Monday, December 31, 2018

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 88, January 1 2019

Click here for a printable version of Issue 88.

Interview: Kim McLaughlin and Gary Manos of the Laughing Crab Gallery

The Yachats Gazette was pleased to visit with the owners of this new gallery located at 2334 Hwy 101 N (at the bottom of Forest Hill Rd.) and their cat Squid. Gary Manos is also a steel artist who sells his works in-house.

TYG: I was just noticing earlier... I've been through three, four iterations of this gallery in various forms—this space. It's amazing how much it changes each time. [...] Last time, all of the back was open. It was all shop space—it was just the upstairs that was closed off. 
Kim: We are going to be expanding into the back space in the spring, and we'll have a grand opening then. We're also going to do an outdoor garden courtyard on the side, and that's going to be fenced in with little tables, and we'll be serving coffees and teas and having wine tastings. I think it should be fun! We're also going to be having the vino painting parties—I think that will be a hit here.

TYG-Graphic Design: How did you come up with the name [The Laughing Crab Gallery]?
Kim: I don't know, it just came to me one day. I just thought it was kind of funny...
Gary: It's an oxymoron! You know, the crab is always associated with being... crabby! She hit me with that, she goes, "What do you think of Laughing Crab?" "I love it!"

TYG: I feel like a lot of stuff happens like that on the coast.
Kim: I have this Etsy account called "The Driftwood Mermaid" and I thought something kind of whimsical and fun, you know. Something that would make people feel, "That's a comfortable place to go to see art." You don't feel intimidated by the name.

TYG: Yeah, not something like [intones] "The Yachats Metropolitan Art Gallery." 
Kim: [laughter] Our mission is to have an eclectic, fun, comfortable space for people to come in, so that kids, families, people who just want a small gift, to people who are actually collectors, so that everybody would feel comfortable coming in here. We just didn't want people to come into a gallery and have to tiptoe around.

TYG: This is beautiful. I really like the open space. 
Gary: We will be putting up some display walls [...], but thank you. I think openness helps, that's for sure.
Kim: And, we wanted to be affordable. We want people to be able to take something home with them that is special and unique, whether it's something that reminds them of the coast, or something that reminds them of where they've traveled—whatever resonates with them, but they're able to afford it and take it home. Hitting every price point is kind of important to us. And we think that art isn't just something that you put on the wall. It's something you wear, or jewelry, or a trinket that you can have in your pocket. So that's what the eclectic part means.

TYG: I was just noticing that [driftwood] mirror behind you—I like that.
Kim: [laughing] Thank you! I made that!

TYG: Wow! Nice!
Kim: Thank you! [...] So Gary does actual metal work, and some photography, and driftwood art, and some painting, and that [pointing] is a rubbing from a fossil—we're trying to have different mediums.

TYG-GD: That one [the fossil rubbing] I really like.
Gary: Thank you. I would have to get on the internet and look it up, as to how old they really are, but it's between Newport and Otter Rock, after Beverly Beach. There's this area where there are thousands of them. It's a bit of a walk, but there are thousands of these rocks with the fossil shells. So I took some pictures and did a charcoal rub [of that one].
Kim: Our goal is to be someplace where you can sit down and really appreciate what you're going to buy, and feeling really strong about what [you] purchase. [You're] going to take it home and go "Yes. I made the right decision." That's important to us. [...] Not just an at-whim purchase, immediate gratification—and then you're like, "What did I do!" [laughter] [...] A lot of the things in here are one-of-a-kind, and you're not ever going to be able to find them anywhere else. And Gary's metal work... he does custom design work as well.

TYG: Is that what some of this is? It's beautiful—I love your style!
Gary: Thank you.
Kim: What's interesting about Gary's metal work is that he uses a hand-held plasma cutter, whereas a majority of the metal artists out there are using large CNC [computer numerical control] machines that [use] a computer pattern, and the machine cuts it out. Whereas he is able to draw on the metal, and cut it out with a hand-held cutter—that's what's really unique.

TYG-GD: Are they really heavy?
Gary: They're not. For me, it's a nice weight.

TYG-GD: Oh, I meant the plasma cutter, not the art...
Gary: Oh, the plasma cutter is very heavy, yes.

TYG-GD: I was just wondering how it is to make it wiggle and wobble like that, to go around the edges!
Gary: Oh! The hand-held part is nice and light.

TYG-GD: Is it kind of like an air brush system?
Gary: Almost, because it does use compressed air. It uses positive and negative, electricity. The electricity super-heats the point that it's coming out of, and the compressed air flows through that super-heated area.

TYG-GD: Where does the [cut material] go? Does it just spatter underneath?
Gary: Yes, like super-fine metal dust all over the place.

TYG: So make sure you have a very good mask and glasses.
Kim: And a respirator—a very big mask. And a helmet.

TYG-GD: Oh man. It would be very hard to do art with a big mask on. 
Gary: It takes some getting used to, to be honest, it really did. It's strange. And there are times when you get that feeling, "I want this thing off!"
Kim: Especially when we lived in Eugene—it gets pretty hot there. So it'll be nice here on the summer days, because it won't be as hot. And there's not really air conditioning in the shop.

TYG-GD: So how do you get the colors on the metal?
Gary: That's with a torch, with heat.

TYG-GD: Hmm! So is it a question of time or temperature that makes the color?
Gary: Both.
Kim: He always says that I'm welcome to learn, but when I watch him... it's a little tricky! He knows right when to pull the flame back, or put it closer, and that's how he creates different colors.

TYG-GD: [...] So how did you learn to do all this?
Gary: Honestly, I saw it in a restaurant in Sisters. I was with my kids—they were young. I think the restaurant's name, literally, was The Gallery. And the dividers up above your head were like trout in a stream, and whatnot. And I just thought, "I think I can do that." The metal really appealed to me. I had a little boat and a Yamaha Banshee quad, and I sold them both, bought all the tools and equipment, and... You know, the first stuff... my Mom was my biggest fan. [laughter] You laugh, but it wasn't even high school art...
Kim: But you took a lot of art classes when you were younger.
Gary: When I was younger, I had virtually every art class you can think of. And shop, so I had some welding experience.
Kim: And he works on cars—he's a car guy. He's a Mr. Fix-It kind of guy. And how long have you been doing it?
Gary: Probably about fifteen years, now.

TYG-GD: And what kind of career did you have before?
Gary: I was with AT&T Wireless. I started out installing when it was cool to have a phone in your car. So first installation, then phone technician, then inside sales, then outside sales support, outside sales, then my final position was called indirect. So if Fred Meyer's was selling cellphones, I would go into Fred Meyer's, train those people—that kind of thing. That was my final position, which was great, because from Salem all the way to Medford, over here to the coast, that was my territory. My boss and whatnot was in Portland, and he never came down, so long as your numbers were where they needed to be, you were left alone. So I think it was a nice segue into self-employment, because I was pretty self-sufficient. And the outside sales. Because I hated it—I truly hated it—but I did a year of it, and if I learned anything, it was [how to handle rejection.] If I were to go down this street, and, you know, "Hey, anybody need cellphones?" "Nah, get out of here." But somewhere down the road, somebody wanted five. Four or five more noes. Then somebody wanted 10. And it was the same thing when I'd approach galleries. "No, this is not our style at all." So the rejection didn't hurt. Or at least as much. But, same thing—I knew sooner or later some gallery was going to take a few pieces.
Kim: And you were advancing in your own, personal style at that point.

TYG-GD: So you had some paid time to transition over to art full time. 
Gary: When I left, Cingular had bought out AT&T (now of course it's AT&T again. Don't even get me going on that). But anyway, they said, "We can find a place for you, or we can make you go away." So I got the six-month severance package for going away. So I had a nice, six month launching ramp to get it going.

TYG: [...] So, when did you first get the idea to have this gallery?
Gary: I would say that we'd come over often. We were in Eugene, so we'd go Florence, and then we've got a small sailboat at the embarcadero in Newport. And I mean very small: a little 21-footer where you're basically camping on the water. But that's just the route we would take, because it's nice, coastal, scenic. And one day we just drove by, and I saw the "For Lease" sign, and I said, "Did you see that?" And we turned around, came back, and started playing with the idea. We must have come back five more times—and each time we'd come in, get a feel... I would stand there, arms folded, just watch the traffic zooming by, and think, "Okay, on one hand lots of traffic, on the other hand, 55 mph..." That was certainly a concern. Anyway, we just kept mulling it over, mulling it over...
Kim: I think it's always something we kept tucked in the back of our minds... "Wouldn't it be great if we lived on the coast?" And then we saw this... But we had to really vision it—and I think it's going to be great!

TYG-GD: Did you have a job that you gave up to come here?
Kim: I owned a childcare center in Eugene that I sold. I had a small in-home day care for 16 years, and then I expanded into a larger childcare center over the last five years, so for 21 years I've run a childcare center in Eugene. And I was just kind of tired of working that hard. I mean, not that we're not going to be working that hard here, but it feels a little bit different.
Gary: 56 kids, 20 employees...

TYG: Good employee to kid ratio, though!
Kim: They didn't all work full-time. And then of course we had a cook, a van driver, a book-keeper. And then life circumstances that make you go, "Hey, I need a lifestyle change!" So health, and family, and just knowing that we wanted to be closer to the ocean that we were always coming to anyway... [laughs] [...] We've got a lot of work to do, and I think it's going to be a great evolution to see us grow. We hope that by the Spring we have the rest of this space kind of figured out.
Gary: I think it's safe to say that we'll definitely expand into a second show room.

TYG-GD: [...] Where are you guys from originally?
Kim: He grew up in this area.
Gary: I was actually born in California and lived there until I was five or six, three months of summer in Lincoln City, then one year in Washington, then Salem, Oregon, from then on out. Then Newport—my kids were old enough, they were out—and my mom had passed away, so I thought, "What have I always wanted to do?" So I bought a boat. 30-foot sailboat: bought it in Portland, then brought it down to Newport. It was a $2,500 sailboat, but it was a step above camping on the water. [laughs] So three years in Newport, then five and a half, six years in Eugene with [Kim].

TYG-GD: So where are you from, Kim?
Kim: Well, I grew up on the eastern shore of Maryland and Delaware. I spent my younger years in Maryland.

TYG-GD: So crabbing is kind of endemic to your upbringing!
Kim: [laughs] Yes, and I have "laugh" in my name! [...] I moved to Eugene when I was 21.

TYG-GD: Why did you move to Eugene?
Kim: Oh, I had some friends that lived there and really loved it—young, hippie friends. [laughs] The East Coast is a good place to live, but Oregon people are just so incredibly friendly. I just felt like I'd found my people, you know. It clicked—Eugene worked for who I was. I ended up going back to school at the University of Oregon and finishing my degree there. Interestingly enough, I first went to college in Delaware at Wellesley College, and my first degree was a retail marketing degree. That was my associate's degree. Then I took some time out to find myself, and then moved to Eugene and discovered the role of childcare, and went back to school and got my sociology degree and education degree. So now I'm full circle here, and I get to do the retail part. I had a lot of experience, but it's been many years; but it feels natural.

TYG: Is there anything else you wanted to add to the interview?  
Gary: Our winter hours for right now are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; noon to five Friday, ten to five Saturday and Sunday.

TYG: Thank you so much!
Kim: Thank you!
Gary: Thank you!

Interview with Layne Morrill of
Our Coastal Village

The Yachats Gazette interviewed Mr. Morrill by e-mail about the new buildings on Diversity Drive.

TYG: What is Our Coastal Village Inc.?
Layne: Our Coastal Village, Inc., is an Oregon public benefit corporation that qualifies as tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code and as a public charity under section 170 of the code. It was formed in 2009 to provide relief to the poor, distressed, and disadvantaged in the Yachats area, primarily through affordable housing. Our first project was the 7-unit Townhome project known as Aqua Vista Square which was completed in 2013, for households earning 80% or less of area median income. Three of the units have been sold to our former tenants on a basis that makes them permanently affordable; four units are still being leased to eligible tenants.

TYG: How are the new housing developments coming along?
Layne: Our new development is Fisterra Gardens Townhomes, [which] consists of 21 affordable-rental units for Yachats working families. This project will provide safe, decent, affordable housing to 21 local working families near their jobs. Completion is expected May 2019. All 21 units are set aside for households earning at or under 60% of area median income. Those limits are currently $22,980 for a one-person household, $26,280 for a two-person household, $29,580 for a three-person household, and $32,820 for a four-person household. The Project has preferences for families with children residing in zip code 97498 and for households where at least one person is employed in zip code 97498.

Fisterra Gardens Townhomes includes 6 studio units, 3 one-bedroom units, 10 two-bedroom units, and 2 three-bedroom units. Amenities include range, oven, refrigerator, microwave, and washer/dryer in each unit. Five units have garages; 26 surface spaces provide the balance of the parking. Outdoor common areas include a covered pavilion with barbecues and picnic tables and nearby lawn area, raised beds for gardening, a storage shed/greenhouse to facilitate gardening and landscaping, and location adjacent to the trail head of the beautiful Ya’Xaik trail, part of the City of Yachats public trail system.

Construction is progressing on schedule.

TYG: What inspired you to found this project?
Layne: This project is really at the heart of the mission of Our Coastal Village, Inc, to provide affordable housing for lower income households. Yachats simply has no housing that is safe, decent, and affordable for folks earning at or below 60% of area median income.  This project has a "preference" for local workers (employed in zip code 97498) especially families with children.

TYG: How are the potential inhabitants reacting?
Layne: We have received 36 Expression of Interest forms from local people based solely on word of mouth. Advertising is now beginning and I'm sure more people will respond to the advertising. Unfortunately, the demand far outstrips the 21 units that are being constructed.

TYG: When will the project be ready for inhabitation?
Layne: All 21 units should be completed by April 1, 2019.  Several units will be completed and occupied earlier than that. Rents will be approximately $492 for a studio, $532 for a one-bedroom, $640 for a two-bedroom, and $737 for a three-bedroom. Water, sewer, and trash removal are included in the rents. Tenants pay their own electric.

TYG: What sort of architectural styles and theme will the project be going for?
Layne: Because we are building housing that will be affordable, our construction has to be as inexpensive as possible, consistent with quality construction. So we are not striving to achieve any fancy architectural style or theme. The town homes will look like other two story cottages in the area and will be finished in earth tone colors.  But they will be new, clean, safe, and affordable to the local workers and their families.

TYG: Who is managing the project at the different levels?
Layne: The Project is owned by Fisterra Gardens Townhomes Limited Partnership. Our Coastal Village, Inc., is the general partner of that limited partnership and will provide general management services. The rentals of the units as well as maintenance and repairs will be handled by our independent third party manager, Cascade Management, Inc. There is a rental office at the Project and it will be staffed about half-time by an employee of Cascade Management, Inc.

TYG: Where are the materials for the project coming from?
Layne: The concrete and rock required for the project are sourced locally. Most of the lumber comes from Eugene, much of it from the sawmills located there. Local subcontractors are doing the excavation, plumbing, and electrical. Most of the other subcontractors are from the Valley, as is our General Contractor, Meili Construction, of Eugene.

TYG: What sort of grants is the government providing to help with the project?
Layne: Our Coastal Village, Inc. has invested over $2,000,000 in the Project, funded mostly by grants from: Lincoln County Economic Development ($10,000); Oregon-based Meyer Memorial Trust ($250,000) and The Collins Foundation ($150,000); and Arizona-based The DLW Foundation ($825,000) and The Norton Foundation ($250,000). Investors with ties to the local community purchased OCV’s 30-year, 2.5% Series FGT Project Notes in the aggregate amount of $422,500 to help fund the Project’s construction. Alliant Capital Ltd has committed to invest $2,097,000 in low-income housing tax credit equity.

Oregon Housing and Community Services provided a $797,979 30-year zero interest LIFT loan for the Project. The Legislative Assembly created the LIFT program specifically to fund new housing units in rural communities like Yachats. OHCS also issued short-term tax exempt conduit bonds for construction ($2,175,000) and long-term tax exempt conduit bonds for permanent financing ($850,000). Washington Federal, National Association, will purchase and hold the bonds and administer the construction loan.

The City of Yachats has agreed to allow installment payment of $46,459 in system development fees over 30 years at 3% interest out of a total SDC charge of $98,000.

TYG: What sorts of plans do you have for the future?
Layne: We have no specific plans for the future. Those will be formulated after construction of the current Project is completed. But we would definitely like to help encourage the development of more housing in Yachats for the families who work in our local motels, restaurants, and shops. There are some measures we would like to see the City Council adopt that would be a benefit to affordable housing. These include a construction excise tax which would help fund some of the cost of affordable housing; and revising our system development charges so they are lower for small homes and higher for large homes, rather than the same for every single family lot developed regardless of the size of the home.

The Yachats Gazette
wishes all its readers and advertisers a wonderful 2019!
Thank you all for your patronage.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 87, December 1 2018

Interview with Lauralee Svendsgaard and Jesse Beers

The Yachats Gazette met with Lauralee (former Yachats resident) and Jesse (Culture Director of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw) to discuss the annual Yachats Peace Hike. This will take place on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

TYG: [to Lauralee] So, I understand you're one of the main people behind the project. Did you start it, or did you join it when it was already going?
I started it, and it came about as a result of the dedication of the Amanda Trail several years ago. It was, in very many ways, an important time for us in Yachats. At the end of the dedication, [we thought] people were going to be heading to the Commons for the potluck that we'd planned and promoted, [but] we learned that the Elders with the Confederated Tribes had brought a wreath, and they wanted an appropriate place to place that wreath. We realized that we could get them close enough to the Amanda statue that they could place the wreath there. Unbeknownst to us, there were so many people touched by their experience at the dedication that instead of going to the Commons, they hiked to the statue in the Amanda grotto. So when Joanne Kittel and I and the Elders arrived there, we found that at least 50 other people had already come to that space. Doc Slyter, the tribal flutist, was playing his flute in the grotto there, and Joanne and I gathered on the bridge. It was a miracle that in its decrepit state—even though we were assured that it was in good condition—that with so many people on that bridge, it didn't come down. But it was standing [between] Joanne and Caroline (Doc Slyter's mother, who just recently passed away)... She asked Doc if he'd play Amazing Grace. And with that, there were no dry eyes in that area. And standing where I was, I realized that it didn't matter what your heritage was. We had all come there with deep remorse for what had happened, and with that, the seeds of an opportunity—because this was the first time, officially, that the Tribe had been back to Yachats in 150 years, that it also signified the hope that we need to give strength to, that we could all recognize the wrongs of the past, and make a commitment to be strong in doing better in the future. What happened to the Native Americans in that area was happening to them all over the nation, and that that kind of treatment of other people has not stopped in the US and throughout the world. That's where I realized: we need to commemorate this moment and this feeling and bring ourselves back to a rememberance every year. I had some experience with New Year's Day hikes, and thought that that would be a wonderful way to start the new year, especially in Yachats. [To Jesse] So I wonder what your recollection of that day is?

Jesse: Well, my memory is not very good, but I will say though that the Tribes had actually been placing wreaths, not at the Amanda Trail, but annually when I was younger. They would go over kind of just in the brush, over next to the Alsea River, and just drop a wreath there. It wasn't ever a positive thing though like it is today; but for a number of years, after some folks passed on that kind of stuff happening. Then this happened, and I think that's why some folks brought a wreath, because other tribal members that are no longer with us used to do that. So like Lauralee said, it just kind of evolved into something that it was probably always meant to be, unbeknownst to everyone who was trying to plan things. [laughs] Ever since then, the community of Yachats, like Doc Slyter says: there's something either in the water here, or there's something not in the water here, because of the amount that the community just goes out of their way to try to, if you want, right the wrong, or heal that hurt, or however you want to word it—to educate the public on what happened here and assist tribal membership in coming back and healing for that. It used to be something where my wife used to make fun of me, because there are a lot of nice-looking places in Yachats, and she's always like, "Let's pull over here!" or whatever, because her folks live up in McMinnville. And I always avoided it like the plague. Because it's like, Great-grandma said this: "You don't stop here, lots of bad stuff happened—just drive through." 

TYG: McMinnville, or Yachats?

Jesse: Oh, sorry, Yachats. So after all this, though, it's somewhere that not only do I feel comfortable, and other tribal members, other elders feel comfortable coming, but it's actually somewhere where we come on non-work days! [laughs] Or people like to come up for something casual, like this, or whatever.

Lauralee: So Allen, do you know the Amanda story?

TYG: I know the basics, but you should probably recount it for those who don't.
I will share a story too: Our chief now, but years ago Chief Warren Brainard stopped by the little library that was here, and he asked for some books on the Native people that were held here. They told him that there were no Native people here at any time! [laughs] He's like, "Well, I beg to differ..." So that tells you how far the community has really come in such a short span of time.

So the Amanda story is just one of many [other] stories that didn't get written down. The lucky part about Amanda's story is that it was written down by one of the soldiers that was marching with the people up here. The whole story is a long story. [sighs] But the basic story of the Amanda part is that at the time, people were escaping from here, from the reservation, because it was not federally-funded by treaty or anything. People [who lived here] were passing at a high rate—over 50% of the people living here were starving to death and dying of disease. So many people would leave, or try to leave. And regiments would be sent after them in the Coos Bay area to go round them up and bring them back up north. At that time there were also people who were kind of hold-outs in different areas, hiding from the government, trying not to lose their lands. Amanda was one of those people. At the time, if a White man would marry a Native woman, they wouldn't have to go up the reservation. But for some reason, her partner, who she had a child with, wouldn't marry her. So she was taken from her daughter at the time and marched up here. She was described as being blind; we don't know if that meant legally blind or blind-blind—we don't know the exact medical diagnosis of that. But she was described as being blind; and over pretty ragged rocks, once you get up North of Florence, over Heceta Head and all that good stuff, over the ragged rocks she tore her feet pretty badly, and the soldiers described her as being able to be easily tracked from the amount of blood she was leaving behind. She did make it up to the reservation because she was in the rolls here, but past that we really don't know what happened to her. The statue of Amanda in the grotto there represent[s] not only her, but also all the other people that passed during that time, or had to make that march—there were hundreds of people that had to make that march. The Reservation was here from 1859 to 1876. It was much bigger, at one point. In 1859, when [the Coast reservation] was originally created by executive order, it was from 10 miles north of the Umpqua River and then clear up to Yaquina Head, and then east to the coastal mountain range. It was a huge area of land by modern standards and was called the Great Coast Reservation. In 1865, it was split into half because people from Corvallis wanted an outlet railroad into the new port, so that southern part became Alsea Sub-agency, and housed the Alsea, the Lower Umpqua, the Coos people, and the Siuslaw on the southern end—we're still kind of within our ancestral lands. Then they created the Siletz reservation to the north, which we still know of—it's just a lot smaller now. Then in 1875 it was decided that the Tribes weren't utilizing their lands here and the populations had gotten much smaller for some reason. [laughs sadly] So at that point the United States government decided they wanted to close the Alsea Sub-agency, but in the law it said they had to get all 19 headmen to sign off on the closure of that Alsea Sub-agency reservation being here at Yachats and the surrounding area. Not one of them actually conceded to that. In the minutes it notes that they all say no, and it's pretty inspiring to read their words, because for a lot of them, English wasn't their first language and a lot of them were translated; but just their thoughtful words are pretty powerful. But it was told to DC that they did in fact approve the closure of their reservation, and so it was shut down in 1876. From there the people were told that they needed to go up to Siletz, and some did. Actually, we're meeting with one of our cousins from up there, a Siuslaw tribal member that's up in the Siletz reservation. But many didn't—they traveled back south to their homelands to find out that other people were living there, because a good place to live is a good place to live. And all the villages were gone and burnt down, so they became kind of refugees in their own land, landless people in their own land. So a lot of people took up residence on the north fork of the Siuslaw; Ka'aich is the name of the village site that used to be there. It became kind of a Native farm community, and was actually called Indian Town by the residents of Florence because there were so many Natives there, and there was a big dance house there (until that was burned down). A lot of [the refugees] did take up residence with the people of the Coos, and a lot of them also went down to the South Slough and Coos Bay area and kind of just eked by as much as possible. Then we get into more modern history, with our government actually forming in 1919, Termination 54, where Native people were told they weren't Native people anymore, and then our restoration in 1984. And there are the boarding schools, there's all kinds of good fun stuff during that time also. But the Amanda Trail really comes from that reservation period from the 1850's through 1875. Long story short. [pained laugh]

Lauralee: But it's important, I think. And it's why it's so important to me that the New Year's Day Peace Hike continue, because it brings that close to home. And for those who join us, it gives an opportunity for us to commemorate an important time, but also to recognize that we have a responsibility to do better. It doesn't matter who you are or what your heritage is: we all know that what was done was wrong. But we need the strength of conviction in those little and big times, when you have to stand for the integrity that is you. Last year, I started introducing, as part of the set-up before we go down into the ravine where the ceremony takes place, don't just be thinking about how good peace is—peace marches, and the peace sign, and the fun kind of kitschy things. Think in terms of what it felt to be a young man your age [to the Publisher] and torn away from all that you had known; not be allowed to use your language; not be allowed to use your customs, your ways of life; to be forced into an area that you don't know and be told to farm there. They were expected to farm on the coast. And to ask mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters: put yourself in the place of those people, a hundred and fifty years ago, and imagine what it's like. You can understand, with it still happening other places in the world, it becomes a more serious cause, and not something that's just the fun, psychedelic, bright colors. It's something that we really need to commit ourselves to, and be stronger in voicing our opposition, whether it's to bullying, or derogatory names being used. There are all kinds of levels—keep your integrity. Just think about what your integrity is, and from this day forth, from New Year's Day through the rest of the year, commit yourself to live each day with integrity.

Jesse: For us, it's really a remembrance about being thankful for the people that did survive, because while over half the people passed, not everybody did, and a lot of people who survived those really bad reservation years and travelled back home were the most important informants for the culture that we live today. There were people that travelled up here when they were Jaida's age [Jaida is Jesse's daughter and was in the room for the interview]—seven, eight years old—and marching up here. When they were kicked off here, some had families and some didn't have families anymore; and when they came back home they were older people, and they were able to share what they witnessed as a really young person: what their elders were doing, and language, and village sites, and all these different things. And that really built the base for our government that we know today, our Tribal government; that really built the base for our language programs—all those survivors. Because not too many people were able to stay behind and not be found. Down there—it used to be called Squaw Island, it's called Qochyax Island now, kind of off the Gregory Point area, Qochyax means Women's and Children's Island. There was a cave on the back side of that that they used to hide in with the small babies, because the sound of the ocean would actually muffle the cries of the babies so that the soldiers wouldn't be able to hear [them]. So, there were people that were able to hold out, and there were people also that married in, like my family actually was one of the ones that decided to marry their native counterpart, and so that's where my line comes from. They didn't have to go to the reservation, although they were inside it. They did also participate in some of the negotiations afterwards.

TYG-Graphic Designer: Can you also remind us who built the statue?
Jesse: [to Lauralee]
You know more about that than I do.
Lauralee: It's a local artist, Sy Meadow—he lives just near Angell Job Corps. He's a cement artist, but also has other mediums. [NB: From a post to the Facebook Yachats Community on May 4, 2016 by Joanne Kittel: "Originally commissioned by Joan Wikler and Beth Cook, Sy Meadow created two for Joan and Beth. Sy created a third one and gave the statue to his friend, George Copage. In 2003, George donated his statue to the Amanda Trail. Beth and Joan have generously and graciously donated one of theirs to the Trail" after the landslide buried the first statue.] [...] So, depending on your perception, there's another Amanda there. In my mind, I keep thinking that Amanda got tired, and decided to pass her task on, and that it's Julia that's there now.

TYG-GD: Who's Julia?
[Amanda's] daughter.

Lauralee: That's her daughter that she had to leave behind. It's the child's spirit that is now there and guiding us. But that's my own [feeling].

Jesse: A lot of people were really upset when the landslide came through [in December 2015] and destroyed all that. I tried to console a few people by telling them about [...] a traditional ceremony. A lot of people give gifts to Amanda, but a lot of people give a lot of weight to Amanda, also. They really kind of unload sometimes, down there at the grotto. So we have a ceremony where you take grandfather rock, because he's a lot older than us, he's a lot stronger than us. This can be done with a rock, but usually it's on a big, large stone or something like that. It's a place where you kind of do that, where you unload your weight and discuss and talk, and sometimes tears come with that. Water is healing, and usually it's in a place where the water will rise over that rock and wash the rock. Then it's healed and ready for the next year of unloading. We do that with our youth at camps, but with hand-held rocks where we do a circle, then wash the rock down at the creek or in the ocean or wherever we are. So the thought being that she was Grandmother Rock in this case, and she had had enough, so the earth was taking her down to the water to be washed. So that's another way to look at it. People get through it by thinking about it in whatever way makes sense to them. But there are definite hold-outs, who say that we'll still find her. If we do, yay, but if not, there are other ways to cope.

TYG-GD: It's amazing that there were replicas to be had!
Yes, and they're all a little different. They're not perfect replicas, which is nice. [...]

TYG-GD: How do you see this moving forward in the future?
I see it probably just continuing the way it is... It's a great way to start out the year, for sure. For a lot of people it probably keeps you a little healthier on New Year's Eve because you have to get up early and do something [laughter], and then also on the first it's just a great way to start out your year, whether it be healing for you, or sometimes kind of sad, or whatever you take from it or bring to it, it's a good way to kind of set your pace for the year. So I really enjoy it. We do also have separate—just Tribal—hikes that we take on the Amanda Trail with our camps, with our youth, with adults and stuff. Some of us during those choose to do it barefoot, to feel a hint of what she felt. Because [the trail] is very nice, now—it's dirt, and a path, and all that stuff.

TYG: It's not the best up at the top.
Well, yes. There are places on the original trail that were known for losing horses and stuff. We didn't have horses here, traditionally. They didn't make it over this far because they're just not that usable on the Oregon Coast. The foot trails were pretty gnarly, and some places just weren't traveled. You would travel around these places with canoes, not travel by foot on these places.

TYG-GD: Like Heceta Head, right?
Yes. There are just grooves carved out of stone where people would put their feet, and sometimes [the government soldiers] lost people. They didn't really care a whole lot at the time if they made it or not. So it was pretty gnarly back in the day. So some of us try to do that [barefoot], just to try and feel some of that [pain].

So Lauralee's moving away. She's the one that started it, but the community of Yachats is a strong Community, and I'm sure it will continue in the future. And now we're involved also, the Tribes are involved; Doc Slyter, Tribal member, council member now, really wants to keep it going as well. There are many other tribal members, including myself, who want to keep it going.

Lauralee: And I have thought about that question just the last several months. We're now living in Medford, and I'm involved in a lot of projects, doing a lot of trail things. But in my mind, this is the most important thing I do. There isn't anything that touches as deeply a connection to people and to setting the tone for the year as this. [...] I'm committed to continuing this as long as I possibly can. We had our first (and only) planning meeting two or three weeks ago now. Usually I get six people coming and I feel that okay, we're good, it's a good start—because I know a lot of other people are interested; they're just wanting marching orders. But this last meeting, we had over twenty people come. To me, that was really inspiring. So I've been thinking, "What's the next phase?" Because we're limited in space here, and I don't want this to become a superficial, kind of token [event]. It has to be small enough to have the meaning. But I know we get people coming from all over for this hike, and it occurs to me that there are a number of other communities throughout Oregon that sincerely want to make the effort to begin building the bridges and joining together in hopes of reconciliation and commemorating. I think it's important that we recognize the atrocities, but commit [ourselves] to doing better. It's occurring to me to talk to people in other communities and their Tribes, and see about getting more New Year's Day hikes taking place throughout Oregon. I think we're ready for it. [...] I feel strongly that [White] folks that came during the settlement period and after—I feel that a lot of them, and in particular the younger generations, recognize that there are some things that need to be atoned for. We need to be showing some stronger respect and stronger support for what Tribal people are struggling to achieve, whatever that is for them. [...] We want this [Peace Hike] be a recognition, but also we want to walk away from this feeling that we have done something, on this first day of the year, that has touched our hearts in a warming way, in a positive way, in order to commit us to take each step in the next year with peace in our heart and the strength to fight for that.

Jesse: Yes, that's a great point. People are coming to this from all over the place; a lot of people from Eugene, especially. [Other hikes are] interesting to think about. There were Kalapuya people that were there [in Eugene], and they were driven to the Grande Ronde. So there could be something happening over that way too. This is three tribes here on the coast: this is their march, their hike; talking about their history. But where is Indian Country? It's the Americas, right? This kind of thing happened all over the United States, Canada, South America—it's still happening in South Central America and in the southern area of the United States today. So that's a good point, and something to bring up.

Lauralee: So what were you wanting for this article?

TYG: This kind of important discussion and history: this is exactly what we wanted.
Lauralee: Let me make certain that we do share with you that there will be a Peace Hike this New Year's Day, barring inclement weather. Everybody who does the hike needs to check in at the Commons Kitchen: we'll be running check-in from 9:15 am to 10:15 am. From 9:30 am until 10:00 am, at the Little Log Church, Doc Slyter and Jesse will be telling the Amanda story, and immediately after that the candlelight vigil will start in the Little Log Church. Not everybody can or wants to hike on a cold, freezing New Year's Day morning, but the Little Log Church will be open. We create an altar to Amanda there, and people are invited to come between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm to light a candle and meditate for peace on their own. At about 12:30 pm, Doc Slyter and some of the other Tribal musicians will be at the Church for the last half hour for some music. At 11:15 am, in Joanne Kittel's driveway, is where the peace ceremony begins. [The driveway is located at 1356 Highway 101 south.  No parking will be allowed at the end of the driveway that morning and early afternoon of the Peace Hike.] Wake and Kinlen Wheeler guide that ceremony; they're locals from Yachats. Then once we are in our place of peace, all of us walk in silence down to the grotto, and that's where the fire ceremony takes place. When you check in at the Kitchen, one of the things you're given is a sprig of cedar, and you carry that with you [on the hike]. You're putting your hopes and prayers for peace in that sprig, and when you come down to the grotto there's a fire, and you put your sprig in the fire. That smoke then goes up into the universe, and circulates around the planet; the thinking being that your hopes will spread around the Earth. [...] Everything is planned to end at 1 o'clock. The hike will be cancelled if there are heavy rains, or winds exceeding 25 miles per hour predicted for New Year's Day. [...]

TYG: Thank you so much for your time!

NB: Some useful links: Amanda's Trail Hike The Amanda Trail Story
Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siletz
TrailKeepersOfOregon: Amanda's Trail
Amanda’s Trail and the Forced Relocation of Oregon Peoples by John Sparks, March 14 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 86, October 26 2018 (November Issue)

Click here for a printable copy of Issue 86. Because we had a very specific format in order to present the mayoral candidates side-by-side, we've decided to upload images of each page to the blog. However, that may be kind of hard to read depending on what kind of device you've chosen; please download and print, or as usual, you can find hard copies at the Post Office, Green Salmon, or Mari's Books and... . You should just be able to click on the first image to get a larger size, then scroll through the images as you read, though. Do vote!

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 85, October 1 2018

Click here for a printable version of Issue 85 (.pdf)

Interview with Gretchen Hetzler

The Yachats Gazette met with Gretchen to discuss the construction and changes on the Drift Inn properties.

The new Drift Inn building, location of the former laundromat
Gretchen: So, [we have a] new building, which used to be the old laundromat. We decided it wasn't going to be very cost-effective to run a laundromat, because the water costs in Yachats are very high. So upstairs will be four rooms, four individual and unique rooms. Each place has its own bathroom. I think there will be two rooms with a king bed and two rooms with queen beds, and each has a tiled shower and sink. Downstairs, the front entry will be sort of a hang-out space. This is technically a lodging house, so there will be a hang-out space/check-in for guests.

TYG: Are there stairs inside?
Gretchen: There are not stairs inside. It's separate levels. Everything is accessed from the sky bridge for the upper levels. So the downstairs will be this sort of hang-out area with cool art, and couches maybe, and a check-in space. The next room back is a kitchen/laundry facility.

TYG-Editorial Assistant: So the kitchen will be for the guests?
Gretchen: Yes. It might just be a food storage area/kitchenette place, not a full place to cook. It mostly serves as a laundry space, but it will be a kitchen space as well. And then the closest room to us [TYG were sitting in the courtyard off the side of the Drift Inn] is going to be a game room.

TYG: Ooh!
Gretchen: [It will be] for guests and customers alike: we're going to have shuffleboard, foosball, and whatever kind of cool games we can fit in there that make sense and that you can play with.

TYG: Probably too small to have a pool table.
Gretchen: Yes. It is a little too small for a pool table. But we have thought about it, because you know Lester used to have a pool table in here, before we had the place.

TYG-EA: What about a boxing ring?
Gretchen: No, I think that might be a little pushing it. [laughter] There may be some liability.

TYG-EA: It would be very authentic.
Gretchen: And nostalgic, yes. So the back room will be a game room. Currently it's storage for the Mercantile, but we're sussing out some other storage options out back for the Mercantile, because they definitely need it. So we'll have the four rooms, the kind of hang-out area/check-in, laundry/kitchen, and then the game room. And I believe the game room is going to be open to everyone, diners as well as hotel guests. So it's more of a B&B/lodge that we're trying to create, more than like a hotel, because we don't want it to be so impersonal.

TYG: And there are so many hotels in Yachats already. 
Gretchen: We just don't want to create that feeling—we want it to be more of an oasis, a getaway, family-oriented.

TYG: What kind of length do people stay if they're living here?
Gretchen: You know, we've had people stay months at a time. It's not necessarily the most affordable option, but there is that opportunity to do it. We had a gentleman named Art who stayed with us for a long time, over a month and a half, and a woman stay here for over two months, I believe.

TYG: That's awesome!
Gretchen: Yes! It's definitely some people's prerogative to do that. But it's not cheap. [laughs] 

TYG: This is not a place where people would normally stay long-term, or they would rent a house.
Gretchen: Right, but like our "Pedal Out" rooms are $50 a night. It is affordable for some people to do that because it's minimal: you have small rooms, and you don't need a lot. So if you don't need a lot and can manage that, it's not too bad. So all in all, when all's said and done, we'll have twenty rooms.

TYG: Wow! 
Gretchen: Five of those are the hostel-style rooms, the "Pedal Out" rooms. The rest of them vary between more of a typical hotel room to fully-furnished two-bedroom apartments. Like the one above here is called "Eagle's Nest," and it's a fully-furnished two-bedroom apartment. So we have a variety of stuff going on.

TYG: And then of course there is also the sky bridge system itself, which is still pretty new.
Gretchen: I know! It's really cool. The plan is, I believe, [to install] a dumbwaiter or some sort of elevator to get house-keeping supplies up and down and whatever else we deem worthy, I suppose, like house-keeping carts and supplies.

The roof over the Drift Inn patio, as well as a view of the sky bridge.
TYG: Wow, so a big elevator then!
Gretchen: Well, big enough to haul a person and/or things. It's probably going to be electronic. Because I can't imagine a hand-hauled dumbwaiter for that kind of thing. Although if you have enough pulleys, it distributes the work and you don't need it.

TYG: Or a counterweight.
Gretchen: Right.

TYG: That's harder under load, though.
Gretchen: Multiple pulleys would make a little more sense, right. So that's what's going on! We're always working on changing, moving things around.

TYG: Awesome! I'm glad to see you got a safety feature for the fireplace. 
Gretchen: Yes. More than anything, though: It directs the smoke up.

The fireplace with its new hood. In the background, the wood chute.
TYG: I was also quite worried during the summer about having that thing catch fire. It's not so bad now.
Gretchen: Well, the fire department approved our little fire pit. It works out pretty well. We regularly water our plants, so everything's pretty moist. And we've got the driftwood/redwood tables, and they're actually selling pretty well. They're big slabs, and people are actually ordering them. We have extra ones for sale.

TYG-EA: So, this whole patio area, with all the pathways and elevated structures, reminds me of a model railroad layout. 
Gretchen: [laughs] Yes?

