Sherman County eNews #241


  1. Historic super load will intermittently close SR 14 and US 97 starting Sept. 17

  2. Free Training for Youth Robotics Coaches on Sept 22

  3. System Support

  4. Sherman County Court Notes, Aug. 15

  5. New free resource launches for those caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease

  6. Goldendale Energy Project Would Create Jobs

  7. First Nationwide Test of Integrated Public Alert & Warning System, Sept. 20

1. Historic super load will intermittently close SR 14 and US 97 starting Sept. 17

ROOSEVELT – What weighs just over 1 million pounds is 360 feet long, 21 feet tall and will soon be traveling through the Gorge? A windmill transformer, of course. In addition, travelers in the area of State Route 14 and US 97 should be prepared for some delays and quite a visual starting Monday night, Sept. 17

Omega Morgan – Portland, in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Washington State Patrol and the Klickitat County Sherriff’s Department, will move the massive piece of equipment over two nights.

SR 14 will be fully closed from 10 p.m. Monday until 4 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 between Roosevelt and the SR 14/US 97 interchange. There will also be intermittent closures with flagger-controlled traffic on eastbound SR 14 near Dallesport and on both directions of US 97 between Toppenish and the SR 14/US 97 interchange during those hours.

From 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 until 4 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, both directions of US 97 between the SR 14/US 97 interchange and Hoctor Road in Goldendale will have intermittent closures with flagger-controlled traffic.

Moving one of the largest pieces of commercial equipment in state history is no easy task, and has been scheduled overnight to reduce the effect on traffic. It requires careful planning and choreography between all the agencies involved. We’ve also ensured that emergency response vehicles will be able to get around the load.

WSP troopers in partnership with Klickitat County Sherriff’s will escort the trailer and transformer from the city of Roosevelt to its final destination on the Goldendale windfarms Rockcreek Substation. 

Closure details:

10 p.m., Monday, Sept. 17, through 4 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18

  • Both directions of SR 14 between Roosevelt (milepost 133.0) and the SR 14/US 97 interchange (SR 14 milepost 100.6/US 97 milepost 0.17) will close.
  • Eastbound SR 14 at Dallesport (milepost 84.0) will close intermittently with flaggers controlling traffic.
  • Both directions of US 97 between just south of Toppenish and the SR 14/US 97 interchange will close intermittently with flaggers directing traffic.

10 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 18, through 4 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19

  • Both directions of US 97, between the SR 14/US 97 interchange and Hoctor Road(milepost 9.32) will close intermittently with flaggers directing traffic.

 2. Free Training for Youth Robotics Coaches on Sept 22

A free one-day training is planned for September 22 to help parents and volunteers serve as FIRST LEGO League (FLL) coaches. Parents who have students interested in robotics are encouraged to consider coaching a team. FLL is for students ages nine to fourteen and is a great way to introduce students to robotics. Teams of three to ten students begin meeting as school starts to prepare for one of the Gorge Qualifying Tournaments, held December 8, 9 and 15. Parent coaches do not need to understand robots or programming; their main duty is helping the students focus and navigating the competition challenges.

On September 22, the Gorge Tech Alliance (GTA) brings Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program (ORTOP) to Hood River for a workshop that covers an introduction to FIRST LEGO League, coaching and mentoring techniques, basic programming and mechanical design techniques to help with robot building. The training is from 8:30am to 4:30pm on Saturday, September 22 at the Hood River County Extension, 2990 Experiment Station Dr., Hood River. The required registration links for this free training can be found at

Additionally, the Gorge Tech Alliance has free robots and laptops for loan to support teams and can also point teams towards scholarships. The GTA’s loaner equipment and support of robotics events is made possible by our regional tech businesses including Google, Insitu and others. The GTA is a non-profit industry association that seeks to support, connect and develop the technology community of the Gorge. Learn more at

3. System Support

If you own a business, you know how important it is to develop systems for getting things done. But have you ever thought about a system for making changes in your personal life?

If you were to ask, you’d find that most people would like to make at least a few changes in their lives. They want to weigh less, stop smoking, start exercising, get better grades, build better relationships, and get a better job… all manner of things.

But if you ask specifically about how they plan to do it, often the picture begins to blur. They are not quite sure, or they have a vague idea but no real plan. Unfortunately, this is where they set themselves up to fail.

You see, if you have a good system in place before you start – a system that you know is likely to produce good results if you follow it – then you are dramatically increasing your likelihood of success. A good system will help you clarify goals, identify specific desired behaviors (or undesirable ones you’d like to change), keep track of whether the behaviors are performed, and provide rewards when you attain a goal or sub-goal. A good system becomes the ignition key to the engine of your life!

With a good system, you also have the support required when you need to tweak your approach to change, in order to make it stick. A little flexibility in the system allows you to make quick course corrections, in order to stay on track toward your goal, and it will help you plan for and deal with relapses or setbacks.

A good system can make the difference between sustained results and a flash in the pan, and will help you turn a new behavior into a habit that you don’t even have to think about. Finally, a good system will help you focus your thoughts in a way that eliminates negative self-talk that pulls you off track, while it increases positive self-talk for additional support.

So, if you’re serious about making changes in your life and you are committed to success, then maybe you owe it to yourself to approach change systematically. ~The Pacific Institute

 4. Sherman County Court Notes, Aug. 15

By 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 August 15, 2018, and in conducting the business of the county,

  • Motion by Commissioner Dabulskis, second by Commissioner McCoy, to approve the resolution in the matter of dedicating the Sherman County Courthouse Facility to the community on September 7, 2018 in honor of those who have preceded us and to inspire future generations and authorize County Court to sign.
  • Court will meet in Compensation Board for the Veteran’s Officer on September 15th, 2018.
  • Motion by Commissioner McCoy, second by Commissioner Dabulskis, to approve hiring an additional three seasonal employees to work from September 4, 2018-November 9, 2018 in the amount of $21,000 to assist the Weed District in controlling noxious weeds on the Lower Deschutes due to regrowth post wildfire.
  • Gorge Net has started construction in Moro; once Moro is completed they will work on Grass Valley until the construction window closes for the year. Contracts are in progress.
  • Motion by Judge Thompson to enter into Executive Session in Accordance with ORS 192.660 (2) (e) Real Property Negotiations.
    • Discussion held on the Golden Hills SIP renegotiation.
  • Motion by Commissioner McCoy, second by Commissioner Dabulskis, to appoint Mike McArthur to the Senior Advisory Council to fulfill the remaining term for Sharon Chard.
  • Motion by Commissioner Dabulskis, second by Commissioner McCoy, to approve payment of the residual expenses for 2017-2018 in the amount of $244.14 for the Eastern Oregon Counties Association.
  • Motion by Commissioner McCoy, second by Commissioner Dabulskis authorize to hire Bob Thomas as a contract employee to be the County Trapper, and authorize Judge Thompson to negotiate terms of a 5 year contract including a 1 year probationary period.
  • Kayla von Borstel, Administrative Assistant, will write a letter to the State Building Codes Office stating Sherman County cannot solely take on building codes, there are no partners at this time, and the State will need to take over Build Codes until further notice.

 5. New free resource launches for those caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease

CLACKAMAS—Providing care for a loved one with Alzeimer’s disease can be a challenge, but AARP and the Alzheimer’s Association announce an enhanced tool to make it easier to find information and resources.

The Alzheimer’s Association and AARP announced they are joining forces to extend the reach of the Community Resource Finder, an online database connecting families with local resources to help address concerns and navigate the challenges of Alzheimer’s, dementia and aging.

The Alzheimer’s Association & AARP Community Resource Finder ( is a database of dementia and aging-related resources powered by Carelike®. The online tool makes it easy for people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, caregivers and those involved in making care-related decisions to find local programs and services.

“Out of the approximately 470,000 family caregivers in Oregon, about 40% of them are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Jon Bartholomew, AARP Oregon Government Relations Director. “We hope this new resource will help reduce caregiver stress and help families deal with this devastating disease.”

The updated database expands the previously available Alzheimer’s Association Community Resource Finder, which launched in 2011 and today receives 37,000 monthly visits. The new platform will extend the reach to even more people with care and support needs. It features additional resources from AARP, including webinars, programs and events. It also offers a new advanced search tool to help people find local resources based on specific needs, such as payment options and specialized services. In addition, users are now able to share search results with family and other care team members to help facilitate caregiving decisions, keeping everyone informed.

The Alzheimer’s Association & AARP Community Resource Finder allows caregivers to search available resources in their area by simply entering their zip code. The database includes listings for a wide range of services, including:

  • Housing options.
  • Care at home.
  • Medical services.
  • Legal services, including elder law attorneys.
  • Community services, such as adult day centers and transportation.
  • Alzheimer’s Association information, programs and services.
  • AARP information, programs and services.

The Alzheimer’s Association & AARP Community Resource Finder offers additional features to assist family caregivers, including tip sheets to help guide decisions regarding various providers and services, links to online communities, a glossary of terms for caregivers and state-by-state licensing information for residential, assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

6. Goldendale Energy Project Would Create Jobs

California has an energy challenge, and the solution would create long-term jobs in the Mid-Columbia, with Columbia Gorge Community College well-positioned to provide workforce training.

The challenge: California has an ambitious goal of generating 100 percent of its energy requirements through renewable resources by the year 2045. Unfortunately, much of that energy currently comes from solar power generation, which ends as soon as the sun sets – right when household energy demands are highest.

One part of the solution: Store the energy produced by Oregon and Washington wind farms when this electricity would otherwise be lost to the system and sell it to California when the energy is most needed there. Currently, wind farm operators rely on Columbia River reservoirs to store energy, but reservoir capacity is limited. That would change should Klickitat Public Utility District and its partners succeed in building a “pumped storage” energy project near Goldendale.

Pumped storage is a proven technology to reserve and produce energy upon demand. When surplus energy is available, water is pumped uphill to an artificial reservoir, which acts as a large battery. When energy is needed, the water flows through a penstock to a generator downhill, producing electricity.

The trick in making this work isn’t the technology, which is well-tested. The key is in the economics: Can the power generated be sold at a profit, once costs of producing it are taken into account?

That’s where the California energy market, with its vast appetite for power, could make the difference. So far, feasibility studies support the concept behind the “Goldendale Energy Storage Project,” and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a preliminary permit this past March. The system would require two reservoirs located more than 2,000 feet above the Columbia River, north of the former Goldendale Aluminum plant at John Day Dam. The turbine would be located close to river level, on the former aluminum company site itself. Buried penstocks would connect the reservoirs with the turbine. As a “closed loop” system, the project would require only enough water to fill the two reservoirs and replace a minimal amount of water lost to subsequent evaporation.

Private development partners exploring the project with Klickitat PUD are National Grid and Rye Development LLC. The $2 billion project would store the equivalent of 14,745 megawatts of power, more than twice the combined capacity of Oregon and Washington wind farms. Within a matter of minutes, it would produce up to 1,200 megawatts on demand, sending this to California by way of nearby transmission lines already in place. Developers estimate the project would produce 114 permanent jobs.

With its Electro-Mechanical Technology (EM-Tech) program, Columbia Gorge Community College is following the project closely, participating in a site visit this past spring together with local, state and Congressional leaders and project developers. The EM-Tech program has its origins in training for hydroelectric dam operators in the 1990s, and then evolved to prepare wind technicians beginning in 2006. Today, the program prepares students for family-wage careers in diverse industries throughout the region.

7. First Nationwide Test of Integrated Public Alert & Warning System, Sept. 20

Salem, OR – September 12, 2018 – There will be a first-ever nationwide test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) on Thursday, Sept. 20. IPAWS encompasses the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA). The test, coordinated by FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will be broadcast via radio, TV, cable stations and wireless carriers. The WEA portion of the test will occur at 11:18 a.m. Pacific Time (2:18 p.m. EDT); the EAS portion will occur at 11:20 a.m. Pacific Time (2:20 p.m. EDT).  No action is required by the public.

IPAWS is a national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency alerts and information from emergency officials to the public through radio, TV, cell phones and Internet applications. Although this is the fourth EAS nationwide test, it is the first national WEA test.

“This is the first time a wireless alert has been tested in Oregon, and we don’t want anyone to be caught off guard,” said Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps. “No matter where someone is—at work, in their car, at school, at the doctor’s office, anywhere—they should hear and see the alert on their phone,” said Oregon Office of Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps.

The nationwide test ensures that in times of an emergency or disaster, public safety officials have methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public. Alerts are rare, but can happen locally, statewide, or nationally.  In addition, the test is a way to assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message, and determine whether technological improvements are needed.  A nationwide WEA message would only be used in the most extreme emergency situation.

“This is a very important test that will help improve our ability to get critical information to the public, both over traditional broadcast venues such as radio and TV, as well as over mobile phones. We encourage our partners, including the media, to help share this important information.”

This test is being conducted by FEMA in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). For more information visit: