As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

January 29, 2014

The City learned recently that the dam on Ferry Creek (one of our two water sources) has developed a leak, which ultimately could affect the city's water supply.

City Manager Matt Winkel said it is not impacting the water supply now, at this time of year. City staff, engineers and members of the Water Resource Committee are working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, who own the dam, to get it repaired before summer, when the water use increases.

ODFW's fish hatchery staff has lowered the reservoir down a bit and may have to lower it further to find the leak. The Ferry Creek water is also critical to the fish hatchery operations.

"We're all working to come up with a solution, but we don't know the magnitude of the problem and we won't know until we can draw the water down further in the reservoir to locate the leak," Winkel said.

Speaking of Ferry Creek, it was back in 1941 when the creek overflowed its boundaries (which weren't channeled like they are now behind the Station Restaurant and along the north side of Highway 101) and flooded most of the downtown area. I'll share a couple of pictures, including one of the creek behind the restaurant, which clearly shows there was nothing keeping it in its channel. The house in the picture belonged to Mrs. Coats, but it burned down many years ago.

Ferry Creek flood of 1941
Ferry Creek (behind what is now the Station Restaurant) when it flooded the whole town in 1941. The truck shop building can be seen in the background.
Photo courtesy of the Bandon Historical Society Museum.

The other picture I am sharing is the Standard Oil service station, owned and operated for many years by the Chappell family. It has long since been torn down, and all that remains is the vacant graveled lot next to the Station Restaurant and across from the parking lot for the new Face Rock Creamery.

Ferry Creek flood of 1941
The Standard station taken during the flood of 1941. Photo courtesy of the Bandon Historical Society Museum.
The building at right is an old foundry, which survived the Fire of 1936, but was later torn down. It would have been directly across the highway from what is now Face Rock Creamery and in the front yard of the house at 685 Second Street, owned for many years by Mary Schamehorn and her family and now by Michael and Nancy Mascio.

*           *           *

It's hard enough to please one group of people, but when you deal with three or four groups of theater-loving locals, it can be a bit overwhelming.

Jeff Norris, long-time manager of the Sprague Theater, has notified the City of Bandon that he is resigning that position. But he will continue to manage The Barn/Community Center.

For most of the events that have occurred at the theater over the past several years, Jeff could be found upstairs dealing with lights or sound . . . or both, and it's been a big - sometimes thankless - job.

Not sure what specific incident it was that finally "pushed him over the edge," or maybe he's been wanting to get out from under the load for quite some time, but he will be hard to replace.

It's one of those big, behind the scenes, jobs, and Jeff deserves a big vote of thanks for his efforts and the fact that he will continue to manage the Community Center.

*           *           *

There's a move afoot to change the city's charter to allow people who live outside the city limits, but within the boundaries of the Bandon School District, to run for city council ... as long as they are property owners in town.

I've thought for a long time that people who own a business in Bandon should have a say in issues pertaining to their business. But unless the charter is changed, that won't happen.

*           *           *

By the way, in last week's column I wrote about the program at the museum to talk about the high school arson fire of 1974. I got the date right. It is on Feb. 20, but that's a Thursday and not a Tuesday. I think it will be a great program for those who were in school at that time . . . as well as newcomers who know only about the two "big fires" . . . of 1914 and 1936.

So please mark your calendars . . . for the correct date AND day.

*           *           *

I don't know that everyone reads our city manager's newsletter, but in case you don't and you're a customer of the City of Bandon's utility department, there's something you need to know.

If you're like me, when I got my utility bill last month, I was blown away by the fact that it was no higher than the previous month, even though we'd had some serious cold weather and I'd been using a lot of electric heat. Trying to figure it out, I began to look at the number of days for which I was being billed and found that it was only 24 days . . . instead of the normal 30 or 31 days. No wonder the bill was lower than I had expected.

That, of course, means that the bill that we are receiving this week will be quite a bit higher than anticipated, because it will be a 35-day billing cycle.

As Matt explained, you won't be paying any more than you would for an average two-month period in the winter, but because of the holidays, it skewed the dates the meters were read . . . and thus the inequity. He promised that we'll try to do better next year.

*           *           *

In my many years in Bandon, I don't believe I have ever seen a 77-degree day in the middle of January, but that's what we experienced Friday. In fact, one of my friends said her vehicle thermometer registered 80 degrees at about the same time. If this weather pattern continues, it may well be that people remain here in the winter . . . and leave during the summer to escape our cold north wind.

I know that the whole Pacific Northwest will suffer if we don't get rain, but I can only say it's great while it lasts. My sister, who lives in the Portland area, arrived here Thursday night and considering the dense fog they've been experiencing for the last couple of weeks, this was the kind of "spend the day at the beach day" that she dreams about.

She recounted that one day last week the visibility was so limited that she actually got lost in an area that she knew well . . . but she simply could not see the road signs or tell where she was. The fog was that bad.

*           *           *

We've had some "interesting" planning commission meetings lately, so it was cool when the man who televises our council meetings (PEG Broadcast Services) volunteered to cover the commission meetings, at no extra charge to the city. Maybe he'd heard about the previous meeting, but whatever prompted his offer, it was welcome. I listened to a tape of the meeting, but it wasn't like seeing it live . . .

The meetings can be found on Charter at Channel 14 and at Comspan on Channel 73. Unfortunately, us satellite people don't get either channel, which is too bad. But we can still go on line and watch the meetings on demand at I went on line to watch Merkley's Town Hall, even though I was there.

This week's Charter schedule (Jan. 24-31) for the planning commission meeting of Jan. 23 will be 2:55 and 8:55 a.m. and p.m. The times are the same for ComSpan, but the dates are Jan. 27 through Feb. 3.

*           *           *

I've learned that Art Brewer, the very popular long-time Ray's Food Place manager who lost his job last month, is now working for McKay's Market/Price n' Pride at their Myrtle Point store.

Certainly our loss is their gain, so if you're in Myrtle Point, you may want to stop in and say hello.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

January 22, 2014

Bandon will be observing a couple of anniversaries this year . . . both, unfortunately, relating to devastating fires. The first, of course, is the 40-year anniversary on Thursday of the arson fire which destroyed the high school on Jan. 23, 1974.

The second anniversary is in June, which is the 100th anniversary of the Bandon Fire of 1914, commonly referred to as the "first Bandon Fire." It destroyed much of the business district along the waterfront.

I may have already mentioned this, but as my sister Molly was going through some of mother's possessions after she died in April, she found an original Western World, published the week after the fire. For a hundred-year-old paper, it is in remarkably good condition. I took it down to the museum where they made a copy of the front page for their records.

As we get closer to that date, I will share with my readers some of the fascinating stories from that old paper and several pictures I have showing how the town looked before that first fire.

But back to the high school fire. Although the museum is closed for the month of January, I have shared my pictures of the fire and Jim Proehl and Co. are busy putting together a program, which will be presented to the community on Tuesday evening, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. at the museum. I will serve as narrator for the program since all of the pictures were taken by me that night while reporting for the Western World.

I probably already mentioned this, but the reason I have the negatives and was able to share them with the museum and ultimately the community is because I managed to save box after box of old negatives as they were being hauled to the dump by a new owner of the Western World (back in the '70s). I took care of them for many years and am only now being able to share them as I scan them into my computer and watch them come alive on the screen.

I can remember most of what happened the night of the school fire like it was yesterday. Those kinds of events have a way of etching themselves permanently into one's memory.

With this column, I will share a picture or two taken the day after the fire as stunned students combed through the ruins trying to find something they could save. (I will say that today the entire area would have been cordoned off with yellow police tape and it is doubtful that anyone, let alone a group of grieving students, would be allowed into the site. But that was then, and it's important to point out that no one was injured and it would have been a shame to deny them that opportunity for closure).

