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MEDIATION SERVICE IS MUSIC TO BISHOP'S EAR

By Marjorie Woodfin

Pilot staff writer

GOLD BEACH –Thomas R. Bishop announced earlier this month the opening of his Curry Mediation Services business at the Port of Gold Beach.

To celebrate the opening, he has offered a free half-hour consultation for anyone who wants to learn more about the process or to decide if mediation may be beneficial in resolving a conflict.

Bishop, a professional musician who led the Southwestern Oregon Community College jazz band, sold his Oregon Coast School of Music in North Bend last summer

Over the years he has combined his musical career with a growing involvement in mediation.

"In 2000 I worked for Bay Area Mediation, supervising 17 volunteers, and in 2005 I finished basic mediation training and was appointed to mediate in small claims and landlord tenant disputes by Judge Paula Bechtold," Bishop explained.

Bishop, who has lived in Coos County for 31 years said, "I love Curry County and always wanted to live here." When a small office at the Port of Gold Beach became available, he said that he jumped at the opportunity to open his mediation office at the port.

He explained that he would continue to be involved with music, teaching piano, keyboard, beginning guitar and voice.

The combination makes perfect sense for Bishop. He explained that both rely on harmony. About mediation, Bishop explained, "It's a new thing, kind of a patchwork of services, like the musical influence of harmony. Consonance and dissonance in music gives music its meaning. Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing. Discord can provide for growth. That's why mediation is so exciting. Results can come about that have never been thought of."

Bishop went on to explain that the Chinese symbol for conflict is a combination of the symbols for danger and opportunity.

Bishop said that in addition to the opportunity to be on the coast that he loves, he believes that he will be providing services that are needed in Curry County.

He gives a number of reasons that mediation is extremely beneficial including that it averages a 90-percent success rate, it's affordable, it's fast, convenient, allows participants to keep control, reduces stress and fear, plus relationships are preserved and it allows for flexible and creative solutions.

Bishop is a member of the Oregon Mediation Association and the Coos County Neighbor to Neighbor mediation program. He has served for the past three years in Coos County Circuit Courts mediating cases for Small Claims and Residential Evictions, and he serves on the Coalition of Oregon Victim Offender Mediation Programs.

Bishop explained that Curry Mediation is ready to serve individuals, families, businesses, groups, agencies and organizations in the Curry County Community. According to Bishop, reasons to seek mediation might include a neighbor with a barking dog that keeps you awake, a family squabble, a workplace dispute, a disagreement about fees or services, or creating a divorce settlement. Attorneys are also encouraged to utilize the mediation service for their clients.

For information or to make an appointment for a 30-minute free consultation, call Curry Mediation toll free, (800) 553-2941. The address is 29975 Harbor Way, Suite I, or P.O. Box 1867, Gold Beach, OR 97444 or visit http://www.currymediation.com.

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