Sherman County eNews #16


  1. Sherman County Government Cancelation & Closures

  2. Guest Editorial. Frontier TeleNet Intergovernmental Agreement & Bylaws

  3. Registration Open for SAIF Free Ag Safety Seminar, Jan. 30

  4. Oregon Small Farms Conference, Feb. 18

1.Sherman County Government Closures, Cancelation

ShermanCoLogoDue to the current and projected freezing rain conditions, Judge Thompson is closing all Sherman County departments effective 10:30 a.m. today.

The County Court meeting regularly scheduled for Wednesday, January 18, has been canceled.  Additionally, County offices will open for business at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday.  Any updates will be posted on Sherman County’s Facebook page and on eNews.

Jenine McDermid, c.c.c.

Sherman County Clerk

Phone: 541-565-3606

2. Guest Editorial. Frontier TeleNet Intergovernmental Agreement & Bylaws

In the January 12, 2017 The Time-Journal article “Tri-County courts hear reports…,” concerning the discussion of Frontier TeleNet at an October 27, 2016 meeting, Sherman County Judge Gary Thompson is quoted as saying “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.’” The article also states, “‘We’ve gone sideways,’ Judge Thompson said, with Condon’s discussion of getting fiber to homes and businesses.”

Judge Thompson’s comments are in conflict with the Intergovernmental Agreement Creating Frontier Telenet, and Frontier TeleNet’s and Bylaws. The Intergovernmental Agreement states, in part:

  1. WHEREAS, Counties desire to establish and maintain a consolidated, highly reliable system for the provision of emergency 9-1-1 and other public health and safety communication services;
  2. WHEREAS, Counties’ operations require telecommunications capabilities for the efficient provision of local governmental services;
  3. WHEREAS, Counties further desire to promote economic development .within their respective jurisdictions and surrounding communities through the development of advanced telecommunications infrastructure and related programs;
  4. WHEREAS, NCESD is engaged in the provision of general support services to the educational institutions within the boundaries of Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler;
  5. WHEREAS, NCESD and the school districts it serves require advanced telecommunications capabilities for the efficient provision of educational services;
  6. WHEREAS, the Parties intend to further the economy and efficiency of their respective units of local government by forming an intergovernmental agency;
  7. WHEREAS, pursuant to ORS 190.010, an intergovernmental agency may perform any or all functions and activities that a Party to an Agreement, or its officers or agencies, has the authority to perform;
  8. WHEREAS, the Parties anticipate that the benefits of the telecommunications network to be established by Frontier Telenet (as defined herein) will provide improved police, fire, medical aid service and educational communications within the boundaries of the Parties;
  9. WHEREAS, the Parties intend to use any authority delegated to Frontier Telenet to further the economy and efficiency of each Party by the design, construction, ownership, operation and maintenance of a telecommunications network for the benefit of the Parties and the citizens and organizations served by such parties;

Article 1 of the Bylaws lists Frontier TeleNet’s “Mission and Purpose of the Organization” as:

  1. To expand and enhance telecommunications capabilities for the efficient provision of local government services and educational services; and
  2. To provide for the coordination and interoperability of communications services in Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler counties; and to cooperatively establish and maintain a consolidated, highly reliable system for the provision of educational services, 9-1-1, law enforcement, emergency services and other public health and safety communications services; and
  3. To promote economic growth and the expansion and/or addition of business and industry both within the geographic boundaries of Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler counties; and where appropriate or in the best interests of the counties’ citizens, the surrounding communities of interest through the development of telecommunications infrastructure and related programs and services.

It is clear that the purpose of Frontier TeleNet is more than to create telecommunication infrastructure for emergency services and 911. The confusion is in how one interprets the Agreement and Bylaws.

~ David Bergmann is a Sherman County businessman based in Wasco, Oregon.

3. Registration Open for SAIF Free Ag Safety Seminar, Jan. 30

Summary: SAIF’s annual series of free, ag safety seminars–held all over Oregon–aims to reduce the number of work-related injuries. The next one will be held in The Dalles on January 30, with a Spanish session on January 31.
As one of Oregon’s largest industries, agriculture also tends to suffer its share of injuries and illnesses.

To reduce the number and severity of injuries in the industry, SAIF has presented free, half-day agricultural safety seminars across the state for more than 20 years. Each year the not-for-profit company reaches more supervisors, managers, and other workers and, hopefully, prevents more injuries.

