Sherman County eNews #308


  1. Frontier TeleNet Mission and Purpose

  2. Enjoy Holiday Fun with The Story of Ebenezer Scrooge, December 1

  3. Decorate the Mitten Tree at Sherman County Public/School Library

  4. Surviving the Holidays

  5. Has the Smartphone Destroyed a Generation?

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

1. Frontier TeleNet Mission and Purpose

Mission and Purpose of the Organization

  1. To expand and enhance telecommunications capabilities for the efficient

provision of local government services and educational services; and

  1. To provide for the coordination and interoperability of communications

services in Gilliam, Sherman and Wheeler counties; and to cooperatively

establish and maintain a consolidated, highly reliable system for the

provision of educational services, 9-1-1, law enforcement, emergency

services and other public health and safety communications services;


  1. To promote economic growth and the expansion and/or addition of

business and industry both within the geographic boundaries of Gilliam,

Sherman and Wheeler counties; and where appropriate or in the best

interests of the counties’ citizens, the surrounding communities of

interest through the development of telecommunications infrastructure

and related programs and services.

2. Enjoy Holiday Fun with The Story of Ebenezer Scrooge, December 1

Join in the holiday fun! The Traveling Lantern Theater Company presents The Story of Ebenezer Scrooge! The show starts at 11:00 on Saturday, December 1st at the Sherman County Public/School Library… during the Holiday Bazaar at the Sherman County School.

3. Decorate the Mitten Tree at Sherman County Public/School Library

mittens1Bring your donations of gloves, mittens, hats, and scarves to decorate the Mitten Tree at Sherman County Public/School Library located in Moro. Community, school staff, and students are encouraged to adorn the bare branches with warmth. We are also requesting warm throws and blankets to place under the tree. The Mitten Tree will be up through the end of December and all donated items will be given to our local food bank and other agencies which serve Sherman County.

4. Surviving the Holidays

Christmas.candle1Between mid-November and the end of the year, there are at least 29 different holidays in different cultures around the world. For some of us, this holiday “season” becomes the “season of stress and tension.” The good news? It doesn’t have to be.

Let’s talk a little bit about how we perceive holidays, regardless of where they land on the calendar. For most of the world, upcoming holidays signal a lot of preparation – to get home, to physically connect with family and friends we haven’t seen in a long while, the food, the weather, the endless lines/queues, and on and on and on.

When we look at these events, and all the effort that goes into making them happen, it would be easy to slip into panic mode. “How do we get there?” “When am I going to have the time to get the grocery shopping done?” “The timing has to be perfect, or we’ll miss the plane!” “What on earth am I going to get for presents?!?!?” Do you recognize anyone you know in these scenarios? Perhaps yourself?

With all of the “how’s” and “have to’s”, we get ourselves all tied up in knots – literally and figuratively. Every traffic tie-up becomes a crisis. Finding a parking place becomes the ultimate in gladiatorial combat. “To do” lists grow lists of their own. We seem to lose our ability to make even the simplest of decisions. Headaches ensue. At its worst, all some of us want to do is pull the covers over our heads, and avoid the holidays altogether.

So, how do we get past the stress and tension? We’ll talk more about this in the days ahead. In the meantime, give some thought to those stress points that cause you tension during the holidays. Ask yourself “why” they do. This is a little self-reflection exercise that may uncover some “old tapes” you can throw out or “saved files” you can update or delete. ~The Pacific Institute

5. Has the Smartphone Destroyed a Generation?

~ Some excerpts from

“The allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens.”

“The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health. These changes have affected young people in every corner of the nation and in every type of household. The trends appear among teens poor and rich; of every ethnic background; in cities, suburbs, and small towns. Where there are cell towers, there are teens living their lives on their smartphone.”

“Today’s teens are also less likely to date. The initial stage of courtship, which Gen Xers called “liking” (as in “Ooh, he likes you!”), kids now call “talking”—an ironic choice for a generation that prefers texting to actual conversation. After two teens have “talked” for a while, they might start dating. But only about 56 percent of high-school seniors in 2015 went out on dates; for Boomers and Gen Xers, the number was about 85 percent.

