As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

January 30, 2013

I attended the youth center's Bite of Bandon event Saturday night at the Community Center, and I would say it was a huge success. There were about 150 people there . . . about the same as last year . . . but the event was held at the Harbortown Events Center last year and it was crowded . . . people had to wait in line down the street and they ran out of food.

This year was entirely different. There was plenty of room for everyone to sit down and enjoy the evening, we waited in line inside the warm Community Center and there was plenty of food to go around.

Certainly the restaurants deserve a huge vote of thanks for all the food they provided, as do those who donated the auction items. I know times are hard for a lot of people, but in Bandon people always seem willing to donate their time and wares when asked.

This was a lot of work and youth center board chairman Chris Powell and executive director Ollie Jones and their crew deserve a big thank you for all the work they did to make this such a success. Chris had wife, Kim, and daughter, Ashley, helping throughout the evening, along with the other board members and youth center supporters.

I only had one small complaint, but it didn't take long for it to be rectified. A local restaurant was in charge of the bar, and the drinks were a bit spendy, with $1 from each drink going to the teen center.

Since I got there early, I was the first in line and ordered a glass of wine for $7, while a friend ordered a margarita. His drink was $10 (they only had the expensive tequila) and when the guy poured my wine, it was about an inch and a half deep in a small plastic glass. I mentioned that it was an extremely "short pour" for the price (considering what other bars and restaurants serve here), but he said he'd been instructed to do it that way. It wasn't long before I noticed that everyone who ordered wine had the normal amount, so my guess is someone else mentioned it. At any rate, I'm glad the youth center got something off the bar and that it seemed to work itself out once the party got under way.

This was a marvelous venue for an event of this size, and my guess is this will become an annual event . . . that people will definitely look forward to attending.

*           *           *

It was neat to read the sports page recently to learn that Amanda and Krissy Johnston, daughters of Mark and Trina Johnston, were now coaching the girls varsity and jayvee basketball teams at Bandon High School.

Both attended grade school in Bandon, but moved to Myrtle Point just before entering high school after Mark bought a ranch in that area. They were both stars at Myrtle Point High School, along with being outstanding scholars and wonderful young women. Both girls are married and Amanda has a little girl. They are certainly a classy addition to the coaching staff at BHS.

Mark and Trina have lived in Bandon for the last several years while Mark commutes to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, above Lincoln City, where he was recently named general manager after serving as interim since October. Mark, too, was an outstanding athlete at Bandon High School.

*           *           *

It was nice to see that Diane Smith is back in town and getting better after her long battle with leukemia.

I saw her at Ray's Saturday, but at first I didn't recognize her because she was wearing a mask to keep out germs as she has recently undergone a bone marrow transplant in Arizona.

She's been a long-time teacher at Ocean Crest School, and we understand the prognosis is good for her complete recovery.

I know a lot of people have been praying for her, and it was good to see that she is well enough to return home.

*           *           *

I was shocked to learn that McFarlin's had closed for about 6 weeks. It is a popular spot for the locals, and a friend and I stopped by there for dinner last week only to see that it was dark. I hadn't heard that it had closed until the next day. It's such a fun place, and I definitely join others in hoping that it will reopen in mid-March.

I just feel for the employees as there's no good time to be out of a job, even if it's only temporary, but winter is not a good time to be looking for a job.

*           *           *

I think we are already starting to see the effects of the Washed Ashore exhibit as there are now several huge sculptures in the vacant lot between the Bandon Coffee Cafe and the Harbortown Center. They've only been up for a few days but I've already seen quite a few visitors and locals stopping to look at them.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

January 23, 2013

It was sad to learn that Mary Smith had died several days after suffering a massive stroke. Several of us had seen or talked to her in the store only a few days earlier, so it was a shock to learn of her death. She was well-known and well-loved in Bandon, where she had spent most (if not all) of her life. In later years, she was known affectionately as the "flower lady" for hosting beautiful flower shows at The Barn for many years.

A few years ago the Port of Bandon honored Mary by holding a flower show in her honor in the glass building on the Boardwalk. I believe I was still working for the paper because I took a number of great pictures of Mary, one of which I posted on my Facebook page. Gary Faules has also posted several pictures of Mary in her younger days. She was a beautiful woman, both inside and out.

*           *           *

As the Old Town merchants struggle to keep afloat, they have something to look forward to this spring. Not only is Face Rock Creamery scheduled to open in the late spring (grand opening scheduled for May), but Washed Ashore has leased the entire back of the Harbortown Events Center building and will probably have their exhibit ready for the public to view sometime in February.

