Sherman County eNews #277


  1. Meet Moro Council Candidate Abbey Phelps at a Town Hall Meeting, Oct. 24

  2. What’s Coming Up at Sherman County Public/School Library

  3. Op-Ed: Consider Why Graduation Rates and Test Scores Should Not Be Politicized

  4. The Heart of Great Communication

  5. Wasco County Historical Society Annual Meeting, Nov. 10

  6. Sherman County History Tidbits: 1943 Wasco School Volleyball Team

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

1. Meet Moro Council Candidate Abbey Phelps at a Town Hall Meeting, Oct. 24

voteCome to meet Moro City Council candidate Abbey Phelps at a Town Hall meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, October 24th in the Library Program Room.


2. What’s Coming Up at Sherman County Public/School Library

The Library is open School Hours – 8am-4pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8am-7pm Tuesday and Thursday, 10am-4pm Saturday

Community Preschool Storytime – Every Tuesday at 10am
Join us for Preschool Storytime and crafts. Ages 0-6.

YA Art Club
THURSDAY after school in the library.
Grades 6-12.
When it’s over, catch the 5:00 activity bus.

Halloween at Hogwarts – Friday, October 26 at 6pm
Come in to the library during Trunk or Treat, visit Honeydukes, warm up with drinks, get your picture taken in front of our photo backdrops and say hello to the house ghosts.

Crafts in Stacks – Saturday, October 27 at 2pm
Learn basic beading techniques or just enjoy making a simple project. We will create a trendy fun necklace using semiprecious stones. No previous skill required! Ages 7 and up. Give us a call to reserve your spot before October 25.

November’s Book Club
The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.
Book Club will meet again on Thursday, November 29, at 6:00pm.

3. Op-Ed: Consider Why Graduation Rates and Test Scores Should Not Be Politicized

pencil.sharpIt makes me deeply saddened to see candidates for public office blame teachers and schools and other candidates for declining graduation rates and test scores.  Here are two reasons teachers and public schools and other candidates are not to blame: 

First, for the past 30 years the decline has happened in Oregon because many “active, concerned, and knowledgeable” parents abandoned public schools by sending their children to private schools.  This has coincided with a rapid loss of our middle class and increase in poverty.

Currently we have many families with single parents and still many more with two parents working close to minimum wage jobs. Generally these parents don’t have the luxury to help out in schools.  In recent decades, the continued rise to more than half of all Oregon public school students (p. 167, Oregon Blue Book, 2017-2018) eligible for free or reduced-price lunches documents this problem.  Generally it is parents with greater economic resources who have the time to be “active, concerned, and knowledgeable.”  Every time a classroom loses an “active, concerned, and knowledgeable” parent, the 28 or 30 remaining children lose a volunteer to be in class, a parent in PTA, a cookie baker for fundraising, a chaperone for field trips, etc.  [Our schools are being creative … one Eugene elementary school trades use of a school washer and dryer in exchange for time volunteering in class.]

Secondly, certain political candidates and their party have advocated for charter school funding and school vouchers, hence, draining funds away from regular public schools with their “creative” ways to subsidize private schools.  This advocacy has made many parents view private schools as a desirable option.  (In many states, new private schools were a cover-up to hide the continuation of segregation, segregation that was to end in 1954 with Brown vs. Board of Education.)

The rapid growth of private schools has drawn away a significant number of highly-capable students and their supportive parents.  When you remove the highly-capable students from public schools then both graduation rates and test scores fall.  For example, if you have 5 students and one drops out, the graduation rate is 80%.  If you have 5 students, one goes to private school, and one of the remaining four drops out, the graduation rate is 75%.  Thus, you have a reduction in graduation rate simply from the arithmetic. (Coincidently, p. 164, Oregon Blue Book, 2017-2018, lists the graduation rate at 74%.)

Likewise, suppose the test scores are 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, with an average of 3. Then score 5 goes to private school, the average of remaining test scores is 2.5.  Horrors, the political candidate now says, test score averages fell 16.7%  (0.5 divided by 3.0).

