Sherman County eNews #153


  1. Free Soil Health Field Day for Dryland Crops, June 8

  2. Tourism Marketing Session for Region, June 15

  3. Sherman County Court Notes, May 17

  4. The Vietnam War: A Film Preview, July 24

  5. Memorial Day: A tradition rooted in courage, honor, sacrifice

  6. The Tax System Explained in Beer Terms

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

1. Free Soil Health Field Day for Dryland Crops, June 8

Mark your calendars for June 8, 2017, to attend a free Soil Health Field Day for Dryland Crops at the Noah Williams Ranch (5900 Old Moody Rd.) in The Dalles beginning at 9 a.m.

Field Day topics will include Cover Crop vs. Chemical Fallow Trials (examining soil moisture, fertility and plant nutrition); Growing Chickpeas for Market; and Cover Crops for Livestock Feed and their role in our cropping systems.  For additional information and to RSVP, please contact Noah Williams at 541-980-2699.

2. Tourism Marketing Session for Region, June 15

car.kidsEveryone is invited to the Travel Oregon Marketing Session for the John Day River Territory (Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler and Grant Counties) on June 15th, 2017 from 1:00 PM-4:30 PM at the new Fire Hall at 200 North Main Street in Condon.

Spurred by the Oregon Rural Tourism Studio that was held in the region five years ago, the session will focus on marketing opportunities and programs the John Day River Territory area can put into action over the course of the next year. Those currently involved or interested in supporting tourism aims in the area are welcome to join us for a chance to network and brainstorm.


  • Continue to familiarize partners with marketingsuccesses, common issues, areas of need facing John Day River Territory
  • Identify marketingopportunities and resources for businesses and partners to implement
  • Introduce marketingguide and Visitor Lifecycle Management (VLM) process
  • Brainstorm opportunities for partners and businesses how and where these groups can implement the VLM and what actionable steps can be taken.
  • Give partners and businesses an opportunity for content and creative review of marketing

Light refreshments will be available. Please RSVP by adding your name and email to this list:

Feel free to share this invitation with other community business leaders within Sherman, Gilliam, Wheeler, and Grant counties. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Metta at 541-296-2266. We look forward to seeing you soon!

3. Sherman County Court Notes, May 17

ShermanCoLogo~ By Administrative Assistant Lauren Hernandez

(This is a brief summary of topics addressed and is not official minutes. For official minutes and details, please see the official approved minutes posted after the June 7 court session on the Sherman County website at

The Sherman County Court met in regular session on May 17, 2017, and in conducting the business of the county,

  • met with Jacob Dunaway, Solutions iT, to discuss the technology discovery report; Jacob notified the court the information in his report was sensitive and recommended the court enter into executive session before hearing it; the court entered into executive session according to ORS 192.660 (2) (h) Legal Rights;
  • heard an update from Mark Coles, Road Master, about the Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) Grant; Mark spoke to Matthew Fletcher, Western Federal Lands Highway Division Program Manager, and construction on the Starvation Lane project is not scheduled to begin until 2021, though project design could be bumped up to 2018; funding is not scheduled to come in until 2021; it may be possible an agreement can be signed so the county can begin some work and be reimbursed for it; discussion was held about who should deliver the project; Mark recommended Western Federal Lands deliver the project instead of Sherman County; Aaron Lafky, property owner near Starvation Lane, stated improving Starvation Lane is an immediate issue; he had a discussion with Lisa Sumption, Oregon State Parks Director, and she stated she did not receive the letter sent by the county in early May; Aaron stated the situation is getting to the point where if the parties involved don’t work towards a solution, he may seek legal action; another letter will be sent to State Parks; a letter will be sent to FLAP representatives encouraging funds to be released sooner than 2021; Mark found a rock picker that will work for the county with a 1 ½ inch grate and 96 inch lift; he would like to purchase it before July to have available for the later part of summer; the court approved the Road Department purchasing a Schulte High Rise 8000 Rock Picker in the amount of $25,641.70;
  • heard an update on the Azure Farms weed ordinance violation;
  • approved the Intergovernmental Agreement/Technology Usage Agreement between Sherman County and Oregon State University’s Extension Service and authorized Judge Thompson to sign;
  • approved the Agreement for the Transfer of Real Property between Sherman County and the City of Wasco for the transfer of ownership of the Wasco Annex from Sherman County to the City of Wasco effective June 30, 2017;
  • approved the Planned Equipment Maintenance Agreement between Cummins Sales and Service and Sherman County in the amount of $954.48 for planned generator maintenance and authorized Judge Thompson to sign;
  • approved the Citycounty Insurance Weed Control Pollution Policy in the amount of $2,331.07 and the Notice of Terrorism Coverage Insurance for the premium amount of $108.44 and authorized Judge Thompson to sign;
  • appointed Mike Smith to the North Central Health District Budget Committee to act as Sherman County citizen representative;
  • approved the Rail and Public Transit Division/Oregon Department of Transportation STF Agreement #32017 between the State of Oregon and Sherman County and Racial and Ethnic Impact Statement and authorized Judge Thompson to sign;
  • declared Monday, July 3, 2017, as a holiday for county employees;
  • approved, as recommended by the Finance Director, a Resolution In the Matter of the County Court Approving the Transfer of Funds Within the County General, Community Transit, Ambulance, Prevention, Court Security, Emergency Services, DA-V/WAP, General Road, Road Improvement, County Fair, Tri-County Corrections, Wellness Center, Tri-County Veterans’, Driver Education, Early Learning Services, Senior Center, Courthouse Facility, Renewable Resources, Resident Incentive Program, SIP Community Service Fees and SIP Additional Fees Funds;
  • accepted the resignation of Brian Hulke from the Senior Center Advisory Board and appointed Carl Langston to complete the term of Brian Hulke to expire December 31, 2019;
  • accepted the resignation of Ted Sabey from the Sherman County Fair Board;
  • discussed the Grass Valley Canyon weed survey and weed control;
  • heard reports from court members about regional board activities.

