As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

September 28, 2016

It may not have been the Ringling Bros. or Barnum & Bailey circus, but the Pickle Family Circus, which performed here as late as the early '80s, always drew large crowds when they set up in City Park. Not sure when this photo was taken, but since it is part of my collection, I would guess that it was sometime in the '70s.

Pickle Family Circus, 1970s
Pickle Family Circus, 1970s

A question at the museum program Sunday about the location of the old hospital reminded me that I had a few pictures of it ... long after it had been taken out of service. I believe Leep Memorial Hospital, which was along the waterfront, behind what was then Bandon Plumbing and later an office for Bandon Fisheries (now the Wheelhouse), was built not long after the fire because I was born there three years after the fire and all but one of my siblings were also born there. This picture, taken after it was no longer used as a run-down residence, shows it being torn down, but I am not sure of the date.

Leep Memorial Hospital being torn down
Leep Memorial Hospital being torn down

You can see the Bandon Fisheries building at far right, which has long since been torn down, and the top story and east end of what is now the Wheelhouse at left. I can't remember his name, but the white-haired guy behind the tank at left lived there for a time and also in a small trailer on the property. The property has been vacant ever since the old hospital was torn down.

The third picture is of extremely poor quality, but it is the only one I have that really shows the old Bandon Cafe, owned by Mabel Jenkins and her son, Jack Parsons. At left is the Flying A service station, which may have been operated by Jay Hess at the time this photo was taken, during the Cranberry parade in 1962. This area is now the home of a motel and Dan Farmer's insurance office along Highway 101.

Bandon Cafe, 1962
Bandon Cafe, 1962

*           *           *

The tragedy that struck here Saturday morning, when three men lost their lives while attempting to cross the Bandon bar in a small recreational fishing boat, was the second such accident in recent weeks. Fortunately, the first one had a happy ending.

Although I am not sure of the exact date, I believe it was the weekend of Sept. 17-18 that another small vessel, also reportedly carrying three men, developed trouble in the ocean. The Coast Guard had sent out a helicopter and a motor lifeboat to search, and it was later reported that the occupants were rescued by another boat.

Their pleasure craft, "Open Container," ended up washing ashore in Bullards Beach State Park some 150 yards north of the lighthouse, according to Bullards park manager Ben Fisher.

Fisher said the owner of the boat was camping at Bullards.

"He declined to have the boat removed so we had the fuel pumped out and Mast Brothers towed it away. We and/or Mast Brothers will follow up with the owner to get payment for the removal," Fisher said.

Although their names have not been released, three men died in Saturday's accident, which occurred as they attempted to cross the bar shortly after 8:30 a.m.

Port officials say they do not believe the men are local, but their names had not yet been released when I was writing my column Sunday night.

Two of the bodies were plucked out of the water by the Coast Guard helicopter, which got the call about 9:20 a.m., and the third, which had washed onto the rocks, was picked up by a Bandon police officer.

Port general manager Gina Dearth commented on the dangerous bar conditions, and praised the Coast Guard for their efforts. She also mentioned that the Coast Guard vessel had already left Bandon for the winter.

The difference between a recovery effort and a rescue mission could well be having the Coast Guard vessel docked in Bandon.

This is not the first time tragedy has struck after the Coast Guard has left, and sadly it will not be the last.

I believe that, as in past years, they pretty much stay through Labor Day. Unfortunately, some of our best Indian Summer weather occurs in September and early October, which lends itself to people wanting to head for the open seas to crab.

And the combination of people not familiar with our bar conditions, and the fact that the CG has departed, often does not end well.

*           *           *

The previous Saturday, Sept. 11, I had heard that a woman's body was found in the area of Crooked Creek/Devil's Kitchen along Beach Loop road. The Sheriff's Office said it was Ann Foland, 63, Bandon, who had recently retired from Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. A spokesman for the sheriff's office said no foul play was suspected.

