One reason I am sharing the first picture (taken in August of 1971) is because I talk about this vacant lot a little later in my column. Also, it is a good picture of the former bank building that is now owned by the Masonic Lodge. Thanks to a grant, there is presently a lot of facade work going on at the building.
However, they ran into a problem. While the building is almost a hundred percent cement, there is wood around the windows, and it is rotten and will need to be replaced. But that will be an extra cost, not covered by the grant. Since this is one of only a handful of commercial buildings that survived the Fire (which includes the building where Cranberry Sweets is located), the Masons are hoping that this will qualify for some Urban Renewal dollars as it is in the appropriate district and certainly qualifies as something that needs repair.
It is ironic that last year I reprinted an article from the March 31, 1914, issue of the Bandon Recorder, which talked about the "new First National Bank building" as it was nearing completion. It adds: "The building is as near fire-proof as a building can be made. The only wood there is in the building is the door and window casings." And that is, of course, where the latest problem lies.
It is interesting that city fathers were so aware of the dangers of fire back then, since neither the June 1914 fire, which destroyed half the business district, nor the disastrous fire of 1936, had even occurred yet.
We need to do whatever possible to preserve this building as there are so few left that survived the Fire. Two others that did make it through the Fire, the old Coast Lumber Yard and the Bob-Otto Court, have long since been torn down, both of which were wood frame construction. The fact that the Stephan Hotel (now Cranberry Sweets) and the bank building are still standing all these years is because they were concrete and not wood.
The second picture I am sharing is Jim Perry's portable sawmill, which is on the same property as the first picture, across from the port's commercial seafood-processing building. Perry is second from left. At the far right, you can see the storage building that was recently torn down by the port to make way for a restaurant, which will be leased to Lori Osborne. The project is on hold pending the resolution of Native American burial ground problems.
The third picture features former City Manager Bill Donahue, left, and Mayor Don Goddard taken in front of the Bandon Water Pollution Control Plant on Fillmore in 1973.
Don, who spent 24 years as an elected official in Bandon, recently celebrated his 95th birthday. I saw him in the store last week, and he looks great.
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I know a lot of people were sad when The Loft restaurant closed and I often hear people ask if it is going to reopen for the summer season. We know it is for sale and that at least one restaurant owner really wanted to move into the spot on the top floor of the building owned by the Port of Bandon, but he did not want to buy the business.
The building, constructed in the Chicago Avenue right of way, originally housed the Port's office, after they moved out of their old space, now Tony's Crab Shack. Later the Port moved their offices to the old Coast Guard building, where they are located today.
A spokesman for the Port told me that the owner of The Loft had signed a five-year lease for the top and bottom floors of the building (1700 square feet) just recently, at a cost of $2,030 a month.
He added: "Last I spoke with them they indicated they would re-open if the business did not sell."
So for those of you who have been wondering about The Loft, this is the latest information from the Port, who owns the building.
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Anyone who has been in Old Town anytime during the last few years has seen the row of garbage dumpsters on the property, owned by Fred Gernandt and Kirk Day, across from the Old Town Market. The property is leased to the city, to be used as a parking lot for Old Town, which means the owners do not pay property taxes on the parcel, which is for sale for $1.9 million. Municipalities, other public entities and exempt properties like churches do not pay property taxes.
However, Gernandt recently notified the city that he wants the dumpsters removed from the property; partly, although not the only reason, because of smell caused by fish waste from the port's dumpsters.
In talking with a representative of Bandon Disposal, it appears that the greater share of the dumpsters belong to the Port or to their tenants, but the city will try to find a location for the others that can be accessed by the garbage company.
In the old days, fish waste from cleaning stations and a seafood operation in the "old blue building," (now the Old Town Market) went into the bay, which provided for a healthy crab population. But that is no longer allowed by DEQ, which makes it necessary for the port to find another means of disposing of the waste.
It could mean that they have to truck the waste out of the downtown area as the city had to do in past years with sludge from the sewage treatment plant.
I can remember some years ago when the smell was so bad from sludge on the mudflats that The Station Restaurant was seriously impacted as were homes and other businesses in that area. The city then hired someone to haul away the diluted sludge, which was deposited on farmland as fertilizer.
It may be that the port has to do something like that with its fish waste since the smell of rotting fish is something no one wants to smell.
The Port of Bandon is indeed the jewel of our waterfront, and I know they will do everything they can to find a suitable solution to the problem of having to move the dumpsters.
Depending on where they are eventually located, it also may mean that people have to drive their waste to their dumpsters after work rather than walk the short distance across the lot.
We have known for some time that the lot might sell and that we would have to move the dumpsters, so the time has come to work together to address the problem.
Hopefully there will be some way to screen them from public view at their new location ... wherever that may be.
I really can't blame the owners for wanting the rusted old dumpsters moved off the property. No one really wants them in their "backyard."
Unfortunately, Wall Street which connected Second Street with First Street/Oregon Avenue beneath the hill behind where the dumpsters are located was vacated, probably back in the 1960s, or that might have solved the problem, both as a place for them to sit and a way to access them.
But Wall Street has long since faded into the history books and is no longer an option.
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I knew that Angelo's Italy was looking for a larger home for their popular restaurant, and now I understand they are looking at the former Grotto Gifts building, across from The Minute Cafe.
The building has been purchased by a young couple from out of the area and is being beautifully renovated. My source said they believe that Angelo's will remain at their current Chicago Avenue location through the summer, with the hope that they can move into the new building in the Fall.
Family owned, Angelo's is becoming well known as a place to go for great Italian food ... and wonderful live music.
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I was shocked to read an account on Facebook of the arrest of former Coos County Commissioner Kevin Stufflebean, 51, who was arrested in Polk County for Driving Under the Influence following a 3 a.m. accident. The arresting officer said he was so intoxicated that he could not put a coherent sentence together, and he ended up fighting with a deputy, who was knocked to the ground. Stufflebean was previously convicted twice of DUI in 2014 and was charged once in 2012, but the case was dismissed.
At the time the article appeared, he was in jail under $47,500 bond.
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My friend Della Pepion recently brought me an obituary for her son, James Kenneth "Jim" Pepion, who died April 29 at the age of 61 in the Portland area. He was a 1974 graduate of Bandon High School. Della said he lost his battle to cancer after being sick for several months.
In addition to his mother, he is survived by his wife, two children, two sisters and four brothers, including Gaylord Pepion of Bandon.
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People are reminded that the first Alive After Five of the season is scheduled for this Friday night, June 22, from 5 to 8. Commemorative glasses and walking maps will be on sale for $10 at both Art By The Sea Gallery and Edgewaters, the opposite ends of the Walk, when the event starts at 5 p.m., but not before.
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People can bring their household hazardous waste to the Beaver Hill transfer site on Saturday, June 30, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., but there's a catch. Coos and Curry residents can dispose of various household chemicals at the free event, but they are asked to call 541-396-7624 to make an appointment at least a day prior to the event.
The county is asking people to make an appointment so they do not end up with long traffic lines, which can cause congestion on Highway 101.
The solid waste disposal site is generally open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but is closed on Sunday and Monday.
This is for household waste only; businesses can call the number for an appointment for their waste to be collected.
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I put an ad in Coffee Break this week for someone to help get my underground watering system to work, and a local guy answered my ad. He was able to determine what the problem was, told me what to buy, and an hour or so later he returned and I was soon back in business.
I didn't tell him that I was going to mention him in my column, but hopefully he won't mind. Dave Reynolds is a great handyman and his phone number is 541-399-1076.