As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

May 28, 2014

Hard to drag myself away from Old Town and spending time in the garden Sunday afternoon, but it was time to write my column. I've chosen three pictures this week, including two from the '50s and one which I believe was taken in the early '70s ... and if that isn't correct I am sure someone will let me know.

The first picture, taken during the festival parade of 1956, shows the little kids lining up alongside the Masonic building (now Cobbler's Bench, Spirit of Oregon and the upstairs Masonic Lodge) long before the construction of the building, which now houses Devon's Boutique. There was a gravel road (Wall Street) that meandered back toward Oregon Avenue, and all along the north side was where Moore Mill stored lumber.

1956 Cranberry Festival parade, Western World photo

The second picture shows the 1958 Cranberry Court as they prepare to head to Myrtle Point for the Coos County Fair, in August. Not sure what they are doing in a boat, but it must have been a prop of some kind. Pictured are (front, left) Carleen Metzger, Peggy Hunt (now Goergen), Bette Garoutte (now Scotti); in back, Linda Sutherland, Darlyn Ward, Jerene Albertson and Judy Howard (now Manicke).

1958 Cranberry Court

They are alongside the old McNair Hardware building, and you can see the Legion hall directly behind McNair's (now LaFiesta Mexican restaurant). Then there is the wooden platform leading out to the truck shop.

The third picture, probably taken in the early '70s, features members of the Bandon Fire Department, including, from left, Roger Elliott, Steve Fox, Jim Boak, Lanny Boston, Jack Chappell, Ron Anderson and Ron Elliott. All but Lanny, Steve and Ron Elliott are gone ... and Lanny is chief of the rural fire department, a position he assumed not long after the High School Fire of 1974 when Walt Ashton retired.

1970's Bandon Fire Dept.

*           *           *

I was shocked to hear that Derrill Moody died last Friday. He had worked as a volunteer at the museum on Wednesday, and we talked at length as he was preparing to leave. I did notice that he had a big shiner on one eye, and he said he'd taken a bad fall at his home the previous day. And two days later he was gone. Not sure what the official cause of death was, but I understand he may have taken another fall. He graduated from BHS in 1952.

And his death comes not long after we lost another old-timer in Ron Johnson. Ron had undergone kidney dialysis for many years, and it had taken its toll on his health.

I had both Derrill's daughter, Linda Moody, and Ron's son, Brett Johnson, in my class when I taught photography at BHS back in the early '70s. And both were in my sister, Mindy's, class. One of Derrill's two sons, Ron, has worked for the City for many years.

I also learned that Janet Wright (Stinnett) died in Las Vegas where she was living with her son. Her sister, Donna Syverson Junge, said Janet, 74, had battled cancer for seven years.

Most of us will remember her when she worked in the retail fish shop in the blue building, owned by her brother, Graydon Stinnett. Janet was loved by all and I remember how kind she was to my mother . . . always saving little treats for "one of her favorite customers."

*           *           *

I was surprised to learn that Bandon schools superintendent Diane Buche had decided to retire ... a year earlier than she had planned. I was sure it had to do with all the furor over the Ocean Crest School (and its fate if the "big one" hits while children are in school), but she said it had to do with her husband's health, and she just figured it was time to leave.

Sabrina Belletti, the new high school principal, will become the senior administrator in the Bandon School District as Debbie Greenfield is retiring as principal of the middle school and Liz Olive is retiring as principal of Ocean Crest Elementary. Debbie and her husband, Al Greenfield, apparently plan to leave the community to be nearer to family, but probably not right away.

Sabrina, a long-time teacher in the district, moved into the high school as principal after the retirement of Gaye Knapp. She's great ... but I'm sure she never expected to be the "senior administrator" after nine months on the job. But if anyone's up to it, it is Sabrina.

Diane assured me that she will help orient and mentor the new principals, once they are hired, rather then leaving the district in the lurch, which she has no intention of doing.

Unfortunately, as has become so easy these days with social media, one former teacher immediately posted something pretty negative about Buche after learning she had resigned, adding, "Let the celebration begin." I talked to several people who saw the post, and the feeling was one of disappointment ... no matter which side of the issue you were on.

