As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

July 27, 2011

For the last couple of years I’ve been keeping a file folder on vicious dog attacks, 99 percent of which pertain to pit bulls. My guess is I have several hundred newspaper clippings, and this week I’ve added two more.

On July 14, a person was walking his dog on Main Street in Coquille when they were accosted by two pit bulls. Last Sunday there was an article in the Register-Guard about a woman who tried to shoot a pit bull that was threatening her grandchildren … and she accidently shot and killed her husband.

As I was putting my file back in the cabinet, I came across one from Gig Harbor, Wash., titled “Pit bulls invade house; maul woman in bed.” It seems that two pit bulls entered a house through a pet door and attacked a woman in her bad, mauling her badly before she could break free and lock herself into her car, calling 9-1-1 for help. The woman was listed in serious condition in a Tacoma hospital.

I know there are still non-believers out there, but I’d be happy to share my file with anyone who wants to spend the day looking through these articles.

It will be a real eye-opener.

*           *           *

I mentioned in my column recently about the people representing the US Fish and Wildlife Service who scanned the rocks during the fireworks display to see if the noise or the bright lights were bothering the birds nesting on Face Rock and in the area of Coquille Point.

I spoke with a friend this week who had talked to one of the photographers, who was equipped with an extremely high-powered night camera. He said he could detect absolutely no disturbance to the birds.

As the man told my friend: it’s obvious that the birds come back here to nest year after year so they can’t be too upset by the fireworks.

My question is: how much did this stealthy bit of night photography cost the taxpayers? And what did they hope to gain after all these years. Why now?

It’s not like Bandon suddenly decided to have a fireworks display. It’s been going on for over 40 years, and hopefully will continue for the next 40 years.

*           *           *

The Southern Coos Health Center Foundation held its very successful, and largest to date, golf tournament over the weekend and from all accounts, it was a great event. Friday night the Foundation held a reception for the sponsors at Old Bandon Golf Links. Bob Simm (who was the chef at Two Loons before it closed) catered the event, and had a good selection of his famous quiche, along with some very tasty salmon pate. The tournament itself was held at Bandon Crossings where more than 100 golfers paid $100 apiece to enjoy golf and all the amenities, including a barbecue at the close of the day. The Foundation is hoping to raise $90,000 to purchase digital mammography equipment for the hospital, which is welcome news for us women.

This is a big undertaking and Foundation executive director Melody Gillard-Juarez deserves a huge vote of thanks for all the work she has put into the tournament every year. She has lots of help from the Foundation board members, David Koch, Joseph Bain, Sean Suppes, Colleen Showalter, John Ohanesian, Mary Wilson, Roger Straus and David Allen.

I hope people realize what an asset the hospital, and the Foundation, are to this community.

*           *           *

I received a bit of good news this week. It appears that Troy and Kim Russell have not decided for sure that they won’t be renewing the lease (at the end of the year) on the Old Bandon Golf Links.

While they are “giving consideration to not renewing,” they also wanted to make it clear that they were never planning “to be here forever.” The property is actually still on the market and may also be available for lease.

“Golf is not going to go away from the southern Oregon coast, and we continue to believe there is a place for a well-maintained, affordable, 9-hole public course,” Kim said.

I couldn’t agree more. This is a wonderful golf course and my greatest hope would be that Troy and Kim could continue to lease, and eventually buy, the course. They have done so much to enhance the golf experience and for those of us who may not want to play 18 holes, it’s the perfect course. Even on a windy day, it’s very protected, so be sure and dress in layers because you won’t be wearing your jacket for long.

If you haven’t played it for awhile, you will be amazed at the changes.

They have a punch pass for 18 nine-hole rounds that folks can share at $13.88 a round ($250 for the pass). This is the best local deal other than purchasing a membership at cut-rate prices in the fall/winter. A simple call ahead for a tee time is an automatic 10 percent discount off the $20 walk-on rate, and only $9 to replay all day. And then there’s $12 golf on Tuesdays.

Now is the best time of year to enjoy outdoor activities. Get out to the Old Bandon Golf Links.

*           *           *

My boyfriend and I were at the South Jetty parking lot Sunday afternoon watching three men and a woman paddle surfing. Actually, we’re not sure what it’s called, but they were on large surf boards, with a paddle, and were riding the crest of the waves. It provided plenty of entertainment for us less venturesome types and a few photo opportunities for visiting tourists.

But what wasn’t too pleasant was the huge tote bin, with garbage piled four feet above the top of the bin. It was not only stuffed with people’s household garbage, all neatly wrapped in bags, but there were also three large black garbage bags sitting alongside the dumpster. There’s no sign on the dumpster indicating that people aren’t supposed to empty their motor homes, so they probably thought it was fine to fill it to overflowing.

