Sherman County eNews #164


  1. Fireworks: “Keep it Legal and Keep it Safe”

  2. Sharon “Shari” K. (Nisbet) Gritz 1949-2018

  3. Are you a Vietnam or Persian Gulf Era veteran?

  4. Your Vision for Tomorrow

  5. Summer Spotlights Masterful Paintings of American Realist Richard Lack

  6. Law Enforcement to Participate in Operation Dry Water Weekend of June 29-July 1

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

1. Fireworks: “Keep it Legal and Keep it Safe”

fireworks1The Office of State Fire Marshal, Oregon fire service, Keep Oregon Green, the Pacific Northwest Wildfire Coordination Group, natural resource agencies, Oregon licensed fireworks wholesalers, and safety experts encourage Oregonians to “Keep it Legal and Keep it Safe” when using fireworks. The 2018 Oregon fireworks retail sales season opens Saturday, June 23 and runs through Friday, July 6. The OSFM and their partners want everyone to know which fireworks are legal to use in Oregon without a permit, where they are permitted to be used, and the important safety steps to take when using fireworks. 

“I want to remind all Oregonians that consumer legal fireworks can only be purchased from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers and stands,” says State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “And, regulations limit where those fireworks may be used. Fire risk in Oregon is approaching extreme conditions and there is no room for error in fireworks safety.”

July 4th holiday public land visitors are advised to leave all fireworks at home. The use of fireworks is prohibited on all national forestland, Oregon state parks, and beaches. “It’s best to leave fireworks to the professionals,” states Keep Oregon Green President Kristin Babbs. “Support your local community by enjoying fireworks at sponsored events. If you choose to use fireworks at home, make sure they stay on the pavement and always keep a bucket of water nearby for safety and to extinguish spent fireworks.”

Oregon law prohibits possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground, without a permit issued by the OSFM. Fireworks commonly called bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers are illegal in Oregon, without a permit.

There were 318 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon during 2017, resulting in eight injuries and more than $861,000 in property damage. Over the past five years, from 2013 through 2017, there were 1,355 reported fireworks-related fires in Oregon resulting in one death, 34 injuries, and more than $3 million in property damage.

Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor which could result in a fine of up to $2,500 per violation and a civil penalty of up to $500. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damage. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.

“All Oregonians share the responsibility to use only consumer legal fireworks and use them carefully,” adds Walker. And we encourage you to be aware and considerate of neighbors and their pets, before deciding on when and where you choose to light fireworks.”

The OSFM encourages everyone to use the four B’s of safe fireworks use:

  • Be Prepared before lighting fireworks: keep water available by using a garden hose or bucket.
  • Be Safe when lighting fireworks: keep children and pets away from fireworks.
  • Be Responsible after lighting fireworks: never relight a dud. Wait 15 to 20 minutes then soak it in a bucket of water before disposal.
  • Be Aware: use only legal fireworks and use them only in legal places.

The four B’s of fireworks safety brochure is available here:

Tips in Spanish are also available at:

2. Sharon “Shari” K. (Nisbet) Gritz 1949-2018

flower.rose.starSharon “Shari” K. Gritz, 68 of Hermiston was born Nov. 12, 1949, in The Dalles, Oregon, the daughter of Gerald and Georgia “Aileen” (Scott) Nisbet. She passed away on Wednesday June 20, 2018, at her home.

Shari grew up and attended school in Wasco, Oregon, where she graduated from Sherman County High School in the class of 1967. After high school, she attended beauty school in Pendleton. She worked as a beautician and taught cosmetology, beauty and barbering throughout her career. She worked for Freddy’s Beauty Salon for many years then owned and operated the Oregon College of Beauty and Barbering until retiring in 2003.

Shari loved her family dearly and enjoyed spending her time with them especially her two grandsons and extended grandchildren. She also enjoyed crafting, rubber stamping and cardmaking and time with her many cardmaking friends. She enjoyed watching and supporting youth baseball programs in Hermiston.

Shari married George D. Gritz in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on April 8, 1973.

She is survived by her husband of 46 years, George; son, Jeff (Jana) Gritz; sister, Ellen (Gary) Fisher; brothers, Bill (Joanne) Nisbet and Bob Nisbet; grandsons, Nychal and Slade Gritz; and many nieces, nephews and extended friends and family members.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday June 30, 2018, at the Burns Mortuary Chapel. Burial will follow in Hermiston Cemetery. A gathering for family and friends will be held from 1-4 p.m. at the Pheasant Café, 149 E. Main St., Hermiston.