My take on "social media" in general is that it can be anything but "social," which Webster describes as "pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations," or "friendly or sociable."

*           *           *

Dr. Monica Wehby is on the warpath, loudly accusing national Democrats of trying to smash her family's reputation during her victory speech after winning the Republican nomination to challenge Senator Jeff Merkley in November.

Not only was one police report turned up involving Wehby with her ex-husband, but another surfaced involving at least one ex-boyfriend.

My guess is that it was fellow Republican Jason Conger, who was challenging her for the Republican nomination, that uncovered her recent indiscretions ... not the "national Democrats." What amazes me is that she didn't think someone Republican, Democrat or the Oregonian would uncover her police record. It's pretty easy these days.

At least now she can spend her time castigating the Democratic party instead of her single-issue campaign issue: repealing the Affordable Care Act.

On another major state race, I am certainly going to follow the campaign of Republican Representative Dennis Richardson as he tries to unseat Governor John Kitzhaber. It is hard to believe that Gov. Kitzhaber did not know what was happening with the failed Cover Oregon debacle, which cost the taxpayers millions; and that was after he had hired Rudy Crew to be Oregon's new education czar. It wasn't long before the state was sending Crew on his way ... with a huge severance package. These kinds of decisions are hard to overlook . . .

In the past I have received Richardson's newsletter, and I've been impressed with what I've seen.

But it's a long time until November and a lot can surface between now and then ...

*           *           *

Whether you're talking about basketball players at the University of Oregon or baseball players at Oregon State, they just can't seem to stay out of the news ... and I don't mean the sports pages.

The latest is OSU's Ben Wetzler, who last week was named Pac 12 pitcher of the week, just days after he'd been arrested for smashing the window out of a Corvallis home ... that he thought was his. He admits that he was so highly intoxicated that he couldn't find his house and continued to smash out the window even as the homeowner tried to convince him he was at the wrong house.

His reward: the pitching nod for the next game.

The rampant use of alcohol continues to be the "elephant in the room" as binge drinking seems to be the norm these days on many college campuses.

The Dartmouth president recently delivered a strong speech concerning something people already know: binge drinking is a huge problem on campuses across the country ... and it's only getting worse.

One only needs pick up the Register-guard and read about some of the "parties" on the campus that have erupted into major police events, with drunken students taking over neighborhoods, burning furniture, urinating on people's yards, parties where sexual assaults become the norm, etc.

In the next few weeks I will reprint a bit of Dartmouth president Philip Hanlon's epic speech. It bears repeating ...

*           *           *

I talked with Jerry Brown, one of the owners of Bandon's 9-hole golf course, and he said he is hoping to get it open as soon as possible. Jerry has all the equipment he needs to keep the course mowed, and if their plans work out, he will probably put some kind of a lock box at the course so people who want to play can just put their money into the box.

Other courses, like Shorty's course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, operate on the "honor system," and it's a good idea.

I just hope that Jerry and his partner, Margaret Miller, are able to get it open again soon. It's a fun course . . .

*           *           *

It was good to see the town swarming with visitors over the Memorial Day weekend . . . enjoying all we have to offer and a big dose of good weather. This bodes well for summer and I am sure our small merchants are looking forward to a good tourist season.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

May 21, 2014

It's hard each week to decide which of my old pictures to share, and this week was no exception. I have a special folder titled "for columns," from which I choose, but even then it's hard.

Two of this week's pictures were taken during a flood in February of 1958. The first one, taken at the intersection of Highway 101 and Elmira, depicts what it looked like before the building, now housing Brewed Awakenings, was built (right side of pix) and before Goddards built their new Standard Oil business office (left).

Bandon flood February 1958
Bandon flood February 1958

The second picture was taken at the intersection of Second Street and Baltimore Avenue, between Croxall and Perry Grocery (now Dave's Radio Shop) and Lloyd's (which is not visible). Behind Lloyd's was Larsen's Cleaners, which is now Danielle Benjamin's shop, the Raven.

