As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 27, 2010

Some people might think I get a little too upset over the “little things,” but after seeing garbage spread all over the sidewalk (alongside one of the City of Bandon’s absolutely ugly black garbage cans across from the North Bend Medical Center Clinic and near Joseph Bain’s office), I am extremely upset. I have hated those garbage cans from the day we put them out. They replaced, at least in Old Town, some very tasteful wooden cans, which could no longer be picked up by the garbage company because they’d become automated. So we put out those black ugly things that are pretty much open and people routinely use them for their household garbage.

True, most of the garbage is in well-tied plastic bags, but the crows have never met a plastic bag that they couldn’t open. It was obvious from the way the garbage was strewn around, on both sides of the street, that they had gotten to a bag. As I was exclaiming to myself how awful the mess looked, I glanced over at a similar big, black, ugly city garbage can on the sidewalk alongside the Price ‘n Pride parking lot and there were two crows busily opening the plastic bags, which were almost ready to spill out onto the sidewalk. I hastily ran home, grabbed my camera and took pictures of the garbage; the crows were gone (at least temporarily) when I took the picture of the second can because I’d pulled up alongside them and honked.

I know the city dedicates most of its beautification money (which comes from the franchise fee paid by the garbage company) to landscaping. But I don’t care how neat the grass and shrubs look … if they are covered with garbage. If I don’t do one other thing during my tenure as mayor (maybe short or maybe not), I will try to get rid of those garbage cans.

We purchased the new cans in Old Town, with lids, from the Port of Bandon. They are attractive and functional. People don’t put their garbage in them as much because the openings are smaller, and so far at least the crows haven’t figured out a way to open the lids.

Fortunately, most people don’t know those black cans belong to the city because the nice white city logo was scraped to bits by the tongs on the garbage truck long ago. That’s the only positive thing I can say about them.

*           *           *

There’s an item in Sunday’s sheriff’s log that talks about a dog bite in east Bandon. A 48-year-old woman called to say that her 14-year-old son had been bitten by a dog, while he was riding his bike. I talked with her Monday and she said he was riding his bike when a dog that lives on the corner of 12th and Ohio bit him in the ankle, deep enough to cause it to bleed. She called the sheriff’s dispatcher who put her touch with the animal control officer. She said one man told her he will no longer walk his dog in that area because of the intimidation by the dog that bit her son. This continues to be a huge problem throughout the county, and I’m not sure what the answer is. There are already laws on the books about keeping your dog on a leash, but as we all know, not everyone pays attention to laws – until they are cited or given a ticket. Most dogs are harmless, whether they are on a leash or not, but it’s those that aren’t that are causing the majority of problems in the county.

*           *           *

I never cease to be amazed by the amount of talent we have in this community, from the senior citizens right on down to those barely old enough to make it onto the stage. Sunday afternoon I attended the show “Guys and Dolls Jr.,” put on by New Artists Productions. Wow! Do we ever have some wonderful young people in Bandon. A number of those youngsters are becoming seasoned actors and actresses, thanks to Dan and Anita Almich and all the parents and adults who help put on these shows. The four in the starring roles (Destyni Fuller, Dante Haruna, Jeneveve Winchell and Tessa Fuller) did a superb job, as did the supporting cast. Nicholas Zamora, who played Nicely Nicely Johnson, sang several solo numbers with a voice and stage presence far beyond his years. Autumn Moss-Strong has developed into quite an actress, having been on stage many times in recent years. Others rounding out of the cast, several of whom played dual roles, were Cheyanne Ornelas, Aria Giovannetti, Emma Wampler, Nathan Malamud (the littlest one on stage), Mikaela Peters, David and Natalie Vincent, Emily and Brianna Wilson, Rose Garrett, Olivia Kincaid and Gwen Stadelman.

Guys and Dolls Junior continues through next weekend, Friday and Saturday at 7, with a matinee at 2 on Sunday (so you can still be home when the trick or treaters come).

I know people can’t attend everything that comes along, but if you want to watch a well-acted, marvelously choreographed show, don’t miss it.

*           *           *

There have been a lot of changes in the business community lately, and most of them are not good. I know a lot of people are really going to miss Two Loons. Linda and her crew have done a wonderful job over the years, and their wind-protected courtyard has been very popular during the summer months. I understand she tried to sell the business, but wasn’t able to do so she decided it was time to retire and take a well deserved, long vacation. (Wow, do I envy her). Having already gotten a taste of winter this week, I am already longing for the sunshine.

Greenscapes is also closing their retail nursery at the end of the month, although Mike still intends to carry on his landscaping business.

Expressions Gallery closed recently, but it was good to learn that Bill and Louise Moore, owners of the building where the gallery was located, will be re-opening their Inner Garden business right away. I always loved their shop and am glad to hear it is returning.

The loss probably felt by the most people in Bandon was the closing of the wonderful seafood business in the big blue building on Port property. My mother, for example, has purchased her fresh fish there for years. And since it’s no longer there, her caregiver purchased frozen, breaded fish at the market this week … and both of them were sick all night.

We can keep our fingers crossed that the port can work something out with a fisherman who can once again open with the kind of fresh fish that Graydon Stinnett and his crew provided us for so many years. Every time someone asks me about the closing of the fish store, I simply tell them: go ask the port. I don’t understand it enough to talk about it, so I don’t.

On a very positive note, Cest’ Vert, the neat shop on the Pedway, and several other businesses held the Pedway Harvest Festival Saturday and did very well. The rain held off and the Pedway was protected from the wind by the building. Jami Gallagher and her husband introduced their new cranberry mustard and cranberry catsup, which was a huge hit, and Ty Vincent was there with some of the Vincent Family cranberry products.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 20, 2010

The Oregon State Report Card for each school district and school in the state was released last week. Two of Bandon’s schools – Harbor Lights Middle School and Ocean Crest Elementary School – received the highest rating possible: outstanding. Bandon High School was rated satisfactory.

Harbor Lights also received the same outstanding rating the previous year, while the elementary school improved from satisfactory.

The only other school in the South County (Powers, Myrtle Point, Coquille and Bandon) to receive a rating of outstanding was Powers Elementary, although based on the criteria used to judge the schools, Powers High School would have also been rated outstanding, but because it had too few students, it wasn’t rated this year.

Myrtle Point High School, which was judged to be “In Need of Improvement” last year, was rated satisfactory this year, as was the Myrtle Crest Elementary. The Coquille schools were all rated satisfactory, but the high school went down from last year’s ranking of outstanding.

*           *           *

I still had six “Vote Mary for Mayor” signs left from the election four years ago and my boyfriend decided they really needed to be hauled out of the garage and put in a spot where someone might actually see them. So the next thing I knew, there were three in the front yard along the highway, two more in my sister’s front yard, and he still had one left.

But he’d found what he believed were two more, and had been carrying them around in the back of his pickup while trying to figure out the “perfect place.” Then he decided to put one on each side of the rack on his pickup, and didn’t pay too much attention as he was putting them up … until he got finished and realized that one of them said “Vick for Council.”

Since Brian isn’t running this year, we decided it might be best, rather than to confuse people, to just put it away in the garage – for the next election. But I guess it wouldn’t be any funnier than seeing bumper stickers urging people to write Tom Lakey’s name in for mayor, when he has told a number of people he is not running for mayor and wouldn’t accept it if he won. As most people know by now, it’s a joke by someone paying him back for an earlier joke. I’m sure we’ll all be glad when this election is over.

*           *           *

Speaking of the election, the chamber of commerce sponsored a candidate forum at The Barn/Community Center last Wednesday for council and mayor candidates. It was well attended, but the best part is that for those of you who may have missed it, but are interested, it can be seen on cable channel 14, or it can be accessed by going to or by going to the City of Bandon’s web site and clicking on “public records.” Either way, I think you can watch it on streaming video on the Internet – at your convenience. I have already talked to two people who watched it and felt it was very informative. There were some good questions … and some equally good answers. There will be at least one new councilor this year as incumbent Blythe Tiffany chose not to run again.