She and her partner, Robin Blythe-niCathain, an environmental scientist, were active in a group called Gorsebusters, who were trying to eradicate gorse from properties in the area including on the ranch on Beach Loop Drive, where they lived.

Shortly after the UCC mass shootings, Ann posted a message on Facebook saying she had just retired from UCC and urged people not to turn the tragedy into a gun debate. The instructor that lost his life was a friend of hers.

Ann and Robin were married last spring.

*           *           *

No matter how positive a spin we put on it, the Old Town street repaving project, which began today (Sept. 26) is going to be disruptive until the end of October, when it is expected to be completed.

This is the first phase of a multi-year project which will involve reconstruction of Second Street from the west end (at Devon's Boutique) to Highway 101, and Chicago Avenue from Second Street to the highway.

To help mitigate the impacts on local businesses, much of the construction will be undertaken at night . . the weeks of Oct. 3-7 and 10-14.

It is anticipated that none of the streets will have to be closed during regular daytime business hours, although part of the time the surface of the streets will be gravel with no lane or parking space markings and there will be significant noise at night.

Interim city manager Matt Winkel apologized to our businesses, their customers and Bandon residents and thanked everyone for their patience and understanding.

"Once the project has been completed, however, we are confident that the appearance, condition, and longevity of the Old Town streets will be vastly improved," Winkel said.

*           *           *

Not only will Bandon soon have a new city manager, but we have also hired a planning director, who is expected to begin work at the end of October.

John McLaughlin is coming from Truckee, Calif., where he has been Community Development Director for the past 11 years. Prior to that he held a similar position with the City of Ashland for 13 years and had previously served in progressively increasing city planner roles in Ashland since 1987.

His education includes a bachelor of science degree in geography from Southern Oregon State College and a masters in geography from LSU.

Bandon has been without an official planning director for some years, although Matt did fill the role, along with being city manager, until he retired at the end of 2014.

We are fortunate to be hiring someone of his caliber.

*           *           *

While talking with one of my youngest sister's classmates at their 40th reunion recently, Lance Handsaker of Madras asked me if I knew their mayor. It turns out it is Royce Embanks, a graduate of Bandon High School.

That got me to thinking about other former residents who have been or are serving as mayors of their communities.

Rick Lewis, who was police chief here in the early 1990s, is now the mayor of Silverton. Kelly Schellong, who attended school in Bandon and is related to Stan Goodell, served several years as mayor of Crescent City, Calif., and Dr. Rich Gorman, a chiropractor who specialized in sports medicine, was a one-time mayor of Springfield. He was the son of Ed Gorman and his wife, Margaret, who taught here for many years.

*           *           *

I was busy printing 11x19 photos for my recent talk to the Bandon Rotary Club when I decided to replace the light in one of the sockets ... which had parts of a broken-off bulb stuck inside. To be on the safe side, rather than just turn off the lights, I decided to switch off the juice at the breaker box.

The printer was clicking away as I went to the box to determine which circuit to throw ... which I did, after seeing it labeled "living room lights."

Oh yes, the lights went off ...but so did the computer and my printer ... right in the middle of a large print job.

Needless to say, the photo was ruined, unless you like to see only half a photo of the old Bandon waterfront.

A friend later assured me that it was not necessary to turn off the breaker. Simply turning off the switch would have been sufficient. But who wants to take the chance???

Ruined picture, or not.

*           *           *

The annual Bandon Feeds the Hungry Variety Show and Silent Auction will be held this Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Sprague Theater. This is a wonderful benefit for the five food assistance programs, and the coordinator, Amy Moss Strong, always welcomes donations of cash, or goods or services for the silent auction.

This is something I always support, and I hope you will, too. Maybe you will want to bid on one of the two 16x20 photos that I donated to the cause.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

September 21, 2016

The first picture I am sharing this week was taken at the west end of Second Street after a snow in 1956. Margie Cook, who lived in what is now Penny's Grotto Gifts building, can be seen sweeping the streets.

