As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 29, 2014

All three of this week's old photos were taken in the '50s, and all have some historic significance. The first one pictures the first trip to Bandon by the SS Coos Bay, which was picking up a load of lumber at the Port of Bandon dock in October of 1957.

SS Coos Bay October 1957
SS Coos Bay, October 1957

The second picture features the winners of the Western World subscription contest in April of 1956. Many of you probably won't remember the winners, but look at their prizes: a Brownie camera with flash (and flashbulbs), an old-time record player and a Zenith radio. The winners, from left, are Bill Perry, Jack Bowder, Eddie Gorman, Pat Hutchens, James Sterup, Elaine Hopson and Laura Jean Peacock. In back is Frances Pepper, who managed the contest.

Western World subscription contest in April of 1956
Western World subscription contest in April of 1956

Most of you will know the gals in the third picture: sisters June Korenko (at left) and Barbara Dodrill (right), signing up to give blood in the Ocean Crest gym in August of 1956. The nurse at Barbara's table is Ada Campbell, sister of Mary Capps. Although I'm not positive, the other nurse looks like Hazel Ertel, but I could certainly be wrong about that. What amazes me is that after nearly 60 years, the Ocean Crest gym hasn't really changed all that much.

Giving blood in the Ocean Crest gym in August of 1956
Giving blood in the Ocean Crest gym in August of 1956

*           *           *

The World's website had a great story, with pictures, of the flooding which took place Saturday at the port of Port Orford. Unfortunately, the Eugene Register-Guard decided to pick up the Associated Press story . . . but whoever shortened it didn't read the story very well.

The World's story clearly says that it was the Port of Port Orford that was temporarily evacuated . . . but the Guard's first paragraph said that the storm "forced a temporary evacuation of Port Orford."

Anyone who has ever been to Port Orford must have laughed at that since the town is well above the ocean and if heavy waves flood that community, our downtown would be pretty much wiped out.

So much for accuracy . . .

*           *           *

I had not read anything about the fact that Bandon Dunes Golf Resort was hosting the Speedgolf World Championships at the Old MacDonald course over the weekend.

But a story in Sunday's Register-Guard talked a bit about what it was like to play in winds that gusted upwards of 60 miles an hour . . . which blew the balls right off the greens.

In a series of "How windy was it?" paragraphs, one golfer lofted a wedge into the wind from 20 yards on the 10th hole, only to see the ball blow back at his feet. Another hit a 9-iron, landing the ball 15 feet past the hole . . . and as he was walking up to putt, the wind blew his ball past him down the hill.

I'm sure golfers will be talking about that experience for a very long time . . .

They were lucky Sunday because there was plenty of sun, a few showers and not much wind.

Maybe they'll forget what the weather was like on Saturday . . .

*           *           *

I'm sure this next item will generate some controversy, but I can't help but share a viewpoint, written by the editors of the Salem Statesman-Journal on Ballot Measure 91, titled "Legalizing marijuana fuels failure."

"It is true that marijuana probably is less destructive and dangerous than alcohol and less addictive than cigarettes. Those substances exact a huge toll on America through family and business losses caused by drunken drivers, alcohol-fuel violence and other crimes, disease and other factors.

"So . . . why should Oregon want to compound that damage by adding marijuana to the mix?

"The War on Drugs has failed because it focused on curbing the influx of drugs instead of curing the demand. Drug cartels would lose much of their grip if our nation focused on drug treatment instead of incarceration.

"But Oregon already goes light on individual marijuana users. Medical marijuana is legal. For recreational users, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a violation, like a traffic ticket. County jails and state prisons are not full of potheads, unless those people were involved in serious drug crimes.

"The drug war has failed. But Measure 91 is an even worse 'solution.' "

*           *           *

I read this week about two Coquille residents, Ronald and Dorothea Joling, being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the government because they owe the federal government more than $1 million in back taxes and associated penalties.

The article explains that because they decided not to pay their taxes, they were able to buy numerous properties in Coos and Linn counties, including Myrtle Lane Motel and Colleen's diner in Coquille.

I decided to look them up on the Coos County assessor's website, and could find nothing under their names. I did a search on Myrtle Lane Motel, which indicated the property tax bills are sent to Dorothea Joling. I discovered that not only do they not pay their incomes taxes . . . they also don't pay their property taxes. Since 2010, when they last paid taxes on the motel, they now owe Coos County $4,537.21 in back taxes and fees.