Since it was Sunday, it was pretty obvious it wasn’t going to be picked up that night, but my guess is that anyone who went down to the jetty on Monday morning was greeted by a parking lot full of garbage, torn out of the bags by the seagulls who were plenty anxious to get to it.

This might not be the best spot for an unattended dumpster like this.

No wonder the parking lot was covered with gulls. They know dinner when they see it.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

July 20, 2011

There is a lot of false information circulating throughout the area about Mike Keiser’s proposal to trade lands with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to allow him to build a golf course “for the locals” in the Four Mile area south of Bandon. I’ve looked at the plans, as has our city manager, and we both agree: it seems to be a win-win for all involved.

Unfortunately, there is a similar proposal in Curry County and the Curry County Commissioners have been very secretive about who the developer is who might be interested in developing a world class golf course in the Sixes area. It is not Mike Keiser in spite of what you may have heard.

Keiser’s proposal would close no beach access. In fact, OPRD (state parks) would receive one-half mile of beach frontage, one-half mile of land on both sides of New River and one-half mile of Coquille River frontage within the boundaries of Bullards Beach State Park … in exchange for 200 acres of gorse land that Keiser will restore. Keiser’s real estate representative, Bob Johnson, told me that “even the most dedicated of environmentalists” would see the benefit to what is being proposed if they really understood it.

We all remember the people who fought Keiser 15 years ago before he developed four world-class golf courses just outside of Bandon on property that would have been marginal for many types of development … hence the links style courses. He has proven himself time and again and, for the life of me, I cannot see why anyone would fight this proposal.

Keiser has been saying for years that he wanted to build an affordable course for the locals, who would pay about $25. Sadly, we understand that Troy and Kim are giving up the lease on the Old Bandon Golf Links this fall and Crossings is more expensive. This would fill that void.

A course like this would bring a whole new group of people to Bandon, which is what our businesses so desperately need right now.

*           *           *

If you’ve been reading a series of ads in Coffee Break recently that don’t make a lot of sense, it’s because they are meant to be a catchy way to promo the upcoming show “Always, Patsy Cline,” set to open Aug. 5 on the stage at the Sprague Theater.

But one that appeared in Friday’s Coffee Break was a bit too catchy. I read it over and over again, and since I hadn’t seen the earlier ones, I had no idea it had anything to do with the Bandon Playhouse show.

Here’s what it said, and it’s particularly amusing when you read it aloud, as I did for several of my friends, generally breaking out into fits of laughter:

“I’d call him every afternoon four or five times a day and he’d say, ‘Louise, I just played your gong,’ and I’d say, ‘Well, flip her over and play the other side,’ and he did.”

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what a “gong” was (at least in that context), and I just happened to be in Western World later that day and I called attention to the ad. Come to find out (and I am not casting blame on anyone because it turned out to be a real conversation piece) the word should have been song.

Then, of course, it all made sense.

On a more serious note, if you didn’t see the show when it was brought to Bandon several years ago by the Lions, you won’t want to miss it. I went twice and plan to attend several of the shows this year, as well. It opens on my birthday so I probably won’t make opening night, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be there sometime on opening weekend.

*           *           *

I’ve learned that people from the US Fish and Wildlife Service are now studying the effects of Bandon’s fireworks display on the birds who were nesting in the area of Coquille Point, which I might add is quite a ways away from the Bullards Park area where the fireworks were detonated.

Bandon has had a fireworks display for many, many years, and I certainly hope this doesn’t derail it.

Sounds a bit like “political correctness” run amok, but I’ll keep my remarks at that until I learn more about it. Matt Winkel was advised by several USFWS employees that they’d been monitoring the nesting areas that night.

Stay tuned …..

*           *           *

I don’t know how many of you computer-savvy people have had this problem, but if you have maybe you could let me know ( what you did to get rid of it. Probably 30 to 40 times a day, a message pops up on my screen which says: “Microsoft Office Live Add-in Sign-in has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience. If you were in the middle of something, the information you were working on might be lost (I haven’t lost anything). Please tell Microsoft about the problem.” It has three options: debug, send error report and don’t send. For awhile I hit “send error report” each time but it didn’t seem to matter, so now I just click on “don’t send” and the message vanishes. I don’t know what would happen if I hit “debug.”

Unfortunately I didn’t have this problem (although I had a LOT more) when Takashi Haruna worked on my computer. He got everything running perfectly, except that now I get this irritating message so many times a day. He said he had never seen it before and wrote everything down to research it. I am sure he’s waiting for me to tell him that I am still having a “problem,” but I’ve been busy and haven’t let him know. But it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

If you know what “Add-in Sign-in” means please let me know.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

July 13, 2011

I wrote last week’s column before the Fourth of July celebration in Bandon, but I do want to say that the parade reminded me more of the Cranberry Parade ….it was a lot bigger than in recent years, and people were everywhere lining the streets. I rode with Matt (Winkel) and Brian (Vick), and Brian and I tossed candy to the kids along the parade route. Matt was sure we were going to run out of suckers before the parade ended, but actually we had found a few from last year under the car seat, so we had plenty of candy for everyone.

I do want to thank people in the community who have signed up to have $1 a month added to their utility bill to be dedicated to the fireworks. The weather was perfect and the fireworks were spectacular. Some of us were a bit worried when we learned that it was going to be particularly hot inland, fearing that like two years ago, the fog might roll in and spoil the festivities.

But a “good” strong wind blew throughout the day, and pretty much well into the evening, so the skies were clear. The fire department does such a good job shooting them off, and once again the community came together for a wonderful Independence Day celebration.

The VFW deserves a big hand for organizing the parade, and the Lions “Day in the Park” was a huge success… judging from the number of people who packed into City Park.

*           *           *

I learned last week that former Bandon resident and long-time Rotary member Ray Briley had died in the Bend-Redmond area June 28, where he and Loretta had moved after leaving Bandon. Ray was 69. He and Loretta owned the La Kris Motel and he was a past Master of the Bandon Masonic Lodge. He is the second former Bandon Rotarian to die in recent weeks. Pete Ask died last month after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

*           *           *

It’s amazing how the good weather brings out the best in people … especially if you can get out of the wind. The Garden Tour, sponsored by the Weedum Seedum Garden Club, was a real extravaganza and everyone seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. I saw some really beautiful gardens, most of which were pretty much protected from the wind. (I guess that’s a given, as it’s pretty hard to raise flowers if you don’t have an area that is wind protected.)

Seeing the beautiful water feature in Bonnie Peaco’s yard made me want to start saving for a small pond in my own backyard.

One yard that I never tire of seeing (as it is right across Franklin from our church) is that of Richard and Louise Handley. There is hardly a square inch on the property that does not feature flowers, yard art or something extra special. And Louise tells me they’ve purchased a small place in Portland where they stay when Dick is singing up there, and she’s also beautifying that, as well.

I had forgotten what a difference a few miles can make in the weather. Although it was blowing in town, when we arrived at Joe and Karen Sinko’s place on Trout Pond Lane, it was still and hot. They have a real showplace overlooking the Pond, and Joe’s specialty is dahlias.

The first stop on the tour was Barbara Eakley’s place, and I was surprised to find an enclosed sun room with its own garden. What a treat that is. Darwin and Marilyn Noorda recently had a large greenhouse built on their property and it’s the perfect place to start the masses of flowers they have on their property.

I wasn’t able to visit all the gardens on the tour as time was running out and I had promised to meet with a constituent and didn’t want to be late. But I’ve heard they were all equally fabulous.

Next year I will set aside more time to make sure I don’t miss a single blossom.

*           *           *

A good friend of mine lives on Eighth Street and she’s been telling me how fast people drive on that road, and I got to see first-hand on Saturday. There were a number of cars parked on both sides of the road and people milling about as we were preparing to go to Handley’s house for the garden tour.

A guy in a beat up old pickup came roaring up the road from the west, honked at me for not getting across the street fast enough, and never bothered to slow down.

I am a firm believer that conditions should play a major role in how you drive. If there are people or animals around, slow down. I believe the speed limit in a residential area is 25 miles an hour, and I can assure you he was exceeding that. And since my friend was standing right there alongside of me, she reminded me what she’d been telling me all along.

People speed down her street … and she’s right.

*           *           *

I might also warn people that one of the Bandon police officers is extremely aggressive when it comes to writing tickets (and I don’t mean warnings) for not coming to a COMPLETE stop at a stop sign. Two of my friends got $290 tickets within a few minutes of each other this week; in fact one of them had seen the other stopped and wondered if something was wrong. She went up Beach Loop a little ways, turned around, and went back to see what had happened. In the meantime the officer was through writing her friend a ticket. She went through the intersection at 11th and Beach Loop and saw the officer coming toward her. The next thing she knew, he pulled her over and wrote her a $290 ticket. He said he had her on video, but said it would be pretty grainy. She said she couldn’t see much of anything, so she’s decided to plead not guilty.

Maybe it will show up better in court ….

But the moral of this story is, some officers give warnings, and others usually don’t. And I can tell you which one is working evenings right now. So come to a complete STOP, even if it’s an exaggerated one.

The next $290 ticket could belong to you.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

July 06, 2011

You always think it can’t happen to you … or at least not to your computer. But when it does, you realize just how vulnerable you are and just how many scammers, viruses and hackers are waiting in the lurch to disrupt your computer.

