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The first picture I am sharing this week is one of a few that I purchased recently through ebay. It's the best picture in my entire collection of the Bandon City Hall before it moved to its new location in 1970. I'm not sure when this picture was taken, but the Buick in front of City Hall is from the 1939-41 era, according to a reader that I go to with vehicle-era questions.

The 5x7 original was apparently a news photo, because on the back is taped a caption, which reads: "Bandon's city hall, remodelled (sic) this year, was built as a temporary structure by the WPA shortly after the fire. It was intended to last only until rosy dreams of a planned city, built with federal financial assistance, had materialized. The dream blasted, Bandon remodelled the hall."

It's hard to believe that this complex held the city hall, library and fire department (with a couple of sleeping rooms), as well as the council meeting room.

Today, this is the home of the Bandon Historical Society museum, which has recently remodeled the exterior of the building.

The second picture, which came from the same ebay source, is also an old news photo, because it too has a caption stuck to the back. It says: "Plucky victims of Bandon fire rebuilt their home town into one of the most progressive communities on Oregon coast. It is a center for lumber industry and growing cranberries for U.S. dinner tables." It is stamped with the date of Sept. 2, 1956.

This was taken from the hill above Old Town, looking down at the intersection of Alabama Avenue and Second Street. The site where the M&L Grocery is in this picture is now the parking lot for The Minute Cafe, which is pictured next door. Next to it is The Golden Rule (now the Continuum Center) and you can just see the sign for Croxall & Perry Grocery (now a building owned by the Elliott family).

Behind M&L is the building occupied by accountant W.H. Johnston for many years. Today it is owned by Ed Landucci and leased to Olivia Andor who owns Olivia's Cottage.

It's also hard to miss the parking meters along the sidewalk-less street in the foreground.

Ordinarily, I would share a "people" picture, but this week I am going to share a picture from the next block, with Croxall & Perry Grocery in the foreground across from the Rexall Drug Store (now Winter River Books). Across Baltimore from Croxall & Perry Grocery is Erdman's grocery (Meats and Groceries), which is now the shuttered Lloyd's Cafe; next to that is the first Lloyd's Cafe, The Pastime Tavern (now Bandon Sweets & Treats), Boone's Hardware, Ray's Pharmacy and The Senter Agency, now shops owned by Lynn Davies and her daughter Jessica Brink. You can also see the Capps Motor Co. building (now owned by Kirk Day and housing Broken Anchor, Washed Ashore and a real estate business).

One of the biggest improvements has to be the building behind Erdman's, which at one time housed Larson's Cleaners and over the years a number of businesses. It has now been beautifully remodeled. Sorry to say I don't know who owns the building or what their ultimate goal is, but I had heard that it might open as a garden shop of some kind.

In both pictures you get a good view of the old Moore Mill Truck Shop, which has long since been torn down by its last owner, the Port of Bandon.

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I told my readers that Robert Mawson and I were meeting with three ODOT officials last week, and I have good (make that great) news to report. At least one of the ODOT engineers will be at the May 6 council meeting to share the news with the public.

What they have agreed to is to move the Ninth Street crosswalk to the north side of the street, and add a short refuge island. As a result there will be poles on either side of the highway where a pedestrian can push the button and activate yellow warning flashing lights. There will be flashers under each sign on the sides of the street and in the middle where the island is. ODOT's Darrin Neavoll described the lights as "very fast flashing and bright. They will stay on for the amount of time somebody walks across plus a little buffer time. The lights will not come back on until somebody pushes the button again."

I talked with Bill Caldwell, manager of McKay's, who was fine with the proposal, which will mean that instead of turning into the alley behind McKay's from the center turn lane, large trucks will now turn from the inside lane. But since there will continue to be two lanes on both sides of the highway, traffic should not be impeded.

The cost of this configuration is about $80,000, with the state to pay half the cost. Because the City of Bandon is facing big problems in our water and sewer accounts, I have agreed to spearhead fundraising of the other $40,000, with the help of Lori Osborne, who volunteered to assist me. I have pledged $2,000 toward the effort, and Bill Caldwell already said McKay's would also contribute.

I have talked with Sgt. Lynch about stepped up speed enforcement, which is another problem along that stretch of highway, particularly in the summer months. Better a speed trap than a speedway.

Hopefully the Ninth Street crosswalk upgrade will take place by September when school opens, but at least we know it's coming.

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I was shocked to learn that Robin Pruitt, wife of Jim Pruitt, had died in her sleep Monday night. Robin and Jim had just celebrated their wedding anniversary a few days earlier, with wonderful photos posted on Facebook. I am not sure how old Robin was, but my guess is she was in her late 50s ... way too young to die so unexpectedly. She had a large extended family, among whom were the Senn brothers, Daniel and Bobby, as well as her mother-in-law, Nita Batson, and Jimi Pruitt.

I also learned this week of the death of Dean Van Leuven, valedictorian of the Bandon High School Class of 1951 and a star athlete.

My sister Molly lost her good friend, Jackie Orsi, last week, at the age of 64. Jackie and Tom had purchased a house here a few years ago, and she was active in her book club and in assisting non-profits like the museum with grant-writing efforts. She had been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis four or five years ago. In addition to Tom, she is survived by two adult daughters.

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People are reminded of the free household hazardous waste collection event at Beaver Hill Solid Waste Disposal site this Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Call 541-396-7624 to make an appointment. Best time to call is Tuesday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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I've learned that the driver of the silver car, which landed on top of the SUV in the 42S sinkhole, was the son of Christy Wright (Gallino), Riley Smith, 18, of Myrtle Point. His passenger was Kristin Weekly, also of Myrtle Point. The girl hit her head on the dashboard, causing two black eyes and a hematoma on her forehead. Both were taken to the hospital by ambulance. They were traumatized but not seriously injured. The SUV was driven by Tommy Hunter of Powers.

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