty of hiring people to serve as jailers.
That is expected to change now that the county is receiving transient occupancy money from Bandon Dunes, who imposed the fee upon themselves after the voters said no to taxing motels in the county. A good share of the money is earmarked toward salaries, so the sheriff can be more competitive in the hiring process.
Let's hope added jail beds will change the crime picture in Coos Bay and the rest of the county.
That is not the image we want to put forth.
* * *
While dining (and listening to wonderful music) at Angelo's Italy last Sunday evening, my boyfriend and I sat next to a couple that we had not seen before. They told us they lived in Port Orford . . . well, actually, on the Elk River where they spend about five months out of the year. We didn't think to ask where they were the rest of the year, because it's not uncommon for people to have second homes.
After they left, several other diners told us who the guy was. It seems that Rick Harrison is a well-know TV personality as the star of Pawn Stars, a TV show out of Las Vegas which shows the workings of the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, owned by Harrison; his father, Richard; and his son, Corey. As soon as I Googled the show, and saw his picture, I knew immediately that they were right.
His website indicated that he also was on stage with others members of his family at the 2011 American Country Awards. Harrison, who is 52, and his wife, DeAnna Burditt, have been married since 2013. Each has three children.
* * *
It's getting harder and harder to be a landlord, especially in the Portland area.
The Portland City Council recently instituted a rule requiring landlords to pay relocation costs to renters they evict without cause or those who are forced to move because the landlord has raised the rent by 10 percent or more in a year.
According to an article in the Oregonian, two Portland property owners sued the city in February after the council passed the rule forcing landlords to pay from $2,900 to $4,500 to tenants who they evict without cause or on whom they raise the rent.
This week Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Henry Breithaupt ruled that the policy is legal.
The move by the city council was championed by new commissioner, Chloe Eudaly, an affordable housing advocate, who said "the relocation policy was 'unfortunately, the biggest, boldest thing we could do' in light of the state's ban on rent control and allowance of no-cause eviction."
As a landlord, all I can say for Commissioner Eudaly is that ultimately a policy like that, especially if it ever becomes state law, will cause landlords to sell their properties ... rather than rent them.
And it will have serious impacts on an already very tight rental market.
* * *
I've heard a lot of positive comments about Bandon's Fourth of July celebration, which was topped off by a sensational fireworks display. There were plenty of activities throughout the day, which got under way with a great parade, drawing many people to the streets of Bandon ... both as entrants and as spectators.
The Old Town Marketplace was busy, with music throughout the day, and the Alive After Five turned out to be the most successful ever, with over 250 glasses sold by Greater Bandon Association for the event.
I understand the Bandon Lions Club sold out of food that afternoon in City Park, which shows how popular their annual event turned out to be.
The 105th anniversary of City Park, which was celebrated Monday with live music in the new bandstand was pretty well attended considering that the wind gusted up to 35 miles an hour that afternoon.
We braved the wind between 3 and 5 to listen to Caught Red Handed, but even though we would liked to have stayed to hear Morgan Alexander in the evening, we were pretty much frozen, so instead went to hear him at Broken Anchor Saturday night.
As I See It
by Mary Schamehorn
July 05, 2017
The first picture I am sharing this week was taken of the Bandon waterfront area back in 1980 when the west side of Alabama Avenue, across from the Arcade Tavern and what was then W.H. Johnston's accounting office, looked more like a mill yard than the cement parking lot it is today. You can see the Bandon Bait building and to the right, the top of the building that is now Tony's Crab Shack.
Bandon waterfront, 1980
Note that vehicles are parking on both sides of Alabama Avenue, but it was one-way even back then.
The second photo was taken in 1977 of the Doyle Mill in the area of 11th, west of Rosa Road. Hoppers like this, and the mills they served, are all but a thing of the past in this area.
Doyle Mill, 1977
The third picture was taken during the Cranberry Festival square dance in 1957 at Tanglewood, south of Bandon on Beach Loop Road.
Cranberry Festival square dance, 1957
Leona Koff (not sure of the spelling) owned Tanglewood in the '50s, which was well known for its large indoor skating rink and a place where many grand adult dances were held. I remember that I was 20 years old and dating a teacher at the high school, who wanted to go to the festival dance that year. Unfortunately, I was not old enough to go even though I had a responsible position at the paper.
I believe that is one of the Iddings boys in the picture, but not exactly sure as there were no IDs on the negative envelope.
Later the property was sold to Homer and Esther Millard and became Millard School after they closed down their school on Langlois Mountain.
It is now owned by the Applegate Christian Fellowship and is known as Lake Bradley Christian Retreat.
In the good 'ole days, Melvin Boak owned property to the west of Tanglewood and he let community members cross his property so we could swim in Bradley Lake.
There is still access for boats on the southeast side of Bradley Lake, which can be accessed off Highway 101, but public swimming is no longer an option as all access has been closed off on the other side of the lake.