*           *           *

Several people at our church (St. John’s Episcopal) have been bringing fresh zucchini out of their garden to share with other parishioners in the last couple of weeks.

But I’d used mine up, and decided I’d go to the store and pick up a few. It was after 6, and Mother’s Natural Grocery was closed, but I was sure I could pick up some local zucchini at one of our markets.

Wrong. There was a big sign beneath the zucchini that said “grown in Mexico,” or something to that effect.

It’s hard to believe that with the over abundance of that popular – and extremely easy to grow – vegetable, we’d have to settle for produce grown outside the country.

Needless to say, I went without zucchini for dinner that night. I’m sure if I put an ad in Coffee Break, I’d be inundated with all the zucchini I could ever use …. But I just wanted a couple.

*           *           *

People are reminded of the Pedway Harvest Festival market that will take place this Saturday (Oct. 23) on the Pedway in Old Town – behind the Continuum Center building. We’re all praying for the kind of good weather we’ve enjoyed this week.

You won’t want to miss the new cranberry mustard and cranberry catsup, being made by Jami Gallagher and her husband (I’m sorry, but I don’t know his name) that are being sold at Cest’ Vert, located on the Pedway.

They are being marketed under the name, “Berry Creations,” and feature Vincent Family cranberries. Ingredients in the mustard, in addition to the cranberries, are ground mustard, sugar, vinegar and Lee’s Bees Honey. I may not be that much of a cook, but I can’t wait to try a pork tenderloin smothered in that mustard, recommended by Clyde Showalter (owner of Cest’ Vert). It’s very tangy and extremely good … and I’m sure the catsup is equally as tasty.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 13, 2010

After what my family experienced last week, I won’t be so quick to assume someone is guilty … just because I’ve seen the “evidence.” My 93-year-old mother received a message on the answering machine Friday from a man who had been walking his dog in the donut hole (unincorporated area of land along Beach Loop that is outside the city limits) when he discovered a rather large pile of fresh garbage dumped in the gorse – peppered with letters, magazines and even an old prescription bottle containing the names of my mother and two of my sisters.

Mom immediately called my sister, Molly, fearing that someone had gotten into her locked garage and taken the garbage out of her can. Molly called me, and Jason and I met her at the scene – down a badly rutted unpaved road just a short distance from Beach Loop Road. There we found what he’d seen. We were first greeted by a large piece of cardboard advertising a yard sale my nephew and his wife had had at my sister’s house earlier in the week. As we rummaged through the garbage, we began finding other “evidence,” – magazines with both sisters’ names on them, as well as my mother’s. We were shocked, wondering how their garbage had found its way to this location. A quick phone call to sister Maggie provided the answer. A guy who lives nearby, who told them he works at the Dunes, had offered to take the 4x8 sheets of plywood (that they had used for garage sale tables) and other stuff that didn’t sell, along with some of their household garbage, to the dump. They paid him $40. But, as you can guess, that didn’t occur. Since my nephew knew the man’s name, he immediately called him and gave him 48 hours to completely clean up the area, or …..

I would have gone one further. I would have said I would hold off calling the police until he showed me the receipt from Beaver Hill Disposal Site indicating that he had, indeed, disposed of it properly. Who knows if it ever made it to the dump, or is it now resting down another deserted road somewhere else in the community.

And that’s not all that we saw there. Across from the big pile were about 15 cans of whipping crème (in a can) which is what huffers use to get high. I believe that’s the term, but I’m not positive. I have heard that people get high by inhaling the propellant that is used to get the cream out of the can. Who knows if they huffed at that location or they just gathered them all up after a party and decided to throw their garbage where a lot of others do... down a dirt road not far from the beautiful Bandon beach.

While trying to get out of the maze of dirt roads, without having to turn around, we came upon another even bigger pile of garbage, which spread completely across the road. Rather than try to navigate it, we turned around and went out the way we came.

Sickened by what we had seen.

