As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 30, 2013

People keep contacting me about the Myrtle Point Herald, which I try not to even think about. I am sad to see what has happened to the paper where my friend, Melody Shorb, and I worked so hard to make it a top-notch publication. In the 25 years that I was editor, I don't think we ever went a week without an editorial, and often I also wrote a column similar to this one, but tailored to Myrtle Point and Powers.

This new "version" of the Herald not only does not have editorials written by the editor . . . but it has almost no editing of any kind. The retired teacher who does the sports does a great job of writing, but he needed heavy editing, like the nail bitter (biter), two blacks (blocks), who has ran (run), etc., but when there is an editor in name only, I guess it's a bit hard to do.

Melody and I felt vindicated this week when a Myrtle Point woman wrote a letter to the editor complaining about the quality of the paper. She said "it just goes on and on and on about nothing. It used to be so much better than the Sentinel (Coquille), but not so much anymore. I know some people in Coquille that used to get the Herald, instead of the Sentinel, because they liked the paper better. Now they've changed their minds, too. Can't it go back to the way it was?"

I'm sure nothing will change, but it was nice to hear someone say what I've been feeling. It's hard to let go after so many years, but that's life.

*           *           *

I've been hearing rumors about something that happened on the sidewalk in Old Town Saturday night or early Sunday morning, but I wasn't about to bother the chief at home on Sunday to learn the details. I believe it was some sort of an assault. I talked to a woman who lives in an apartment in Old Town and learned that she'd heard a lot of "shouting and partying," but she says that often happens on the weekends, so she didn't think too much about it.

Hopefully the W.W. police report will let us know what happened.

*           *           *

Facebook has been filled with comments about the sale of Tiffany's Drug Store, after being owned for only about a year by C&K Market, Inc. We have now learned that it will become a Rite-aid store, and that is apparently why many of the things that made Tiffany's a popular pharmacy/department store (like wine, yarn, household goods, etc.) are being sold at discount prices. The lady I spoke with at Tiffany's said she did not know if they would be carrying wines, but since they are selling all their wines at a 20 percent discount, my guess is they will not.

Certainly it's not the same store since Dennis Thomason, the long-time manager, left and it's anyone's guess what the future holds.

As far as Ray's Food Place, also owned by C&K Market, there have been some interesting changes there, as well. The latest is the removal of the pop machines from outside the store, which was a decision of "headquarters," who felt that if the machines weren't there, people would come inside to buy their pop . . . and other groceries. Actually, I understand it was a pretty big revenue generator, and it may well have the opposite result. That, coupled with the loss of Western Family and Darigold, is just another decision that doesn't make a lot of sense. They do have some new Thursday specials, which undoubtedly bring a lot of shoppers into the store.

My source tells me he saw on some kind of real estate site that the shopping center itself has been sold. It said it was listed for over $4 million, but he is not sure who bought it or what they paid for it.

Three months ago the Curry Coastal Pilot of Brookings (where C&K is based) carried an article titled "Tough times for C&K Market." It said that the economic downturn and increased competition mostly in the form of Walmart Supercenters has forced C&K to close several stores and lay off employees at the corporate office. When that article appeared, back in July, they owned 61 grocery stores and 15 pharmacies. Now they've sold off all their pharmacies.

Frankly, it doesn't sound good . . .

*           *           *

On a more positive note, I learned yesterday that Julie Miller, the Bandon Chamber of Commerce executive director, has been named "chamber director of the year."

I don't have any other information, but I'm sure we'll be reading more about this.

*           *           *

Among my collection of old negatives from Western World, I found a map of "Bandon & Vicinity" from April 1959. It was interesting to see the names of the motels and the cafes that were in business back then. Some of them now operate under different names, and some are not even familiar to me, so I'm not sure where they were located. Motels included Steve's, Paulson's, Twin Firs, Homestead, Ka-We-Ah, Wayside, Dunn's Auto Court, Hilltop Trailer Court, Emery Auto Court, Table Rock, Beachcomber, Sunset, Windermere, Natureland, Marion and Rambler. Cafes were Fountain Lunch, Lloyd's, Minute, Ralph's, Bandon and Tanglewood.

