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