Sherman County eNews #45


  1. $1 million gift promotes charitable giving in Columbia Gorge
  2. OSU’s Small Farms Agricultural Conference, Feb. 20
  3. History After Hours, Feb. 18
  4. WIC Improves Customer Services & Program Integrity
  5. The Core Value of Responsibility
  6. FBI Update on Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Feb. 12
  7. Commentary: Peggy Noonan, What is happening in American politics?
  8. Links

1. $1 million gift promotes charitable giving in Columbia Gorge         

Gorge Community Foundation is the recipient of a $1 million anonymous contribution designed to promote charitable giving throughout the region. It’s the largest donation in the history of the Foundation, which was established in 2000 to enhance the quality of life in the greater Columbia Gorge by building permanent charitable endowments.

More than 70 of these endowments are now managed by Gorge Community Foundation, serving a diverse array of long-term needs and opportunities on both sides of the river, from education, children’s advocacy and youth activities to food banks, libraries, historic preservation, United Way, animal welfare, Master Gardening and wildlife rescue.

“We are honored and deeply grateful for this anonymous donor’s commitment to the mission of Gorge Community Foundation,” said board president Gil Sharp of Hood River. “The intent of this generous gift is to encourage investment in Gorge Community Foundation through new and existing designated funds, and thus expand our capacity to enhance the quality of life in our Columbia Gorge communities.”

“This is a wonderful incentive for our current funds to expand their investment,” said The Dalles resident Chuck Toole, foundation vice president. “It also highlights the valuable work this foundation has accomplished in its 16-year history, serving the diverse needs of our region.”

One of more than 1,000 non-profit community foundations across the United States, Gorge Community Foundation is guided by a volunteer board drawn from communities throughout the region. The foundation has awarded more than $1 million in grants since 2003, including $112,000 in 2015 alone.

For information on starting a designated or donor-advised fund at Gorge Community Foundation, please contact Dan Spatz, executive director, by calling (541) 354-2009. Information is also available on the Foundation’s website,

2. OSU’s Small Farms Agricultural Conference, Feb. 20

OSU’s small farms agricultural conference runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 20 at the LaSells Stewart Center and the CH2M Hill Alumni Center. Registration costs $65 per person through today and tickets, if available, will cost $100 at the door. To register go to

3. History After Hours, Feb. 18

History After Hours

February 18 from 4:30-6:30 at Riverenza, 401 E. 10th Street, The Dalles

Appetizers, birthday cake, coffee and tea will be served.  No-host bar will be open!

Come ready to share a brief update on your organization and plans for the future.

Bring along brochures, etc. to share.

If you have not sent an RSVP don’t worry—come!!!   

4. WIC Improves Customer Services & Program Integrity

Women, Infants & Children [WIC], Oregon’s Public Health Nutrition Program, is offering its families a new way to shop for WIC food benefits using an EBT – electronic benefits transaction – card. Currently participants of North Central WIC, a program of Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division, use paper vouchers to buy the healthy WIC foods. Now, with this new card, shopping will be easier and WIC families will be better able to track their monthly food balance. Participants will also have access to a WIC Smart Shopper Smart Phone app allowing them to scan a food’s bar code to determine if it is an allowed WIC food.

WIC provides services at over 100 clinic sites throughout Oregon and serves 161,000 lower-income women, infants and children under age five. In Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties, 1,707 use WIC and $576,733 was spent last year in local WIC stores with an additional $3,720 spent at farmers’ markets for healthy food.

North Central WIC, serving Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties, has been offering participant-centered nutrition education, healthy food, breast feeding support in local communities and has been serving as a gateway for preventative health for over 40 years. It is considered one of the most successful, cost-effective, and important nutrition intervention programs.

North Central WIC has appointment openings. For more information, contact North Central Public Health District at, or 541-506-2601.

5. Commentary: Peggy Noonan, What is happening in American politics?

We’re in the midst of a rebellion. The bottom and middle are pushing against the top. It’s a throwing off of old claims and it’s been going on for a while, but we’re seeing it more sharply after New Hampshire. This is not politics as usual, which by its nature is full of surprise. There’s something deep, suggestive, even epochal about what’s happening now.

I have thought for some time that there’s a kind of soft French Revolution going on in America, with the angry and blocked beginning to push hard against an oblivious elite. It is not only political. Yes, it is about the Democratic National Committee, that house of hacks, and about a Republican establishment owned by the donor class. But establishment journalism, which for eight months has been simultaneously at Donald Trump’s feet (“Of course you can call us on your cell from the bathtub for your Sunday show interview!”) and at his throat (“Trump supporters, many of whom are nativists and nationalists . . .”) is being rebelled against too. Their old standing as guides and gatekeepers? Gone, and not only because of multiplying platforms. Gloria Steinem thought she owned feminism, thought she was feminism. She doesn’t and isn’t. The Clintons thought they owned the party—they don’t. Hedge-funders thought they owned the GOP. Too bad they forgot to buy the base!

All this goes hand in hand with the general decline of America’s faith in its institutions. We feel less respect for almost all of them—the church, the professions, the presidency, the Supreme Court. The only formal national institution that continues to score high in terms of public respect (72% in the most recent Gallup poll) is the military.

A few years ago I gave a lecture to a class at West Point, the text of which was: You are entering the only U.S. institution left standing. Your prime responsibility throughout your careers will be to keep it respected. I then told them about the Dreyfus case. They had not heard of it. I explained how that scandal rocked public faith in a previously exalted institution, the French army, doing it and France lasting damage. And so your personal integrity is of the utmost importance, I said, as day by day that integrity creates the integrity of the military. The cadets actually listened to that part.

I mention this to say we are in a precarious position in the U.S. with so many of our institutions going down. Many of those pushing against the system have no idea how precarious it is or what they will be destroying. Those defending it don’t know how precarious its position is or even what they’re defending, or why. But people lose respect for a reason.

To New Hampshire: The rejection of the establishment’s preferred candidates in both major parties is a big moment. It is also understandable, the result of 15 years of failed presidencies. It is a gesture of rebuke toward the political class—move aside.

It’s said this is the year of anger but there’s a kind of grim practicality to Trump and Sanders supporters. They’re thinking: Let’s take a chance. Washington is incapable of reform or progress; it’s time to reach outside. Let’s take a chance on an old Brooklyn socialist. Let’s take a chance on the casino developer who talks on TV.

In doing so, they accept a decline in traditional political standards. You don’t have to have a history of political effectiveness anymore; you don’t even have to have run for office! “You’re so weirdly outside the system, you may be what the system needs.”

They are pouring their hope into uncertain vessels, and surely know it. Bernie Sanders is an actual radical: He would fundamentally change an economic system that imperfectly but for two centuries made America the wealthiest country in the history of the world. In the young his support is understandable: They have never been taught anything good about capitalism and in their lifetimes have seen it do nothing—nothing—to protect its own reputation.

It is middle-aged Sanders supporters who are more interesting. They know what they’re turning their backs on. They know they’re throwing in the towel. My guess is they’re thinking something like: Don’t aim for great now, aim for safe. Terrorism, a world turning upside down, my kids won’t have it better—let’s just try to be safe, more communal.

A shrewdness in Sanders and Trump backers: They share one faith in Washington, and that is in its ability to wear anything down. They think it will moderate Bernie, take the edges off Trump. For this reason they don’t see their choices as so radical.

As for Mr. Trump, it is not without meaning that his supporters have had eight months to measure the cost of satisfying their anger by voting for him. In New Hampshire, 35% of the electorate decided that for all his drama and uncertainty they would back him.

The mainstream journalistic mantra is that the GOP is succumbing to nativism, nationalism and the culture of celebrity. That allows them to avoid taking seriously Mr. Trump’s issues: illegal immigration and Washington’s 15-year, bipartisan refusal to stop it; political correctness and how it is strangling a free people; and trade policies that have left the American working class displaced, adrift and denigrated. Mr. Trump’s popularity is propelled by those issues and enabled by his celebrity.

In winning, Donald Trump threw over the GOP donor class. Political professionals don’t fully appreciate that, but normal Americans see it. They get that the guy with money just slapped silly the guys with money. Every hedge-fund billionaire donor should be blinking in pain. Some investment!

This leads me to Citizens United. Conservatives applauded that Supreme Court decision because it allowed Republicans to counter the effect of union money that goes to Democrats. But Citizens United gave the rich too much sway in the GOP. The party was better off when it relied on Main Street. It meant they had to talk to Main Street.

Mr. Trump is a clever man with his finger on the pulse, but his political future depends on two big questions. The first is: Is he at all a good man? Underneath the foul mouthed flamboyance is he in it for America? The second: Is he fully stable? He acts like a nut, calling people bimbos, flying off the handle with grievances. Is he mature, reliable? Is he at all a steady hand?

Political professionals think these are side questions. “Let’s accuse him of not being conservative!” But they are the issue. Because America doesn’t deliberately elect people it thinks base, not to mention crazy.

Anyway, we are in some kind of moment. Congratulations to the establishments of both parties for getting us here. They are the authors of the rebellion; they are a prime thing being rebelled against.

Connected to that, something I’ve noticed. In Washington there used to be a widespread cliché: “God protects drunks, children and the United States of America.” I’m in Washington a lot, and I’ve noticed no one says that anymore. They stopped 10 or 15 years ago. I wonder what that means.

6. The Core Value of Responsibility

~ The Pacific Institute

lawnmower.boyOne of the most important things we can teach our children is a sense of responsibility. But have you ever thought about exactly why this is so important? Let’s explore this idea.

Most of us believe that raising our children to have a strong sense of responsibility is important. But what does it mean to be responsible? And why is it so important?

Well, for one thing, responsibility goes hand in hand with confidence and the feeling of controlling of one’s own life. When we are responsible, it means that we are capable of making rational or moral decisions on our own, and that we are ready to be answerable to others for our behavior. It means that we can be trusted and depended on – that our word to others, and to ourselves, is good.

Responsibility also suggests the ability to choose the way we respond to life’s events, rather than simply reacting by reflex. With responsibility as a part of our personal philosophy, our attitude is then reflected outward in our behavior toward friends and family, clients and customers, and anyone else with whom we come in contact.

Feeling responsible is a very good feeling. As a matter of fact, it’s an essential feeling if we are truly going to live up to our potential, enjoy satisfying relationships with others, and live happy, fulfilling lives.

So how do we teach our kids to be responsible? Well, the surest way is by being responsible ourselves. It also helps to explain the benefits of responsibility to them, and to give them gradually increasing responsibilities as soon as they are old enough to handle it. Praise their efforts. Let them know that you see them as responsible, and watch them grow into it.

7. FBI Update on Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Feb. 12

Today, the FBI began to process the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as a crime scene. This morning, a team of FBI Special Agent Bomb Technicians, detectives with the Oregon State Police Arson/Explosives Unit, and bomb technicians from the Portland Police Bureau and Oregon Air National Guard conducted an initial sweep of the property. A full sweep is on-going and will continue until the entire area is deemed safe for law enforcement to operate. Currently, the FBI’s Evidence Response Teams (ERT) has entered areas of the refuge and has begun to document and collect evidence related to potential crimes committed during the occupation. The FBI’s Art Crime Team has deployed to work on the refuge. These agents are specially-trained in cultural property investigations, and they will be responsible for working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Burns Paiute Tribe to identify and document damage to the tribe’s artifacts and sacred burial grounds. All of this work will likely take a number of weeks to complete. As the FBI works through each of these investigative processes, we will consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as to how and when we will be able to return control of the refuge to that agency.

Harney County Joint Information Center Update: The Harney County Joint Information Center (JIC) will continue to be staffed through Sunday, February 14, 2016. Further details will be forthcoming regarding contact information once the JIC ceases to operate.

8. Links


Zika Virus, What You Need to Know

Sherman County Court Minutes, Jan. 20


 Oregon Blue Book

The Oregon Encyclopedia

The Oregon History Project

Oregon History Wayfinder/Interactive Map

Oregon Heritage Exchange


 Melania Trump

Commentary: Sanders & Trump – Magic Sells

Sanders and Trump: Magic Sells

Oregon occupiers warn authorities of booby traps at refuge

The Largest Employer in Each State

The Largest Employer in Each State

Wintley Phipps, Gospel Singer, The Piano’s Black Keys

Dance Team – Unique Performance – Fear


Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism