Sherman County eNews #36


  1. Don’t say ‘Yes’ in New Telephone Scam

  2. Snow on the Ground

  3. Strategic Grant Writing Workshop, March 6-7

  4. How do people develop character?

  5. Editorial. Fear of Asking: Silence Does Have a Cost

  6. Opinion: Thomas Sowell: Education at a Crossroads  

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

“If my need is to be right, then I have already closed the door to understanding and relationship.” ~ Dr. Jeff Cook, Strong Tree Counseling, The Dalles Chronicle, The Dalles, Oregon.

1. Don’t say ‘Yes’ in New Telephone Scam

telephone2Telemarketing calls are annoying enough, but now authorities are warning consumers about the risk of having their words on the phone used against them.

It’s called the ‘Can you hear me’ scam and reports in the U.S. suggest it’s growing in popularity as fraudsters use it to try to get your money.

Telemarketing organizations typically call back consumers for verification calls and rely on those to ensure the consumer pays.

“Keep in mind, a scammer may already have gotten their hands on some of your personal information, such as credit card numbers, which they can use in tandem with your recorded affirmation to push through charges,” warned the Better Business Bureau of Southfield, Mich. It recently issued a warning to businesses and consumers.

In some cases, the calls may be placed by a live person. But frequently, the calls are automated. “We have seen these robo-calls get more sophisticated and even mimic things like background noise to convince you, as the recipient of the phone call, that it is a real person,” Ryan Kalember, senior vice president with the California cyber-security consulting company Proofpoint, said.

“If you answer, ‘Yes,’ there’s a possibility that the scam artist behind the phone call has recorded you and will use your agreement to sign you up for a product or service and then demand payment. If you refuse, the caller may produce your recorded ‘yes’ response to confirm your purchase agreement,” the BBB cautioned. ~

2. Snow on the Ground

snowflake4If you are counting the days until spring, at the Moro Experiment Station there was snow reported on the ground beginning December 6. There was at least 1 inch from December 8-26, January 3, and January 8-31.


3. Strategic Grant Writing Workshop, March 6-7

Grant Writing Workshop

March 6-7, 2-17


This grant writing workshop offers you key, proven strategies to develop winning proposals. Here is what you will learn to make your next proposal competitive and successful:

– How to identify government, foundation, and corporate funding sources

– How to generate powerful proposal ideas

– How to set up a pre-proposal planning process

– How to meet proposal content and budget guidelines

– How to avoid critical proposal-writing mistakes

– How to ensure quality of proposal before submission

Strategic Proposal Writing – You will learn why a successfully written proposal requires an organized, systematic approach to make your case.

Strategic Grant Research – You will learn new tools and techniques to meet specific requirements and interests of any kind of grant maker.

Strategic Program Planning – You will gain a solid overview on how to ensure your proposals are clear, significant and compelling

Tuition for our Two-Day Grant Writing Workshop is $549 USD per person, with a $50 off discount for early sign-ups (10 business days or more before the workshop).

Each participant will receive the following items:

– ISFD Certificate of Completion accredited by CFRE with 15 Continuation Education Units (CEU)

– Strategic Grant Writing Development Proposal Workbook and Bonus Materials, Fundraising & Research CD.

-On-Going Consulting Services with ISFD Instructors & Staff


1) Online<>

2) Phone – Call us at (877) 414-8991. An ISFD consultant will assist you with your registration and answer any questions.

3) Email – Send us an email<,%20organization%20representing,%20email,%20phone%20number,%20and%20mailing%20address.> with your basic contact information and a seat will be reserved. 

4. How do people develop character?

Today, let’s look at what parents can do to help their children develop good character.

How do people develop character? Well, first and most important, by what they are taught and what they see as they grow up. Very simply, placing examples of virtue in front of young people as early as possible, and as often as possible, forms character.

It is those positive pictures that they see, absorb, and understand are of great personal value that they will be drawn toward. Human beings are picture-oriented; it’s hardwired in our brains.

You see, you don’t build character in your children by trying to control them or telling them what to do. You build it by consistently doing the right thing yourself and not making a big fuss about it. You build it by telling and reading your children stories that reinforce goodness from the time they are very young. Remember, you are your child’s best example, the one they see before all others.

So, what is the right thing? Well, honesty, accountability, fairness, tolerance, civility and kindness, for starters. Without these, trust will be difficult to earn.

Talk to them about hypocrisy, self-deception, cruelty and selfishness when you see it around you, in language they will understand. Avoid delivering a lecture that they can turn off. Just make it clear that there are better ways of living, and that you expect them to live up to your picture of them as people of fine character.

Providing the pictures of what to do right, first, goes a long way to ensuring your children adopt them as a part of their own fine character. ~ The Pacific Institute

5. Editorial. Fear of Asking: Silence Does Have a Cost

pencil.sharpSince eNews posted editorial questions about county government in September, it has become increasingly clear that we-the-folks have questions that we’re reluctant to ask.

We’ve been listening to the reasons.

“I’m too busy to go to the meetings.”

“I don’t know what’s going on.” 

“No, I don’t take a newspaper.”

“I have to ask myself, what do I have to lose by asking questions?”

“Is it worth it?”

“Is there anything to gain by asking?”

“I’m afraid of what people will think.”

“I could lose my job.”

“I could lose customers.”

“My family and friends might be treated differently.”

“I might lose friends.”

“I don’t like conflict.”

“Everyone is related somehow… families, businesses… it’s easier to keep my mouth shut and just go along.”

“I have kids who might be treated differently if I’m asking questions.”

“The group I belong to might be treated differently.”

“I’m afraid officials will think questions are a personal attack.”

“I can disagree with official actions without disliking the officials.”

“If we disagree they won’t like me.”

“I might get a reputation for causing trouble, being a rabble-rouser.”

“Questions are not met in the spirit in which they are offered.”

“I will just hear that the answers are all there, in the minutes, online.”

“It won’t make any difference.”  

“I’d like to start a little business but I would have to compete with the county government, so I don’t ask about it.” 

“I might not get appointed to serve on a local government committee.”

“I just want everyone to get along.”

We understand the reluctance to ask the questions… or to have a say.

Silence does have a cost. People waste a lot of time and energy in their concern and frustration. Elected officials are not held accountable. Problems are not resolved. Perceived problems are not explained. Information is not forthcoming. The coffee pot at the coffee shop boils over and dries up.

Nilofer Merchant in Harvard Business Review put it this way:  “Only you know how to answer the question, ‘Is this worth it?’ If it is an issue of justice or integrity, or when the implication to getting things wrong could affect many, perhaps the cost is too high for silence. In those times, for the sake of your organization and for your own integrity, it’s time for you to say something.”

Let’s ask ourselves if speaking up will give others permission to speak? Will it hold our officials accountable? Will it improve the results of their work? Will it benefit the community?

6. Opinion: Thomas Sowell: Education at a Crossroads  

In just a matter of days — perhaps next Monday — a decision will be made in Washington affecting the futures of millions of children in low-income communities, and in the very troubled area of race relations in America.

An opportunity has arisen — belatedly — that may not come again in this generation.

That is an opportunity to greatly expand the kinds of schools that have successfully educated, to a high level, inner-city youngsters whom the great bulk of public schools fail to educate to even minimally adequate levels.

What may seem on the surface to be merely a matter of whether the U.S. Senate confirms or rejects the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be head of the U.S. Department of Education involves far bigger stakes.

The teachers’ unions and the education establishment in general know how big those stakes are, and have mounted an all-out smear campaign to prevent her from being confirmed.

What makes Mrs. DeVos seem so threatening to the teachers’ unions and their political allies?

She has, for more than 20 years, been promoting programs, laws and policies that enable parents to choose which schools their children will attend — whether these are charter schools, voucher schools or parochial schools.

Some of these charter schools — especially those in the chain of the Success Academy schools and the chain of the KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) schools — operate in low-income, minority neighborhoods in the inner-cities, and turn out graduates who can match the educational performances of students in affluent suburbs. What is even more remarkable, these charter schools are often housed in the very same buildings, in the very same ghettoes, where students in the regular public schools fail to learn even the basics in English or math.

You and I may think this is great. But, to the teachers’ unions, such charter schools are a major threat to their members’ jobs — and ultimately to the unions’ power or existence.

If parents have a choice of where to send their children, many of those parents are not likely to send them to failing public schools, when there are alternative schools available that equip those youngsters with an education that can open the way to a far better future for them.

Already there are tens of thousands of children on waiting lists to get into charter schools, just in New York alone. Those waiting lists are a clear threat to teachers’ unions, whose leaders think schools exist to provide guaranteed jobs for their members.

Mrs. DeVos has shown for more than 20 years that she thinks schools exist to educate children. One of the biggest complaints about her is that, unlike Secretaries of Education before her, she does not come out of the government’s education establishment. Considering what a miserable job that establishment has done, especially in inner-city schools, her independence is a plus.

Teachers’ unions have fought for years to prevent charter schools from being created. Now that such schools have been created, and there are now huge waiting lists, the teachers’ unions have gotten politicians to put a numerical cap on the number of such schools, regardless of how large the waiting lists are.

Desperate attempts to smear Betsy DeVos, in order to prevent her from being confirmed as Secretary of Education, have not let the facts get in the way.

She is accused of “steering public dollars away from traditional public schools.” But nobody can steer anything anywhere, when it is individual parents who make the decisions as to where they want their children educated. The money follows the children.

Neither the money nor the children get steered by education bureaucrats, as happens with traditional public schools.

If charter schools educate one-third of the students in a district, and get one-third of the money, how does that reduce the amount of money per child in the public school? Actually, charter schools usually get less money per student, but produce better results.

American education is at a crossroads. If the teachers’ unions and their allies can defeat the nomination of Mrs. DeVos, and the Republicans substitute someone else more acceptable to the education establishment, a historic opportunity will be lost, and may never come again in this generation.

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

bird.owl.limbOSU Art About Agriculture

Emigrant Springs Cemetery, Sherman County

The Bernard Keenan Family in America / Biggs Junction

Report dead ducks to ODFW hotline

Don’t gut Oregon’s ‘Right to Farm’ law

“If my need is to be right, then I have already closed the door to understanding and relationship.” ~ Dr. Jeff Cook, Strong Tree Counseling, The Dalles Chronicle, The Dalles, Oregon.

Cubic Houses in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Hashtag Mentality and Today’s College Students 

Congressman Walden Talks About Takings Case 

Greg Walden introduces bill to keep pre-existing condition coverage after Obamacare repeal

Editorial. Jeff Merkley, Oregon’s Anarchist Senator

To save public lands, liberal hikers and conservative hunters unite

Global Warming is about Destroying Capitalism

German coal, gas plant output at 5-year high in January

Rare Breeds Survival Trust 

Clydesdale Breeding Facility

The Lars Larson Show