Snowy day, 1956
Snowy day on Second Street, 1956

The smaller building was The Style Shop which over the years had several different owners including Belle Shortridge and Gertrude Greenwell and Carol and Marvin Manes (as well as several different locations). Next door was the Bank of Bandon, on the left side, and the office of Western World, on the right, where I went to work in 1959. I loved having a clothing store right next door . . . as well as across the street at The Golden Rule (now the Continuum building). The bank building is owned by the Masonic Lodge and now houses Spirit of Oregon and the Cobbler's Bench. Today, you wouldn't recognize the smaller building, which is home to Esscents Candles and Accessories in front, and upstairs to Lisa Rios' neat Gypsy Wagon shop.

I love this second picture, which I may have shared online in the past, but it is so cute that I can't resist sharing it again. This was taken during the 1963 Cranberry Festival parade, and features Cindy Goodbrod, left, and Jerene Fraser riding on top of her family's float, driven by several of her brothers ... advertising what was probably Gerry Fraser's latest ice cream flavor, Cranberry Nector.

1963 Cranberry Festival parade
1963 Cranberry Festival parade

Looking over the car in front of Sadye's Confectionary are Louise Miller, right, and her two daughters, Margaret Mack and Norma Norton (later Robertson), and next to them is Margaret's daughter, Carla Mack. I can recognize Pat Hutchens, the middle of the three girls standing in front of the car, and behind them is one of the Lorenz brothers and his wife.

The third picture was taken in May of 1970 during the building of the wastewater treatment plant on the west side of Riverside Drive (or Fillmore Avenue).

Construction of the wastewater treatment plant, 1970
Construction of the wastewater treatment plant, 1970

In the back you can see the Coast Lumber Yard, which was owned for many years by George Steddom. Across the highway is the building that had served as Bandon City Hall after the fire until late 1969 when the "new" city hall was built along Highway 101, where it remains today. Also across the highway was the old second hand store.

It's amazing how often I see my little Karman Ghia Volkswagen in photos that I have taken. How I wish I still had that little car today . . .

By the way, several people brought to my attention that my parade picture last week, which I said was on First Street, was, of course, taken on Second Street. I hate it when I make those silly mistakes . . .

*           *           *

I learned this week that Amy Wood, the board certified family nurse practitioner who practices in the hospital clinic with Dr. Megan Holland, has submitted her resignation, and will be leaving sometime later this year. She has been with the clinic since July of 2015 and was hired by the district in September of that year.

I believe she has agreed to stay on until December to give the district time to find a replacement.

Several months ago, Craig Holland (husband of Dr. Holland), who was the clinic manager, also resigned.

*           *           *

You won't want to miss the program this Sunday (Sept. 25) at the museum as we commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Bandon Fire of 1936. I will be the moderator, with Jim Proehl sharing pictures from that era. Unlike our past programs, this will not only focus on fire survivors, but we will talk about what happened in the year after the fire as Bandon began to rebuild. I found all of the 1937 Western Worlds in the garage of my late uncle, Lou Felsheim, so I am going through issue by issue to put together the story. Although there weren't many photos in the paper back then, I have photographed those that were in the paper and sent them to Jim for the slide show. We kept hoping that we might find some of the originals among my uncle's possessions, but so far most of the ones we have are later than that.

The museum will open at noon Sunday, with the program to begin at 1.

One of our special guests will be "Sparky" Adams, who was born in Bandon the day of the Bandon Fire . . . which means he will be celebrating his 80th birthday on Monday, so this will be special. I have found several pictures of him in the paper as a baby, which will be added to our program.

If you love history, you won't want to miss this program.

*           *           *

I was shocked to receive an email from the Oregon State Police Sunday, titled "Five people killed in four separate crashes in Western Oregon."

These accidents occurred in about a 12-hour span in Linn, Lincoln, Polk and Douglas counties (the latter was at the off-ramp of Highway 42 onto Interstate 5).

At least two of the fatal accidents were attributed to the wet pavement. We often hear how dangerous driving can be after weeks of oil buildup on the pavement, which turns the highway to a slippery mess.

