Sherman County eNews #338


  1. Finding Happiness

  2. Prager University: The Key to Unhappiness

  3. Workshops in Agriculture, Nov. 27-28

  4. Phillip Gilman

  5. James A. “Jack” Cushman 1928-2017

  6. Fire Safety Front & Center on Your Holiday Menu

  7. Oregon Employers will see Lower Unemployment Tax Rates in 2018

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

For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies; For the wonder of each hour Of the day and of the night, Hill and vale, and tree and flower, Sun and moon, and stars of light; For the joy of ear and eye, For the heart and mind’s delight, For the mystic harmony Linking sense to sound and sight… Lord of all, to Thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.  ~Folliot S. Pierpoint, 1864; Conrad Kocher, 1838 The Hymn Book (Presbyterian). 

1. Finding Happiness

Everyone wants to be happy, but not everyone knows how to go about getting there. Today, let’s talk about a couple of ways to be happy.

How do you define “happiness”? Some people think happiness is getting all or most of the things they want. They always have lists of new things they want or are about to get: cars, vacations, fancy clothes, new furniture, or the latest electronic toy. With the holidays fast approaching, these lists get more definite and, occasionally, grow larger!

However, often these people are deeply discontented, for no matter how much they acquire; they never seem to have enough. A new acquisition brings them pleasure, but only for a little while. Happiness is always in the future, always appearing, and then disappearing.

Someone once said that there are two ways to be happy: the first is to have all the things you want; the second is to have the wisdom to enjoy the things you have. To this, let’s add a third: that happiness is wanting what you have. You probably have your own definition of happiness, because, really, there are as many ways to define “happiness” as there are people on the planet.

When you practice the “wisdom” way, you are able to appreciate the beauty that exists in the simplest elements of life. Even in hardship, you’ll find many reasons to feel joy on a daily basis. Sure, you’ll feel good when you acquire something new, but your real and lasting happiness will be found in relationships, in simple pleasures, in nature, and in actions that show love.

If you remember that the time to be happy is now, and the place to be happy is where you are, you will find a joy that no amount of money can buy. ~The Pacific Institute

2. Prager University: The Key to Unhappiness


3. Workshops in Agriculture, Nov. 27-28

Ag workshops!

Enroll in these three-hour non-credit workshops to enhance your skills!

November 27 & 28

Blue Mountain Community College Precision Irrigated Agriculture Facility

OSU HAREC campus

2121 S. 1st Street, Hermiston, Oregon 


Contact Jan Keough, BMCC Office of Instruction or 541-278-5969

Monday, November 27:

Practical Welding Proceses 9-12 $30

Designing Irrigation Systems 1-4 $30

Tuesday, November 28:

Understanding Soil 9-12 $30

Safety on the Farm 1-4 $30

4. Phillip Gilman

flower.rose.starPhillip Roy Gilman, age 75, a resident of The Dalles, Oregon, passed away November 8, 2017, at a local care facility. Services were held on November 13 at Spooky’s in The Dalles.


5. James A. “Jack” Cushman 1928-2017

flower.rose.starJames Alexander “Jack” Cushman was born February 20, 1928 to Virgil Eugene Cushman and Alvena (Howard) Cushman, and died on October 29, 2017. He was the brother of Howard, Betty, wife of Willard Andrew Hamlin, and Mary Ann, wife of Lewis Nelson Crocker, and grandson of Eugene Albert Cushman and Penelope Isabelle “Nellie” (Woods) Cushman. These families lived in Sherman, Gilliam, Umatilla and Jefferson counties. He was a 1949 graduate of Oregon State College, served in the U.S. Air Corps Reserve, and operated the International Harvester dealership in Moro. In 1952 he married Connie Wilson and they had two children, Jeanne Anita (1956-   ) and Michael Ray (1957-1965).

6. Fire Safety Front & Center on Your Holiday Menu

Thanksgiving.RunTurkeyWith Thanksgiving just a few days away, State Fire Marshal Jim Walker is reminding Oregonians to keep fire safety front and center when cooking and preparing holiday meals.

“When friends and family gather at this festive time of year, don’t let it be marred by tragedy,” says Walker. “By following a few fire prevention tips, you can keep yourself and loved ones safe.”

From 2012 through 2016, there were more than 3,600 cooking-related fires reported in Oregon causing seven deaths, 200 injuries, and more than $33 million in property loss.

Cooking safety tips:
* Keep a close eye on your cooking; never leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the stove or set a timer.
* Keep your cooking area clean, including stovetop, burners, oven, and exhaust fan.
* Keep anything that can catch fire – oven mitts, wooden utensils, dishtowels, and food packaging away from your stovetop.
* Wear clothing that will not dangle onto stove burners and catch fire.
* Keep pot and pan handles turned inward on the stove to avoid bumping them and spilling hot foods.
* Heat cooking oil slowly and never leave it unattended.
* Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot foods or drinks are prepared or carried.

If you have a cooking fire:
* Always keep a lid nearby to smother small grease fires. Smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and don’t move the pan until it is completely cool.
* Never pour water on a grease fire; it can splatter the grease and spread the fire.
* In the event of a fire in your oven or microwave, turn them off and keep the doors closed.
* When in doubt, get out! Call 9-1-1 after you leave.

Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace them if they are 10 years old or older.

Turkey fryer safety:
The OSFM agrees with the National Fire Protection Association in discouraging the use of outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that cook the turkey in hot oil. The use of deep fat turkey fryers can lead to devastating burns, other injuries, and the destruction of property.

However, if you use a fryer, the OSFM urges you to use extreme caution.

“If you’re cooking your turkey in a deep fat fryer, always do it outdoors a safe distance from buildings, deck railings, and any other flammable material, and never leave it unattended,” advises State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “Hot oil is extremely dangerous, never use turkey fryers on a wooden deck or in your garage.”

More turkey fryer safety tips:
* Lower and raise food slowly to reduce splatter and prevent burns.
* Cover bare skin when adding or removing food from the fryer.
* Make sure to have at least two feet of space between the propane tank and the fryer burner.
* If the oil begins to smoke, immediately turn the fryer gas supply off and leave the pot uncovered to cool.

For more information on cooking safety, visit:

For more information on general home fire safety, visit:

7. Oregon Employers will see Lower Unemployment Tax Rates in 2018

Oregon.Flat.poleUnemployment tax rates for most Oregon employers will be lower in 2018. Tax rates will drop to schedule three for employers that pay into the unemployment insurance system.

Tax schedule three includes an average rate of 1.97% for the first $39,300 paid to each employee. In 2017 Oregon operated on schedule four which had an average rate of 2.26%. The specific rate each employer will pay under the new schedule depends on how much they have used the unemployment insurance system.

Oregon annually adjusts employer tax rates using eight tax schedules based on the solvency of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Movement between the eight schedules of tax rates represents part of the self-balancing aspects of Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund law. Each September a formula contained in state law determines how much should be collected during the next year to maintain a solvent fund. Each schedule has a range of tax rates based on an employer’s previous Unemployment Insurance experience.

The last time Oregon was on tax schedule three was in 2009. A healthy economy and strong job growth helped to contribute to the reduction.

As a result of this approach, Oregon has one of the strongest trust funds in the nation. The trust fund provides support for temporarily unemployed workers, their families, and communities while minimizing the impact on employers. This approach allows this support without having to reduce benefits to workers, increase employer taxes, or borrow from the federal government as most other states had to do for the Great Recession.

The Oregon Employment Department mailed notifications to businesses last week regarding their individual tax rates and encourages employers to wait until they receive their individual notice before attempting to contact the department with questions. Any employer who has not received their notice within the next couple of weeks should contact the Oregon Employment Department Unemployment Insurance Tax Section. Contact information may be found online at

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

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