Sherman County eNews #57


  1. Test Smoke Alarms & Begin Daylight Saving Time, March 11

  2. Sherman County Commissioners: Duties & Compensation

  3. Perspective on the Negative

  4. Spectator Conduct at Oregon School Activities Association Sanctioned Events

  5. Cascade Singers’ St. Patrick’s Day Concert, March 17

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

“A wise and frugal government … shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” —Thomas Jefferson (1801)

1. Test Smoke Alarms & Begin Daylight Saving Time, March 11

Sunday, March 11th, marks the beginning of daylight saving time and serves as a good reminder for Oregonians to test their smoke alarms. The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal is urging residents to test their smoke alarms before automatically changing the batteries.

“Smoke alarm technology has advanced and many now come with 10-year batteries and some are tamper-resistant,” said State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “So, I encourage residents to test their alarms before changing the battery, and to be sure to replace any smoke alarm that is 10 years old or older.”

Oregon law requires ionization-only smoke alarms that are solely battery powered to come equipped with a hush feature and a 10-year battery. Because of this technology, the national slogan “Change your clock, Change your battery” may not apply to Oregon residents who have these ionization-only smoke alarms.

Other types of alarms are also being sold with either a 10-year battery or a standard-life battery.  “Ensuring you have working smoke alarms in your home is the single most important step you can take to increase your family’s safety from a home fire,” adds Walker.

To test your alarm properly we recommend you:

1) Push the test button to be sure the battery is working.

2) When replacing batteries, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct battery type to use.

3) Always retest alarms after installing new batteries.

4) Replace any alarm that fails to operate after installing a new battery.

5) Inspect your alarms to determine if they are 10 years old or older, and replace any smoke alarm

10 years old or older. Look for a date on the back of the alarm. If there is no date, your alarm is more than 10 years old and should be replaced.

6) Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for regularly cleaning your alarms of dust and cobwebs.

Working smoke alarms provide a critical early warning to a fire, allowing you vital minutes to escape, which increase your chances of survival. Additional safety tips:

* Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, in each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area (hallway).

* Never disconnect or remove batteries from smoke alarms for other uses.

* Use the smoke alarm’s hush feature to silence nuisance alarms.

* Make a home fire escape plan and practice it with family members.

* Practice you home fire escape plan at least two times a year at different times of the day/night.

* Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out. Ensure that someone will help them.

For more home fire escape planning information visit:

For more smoke alarm and fire safety information, contact your local fire department or visit

2. Sherman County Commissioners: Duties & Compensation

The Sherman County Court (a county judge and two commissioners) considers a wide range of services, some shared with the state (assessment & taxation, elections, community corrections, court security, district attorney, 9-1-1, juvenile/ children/ family/ aging/ veterans’ services, alcohol & drug programs, mental health, public health, economic & community development, planning, roads, housing, federal land policy, telecommunications and county fair), and some reserved for the county (including property management, records, county law library, sheriff patrol, medical examiner, animal control, solid waste, surveying, capital projects, county parks and libraries).

Members of the Sherman County Court are paid. Their work is substantially supported by the work of an Administrative Assistant, Finance Officer, Clerk, Treasurer, legal counsel and others, as well as personnel working for state and regional government entities that deliver services to Sherman County.

In addition to attending meetings of the County Court, they represent the county on state, regional and local boards in a mutual division of duties. These assignments are a routine part of their work for which they report at meetings of the County Court.

Compensation for Fiscal Year 2017/18 is determined by the budget committee.

The current compensation for the full-time County Judge position on a seven-step salary schedule is $7,530/month, the top salary for the county judge position of $7,240, plus longevity pay of $290/month.

The current compensation for the half-time position of County Commissioner, Position 1 on the seven-step salary schedule is $2,573/month. This is at the second of the seven steps for a commissioner and is a .50 FTE (full-time equivalency) position (20hrs/wk).

The current compensation for the half-time position of County Commissioner, Position 2 on the seven-step salary schedule is $3,127/month.  This is at the sixth of the seven steps for a commissioner and the same .50 FTE (20hrs/wk).

These officials are eligible for all county benefits, Public Employees Retirement System and health insurance based on FTE and mileage. Compensation for all county employees is calculated on the schedule according to their classification, FTE and longevity, some on a merit basis.

More information is found here:

3. Perspective on the Negative

March is National Optimism Month. While the message is generally received as appreciated, by some it was met with skepticism. Since optimism is often looked at as subjective, let’s take a more objective view of it today.

If you read the daily news or listen to the radio (especially some talk radio shows), it is not easy to see much that is positive. The last few years have been particularly difficult, with ongoing challenges in the Middle East, Africa – just about anywhere, really. And let’s face it: political rhetoric can certainly get one down – if we let it.

Let’s put a little perspective to the negative: There are roughly 7 billion people on good old Planet Earth. That means that on any given day, there are probably a minimum of 7 billion stories being lived. Now, take today’s newspaper or your favorite news app, and count the negative stories. How many do you find? 50? 100? 200?

Now, compare that against 7 billion. A pretty small percentage. In fact, at 200 stories, it works out to 0.000000028% – at least that’s as far as most calculators will go. We know that the news philosophy typically is, “If it bleeds, it leads.” But are you going to listen to the 0.000000028%, or go looking for the 99.99999972% that stands a fairly good chance of being positive?

You can certainly find the negative, if that’s what you go looking for. But the reverse is also true. If you go looking for the positive, if you go about looking for solutions instead of problems, you will find them. And with each perspective, how does that affect how you live your days?

The decision is ours to make and no one else can answer these questions for us. But when it comes right down to it, we need to decide which is going to make us the happiest? ~The Pacific Institute

4. Spectator Conduct at Oregon School Activities Association Sanctioned Events

In addition to the general expectations included in the OSAA Constitution, Rule 3, that school officials “…shall take all reasonable measures to ensure that the school’s students and supporters maintain a sportsmanlike attitude toward all events…” the following specific expectations regarding spectator conduct at all OSAA sanctioned events, including regular and post season competition, are stated:

  1. All cheers, comments and actions shall be in direct support of one’s team. No cheers, comments or actions shall be directed at one’s opponent or at contest officials. Some examples of inappropriate conduct or actions that are not permitted are: turning backs, holding up newspapers or jeering at cheerleaders during opposing team introductions; disrespecting players by name, number or position; negative cheers or chants; throwing objects on the floor.
  2. Spectators are not permitted to have signs or banners (larger than 8 ½ by 11 inches), confetti, balloons or glass containers. “Fathead” type items are considered signs and shall not be larger than 8 ½ by 11 inches. Spectators are required to wear shirts.
  3. Spectators are not permitted to have artificial noisemakers. Some examples of artificial noisemakers are Thunder Stix, cowbells, clappers and air horns.
  4. Spectators shall not be permitted to use vulgar/offensive or racially/culturally insensitive language. Spectators shall not be permitted to engage in any racially/culturally insensitive action.
  5. Spectators who fail to comply with Association or site management spectator conduct expectations may be expelled from the contest.

         For more information see 

 5. Cascade Singers’ St. Patrick’s Day Concert, March 17

clover4The Almost-All-Irish-Almost-All-Brass Band warms up for next Saturday’s “St. Pat’s at St. Pete’s” concert.  Among instrumentalists in the 7 p.m. St. Patrick’s Day event are Lloyd Walworth, Barbara Haren, a hand-waving leprechaun, Dennis Williams, Stan Rosengren and Karl Vercouteren.  The concert takes place at St. Peter’s Landmark in The Dalles with admission by free-will offering to benefit the Landmark. 

         The band also includes tin whistle, washboard, washtub bass, accordion, drums, and ukuleles.  It will usher in the Cascade Singers and Cascade Youth Ensemble with a rousing rendition of “McNamara’s Band” followed by “O’Donnell Aboo” and “It’s a Great Day for the Irish.” 

         Soloists, duets, and small ensembles have prepared an entertaining mixture of music.  Victor Johnson will make a special appearance with “The Galway Shawl.”  Kris Dombroski and Lydonna Marks will sing “Dreams,” a tribute to the late lead singer of the Irish rock band The Cranberries.  They will be accompanied by Wendy Schafer and the Gorge Community Music Uke Orchestra.

         Cascade Singers Ensemble will offer the haunting “Parting Glass” and the raucous “I’ll Tell Me Ma.”  The youth choir’s selection is “The Golden Jubilee.”  Old favorites like “Danny Boy” and “The Fields of Athenry” are on the program along with other songs beautiful and songs humorous from the Irish concert hall and pub.  Sing-alongs featuring choirs, band, and audience bring the concert to its traditional closing song, “An Old Irish Blessing.”

         This is the 21st St. Patrick’s Day concert sponsored by Cascade Singers.  The community choir was invited to sing for the 100th anniversary of the Landmark’s dedication in 1998 and has been invited back every year since.  The Landmark, former home of St. Peter’s Catholic parish, has been preserved as an historic site and venue for weddings and concerts since being saved from demolition in 1971. 

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

bird.owl3Oregon School Activities Association | Athletic Officials Handbook

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