Interestingly, two of the vehicles involved in separate single-vehicle crashes were Volkswagen Jettas (one a 2001 and the other a 2003) which resulted in death for both drivers, who were alone in their cars.

*           *           *

I continue to hear stories of how hard it is to find a decently priced rental in Bandon.

It tells me one thing for sure: my two rentals are way too cheap . . . but for the most part I don't intend to raise my rents to go along "with the going rate," even though I spent over $6,000 on siding and roof repairs just this year on one property. (Not what you would call a money maker).

But when I learned that the small three-bedroom, two-bath house next to me (with only a tiny postage stamp front yard and no side yard or back yard) was advertised for $1200 a month, I was pretty much blown away.

I don't know who rented it, but the "for rent" sign is now gone, so I guess I will have to wait and see who my new neighbor is.

I realize that these prices are driven by supply and demand . . . with not much available in what I would call affordable rentals. It would be one thing if people's incomes were escalating like the rents, but they aren't.

Whether it's good or bad, I am pretty sure the demand can be tied to the number of caddies at Bandon Dunes, who number in the hundreds during the summer.

I am just not sure how people who work in the service industry, many of whom make $10 an hour, can afford to live in Bandon.

It's a problem, which just keeps getting worse.

*           *           *

I am sure a lot of you watched the Oregon-Nebraska football game Saturday and were surprised, like I was, when you realized that had Oregon elected to kick the extra point on their last four touchdowns (instead of going for four failed two-pointers), they would have won the game. Instead Nebraska, coached by former long-time OSU coach Mike Riley, won by three points.

I couldn't wait to see what Oregonian sports columnist John Canzano had to say about the game . . . and he nailed it in the opening paragraph as he mentioned the four missed opportunities ... to win the game.

I know it's just a game, but it was important to both programs, and to lose in such a fashion was certainly worth noting.

*           *           *

I was interested to read a story in the Albany Democrat-Herald this week about the three finalists for Sweet Home city manager.

One of them is Harry Staven, who served as Bandon's finance director for eight months, before leaving in August.

The other two include John Morgan, who is the executive director for The Chinook Institute for Civic Leadership, and Raymond Towry of Ephrata, Wash., who is community service director for the city of Ephrata.

Among his previous jobs, Staven served as interim city manager/treasurer at the City of Lakeside for several months. He also has experience with the city of Hoonah, Alaska; Clinton, N.C.; and Galena, Alaska.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

September 14, 2016

I want to start out by saying how much I appreciate the comments I have received this weekend (during the Cranberry Festival) from people who love to see the old pictures that I post each week. Those comments are what keeps me going each week as I sit down late Sunday afternoon and begin that week's column.

The first picture I am sharing this week was taken during the Cranberry parade of 1962 and features what I believe is the junior high band marching east on First Street. But it's the businesses that people find the most interesting. You can see Kronenberg & Waldrop Insurance (now Sassy Seagull), Ray's Pharmacy (now Winter River Books) and Carr's Variety (home to Bandon Baking Co.)

Cranberry parade, 1962
Cranberry parade, 1962

It is always fun to blow up the photos and see who I recognize in the background. Here I can see Margaret Dean, probably Howard Tucker, Marie Kronenberg and Mary Cooper to the left watching the parade. And just beneath the insurance sign in the window is pharmacist Bob Ray. In the band, I think I recognize a McCue, maybe a Fisher and probably Phillip Jenkins, toward the back.

The second photo features one of Bandon's most beloved doctors, Dr. E. F. Lucas, who brought many of us old-timers into the world at Leep Memorial Hospital (also long a memory). This picture was taken in September of 1965 at Bandon High School as he vaccinates long-time teacher Irene Willett during a vaccination clinic.

Vaccination clinic, 1965
Vaccination clinic, 1965

The third picture was taken in February of 1966 at the Port of Bandon dock as members of the United States Coast Guard (Coquille River Station) try out their new pump. In the background you get a good view of the old Moore Mill Truck Shop before it started to deteriorate.

United States Coast Guard, 1966
United States Coast Guard, 1966

*           *           *

Bandon has just celebrated another successful Cranberry Festival . . . its 70th year. I am sorry that I missed the coronation, as I have heard rave reviews about it, particularly the fact that they brought the former queens onto the stage along with 1949 queen Joan DeCosta Goodbrod and her husband, Pete, who were grand marshals this year. They were joined by their daughters, Cindy and Michelle, who were also past queens. Pete suffers from debilitating Parkinson's Disease, but he always manages to smile when he sees a friend.

You could not have asked for more perfect weather for the festival parade as the wind had not even started to blow, and when it did, around noon, it wasn't that bad. Sunday was a different story. I felt sorry for some of the vendors who spent several hours holding onto the housing of their tents to keep them from collapsing. But it was sunny and the fog had lifted, so, except for the strong winds, people seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Parking, on the other hand, continues to be a different story.

I talked to several merchants who were concerned that the large parking lot (more than 35 spaces) behind the Second Street Gallery, was completely empty, which they felt could have been a great parking spot for business owners and their employees, which would have left open more parking for visitors.

But one festival person told me that they had expected more than 100 vehicles for the car show, and had they all showed up, that lot would have been full.

But when it became clear that wasn't the case, maybe they could have opened it up Sunday for owners and employees. The ones who talked to me are not chamber members, and I have heard that a packet went out to chamber members, but I guess non-members were not privy to that information.

One former downtown business owner, Kimberly Jonas (who now operates her used book store south of town at Beach Junction) got trapped in the parking lot across from the Old Town Market and could not maneuver to get out. After her son came to her rescue and was able to back her rig out of the lot, she apparently called 9-1-1 which did bring an officer. She was hoping he could do something to keep other vehicles from getting boxed-in in the same area, but he told her the parking situation was the chamber's responsibility and he reportedly cautioned her about using 9-1-1 for non-emergency calls. She said had the local police station been open, she would have called them, but since it wasn't and she did not know what else to do, she dialed the emergency number ... not knowing how to get in touch with someone from the chamber.

One chamber member had a good idea, that maybe in the future, volunteers could help direct traffic in that parking lot so that it could be better utilized and relieve some of the frustration from drivers who were simply trying to find a place to park.

I do think there should be a way to utilize more of the parking in the area, especially on Sunday where there is not much happening on Second Street between Chicago and Alabama.

But you have to hand it to the chamber and their helpers. They do a fantastic, and mostly thankless, job to put the festival on every year, and there will always be complaints.

But the praise that I heard far outnumber the concerns . . . .

*           *           *

Some of you may have noticed the huge 11,000 pound black vehicle on Second Street (in front of Sassy Seagull) with the washer and dryer on its trailer. It definitely did not fit in with the old vehicles that lined the street, but apparently it was too large to have towed, so it remained there all day Saturday.

There is a story behind that vehicle. It belongs to my nephew, Brian Lowery, who was visiting from Sandy, with his two young children. He had gone down to Broken Anchor Friday night (before the streets were closed off) to have a couple of root beers (he doesn't drink). Unfortunately, he left his keys on the table where he had been sitting, along with three or four young women, when he got up to go to the restroom.. After they left and when he got ready to leave, he realized that someone in that group must have picked up his keys by accident. So he was unable to move his big rig off Second Street as requested by the police and the festival committee.

Saturday morning my sister called me and we began trying to figure out what to do. I guess a wrecker had come to tow him (that's what happens to vehicles left overnight) but they said it was too large for the local wrecker to tow. He explained to the police what had happened, and finally Anthony Zunino from the festival crew said he thought that the bartender would know who the girls were.

To make a long story short, late in the morning, a key was finally made for his rig (at a cost of $145), but he still needed to find his keys, which included those for his other vehicle (for which the key fob would have been $400), his trailer and his office.

The young woman who picked up his keys realized it the next morning and called someone, but she did not know who the keys belonged to. Finally at about 4 p.m. they made contact and he got his keys back. We were all thankful that they had not towed his vehicle, which could have cost about $1,000 because of its size.

At least, he can now hide his spare ($145) key.

This is one Cranberry Festival weekend he won't soon forget!

*           *           *

Every time I mention the local Price 'n Pride market, I refer to it as McKay's. It seems that old habits are hard to break. Hey, I still call Bandon Mercantile by its former name, Country Merchant, even though the name was changed many years ago.

People always correct me when I say McKay's ... but it appears they won't be able to do that much longer!!!

Bill Caldwell, a graduate of Bandon High School, happened to be at the 40-year class reunion, with his wife JoAnne, who is a sister to class member Debbie Montana.

Bill, who started working for the store many years ago as a box boy, is the new CEO of K.E. McKay's, Inc., headquartered in Coos Bay, and he said that very soon, all of their markets would be returning to the name McKay's. That means no more Freshmart or Price 'n Pride . . . just one big family of McKay's Markets.

That certainly makes sense.

Bill's father is Larry Caldwell, who also worked many years for the same company. Bill is an outstanding guy and it's great to see how far he's come since his box-boy days . . .

A real success story . . .

*           *           *

I joined my sister, Mindy, and her classmates at the 40th reunion, held at Brett Johnson's fabulous vacation rental dwelling after being invited by Linda Kistner Clausen because I taught photography to many of them. I shared a bunch of photos from my collection, taken while they were in high school, as well as a group of large photos from Bandon as it looked back then. (I had been asked to speak to the Bandon Rotary Club Friday and my topic was those old pictures).

I didn't have time to worry about my program since Karen Sinko called me Thursday morning (for husband Joe who was program chair for September) to ask me if I would give the talk . . . the next day. At first I thought they wanted me to talk about the upcoming city election, but she said they wanted me to talk about photography, so I said I would.

Brian Vick is talking to the Rotary next Friday about the ballot measure election. He grimaced when I told him before the meeting Friday what I was going to talk about, but I joked that at least they wouldn't fall asleep like they may during his presentation. Just kidding, of course!!

I talked with members of the Class of 1966, who were holding their 50th reunion at the home of Lynn and Larry Johnson. And they, too, had a fabulous time. A lot of pictures were shared on Facebook, and it's always fun to see people as they look today . . . compared to years ago.

*           *           *

I have a few well-chosen words for the tasteless float, which pictured Hillary Clinton behind bars, which drove the parade route even though it was not allowed to be in the parade, and the two old cars painted with Confederate flags, which apparently came at the end of the parade.

But I will keep my opinions to myself . . .

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

September 07, 2016

Since this coming weekend is the 70th annual Cranberry Festival, I thought this might be a good time to share a cute picture of the Cranberry Cadets . . . taken in August of 1958 with Mark O. Hatfield in front of the Western World office (now The Cobbler's Bench). Hatfield was running for governor of Oregon, a position he held from 1959 until 1967.

Cranberry Cadets, 1958
Cranberry Cadets, 1958

Although I can't identify all the young cadets, I do know some of them. Peggy Ward (Forrest) is at the far left and her sister, Sharon Ward (Moya), is third from the right. Third from the left in the back is Judy Schultz (Knox) and next to her is Sandi Iddings (Butler) and then Linda Hudson. Sharon said Sandi's sister, Kathy, is in front of her.

As you can see this was long before the motel was built on the hillside behind the Masonic Building... and we still had parking meters in the downtown area. Holy Trinity Catholic Church still sits on top of the hill overlooking Old Town.

The second picture was taken in August of 1963 of George Chappell's new Standard/Chevron Service Station on the north side of Highway 101 at the foot of the hill heading into town.

Standard/Chevron Service Station, 1963
Standard/Chevron Service Station, 1963

This lot has been empty for many years, and now provides parking for the Station Restaurant which is just west of the lot, across the highway from Face Rock Creamery.