Arrangements are with Burns Mortuary, Hermiston. To leave an online condolence for the family, please go to

3. Are you a Vietnam or Persian Gulf Era veteran?

We are a group of researchers at Oregon State University who really care about Oregon veterans and their families.  We are interested in the long-term effects of military service, both positive and negative, on veterans’ health and well-being.  Most of what we know about military service and aging has been from research done with WWII veterans.  We would like to know whether veterans from more recent eras have similar or different effects from their military service.  The Oregon Dept. of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) is collaborating with us on this study.

If you are a veteran from the Vietnam (1964-1975), Persian Gulf (1990 – 1991) or OEF/OIF/OND (2001 – current) eras, we would love to hear from both combat and non-combat veterans.  We estimate that it will take about one hour to complete the on-line survey.  For completing this survey, you will receive a $20 gift card.

We will maintain confidentiality of your responses to the full extent of the law, but we will need contact information to send you your gift card.  If you would prefer not to provide your contact information, we can donate your $20 to a veterans’ organization.

Here is a link to the survey:

If you would prefer to receive a paper and pencil version of the questionnaire, please call the Center for Healthy Aging Research at 541 737-9241, and we’d be happy to send you out a copy.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at or call me at (541) 737-2024.  If you prefer a paper and pencil version of the survey, please contact me and we will send one out to you. In advance, thank you for participating in this study!

Carolyn M. Aldwin, Ph.D.

Jo Anne Leonard Endowed Director

Center for Healthy Aging Research

Director, Gerontology Program

Professor, Human Development & Family Sciences


Oregon State University

Waldo 424

Corvallis, OR  97331

541 737-2024; 541 737-4001(f)

4. Your Vision for Tomorrow

Do you have a vision – a picture in your mind of how things can be? If you do, how clear is it? How big is it? How much will you allow yourself to want, for yourself, your family and loved ones, for your country and the world? You see, people who have big dreams generally get big results.

If you need proof of this last statement, you have only to check out the Great Pyramid on the Giza Plateau outside Cairo. Whoever built that pyramid, over 4500 years ago, certainly had a grand vision for the times. The Great Wall of China, built over 2200 years ago, can be seen from orbit with a little help, and it must have started with a vision to go along with a need for protection.

Isaac Asimov was an immensely popular science writer. Did you know that he was also a biochemist and professor? And did you know that he had written nearly 400 books? Some of those books are on history, humor, or literature – especially Shakespeare and the Bible. Most of them are on science and science fiction, because Isaac Asimov had a big vision. He had a vision of a world where everyone understood science, and he worked through his writing to make science understandable and fun for everyone.

Lech Walesa had a vision that Poland could once again be a free nation with social justice for all, so he founded the solidarity movement in 1980. Ray Bradbury was another science fiction visionary. Read some of his early works, and you will see them being played out in the world today.

What kind of world would you like to see in the future? Just like Asimov, Bradbury and Walesa, and so many others who are less well known, your vision for the world can shape your life and give it purpose and a tremendous sense of accomplishment, if you let it.

It is easy to get bogged down in the here and now, and you can see the results of this in situations all over the world. It is time to pull together, as humanity, to create a vision – an inclusive, positive, physically and mentally healthy vision – for a world in which we can all contribute to the betterment of our humanity. ~The Pacific Institute

5. Summer Spotlights Masterful Paintings of American Realist Richard Lack

Richard F. Lack: The Interior Journey on view now through November 15

(GOLDENDALE, Wash., June 22, 2018) –A special exhibition featuring 40 works by Richard F. Lack (1928-2009), one of the most significant and prolific American realists of the last half of the 20th century, is on view now at Maryhill Museum of Art.

Richard F. Lack: The Interior Journey, Paintings, Drawings, and Studies showcases a series of large-scale imaginative paintings by one of America’s foremost realist painters. Created at the end of the artist’s career, the paintings depict historical, religious, mythological, allegorical and symbolic subjects. The exhibition also includes a selection of conceptual and developmental sketches and drawings, offering a window into Lack’s creative and technical processes as he fine-tuned the figures, expressions and subtle gestures found within the finished works.

“What I’m hearing from visitors is that they find the exhibition simply beautiful,” says Maryhill executive director Colleen Schafroth. “They are telling us that the exhibition is a pure joy to experience. Lack really is more than a painter’s painter; he is a modern master of paint by any standard. His skill with a brush is just stunning.”

About the Artist: Lack’s interest in classical painting traditions led him to the atelier and studio of R.H. Ives Gammell, a well-known Boston artist with whom he studied during the early 1950s. It was there that Lack was exposed to the fundamentals of training based on French ateliers and began to explore so-called imaginative painting, a term used to describe historical or poetic painting. In 1955 Lack traveled to Italy, Germany and France to study the Old Masters, particularly Peter Paul Rubens, who greatly influenced Lack’s style and methods.

In 1969 Lack established his own studio Atelier Lack where he continued the age-old tradition of mentorship and teaching methods passed down from the European masters of realist painting. Lack’s atelier provided link to the artistic traditions of Europe that rapidly disintegrated after World War I. Over the years, he trained a significant group of younger artists and his atelier became a model for many small studio schools throughout the United States and abroad. Lack’s artistic influence spread even further through his writings on the subject of realism at a time when the art world was enamored with emerging, nontraditional art forms.

Over his 63-year career, Lack created more than 1500 paintings, drawings, sketches, etchings, woodcuts and watercolors, including portraits, interiors, genre paintings, imaginative paintings and landscapes. He was a sought after portrait artist who completed six portraits of the Kennedy family in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. During his final years, Lack devoted most of his time and energy to painting The Interior Journey series of imaginative paintings now featured at Maryhill Museum of Art.

Richard F. Lack: The Interior Journey, Paintings, Drawings, and Studies was curated by Stephen Gjertson, with assistance from The Atelier and the Lack Estate. Gjertson is a Minneapolis-area artist who was a student of Lack and a former teacher at his atelier.

On view concurrently at Maryhill is a small exhibition titled American Classical Realism featuring work by other influential realists, including R.H. Ives Gammell, Robert Douglas Hunter and Samuel Rose, all drawn from the museum’s collections.

6. Law Enforcement to Participate in Operation Dry Water Weekend of June 29-July 1

Oregon.Flat.poleThe Marine Board and law enforcement from 32 counties and the Oregon State Police will be participating in Operation Dry Water during the weekend of June 29- July 1, as part of a nationally coordinated effort to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence of intoxicants (BUII). 

“To help marine officers prepare, we train them to recognize drug and alcohol impairment and arrest those operators –including those with paddles,” says Randy Henry, Boating Safety Manager for the Marine Board.

Boating under the influence of intoxicants means prescription drugs, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, or any other substance that impairs a person’s ability to make sound judgments and have the ability to safely operate a boat.  The effects of drugs and alcohol are also amplified on the water with the combination of sun glare, wind, waves and other environmental stressors.  Alcohol also dehydrates the body making sudden immersion into cold water at an even greater risk for drowning.

Impaired boaters can expect to be arrested or face serious penalties.  In Oregon, the consequences of being convicted of BUII include the possibility of jail time, $6,250 in fines and loss of boating privileges.  Marine officers can arrest boaters on observed impairment and can legally obtain blood, breath or urine if a boater fails field sobriety testing.  So far this year, nine people have been arrested for BUII.

“Overall, recreational boating is very safe if boaters wear life jackets, boat sober, and keep a sharp lookout. Waterways are becoming more crowded with a variety of mixed boating and other activities, so it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on around you and to follow the navigation rules of the road.  If boaters changed two things; wear life jackets and abstain from substances, accidents would be extremely rare,” says Henry.  So far this year, the common denominators for accidents include impairment, distracted operation and no life jacket.   Henry goes on to say, “The public is our ally in safe boating.  If you see an impaired operator or someone who is operating in a way that threatens others’ safety, call 911 and report it.  That’s how we can work together to save lives.” 

For more information about Operation Dry Water, visit

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

Astronomy Picture of the Day


Heritage Mourns Loss of Charles Krauthammer


Judicial Watch Obtains IRS Documents Revealing McCain’s Subcommittee Staff Director Urged IRS to Engage in “Financially Ruinous” Targeting

‘Less Than Human’: The Psychology Of Cruelty

U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Federation for American Immigration Reform

The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on United States Taxpayers

Center for Immigration Studies

The High Cost of Cheap Labor

Homeland Security – Crossing U.S. Borders

The Truth about Separating Kids at the Border