As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 24, 2015

The first picture I am sharing this week was taken in the mid to late '50s on Cranberry Festival day. The parade was sometimes staged on Wall Street (now closed) in front of the old Masonic Building (where Spirit of Oregon and The Cobbler's Bench have shops).

Cranberry Festival Parade, 1950s
Cranberry Festival Parade, 1950s

Note the carved out bank, which is near where Devon's Boutique now sits (behind the float). On the float are Theresa Ackerman, Jean Denham and back left, Maryann Bohles. I can see Andrea Cox and Carol Prewett standing next to the lodge building. Wall Street used to go through (about where the series of garbage bins are now in the back of the vacant lot across from the Port of Bandon's green building).

Not sure what year the second picture was taken, but it was quite a few years ago because that is Billy Barnes, left, and Jeff Palmer selling Kool-aid. Not sure who the little guy is holding the sign.

Billy Barnes & Jeff Palmer selling Kool-aid
Billy Barnes & Jeff Palmer selling Kool-aid

The third picture is Beach Junction Grocery, which was owned and operated by Ernie and Dona Luther for many years. I just happened to drive by there Saturday and it appears to be vacant, but it looks like it is getting a facelift, so I am sure that something will be going in there. It's been home to a book store, beauty shop, and several restaurants in the recent past.

Beach Junction Grocery
Beach Junction Grocery

*           *           *

This will probably be a short column this week as I am glued to the TV watching the US Open, being held for the first time in the Pacific Northwest ... at Chambers Bay Golf Course in the state of Washington.

Unfortunately, the condition of the fescue grass course ... and the greens (one golfer likened them to broccoli; another to cauliflower) ... have caused plenty of negative comments from past and present golfers. Well-known golfer Gary Player, 79, called it the worst golf course he had seen in 65 years. And that was just the beginning of his TV rant about Chambers Bay.

One of the world's top golfers, Jordan Spieth, was caught on camera saying that the 18th hole was terrible. To be fair, there are also beautiful water and mountain vistas surrounding the course, but Chambers Bay was carved out of an industrial site ... and trains routinely pass very close to the course. It is the longest course ever chosen for a US Open, and the 10-mile hike around the nearly treeless, mostly brown course is arduous. Yes, there is one tree on the entire course.

This is such a stark contrast from the beautiful courses at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort; hopefully people tuned into the recent amateur tournament hosted here ... so they don't think Chambers Bay represents public courses in the Pacific Northwest.

There has been more drama than just the condition of the course. One of the top players, Jason Day of Australia, collapsed very near the end of the first round on Friday and it was revealed that he has been suffering from vertigo for several years.

He has been gutting it out but you can tell that it is not easy as he tries to keep his eyes straight ahead for fear of suffering another bout. As I write this Jason is among the top five and he has a lot of people rooting for him.

I can't wait to read the reviews once the 115th Open is over and people are free to heap criticism on the United States Golf Association for choosing this venue for the game's most prestigious championship.

Our dream would be that this area would have enough lodging for the Open to be hosted at beautiful Bandon Dunes . . .

*           *           *

Thinking that my little BMW sports car was safe in the garage of my late mother's home, which is rented to a great woman, I didn't bother to pick it up until Saturday.

It had been at least six months since I had driven it, so I was pretty sure the battery would be dead ... but that turned out to be the least of my worries.

I removed the heavy fitted cloth cover, and decided to open the trunk to put the cover away. Much to my horror, the trunk was filled with shredded toilet tissue and paper towels ... as well as any other material that was in there. I knew the rats had found my little car.

But it was when I opened the door and saw shredded paper (including a $10 bill), insulation and more tissue that I really began to worry. I did manage to open the hood and although there were a couple of rat droppings, I don't think they had attacked the wiring. But why would they when I had left so much material inside for them to work on.

I really can't figure out how they got in either the trunk or the car itself, but it was easy to see how they could get under the hood.

My renter was horrified, but it definitely wasn't her fault. She had never seen any evidence of rats ... and we could find no droppings of any kind anywhere else in the garage.

Now I've been told that they have probably built a nest in the heater vent that circulates the "cabin air," and I will need to have it looked at soon ... before I turn on the heater.

Oh yes, and the right front tire was nearly flat. Brian told me he had an air compressor and if I drove it to his house, he would fill it. But when I tried to leave my garage (where I had managed to get on a barely drivable tire and a jumpered battery), it was dead again. Brian, with a bit of a grumble, came over and jumped it so I could drive over to his house. After he filled the tire I took a long drive around Beach Loop, and it was fine this morning.

When I take it back to the garage in October, I will probably have rat bait in both the trunk and the interior of the car.

Still not sure where the rats found the $10 bill because I know I would not have left it in the car had I seen it. Not sure if the bank will take it as it is pretty badly chewed, but both ends (with the $10 sign) are still intact.

It may be time to admit I really don't need a little black sports car . . .

*           *           *

People are reminded that the celebration of life for Ron "Feathers" Knox will be held Saturday from 1 to 4 at the Community Center/Barn in City Park. I am sure there will be a big crowd of family and friends from all parts of the state who will come to say "goodbye" to Feathers and visit with Judy.

*           *           *

I just saw a Facebook post asking if the all-school reunion is still scheduled, and I am sure it is. It will be held Saturday, Aug. 22, at the high school gym on Ninth Street.

I know that a lot of people are planning to attend, including Stewart Cameron, who works in Malaysia.

*           *           *

I've heard a lot of misinformation about Bandon Muni, the course that Mike Keiser hopes to build south of Bandon, on 280 acres of gorse-choked property along the southern end of the Bandon State Natural Area, valued at $1 million. It is not right on the coast as some have opined. It is inland from the bluff.

In exchange, Mr. Keiser is trading two parcels (111 and 97 acres) of coastal property to the state (valued at $1.1 million); setting aside $2.5 million for the state's use in future land acquisition for conservation purposes; $450,000 to fund conservation efforts at Whale's Cove near Newport, and $300,000 to combat gorse, $120,000 of which has already been paid.

As a non-profit, all surplus revenue generated at Bandon Muni (where people from Coos and Curry counties will play for $20 a round), will fund up to 50 scholarships for students, and environmental restoration efforts combating gorse infestation on the southern Oregon Coast.

The golf course will employ up to 200 local students through a caddy-training program and create 75 ongoing operations jobs.

The recreation area will be free and open to the public, and include new walking and biking trails, bird watching sites and more.

As one Bandon man so aptly put it: "Mike Keiser has brought hope to the South Coast," and good paying jobs for many locals ....

*           *           *

I received a nice email from a former Bandon resident, Brian Stauss, who is now 55 years old, married with two daughters, and retired due to a military injury.

Reminiscing about his days in Bandon, he remembers that Mac was the chief of police, Officer (Marc) Johnson was the main patrol officer, Kapings Florist sold flowers and he loved the now gone cheese factory. (I was quick to tell him that we have a wonderful new cheese factory on the same site).

He is planning to take a vacation here in August to show his wife the town where he grew up.

"When I was a young kid I used to ride my bike down to the dock. The old cannery would throw the old shrimp shells in the water under the building. I could go down there and catch so many flounders; so easy back then . . . what a great place to grow up."

*           *           *

I haven't read much about it, but I do know that the annual dog show will be held again on the Fourth of July weekend on the high school grounds, under the direction of Ron and Linda Waggoner of Bandon.

My sister Maggie is planning to bring four of her grandchildren to Bandon for that weekend ... because they love the dog show so much.

There is a lot going on that weekend, including a parade, events in city park, the new cardboard boat races Saturday afternoon and, of course, the big fireworks display at dusk.

Another big event coming up is the Relay for Life, which kicks off at noon on Saturday, July 18.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 17, 2015

The first of my history pictures is the cheese factory, taken in 1978. It was located where Face Rock Creamery now sits, and it was common for tour buses to stop there on their way through town.

Bandon Cheese Factory 1978
Bandon Cheese Factory 1978

The sign across the front of the building says "Home of Bandon's Cheddar Cheese," with the familiar smiley face filling in the Bandon "O." Across the highway is Chappell's Chevron Service Station (with my old Karman Ghia parked in front). In those days, people could park on both sides of the highway.

The second picture features Natureland, which was the home of John Dornath and his family, and survived the Fire of 1936.

Natureland survived the fire of 1936
Natureland survived the fire of 1936

History books say John and his eight children were able to save their home, which was quite a showplace in those days. Natureland, which also had small cabins on the property, was maybe a mile south of the old Bandon Westmost Golf Course on Beach Loop Road near Crooked Creek and the beach access.

