Sherman County eNews #159


  1. Savannah Moe Awarded Oregon Women for Agriculture Scholarship

  2. Frontier Telenet Budget Hearing, June 12

  3. Wheeler County | Think Out Loud | Oregon Public Broadcasting

  4. Space Weather News for June 9, 2019

  5. Wasco County Historical Society Program: Gorge Veterans Museum, June 15

  6. Never Too Late for Change

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

“Whether driven by partisanship, misguided by perverse media and political incentives, or simply put off by the burdens of responsibility, members of both houses are now reluctant to really legislate. When they do enact statutes, they are frequently broad and vague, setting general goals and then letting the executive branch figure out how to pursue them and letting judges clean up the ensuing mess (as seen in health care, environmental policy, education and beyond). … Instead, they often operate as commentators — criticizing or defending the president like everybody else. This current Congress, like the last one, seems largely to be an arena for debating President Trump. Our constitutional system cannot function this way.” —Yuval Levin

1. Savannah Moe Awarded Oregon Women for Agriculture Scholarship

Savannah Maria Moe, a recent graduate of Sherman High School, has been selected for a $500 scholarship awarded by the Columbia Gorge chapter of Oregon Women for Agriculture.  Savannah plans to attend Eastern Oregon University and major in Agriculture Education. The scholarship is offered annually to a student who is a resident of Hood River, Wasco or Sherman counties a minimum of two years during their high school education.  Preference goes to a student pursuing a major in agricultural studies, with a 3.0 GPA or higher, and female.

2. Notice. Frontier Telenet Budget Hearing, June 12

The Frontier Telenet Board of Directors will hold a budget hearing for the FY 2019-2020 Budget on Wednesday, June 12th at 10am in Fossil. The Budget Hearing Document is on line:  Please call Elizabeth Farrar if you have any questions.

3. Wheeler County | Think Out Loud | Oregon Public Broadcasting

Think Out Loud visited Wheeler County and broadcast several shows from WC High School talking with local residents.

4. Space Weather News for June 9, 2019

HUGE OUTBREAK OF NOCTILUCENT CLOUDS: The best season for noctilucent clouds in years is underway, and last night it intensified with a huge display over the United States. Bright tendrils of frosted meteor smoke were sighted glowing in the night sky over states as far south as Oregon. The apparition may be a side effect of solar minimum. Visit for more information and observing tips.

5. Wasco County Historical Society Program: Gorge Veterans Museum, June 15

American-Flag-StarThe Wasco County Historical Society summer program for June will be at the The Gorge Veterans Museum at

11a.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 203 W. 2nd Street, The Dalles.  Lisa Commander, the Museum Director will present the program and military memorabilia from1898 to the present will be on display.

6. Never Too Late for Change

When is it too late to change? If you get off to a bad start, can you still turn things around when you are an adult?

If you were in trouble all the time when you were a kid, a teenager, and even as a young adult, do you think there is any hope that you will straighten out your life when you get to be 30 or 40? According to findings from two of the longest, ongoing research studies in the nation, many people have an amazing capacity for change throughout life.

There is the example of “Stan.” At the age of 32, “Stan” seemed destined for failure. Abandoned at birth by his father, and orphaned at the age of three when his mother died, “Stan” dropped out of school in the 8th grade, became an alcoholic, and served prison time for rape and vagrancy in his 20’s and early 30’s.

But 15 years later, against all odds, “Stan” had turned his life around. When researchers checked in with him at age 47, he was sober and happily married, had an adopted son he doted on, and owned a trucking business and a house.

These studies – and evidence from an on-going study within corrections in Montana – point out that “Stan’s” story is far from unique. We all have the capacity to change our circumstances – no matter how old we are, and no matter how difficult our early experiences were. It comes down to whether or not we want to change. Once that mindset shift takes place, from “have to” to “want to,” change becomes a whole lot easier. ~The Pacific Institute

If you think you’ve gotten yourself onto the wrong path, you are in a good place to make a change. Awareness is the first step on the way to a new path. Please do not give up on yourself. Be careful about listening to anyone who says it is too late to change. They just may have given up on themselves. You don’t have to. If you really want to – if you are willing to alter your beliefs and your behavior – you can do it. It all starts with changing that internal picture of who you “know” you are.

