Sherman County eNews #302


  1. Solar Saturday at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, Oct. 14

  2. Space Weather: An Asteroid to Buzz Earth this Week

  3. Sherman County School District Letter to the Sherman County Community

  4. Oregon State Land Board Public Meeting, Oct. 17

  5. Hauling Rocks

  6. Medicare Annual Open Enrollment is October 15 through December 7

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

1. Solar Saturday at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, Oct. 14

sun.circleBob Yoesle from Friends of the Goldendale Observatory will present a solar viewing free to the public Saturday, October 14 from 11 am to 3 pm at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles. Using special safely-filtered telescopes you can view the surface of the sun. This event is free, and will be held, weather and clouds permitting, on the museum lawn. Museum admission still applies for visitors who wish to see the exhibits. For more information visit

2. Space Weather: An Asteroid to Buzz Earth this Week

ASTEROID TO BUZZ EARTH THIS WEEK: Four years ago, a house-sized asteroid tore through the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, and exploded.  Shock waves shattered windows and knocked down onlookers as fragments of the disintegrating space rock peppered the Ural countryside. This week an asteroid about the same size is approaching Earth. It will not hit our planet, but it’s coming very close. On Oct. 12, 2017, the speeding space rock, named “2012 TC4,” will skim just above the zone of Earth’s geosynchronous communications satellites and briefly become a target for amateur telescopes. Learn more about the flyby on today’s edition of

3. Sherman County School District Letter to the Sherman County Community

SCSchoolDist.Communication to Community 10-9-17

4. Oregon State Land Board Public Meeting, Oct. 17

Salem — The State Land Board will be asked to adopt proposed amendments to the administrative rules governing the placement of ocean renewable energy facilities on, in or over state-owned land within the territorial sea (three miles westward from the low-tide mark).

The amendments are the result of recommendations from an advisory committee that met eight times between 2016 and 2017, and a 45-day public comment period. The proposed amendments also take into consideration several legislative actions in the 2013 and 2015 sessions affecting ocean energy facilities.

In addition, the Board will be asked to approve the consent agenda which includes requests to initiate the review of three potential sales, and one request for a perpetual easement for two bridge crossings.

The informational agenda includes the annual update from the Oregon Ocean Science Trust, the annual report on management of Common School Fund real property, and a status report on the Elliott State Forest.

The meeting will be held:

Oct. 17, 2017
10:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m.
Department of State Lands
Land Board Room
775 Summer St. NE, Salem

This meeting will be held in a facility that is accessible for persons with disabilities. If you need assistance to participate in the meeting due to a disability, please notify Arin Smith at (503) 986-5224 or at least two working days prior to the meeting.

To live stream the meeting, go to the State Lands YouTube channel:

Meeting agenda:

The State Land Board consists of Governor Kate Brown, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and State Treasurer Tobias Read. The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.

5. Hauling Rocks

Abraham Lincoln once said that if you “look for what is wrong, you will surely find it.”  How true this is. The imperfections in ourselves mean we can always find deficits if we try. For a lot of us, it is much easier to find cracks and faults.

If your focus is on what is wrong, if you are busy looking for the flaws and weaknesses in your character, you are weighing yourself down just as surely as if you were going through life carrying a big backpack full of rocks – and every day the backpack just gets heavier.

Of course, if you are a world-class negative thinker, then the weight of your burden becomes just one more thing with which to find fault. On the other hand, if you spend most of your time looking for and appreciating all that is right or delightful about yourself and the world around you – and make no mistake, there are thousands of delights in this world once you start looking for them – it is as if you had diamonds in your pockets.

To get a quick reading on where your focus is, list all your shortcomings and all your strengths on a piece of paper. Take your time and make sure you cover as much as possible. Once you have finished both lists, look to see if you used a double standard. Did you list as weaknesses those things that are occasionally true about you or always true? On the other hand, did you list strengths that are almost always true or just occasionally true? Depending upon what you find, you may be stacking the cards against yourself.

If you get rid of your old programming that says it is better to haul rocks than diamonds, and start affirming your strengths instead, your life will be so much richer! And you couldn’t find a better day to start than today. ~The Pacific Institute

6. Medicare Annual Open Enrollment is October 15 through December 7

~ Oregon Dept. of Consumer & Business Services

Annual open enrollment for Medicare starts next week, and Oregon’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) Program is available to help.

Medicare is health insurance for people 65 years or older or younger than 65 with Social Security Disability Income. People living in Oregon who are 65 years or older may be eligible to sign up and find health insurance that best meets their needs. Medicare covers many medical costs, including visits to the doctor, prescription medications, and preventive care, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, diabetes treatment, and blood pressure screenings.

Medicare annual enrollment runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2017. Any Medicare Advantage (MA) or prescription drug plan (Part D) changes must be made between these dates so that coverage begins without interruption on Jan. 1, 2018. Those who are late to enroll may face a lifetime of premium penalties.

“It is important to compare Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans every year,” SHIBA Program Manager Lisa Emerson said. “Plans change year to year, as do people’s individual health care needs. People could potentially save money by shopping for a new plan.”

SHIBA provides free health insurance counseling to explain how the Medicare program works, additional insurance options that work with Medicare, and help with reducing out-of-pocket costs. SHIBA staff members, along with over 200 certified counselors, serve many of Oregon’s more than 780,000 Medicare beneficiaries to help them understand their Medicare benefits and enrollment options. Free information and help is available by calling 1-800-722-4134 (toll-free) or visiting

SHIBA counselors help beneficiaries compare plans and enroll by using the plan finder tool found online at Beneficiaries and their families can also choose to use this tool to compare plans and enroll on their own.

SHIBA also publishes an annual Medicare guide, which will be available online in early October and in print in mid-November.

Tips from SHIBA to prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment:

Review your plan notice. Be sure to read any notices from your Medicare plan about changes for next year, especially your Annual Notice of Change letter.

Think about what matters most to you. Medicare health and drug plans change each year and so can your health needs. Do you need a new primary care doctor? Does your network include the specialist you want for an upcoming surgery? Is your new medication covered by your current plan? Does another plan offer the same value at a lower cost? Take stock of your health status and determine if you need to make a change.

Find out if you qualify for help paying for your Medicare. SHIBA can help you learn about a state program that helps with the costs of Medicare premiums, your Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance) deductibles, co-insurance and co-payments, and Medicare prescription drug coverage costs.

Apply for help with drug costs. If you have limited income and assets, you may qualify for extra help with prescription drug costs. SHIBA counselors can help you apply for this benefit through Social Security.

Tips from SHIBA when comparing health insurance plans:

Find your insurance cards. You may need your red, white, and blue Medicare card to review benefit details or enroll in a new plan. If you have a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan, you may also need that card.

Update your list of prescription drugs. Check with your doctor to make sure you understand each prescription. Is a generic available? Can you eliminate unneeded medications? Based on your list, do you have the right plan?

Use the plan finder. The plan finder uses your prescription list to compare prescription drug and Medicare Advantage health plans in your area. Not all companies cover the same drugs so it’s important to have a complete list of your medications and dosages when using this tool.

Contact your doctor, hospital, and pharmacy before making changes. Not all health and drug plans contract or work with the same providers. If you switch plans, make sure you understand which providers you can see for the best price.

More information
SHIBA: To meet with a counselor, contact the toll-free SHIBA Helpline at 1-800-722-4134. You will be asked to enter your ZIP code to be connected to a program in your area. Visit to find local help in your county, obtain a copy of the 2018 Oregon Guide to Medicare Health plans and find Medicare education and enrollment events in your area.  Follow SHIBA on Facebook:

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


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