Bandon flood February 1958
Bandon flood February 1958

The third picture was taken in June of 1966 and features members of the Bandon Lions Club standing in front of The Barn. You can clearly see how small it was in those days, with nothing on either side of it. I can still remember the Cranberry Festival dances that were held there when the whole town gathered to dance the night away (well, the adults anyway).

Bandon Lions Club 1966
Bandon Lions Club 1966

I know people are wondering if the downtown area could flood again like it did in the "old days," but much of that water came when Ferry Creek overflowed its banks on the north side of the highway. Later the state put in a wooden bulkhead, and about 20 years ago that was replaced by a concrete culvert, which cut down the likelihood of that kind of flooding occurring again.

*           *           *

My friends Steve and Ruthann Sutton, who live in California but own a home in Bandon, recently sent me a link to, which featured the Top 10 Beach Towns for Retirees . . . and Bandon was on the list.

Bandon joined an impressive group of beach towns, including Traverse City, Mich.; Fort Myers area, Fla.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Rehoboth Beach, Del; Boynton Beach, Fla.; Georgetown area, S.C.; Oak Island, N.C.; Port Townsend, Wash., and Eureka, Calif.

Here's what Ilyce Glink, a nationally syndicated columnist, had to say about Bandon:

"Bandon's craggy coast offers a unique retirement option for those living on the West Coast. Located in the southern portion of Oregon along the Coquille River, the city offers four well-known golf courses in Bandon and Pacific Dunes, which run along the coast, and Old MacDonald and Bandon Trails. The giant rock formations along the coast are home to all kinds of wildlife, and storm watching as well as fishing are popular here."

"The downtown offers small-town charm with plenty of shops and restaurants in its Historic Old Town. The city is about four hours from Portland, so it's fairly isolated, but still offers major amenities, such as the Southern Coos Hospital and Health Center."

It's definitely a "feather in our cap" to be the lone Oregon coast community selected for the honor.

*           *           *

Bandon's speech team continues to "make the news," and Thursday night they will be presenting "Sweet Stephanie, Jeneveve and Autumn," to honor team members Stephanie Gordon, Jeneveve Winchell and Autumn Moss-Strong. The trio will be going to Overland, Kan., in June to represent Bandon at the week-long National Forensic League tournament.

The first publicity about the event said the program would be held Friday night because of a Thursday conflict with the state track meet, but they later decided to hold it on Thursday night. So in case you marked your calendar for Friday . . . it's really Thursday night, beginning at 7 at the Sprague Theater.

*           *           *

We had all heard about the tornado that hit Arkansas several weeks ago, but until I talked to my friend, Jason, a helicopter pilot, I had no idea of the magnitude of the damage or the force of the winds.

He is in Arkansas helping to restore a 500 x 500 foot substation just outside of Little Rock, that was completely destroyed. The giant transformers, which were bolted to the concrete, were torn from their bases. He mentioned that a huge earth-moving caterpillar ended up on top of a concrete building. I guess you would have to see it to believe it.

The tornado basically flattened everything in its path ... which was 40 miles long and killed at least 15 people when winds reached peaks of an estimated 200 miles an hour.

*           *           *

You don't often see mistakes on AOL News, and particularly not in their large headlines. But one day last week, a headline read: "Remains of missing SOLDER may be found."

Solder (pronounced sod'er) of course is "an alloy fused to joints between metal objects."

The next time I looked at the site, it was correctly spelled as Soldier. Someone was paying attention ...

*           *           *

Dr. Monica Wehby, who is running against state representative Jason Conger on the Republican ticket for the Congressional seat now held by Jeff Merkley, made the news this week in a not very flattering light. A lot of outside PAC money has been flowing into the state ... and Wehby appears in TV ads repeatedly attacking the Affordable Care Act. It appears that her entire campaign is based on that one issue.

But she made the news this week because someone unearthed a bit about her past. It was only a year ago that her former boyfriend (a wealthy Portland lumber magnet) called the police after she repeatedly stalked him after he ended the relationship. The whole story was carried in the papers Saturday, and although the guy said he wished he hadn't called the police, he detailed what length she had gone to in trying to get him to answer the door of his home, before going into the house, through a back door. And he called the police.

If the Democrats had unearthed that, it would have been called "dirty politics." But since it came out during the primary election, someone else can take credit ... or the blame ... whichever way you see it.

*           *           *

When former long-time Bandon resident Margaret Dean died recently in Coos Bay, shortly before her 104th birthday, she left money for at least two local projects.

Jack McMahon, a long-time family friend, is the administrator of her estate, and apparently she left some money to the City of Bandon designated for "walking paths" and also there is some money for the lighthouse. I am not sure what that was specifically for, but if Margaret was like the rest of us old-timers she would probably have preferred that it be restored to what we remember as its historic color ... and that's not red.

Margaret and her husband, Jack, were cranberry growers, and Margaret was a devoted member of the hospital board at the time they built the previous "new hospital" on the hill overlooking the harbor.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

May 14, 2014

A landmark was torn down last week in East Bandon. Although I wasn't even aware that it was scheduled to be torn down until someone rushed into the museum and said it was already half gone, I prefer to remember the old Bandon Heights School in its "glory days."

Bandon Heights School
Bandon Heights School demolished, photo by Doug-In-Cyberspace

OK, so maybe the old quonset hut building was never what you would call glorious, but to a lot of children it's where they attended grade school.

Bandon Heights School
Bandon Heights School, 1971

The picture that I am sharing was taken in 1971, when it was well cared for. After it was closed down years ago it pretty much fell into disrepair. Students went to Ocean Crest, where a new wing was built, and to the middle school.

After the baseball stadium was torn down to make way for the new track, coach Gary Chrismon and helpers built a field next to the quonset hut in East Bandon. That was also the site of the old track, which was built behind the gymnasium ... which is also gone.

In later years, they used it for batting practice, but it had long since outlived its usefulness. Although I haven't heard this officially, I understand that the school district may put up some kind of a smaller building on the site.

I am also sharing a picture, which shows where the track was located at the same site ... along with the old gym, where students were bused across town for P.E. classes when I was in high school.

Bandon track and old gym
This picture, which shows runners getting set, was taken in April 1970

The final picture, taken in 1971, was shot from a different angle with Bandon Heights in the background. Here, Coach Mickey Hurley talks with Michelle Goodbrod after she has finished running a race. Standing to the right are Mike Lafayette and Tom Gant.

Coach Mickey Hurley talks with Michelle Goodbrod
Coach Mickey Hurley talks with Michelle Goodbrod after running a race

*           *           *

I may have mentioned this in the past, but anyone who would like to take some extremely informative computer classes ... or attend a lab ... should go on line and check out the schedule for CyberLynx classes. Outside of being outstanding classes, they are also free.

When you look at their website (, you may notice that some of them are listed as classes, and others as labs. Classes are just as you might expect: a class taught by an experienced instructor. A lab provides a person the opportunity to ask questions they may have about their computer, software or anything else to do with computers.

A photo lab provides an opportunity for a person to bring his or her slides or old negatives to class, where they will be able to scan their pictures into a computer and then enhance them with the Elements software.

I had heard about CyberLynx for quite a few years, but for some reason had never taken a class. But that all changed late last year when I enrolled in several classes and at least two labs. I learned so much . . . that I went out and bought a new laptop so I would have my own computer when I next enroll for a class.

Thanks to a grant, they also have six laptops available during class for those who don't have their own.

The mainstays in CyberLynx are Bill Russell, Maureen Haggerty and Carolyn Sorenson.

Go on line today and sign up for their next class . . . or lab.

*           *           *

I know a lot of my readers have probably already voted, and a lot of you don't vote in Coos County, but to those who do, I am strongly supporting the incumbents, Melissa Cribbins and John Sweet, for county commissioner. They were instrumental in helping us deal with the mosquito problem last summer; actually they were the lead agency and without them, I am not sure what would have happened.

I urge you to cast your vote for Cribbins and Sweet.

