Sherman County eNews #70


  1. Notice. Biggs Service District Public Meeting, March 20

  2. Two Steps Forward

  3. Trans-Tow Towing Public Auction, March 16

  4. Oregon Farm Bureau celebrates National Ag Week

  5. National Association of Counties Western Interstate Region Conference, May 15-17

  6. 7th Biennial Church Organ Crawl, April 28

  7. Pacific Power offers new Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option

  8. BLM Offers Incentives to Encourage Adoptions of Wild Horses & Burros

1. Notice. Biggs Service District Public Meeting, March 20

The Biggs Service District will hold a public meeting on March 20, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. in the Commissioners Meeting room at the Sherman County Courthouse, 500 Court Street in Moro, Oregon 97039 to discuss items relating to the Biggs Service District, Water System Project, and to the District.

~Merrie von Borstel, Biggs Service District Administrator, 541-565-5052

2. Two Steps Forward

Today, let’s talk about how to deal with setbacks in your quest to be a better person.

Affirmations are a wonderful way to help you change in positive ways. Affirmations are simply present-tense, positive statements of a desired end-result. For example, an affirmation you could make if you want to be a more loving person is, “I treat all people with respect and courtesy in every possible circumstance.”

Given this affirmation, what happens when you’re driving to work and another driver cuts you off, glaring at you as if you had no right to be on the road in the first place? You respond automatically with a very disrespectful gesture, call the other driver a distinctly discourteous name – and then feel terribly guilty. Do you give up in disgust and say, “Well, obviously affirmations don’t work, so why bother?”

Not at all! You see, before you made the affirmation, you probably wouldn’t have noticed your disrespectful behavior as anything unusual. But because of your affirmation and your promise to yourself, you are instantly and uncomfortably aware that this is not how you want to behave.

So you say to yourself, “That’s the old me talking. The next time, I intend to respond differently. I intend to behave respectfully and courteously, no matter what the provocation.” And you keep after it, saying your affirmation and visualizing it, experiencing how it feels again and again day after day, until the new behavior becomes second nature. In no time, you won’t really remember having been any other way.

You may take one step backwards initially, but you really are heading two steps forward. ~The Pacific Institute

3. Trans-Tow Towing Public Auction, March 16

Trans-Tow Towing will hold a Public Auction on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 10 a.m. Viewing these vehicles will be available the morning of the Auction beginning at 9 a.m.

  • 1997 Geo Metro
  • 1996 Chevrolet GMT-400
  • 1999 Hyundai Sonata
  • 2006 Honda Civic
  • 2003 Honda Odyssey
  • 2001 Olds Alero
  • 2003 Ford Explorer

The Auction will be held at 1007 1st Street in Moro. If you would like more information, please contact us at 541-565-3005.

4. Oregon Farm Bureau celebrates National Ag Week

March 10-16 is 2019 National Ag Week

March 14 is 2019 National Ag Day

March is National Ag Month.

Oregon Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general agriculture organization, encourages all Oregonians to take a moment to remember the hard-working farm and ranch families across the state and nation during National Ag Week/Day/Month.

“Agriculture benefits all Oregonians by ensuring food security, providing jobs, preserving the environment, and enhancing our quality of life. It’s particularly impressive when you realize that farmers and ranchers represent less than 1 percent of the state’s population,” said Anne Marie Moss, communications director for Oregon Farm Bureau.

   > See videos featuring an Oregon cherry farmer, mint farmer, blackberry farmer, green bean farmer, broccoli farmer, pumpkin farmer, Christmas tree farmer, grass seed farmer, and more here: – or on OFB’s YouTube channel:

> Help spread the word about National Ag Week/Day/Month with the cool facts below about Oregon agriculture using the hashtag #AgDay19.

> Fast facts about Oregon agriculture: Did you know?

  • 97% of Oregon’s farms and ranches are family owned and operated.
  • Less than 1% of Oregon’s population are principal operators of farms and ranches.
  • 39% of all Oregon farms and ranches are (operated/owned by) women, which is one of the highest percentages in the nation.
  • The Oregon Century Farm & Ranch Program reports that 1,212 farms and ranches have achieved century status for remaining operational and within the same family for at least 100 years. 41 more boast Sesquicentennial status for reaching the 150-year milestone. Now that’s sustainable by any measure!
  • Oregon farmers, ranchers, and fishers produce more than 225 crops and livestock, making Oregon one of the most diverse agricultural states in the nation.
  • Oregon agriculture represents a diversity of successful operations. That helps keep the ag community resilient. Big or small, organic or conventional, growing for local or export markets, Oregon is home to all types of farms and ranches.
  • Oregon is the No. 1 producer in the United States for blackberries, boysenberries, and hazelnuts, raising nearly 100% of the U.S. supply for these commodities — as well as being No. 1 in the nation for growing Christmas trees, rhubarb, potted azaleas, crimson clover, sugar beet for seed, and a few grass seed varieties.

Find more facts about Oregon agriculture on Oregon Farm Bureau’s website at

5. National Association of Counties Western Interstate Region Conference, May 15-17

The NACo Western Interstate Region (WIR) Conference brings together county officials from across the nation to focus on pressing issues facing counties and our residents. Each year the conference is hosted by a county within the fifteen Western states—Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai’i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming—and provides attendees with the opportunity to interact with federal, state and regional policymakers, participate in educational sessions and take home tools to address challenges.


