Sherman County eNews #48


  1. Sherman County Public/School Library Closed, Feb. 16

  2. Sherman County Health Board Meeting Rescheduled, Feb. 20

  3. House Bill 2931: Restricting Journalists’ Access to Executive Sessions

  4. Oregon Farm Bureau statement on Hammonds grazing permit reissuance

  5. Learning to Face Our Fears

  6. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

1. Sherman County Public/School Library Closed, Feb. 16

Sherman County Public/School Library will be CLOSED today, February 16th, due to road conditions near the school. ~Abbey Phelps, Sherman County Public/School Library

2. Sherman County Health Board Meeting Rescheduled, Feb. 20

Due to the inclement weather, the Sherman County Health District had to cancel the regular board meeting on February 14th. This meeting has been rescheduled for Wednesday, February 20th, at 5:30 in the administration office.

3. House Bill 2931: Restricting Journalists’ Access to Executive Sessions

Oregonians would be shocked how often reporters attend closed-door executive sessions to find officials having discussions that by law must instead take place in public. A new bill would make it harder for reporters to let the public know what’s happening:

4. Oregon Farm Bureau statement on Hammonds grazing permit reissuance

SALEM, OREGON, February 15, 2019 – “On Feb. 14, 2014, the Bureau of Land Management revoked the grazing permit of Hammond Ranches. Almost five years to the day later, on Feb. 13, 2019, BLM signed documents that reissued the permit, allowing the Hammond family to get back to the business of raising cattle in eastern Oregon.

“This reissued grazing permit signals that justice has finally been achieved for this rural family. While nobody can restore what the Hammonds have lost to years of prosecutorial overreach and bureaucratic vendetta, we are grateful that this awful chapter is closed.

“Oregon Farm Bureau was proud to play a role in advocating on the Hammonds’ behalf, including gathering over 25,000 online signatures and working directly with officials, so the family can return to doing what they love and keep a proud heritage of ranching alive.”

5. Learning to Face Our Fears

Everyone feels frightened from time to time, especially young children. Let’s face it. There are some pretty frightening images on television and in newspapers and magazines, not to mention online. So, let’s talk about how to handle the fears of the children in our lives, whether they are our children, grandchildren, godchildren, nieces, nephews – whatever.

What should you do if your child becomes terrified of the water, or of going to the doctor, or shows fearful or aggressive behavior that you hadn’t noticed before? First, don’t panic. Fears surface normally during several stages of child development.

Reassure your children patiently and affectionately about themselves as well as the feared object or person. Let them know you understand how they feel, and that it’s OK to feel that way. Hold the line on reasonable discipline and clear limits, reminding them of the reasons for these limits and help them understand that learning to control our behavior in acceptable ways is a process that takes plenty of time.

Tell them about how you or others in the family deal with fearful or aggressive feelings, and help them begin to express themselves and understand why they feel the way they do. Make sure each knows that in case of real danger, you will do your best to keep them safe. In doing so, you will be establishing valuable patterns for sharing the inevitable turmoil of later periods, including adolescence and young adulthood.

Fears are part of the normal periods of adjustment that kids go through as they grow and develop, and your attitude can make a tremendous difference in how soon they disappear. For good or ill, children look to their parents and the important adults in their lives as models. Knowing how you face your fears will go a long way in helping your children find their own ways to face and conquer their fears. ~The Pacific Institute

6. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

bird.owl.limbEditorial: HB 2931 would incorrectly restrict journalists’ access to executive sessions

Society of Professional Journalists, Oregon Territory Chapter

Oregon Legislature: House Bill 2931 Relating to attendance at public meetings held in executive session 

Emerging Journalists: Report for America Application February 22

Road Conditions & Accident Reports for The Columbia River Gorge Area: Facebook Closed Group

Legislature: Health Insurance Tax Passes Ways and Means

Dead pines drive new herbicide rules in Oregon

League of Oregon Cities Training Opportunities

Shall We Defend Our Common History?

Cattle losses from Eastern Washington blizzard top $2 million

21-Year Old WWII Soldier’s Sketchbooks Reveal a Visual Diary of His Experiences



Sherman County eNews #47


  1. Sherman County School is Closed, Feb. 15

  2. ODOT Traffic Alert:  Look out for dangerous driving conditions on I-84 in the Gorge

  3. Oregon Blue Book, Almanac & Fact Book to Launch New Online Version

  4. More on the Oregon Blue Book

  5. It’s All in Your Imagination

  6. Oregon Capital Insider Index: This week in Salem, by the numbers

  7. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

It’s been reported that Washington Fish and Wildlife may prohibit cattle from some department grazing lands to avoid conflicts with wolves, according to an internal review of grazing policies. Internal. Well, of course, this would be one way to get rid of cows — introduce and protect wolves and end grazing leases one at a time… inch by inch. ~Q.E. McGillicuddy

1. Sherman County School is Closed, Feb. 15

Superintendent Wes Owens notified students, parents, guardians, staff and constituents of today’s Sherman County School closure for today, February 15th due to icy conditions. The Sherman County Public/School Library is also closed.

2. ODOT Traffic Alert:  Look out for dangerous driving conditions on I-84 in the Gorge

snowflakesmallFeb. 14, 2019: Winter may throw dangerous driving conditions at I-84 in the Gorge in the days ahead so be aware of conditions and prepare

Travelers on Interstate 84 through the Columbia River Gorge should be ready for a wintery mix of weather over the next week and have supplies with them in case of major delays.

ODOT crews have been treating I-84 with deicer and salt both before and after a series of crashes on the icy, snow-packed road closed the westbound lanes from Tuesday night until Wednesday afternoon. The crashes delayed the arrival of the equipment that could clear the road, leading to a buildup of ice and snow.

The Gorge often sees hazardous weather. With more severe weather expected in the days ahead, travelers should avoid I-84 in the Gorge. If you go:

  • Check or call 5-1-1 for latest road and weather conditions.
  • Give yourself extra time and slow down and drive for conditions.
  • Carry chains and know how to use them.
  • Carry supplies for you and your passengers – blankets, food, water, and medications

Commercial vehicles are required to carry chains in snow zones under Oregon law and to put them in use when weather conditions require them for travel. Extra tire chain enforcement is in effect around the state where needed.

No matter where you travel in Oregon over the next few days, be prepared for storm conditions as we face flooding, freezing rain, snow and more throughout the state.

For 24/7 road conditions and traffic alerts visit or call 5-1-1.

3. Oregon Blue Book, Almanac & Fact Book to Launch New Online Version

Oregon.Flat.poleOn the eve of Oregon’s 160th birthday, the Oregon State Archives announced the new version of the online Oregon Blue Book at:

The Oregon Blue Book is the official state almanac and fact book…and a whole lot more. The theme of this new version is an exploration of Oregon’s colorful festivals and celebrations.

Four new features look at different aspects of that theme:

1) A slideshow Web exhibit includes dozens of photos and artwork from festivals around the state and through the decades:…/explo…/exhibits/festivals-home.aspx

2) An illustrated essay by State Archives volunteer and Pacific Northwest historian Kristine Deacon delves into how and why Oregon festivals got started and how they have evolved:…/…/facts/history/festivals.aspx

3) A large Web exhibit focuses on the history of the Oregon State Fair with lots of interesting stories and images:…/expl…/exhibits/state-fair/home.aspx

4) A Web exhibit of contest-winning essays and drawings by Oregon students about their favorite festivals:…/exhi…/essays-2019/introduction.aspx

This new Oregon Blue Book also includes five new additions to the Notable Oregonians Guide:…/Pages/explore-oregonians.aspx

There are lots of fun and games including Oregon Jeopardy with six separate Jeopardy challenges; 24 online Oregon jigsaw puzzles; trivia; quizzes; coloring books; and more, all focused on Oregon. You can find all of this in the “Fun for All” section:

Of course, all of this is in addition to the wealth of updated information about Oregon generally. This includes the popular almanac and detailed information about state and local government as well as related cultural and educational resources.

So, if you’re interested in Oregon, do yourself a favor and bookmark the Oregon Blue Book. Then dig in and discover more about this wonderful state.

The 2019-2020 print version of the Oregon Blue Book will be available in March and you can order a copy here:

4. More on the Oregon Blue Book

The Oregon Blue Book took its name from the original set of statues adopted by the Provisional government in 1843. It referred to a copy of the Iowa laws which were brought to the state by an early settler. The statutes were bound in a book with blue cover. These were the laws followed until the Provisional government was able to organize and adopt their own set of statutes. 

“In September of 1849, the new Territorial Legislature met for more lawmaking…The new territorial lawmakers had an eye for item and brains for threadwork, and commenced to stitch up loose ends. A lawyer named William Chapman urged the lawmakers to adopt the new Iowa Statutes. He had been a lawyer in Iowa and reported that the Iowa territory had passed a fresh set of laws in 1843. He then produced a copy of The Revised Statutes of Iowa of 1843. It was blue-colored, just like the 1839 Iowa Statutes, only it was thicker by a quarter of an inch, so it was called the Big Blue Book while the old Iowa stature book was called the Little Blue Book.

“The Oregon Territorial Legislature adopted the whole of the Big Blue Book in one vote.” ~~From Juggernaut, The Whitman Massacre Trial by Ronald B. Lansing

5. It’s All in Your Imagination

Are you using visualization to help ensure the results you want in the future? If you don’t, perhaps you could give it a try.

Here’s another question: How good is your imagination? Now, when asked that question, most people invariably say that they have an active imagination. If that’s true for you, too, then you should certainly be using visualization techniques to help you get the results you want in the future.

Why? Well, because if you do it right, it works. How do we know this? Here at The Pacific Institute, in all of our offices around the world, we see evidence of it every day. Do some research of your own. Log on to your favorite search engine and see what you come up with regarding visualization. You’ll find more than enough to keep you busy for quite a while, and almost all of it will point to the same thing.

The imagination is a powerful tool that, when used properly, can enhance the results you get. High-performance athletes know more about this than most of us. In fact, you might want to start your research with the May 1985 Psychology Today and an article called “Visualization by Athletes.” Thirty-plus years later and the information still holds true, as we have found in our work with athletes around the world.

What you will find may amaze you. You see, one thing that separates human beings from most other forms of life on this planet is the power of forethought. We can look forward and imagine, plan and goal-set, and “see” this imagined future as just as real as where we are standing today.

Just remember that visualization isn’t solely for athletes. It is for anyone who wants to improve performance, in any endeavor. Since we are one month and a bit into the New Year, most resolutions have already been broken, re-started and broken again. Now might be the best time to get your imagination into training, and put better pictures to those resolutions.

Visualization techniques are not difficult to learn. In fact, you already use them all the time. It’s simply a matter of bringing conscious control to the process. ~The Pacific Institute

6. Oregon Capital Insider Index: This week in Salem, by the numbers

Oregon.Flat.poleHere are 10 numbers that illustrate some of this week’s big, and small, Oregon political stories.

  • 1859:Year Oregon became the country’s 33rd state, on Feb. 14.
  • 1973:Year Oregon became the first state to decriminalize possession of small quantities of marijuana, according to The Oregonian.
  • 1997:Year Oregon legislators named milk the official state beverage, according to KCBY.
  • $0:How much it costs to visit the Oregon Historical Society’s new exhibit, “Experience Oregon,” on Friday and through the weekend. The exhibit is a candid look at the state’s 160-year history and the region before statehood, according to The Oregonian.
  • 5:Number of times suffrage for women appeared on the ballot before Oregon voters approved it in 1912, according to U.S. News and World Report.
  • 2,678:Number of miles legislators traveled on their “Student Success” tour last year, according to an op-ed in The Oregonian by Rep. Barbara Smith Warner, D-Portland, and Sen. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay.
  • 55:Number of schools and early learning sites they visited.
  • 89 million:Nights people camped at one of the 57 Oregon state campgrounds last year, according to The Statesman-Journal.
  • 181: Number of state parks, recreational sites and historical parks in Oregon.
  • 24:Percentage by which the number of overnight stays has grown in the past 10 years.

7. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

bird.owlOregon Blue Book, Almanac & Fact Book

Oregon Blue Book Fun & Games

Last Visit: A Personal Tour Of Wasco County, Oregon’s Iconic Nelson House

Museum: Ark Encounter

Temira’s Awesome Columbia Gorge Travel Advisory Service

Oregon Capital Chatter: Similarities between that Oregon legislation and President Donald Trump’s border wall

OSU releases winter malting barley Thunder

Scientists Warning

The Federalist: How To Improve Yourself By Reading Really Old Books


Sherman County eNews #46






According to the Scriptures

Have you ever wondered who the “they” or “authorities” are when someone claims that “they” or “authorities” say according to that source that something is true? Frequently these anonymous authorities prove to be speculative and even baseless, having gained ground because they play on the emotions, sympathies and desires of others.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is one that the apostle Paul called the most important truth. It is 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 where we read, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:3–4, NASB95) In this passage we read twice that the things given to Paul to proclaim had happened just as they had been prophesied “according” to the Scriptures. Not only do have the record of the events, but we have the record of it having been foretold in advance as well as others verifying it afterward.

This is true of Jesus Christ’s death which was proclaimed by the prophets and himself in advance and proven by the record of his having been crucified and then been buried which stands strong in the historical record. The proof of his death is the record of his being buried. Next concerning his resurrection which also was foretold in advance and foretold by him. In the next several verses not cited here Paul went on to describe the witnesses to the risen Christ which included 500 witness at one time of whom many were still alive at the time of the writing of this Corinthian letter who could have contested it if it weren’t so. From beginning to end God took the time to say it, do it, and then affirm what He did. Some say there is no real truth. God’s Word claims and supports otherwise.

Joe Burgess
Kent Baptist Church

2. CLASSIFIEDS (new or corrected) 


CLASSIFIED ADS. Free classified ads are published on Fridays. The deadline is Wednesday at 5. Please submit ads by using the Submit News page. Include who, what, where, when, & how, contact information and the final Friday date for posting your ad (shown by the date at the end of the ad, for example, 3/17), and under 50 words if possible. This service is limited to Sherman County. Links are welcome.  Please share your Thank You and Congratulatory Notes and Joyful News (anniversaries, achievements, awards, births, birthdays, graduations, weddings, etc.) here. No posters or flyers. 

NEWS RELEASES. Please submit event and information news, meeting notices and calendar dates by using the Submit News page. Include who, what, where, when, how & why with contact or source information. As appropriate, follow up with news of event results. Links are welcome. No posters or flyers. Keep it relevant, no longer than 350 words. 


YOUR expressions of gratitude and congratulation are welcome here!


  • Sherman County Road Department for going the extra hours to keep our roads clear for us;
  • Oregon Department of Transportation for going the extra hours to keep us safe on the roads and closing them if necessary;
  • Local folks who voluntarily cleared the snow from sidewalks, roads and driveways for others;
  • Sherman County School District for prioritizing the safety of students, families and staff with closures and delayed starts;
  • Elected officials who use official e-mail addresses by which we identify their position and news sources;
  • Public Meeting Notices indicating that a quorum of the Sherman County Court may be attending a meeting of another jurisdiction;
  • Wasco Electric Cooperative for a steady supply of power in spite of icy, windy, snowy days and nights;
  • Rural Technology Group for uninterrupted internet service during the recent ice and snow;
  • Maryhill Museum of Art for sharing photos of the collections and the work of staff and volunteers on Facebook during the off-season, reminding us of the importance of this very special place … definitely not out-of-sight, out-of-mind! ~The Editor


  • Judge Joe Dabulskis, for taking the oath of office for your new position and for your new column in The Times-Journal! Well done!
  • Joan Bird, for taking the oath of office as Sherman County’s new commissioner, bringing your experience, energy and wisdom to the table. Congratulations!
  • Matt Seckora at Seckora Consulting for recognition as Business of the Month by The Dalles Chamber of Commerce! Congratulations!
  • Darren Padget, Alan von Borstel and Ryan Thompson, for serving Oregon wheat growers.
  • Local government officials for sending public notices to the county’s newspaper of record… and to eNews.
  • eNews Subscribers for sending news releases to The Dalles Chronicle and The Times-Journal.
  • eNews Subscribers for sending news releases, public notices, calendar dates, classified ads, Spiritual Matters and links to interesting websites.
  • The Dalles Chronicle for reporting Sherman County School sports and regional news.
  • The Times-Journal for reporting on local government in Wheeler, Gilliam and Sherman counties and for publishing tri-county legal notices.
  • RURALITE for the recent Grass Valley Pavilion story! ~The Editor


YOUR announcements of engagements, weddings, anniversaries, graduations and births are welcome here!



VISITOR CENTER HOST, OREGON PALEO LANDS CENTER. Oregon Paleo Lands Center, Fossil, Oregon Contacts: Host Coordinator: Bonnie Lofton (OPLI Center Board)541-462-3263 33475 Cougar Mountain Road, Mitchell, OR. 97750 or Host Assistant: Richard N Ross (OPLI Center Board) 503-807-0612 246 NW Florida Ave., Bend OR 97703.  You can find the Host Application at the Center’s website: 3/8

 YOUR STORIES for SHERMAN COUNTY: FOR THE RECORD. The Sherman County Historical Society invites you to share your Sherman County stories or records. Contact the Sherman County Historical Society, P.O. Box 173, Moro, Oregon 97039 or contact editor Gladys Wesley at 541-565-3232. Information from diaries, letters, autograph albums, records and stories are welcome!  Consider recording your interviews of local story tellers – ask what they know or heard tell of brick yards, rodeos, movie theaters, the Grant-Maryhill ferry, fishing on the rivers or county events. Develop a short story around a series of photographs of a family, athletic or community event. See a content summary for Sherman County: For The Record 1983-2018:  or

ONE DAY A MONTH MUSEUM HOST. Greet visitors at the Sherman County Historical Museum one day a month 10-5. You’ll be glad you did! Meet people and provide visitor information services! Contact Carrie Kaseberg or Patti Fields. 541-565-3232.

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” — Unknown

 SUPPORT FOR BRENNAH MILLER. Brennah Miller is a young wife and mother, an electrician and a cancer patient. Opportunities to support the Miller Family are located at local businesses in Grass Valley, Moro, Wasco and Rufus.  Brennah Miller Account, Bank of Eastern Oregon, P.O. Box 444, Moro, Oregon 97039.


HEAD COOK/KITCHEN COORDINATOR.  Head Cook/Kitchen Coordinator at the Sherman County Senior & Community Center.  This is a permanent part-time salaried position, 30 hrs/week, 8 AM – 2:00 PM, Monday-Friday.  Primary responsibilities include preparing and serving meals in the Center and preparing home-delivered meals for the Meals on Wheels Program.  For application and complete job description, contact the Sherman County Senior & Community Center at 541-565-3191, or at PO Box 352, Moro, OR 97039, or Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 28, 2019.  Successful applicant must have or be willing to obtain a Food Handlers Card and pass a criminal history background check.  Sherman County is an equal opportunity employer.  2/22

CITY ADMINISTRATOR/RECORDER. City of Grass Valley is looking for someone to fill the position of City Administrator/recorder. For full job description please contact City Hall at 541-333-2434 or Please return a letter of interest, resume’ and 3 references by Monday, February 25, 2019, to or City of Grass Valley, PO Box 191, Grass Valley, OR 97029. Salary depending on experience. City of Grass Valley is EOE. Position open until filled. 2/22

MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL/FAMILY CARE COORDINATOR . JOB POSTING. Position:  Qualified Mental Health Professional/Family Care Coordinator (Master’s Degree Level).  This position will be funded through a collaborative grant between Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc., Mid-Columbia Center for Living, Juvenile Prevention and the Sherman County School District.  Start Date:  March 2019  Salary: Dependent upon education, endorsements, and experience.

Application: Deadline:    This position will close on February 13, 2019 or will remain open until filled. Position Description:     The board, staff, and community of the Sherman County School District are seeking an outstanding Qualified Mental Health Professional to join our PK-12 Educational Team.  This candidate will work collaboratively with our K-12 Counselor, Education Staff and Administration to provide Community Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Social Emotional Support, Positive Behavior Intervention and Support, Skills Training, Parenting Support, Behavioral Assessments and Responsive Services. Sherman County School has an enrollment of approximately 275 students, providing an ideal environment for a Qualified Mental Health Professional dedicated to the success of each individual student and family.  Community Description: Sherman County is a rural agricultural community with the added economic development provided by wind farms. It is located in North Central Oregon between the deep canyons of the John Day River on the east and the Deschutes River on the west. The Columbia River forms the boundary on the north. Sherman County enjoys four distinct seasons. Summers are warm, dry and clear. Winters are relatively mild; with occasional heavy snowfall. Wheat is the most important crop here, but the wind farm industry has become a major economic boost for the area. Windsurfing on the Columbia and boating, hunting and fishing are easily accessible from the area. Application Process: If you are interested in applying for this position, please call Wes Owens at 541-565-3500 or email at wowens@sherman.k12.or.usA Complete Application Packet Must Include:

  • Official Sherman County School District Application Form (Available from the District)
  • Letter of Interest
  • Current Resume
  • Copy of Pertinent Licenses
  • Minimum of two (2) Letters of Recommendation (written within the last 2 years)
  • Copies of all transcripts
  • In addition to the submission of the job application, please submit a 1- page letter regarding your experience with trauma-informed care.
  • Other material as desired

Criminal/sexual misconduct record check and pre-employment drug testing are required for all positions.  Sherman County School District does not discriminate on the basis of perceived or actual race, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, mental or physical disability, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, familial status, economic status, veterans’ status or genetic information in providing employment, education, or access to benefits of education services, activities and programs in accordance with Title VI, Title VII, Title IX and other civil rights or discrimination issues; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Americans with Disabilities Act; and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. The District gives preference to veterans in hiring.  If you wish to receive preference for your veterans or disabled veterans status, please include proof of your veterans status with your application materials.

GRAIN OPERATIONS LABORER. MCP is seeking two applicants to join our team as a Grain Operations Laborer. This full-time position will be based in either Sherman, Gilliam or Wasco County. As a Grain Ops Laborer you will have the opportunity to perform a wide variety of jobs within the department. Including but not limited to maintenance, housekeeping, inventory management and the practice of environmental health and safety programs applicable to the operation of the facility. Applications are available for download at or be picked up at the main office in Moro. 3/15

SALES & MARKETING REPRESENTATIVE. MCP is hiring a regional Sales and Marketing Representative. We are looking for an individual to service our customers in the Eastern Oregon region. As a Sales and Marketing Representative, you will solicit new prospects, sell products and services, and assist existing clients as necessary. The ideal candidate will have a strong working knowledge in one or more of these areas: Cardlock, Bulk Lube products, Grain Origination as well as Sales and Marketing. Applications are available for download in the career opportunities section of our website or contact Human Resources at 541-565-2277.  3/15

PART-TIME CGCC FACULTY JOBS. Do you enjoy teaching? If the answer is yes, please mark your calendar for Saturday, Feb. 16, when Columbia Gorge Community College hosts a part-time faculty job fair on The Dalles campus. The job fair is from 10 a.m. to noon in Building 3. CGCC is hiring adjunct instructors for online, hybrid and face-to-face classes in The Dalles and Hood River. Potential disciplines include Mathematics, STEM fields, Art, Communications, Social Sciences, Science, Health Occupations, Computer Science, Business and other areas. Job seekers will meet hiring leaders from across the College’s areas of study. Candidates are asked to bring a resumé and transcripts. Light refreshments will be served and computers will be available to complete the required online application.  Interested applicants may also apply online, and request a virtual conference at For details, call CGCC Human Resources at (541) 506-6151, email or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. 2/15

OREGON RACEWAY PARK COURSE MARSHAL, SECURITY, WORK STAFF. Watch the races and get paid for it too. ORP has a wide variety of openings for the 2019 season! Course Marshal: Candidates must be 18 years of age, able to climb ladders, have the ability to be outdoors (sometimes in harsh conditions), have good verbal communication skills and be able to react calmly and quickly to emergency situations. Security: Crowd control, have guests sign liability release waiver and issue a colored wrist band as they arrive and enter ORP premises. Day and night shift available. Working Personnel: This is for all other duties that need to be done at ORP on a regular basis. Orientation Day: Is held March 16, 2019 from 9am-5pm at 93811 Blagg Lane, Grass Valley, OR 97029 If interested in any of the positions please contact Brenda Pikl: 541-333-2452 email:  3/15

SEASONAL HABITAT RESTORATION TECHNICIAN. Lower Deschutes Cooperative Weed Management Area/Sherman County Weed District is currently seeking job applicants for full time employment as a seasonal habitat restoration technician. Technicians will be hired to work approximately 35 weeks beginning March 2019 through October 2019. Please contact Dan Son at for more information.  Thank You.  3/1

BUS DRIVERS. Help Mid-Columbia Bus Co. drive Condon and Sherman County students to success! | $13.30 an hour | 401 K | No CDL required to apply | Sign on bonus up to $350 | Flexible Schedule | Dental | Vision | Accident/Critical Care Insurance | Paid Training. Schedule your interview today and start making a difference tomorrow!!!  ~Amberlena Shaffer, Recruiter | Office: 541-567-0551 | Cell: 541-303-5093 | 2/22


 LOCAL HANDYMAN’S SERVICES. Handyman, General Contractor & Equipment Operator. Large and small projects, indoors or out. Please call Kevin at 541-993-4282 | KCK, Inc. | Licensed, bonded and insured. CCB #135768. References available. 3/15 




HANDCRAFTED FURNITURE & GIFTS. Considerately handcrafted one-of-a-kind indoor and outdoor furniture and gifts created from re-purposed wine & whiskey barrels, old barn wood and other local reclaimed materials. Special orders available.  ~The Wood Butcher | Wasco, Oregon | 541-993-4282 | | Facebook | 3/15 







HOST FAMILY. Host a Foreign Exchange Student. ASSE Student Exchange Programs is now looking for American families to host high school students from Asia. These personable and academically select exchange students speak English, are bright, curious, and eager to learn about this country through living as part of a family for an academic year and attending high school. Your support of these students reinforces the United States’ commitment to education and opportunity throughout the world.

ASSE is currently seeking host families for these well-qualified, bright, motivated and well-screened students coming from Japan, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Mongolia, and South Korea. By living with local host families and attending local high schools, the students acquire an understanding of American values and build on leadership skills.

The exchange students arrive from their home country shortly before school begins and return at the end of the school year. Each ASSE student is fully insured, brings his or her own personal spending money and expects to bear his or her share of household responsibilities, as well as being included in normal family activities and lifestyles. At the same time the student will be teaching their newly adopted host family about their own culture and language.   If you are interested in opening your home and sharing your family life with a young person from abroad, please contact us today for more information, call (800) 733-2773, go online at or email  [Founded by the Swedish National Department of Education, ASSE International (formerly American Scandinavian Student Exchange) is a non-profit, tax-exempt, public benefit organization. ASSE is officially designated as an exchange visitor program by the United States Department of State and cooperates with the Canadian Provincial Ministries of Education.]

3. CALENDAR (new or corrected)



15 Gathering of Regional Historical Organizations 5-7 St. Peter’s Landmark, The Dalles

15 RSVP North Central Livestock Association 6:00 The Riverside, Maupin

15-16 Big Sky Basketball Tournament, Madras

16 Oregon Raceway Park (possibly) White Rat Race

17 Pat Mobley Memorial Service 2 Spencer Libby & Powell Funeral Home, The Dalles

18 PRESIDENTS’ DAY – Federal, State & Local Holiday – Most Retail Open

18-22 National FFA Week

19 Sherman County Watershed Council 8, SWCD 8:30 541-565-3216 ext. 109

19 Sherman County School Board 7

19 Wasco City Council 7

19 Unit 20, Oregon Retired Educators Meeting in Hood River CANCELLED

20 Sherman County Court 9

20 School Exclusion Day (immunizations required)

20 Biggs Service District Public Hearing 8:30 Sherman County Courthouse

21 Sherman County Court & Local Public Safety Coordinating Council 11 Courthouse

21 Sherman County Board of Property Tax Appeals 9


23 Eastern Oregon 4-H Volunteer Boot Camp 9-4 BMCC, Pendleton

23 OSU Small Farms Conference in Corvallis


26 Frontier TeleNet 10 Sherman County Courthouse

26 Frontier Regional 911 Dispatch Board of Directors 1 Sherman County Courthouse

28 Lower John Day Ag Water Quality LAC Review 10 OSU Extension Office, Moro

28-March 2 Oregon Women for Ag Conference, Polk County


1 Deadline to pre-order for SWCD Tree & Shrub Sale

2 Regional History Forum WWI 1:30 Original Wasco County Courthouse

6 Sherman County Court 9

6 All County Prayer Meeting Moro Presbyterian Church social 6:30, prayer 7:00-8:30

7 Sherman County Fair Board 7

8 Community Renewable Energy Association (CREA) Board Meeting 10-1

9 Regional History Forum Japanese Families at Mosier 1:30 Original Wasco County Courthouse


12 Tri-County Mental Health Board of Directors 11-2 The Dalles

12 North Central Public Health District Board of Directors 3 The Dalles

12-14 Healthy Soils Workshop, Pendleton

13 Sherman County Senior Center Advisory Committee 12:30

13 Rufus City Council 7

15 Frontier TeleNet 10 TBA

16 Oregon Raceway Park Staff Orientation 9-5 


19 Wasco City Council 7

19 Sherman County Public/School Library Board Meeting 6

20 Sherman County Court 9

23 Sherman Soil & Water Conservation District Tree & Shrub Sale 8-12 Moro

27-28 Roots of Resilience Grazing Conference, Pendleton

27-April 3, 10, 17 & 14 Still Life Painting Class – Maryhill Museum of Art


Sherman County eNews #45


  1. Notice. Sherman County Health District Board Meeting Feb. 14 Cancelled

  2. Oregon Cattlemen’s Stewardship Fund Scholarships

  3. Regional History Forum Program Update

  4. Lovers and Optimists

  5. Sherman County Court News, Jan. 2

  6. Great Electrifying Event at Bonneville Lock & Dam, April 6

  7. Snippets from the Editor’s Mail Box

  8. It’s All in Your Imagination

  9. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

1. Notice. Sherman County Health District Board Meeting Feb. 14 Cancelled

The Sherman County Health District Board Meeting scheduled for today, February 14th at 5:30 had been cancelled. It will be rescheduled at a later date.

