Sherman County eNews #191


  1. Wheeler County Bluegrass Festival June 30-July 2

  2. 13th Annual Fossil Cruz-In, July 1

  3. Condon’s Fabulous 4th of July Celebration, July 1-4

  4. 4th of July Safety Tips from the Red Cross

  5. Frontier entities approve budgets, hear of resignation, note retirement

  6. Oregon Public Meetings Law: Media Representation at Executive Session

1. Wheeler County Bluegrass Festival June 30-July 2

Bluegrass Festival in Fossil, Oregon

June 30-July 2

music.notes (2)

Friday Kick-off Parade at 2

Music – Song Contest – Workshops – Jamming – Camping

2. 13th Annual Fossil Cruz-In, July 1 

Fossil Cruz-In


Saturday, July 1  9-4 o’clock

‘50s & ‘60s music by Frank Carlson

Rod McGuire & Paradise Rose Chuckwagon

3. Condon’s Fabulous 4th of July Celebration, July 1-4

fireworks1Saturday, July 1

–Harvesters’ Classic Softball Tournament 10 a.m.

Sunday, July 2

–Dave Barnett Memorial Two Man Scramble 8 a.m.

Monday, July 3

–Four-wheeler Rodeo 12 Fairgrounds

–Atisans’ Market 4-7 City Park

–Paradise Rose Chuckwagon BBQ Dinner 5-8

–Summer Concert in the Park 7

–Fireworks 10

Tuesday, July 4

–Community Breakfast 7:30-10

–Windmill Classic Walk/Run 8

–Morning Program 9

–Library Book Sale 10-2

–Hula Hoop Contest 10:30

–Lunch with Paradise Rose Chuckwagon

–Parade 12 noon

–Sidewalk Chalk Art, Soapbox Derby & Tricycle Races

–Free Swimming 1-4

–Kids’ Games on the Field 4

–Grand Marshal Reception 5-7

4. 4th of July Safety Tips from the Red Cross

arrow-rightPORTLAND, Ore., June 28, 2017 — For many in the Northwest, the 4th of July holiday means enjoying the great outdoors, cook-outs with family and friends and fireworks celebrations. But festivities this holiday weekend can also come with risks.

Since June 1, the local Red Cross has responded to help 215 people displaced by 56 separate fire incidents, several of which fire officials believe were started by fireworks or a BBQ.

The American Red Cross encourages people to follow these safety and fire prevention steps to stay safe over the 4th of July and throughout the summer months.

FIREWORKS SAFETY. The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting fireworks off at home:
1. Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight a “dud.”
5. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

GRILLING SAFETY. Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook for a backyard barbecue:
1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
2. Never grill indoors–not in the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
5. Use long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.

HIKING SAFETY. If your holiday plans include exploring the great outdoors, make sure to look over these tips to hike safely:

  1. First, ensure that you and your family are weather aware. Read, watch or listen to the local news for an up-to-date forecast.
    -Know local weather patterns and pack appropriate clothing for the conditions.
    -Plan for your turnaround times–the amount of time you need to get back before darkness.
    -Share your destination point with a family member or friend.
  2. Make a family plan.
    -Discuss with family members the precautions they should take to stay safe along the trails
    -Plan how to adjust your activities to avoid strenuous exercise during the warmest part of the day.
    -Drink water ahead of time and during your activities to avoid dehydration.
    -If you hike with your pets, ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.
  3. Safety is always a concern while outdoors; bring a first aid kit and an emergency supplies kit that includes the following items:
    -Bandages, Alcohol-based hand sanitizer,Tissues, Ibuprofen, Water or sports drinks with electrolytes
  4. Make sure you have the skills you need for your camping or hiking adventure. You may need to know how to read a compass, make a temporary shelter or deliver first aid.
  5. It’s safest to hike or camp with at least one companion. If you’ll be entering a remote area, your group should have a minimum of four people.
  6. Some areas require you to have reservations or certain permits. If an area is closed, there’s a reason, so don’t go there. Find out in advance about any regulations — there may be specific guidelines about wildlife.

    RED CROSS EMERGENCY APPS: People can download the free, all-inclusive Red Cross Emergency app which combines more than 35 separate emergency alert systems; expert first aid and medical advice; and preparedness tips for numerous emergency situations. Users can find the free app in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to This app is available in multiple languages.

