Sherman County eNews #248


  1. Wasco School Events Center “Back to School” Night, Sept. 22

  2. William C. “Bill” Smith 1934-2018

  3. The Dalles Chronicle: The Governor hears fire issues (in Sherman County)

  4. Sherman County Court News, Aug. 1

  5. Notice. Gilliam-Wheeler County Farm Service Agency Program Technician

  6. Analysis/Opinion: Diversity is history’s pathway to chaos

1. Wasco School Events Center “Back to School” Night, Sept. 22

arrow.blueswishIf you are thinking about attending the “Back to School Night” event on September 22, 2018 at the Wasco School Events Center, you really need to purchase your tickets soon. As of yesterday, there are only 18 dinner tickets remaining for purchase. Tickets can be purchased at the WSEC from 10 to 1 on Thursday and Friday, or at Wasco City Hall during the day on Thursday. This will be a fun evening of great food, entertainment, and some fabulous silent auction items to bid on. Tickets are $40.00 and include 2 drinks, appetizers, a prime rib dinner and dessert. We are still selling grand prize raffle tickets for a 3-night stay at a Wallowa Lake cabin; $5 each or 5 for $20.

2. William C. “Bill” Smith 1934-2018

flower.rose.starWilliam C. “Bill” Smith was born September 3, 1934 in Kent, Oregon, at the home of his parents Ern and Nell Smith. He was the youngest of three siblings. His sisters were Virginia Cox and Joyce Short. He attended grade school in Kent, Oregon, and graduated from Sherman Union High School. Bill worked for Mid Columbia Producers supervising their grain elevators in the counties of Gilliam, Sherman and Wasco for 37 years. He also served on the Kent School District Board and Kent Water District Board.

Bill married Mary Elaine Wendt on March 1, 1958. They had six children; Kathryn Mary; Sharon Lynn; Patricia Ann; William Clyde Jr.; Ernest Carl and Jennifer Sue; twelve grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren. Bill and Elaine made their home in a house they bought in Kent. Bill was an excellent carpenter and remodeled their original home to accommodate their growing family. His carpentry skills were valued by friends and neighbors.

Bill was an avid outdoorsman, rafting down the John Day River yearly with a group of buddies. He was also a hunter and fisherman and passed down his passion for the outdoors to his children. Vacations were camping trips with at least six kids and two adults piled into a 1940s Toyota Landcruiser, heading into rough country to find the perfect spot. Bill was a tinkerer and created the many time saving devices for the trips, including the solar ‘oven.’ Trips were always opportunities to learn more about the land he grew up in. There was also bike rides with Bill and Elaine on ‘pack mules’ and all of the kids on bicycles traveling down back roads.

Bill enjoyed his children. When he came home from work he would play with all of his kids in the living room, letting them pile on his legs and back while they tried to keep him from doing push-ups. It was great fun and everyone ended up laughing. Bill took up drawing and everyone in his family enjoyed getting birthday cards with his drawings in them. They were always personal and quite often humorous. In the last decade of his life, he and his wife moved to The Dalles to be closer to physicians. Bill continued drawing and enjoyed visits from his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

3. The Dalles Chronicle: The Governor hears fire issues (in Sherman County)

“Oregon Gov. Kate Brown visited Sherman County last week and heard from farmers and cattlemen that repairing roads and fences were top issues following the summer’s devastating fires. Brown also came away with a to-do list of helping to hurry along needed emergency declarations to allow or extend temporary grazing. “The other piece for me is creating a sense of urgency around next year’s fire season,” Brown said after the meeting…”


4. Sherman County Court News, Aug. 1

ShermanCoLogoAugust 1, 2018

Contact: Kayla von Borstel, Administrative Assistant 541-565-3416

Tobacco Retail Assessment Update and Work Plan, Eagle Project Proposal, Scott Canyon and Hilderbrand Lane Speed Zone Investigations, Courthouse Facility & Dedication Update, Executive Session of Exempt Documents, and Sherman County Fiber Project were the main items on the agenda during the August 1st session of Sherman County Court in Moro.

Hayli Sharp, North Central Public Health District/Tri-County Tobacco Prevention, gave an update of her program which is very policy focused around reducing tobacco use, especially in youth. Sharp and Amy Asher, Sherman County Prevention, performed a tobacco retail assessment in the area, as Oregon does not have retail tobacco licensing or inspections. She collaborated with Asher as part of the assessment was centered on alcohol. They collected data on where products were being sold (type of store), what type of promotions were seen (price, targeted brand, flavored versus non flavored, placement of promotion), and displays/availability of products (placed at youth eye level, next to child toys, open display versus locked display.) Flavored tobaccos have become more abundant over the years as markets seek the younger generations. “Juul” is flavored tobacco for use with electronic tobacco devices. Each Juul pod can hold the amount of nicotine found in two packs of cigarettes. Juul used to be only available for purchase online, and the individual had to be 21 or over to sign for the product. While conducting the assessment, Juul was found in Circle K, and was cheaper than purchasing online. Pilot sold a similar brand in their store, while the stores in Wasco, Moro, and Grass Valley did not. Juuling devices look like USB drives, and are hard to distinguish between a nicotine device, and a real USB drive. Sharp stated these devices have been found in the neighboring Counties’ schools, and will soon make its way to Sherman County. She sent a letter to the schools to be watchful for these devices. Additionally, these devices can be adapted to add THC drops as well. The assessment showed alcohol was not as heavily advertised as believed it would be. Brief discussion held on third hand smoking, which is residual chemicals left behind on clothes, curtains, etc. and its effects on young children.

Gavenn Lohrey, Community Member, presented his project plan to the Court for approval as he is currently pursuing to become an Eagle in Boy Scouts. Lohrey would like to place clear address markers to be visible from the main road on all the houses that do not have them in Sherman County, so law enforcement and Emergency Services can respond efficiently and effectively during an emergency. Moro Fire Department will supply the numbers, and Lohrey, along with five other Boy Scouts, will install them for each house. Court motioned to approve Gavenn Lohrey’s project as presented to install clear address markers on houses making them visible from the street as part of his Eagle Scout Program.

Mark Coles, Road Department, spoke to the Court on speed zone investigations for Scott Canyon, and Hilderbrand Lane. Coles submitted one for Hilderbrand Lane; however, Oregon Department of Transportation found a speed zone investigation for the City of Wasco that was already completed in 2005 for Hilderbrand Lane; Coles believed the reason he never saw paperwork was due to the jurisdiction labeled as City of Wasco, and not Sherman County. The speed zone investigation for Scott Canyon, has Scott Canyon coming into Clark Street with a suggested reduction from 50mph to 40mph. Court motioned to approve the speed zone order #J7742 for Hilderbrand Lane and the speed zone study #8274 for Scott Canyon/Clark Street. 

Ron McDermid, Steering Committee, gave an update on the Courthouse Facility. The project was on the final two weeks before the finish, turf had been laid, the Commissioner Meeting Room would possibly be ready for the next Court session, and punch list items were being corrected. A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) will be put in the storage building to keep regulated temperature for documents. After the Courthouse is finished the next project will be to install better lighting for the North East parking lot by an independent contractor. The Courthouse Addition and Renovation will come within the budget of $9.3 million, and has a one year warranty.

McDermid and Kayla von Borstel, Administrative Assistant, have been working on the Courthouse Dedication. He anticipates a quick ceremony, and has planned for a canopy in case of any adverse weather. Justice Court staff will be creating the ceremony program.

Court motioned to enter into Executive Session in Accordance with ORS 192.660 (2) (f) Exempt Public Records. Entered into Executive Session at 11:00 a.m. to review the Red Hawk internet security report; exited Executive Session at 12:00 p.m. 

Dan Bubb, Gorge Net, stated he reached out to each City, as each City Council had voted to support the project, and gave a sense of urgency to start the project. Gorge Net has a self-imposed deadline to stop construction when winter conditions start, due to inefficiency. He’s reached out to Cities for legal and local points of contact as well as expressed need for local resources in each City, such as a place to dump debris and store equipment. Currently they were moving forward with preliminary work in Moro; the number one item needed would be contracts, as they were starting without one, and with no financial commitment from the County or Cities. The construction contract should outline milestones and deliverables from each party, for delivery of a fiber system and financial obligations. A base agreement for Moro will be created to be used for each City and Biggs Service District (BSD), as well as an operating agreement that includes pricing, what happens if the project fails, system ownership, etc. Bubb wanted the agreements completed to approve at the next Court Session if possible

Brief discussion held on the Regional Infrastructure grant for the Fiber to the Home Project, and the how much the expense gap would be if the grant isn’t received. Court asked Mike Smith, Frontier TeleNet, if the County had access to fiber in BSD; Smith answered no, but Windwave will lay fiber tubes over Zayo fiber. Gorge Net has an interim solution as they have a tower on Stacker, and currently provides service to an Oregon Department of Transportation site in BSD. Gorge Net will build the distribution system; there will be a fiber head in that lights the fiber in that community, and then there will be multi-service terminals where each port can plug a fiber in and be run to a house. The ports will be installed on poles and if no poles are available, they will be installed underground; these will be ready to plug in as new customers sign up in the future. Bubb stated the Request for Proposal stated “within the city limits”, however, it’s in Gorge Net’s best interest to hook up customers on city limit fringes and beyond through wireless in the future as well. 

Court motioned to enter into Executive Session in Accordance with ORS 192.660 (2) (f) Exempt Public Records. Entered into Executive Session at 2:40 p.m. to review the County Counsel Request for Proposal Submissions; exited Executive Session at 2:53 p.m. County Court concluded to set up interviews with each firm after August 15th, 2018. 

Actions taken by the Court included:

  • Funding has already been set in the budget for a Wildlife Services Trapper; Court consensus to continue with Wildlife Services through APHIS for the 2018-2019 year unless otherwise noted.
  • appointed Rick Whitaker to replace Joseph Belshe as Position 3 Training Officer, and to finish out the remainder of the term to expire December 31, 2019, and appoint Carl Langston to replace Julia Belshe as Position 2 Vice Chair, to the Sherman County Ambulance Service Board to finish out the remainder of the term to expire December 31, 2018.  
  • approved the Transit Periodic Report as presented.
  • approved the Broadband Joint Work Session minutes of June 27, 2018, as corrected.
  • approved the Claims for the month of July 2018 as presented.

Topics of discussion were the Hemp Facility Name Clarification – Evergreen Holdings LLC, Biggs Service District Loan Documents, Asher Subdivision Lots, Wireless System Upgrades Outside of Fiber Areas, Prevention Written Quarterly Report, Justice Court Written Quarterly Report, and Commissioner Reports.

5. Notice. Gilliam-Wheeler County Farm Service Agency Program Technician 


The Gilliam-Wheeler County Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting applications for a permanent Program Technician in Condon, Oregon. Applications will be accepted beginning September 19, 2018 and closing October 3, 2018. Salary range of $26,587 – $53,773 per year based on qualifications and experience. A copy of the vacancy announcement and application may be obtained on line by visiting: For more information, please contact the FSA Office at 541-384-4251 ext. 2.  The Federal Service offers a comprehensive benefits package.  Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at:

6. Analysis/Opinion: Diversity is history’s pathway to chaos

By Victor Davis Hanson – – Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Emphasizing diversity has been the pitfall, not the strength, of nations throughout history.

The Roman Empire worked as long as Iberians, Greeks, Jews, Gauls and myriad other African, Asian and European communities spoke Latin, cherished habeas corpus and saw being Roman as preferable to identifying with their own particular tribe. By the fifth century, diversity had won out but would soon prove a fatal liability.

Rome disintegrated when it became unable to assimilate new influxes of northern European tribes. Newcomers had no intention of giving up their Gothic, Hunnish or Vandal identities.

The propaganda of history’s multicultural empires — the Ottoman, the Russian, the Austro-Hungarian, the British and the Soviet — was never the strength of their diversity. To avoid chaos, their governments bragged about the religious, ideological or royal advantages of unity, not diversity. 

Nor did more modern quagmires like Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Rwanda or Yugoslavia boast that they were “diverse.” Instead, their strongman leaders naturally claimed that they shared an all-encompassing commonality.

When such coerced harmony failed, these nations suffered the even worse consequences of diversity, as tribes and sects turned murderously upon each other.

For some reason, contemporary America believes that it can reject its uniquely successful melting pot to embrace a historically dangerous and discredited salad-bowl separatism.

Is there any evidence from the past that institutionalizing sects and ethnic grievances would ensure a nation’s security, prosperity and freedom?

America’s melting pot is history’s sole exception of E pluribus unum inclusivity: a successful multiracial society bound by a common culture, language and values. But this is a historic aberration with a future that is now in doubt.

Some students attending California’s Claremont College openly demand roommates of the same race. Racially segregated “safe spaces” are fixtures on college campuses.

We speak casually of bloc voting on the basis of skin color — as if a lockstep Asian, Latino, black or white vote is a good thing.

We are reverting to the nihilism of the old Confederacy. The South’s “one-drop rule” has often been copied to assure employers or universities that one qualifies as a minority.

Some public figures have sought to play up or invent diversity advantages. Sometimes, as in the cases of Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Dolezal and Ward Churchill, the result is farce.

Given our racial fixations, we may soon have to undergo computer scans of our skin colors to rank competing claims of grievance.

How does one mete out the relative reparations for various atrocities of the past, such as slavery, the Holocaust, the American Indian wars, the Asian or Catholic exclusion laws, indentured servitude, or the mid-18th-century belief that the Irish were not quite human?

Sanctuary cities, in the manner of 1850s Richmond or Charleston invoking nullification, now openly declare themselves immune from federal law. Does that defiance ensure every city the right to ignore whatever federal laws it finds inconvenient, from the filing of 1040s to voting laws?

The diversity industry hinges on U.S. citizens still envisioning a shrinking white population as the “majority.” Yet “white” is now not always easily definable, given intermarriage and constructed identities.

In California, those who check “white” on Orwellian racial boxes are now a minority. Will white Californians soon nightmarishly declare themselves aggrieved minorities and thus demand affirmative action, encourage Viking-like names such as Ragnar or Odin, insert umlauts and diereses into their names to hype their European bona fides, seek segregated European-American dorms and set up “Caucasian Studies” programs at universities?

Women now graduate from college at a higher rate than men. Will there be a male effort to ensure affirmative action for college admissions and graduation rates?

If the white vote reaches 70 percent for a particular candidate, is that really such a good thing, as it was considered to be when President Obama was praised for capturing 95 percent of the black vote?

It is time to step back from the apartheid brink.

Even onetime diversity advocate Oprah Winfrey has had second thoughts about the lack of commonality in America. She recently vowed to quit using the word “diversity” and now prefers “inclusion.”

A Latino-American undergraduate who is a student of Shakespeare is not “culturally appropriating” anyone’s white-European legacy, but instead seeking transcendence of ideas and a common humanity.

Asian-Americans are not “overrepresented” at premier campuses. Their high-profile presence should be praised as a model, not punished as aberrant by number-crunching bureaucrats.

African-Americans who excel in physics and engineering are not “acting white” but finding the proper pathways for their natural talents.

Being one-half Southeast Asian or three-quarters white is not the touchstone to one’s essence and is irrelevant to one’s character and conduct.

No one is impinging on anyone’s culture when blacks dye their hair blond, or when blondes prefer to wear cornrow braids.

Campuses desperately need unity czars, not diversity czars.

Otherwise, we will end up as 50 separate and rival nations — just like other failed states in history whose diverse tribes and races destroyed themselves in a Hobbesian dog-eat-dog war with one another.

  • Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.