Sherman County eNews #345


  1. Christmas Shopping at The Museum Store, Dec. 2

  2. Sherman County Lions Club Fruit Shipment Delayed until Dec. 9

  3. gofundme for Denny Riggs Family

  4. Local Students Given Opportunity to Study Abroad

  5. In Search of Happiness – Part 1

  6. The State of the Press: Fewer Reporters, Bigger Government

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

A key to a vital life is an eagerness to learn and a willingness to change.  ~Mary Anne Radmacher-Hershey

“Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.” —Joseph Warren (1775)

1. Christmas Shopping at The Museum Store, Dec. 2

Moro, OR – The Sherman County Historical Museum Store in Moro, Oregon will be open for your Christmas shopping on Saturday, December 2nd from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. Come shop, enjoy refreshments, and tour the Sherman County Historical Museum! Pick up the newly designed camper coffee mugs, a historic Sherman County calendar, the Camp Sherman Calendar, Melissa & Doug brand wooden toys and puzzles, cute farm animals that walk and talk and a $5 t-shirt sale and much more for everyone on your list! Take a Walk on the Rural Side and we will see you on December 2nd at the Sherman County Historical Museum Store!

For more information contact the Sherman County Historical Museum at 541-565-3232 or email

2. Sherman County Lions Club Fruit Shipment Delayed until Dec. 9

The Lions Club just received word that the GRAPEFRUIT AND ORANGES which they have for sale are stalled in Texas and will not be available until Dec.9th.  Nell Melzer reports that if you have ordered fruit and call her next week you may pick up your order at her home. 541-565-3517. The fruit is always top quality. We apologize for the shipping delay!

3. gofundme for Denny Riggs Family

Denny Riggs is a single mom currently raising three children, and has recently been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.  Denny is facing surgery and followup treatments and a long battle to regain her health.  As those who know Denny and her situation will attest, Denny has given her heart and soul to her children and now is in need of some help from the community to get her and her family through this medical crisis.  Donations will be used primarily for medical expenses, fuel expenses and groceries for the household.  God bless you for considering a donation to this remarkable woman and her family.

4. Local Students Given Opportunity to Study Abroad

Qualified high school students are offered a unique opportunity to spend an academic year, semester or summer holiday in Europe, Asia, North or South America, Australia or South Africa as part of the ASSE International Student Exchange Program.

Students, 15 to 18 years old, qualify on the basis of academic performance, character references and a genuine desire to experience life abroad with a volunteer host family.

Families abroad are carefully screened to provide a caring environment in which students can learn the language and culture of their host country.  Students do not need to know the language of the host country prior to departure but will acquire the language skills through experiencing the day to day culture of their host country.  ASSE students attend regular high school classes along with their new teenage friends.

ASSE is dedicated to promoting closer ties of friendship between the United States and other countries by fostering intercultural understanding through youth exchange programs. 

ASSE also provides international opportunities for families to host students from Spain, Mexico, Germany, Great Britain, France, Brazil, Thailand, Japan, and many more.  These carefully screened and selected students are 15 to 18 years old and will attend the local American high school for an academic year.

Students or families interested in learning more about becoming an ASSE exchange student or host family should contact us at 1-800-733-2773 or visit our website at, or email us

5. In Search of Happiness – Part 1

Human beings have been grappling with the concept of happiness since, well, the beginning. Once we could put a name to that feeling of contentment, of well-being, of knowing where our next meal was coming from and where we were going to sleep at night, we began to give some deeper thought to the subject.

Giving some deeper thought to the subject of happiness is what we are going to be doing for the next several days. During that time, we are going to lean on some ancient philosophy as well as modern interpretations and applications. The work of Dr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., friend and mentor to Lou Tice, will prove insightful.

To get started, we want to take a look at how the ancient Greeks looked at happiness around 2400 years ago. Because the subject is so big (apparently, it took Plato 360 pages to define happiness), it needed to be broken down into more easily understandable pieces. So, in his work, Plato divided the subject into four levels or types, each with distinctive characteristics.

Level 1 can be characterized as “Instant Gratification.” See the ice cream. Eat the ice cream. This level maximizes pleasure and minimizes pain. Typically, happiness at this level is physical and very intense. And it owes no obligation to anyone or anything, except the self. The down side is that it is usually over quickly, and then one needs immediately to go searching for the next gratifying moment.

Level 2 is all tied up in ego. It’s “Competition” but competition with everybody else. Someone stuck at this level is always trying to find someone they can be “better than.” Promotion of the self is of the utmost importance, and personal power is key. In every encounter, individuals at this level are constantly comparing themselves against others, in order to feel superior. The down side here is we run the risk of finding people better than us, and then happiness disappears.

There are two more levels to go, and we will address them tomorrow. In the meantime, give yourself the opportunity to see some of these behaviors being played out in your world – friends, family, co-workers, etc. Make a mental note of reactions to these behaviors and how they affect your own sense of happiness. ~The Pacific Institute

6. The State of the Press: Fewer Reporters, Bigger Government

classifieds.boyInformation about government increasingly comes from well-paid government employees – what does that mean for the reporters who are left and the democracy we all live in?

As Oregon newsrooms have gotten smaller, less experienced and more demanding, the ranks of well-paid government communications staff have swelled — a trend that is only expected to continue.

Many journalists laid off from or leaving the industry are now often acting as media gatekeepers for public agencies and officials, and even producing news-like content for the government agencies that now employ them.

Lee Shaker, a researcher at Portland State University, says this has become a necessary part of the government information cycle, as the old system of news has fallen apart over the past two decades.

But there is a risk to democracy when the news environment is so fractured, he says. Government still needs to get information out to the public, the public is now bombarded with information, and politicians find it advantageous to attack the independent press, Shaker says.

“That creates a lot of uncertainty and uncertainty is grounds for distrust, grounds for disagreement,” he says… … …

Several anecdotal accounts say The Oregonian’s reporting staff is between 100 to 120, about a quarter of its heyday.

The Portland Tribune and Pamplin Media Group’s news staff has also shrunk in size, though the reporting staff has grown since the 2007-09 recession, says company President Mark Garber. Garber estimates there are close to 100 reporters, photographers, copy editors and other news-side staff at the more than two dozen Pamplin newspapers.

Damian Radcliffe, a researcher at the University of Oregon, says the news environment is not as bad as some ex-journalists may think.

“There are a lot of rose-tinted spectacles in looking back on how journalism was versus how it is now,” Radcliffe says. “What is clear is that there are fewer resources but … I think the quality of reporting that we see on a daily and weekly basis remains incredibly robust.”

Radcliffe, who recently published a paper on the state of local journalism in the Pacific Northwest, says news organizations are diversifying with new revenue streams and new partnerships between former competitors.

“You didn’t have the resources you once did, but there are still a lot of people interested in government reporting, but you have to work together,” he says.

The ‘official line’

Radcliffe also says public affairs reporting has changed now that government has many channels to communicate with constituents.

Being a “stenographer” for government meetings and the like is now redundant, he says.

“I think that should be seen as an exciting opportunity for journalists in that regard,” Radcliffe adds, because news organizations can concentrate on investigative and enterprise work.

Chris Broderick, a former Oregonian staffer and now head of a major government communications team, says the tension between journalists and the “official line” from politicians and public officials is not much different than it used to be.

“That’s been going on forever,” Broderick says. “I think what’s changed is the media side.”

Broderick spent 32 years in journalism before leaving The Oregonian in 2010. While he says individual journalists are still doing good work, he joins other ex-staffers in worrying about the loss of in-depth coverage.

“I think a lot of people are less informed, no question about that in Oregon,” he says. “I think people are still doing a good job of hustling news and being watchdogs and doing what they can, but it’s just a matter of resources.”

…. “Those resources (from private news organizations) are gone and they’re not coming back, and I think that’s unfortunate for the community,” he says.

An obligation to communicate

Kelly McBride, a media ethics expert at The Poynter Institute journalism school, says the role of news organizations is to answer the public’s questions.

… Despite the advent of social media and government communications teams … public officials still have an obligation to talk to the press, McBride adds.

“There is really very little excuse for a public official being unresponsive to other organizations just because they have their own news organization,” McBride says. “Open government is open government.”

She adds that government has an obligation to communicate with the public despite smaller newsrooms… … …

See the entire article at

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

bird.owl3This first one’s for you mwm:

The state of the press: fewer reporters, bigger government


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