6. 7th Biennial Church Organ Crawl, April 28

music.notes (2)The seventh biennial Organ Crawl will take place Sunday, Apr. 28. Five organists will present 20 minute programs on five historic pipe organs in The Dalles, beginning at 2 p.m. at St. Peter’s Landmark.  The “Crawl” will proceed to United Church of Christ, First Church of Christ Scientist, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and end at Zion Lutheran Church at 5 p.m.

7. Pacific Power offers new Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option

lightbulbCustomers choosing to opt-out of the statewide meter upgrade can now select a new plan to reduce monthly fees

PORTLAND, Ore. — As part of a statewide metering upgrade designed to improve service to customers through shorter outages and hour-by-hour energy usage information, Pacific Power is providing an additional offering for customers who wish to opt out. As part of a final filing to the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Oregon on Monday, March 11, Pacific Power will now offer a commission-approved Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option to help reduce monthly fees starting March 13.

“We’ve heard from customers that the fee to opt out of a smart meter is burdensome, and we have continued to look for new options,” said Pacific Power Vice President of Regulation, Etta Lockey. “This has been a collaborative process with the PUC and the Citizens’ Utility Board, and we are pleased to offer this new option to customers.”

Smart meters wirelessly deliver hour-by-hour energy usage information to customers via their online account, eliminating the need to wait for a manual meter read and a monthly bill. While only around one percent of customers are opting out of the meter upgrade, choosing to do so adds a cost to continue manual meter reads.

The Equal Payment Option reduces opt-out fees for customers from the current $36 a month to $9 a month, by reducing the number of manual reads to three times per year ($36 per reading, spread across 12 months). It also allows customers to pay a level or equal monthly amount based on a historical average of their previous bills.

The standard opt-out plan will continue to be available as well and provides monthly manual $36 meter reads and bills based on monthly usage.

Customers must select the new option by calling 1-866-869-8520. All residential customers with non-standard meters are eligible to participate. Residential customers with net meters, time of use meters or demand registers would not qualify because it is necessary for the company to obtain routine meter reads to bill customers under those circumstances accurately.

Pacific Power’s upgrade of 590,000 meters began in January 2018 and continues through 2019. Installs are already complete for more than two-thirds of Pacific Power customers in Oregon. An opt-out option was made available during the upgrade to customers who choose to opt-out. In August, Pacific Power removed a $137 fee covering a future replacement of a non-communicative meter with a smart meter to help address the upfront financial impact of the program. This new Equal Payment Plan Opt-out option is part of Pacific Power’s continued review of opt-out fees, to ensure costs are fair for all customers.

Additional information on smart meters, including installation updates, are available at Customers can also call 866-869-8520 for help with any questions.

8. BLM Offers Incentives to Encourage Adoptions of Wild Horses & Burros

horseshoesWASHINGTON — As part of the Bureau of Land Management’s effort to find good homes for wild horses and burros removed from public lands, the agency today began offering new financial incentives to encourage qualified people to adopt one or more of the animals.  The program is part of the BLM’s efforts to confront a growing over-population of wild horses and burros on fragile rangelands and in off-range holding facilities, which cost taxpayers nearly $50 million every year to maintain.

As of March 1, 2018, the wild horse and burro population on public lands was estimated at approximately 81,950 animals, which is now more than triple the size the land can support along with other legally mandated uses.  High costs and a growing number of unadopted and unsold animals in BLM holding facilities have hindered the agency’s ability to reduce over-population in recent years.  Chronic overpopulation increases the risk of damage to rangeland resources through overgrazing, and raises the chances of starvation and thirst for animals in overpopulated herds.

Through the new incentive program, qualified adopters are eligible to receive $500 within 60 days of the adoption date and an additional $500 within 60 days of titling for each animal, which normally occurs one year from the adoption date.  The incentive is available for all animals that are eligible for adoption, including animals at BLM facilities, off-site events or on the agency’s Online Corral website. Adopters will just pay a minimum $25 adoption fee per animal.

“We understand that adopting a wild horse or burro represents a commitment.  The incentive is designed to help with the adopter’s initial training and humane care,” said BLM Deputy Director of Programs and Policy Brian Steed. “I encourage anyone who has considered adopting a wild horse or burro to join the thousands of owners who have provided good homes to more than 245,000 wild horses or burros since 1971.”

Potential adopters are required to complete an application proving they can feed and provide humane care to the animals and that they will adhere to the prohibited acts and titling requirements. In addition, potential adopters must authorize the incentive to be deposited via electronic funds transfers to their preferred account at their financial institution.  Potential adopters should visit the BLM website or call (866) 468-7826 to learn more about the guidelines and requirements for adopting a wild horse or burro.

The BLM manages and protects wild horses and burros under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. The Act directs the BLM to address overpopulation by removing excess animals from over-populated herds and offering them to the public for adoption or purchase.

“Finding good homes for excess animals and reducing overpopulation on the range are top priorities for the BLM as we strive to protect the health of these animals while balancing other legal uses of our public rangelands, including allowing for other traditional land uses such as wildlife conservation and grazing,” Steed added.

Owning a wild horse or burro is an extraordinary experience.  They have reached national notoriety through disciplines such as dressage, endurance and therapeutic programs that help veterans fulfill a new mission. Wild horses and burros are routinely preferred by public officials for important tasks such as patrolling the border and local policing. Read stories from recent wild horse and burro adopters and purchasers on the BLM’s Flickr page.