5. Frontier entities approve budgets, hear of resignation, note retirement

~By permission of the Times-Journal in which it was published on June 22, 2017.

Directors of Frontier Digital Network and Frontier Telenet, both ORS 190 entities administered by the judges of Sherman, Gilliam and Wheeler counties, approved budgets for the 2017-2018 fiscal year when they met last Friday, June 16, in Condon.

Judge Gary Thompson of Sherman County chaired the meetings in the physical absence of Judge Steve Shaffer who had been called away, but who participated in the meetings by phone.  Wheeler County Judge Lynn  Morley was also present.

Also present at the meetings were Rob Myers, Frontier Digital/Frontier Telenet manager; Mike Smith, Frontier Telenet marketing manager; Jeanne Burch, staff; Ryan LeBlanc, Todd Cox, Garrett Winter and Steve Wynne of Day Wireless; Ron Spencer of Motorola Solutions; and Will Carey, attorney for Frontier Digital and Frontier Telenet, and several in the audience.

The budget hearing was opened, but no further discussion or public comment was offered on the proposed budget of Frontier Digital Network and the public hearing was closed.

After approving the minutes of the board’s Feb. 24 meeting and the current financials, the board’s discussion turned to a discussion of the system upgrade agreement with Motorola Solutions.  Motorola’s Garrett Winter reported that the Frontier Digital Network’s system has been upgraded as needed through the current four-year agreement and is “run as good as any system around.”

Ron Spencer, regional accounts manager for Motorola Solutions, commended Frontier Digital Network on its state of the art system, then discussed aspects of the proposed new four-year system upgrade agreement. The 2014 agreement, which was for $770,000, will conclude at the fiscal end of 2017. The new four-year agreement calls for $230,000 a year, and provides for continual system upgrades with the “most current Motorola equipment.”

Day-to-day maintenance and technical support on the system will continue to be provided by Day Wireless, work that is done separate from the Motorola contract. Frontier Digital Network directors agreed to have legal counsel review the agreement and make a final decision on the agreement at the board’s Friday, July 21, 9 a.m. meeting. Board members voted unanimously to approve the Frontier Digital Network budget that had been proposed for the 2017-2018 fiscal year in the amount of $391,000.

The Frontier Digital Network budget hearing and meeting was followed by a budget hearing and meeting of Frontier Telenet.

A brief discussion during the budget hearing was centered on the $900,000 that the federal government is in arrears for e-rate payments; and the movement of $53,000 from the Contingency Fund to Personal Services to cover the marketing director personal services contract, leaving $477,227 in the Contingency Fund. No public comment was provided in regards to the Frontier Telenet budget.

         As the regular Frontier Telenet board meeting began, staff Jeanne Burch referenced an op-ed piece in the June 15 issue of the Times-Journal authored by Sherry Kaseberg of Wasco and tendered her resignation, saying “enough is enough.” Burch was Wheeler Co. Judge when the Frontier Digital, Frontier Telenet and Frontier Regional 911 entities were created and has for the last few years served as staff, taking minutes, preparing the budgets and keeping records. She indicated she would complete the budget process and prepare the audit material.

         Attorney Will Carey recommended to the board that the statements made in Kaseberg’s comments should be responded to. From the audience, Pat Shaw indicated her displeasure with those who do not support the efforts of Frontier Telenet. Shaw, a former judge of Gilliam County, sat on the board of Frontier Telenet during her tenure as judge.

         By phone, Judge Shaffer indicated that “there are some things we need to work on. I take responsibility for organizational things, but there is nothing underhanded or sneaky going on. I feel we do need to take some steps to look at what we do.”

         The discussion continued noting the accomplishments and successes of Frontier Telenet and associated entities in establishing the 911 emergency call center, which now serves four counties.

         Judge Shaffer had apparently earlier contacted the Association of Oregon Counties for assistance, and asked for, and received by consensus, board approval to continue working with AOC.

         With brief further discussion regarding the proposed budget, directors unanimously approved the 2017-2018 budget in the amount of $2,660,758.

         The board took no action on Burch’s announcement of her resignation.

         In regards to a discussion on the development of Frontier Telenet’s contracting and procurement rules, board members approved requesting the services of Speer Hoyt LLC in Eugene to assist in the development of Frontier Telenet’s contracting and procurement policies, with a cost capped at $500.

         In discussing a proposed Records Request Policy, a motion to approve the policy as proposed was withdrawn after resident Les Ruark pointed out that the policy proposal, any policy proposal, should be made available to the public before the board makes a public decision on it. Discussion followed noting that news media and all who have requested information prior to board meetings should receive the information that will be discussed at a board meeting at the same time it is distributed to board members.

         “The link between government entities and the public bodies they serve is what is important,” Ruark said. “Getting the information to the public is important in that it would make your (referring to board members) job easier, because people could educate themselves.”

         A decision on the policy adoption will be taken up at the board’s next meeting.

         Wheeler County Judge Lynn Morley began a discussion on the meetings held in Wheeler Co. regarding expanding Frontier Telenet’s wireless communications system.

         “Nobody said it was better than fiber,” Judge Morley said, but noted that the county was receiving pressure to use the grant funding that had been approved earlier, and that the fiber that was proposed from Arlington to Condon to Fossil hasn’t materialized yet.

         Judge Morley said the Wheeler Co. Court had voted to proceed with the wireless system to expand broadband in Wheeler County.

         Frontier Telenet marketing director Mike Smith added issues considered in moving Wheeler County towards its decision to use the wireless microwave system included difficulty, i.e., high costs, terrain, etc., in getting fiber optics throughout the county, the $2 million in grant funding would provide up to a ‘gig’ of broadband to each community as well as improve emergency services communications, and a proven entity in Day Wireless already experienced in maintaining the wireless system.

         Mike Smith reported on the matter of developing a tower site that will serve the Cottonwood Canyon State Park area. He said Frontier Telenet has secured the site with approval from the landowner, negotiations are continuing with the state in regards to equipment for the site, and, while a 40-foot tower is available, an 80-100-foot tower is needed. The project is on-going.

         Board members also:

— discussed a change in the contract with Light Speed Network, but needed more information.

— heard that work continues on a draft agreement between Frontier Regional 911 and the Burns Paiute Tribe for services to be provided by the local emergency call center.

— heard that funding had been placed in the new budget for increases in Frontier Telenet’s personal services contracts, but the matter was postponed to the July meeting as it had not been discussed or agreed upon by the board.

— heard Les Ruark ask about the time-table and process including performance review and discussion of renewal for the personal services contract with Mike Smith, and succession planning in view of the retirement of Rob Myers. It was noted that Myers’ position will not be filled.

— heard Ruark ask about the reconfiguration of ORS 190 entities following the extraction of North Central ESD from the management infrastructure of the entities.

— heard Ruark ask about the recent Oregon Government Ethics Commission decision to fine Frontier Telenet $1,750 for failing to file reports with the state for the last three quarters of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 – who is responsible and who will pay the fine? Board members appeared to have no knowledge of an Ethics Commission fine.

— heard Ruark commend Jeanne Burch on her longstanding efforts in public service, and encourage the continued involvement by Association of Oregon Counties in guiding the Frontier Telenet processes.

         Just prior to the meeting’s adjournment, Steve Wynne and Ryan LeBlanc, of Day Wireless, presented Rob Myers with a plaque, in recognition of his retirement, in appreciation for working with him for several years on Frontier Telenet and Frontier Digital Network projects

         The next meeting of the directors of Frontier Digital Network and Frontier Telenet will be Friday, July 21, 9 a.m. at the North Central ESD Building in Condon.

6. Oregon Public Meetings Law: Media Representation at Executive Session


II.E.4. Media Representation at Executive Session

For many years, the common practice of many public bodies was to permit members of the media to attend executive sessions, subject to the understanding that the media representatives would not report certain sensitive matters. The principal purpose of this practice was to provide news representatives the opportunity to obtain, from their attendance at executive sessions, background information that would improve their understanding of final decisions, and consequently, their ability to keep the public better informed.

The Public Meetings Law now expressly provides that representatives of the news media shall be allowed to attend all executive sessions except in two situations: executive sessions involving deliberations with persons designated to carry on labor negotiations,[351] and closed sessions held under ORS 332.061(2) to consider expulsion of an elementary or secondary school student or matters pertaining to a student’s confidential medical records. ORS 192.660(4).

When an executive session is held for the purpose of conferring with counsel about current litigation or litigation likely to be filed, the governing body must exclude any member of the news media from attending the executive session if the member of the news media is a party to the litigation to be discussed or is an employee, agent or contractor of a news media organization that is a party to the litigation. ORS 192.660(5).

The governing body may require that specified information not be disclosed. ORS 192.660(4). See Sample Script at p. K-9. The presiding officer should make the specification, or the governing body could do so (or overrule the presiding officer) by motion. Absent any such specification, the entire proceeding may be reported and the purpose for having an executive session may be frustrated. Except in the rarest instances, the governing body at least should allow the general subject of the discussion to be disclosed, and it cannot prevent discussion of the statutory grounds justifying the session. The nondisclosure requirement should be no broader than the public interest requires.

Although we explain above that members of the public may tape record or video record public meetings, we do not believe this is the case with respect to members of the media who attend executive sessions. We believe the presiding officer may require that members of the media not tape record executive session proceedings, in order to decrease the likelihood that information discussed in the executive session will be inadvertently disclosed.

The term “representatives of the news media” is not defined. We have interpreted that term to include news-gathering representatives of institutionalized news media that ordinarily report activities of the body.[352] This interpretation should be expanded to include representatives of media that ordinarily report to the general public on matters of the nature under consideration by the body.

The advertising manager of a newspaper is not a representative of the newspaper for purposes of this statute, and a periodical containing only hunting and fishing news is not a medium of news about a meeting of a school board. The hunting and fishing periodical presumably would be a news medium, under the statute, for purposes of a meeting of the Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Current technologies make it easy to disseminate information to a potentially broad audience. Bloggers and others using these technologies sometimes seek to attend executive sessions, asserting that they are “representatives of the news media.” An individual may be a representative of the news media” even if he or she does not work for traditional print media.  The law does not establish bright lines regarding publication schedule, the size of the media organization, or audience size.  A decision whether such an individual should be permitted to attend an executive session must be made on a case-by­-case basis as no clear definition of “news media” exists. We encourage public bodies to consult with their legal counsel when faced with this type of request.

The Public Meetings Law provides no sanction to enforce the requirement that specified information not be disclosed by a news representative. Any penalty for publication would raise freedom of press and speech questions.[353] The experience of more than three decades has been that the media, by and large, honor the nondisclosure requirement. Ultimately, “enforcement” of the nondisclosure requirement depends upon cooperation between public officials and the media. This cooperation advances the purposes of both government and the news media.

A news reporter has no obligation to refrain from disclosing information gathered at an executive session if the governing body fails to specify that certain information is not for publication.[354] Media representatives may wish, in a spirit of cooperation, to inquire whether a governing body’s failure to specify was an oversight. A reporter is under no obligation to keep confidential any information the reporter independently gathers as the result of leads obtained in an executive session. A news reporter has a clear right to disclose any matter covered in an executive session that is not properly within the scope of the announced statutory authorization of the executive session. Indeed, the presence of news media representatives at executive sessions probably encourages compliance with statutory restrictions on the holding of closed sessions.

It is questionable whether a news media representative can be barred from future executive sessions for improperly revealing information obtained at a prior closed session. In a case called to our attention, a reporter and all other representatives of the employing newspaper were threatened with exclusion from future executive sessions for reporting deliberations on a matter that was probably not a proper subject of an executive session. Exclusion or the threat of exclusion in such a case is clearly impermissible.

It is certainly reasonable for a governing body to request a news medium not to assign a particular representative to cover meetings of the body if the representative has irresponsibly violated a clearly valid nondisclosure requirement. An outright ban on a particular individual may be enforceable in such a case, because the statutory purposes will be met by allowing another representative (and representatives of other news media) to attend. However, we can say no more than it is possible that a ban would be enforced in these circumstances. We see no other basis for a governing body to dictate the assignments of a news medium representative. A particular representative certainly could not be banned from meetings simply because the governing body disliked the reports made by the representative.