Bandon Hish School Fire of 1974
Student Wade Schirmer digs through the remains of the high school following the disastrous fire of 1974.

Bandon Hish School Fire of 1974
Students, including Linda Moody, left, share with each other what they are finding in the remains of the high school.

*           *           *

I was always wondering why a person would want a laptop computer if they had a desktop, with a giant monitor, at home on their desk. Now I know.

I'd heard about CyberLynx for several years, but never bothered to sign up for their computer classes. Now that I'm not working, I decided it was time to learn something about computers, and am I glad I did. I've already signed up for several of their free classes and open labs, and last week I was one of a big group of novices who enjoyed Stephanie Polizzi's PowerPoint class. Having been fortunate enough to use one of the CyberLynx laptops (because I signed up early), I realized that it would be much better to have my own laptop rather than borrowing one or not having one available.

I started looking for one that might suit my needs, and I began to focus on a Toshiba, but it wasn't until I visited Takashi Haruna Friday did I learn exactly what to buy . . . and why I needed an Intel processor with an i5 or an i7 core. And Toshiba was one of the three brands he recommended, so I ordered one with an i5 core (whatever that means), and can't wait for it to get here.

I will definitely be signing up for other CyberLynx classes, and certainly appreciate all the effort Maureen Haggerty and Bill Russell have put forth to bring these classes to local residents. Maureen is the executive director of CyberLynx and Bill says he "works for her," but from what I've seen he's long been a big part of this important venture into helping locals learn more about their computers. Another long-time volunteer is Carolyn Sorenson.

Once I learn PowerPoint, I hope to share some of my many negatives of Bandon with the community . . . but at the rate I learn, it may be awhile.

*           *           *

I just finished watching the Seattle Seahawks earn the right to play in the Super Bowl for only the second time in franchise history, and it was a pretty exciting game.

During one of the commercials, they showed a picture of Chambers Bay golf course in Washington, which will host the US Open in June of 2015. The course has ties to Bandon in that general manager Matt Allen was the assistant manager, under Hank Hickox, for several years, until he was promoted by Kemper Sports and went to the new Chambers Bay course.

The Open will bring most of golf's greatest to the Pacific Northwest.

*           *           *

Not only have we been having fabulous weather in the last couple of weeks (I enjoyed lunch outside in front of Pacific Blues both Thursday and Friday in the hot sun), but the three-day weekend (Martin Luther King Day) brought visitors to Bandon.

As I drove down Edison Avenue (Coast Guard Hill) Saturday evening after attending Senator Jeff Merkley's town hall, I saw that Edgewaters was absolutely packed . . . as was McFarlin's. In fact, McFarlin's was so crowded that friends of mine couldn't even find a table.

I stopped at Foley's, which wasn't very crowded, where I joined Coos County Commissioner John Sweet and his sister, Sue, for a nice dinner. They had also been at the Town Hall.

This is the kind of boost we need during the "shoulder season."

It didn't hurt that the TV weather announcers have been telling their viewers that while heavy fog has been blanketing most of the state during this latest "high," the Oregon Coast was the place to go for plenty of sunshine.

*           *           *

The 11th annual Women's Health Day will be Saturday, Feb. 15, at The Barn in City Park. A noted physician from OHSU, a physical therapist from Salem, a Laughter Young leader, and a nutrition expert are among the featured presenters. The theme for the event is "Ageless Beauty."

Women's Health Day is sponsored by Southern Coos Health Foundation, Southern Coos Hospital, OSU Extension Service and paid for in part by a grant from Trust Management Services, Inc.

The cost is $10, which includes morning snacks and lunch.

People are asked to register in advance and can send their name, address, phone, email address and payment to Southern Coos Health Foundation, PO Box 1933, Bandon. For more information, call 541-329-1040.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

January 15, 2014

One of my long-time friends and former Bandon middle school teacher Jean Albrich visited Bandon Thursday . . . for the first time since she left here 30 years ago. We had fun catching up on her four children and grandchildren.

