Sherman County eNews #14


  1. Tri-County courts hear reports on regional health care, youth programs, veterans and fiber

  2. It’s That Personal Accountability Thing

  3. Presidential Inauguration January 20, 2017

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

WEATHER ALERT. National Weather Service (NWS)  forecasts an ice accumulation in the Gorge of 1/2 to 2 inches, starting with Tuesday morning’s commute, extending through Wednesday afternoon.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The time is always ripe to do right.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1. Tri-County courts hear reports on regional health care, youth programs, veterans and fiber 

Published by The Times-Journal on January 12, 2017 & posted by permission.

“When the judges and county commissioners of Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler counties met for a quarterly meeting Oct. 27 at Moro, they continued the discussion of common associations, including public health, the Four Rivers Early Learning Hub, veteran services, transportation issues, Philippi Park, the ‘fiber build’ and other matters of common interest.

“Representing Gilliam County at the table were Judge Steve Shaffer and Commissioner Mike Weimar; representing Sherman County were Judge Gary Thompson and Commissioners Tom McCoy and Mike Smith; and representing Wheeler County were Judge Lynn Morley and newly-appointed Commissioner Debbie Starkey, who was attending her first Tri-County Court meeting.

“Public Health Reform was the subject addressed by several people, including Kathleen Johnson, program manager for the Coalition of Local Health Officials in Salem, Terri Talhofer, executive director of the North Central Public Health District in The Dalles and Karen Woods of Asher Community Health Center in Fossil. All Public Health Districts have been mandated by the legislature to develop a modernization plan by 2023, and details of the process were outlined by the presenters. The bottom line in the matter, according to Talhofer, is that public health has been left out of the conversation and that very little investment has been made by the state in public health delivery. The ultimate goal, according to Johnson, is to “make Oregon a healthier place to live.”

“Also making a presentation at the Tri- County Court meeting were Christa Rude, coordinator of the Four Rivers Early Learning Hub; and Bryan Hunt, Tri-County Veteran Services Officer.

“Additional topics of discussion for informational purposes included a request for assistance from the OPAL Foundation, the volunteer group which has worked with the Corps of Engineers to re-open Philippi Park, some four miles from the mouth of the John Day River; transportation issues that will affect funding for local and regional road work and that should be addressed by contacting state legislators.

“The discussion went to the fiber optic systems that are in progress and that are proposed throughout the three-county area. Judge Shaffer indicated that Frontier TeleNet was still waiting for responses to the request for quotes Frontier TeleNet had sent out earlier. Judge Thompson noted that the original intent of installing fiber lines was “for the purposes of emergency services and 911, period, not for fiber to homes or cities. Our fiber is for emergency use to the digital switch,” he said, “to directly connect fiber from the digital switch to the 911 center at Condon.”   “We’ve gone sideways,” Judge Thompson said, with Condon’s discussion of getting fiber to homes and businesses.

“Discussion revolved around the ownership of the digital switch, which is located in a bunker at Erskine, between Moro and Grass Valley. It was ultimately agreed that the digital switch, which is a crucial juncture in receiving and splitting off fiber cabling, belongs to Frontier TeleNet, which is the ORS 190 entity made up originally by the partnership of Gilliam, Wheeler and Sherman counties, and the North Central Education Service District.

“According to then county commissioner Mike Smith, the switch was located in Sherman County for logistical purposes, the site was well fortified and it lent well to the notion that a back-up call center could be established in Sherman County. Though that notion has not generally been agreed upon at any public meetings, Smith indicated that Sherman County “is setting aside the dollars for a back-up center.”

“The discussion meandered considerably, but statements made included:

Judge Shaffer: “Is Frontier TeleNet to provide fiber to the people of Condon? No.”

Mike Smith: “The switch was supposed to be ‘lit up’ last week.”

Judge Shaffer: “The air base – the hub of the wireless system – is the hang up.”

Brad Lohrey: “Frontier TeleNet is vital to the three counties. The 911 center at Condon owns no equipment outside the center, Frontier TeleNet owns the towers and equipment. The fiber to Condon is important. If the three counties don’t get on the same page, someone else will come in and take it all away. The public owns the entire system; having a private entity in the middle of it all is a scary proposition.”

“Mike Smith: “The fiber currently in Condon is 25 years old; that’s end of life for fiber.”

Judge Shaffer: “The state is looking at cutting it (the number of 911 call centers) back to five centers in the state,” (although this has been refuted by state 911 officials.)

Commissioner Starkey: “Where does Wheeler County fit in?”

Judge Morley: “It’s all about emergency services.”

Judge Shaffer: “Paying for infrastructure comes from the sale of broadband to schools.”

Commissioner Weimar: “Who owns the fiber?”

Mike Smith: “FrontierTeleNet owns the fiber.”

Commissioner McCoy: “Frontier TeleNet doesn’t actually own the fiber, Windwave owns the fiber.”

Mike Smith: “Sherman County has 10 gbps of fiber usage.”

Commissioner McCoy: “It’s (fiber) critical to our county. We can’t have economic development without it.”

“The courts from the three counties will meet again Wednesday, Jan. 25, at the Jeanne Burch Bldg. in Fossil, at 10 a.m., followed by a meeting of the Frontier TeleNet directors, the judges of the three county courts, at 2 p.m. and a meeting of the Frontier Digital Network directors at 3:30 p.m. All of the meetings will be held at the Jeanne Burch Building in Fossil and all are open to the public.”

2. It’s That Personal Accountability Thing

We’ve talked a lot about mindsets, attitudes and beliefs these past few days. You should have been able to draw connections to how you are viewing the continuing stream of news as well as how you view your current situation. There is another piece to address: personal accountability.

The last decade saw many of the institutions we thought of as being “solid” and “well-managed” collapsing under the weight of some less-than-effective decision making. A lot of people lost a lot of money, and saw their retirement nest eggs shrink, if not disappear altogether. People lost their jobs, and while the employment news has been encouraging, some are still out of work. There has been a fair amount of finger-pointing and laying of blame, as well as a reluctance to accept responsibility for those decisions – on both sides of the coin, so to speak.

Should banks and lending institutions have offered unsecured loans, based on a real estate market boom that had nearly run its course? Probably not. Should individuals have taken out those loans, based on the hope that property values would continue to rise, knowing that they did not have the means to repay the loans? Probably not.

Lou (Tice) would often be challenged with, “You are always encouraging us to dream, and to dream big. Have you changed your mind?” His answer? Definitely not. We all need dreams, because we do move toward and become like what we think about. And, those dreams need to be turned into goals to achieve. But we also need to remember that sometimes, the answer is, “No . . . for now.” In the example above, the goal of owning your own home is a noble goal, and one worthy of achieving. Just remember that some goals take a little longer to achieve.

The old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” has become, “If at first you don’t succeed, fix the blame fast.” Until each of us takes accountability for our own decisions, we labor under the weight of blame and pessimism. We effectively deny ourselves the freedom to move forward, and that has no place in a world with challenges to solve. ~ The Pacific Institute

3. Presidential Inauguration January 20, 2017

American flag2The peaceful transfer of power that has occurred on every U.S. Inauguration Day is a hallmark of our country’s democracy. 

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”


Following the swearing-in ceremony, the parade will follow the President and Vice President from the Capitol to the White House. The parade is a favorite tradition for families and supporters from all over the country to see our nation’s new President, Vice President and their families make their way down Pennsylvania Avenue followed by parade participants.

There will be more than 8,000 parade participants representing forty organizations including high school and university marching bands, equestrian corps, first responders, and veterans groups.

Those selected to join the inaugural parade are listed below in alphabetical order:

1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment – Fort Hood, Texas
1st Infantry Division Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard – Fort Riley, Kansas
Boone County Elite 4-H Equestrian Drill Team – Burlington, Kentucky
Caisson Platoon, Fort Myer – Fort Myer, Virginia
Cleveland Police Mounted Unit – Cleveland, Ohio
Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums – Palm Coast, Florida
Columbus North High School Band – Columbus, Indiana
Culver Academy Equestrian – Culver, Indiana
First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Fishburne Military School Army JROTC Caissons Battalion – Waynesboro, Virginia
Frankfort High School Band – Ridgeley, West Virginia
Franklin Regional High School Panther Marching Band – Murrysville, Pennsylvania
Indianapolis Metro Police Motorcycle Drill Team – Indianapolis, Indiana
Lil Wranglers – College Station, Texas
Marist College Band – Poughkeepsie, New York
Merced County Sheriff’s Posse – Hilmar, California
Michigan Multi-Jurisdictional Mounted Police Drill Team & Color Guard – Ann Arbor, Michigan
Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team – New Buffalo, Michigan
Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums – East Meadow, New York
North Carolina Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association – Hillsborough, North Carolina
NYPD Emerald Society Pipes & Drums – East Moriches, New York
Olivet Nazarene University – Bourbonnais, Illinois
Palmetto Ridge High School Band – Naples, Florida
Russellville High School Band – Russellville, Arkansas
Talladega College Band – Talladega, Alabama
Texas State University Strutters – San Marcos, Texas
The Citadel Regimental Band & Pipes and Summerall Guards – Charleston, South Carolina
The Freedom Riders – Kersey, Colorado
Tupelo High School Band – Tupelo, Mississippi
University of Tennessee Marching Band – Knoxville, Tennessee
VMI Corps of Cadets – Lexington, Virginia
West Monroe High School Marching Band – West Monroe, Louisiana
American Veterans – National
Boy Scouts of America – National
US Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations – National
Disabled American Veterans – National
Paralyzed American Veterans – National
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors– National
US Border Patrol Pipes & Drums – National
Wounded Warrior Project – National
Military & DoD Kids Overseas– U.S. Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy
Moreover, each branch of the United States military will also be represented.

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

constitution-wethepeopleTwo Dozen Mushers Registered for Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race

Presidential Inauguration 2017

Harvard putting photography classes (and several other classes) online free

14 Ways of Minimizing Cellphone Radiation Exposure

Obama’s blunder; Trump’s gambit 

USDA Announces Changes Aimed at Ending the Inhumane Practice of Horse Soring

The Idiocy of How We Buy Healthcare

Wall Street Journal, Opinion.

European nations secretly seek help from Australia on stopping refugee boats

 The final days of the circus

H.R. 288: Small Business Broadband Deployment Act

Oregon’s Walden heads key Obamacare repeal committee

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument expansion riles Klamath commission

Martin Luther, German Religious Leader

Crusades, Christianity

Dark Sounds: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Score Ken Burns’s ‘Vietnam War’