Sherman County eNews #209


  1. Join the DUII Prevention Walk to Stop Drinking & Drugged Driving, Aug. 24

  2. Ronald John “Huck” Rolfe 1937-2019

  3. Sherman County Court News, July 17

  4. Sherman County Court Notes, Aug. 7

  5. Closing the Distance

  6. Oregon Capital Insider Index: This week by the numbers

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

1. Join the DUII Prevention Walk to Stop Drinking & Drugged Driving, Aug. 24

You are invited to participate in the efforts to Stop Drinking/Drugged Driving in Sherman County.

GOAL: 100 participants in the Walk and 100 yard signs displayed around the county.   Yard signs are available at no cost as of Wednesday August 14th.

Please join us in the DUII Prevention Walk on August 24th at 8 a.m. in Moro. We will begin at the north entrance of High School Loop and end at the fairgrounds with breakfast and drinks for all participants.

You can register as an individual or put a team together.  Maybe challenge another group to put a team together as well! You could even decorate your shirt with a team name.

Registration is $5 or $25 for a team of 6.  Registration fees will be used to offset a small portion of the cost of the T-shirts and “breakfast” for participants at the end of the walk. Fee waivers are available if needed! All registrations received by August 15th will have their choice of shirt sizes.  After that sizes will be on a first come first serve basis. All ages are welcome.  Some youth shirts will be available.

Please share and help spread the word. Thank you!

~Amy Asher  541-565-5036

In partnership with  Sherman County Prevention, Sherman County Sheriff’s Office and ODOT.

2. Ronald John “Huck” Rolfe 1937-2019
Ronald Rolfe, best known to almost everyone as “Huck,” passed away July 25th 2019. He was born August 8th, 1937 in Grass Valley, OR to Johnny and Gladys Rolfe. Huck and his older brother Rodney grew up on the family ranch north of Kent, OR. He graduated from the Moro High School and served in the United States Army stationed in Germany. After serving in the Army, Huck returned home and farmed with his brother, raising cattle, wheat and hay. He lived on the portion of the ranch at Clarno.
After leaving Clarno he lived with his wife Bernice in Molalla, OR. He continued to operate his trucking business out of Antelope, OR for many years.

Huck was known for his sense of humor. Always ready with a joke and laughing. He had a lot of old sayings and poems he’d rattle off at any given moment. He liked to watch sports and especially liked watching westerns.

A celebration of life will be held August 18th at 2:00pm at the Masonic Lodge in Molalla, OR. 123 East Ross Street, Molalla, OR 97038.

3. Sherman County Court News, July 17

ShermanCoLogoQuarterly Reports, Rental Incentive Housing Grant Application Review, Rental Housing Grant Language Modifications, 2020 Census Update, and the Downtown Improvement Funds Follow up, were the main items on the agenda during the July 17th session of Sherman County Court in Moro.

Carrie Pipinich, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD), gave a quarterly report, stating she continued to work on the Sherman Cities Broadband project. She had worked with County Counsel to develop a Draft Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for the project, presented the IGA to the Grass Valley City Counsel, and worked with them regarding the questions they had. 

Pipinich presented a new Rental Housing Grant application that had been recommended to be approved by the Housing Grant Review Committee for Ron Mobley. Court motioned to approve $10,000 for the Rental Development Grant application for Ron Mobley to build one new rental unit, and authorize the County Judge to approve project completion and authorize final payment.  

Pipinich stated the Rental Housing Committee had compiled a few language modifications for the Rental and Rehabilitation Housing Grant applications. Modifications for the Rehabilitation Grant would involve Mechanics Lien requirements, before and after pictures of the improvements, and defining a clearer timeline for Rehab applications. She noted the program was not intended for owner occupied homes, but rather for individuals who have purchased a home, plan to fix it up, and eventually occupy it. As a result, the committee would like to include a restriction that applicants must apply for the grant within 30 days of closing on a home, and their move in date would need to be after they had submitted the grant application. The Rental Development Grant modifications would clarify timelines, and update completion documentation. 

Bob Thomas, County Trapper/Wildlife Services, gave his quarterly report, stating the Macks Canyon project was close to being finished, after receiving assistance from two state agencies, the Sheriff’s Department, a neighboring county, and a contract pilot who donated his time. His Spring was spent working dens. He helped out with outdoor school again this year for the 21st year, and said it is always well received by the kids attending.

