Sherman County eNews #274


  1. What is County College?

  2. Notice of Special Meeting: Tri-County Hazardous Waste & Recycling Program’s Steering Committee, Oct. 17

  3. Editorial. Voters’ Pamphlet: Maximum Word Count or Less is More?

  4. Oregon Women for Agriculture Getting Together, Nov. 12

  5. Perfection as a Limiter

  6. Medicare Annual Enrollment, Oct. 15-Dec. 7

  7. Financial assistance available for conservation on Oregon farms and ranches

1. What is County College?

The County College program began in 2006, a partnership of the Association of Oregon Counties and Oregon State University Extension Service, and for four years, ran every year. Since the 2009 class, the eight learning modules are presented every other year in odd years at various locations in Oregon.

Designed primarily for new commissioners and high-level staff, the program offers a comprehensive overview of the responsibilities and authorities of a county, and a county commissioner or judge, including legal, government ethics, public meetings and records, parliamentary procedure and much more. The class also covers the primary service areas of community & economic development, finance, human services, infrastructure & public works and public safety, in addition to sessions on leadership and management (risk management, communications, emergency management, personal and courthouse security, etc.). The strong partnership between counties and the Oregon State University Extension Service is also explored.

With a class size of between 18 to 22 members, one of the most valuable benefits is the networking that takes place and the relationships that are built. See the details here:

2. Notice of Special Meeting: Tri-County Hazardous Waste & Recycling Program’s Steering Committee, Oct. 17

recycle.blwhThe Tri-County Hazardous Waste & Recycling Program will convene a Special Meeting of their Steering Committee this Wednesday October 17th, 2018 from 1pm-1:30 pm at the Wasco County Planning Department, located at 2705 East 2nd Street in The Dalles, Oregon. The meeting is also accessible by phone.

Representatives from the member agencies of the counties of Wasco, Sherman and Hood River, and the cities of The Dalles, Hood River, Cascade Locks, Mosier, Dufur and Maupin will hold their meeting to review for approval a pending small grant application by Hood River Valley High School.

The nine governments signed an intergovernmental agreement in November 2003 to build and operate two permanent household hazardous waste collection facilities in Hood River and The Dalles, and conduct satellite collection events throughout the region. Wasco County is the lead agency. The facilities and events collect hazardous wastes from households, businesses and institutions which are Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators, as well as pesticide wastes from farmers and ranchers.

For more information about this meeting or about the Program: Call David Skakel of Tri-County Hazardous Waste & Recycling Program at (541) 506-2632.

3. Editorial. Voters’ Pamphlet: Maximum Word Count or Less is More?

voteThe Voters’ Pamphlet is here! We’re studying the measures and candidates. We don’t always favor candidates’ “prior governmental experience” but we do consider whether the word count and long lists are part of their regular duties in a governmental capacity or are significant merit appointments.

The Voters’ Pamphlet allows a maximum word count and some candidates use every word. Sometimes less is more.

We remind Sherman County voters that members of the Sherman County Court, in an informal assignment of shared responsibilities and as regular routine duties, represent the county by serving on local boards or committees ex officio, and on regional boards of organizations that provide services to Sherman County. Most commissioners are called upon from time to time to serve as chair for some of these boards… all part of their work.

Members of the County Court occasionally sit in on school district or city council meetings as a matter of interest and support.

We follow the work of the County Court on the county website where the meeting minutes are archived. See

4. Oregon Women for Agriculture Getting Together, Nov. 12

Oregon Women for Agriculture, let’s get together and enjoy the bounty of agriculture with wonderful food ordered off the menu (paid by chapter) assorted beverages (paid by you) at our fall social:

Monday November 12 5pm-7pm at ClockTower Ales in The Dalles

Please invite any gals you know who are interested in promoting agriculture or telling the story of agriculture to others…or who just like to eat and drink agricultural products and enjoy new friendships!

We will be in the side room with OWA information and displays about what our chapter does to tell the story of agriculture.  Some of our projects include crop ID signs, getting “Get Oregonized” history books into 3rd-4th grade classrooms, reading agricultural books to elementary students, a scholarship for a high school student, and sending a teacher to Summer Ag Institute so they can learn how to incorporate agricultural topics into their classroom. 

Cindy Brown, Educator, Oregon State University

OSU Extension Service – Sherman County

College of Public Health & Human Sciences

4-H Youth Development & SNAP-Ed

66365 Lonerock Rd., Moro, Oregon 97039 | P: 541-565-3230 | C: 541-993-5291

5. Perfection as a Limiter

Are you a perfectionist? Do you know anyone who is? Today, let’s talk a little about the drive to be perfect and what it can cost you.

What’s so bad about being good? Nothing at all, but trying to be perfect can cost you a lot in terms of mental health and harmonious relationships. You see, people who can mobilize themselves in the face of tough problems are usually folks who don’t worry about being perfect. They’re happy to move ahead with a partial solution, trusting that they’ll invent the rest as they go along. Their attitudes are flexible and their minds ever-growing.

Now, perfectionists will try to tell you that their relentless standards drive them to levels of productivity and excellence that they couldn’t otherwise attain. But often just the opposite is true. Perfectionists usually accomplish less, because they waste so much time paralyzed by fear of failure. Their minds are fixated on the perfection and they won’t start anything until they know how to finish it without any mishaps. From the standpoint of productivity, that can be a very real limiter.

Even though they don’t know exactly how they’re going to do something, high-performance people keep their vision of the end-result uppermost in their minds and forge ahead anyway. They believe that they will get the help they need, find the resources they need, and figure out the how-to’s as they go – and they usually do. They focus more on the desired end-result than the “how-to’s” needed along the way.

If, for some reason, they don’t achieve the outcome they wanted, high performers don’t waste energy beating themselves up about it. They simply learn from the experience and move on. The experience becomes one more piece of history for the databank, available to be used for “the next time.” ~The Pacific Institute

6. Medicare Annual Enrollment, Oct. 15-Dec. 7

 (Salem) – Annual open enrollment for Medicare starts today, and Oregon’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) Program is available to help.

Medicare is health insurance for people 65 years or older or younger than 65 with Social Security Disability Income. People living in Oregon who are 65 years or older may be eligible to sign up and find health insurance that best meets their needs. Medicare covers many medical costs, including visits to the doctor, prescription medications, and preventive care, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, diabetes treatment, and blood pressure screenings.

Medicare annual enrollment runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2018. Any Medicare Advantage (MA) or prescription drug plan (Part D) changes must be made between these dates so that coverage begins without interruption on Jan. 1, 2019. Those who are late to enroll may face a lifetime of premium penalties.

“It is important to compare Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans every year,” SHIBA Program Manager Lisa Emerson said. “Plans change year to year, as do people’s individual health care needs. People could potentially save money by shopping for a new plan.”

SHIBA provides free health insurance counseling to explain how the Medicare program works, additional insurance options that work with Medicare, and help with reducing out-of-pocket costs. SHIBA staff members, along with more than 200 certified counselors, serve many of Oregon’s more than 860,000 Medicare beneficiaries to help them understand their Medicare benefits and enrollment options. Free information and help is available by calling 1-800-722-4134 (toll-free) or visiting

SHIBA counselors help beneficiaries compare plans and enroll by using the plan finder tool found online at Beneficiaries and their families can also choose to use this tool to compare plans and enroll on their own.

SHIBA also publishes an annual Medicare guide, which will be available online in early October and in print in mid-November. 

Tips from SHIBA to prepare for Medicare open enrollment:

Review your plan notice. Be sure to read any notices from your Medicare plan about changes for next year, especially your Annual Notice of Change letter.

Think about what matters most to you. Medicare health and drug plans change each year and so can your health needs. Do you need a new primary care doctor? Does your network include the specialist you want for an upcoming surgery? Is your new medication covered by your current plan? Does another plan offer the same value at a lower cost? Take stock of your health status and determine if you need to make a change.