For years I was an Apple user (as that is all we have at the newspaper where I work) and I’d been led to believe that they weren’t susceptible to viruses, so even after I got a PC, I never paid much attention to what kind of protection I had on my computer. But after getting a serious virus last month, apparently from opening someone’s email, I began to be ever more vigilant, and had Takashi download Norton onto my computer. No more of those free ones for me.

Yesterday I received an email ostensibly from Bandon Inn. I wondered what Peggy and Ed Backholm were sending me, but I was prepared to open it. The subject line said: “very important.” The body of the email read: “Sorry for taking so long, finally sending you a link.” The link was something like I began to smell the proverbial rat since I didn’t recall Peggy or Ed promising to send me any kind of a link. So I emailed them and received a prompt answer telling me not to open the link.

It’s obvious that someone has infiltrated their address book and probably sent messages of this kind to hundreds of people.

You always wonder how many people actually fall for a scam like this … and what happens if I’d been gullible enough to open it.

But I wasn’t willing to find out.

It’s getting to the point where I don’t want to download any link that someone sends me, even though I think I know them.

It’s hard to trust anything you receive on line unless you initiate the contact and they are responding to something you send.

But how do they know it’s really from you?

It’s a vicious cycle.

*           *           *

This Saturday (July 9) is the annual Weedum Seedum Garden Tour, and judging from the gardens that we’ll be touring, it should be a great event. I’ve gone on the tour twice and was thrilled to see the beautiful gardens that we have right here in the Bandon area.

People who will be showcasing their gardens include Barbara Eakley, Louise and Dick Handley, Bonnie Peaco, Carleen Garcia, Darwin and Marilyn Noorda, Joe and Karen Sinko, Connie and Jake Young, Patty Curran, Sherri Merritt (the Lavender Lady) and Pat and Jeff Kerker. The Good Earth Community Garden is also one of the stops on the self-guided tour.

The tour begins at 9 a.m. and continues until 4. Tickets are available for a $7 donation at Bandon True Value, Hennicks and 101 Plants ‘n Things. Proceeds will be used for the Jane Clark Memorial Scholarship Fund.

You’ll get a lot of wonderful ideas to take home to your own garden, and even if you don’t have a green thumb, the beautiful gardens that you see will make you want to get started.

*           *           *

Things were hopping around Bandon Saturday night with three venues featuring live music. Kirk and Elizabeth Day hosted their annual party and art show for the community at Harbortown Events Center, with free food, beverages and Sly & Company providing some really danceable music. There were people of all ages, from the littlest tykes to people over 80 … many of whom were on the dance floor at the same time.

Lloyd’s also had a band that night as did McFarlin’s, each offering a different kind of music.

It was a fun evening.

I particularly enjoyed talking to Coos Bay artist Jerry Baron, who was editor and publisher of the Coos Bay World many years ago. It was fun talking to someone who remembered the same people and stories that I did. And I think he felt the same way.

*           *           *

Several months ago I mentioned that Bandon Glass Art Studio, located along Highway 101 just north of City Hall, was closed. Well, thank heavens, it was only temporary, to give the owners Aro and Dutch Schulze time to spruce up their showroom. They are well known for their beautiful art glass, and if you haven’t stopped by their shop in a while, it will certainly be worth your time to do so.

They definitely want people to know they are open for business.

*           *           *

What a thrill it was to see Bandon’s Old Town, waterfront and beaches showcased during the live broadcasts of the USGA Amateur Public Links Golf Championships, which ended Saturday. The Golf Channel broadcast live from Bandon Dunes Golf Resort Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and if you missed it during the day, it was shown again that night. I ended up watching the semi-finals matches between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. on Friday.

It was exciting enough to watch the golf, but to hear the wonderful praise for our beautiful area was such a treat.

One announcer called Bandon Dunes Golf Resort “the finest links golf experience in America.”

The 30-40 mph winds on Friday proved to be a bit of a challenge, but that’s what true links golf is all about.

There is no way to describe the benefits of this kind of national television coverage. I just wished I’d have taped it, but the last time I tried it, it wouldn’t allow me to watch and tape at the same time, and I didn’t want to take a chance of missing it.

*           *           *

Bandon often seems to be a favorite of subscribers who write into Via, the AAA magazine, and the July-August issue was no exception.

Highlighting readers’ favorite walkable piers and wharves was a neat picture of a young boy crabbing off Weber’s Pier at the Bandon Port Dock.

“Nothing tops catching fresh Dungeness crab off this pier on the Coquille River,” says Judy Ware of Boise. “Toss a baited crab pot over the side ­— of course keeping an eye out for kayakers, fishing boats and seals.”

This is the kind of advertising that we’d never be able to afford if we had to pay by the inch.

We’re fortunate that so many people from all parts of the Northwest find Bandon a very desirable destination.

previous columns by mary schamehorn