Sherman County eNews #136


  1. Wasco Memorial Day Country Breakfast, May 27 & 28

  2. Memorial Day Message from Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs

  3. Moro’s 2nd Annual Quilt and Fiber Event, July 7-15

  4. Movie Nights in Moro, July 6, August 3 & 31

  5. Street Dances in Moro, July 7, August 3 & September 1

  6. Sherman County Court Notes, May 16

  7. Major companies tour Klickitat County proposed pump storage site

  8. True Grit

  9. U.S. – Canada Columbia River Treaty Negotiations Begin

Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away. ~ Marcus Aurelius

1. Wasco Memorial Day Country Breakfast, May 27 & 28

pancake.breakfastABC Huskies Child Care will sponsor the annual Wasco Memorial Day Country Breakfast, Sunday and Monday, May 27th and 28th, from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at North Sherman Rural Fire Hall located at 411 Yates Street in Wasco. The menu includes ham, eggs, hotcakes and choice of drink for $8.00. Proceeds will be dedicated to operational costs at the child care site.

ABC Huskies is governed by the Sherman County Child Care Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, providing quality, state certified child care services and a preschool program. For additional information, please visit

2. Memorial Day Message from Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Acting Director Mitch Sparks

American-Flag-StarOne hundred and fifty years ago, no family or community was untouched by the bloodiest conflict in American history — the Civil War. The four-year-long struggle claimed the lives of over 620,000 soldiers — which is more Americans than died in both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam combined.   

It was on May 5, 1868 that the Grand Army of the Republic, an early veterans advocacy group comprised of Civil War veterans, first urged Americans to observe a “National Memorial Day” to honor the dead of the Civil War.

The tradition has grown in the 150 years that have followed. Today, Memorial Day is a cherished and protected national holiday — especially in Oregon. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Oregonians attend ceremonies, town parades and other solemn events to pause and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice — from the Civil War to the most current conflicts in the Middle East.

It is estimated that nearly 6,000 Oregon service members’ lives have been lost in the line of duty since our state’s inception.

However Memorial Day is celebrated in your community, and however different it may appear from the simple ceremonies of a grieving, post-Civil War America, the sentiment remains the same. It is that of a grateful nation to its fallen soldiers: “Thank you. We will never forget you.”

This Memorial Day, as we kick off the start of summer and turn to enjoy Oregon’s incredible parks, beaches, rivers and mountains, we invite all citizens to pause and truly honor our fallen and our Gold Star families. We stand on the shoulders of all those who came before us and will never forget the service and sacrifice of all those who gave all.

Thank you all for your support of Oregon veterans, and bless all those still serving, at home and overseas.

Mitch Sparks is a retired Navy veteran and acting director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

3. Moro’s 2nd Annual Quilt and Fiber Event, July 7-15

Thread-and-needleMoro’s 3nd Annual Quilt and Fiber Event is scheduled for July 7th through 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.


 4. Movie Nights in Moro, July 6, August 3 & 31

Movie Nights in the alley behind Sage Mountain Primitives and Lisa’s in Stitches. Bring your chairs and take a seat in the Moro City Hall Parking Lot. All Movies will be family friendly. July 6th, August 3rd, and August 31st 8:30 p.m. until the movie is over. Hope to see you all there!

5. Street Dances in Moro, July 7, August 3 & September 1

Dance in the Street in Moro on July 7th, August 3rd, and September 1st right after the Art Walk and Farmers’ Market 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

6. Sherman County Court Notes, May 16

ShermanCoLogoBy Administrative Assistant Kayla von Borstel


– This is a very brief outline ONLY of topics considered “public interest.”

– These are NOT OFFICIAL MINUTES. For official minutes and full details, please see the approved minutes posted on the Sherman County website at after the next Court session. Thank you.