Some Sherman County historical background: 

My parents, Paulen and Margilee, were among those working hard to get Sherman’s high schools consolidated.  Paulen and Margilee sent Lee and Terry to Moro because of threats from Wasco area residents.  Margilee would leave her Eastern Star gatherings in Wasco and have to reset the distributor cap onto the distributor.  Paulen and Margilee were told by their pastor they were not welcome at their Wasco church and so attended the Presbyterian Church in Moro for a couple of years. Gradually, people began to love Sherman High School and the anger went away.  A few people apologized, and the nasty pastor left Wasco. 

Paulen and Margilee supported athletics and academics at Sherman long after their kids graduated.  They were honored for their interest and support.

However, what may not have been known was that as children, my brothers and I never heard a single negative word about the schools or our teachers at home.  If we got into trouble at school, we were automatically in trouble at home. Behind the scenes Paulen and Margilee took care to complain about problems in ways that would be supportive of education in general so Sherman High could offer the best possible educational opportunities.  They had the option of sending us to school in The Dalles, but without hesitation, chose to support Sherman County schools. 

Alice Kaseberg

Eugene, Oregon

4. The Heart of Great Communication

Today, let’s focus some attention on one of the secrets of being a good communicator, because good communication sits at the foundation of every successful family, organization and nation.

If you take a look through the leadership programs available, you will see at least one common denominator, and that is typically “communication.” Very often, leadership style, or a lack of leadership style, revolves around the ability to communicate effectively.

How can we be more effective communicators? A really complete answer would require more time than we have space for in this post, but there is one thing anyone can do to make a quantum leap in the ability to communicate, and that is to become a better listener. Communication is less about hearing one’s own voice, and more about what is behind what the other person is saying.

Good listeners do far more than simply remain silent while someone else is speaking. They listen with their whole body, give signals that convey they are paying close attention, and invite more information with open-ended questions. These open-ended questions, by the way, are those that cannot be answered with “yes” or “no,” and invite the speaker to talk at greater length.

It’s the difference between saying, “Are you OK?” which begs for a quick yes-or-no answer that closes off any further conversation, and saying, “How are you doing now?” which invites much more. Good listeners also read body language and are sensitive to other nonverbal cues. When they get mixed or confusing messages, they aren’t afraid to ask questions to clarify.

More importantly, good listeners give you the feeling that, at least for the moment, there is nothing they’d rather be doing. They raise other people’s self-esteem by being interested and showing it. Even when they say very little, they are usually thought of as superb communicators.

We know how it feels to have someone’s undivided attention, that elevation of spirit and esteem. It’s a great feeling, and one that needs to be shared with others. So, how good of a communicator are you? ~The Pacific Institute

5Wasco County Historical Society Annual Meeting, Nov. 10

wheel.wagon1The Wasco County Historical Society Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 at St. Alphonsus Parish Hall, 420 NE First St. Dufur, Oregon.

The doors open at 11:30 with luncheon to be served at 12:00 noon. Lunch will be catered by Cobblestone Catering. $15.00 per person.  Reservations by Nov. 3rd. to 541-296-8400.  Annual membership dues will be collected at the meeting.

The program is a talk by Mike Schend who has been a tour guide on the Barlow Road for 35 years. His talk will focus on those who established the toll road and those who braved the hardships of the grueling trip. The road was in operation from1843 and in various forms until 1918. The Dufur Historical Society will have their exhibits open to the public before and after the meeting (depending on the weather).

6. Sherman County History Tidbits: 1943 Wasco School Volleyball Team

News in the Wasco School Pow Wow, Vol. 5, Issue 2, October 1943, included Volleyball Team Line-ups for the First Team: Shirley Juhnke, Lorraine Gosson, Carol Blakney, Jean Shull, Patricia Kaseberg & Jean McIntyre and Second Team & Subs: Betty Nelson, Hazel Marie Smith, Elva Stone, Joan Burres, Mary Margaret Blakney, Patty Hilderbrand, Idella Hatley, Nell Coats, Wilma Allman.

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

Bird.Black.Envelope100 ISIS Terrorists Caught in Guatemala as Central American Caravan Heads to U.S.

Brilliant Maps. Blood Borders: A Proposal To Redraw A “New Middle East”

Portland’s beloved Fabric Depot set to close this weekend