4. Memorial Day: A tradition rooted in courage, honor, sacrifice

American flag2
Memorial Day is a holiday rooted in tradition. Every year, thousands of Oregonians participate in ceremonies, parades and other solemn events. But long before the first Memorial Day processions wound their way down city streets, long before dignitaries across the country took to podiums to honor service and sacrifice, the holiday started, informally, with a much simpler tradition: the laying of flowers upon the grave of a fallen service member.

It was in the wake of the American Civil War that communities began the practice of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers. This military family and community tradition was later formalized as a national day of honor in Decoration Day, and what we now call Memorial Day.

In 1866, no family or community was untouched by the Civil War. America’s bloodiest conflict resulted in over 1 million casualties and claimed over 620,000 lives. The impacts of the war were intensely and personally felt across the nation.

Today, over 320,000 veterans call Oregon home. We are a strong and diverse community, spanning four generations across five major wars. With every veteran counted, we must also recognize the sacrifice of their spouses and families, who served on the home front while their loved ones were in uniform.

At the same time, we must acknowledge that today’s battles are fought by less than 1 percent of our population. The weight of the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has been borne by the few. Most of our citizens today have not been directly impacted by war. The same cannot be said for our Gold Star families, who have lost a loved one in service to our nation.

We can never forget the true cost of war — a cost far beyond dollars and cents. A hundred years ago, in World War I, we lost over 115,000 dedicated service members — almost 1,000 of whom were from Oregon. Those who survived the battlefields in Europe did not come home to a robust system of veterans’ health care and benefits. But they banded together in service organizations and fought to advocate for the nationwide network of support we have today.

Across the ages, from the beaches of Normandy and the Pacific islands to the mountains and jungles in Asia, countless Americans have stood up to serve and have laid down their lives. At the most basic level, they fought to protect the one on their right and the one on their left, but ultimately their fight protects us all and preserves the values we hold dear.

This Memorial Day, as we kick off the start of summer and turn to enjoy Oregon’s incredible parks, beaches, rivers and mountains, we must encourage all citizens to pause and honor our fallen and Gold Star families. We stand on the shoulders of all those who came before us and will never forget our veterans’ service, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Thank you for your support of Oregon’s military, veterans and their families!

Cameron Smith served three tours in Iraq as a Marine and is the director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

5. The Vietnam War: A Film Preview, July 24 

American flag2A Conversation with Ken Burns & Lynn Novick

Monday, July 24, 2017  |  7:30pm  |  Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

OPB and PBS invite you to an evening with filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick for a preview of The Vietnam War. This special event will feature highlights from the new 10-part, 18-hour documentary film series followed by a discussion with Burns, Novick, and former Air Force Chief of Staff and retired four-star General Merrill McPeak.

In an immersive narrative, The Vietnam War tells the epic story of the war as it has never-before been told on film. It features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. Six years in the making, the series brings the war and the chaotic epoch it encompassed viscerally to life.

Tickets start at $20 and are selling quickly: 

6. The Tax System Explained in Beer Terms

dollar.sign.coinsSuppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100…
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this…

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that’s what they decided to do..

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,”but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!”

“That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

Author Unknown

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.
For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

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

bird.owl.limbA Beautiful Day In Washington D.C.

The Holocaust’s Great Escape

Countries with the largest immigrant populations

Military Times

Defense News

Islamic Leader Faces Deportation for Visa Fraud