Sherman County eNews #36


  1. Program: “The Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Its Cemeteries,” Feb. 17

  2. A Line in the Sand

  3. Celebrate “St. Pat’s at St. Pete’s, March 17

  4. Sherman County Court Notes, Feb. 7

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

Political campaigns, like them or not, are part of the process for recruiting, interviewing and supporting candidates. It is our responsibility to understand the requirements of the position sought and the qualifications of the contenders. We think it would be an improvement if we questioned candidates and insisted on responses of substance, specific, direct and accurate. Those we elect work for us, The People.  ~Q.E. McGillicuddy. 

 1. Program: “The Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Its Cemeteries,” Feb. 17

IOOF Cemetery sexton Craig Hector will offer stories and photos at the Feb. 17 Regional History Forum program at the Original Wasco County Courthouse.  He will present “The Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Its Cemeteries” at the 1859 venue, 410 W. Second Place, The Dalles.  The program begins at 1:30 p.m.

The Dalles’ IOOF lodge was chartered in 1856 and constructed the building at Second and Laughlin Streets that houses the lodge hall in 1904.  Since the nineteenth century, the lodge’s concern for common folks beyond their fraternal organization led them to sponsor cemeteries that were open to all.

This is third program in the 2018 Regional History Forum series.  There is a TV monitor on the ground floor of the 1859 courthouse to serve those unable to climb the stairs.  Coffee and cookies will be served after the program.

2. A Line in the Sand

Living in a society that operates from racist and sexist values is no laughing matter – as is evidenced practically every day in the news. Everybody likes to enjoy a good laugh, and everybody wants to feel that they are a part of a happy group of friends. But what about the times when the laugh seems to be at someone else’s expense?

What do you do when you hear a friend tell a joke that plays on physical, racial, ethnic or gender stereotypes? What do you do when you are chatting with a group of pals and someone makes a remark that indicates intolerance, bigotry or sexism? You sell yourself and our society short if you join these “We’re OK, they aren’t OK” sessions.

For the sake of your own self-esteem and for the sake of a democratic society, you owe it to yourself to be decent and fair and insist that others be the same way in your presence. Refrain from telling, laughing at, or in any way going along with racial, ethnic, religious or gender jokes, or to any practices whatsoever that are intended to demean rather than enhance another human being.

Walk away from them. Stare them down. Make them unacceptable in your homes, places of worship, and the workplace. Perhaps we aren’t all equally guilty, but we are all equally responsible for building a decent and just society – regardless of where we live. The world is too small a place now, to allow this poorly-disguised hatred to fester. And in a time when cooperation is the path to solutions to the world’s challenges, we really don’t need anything else to further separate us.

Racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry and intolerance undermine our strength, and weaken the fibers of our society. Draw this line in the sand, so to speak – one that you refuse to cross. Perhaps this is one group you don’t need to feel a part of today. ~The Pacific Institute

 3. Celebrate “St. Pat’s at St. Pete’s, March 17

“St. Pat’s at St. Pete’s,” the 21st annual St. Patrick’s Day concert at St. Peter’s Landmark, takes place Saturday, Mar. 17, starting at 7 p.m.  Cascade Youth Choir and “Irish Tenors” will join Cascade Singers community choir, the ensemble, and “Almost-All-Irish-Almost-All-Brass Band” for Irish art songs Tin Pan Alley Irish tunes, traditional favorites and sing-alongs, and even a wee bit of contemporary Irish rock!  Admission is a free-will offering to benefit St. Peter’s Landmark, located at 3rd and Lincoln Streets in The Dalles.

4. Sherman County Court Notes, Feb. 7

        By Administrative Assistant Kayla von Borstel

(This is a brief and rough summary of topics addressed and is NOT OFFICIAL MINUTES. For official minutes and details, please see the official approved minutes posted on the Sherman County website at after the February 21 Court session.)

The Sherman County Court met in regular session on February 7, 2018, and in conducting the business of the county,

·       met with Georgia Macnab, Planning Director, about the need to prioritize projects that were submitted from the County, Cities, and Fair Board in Sherman County. Project prioritizations, with discussion, are as follows: 1 – Biggs Service District Water System, 2 – South Sherman Fire Hall, 3 – Work Force Housing, 4 – Fair Board Event Center, 5 – City Broadband, 6 – 911 Call Center, 7 – City of Rufus Well Rehabilitation, 8 – Wasco School Events Center Renovation & Obtaining Grants, 9 – Kent Service District Water System, 10 – Moro Infrastructure Projects, 11 – Giles French Park;

·       met with Carrie Pipinich, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD), who gave a brief update on the Sherman Cities Broadband Grant. Fiber will be in the core area, which is businesses and some homes in the cities; outlying homes will need to be discussed due to cost efficiency. Jessica Metta, MCEDD, stated the County approved the Request For Proposal (RFP), and is waiting on City of Grass Valley to approve it. Court approved the submission of the Rural Broadband Capacity Pilot Project application. Carrie will now serve as the representative for both Counties;

·       met with Shawn Payne, Emergency Services, who attended Court to go over the Ambulance Service Area (ASA) Plan final update. The State sent it back with revisions needed. Every five years the ASA Plan comes up for reassignment. At the time of expiration in December 2022, reassignment will be advertised as open for other agencies to apply. Court approved the Sherman County Ambulance Service Area Plan 2018 revision, and authorized Judge Thompson to sign.

·       met with Brad Baird, Anderson Perry & Associates, on the water study that is in progress. Brad stated the current water systems need to have their lines capped, and should not serve businesses after project completion as the new system should serve all businesses in Biggs. Drilling for the well will go out to bid. Aaron Cook, Biggs Service District, reported to the court he is making progress with the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number issue. The DUNS information is set up as: Sherman County, doing business as, Biggs Service District;

·       met with Heath Gardner, Wenaha Group & Steering Committee, for a project update. Currently the project is tracking right on budget. Estimated contingency remaining is $53,000 for unknown items and unexpected costs than may occur during the remodel. Value added changes are optional additions to the project that the Steering Committee and County Court requested. Larger unforeseen costs could be such items as underground sewer repair. The Added Value budget was under budgeted. Steering Committee recommends County Court to consider increasing the budget by $300,000. Value added items cannot be done unless the budget is increased. It is fully expected that not all funds allocated will need to be used, and there will be funds returned to the County after project completion. The Court approved a $300,000 increase to the Courthouse Facility Budget as recommended by the project’s Steering Committee for a total of $9,300,000. Ron believes an open house could be held in the fall to allow adequate project completion time;

·       appointed Judge Thompson as the Sherman County Frontier TeleNet Representative, Commissioner McCoy as First Alternate, and Commissioner Dabulskis as Second Alternate;

·       appointed Kathleen Ahearn as Position 1 Chairperson, Joseph Belshe as Position 3 Training Officer, and Robert Stone as Position 5 Assistant Training and Safety Officer, to the Sherman County Ambulance Service Board for a term of two years to expire December 31, 2019 pending background checks;

·       approved the Oregon Department of Human Services, State of Oregon Intergovernmental Agreement for Aging and People with Disabilities (Area Agency on Aging) and authorized Judge Thompson to sign;

·       appointed Kari Silcox, Senior Center Manager, as a Sherman County Representative for Mid–Columbia Community Action Council (MCCAC);

·       approved $20,000 for the Rental Housing Development Grant for Bonnie and Stephen Simpson to build two 1,200-1,400 square foot single family homes with payment made once the project is successfully completed;

·       approved the Ab Machine, Leg Squat Machine, Seated Leg Press, Horizontal Leg Press, Stationary Bike, and Elliptical as Sherman County Wellness Center surplus equipment as recommended by the Wellness Center;

·       approved the authorization of Rita Wilson to pay regular monthly County bills as presented to the Court;

·       approved Amendment Number 1, Oregon Department of Transportation Grant Agreement Number 31434 for Sherman County and authorized Judge Thompson to sign;

·       approved the emergency signing by Judge Thompson for Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. Blanket Purchase Agreement;

·       approved the Transit Periodic Report as presented;

·       discussed County website and County Counsel;

·       heard reports from Court members about regional board activities.

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

Hood River County Music Month

Oregon House Democrats pass universal health care proposal, amid questions over cost

Energy | Post Carbon Music

Donald Trump is Forcing American Blacks to Pick a Side

How Lincoln Changed the World in Two Minutes

What is Diversity?

The Grammar World

Bill O’Reilly