As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

April 24, 2013

The Bandon Rotary Club is well known for its lavish parties, and Saturday night's wine and cheese extravaganza was no exception. It was well attended . . . many more than they had expected. But it appears that everyone had a fun time, the food was good, the cheese was great, and Face Rock Creamery owner Greg Drobot and head cheesemaker Brad Sinko appeared mid-way through the event with three boxes of fresh curds . . . the first from the new venture, which will open to the public Wednesday, May 8, with the ribbon-cutting scheduled for 1 o'clock.

Since the Rotary auction is one of the few events where people "dress to the nines," it's always fun to see what people are wearing. Each year I swear that I will buy some fancy, low-cut, short dress, but I always fall back on my standard old blacks slacks and a colorful jacket (probably the same red one I wore last year).

But after last night, I decided for sure that next year will be different.

We'll see ....

I remember back in the "old days" when I was first joined the City Council (late '70s), I had a favorite black and white dress, with a big white shawl collar. I kept it closed at the neckline with a fake red rose and accented it with a red belt (which I still have). I didn't realize that I wore it to almost every dressy event (and we had a lot more in those days) until then city attorney and long-time friend Myron Spady asked me one night if that was the only dress I owned. How embarrassing was that to a clothes-horse (in those days) like me?

I loved that dress so much that I hung onto it for several decades but a couple of years ago I decided to donate it to Bree's.

How I wish I'd kept it because I'd still be wearing it, even though the skirt wasn't short . . . nor the neckline low.

*           *           *

A couple of weeks ago I was calling the company that is now servicing my Indiana Avenue house mortgage. It's called Dovenmuehle Mortgage, but I guess it's still associated with Sterling Bank, because when I dialed the number, a representative of Sterling Bank in Illinois answered.

When I finally figured out how to speak to a real person and asked them a question about my account, I was put on hold for a short time. You can imagine my surprise when the recorded voice said something to the effect that if I were in the path of Hurricane Sandy "they were praying for my family."

Considering that the deadly hurricane hit the East Coast in late October of last year, nearly six months ago, I wondered why they had never bothered to change their message.

It wasn't long before I received the information I needed, as to how to access my account, so I probably won't have any reason to dial that number again.

But I would be curious as to just how long it takes them to record a more current message ....

*           *           *

The old saying goes something like this: "what goes around comes around." Several months ago a Myrtle Point man attended a meeting of the Powers City Council and gave a long rant (before the mayor finally told him he'd heard enough.) He said he had a family of, I believe, nine people, who were of a minority race, who wanted to move to Powers. People didn't have to worry about them needing a job because they were all on government assistance. He said that should fit in just fine with Powers because the "town fathers" would rather have people sell drugs than work for a living. He went on and on in that same bent . . . and all of it was contained in the minutes of the meeting. As editor of the Herald I picked up on it and it made for interesting reading.

Unfortunately for the guy, he will soon be making the news in the Herald again. He was arrested for domestic harassment and taken to jail last week.

It may serve to help put his earlier comments into perspective.

*           *           *

I hadn't heard anything about this, but a press release from the Oregon State Police told about an interesting find below the southbound Interstate 5 bridge over the Santiam River Saturday afternoon. Some children saw three containers wrapped in duct tape beneath the bridge. OSP called in their hazardous device technicians to respond and evaluate before the containers were removed.

While this was happening, I-5 southbound traffic was slowed to 25 miles an hour starting about 13 miles north of the scene. The slow roll of traffic lasted about 15 minutes.

"After removing the three containers, the technicians x-rayed them and found they each contained small dead animals and birds. It is not known who or why the containers were placed there."

Talk about a strange burial ground . . . .

*           *           *

My sisters and I have been so appreciative of the number of cards and other expressions of sympathy that we've gotten since the death of our mother on April 3.

A number of people have asked about her service, which will be Saturday (April 27) at St. John's Episcopal Church. The church service will begin at 2, with a celebration of life starting at 3 in the church fellowship hall.

It's obvious that she touched even more lives than we realized in her 96 wonderful years in Bandon.

*           *           *

To say that I've overdosed on news in the last week, with the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon and the subsequent manhunt, interspersed by the tragedy in West, Texas, would be an understatement.

I don't often spend hour after hour watching the news, but I was riveted to CNN as the capture of the second suspect took place.

The only person that I know who was in Boston during all this was Fred and Gina Carleton's youngest son, Andrew, who is a student at Boston College.

I am sure he will have plenty of stories to tell when he comes home for the summer . . . or at least on his next visit.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

April 17, 2013

Just received an interesting update on the body found beneath an RV at Anchor Inn RV Park in Port Orford last month.