It is sad to think that there won't be any more events in the Harbortown Center, as it was a nice venue, but that will mean the Barn/Community Center should see its usage increase.

The boost that both the Washed Ashore exhibit and the cheese factory could bring to Bandon is sizable, and I know a lot of people are anxiously awaiting the opening of both.

Washed Ashore has been featured across the Northwest in magazines and other publications, and people are blown away by the size of the sculptures that have been created out of plastic that has washed up on the local beaches. I saw them mentioned in the Eugene Register-Guard Saturday as they were to be at the 8th Annual Good Earth Home, Garden and Living Show at the Lane County Fairgrounds over the weekend.

The art exhibit was also mentioned in the Home and Garden Monthly: "This year's show features a traveling exhibit of giant sea creature sculptures made with plastics and trash found along Oregon's beaches. Including a striking jelly fish, sea lion, turtle and fish, the exhibition was created by, a Bandon-based non-profit with a mission to create awareness of how trash affects ocean ecosystems." Angela Haseltine-Pozzi is the "brainchild" behind this exhibit, which should bring lots of people to Old Town to see what they've heard so much about.

It goes without saying that a lot of people have been waiting a long time for the return of a cheese factory to Bandon . . . and it's soon to be a reality.

*           *           *

We've been having an extended cold spell, but along with that has come the sun (except for 3 days of fog) and no rain. As I write this Sunday morning, it is bright and sunny. I don't know how long it's supposed to last, but it's a delightful break in the middle of winter.

Last Tuesday, on one of the coldest days of the year, the big electric furnace at the Herald newspaper, where I work two days a week, decided to go out. Although I had a small radiant heater in my tiny office, my two colleagues nearly froze to death. Melody Shorb was wearing several coats, a hat and gloves . . . while still trying to put a paper out.

I understand the new motor came sometime Thursday, and I'm hoping that by the time I get there on Tuesday, it will be repaired. On Wednesday, I wore hand warmers inside my fingerless gloves, and even then my fingers felt funny for a couple of days.

It certainly gave me a new appreciation for what homeless people have to endure when it is freezing cold outside . . . and I was inside.

*           *           *

It was good to learn that Harvey "Skip" Longanecker, a BHS graduate who is very active on Facebook and on the Bandon sites, is home from the hospital. He suffered diastolic heart failure, and was gravely ill for several days, but is now well enough to return to his home just outside Portland. Sharon Ward Moy, who lives in Lake Oswego, keeps us updated on Skip as she hears from his wife, MaryLou.

Facebook has definitely provided the connection we need to keep in touch with each other.

*           *           *

It would be interesting to know what really prompted Chip Kelly to jump ship and leave the University of Oregon . . . especially when only a week earlier he had announced he would stay. Maybe he just likes seeing his name in huge headlines . . . but my guess (and that of many others) is it has something to do with the NCAA sanctions that are forthcoming.

When you consider that barely a year ago he received an occupancy permit for the giant (6,300-square foot) house he built for himself, now dubbed by the R-G as "Kelly's Vacant Castle," it seems that he really did plan to stay at Oregon.

I guess the 2,500-square foot house he bought in 2007 for $525,000 wasn't large enough for him.

In this market, his castle, valued at $1.1 million, may be a tough piece of real estate to sell . . . . .

By the time you read this, it appears that Marshfield High School graduate Mark Helfrich will be the ducks new coach. Hopefully the Ducks will continue to be the success story that they've been under Kelly, but a bit more people "friendly."

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

January 16, 2013

As I sit down at the computer to write my weekly column, I can hardly feel my fingers . . . and that is not good when you're trying to manage a keyboard. I'm sure you remember how cold it was Sunday evening, well that's when I chose to go down to the beach at Face Rock Viewpoint. Several hundred pictures later, and unable to feel my fingers, I decided it was time to head up the stairs to the car.

I'll have it admit it was a bit easier going up than it was coming down, because I slipped on the wet sand just as I approached the beach, and got a few grains of sand on my lens. The smart thing would have been to turn around and go back home to find some lens tissues, but instead I used my gloved finger to brush it off because I didn't want to miss the gorgeous sunset.

I can't wait to see my pictures . . .and to see if my little mishap caused any damage to the lens. I don't think it did, but I told myself as I climbed down the stairs that I should put the lens cap on, but who listens to themselves?

Certainly not me ...

*           *           *

I learned several days ago that BHS graduate Harvey "Skip" Longanecker had suffered diastolic heart failure and is now in Kaiser, Sunnyside, Hospital in the Portland area. He seemed to be getting a bit better by Sunday, but still wasn't up to phone calls or visits. Although the family didn't want their address printed for all to see, if anyone would like to send Skip a card they can email me at and I will provide his home address.

I know this must have come on pretty suddenly, because he and I were communicating on Facebook earlier in the week.

He's a very popular guy and we're all praying that he will get better soon.

*           *           *

I don't know what there is about huge dogs and me ... but I seem to be a dog magnet, and considering that I'm a bit fearful of being jumped on, maybe that's why they head straight for me.

At a house party recently, I was the first to arrive, and once inside the house I was immediately greeted by the couple's huge rescue dog . . . who jumped up on my shoulders. I jumped back and explained nicely that I didn't really want to be jumped on, but, you guessed it, he pretty much followed me around all evening. But there was no more jumping, which was good.

I had a similar experience tonight.

I saw a friend of mine walking her large black lab on the beach, and I didn't think too much about it because he was on a long leash. But I had my back to them and was busy taking pictures, when the woman yelled, "watch out, Mary," or something to that effect as the black lab jumped onto my back. Had she not warned me, I probably would have been knocked down. He's just a big friendly dog, but dog lovers simply don't understand that people who are afraid of big dogs, or even if they're not, do not appreciate being jumped on ... particularly from behind.

I still remember when I was in high school, a close friend had a Doberman, and everyone knew he could be vicious. But, one day I had gone to their house and didn't think too much about it because the dog was with them as they greeted me at the front porch.


I was wearing a copper bracelet, and apparently it glistened in the sun, and he lunged for my arm. I pulled back and he tore a big hole in my jeans. After that I called ahead to make sure he was locked away in the garage before I would even venture onto their property.

Not long after my incident, he injured a woman, and they put him down.

Certainly that was not the case with the two dogs that jumped on me recently, because they were both exceedingly friendly.

But when you're wary of dogs, it's still disconcerting.

*           *           *

When I wrote about the massacre of the trees at St. John's Episcopal Church (on the corner of Eighth, Edison and Franklin) I hadn't actually seen the terrible mess. I had just heard about it. Since then I have heard a lot more about it, so decided that tonight on my way to the beach I would actually see for myself what all the cry was about.

Well I saw it, and it was worse than people had described. I have no earthly idea why it would have been necessary to cut almost every tree on the property, even those that posed no threat to anyone or anything, but they did.

I know for one thing, I definitely won't hire that person to do any landscaping for me.

And if you don't believe me, drive by and see for yourself.

*           *           *

My favorite computer tech put something on my computer called CCleaner, but he forgot to tell me how often to use it. So I decided I would give it a try last night, and immediately something popped up, which read: This process will delete files from your computer."

Wow, I asked myself, why would I want to do that?

So, until I talk to Takashi I guess CCleaner will just be an icon on my computer. Heaven only knows which files it would decide to delete, but I wasn't willing to take the chance.

*           *           *

I called a friend Sunday, who was in Flagstaff helping to care for his parents, to tell him how cold it had gotten here Saturday night. I mentioned the icicles that had formed on my hot tub, and he started laughing. It was minus 10 degrees that morning in Flagstaff and he had way more than a few icicles to deal with.

Made our little 30 degree chill look like a heat wave . . . but for here, it was cold. But I can handle the cold as long as it's accompanied by the sun.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

January 09, 2013

I never knew that buying a new computer could be such a learning experience. Actually, I never knew very much about my old computer, but I knew enough to use Microsoft Word for my column, how to send and receive emails, a bit about Facebook and how to print photographs. I didn't realize how much I didn't know until I got a new computer that was supposedly five times faster (whatever that meant.) It is an Acer gamer computer, but it wasn't long before things got REAL slow, and I blamed it on my computer.

One night, everything began happening at once, from icons popping off the screen, to the screen getting lighter and lighter . . . and not being able to close anything after I finally got it open .

Takashi of Haruna Computers and a competent tech from Comspan came to my rescue.

Comspan discovered that my wireless router wasn't working correctly, and now the problem of slow Internet, or being timed out, is over.

My computer problems weren't as easy to solve, and Takashi said for the first time in his life he actually worked on New Year's Day . . . on my computer.

When he left after bringing the computer back, he said jokingly that he wouldn't see me for a year.

But things weren't the same as I remembered; I couldn't even find the Word document, so I began making notes of everything that I thought was wrong with it or things I couldn't find.

Then I remembered that Takashi was taking Dante back to college and I was on my own. So I began trying to figure things out on my own; it wasn't easy but when the day was over, my 10-page list was down to almost nothing, and I can truly say I had learned a lot.

I'm just sorry that I never took lessons to learn everything that these computers can do .... and maybe it's time to do that before I run into more (probably self-imposed) problems.

But right now, as I write this, my computer and the Internet are working better than I could have dreamed . . . thanks to Takashi, Comspan and me.

*           *           *

Several people have come up to me lately to complain about the mass cutting of the trees around St. John's Episcopal Church. They wondered if any of the trees that were taken down were in the City right of way, and I talked with Matt who assured me they weren't.

I haven't been attending church there lately so I haven't actually seen what happened, but one person suggested they might be building a new parking lot, which seemed a bit strange to me since the congregation appears to be dwindling ... rather than growing.

I know that some of the trees were considered dangerous, and limbs had fallen in an earlier windstorm, but I'm not sure why so many needed to be removed . . . and neither could those who talked to me about it.

*           *           *

I almost never enter any kind of photo contest, but after receiving a press release at The Herald from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife seeking hunting and fishing photos, I decided to see what I had in my files.

I found a great shot of a fisherman casting a line on the Umpqua River near Steamboat Inn, and followed the directions (well, not at first) to post it on the ODFW Outdoors Facebook page.

I had no trouble getting it on there the first time I tried; unfortunately it wasn't on the contest page, and I had to start over. The second time it was quite a bit harder, but finally a message popped up and thanked me for my entry so I figured out it was on there.

The winners in each of four categories (adult and youth fishing and hunting) will receive a $100 gift certificate from Cabelas.

So far, four or five of my Facebook friends have voted for my picture, so if you're on Facebook and you don't have anything else to do, you might want to look at the entries . . . and vote for your favorite. No pressure from me... but the winners will be those with the largest number of votes.

*           *           *

If you haven't visited the Continuum Building in Old Town Bandon lately, you may want to. A new artists co-op has opened under the name "Art By the Sea," in the shop area formerly occupied by Bandon Art Supply (BASS). The gallery members have done a fantastic job of remodeling the space and it looks more like a high-end gallery than a former art shop. The artists take turns manning the shop during the hours that they are open. I think, for at least the winter months, they are closed on Monday and Tuesday, but they are pretty much open the rest of the time.

Their walls are covered with wonderful art, both paintings and photographs, and sleek black cases showcase pottery, jewelry, hand-made purses and other art work.

It's a treat just to wander through the gallery and see the work of the many accomplished artists we have here on the South Coast.

*           *           *

What a difference a year can make. I remember that when we celebrated my mom's 95th birthday last year, on Jan. 9, it was so warm and beautiful out that we actually held her party on my back deck.

Well, her 96th rolled around, and my sisters and I and one of mom's caregivers, Nova Thornhill, bundled up and met at the Wheelhouse for a nice birthday lunch.

I doubt that we will ever again see the kind of winter weather that we had last year ... but I keep hoping.

Mom has her good days and her bad days, and fortunately, she had a good day Sunday. She wears out quickly, but is still able to pretty much go out to the beauty parlor and make an occasional trip to her favorite place ... the Bandon Library.

We're just thankful that she is still with us ....

There aren't too many Bandon natives like my mom and Hugh McNeil left, and I'm not sure which is the oldest, but I do know that Hugh still drives, which is something mother no longer does.

*           *           *

My pal Fred Gernandt sent me a picture this week of garbage spread across the entire street just east of Edison Avenue on 13th Street. He has obviously been reading my rantings about the garbage situation in Bandon.

Matt and I plan to meet with the managers of Bandon Sanitation soon to see how garbage can be better handled, and to find out if other communities that they serve have the same problems we have.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

January 02, 2013

You don't expect to read the obituaries to find a testimonial about Bandon, but that's what I found last week when looking over the obits in the Sunday Register-Guard. I thought the woman looked familiar, although I wasn't sure, but when I saw that she was born in Coquille, I figured I really had known her.

She was a member of the Kern family, who, I think, have owned a cabin over the bluff across from Sunset Motel for many years.

Her obit said Lucille Jane "Lu" Kern Rodman "was known for her love of Bandon where she spent vacations with her troupe of kids, animals and friends."

*           *           *

While shopping in Old Town last week I visited Danielle Benjamin's new Raven soap shop (formerly Benjamin's Attic) on Baltimore Avenue, and what a treat it was.

Danielle makes her own soaps, cold crèmes, lotions, etc., and her entire shop is beautifully coordinated by colors and scents. If you have a moment, she'll even explain how she makes her soaps and show you her extensive line of exotic oils and herbs.

I bought a special orange-scented crème, and another scented with a rich cherry. And she gave me a small vial of tangerine-scented oil, which can be added to bath oils or as a room freshener.

If you haven't visited her shop, be sure and do so.

It really is a treat.

*           *           *

If I sound like a broken record when it comes to garbage, it's because it is such a "sore subject" with me. Don't look down when you're driving around because you will be appalled by the amount of garbage that has blown out, or been torn out of sacks by birds, since the winter winds started. Every week I try to pick up all the paper that has blown into my yard, except for the big pieces that are under the rhodies next to the house and I will probably wait until summer to go after that.

After learning that the garbage company planned to have someone accompany the garbage truck on windy nights (mornings) to pick up the garbage that had blown around, Brian Vick and I talked about it a couple of days ago, and he says there was only one guy on the truck (and no one in another vehicle), which accounts for the amount of garbage I found this week.

I went over to Indiana Avenue, the next street over and near where I have a rental and found garbage everywhere.

I guess it doesn't bother some people, but it bothers me. I've talked to Matt about it and I think we will put something in the city bills, or maybe encourage the garbage company to put something in their bills, letting people know that they can put a bungee cord around their can (good luck, I couldn't make it work) or put a heavy piece of concrete on their can to keep the lid from opening.

But that's only when it's windy.

There is a guy on our street who pretty much throws his garbage in loose or in unsecured white plastic bags and a week or so ago, when it was blowing about 50 and raining sideways, I noticed his can had blown over and garbage was oozing out onto the ground. I stopped and ran over and got as much as I could back in the can and pointed it toward his house, hoping it wouldn't blow out but I am not sure it worked because there was a lot of garbage around the next day.

If anyone has an idea of what should be done, please let me know.

As you well know, cat food bags, plastic bags, paper cups, etc., are not biodegradable and until someone picks the stuff up, it will continue to blow around.

One of my readers also mentioned the fact that when people distribute phone books, they are often left at vacant houses where they eventually end up in the garbage stream.

I know for a fact that's true because a relative of mine distributed phone books several years ago and he said he was instructed to leave them at each house . . . no matter whether anyone had lived there in months or years. Just get rid of them.

I've also seen Coffee Breaks blowing around, and I hope that whoever distributes them realizes that places like the Bakery close for January . . . so please don't leave them in front of the door for someone else to pick up.

Actually, I'm about ready to give up on the garbage issue and I am sure my readers are saying "thank heavens," but I don't want our town to look like no one cares, when I know most people do.

*           *           *

My computer, on the other hand, is another question. I had to hurry and do my column Saturday night for fear I might not have my computer tomorrow, or that it would no longer work. I have been having nothing but problems, involving both the Internet and the computer.

A very nice Comspan tech came over Friday and determined that it was one of my routers. The wireless router, which we had put in, apparently wasn't working properly. He then took it out of the system and began to install a new Comspan router, but when I realized it would no longer be wireless, I decided to go ahead and pay the $75 for a wireless router so others who visit could use it, as well.

I had tried to get on Amazon Christmas night for over an hour and I was "timed out" probably 40 or 50 times. I finally managed to get on to order my printer ink and some HP high gloss paper, but I couldn't even look at my cart before I ordered because it kept saying "check your Internet connection." Hopefully that is taken care of, but my computer is still acting up. I've lost my solitaire game several times lately, and each time I get an error message that says: "critical error; failed to create directX device.' If anyone knows what that means, I would appreciate knowing.

To say that I don't understand computers is an understatement but a few months ago I bought an Acer computer that was supposed to be five times faster than my old one .. and I have had nothing but problems since. Maybe it's Windows 7, I'm not sure, but I wish I could have my old computer and Windows XP back . . . but I guess it's too late.

*           *           *

I received a letter from a fourth grader named Kennedy (no last name) at a Hillsboro elementary school who wanted information about Bandon. I had just printed a bunch of scenic pictures (yes, my computer is good for that) so I decided to pick up some brochures on Bandon at the visitor center and send them along with my pictures. Hopefully that is what he's looking for. Actually I assumed it was a boy, but I guess Kennedy could also be a girl's name, so I'll just address the letter: "Dear Kennedy" ... better than making a mistake.

previous columns by mary schamehorn