*           *           *

People might say that I don’t have enough to do (which, of course isn’t true), but I love nothing better than browsing through the shops in Old Town on a warm sunny day. Jason Tree of Pacific Blues (in the Continuum Center) is starting to become well known by a group of locals for his food, and a bunch of us usually gather there on Friday evenings for spirits and some great food.

And while I was waiting for my lunch Friday, I saw the most fantastic lighted glass in Courtney Gaspar’s Whisky Run Jewelry store. I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of these very heavy pieces of glass, with what looks like a large mushroom inside. You put them on a revolving base with a series of colored lights in it, and the combination is truly beautiful.

I know it’s not Christmas yet, or even my birthday, but I couldn’t help buying one for myself, and I’ve been sitting in the dark tonight admiring its beauty. I love all kinds of lighted gadgets, and this is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen. True, it wasn’t cheap (I think it came to $68 with the glass and the base), but it was definitely worth it.

Jason has a great selection of wines but, or course, nothing on the South Coast can compare with the selection that Dennis Thomason has amassed at Tiffany’s Drug Store in the Bandon Shopping Center.

I just hope that before people head to the valley….or even Coos Bay to do their holiday shopping, they will visit our local shops first.

I don’t want to see any more empty storefronts in Bandon, and I don’t think you do either.

*           *           *

I’m not sure why I haven’t read anything about this, but the Herald got a chilling e-mail last week from the CEO of the Waterfall Clinic in Coos Bay, warning people who are out late at night of the latest danger.

It seems that the cook at Blossom Gulch School in Coos Bay had arrived for work at 5 a.m. on Sept. 30 and, as she parked her car, a four-door black sedan with dark/tinted windows pulled into the parking lot, circled her car and then stopped their car in front of hers (perpendicular). She picked up her cell phone (I knew there was a reason we all carry them) and they quickly drove off. She left the parking lot because she had forgotten something at home (maybe her .357) and when she pulled out, the car did a U-turn at the corner of 10th and Elrod and sped up the street to catch up with her. She turned at the traffic light, and the car took a shortcut on Anderson to catch up with her. He then tailgated her all the way to the turn at the police department after she slowed down as if she were turning there, and then they sped off. She called the police and an officer met her at the school so she could get safely inside. It turns out that the car and the situation is the same description given of the men that have been out late at night/early in the morning attacking people walking/getting home or to work – with baseball bats. They attack them, take what they can and then leave.

I might have thought this was a prank but the person who sent it to Kathy at the Waterfall Clinic was Frances Smith, administrator of the Coos County Public Health.

So it’s no joke. I’m just surprised that we haven’t read more about this, particularly if a similar incident (only worse) has occurred in the past. Maybe I missed that copy of the paper, but I would have thought people would have been talking about it.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 06, 2010

If you’re wondering why my pal Tom Lakey decided he didn’t want to continue his write-in campaign for mayor, it’s because he never planned to run for the office in the first place. It seems that someone was playing a huge practical joke on the die-hard Oregon fan, who, according to Lanny Boston, pulled a good one on a friend … he put a University of Oregon license plate holder on the guy’s pickup … when he definitely was not a Duck fan.

So to “pay him back,” the friend orchestrated the yard signs and bumper stickers, complete with Tom’s color photo, indicating that he was mounting a write-in campaign for mayor. Tom told friends Sunday morning that he’s gathered up most of the yard signs, even though a few may still remain.

He knows he may get some votes, but it appears that he’s definitely not intending to get into local politics.

I’ll admit I was a bit surprised when I first saw the signs, but understood completely when I learned it was a big joke.

Now Tom is trying to figure out how to “upstage” his friend. And my guess is it won’t be easy.

*           *           *

My sister had an “interesting” experience the other night. She lives in a large home in the area just outside the city limits, known as Sunset City. There is also a small apartment off the garage, but the tenant keeps his pickup parked outside.

So you can imagine her surprise Thursday morning when she went down stairs, heading to work in Coos Bay, to find her garage door wide open. Her faithful little dog, Blue Angel, goes to work with her, and for some reason, she hesitated to jump into my sister’s SUV. And then Molly figured out why. There on the backseat was a package of Marlboro cigarettes, a hairbrush and a towel, and the keys to her car were in the ignition. Yes, she had left her keys in her car (but not in the ignition) feeling that nothing would happen in a locked garage.

Knowing that the tenant, who had only recently moved in downstairs, smoked that brand of cigarettes, she immediately knocked on his door and demanded to know what had happened.

He said he had picked up four young men (he called them college students, but we’re pretty sure that’s not who they were) at a local bar, and that about 4 or 5 in the morning, they had driven her car somewhere. Fortunately it wasn’t damaged, but on the floor of her vehicle, she did find the paper wrapping from a pill … which can only be obtained by prescription. He couldn’t explain why he hadn’t called to tell her that her vehicle was being driven away by several men, whose names he didn’t even know, or why he hadn’t called the police. But he hadn’t.

She was pretty upset and came over to my house to tell me what had happened. She then called the sheriff’s office and talked at length to an officer. He later went out to her house to interview the man in the apartment … who, according to the police report, said he didn’t know if the vehicle had been driven. But, that’s not the story he told my sister. She knew exactly how far her vehicle had been driven because she had had the oil changed Tuesday, and determined that it had been driven about 17 miles.

As she was leaving that morning, the man in the apartment told her that he had lost the keys to his pickup, and as she backed out, she looked down on the floor boards, and there were his keys. She has reported this to her landlord, who, I believe, lives in Arizona.

She’s hoping the police can determine who the young men were who drove her vehicle … and most of all, why. What were they after at 4 in the morning, and where did they go?

Thankful as she is that they didn’t damage her nearly new (to her) vehicle, it was an extremely unnerving experience.

We all have a good idea who they were … but not their names, and I doubt that they were “college kids” home for the weekend … without a vehicle.

Stay tuned …..

*           *           *

I received an invitation to attend the annual tea at Heritage Place, and decided this year I would make a reservation early enough to ensure there would still be seating available. It wasn’t until I looked at my calendar did I realize that the event was being held two hours before my six-week hair-coloring appointment.

You might say, so what? That still gives you enough time to get there. The problem is that I have to wash my hair the night before … and can’t put any “chocolate kiss” or any kind of coloring on it to hide the gray streak (think civet cat). So that’s the day I generally wear a baseball cap around town, which looks a bit strange but not so much as the alternative.

Then I noticed on the invitation that people are encouraged to wear hats … but I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean a purple Curtis Cup golf hat.

I remembered that I still had a beautiful hat that was created especially for me by (I think) Victoria Tierney more than 20 years ago for Bandon’s big celebration. I no longer have the flowered dress I wore (to have my picture taken with then governor Barbara Roberts), but I’m sure I can find something to wear with it besides blue jeans.

It would be the first time except for that big celebration that I’ve ever worn a fancy hat to any public event. But it should be fun … and take me a bit out of my “comfort zone.”

*           *           *

Since I do just about all the writing for the Myrtle Point Herald (including an editorial every week, the police report and the major stories) and work only two days a week, I always tell people that I couldn’t go to my own funeral … if it were on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, two events are coming up: one this Wednesday, when I have agreed to moderate the council candidates' forum at Brewed Awakenings at 6:30, and the following Wednesday when the chamber is sponsoring a candidate forum at The Barn at 6 p.m. (so much for dinner).

The problem is that I almost never get back into Bandon until at least 6:30 or 7, and sometimes it’s as late as 8:30 or 9 because I really can’t leave until all the writing is done for the coming week.

Oh well, at least the two forums aren’t in the middle of the day, or I definitely wouldn’t be going. I will do the best I can, but if something “big” happens, as news has a tendency to do, I will probably be late or a no show.

I don’t think my boss would understand if we had nothing for the paper, which is running about 18 pages these days (with 12 of those being news pages).

Then to top it off, at church Sunday Myra Lawson asked me if I would be available to go somewhere “Wednesday afternoon.” I whispered “no,” and she said she’d tell me later what it was.

But regardless, I won’t be going anywhere – except to work – during the day on a Wednesday (or a Tuesday, for that matter).

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