It turned out not be murder, but the son of the dead man is in serious trouble. Cory Theodore Starks was questioned regarding the death of his father, Charles Owen Starks. Cory Starks confessed to burying his father under the trailer after his father had died of natural causes.

Starks was arrested by Social Security Administration investigators, and the Curry County DA has issued a warrant for Starks for Abuse of a Corpse in the Second Degree, a Class C felony.

It said the rest of the story could be found in the Beacon on Wednesday. I am not sure what that is, but my guess is that it must be one of the small newspapers printed in Port Orford.

*           *           *

Last Sunday's Oregonian carried a story about the latest young people receiving a Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship. Of the eight 2013 winners, four of them caddied at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, and two of the winners are from Bandon.

They are Claire Ledig, daughter of Dave and Julie Ledig, and Frances Merriam, daughter of Robert and Maria Merriam. Frances' grandparents, Francis and Alice Stadelman, also live in Bandon.

The Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship is a full-ride college scholarship.

The other two winners who caddied at Bandon Dunes were Kevin Johnson and Nathan Petrie, both of North Bend.

*           *           *

You can imagine my surprise when I read on KCBY's website about someone shooting at a window at the Bandon Police Department last Sunday. There was nothing in Western World, nor had the council or mayor been notified, but apparently they didn't want to go public with the information.

But from a purely personal standpoint, if someone has it out for any department in the City of Bandon, I think the council and the mayor should have been notified. I did not appreciate reading about it on the Internet . . . six days after the fact.

I know nothing more about the incident than what I read on the website, but on Monday I will try to find out why we weren't notified.

I consider it a safety issue . . . .

*           *           *

As I go through my collection of old negatives, one of my finds was a very old slide, which was probably someone's birthday party. Two of my sisters, Molly and Maggie, were in it and were probably 5 and 7. Also in the picture were Emily and Maude Capps, Catie Shindler and one of her brothers, and, I think, Jill Chappell. There were a lot of others that I couldn't identify.

Although I haven't scanned them yet, there is one group of negatives from Jan. 31, 1957, which is tagged "frozen surf." I am guessing that what looks like foam (through the black negative) is actually ice. That is four or five months after I graduated from high school and I was away at college so I don't actually remember that freeze, but it must have been something to freeze the foam.

I have hundreds of negatives, and even a few photos, of Cranberry Festival parades of past years, and while it's fun to try and identify the people in the picture it's even more fun to remember the businesses that were along Second Street (long before it was called Old Town).

I'm looking at a photo now with Boone's Hardware, Ray's Pharmacy, Bandon Florist and I am pretty sure that on the corner where the toy store is now located was The Senter Agency. Across the street was Capps Motor Co. where Harbortown Events Center and McFarlin's now stands. And right next to that, where there is now a vacant lot, was the Bandon Theater. (I lived upstairs in the theater from 1969 until 1976, renting from Jack and Shirley Ward. I paid $75 a month for a fully furnished two-bedroom apartment with full privileges to watch movies out of an opening in one of the bedrooms. Those were fun times).

I have to try and figure out how I am going to share some of these old pictures with the community, and I'm thinking of putting together a website of old pictures, along with some of my beach and lighthouse photos.

Stay tuned . . . .

*           *           *

As most people in the rural areas of Coos County know by now, the county has no noise ordinance. One Coos Bay resident called the sheriff's office shortly after 10 o'clock one night to complain about his neighbors who were blasting loud music.

When he was told the county couldn't do anything about it because there was no ordinance prohibiting loud noise, he decided to take matters into his own hands.

He said he would "blast music back."

I feel for the other neighbors, but it certainly does magnify (in more ways than one) the long-standing problem of noise in areas outside of incorporated cities . . . and no way to enforce it.

*           *           *

I saw another interesting item in the sheriff's log recently. Someone called in a "suspicious vehicle" in the North Bend area shortly after 8 p.m. It was reported that a white extra-cab pickup was sitting at an intersection with its lights on and the motor running for two hours.

Whoever investigated the call found the driver asleep in the back seat.

I am sure there is more to this story than was reported, but it certainly seems like a strange place to take a nap.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

April 10, 2013

This hasn't been a very good week, and I almost forgot it was Sunday and time to do a new column.

Our mother died Wednesday at home after suffering a stroke a week or so earlier. She was 96 and had lived a wonderful life . . . almost all of it right here in Bandon. She and dad did buy a gas station in Grants Pass in the late '30s, but quickly decided they wanted to come home, and she's been here ever since.

We will be having a memorial service for her on Saturday, April 27, at 2 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church . . . where she played the organ for over 50 years.

*           *           *

My niece, Amanda, is making a memory book for mother's memorial and wanted me to scan all the pictures I could find and send them to her. It was then that I knew it was time to learn to scan old negatives and slides. I already had "mastered" scanning photos and other documents, but not old negatives.

And now that I've learned, I've stayed up until 1 a.m. three nights in a row scanning pictures. I have a marvelous collection of negatives dating back to the mid-50s, which I saved from the Western World archives as they were on their way to the dump. It would take years to scan them all in, but each group is detailed on the outside of the envelope, so I often know the month and the year that the photos were taken (at least when my uncle Lou Felsheim was the photographer). He was meticulous in putting a lot of detail on the envelopes.

I found some pictures of the old cheese factory (before the building that was later torn down by Tillamook Cheese was remodeled). They are priceless. Several months ago there was a history article in Western World written by Jim Proehl, dedicated volunteer at the museum, which indicated that the old cheese factory was across the highway from its present location. I knew that wasn't true and talked with Jim, who said that he found out later that it was actually across Third Street, which was correct.

The modern new creamery is such a stark contrast to the old building, which had a huge "Bandon Cheese" sign on the west end of it. I may send along the picture with my column to see if Mongo will run it.

Bandon Cheese Factory

Another negative I found was the old Bandon Plumbing Shop, which years later is the Wheelhouse Restaurant. I have just begun scanning the negatives, and generally, if there is a big group of people in a picture, I have no idea who they are until I can blow it up large enough to see the faces.

This should keep me busy for years.

*           *           *

I was so proud of my beautiful tulips, which had just begun to bloom in my front and back yard. I definitely should have taken a picture of them before they were hit with 50-60 mph winds and torrential rain because they look bedraggled and broken off now.

I was happy with the wonderful spring weather we'd had the previous week, but certainly was not prepared for a winter storm to hit a few days later. I was smart enough to move some of my daffodil pots into the protection of my back deck, and they survived nicely, but it's a little hard to move things when they are growing out of the ground.

Maybe more pots are the answer to the unpredictable "spring" weather.

*           *           *

There's a lot of activity in Old Town lately. Nancy Evans opened her Bread & Wine shop last week and she was thrilled with the first-week success.

And this weekend, the Old Town Marketplace will be open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and continue every weekend through Dec. 14 in the Port of Bandon's green building on the waterfront.

Opening several weeks ago was the 101 Marketplace, which is located in the pink building just east of the new creamery.

There seems to be some concern about their signage. Apparently someone complained about their signs, which were along the highway during the times when they were open.

Since the City pretty much acts on complaints and does not drive around town looking for violations, someone must have logged a complaint. It's too bad because in this depressed economy, those who are trying to supplement their income, or earn a living, need all the help they can get.

Rumors have been flying around as to who turned them in . . . and they've jumped from one group to one individual. Rather than pointing the finger at any one in particular, I am going to try and find out who actually did complain. Maybe something can be worked out so that signage allows people to know what is going on . . . as long as it's removed as soon as the event is over for the week. That's just my idea and I haven't talked to the city's code enforcement officer about it.

*           *           *

City Manager Matt Winkel is home from RiverBend Hospital in Springfield where he was transported by ambulance last Tuesday night with a serious bout of gallstones. He not only had to have the gallstones removed surgically, but also his gall bladder.

I knew he'd had a bad cold for several weeks and called him Tuesday morning (after Monday night's council meeting) to suggest that he go to the doctor about his cold. He said that actually he was going to the doctor that afternoon for severe pains that he'd been having in his stomach . . . and the doctor put him directly into the Bandon hospital and then had him transported to Springfield that night.

He's hoping to be back for light duty in time for Monday night's budget meeting. I assured him we could handle it, but knowing Matt, he'll be there.

I'm just thankful it wasn't more serious than that.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

April 03, 2013

Things continue to look up in the business community, and the latest to open is Nancy Evans' Bread & Wine shop in her funky little spot below the arches coming into Old Town.

Monday afternoon from 4 to 6, she's having a reception, even though construction is still ongoing. She's planning to officially be open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting this Tuesday.

It will be a fun shop with Seth's fresh-baked breads, Abby's greens and a host of other locally grown food items.

Nancy has big plans, and it's great to see the little shop open once again . . . across from Washed Ashore and down the street from the new cheese factory.

*           *           *

I can remember years past when my sister, Maggie, lived in Sandy and every spring break she would bring her three children to Bandon for the week. More times than I (and she) care to remember . . . it rained. And there's nothing worse than being cooped up in a small rental with three active children.

But last week was different. There were a lot of people in town, and we had two of the nicest days (Friday and Saturday) that I can remember in a long time. I saw many young people dressed in shorts and tank tops. I had to pinch myself to remember it was late March not the middle of summer, but, of course, had it really been the middle of summer, we might have had a stiff north wind.

Saturday night it rained a bit, and it was cloudy Sunday, although a friend called me from Eugene, and it was gorgeous up there. So here's hoping that we will have good weather this week (as the state of Washington is on spring break).

This is the kind of a boost that our small shops need, and here's hoping that this is an indication of what summer will be like.

I do know that people don't seem to be spending money like they used to, but at least they are milling around and going into the shops.

*           *           *

I have a Discover card, but I've never used it. I am amused at their latest ads about late-payment forgiveness. As to whether or not this is really true hinges on one line when the person answering the phone assures the caller that since "it's the first time, you're off the hook."

My guess is that you are off the hook only once. But if someone has a Discover card and understands that you can be late with every payment, I'd love to know about it.

And if it's only one time, why create an entire ad series about something so insignificant?

*           *           *

You don't think about editorial comment on a front-section news article, but certainly a headline in last week's Register-Guard is designed to make you sympathize with a dog and its owner.

It says: "Suit alleges attack by dog, 19."

The lawsuit contends that a pedestrian, who just happened to be walking past the dog owners' house, was knocked to the ground by the dog, during which she broke her wrist and injured her neck and shoulder, and continues to be in severe pain and distress. The woman says the dog jumped on her from behind . The owners, who did not see it, say it didn't happen: the dog was just friendly and ran out to see her.

A similar situation occurred to me recently, and if the dog's owner hadn't yelled at me, I would have been knocked face-first into the ocean, along with my camera. The dog still jumped onto my shoulders, but I was prepared.

Frankly, I don't see what the age of the dog has to do with it. But the headline writer apparently felt that was important. Does it mean that just because a dog is 19 years old, he can't jump on someone and knock them down?

I'll be interested in the outcome of this case.

*           *           *

A far larger dog issue occurred on the Bandon beach last week below Strawberry Point. A visitor, her daughter and their golden retriever had gone to the beach and were at the water's edge when she heard a lot of barking from up the beach where she saw a large group of people and a German Shepherd that was barking.

The Shepherd was lunging toward them and broke free, ran down the beach and attacked the lady's dog (biting her in the arm) and forcing them into the water with waves crashing in behind her, knocking her down in the surf.

The woman said the wave knocked her off her feet while she was fighting this dog and none of the people in the large group would help her; finally the Shepherd went back.

Obviously seeing the whole thing, the people yelled "our dog has had all its shots" and ran off leaving the lady in the surf with her daughter and golden retriever, not once seeing if they were okay or not.

The lady went back to the rental, and called her husband crying. He then called the people who handle the rental of the unit, who went over and talked to her.

What really upset her is that no one would respond. Apparently Police Chief Bob Webb was on duty that day, but he was out on a residential alarm of a house that had been burglarized recently. The Oregon State Police, who apparently have jurisdiction over that part of the beach, didn't respond because the woman didn't have any information about the dog or the people.

The man who sent me the information said: "if we can't ensure the safety of the tourists visiting the beaches of Bandon, we have some real big problems."

I agree that this is a big problem.

I've since learned that there is no leash law on the sandy part of the beach, although the City of Bandon does have a leash law and the City's jurisdiction extends down to the "normal water line."

The key here is that our officers, like all others in the state, have jurisdiction throughout Oregon. And whether it's local, state or animal control, someone needs to respond.

In the meantime, I plan to carry my trusty pepper spray the next time I go to the beach.

*           *           *

Even though I've been advised to stop writing about it, more people ask me about my house in Powers than anything else I've written about. Mom's caregiver, Nova Thornhill, is busy getting it livable again as she plans to move in sometime next week. With all new glass in the smashed-out windows, a new $1200 water line, electric updates, carpets cleaned and the whole inside painted, who knows I may enjoy going up there once again. Oh yes, and most of the garbage has been sorted through and either hauled away or if burnable, it's been burned.

Hopefully I've learned my lesson, and if I ever decide to rent it again, it will be with first and last and a sizable deposit.

No more Ms. Nice Gal.

You can't afford to be a "softie" when it comes to a rental. It was an expensive lesson . . .

previous columns by mary schamehorn