The sign on the entrance to the home reads "Artistic new building materials. Shop at J. Dornath Sons, Coq." I do remember that they had a shop in Coquille, and some members of the family still live in the Coquille/Myrtle Point area. I also want to apologize for confusing Windermere with Natureland in last week's pictures of the lady golfers. It is, of course, Windermere that sits across from the site of the former clubhouse. Mongo changed it for me on Monday, but I am sure some of you saw the mistake before it was corrected.

The third picture is Chuck Meece's Downtown Chiropractic Center in June of 1982 . . . shortly before many of the Old Town buildings were remodeled.

Chuck Meece's Downtown Chiropractic Center 1982
Chuck Meece's Downtown Chiropractic Center 1982

For many years that had been the location of George Kronenberg and Eddie Waldrop's Kronenberg & Waldrop Insurance business. In the alcove just west of the building was the entrance to Dr. E. F. Lucas' office (when I was in high school) and the other door was an entrance to the pharmacy (although by the time this picture was taken, I don't think the pharmacy was in that building and Dr. Lucas had been gone many years).

In later years, that was the home of Ed and Beth Wood's Treasures in Time, and just recently it has been leased to a woman from Gold Beach who has opened "The Sassy Seagull" shop.

*           *           *

Noting that the Oregon Legislature has allowed Eastern Oregon counties (where the recreational marijuana ballot measure 91 was defeated) to deny retail sales businesses, I decided to see just how Coos County ... and Bandon ... voted on the issue.

Coos County, who had a voter turnout of over 70 percent, voted 53.55 percent in favor of Measure 91 and 46.44 percent against it. In Bandon city, it was 854 in favor and 768 opposed; in rural Bandon, the vote was 131 to 108 in support of recreational marijuana.

The front page of Sunday's Oregonian has a scary article about the number of pesticides found in medical marijuana as a result of testing paid for by The Oregonian/Oregon Live.

The chemicals ranged from a major ingredient in Raid to other equally toxic pesticides.

It is a very eye-opening article, and I am sure it can be accessed at, or Sunday's paper can be picked up at Ray's.

*           *           *

I learned last week that BHS graduate Steve Nix of Lincoln City, son of Gayle Propeck Nix of Bandon, died in his sleep June 5 at the age of 41. He and his wife, Mindy, have a three-year-old daughter, Ariana, who was the love of his life.

He had many friends in Bandon who are mourning his loss along with his grieving mother.

His Facebook page is filled with pictures of his favorites: his family and fishing.

I believe there will be a service for him this Saturday, June 20, in Lincoln City.

*           *           *

I've also learned of another tragedy involving Jeanette Harris, 72, a long-time volunteer at the Bandon Visitor Center, who was very active in the Bandon Welcome club. Jeanette and her late husband, Les Funk, who died several years ago, had been married over 10 years and were well-known in Bandon. Her grandson, Tyler Jacobo, in his early 20s, made his home with her. His mother was killed in a two-vehicle double fatal accident on Highway 101 near Misty Meadows several years ago.

According to friends, Jeanette was in her garden May 28, when she tripped over her dog and fell backwards onto the concrete. She apparently went in to the house and lay down, and was not doing well when her grandson found her passed out a short time later. She was taken to the emergency room and then life-flighted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene, where she was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma of the brain.

According to her son, Jason Jacobo, she had had several surgeries over the past several years; most recently she had a shunt permanently installed in the back of her neck to prevent fluid build-up in her brain.

Because she had gone into a vegetative state, her son and grandson made the decision on June 2 to remove her from life support after being informed by several medical professionals that Jeanette would never recover.

A funeral for Jeanette will be held Saturday, June 20, at 11 a.m. at Amling-Schroeder Funeral Home in Bandon.

*           *           *

Men of Worth is one of my most favorite singing duos, and I understand they are coming to Bandon on Thursday, Aug. 20. I am not sure who is sponsoring their visit, or if they are simply renting the Sprague Theater, but this is one concert I won't want to miss.

*           *           *

I received a very authentic-looking email from Verizon this week with "important account information from Verizon Wireless." It advised me that my current bill is now available online in My Verizon, and that my total balance due was $1,028.55.

That definitely got my attention since there is no way I would ever have a bill of that magnitude, and I don't even have a Verizon account.

I am not sure how they planned to scam me, but whatever it was, it didn't work.

Have others also received this email statement from "Verizon?"

*           *           *

I am wondering if people are getting meaner . . . or if it is just my imagination based on viewing too many Facebook posts.

The latest bit of meanness (more often than not posted or printed anonymously) is the flyer left on the counter at the Bandon Post Office after the article in Western World (and many posts on Facebook) about the new school superintendent.

I thought Amy did an excellent job of explaining what resulted in the new super being arrested for partner/domestic assault after hitting his 17-year-old son, who was beating up his mother . . . in front of his dad. As far as I am concerned, the dad (new super) did what any red-blooded American man would do: he protected his wife from his son, who was high on alcohol and drugs (and is now in treatment).

But someone from Bandon took it upon him or herself to carry it a bit further with some pretty offensive flyers.

Here is what it said: "Bandon School District #54 job announcement: Superintendent. Candidate qualifications: *** Must lack the ability to cope with minors in a rational manner. *** Have a good right hook and possess the stamina and skill to punch minors repeatedly in the face. *** A conviction of violence against a minor within the past 3 months.

BASE SALARY: 94,000 tax payer dollars. Resume not necessary. *** Submit RAP sheet to Bandon School Board and Bandon School District employees.***


I am sure the postal employees removed these as soon as they became aware of them, but a friend of mine obtained one and gave it to me.

I say let's give the guy a chance. Before you condemn him, try walking a mile in his shoes and think about what you would do in a similar situation.

*           *           *

This Friday is the first of the summer Alive After Five events. To participate in the wine walk, commemorative glasses and walking maps will be on sale for $10 in the Port of Bandon's Boardwalk picnic shelter when the event starts at 5 p.m. Sage Place will be on the Boardwalk greeting Alive After Five visitors with a complimentary hand-crafted wine charm to accompany the purchase of wine glasses from the Greater Bandon Association, who sponsor Alive After Five.

Among the many places providing tastes is Stillwagon Distillery, who are providing sips of their rum in their new tasting room behind Grotto Gifts and next to the Bandon Baking Co.

*           *           *

As most golfing enthusiasts already know, the U.S. Open starts Thursday at Chambers Bay, outside of Tacoma.

Matt Allen, who spent several years at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in an upper-level management position, is the general manager at Chambers Bay, and I understand at least one other person with ties to Bandon Dunes also works there.

A couple of weeks ago, Tiger Woods stopped by Chambers Bay to play a round of golf in preparation for the Open.

It should make for interesting watching as the sand-based fescue terrain at Chambers Bay is said to be "hilly, hard and fast."

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 10, 2015

The first picture in my history series shows city employee Don Dodrill digging up a section of Edison Avenue (we always called it Coast Guard Hill) in April of 1972. At the foot of the hill you can see Robertson's Sand & Gravel. The property is now owned by the Picerne Group, and they recently removed the small building (bottom left in the picture), just west of Edgewater's Restaurant. Someone is also cleaning up the property and placing more concrete barriers, and it looks like they are also planting a hedge. The Picerne Group also owns the old hospital property, just to the west of Edison Avenue, and have pretty much shut off public access to that property, as well. Not sure what their long-term plans are.

City employee Don Dodrill digging up a section of Edison Avenue
City employee Don Dodrill digging up a section of Edison Avenue

The second picture, taken in July of 1970, shortly after the new City Hall opened, shows the number of fire trucks, which were parked in the garage on the north end of the building.

City Hall, 1970
City Hall, 1970

The City no longer has its own fire department, but contracts with the Bandon Rural Fire Protection District, which provides premium fire protection at a very fair cost.

The third picture was taken in front of the clubhouse at the old Westmost Golf Course, across from Natureland, which is visible in the background. I don't recognize most of the women, but at left is Betty Baird, who now lives at Pacific View, and at right is the late Dorothy Sherertz, who owned a beauty shop at Prosper for many years. The clubhouse has long since been torn down and rebuilt overlooking the course, which was recently purchased by the group who bought the Best Western Inn at Face Rock. I understand they do not plan to reopen the course, but a friend said he saw someone surveying in the area of the first tee recently. It will be interesting to see what they have planned since the land is zoned natural resources, which basically would prohibit development of pretty much any kind.

The old Westmost Golf Course
The old Westmost Golf Course

*           *           *

I was not happy to learn that the drive-through window at Bank of America would be closing, effective July 6.

A friend and I were both told, at different times, that one of the reasons for closing it was because of the potential for money laundering, and because they wanted to see people face to face as they made deposits.

What I can't figure out is the fact that another employee told me that this is the only branch where the drive-through will be closed. He said it doesn't get as much use, and because of its location (a virtual wind tunnel), people's checks have blown out before the deposit drawer could be pulled back in. I can attest to that as recently my check flew out; fortunately it landed in the gravel alongside the driveway so I was able to chase it down.

But I am not sure that closing the drive-through is the answer. The parking lot of the bank opens to the south, and in the winter it can be very difficult to get out of your car and into the bank.

In a community where so many of us are senior citizens, I keep hoping they will change their mind.

I did write a letter to the Oregon manager urging them not to close it, but not sure what will happen. Here is the address in case you also bank there and feel strongly about it: James Weber, Bank of America, 1210 NE 3rd St., Bend, OR 97701.

*           *           *

It was sad to learn of the death of long-time Bandon resident Ron "Feathers" Knox, who died Wednesday at home with his wife, Judy; his sister, Donna; and nephew, Jimmy Knox, at his side.

Ron has not been doing well for some time after undergoing surgery, but Judy had been lovingly caring for him, and I know his passing will be very hard for her to cope with.

Judy is the long-time executive director of the Bandon Museum, although she had been away from her desk for several months after breaking her arm in a fall.

Although I have not heard anything officially, I believe they are planning a memorial for Ron on Saturday, June 27, at The Barn/community center. I will let people know the time next week.

Ron graduated with the Class of 1959; in addition to Donna, Ron had two other siblings, Gwen and Jim, both of whom preceded him in death.

*           *           *

I heard good news and bad news about people who previously lived in my neighborhood.

The good news first. I've learned that my former neighbor, Jennifer Malody (Kincaid), who underwent surgery to remove several cancerous brain tumors, is doing much better. She had gone to Billings, Mont., with her son Jack and daughter Olivia Kincaid to be near her sister.

A neighbor said she is doing so well that she is looking for a home for her and her children.

The neighbor who told me this said that she is in Colorado, but the address where I sent a card was in Montana, so I am not sure. But she is a wonderful person and it is great to hear that she is doing so much better. She home-schooled her children, and while they lived here, Olivia was very active in New Artists Productions and was a favorite of many theater-goers.

I believe the home next door to me, which she was purchasing, will soon be going back to the bank.

The same neighbor told me that the woman who previously lived next door to him and across the street from me, Patty (Maleka) Thomas, died several weeks ago of complications from surgery, which she had undergone at OHSU in Portland.

The business card that she gave me said she was a psychic.

Apparently she'd been having a hard time swallowing her food, and was finally able to have it surgically fixed. But after returning to Bandon, she began to have complications. A friend took her to the ER and they life-flighted her back to Portland, where she died a short time later. I am not sure how old she was, but probably in her 50s.

*           *           *

I sometimes wonder why I keep writing my column because it seems, on occasion, to bring out the worst in people who love to take issue with me. But this week I received a wonderful email from John Fasnacht's grandson, Jim Cochran of Las Vegas, thanking me for my column.

Fasnacht, as old-timers will remember, was one of the finest men I've ever known. Not only did he serve as Bandon's school superintendent, but he went on to be manager of utilities (city manager) at the City of Bandon for many years. He was a true statesman.

Since I now had Jim's email address, I sent him a number of pictures of not only his grandfather, but several of his mother, as well, and he was particularly happy to get those.

*           *           *

My sister and I were just talking about Myron and Lillie Spady, who had recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, and I said I hadn't seen Myron for several months. He was the long-time city attorney when I was on the city council in the late '70s, so I knew him well.

Myron Spady
Myron Spady

In a stroke of irony, Molly and I were sitting in Pacific Blues earlier today alongside a woman and her two sons. Their husband had stopped by earlier, but went out to take care of their dog.

They happened to mention that the husband's parents lived in Bandon and they often (every two or three weeks) came up from San Francisco to spend time with them. And it turned out it was Mark Spady and his family. They said another son, Marshall, also spends quite a bit of time in Bandon and a third son, Mike (who lives in Salem), also visits on occasion.

They have plenty of help and Myron now has someone to drive him to the store as he was getting a bit frail . . . but his mind is still razor sharp. Lillie has suffered from dementia in recent years, but still has lots of good memories.

*           *           *

An article in the Sunday Oregonian two weeks ago cast an unfavorable light on Mike Keiser and his attempts to develop a municipal golf course south of town. I was shocked at the tone of the article and the writer's apparent lack of understanding of the property issues and what was at stake.

At any rate, I submitted an op-ed piece to the Oregonian, and it appeared in today's (Sunday) paper.

Later today, I received an email from a Bandon man, who happened to be visiting in Portland and saw the opinion piece.

Here is what he had to say: "Mike Keiser has brought hope back to the south coast. After speaking to a few doubting Portlanders yesterday I wondered. I am glad you spoke.

"The acreage in Laurel Grove has not been seen or used by anyone since I have lived here (many, many years). If you are lucky enough to have an airplane you may have overflown it. I doubt if anyone could even identify this parcel from an aerial photo.

"If this parcel can create one job, one happy face of an employed resident, help keep one more person in Southwestern Oregon, let it happen. Kudos to you."

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 03, 2015

Most of us old-timers will remember the tattered old gymnasium that stood for many years at the Bandon Heights property in East Bandon, adjacent to the old quonset hut, which served as a primary school for years. I remember that we were bussed across town in the '50s for PE, and we also held our school dances there. This picture was taken in January of 1978, which was probably not long before it was torn down, or judging from its condition this may have been the beginning of the demolition, which ended with the fire department burning it.

Old gymnasium, 1978
Old gymnasium, 1978

Not sure the date on the second picture, but it was probably sometime in the '70s when Ocean Spray's receiving station and warehouse was located just south of town next to the Assembly of God Church (at 13th) and across from Ron's service station. On this date they were paving the parking lot. The building is now owned by Larry Hardin and houses his wife's Sisters Cottage.

Ocean Spray receiving station, 1970s
Ocean Spray receiving station, 1970s

The third picture features the swearing in of the mayor and three new city councilors (or re-elected) in January of 1981. I was also on the council at this time, but was not up for re-election and was wearing my reporter/photographer's hat for that picture.

Swearing in of the mayor and three new city councilors, 1981
Swearing in of the mayor and three new city councilors, 1981

From left are Ray Hallinan, who owned Bandon Book & Stationery (where Gibson's Graphics is now located), Mayor Ray Kelley (who still lives on Riverside Drive), John Gamble (who also lives here), City Attorney Myron Spady (who recently celebrated 70 years of marriage with wife, Lillie), and Eleanor Lorenz, widow of Carl Lorenz, who owned M&L Grocery (with Fred Moore) in downtown Bandon (now the parking lot for the Minute Cafe) for many years.

*           *           *

Not sure what is happening at Alloro, which has long been regarded as one of the premier dining experiences in Bandon, but at least for the month of June the new owners, Susan and David Hayes, have decided to close Friday and Saturday nights.

A friend of mine called Friday for reservations, and they reportedly told him the new schedule would be effective for June and July, but their Facebook page says their high-season will start July 5. They advised my friend that instead they will be open on Sundays and Mondays (as well as Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays), which has not been the case in the past, because those are the days that other restaurants close.

That may be true in the winter, but most of the top restaurants are open seven days a week during the summer.

I've also learned that several of their servers have quit to take other jobs.

I am sure it's hard to follow in the footsteps of Lian Schmidt and Jeremy Buck, who built Alloro into a top-notch restaurant.

I wish them the best . . . but I'm not sure that closing on Friday and Saturdays, even if it's only for a month, is a good decision. That remains to be seen . . .

*           *           *

I know this is unusual, but I have two friends (brothers in their 60s) who are desperately looking for a rental. The one brother has lived in the same rental for three years, but has been advised that the owner plans to sell it, so she gave them 60 days to find another place to live. I have known one of them for several years, and he's a top-notch guy with a decent income. They are looking for at least a two-bedroom, two-bath unit, so if any of you know of a good rental in Bandon, please let me know at

I know people are often hesitant to advertise a rental because they aren't sure who, and how many people, they will be dealing with. I also suggested they advertise in Coffee Break, which they intend to.

*           *           *

I saw an interesting, and lengthy, article in a recent issue of the Coquille Valley Courant concerning discussion by the Coquille City Council on the issue of establishing a TOT (transient occupancy tax) for their town. It would impact the town's lone motel (whose owners are under indictment for not paying their income taxes) and the recreational vehicle park along the river, owned by one of the Marca brothers.

What I found interesting was how much a 7 percent tax (Bandon's is 6 percent) would generate for city coffers.

"Depending on occupancy rates, revenues may be anywhere between $250 per year and $1,100 a year," explained the city manager.

My guess is that they are getting a jump on this since the county commissioners have indicated they may put out to vote a proposed 10 percent tax for all lodging facilities in the county. As far as Bandon, Coos Bay and North Bend (who already have TOTs) are concerned, the county would only reap the difference between the local tax and the 10 percent, but for communities like Coquille and Myrtle Point, who do not have a tax, they would get the entire 10 percent.

It makes sense for Coquille to institute a tax . . . even though it appears that the revenues generated will be minimal . . . compared to the more than $450,000 generated by Bandon's TOT . . . 20+ percent of which goes to the Bandon Chamber of Commerce for tourist promotion.

Just a side note: the money generated by Bandon's TOT accounts for 21 percent of the general fund revenues, compared to only 8 percent from property taxes (because our tax rate is only 46 cents per thousand). Coquille, on the other hand, has a rate of over $6 per thousand (Myrtle Point's tax rate is $7.99 a thousand), so much of their general fund revenues come from property taxes.

*           *           *

I seldom read the "personals" column in local papers, but one in the Courant happened to catch my eye. It is titled "ENOUGH." Here's what it says:

"Attention: Any female athletes who have been subjected to one or more of the following: bullying, harassment, intimidation, verbal or mental abuse in the past 25 years in the Myrtle Point area are encouraged to respond to: ENOUGH, P. O. Box 801, Coquille, OR 97423 ("

I believe I know who they are referring to, and I do know that at least one set of parents sent their daughter to another school in Coos County because they did not want her to interact with this coach. Others, on the other hand, think he is great and feel that he simply sets high standards for his athletes.

This ad has been running for several weeks now, and I am curious what the end result will be . . .

*           *           *

The headline in this week's Western World looked pretty routine: "New superintendent chosen for Bandon schools." But it wasn't until you read the first paragraph that you realized this wasn't any ordinary story.

It names the man and adds; "a Montana school administrator who pleaded no contest last Monday to assault against his 17-year-old son."

I'm sure that grabbed your attention and you decided to read on. In the article, the editor, Amy Moss Strong, explains that she went as far as to talk to the new superintendent to find out what happened.

The story goes on to explain that the son had come home high on alcohol and drugs and began attacking his mother, and his father intervened, punching his son multiple times in the face.

The son is the one who filed the assault charge against his father, and was also charged with partner-family assault, and has since entered treatment.

It appears from the article that the school board knew about the assault charge (which occurred after he had applied for the job). The district did not share the information when asked about the new superintendent, so the editor decided to Google him as she began to write her article to find out more information.

And it was there that she learned of the assault charge, and immediately called the new superintendent, who was very forthcoming with the information. At that point, it had to be part of the story.

I am sure there are some people who feel that the dad should have called the police and let them handle the situation, but I am sure there are very few fathers who would stand by and allow their wives to be assaulted . . . no matter who was involved.

The school board remains confident about his abilities, and I surely hope the community will give him a chance to prove himself.

*           *           *

People have been waiting for a long time to see the "OPEN" sign at LaFiesta, the popular Mexican restaurant on the waterfront. And Saturday that sign is back. Unfortunately, until they are able to obtain their liquor license, they are only open for lunch (through, I think, 5 o'clock).

Martin has been closed for well over a year since a tragic car crash took the life of his sister in Mexico, and injured his brother-in-law and their two children.

Since then he has spent a lot of time in Mexico assisting his family.

Welcome back Martin . . . I know a lot of people are happy to see you are open again.

*           *           *

I saw a post on the alumni site this morning about the death of Gerald "Jerry" Smith, posted by his sister, Shirley Smith Rhodes. Jerry graduated from BHS with the class of 1959, and lived with his wife in Fallon, Nev.

Their father, Jack Smith, owned the Sportsman's Cafe in downtown Bandon (what is now Old Town) in the '50s in the spot now occupied by one of Lynn Davies' gift shops.

previous columns by Mary Schamehorn