The Sherman County Court met in regular session on May 16, 2018, and in conducting the business of the county,

  1. Motion by Commissioner McCoy, second by Commissioner Dabulskis, to authorize budget transfers/payments as recommended by the Finance Director, including $95,000 from the County General Fund, $50,000 from the Road Reserve Fund, $540,000 from SIP Additional Fees, $2,000 from the Parks Fund, and authorize Judge Thompson to sign.
  2. Motion by Commissioner Dabulskis, second by Commissioner McCoy, to approve as recommended by the Finance Director, a Resolution In the Matter of the County Court Approving the Transfer of Funds Within the County General, Community Transit, CAMI, Emergency Services, DA-V/WAP, General Road, County Fair, Wellness Center, Tri-County Veterans’, Driver Education, Early Learning Services, Senior Center, Courthouse Facility, Resident Incentive Program, SIP Additional Fees Funds and authorize County Court to sign.
  3. Motion by Commissioner McCoy, second by Commissioner Dabulskis, to approve Mid-Columbia Economic Development District to engage in grant administration services for the Biggs Service District Water System project, to last through project completion, and collect a fee of $20,000 for their services, with the ability for Judge Thompson to renegotiate terms if the work warrants an increase.
  4. Motion by Commissioner McCoy, second by Commissioner Dabulskis, to increase the contingency fund for the Biggs Service District Water System project from $150,000 to $300,000.
  5. Discussion held on Department of Land Conservation Development and Land Use Laws
  6. Dean Dark, Federal trapper, submitted a verbal resignation to Judge Thompson ending his position no later than fall 2018.

 7. Major companies tour Klickitat County proposed pump storage site

raindrop>>> Presentation illustrations following the story

A project with the potential to prime the economic engine of the eastern gorge looked a lot closer to reality after a major meeting on the subject last Tuesday. That project, a pump storage station on the site for the former Golden Northwest Aluminum smelter, has been a long-held goal of Klickitat PUD. Recently, it has attracted the attention of major players in the electricity market who have both the money and the know how to finance and construct the facility.

The idea is both simple in concept and bold in execution. It would involve constructing two 65-acre ponds, one on the former site of the smelter and one at the top of the cliff. Each would hold 7,000 acre-feet of water. During the times when wind blows well, and the many wind turbines in the region generate more power than the grid can currently absorb, the energy would be used to pump water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir. When the wind dies down, and electricity is needed, water from the upper reservoir can be released through a large pipe, turning a turbine to generate that electrical power as it rushes to the lower reservoir.

Many factors come together to make this an attractive and very green project:

  • It’s a closed system with absolutely no waste or pollution
  • It can offset the variable electric output of wind and solar projects, which would allow for more such projects in the area
  • Once built and filled, it would need only 700 acre feet per year to replace water that is lost to evaporation.
  • Klickitat PUD has the water rights that originally belonged to the aluminum company and only a fraction is needed to keep the reserviors full. Additional water rights are needed to fill the reservoirs inititally, however, the Department of Ecology is supportive of the acquisition of these temporary rights
  • The topography of the area has been described as “one of the best in the nation” for a pump-storage project, with more than 2,000 feet of vertical with more than 2,000 feet of vertical rise or “head” over barely a mile of horizontal distance
  • The site is within sight of Bonneville Power Administration’s John Day substation, which is the north end of one of the two major transmission lines to California.  This substation also receives power from 4,000 MWs of wind generation, which makes it a prime site to provide services to wind projects in the Gorge
  • It would store 14,745 megawatt-hours of electricity — more than 100 times the capacity of the largest battery-storage project under construction by Telsa in Australia
  • The pump-storage system can provide 1,200 megawatts of capacity.
  • The project would generate an estimated $1.4 billion over the construction cycle, including $366 million in wages, and provide an estimated 114 permanent jobs
  • Attempts to build new natural gas-fired plants in the region have been fiercely opposed by environmental groups
  • Earlier efforts ran into problems from officials concerned that the lower reservoir would interfere with cleanup of the aluminum plant site. This time the application includes a letter from the Washington Department of Ecology supporting the project and Maia Bellon, director of Ecology was there in person at the meeting

More than 40 officials and stakeholders showed up for the May 15 meeting, including executives and technicians from the two major potential investors, National Grid and Rye Development. The crowd included staff members from Governor Inslee, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler and US Senators Cantwell, Wyden and Merkley. Washington State Senators Curtis King and Jim Honeyford and State Representative Gina Mosbrucker were there in person along with Klickitat County Commissioner Dave Sauter, PUD Commissioner Randy Knowles, Sherman County Commissioner Joe Dabulskis and Gilliam County Judge Steve Shaffer. Several people from the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, the state’s Department of Commerce, Building and Construction Trades Council and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers were in attendance, as was Robin Tyeman, British Consul from Seattle.

Following a short informational meeting at the PUD, the group boarded a bus for a tour of the site, followed by lunch at Maryhill Museum.

FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, granted a preliminary permit for the project in March, and though final approval, if granted, is several years away, there were plenty of smiles visible in the crowd.

About National Grid

Players just don’t get much bigger than this. National Grid owns the electrical and natural gas distribution systems for England and Wales, with some 30 million customers. Another division of the company operates in the United States with more than 20 million customers in the Northeast. Thursday, May 17 the company released full fiscal year results, showing the company had a profit of £3.493 billion, or $4.71 billion U.S.

About Rye Development, LLC

The company is privately held, with limited information available, and bills itself as the largest developer of new hydropower in the U.S. It’s been granted Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licenses in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and for four projects in the Yazoo River Basin in Mississippi, among others, and is working with a number of investors on additional projects.

Wind online capacity by county (mW)

Kern/California                 3,170

Nolan/Taylor/Texas         1,510

Klickitat/Washington       1,247

Sherman/Oregon              1,057

Solano/California             1,032

Benton/Indian                     986

Gilliam/Morrow/Oregon    917

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8. True Grit

Every so often, the improbable happens – even when the odds of the improbable happening are 5000-to-1. And when it does, it is usually the result of the timely mixture of several ingredients.

England’s Premier League (football) got knocked on its ear in 2016, when Leicester City won the Title for the first time in its 132-year history. Leicester had only been promoted to the top division two years previous, and nearly got sent back down the next year. They were, literally, on the bottom. The odds of finishing on top were 5000-to-1.

So, what goes into moving a team from the bottom to the top? Talent, of course, is one element. Commitment to a common goal is another. But even more important, and perhaps coming before talent and commitment, is the belief in goal. It’s each individual’s belief in their own abilities. It’s the belief in the abilities of teammates and coaches, and the trust that those abilities will be on full display, in reaching for the goal – nothing will be held back. It’s the team’s belief in itself to make the improbable, not only possible, but probable. And finally, it’s about the grit to see the challenge through to the end.

Grit, as a word, has made a comeback of sorts. It’s the willingness to work hard toward a goal. It’s about the “stick-to-it-iveness,” the commitment to stay the course, even when the going gets a little rough. And it’s about the resiliency and flexibility needed when things don’t turn out as planned for or expected.

Grit isn’t only applied to sports teams or Hollywood movies. It isn’t played out solely on the football field. You will find it on display in the most effective organizations, and see it played out from the shop floor to the C-suite. Grit is that secret ingredient that moves teams, work groups, departments and whole organizations to seek, capture and own the improbable.

Even when the odds are 5000-to-1. ~The Pacific Institute

9. U.S. – Canada Columbia River Treaty Negotiations Begin


May 22, 2018 

The United States is pleased to announce the start of negotiations with Canada to modernize the Columbia River Treaty regime on May 29-30, 2018, in Washington, D.C.  The 1964 Treaty’s flood risk and hydropower operations have provided substantial benefits to millions of people on both sides of the border.  The Treaty, a worldwide model for transboundary water cooperation, has also facilitated additional benefits such as supporting the river’s ecosystem, irrigation, municipal water use, industrial use, navigation, and recreation.  Modernizing the Treaty regime will ensure these benefits continue for years to come. 

As the United States enters these bilateral negotiations with our Canadian counterparts, our key objectives include continued, careful management of flood risk; ensuring a reliable and economical power supply; and better addressing ecosystem concerns.  Our objectives are guided by the U.S. Entity Regional Recommendation for the Future of the Columbia River Treaty after 2024, a consensus document published in 2013 after years of consultations among the Northwest’s Tribes, states, stakeholders, public, and federal agencies.

The U.S. negotiating team will be led by the U.S. Department of State and will include the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division (which together comprise the “U.S. Entity” that implements the Treaty in the United States); the Department of the Interior; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As negotiations proceed, the U.S. government will continue to engage regional stakeholders, Tribes, state government officials, and other interested groups.  For more information regarding upcoming Town Halls open to the public, please contact