*           *           *

Ran into an old friend of mine at the Bakery Saturday. Joan Gradt and her late husband, Dave, were long-time residents of Bandon and in 1970 they opened the Edgewater Department Store (former home of the Golden Rule Department Store and now the Continuum Center), which they operated for six years before closing to go into the cranberry business. She reminded me that I was one of their best customers. Dave and Joan moved to Roseburg some years ago and Dave died suddenly in March of 2012. They'd been married for 47 years and Joan says she is still having a hard time believing he's gone.

But she is so proud of her two sons, Doug and Dave. Doug, 40, lives in Seattle with his wife. He worked for Amazon for eight and a half years, and he and two partners have recently started Everpath, which was accepted into the most recent class of TechStars Seattle. Everpath helps instructors create and sell online courses. People can Google to learn more about this impressive venture.

Son Dave, 42, is a railroad engineer in Texas, and he's going with a former Bandon cranberry queen, Jaime Grant Mills.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 23, 2013

It's a good thing the price of gasoline is going down, because it looks like a lot of things you buy at the grocery store are going in a different direction. As a treat (and to keep myself from overeating), I buy smokehouse almonds in a one-ounce package at Price 'n Pride. For months, they've been 73 cents a package; this week they have gone up to 94 cents. That's quite a jump, but I guess they're worth it. But I got an ever larger shock tonight at Price 'n Pride when I went to buy my favorite package of small tomatoes (that actually taste like tomatoes). Ever since they've started carrying them, they've been $3.49 a package. Tonight they have gone up to $4.99. I can understand a penny or two, but $1.50??? What gives? I am going to start paying a lot closer attention to the items I buy regularly at both Ray's and P&P to see if those kind of price increases are becoming the norm. I surely hope not.

*           *           *

What I can't believe is the beautiful weather we've been having, and from the looks of the forecast, it could last until at least through Wednesday. Outside of that little weekend of winter that we had at the end of September, October has definitely lived up to its "Indian Summer" reputation. I look forward all year to this kind of weather.

*           *           *

A couple of years ago, there was a fantastic New Year's Eve party at The Barn/Community Center, and this year, there will be another. Several city employees are working hard to make this a very fun event, complete with a two-piece (not too loud) band for dancing, food and party favors. As plans progress, I'll keep my readers posted as to the cost, times, band, etc.

I remember seeing people at the last dance that I hadn't seen out in years, and everyone had a great time.

*           *           *

In spite of the fact that I have put both my land line and my cell on the Do Not Call list, I continue to get calls daily (and even twice daily) from something called Senior Life Alarm. True, I may be reaching the age when I need such an alarm, but I do not appreciate the robo-type calls. Last week I decided to listen to the entire message, and it said that if I hit "9" I would be removed from their call list. I hit 9, but the next day another call came in. This time I hit "1" to speak to a representative, and I let them have it. That was Saturday morning, and so far so good because I haven't received another call from them. But, since I don't have an answering machine, or any way to tell who has called me when I'm gone, it may just be that I haven't been home when they called.

It certainly points out that being on the Do Not Call list doesn't really work. But who knows, I could be receiving many more a day if I weren't on that list, so it's worth a try to sign up.

But when I truly am ready for a Senior Life Alarm . . . I probably won't be contacting that company.

*           *           *

I was shocked to learn that my long-time friend and local artist John Schiefer had been killed while crossing 11th Street Thursday afternoon. John and I go way back to the time when he worked for Dan and Susan at Bandon Art Supply. John was 86 years old and often could be seen walking to and from town from his house on Baltimore Avenue (near the post office) or, as he was Thursday, apparently coming from the grocery store.

I am not sure of all the details, but apparently there were two pickups coming down 11th, but when the one turned onto Baltimore, John didn't realize there was a second truck, and he stepped out in front of it.

It was even sadder to realize that the man driving the pickup that struck him, Albert Godfrey (who goes by the name of Lucas), had taken care of John's yard and the two men were friends.

It was a tragic accident . . . .

*           *           *

I generally think of the University of Oregon when it has come to arrests involving college athletes. But the latest incident came from Oregon State University in Corvallis where Beaver pitcher Clay Bauer was suspended after being arrested on three criminal charges.

