Sherman County eNews #274


  1. An Invitation: Sherman PK-12 Grand Opening Ceremony, Oct. 18

  2. Letter to the Editor & Residents of Sherman County

  3. Conservation Assistance Available to Oregon Farmers and Ranchers

  4. Sherman County Court Explains Fiber Optic Project

 1. An Invitation: Sherman PK-12 Grand Opening Ceremony, Oct. 18

 Logo.Sherman High School


Please join us at the

PK-12 Comprehensive Facility

Grand Opening Ceremony

Celebrating our New Elementary

and Remodeled Jr./Sr. High School including:

  • The Elementary Wing
  • Remodeled Classrooms
  • Event Center Lobby
  • The James Weir Agricultural Science and Technology Center
  • The New High Tech Science Lab
  • The New Kitchen
  • Remodeled Restrooms

Date: October 18, 2016

Time: 6:00 p.m.

Where: Sherman County School

Address: 65912 High School Loop

Moro, OR 97039

We look forward to seeing you at this special ceremony!

2. Letter to the Editor & Residents of Sherman County

Over the 32 years I’ve lived here, I’ve been involved with local government and other boards that have reason to work with the Sherman County Court.  I served on the Moro City Council for nearly 16 years, the health district board and fair board.

The current election for County Commissioner is an extremely important one that deserves your consideration. I believe that the election of Joe Dabulskis will give us a solid County Court that will work for the people.

I believe that government’s role should be limited. We have seen county government expand into areas best left to private industry. From RV parks to Internet, and looking into building duplexes, it appears that there is a desire by some to do what the private sector should be driving. I believe Joe Dabulskis would do his best to hold the line on county government’s role in competing with industry.

I have seen a heavy-handed approach toward other county organizations. We should not tolerate these tactics from any elected officials. The County Court must develop an attitude of accepting decisions of other boards and committees. I believe Joe Dabulskis will bring this attitude to the county court.

County commissioners need to be above the appearance of ethical impropriety. Joe Dabulskis will bring high ethical standards to this position.

Possibly the most important quality the person in this role needs to have is a “heart” for Sherman County. County commissioners must serve the ENTIRE county. This is not a position for one to build for political clout. We need a person who has invested in the community, understands the community, and is a part of the community. I have never expected to agree with anyone 100%, but if I believe that they are acting for the good of the whole community then, agree or disagree, I can support the individual. Joe Dabulskis brings all of these things to the table.

Joe is a family man and has been farming for all the years I’ve known him. He and his wife Jeanie raised three very respectful, hard-working kids that I had the pleasure of working with in the 4-H program. I believe you teach hard work and respect by living it.

Joe is honest, intelligent and open-minded, and will bring much needed new ideas. I am certain that he will bring strong character traits to the role of County Commissioner.

I strongly encourage everyone to vote for Joe Dabulskis for Sherman County Commissioner. He’s a man with a heart for Sherman County and its citizens.

Bert Perisho


 3. Conservation Assistance Available to Oregon Farmers and Ranchers

autumn.treesbareApply for funding by Nov. 18 with the Natural Resources Conservation Service

PORTLAND, Ore. – (Oct. 17, 2016) — Attention Oregon agricultural producers: Have you ever looked across your farmland, rangeland or forestland and thought about some changes you would like to make? For example, saving water through more efficient irrigation systems, enhancing wildlife habitat, installing a high tunnel, or reducing the risk of catastrophic forest fire?

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has funding available to help Oregon farmers, ranchers and family forest owners improve the health and vigor of their land through voluntary conservation.


The funding is available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). NRCS offers EQIP funding every year, with several “cut-off” application deadlines throughout the year.

The first EQIP application deadline for 2017 funding is Nov. 18, 2016. EQIP works similar to a rebate. The producer pays for the costs up-front to install conservation practices, then NRCS certifies the completed work and issues a payment. Producer and land eligibility criteria apply. To learn more, visit the Oregon EQIP webpage.

Oregon EQIP funds are available to producers within targeted areas in each county to address priority natural resource concerns. These targeted areas are identified each year by partners and landowners through a locally-led strategic planning process. Learn more about NRCS Oregon’s Strategic Approach to Conservation on the NRCS Oregon website at

To find out what kinds of EQIP funding opportunities are available in your county, contact your local USDA Service Center or visit the Oregon NRCS website. Find a list of Oregon USDA Service Centers by clicking on the “Contact Us” tab.

In fiscal year 2016, NRCS awarded $20.4 million in EQIP financial assistance to help Oregon agricultural producers implement conservation on more than 170,000 acres of private farms, ranches and woodlands. 

4. Sherman County Court Explains Fiber Optic Project

Recently, there have been articles in the local news discussing Frontier TeleNet (FTN) and Sherman County’s fiber optic project. These issues are as important as they are complex, and the Sherman County Court hopes to answer some of the questions that have been raised.

FTN has served Sherman, Gilliam, and Wheeler counties for over 15 years. It is an entity created by the three counties in order to provide Emergency Services communications for all police, fire, ambulance, and 911 radio and Internet needs. At the time of its creation, no other entity would or could provide these services, so FTN built a system through grants and user fees to meet this need. At the same time FTN was building the system, it also recognized the need to provide high-speed Internet to the schools and residents in our highly rural and greatly underserved area. No other provider would make Internet service available to everyone, so FTN met that challenge and has been a provider of Broadband/Internet ever since. FTN sells Broadband to multiple Internet providers and many schools in the three counties, making it possible to have choices about Internet where once there were none.

The need for fast and reliable Internet has grown exponentially over the last few years, so Sherman County attempted to negotiate with other providers to meet that need. Since no providers would build the infrastructure needed for better service, the court planned and funded a fiber project, managed by FTN, to significantly improve the speed of our Internet system. The new fiber line will be open to any Internet provider so better service and choice will be available in our counties. It also serves a critical role in our emergency communications and creates the opportunity for a back-up 911 center in Sherman County. Without this project, that opportunity would not exist.

The fiber project was openly discussed, planned, and saved for over the last three years. Updates on the progress have been reported at many court meetings in the last several years. The State of Oregon recognized the good work of the county and awarded a grant in the amount of $820,000.00 to help expand the project.

As for the future of FTN, the board recognizes the need to expand usage of the system and to allow for as many users as possible so FTN will continue to be self-funding and of no cost to its member counties.

The court is proud of the accomplishments of FTN and would like every citizen to understand how valuable this entity has been in serving the needs of our area when no other provider would. Thanks to the creation of FTN, we have something that few rural areas have: an open, available, and enviable Emergency Services radio and Broadband network.

More information about Sherman County fiber will be coming through future communications.

~ Sherman County Court



Sherman County eNews #273


  1. NOTICE: Sherman, Gilliam & Wheeler County Courts, Oct. 27
  2. Program: Geologic Wonders of the National Parks, Nov. 4
  3. Registration for Mid-Columbia Health Foundation Festival of Trees, Dec. 2
  4. Editorial: Let’s Ask Our County Commissioner Candidates
  5. Town Hall Event Thursday Oct. 20th at the Grass Valley Pavilion at 7:00 PM
  6. OSU College of Agricultural Sciences Diamond Pioneers Awards
  7. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

 “Football: A sport that bears the same relation to education that bullfighting does to agriculture.”  ― Elbert Hubbard

1. NOTICE: Sherman, Gilliam & Wheeler County Courts, Oct. 27

The Sherman County Court will meet in special session with Gilliam and Wheeler County Courts on Thursday, October 27, 2016, 10:00 a.m. at the Sherman County Extension Office in Moro, Oregon. Topics for discussion include a Public Health Modernization presentation, a Four Rivers Early Learning Hub update, Association of Oregon Counties/Oregon Association of County Engineers and Surveyors Proposal for Distribution of New State Transportation Revenue, Philippi Park grant funding, and a Frontier TeleNet update.

2. Program: Geologic Wonders of the National Parks, Nov. 4

Join Steve Carlson for an informative program about the underlying geologic wonders of our volcanic National Parks, Friday, November 4. A pork tenderloin dinner begins at 6 p.m., followed by the 7 p.m. program at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, Oregon. Tickets for the dinner and program are $20, the program only is $5. Please make reservations by November 2 by calling 541-296-8600 ext. 201. For more information, visit

3. Registration for Mid-Columbia Health Foundation Festival of Trees, Dec. 2

tree.evergreenTree decorator registration for Festival of Trees is now open.  The Festival of Trees, hosted by the Mid-Columbia Health Foundation will take place at The Dalles Civic Auditorium the first Friday in December. Again this year, Columbia Bank has stepped up as Presenting Sponsor for the event, with Fred Meyer sponsoring Community Day. 

 Festival of Trees consists of a live tree auction and silent auction on Friday, December 2nd with doors opening at 6:00 PM. “For a lot of people in this community Festival of Trees is an indication that the holiday season has begun,” said Celeste Hill-Thomas, executive director of the Mid-Columbia Health Foundation.  “It’s an evening for people to dress up in their holiday best and come together for a good cause.”  The live auction begins at 7:00 PM and features 30+ decorated Christmas trees that have been donated for the event.  Businesses, organizations and people interested in participating are encouraged to sign up early to secure their spot.  “We’ve got trees signed up already,” said Hill-Thomas, “and it’s only October!”  Each tree comes fully decorated in many different themes and in an assortment of sizes.  There is no cost to donate a tree, but tickets to attend the auction are $10 per person, which contributes to the event total.  Tickets can be purchased ahead of time online or at the door the night of the event. 

Items in the silent auction range from group activities or parties, traditional holiday decorations and themed gift baskets. The Friday evening portion of the Festival of Trees is a 21 and over event however, Community Day is free and open to people of all ages from 9:00 AM to noon on Saturday, December 3rd.  Santa attends Community Day every year and will be on site for photos with the little ones as a fundraiser for the Kiwanis Children’s Reading Program.

Proceeds from Festival of Trees benefit the Level the Playing Field Project, Celilo Cancer Center Fund and the Breast Health for Strong Families Program.  To donate a tree for this event download a form from   For more information on Festival of Trees please contact the Mid-Columbia Health Foundation, call 541-296-7275, email or find us on the web at

4. Editorial: Let’s Ask Our County Commissioner Candidates

pen.markerIn case you missed it… from Sherman County eNews #248

 A menu of questions to ask the candidates:

As Election Day nears, we have some questions for the candidates for the position of County Commissioner. We’re sure you do, too.

We support a candidate who is ethical and transparent … a team player with an eagerness to learn and a broad range of interests … top qualities for a candidate!

Before we vote, let’s ask! It’s our responsibility to know what the candidates hope to accomplish on our behalf or what the candidate has accomplished and plans to accomplish.

Here’s what we’d like to know. 

 Let’s ask the candidates!

  • Please tell us about yourself, your education, military service, work experience and family.
  • What inspired you to run for office?
  • How have you and your family participated in county activities, events and organizations?

We’re interested in the County’s goals and long-range plans.

  • What are the county’s public service obligations?
  • What are the county’s top three or four goals?
  • Is county government, as currently funded and staffed, sustainable?
  • How many people are employed by Sherman County?


The County has been fairly transparent in planning the new building next to the courthouse next year. We appreciate the information in the county newsletter.

  • How will this be funded? Are these local or state dollars or both?


The Wasco school building is owned by Sherman County.

  • What are your thoughts about its future?


We recognize the need for workforce housing. The County purchased housing lots in Wasco about 2011. We’re concerned about government competing with private enterprise.

  • What does the county plan to do with them?
  • Does the county own housing lots in the other towns?


What is your position about government competition with private enterprise?

  • Does the county compete with private entities for weed control?
  • For Internet services?
  • Housing?


Philippi Park on the Gilliam County side of the John Day River is in the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Access is by boat.

  • What are your thoughts about Sherman County’s support for Philippi Park?
  • How much money has the County provided?
  • Is that sustainable?
  • What are the results?


Giles French Park below the John Day Dam is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • How much money did the County spend while considering the management of this park?
  • What was decided and why?


According to a newspaper account, Commissioner Smith has an “enormous amount of projects” that he hasn’t finished.

  • What are they?
  • Are these projects already approved and funded?


The County has not been transparent in the development of the fiber optic telecommunications system. 

  • What is the Fiber Project?
  • When did the County Court decide to develop the fiber project?
  • What are the county’s plans?
  • Will additional employees be required for the fiber project?
  • Is there a map of the project?
  • How is it funded?
  • Strategic Investment Program (SIP) dollars (county) and/or State?
  • How much has been spent so far?
  • Are additional funds needed?
  • Is the work proceeding on schedule?
  • Is the Fiber Project comparable to the government building a road or highway that everyone can drive on?
  • Will this project serve everyone in the county? If so, how?
  • What, specifically, is in it for me?
  • Who owns the fiber?
  • Who owns the system?
  • Who will manage it?
  • Who will maintain it?
  • What will it cost to purchase fiber to distribute?
  • Who will provide services?
  • Will fiber use be competitive?
  • Is it a monopoly?
  • Is the school district connected?


How is our County Internet Network doing?

  • What is Rural Technology Group?
  • How many Sherman County residents subscribe to Rural Technology Group for Internet service?
  • How did Rural Technology Group win the Internet Services Provider?
  • How is that working out?


Sherman County is served by a 911 Dispatch Center in Condon, a successful collaborative tri-county project.

  • Who proposed a backup 911 call center in Sherman County? Why?
  • Who would pay for it?


Please briefly describe the Strategic Investment Program (SIP) wind energy dollars and changes we can expect in future funding for Sherman County.

5. Town Hall Event Thursday Oct. 20th at the Grass Valley Pavilion at 7:00 PM

Town Hall events with Commissioner Mike Smith were recently held in Wasco, Moro and Rufus. Mike wants to be sure to reach out to as many people as possible so another event will be held this Thursday in Grass Valley. All are welcome to come to discuss current Sherman County projects, future opportunities and to ask questions.
Refreshments will be provided.

6. OSU College of Agricultural Sciences Diamond Pioneers Awards

The College of Agricultural Sciences honors people whose lifetime contributions to agriculture, natural resources, and the people of Oregon and/or Oregon State University have been significant.

The honor includes recognition by the University at a luncheon where award recipients receive a certificate and a lapel pin.  They become permanent members of the Diamond Pioneer Agricultural Achievement Registry in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

2016 Recipients

  • Roy Arnold, Corvallis, OR
  • Bob Bailey, The Dalles, OR
  • Ralph Berry, Sun River, OR
  • Gordon Cook, Hood River, OR
  • Jimmie Crane, Keizer, OR
  • John Cuthbert, La Grande, OR
  • Deanna Dyksterhuis, Newport, OR
  • Oscar Gutbrod, Corvallis, OR
  • LaRea Johnston, Corvallis, OR
  • Sherry Kaseberg, Wasco, OR
  • Mike Kortge, The Dalles, OR
  • Dick McDaniel, La Grande, OR
  • Jean McKinney, Wasco, OR
  • Stan Miles, Corvallis, OR
  • Dallice Mills, Corvallis, OR
  • Al Mosley, Corvallis, OR
  • Jean Natter, Portland, OR
  • Dave Nelson, Turner, OR
  • Mary Powelson, Corvallis, OR
  • Paul Schanno, Dufur, OR
  • Ed Stastny, Malin, OR
  • Nancy Thornton, Yamhill, OR

Sherman County’s OSU Ag Diamond Pioneers: Paul Alley, Art Buether, Chet Coats, John Hilderbrand, Henry Jaeger, Larry Kaseberg, Lee Kaseberg, Marguerite Kaseberg, Paulen Kaseberg, Rex Kaseberg, Sherry Kaseberg, Jean McKinney, Vernon Miller, Verne Mobley, Joe Peters, Willard Rolfe, Orville Ruggles, John Shipley, Catherine Thomas, Dewey Thomas, Don Thompson, Arthur Van Gilder, Marjorie Van Gilder.

Sherman County’s OSU Agricultural Hall of Fame Award Recipients: Larry and Sherry Kaseberg 2004, Tom McCoy 2013.

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

bird.owl.limbColumbia Gorge Ice Age Floods

How The Population of North America Fits Into Europe

California condors: Chick born in wild flies from nest at Pinnacles National Park for first time in a century

City of Lompoc, Flag of Flowers

 Defense News, Early Bird Briefs

 Institute for the Study of War – Russia Advances its Integrated Air Defense System in Syria