~Caitlin Blagg, District Administrator

2. Oregon Cattlemen’s Stewardship Fund Scholarships

cow.blueThe Oregon Cattlemen’s Stewardship Fund (OCSF) Scholarships are available to current Oregon Cattlemen’s Association members and members of their families. An applicant must be a college sophomore, junior, senior or graduate level and enrolled full-time at a community college or university for the 2019-2020 academic year. All majors may apply, however, some relevance to the livestock industry must be demonstrated. The deadline to apply is May 15, and applications are available on-line.

3. Regional History Forum Program Update

We’ve had to POSTPONE another Regional History Forum program at the Original Courthouse.  West 2nd Place in The Dalles hasn’t seen a plow or shovel, I-84 has had closures, and more snow is in the forecast.   Here are the new dates:

  • ‘World War I, Part 2:  Living History and Music of the War’ is rescheduled to Saturday, March 2. 
  • ‘Japanese Families in the Mosier Area Prior to 1942’ is rescheduled to Saturday, March 9.

Please help us get the word around— no program this Saturday, but it’s been rescheduled! —-Karl Vercouteren

4. Lovers and Optimists

For most of us, the greatest source of happiness in life is to love and be loved. Today, let’s talk about why love and optimism go hand in hand.

Think of the strongly optimistic people you know. Have you noticed the depth and scope of their relationships? Optimists are great lovers! They love many things passionately – nature, sports, music, art, gardening – you name it, they love it.But most of all, they love people. They respond to children and old folks with enthusiasm. They are deeply connected to their families. They are usually involved in doing something to help people in trouble. In fact, they reach out to others all the time, giving the gift of their attention and interest, and they have a wonderful way of making the people they are talking to feel valued and important.

And let’s admit it. It is more fun to work with optimists! They seem to make the hours go faster. They see possibilities everywhere, and they add a vital buoyancy to the work environment. They are water and food to the buried seeds of imagination and creativity.

Their ability to admire and enjoy others is a powerful force that helps account for their optimism and keeps their positive outlook alive. Because of all the loving energy they put forth, they have a lot of love coming back at them, too. In tough times, they find themselves in the center of a supportive network that helps them make it through the rough spots.

There’s no question about it. Loving relationships nurture optimism, and optimism helps us become more loving. And remember this: love isn’t just a noun. It’s a verb and therefore requires action to become real. ~The Pacific Institute

5. Sherman County Court News, Jan. 2

ShermanCoLogoBy Kayla von Borstel, Administrative Assistant

Quarterly Reports were the main items on the agenda during the January 2nd session of Sherman County Court in Moro.

Georgia Macnab, Planning, presented a quarterly report to the County Court. She is in the process of working on the CEDS (Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy) list. Brief discussion was held on County projects: Biggs Water System, County Broadband, 911 Call Center, Kent Water System, and DeMoss Bandstand. Georgia reported the Shift Festival mass gathering will be happening again this year. The race track inquired about lodging out at the track; zoning doesn’t allow for lodging in that location and the zone might need to be amended. Georgia stated she will be starting process for the REDD zone soon as well. A limit has been set on the number of monthly residents in order to keep the area more of an RV park, and not a mobile home park. She also reported that King Quarry will be expanded by 40 acres, and is owned by the State.

Cindy Brown, Extension Services, presented a quarterly report to the Court. She is currently the sole Oregon State University (OSU) extension employee at the Extension Office. The 4-H budget has been experiencing a funding crisis. The State has no plans to fill the AG Extension Agent position in Sherman and Wasco Counties as there are no funds for the position. Cindy has been working hard with 4-H in Sherman County. There are approximately 80 4-H members, 15 4-H clubs, and 24 volunteer leaders. There are some Extension Programs that are taught during the after school program – SKORE, and a life skills class for upper classman that is not part of 4-H. During the summer she is involved in many activities such as camp, outdoor cooking workshops, and food/drama day camps. This fall she received a grant to do a musical called “We Are Monsters,” which resulted in the start-up of the Theater Arts 4-H club. The outdoor cooking at camp was submitted to the Oregon 4-H Foundation, and an article was written in their report that is sent out statewide.

Actions taken by the Court included:

  • appointed Jeremy Lanthorn to the Sherman County Ambulance Service Board, and Dana Haner to the Sherman County Ambulance Service Board pending a background check, for a term of 2 years to expire December 2020.
  • appointed Bryan Cranston to the Sherman County Ambulance Service Area Plan Committee, and Kathleen Ahearn and Renee Heidy to the Sherman County Ambulance Service Area Plan Committee pending background checks, for a term of 4 years to expire December 2022.
  • appointed Bryce Coelsch and Tom Rolfe to the Sherman County Fair Board, and Shandie Johnson to the Sherman County Fair Board pending a background check, for a term of 3 years to expire December 2021.
  • appointed Debbie Hayden as Budget Officer to the Budget Committee for a 1 year term expiring December 2019.
  • appointed Amber DeGrange, Teri Thalhofer, Alyssa Winslow, Barbara Seater, Shawn Payne, Joe Dabulskis, Wes Owens, Wade McLeod, Katie Woodruff, Tara Koch, Angie Tennison, Tina Potter, Amy Asher, Brad Lohrey, and Les Kipper to the Sherman County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC) for a term of 1 year to expire December 2019.
  • appointed Daryl G. Ingebo as Sherman County Surveyor with a term to expire June 2019.
  • removed Henry Brown, Jeane Kuettel, and Linda Cornie from the Public Transportation Committee.
  • approved the Oregon Military Department Office of Emergency Management Performance Grant No. 18-528, between Sherman County and the State of Oregon, in the amount of $60,628.00, and authorize Commissioner Dabulskis to sign.
  • approved the operating loan and promissory note documents between Frontier TeleNet and Sherman County in the amount of $100,000 at 0% interested with repayment at the end of June 2019 with the funds coming out if the SIP Additional fees.
  • appointed Commissioner Dabulskis as the Sherman County Representative to the Frontier TeleNet Board.
  • Approved the Claims for the month of December 2018, as presented.

Topics of discussion were Commissioner Reports.

6. Great Electrifying Event at Bonneville Lock & Dam, April 6

electric.linePORTLAND, OR – Join the Corps, Saturday, April 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., for the annual Great Electrifying Event, an up-close-and-personal look at Bonneville Lock & Dam and the importance of hydropower in the Pacific Northwest. Corps rangers will host a free, family-friendly day full of hands-on activities, videos, and tours inside one of the dam’s two powerhouses.

Read more at:

7. Snippets from the Editor’s Mail Box

Consumer Reports, March 2019: Reviews and Ratings

  • What Consumer Reports is currently testing
  • Kamado Grills
  • Self-cleaning Car Cameras
  • Broth Basics
  • The Risk in Your Fruit Juice
  • Cleaning Your Showerhead
  • March Best Time to Buy: Flooring, Vacuum Cleaners & Digital Cameras
  • Antivirus Software
  • How Stable is Your Dresser, How to Anchor Furniture
  • Adjustable Bed Frames, Pillows, Pillow-Top Mattresses, Cleaning a Mattress
  • Sleeplessness
  • Data Breaches, Security
  • Get More From Your Drugstore, Independents vs. Chain Pharmacies
  • Best Cars for Every Life Stage: Active Family, Teen Driver, Savvy Senior, First Job Commuters, The New Family
  • Car Ratings

8. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

bird.talkOregon Legislature: LC 271: Small Donor Elections, Campaign Finance Reform Proposal 

Cottonwood Canyon State Park & Oregon Travel Guides

1619: 400 years ago, a ship arrived in Virginia, bearing human cargo

Top Scientist Resigns: ‘Global Warming is a $Trillions Scam — It has Corrupted Many Scientists’

Scientists’ Warning at Foresight Group, EU Commission

Street Artist JR Installs Massive Face of a Child on Mexican Side of US Border Wall

2018 Siena International Photo Awards

Heart-Shaped Books: History and Tutorials


Sherman County eNews #44


  1. Notice. Frontier Regional 911 Dispatch Board Meeting, Feb. 26

  2. Sherman County Court Board & Committee Assignments

  3. Expanding Beyond the Familiar

  4. Senate Bill 2 Environment and Natural Resources: Land Use Outside Urban Growth Boundaries

  5. Letter to the Editor: Fossil Fuels & a Plastic Pen

  6. How to Communicate with Your Legislator

  7. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

“Industry is increased, commodities are multiplied, agriculture and manufacturers flourish: and herein consists the true wealth and prosperity of a state.” —Alexander Hamilton (1790)

1. Notice. Frontier Regional 911 Dispatch Board Meeting, Feb. 26

                                               BOARD MEETING NOTICE

February 26, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.

Sherman County Courthouse – Courtroom

1 –     Approve January 15, 2019 Minutes

2 –     Future Items – Attorney, Consultant – Gary Bettencourt

3 –     Frontier TeleNet Update – Elizabeth Farrar

4 –     By-Laws Update – Gary Bettencourt

5 –     Motorola Payment for Burns/Paiute – Renee Heidy

  • If necessary, Executive Session may be held in accordance with ORS 192.660 (1)

(e) Property

(h) Legal Rights

(i) Personnel

  • As this is a regular meeting of the Frontier Regional 911 Board, other matters may be addressed as deemed appropriate by the Board.