*           *           *

The line for $2 hamburgers and $1 beer was steady for two solid days in the parking lot at Face Rock Creamery Saturday and Sunday as they celebrated their one-year anniversary with a party for the community.

Even though the weatherman had predicted showers for Saturday, it was a gorgeous (almost wind-free) day. Sunday was also very sunny ... but not wind free, but if you didn't want to sit out in the wind, Face Rock provided a huge tent with indoor seating.

I stopped by several times Saturday and by the time 5 o'clock rolled around, the cheese cases inside were practically empty as people enjoyed a taste of cheese ... and then made their purchases.

I heard so many positive comments about Greg Drobot and his decision to bring Bandon's cheese factory back. It was a big financial investment on his part.

And all we can say is ... thank you.

*           *           *

I've long heard that Oregon is the most heavily regulated state in the nation, and new federal regulations that are on the radar are not helping small businesses.

On a site called "Roll Call Thought Leaders," a small business owner expressed his frustration at the economic challenges faced because of government policies.

"Not only are business owners struggling under Obamacare's higher costs and the threat of a massive expansion of overtime rules, but now the Senate is preparing to vote on legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour ... a devastating attack on small businesses everywhere. Taken all together, these federal mandates stress operating budgets, stifle business expansion and grind hiring to a halt.

"These federal mandates are hurting businesses large and small ... businesses that are just now regaining some small sense of stability following the worst recession since the Great Depression. As our economic future remains uncertain and hiring stagnates, regulations that squeeze budgets and hamper growth are not the solution to our nation's economic troubles."

He quotes two sources who agree that a $10.10 wage could cost a minimum of 500,000 jobs nationwide.

The increase would not be that significant in Oregon, where the minimum wage rises incrementally on an annual basis, but in many other states it would be a huge jump.

*           *           *

Last week, I mentioned that one of the two proposed charter changes would allow people who own property in Bandon, but live outside (and within the school district), to run for city council.

Several people expressed outrage about this, while others thought it might be a good idea.

I received an email from BHS graduate Bo Shindler, who was associated with Freeman Marine in Gold Beach for more than three decades, and I want to share his take on the issue.

"I'm a strong proponent of giving property owners and persons who work within the city limits, but who don't live inside the city limits, some sort of standing for the purposes of conducting business and serving the city. Here in Gold Beach the population within the city limits is about 2,300, yet the population of those who live in the surrounding area is close to 6,000, more than double . . . yet most of them come to town every day to work or trade for their regular needs. Most of the people who own or manage businesses in Gold Beach live outside the city limits. I've been a resident of Wedderburn for the past 28 years; the view out my front window is 100 percent Gold Beach, but have had no official standing regarding the business matters of the City of Gold Beach and can't serve in any official capacity.

"At the same time, we owned more than 20 acres that was inside the city limits and had an annual payroll of more than 5 million dollars so we had a vested interest in things like policy, budgets, housing, safety.

"It has been frustrating over the years where a trust fund baby or a person collecting unemployment living in an apartment within the city limits could serve or influence with more standing than we did. If you don't live within the city limits you're not officially Gold Beach.

"Otherwise Bandon's charter probably doesn't need much in the way of change especially if you compare the success of Bandon over the past 30 years to other towns up and down the coast," Shindler said.

*           *           *

I learned this week that my long-time friend Gordy Hayes, who served as president of the Coquille River Port Commission for many years and lives north of Powers at Gaylord, was critically injured in a wreck on the Powers Highway.

He's suffered over the years with the effects of diabetes, and several years ago doctors were forced to amputate one of his legs (and possibly both of them, but I'm not sure about that).

I understand his van, being driven by his caregiver, crashed, and he suffered two collapsed lungs and a broken hip. The last I heard he was in intensive care at RiverBend hospital in Springfield, but had regained consciousness.

He's faced of lot of health problems over the years, but knowing him, he will be back home before long to take on another crusade.

*           *           *

As I continue to scan thousands of old negatives into my computer, I often find one that I would love to share with the person in the picture or a family member, but I often don't have their email address.

So if you attended Bandon High School or were involved in the community during the '50s, '60s, '70s or early '80s, send me your email, and if I find a picture you might like, I will be happy to share it with you.

You can also go on the Bandon Museum's Facebook page because they are posting many of the pictures that I have shared with them, and are seeking to identify them.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

May 07, 2014

There was a lot going on in Bandon late last week, with the opening of Renee Minor's new candle business, "Esscents," Mackenzie Williams' anti-bullying concert, and the cheese program hosted by the Bandon Museum.

The chamber held a ribbon cutting Thursday evening, welcoming Minor and her family to Bandon. She has opened a neat shop in Old Town in the building which for years housed the Two Loons Cafe. It's been vacant for a year while under lease to Comspan, who decided not to open its second office in that location.

Mackenzie Williams is the nine-year-old daughter of Joni and Marc Williams, and it was her idea to bring the issue of bullying to the forefront. It was well attended and many enjoyed the music of several local area bands, free hot dogs, cupcakes and other refreshments.

Joe Sinko, former owner of the cheese factory which was later sold to Tillamook, was the featured speaker at the museum's well-attended event. Retired teacher and dedicated museum volunteer Jim Proehl put together a slide show of pictures from the old Langlois cheese factory (famous for their blue cheese) and pictures from the museum's collection and the old negatives which I saved of the old cheese factory.

History has now repeated itself with the opening of the new Face Rock Creamery who, Joe proudly pointed out, hired his son, Brad, who is one of the premiere cheesemakers in the country.

Face Rock Creamery is celebrating its one-year anniversary this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday (between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.), with $1 beer, $2 hamburgers, live music and another chance to celebrate the return of cheese-making to Bandon.

Also scheduled for this coming weekend is "The Wizard of Oz" presented by MarLo Dance Studio (Maria Merriam), set for Friday and Saturday at the Sprague beginning at 7, and two shows on Sunday, at 2 and 4:30 p.m.

Maria is well-known for her wonderful shows, and I know this will be no exception. It's best to get a ticket in advance (Bandon Mercantile or Hennick's) because these shows are known to sell out.

*           *           *

For those of you who watched the controversial ending to the city's budget committee meeting last week, you probably heard one of the committee members, Diana Brown, refer to her proposed charter, which has been circulating for weeks.

And that's not the only charter change that is being proposed. The second would allow people who live within the boundaries of the school district to run for a city council position if they own property inside the city limits. I can understand both sides, as I have always felt that property owners, especially those who own businesses in town, but live outside the city limits, should have a say in city government. But not everyone agrees. I'm not sure when, or even if, the measure will make it to the ballot but the main proponent Tom Stadelman will still have to get the required signatures to put it on the ballot.

But now back to the 16-page charter proposed by Diana Brown, who may be best known for her letters to the editor in recent months, often discussing the issue of drainage at her Delaware Avenue property.

Her cover letter contains some glaring errors, which need to be corrected. Much of the document is her opinion of as to how city government should operate, and that decision would be up to the voters.

But she says: "The City Charter of 2002 gave the City Manager the governance ability, BUT it did not put any restrictions on that position. It basically said no one can interfere with any decision made by the City manager. It does not include what the City Manager cannot do."

I have been involved in city government on and off since 1977 and throughout all those years, we have operated under what is known as a council/manager form of government. It's the most common form of government in Oregon. It's been that way for many years ... and the new Charter (approved by voters in 2002) did not change that. The charter changes in 2002 were principally "housekeeping" and had nothing to do with giving the city manager the ability to govern. The city council continues to set policy, which is carried out by the city manager. To infer that the city council cannot interfere with any decision made by the city manager is patently false. If Brown refers to the hiring and firing of employees, that is true. The city employees who work for the city council include the city manager, the city attorney and the city recorder. All others, including the police chief, work for the city manager.

Concerning our present city manager, Matt Winkel, who has been here for nearly 20 years and has surpassed all expectations in what he has been able to accomplish, he is retiring at the end of the year, so one way or the other he would not be affected by any changes to the charter.

Interestingly enough, in the last 75 years, Bandon has only had four city managers (although the first one was technically considered to be the manager of utilities): John Fasnacht, Bill Donahue, Ben McMakin and Matt Winkel. That is a record that is considered extremely enviable by other cities, who often have a difficult time keeping their city managers.

There are several things I'd like to point out in the proposed charter that seem to be a bit "out there."

I will get right to Section 3. Pets. "Regulating of animals in the City of Bandon shall be equally created to respect all citizens and businesses. All animals fed in Bandon by citizens or by businesses are considered to be called their pets and as such owned by that citizen and/or business. All rules, regulations and ordinances and fines that apply to the containment, actions or offense committed by the owner of a pet will apply to all pets, whether a domesticated dog, cat, or other domesticated animal or wild animal. (The emphasis is mine). All pets must be kept on the owner's property at all times, unless on a leash. All pets must be kept under the owner's control. Any resident or business seen feeding a wild or feral animal will be fined at the same rate as applied to fines applied to domesticated animals."

I'm not trying to be facetious, but I'm not sure where the feeding of wild birds comes into play here.

Another interesting recommendation would be that if 40 registered voters did not like any decision of the planning commission, those 40 voters could "overturn their decisions for reconsideration and alterations."

Brown also recommends that city councilors spend at least two hours a week for 45 weeks of the year in advertised, open public access, "rather than a business or home owned by them or benefits them." The mayor would be required to spend four hours a week for 45 weeks in open public access.

I am a strong believer than if a person wants to address the council, they need to address the entire council either in person or by letter so that all decision makers have the same information. Contacts outside a public meeting made with individual councilors can often lead to what is known as "ex parte contact" and must be declared in the event of a hearing on a specific issue.

I have no idea if this new 16-page proposed charter, which would replace the current seven-page charter, will come to a vote, but like the other charter, it will require the necessary signatures to put it on the ballot.

But I would certainly suggest that people read both the present charter and the proposed charter before they vote on . . . or sign something they do not understand.

*           *           *

I won't be sharing any of my old pictures this week because people said they wanted to know about the proposed charters, but I will share one, which was pretty frightening to me.

Two years ago I rescued a couple of very old bird houses from the back of my neighbor's property; last summer I noticed a few bees flying in and out of one of them and mentioned it to local bee expert Pat Reed, but he never made it over to look at them and I forgot about it.

Thursday I was sitting out on my deck when I noticed a bit more activity; probably 10 or 15 bees flying around the opening to the bird house. Again I didn't give it too much thought.

But an hour later, about 4 p.m., I looked outside my sliding glass doors and it was almost dark out; there were thousands of bees swarming around the entire yard and plastered all over the bird house. If I had been out in the yard when they decided to swarm onto my property, I probably would have died of fright as a few bees can send me scrambling into the house ... let alone thousands of them.

Bees in the bird house
Bees in the bird house

I immediately called Pat and left a message; my next call was to the county extension office but while talking to them, Pat got in touch with me. He came right over and by that time they were pretty much all inside the bird house. He waited until after dark to come over and get them, and Saturday he emailed me to say that he still hadn't been able to get them out of the birdhouse into his bee hive and wondered if it was OK to keep the birdhouse a while longer. After learning that the smell would remain and that it could possibly attract another swarm of bees, I told him I really did not want it back.

I know they are extremely beneficial to the environment, but I do not want thousands of them swarming around my property, and I think they will find a good home with Pat and Sue.

*           *           *

I can't ever remember a "heat wave" in April like we had last Wednesday and Thursday. The bank thermometer registered 93 degrees at around 2 o'clock on Wednesday. A former city employee, who lives outside of town, said it got to 102 degrees at her place. Some said it was in the high 80s, but the official temperature at North Bend was 92 degrees.

Temperature at Umpqua Bank
Temperature at Umpqua Bank

Thursday was also hot, but nothing like Wednesday. It was fun to see people walking around town in shorts, flocking to the beaches, and like me, actually driving with the top down on my little convertible.

previous columns by mary schamehorn