It seems that an intoxicated Bauer, 21, reportedly forced his way into Corvallis' University Market early last Saturday morning. Two employees told him the store was closed before Bauer chased one of the employees through the building, grabbed his neck and "shoved him against a display door." He then allegedly punched both front doors, shattering glass as he left the store.

If he's lucky enough to escape jail time, he should at least think about giving up drinking.

*           *           *

Last June, the Port of Bandon adopted a policy statement, which I would like to share with my readers.

"As policy, port staff takes direction from the commission. If a resident of the district has an issue he or she would like the commission to consider, that issue should be directed to the commission during public comment at a regularly scheduled port meeting. If that is not possible the issue should be expressed in writing by the citizen so it can be considered at the next regularly scheduled commission meeting.

"We commissioners and staff try to be as responsive as possible to our constituents. But there are thousands of citizens in the port district. It is unreasonable to allow one citizen of the port district to frequently engage and occupy staff and commission time as if the commissioners and port employees were that single constituent's staff."

That pretty much says it all . . .

*           *           *

Washed Ashore has received some great state-wide publicity in recent weeks, with the latest being a segment on OPB's Art Beat show Thursday night. I was among those invited to join the Washed Ashore staff and volunteers at a pizza party at Tony's Pizza Parlor to watch the OPB special.

This is definitely a success story, and one that is being shared nationwide, again putting Bandon "on the map."

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 16, 2013

Ever since Dave Wilhite told me a year ago that he was planning to stage the Oregon Coast Film Festival at the Sprague Theater on Oct. 12, I've been wondering what to expect.

Well I found out Saturday night, and it was fabulous. We got to mingle with the contributors and others during a reception at 5, followed by the showings of the films at 6. The 26 short films/videos ranged in length from just under 2 minutes to nearly 11 minutes, and everywhere in between.

They were grouped into four categories: tourism, outdoor and recreation; historical and cultural; student videos; and independent videos.

At the end of the program the audience was asked to pick its favorite, and that was pretty difficult because there were a lot of outstanding films. But in the end the majority (including this writer) agreed that "An Artist With a Camera" by William Kelsay and Larry Modrell was the winner. It featured Bandon photographer Kelle Herrick and her superb bird photography. Her work can be seen at Second Street Gallery, and it's worth a trip into the gallery just to see her photos.

One film that really interested me was the "Ni-les'tun Marsh Restoration Project" by Portland resident (and often visitor to Bandon) Michael Fousie. He captured what has gone on at what we locals refer to as the "Bandon Marsh" and it gave us a clearer understanding as to what has taken place out there . . . and possibly why we had the serious mosquito problem this summer. Maybe he will do a follow-up film on the work that is proposed out there for next spring when they begin to restructure the areas that caused the problem. I'd love to see that.

I was particularly interested in one independent video "Overland India" where Makai Ohana Productions took us through a large segment of India. My youngest sister's daughter, Erin Rose Johnson, is now living in India, and although I'm not sure which part of India she's in, I certainly better understand the culture change that she is presented with. I'll be traveling to Phoenix (where my sister and her husband have a home) for Christmas, and Erin and her boyfriend will be there, so I will learn even more about India. Wayne Van Burger, whose wife Susanne taught at Ocean Crest for many years, also produces fishing videos and he and his film partner, who film under the name Beaver Hill Productions, presented an outstanding video titled "The Joy of Fishing: Kamchatka, Russia."

A Langlois man, Reed Brady, had a short video titled "Creek Kiting in Curry County," which was well done.

The story of "Washed Ashore" is something I never get tired of watching or learning more about. In fact, I believe there will be a segment on OPB about Washed Ashore this Thursday night at 8. And they were featured on KEZI news late last week. They have brought world-wide publicity to our area for their fantastic job of turning plastic from the beaches into large sculptures, and making people aware of just how much plastic is thrown away each year.

Another of Michael Fousie's three videos was titled "Circles in the Sand," and it was filmed on the Bandon beach. It featured labyrinths of sand, which were enjoyed by beachgoers before the circles of sand were wiped out by the rippling waves.

Kristi Kelty produced a video on the "Peace Rocks Project," which was begun by the late Jane Clark and carried on by Rev. Robin Haruna of Unity of Bandon. Peace rocks, which originated in Bandon when Jane brought a few painted rocks, bearing the word "peace," to a peace concert at Unity in 2006, are now in countries throughout the world.

*           *           *

I read a lot about a huge die-off of bees, and I have experienced it here in my own yard, but I can't figure out why. I have used no chemicals in either my front or back yard, and certainly not around my flowers. But in the last couple of days, I have found two large black bees dead in the center of one variety of dahlia. I tried to email our local bee expert, Pat Reed, to tell him about it but, as usual, his spam filter is so sensitive that nothing I send him can get through.

I can't figure out if it's the dahlia, known as Victoria Ann, or if it's just a coincidence that both died while extracting sweet nectar from the same kind of flower. I have many other varieties in my yard, but haven't seen anything unusual involving bees. Ideas anyone?

*           *           *

I haven't read this anyplace, but according to an item in our city council packet from last week, McFarlin's bar and grill has sold. The entity applying for a new liquor license is Harvey Group LLC, and the contact person is Moxie Black of Bandon, who will manage the business. I know Al Greenfield has wanted to sell the business for quite some time, and it appears that has occurred.

*           *           *

I was surprised recently to read an article about all the local area ports that were to be dredged this year, and noticed that Bandon was not among them. Thinking this was merely an oversight on the writer's part, I emailed the Port of Bandon.

Port director Gina Dearth said they don't need to be dredged this year. "The survey showed no build-up of sediment and the charter boats and boats crossing the bar have been saying all summer the bar is in great shape and the survey proves that. Amazing, no one can figure out why or where the sediment that normally builds there, did not this year. One indicator was the rain quitting early last spring, but no one knows. Sort of anti-climatic for me after months and months of work and trips to Salem. I can think of one other time about 20 years ago that we didn't need dredged. The funding for dredging is in place for next year and that's a good thing," Gina said.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 09, 2013

Wow. What a difference a week can make. A week ago, the wind was blowing hard and the rain was coming down. I feared that winter was here and that we would not see our famous "Indian Summer" weather that we wait for all year.

But not too worry. The weather was absolutely gorgeous this weekend, which was perfect to welcome 200 people from across the state who came here for the Watercolor Society of Oregon fall conference.

The event was hosted by Victoria Tierney, a member of WSO, and Pat Cink, who has lived here about a year and is soon to become a Society member.

Friday evening I was honored to have been asked to welcome them during a "meet and greet" reception at the Barn/community center. And Saturday, the community joined the artists at a reception held at the hospital to open the show, which featured 80 of their best paintings. Food was donated from a number of Bandon businesses.

The comments about our community were tremendous. People absolutely loved Bandon . . . and certainly our windless, warm weather just added to the charm. The streets of Old Town were teeming Saturday with artists, identified by their WSO name tags.

These kinds of small conventions definitely give the business community a boost and provide the kind of goodwill that makes people return for another visit.

There were still a lot of people in Old Town on Sunday and my guess is many of the artists and their spouses probably extended their trip to enjoy another day of our beautiful weather.

According to the weather report, it was supposed to rain Monday and Tuesday, but who can complain after this weekend.

*           *           *

One remark that I heard came from a couple who said they were impressed with how clean our town is. That was music to my ears, because throughout the years that I have been mayor, I have been concerned about garbage, and it was nice to hear a remark like that. They said they had been to other coastal communities, and ours was by far the cleanest.

Thanks to all who help keep it that way.

*           *           *

The annual Bandon Feeds the Hungry variety show was Saturday night, with a big crowd in attendance and plenty of wonderful silent auction items . . . and even one oral auction item: a used kayak which generated a minor bidding war between Cathy Underdown, Dr. Gail McClave and Ed Backholm. Cathy prevailed (for $300), which was a big boost for the five food banks who benefit from the event. It was donated by someone named Helen, but sorry I didn't hear the last name or at least it wasn't familiar to me.

Mike Lehman, an attorney and former state representative, who is the new executive director of Oregon Coast Community Action, was the master of ceremonies and did a good job keeping the show moving along. For the most part, the talent was great and those on stage ranged in age from 10 on up . . . I admire them for getting on stage, some for the first time.

