Sherman County eNews #39


  1. What’s Happening at Sherman County Public/School Library, Feb. 22 & 24

  2. Frontier TeleNet Approved Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, Jan. 19

  3. Oregon political stories all in one place – free subscription

  4. Oregon Capital Insider Index: This week in Salem, by the numbers

  5. How many countries are there in the world?

Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again. –Will and Ariel Durant

1. What’s Happening at Sherman County Public/School Library, Feb. 22 & 24 

Logo.ShermanPub.School.Library2017Book Club book – The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

Thursday, February 22 at 6pm.

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined.

Crafts in Stacks – Sky Necklaces

Saturday, February 24 at 2pm.

We will create two pendants, one representing night sky on a brass blank and another representing the day sky on a glass blank. No previous skill required! Ages firmly 12 and up. Give us a call to reserve your spot before February 22; space is limited to the first 15.

2. Frontier TeleNet Approved Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, Jan. 19


JANUARY 19, 2018

The regular meeting of the Frontier TeleNet Board of Directors was called to order by Chairman Judge Steve Shaffer at 10AM.  This meeting held in the Courtroom of the Gilliam County Courthouse, 221 Oregon Street, Condon, Oregon.

Directors Present:  Judge Steve Shaffer, Judge Lynn Morley and Sherman County Commissioner, Tom McCoy representing Judge Gary Thompson.

Also Present:  Ryan LeBlanc and Todd Cox, Day Wireless System; Mac Stinchfield Times-Journal Newspaper; Kathryn Greiner, City of [Condon]; Rob Myers, Mike Smith and Jeanne Burch, Frontier TeleNet Consultants and Staff.

Directors Changes to Agenda:  None

Minutes:  Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Steve Shaffer to approve December 15, 2017 Directors Meeting Minutes as presented.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

Financial Statement:  Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Steve Shaffer to approve December 15, 2017 Financial Statement as presented.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

Gilliam County RFP:  Judge Shaffer provided an update on the Gilliam County Request for Proposal regarding fiber installation.  The RFP has been approved and waiting on details of construction.  Inland Development/Windwave were chosen for this project.  At time waiting for legal counsel to approve paperwork.  Tom McCoy asked who is paying for project?  Commissioner McCoy asked also how the cost is being split?  Judge Shaffer replied there is a verbal agreement that Gilliam County will pay $1,150,000.00 and the City of Condon will add $480,00.00 to project.  The remainder of the project costs will be split among the partners.  There will be 12 pair of fiber in this project.  Commissioner McCoy asked about the format of the agreement on this project and Mike Smith stated it will be the same model as the previous Sherman County Project.

Frontier TeleNet Web Site:  Mike Smith reported the Frontier TeleNet Web Site is up but not complete at this time. is the web site address.

Frontier Sherman County Office Space:  A lease for Frontier TeleNet office space in Sherman County was reviewed. Mike Smith reported the lease has been signed by Sherman County and office is up and running.  Moved by Lynn Morley, seconded by Steve Shaffer to approve the office space lease with Sherman County with a $1.00 per year rent.  Motion carried with all present voting aye.

Frontier 911 Burns Tribe Update:  Ryan LeBlanc of Day Wireless System stated that the goal was to get the connection to the Burns Paiute Tribe up and running by the end of the year.  This goal was met, and the connection is working fine.  Day Wireless is still waiting for some mapping including phones and dispatch will start on February 2, 2018.

Wheeler County Wireless Project:  Ryan LeBlanc, Day Wireless, is working on Phase 1 microwave upgrades which are 95% complete.   Getting ready to move end users to the towers which should improve their service.  This project is being coordinated with Rural Technology Group, who serves the area.  Ryan stated they are getting the last mile to a more efficient system.  There also are phone companies who are interested in serving the three-county area.  A discussion followed on how Rural Technology Group (RTG) works in the three-county area.  Ryan LeBlanc stated the Wheeler County Project has new generation equipment installed and suggested that Gilliam and Sherman County could benefit by upgrading to this equipment.

Digital Switch New User:  Mike Smith reported there is a potential new user for the Digital Switch.  Mike stated he is negotiating with this potential new partner and there is a good chance they will become a Frontier TeleNet Customer.  Mike has sent out an article showing another system having problems and is pleased that Frontier TeleNet does not experience the same due to having the proper equipment.

Intergovernmental Agreement with Sherman County:  This has not been dealt with as legal counsel has been ill.  Will be on the next agenda.

Sherman County Fiber Optic RFP Update:  This has not been dealt with as legal counsel has been ill.  Will be on the next agenda.

Other Items for Good of the Order:  Discussion on Frontier By-Laws and designated alternate as a proxy vote.  Judge Shaffer asked that minutes be sent to County Commissioners in Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler Counties.

Public Input/Comment: Mac Stinchfield inquired about the status of towers at the Cottonwood Park.  Mike Smith replied that landowner contract needs to be signed.  Motorola is building the equipment and the project is going forward.  Mike also stated that the tower is within the “utility strip” and the Wild and Scenic River Act should not be an impact on the project.  Hope to have this up and running in the next six months as emergency and internet service is necessary for the park.

Next Meeting:  February 16, 2018 at Wheeler County Jeanne E. Burch Building.  A work session will follow the regular meeting. There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 11:25 A.M.

Respectfully Submitted

Jeanne E. Burch

Frontier TeleNet Staff

3. Oregon political stories all in one place

Oregon.Flat.poleSALEM — If you’re interested in news about state government, staff members at the state Library provide a service that makes it easy to get all of Oregon’s political scoops in one place.

Jerry Curry and his team of librarians compile a feed of online newspaper articles about state politics and government Monday through Friday. The daily news digest — called eClips — contains an average of 30 to 45 articles, from publications ranging from the Washington Post to the Argus Observer in Ontario.

The online service has been around for about 13 years but previously sent out the news digest in automated email blasts only to state lawmakers and employees, until last year. In February 2017, the state Library migrated the news compilation to a blog format on a WordPress website. The general public can now subscribe to the email blasts and visit the website free-of-charge —

4. Oregon Capital Insider Index: This week in Salem, by the numbers

Oregon.Flat.poleHere are 10 numbers that illustrate some of this week’s big, and small, Oregon political stories.

  • 11: Instances where former Gov. John Kitzhaber likely violated state ethics laws, according to findings released by the state’s ethics commission this week.
  • $55,000: Maximum fine Kitzhaber could pay, according to the Statesman-Journal.
  • 159: How old the state of Oregon is, as of Feb. 14.
  • 9: American Indian tribes in Oregon recognized by the federal government.

55: Small distilleries in Oregon that sell less than $250,000 worth of liquor annually, according to The Daily Astorian.

• 27,455: Marriages in Oregon last year.

• 1: Marriages in Gilliam County, Ore., last year.

• 700-1,000: Feet a climber killed on Mt. Hood, Miha Sumi, fell on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

• 7: Campaign events on Gov. Kate Brown’s calendar last week.

• 14: Cattle worms found in an Oregon woman’s eye, the first time the condition has been documented in a human. The incident became a news story that enjoyed viral popularity this week.

5. How many countries are there in the world?

communication.satellite-intercomBy Political Geography Now

One of the most basic questions for map-lovers is, “How many countries are there in the world?” But anyone who just gives you a number isn’t telling the whole truth. It actually depends a lot on how you define a “country”.

Here are six of the most common answers, each correct in its own way:

195 Sovereign States According to the UN

“Country” and “nation” are casual words for what political scientists call a “sovereign state,” meaning a place with its own borders and completely independent government. The question of which places count as sovereign states can be controversial, but for starters we normally count all the member and observer countries of the United Nations (UN):

      UN Members: 193

      UN Observer States: 2

      Total: 195

These countries mostly all accept each other as sovereign states, and they’re the ones you’ll see on most world maps and lists of the world’s countries. Almost every country you’ve ever heard of is probably a member of the UN, and the two UN Observer States are Vatican City (represented by the Holy See) and Palestine. If you want to know the names of all 195, Wikipedia has a complete list.

The last addition to the list was in 2012, when Palestine became a UN Observer State, and the last time the number of full UN members changed was when South Sudan joined in 2011.

Note: Palestine’s approval as a UN Observer State was controversial, so some lists may still only have 194 countries.

201 States With at Least Partial Recognition

Several more country candidates are left out of the UN itself, but are still officially acknowledged by at least one UN member (this kind of official acceptance is called “diplomatic recognition”). These controversial countries are usually labeled on world maps as disputed territories or special cases, if they’re on the map at all.

      UN Members: 193

      UN Observer States: 2

      States With Partial Recognition: 6

      Total: 201

The six non-UN states with partial recognition are Taiwan, Western Sahara, Kosovo, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Northern Cyprus. All of these are claimed as parts of other countries, but aren’t actually controlled by them (at least not completely). The number of UN members recognizing them varies, from just one for Northern Cyprus to over 100 for Kosovo. 

A few lists also include the Cook Islands and Niue as partially-recognized states. These two places sometimes act like independent countries, but they’ve never actually declared independence or tried to join the UN. They’re usually considered to be highly self-governing overseas territories of New Zealand.

204-207 De Facto Sovereign States

But wait, there’s more! Those six partially recognized countries aren’t the only breakaway states with full self-governance. There are at least three more self-declared countries that aren’t recognized by any UN members at all, but still operate independently from the countries that claim them. These are often called “de facto” sovereign states, a fancy Latin way of saying they’re independent countries in actual fact, even if not on paper.

      UN Members: 193

      UN Observer States: 2

      States With Partial Recognition: 6

      Unrecognized de facto Sovereign States: 3 to 6 (see below)

      Total: 204 to 207

The three places most often considered de facto independent countries are Nagorno-Karabakh, Transdniestria, and Somaliland. And since 2014 there have been three more contenders for the list, questionable because they’re located in active war zones and have only limited government structures: The so-called “Islamic State” is almost out of the running now that it’s lost most of its territory in Syria and Iraq, but the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic, which claim independence from Ukraine, don’t seem to be going anywhere.

Tiny “micro-nations” declared by individual people usually aren’t taken seriously enough to put on the list. The closest contender would be Sealand, but it’s debatable whether this tiny “nation” really counts as having a territory, population, or government, all key ingredients for a sovereign state.

There are also many rebel-held territories (and fully self-governing areas like Puntland state in Somalia) that aren’t controlled by any country, but are left off the list because they don’t claim to be independent. They agree in principle that they’re part of another country, even though they might disagree about who should be in charge, or how the country should be governed.

206 Olympic Nations

Lots of people learn about the world’s list of countries by watching the Olympic Games every two years. If you’re one of them, you might be confused at why the Olympic Parade of Nations claims over 200 members, even though your atlas only has 195. This is because the Olympics didn’t always require applicants to be independent countries. Dependent territories with partial self-government have sometimes been approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and a couple of the partially-recognized states mentioned above have also managed it.

      Olympic Nations that are UN Member States: 193

      Olympic Nations that are UN Observer States: 1

      Olympic Nations that are Partially-recognized States: 2

      Olympic Nations that are Dependent Territories: 10

      Total IOC-Recognized Olympic Nations: 206

About half of the dependent territories in the Olympics are overseas possessions of the US (like Puerto Rico) or the UK (like Bermuda). Some nearly-independent “countries” like the Cook Islands (associated with New Zealand) and Aruba (a “constituent country” of the Netherlands) are included too.

Every UN member country is also in the Olympics, with the latest addition, South Sudan, joining in August 2015. The one UN Observer State in the Olympics is Palestine; Vatican City apparently isn’t interested. As for the two partially-recognized countries in the games, Kosovo became an Olympic Nation in 2014, and Taiwan has been a member for some time, but has to call itself “Chinese Taipei” after a deal struck with China in the 1980s. 

211 FIFA Countries Eligible for the World Cup

Soccer — or “football” as it’s known in many countries — is the world’s most popular sport, and most international matches all the way up to the World Cup are regulated by an organization called FIFA. If you’re a soccer super-fan, you might know that, until recently, there were 209 member countries that compete in FIFA matches (even though most don’t make it to the World Cup). That’s already more than the number of Olympic Nations, and definitely more than the total independent countries on most world maps. Like the Olympics, FIFA didn’t always require independence or international recognition for its members. Now it’s a bit stricter, but any team that’s already a member is allowed to stay. The two newest members, which joined in May 2016, both made it in under special circumstances: Kosovo, a partially-recognized country, was voted in after being recognized by more than half of the UN’s members; and Gibraltar, an overseas territory of the UK, recently got a court order allowing it in without being independent.

Based on European tradition, FIFA also allows England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to compete as separate teams, even though they’re all part of the UK.

      Teams of UN Member States: 186

      Teams of UN Observer States: 1

      Teams of Partially Recognized States: 2

      Teams of UK Constituent Countries: 4

      Teams of Dependent Territories: 18

      Total FIFA Member Associations: 211

You might notice that not all of the 193 UN member states are included. That’s because several very small countries aren’t members, plus the UK is replaced by its four “constituent countries,” which aren’t UN members on their own.

249 Country Codes in the ISO Standard List

Ever been filling out an internet form, and had to choose from a surprisingly long list of countries? You were probably looking at the international standard “country code” list, formally known as ISO 3166-1. Lots of companies and other organizations adopt this standard list instead of spending their own time compiling one. The standard also includes convenient two-letter codes for each country, like us for the United States, de for Germany, and jp for Japan, which you might recognize from website addresses specific to those countries.

This ISO standard is based on an official list kept by the UN…but then why on Earth are there 249 country codes? That’s way more than the total number of UN member and observer countries! Well, the standard list does leave out some breakaway states not recognized by the UN, but makes up for it by listing dependent territories separately from their parent countries. In other words, the ISO list is more an answer to the question, “How many countries and territories in the world?” than “How many countries in the world?”

This means there are “country codes” not just for actual countries, but also for nearly-independent states, overseas colonies, uninhabited islands, and even Antarctica! This is important, because organizations might need an option for every place that any person can be located, and dependent territories often aren’t technically part of the countries they belong to.

      UN Members: 193

      UN Observer States: 2

      States With Partial Recognition: 2

      Inhabited Dependent Territories: 45

      Uninhabited Territories: 6

      Antarctica: 1

      Total: 249

So there you have it! Next time someone tells you “There are 194 countries in the world,” remember that the real answer isn’t so simple!