But the most fun was driving around Bandon and seeing all the changes that have occurred in 30 years.

She was blown away when she drove into Bandon from the north . . . and saw the Bandon Shopping Center, which must have been built soon after she left. As we drove around the Beach Loop, the area was almost unrecognizable to her as it has built up so much in the last 30 years. She had never seen the Sprague Theater or the new library.

In this week's column I am adding a few pictures from the past including the Barn (now the Community Center) in City Park (from 1961), which has changed dramatically over the years. The other is former long-time superintendent Roland L. Parks pointing to the old quonset hut (on Feb. 18, 1971), which served as an elementary school. What remains of the old building still stands on June Avenue in east Bandon adjacent to the Bandon High School baseball field.

the Barn
The Barn (now the community center) in City Park in 1961

quonset hut
The old quonset hut in east Bandon (on June Avenue), which served as an elementary school. The building still stands, but is in disrepair.
Supt. Roland L. Parks points to the building in February of 1971

*           *           *

As I watched the NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints Saturday, I thought of the old adage, "be careful of what you wish for."

When I moved to my "new" house four years ago, I was sad to learn that this one residential street did not allow me to hook up to Charter, which I'd had for years at my old house. So I reluctantly agreed to go with Dish satellite.

It wasn't long before I realized what a good decision that had been: only Dish customers have access to the Pac 12 network, which carried several important games last season that could not be accessed anywhere else.

I was down at Pacific Blues Saturday having a quick cup of Jason's famous red pepper bisque soup when he turned on the TV to watch the Seahawks game on Charter.

But all he got was snow and no sound. He called home, where he also has Charter, and the result was the same. No game for him.

I raced home, hoping that it wasn't a problem with Fox Sports network, and it wasn't, the game was beautiful on Dish . . . which was just one more reason I was glad I'd signed up for the satellite . . .but Dish, not Direct.

I can only imagine the phone calls that Charter received as many people were looking forward to this important playoff game . . . right here in the Pacific Northwest.

*           *           *

Saw a Facebook post Sunday from my nephew's wife. They live in Bartlesville, Okla., and she said last Sunday it was 11 degrees below zero; Sunday it was 71 degrees . . . a shift of 82 degrees. Ironically, it was pretty much the same here although, of course, not as drastic. Last Sunday, it was 71 degrees on the Umpqua Bank clock; Sunday it was cold, wet and miserable, but the forecast is for sun mid-week, which will be good.

*           *           *

I didn't realize Facebook was so picky about what people post, since I have seen some pretty stupid, derogatory posts, which made me realize I didn't want to see any more of the person's site.

But something Facebook removed last week made Northwest Cable News. It seems that Marilyn McKenna, the wife of former Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, posted a picture of herself with both legs in one leg of the pants she had worn before she lost 120 pounds. She was hoping to inspire others, but Facebook wouldn't let her post the photo because it promotes an "idealized body image."

McKenna said Facebook officials told her users aren't allowed to post before-and-after photos or anything with a scale or a tape measure.

When a TV reporter asked a Facebook person for a comment, he said they had no record of removing the photo from McKenna's account.

She was proud of her accomplishment, and the fact she has kept the weight off for six years, and who could blame her? Besides Facebook, that is.

*           *           *

Sad to learn that parents (or guardians) were too busy doing whatever to take their youngsters to a wonderful Christmas event, Shop With Heroes, designed just for them. This is the second year the Bandon Police Department has invited children to come to the Barn and pick out Christmas gifts for their family . . . and even a present for each child. The excitement on the faces of the little ones was priceless as they studied each table trying to find the perfect gift for a family member.

They sent out 85 invitations, but only 46 children took advantage of the wonderful opportunity to "shop" for up to 10 people with the aid of a "hero," and have their presents wrapped by a group of volunteers who helped with the program.

Much of the credit goes to Sarah Lakey, police department employee, and Police Chief Bob Webb and his wife, Mary, who worked tirelessly to make sure there was a huge selection of gifts, purchased from local merchants with donated funds. One of the largest donors, Bill Richardson of Bandon Garbage Disposal (Les' Sanitation), also came down from North Bend to share in the event.

It's just sad that all 85 children, who were specially invited, could not have experienced this wonderful event. Young children, of course, cannot get there on their own. Someone has to bring them.

I haven't verified it, but I also understand that Dan and Lynn Barnett of Billy Smoothboars didn't have as big a crowd as they were expecting at Christmas at Billy's, but the children who attended had a wonderful time sharing the Christmas experience like only Billy Smoothboars can put on.

*           *           *

Sunday's art reception at Southern Coos Hospital may have been the last art show sponsored by AVK Arts, but according to a hospital spokesman, the hospital has paid half the cost of the exhibits for many years, and she is hoping that the Foundation can find the funding necessary to continue the long-standing tradition.

These exhibits are a wonderful way for people to showcase their talents, and for people to visit the modern hospital.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

January 08, 2014

Bandon has lost another treasure . . .

I was shocked to learn of the death of long-time resident, Sharonlee Danielson, last week. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in mid-December and now she is gone.

She was a dedicated volunteer, having served as chairman of the city's CCI (citizen involvement) committee, was a past president of the Southern Coos Hospital Auxiliary, a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church and a long-standing member of the Pageturners Book Club.

Sharonlee loved to be on stage . . . and she was good. She had roles in a number of Bandon Playhouse productions, including "The Fantastics," "South Pacific," "New Wrinkles," "Chicago" and "You Can't Get There From Here," just to name a few. I am sharing several photos of Sharonlee that I had taken when she was in "Chicago" and "You Can't There From Here."

Sharonlee Danielson
Sharonlee Danielson performing in 'You Can’t Get There From Here'

Sharonlee Danielson
Sharonlee Danielson performing in 'Chicago'

What I remember most about her, besides her wonderful personality and caring nature, was that fact that she and her long-time friend, Gena Swenson, could be seen walking all over town with their walking sticks before their morning coffee at Brewed Awakenings.

Claudine Hundhausen said it best, through tears: "Sharonlee was a true lady and had a kind word for everybody. She took her commitments in the community very much to heart and worked tirelessly to help make Bandon a nice place to live. She was such a good person."

She will definitely be missed.

Sharonlee Danielson
A brick at the entrance to the Port of Bandon office

*           *           *

Can you imagine being stopped along the interstate, right here in Oregon, only to have a drug-crazed young woman jump on your vehicle, causing injury to her and damage to your car?

I received a press release from the Oregon State Police Saturday describing an incident that occurred on Interstate 5 near Albany Saturday when two women (ages 61 and 53) ran out of gas. They stopped along the freeway to call for assistance.

About that time a strangely acting barefoot female approached their vehicle. They rolled up the car windows and locked the doors. The female's pants dropped, exposing herself, and then she left on foot across the Interstate. Soon the woman, later identified as Victoria Dawn Lohmann, 24, from Aumsville, returned to the disabled vehicle and got on top of the hood where she jumped up and down as the two women inside were on the phone to 9-1-1. Lohmann jumped onto the windshield, caving it inward; she then jumped down and ran across the Interstate.

Unaware of the incident an OSP trooper pulled up behind the disabled car to see if they needed help. They told the trooper what had occurred. The trooper coordinated other responding troopers and sheriff's deputies who soon found the woman and took her into custody.

Albany Fire Department personnel responded and treated minor cuts to the woman's feet, hands, and face that she received when damaging the vehicle.

They took her to the Linn County Jail where she was lodged on a number of charges, and a controlled substance was taken from her for analysis.

There are so many crazies out there; this is just one more reason to make sure you have enough gas to get where you're going . . .

*           *           *

I'll be the first to admit that we are becoming an obese nation. But does anyone really believe that if you posted the calorie count on that frosting-laden hunk of carrot cake at the local bakery that it would discourage people from buying it.

Overweight people don't need to be reminded. They understand that the calories in those goodies will undoubtedly end up on their midsection. But they apparently do not care ... at least not enough to resist the temptation.

Now I read that a new federal health care law will require calorie information to be displayed on roughly 5 million vending machines across the country.

That new law will probably necessitate a whole new regulatory bureaucracy, complete with high-paid staff and administrators, to make sure that all vending machine operators comply. But who determines if the calorie information is even correct?

Like one opponent pointed out, the information is already there on the back of the candy bar and has been available for many years, for those who choose to take the time to read it.

More costly regulations are not going to make people lose weight. It's like anything else: when they get ready to do something about their weight, whether it be for cosmetic or health reasons, they will . . . with or without government intervention.

*           *           *

I learned today that former Bandon Aero Club president Dick Burton died recently in California where he and his wife, Nancy, had moved to be closer to family as Dick's health began to fail.

*           *           *

Headlines all over the country screamed: "Life-threatening cold air gripping most of the nation," this weekend. But that certainly was not the case along the southern Oregon coast.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, the thermometer at Umpqua Bank read 71 degrees, and it might have even been warmer earlier in the day. People were strolling around town in tank tops and shorts. One mused that it felt a lot like Southern California.

I talked to a friend, who was flying helicopters in Arkansas, and when I called him at 3:30 (5:30 his time), it was already below 20 degrees and was expected to get down to 6 degrees that night.

He was part of a crew that was replacing 19 electrical towers, which had been blown down or damaged when a tornado, packing gusts up to 130 miles an hour, roared through the West Memphis area just before Christmas.

I'll never complain about our weather again . . .

*           *           *

I recently saw Nona Dodrill Scott and her mother, Barbara Dodrill, in Pacific Blues with a guy that looked familiar, but I couldn't put a name to the face. Pretty soon, he said, "hi, Mary," and I realized it was 1965 BHS graduate Jerry Calame. His parents, Harvey and Eunice, owned Beach Junction Grocery before Ernie and Dona Luther purchased the business.

Nona, who lost her husband several years ago, told me she and Jerry are getting married soon. Good news for two BHS grads . . . .

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

January 01, 2014

We have definitely had some dry and very cold weather this winter, but personally I'd take that any day over huge storms and hurricane-force winds. I've learned that the rainfall tally at the North Bend Airport indicates that this is the driest year on record, dating back to 1928. The previous record was set in 1976 when only 33.52 inches of rain was recorded. This year, through mid-December (and we haven't had much if any rain since then), they have recorded 28.67 inches of rain for the year.

I can remember one November 10 or 15 years ago when we had 30 inches of rain in one month; my basement looked like a river was running through it. While looking at my old negatives, I found several pictures of local buildings being flooded, including the former Bob Otto Court (which sat at the corner of Elmira and Highway 101 where the Shell station is now).

flooded Bob Otto Court
Flooded Bob Otto Court, on the right is the old Coast Lumber Yard

Bandon in the '50s
Bandon in the ‘50s. The Bob Otto Court is on the right, with the Moore Mill in the background. This is in the area where the Shell Station now sits.

Another picture showed Surfside Dairy (behind and to the west of the present Face Rock Creamery) with sandbags in their doorway and water being diverted out a window. I am sharing several of these pictures with my readers to remind them of what it was like "in the old days" and surely will come again.

flooded Surfside Dairy

To really do justice to my old negatives, I need to research the back issues of the Western World so I can share more information about the pictures. My memory after all those years is only so good, but in some cases the pictures alone speak volumes of what the town used to look like.

*           *           *

I had an interesting experience at a local dentist's office last Thursday. Although I have paid $63 a month for six years for Advantage dental insurance, I have seldom used it. Several days earlier I received a letter from Pacific Source advising me that because of Obamacare, my policy would be canceled at the end of the month and if I chose to, I could re-enroll in another kind of Advantage plan through Pacific Source.

Ever since Dr. Soper retired, I have not really had a dentist. But I had the insurance. At any rate, I stopped in at the office of the new dentist (not sure of his name) at the corner of 11th and Baltimore. I asked if I would be able to get my teeth cleaned before the end of the year (and my present plan expired . . . without very much warning), but she said they were booked until April for cleanings.

I explained about my insurance, and she said I was probably going on the Oregon Health Plan (OHP . . . and she wrote it down on a slip of paper for me) while advising me that no dentist in Bandon would accept Oregon Health Plan patients except the Advantage clinic (Dr. Soper's former office.) I asked why she thought I would be going on Oregon Health Plan, which, as we all understand, is for low-income Oregonians. She didn't really have an answer except to tell me again that they would not accept OHP.

When I got home and looked at the letter, I determined that, just as I thought, I would not be going on Oregon Health Plan, and I could continue to pay the $63 a month premium, but to another company. Actually, since I have paid over $4,000 for dental insurance that I basically never used, I decided to opt out of the plan completely. When I go to the dentist, I will pay the bill myself.

But what saddens me is that most of the dentists in Bandon will not accept the Oregon Health Plan, which makes it even harder and much more stressful for low-income people to get dental care.

Basically, it was a pretty clear indication that she did not understand the nuances of Obamacare as it pertains to a dental plan, or she would not have jumped to the conclusion that I would soon be on the Oregon Health Plan.

Maybe it was because she thought I was some sort of a nut because I did not want my teeth x-rayed. I just wanted them cleaned.

I was told later that since I am on Medicare, I wouldn't qualify for the low-income insurance, but I have not verified that. And if that's the case, I'll forgive her for thinking that I was not old enough (65) for Medicare. But I don't think that was the case.

*           *           *

It appears that there will be quite a few changes in the business community after the first of the year. I understand that Tom Conway, who has been leasing the 9-hole golf course on Beach Loop, plans to give it up. It may be that one of the course owners, Jerry Miller, will be back running it, but I'm not sure. I just hope they can figure out how to keep that jewel open for us duffers who aren't quite up to 18-hole courses.

Lisa Rios, owner of the darling Gypsy Wagon shop in the Continuum building, said last week that she will be closed and working from home during the month of January, and possibly February. Patina, the neat shop on the Pedway owned by Lani Reynolds, is also closed for a couple of months. Christine Bentien, long-time local property manager is moving to McKinleyville, Calif., in mid-January, but will still continue to manage several properties in Bandon. A staunch supporter of the proposed Bandon swimming pool, Christine is a member of the pool board and will be writing grants for the pool from McKinleyville. She said she loves this area and hopes to return one of these days.

Bandon Baking Company is taking their normal January hiatus, as is the Bandon Historical Society Museum.

I just wish we could figure out a way to generate enough business in the winter to keep everyone thriving, but I guess that's not possible. Maybe the new golf course that Mike Keiser is planning to build south of town will give local businesses a boost since I don't believe there will be food or lodging at the new course.

Some people fear that Bandon will soon look like Lincoln City, with the highway corridor filling up with businesses to serve the new course. I don't see that happening.

*           *           *

I was sorry to hear that long-time Bandon businessman Dave Elliott (Dave's Radio Hut) suffered a heart attack shortly before Christmas. After a stent didn't do the job, the doctors installed a pacemaker because his heart rate had fallen to 20, which is not good. He was getting much stronger when I talked to his daughter last week, which is good news.

This was his first heart attack, although he did have a triple bypass some years ago. Hopefully he will continue to get better and we will soon see him back at their Old Town store.

*           *           *

I don't know about you, but I am personally tired of seeing "Boost SW Oregon" signs all along the highway from Bunker Hill through Coos Bay and North Bend. The signs say "I'm a booster for jobs and schools." Unfortunately, they appeared to have been designed for people's yards . . . not to litter the highway rights of way every 5 feet.

It would be great if the placement of signs all over town really would boost the economy or the schools, but I don't think it works that way.

previous columns by mary schamehorn