Apparently their other assets are in other names that made it impossible to track. The article said they hid their assets by setting up trusts into which they transferred property titles; opening and using bank accounts in those trusts' names; filing a bankruptcy petition to stop collection efforts; and depositing more than $110,000 into a 'warehouse bank' in an attempt to hide their ownership of the money."

Mr. Joling reportedly serves as pastor of a conservative Christian church in Coquille. He told the court, during his trial, that he stopped paying income taxes in the early 1990s after years of self-guided study led him to conclude that the nation's tax laws do not apply to him.

"He and his wife at one point tried to revoke their U.S. citizenship and have been associated with the 'sovereign citizen' movement," according to the article.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 11.

*           *           *

Saturday's big storm was pretty powerful . . . but nothing like we've seen in past years. I'd be perfectly happy if this was as bad as it gets this winter . . . because I definitely do not like the wind.

Although people living outside the city limits of Bandon suffered power outages, to my knowledge no one that is served by the City of Bandon Hydro-electric Department was without power, or certainly not for long if at all.

Two of my friends live north of town and are both on Pacific Power. I know one of them was without power for eight hours on Saturday . . . and it wasn't much fun. She said she was collecting items to recycle . . .by candlelight. The other friend may have been out that long, too, but I'm just not sure.

Not only does the City of Bandon have the lowest power rates of the three companies that serve our area (Pacific Power, Coos-Curry Electric and City of Bandon) but we are known for suffering fewer outages and when there is one, it generally doesn't last long.

This is just one example of what happens when you take care of your utilities, and that is why I am hoping the people of Bandon will support Ballot Measure 6-150 so we can continue taking care of your water, sewer and electric systems in a responsible way.

Please don't listen to the fear mongers. Over the last 19 years, when we have been able to raise sewer and electric rates because of pre-existing bond covenants, we have raised sewer 7 times and electric 5 times ... and we still have the lowest water, sewer and electric rates in Coos County.

Past actions speak volumes . . . these are your systems and they need to be maintained so that we CAN keep rates low.

*           *           *

I learned this week that the Rev. Beth Hoffmann, who has been the priest at St. John's Episcopal Church for several years, has been called as the Vicar of St. Augustine of Canterbury in Navarre, Fla. She will be leaving the Bandon church Nov. 30.

Although I have not been attending church for some time, I know that her leaving will come as a shock to most of the parishioners, many who are new to the church.

There is talk in the diocese about possibly linking together the Episcopal churches in Port Orford and Bandon.

Mother Beth, as she is known to her parishioners, says: "If this comes to pass, resources can be shared and it will greatly expand the pool of clergy you might have to draw upon. I feel that this could be a wonderful new chapter in the life of both parishes, and this gives me heart."

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 22, 2014

It becomes harder and harder each week to decide which pictures to share because as we download more into the computer . . . there are more to share and more decisions to make.

The first picture, taken in 1957, heralded the installation of the one-way street signs, indicating that people could not turn right onto Alabama . . . a traffic grid that remains today. The second sign is at the corner where The Arcade Tavern now stands. In the background you can see the Big Wheel building. Where the stack of lumber is in the pictures is the attractive Alabama Street parking lot, complete with pavers and planted strips. The building on the left is the former port office, now Tony's Crab Shack, and the other building on that side of the street was the old Bandon Seafood building, located about where The Loft is now.

one-way street signs 1957
One-way street signs installed 1957

The second picture, taken in 1959, shows the progress on the building of the Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op addition. Note the pieces of concrete on the bank of Ferry Creek, and in the center of the picture, you can see the top of the old VFW building, which burned years later.

Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op construction 1959
Coquille Valley Dairy Co-op construction 1959

The year 1961 was a bad year for heavy rains and flooding. This picture was taken from about Fillmore (or maybe Elmira), looking west along First Street into the Old Town area. Note the efforts by the city crew to clear First Street as torrents of water run into the bay. Big Mac (D. S. MacDonald) is the big guy in the light clothes in the center of the picture. Bob Hiley, a member of the city crew, is also in the picture. You can see a Hyster coming down the street to lend a hand. The old buildings on the left side of the picture are long gone, replaced by the port parking area and Moore Mill's two-story office building.

