Sherman County eNews #169


  1. It Is Never Too Late to Change

  2. 2018 Farm Bill: Preview & Analysis with Graphs

  3. Prevent the Summer Slide with Summer Reading

  4. News from The Saving Nine 4-H Sewing Club

  5. Notice: Sherman County School District Board Meeting, June 12

  6.  Sherman County Court Notes, June 7

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

1. It Is Never Too Late to Change

When is it too late to change? If you get off to a bad start, can you still turn things around when you are an adult?

If you were in trouble all the time when you were a kid, a teenager, and even as a young adult, do you think there is any hope that you will straighten out your life when you get to be 30 or 40? According to findings from two of the longest, ongoing research studies in the nation, many people have an amazing capacity for change throughout life.

There is the example of “Stan.” At the age of 32, “Stan” seemed destined for failure. Abandoned at birth by his father, and orphaned at the age of three when his mother died, “Stan” dropped out of school in the 8th grade, became an alcoholic, and served prison time for rape and vagrancy in his 20’s and early 30’s.

But 15 years later, against all odds, “Stan” had turned his life around. When researchers checked in with him at age 47, he was sober and happily married, had an adopted son he doted on, and owned a trucking business and a house.

These studies – and evidence from an on-going study within corrections in Montana – point out that “Stan’s” story is far from unique. We all have the capacity to change our circumstances – no matter how old we are, and no matter how difficult our early experiences were. It comes down to whether or not we want to change. Once that mindset shift takes place, from “have to” to “want to,” change becomes a whole lot easier.

So, please do not give up on yourself. Be careful about listening to anyone who says it is too late to change. They just may have given up on themselves. You don’t have to. If you really want to – if you are willing to alter your beliefs and your behavior – you can do it. It all starts with changing that internal picture of who you “know” you are. ~The Pacific Institute

2. 2018 Farm Bill: Preview & Analysis with Graphs  

Since the 1930’s and the Great Depression about every 5-years the U.S. Congress adopts a Farm Bill.  The Farm Bill contains production agriculture & food policies under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Farm Bill titles include Commodity Programs, Conservation, Trade, Nutrition, Credit, Rural Development, Research & Extension, Forestry, Energy, Horticulture and Crop Insurance. At stake is about $100 billion annually!  Simply put, the Farm Bill touches everyone, every day.  All of our food, fiber and renewable fuel and energy is derived from the farm or benefits from programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The House and Senate Committees on Agriculture are gearing up for hearings in Washington and across the U.S. to collect information that will help in crafting the next reauthorization of the Farm Bill.

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3. Prevent the Summer Slide with Summer Reading

book.girl.readbook.boy.readThe summer slide isn’t playground equipment. Join the summer reading program at your library to prevent the summer slide.

During the summer, students will forget some of the skills they learned in school if they do not engage in activities to practice those skills. You can prevent your child from going down the summer slide by participating in the free summer reading program at your local public library.

Starting this month, libraries are offering STEAM activities (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), crafts, games, music, movies, and reading activities. Library staff are experts in helping students find reading materials that match their interests and reading level. However, the summer program is not only about reading! Libraries are also offering fun activities in a wide range of subject areas and styles to appeal to students’ diverse interests and abilities. Summer reading program activities are different at each library so contact your local public library and ask for a calendar of events.

The statewide summer reading program is supported in part by state Ready to Read funds and federal Library Services and Technology Act funds administered by the State Library of Oregon.

4. News from The Saving Nine 4-H Sewing Club

The “Saving Nine” 4-H sewing club met on June 5, 2017 at 3:30pm at the Extension Office.  Attending were Becca, Amara and leader Karen.  Excused absence was Codie-Lee.  Pledge of Allegiance led by the Girl Scouts, 4-H Pledge by Amara.  We finished skirts and did a few sewing flashcards.  Our next meeting is to be announced.  Meeting adjourned at 5:15pm.  Signed Amara James, News Reporter

5. Notice: Sherman County School District Board Meeting, June 12

The Sherman County School District Board of Directors will hold its Regular Board Meeting on Monday, June 12, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.  An Executive Session pursuant to ORS 192.660(2)(d) to conduct deliberations with persons designated to carry on labor negotiations and 192.660(2)(e) to conduct deliberations to negotiate real property transactions will precede the Regular Meeting at 6:00 p.m. These meetings will be held in the Sherman County School/Public Library. 

 6. Sherman County Court Notes, June 7

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 21 court session on the Sherman County website at

The Sherman County Court met in regular session on June 7, 2017, and in conducting the business of the county,

  • opened a budget hearing at 9:04 a.m.; there have been no changes since the budget was approved by the Budget Committee; no comment was made for or against; the Court approved the budget approved by the budget committee for the 2017-2018 fiscal year in the total sum of $52,455,167 and imposing the taxes provided for in the adopted budget at the rate of $8.7141 per $1,000 of assessed value for operations and that these taxes are hereby imposed and categorized for tax year 2017-2018 upon the assessed value of all taxable property within the County of Sherman as of 1:00 a.m., July 1, 2017, and approved appropriations as recommended by the finance director; the budget hearing closed at 9:07 a.m.;
  • witnessed a presentation to Jennifer Willie by Shawn Payne, Emergency Services Director, for a successful CPR save;
  • opened a public hearing regarding the SHIFT Festival mass gathering application; Georgia Macnab, Planner, explained the SHIFT Festival obtained a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) because the festival is to be held during the high-fire period of June-October; the CUP is a temporary permit for this year only; Glenn Fluhr, South Sherman Fire & Rescue Chief, stated that last year, SHIFT went above and beyond the fire plan; Glenn has the right to shut down fire activities in the event of wind; notice for the CUP and mass gathering application were sent out to neighboring property owners and to all Sherman County agencies; Shawn Payne, Emergency Services Director, stated she has been in contact with SHIFT representatives about the first aid plan and has sent out information about snake bite protocol as well as life flight protocol; Brad Lohrey, Sheriff, stated SHIFT fulfilled the requirement of having Department of Public Safety Standards Training certified security present; the Court granted a mass gathering permit to the SHIFT Festival for set up starting July 19, 2017, and the festival on July 20-23, 2017; brief discussion was held about insurance requirements; discussion was held about fire evacuation routes; Georgia will send out a notice of decision;
  • met with David, Nathan, and Nathaniel Stelzer, Azure Farms, and Rod Asher, Weed District Director, regarding the Azure Farms Weed Control Plan; Commissioner McCoy read a statement into the record regarding his feelings about the social media attack Azure Standard launched on Sherman County Court; Rod stated he has been researching weed control methods, and he feels the focus should be on results, not methods; Rod sent out a weed control agreement, and Azure returned a revised agreement the day before County Court; Rod revised the Azure version and provided the Court and the Stelzers copies for review; the Court suggested waiting to sign the document until all parties had a chance to look it over; Nathan stated he wanted to protect private property rights; Rod explained the original weed control plan implied he would be accessing Azure land with no limits, but his intention was to have only the limited access necessary to do his job; Nathan would prefer a firm, clear definition of how much of the property Rod would access; Nathan prefers that he be present and accompany anyone wanting access to the land and that all agreements be in writing, not just verbal; the Court suggested the Stelzers meet with Rod and come up with a plan both parties agree on before the next County Court; it was agreed by all parties that the Stelzers and Rod will draft an agreement together and present it at the next County Court meeting; Judge Thompson requested that the weed plan be provided to all parties prior to the Court session, allowing adequate time for review;
  • heard an updated from Glen Fluhr, South Sherman Fire & Rescue (SSFR) Chief, about the fire hall project; SSFR hired an engineer to come up with site plans; the income survey did not turn out in SSFR’s favor, and SSFR is not eligible for the Community Block Development Grant; Glenn estimated the project will cost approximately $1 million; the county has agreed to contribute up to $500,000 plus the $150,000 previously allocated; Glenn hopes to level out the site this year and to get utility features put in; the county will allocate the remaining $250,000 if SSFR presents a plan to the Budget Committee before next fiscal year; Glenn presented drawings from the engineering company; Glenn reported SSFR received a Sherman Development League grant for $16,000 to purchase a 3,000 gallon water tank on a 4-wheel drive chassis; Glenn updated the Court on the status of the proposed fire district merger; SSFR will have a schedule for coverage for the August 21 eclipse; Mid-Columbia Producers will have fuel tankers available in Moro and The Dalles for emergency vehicles;
  • met with Amber DeGrange and Christa Rude, Four Rivers Early Learning Hub, to discuss an amendment to the Intergovernmental Agreement with the State of Oregon; Christa reviewed the amendment and had questions about it; she recommended the Court not sign the amendment at this time, as she is unclear how the changes impact the current agreement; the insurance portion has changed, but the language is confusing; Christa will see if she can get clarification about the agreement so she can recommend the Court sign it; brief discussion was held about how budget cuts could impact the Hub;
  • approved hiring Joyce Combs for the part-time kitchen assistant position at the Senior Center effective June 1, 2017;
  • approved a letter of support for House Bill 2386 and House Bill 2645 establishing a drug take-back program;
  • approved Early Childhood Education funding for 2017-2018 fiscal year as follows: Little Wheats $26,666.67; Sherman County Child Care Foundation (ABC Huskies Child Care) – $26,666.67; Sherman County Preschool – $26,666.67;
  • approved the selection of Six Rivers Community Mediation Services as grantee to receive Oregon Office for Community Dispute Resolution funding for the 2017-2019 biennium to provide community dispute resolution services for Sherman County;
  • approved Oregon Youth Conservation Corps Grant Agreement No. 17-087 between the State of Oregon and Sherman County to provide funding for local, community-oriented projects that are administered by local programs and that employ local youth and authorized Amber DeGrange or Taylor Olsen to sign;
  • approved Intergovernmental Services Agreement Contract #3611-17 between Oregon Department of Revenue and Sherman County in the amount of $2,280 for map maintenance and related cartographic activities;
  • approved an Intergovernmental Agreement between Mid-Columbia Economic Development District and Sherman County in the amount of $40,000 for the provision of local economic development services effective July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, and authorized Judge Thompson to sign;
  • added Aaron Cook to the Biggs Service District Bank of Eastern Oregon signature card, removed Jeff Holliday from the signature card, and authorized Aaron to sign checks up to $300.00;
  • approved Miranda Owens as the 2017 Oregon Youth Conservation Corps Crew Leader;
  • approved United States Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Work and Financial Plan between Sherman County and United States Department of Agriculture, in the amount of $72,026.00, effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, and authorized Judge Thompson to sign;
  • approved the expenditure of up to $30,000 to Pacific Power for the purpose of overhead line removal for the courthouse facilities project;
  • discussed an Oregon State Parks response letter regarding development of facilities on Oregon State Parks Land at Starvation Lane, Wasco Annex tools/supplies, and a thank-you letter from ABC Huskies Child Care;
  • heard reports from Court members about regional board activities.

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

bird.talk2018 Farm Bill: Preview & Analysis 

Federal Government to Review Sagegrouse Management in the West 

Oregon Growers. Farm Direct Specialty Foods

Map Showing How Airlines Divert Flights Around Syrian Airspace

The Historic Nature of the Regulatory Slowdown

Gorge Academy of Cosmetology

NORCOR bond failed by 41 votes. Final tally in jail tax shows narrow defeat.

These 13 Counties Started Work Requirements for Food Stamps. Here’s What Happened.