Find out if you qualify for help paying for your Medicare. SHIBA can help you learn about a state program that helps with the costs of Medicare premiums, your Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance) deductibles, co-insurance and co-payments, and Medicare prescription drug coverage costs.

Apply for help with drug costs. If you have limited income and assets, you may qualify for extra help with prescription drug costs. SHIBA counselors can help you apply for this benefit through Social Security.

Contact your doctor, hospital, and pharmacy before making changes. Not all health and drug plans contract or work with the same providers. If you switch plans, make sure you understand which providers you can see for the best price.

SHIBA is also advising people to protect their identity by guarding their Medicare card like they would their credit card or Social Security number. Identity theft from stolen Medicare numbers is becoming more common. To protect against identity theft, don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by telephone or email, or approaches you in person, unless you have given that person permission in advance. Medicare will never contact you (unless you ask them to) for your Medicare number or other personal information. Also, don’t let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number. 

 More information. SHIBA: To meet with a counselor, contact the toll-free SHIBA Helpline at 1-800-722-4134. You will be asked to enter your ZIP code to be connected to a program in your area. Visit to find local help in your county, obtain a copy of the 2018 Oregon Guide to Medicare Health plans, and find Medicare education and enrollment events in your area.

7. Financial assistance available for conservation on Oregon farms and ranches

Upcoming application deadline for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Oct. 19 and Nov. 16

PORTLAND, Ore., October 15, 2018 —The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting applications from Oregon farmers, ranchers and forestland owners for financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

EQIP is a voluntary Farm Bill program that helps agricultural producers offset the costs to perform conservation activities on private lands.

Upcoming application deadlines are Oct. 19, 2018 and Nov. 16, 2018. The Oct. 19 deadline applies only to EQIP assistance for landowners in Curry County with Sudden Oak Death on their property; and for farmers and ranchers in Sherman, Wasco and Gilliam counties who have been impacted by recent wildfires.

The Nov. 16 deadline applies to the following statewide EQIP initiatives and select projects:

–Organic EQIP: Offers assistance to USDA organic producers and to producers wishing to transition their operation to obtain an organic certification.

–Seasonal High Tunnel EQIP: Offers assistance to install a seasonal high tunnel (hoop house) to extend seasonal crop production to strengthen local and regional food markets while reducing pesticide use and energy inputs.

–On-Farm Energy EQIP: Assists producers to conserve energy on their farms through an on-farm energy audit and provides assistance to implement various recommended measures identified in an energy audit.

–Sage Grouse Initiative EQIP: Focuses on making measurable and significant progress toward treating threats to rangeland health including sage grouse habitat on private lands.

–North Willamette Upland Oak Partnership: Provides assistance to private landowners to restore native oak habitats in Yamhill and Polk counties.

–Grande Ronde Watershed Conservation Partnership: Provides assistance to landowners in Union County in the Upper Grande Ronde Watershed to improve water quality and fish habitat, reduce soil erosion, and enhance rangeland/forest health.

–Alder Slope Cooperative Partnership: Provides assistance to landowners in Wallowa County along the Alder Slope area to improve irrigation efficiency and enhance forest health.

–Conservation of Soil Health in Wallowa County: Provides assistance to landowners in Wallowa County within the Zumwalt Prairie and Wallowa River Valley to enhance and protect healthy, productive soils.

–Salmon Super Highway Project: Provides assistance to private landowners in Tillamook County to improve fish habitat, water quality and forest health.

–Additional EQIP sign-up deadlines will be announced in coming months for other funding opportunities, including locally-led Conservation Implementation Strategies throughout the state.

To learn more about EQIP funding opportunities in Oregon and for more information about program eligibility, visit the Oregon EQIP webpage at:   To search EQIP funding opportunities specific to each county, visit the NRCS Oregon website at and click the “What’s Available in My County?” icon.

Interested applicants can also contact their local USDA Service Center to inquire about EQIP opportunities in their county and to apply for assistance.