Jenine McDermid, Clerk, presented her quarterly report, stating she had received a formal response from the County Assessment Function Funding Assistance (CAFFA) grant, and the county will see a return of approximately $88,885.72. The May Special District Election was finalized, with a 33.6% voter turnout, and preparations were underway for the May 19, 2020 Election. She met with Secretary of State, Bev Clarno, who viewed Election equipment and toured the Courthouse.

Bryan Hunt, Veteran’s Officer, presented his fourth quarter activity. He reported his first Veteran’s outreach, held in Arlington, was a success. Many Veterans resource agencies were present, along with a Dentist and Dental Hygienist who donated their time.

Marc Czornij, Community Partnership & Engagement Program, presented information regarding the 2020 Census. The Census is performed every 10 years, is required by the constitution, and its key purpose is to apportion the US House of Representatives seats. The data collected is also used to help distribute Federal funding for many programs, like those such as the National school lunch program, Head Start, Highway planning and Construction, and Medicaid. He stated self-reporting would be available via the internet, by phone, paper, or in-person, beginning March 12, 2020; mailings would be sent out with information on self-reporting, and for those who do not self-report, an enumerator will visit their home to collect data. All data collected is prohibited by law to be released to any person or organization, and all Census employees swear to a lifetime of confidentiality. Czornij discussed some of the challenges involved with collecting data, the questions that will be asked, and the resources available. He stated the bureau is currently hiring enumerators in Sherman County, and suggested interested individuals access available jobs via the Census website.

Kari Silcox, Senior Center Director, reported the Senior Center rented space to 46 events, meetings, or groups last quarter. They held an Easter lunch and bake sale was held, which raised $436, and was the most successful fundraiser to date. She noted the new Head Cook, Kristi Lesh, had been doing an excellent job, and was a wonderful addition. The Cleaning Services position had been filled by Becky Coles, who has been doing a great, thorough job. Elizabeth Harper, Community Action Program of East Central Oregon (CAPECO), hosted a Healthy Dessert class in April; the class was a great success, and they plan to have them on a regular basis.

Perry Thurston, City of Moro Mayor, inquired whether there would be funds added to the Downtown Improvement program, and if the Court intended to have funds available for Moro’s participation. He stated the city of Moro was interested in continuing the program, and had set aside matching funds. Judge Dabulskis stated, funds were not available for Moro at the time, as other Cities had expressed interest in using their portions. He explained the program was set up to be funded one-time, with each City being offered a set amount to use towards the program. The existing funds are the result of the other cities not using their share, as Moro was the only city to use their funds. County court held a discussion on the program requirements, and setting a project submission deadline. Court motioned to set a November 1, 2019, deadline for the Cities of Rufus, Wasco, and Grass Valley to submit projects for the Downtown Improvement Fund.

Ron McDermid, Justice Court, presented his quarterly report, explaining the fiscal year revenue, and budget. He stated there had been a reduction in citation revenue. He noted the recently ended Legislative session did not enact any changes affecting the suspension of driver’s licenses as previously predicted. He attended Judicial training in Bend. The Court thanked McDermid for giving Senator Merkley and Secretary of State Clarno tours of the Courthouse.

Brad Lohrey, Sheriff, gave his quarterly report. He discussed the Sheriffs Event Activity Analysis report: stating they typically see about 600 calls of service per year, but had experienced a higher than normal call volume, with 400 calls thus far, and he believed if the trend continued they could easily see about 800 calls for the year. Lohrey announced, Deputy Sol Jacobsen, had been awarded the Senior Deputy title. Bob Thomas, Wildlife Services, had been deputized as a non-paid Special Deputy, due to his involvement in assisting the Sheriff’s Department with pet removal during traffic incidents, and other special situations.

Angie Irzyk, questioned building codes on behalf of the Times Journal. Brief discussion held. 

Recessed Court Session at 11:55 a.m.. Reconvened Court Session at 1:00 p.m.