I can see George and his son, Jack, (who was in high school at the time) talking to someone in a white car next to the station. Jill thinks it may be Gary Blake at the pumps, as he also worked there when he was in school.

Since a film was apparently shot on the Bandon beach in recent weeks, I thought this might be a good time to share my picture of the Budweiser Clydesdale Baron, filmed on the local beach during the making of a beer commercial in June of 1982.

Budweiser Clydesdale, 1982
Budweiser Clydesdale, 1982

I remember several things about the filming: one, the horse got loose and raced up the access road (across from what is now Seabird Drive and onto Beach Loop Road), which caused quite a stir. Also, while they were filming, the fog rolled in and, if I remember correctly, it stayed for two solid weeks.

I probably shared this picture before but when I took the picture, there were no rocks in the background, but in my darkroom I superimposed a picture of the nearby rocks, which I felt added interest to the picture. Had he actually been running along the beach in front of the rocks, the dark horse would not have stood out from the dark rocks in a black and white photo ... hence my decision to be creative in the darkroom.

*           *           *

In case readers of The World are wondering why Bandon wasn't mentioned in a front-page article last week about all the cities in Coos County and who was running for city council positions, my editor pal Larry Campbell assured me it was an oversight. He said Amy caught it and corrected it for the online version. Unfortunately people like me still get my news from the printed page.

I joked to Larry that I felt left out when I saw no mention of Bandon, but he knew I was only kidding. Others, however, did mention it to me and wondered if all four incumbents (Geri Procetto, Claudine Hundhausen, Brian Vick and me) were running unopposed. And the answer is yes. This is the first time in a long time that no one has filed for the council, except the incumbents.

I guess it means one of two things: either people think we are doing a good job or they simply don't care enough to run.

I can say one thing for certain that the month of August was extremely hectic for the council, with eight Skype interviews and three in-person interviews for our new city manager, which required a number of days set aside. I know it was tough for the business people on our council (like Peter Braun, Chris Powell and Brian Vick) as this is their busy time of the year, but they were all there when it counted.

This week we signed an agreement with Robert Mawson, senior accountant for Gila County, Az., who was the unanimous choice of everyone on the council. In addition to years of county government experience, he served as city manager of a small city and has extensive planning and finance experience.

We expect he and his wife will be here by at least November 1, and maybe sooner. Their eight children are grown.

His interview was last Friday, and he spent Saturday afternoon at the water treatment plant with Matt and several members of the council who joined the utilities commission in hosting the event.

*           *           *

If you see a lot of vaguely familiar faces wandering around town this weekend during the Cranberry Festival, it's because the Class of 1966 is holding its 50-year reunion and the Class of 1976 is having its 40-year reunion.

I've been invited by Linda Kistner Clausen to join the Class of 1976 (my youngest sister Mindy's class) because I taught photography at the high school in the mid-'70s and many of those students were in my class.

Lynn and Larry Johnson are hosting the 50-year reunion at their Two Mile ranch, while Larry's nephew, Brett Johnson, will host his class at his spacious vacation rental south of town.

Not sure who all is working on the 50-year reunion, but I know for sure that Sharon Ward (Moy) has been posting quite a bit about it on Facebook lately. A short list of those expected to take part include Jill Chappell, Diane Blake, Bill Burgher, Helen Donahue, John Sorenson, Bill Smith, Sandi Iddings (Butler) and Barry Winters.

I surely hope the beautiful weather holds for this weekend.

In addition to the reunions, I know that many past queens are expected to be here for the coronation and the parade, including my long-time friend Colleen Colgrove, who was queen in 1956. She has lived in the Newport area for many years.

*           *           *

I read a very sad story in this week's Curry Coastal Pilot that left a huge impression on me, and I wanted to share it with my readers.

Since Brookings, Ore,. and Crescent City, Calif., are only 26 miles apart and the same company owns both newspapers, they often have a bit of Crescent City news in the paper.

The headline reads: "Emotions run high after death of library manager."

Last Thursday morning, the Del Norte County library board met, and during the meeting, one of the board members, John Mertes (who is running for re-election) allegedly acted in a threatening manner toward the library manager, Teena Capshaw. The secretary for the Friends of the Library is quoted as saying: "He stood up and leaned over the table towards Teena, shaking his stack of papers and shouting at her and Mark Raintree. She was visibly shaking in her chair. Her hands, body and legs were shaking terribly. John's conduct was deplorable. I feel the board should censure his conduct and ask for his resignation immediately."

Not long after the meeting was over, Teena Capshaw called her daughter to say goodbye, and indicated she planned to take her own life. Although authorities searched for her, they did not find her body until 11:30 that night. She died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in her vehicle, parked at Templeman Grove near U.S. Highway 197.

Following an emergency meeting held several days later, John Mertes said he would not consider resigning because he feels he did nothing wrong. Hopefully the voters will send him packing . . .

A friend of Capshaw's told the library board "she absolutely loved this library and did all that she could do but never got an 'atta girl' or 'good job, Teena.' It was always something negative, especially from Mr. Mertes. I just have to say I'm disappointed in all of you."

Two members of the board expressed regret at how meetings had been handled. "There was behavior I let go on too long that I did not agree with myself; some behavior I didn't agree with," said one of the board members, who apparently was the chairman.

A former resident of Bandon, Kelly Schellong, served as mayor and councilor of Crescent City for a number of years, and I would certainly like to hear her opinion of what happened.

I absolutely cannot imagine this kind of conduct from any board member, elected or appointed.

I am proud of the people who serve on our boards and commissions ... and particularly of my fellow councilors.

What a terrible tragedy . . .

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It seems that "when it rains it pours" when it comes to events being held on the same night.

Because our September council meeting is slated for Sept. 12, I will not be able to take part in welcoming 3500 bicyclists to Bandon that night at City Park.

Nor will I be able to attend the Coos County Historical Society's special event, "Tapas on the Bay," to which I received an invitation this week.

A special feature will be an exciting collection of Prefontaine memorabilia, to be on display in the exhibit cases in the hall at the museum. I am thinking of sharing some of the Prefontaine pictures in my collection, which I took for Kenn Hess of The World, during his years as sports editor. I believe I have more than 50 pictures of Pre when he ran for the University of Oregon.

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In recent weeks I have received several strange email requests from people I know, like Buck Rogers and Mary McNair . . . or at least from people who had hacked their Facebook pages, with elaborate money-making schemes.

Well, this week the exact same thing happened to me, and Thursday afternoon I began getting ding after ding on my phone from people who "I" had asked to befriend me on Facebook . . but who were already my friends. I soon called Takashi and he walked me through how to change my password, which I immediately did. Others reported it to Facebook for me, hopefully before someone fell for the scam that someone was trying to pull off in my name.

I supposedly told my friends "they said I was eligible to get from $50,000 upwards and they ask me how much I want to apply for and I choose $150,000. I applied for $150,000 and I pay for the tax and clearance fee I pay for the tax and clearance fee before I got delivered."

My friend posed a question: how long have you been there now? after asking if I still lived in Bandon.

But instead of answering the question, the scammer continued on by saying "after I made the payment my money was delivered to me within 24 hours."

The grammar alone would hopefully alert my friends that it was probably not me sending out these phony messages . . .

Or at least I would hope so.

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Last week I mentioned that a Washington state police officer had been fired for responding to a nearby community, where a mass shooting was taking place.

This week a Washington paper obtained the personnel file of Brier police officer Dan Anderson, which showed that the department had concerns about his performance, driving ability and legal knowledge ... and that it decided to fire him two weeks before the July 30 shooting.

Hard to believe since he was a retired Washington State patrol officer with 25 years experience . . .but at least that's the story that is now being told.

Previous columns by Mary Schamehorn