The decline in dating tracks with a decline in sexual activity. The drop is the sharpest for ninth-graders, among whom the number of sexually active teens has been cut by almost 40 percent since 1991. The average teen now has had sex for the first time by the spring of 11th grade, a full year later than the average Gen Xer. Fewer teens having sex has contributed to what many see as one of the most positive youth trends in recent years: The teen birth rate hit an all-time low in 2016, down 67 percent since its modern peak, in 1991.”

“Why are today’s teens waiting longer to take on both the responsibilities and the pleasures of adulthood? Shifts in the economy, and parenting, certainly play a role. In an information economy that rewards higher education more than early work history, parents may be inclined to encourage their kids to stay home and study rather than to get a part-time job. Teens, in turn, seem to be content with this homebody arrangement—not because they’re so studious, but because their social life is lived on their phone. They don’t need to leave home to spend time with their friends.”

“So what are they doing with all that time? They are on their phone, in their room, alone and often distressed.”

“You might expect that teens spend so much time in these new spaces because it makes them happy, but most data suggest that it does not. The Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and designed to be nationally representative, has asked 12th-graders more than 1,000 questions every year since 1975 and queried eighth- and 10th-graders since 1991. The survey asks teens how happy they are and also how much of their leisure time they spend on various activities, including nonscreen activities such as in-person social interaction and exercise, and, in recent years, screen activities such as using social media, texting, and browsing the web. The results could not be clearer: Teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy, and those who spend more time than average on nonscreen activities are more likely to be happy.”

“Social-networking sites like Facebook promise to connect us to friends. But the portrait of iGen teens emerging from the data is one of a lonely, dislocated generation. Teens who visit social-networking sites every day but see their friends in person less frequently are the most likely to agree with the statements “A lot of times I feel lonely,” “I often feel left out of things,” and “I often wish I had more good friends.” Teens’ feelings of loneliness spiked in 2013 and have remained high since.”

“WHAT’S THE CONNECTION between smartphones and the apparent psychological distress this generation is experiencing? For all their power to link kids day and night, social media also exacerbate the age-old teen concern about being left out. Today’s teens may go to fewer parties and spend less time together in person, but when they do congregate, they document their hangouts relentlessly—on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook. Those not invited to come along are keenly aware of it. Accordingly, the number of teens who feel left out has reached all-time highs across age groups. Like the increase in loneliness, the upswing in feeling left out has been swift and significant.

This trend has been especially steep among girls. Forty-eight percent more girls said they often felt left out in 2015 than in 2010, compared with 27 percent more boys.

“Girls use social media more often, giving them additional opportunities to feel excluded and lonely when they see their friends or classmates getting together without them. Social media levy a psychic tax on the teen doing the posting as well, as she anxiously awaits the affirmation of comments and likes. When Athena posts pictures to Instagram, she told me, “I’m nervous about what people think and are going to say. It sometimes bugs me when I don’t get a certain amount of likes on a picture.”

“It may be a comfort, but the smartphone is cutting into teens’ sleep: Many now sleep less than seven hours most nights. Sleep experts say that teens should get about nine hours of sleep a night; a teen who is getting less than seven hours a night is significantly sleep deprived. Fifty-seven percent more teens were sleep deprived in 2015 than in 1991. In just the four years from 2012 to 2015, 22 percent more teens failed to get seven hours of sleep.

“The increase is suspiciously timed, once again starting around when most teens got a smartphone. Two national surveys show that teens who spend three or more hours a day on electronic devices are 28 percent more likely to get less than seven hours of sleep than those who spend fewer than three hours, and teens who visit social-media sites every day are 19 percent more likely to be sleep deprived. A meta-analysis of studies on electronic-device use among children found similar results: Children who use a media device right before bed are more likely to sleep less than they should, more likely to sleep poorly, and more than twice as likely to be sleepy during the day.”

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

Bird.Black.EnvelopeOffbeat Oregon History: Range Wars Veteran Put Oregon on the Map

America’s Cold Civil War

Oregon budget officials predict $623 million shortfall

Small Newspaper in Rural Oregon is Thriving

Companies blocked from using West Coast ports to export fossil fuels keep seeking workarounds

Peak Oil

Zeugmas Give Verbs a Workout

It’s Time to Rethink The Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services