Flooding February 1961
Flooding February 1961

*           *           *

I was sad to learn of the big fire at Riverton that took the life of a great man and a noted wood carver, Phil Clausen. You'd have never guessed that he was 88 because he looked much younger. Brian and I had been having lunch at the Bakery one day last week when Phil walked by. Thank heavens his daughter Ingrid and her husband were able to get out. I am not sure if both of his sons, Sam and Chris, lived there with them, or at least on the same property, but news reports said that Sam was not there that night.

We have several magnificent pieces of Phil's work at the Bandon Community Center. The next time you have an opportunity to attend a function there, please note the massive piece of wood that Phil crafted into a bar. He had been the subject of a number of feature articles, on both TV and in print. I remember when a woodworking magazine had a lengthy article about his work.

*           *           *

The court decision that many cities had been waiting for came down last week when a Josephine County Circuit Court judge concluded that state law does not preempt cities from enacting bans on medical marijuana dispensaries.

The ruling cleared the way for the city of Cave Junction to enforce its business license ordinance, which provides that the city will not issue a business license to businesses that violate local, state or federal law.

Applying home rule principles, the court agreed with the League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties that none of the statutes at issue preempted a city from banning a medical marijuana facility or from enforcing the business license ordinance.

I am not sure what this means for the City of Bandon as we have not discussed the issue since this ruling came down.

*           *           *

Not sure why it is so hard to spell the Elliott State Forest correctly . . . and that would be Elliott . . . one "t" or two.

An article in The World recently had Elliott spelled with one "t" in the headline, but it was correct in the article. A similar thing occurred in the Register-Guard this week, but they got it 100 percent wrong, with both the headline and the story spelling it with one "t."

In this day of being able to Google just about everything on the Internet, it would seem pretty simple to determine how it was spelled before it came out in print. Oh well, who really cares . . .

*           *           *

A commercial vessel, which fishes the waters of Alaska and is owned by former Bandon resident and BHS grad Stu Merchant, was featured in a segment, which appeared on ABC News one day last week.

Stu writes: "Mary, I had a team from Story Book Production on board filming sea cucumber and geoduck harvest on board. They filmed sea cucumber harvest near Coco Harbor on the east side of Dall Island, and geoduck harvest near Steamboat Bay on Noyes Island.

"They also recreated some underwater near accidents near Fish Egg Island. The main diver, Adam, has done arctic diving with polar bears. He seems to be well known. It was filming for Dangerous Jobs."

(P. S. I was going to check the spelling of Dall Island, but then I remembered that the Internet (Comspan) was basically down Sunday morning and I could never get on. At first I thought it might just be my computer, but then I learned that one of the markets was having similar problems, so it was apparently system-wide.)

*           *           *

The combined Harbor Lights 7th-8th grade team has been having a sensational season, and their last home game is this Tuesday Oct. 21, at 4. I was particularly interested because this summer, while having coffee at the bakery, I met the nicest, most polite young man that I'd seen in a long time. And he definitely stood out from the crowd because of his height. I learned that Coby Smith is the son of Amanda and Jason Smith and the grandson of my pal Bill Smith and his wife, Carla.

The team, coached by Bo Pickett, has won all five of their games by scores of 39-0, 39-0, 46-7, 53-0 and 53-6. Braydon Freitag is the quarterback, and Bill said he has thrown 11 passes to Coby and all 11 have gone for touchdowns. "Dick Sutherland and Don Markham would have been excited about this group coming up . . . " said Bill, referring to two Tiger football coaching legends of our era.

So, if you're looking for an exciting game, you might want to head out to the football field Tuesday at 4.

*           *           *

To those of you who may have read the irresponsible editorial in last week's Western World, written by its editorial board, all I can say is please read my response in this week's paper. To those of you who don't vote in city elections, I am sure you're getting tired of reading about Ballot Measure 6-150, which would restore rate-setting authority to the council after it was taken away through a petition initiated by Francis Stadelman. We are one of maybe two or three cities in Oregon and possibly the United States who cannot set utility rates, no matter how small, without a vote of the people. Because we have maintained our systems over the years, unlike at least four of our neighboring cities, we have the lowest rates in the area. For 5,000 gallons of water, you would pay $49.76 in Bandon; in Powers it is $105.20; Port Orford residents pay $134.64; Coquille, $89.90; Myrtle Point, $72.45.

At the time of the vote to take away rate-setting authority, the city had bond covenants on the sewer and electric system that allowed the council to raise rates as needed. And, in spite of that authority, Bandon's rates are still the lowest. But now those bonds have been paid off so we can no longer raise rates, even in the case of an emergency.

Past actions speak volumes . . . don't let the fear-mongers scare you. I am urging people to vote yes on MB 6-150. These are your systems and they need to be maintained so that we CAN keep rates low.

*           *           *

The film "GMO OMG" will be shown at 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 at the North Bend Library and on Oct. 28 at the Coos Bay Library. These free showings are sponsored jointly by the Coos Head Food Co-op and the Coquille Valley Seed Library.

It sheds lights on Ballot Measure 92, which would require mandatory labeling of GMO foods in Oregon.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 15, 2014

This week's column will be pretty short as I've been busy with candidate forums and council, and can barely type because of a paper cut to my little finger that hurts every time I hit a key.

Seemingly unable to keep up with scanning the thousands of negatives that I have saved from Western World over the years, I have been getting a lot of help lately from Jim Proehl at the museum. He downloads them and then puts them on a disc so that I will also have copies for my files.

The pictures I've chosen for this week were all three taken more than 50 years ago.

The first one shows a huge barge load of lumber leaving the local harbor, escorted and trailed by tugboats as it crosses the Bandon bar in February of 1961. It's fun to see how many cars were on the jetty watching the big barge leave Bandon. But it's even more interesting to see how barren the area was; there is no restroom and no houses on the west side of jetty road (at least not in this picture). I believe the building in the right foreground later became the Boatworks Restaurant, and it's been sitting vacant for several years.

load of lumber crossses the bar 1961
1961 load of lumber crossses the bar

The second photo of Ralph's was taken in 1955. It was later purchased by the Fraser family, who added on to it over the years. It became Gerry's (named for Gerry Fraser), and then morphed into a dinner house and bar known as Frasers. It is now the Asian Garden. It's hard to believe it was ever that small little building, but I remember it well.

Ralphs 1955

Ralphs 1955
Ralph's 1955

The third picture, also taken in February of 1961, is labeled "flooding." The building in the far right side of the pictures was Robertson's Sand & Gravel, which is now the much remodeled Edgewaters Restaurant. The small concrete building to the left of Robertson's still stands today, much to the chagrin of people who would prefer not to have to look at the badly deteriorated, rusty old building as they view the beautiful scenery from Edgewaters upstairs lounge.

Flooding 1961
Flooding 1961

I believe the rusty building, the Edgewaters building and the old hospital property a short distance away on the bluff are all owned by The Picerne Group, developers who live out of the area.

*           *           *

I just learned that the Stadelmans have purchased the thrift store building south of town, which has been operated by the Bandon Youth Center as Our Thrift Store for a number of years. Youth Center board chairman Angie Smith said the board has accepted the offer and they hope to close the deal this week. "I am unsure what the other party will do with the thrift store, but we will close after Wednesday. Sadly, two people will lose their jobs, and these decisions have not been easy. However, when this board took over we understood our priority to be the youth of Bandon.

"As I stated at the City Council meeting (last Monday night) the entire operation was about to close. Selling the property will give us enough to operate for at least two years and that's without grants or fundraising," said Smith.

At the council meeting, Smith said they would probably net about $40,000 from the sale after the debts against the property (which includes a small rental just east of the thrift store) had been paid off.

*           *           *

There have been a pair of candidate forums in the past week for the four city council candidates who are running for the three open seats. They include incumbents Chris Powell and Mike Claassen and challengers Peter Braun and Madeline Seymour.

The first forum, sponsored by the chamber, brought out about 40 people Wednesday night; the second was held Friday night at Brewed Awakenings. Unfortunately it was on the same night as the Bandon Showcase concert and an away football game, so although it was sparsely attended, as moderator I pointed out that it was an enthusiastic group and they asked quite a few questions. The Friday night forum was filmed by Coos Media and can be streamed on your computer by going to coosmediacenter@ It will also be available on Charter (channel 14) as well as Comspan (channel 73), but I am not sure what hours it will be broadcast. I think those are the channel numbers, but since I have satellite (Dish), I am not sure.

An equally important presentation is scheduled for Wednesday night (Oct. 15) at the Barn/Community Center at 6 p.m. where people can learn more about Ballot Measure 6-150, which will restore rate setting authority to the city council . . . up to5 percent a year.

