As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 28, 2017

The three photos I have chosen to share this week were all taken during the 1950s, and at least one of them has probably appeared in this column before, but maybe not in Western World. I receive positive comments weekly from people who have been enjoying my column in the local paper ... even though it has been appearing online for a number of years and continues each week at

Every time I look at the first picture, taken in December of 1956, I see something that I hadn't noticed previously. This was taken across Second Street from The Minute Cafe, looking eastward down the street. This is a great shot of Bob and Margaret Norton's Golden Rule department store, where I spent most of my paycheck after going to work for Western World in early 1959.

Golden Rule department store, 1956
Golden Rule department store, 1956

You can see the Chevron truck in front of the Golden Rule. Note the fresh fruits and vegetables on the sidewalk in front of Jim and Berniece Croxall's Croxall & Perry Grocery (a building now owned by the Elliott family). The Williams bread truck had pulled up to service the grocery store, and behind it, in front of the Bandon Theater, is the Surfside Dairy van distributing its milk to the local stores, which include Erdman's City Market (now Lloyd's) and next to it the smaller version of Lloyd's before they expanded west.

On the other side of the street, Marge Cook is busy sweeping snow from the sidewalk. Behind her is Carr's Variety, managed by Elsie Hamilton for many years, and now the home of Bandon Baking Company. On down the street is the Rexall Drug Store (now Winter River Books) and Our Bakery, which was opened in a dome building by Marvin and Esther Leach in 1952. The large building on the right was the Page and Woomer Arcade Garden tavern, now Inner Garden (owned by Bill and Louise Moore).

If you're wondering why there aren't many cars on the street, it could be because of the snow or maybe because drivers had to put coins in the parking meters.

The second photo shows Surfside Dairy, which was located across Third and behind the Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op. This picture was taken Dec. 29, 1955, during a time when Ferry Creek flooded. Note the water that is being pumped out the back window and the sandbags in front of the door.

Flooded Surfside Dairy, 1955
Flooded Surfside Dairy, 1955

The third picture was taken in April of 1958 when the Bandon Assembly of God Church, still located at Highway 101 and 13th, was building its new addition.

New addition being added to Bandon Assembly of God Church, 1958
New addition being added to Bandon Assembly of God Church, 1958

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I learned this week that one of Bandon's best-known bicyclists, Jeremy "Buzzy" Platz, fell off his bike in a strong wind the other morning, and broke his wrist.

My sister and I talked with Jeremy, who was busy selling the beautiful jewelry that he makes, when he rode around Old Town Sunday. Jeremy's bike was fine after the accident, but he will be sporting a cast for some weeks.

Another of the town's ardent bike riders, Tim Harris, is still recovering in a nursing home in the Portland area after he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bike near City Hall several weeks ago. Cards and letters to Tim can be addressed to him at Porthaven, 5330 NE Prescott St., Portland, 97218.

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I don't know the details, but I do know that Sea Star Bistro, which had been located in the small shop on the east side of the Inner Garden building across from the visitor center, closed its doors in late May after four years in business at 230 2nd Street, SE. The owners, Degan and Lori Parker, posted on Facebook that they have plans for "new adventures."

A friend talked to a man, who identified himself only as Pablo, who said that he would be opening in the building soon. Stay tuned and I will let you know more about his shop. He told my friend that he will be serving coffee, but others say he is a great chef, so it may be a combination of the two skills.

*           *           *

Primary medical care in Curry County took a big hit last week when it was announced that Curry Community Health clinics in Port Orford and Gold Beach would no longer be accepting primary care patients by the end of July 31 because there aren't enough patients in those cities to justify the expense. The clinic in Brookings will continue to serve primary care patients, according to CEO Ken Dukek.

Dukek explained that public health care, mental health and addiction services will still be offered in Gold Beach and Port Orford. Primary care focuses on providing medical services to patients with immediate health needs, but the demand has decreased since the Affordable Care Act as people now "get their own health providers," said Dukek.

One of those affected by the closure will be Debra Guzman, Family Nurse Practitioner, who was formerly with Coast Community Health in Bandon, but has been working out of the Curry clinics.

*           *           *

On another more local health front, I've learned that Coast Community Health Center in Bandon recently opened its new pharmacy ... for Coast members.

This certainly should speed up access to prescriptions for patients of the local clinic.

*           *           *

I learned that Gordon Young, who was the long-time programmer/cameraman for the public TV station, died June 17. Gordon worked for Coos Media Center, and was behind the camera at our city council meetings for many years.

He had been ill for several years.

*           *           *

Several years ago I signed up through the U.S. Geological Survey to receive reports of earthquakes as they happen anywhere in the world.

I was surprised to see reports of a 6.8 magnitude quake in the Santa Barbara Channel off California, so I immediately Googled to see just how serious it was.

I was shocked to see that actually the report had been a false alarm.

It is true that a 6.8 magnitude quake did strike near Santa Barbara ... in 1925. Researchers at the California Institute of Technology mistakenly triggered the notification while working to connect the exact location of the quake on June 29, 1925.

Had I taken a closer look at the report I received in the email, I would have been further confused to see that the date of the supposed 6.8 quake was June 29, 2025 ... eight years from now.

Ah, technology!!

*           *           *

By now, hopefully most of the brush piles in Bandon have been picked up. Bill Richardson, spokesman for Bandon Disposal, said this has been "the worst one ever" when it comes to the amount of brush that has been left in piles all over town. And it is also very costly. Bill said it costs $6.50 a yard to dump the brush at the Beaver Hill disposal site.

The brush pickup was also slowed when it became necessary to take the truck off the route to clean up a property on Ohio Avenue, which had been the subject of action by the City.

I believe Bill said 120 yards of material was taken off that property, in an exercise that took three days and two employees to clean up.

This is a service that Bandon Disposal offers to its garbage customers, but my concern is that some of those piles have been in the rights of way for months, and it may be that the property owners will be encouraged in the future to just put them out a week or so before the pickup is scheduled ... not months before.

*           *           *

The first of this season's Alive After Five was Friday night, and coupled with some great weather, it seemed to be very successful. More and more people are taking part, both from the standpoint of those serving wine and other spirits, and those who are just enjoying a stroll around town. The dates for the subsequent events are Fourth of July, Aug. 25, Sept. 22, and Oct. 27.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 21, 2017

The first picture I am sharing was taken 60 years ago (1957) of people getting prepared to take part in speedboat races at Floras Lake. My guess is that the building on the left side of the picture is the old hotel. You can see a number of houses surrounding the lake, as well as what is probably a concession stand.

Hydroplane races at Floras Lake, 1957
Hydroplane races at Floras Lake, 1957

I am pretty sure my uncle, Lou Felsheim, took this picture as they had a small cabin on the lake and spent many summers down there.

The second photo, which was probably taken sometime in the '60s, is the Pastime Tavern, owned for many years by Frank and Linda Jarvis, and, not long after the Fire, by Rudy Backlund.

Pastime Tavern, 1960s
Pastime Tavern, 1960s

According to two of my history books, Rudy and Flossie owned the Pastime in 1938, and they still owned it in 1940.

The building, on Second Street, stood between Lloyd's Cafe, on the left, and Helen Dunham's Hardware to the right. It is interesting to note the condition of the sidewalk in those days.

It is now owned by the McCurdy/Butts family and houses the popular Bandon Sweets & Treats business.

The third picture was taken during the Cranberry Festival parade in 1977, on the streets of uptown Bandon lined with parade-goers. And children were doing what they still do, racing into the street to pick up candy.

Cranberry Festival parade, 1977
Cranberry Festival parade, 1977

You can see Gerry's restaurant, a bakery, LaKris Motel, Dairy Queen, the hardware store and Arco station on the west side of the highway. On the east side is McKay's Market, The Style Shop, Adair's (not sure what kind of a shop that was), Laundromat and Cleaners ... and a sign for S&H Green Stamps.

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Bandon lost one of its pioneers last week with the death of Betty Simons Hiley, who was in her late '80s. Betty, who was married to Harvey Hiley, was seven years old at the time of the Bandon Fire, and for many years she has been a member of the Bandon Historical Society's board of directors.

Betty was much loved by all who knew her.

I do not know if there is to be a service, but so far I have not seen an obituary.

*           *           *

I also learned that Gigi McFarland, who lived in Bandon and Langlois for many years, died recently in Oklahoma. She was 75.

Gigi and her family moved to Langlois is 1980 where she opened Gigi's Place. Later she had a restaurant south of Bandon at Two Mile.

Surviving are four daughters, including Danielle (Jerome) Johnson and Sharon (Jeff) Haga of Bandon.

Others we've lost in recent weeks have been Irene Smalley (widow of long-time GTE employee Clyde Smalley) and Laura Boggs (wife of Doug Boggs.)

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An article and video about Face Rock Creamery, titled How Cheese Saved an Oregon Town, were posted and reposted this week on Facebook. It's a great story about the creamery, but the writer left out some pretty important information about the health of the local dairy industry and the role that the City of Bandon (through Urban Renewal) played in making it happen.

It was said that "most of the surrounding dairy farmers went bust." Actually that is not true. The Coquille Valley is the largest supplier of certified organic milk in the state. Milky Way Dairy of Coquille is one of only a few conventional (non-organic) dairies in the area, and that is where Face Rock Creamery purchases its milk. It is true that the dairy industry played a huge role in early Coos and Curry counties, and my 1938 Coos County directory lists over 600 dairies in the two counties. But the demise of the industry had nothing to do with Tillamook closing down the cheese factory and tearing down the building in, I think, 2007.

Now back to the very large role that the City/Urban Renewal played. The City paid half a million dollars of UR funds to buy the property from Tillamook and leased it to Face Rock. The City installed the infrastructure, built the public parking lot and public restrooms inside the cheese factory.

As to funding, the Port of Bandon, the State of Oregon and Craft 3 were major players in the funding.

Not sure that "the schools shrank, and drug use increased" because Tillamook closed the cheese factory. Other statements included that "there were no jobs . . . people left . . the town identity had been stripped away."

While it is true that the town's identity has changed, it has more to do with the demise of the timber and fishing industries than the fact that Tillamook closed the cheese factory.

The City of Bandon won an award through League of Oregon Cities for our role in the public/private partnership that made it possible.

It's a great story, and no one is happier than I that it is such a success. I just felt that the writer needed to tell the proverbial "rest of the story."

When the cheese factory was unable to refinance because the city owned the property that the building sat on, we did agree to sell that portion of the land to Face Rock Creamery, but to protect our investment and that of the community, there were caveats put on the deed.

*           *           *

Bandon is fortunate that Broken Anchor has been having live music at least once a weekend through June and July, and Sunday night they had an impromptu guitarist for Father's Day.

Across the street, and well known for their musical abilities, is the Giardinelli family of Angelo's Italy, who generally entertain dinner guests several times a week.

For years, the place to go for live music was Lloyd's, but it doesn't look like that will open anytime soon, so it's nice to know that if you want to hear some good music, there are a couple of places to go in Old Town.

*           *           *

I read the Oregonian on line every day, and was glad to see an opinion piece by seven-term Clatsop County DA Joshua Marquis titled "Recording grand juries is not the answer."

It appears that the party in control is seeking to record grand jury hearings, and make the recordings available to the public as part of their "transparency" efforts.

As Marquis pointed out: "Recording grand juries will have a chilling effect on justice. What domestic violence victim will be willing to share her story when she knows that a recording of her statement could be handed over to the man who beat her or her children just days earlier? Even the most optimistic among us knows how tragically that could end."

He ends his piece by saying, "Instead of sinking millions into a solution for which there is no problem, how about the legislature invest the millions on desperately needed mental health services. We might have a better chance to prevent the next tragedy."

As I often do, I responded to him and said, "what chance do you think a Governor (Brown) who recommended closing down the new mental health hospital in Junction City would have of providing additional funding for mental health?"

My guess is little to none.

*           *           *

The first of the season's Alive After Five will be held this Friday (June 23), from 5 to 7:30 p.m. People can buy wine glasses, starting at 5, at either Edgewater's restaurant or Klutch, a clothing store adjacent to The Station Restaurant.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 14, 2017

While helping cut the ribbon Friday night as the Chamber honored Devon's Boutique for 10 years in business, I looked across the street and thought about just how long The Minute Cafe has been a fixture in Old Town.

I know Jess and Mary Cattron built the Minute at its present location around 1940, or it could have been earlier than that. But they were one of the first businesses to rebuild after the Fire. The business has had several owners over the years including Myrtle Pollock Dickey, but for many years it has been owned and operated by Pat Taylor and her family. I seem to remember that Virginia Weaver may have also owned the cafe at one time, but I am just not sure.

The Minute Cafe
The Minute Cafe

I don't know exactly when this photo was taken, but it was before the room was added onto the east side of the building. Behind the fence, you can see a door opening onto an outdoor patio, which they operated for several years before building the addition.

I have two directories (1938 and 1940), which pretty much list every resident and business in Coos County during those years. The Cattrons were listed in the 1940 directory, but neither the Cattrons nor The Minute Cafe were in the 1938 issue.

As a matter of fact, there were only five restaurants listed in Bandon in 1938, including Bandon Cafe, Joe's Place, The Koffee Kup, Liberty Cafe, and Lloyd's cafe and Confectionery, all of which were on Second Street East, which would include both the highway and Second Street.

I know I have shared the second photo previously but I have so many new readers that I don't think it hurts to print it again. The picture was taken in March of 1973, and the negative envelope indicates that a site is being prepared along First Street, and I believe it is the site of the Arcade, which is on the corner of Alabama and First.

First Street, 1973
First Street, 1973

You can see the former Port of Bandon office (now Tony's Crab Shack), and even though it is not directly across from the Arcade, I think it has more to do with the perspective of where the photo was taken. In the background you can see the Moore Mill Truck Shop, and behind the small building you can see a barge load of lumber getting ready to leave Moore Mill. Not sure who is operating the heavy equipment, but I can see Alfred Owens (left in the group of men) who is busy watching the action.

I also don't have a date for the third picture of city hall, which was built around 1970.

City Hall & Bandon Fire Dept.
City Hall & Bandon Fire Dept.

You can see the bottom bays are filled with fire trucks and equipment, so it was in the days when Bandon had its own fire department ('70s and '80s and earlier). The city now contracts with the Bandon Rural Fire Protection District, which is operated under the capable leadership of Fire Chief Lanny Boston, who has been chief for over 40 years.

The City could never afford to equip and operate its own fire department, and we are fortunate to have such a good working relationship with Lanny and his crew. They have a much larger tax base, and a higher tax rate than the City does. Our tax rate is 46 cents a thousand, compared to the fire district's rate of $1.25 per thousand.

*           *           *

One of my readers talked to me the other night about why I didn't let people know that Dollar General was planning to build in Bandon.

Actually I did.

In my As I See It column of June 20, 2016, I said:

"Not sure why we need two dollar stores in Bandon, but it appears that may be the case ... and the new one will be situated just across Second Street from The Dollar Tree (in the Bandon Shopping Center.)

"I understand Dollar General has applied to the city for permission to build a store on the same side of the highway on the lot across the street .... There is presently a trailer house on the back part of the property, which is owned by Beverly Becker and others. The county website lists the assessed value at $138,000 and the real market value at $117,000.

"People who have shopped at Dollar General say that prices start at $1 and go up from there.

"They are also known for putting up brightly colored metal buildings, but that probably won't be the case here as Bandon has some fairly strict design standards for 'big box' stores like this, which, in some cases, may seem punitive, but in some instances, like Dollar General, it is probably a good thing.

"I don't believe it's a 'done deal' yet, as they are still working on some setback issues, but it certainly appears that they are planning to locate here.

"Back to the design standards. They were put into effect when BiMart indicated they wanted to build a store here, along Seabird Drive.

"Ironically, they had no problem with our requirements, or much of anything else, but decided, instead, to build a store in Brookings ... and that was apparently the end of their plans to locate here."

So for those of you who felt that we were trying to hide the fact that Dollar General was planning to buy that property and build a store, that is simply not the case.

It is also important to point out that once Dollar General met the setbacks and other zoning and development requirements, it was not a decision of the city's as to whether or not they could build. There would have been no grounds for denying them.

As to BiMart, there has been a very long thread on Facebook this week (more than 175 comments the last time I looked) as to why BiMart did not come to Bandon.

One person said "it was the mayor." There were a number of other equally uninformed answers and comments, which several councilors (Claudine and Brian) and I tried to put to rest .. but this is just one of the issues that continues to rear its head every once in a while.

Matt and I personally met with the BiMart people after they decided they were no longer interested in building on the G-P site in Coquille. We worked diligently with them, and they seemed to pretty much agree with whatever challenges there might be ... until they went away.

We were not actually notified that they had changed their mind, but when I read an article in the Brookings newspaper, it became pretty clear that they had found "more fertile ground," and were planning to (and did) build a store in Brookings.

My guess is that it was purely economics, and when you consider how close Brookings is to California and it's huge sales tax, you can understand that might be a more lucrative location.

*           *           *

I seldom post on Facebook unless it is to do damage control, and once again I have heard that Bandon does not allow fast food restaurants inside the city limits.

That is patently untrue. Think Dairy Queen and Subway.

I believe the reason that rumor started is because the Old Town overlay district does not allow drive-up windows, which would pretty much eliminate a fast-food restaurant or, for that matter, a bank.

But that is only the core Old Town area, and there is no such restriction anywhere along the highway or in other areas of town.

So the next time you hear someone bashing the city on one of the issues I've just mentioned, how about speaking up . . . or at least not perpetuating the rumors.

*           *           *

I was sitting outside this afternoon (Sunday) enjoying the warm sun until the proverbial (but very real) dark cloud passed over top of me ... and the next thing you knew it was raining.

I guess we should be used to it by now, and my rain guy (Frank Sproul) says he has now recorded over 160 inches of rain this year (for the rain year) and I, for one, believe him as do a lot of others.

If I hear one more person say, "Oh well, we need it," I will go ballistic. OK, in a drought year, we did need it. But the drought is long over. We have no place to store water so it just heads out to sea, eroding properties along the way.

*           *           *

There was an article in Western World about the Bandon man, Tim Harris, who was struck by a car near City Hall on the afternoon of May 24.

While it is true that Tim spent a couple of weeks at Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, he was released last week, and is now undergoing rehabilitation at a Portland skilled nursing facility.

I could not get his address in time for this week's column, but will try to have it for next week.

*           *           *

Bobby Dahl stopped me in the store tonight with a correction for something I said in a recent column. I indicated that the old Carl's Barber Shop on Second Street (about where Second Street Gallery is now) was torn down. Actually, I believe Bob's dad, Mel, owned the small building, and it was later moved over to Delaware, behind what was then McNair Hardware (now Bandon Brewing Co.). It is still there between LaFiesta restaurant and Bandon Brewing.

I stand corrected.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

June 07, 2017

The first picture I am sharing is one I recently purchased on line, and the best thing about it is the fact that the date it was taken -- 1966 -- was on the back of the print. This is a very sharp aerial of Old Town Bandon, which not only shows most of the downtown area, but also the truck shop and Moore Mill in the background.

Old Town Bandon, 1966
Old Town Bandon, 1966

I know it is hard to see the detail in a small print, but if you want to blow it up and really see the detail, you can go to Western World's website or to You can even see a "new" Ford in the show room at Capps Motor Co., in the upper right hand side of the picture. Behind Capps Motor is the Bandon Fisheries (former Bandon Plumbing) building, which now houses The Wheelhouse and The Crow's Nest. Just east of that, along First Street, is the old hospital, which is pretty much behind the Bandon Theater.

The building in the immediate foreground is the First National Bank (Masonic Building), and across the street is M&L Grocery (now the parking lot for The Minute Cafe, which has been in business in the same location since after the Fire). Behind M&L is W.H. Johnston's accounting building, now owned by Ed Landucci and leased to Olivia Andor of Olivia's Cottage. Next to that is the grassy lot, which is now the site of the Arcade Tavern (not to be confused with the old Arcade Gardens, which was in the building now owned by Bill and Louise Moore after the Fire).

If you get a chance, I really urge you to blow this up and look at the detail as it is one of the best aerials of this area that I own . . . or have seen.

I love the second picture although I don't have a date, but my guess is it was sometime in the late '50s or the '60s. I am sure that car buffs will be able to identify the year by some of the vehicles in the photo.

Bandon Lions Club cleaning up the South Jetty
Bandon Lions Club cleaning up the South Jetty

This shows members of the Bandon Lions Club and the ladies auxiliary cleaning up the South Jetty area, and enjoying a barbecue at the end of the day. In the picture I can see Carl Lorenz and Fred Moore, owners of M&L Grocery, George and Marie Kronenberg, Ronnie (looking at the camera) and Gladys Larson, Don Potterf, Bill and Velda Ellis, Norma Howe, and Eunice Calame (although I am sure Harvey is there somewhere).

The third picture is a nice view of the old Moore Mill Truck Shop, taken in 1977. It is already starting to deteriorate a bit, but nothing like it did in the next couple of decades before the Port had it torn down.

Moore Mill Truck Shop, 1977
Moore Mill Truck Shop, 1977

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I didn't write about the supposed abduction of a San Jose college student, who said she was abducted by a man who stole her car and held her captive before he ran out of gas in the Prosper area.

It's probably just as well because information from a San Francisco Bay Area TV station, KRON, indicated that it was a hoax. The 22-year-old woman admitted she had not been abducted, but she did run out of gas near Bullards Bridge. People in the area were frightened after the Coos County sheriff's office sent out a press release describing the guy who was alleged to have abducted her, who was loose in the area. After finding out it was apparently a hoax, there were some unhappy people on Facebook, several of whom felt she should be cited for filing a false police report. She certainly tied up a lot of officers searching for a guy who did not exist. The original press release described facial wounds which she said had been inflicted by her captor. Not sure how she managed to injure herself, but it was apparently self-inflicted.

Information from KRON says "officers with the Bandon Police Department found the victim frightened Friday night, running down a roadway at around 10:18 p.m. near Highway 101 and Prosper Junction Road.

"She told investigators that she'd been abducted roughly 10 hours earlier, carjacked and forced to drive north in her own vehicle until it ran out of gas, allowing her an opportunity to flee on foot and hide in tall grass nearby until nightfall.

"Officers found the vehicle near an old mill at Bullard's Bridge and Highway 101 and searched the area for the suspect, with assistance from a K-9 unit. They were unable to track him, however, and towed the vehicle for evidence.

"The victim was transported to a hospital in Coos Bay for facial injuries suffered when the suspect struck her. The Coos County Women's Safety and Resource Center provided an advocate for her until family members arrived to bring her home over the weekend."

In the press release, the TV station said the victim recanted the allegations and stated she fabricated the entire incident.

I am sure that her family members were equally as upset with her as were people who lived in the Prosper area and those who searched for her "abductor."

Another release indicated that she was to graduate from San Jose State the night of her supposed abduction, and was scheduled to meet her family there. When she did not show up, they called the police.

A lot of resources were expended that night to help this young woman, and she should at least be asked to reimburse the actual cost.

*           *           *

A big vote of thanks goes to Bo Shindler, who spearheaded the "Bandon History 50 Years Later" scholarship.

The $10,000 scholarship will be awarded this month at the BHS graduation.

The Class of 1967, of which Bo is a member, was responsible for donating 55 percent of the scholarship amount, followed by the Class of 1966 with 9 percent, class of 1965 with 7 percent, and the classes of 1971 and 1969, each with 5 percent.

There were 19 memorial contributions in the amount of $1,825 for teachers, siblings, parents, and classmates who are no longer with us.

Bo, who lives in Gold Beach, also thanked others who helped on the project, including Ande Lightle Hoffman, Sharon Ward Moy, Gayle Propeck Nix, Jim Proehl, Steve Fox (it was his idea), the newspapers who ran the press releases and Pino Decals of Redmond, who made the decals that have been mailed to those of us who contributed to the scholarship.

*           *           *

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort really stood out in the recent issue of Golf Digest, which named America's 100 greatest public golf courses.

Bandon Dunes had four courses in the top 15, including Pacific Dunes, no. 2; Bandon Dunes, no 7; Old Macdonald, no. 10; and Bandon Trails, no. 14.

Pebble Beach has consistently earned the No. 1 public course rating.

Chambers Bay, in the state of Washington where former Bandon Dunes employee Matt Allen is the manager, was number 24.

*           *           *

The Bandon Police Department recently issued a press release alerting businesses, particularly retailers, of a man who has been passing bad checks.

"We are unable to release his name at this time. However, to help prevent returned checks, follow these fraud-prevention tips from experts such as the National Crime Prevention Council and the National Check Fraud Center.

"Always ask to see the check writer's driver's license or identification card. Compare the signature and the address on the card with the information on the check.

"Ask the purchaser to sign the check in your presence and compare it with the signature on the ID.

"Never accept a double-endorsed check.

"Never accept payroll checks.

"Never accept counter checks where a person fills in the bank and the account number.

"Never accept out-of-town, state or international checks.

"Watch for checks with low numbers. Nine out of ten bad checks bear numbers from 101 to 499, which usually indicates a new account.

"When in doubt, call the bank and verify funds."

Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn