Sherman County eNews #226


  1. Genealogists! Open Forum for Improving Research Skills, Sept. 7

  2. Oregon Poet Laureate advising Celilo Park project

  3. Criticism: Not Always a Help

  4. Corrected: Sherman County Jobs Club

  5. Commentary. The Differences: Republican and Democratic Party Platforms 

1. Genealogists! Open Forum for Improving Research Skills, Sept. 7

glassesThe Columbia Gorge Genealogical Society is sponsoring an open forum research day at the Lyle Community Center on September 7, 2016 at 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

This is open to anyone wanting to improve their research skills or need help with their research. You do not have to be a member of CGGS. This free event is open to the public. Questions?  Georga Foster, Publicity Chairman, 541-296-2882.

2. Corrected: Sherman County Jobs Club Meeting Location

Sherman County Job Classes flyer FALL.jpg

3. Oregon Poet Laureate advising Celilo Park project

fish1Oregon’s Poet Laureate, Elizabeth Woody, will be working with an advisory group to develop interpretive elements at a project planned at Celilo Park, east of The Dalles.

Confluence, an art and education nonprofit, has been meeting with an advisory committee of native elders and cultural experts to gather stories and histories about Celilo Falls. The group has also been gathering stories through individual interviews with elders along the Columbia River.

Woody is a critically acclaimed artist, speaker and educator. She has published poetry, short fiction, essays and is a visual artist. She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon. Her poetry reflects her close ties with her family, the natural world, and her people, a group she portrays with humanity, dignity and sympathy.

One of Woody ’s essays about Celilo Falls is available for reading at

4. Criticism: Not Always a Help

Do you like being criticized? Does it make you feel like changing to accommodate your critic? In most situations, your answer is probably, “No!” And you are likely to want to spend the rest of the day hiding from the world, nursing hurt feelings.

Let’s take a closer look at this sensitive subject. Negative criticism is almost always a mistake. Not too many people like being criticized. It brings you down, makes you feel angry and resentful, and rarely provides any opportunity to learn and grow. The effect on a team, department or organizational culture can be paralyzing.

Constructive feedback is a horse of a different color. There is no sting in it, because it is not about your deficient character and it doesn’t come at you like an attack. It is designed to give you valuable information and it assumes you care about doing and being better.

So what is the difference between constructive feedback and criticism? Well, it is the difference between saying, “You never help around the house because you are a slob and you just don’t care,” and saying, “When you forget to help with the housework, I feel overworked and taken for granted.”

Can you see the difference? The first statement attacks character and sounds like it is coming from a victim. The second states the facts and shares information about feelings without making the other person a villain. All it takes to become an expert in constructive feedback is practice and a willingness to give up judgment and blame.

It also helps to remember what your goal is. If you want more conflict, more drama and personal and organizational destruction, go ahead and blame. But if you want positive action, learn to give constructive feedback instead. ~ The Pacific Institute

 5. Commentary. The Differences: Republican and Democratic Party Platforms 

Email: , Senate District 28

Both the Democrat and Republican parties adopted their platforms during conventions held earlier this summer. Those platforms reveal a great deal regarding the agendas and priorities of each political party. They represent a roadmap of how each party plans to govern if they are elected.

flag.starsThe Republican Party Platform is a 66-page document encompassing several areas of both foreign and domestic policy. Its Preamble’s first line states: “We believe in American exceptionalism.” It is dedicated to members of the U.S. military, law enforcement, first responders and their families.

Other principles embraced in the preamble include the belief the United States Constitution is our enduring covenant rather than a flexible, living document. The qualities of limited government and the separation of powers are specifically enumerated, as well as the recognition that our people are better stewards of natural resources than our government.

The Platform describes the belief that our nation has been led in the wrong direction for the past eight years. It cites salient examples including the doubling of the national debt, ongoing refusals to control our borders, continued attacks on domestic energy production, stagnant wages for private sector workers, and the dismantling of our health care system. President Obama is chastised for “regulating to death a free market economy that he does not like and does not understand.”

The first section of the Platform is entitled “Restoring the American Dream.” Its central premise is that “government cannot create prosperity.” However, government can, and often does, limit or destroy private wealth.

The section rejects the idea that we should accept the “new normal” of a slow-growing economy. It points out that Obama is poised to be the first modern president to leave office without even one calendar year of three percent economic growth.

Moreover, the number of Americans living in poverty has increased by seven million during his term in office. At 63 percent, the labor force participation rate is at its lowest level since the Carter administration. For the first time since World War II, business closures are exceeding business startups. Business investment has been in negative territory for the past seven quarters.

Suggested solutions to the Obama morass include the development of a simplified, pro-growth tax code. The plan would reduce corporate tax rates while creating incentives for investment and innovation as a “moral imperative.” It would close multiple tax-avoidance loopholes and curb corporate welfare. It calls for better negotiated trade agreements that put Americans first and encourages more home ownership.

Another section emphasizes the use of technology to build the future. The Republican Party is committed to data privacy, the protection of intellectual property, facilitation of access to high-speed broadband and the competition for internet services. It seeks to expedite citing processes to accelerate the expansion of the electrical grid.

Other proposals to spur economic development include the reduction of occupational licensing, annual audits bringing transparency and accountability for the Federal Reserve, establishing a commission to investigate ways to set a fixed value for the dollar, encouraging employee stock ownership plans, streamlining federal personnel procedures and realigning federal employee compensation with the standards of most American employees, reviewing the unionization of the federal workforce, establishing caps on future debt and requiring that major new federal regulations be approved by Congress.

A significant portion of the Republican Party platform is included in a section entitled “A Rebirth of Constitutional Government.”

The Party proposes to protect religious liberty through the passage of a First Amendment Defense Act. It further protects the political speech of advocacy groups, corporations and labor unions by calling for the repeal of federal restrictions on political parties and limits on political contributions.

The Platform aims to uphold and strengthen the Second Amendment by stating support for firearm reciprocity and constitutional carry. Conversely, it condemns frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers and opposes the federal licensing or registration of gun owners, the registration of ammunition and the restoration of the Clinton gun ban.

Fourth Amendment issues are addressed through calls to limit aerial surveillance on U.S. soil, other than for enforcement of our sovereign borders. Republicans oppose the use of tracking devices on cars and encourage the reformation of civil asset forfeiture policies.

A section entitled “America’s Natural Resources: Agriculture, Energy and the Environment” makes up approximately six pages of the Platform.

The Party is calling for expanded trade opportunities and the opening of new markets for U.S. agricultural products. It demands food and health regulations must be based upon reproducible science-based standards.

The section upholds ranching on federal land and promotes the active, sustainable harvest, multi-use management of our federal forests. The Platform specifically recognizes the states can perform those functions better than the federal government.

Energy-related proposals include supporting the construction of the Keystone Pipeline and opening public lands, as well as the outer continental shelf, to energy exploration and development. It advocates for transferring authority to state regulators to manage energy resources on federal lands within their borders, expediting the permitting process for mineral production on public lands and developing all forms of energy without government subsidies using private capital.

The Republican Party platform urges the transfer of federal lands to willing states. Most environmental regulation authority would be transferred to the states. Federal rulemaking would be limited and accompanied by a requirement that citizens be compensated for regulatory takings. Private sector development of carbon capture and sequestration technology would be encouraged. The expected result would be increased domestic energy production.

The Platform calls for abolishing the Obama administration’s controversial Clean Power Plan, forbidding the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon dioxide and opposing a carbon tax. It also calls for the rejection of the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement agendas, as well prohibiting further U.S. funding for the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The Equal Access to Justice Act would be reformed to cap and disclose payments made to environmental activist organizations. The “sue and settle” system of legal extortion used by certain environmental groups would be ended.

The 1906 Antiquities Act would be amended to establish Congress’ right to approve the designation of national monuments. It would further require the approval of the state where a monument is to be designated or a national park is proposed.

“Government Reform” comprises eight pages of the Republican Party Platform. Proposals include a Constitutional requirement for a balanced federal budget, as well as a Balanced Budget Amendment that imposes a cap limiting spending to the appropriate historical average percentage of Gross Domestic Product. It proposes a supermajority requirement for any tax increase, except in instances of war or legitimate emergencies.

This section also addresses issues surrounding immigration policies. It includes support for making English the nation’s official language, making sanctuary cities ineligible for federal funding, establishing a mandatory minimum of five years in prison for illegals who re-enter the country after being deported, reforming the current guest worker program and making e-verify mandatory nationwide.

Also proposed are audits for the Pentagon and Department of Defense, term limits for members of Congress and the reinstatement of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act regulating the banking and securities industry.

Health care issues are addressed in the Platform’s next section. The Party is calling for the repeal of Obama Care, the promotion of price transparency in the health care industry, the encouragement of individuals and small businesses to form insurance purchasing pools and amending outdated laws to allow consumers to buy insurance across state lines. The Platform also promotes health savings accounts and reimbursement accounts.

The Party recognizes the only hope for public education is to introduce more competition into the current monopolized system. It aims to bolster Americans’ choices by promoting education savings accounts, education vouchers and education tuition tax credits.

The platform’s final section, entitled “America Resurgent,” discusses foreign policy and national defense. It includes the Party’s support for Israel, resolve for maintaining and increasing sanctions against Russia until the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukraine are restored, and calling for our allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to make greater investments in their armed forces. Republicans oppose the reinstatement of a military draft.

flag.starsThe 55-page Democratic Party Platform lists a significantly contrasting set of national priorities. It contains many promises of increased spending on myriad government programs. However, it provides scant detail on how to pay for them other than the familiar rhetoric about corporations paying their “fair share.” What is a fair corporate share and how much revenue it will raise is a figure which is never actually defined.

Salient priorities for the national Democratic Party include overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s free speech decision in Citizens United, removing the Confederate flag from public properties and closing the “racial wealth gap.”

Included is a call to reaffirm our commitment to develop a national strategy to eliminating poverty. Democrats first responded to that call with President Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 “Great Society.” The multiple layers of Democrat programs created by that effort have perpetuated, expanded and institutionalized poor minorities for more than half a century. One important reason for the programs’ failures is that much of the money allocated for them is used to pay the government employees who oversee and deliver the services.

The Democrat Platform states that we should “secure environmental justice” and combat “environmental racism.” It expresses support for the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement, the Clean Power Plan and Obama’s continued rejection of the Keystone Pipeline.

One stated goal is obtaining half of the nation’s electricity from clean energy sources within a decade, powering the government with 100 percent clean energy and making the U.S. the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. They would purportedly accomplish these goals by incentivizing wind and solar power over the development of new natural gas, by increasing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and by taxing carbon dioxide emissions.

Democrats are also calling for a Department of Justice investigation of “corporate fraud” by fossil fuel companies for supposedly misleading shareholders on the “scientific reality” of climate change. There is no mention of the need for similar investigations into the kind of green energy cronyism and corruption that has plagued Oregon and other states for the last several years.

The Democratic Party platform includes a plank guaranteeing good schools for every child. It does not address how public education outcomes have progressively worsened by virtually every objective indicator, despite the seemingly endless amounts of money spent to improve those outcomes.

The Platform states the Democrat pride in being the party responsible for enacting the Affordable Care Act. It goes on to describe health care as a right rather than a privilege and includes support for securing universal health care for all, as well as support for the public option. The growing lack of access to medical care and the runaway costs of medical insurance under the ACA are not addressed.

Another Democrat Party Platform pledge is to “tackle the epidemic of gun violence” by revoking legal immunity protections for gun makers and sellers, expanding background checks, eliminating background check  “loopholes” and taking “weapons of war” off of our streets.

Another section of the Platform is devoted to foreign policy. It praises Obama for blocking Iran’s ability to pursue nuclear weapons and claims he “crippled al Qaeda’s core leadership.” It states a devotion to ending the rule of Assad in Syria, pledges to close Guantanamo Bay and supports a two-nation solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The obvious contrast between the parties is spelled out in their platforms. Voters would be wise to educate themselves on those differences when considering which candidates to support in November’s general election.



Sherman County eNews #225


  1. Notice: Sherman County Fair Board Meeting Postponed

  2. Strengthening Families in Sherman County

  3. The Dalles Art Center Offers New Classes in September & October

  4. American Pickers to Film in Oregon

  5. Enhancing Your Child’s Brain Development

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

 Always stay curious. Curiosity instills creativity. ~ Aerin Lauder

 1. Notice: Sherman County Fair Board Meeting Postponed

The Sherman County Fair Board regular board meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 1st has been postponed.

2. Strengthening Families in Sherman County

Strenghtening Families MOROfinal812016 (Read-Only)_Page_1

 Strengthening Families sessions

3. The Dalles Art Center Offers New Classes in September & October

paint.brushesAs summer winds down in the gorge, The Dalles Art Center is gearing up for all of the spectacular adult art classes that it will be offering this fall. During the months of September and October, they have three special classes lined up with three different well known masters of three different mediums: Pastels, Watercolors, and Ceramics.

Karen Watson, an accomplished pastel artist who has artwork in galleries all over the Northwest and was a participant in the 2016 Gorge Artist Open Studio Tour, is offering a 2-Day Pastel Painting Workshop for beginners with us on September 10 & 11 from 10 – 4pm at The Dalles Art Center. Karen will work with you and a large variety of soft pastels on toned sandpaper during this two-day, comprehensive pastel class at The Dalles Art Center. Karen will do live demos for the class and favor loose and bold application of strokes and color with you. After class, you will leave with a completed work, and the foundational knowledge required to create fresh and exciting pieces of artwork from pastel on your own. The tooth of the paper that Karen will supply you with during class  allows for several layers of pastel that lends artwork a more painterly feeling. If you don’t already have one, The Dalles Art Center has a limited number of pastel starter sets available for purchase that will be perfect for this class.

On Wednesdays in September, Gayle Weisfield will be offering an Intermediate Watercolor Class for four weeks at The Dalles Art Center. Gayle is an internationally acclaimed and award winning artist who is devoted to The Dalles Art Center and our mission to encourage a love and knowledge of the arts within the community. During this special class, Gayle will be showing us some of the new techniques that she recently has discovered throughout her recent travels and art explorations. She will help us get out of our painting doldrums and get us motivated. There are four classes in this series, and each day will offer a different project and demos which you will finish in class and take home with you afterward. Note: this fee comes to only $30 a class. Even if you miss one class it is still a deal!

And starting Thursday October 13th, internationally recognized mosaic artist, Toms Royal, will be teaching a Custom Cut Ceramic Tile Mosaic Class that continues every Thursday for the next five weeks from 1 – 5pm at The Dalles Art Center. As our most popular class, this special opportunity always fills up quickly. During this class you will start with a 15lbs. slab of clay and use it to express yourself using the unique shape and color theories that Toms uses as a guide to teaching. By the end of this 5-week process, Toms will have encouraged you to dig deeply into your creative side — whether you are used to tapping into this part of yourself or not — and you will get to go home with a ready-to-hang, handmade piece of beautiful artwork. This means this class naturally lends itself to all levels of skill, there is no need to be shy if you are a beginner or don’t consider yourself much of an artist.

If you are interested in signing up for any of these classes, please call or email The Dalles Art Center as soon as possible, because there is limited space available. If you are unable to take one of these sessions but are still interested in being waitlisted for a possible class in the future, call us and let us know. 541.296.4759

4. American Pickers to Film in Oregon

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Oregon! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region this summer.

AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them. AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: or call 855-old-rust.

5. Enhancing Your Child’s Brain Development

Believe it or not, in a world that seems to be getting more and more complicated, there are a few easy ways to help enhance your child’s development, and they can make a world of difference down the line. Our thanks to Harris Publications’ “The Brain – The Ultimate Guide” for the following information.

Experience has been proven, time and time again, to be the most important element in developing a strong, healthy brain. Even before we are born, we are learning about sounds, temperature and balance. Once we enter the world, our brains are taking in everything – whether we can immediately make sense of it or not. It is experience that begins filling up our knowledge bank. Each of the following enhances your child’s brain development, from infancy to the teen years:

  • Access to a stimulating environment: books, toys that teach letters and numbers, museums and libraries. It’s the experience that solidifies the learning.
  • Something as simple as a hug from a nurturing parent diffuses tension and stress, and bolsters brain circuits involved in emotional regulation, impulse control and decision making.
  • Talking and reading to your child, from an early age, promotes learning and brain growth, and builds strong language skills; it also bolsters your relationship with your child, which will come in handy during the teen years.
  • Music lessons: Yes, music lessons. They weren’t kidding when they said that Mozart makes you smart. Music allows the brain to map sounds to neural pathways involved in muscle movement, as well as promoting focus, awareness and academic performance.
  • Play time – studies show that children learn best through self-directed play. It helps them develop and exercise vital brain circuits, as well as learning how to “play well in the sandbox” with others.
  • Allow your child to take some risks. This flies in the face of the need to protect our children, but a little risk-taking promotes learning new things, as well as reinforcing brain circuits for motor control, regulating emotions and making decision.

Many of these suggestions are going to be familiar to you. Some have been second-nature to parents for a long time. It’s just that neuro-science is now proving that what we’ve intuitively known is the right path to take.  ~ The Pacific Institute

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


Measure 97: A TAX, ON A TAX, ON A TAX . . .

Unintended Consequence of Measure 97 Could Send $100 Million A Year to Transportation

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. ~ John F. Kennedy.

The Historic Columbia River Highway – Join the mailing list!

Water. Draining Oregon: What can we do about over-pumping? 

The Spectrum Auction: How Economists Saved the Day

The Battle for America’s Mind

chicken.familyHow Chicken Conquered the American Dinner Plate

Judicial Watch. Because no one is above the law.

Chairman Chaffetz Opener – Criminal Aliens Released by the Department of Homeland Security 4/28/2016 – 3½ minutes. This is staggering. Absolutely unbelievable. And it gets NO press.

All I Needed to Know About Memory