Vandals struck in the heart of Shady Cove, stealing ten of the seasonal flags displayed throughout the business district and destroying the hardware, including flagpoles and brackets. A tradition for over six years and a project of the Greater Shady Cove Boosters, the flags added a festive note that was enjoyed by both residents and visitors alike.
The damage was discovered when Boosters’ volunteers arrived to change flags on Set. 22. John Burgess, president of the volunteer organization, expressed disappointment and sadness over this act of wanton destruction. The damage amounted to about $300—a substantial part of the non-profit’s modest budget, he said.
The vandalism was not a simple impulsive act but a very intentional act. The vandals actually broke the metal brackets—smashed them, Burgess reiterated, most likely with a hammer. In front of Books-N-More, the bracket was mounted to an ornamental wood post. When the bracket was pulled off, a large chunk of wood came with it marring the appearance of the post. Burgess said he will somehow try to repair the damage.
Although there has been some sporadic vandalism to the flags over the years, Burgess has not seen anything of this extent. He wonders if there is a lack of law enforcement in Shady Cove. He hopes people will keep their eyes open and call the sheriff’s department at 541-864-8800 if they see something. They should be aware there is a problem. “It is their city,” he said.
The flags are the brainchild of former city councilor, Alison Curtis, who said she is appalled at the damage. Her idea grew from the original handmade flags of daffodils and a patriotic theme to the current six different designs that are changed every two months by Boosters’ members. She is disappointed and angry—in fact disgusted— at the immaturity and childishness of this act. She said, “I do not understand why anyone wants to destroy something that others enjoy. There is no excuse.”
By Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent