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On the Light Side

February 23, 1989

BANDON, Ore. (AP) _ The Chamber of Commerce director in Lincoln City has a message for other coastal Oregon towns trying to lay claim to the title of Kitefliers’ Capital of the World: Go fly one.

″What’s this I hear (that) Bandon thinks it’s the kite flying capital of the world?″ David Gomberg said Tuesday. ″It’s not enough to put a couple of kites in the air and call yourself the Kite Capital of the World. You’re going to have to prove it.″

″I suggest this be resolved the way it’s done in Japan, with giant battle kites,″ he added. He said the showdown is scheduled for May 13 and 14.

That’s just fine with Janet and Frank McNew, owners of the Freestyle Kites store in Bandon, about 150 miles south of Lincoln City on the southern Oregon coast.

″We’ve been practicing every weekend - rain, sleet or snow,″ said McNew. ″We’re going to go up there and just blow them away.″

Virgil Sams of Bandon said battle kites can be 10 feet tall and have lines impregnated with shards of glass to cut the lines of rival kites.

Lincoln City Mayor Alice Sim signed a resolution in 1986 designating her city the Kitefliers’ Capital, citing its seven miles of public beaches, numerous kite stores and its location on the windward edge of the continent at the 45th parallel, halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.

Bandon, about 150 miles south of Lincoln City on the state’s southern coast, is one of a number of towns also claiming to be the true kite capital.The McNews say average winds of more than 15 mph give Bandon a natural advantage.

″The Kite Flying Capital of the World is kind of a mythological place,″ said Leonard Conover, assistant editor of ″Kitelines″ magazine.

″Lincoln City has a fairly legitimate claim, maybe a bigger, louder claim. But who’s to say it’s more sincere than Bandon’s?″

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming Gov. Mike Sullivan didn’t mind settling his high-stakes football bet with Oklahoma Gov. Henry Bellmon, and he hopes the wager leaves a good taste in Bellmon’s mouth.

Sullivan said Wednesday he sent Bellmon 12 steaks from the True Wyoming Beef Co. in Casper to settle a bet on the University of Wyoming-Oklahoma State University showdown in the Dec. 30 Holiday Bowl in San Diego. Oklahoma State drubbed Wyoming 62-14.

″It was one bet I hadn’t counted on losing,″ Sullivan said. ″But I’m happy to have the opportunity to send Henry a ‘taste of Wyoming’ that he will never forget.″

Sullivan said he hopes the Cowboys can avenge the loss when they travel to Oklahoma State this fall. He also said he heard Bellmon might share his steaks with members of the Oklahoma State team.

″Several of them appear to have promising futures in the professional ranks and we in Wyoming can only hope they pursue those opportunities before we travel to Oklahoma for our rematch this fall,″ he said.