Designed primarily for people working in agriculture, anyone with an interest in ag safety and health is welcome to attend. (They don’t have to be insured by SAIF.) The seminars run from November to March.

For the past 12 years, several of the sessions also have been presented in Spanish.

Employers with small ag businesses who attend the seminar will meet OSHA’s instructional requirement, one of four requirements that exempt small agricultural operations from random OSHA inspections.

This year, seminars will be held in 16 Oregon cities: Bandon, Central Point, Clackamas, Corvallis, Eugene, Hermiston, Hillsboro, Hood River, Klamath Falls, La Grande, Madras, Ontario, Salem, The Dalles, Wilsonville, and Woodburn.

Spanish-language seminars will be held in Central Point, Hermiston, Hillsboro, Hood River, Klamath Falls, Salem, The Dalles, Woodburn, and Wilsonville.

The seminars — which begin November 1 in Ontario — are held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and include lunch.

Topics for the 2016-17 series:
Learning to S.I.T. | A simple, three-step approach to help make training more effective. The session focuses on effective teaching strategies while demonstrating applicable safety tips share within your operation.

Clearing the air on pesticide safety | We’ll cover Worker Protection Standard rule changes for 2017 and 2018, proper storage and handling of the typical crop protection materials, and some real-world hazards to avoid when spraying.

Farm shop safety: improving your odds | Tips to avoid injury, stay in compliance, and use the farm shop to set higher standards for other work areas–featuring SAIF’s new farm shop safety video.

Welding safety and other hot topics | Safety tips to reduce burns, eye injuries, and help manage toxic fumes while describing several unique fire hazards; plus skin cancer health facts, prevention, and detection guidelines.

This seminar series will not offer private applicator pesticide “core” credits.

The Oregon State Landscaping Contractors Board has approved the seminar for four hours of continuing education credits.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services has approved the seminar for four hours of producer continuing education credits.

Seating is limited, so early registration is recommended. You may register online at or call 800.285.8525. We’ll confirm by email as soon as we receive your registration. About one week before the seminar, we’ll send you an email reminder with the location address. If you have any questions, please call 800.285.8525.

Get more information, or view the schedule of seminars, at

4. Oregon Small Farms Conference, Feb. 18

The annual Oregon Small Farms Conference is set for Feb. 18 at Oregon State University in Corvallis. This is the 16th year for the event, which last year drew more than 1,000 attendees.

Considered a flagship educational offering of the OSU Extension Service’s Small Farms Program, the event is geared to a wide range of people associated with agriculture. The program targets farmers, agricultural professionals, food policy advocates, restaurant owners, students and managers of farmers markets. Through the program, participants have learned about subjects such as marketing, disease control, economics and organic certification.

This year’s program includes a range of speakers including farmers, OSU faculty and representatives from agribusiness and government agencies. The featured speaker will be Ben Hartman, farmer and author of “The Lean Farm.” He will conduct a series of sessions on the concept of eliminating waste and introducing efficiency to an operation.

Commenting on the meeting, Hartman says, “There are two pieces to lean production. On the one hand is waste elimination. On the other hand is the intense focus on creating what customers actually want. You’re either adding value or you’re contributing to waste.”

In addition, the conference will feature 24 workshops, including four in Spanish, on topics that include:

  • dryland farming
    • organic weed control
    • specialty crops
    • diversifying with cut flowers
    • recordkeeping
    • agritourism
    • field-to-market essentials
    • parasite control in livestock
    • insurance

Learn more at the Oregon Small Farms Conference website,

Larger range of courses
The conference is part of a bigger-picture series of online and on-site education course offerings from OSU. The Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management series is intended for people considering the idea of starting a farm, those within their first five years of farming and others who may be considering major changes in their farm business.

Melissa Fery, associate professor at OSU, commented, “Growing Farms is an opportunity for them [students] to dive in deeper and consider all aspects of their farm business and how they fit together. We’ll have discussions about goals, consider production and marketing options in the local region and take a close look at profitability. This course will show the reality of having a small farm business.”

The Growing Farms series includes six online modules, three in-class meetings and a full-day farm tour at three locations. The course can be taken solely online. Though developed with an Oregon focus, the class is relevant to novice farmers across the country.

For dates, locations and registration go to the OSU Professional and Continuing Education website, The $295 cost includes a discount to the 2017 Small Farms Conference set for Feb. 18on the OSU campus.

Source: Oregon State University



Sherman County eNews #15


Sherman County School & after-school activities cancelled for January 17.

  1. Freezing rain may again make travel dangerous Tuesday

  2. Follow These Red Cross Severe Weather Safety Tips

  3. Volunteers are the Heart & Soul of Maryhill Museum of Art

  4. Original Courthouse Regional History Forum Series

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

Sherman County School & all after-school activities are cancelled – January 17.

Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, “Is it politic?” Vanity asks the question, “Is it popular?” But, conscience asks the question, “Is it right?” And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one’s conscience tells one that it is right. -Martin Luther King, Jr., civil-rights leader (15 Jan 1929-1968)

1. Freezing rain may again make travel dangerous Tuesday

arrow-rightFreezing rain is once again in the forecast for Tuesday and that may make travel conditions dangerous on Portland area roads and in the Columbia River Gorge.

In addition, the potential for rain and wind continues through Wednesday, which may cause downed trees, slides and flooding from the Southern Willamette Valley to Portland and the Columbia Gorge, and in the Coast Range and Cascades.

The Gorge may see especially difficult conditions, with freezing rain and wind. ODOT will close Interstate 84 if the road is unsafe.

ODOT recommends that drivers be prepared for conditions.

  • The safest thing to do is stay off the road. Wait to travel if possible. If you must go, be prepared for dangerous conditions.
  • Allow extra travel time and expect delays.
  • Carry chains. You may need them. Chains have been required for travel in many areas already this winter and will be again if needed for safety.
  • Have supplies in your vehicle. A slide or downed tree could have you stopped for hours. Be prepared with blankets, food, and water in your vehicle.
  • Remember, driving on ice is never a safe choice.

A freeze and quick thaw followed by heavy rain is always a recipe for debris slides. That could include trees, mud and rocks.

These conditions also create the danger of trees falling on roads. ODOT has been working in recent years to reduce this threat by removing dangerous trees that could threaten the road, although storms may bring more trees down. Crews will be ready to respond. Travelers need to be especially wary along roads that go through steep, wooded slopes. Plan your travels accordingly!

ODOT hydrology teams are always available and we have additional crews standing by this week by in case of slides.

Please be patient. If there is a lot of debris on the roads, ODOT will not be able to get to all of it right away.

Each slide requires an inspection by ODOT’s geo/hydro team to make sure there’s no danger of additional falling debris. Only then can the cleanup begin.

For the latest information on road conditions, visit

2. Follow These Red Cross Severe Weather Safety Tips

arrow.blueswishPORTLAND, Ore. January 16, 2017 — A winter weather advisory has been issued in NW Oregon and SW Washington. According to the National Weather Service, freezing rain and ice are likely in the Portland and Vancouver metro areas as well as The Dalles, Hood River and the Central and Southern Willamette Valley.

Residents are urged to stay home during and immediately after the storm and travel only if it is absolutely necessary. The American Red Cross has disaster responders on stand-by to help people should they be displaced from their homes due to severe weather. In anticipation of the storm, the Red Cross urges people to take preparedness actions now and follow these winter storm safety tips.

* Be sure you have non-perishable food items that can be eaten even if you lose power.
* Keep a spare battery for your cell phone handy (also keep your phone charged). Make sure you have batteries in your radio (to receive information updates).
* Keep extra blankets on hand or identify a safe alternate heat source if the power goes out.
* Check the batteries in your flashlight(s) and keep them easily accessible (avoid candles).
* If you have pets, make sure that you have food and supplies for them and that they have access to a warm and dry area.
* For a full list of recommended kit items, visit

* If you are separated from your loved ones during the storm, make sure you have a plan for communicating with your family and/or friends to let them know you are safe and well.

Avoid travel if possible. If you must travel, make sure your vehicle is ready for winter with a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk. Pack high-protein snacks, water, a first aid kit, a flashlight, a small battery-operated radio, an emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, extra prescription medications, blankets and important documents or information you may need.
* Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help you see.
* Before you leave, let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take and when you expect to get there.
* If you have to drive, make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
* Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
* Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.

If you become stuck in icy conditions:
* Stay with the car and call for assistance. Do not try to walk to safety.
* If you can, move your vehicle off the roadway. Stay with it — don’t abandon it. If you have to get out of your vehicle, use the side away from traffic.

Prepare for power outages by following these safety tips:
* Do not touch any electrical power lines and keep your family away from them. Report downed power lines to the appropriate officials in your area.
Using generators safely
* When using a portable generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a portable generator to a home’s electrical system.

Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills
* Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

Electrical equipment
* Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
* Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
* Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.

Throw out unsafe food
* Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more or that has an unusual odor, color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
* Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria causing food-borne illnesses can start growing quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking.
* Throw out any foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F (4° C) for 2 hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture, or feels warm to touch.
* For a full list of tips visit:

WEATHER ALERTS AND FIRST AID TIPS Download the FREE Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to winter storm tips and weather alerts for their area and where loved-ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at

3. Volunteers are the Heart & Soul of Maryhill Museum of Art

Volunteers are the heart and soul of Maryhill Museum of Art. We are always ready to welcome you into our active, social group. NO PREVIOUS ART HISTORY knowledge is required—just the desire to learn about art and cultural history, meet new people, and spread the joy of Maryhill and its collections to visitors who come from our community and far distances.

Time and distance are no obstacles to volunteering. We provide flexible schedules and will work with your interests to place you in the perfect volunteer position. Volunteers receive a 30% discount in our store; 20% discount on books in our shop; 10% discount in Loie’s Café; special volunteer-only trips; monthly optional educational experiences; and more. 

Office Volunteer: These “on-call” volunteers help with mailing and general office duties.

Visitor Services: These special volunteers greet visitors and provide an overview of the collections, services and their locations. They walk the galleries to answer questions for our guests.

Events Volunteer: Volunteers help with various activities from set-up to facilitating a great experience. Events are planned in advanced and volunteers may sign up for jobs/time as their availability allows.

Collections Assistance: Working closely with the Curator of Art and Collections Manager these volunteers must be willing to be interviewed, trained, and maintain a regular schedule.

Interactive Gallery Guides: These volunteers give interactive tours to school groups, adult groups and specialized groups. They must attend a 6-week Saturday morning training class and optional monthly educational meetings.

Click here < > for a syllabus for this year’s training.

Complete the volunteer application online < > or if you have questions or would like more information, please contact the Curator of Education:  509-773-3733 x 25

4. Original Courthouse Regional History Forum Series 




Programs begin at 1:30 p.m. in the upstairs courtroom of the 1859 courthouse, 410 West 2nd Place, The Dalles behind the Chamber of Commerce / Visitors’ Center.  The programs are free but donations are always appreciated.

Saturday, February 4 

Now Playing at the Vogt:  The Dalles’ Forgotten Opera House

Karl Vercouteren helped produce a musical review of songs heard at the Vogt Grand Theatre last September in the Morin Printing building.  His new program features photos of the almost-forgotten cultural center that hosted traveling troupes and locally-produced entertainment from 1890 to 1916.

Saturday, February 11 

Naomi Pike Schenck:  Survivor of the Ill-Fated Donner Party

Naomi was two years old in May 1846 when her parents joined the Donner Party wagon train bound for California.  Local historian Julie Reynolds traces Naomi’s life from the tragedy in the Sierra Nevadas to The Dalles, where a stained glass window memorializes her daughter.

Saturday, February 18 

Art Deco Architecture:  The Gorge

Hood River freelance writer and architectural historian Ellen Shapley has a passion for history and the design of the built environment of our area. She will share her discoveries of local Art Deco treasures from the 1920s and 1930s and tell stories of the people who commissioned and created both small gems and bold statements in our towns.

Saturday, February 25 

Thomas Condon as Paleontologist

Author, former professor of geology, and current director of the U of O’s Condon Museum, Bill Orr will evaluate Condon as a scientist based on what can be learned from Condon’s collection of fossils.  The 2016 OPB “Oregon Experience” program explored “the father of Oregon geology’s” connections with the Original Courthouse as well as his pioneering scientific work.

Coffee and cookies will be served.

Become a member of Original Courthouse – help preserve local history!

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

bird.owl3Military Times

 Defense News

 Retirement doesn’t have to be the end: How working longer benefits you

Ag in the Classroom spreads the word