Cannon Beach gazette. (Cannon Beach, Or.) 1977-current, May 08, 2015, Image 9

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    Turkish rug show
coming to town
Sesame and
Lilies to host
Murat Tasdemir
By Erick Bengel
Cannon Beach Gazette
Murat Tasdemir, the
owner and president of Tas-
demir Rugs on Bainbridge
Island, Wash., doesn’t just
move merchandise, he con-
nects clients with “the right
art,” he said. “I believe that
carpets are an art, and each
individual carpet has a story
to tell.”
This personable purvey-
or of rugs from the Middle
East and beyond will be
presenting a Turkish rug
trunk show May 23 and 24
at Sesame and Lilies, 183 N
Hemlock St., where Tasde-
mir has sold rugs for the last
few years.
The show will include
about 200 wool and silk
rugs for sale — principally
Turkish, but also Persian,
Russian, Indian and Paki-
stani — plus the collection
of about 20 already avail-
able at the store. Many of
the older rugs are traditional
pieces woven by Turkish
women for their homes and
sold to Tasdemir, and most
of the newer ones are de-
signed by American artists
in the Turkish fashion, he
Sizes usually range from
3-by-5 feet wide to 10-by-
15 feet long, the prices from
about $120 to $12,000. A
decent 7-by-10-foot rug wo-
ven between the 1940s and
1960s can cost anywhere
from $1,500 to $8,000, he
Tasdemir and one of his
employees will bring other
Turkish and Turkish-style
goods, such as scarves, tex-
tiles, silk pillows and cus-
tom jewelry, he said.
Interior decoration
Selling rugs is only one
side of Tasdemir’s skill
set; he also does a kind of
the homes of prospective
“match” their interior de-
sign. He often makes an ini-
tial visit to check out the cli-
ent’s home, sans rugs, then
makes a second visit with
several rug options.
“I am good on decorat-
ing — seeing the house and
seeing the colors and seeing
what will be best to put in
their home,” he said.
Though the trunk show
is scheduled for the Satur-
day and Sunday of Memo-
rial Day weekend, Tasdemir
may remain in town a day
or two later, just in case cus-
tomers invite him over and
ask him to assess their rug
“If they want to come
and buy what they want, if
they know what they want,
that’s great,” he said, “but
I’m also there to serve,
and I’m going to be there
to build a connection with
May 8, 2015 | Cannon Beach Gazette | • 9A
clients, and I’ll do what is
needed to help the people.”
Besides educating his
customers about the rugs
they intend to purchase, he
seeks to educate them about
the rugs they already have.
“He’s the quintessen-
tial Turkish rug salesman,”
said Diane Speakman, who
co-owns Sesame and Lil-
ies with her husband, Jay
Speakman. “He’s just so
full of energy, and he’s just
so eager to make everyone
Word of mouth
A U.S. citizen since
2003, the 43-year-old Tas-
demir was born in Malatya,
Turkey, and at age 17 started
cleaning and folding carpets
for a company in Istanbul.
He took his expertise
from one company to anoth-
er until, in the mid-1990s,
he found himself working
for a company that sold to
the states, and he became its
overseas representative.
son, Ariz., and he then made
the rounds in Portland and,
later, Bainbridge, where,
after renting out a space for
a few years, he opened his
own rug store in 1999. That
same year, he married his
wife, Lisa, who owns a bou-
tique named Lilies across
the street from Tasdemir
In his travels, Tasdemir
has sold thousands of rugs,
decorated thousands of
homes and carried products
Murat Tasdemir, owner and president of Tasdemir Rugs, lounges in his store on Bain-
bridge Island, Wash. He has sold thousands of rugs and decorated thousands of homes in
his career.
through the country, he said.
“Name a state, and I have
sold there.”
Recently, in what he called
his “biggest adventure,” he
traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska,
where he sold rugs and did
some interior decorating for
a group of prominent citizens.
“For me, it’s very import-
ant for the right carpet to go
to the right house,” he said.
“If they know what they
have, they’re going to appre-
ciate the carpet that they have
For 15 years, Tasdemir’s
business has steadily grown,
in part, because of word of
mouth, a potent force in his
line of work.
“I think word of mouth is
very beautiful — and very
powerful, too,” he said.
City eyes tax increase, capital improvements
Budget from Page 1A
The City Council plans
to vote on the budget at its
regular June 2 meeting. If
additional deliberation is
needed, the council will
hold a special meeting lat-
er that month.
Tax increase
$139,000, the Chamber of
Commerce would be able
to hire a full-time employ-
ee. This person would help
upgrade the information
center’s operations and
assist Courtland Carrier,
the chamber’s executive
director, with marketing,
Kucera said.
Because the chamber
is the town’s primary eco-
nomic development agen-
cy, money spent on the
chamber is money spent
on tourism, he said.
The issue, Kucera said,
is not that Cannon Beach
isn’t funding its chamber
well enough. The city, in
fact, spends more money
on its chamber than does
Seaside; last year, Can-
non Beach spent about
$71,000 whereas Seaside
spent about $38,000.
The issue is that Cannon
Beach has a chamber-run
information center, which
performs the same task as
Seaside’s Visitors Bureau
but is funded far less —
roughly $125,000 com-
pared to $625,000, Kucera
Cannon Beach’s infor-
mation center sees about
three times as many walk-
ins annually than does
Seaside’s Visitors Bureau,
according to Carrier. In
2014, the Cannon Beach
tallied about 54,000 walk-
ins to Seaside’s 20,000.
“In Seaside, the city
takes that on as an ex-
pense. Here, our chamber,
a private organization, is
doing that function for us,”
Kucera said, “and doing it
at a very low, low cost.”
The revenue the cham-
ber receives from the tax
increase would be on top
of the Tourism and Arts
grant, which is awarded
to the chamber in varying
amounts every year.
“You hear that phrase
‘heads in beds’ — well,
that’s exactly what the
chamber does,” Kucera
said, referring to the de-
sire of destination resort
communities, like Cannon
Beach, to attract as many
overnight visitors as possi-
‘Spending money on a problem
doesn’t solve the problem. There
has to be accountability and a
real reporting mechanism…’
Brant Kucera, city manager
Visitors and vigilance
City Councilor Wendy
Higgins said that, if the tax
increase is approved, there
should be a way to track
how the chamber and in-
formation center spend the
Kucera agreed: “Spend-
ing money on a problem
doesn’t solve the problem.
There has to be account-
ability and a real reporting
mechanism where we see
success with the money
that we’re going to give
Because the chamber
partially relies on money
from the city’s Tourism
and Arts fund — an amount
year — the chamber has
had an unstable revenue
stream, Carrier said. The
tax increase would solve
that problem by tying the
chamber’s revenue to a sta-
ble source of income.
The budget commit-
tee should keep in mind,
Kucera said, that, even
with the added revenue, the
information center’s needs
far exceed $139,000. How-
step to begin to address
some of those needs,” he
He added that the ex-
pected return may grow
into a far greater amount
down the road than ini-
tially hoped for by estab-
lishing a self-reinforcing
positive feedback loop:
The increase in lodging
tax revenue would allow
the chamber to advertise
better, which means an
increase in visitors, which
means more tax revenue
and so on.
The bottom line, Kucera
said, is that the city would
not have to raise the lodg-
ing tax any further to gain
more revenue.
He said that a substan-
tially large increase in
lodging taxes could pro-
duce diminishing returns
— that is, more people
might be disinclined to rent
a room in Cannon Beach.
The proposed increase
won’t have that effect on
the hospitality industry, he
“I think it creates the
revenue to continue to
promote this town, which
sector of the economy,” he
Capital improvements
After speaking with the
department heads while
preparing next year’s bud-
get, “it became very appar-
ent to me very quickly that
we have quite a bit of de-
ferred maintenance that we
need to address,” Kucera
said. “The time is high that
we begin to address some
of the capital issues that we
Among the proposed
capital improvement proj-
ects Kucera, the city staff
and the budget committee
discussed are:
• The ongoing renova-
tion of City Hall;
• Installing
at both the north-end and
cache container sites;
• Repairing and rehabil-
itating the surfaces of the
city’s downtown tennis and
basketball courts;
• Reconstructing
blocks between First and
Third streets to make them
• And constructing a
new plaza at the west end
of Second Street with
benches, low lighting and a
rebuilt sidewalk.
At future meetings, the
budget committee will
consider possible improve-
ments to the city’s water
system, sewer system and
RV Park.
Though the city must
maintain a healthy fund
balance, Kucera noted that,
after a while, a city’s sav-
ing too much money can
begin to seem gratuitous,
especially if the money
isn’t reinvested in the com-
“If people don’t think
you have a plan for the
money that you keep sock-
ing away, the logical ques-
tion is, ‘Why are you tax-
ing me?’” he said. “I think
we need to show people,
‘Here’s the plan for those
taxes we’ve been putting
Beach sign a tribute to Oregon’s legacy of publicly owned beaches
Sign from Page 1A
Lackaff — who was born
in Cannon Beach and has
lived on the North Coast
since she graduated from
high school — said that, as a
child, “it just never occurred
to me how special it was to
have a beach like this for ev-
eryone to play on,” she said.
“You just take things for
granted until you learn about
A ‘holy triptych’
Lackaff spoke before a
group that included Mayor
Sam Steidel, Cannon Beach
City Councilors, Oregon
State Parks and Recreation
Department representatives,
the city’s public works de-
partment (which mounted the
sign) and the parks and com-
munity services committee
(which conceived the sign).
Last winter, Matt Love —
the Astoria-based writer and
publisher who penned the
uncredited text for the sign
— mentioned during a public
lecture that not a single pub-
lic sign in Oregon commem-
orated the landmark legisla-
tion of 1967.
The parks committee, and
its Twelve Days of Earth Day
subcommittee, ran with the
el is headlined: “The Great
Birthright: Oregon’s Ocean
“Four and a half months
from conversation to dedica-
tion has got to be some kind
of record,” Love said. “The
people of Cannon Beach
moved it, and it was incredi-
ble how this happened.”
Composing the copy for
the sign — which Lackaff
hand-wrote in ink for the
original artwork — proved to
be an emotional experience
for Love.
“I don’t think I ever
would have become a writer,
or an Oregonian of merit, if
I hadn’t had this ...” he said,
gesturing toward the beach.
“The access at all hours, all
day and night, where you
never have to pay a cent to
go. And it matters to people
who don’t have the money,
that can’t check into the mo-
Love, who has document-
ed Oregon’s legacy of public-
ly owned beaches, introduced
the attendees to Blair Kramer,
the son of the late Associated
Press reporter Matt Kramer
whose coverage of the Beach
Bill help galvanize public
support for it.
In Oswald West State
Park lies a memorial to Matt
Kramer and his service to
Oregon journalism. That me-
morial, the plaque of Oswald
West at the overlook of Neah-
kahnie Mountain and, now,
the Beach Bill sign compose,
in Love’s mind, a “holy trip-
tych” of Oregon’s conserva-
tionist values, he said.
‘The great birthright’
Courtland Carrier, exec-
utive director of the Cannon
Beach Chamber of Com-
merce, spoke of the relation-
ship between private and
public entities.
Matt Love, the Astoria writer who penned (anonymously)
the text for Cannon Beach’s Beach Bill interpretive sign,
talks about the importance of Oregon’s public beaches. Th e
sign stands near the railing platform at the west end of Sec-
ond Street.
“It may be sacrilege for
me to be saying this, but,
as a person who represents
business, this is the greatest
example of noncommercial
activity that you can imag-
ine. Were it not for (Ore-
gon’s public beaches), many
of our commercial business-
es would not exist,” he said.
“Thank God for noncom-
mercial activities.”
City Manger Brant
Kucera, spent many years
working in Michigan, a state
surrounded by water. Up
close, the Great Lakes look
very much like oceans, he
said, and he always thought
it was a shame that so much
of that state’s lakefront is
privately held.
“I think it’s a really ter-
rible thing for the public
not to have access to the
environment, because that’s
how we connect without
environment, is actually be-
ing out, physically, in it,” he
said. “And I just think how
visionary that is, for the
state to ensure that people
will forever be able to enjoy
For good measure, Love
recited a quote what he con-
siders “Oregon scripture”
— the line that Oswald West
uttered when he signed the
1913 bill and is now written
beneath the banner of Can-
non Beach’s “Beach Bill”
est should be permitted,
through politics or other-
wise, to destroy or impair
this great birthright of our
“This is the great birth-
right,” he said, “right here
behind us.”