Unfortunately, KCBY interviewed a member of the PAC who is supporting the measure, Patricia Soltys, and city manager Matt Winkel. While the video contained the correct information, the printed version of the interview, which appeared Friday said that the council was asking for the authority to raise rates 25 percent a year. You can imagine how much play that got on Facebook until Matt called KCBY and asked for a correction.

It's hard enough to get the truth to the voters without a huge mistake like that. Of course, it was not intentional, and we appreciate the coverage . . . but a mistake like that can do real damage.

If you would like to know more about the charter amendment, which would allow the city council to join 99 percent of the other cities in the state (and the country) in setting its own utility rates, come to The Barn Wednesday night.

I was combing through the pages of the 1995 bound volume of Western World last week in an effort to understand what transpired in what is best known as the (Francis) Stadelman Initiative. I believe Matt plans to explain it to those attending the Wednesday forum, although from what I could tell, Mr. Stadelman was upset over several things, including the fact that he was expected to pay more than one utility charge for the commercial building on Alabama Avenue, which he still owns. It houses two beauty shops, a restaurant and other offices.

The City charged him $19.56 as the monthly base rate for the first unit and $11.73 for each additional unit. Stadelman disagreed and said: "I will resolve it in other processes outside this chamber."

The late John Fasnacht, the former long-time manager of utilities and one of the most respected men in the community for many years, said it best when I interviewed him years ago after he'd been chosen grand marshal of the Cranberry Festival parade.

He said one of the most noticeable changes that came to his mind is the way representative government in this community had been removed from the hands of the mayor and the council.

"People need to remember that city government in Oregon is the representative form of government. We elect people to represent us. It's not like the New England states where they have town meetings where all can go and express their opinions. The council and mayor should be able to do their job. If they don't do the job, then they should be replaced," said Fasnacht.

No one ever spoke with more clarity.

*           *           *

I understand that Lillie Spady's health is failing, but I have learned that she and her husband Myron will be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary later this month. Myron was the city attorney for many years, and although he's slowing down a bit himself, he still takes care of his beautiful wife in their own home.

Not many achieve that kind of a milestone . . . .

*           *           *

I received a letter from Bonnie Cox last week asking if she could use several pictures I took of her late father, Charlie Jensen, when he celebrated his 100th birthday in 2005. She's writing a book on the origins of Denmark, Ore., and the local history that surrounded her father's life. His father was a Danish immigrant whose extended family homesteaded on Willow Creek next to Denmark.

It was neat to hear that her mother, Wilma, who moved to an assisted-care apartment in Coos Bay a year ago, recently celebrated her 99th birthday with a party. She's an amazing woman who looks more like 75 than 99, and still takes her daily walks, works on her computer and loves to sew.

The Jensens lived for many years in northern Curry County near Langlois.

Bonnie says it's a great arrangement as most members of the family now live in the Coos Bay-North Bend area.

*           *           *

In Gerry Frank's Travel column in the Oct. 5 issue of The Oregonian, Bandon pretty much dominated his column. His first segment was about Face Rock Creamery, urging people to try the aged cheddars and creamy Monterey Jacks.

He adds that the creamery's name pays homage to a large rock with face-like features at Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint off Beach Loop Drive.

He closes his column by mentioning Windermere on the Beach, the motel where every room has an unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean and has beach access.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 08, 2014

This week's photos include one taken before the Fire of 1936, and two photos of three members of the Bandon Jaycees preparing for their big raft race . . . over 50 years ago.

It's easy to spot the old Breuer Building (now a vacation rental dwelling just east of Edgewaters Restaurant) as it survived the Fire. Mike Breuer had his shoe shop in the west end of the building for many years. Across the street, which appears to have been mostly mud and piling, is the cement wall that is still prominent at the west end of First Street. None of the other buildings survived the Fire.

Before the fire of 1936
Before the fire of 1936

There was no identification on the envelope containing the Jaycee raft race pictures, taken in June of 1961, but I think I have identified them: from left, Bob Martindale, Don Potterf and Gene Scott.

Jaycee Raft Race 1961
Jaycee Raft Race 1961

I chose the third picture of the same three guys because most of us have probably never seen Bullards Bridge . . . from underneath it. I thought this was such a cool picture. Although I was working at the Western World in 1961, I think my uncle (Lou Felsheim) probably took those pictures. I do, however, remember the raft races, and they always drew a big crowd.

Jaycee Raft Race 1961
Jaycee Raft Race 1961, under the bridge

*           *           *

Just after I wrote this, I received a call that my long-time friend, Gordy Hayes of Powers, had died. Gordy owned a large ranch at Gaylord (between Powers and Myrtle Point) and had served on the Coquille River Port Commission for many years. He'd suffered a lot of health problems in recent years, mostly brought on by diabetes, which resulted in losing both of his legs. Last week he had fallen and broken his collar bone, and was rushed to the hospital, where he apparently died on Sunday.

*           *           *

Some of my readers will remember the Powers family (Max and Mary) who lived in the single-story blue house along Beach Loop Road on the sweeping corner north of Table Rock Motel. Mary, who was in a wheelchair during the last years of her life, died some years ago.

But I've learned that Max died last July at the age of 96, according to one of his sons during a phone call with a city official. Max and Mary loved Bandon and the beach and were ardent supporters of protecting the beauty of this area.

The Powers family still owns the house, which belonged to Beulah and Denny Kay and their son, Donny, when I was growing up.

*           *           *

This year there are four people running for three seats on the city council, and if you would like to hear what they have to say, there are two candidate forums on tap this week.

The first is Wednesday night, beginning at 6, at The Barn/Community Center, sponsored by the Bandon Chamber of Commerce. Although I am running unopposed, I will be talking about Measure 6-150, which will return limited rate-setting authority to the council.

Friday night I will be moderating the forum at Brewed Awakenings, which will begin about 6:30 and last until 8. There will also be an opportunity for people to ask questions from the floor.

Incumbents seeking re-election are Chris Powell and Mike Claassen. Also vying for a seat are Peter Braun and Madeline Seymour. Incumbent Nancy Drew decided not to run again.

This is a good opportunity to hear what the candidates have to say and get to know them better.

*           *           *

To make sure that I comply with the public records law, I have established an email at City Hall for emails pertaining to city business. You can email me at Personal emails can continue to be sent to me at

Also, as has been the case quite a bit lately, people can always call my cell phone at 541-404-7291. That way we can talk about concerns that you may have without putting it in writing, which is subject to the public records request. I am certainly not trying to dodge the law, but some people simply will not open up about their concerns if they know that it can become a public record.

I have become more sensitive to this since a Bandon woman recently requested to see a copy of an email between a friend and me, which was mostly personal, but contained a positive comment about what she would like to see in our new city manager.

People need to be aware that emails sent to my "city" email are subject to the public records law, so if you want to talk about something that you might not want shared "with the world," feel free to call me on my cell as several of you have done lately. Or send me an email, with your phone number, and I will call you.

When the public records law went into effect many years ago, I am sure the framers did not envision that someone's email correspondence could be subject to review by whoever decided to ask for it ... and for whatever the motive.

*           *           *

I learned last week that a couple who live on Bills Creek Road, not far outside the city limits, had a pretty frightening experience recently. An older couple were sleeping when someone entered their house . . . went into their bedroom and stole her purse and a diamond ring, as well as other items ... all while the couple slept.

They found the purse outside their house the next morning, minus the credit cards, etc., and later learned that someone had used one of the credit cards in the Medford area.

I know it's tempting to leave your windows wide open at night, especially with the hot days that we've had lately, but since I don't believe they've caught the burglar, I would suggest that you make sure the doors are locked and the windows are closed.

This isn't the first time a house in Coos County has been entered while the residents slept, and it is certainly frightening to think what might have happened had they awoken and confronted the person.

*           *           *

I always tell people that September and October are our "Indian Summer," and certainly that has held true this year. Not only was the weather gorgeous for the Cranberry Festival, but the last few days have been some of the warmest of the year. I think the weather report said it hit 81 degrees in the Coos Bay/North Bend area Saturday, and depending on where you live in Bandon, some said it was even hotter than that on Friday.

It's been so hot on my back deck and I have to keep moving the chairs into the shade to even be able to stay out there . . . but my tomato plants love it.

Here's hoping we have a mild winter . . .

*           *           *

I picked a bad day to buy frozen food at Ray's Saturday. I don't think they are sure what happened, but they were having all sorts of trouble with their credit card machines. People from "corporate" were there working on it, but it was hard to explain to people who waited in line for what seemed to be an eternity.

I felt sorry for the employees, because it definitely wasn't their fault. After several failed attempts, we were told that in order to use a debit card, you had to enter it like you would a credit card . . . without your pin number but with a signature.

I know the problem lasted for several hours, and hopefully they got it straightened out . . .

*           *           *

This Saturday (Oct. 11) is the date for the 2014 Oregon Coast Film Festival, which has been expanded to include an afternoon workshop and a feature film. The full program includes an afternoon workshop feature film screening, artist reception and an evening of short documentary films. Last year's film festival attracted over 200 people to the "Best of Festival" evening at the Sprague Theater.

An early afternoon interactive workshop "Storytelling: Through Pictures and other Digital Media" begins at 1 p.m. The feature film, "Reclaimation," begins at 4, with an artist reception from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by the "Best of Festival Short Films" program from 6 to 9 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and include admission to all the film festival events. Tickets are available online at or at the door.

*           *           *

A friend of mine from Chicago arrived Wednesday evening ... after a harrowing trip. Actually, the plane trip from Illinois to Eugene was basically uneventful. He and his sister (who lives in Powers) were met at the airport by a friend and headed onto Powers. At about 9:30 that night, he borrowed his sister's car and headed to Bandon.

All went well until he got about two miles from Bandon, and encountered what he thought was one deer alongside the road, but it turned out it wasn't alone. He was trying to maneuver out of the deer's way, when the other one struck the side of his car and tore off the driver's side mirror.

By the time he got here at a little after 11 p.m., he was a nervous wreck, and was worried both about the deer he hit . . . and his sister's car. He got out and searched for the animal, but could not find it, so hopefully it was only stunned and not seriously injured.

A press release from the Oregon State Police, which was sent out on Saturday, reminded people that a third of the vehicle/wildlife crashes occur between September and November.

I printed it off for him so he could see that he wasn't alone . . . as he headed to town to pick up his new $85 side mirror.

As I See It

by Mary Schamehorn

Mary Schamehorn

October 01, 2014

The pictures I've chosen for this week's column include the old Coast Lumber Yard, a boat wrecked on the beach at the South Jetty and a picture of how the City Park looked in the "old" days.

The picture in the park was taken during the Lions Beef Barbecue at the 1964 Cranberry Festival. After I scanned it into the computer, I noticed that I am in the middle of the picture, waving at the photographer, my uncle Lou Felsheim. Next to me is my ex-husband, Bill Harris, and next to him, my aunt Anne Felsheim and my cousin Laurie. At the far right is Edith MacWhorter.

City Park 1964
City Park 1964

The second picture shows the Coast Lumber Yard in September of 1970; note the Moore Mill Truck Shop visible in the background. The building was torn down some years ago, and is now a vacant lot across Fillmore from Truffles and the Station Restaurant.

Coast Lumber Yard 1970
Coast Lumber Yard 1970

I remember taking this picture of the fishing vessel Lucky when it washed ashore near the South Jetty in June of 1963. I don't know who owned the boat but I remember being struck by the irony of the name . . .

The Lucky washed ashore in 1963
The Lucky washed ashore in 1963

*           *           *

Just got back from three days in Eugene, where local city councilors, the city manager and I joined elected officials from across the state at the annual League of Oregon Cities conference, held at the Hilton Hotel.

Each year, the league awards two prestigious awards: one is the Herman Kehrli award and the other is the James C. Richards awards.

The Kehrli award recognizes a city employee who has provided lasting benefits to his or her community through exceptional contributions to city government.

It recognizes the outstanding public service career of Herman Kehrli, who served as executive secretary of the League of Oregon Cities and director of the University of Oregon’s Bureau of Governmental Research and Service from 1933 to 1966. Mr. Kehrli received the first award in 1988.

Now for the good news. Our own city manager Matt Winkel received the award this year. We had learned several weeks ago that he would be receiving the honor, and we told quite a few people, always with the admonition that they were to make sure he never found out. And, believe me, he didn’t.

Nine of the 11 people from Bandon attending the conference were gathered around the banquet table when the announcement was made. And the look on his face told us that he absolutely did not know he was to receive this prestigious honor.

Matt has served as city manager for 20 years, and is planning to retire at the end of the year (but not until we find a new manager) and it was such a fitting tribute to all his hard work for Bandon that he would receive the honor.

We understand the competition was stiff, but thanks to letters from a number of locals, along with photos of his many accomplishments and a glowing nomination written by councilor Claudine Hundhausen, Matt was chosen.

*           *           *

I know I mentioned a few weeks ago that a woman had come into the museum with business cards and announced that she was “Mary Schamehorn’s psychic.” I had hoped that would be the end of it, but I have since learned that is not the case.

My neighbor overheard two women talking in a local shop on Cranberry Festival Saturday. One of them said: “I met Mary Schamehorn’s psychic, and she told me that Mary never makes a major decision without first consulting her.”

I again need to set the record straight. I do not have a psychic, so when a woman hands you her card and mentions my name, just smile, take her card and walk away.

I do know that there have been documented cases where psychics/mediums have helped locate missing children, and I have no doubt that some people have these powers. But I fear this woman is not one of them.

*           *           *

I do want to apologize for a mistake in last week’s column. When I mentioned Carol Acklin, who was part of the program at the Bandon Fire Anniversary at the museum, I called her Carol Howard Acklin. Of course, I know better since her maiden name was Tucker (Howard was her dad).

Sorry, Carol, that won’t happen again.

*           *           *

When I got home from League Sunday afternoon, I had 157 emails waiting for me. I decided not to take my laptop with me because I had enough stuff as it was, which is probably just as well, because I figured out when I got there that I did not know my password.

I used one of the Hilton’s computers, but after connecting with CoosNet (my provider), I was unable to put together any combination that even remotely resembled my password (as I learned when I got home).

It certainly would have been nice to have been able to read my emails while I was gone, but it was actually a bit refreshing to be away from the computer ... if only for three days.

*           *           *

For the most part, League was great this year. We each went to a lot of different sessions and learned a lot. But what had been billed as a debate between the two leading candidates for governor, incumbent John Kitzhaber and state representative Dennis Richardson, turned into a virtual three-ring circus.

I was praying it wouldn’t be broadcast too widely, but the first thing my neighbor said (with a smile) when I got home was that he had seen part of the conference on TV. I knew what he meant.

In addition to the two front-runners, three of the four others who are running were also given just as much time to speak, and some of the remarks were painful, at best.

One candidate didn’t even have the courtesy to remove his baseball cap until he’d already made his opening statement. Maybe someone mentioned it because by the next time the moderator came around to him again, he was capless.

Jason Levin, the Pacific Green candidate, who owns a Portland-based cannabis distillery called “Bald Brothers,” argued in favor of legalizing marijuana.

The Constitution Party candidate Aaron Auer quoted over and over again from the bible, and at one point he kissed his well-worn bible. He told the crowd he had found Jesus Christ while smoking pot in the 1980s. He said people should start arming themselves with guns, adding that gun dispensaries should take precedence over fixing the state’s transportation infrastructure.

When asked how he would work with local government officials, he responded: “We must consult the Lord and what sayeth the Constitution.”

What could have, and should have, been a meaningful forum (or even a debate) between the two leading candidates turned into more of a sideshow, and was not particularly well received by many of the people in the room.

*           *           *

I understand that Jerry Brown, who along with his partner Margaret Miller of Newport, own the Bandon Face Rock Golf Course, recently suffered what was believed to have been a stroke. Jerry is 82, but until his health deteriorated, he’d been helping to care for the golf course, since the former lessee closed it down over a year ago.

I still have high hopes that someday that wonderful little nine-hole course will reopen.

*           *           *

The campaign for Coos County Commissioner has gotten a bit ugly of late. It seems that Don Gurney, who is running against John Sweet for county commissioner, came into the city office a couple of weeks ago to check on the dimensions for campaign signs.

He has some rather large signs around the county, but I don’t think there are any inside the city limits. But John Sweet did put up a sign on the chain link fence across from Face Rock Creamery, on property that I owned until several years ago.

Last week a man who lives in Bandon called city hall and was very upset that the mayor had allowed that large sign to be put on her property. Our codes enforcement officer tried to tell him that I did not own the property, but that wasn’t good enough. Later the city manager returned his call and again he started complaining that the mayor was allowing an illegal sign on her property.

I mentioned it to John and the sign has since been removed. Hopefully he will find a place outside the city limits to put the sign.

John is an outstanding person and commissioner, and although I have known and liked Don Gurney for years, I still feel that John is the right man for the job.

previous columns by Mary Schamehorn