Agenda Distributed February 12, 2019

Frontier Regional Board Members:

Sheriff Gary Bettencourt –

Judge Elizabeth Farrar –

Sheriff Jim Adkins –

Commissioner Mae Huston –

Sheriff Brad Lohrey –

Judge Joe Dabulskis –

Sheriff Mike Smith –

Judge Lynn Morley –

2. Sherman County Court Board & Committee Assignments 

Judge Joe Dabulskis

Association of Oregon Counties & Policy & Legislative Committees

National Association of Counties

Lower John Day Area Commission on Transportation (ACT)

Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors

Frontier Regional 911 Dispatch Board of Directors

Tri-County Community Corrections

Community Renewable Energy Association (CREA)

Columbia Gorge Bi-State Renewable Energy Zone (CGBREZ)

Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSEC)

Regional Solutions Committee

Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD)

Biggs Service District Board & Budget Committee

Public Contract Board of Review

Sherman County Budget Committee

Sherman County Board of Property Tax Appeals

Sherman County Court Security/Courthouse

Sherman County Weed Advisory Board

Sherman County Rural Road Advisory Committee, liaison

Sherman County School District, liaison

Central & Eastern Oregon Juvenile Justice Council

Sherman County Safety Committee

Ambulance Service Area Plan Advisory Committee.

Commissioner Tom McCoy

Association of Oregon Counties

Frontier TeleNet, alternate

Mid-Columbia Housing Authority

Tri-County Mental Health – Center for Living

Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Board (NORCOR)

Community Renewable Energy Association (CREA), alternate

Columbia Gorge Bi-State Renewable Energy Zone (CGBREZ), alternate

Biggs Service District Board/Budget Committee

Public Contract Board of Review

Sherman County Budget Committee

Sherman County Board of Property Tax Appeals

Sherman County Community Advisory Council (CAC)

Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC).

Commissioner Joan Bird

Association of Oregon Counties

Mid-Columbia Community Action Council (CAP)

North Central Public Health District Board

Biggs Service District Board/Budget Committee

Public Contract Board of Review

Sherman County Budget Committee

Sherman County Prevention Coalition

Sherman County Public/School Library Board

Sherman County Watershed Council, liaison

Sherman County Soil & Water Conservation District, liaison

Sherman County Senior & Community Center Advisory Board.

Sherman County Fair Board, liaison.

3. Expanding Beyond the Familiar

There is great comfort in the familiar. There is great danger, as well.

Most of us feel secure in the belief that we can trust the familiar in our lives, and we feel that there is comfort and peace in the predictable. Actually, while this is true to some degree, it can also be a trap.

You see, it is the unfamiliar, the risk, and the unpredictable that liberates us from boredom, unleashes our creative spirit, and enlivens our relationships. And it is the unplanned and unknown occurrences that make our life rich in possibilities.

Of course, some order, predictability and security are necessary for our survival and sanity. Constant chaos is its own brand of stress – mental and emotional. But a life without mystery, excitement and a little risk is merely an existence. Life was meant to be lived – joyfully, with a sense of wonder and surprise.

So take some time to think about it. How much of your life is planned down to the last minute? How much of your free time is completely controlled by a tight schedule? Why not try relaxing and just letting things happen without trying to plan or control them? It may be time to expand our worlds, and let in some fresh air.

The world is full of delight, if you will only allow it to unfold naturally around you. It is surprise and spontaneity that keep us and our relationships from becoming dried out, locked up and eventually numbed and even deadened by repetitive daily routines. We become our own jailer, in the prisons of our own making.

Go ahead – unlock the door. ~The Pacific Institute

4. Senate Bill 2 Environment and Natural Resources: Land Use Outside Urban Growth Boundaries


Prepared by: Beth Patrino, LPRO Analyst Meeting Dates: 2/5, 2/12


Authorizes a listed county that has adopted an economic opportunity analysis as part of its comprehensive plan to amend its map, land use regulations, and zoning map to designate one or more sites outside its urban growth boundary as potential sites for industrial or other employment uses without requiring an exception to any statewide land use planning goal related to agriculture, forest use, or urbanization. Limits cumulative total of sites to not more than 50 acres. Defines “economic opportunity analysis.” Defines “listed county” to include Baker, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Lake, Malheur, Sherman, Union, Wallowa, or Wheeler County. Prohibits site designation: (1) on any lands designated as high-value farmland as defined in ORS 195.300; (2) unless, for land within 10 miles of the urban growth boundary of a city, the county notifies the city at least 21 days prior to taking action and, if the city objects, negotiates with the city to establish conditions to mitigate concerns raised by the city’s objection; or (3) if any portion of the proposed site is for lands designated for forest use unless the county notifies the State Forester in writing not less than 21 days prior to designation and cooperates with the State Forester in specified actions. Prohibits county from allowing a use under this measure that would conflict with an administrative rule adopted to implement the Oregon Sage-Grouse Action Plan and Executive Order 15-18.

No subsequent referral


-1 Limits site designations to not more than 10.

Has minimal fiscal impact

No revenue impact


Comprehensive land use plans are required for cities and counties, and include statements of issues and problems to be addressed, various inventories and other technical information, the goals and policies for addressing the issues and problems and implementation measures. Plans must be done in accordance with state standards outlined in statute, statewide planning goals and administrative rules.

Senate Bill 2 would authorize certain counties in eastern Oregon that have adopted an economic opportunity analysis as part of a comprehensive plan to designate one or more sites outside an urban growth boundary as potential sites for industrial or other employment uses without requiring an exception to any statewide land use planning goal related to agriculture, forest use, or urbanization.

5. Letter to the Editor: Fossil Fuels & a Plastic Pen

Dear Sherry,

pencil.sharpRe: Justesen

Dear Freddie,

Before the world comes to an untimely end, plant trees and for heaven’s sakes, give up your plastic pen and computer—they are made from fossil fuels!

Alison Yamauchi

Little Rock

6. How to Communicate with Your Legislator

By Frontier Advocates

If you want to contact your legislator you can call their legislative office (see OLIS for contact information during normal work hours and you will get the legislator’s staff or an intern. They are the “gatekeepers” to sort out the many contact requests legislators receive. They will want to know if you are from the district that the legislator represents. Try to be brief and to the point. Tell them what you want the legislator to know. Legislative staff often “keep score” on issues counting how many for or against.  If you hope to speak to the legislator, you will likely have to request a call or set up a time to call. If you want to see them in person, ask to speak to the staff handling scheduling.

It’s good practice to follow up a phone call with an e-mail to the legislator. This, too, will be handled by staff and it is a public record. It also is a reminder to the office about your issue.

Legislators are primarily focused on the issues being heard by the committees on which they serve. You can find the committee agendas on OLIS.

OLIS also shows committee agendas and how to watch live or archived hearings and floor sessions. You can sign up to receive emails about committee agendas ahead of the hearings, often a week or more in advance.

Bill Hansell

Party: Republican
District: 29

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1729
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-415, Salem, OR, 97301


Greg Smith

Party: Republican
District: 57

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1457
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-482, Salem, OR 97301

Frontier Advocates is a partnership dedicated to navigating and shaping public policy on behalf of rural Oregon. Partners are three retired county judges with over 75 years of collective experience: Steve Grasty (Harney), Mike McArthur (Sherman), and Laura Pryor (Gilliam). All three former judges also served in statewide leadership roles.

7. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

Bird.Black.EnvelopeTedEd Animation: The Road Not Taken

Leonardo da Vinci’s Most Famous Works on UK Postage Stamps

Wyden Backs Tax Break For Craft Beverage Makers

Bernard Goldberg: Some Questions for Progressives Who Want to be President

Question Everything: Heading into the New Year – 2019

U.S. Senate Republicans’ Higher Ed Agenda Leaves Much To Be Desired


Sherman County eNews #43


  1. Patricia Mobley 1938-2019

  2. Oregon State Archives: Our State’s Sense of Humor

  3. Oregon Raceway Park Announces White Rat 1: A very short notice event!

  4. Sherman County Court News, Dec. 5

  5. Sherman County Court News, Dec. 19

  6. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

1. Patricia Mobley 1938-2019

flower.rose.starOn Sunday, February 10, 2019, Patricia Cora Mobley of Neskowin, Oregon, passed away at the age of 80. Pat was born in Winnemucca, Nevada on November 6, 1938 to Richard and Cora Flaiz and was the oldest of 4 children. They moved to the John Day area in 1944 where she went to school and graduated from Long Creek High School in 1956. The family then moved to Kinzua in 1958.

Pat graduated from business college and worked for a lumber company in Portland for 2 years. She came home for the Spray rodeo and met the love of her life, calf roper Verne Mobley. A year later Pat and Verne were married in Kinzua, Oregon, on May 27, 1961. Son Mark was born in 1962 and Ron was born in 1964. Pat was the bass player and lead vocalist for the Sundowners band that included Verne, Mark, Ron and Don Mobley. Pat helped teach at the Kent grade school, she organized a women’s bowling team in Madras, and then took a job as Postmaster in Shaniko for 12 years. After retiring from their ranch near Kent, Oregon, Pat and Verne did some traveling around in an RV. They fell in love with the Oregon Coast and built a home in Cloverdale in 2007, where they lived for 10 years before buying an ocean view home in Neskowin where they have resided for the past three years.

Pat is survived by her husband Verne; her sister Sandy Dames and brother Richard Flaiz; son Mark, his wife Susan, and their sons Dave & Jon; son Ron & Amy Coy, Ron’s son Nolan and daughter Karissa, her husband Tyler Gorham and their sons Heston and Royce (born 2-5-2019); and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister Elsa Mae Gibson.

Memorial services will be held on Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in The Dalles, Oregon at the Spencer Libby & Powell Funeral Home.

2. Oregon State Archives: Our State’s Sense of Humor

Oregon.Flat.poleOregon State Archives

Cecil Edwards, Oregon’s Legislative Historian, received a 1992 letter from a graduate student in New York, requesting “a joke, anecdote, or brief story representative of your state’s sense of humor.”

Edwards replied with a quote from T.T. Geer, Oregon governor from 1899 to 1903. Geer, the state’s first governor born in Oregon, said “he was tired of hearing about the hardships endured by pioneer men. Pioneer women endured the same hardships — and besides that, they had to endure the pioneer men.” ~Kristine Deacon

3. Oregon Raceway Park Announces White Rat 1: A very short notice event!

Bring your helmet and your mittens, put your big boy pants over your long johns and head to the track. Oregon Raceway Park is ready right now with fresh snow scheduled every day this week.

Saturday February 16th — I need 30 sign-ups minimum by Thursday, February 14th. Studs are only allowed behind the wheel and the only chains are tow chains.

$200 entry fee / $75 for additional drivers (same car), non-driving guests $20 (this includes lunch and gate fee), rental cars available at winter rates, reserve now, the jumper cables are ready. Hot lunch included. To register call Brenda at the track office: 541-333-2452. A STAR Projects Event.

4. Sherman County Court News, Dec. 5

ShermanCoLogoBy Kayla von Borstel, Administrative Assistant

Quarterly Reports, ODOT and WSDOT Mobility Management Match 2018-2019, and Golden Hills SIP Agreement were the main items on the agenda during the December 5th session of Sherman County Court in Moro.

Beth McCurdy, Fair Board, reported the Board had another good fair. The Building Committee has had a few meetings regarding the new Fair Grounds facilities. The 2019 Fair is expected to have a similar schedule as the 2018 Fair, and the Board continues to work on finalizing entertainment. Board reappointments will happen at the end of the week. Beth mentioned a presentation was not held for the Road Department being chosen as Grand Marshal, and asked if the Court could give the plaque to the Road Department for her. 

County Court asked that Marnene Benson-Wood, Transportation, explain the ODOT and WSDOT Mobility Management Match 2018-2019 request. She stated that all of the Counties that are part of the Gorge Translink each provide a $2,000 match contribution every year towards the Mobility Management position at Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD). The Mobility Management position seeks grants, and communicates with all the Counties to see what kind of help they could provide to each County. Brief discussion held on the Transportation Plan update in order to receive STIF funds in the future. MCEDD would be updating the plan; however, the Court feels $20,000 to do so is too expensive. County Court approved the ODOT and WSDOT Mobility Management Match for 2018-2019 in the amount of $2,000 to Mid-Columbia Economic Development Services.

Christa Rude, Four Rivers Early Learning Hub, presented a Hub update to County Court. Rude mentioned the Hood River Intergovernmental Agreement as they have had significant turn over in staff; she lost three employees in the last six weeks. Rude has done some research on how to restructure to be more sustainable; they are in the process of three new positions. The goal would be to work with public health, the Early Learning Hub, and Parenting Education, to align with Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI) and Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Council Organization (EOCCO), with a contracted position which they would own. Rude mentioned the Governors’ recommended budget had been released, and there is a huge potential for expansion in preschool resources/funding. Court motioned to approve the Intergovernmental Agreement between Hood River County and Sherman County, to provide Administrative Services to the Four Rivers Early Learning Hub, and authorize Judge Thompson to sign. Court motioned to approve the Amendment to the Intergovernmental Agreement between Sherman County and Columbia Gorge ESD to serve as a 2nd tier contractor for preschool infrastructure grants, and distribute funding as applied for and approved by the Four Rivers Early Learning Governance Board, and authorize Judge Thompson to sign.

Brian Walsh, Avangrid, stated the original SIP was executed in 2009, and is currently under amendment. Walsh attended Court to discuss about revisions to the SIP that reflect accurate and true costs to build wind in the Pacific Northwest. The current price of power in 2009 was $90 per megawatt hour; since then, prices have come down; he has been negotiating with Commissioner McCoy to get the SIP amended in a specific section to reflect the lower cost. Art Fish, Business Oregon, provided guidance that if there was no material changing of the project and the megawatts are kept the same, he did not believe the amendment would need to go to the Oregon Business Development Commission (OBDC) for approval. Notice will be given to the OBDC of the changes as their decision could affect the resolution; a draft copy was currently available to the public, and could be approved at next County Court meeting. Don Hilderbrand, Community Member, voiced his concern about the jobs this project would create not being filled by Sherman residents. Commissioner McCoy reported the SIP offers $1 million towards housing as the County realizes there is a housing problem. Walsh mentioned Avangrid could try to make it more appealing for its employees to want to live and stay within the County. Paul Sather, community member, stated Sherman needed to encourage the use of subcontracting local contractors.

Actions taken by the Court included:

  • approved the Transit Written Quarterly Report as presented.
  • declared the 2014 Dodge Charger surplus, as recommended the Sheriff’s Office.
  • declared a Glock 19 surplus, to be traded in for a new Glock, as recommended the Sheriff’s Office.
  • declared Office of the County Court desktop printers surplus, as recommended by the Administrative Assistant.
  • declared the 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser as surplus.
  • approved the Association of Oregon Counties’ (AOC) request for additional payment in the amount of $5,724.38, to be put in the AOC County Road Fund to replace borrowed funds without AOC Board authorization.
  • approved the National Association of Counties (NACo) membership dues in the amount of $450.
  • approved Active Shooter training and Stop The Bleed training for all County Employees as recommended by the Sheriff’s Office.
  • appointed Carol von Borstel to the Regional Solutions Advisory Committee as the Sherman County cities’ representative.
  • approved minutes of October 3, 2018, as corrected.
  • approved the Revenue/Expenditure Summary for the month of October 2018, as presented.
  • approved the Treasurer’s Report for the month of October 2018, as presented.
  • approved the Claims for the month of November 2018, as presented. 

Topics of discussion were Commissioner Reports.

5. Sherman County Court News, Dec. 19

ShermanCoLogoBy Kayla von Borstel, Administrative Assistant

Life Jacket Kiosk Update, Quarterly Reports, Traffic Safety Overtime Grant, Rural Renewable Energy Development Zone (RRED), Golden Hills SIP Agreement Public Hearing, and Financial Software Upgrade, were the main items on the agenda during the December 19th session of Sherman County Court in Moro.

Katie Woodruff, Victims Assistance, gave the Court an update on the life jacket kiosks. The shop teacher at the Sherman County High School had his students build two kiosks, one for Giles French Park and one for Philippi Park. Brad Lohrey, Sheriff, provided some background on park kiosks. Cliff Jett was a Marine Deputy at LePage Park, and provided some life jackets on a kiosk. The Corp of Engineers liked the idea of providing life jackets to borrow, and adopted the idea. County Court to have a plaque created in honor of Cliff Jett to be hung at the LePage Park kiosk.

Brad Lohrey, Sheriff, reported the Sheriff’s Office applied, and was awarded $14,000, for an Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) grant for overtime funds to be used for seat belt enforcement, driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement, and distracted driving. The grant states specific times that they can work traffic safety, such as when there would be an influx of people on the roads due to events, holidays, and the Super Bowl. Lohrey has been overseeing at Northern Oregon Regional Corrections (NORCOR), and has been, for the last month and a half; he has learned a lot and enjoying the work. The Sheriff’s Office normally has around 600 cases per year; this last year it increased to 750.

Georgia Macnab, Planning, informed the Court the Rural Renewable Energy Development Zone (RRED) was last done in 2006 and has expired; however, the County can reapply if they wish. RRED is for smaller renewable energy projects for three to five years. She stated instead of trying to expand Enterprise Zone, the County might want to look at doing another RRED Zone as it covers the whole county, while and Enterprise Zone only covers the Cities, race track, and Biggs Service District. The Court agreed for Georgia to move forward with a new RRED Zone.

Golden Hills SIP Public Hearing opened at 10:07 a.m. Commissioner McCoy stated for the record he has a potential conflict of interest as he was on the negotiation committee for the Golden Hills Project, and owns land within the project area. Mike McArthur, audience member, inquired how the estimated value per megawatt was calculated. Commissioner McCoy stated the County hired Brian Skeahan as an expert on renewables, who gave an estimate of $1.6 million per megawatt. Commissioner McCoy and Skeahan met with Brian Walsh, Avangrid, who stated there has been a secular decline in building these projects; by 2020 the estimated cost would be $1.25 million. After their discussions, Commissioner McCoy was comfortable accepting the proposed project cost from Avangrid. This would be the cost of building the project and determining property tax. McArthur inquired what figure of tax rate was used to calculate the max assessed value. Commissioner McCoy replied 8.7141 percent. McArthur asked what the total tax rate was for Sherman County. Commissioner McCoy stated including the school it would be 15 percent; if the school was taken out, and Fire Districts added in it would be approximately 10 percent. McArthur stated the agreement contemplates up to 200 megawatts, and asked what would need to happen if Avangrid wanted to go up to 400 as permitted; Commissioner McCoy replied they would have to create a new SIP agreement. Sherman County did not create a new SIP agreement; the County only negotiated an amendment to the original SIP that was created in 2009. McArthur asked for some clarification on language presented on page 3, #4A; Commissioner McCoy stated the language was in all of the past agreements. The Court motioned to approve and the Oregon Strategic Investment Program (SIP) Agreement, amending the 2009 SIP Agreement between Sherman County and Golden Hills Wind Farms LLC to promote industrial competitiveness and to improve employment in the area where projects are to be located by encouraging businesses engaged in projects to hire local employees and will forward onto Business Oregon. The Court motioned to approve and the Resolution #07-12-2018, amending the 2009 SIP Agreement between Sherman County and Golden Hills Wind Farms LLC to promote industrial competitiveness and to improve employment in the area where projects are to be located by encouraging businesses engaged in projects to hire local employees and will forward onto Business Oregon. The Public Hearing closed at 10:53 a.m.

Debbie Hayden, Finance Officer, stated this software she sought was different than the Helion upgrade that was recently approved. Helion doesn’t support financial software; it only supports Assessment and Taxation. Hayden sent the request to three companies: Caselle, Chaz Consulting, and Springbrook; only Caselle and Chaz Consulting responded. Chaz Consulting was the most economical, however, they have been running the same software for past 30 years, and have no intention of upgrading their software. Their cost estimate was $17,575 not including the conversion of the County’s current information; Chaz Consulting recommended going to their competitor, Caselle, for the conversion. Caselle’s estimated quote was for $107,162 which includes onsite training, conversion, and total software set up. Software maintenance would be $1,551 per month, which would be about half of what the County currently pays for maintenance. County Court motioned to approve Debbie Hayden, Finance Officer, to move forward with the financial upgrade with Caselle. 

Actions taken by the Court included:

  • approved the John Day River Territory Annual Contribution for July, 1 2018 – July 30, 2019 in the amount of $4,000.00 with a request for a yearly update in County Court.
  • approved the following contracts between Sherman County and Helion Software Inc: The Client Software Support Agreement for Helion to provide Sherman telephone, electronic, remote and onsite assistance, the Personal Services Contract For Computer Services Agreement for Helion to provide Sherman comprehensive computer services in data conversion, data importing and ORCATS system training, and the Helion Software Licensing Agreement allowing the Sherman the right to make lawful use of the product belonging to Helion, and authorize Judge Thompson to sign.
  • declared surplus the 1972 Royal 24 x 62 mobile home located at 401 Hood Street in Moro, to either demolish or sell as negotiated by the County Judge.
  • approved the Lease of Office Space Agreement, between Biggs Service District and Sherman County, to lease office space in the Sherman County Courthouse to conduct Administrative Services.
  • approved an operating loan to Frontier TeleNet in the amount of $100,000, and up to another $100,000 authorized by the County Judge before the end of the 2019 fiscal year, if needed.
  • approved the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) Annual Dues for 2019 in the amount of $7,540.19.
  • authorized budget transfers/payments as recommended by the Finance Director, including $123,700 from the County General Fund, $116,520.13 to the Community Transit Fund, $1,478,788.91 to the SIP Community Service Fees Fund, and $5,015,070.00 to the SIP Additional Fees Fund, and authorize Judge Thompson to sign.
  • denied the 2018 Resident Incentive Application Appeal by Lisa Miranda.
  • approved minutes of October 17, 2018, as presented.
  • approved minutes of November 6, 2018 Work Session, as presented.
  • approved the Revenue/Expenditure Summary for the month of November 2018, as presented.

Topics of discussion were Commissioner Reports.

6. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

bird.owl.limbLegislative Testimony: Housing Underproduction in Oregon: Missing Middle Housing

Oregon Legislature SB 88: Accessory Dwelling Unit allowable on rural residential lot >2 acres

Rural Dwelling Bill Perturbs Farmland Advocates

Judicial Watch Corruption Chronicles. El Paso a Major Smuggling Route for Mexican Drugs, Illegal Aliens, & Islamic Terrorists

Town in northern Russia battling invasion of polar bears

Coloradans Fight Big Pharma and Big Soros to Stop Nation’s First Heroin Injection Site


Sherman County eNews #42


  1. Sherman County School Closure, Feb. 12

  2. Cultural Coalition 2019 Spring Grant Cycle

  3. Grant Awards Announced by Development League

  4. Expressing Love

  5. Sherman County Court News, Oct. 17

  6. Sherman County Court News, Nov. 7

1. Sherman County School Closure, Feb. 12

Logo.Sherman High SchoolSuperintendent Wes Owens notified students, guardians, staff and constituents of the decision to cancel school again tomorrow, Tuesday, February 12th, to allow more time for crews to clear the significant drifting.

Sherman County Public/School Library will also be closed.

2. Cultural Coalition 2019 Spring Grant Cycle

music-notesThe 2019 Spring Grant Cycle for Sherman County’s Cultural Coalition will begin March 1, 2019. Applicants may be individuals and/or groups and need not be legally recognized non-profits.

Application Deadline: March 29, 2019

Awards up to $1,500 will be granted in support of local Sherman County activities and events which promote Culture, Humanities, Heritage and the Arts in Sherman County.

Additional information including Grant Guidelines and the application form, may be found at:

Completed grant applications may be mailed to:

Sherman County Cultural Coalition
P.O. Box 23
Moro, OR 97039

Or emailed to:

Contact Melva Thomas at 541-442-5488 or

3. Grant Awards Announced by Development League

dollar.sign1Sherman Development League (SDL) has announced the successful completion of grant awards for 2019 committing $19,087.00 to projects of benefit to Sherman County.

Formed in 2000 as a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, SDL’s mission is to provide grants and/or loans in support of community-based programs and projects to enhance the social, cultural and educational environment of Sherman County. SDL provides fiscal sponsorship to organizations and/or unincorporated groups for projects which further its tax-exempt purposes and are of public benefit to the residents of Sherman County. A revolving loan fund has been established to provide loans to for-profit and non-profit businesses. SDL also serves as the Sherman County Cultural Coalition Board and provides related fiscal administration of funds received annually from the Oregon Cultural Trust and matching funds from Sherman County.

Five project applications met the requirements and goals established by SDL. Included are projects proposed by Sherman County Ambulance, Sherman County Historical Museum, Sherman County Preschool, Sherman County School – PTO and Wasco School Events Center.

Since 2007, the Development League has awarded seventy-seven (77) grants totaling $1,138,095.00, emergency funding in the amount of $78,412.00 for eight organizations and provided several loans to private and public entities.

Applications for the next round of grant requests will be available in the fall of 2019. Requests for loans may be submitted at any time.

~ Sherman Development League Board of Directors

4. Expressing Love

Valentine heartWith Valentine’s Day coming up this week, perhaps this would be a good time to address “love.” There are those who have difficulty with the whole concept, but love in all its many forms really does make the world go ’round.

How do you say, “I love you” to someone you care about? How do you express your feelings of love and affection to your spouse and other family members? Florists would like us to believe that we should “say it with flowers,” but there might be better ways.

For instance: If you love someone, compliment them often for jobs well done and refrain from downgrading them. Rather, reassure that person when they don’t go right. Most of us could use a little support now and then. We are made of flesh and bone, after all, and not stone.

If you love someone, listen to what they have to say without judgment or feeling like you have to solve all of their problems. Active listening builds the self-esteem of the talker, while it builds your quality of empathy

If you love someone, let them know when you feel low or lonely or misunderstood. It will make them stronger to know they have the power to comfort you.

If you love someone, respect their silences. As alternatives for problems or challenges, creativity and spirituality often come in times of quiet.

And, finally, if you love someone, tell them often, through your talk, your actions and your gestures. It is a mistake to assume that they know how you feel. Even if they act embarrassed or deny that they need it, don’t believe them. Do it anyway. And they can promise to do the same for you.

It is these things done consistently and consciously over the years that help build a loving relationship and keep it growing. And, it is the absence of these things that rob life of its joy. ~The Pacific Institute

5. Sherman County Court News, Oct. 17

ShermanCoLogoBy Kayla von Borstel, Administrative Assistant

Compensation Board, Quarterly Reports, and Biggs Water System Update, were the main items on the agenda during the October 17th session of Sherman County Court in Moro.

The County Court met as Compensation Board. Judge Thompson motioned to enter into Executive Session in Accordance with ORS 192.660 (2) (i) Personnel. Entered Executive Session at 9:03 a.m.; discussion held on employee compensation and potential employment; exited Executive Session at 9:30 a.m. County Court presented their Compensation Board decisions. The Court approved for the Weed District to hire David Rooney as a 0.75 FTE employee to work for a 9 month period (March 2019 – November 2019) and to be paid over a 12 month pay cycle with 75% County paid benefits at a rate of 64% class, Step B. There was no change made to the current Veteran’s Officer status. 

Rod Asher, Weed District, presented his quarterly report. He provided the Court with a list of employees and their responsibilities, as well as an equipment list. He informed the Court an employee clipped the roll up door with their side – by – side ATV; the damage cost just under $2,000 to repair. Rod would like to install electric door openers to avoid any further issues. Asher mentioned that due to the lengthy legal process of proper weed violation procedures, it was late in the season to send notices. He sent out informative letters instead; all notices, except one, were B Class weeds.

Mark Coles, Road Department, reported he met with Craig Sanders on the Flap grant on Starvation Lane; there will be improvement, however, he does not believe it will be as much as the County expected. Boat pull outs are still in the grant plan; Coles doesn’t believe they will be effective in the location chosen, and thinks most of the funding will end up being used for design. County Court stated improvements can be made by the County later on. Coles also reported the earth bind paving project had been completed on Helm Springs, and he is pleased with the outcome thus far. He believes it will work on other places in the future. Coles stated they are still crushing chip rock for next year as well. He was one employee short in the Department; he had previously asked the Court to take out the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) requirement before hiring; however, he may come back asking for the CDL to be part of a requirement again. High School Loop has a one year warranty inspection to go through soon; there are a few spots that are of concern.

Wes Owens, Sherman County School District, stated the School has been working with Water Resources in regards to the North playing field well situation. The property was purchased as an extended play field (soccer, baseball, etc.), and green space for the community. An application was submitted to Water Resources, but was not approved; there was some question with new State requirements. The School District can’t prove the well was cased properly. The School has been working on an interim solution with the City of Moro until the issue can be resolved. Owens stated the Safety plan is a major program, and is in the final stages of full implementation. They continue training with the Sheriff’s Office as well and there had been no impact on instruction or delivery of material to the students. The program to implement Safe, Respectful, and Responsible behavior in Sherman’s students has been working well. Football season was suspended for the duration of the season due to low player numbers, academia, and injuries, in order to keep students safe.

Marnene Benson-Wood, Treasurer, presented a Treasurer’s packet to the Court. Every August, the limitation that’s allowed in the State Treasury goes up; currently it’s set at $49,500,000 with a 2.25 interest rate. Sherman County has $37 million in the pool and is not bumping against the set limitation. The packet provided showed the County investments with bonds or agencies, and brokers through time value investments, were evenly split between all the different investments. It shows who they are, the cost and value of it, and maturity dates. This information was spread from June 2019 through February of 2022. Moneys are invested in the SIP fund, and the County Reserve Funds.

Brad Baird, Anderson Perry & Associates, provided an update on the Biggs Water project. Baird was able to get a quote on piping needed, and the Engineering agreement officially approved by Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The well is ready to go out to bid; it needs to be drilled in winter while the rest of the project is being bid in January or February to make a favorable bidding schedule. Baird would contact Pat and Lori Beers to get the BCM Development deed recorded and paid. The Engineering Agreement was previously acted on in September 2018; Baird updated it with an October date to match the approval letter from USDA, and asked them to sign on behalf of Biggs Service District. He presented a pipe materials quote to the Court; the pipeline totals just over 700 feet. The pipe supplier quote Baird obtained was $24,838.14. Court asked Baird to gather two more quotes. Brief discussion was held on running pipe and a fire hydrant beyond Linda’s Restaurant for potential future building. The Court approved the lowest most reasonable bid for pipe purchase for the Biggs Water System Project, and authorized Judge Thompson to make the final decision.

Nate Stice, Regional Solutions, presented his quarterly report. In regards to Broadband, Sherman County received $200,000 from the Regional Infrastructure Fund. In regards to fire recovery, the Governor and two Senators sent a letter to Secretary Perdue, asking to extend CRP grazing to the start of nesting season. The Governor has tasked her team to look at fire response as well. Stice has continued to work with the local hemp company; the farm bill has stalled which does not help the import issue at hand. A Portland based Agriculture company visited sites in Rufus and Wasco, for potential business purchase.

Actions taken by the Court included:

  • approved the Broadband Network Operating Agreement and Lease between Sherman County, Gorge Networks, Inc., and the City of Moro, for Gorge Networks, Inc. to design, construct, install, and operate Broadband network to provide broadband service to residents and businesses throughout the City of Moro, pending approval from the City of Moro and listing the appropriate corrections of County payment amount to GorgeNet.
  • Gorge Net request the use of dark fiber from the County free of charge. Discussion was held on Frontier TeleNet needing to be able to generate enough revenue to cover the $42,000 cost. County Court agreed to take no action at that time.
  • approved the following to the Sherman County Community Transportation Board: Randy Hilderbrand, Chair; Mary Adams, Vice-Chair; Bonne Whitley, Secretary; Ree Ella von Borstel, Member; and one more Member position that is to be filled by Transportation Board’s discretion.
  • approved extending the scope of work and allowing use of the remaining funds of less than $3,000 in the Columbia Gorge Bi-State Renewable Energy Zone (CGBREZ) account at Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD) to support staffing and operations related to CGBREZ meetings.
  • approved the Intergovernmental Agreement with Sherman County between Sherman and Gilliam County for the provision of independent assessment services necessary to assist the Sherman or Gilliam County Board of Property Tax Appeals in the performance of their functions upon request.
  • approved the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 2018-2019 Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas Grant Agreement between the State of Oregon and Sherman County in the amount not to exceed $45,000.
  • approved minutes of September 5, 2018, as corrected.
  • approved minutes of September 19, 2018, as presented.
  • approved the Revenue/Expenditure Summary for the month of September 2018, as presented.
  • approved the Treasurer’s Report for the month of September 2018, as presented.

Topics of discussion were the Written Quarterly Reports, Senior Center Back Up Cook, Quarterly Report Summary, and Commissioner Reports.

6. Sherman County Court News, Nov. 7

By Kayla von Borstel, Administrative Assistant

ShermanCoLogoGorge TransLink Alliance Project, Match request for backup generators for Sherman Cities, Grant Housing Review Committee, Financing for Fiber to the Home, Housing, and Wellness Center Recognition, were the main items on the agenda during the November 7th session of Sherman County Court in Moro.

Kathy Fitzpatrick, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, reported the five transportation providers in the five Counties: Sherman, Wasco, Hood River, Klickitat, and Skamania, came together in 2001 as an informal group to share and coordinate resources, to eliminate duplicate services. In 2008, they signed a formal agreement to be the TransLink Alliance. Fitzpatrick, is staff for TransLink Alliance which is funded by ODOT, WSDOT, and County Match. Recently they developed an Employee Pass Program; it’s a yearly pass to use public transportation in the designated region. Cost was depended on how much was included in the pass; lowest was $50 per pass and the employer must purchase for all employees as a universal buy in. Kathy and Marnene are working on the Everybody Rides campaign to show communities the bus system is not just for seniors. The Columbia Gorge Express has teamed up with the Employee Pass Program as well. Fitzpatrick, is also working with the transportation providers and the healthcare with any technology that would be innovative to work with the inflexibility of Dial a Ride; the community has been looking for something more like Uber or Lyft services. Fitzpatrick, would like Sherman County support of the TransLink Alliance and its efforts; County Court supports the organization. Marnene Benson-Wood, gave a STIF update to the Court. Sherman will apply by May 1st 2019; the first year the County will receive $50,000, and then each year after that, $100,000 will be received from the State. Benson-Wood hopes that money will be able to build a new bus barn, and coordinate with the County on a car wash area. Judge Thompson reported the County was in the process of acquiring land to build a bus barn with grant funds and County match. One of the new requirements for STIF funds was to transport students 9th -12th grade to activities they couldn’t go to otherwise.

Shawn Payne, Emergency Services, stated there was some mitigation money available to the Counties for the Substation fire. She will be writing a grant for a back-up generator for each of the Cities. A Letter of Intent was sent to the State with an estimated pump value of $20,000-$25,000 per City; there was some concern from the Cities when they were told a 25% match was needed for the generators as part of the grant. Payne inquired if the Cities could not provide enough match, would the Court consider providing the appropriate match amount. These generators would be mounted and permanent at each site. The City of Moro burned up a pump during the Substation fire, which the Fire Departments are dependent on water to shuttle to fires. The County mentioned there needed to be a building, like the Wasco Events Center or the School District, which could receive back up power in the event of a major power outage for an extended period of time; this would be to keep people safe and warm if need be. Payne reported the City of Moro has never been flood mapped; there was a grant for Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Land Conservation Development to complete the Moro mapping, and to re-map the other Cities. Payne must send out notices to all residents in the Middle Columbia Hood, that live within 500 feet of a stream beginning in November. If a resident does not want the surveyors on their property, they will need to contact the agency to be taken off the list. Once flood mapping is done, a requirement will be to have flood insurance.

Carrie Pipinich, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, presented a few requests for the Housing Program on behalf of the Grant Housing Committee. There was a request to approve the modification as recommended by the Committee to remove the requirement for the Mechanics Lien on the Hoctor grant. A second request was for approval of the Hoctor and West projects with the provided documents for completion, to move forward with payment pending Judge Thompson’s final review. County Court motioned to waive the Mechanics Lien for the Rebecca Hoctor grant, and to approve funding for the Travis West grant in the amount of $17,396.62 and the Rebecca Hoctor grant for $9,394.26. Judge Thompson will approve payment after a final review.

Commissioner McCoy presented a spreadsheet on financing Fiber to the Home, detailing all parties cost share amounts, which also showed a funding gap of $42,530.64 to still be paid after the grant was received. It was discussed there would be a percentage or a $5.00 charge added to each users bill to help offset this funding gap. If Gorge Net had over a certain percentage of the Community enrolled in their services, that added amount to the bill would come back to the Cities; if under that certain percentage was enrolled, the money would stay with Gorge Net to be used for maintenance purposes. If the Cities do not receive money back from Gorge Net, the County will not make them pay towards the funding gap, the County will cover that amount. The payment for Moro’s work went to the Finance Office the day prior as Gorge Net needed to be paid; the agreement for Moro is in the final stages and the agreement for Grass Valley should be in progress soon. It was agreed upon having a work session with the County, Gorge Net, and a representative from each City, followed by a work session on dark fiber use. The rate of the fee added to the users bill will be set between Gorge Net and the Cities.

Dan Meader, Land Use Planning Consultant, and Carol von Borstel, Grass Valley Administrator, wanted to discuss the housing crisis in Grass Valley with the Court. Previous discussion had been held on the lack of housing for employees of the hemp facility in Grass Valley. The facility had done some conditional use permits for some housing units to be brought in which have been placed in the Grass Valley RV park. There are currently 25 employees at the facility, and the facility is looking at hiring more; this creates an even bigger housing shortage issue. Grass Valley has marked on a map all land that could be buildable, and Dan will be helping them figure out some of the housing issues at hand. A buildable land map was created in 2007 that was part of the comprehensive plan update. The map will be updated with the floodplain, and with lands that are large enough to be buildable and can support subsurface sewage disposal. A letter will be sent to property owners that are identified in the buildable areas informing them of the housing shortage, and asking if any owners would be interested in selling their identified property. The map shows half of Grass Valley is not developed. The analysis of the City will cost about $2,000 to complete, and the City does not have the funds; Grass Valley would like to know if the County could cover the cost. The Court motioned to allocate $2,000 from the Housing Fund or the infrastructure Fund for the Grass Valley Housing Analysis.

Perry Thurston, Community Member, would like to recognize Don Thompson, Latrel Smoot, and other primaries, at the Wellness Center for all of their efforts. He would like the Court to sanction holding a fundraiser to formally recognize the key founders of the Wellness Center with pictures and/or plaques. Thurston offered to be the Treasurer of the fundraiser. Court consensus to move forward with the recognition fundraiser.

Actions taken by the Court included:

  • approved Bruce Lumper as the Tri County Hazardous Waste & Recycling Program Steering Committee alternate.
  • approved with Legal Counsel approval, and authorized Judge Thompson to review and sign the final version of the Helion Software Contracts with Debbie Hayden and Ross Turney.
  • approved to pay both invoices for the Rural Technology Group Fairgrounds upgrade and the Rural Technology Group Kent repairs.
  • declared Monday December 24, 2018, and Monday December 31, 2018, as Courthouse Holidays.
  • recommended to not hold a County Court meeting on November 21, 2018 due to the proximity of the Thanksgiving Holiday. A Special Session could be held if the need arise.
  • approved the Claims for the month of October 2018 as presented.

Topics of discussion were the Library Drains, Written Quarterly Reports, “Queen of Hearts” Seeking Business Location, and Commissioner Reports.