* * *
I mentioned the local music scene in last week's column, but what I did not mention is that Bandon's own "Caught Red Handed" band has released their new CD, "Bustin' Out."
Two of the three band members, Kenny Croes and Bob Shaffar, live in Bandon and the third member is Mike Dado, Coos County surveyor. On one number, Shelby's Reel, Jerene Shaffar plays mandolin. The tune was spontaneously composed as Bob and Jerene's granddaughter, Shelby, tap danced in their living room.
Bob is nearing retirement as the head of the City of Bandon's electric utility after 30 years with the City.
There are some absolutely great vocal numbers on this CD, which I have played over and over again since my friend purchased it for me last weekend during a "CD release party" at Broken Anchor. To reach the band, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to their website: caught-red-handed.com.
They will also be playing Monday afternoon between 3 and 5 in City Park as part of the park's anniversary celebration.
* * *
There is a lot going on Monday and Tuesday, both at City Park and in Old Town, including the 105th anniversary celebration of the park. On Tuesday, there is a parade set for 10 a.m., Lions Club activities in the park, music throughout the day in front of the Old Town Marketplace, as well as throughout the afternoon Monday in City Park. And adult beverages will be sold at both locations.
The big fireworks display will be shot off at dusk Tuesday night near the lighthouse, and, barring the fog, it should be visible from most vantage points throughout town.
Greater Bandon Association is sponsoring its second Alive After Five event of the year late Tuesday afternoon.
* * *
I mentioned last week that a new establishment was about to open in the Inner Garden building on Second and Chicago in the spot recently vacated by Sea Star Bistro.
Pablo's Corner opened Friday (June 30) serving Latin-American cuisine and fresh fruit smoothies.
I understand he was the chef when Tim Belmont operated a small cafe south of Bandon several years ago. People I know speak highly of him, so I expect his new venture will be successful.
A Facebook post set his hours at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.
* * *
All I can say is "it's about time." The Oregon legislature has passed a very strong law against driving while using a cell phone. True, there was already a law on the books, but it didn't seem to be tough enough, judging from the increase in distracted driving accidents in the state.
If a police officer sees the white glow of the screen lighting up a driver's face, even if the officer doesn't see the driver talking or using the keys, he has witnessed a violation.
In 2016, 495 people died on Oregon's roads, up 58 percent in three years, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.
And it appears that the trend is continuing as I believe there were at least 9 fatalities in the state in the last seven days, including two motorcyclists, one of whom was from Brookings. And that information does not include statistics for Multnomah, Clackamas or Marion counties... the largest in the state.
In several of the fatalities, the driver inexplicably crossed the centerline and crashed into an oncoming vehicle. In one incident, two of the people in the car that was hit died at the scene.
If the communication equipment is mounted or bolted into place, it's exempt from the law.
One lawmaker, Klamath Falls Republican Dennis Linthicum, was a broad critic of the law, saying that distracted driving has many causes.
But those of us who drive with our cell phone next to us know just how distracting it can be when it rings while we are driving, and what can happen in that few seconds as we take our eyes off the road "to see who's calling."
This is a good bill and it needs to be enforced.
The bill sets the maximum fine for violation at $2,000, up from $500.
* * *
The July cover of the OPB TV/radio guide contains a picture of Bandon's now famous "Circles in the Sand," taken by Pam Hansen. Oregon Field Guide will feature Denny Dyke creating labyrinths on Bandon's beaches Thursday, July 6, at 8:30 p.m. in a segment titled "Escape to the Coast."
The show will also air Sunday, July 9, at 6:30 p.m.
* * *
Nothing is ever easy when it comes to health care ... and its rising costs and availability.
Regence BlueCross Blue-Shield and its affiliate Bridgespan Health Co. have sent out letters letting customers know that they will no longer be offering individual health care policies in 18 Oregon counties in 2018, and people will have to find another option.
Coos and Curry counties are among the 18 counties.
Of the 18,450 letters sent out, nearly 6,000 of them are in the Portland area, where there are a number of other options that might not be available to people living in smaller counties.
A spokesman for the company said the individual market continues to be unsettled nationwide and Oregon is no exception.
Wow. They must be reading the news, too.
* * *
A man who reads my column, and frequently flies into the local airport, posed a good question to me in a recent email. He wants to know if someone in Bandon would be willing to start a small rental car business to serve the town.
He said he is sure more personal/corporate planes would fly into the Bandon airport if there were rental cars available. In the past someone from the airport has driven them to the motel, but then they end up walking from Sunset or Table Rock into town, which "gets old pretty quick."
"Mostly, we wind up landing at North Bend, renting a car there, staying the night in North Bend/Coos Bay and then driving to Bandon. We would much rather land in Bandon and spend our time and money locally, enjoying your city's hospitality.
"I realize Newport and other cities are a much larger venue, but I believe having a local rental car business, serving the airport and city, would be not only profitable, but a great service to the traveling public," he added.
Maybe someone can give this some thought ....
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