Sherman County eNews #53


  1. Guest Editorial. Mac’s Musings: Chaos.

  2. Urban-Rural Gathering: Melting Mountains, Updated, March 4

  3. Sherman County Public/School Library Book Club Meeting, March 15

  4. Social Crafting, “Sticks in Stacks,” at Sherman County Public/School Library, Feb. 23

  5. Columbia Gorge Community College Workshop: Social Security Benefits, March 1

  6. You Are What You Think

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

1. Guest Editorial. Mac’s Musings: Chaos.

pencil.sharpThat appears to be the circumstances in which Frontier Telenet now finds itself — without a business plan, without short or long range plans, without a strategic plan of day-to-day operations, without a clear picture of from where the entity has come or where it is going, without a budget, without knowledge of what costs lay ahead and the processes by which to obtain these costs, without an idea of from where revenues will come, without the benefit of economic analysis of the assets/infrastructure/operations costs or potential revenue sources and amounts, without effective management and without a consensus or clear focus on its purpose and future.

Add to that a stubbornness that won’t allow the administration or management to admit that circumstances are chaotic.

Frontier Telenet is an ORS 190 entity formed under the auspices of Gilliam, Wheeler and Sherman counties and the North Central Education Service District and administered by the three county judges with a manager in charge of operations. When formed some 15 years ago, it was an entity through which an innovative plan was facilitated to establish a 9-1-1 emergency call center at Condon to serve the emergency communications needs of the three counties via a wireless satellite system, a service that had previously been provided through Morrow County.

Late last year, the North Central ESD removed itself from the ORS 190.

The concept was brilliant and the practical application of that system has worked as planned, creating a reliable, local system of communicating for law enforcement and emergency medical services in the three counties and creating 11 well-paying jobs at the same time.

While the 9-1-1 call center has and continues to function brilliantly and without interruption, and has even added service to Jefferson County, the management of Frontier Telenet, which oversees the mechanical infrastructure of the 9-1-1 system, has become chaotic.

With the changing of the county judgeships in the three counties over the last 15 years, there has been very little continuity and background provided by the management, and/or planning for the future of the system.

Caught woefully off-guard by the sudden realization that the current wireless system had reached capacity and was in need of expensive upgrades to remain viable, Frontier Telenet was forced to spend thousands of dollars to upgrade the current system while also realizing that fiber optics would provide more capacity and more long-range stability to the system.

The realization came too little, too late.

Frontier Telenet now finds itself frantically trying to re-group, but without a clear mission and without a budget, and without knowledge of day-to-day expenses and costs, and without a plan and leadership, Frontier Telenet now appears to be in the way of fiber optics development in Gilliam County, when it could have been in the leadership role in the process to provide affordable high-speed broadband to 9-1-1, emergency medical services, law enforcement, schools, libraries, businesses and homes.

Frontier Telenet needs to take stock of its situation, define its assets and function, put in the necessary time and effort to establish a transparent business plan and a standard fiduciary system that will make it clear where the entity is headed and if that track is affordable, and good in the long range for the wireless system that has, here-to-fore, worked so well.  ~ With permission ofThe Times-Journal, February 23, 2017.

2. Urban-Rural Gathering: Melting Mountains, Updated, March 4

Sherman County was selected by a group from Seattle wanting to learn more about the differences between rural and urban areas. The primary mover was the recent elections where Seattleites voted 74% for Hillary Clinton while Sherman County voted 74% for Donald Trump.

We are looking for 12-15 Sherman County folks willing to meet with the urban group from Washington on Saturday, March 4 at the OSU Extension Office in Moro. The Seattle group will be treated to a short tour of the County then return to the Extension office where they will join Sherman County folks for a lunch and discussion to learn about the factors that lead to differences. Because of travel rules for their driver, they will need to leave about 3 p.m.

>>>> Persons wishing to contribute a few hours from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. are asked to contact the Extension Office (541-565-3230). Lunch will be provided for all and it will be interesting to see where and why the regions seem to differ.

3. Sherman County Public/School Library Book Club Meeting, March 15

books.loveSherman County Public/School Library Book Club will be meeting Wednesday, March 15 at 6:00pm. Please join us for tea, dessert, and discussion of our March book, “The Beach House” by Mary Alice Monroe. To request a hold call 541-565-3279 or email

4. Social Crafting, “Sticks in Stacks,” at Sherman County Public/School Library, Feb. 23

Thread-and-needle“Sticks in Stacks” at Sherman County Public/School Library Thursday, February 23.
Social crafting starts at 6:00 p.m. every Thursday. Instructional assistance for knit, crochet, and spinning will be available at 7:00 p.m. Bring your knitting, crochet, spinning, quilting, or cross-stitch projects. All fiber arts are welcome.  For further information about this program please contact Sherman County Public/School Library at (541) 565-3279 or email

5. Columbia Gorge Community College Workshop: Social Security Benefits, March 1

Columbia Gorge Community College offers a free workshop about social security benefits. The workshop provides a brief overview of the SSA, and includes an explanation of the agency, the coverage, and the benefits.

Two sessions are offered on Wednesday, March 1 CGCC Hood River campus from 9-11; and The Dalles campus from 1-3.  Preregistration is requested by calling the college at (541) 506-6011.

6. You Are What You Think

What do hopelessness, helplessness and stress have to do with rats, astronauts and you? 

Did you know that right after splashdown, one of the most difficult phases of spaceflight, NASA doctors found significant changes in the Apollo astronauts’ immune systems? The Apollo, Gemini and Mercury capsules (even the lunar excursion modules) were pretty cramped environments. Not much room to move, and “escape” required a significant amount of time, care and planning, especially for a spacewalk.

Researchers have also found that rats, given electric shocks from which they cannot escape, give up and become helpless. Later, when placed in a box where they can escape the shocks just by moving to the other side, these rats don’t even try. They also develop stomach ulcers and abnormal brain chemistry. And, it’s not because of the shocks. Another group of rats received the same amount of electricity, but they could turn the current off by pressing a bar. They remained healthy. 

There is no longer any question about it. Many, many studies have verified that the health of our immune systems is linked to our stress levels and our attitudes about life in general. Now a certain amount of stress is good for us and can give us more energy and greater concentration. But too much stress causes it to break down. We see the results of this stress in changes in productivity of the workforce, and the increase of sick days at all levels of our organizations.

Today, doctors recommend to their patients fighting cancer to put lot of time and energy into building up their immune systems. Monitoring their thoughts as carefully as controlling the diet has a great impact. If you’re concerned about living a long and healthy life, or if you’re fighting a serious illness, developing a sense of control about your life can be as important as anything else you do. Some say you are what you eat. But it looks more and more like you are also what you think and feel. ~ The Pacific Institute

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

bird.eagleEastern Oregon for Bird Lovers

The Dalles Eagle Watch 

Tour the Dragon Man’s Home

Vietnam War History: Tet Offensive 

Wettest February of modern era: Portland breaks precipitation record

Urban liberals must recognize needs of white working-class as well as immigrants, refugees (Opinion)

The Patriot Post

Too many stinkbugs spoil the wine