Sherman County eNews #168


  1. Sherman County Court Statement: Weed Control Ordinance

  2. Sherman County Court Minutes Online, May 15, 17

  3. The Power in Expectation

  4. Notice: Columbia Gorge Community College Board Meeting, June 13

  5. Non-Profit Seeks Local Host Families for High School Exchange Students 

  6. Never Forget Just How Enormous D-Day Really Was

  7. Four Oregon fire protection districts enter fire season

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

“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” —Joseph Story (1833)

1. Sherman County Court Statement: Weed Control Ordinance

ShermanCoLogoJune 7, 2017

David Stelzer and Nathan Stelzer,

I’m looking forward to signing a Weed Control Agreement today.  When the Agreement is implemented, your neighbors should have the assurance they’ve demanded that noxious weed seeds in your fields will be destroyed before they contaminate nearby fields.  If you are successful in finding organic methods that work, you should be able to maintain your organic certification.

Before we discuss the Agreement, I’d like to take a couple of minutes to express my feelings about the social media attack you and Azure Standard launched on this Court on May 11th.

First, you need to know that neither the over 59,000 emails nor the thousands of phone calls the Court received has done anything but strengthen our resolve to uphold our weed ordinance.  None of the emails or calls that supported Azure Standard came from our constituents.  I care about Sherman County residents, not residents of Virginia or California who showed in their emails and calls that they were badly misinformed about the situation.  The only thing your attack accomplished was to annoy us and make communication more difficult.

Second, you launched your attack on May 11th before making any attempt to meet with the County Court.  Neither of you is a Sherman County resident and maybe you don’t know how we resolve issues in Sherman County.  I’d never seen either of you before you attended the County Court meeting on May 17th.  I had to laugh when I cancelled my one-on-one meeting with David on May 24th and his Executive Assistant wrote back “David is deeply committed to working with his neighbors to resolve the weed issue and talking things over would be a good first step in establishing a good working relationship.”  Yes, “talking things over would be a good first step in establishing a working relationship” if it had been done before you launched your attack. Your attack was launched by Azure Standard’s marketing director, David Cross, and after viewing his video and listening to the Lost Arts Radio Show you taped on May 18th, I concluded its real purpose was to increase Azure Standard’s sales by launching a new marketing campaign that portrays Azure Standard as a victim. David Cross deserves a bonus.

Third, the information posted on your website when you launched your attack was intentionally misleading.  You know that the County has not changed the “interpretation of its statutory code from controlling noxious weeds to eradicating noxious weeds.”  The word “eradicate” is not used in our ordinance or in any of the notices sent to you by our weed supervisor.  Our ordinance requires you to control your noxious weeds and destroy their seeds before they can spread.  We recognize “eradication” would be difficult using organic methods.  We never threatened to spray your “whole farm.”  We never mentioned glyphosate or Roundup.  Our ordinance allows our weed supervisor to spray areas of your fields that are infested with noxious weeds only if you fail to act.

Fourth, I believe your customers and supporters would have responded to your attack very differently if you had described the situation accurately.  Nathan’s statement should have been something like “Azure Farm has a severe infestation of noxious weeds that are difficult to control with organic methods.  We are receiving complaints from our neighbors when the seeds from these noxious weeds blow into their fields.  The County is now enforcing its weed ordinance that requires us to destroy noxious weed seeds before they can trespass into our neighbor’s fields.  We are working to develop an organic weed control plan that will deal with this problem and allow us to continue to supply you with the very cleanest and healthiest food humanly possible.” 

If you had accurately described the situation, I might have received more emails suggesting organic methods to control rush skeleton weed and Canadian thistle.  We might have learned something useful.  Since the majority of the emails I received accused me of being an agent of Monsanto, they were easy to ignore.

Tom McCoy

Sherman County Commissioner 

2. Sherman County Court Minutes Online, May 15, 17

Approved minutes for the May 15, 2017 special session and May 17, 2017 regular session are now available on the county website at

Updates to the draft agenda for June 21, 2017, will be available on the website.

3. The Power in Expectation

How important are beliefs and expectations in determining what happens to us in life? They may be more important than you think.

Have you ever noticed that people who expect the best in life usually seem to get it? And have you noticed that the reverse also seems to be true? Do you think it happens that way due to coincidence or luck? Or is something else going on?

One of The Pacific Institute’s core principles, solidly founded on cognitive research, is that we move toward and become like what we think about. We behave not in accordance with the truth, but with the truth as we perceive and believe it to be. So, it follows that when you expect the best from yourself and others, you behave in ways that almost guarantee you are going to get it.

The same is true when you expect trouble. You set yourself up for trouble in countless little and not so little ways and sure enough, trouble shows up at your door. (Sound familiar?) What do you expect for yourself? Do you expect to do the things you dream about, or do you expect obstacles, opposition and eventual disappointment?

What do you expect from your kids, your spouse, and your co-workers? Do you expect excellence, integrity and respect? Or do you have to keep after them all the time to keep them from messing things up? Why not try expecting the best? It is a valuable leadership habit that can be learned. It is probably the best habit you can get your children into, as well.

If you consistently and lovingly give your children a better, much more positive expectation, they are far more likely to go out and make it happen. And the best part? Once it’s a habit, it is repeated throughout their lives. ~The Pacific Institute

 4. Notice: Columbia Gorge Community College Board Meeting, June 13

Columbia Gorge Community College

Board of Education Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Work Session 5 p.m.; Board Meeting 6 p.m.

The Dalles Campus – Board Room, Building 1, Room 1.162

Agenda topics include Public Comments; Hearings for Budgets; Reports (financial, foundation, operations/Presidential Goals Update, Directors); Budget Adjustments & Adoption; Canvass of Wasco County Election Results.

5. Non-Profit Seeks Local Host Families for High School Exchange Students 

ASSE International Student Exchange Programs (ASSE), in cooperation with your community high school, is looking for local families to host boys and girls between the ages of 15 to 18 from a variety of countries: Norway, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Japan, to name a few.

ASSE students are enthusiastic and excited to experience American culture while they practice their English. They also love to share their own culture and language with their host families. Host families welcome these students into their family, not as a guest, but as a family member, giving everyone involved a rich cultural experience.

The exchange students have pocket money for personal expenses and full health, accident and liability insurance. ASSE students are selected based on academics and personality, and host families can choose their student from a wide variety of backgrounds, countries and personal interests.

To become an ASSE Host Family or to find out how to become involved with ASSE in your community, please call the ASSE Western Regional Office at 1-800-733-2773 or go to to begin your host family application. Students are eager to learn about their American host family, so begin the process of welcoming your new son or daughter today!


 6. Never Forget Just How Enormous D-Day Really Was

flag.starsOn June 6, 1944, D-Day happened.

D-Day: the massive military operation known at the time as Operation Neptune that saw the United States and the Allies invade Normandy, France, was the largest seaborne invasion in world history. It ignited the liberation of France from the Nazis as well as the Allies’ victory in Europe in general.

The amphibious landings are legendary — just like the incredibly brave men who manned the operation — but it was so much more than the famous landing crafts. This graphic (courtesy of the BBC) does a great job of helping us visualize the enormity of the invasion. There was really nothing else like it … ever. Or since.

Let’s never forget the more than 14,000 courageous military service members who gave their lives on this day. They saved us from tyranny, they preserved our freedom and we should be forever grateful.

7. Four Oregon fire protection districts enter fire season

tree.evergreen SALEM, Ore. — Four Oregon Department of Forestry fire protection districts in southern and central Oregon have entered fire season. Portions of the following counties are affected by fire prevention restrictions: Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Morrow, Umatilla, Wheeler and Wasco. ODF-protected lands covered by the declaration include state, private, county, city forestland, as well as Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forestlands in western Oregon.

Local fire protection managers in the Walker Range Fire Patrol Association in northern Klamath County, and ODF’s Southwest Oregon, Klamath-Lake and Central Oregon districts declared fire season respectively on June 2, June 4, June 5 and June 7. Warm, dry conditions at the end of May and early June prompted the declarations.

Fire season restrictions in all four areas include season-long bans on several fire-prone activities. Among these are debris burning, and use of exploding targets and tracer ammunition. During declared fire seasons, industrial operators also must follow fire season regulations and have fire tools and equipment at forestland sites where they work.

As of June 5, 84 fires were reported on ODF-protected lands in Oregon. These burned just over 100 acres. More than 70 of those fires were caused by people. Three-fifths of the fires occurred in southern and central Oregon ODF districts.

After a wet, cool winter and spring in much of the state, there have been fewer fires to date statewide compared to the 10-year average for this time of year. One exception is ODF’s Klamath-Lake District based in Klamath Falls. There, fire starts and acres burned so far this year exceed the 10-year average for this date. That is one reason Klamath-Lake District Forester Dennis Lee said the district was beginning fire season already at a “moderate” level of fire danger, one up from the lowest level.

Central Oregon experienced a drier spring than the rest of the state, leading to an earlier risk of fire than parts of the state that received heavy rain and snow. “In a large district like Central Oregon, the level of fire danger can vary from place to place depending on a lot of factors, such as elevation, northern or southern aspect and type of fuel,” said District Forester Mike Shaw of ODF’s Central Oregon District.

District Forester Dave Larson in ODF’s Southwest Oregon District said rising temperatures and lower humidity are already drying out plant life in his part of the state. “We can’t know exactly what a fire season may bring, but the last several years show summer poses a risk for significant wildfires in Jackson and Josephine counties.”

Other ODF protection districts will declare fire season as conditions warrant. For the latest on specific restrictions in your area, check with your local ODF office or log onto

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

bird.owl.limbNever Forget Just How Enormous D-Day Really Was

At $75,560, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard 

Ramadan Rage 2017: The Complete List of Jihadist Attacks Around the World

Watch Your Language 

Helpful Hints: What to do with those empty amber pill bottles

Why You Should Write Your Own Obituary – And What It Should Say—And-What-It-Should-Say_bl3016.htm

New Map Reveals Ships Buried Below San Francisco