Special tribute was paid by several of the singers, and by Lehman, to long-time community volunteer Lyn Silverman, who has worked tirelessly for years on behalf of the five food banks. Lyn has been battling a series of seizures, and her doctor advised her it's time to de-stress her life and hope they will go away. They can't find any reason for the seizures, but feel that stress could be the problem.

We wish her the best, and if the seizures do go away, Lyn told me she plans to return slowly to the thing she loves most: serving the community.

It will be hard to find someone to fill Lyn's shoes.

*           *           *

The next event on tap for Bandon is the Oregon Coast Film Festival, which is the brainchild of Dave Wilhite, a Bandon resident. His bio says: "I have an interest in stories told about the place I call home and that is the Oregon coast."

The film festival is Saturday night at the Sprague Theater, and will feature short documentaries from regional and local filmmakers: students professionals and amateurs.

Saturday's "Best of Festival Evening" will begin with a pre-event reception, with doors to open at 5. Refreshments and light hors d' oeuvres will be served. This will be an opportunity to meet with artists and attendees.

The evening's program is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. and features short documentary films from four festival categories: historical and cultural; tourism, outdoor and recreational; student videos; and independent videos.

During the evening there will be a silent auction of limited edition film festival posters, created by the BHS digital photography class. Proceeds from the auction go to the BHS artists and the festival.

Tickets for the festival are $10 and will be available at the door. They can also be purchased at Bandon True Value or online at

More information about the festival is on the web at

*           *           *

Bandon has also been honored with a number of awards in the past week, which is a true testament to the efforts of many of our residents.

The 2013 “Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Award” for Best Façade Rehabilitation Under $7,500 has been awarded to Devon’s Boutique of Bandon. The award, presented at the Oregon State Main Street Conference in Astoria, recognized the best single façade renovation project using $7,500 or less.

The 2013 “Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Award” for Best Business Development Project has been awarded to Bandon’s Old Town Market Place. The award was presented to the Port of Bandon at the Conference in Astoria.

Greater Bandon Association’s Harv Schubothe was presented with the 2013 Main Street Manager of the Year Award at the same conference.

Meanwhile, the same weekend in Portland, the City of Bandon received the "Award for Excellence" for the public/private partnership, which was responsible for Bandon's wonderful new Face Rock Creamery. I knew we had submitted an application, but I was not aware that the winner would be announced at Saturday's noon luncheon, nor that we would win the award. We were sitting way in the back, so you can imagine my surprise when the league president announced that the City of Bandon was the winner, and that "Mayor Mary Schamehorn would be coming forward to accept the plaque."

Usually if you are going to get up in front of hundreds of people, you have some idea and prepare for it. But it was news to me. The thanks for putting the presentation together belongs to our outstanding city manager, Matt Winkel.

And the real thanks goes to creamery owner Greg Drobot, for his sizeable investment in Bandon and the jobs that it has provided.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 02, 2013

Since I spent the last four days in Portland at the League of Oregon Cities, I actually wrote this column last week because I didn't think I would have time this week. So it will be short, but at least if I get started on it, and something noteworthy happens this week, I can add it in before I send it to Mongo Sunday night.

I'm back now, and I want to tell you that traveling in Sunday's storm all the way from Portland was quite an experience, and I am sure we can expect some horrific winds tonight (Sunday), which I am definitely not looking forward to.

*           *           *

Bandon has two big events on tap for the next two weekends. The Fall Transparent Watercolor Convention of the Oregon Watercolor Society "Painting With Abandon!" will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Barn/Community Center will be the headquarters for the event, and convention co-chairs Victoria Tierney and Pat Cink are planning great workshops for the Society members.

Over 200 pieces of their work will also hang at Southern Coos Hospital, with a reception, open to the public, at the hospital Saturday afternoon from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The will be the first time in 25 years the entire statewide exhibit of the Watercolor Society of Oregon will be opening in Bandon.

Workshops will include a paint-out at the beach, a paint-out at a cranberry bog and a trip to the Old Town Market. A lot of these events will probably depend on the weather and as I update this Sunday afternoon, it doesn't look very promising for any kind of outside activity. But this is Oregon and we know how quickly the weather can change.

Local photographers Susan Dimock and Kelle Herrick of Bandon and Pat Stannard of Floras Lake will lead the group in photo-shoots at the local beaches and lakes.

While here, the group will take side trips to the Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay, and a trip to Port Orford to the Hawthorne Gallery and Redfish Restaurant.

A press release put out by Victoria Tierney last spring also reminds visitors that they will have a chance to visit the new Face Rock Creamery, play world-class golf, ride horses on the beach, take a charter fishing boat ride, beach comb, camp at Bullards, and enjoy Bandon's great restaurants and quaint shops.

Now if we just have some of our "Indian Summer" weather . . . that would be great.

The 2013 Oregon Coast Film Festival will take place Saturday evening, Oct. 12, also at the community center. Tickets for the film festival are $10 and can be purchased at True Value Hardware or on the website. General admission tickets will also be available at the door for the program, which starts at 6 p.m., with a reception at 5.

I'll have more about this event in next week's column, but it's a first for Bandon and people are encouraged to attend.

*           *           *

I've received several email messages lately wondering when "I am in my office at City Hall."

I'd love to say I have an office, but I don't. Actually I don't even have a desk, except that when I go into sign checks or talk with Matt, I have my "own" chair in his office.

So please don't think I race out the back door of my office (that I don't have) when I see you coming, because I do not keep "office hours" at City Hall. You might be more likely to find me at the Bandon Baking Co. around 12:30 or 1 on the days that they are open, or often I am at Pacific Blues. Also people can always email me at I check my email many times a day and generally respond promptly.

*           *           *

I will admit that I have received so many emails from one Bandon woman, generally telling me what she wants me to do, how to run the City, what I've done wrong, etc., that I finally had enough and blocked her email. So you can imagine my surprise when her name turned up again in my inbox. I guess she thought I wouldn't notice, but instead of her name at . . . her second address is . . . at . . . without the "i."

Nice try . . . but it didn't work.

She's always welcome to address the whole council during "visitors not on the agenda," which is the best way to let everyone know your concerns . . . or even praises, which would be much appreciated.

On my desk here at my home office (where I actually have two desks), I have a plaque given to me by my friend Linda Cummins of Abba Farms, which says it best: "Please pose all questions in the form of a compliment."

If only that were true . . . .

*           *           *

The council recently received a letter from a woman who lives on Chicago Ave. SE wondering what can be done about the problem of dog excrement on sidewalks and other people's property.

I have heard this complaint countless times from people who love to walk around the community, and even from those responsible dog owners who pick up their dog's waste and do not appreciate those owners who do not.

In the area where the writer lives, there are several apartment complexes, which she said do not have "facilities for these animals to use for defecating and urinating."

She adds: "The dog owners take several walks daily so that their dogs can excrete along the way, which extends to the empty lot across the corner of 9th and Chicago or all the way to Price 'n Pride."

She said the city's ordinance requires dogs to be on a leash, no longer than six feet, but she said some people use extendable leases, which allow their dogs to go onto people's yards.

She suggested a survey be sent to all residents on the street, which she felt would give the council enough information to take action.

Believe me, we know that dog waste is a huge problem, and that the leash law in many cases is ineffective.

We have a volunteer who handles our dog complaints, and I'll pass her letter onto him.

*           *           *

I just learned that Sandy Geiser Messerle, wife of former Coos County Commissioner Fred Messerle, has been fired from her job as executive director of the South Coast Development Council, a non-profit, private organization whose mission is to bring family-wage jobs to Coos County and northern Douglas County.

I haven't read anything about it, but heard that the board of directors took the action in late July, effective Sept. 1. She's held the position since 2009.

SCDC has been in operation for quite a few years, funded mostly by cities, the county and private businesses in Coos County.

At one point, some of the smaller cities, like Bandon, had a seat at the table, but do not contribute financially.

Since there has been nothing about this in the World, I am not sure of the details, but the information came from an extremely good source, so I know it's true.

(After I wrote this, I have learned from the former chairman that her leaving was "a mutual decision.")

previous columns by mary schamehorn