TYG-EA: So how did it come about, to turn this into this wonderful multi-level, multi-function sort of Tinker-Toy space?
Gretchen: That's really just a combination of Tom, my step-dad, and my mom's sort of creative mind-workings [Linda Hetzler is Gretchen's mother]. We saw a necessity for handicap accessibility, because so many of our hotel rooms weren't accessible from a wheelchair. So they decided to create this sky way [from the rear parking area to the main upper level of the Drift Inn]. We knew if we did that, a lot more of our rooms would be more easily accessed.

A view of the Drift Inn patio, with the Drift Inn on the left, and the new building on the right.
TYG: To be fair, if I remember right, it was a little bit arduous to get up there because of the steep staircase. 
Gretchen: And that staircase fell apart, so it just moved the process along.

TYG-EA: So was there an early master plan?
Gretchen: No, it's just been a slow evolution. "Okay, this is what we think we want to do next, let's give it a shot and see how it works out." Then the other structure, the one that goes along the back side of the old laundromat building, is metal fabricated at Halco Welding, up in South Beach.

TYG: I can't be the only one to have observed this, but it used to be that the [pipe serving as a wood chute] used to lead directly on top of the wood pile, which meant that any water would run straight under.
Gretchen: However, there are holes drilled into the pipe so that the water goes down a little bit, but it really just goes through, and waters the garden. Tom's very smart like that. He built it then went, "Wait! This is going to need holes."

TYG-EA: At what point did you decide to make this a covered patio?
Gretchen: We had actually thought about it years ago. The shed that's out in the parking lot now, next to the Mercantile, was essentially where that redwood table is now. It's a pretty big shed. So that had to be moved, and a new deck had to be built in order for the deck to be covered, and make it work for the space. We had always intended to do it, but we weren't really sure how we could do it.

TYG: I like how you have all the pieces mixed together—it works really well. As much as you have the pieces slightly not in alignment, it works.  
Gretchen: So all of the redwood slabs and all of the wood except for this pressure-treated wood up here was bought from a local artist wood cabinetry/wood worker guy, who had kept the wood for a long time. He was going to build a pergola, but he just never did. So he sold that to us, then all of the slabs—he had quite a few of those. So it's kind of cool that we—not necessarily recycled, but used wood that was existing.

TYG: And then you've got this, which I've never seen before.
Gretchen: It's a banana tree! And it's thrived since we put it in the pond and moved it a little bit—it's really gone wild. It's really neat. I run into it a lot.

TYG: I've seen banana trees full-grown, or close to it...
Gretchen: Some varieties get very tall, and others don't—we're just going to have to see.

The Publisher and his side-kick. Banana tree is on the right.
TYG: I always wanted to build a house in the woods and leave at least one tree standing in the middle of the living room, and also have an actual stream running through it.
Gretchen: Yes! My husband really wants to build tree houses. I think he'll do that someday. He really has a lot of ideas about tree houses.

TYG-EA: When do you expect this to be done?
Gretchen: Thanksgiving, probably? That would be our ultimate goal, but you never know. Originally we had hoped the outside of the building would be done in August, but then it took a whole other extra month. So now it's mostly just interior work, which is good timing for the weather. So painting, sheetrock, wiring the satellite... We're hoping by Thanksgiving. Alright, I have to get back to work...

TYG: Thank you so much for your time!
Gretchen: Yes! Happy to do it.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Yachats Gazette, Issue 84, September 1 2018


Dr. Stephanie Bosch is a family practice physician. She recently finished her residency in Corvallis, Oregon, and has joined the medical staff full-time at the Samaritan Waldport Clinic.

TYG: So what brought you into medicine?
Stephanie: I have written essays about that question at least five times in my life, and yet every time I'm asked it, I always have to review the entire story in my head to remember, and really be able to articulate why. [pause] So, as I remember it—my Dad will tell a different story—I decided to go into medicine in the tenth grade, because what I would watch after school on the television when my homework was done, was re-runs of M*A*S*H*...

TYG: I'm afraid I don't know that show.
Stephanie: I don't know if this makes sense, if you don't know what M*A*S*H* is. M*A*S*H* is a show from the 70's, and it takes place during the Korean War, but it was filmed during the Vietnam War. So a lot of the show is honestly commentary on the Vietnam War. It takes place in Korea at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). So it's a hospital unit of the army that is generally stationed for a long period in one-ish place, and gets wounded soldiers, and there are doctors there that fix them up real quick and try to get them to a safer place. One of the several main characters was Benjamin Franklin Pierce, who goes by "Hawkeye." I think he was a cardiothoracic surgeon from somewhere in New England. And he, like most of the male cast, was drafted into the army to serve in the war, and he was really bitter about it. [...] In general he's a pacifist, so throughout the show he [wonders], "Why is this war going on? This is a hellish place we're in. All these people are being killed. There's very little I can do for my patients here, because they come to me busted up and dying, and I have to try and put band-aids on them to keep them alive enough to get them to a higher level of care that can take care of them." You could say he's the main character. And so a lot of the show is dealing with his mental / emotional / moral struggles of being a physician during the Korean War.

So, the point of all of this: I'm in tenth grade, for the most part I've finished my homework at school or I don't have much, and I'm watching television because that's what I do, and I'm watching one to two hours of M*A*S*H* re-runs every day. [laughs] So what I'm seeing is this character that is in a terrible situation, someplace he doesn't want to be, doing what he views is this kind of bastardization of what he thought his job was—he didn't go into medicine to try and perform what he called "meatball surgery," he went into medicine to actually make a difference in people's lives. And there are other characters in that show—they had their own reasons for going into medicine; some of them were drafted, some of them were career Army, many of them physician characters.

But throughout all this complaining about the terrible situation he's in, he's always the very first one that, if something's going wrong [and somebody else suggests], "Okay, we should give up on this person, they're just going to die anyway;" or, "Hey, there's this enemy soldier over here that's in poor health, but they're an enemy soldier, let's just let them die;" or "There are some Korean citizens over here, and they may not be enemy soldiers, but we're here to help the Army kids, not any of them" kind of thing—he's always the first one to be like, "No! That person's a human being. I am here to help them." And there are multiple instances throughout the show where he's like, "We're in this monstrous situation and I hate it here," but he never lets that dampen his compassion and his humanity.

TYG: Quite the doctor!
Stephanie: Yes! And so at a time when I was like, "I don't know what the heck I want to do with my life," I was really interested in the sciences, I was just getting into social justice movements through my church at the time, I'm watching this guy on television in a less-than-ideal situation, not letting it stop him from being a very compassionate human being. So essentially, it's my recollection that at that point I decided, "Hey, maybe medicine would be pretty cool. That's the person I want to be, that's who I want to emulate." So... yeah. That's what brought me into medicine. [laughs] So I decided to go into it, and I spent the next decade working toward it.

TYG: Yes, it's not a short career path.
Stephanie: No. So part of that drive, as I said, was wanting to emulate that fiercely compassionate character, and I alternated on what I wanted to be in medicine various times. I was set on doctor, but what specialty? At one point I wanted to go into infectious disease, because I'd read The Hot Zone and I was like, "Man, I want to work for the CDC and do a bunch of research." [laughs] At one point, I wanted to be a pulmonologist, because my grandmother was dying because of complications due to emphysema. But when it came time to actually choose what I wanted to go into, which happens the third or fourth year of medical school—and in part the design of medical rotations is to help with this, to get a flavoring of what different specialties and practices are like—I realized that though the TV characters that inspired me are generally surgeons, the kind of medicine I want to practice is really embodied best by family practice. He may have been a surgeon, but Hawkeye would have been a phenomenal family doc. [...]

And then the other one... [laughs ruefully] This one is actually harder for me to leave in the conversation. It's actually two television characters that inspired me to go into medicine. And this was the absolute hardest part of writing medical school essays... "Man, they're going to really turn their nose up at the fact that I watched so much television as a child!" But that's where I drew inspiration from. Though it's not actually the TV version. It was Dr. Leonard H. McCoy from Star Trek.

TYG: Oh! But that makes sense! [laughs] 
Stephanie: They're very similar characters. McCoy is not necessarily in a constantly awful situation, but he is often in terrible situations where he has to make hard medical decisions and the very first thing he lets guide his medical decision-making, is, "What is the most compassionate thing to do? How can I save as many people as possible in the best way possible?" I've never really watched much of the original series, because when I try to watch it it's kind of boring. It pains me to admit that—I love the movies, but I hate the TV series—I don't hate it, but... [ensues a long conversation on the merits of various Star Trek series and spin-offs] 

TYG: So, what brought you to this area? 
Stephanie: I moved to Oregon for residency, having gone to high school and medical school in Texas. I really liked Oregon. I decided, once I was here, that I didn't want to leave. So then it was a matter of, "Hey, how where can I find a job that fits my needs that's still in Oregon?" Preferably in the western half, because I'm not really fond of it when white stuff falls from the sky and it gets too cold. So yes—after residency I was looking for a job where I could see a variety of age groups, not just adults but also kids. I wanted a practice where I could do a variety of procedures. And then this one popped up! I'd done residency with Samaritan, so I already knew how Samaritan worked, and when I was looking at jobs in the Samaritan system, the one in Waldport was the one that fit me best. Living by the ocean is pretty sweet. I do like that the weather is not in the 90s right now, and my understanding is that it doesn't get in the 20s, either.

TYG: I've never heard of it going [that low]. We've gotten some snow a few times, though!
Stephanie: Well that happens everywhere. I've lived in a desert in California and we've gotten snow a couple of times. [...]

TYG-Editorial Assistant: So what do you like about Oregon?
Stephanie: A number of things. I like that it's a blue state, and I like that it's a green state. I like that within a relatively short time you can be in a variety of different climates. I grew up in California, and that's one of the things I missed about California. Living in Bakersfield...

TYG-EA: [winces] Ooh.
Stephanie: The great thing about being from Bakersfield is that you're no longer there. But, you are an hour and a half from the coast, an hour and a half from some nice places in the mountains, and an hour and a half from some gorgeous desert. [...] And now, Bend is maybe five hours from here? I want to say three-ish from where I was in Albany. Having lived a significant amount of time in Texas, that's nothing.

TYG: It's a beautiful drive, as well!
Stephanie: It's a lovely drive. Whereas in Texas, it would be a hideous drive. So yes—[Oregon] is a gorgeous state that has people who are genuinely friendly and don't take themselves too seriously, as frequent friends of socks and sandals have shown.

TYG-EA: Very informal culture.
Stephanie: Which I like! [...]

TYG: How has the job been going so far?
Stephanie: It's going well. We're still working out some kinks. I'm not able yet to do all the procedures I'd like, because we don't have the materials. I have a particular interest in women's health; I'm able to place long-acting, reversible contraception, and we just don't have that available in the clinic yet. But once it's there, which we're working on, I'll be able to do that. Which is actually one of the things that drew me to the clinic, because I understand that there's a lack of it there. I thought, "Hey, I get to do it!" Other than that, it's going really well. We have a great group there. People allow me to make jokes. [laughter]

TYG: I'm so happy that docs like you are finally starting to move in. My dad's worked at the clinic for a long time. And for so long it's been so under-staffed and under-tech-ed, so having this is so nice. Finally now, thank goodness, the Samaritan residency program is starting to come on-line. So it's finally allowing a lot of places like Waldport and Newport to get the people they need.
Stephanie: Totally. [everybody knocks on wood] Our residency program, I want to say—I'd have to look it up to be sure—I think this is currently their tenth year. And the vast majority of residents that have graduated have stayed in the state of Oregon, which was one of the main purposes—to keep them in the area. And quite a number of them have stayed with Samaritan in its various locations. So I think it's doing a pretty good job.

TYG-EA: How did you come to choose the residency program in Oregon?
Stephanie: This is kind of harkening back to an earlier question. So I decided "family practice," and then I said, "Okay, where do I want to do my family practice residency?" The very first criterion, the most important, was that it was not in Texas. I had a number two and three that were pretty important, but I can't remember at this point. Oh, I guess I didn't want it to be in a giant city. Having lived in a number of major metropolitan areas, I'm not particularly fond of it. First I started looking on the West Coast—as I said, I grew up in California. I'm a D.O., so [...] I decided to apply just to D.O. programs, and ones that were "dual accredited," so accredited by both [M.D. and D.O. agencies]. In California, most of those programs are around major cities, so like in the L.A. metroplex or others, and I just had no interest in living near L.A. So I ended up spreading out along the West Coast: California, Washington, Oregon. Wyoming sounded like a nice place, Colorado, Montana. And then I was like, "Sure, I'll try the East Coast as well." Technically I was born on the East Coast, but I don't remember anything about Virginia. So I [thought] I'd try in the New England area, because they're pretty blue. So I ended up interviewing at places in Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, a whole bunch of places in New York state, New Hampshire, and Maine. My top two programs, the two that I was [choosing between, were] the program in Corvallis, and the one in Bangor, Maine—so, opposite sides of the country. [Maine] still does sound like a phenomenal state, and I'd love to visit again. They had a phenomenal program, but I'm really glad I ranked Corvallis number one and made it into [the program]. So, I think the question was, "Why the Corvallis program?" It was a phenomenal program with phenomenal people. When I interviewed there, everyone seemed like a big, supportive family. Considering my closest relatives are in southern California, [that] was really important to me. [And it was] in a beautiful state, that wasn't Texas.

TYG-EA: What made, or makes it, a phenomenal program?
Stephanie: Part of it is the sort of family-like feel that we have. The entire program was, and remained, and continues to be, run sort of with the idea that the residents are in one of the best positions to find what the weaknesses are in the program, so "Hey, let's listen to them about what these weaknesses are." And then residents and faculty all work as a team to fix it.

TYG: That's especially nice if it works.
Stephanie: Oh, it does! I thought the program was really great going into it, and by the time I graduated, I [thought it] was an even better program, and it's going to be even better within the next three to five years, once we see how it's going to improve and offer even better education for its residents. So you have this supportive environment to learn in, which is the best kind of learning environment; you have a hospital that gets a variety of patients and that is decently large without being so enormous that you can get entirely overwhelmed by patient load. You can still get overwhelmed, but it's not like the weight of a state hospital system is resting on your shoulders kind of thing. When I was going into it, I was looking at the availability of [obstetrics] training as a plus, because I was considering doing OB as part of family practice, which I eventually decided not to. At that point, you could use electives and get a decent amount of OB experience. I think those things: a variety of electives, the ability to take a variety of electives, so you could identify your own weaknesses and fill those; as opposed to a lot of programs where you have very few electives so you don't get a lot of that flexibility of education. I was one of the first residents that started out from the onset in our three separate continuity clinic locations; the Corvallis residency is centered in Corvallis, so that's where your residency is, but we have "continuity clinics" that the residents do there, [which means] seeing your own patients as part of your residency, and "your clinic" as opposed to going to somebody else's clinic and watching, or helping them do their thing. Mine was in Albany; there's another one in Lebanon. I was excited about the opportunity to help start that, and blossom that for the program. Because there had been residents that were brought into those clinics, in their second and third years, but I was one of the ones that started out there first year and was there all three.

TYG-EA: So how does it feel to be completely out of the nest?
Stephanie: There are some things that are like, "Yeah, this is awesome!" For example, when I can just sign an order and I don't have to co-sign it with anyone, or I don't have to co-sign my notes with anyone—I just do things without having to go through the rigmarole of double-checking things, particularly when I already know the answer and I know I can just do this thing. But then it's also terrifying in that I don't have anyone double-checking all my work! [laughs] 

TYG-EA: That is one of the reassuring things about being a PA; I'm required to have my supervising physician sign off on at least ten per cent of my chart notes, so I make it a point to send him all of the notes about situations that are a little weird, or a little bit touchy, or a little bit risky—I make sure that somebody else is taking a look at these less-than-ideal situations. 
Stephanie: Which is another thing that I kind of really like about our clinic, which is that I have multiple times now just peeked my head into people's office doors or banged on the office doors and like "Hey! There's this weird thing! Tell me if the decision I made sounds legit to you, or if it was shady!" [laughs] So there's the reassurance of, "No, no, that sounds pretty reasonable."

TYG-EA: It's been a very supportive environment. How much of that is our particular group versus Samaritan, I don't know, not having worked in primary care for other Samaritan [offices]. But there's a very nice tone there. 
Stephanie: And having only ever worked in resident groups as part of Samaritan, once again, having chosen the residency based on that kind of support, I like to think it's a Samaritan culture kind of thing. Partially because, not even in primary care, but working with specialists, just how interested and involved they are in teaching residents, that you have to have some kind of openness to questions and support in order to be able to do that effectively.

TYG-EA: There isn't a hazing culture.
Stephanie: No.

TYG-EA: I've experienced that elsewhere during my training, and I certainly see products of it elsewhere, with providers who grew up in that hazing culture, and seeing how that behavior continues. 
Stephanie: "I went through this, so you have to go through this too."

TYG-EA: Right. [...] So, I'd be interested to hear why you chose not to do obstetrics in family practice, and also the things that you are doing that may be a little special. 
Stephanie: In the end, I chose not to do obstetrics partially because it takes a lot of effort and a lot of time, and I already don't sleep very well.

TYG-EA: You'd probably get a lot of calls in the middle of the night.
Stephanie: Yes. A lot of calls in the middle of the night. And it's not just a simple answer, or a simple "Let's go and evaluate the patient." Obstetrics is you stay with the patient, and you continually evaluate them, for hours. It's very stressful and overwhelming. Is it a phenomenal feeling to catch a baby? Yes. Is it a phenomenal feeling to be able to go with a mother or a set of parents on this journey of their little fetus-nugget growing, and they get to hit all these benchmarks even in utero and learn all these new things even if it's their third or fourth or whatever child? Yes... but I really like sleeping. [laughs] 

TYG-EA: I suppose if obstetrics is most of what you do, you can schedule things around your call day. But if you're trying to do that...
Stephanie: In addition to family practice...

TYG-EA: Right.
Stephanie: It's a lot harder to juggle in family practice than when you're primarily an obstetrician.

TYG-EA: Two different kinds of work, with two completely different schedule types. 
Stephanie: As for the second part of your question, I did mention earlier that I have a particular interest in women's health, and that includes things like cervical cancer screening, making sure women are up-to-date on breast cancer screening, and also just contraception management, because there's a wide variety. In this country, in this modern world, if a woman does not want to get pregnant, she does not have to get pregnant—it is preventable. I particularly enjoy opening people's eyes to the variety of ways that you can plan pregnancy for when it's convenient to you, or not have one if it's never convenient to you.

So what I was talking about earlier, the LARCs—the long-acting reversible contraceptives, which are things like Nexplanon and inter-uterine devices. Essentially, these are forms of contraception that are one way or another put in a woman's body, and they provide anywhere from three to five years, depending on the type, of really reliable birth control. You don't have to remember to take a pill, you don't have to remember to put on a patch, or remember to get a shot every three months, or anything like that. It's like it's there for this period of time, it offers extremely reliable—and I'm talking about 98-99.5%—effectivity. And the other thing is that it's long-acting, but also reversible. So the Nexplanon, for example, is the little rod thing that goes in a woman's arm. Say a woman has it in there for a year and a half, and says, "Well, I'm ready to get pregnant now." Well, we just take it out and she can get pregnant pretty darn quickly after that!

TYG: Simple enough... 
Stephanie: Yes! Same thing with the IUDs. The Mirena is the five year hormonal IUD. Say she has it in for three years, and is like, "Man, I want to get pregnant. I'm ready now, we're planning this." We can just take it out and she can get pregnant pretty quickly afterward. Totally reversible. So yes—they're super-effective, generally really safe, long-acting, reversible forms of birth control. I'm just a big proponent of it because of all those reasons. I'll be the only one in our clinic doing those. It's my understanding that you previously had to be referred to the women's clinic in Newport. And it's my understanding that Nickki [Dorr, FNP] wants to learn how to do the Nexplanon and the IUDs as well, so hopefully, eventually we'll have two of us who can do that. Just makes it easier for the women in the Waldport area, who find it difficult to get up to Newport—it makes it more accessible for them.

TYG-EA: So, outside of the office, what do you really enjoy?
Stephanie: I like reading—mainly fiction, but as you can see, also some non-fiction, mainly along the revolutionary war era; histories, but not like the super-dry textbook history, but the "I wrote it kind of in the form of a story" type history.

TYG: David McCullough! Fantastic for that sort of thing. He's written loads of histories about that period, like big, 600-page histories—fascinating. 
Stephanie: Not like "date," and then "this done on this date"...

TYG: No, not at all. 
TYG-EA: Great biography of John Adams. 
TYG: And George Washington as well.
Stephanie: I watch a large amount of Netflix as well. [laughs] Videogames. I'm a very casual gamer. Some casual gamers will say, "You seem more hard-core than me!" But I'm comparing myself to my three brothers, who are steeped above their heads in videogame culture.

TYG: I definitely call myself a casual gamer. I know a few tricks. 
Stephanie: I play a game, off and on, every once in a while, for ages, until I get bored with it, and then I'll start a second game. Whereas all my brothers seem to be playing in-depth, super-intense, five games at once. I'm like, "I don't understand how you have time for this!"

TYG: Well, they might have the time because they don't do anything else.
Stephanie: Exactly. Let's see... I collect unicorn-themed items. What you see is the smallest modicum of my unicorn collection—most of it is still packed away. [laughs] And tea. Tea is a hobby of mine. I have a collection of teas. I have a collection of tea cups, a collection of tea pots, a collection of tea-making things; a lot of tea-related paraphernalia.

TYG-EA: Have you been to the Green Salmon in Yachats? 
Stephanie: I have not!

TYG: Probably the best tea place around. 
Stephanie: It's a tea place? I thought it was a restaurant!

TYG-EA: It's also a coffee place. It's also a bakery. 
Stephanie: There's also a place in Seal Rock—La Faye Art Studios.

TYG-EA: Was there anything else you wanted to talk about?
Stephanie: It's super worthwhile to adopt a senior dog, because they're cute and calm and generally already trained.

TYG: Thank you so much for your time!


September 9, 2018
Drive Electric Yachats  is a one-day  free event, Sunday  Sept. 9, starting 10 AM at the Yachats Commons Picnic Shelter. This year’s event includes a free showing of the movie Revenge of the Electric Car.

Drive Electric Yachats is part of National Drive Electric Week, September 8–16, 2018, a nationwide celebration to heighten awareness of today's widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more.

From 10 AM to 3 PM you can visit and speak with local electric vehicle owners. Look under the hood. You will be surprised. Try a test drive and learn more about this new  rapidly changing  technology. Electric vehicles  are fun to drive, are less expensive and more convenient to fuel than gasoline vehicles. EV’s are better for the environment, promote jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Are you considering going electric? Come talk to owners who have successfully done so.


As part of their 75th  anniversary  celebrations,  Central Lincoln PUD is sponsoring a free showing of the highly praised, 88 minute film Revenge of the Electric Car. Revenge follows four entrepreneurs from 2007 through the end of 2010 as they fight to bring the electric car back to the world market in the midst of the 2008 global recession. The documentary premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival on Earth Day, April 22, 2011.

We are still looking for EV owners who are willing to let a novice explore  their car. It is your decision what you allow guests do with your electric vehicle: look at it, sit in it, ride in it, or drive it.

If you are an EV owner and wish to sign up and show off and share  your EV, please sign up at: . National Drive Electric Week is presented by Plug In America, Sierra Club, and Electric Auto Association. Drive Electric Yachats is produced by Polly Plumb Productions, and  sponsored by the Drift Inn Hotel and Restaurant, the Yachats Chamber of Commerce, and Central Lincoln PUD.

For more information  call 541-968-6089, or  contact

Find us on Facebook:  Drive Electric Yachats


Get your tickets now for the 18th Yachats Celtic Music Festival, Friday through Sunday, November 9-11, at the Yachats Commons and other venues around town. Plans include day and night time events including concerts, dances, stories, talks, whiskey tasting, workshops, vendors, the sunset “Piper on the Point,” plus surprises, with a variety of free and paid activities scheduled.

The early Friday noon opening was very popular last year, and that is planned again. This creates an opportunity to enjoy live music and have a Celtic inspired snack or beverage before the afternoon concerts begin. All ages are welcome at most events.