7. Instructor uses humor to make math fun

What did the acorn say when it had grown up?


Geometry. Get it?

If you didn’t, you soon will – and learn to enjoy math in the process – when you enroll in one of Pam Morse’s classes at Columbia Gorge Community College.

Morse appreciates the role of humor in approaching difficult subjects, and like it or not, math is a tough subject for a lot of people.

Just ask employers in our region: They can’t find people who know how to use a tape measure.

“It’s true,” Morse said, explaining how she often encounters students who have never used a ruler, or understand how to make a simple graph.

To change that, says Morse, math needs to be fun and have practical relevance. She still remembers Mrs. Finkenseiper, her fourth grade teacher in New Jersey (“Yep, I’m a Jersey girl – loud and obnoxious, crazy in the classroom,” Pam admits), who taught math by using money.

“I’ve had students who didn’t understand the difference between positive and negative numbers, but you start talking money, and they can relate to it,” Morse said. “Math is a hard subject for a lot of people. They’ve had a bad experience in high school, or they’ve been out of it so long they’re terrified. You’ve got to make it fun, and laughable.”

So … what’s a pirate’s favorite variable? “Arrgh.” (That’s “r”, folks, a notation representing a numeric value. Pam can explain it.)

With assistance from CGCC facilities director Jacob Toda, a couple of months ago Pam placed a purple bulletin board at the Hood River – Indian Creek Campus, posting interesting stuff about math (did you know Florence Nightingale, the Victorian-era “Lady with the Lamp” who founded the modern nursing profession, was a statistician?) and upcoming news, such as start of Fall 2019 enrollment for Math 98.

That board also carries a weekly puzzle. Example: A farmer has a chicken, a fox, and a sack of chicken feed, and needs to get all of them across a river without the chicken eating the feed or the fox eating the chicken. The boat can only carry one at a time. How did the farmer do it? Winners receive coffee gift cards and college bookstore items.

Along with such brain-teasers, Pam posts the occupations that require math … and these days, just about every occupation requires some degree of math. The bulletin board only attracted a couple of readers the first week. After nine weeks, upwards of 40 or more people – students, staff, faculty, the public at large – visit the board regularly to see what Pam has posted.

Pam enjoys seeing the light come on when students make a connection and understand the underlying logic of a math solution. “’How did I ever not know this’,” Pam said, quoting the sudden comprehension of many students, including an adult firefighter who sat in the front row, wide-eyed, eagerly recognizing the mathematical underpinnings of work he performed but never fully understood.

“You might not need to understand string theory, but you need some understanding of math to think outside the box,” Pam said. “Students need to know math facts automatically – they reach for their calculators to figure three times four. Calculators are nice, but you need to understand the fundamentals, so when you do use a calculator, it all makes sense, even for quadratic equations.”

In an earlier day, high school home economics and shop classes taught essential, everyday skills. But these have fallen by the wayside. Now, many people don’t know how to change the oil in their cars, balance their checkbooks or boil a two-minute egg.

“I use sixth grade math in one class,” Pam said, demonstrating the basics of graphing and elementary geometry. The important thing is to make it interesting and relevant.

Example: Back in the Middle Ages people created perfect right angles for home construction using a length of rope with nine knots tied at precise intervals, establishing the proportions of a general right triangle (all right triangles have two legs that meet at a 90-degree angle). By holding the ropes taut, people could quickly determine whether the knots aligned properly to create a right angle. Today’s farmers and orchardists still know the principle (for the record, it’s the “Pythagorean Theorem”) because you can place a second, facing triangle against the first … and thus lay out a perfectly-formed orchard or garden plot.

Pam Morse chairs the college’s math department. She looks forward to helping other departments – from nursing and chemistry to electro-mechanical technology and programs in the college’s soon-to-be-constructed skill center – foster student success and college completion. Sometimes the connection with math is apparent for students, sometimes not, but it’s always important.

“I want to see it come alive, to see more math classes,” Pam explained, “So when you do use a calculator … Oh! It makes sense!”

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

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