Actions taken by the Court included:

  • Approved Judge Dabulskis to move forward with researching appropriate means to sell, and the authority to approve the sale as he sees fit for all current surplused vehicles, due to lack of minimum bids being met.
  • Appointed Erik Glover to the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District Board of Directors, to serve a two year term beginning September 1, 2019.
  • Approved the Gorge Networks Fiber Build Proposal to the Sherman County RV Park, Sherman County Weed District, and Sherman County Planning Department, in the amount of $259.85 monthly charge and $492.00 one-time hookup fee.
  • Approved the Service Agreement between Community Action Program of East Central Oregon (CAPECO) and Sherman County, for Aging and People with Disabilities (Area Agency on Aging) and authorize Judge Dabulskis to sign.
  • Approved the Juvenile Crime Prevention Intergovernmental Agreement Number 11093, Amendment Number 2, between the State of Oregon acting through Oregon Department of Education Youth Development Division and Sherman County, effective July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2021, and authorize Judge Dabulskis to sign.
  • Approved Resolution # 05-07-2019 adopting the County of Sherman Representation in the Updates to the Sherman County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, and authorize Judge Dabulskis to sign.
  • Approved the Intergovernmental Agreement between Sherman County and the Cities of Moro, Wasco, Grass Valley, and Rufus to reimburse the County for the $43,320.95 Gap Funding for the Sherman County Broadband Initiative Fiber to the Home Project, and authorize County Court to sign.
  • Accepted a share of 10% of the Mid-Columbia Council of Governments (MCCOG) Building Codes reserves distribution, if agreed upon by all parties.
  • Approved minutes of April 24, 2019 Tri County Court, as presented.
  • Approved minutes of June 5, 2019, as corrected.
  • Approved minutes of June 11, 2019 Work Session, as presented.
  • Approved minutes of June 19, 2019, as presented.
  • Approved minutes of June 27, 2019 Special Session, as presented.
  • Approved minutes of July 8, 2019 Work Session, as corrected.
  • Approved the Claims for the month of June 2019, as presented.
  • Approved to Revenue/Expenditure Summary for the month of June 2019, as presented.
  • Approved the Treasurer’s Report for the month of June 2019, as presented.

Topics of discussion were Thank You Card – DeMoss Springs Park, Written Quarterly Reports, Gorge Networks Fiber to the Home Additions, Senior Center Fire Suppression System, Larry Hoctor Property and Commissioner Reports.

4. Sherman County Court Notes, Aug. 7

By Temporary Administrative Assistant Kristi Brown


– This is a very brief outline ONLY of topics considered “public interest”.

– These are NOT OFFICIAL MINUTES. For official minutes and full details, please see the approved minutes posted on the Sherman County website at after the next Court session. Thank you.

The Sherman County Court met in regular session on August 7, 2019, and in conducting the business of the County,

  • Heard from Elizabeth Mills, regarding the Kent Revitalization Project. She presented ideas to help improve the community of Kent, and discussed an Engineering Study & Report for the Kent Water District Supply & Distribution System.
  • Approved Jayme Mason’s Housing Rehabilitation Grant application in the amount of $14,368.71.
  • Approved a bid from Dan Wilson Painting to refinish the Burnet Building in the amount of $7,500.00.
  • Read Thank you Cards from Scholarship recipients.

5. Closing the Distance

It’s tough to be a good grandparent when your grandchildren are many miles away – but it can be done. Long-distance grand-parenting takes some special attention and creativity if it is to result in the kind of close feelings that transcend miles on the map. Here are some distance-solving tips for you that will help.

First, make the most of the mail. It’s fine if the letters are brief, as long as they are frequent. While you are waiting for food at a restaurant, write a note on the paper place mat and send it, or clippings of cartoons that make your grandchild smile. Use colorful stickers and stamps, and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if it will speed a response. Regular “snail” mail may be old-fashioned, but there is something special about finding a letter in the mailbox.

E-mail and texting have quickly become wonderful ways to maintain a day-to-day relationship. A quick message every morning, or one that has arrived by the time your grandchild returns home from school, makes a positive impact. They will look forward to them. You are never too old to learn, and texting quick messages or sending e-cards to your grandchildren creates a vital connection. As the Baby Boomer generation actively embraces grandparenthood, they also have the computer skills to creatively keep contact with grandchildren geographically far away.

Video conferencing is terrific, and getting easier by the day. So much can now be done via video emails! Record a favorite children’s story to be played at bedtime, or a one-of-a-kind message filled with love and your special self-esteem building assurances. These days, you can even read the bedtime story directly to your grandchildren via video chats!

The point is, “be there” for your grandchildren, even if you can’t be there with them. Celebrate their successes, while you create special days just for them. Close the distance between you and make it nonexistent. You will never regret it, and they will love you for it – forever. ~The Pacific Institute

6. Oregon Capital Insider Index: This week by the numbers

Oregon.Flat.poleCreated: 08 August 2019 | Written by Oregon Capital Insider

Here are 10 numbers that illustrate some of this week’s big, and small, Oregon news stories.

$6 million: Federal grants that a U.S. District Judge ruled this week were unlawfully withheld from Portland and Oregon by the Trump Administration over Oregon’s sanctuary law, according to OPB.

53,000: Members of the #TimberUnity Facebook group, which arose in opposition to cap and trade, according to Willamette Week.

13: Percent of Oregonians who are Hispanic or Latino, according to the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.

60.8: Percent of Oregon families where women are the sole, primary or co-breadwinner, according to the Center for American Progress.

$3,000: Amount the Stand With Our Senators Political Action Committee donated to the campaigns of each Republican senator who walked out of the legislature to protest cap and trade, according to The Oregonian.

$3,500: Amount in fines each of those senators face — $500 for each day they were absent.

$12.25 million: Economic damages the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is seeking in a lawsuit alleging that a rancher, workers and the John Deere farm equipment company are at fault for a 2017 wildfire that impacted the tribes’ reservation, according to The Oregonian.

106: Square miles of land the Nena Springs fire burned, The Oregonian reports.

$48 million: Amount a proposed liquified natural gas pipeline and export terminal would pay in corporate taxes if completed here, the company claimed in a letter to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, according to The Medford Mail-Tribune. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality denied the project a needed Clean Water Act permit to move forward.

56,000: Approximate acres of hemp planted in Oregon, according to the Ashland Tidings.

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

bird.talkOregon Encyclopedia Custom Word Art Products 

Oregon Arts Watch. West Coast Wood Cut: Edges of Life at Maryhill Museum

OSU study: Solar panels on 1% of farmland could meet global energy demands

East Oregonian (print & online)

Watch Lightning Strikes Streak Across Oregon with This Time-Lapse Map

Answers to Common Gun-Related Questions After the Shootings in El Paso and Dayton

Brilliant Maps: The Countries In Red Have As Many Murders Combined As The US

Brilliant Maps: Where You Don’t Need A Permit To Buy A Gun

Map Of Total Fossil Fuel Production By Country

How transparent are governments in Oregon? New public records survey sheds light

ICE Workplace Raids Unmask Our Broken Immigration System


Sherman County eNews #208


  1. 2020 Sherman County Fair Queen Contest

  2. Dinner Program: “BPA, WWII & Aluminum in the Pacific Northwest,” Aug. 16

  3. Solar Saturday at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, Aug. 17

  4. Golf tournament fundraiser brings in college scholarship funds

  5. Get your free digital Guide to the Constitution from The Heritage Foundation

  6. Time to Think

  7. ‘Big Read’ arrives in Columbia Gorge this October

There are two old sayings in Washington … ‘A camel is a horse designed by a government committee,’ and ‘An elephant is a mouse designed to government specifications.’ ~Larry Burkett

1. 2020 Sherman County Fair Queen Contest

Would you like to represent the Sherman County Fair? We have changed the requirements for the Sherman County Fair Queen! You are no longer required to have/use a horse. If you are interested in becoming the Fair Queen, visit our website and go to the forms page for more information Applicants must be at least 15 years of age and no older than 19 years old. Applications are due Wednesday August 21st, 2019. For more information email

2. Dinner Program: “BPA, WWII & Aluminum in the Pacific Northwest,” Aug. 16

electric.lineJoin Libby Burke, Friday, August 16, 2019, for “BPA, WWII & Aluminum in the Pacific Northwest” at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum, 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, Oregon. Burke will outline the impact of the Bonneville Power Administration’s service during World War II. Historical photos and the rarely-seen color film “Power Builds Ships,” highlight the ship building industry during the war and the rise of the Pacific Northwest aluminum industry. Tickets for the 6 p.m. dinner and program are $18, the 7 p.m. program only is $5. Purchase tickets by August 14. For tickets and information call 541-296-8600 ext. 201, or visit

3. Solar Saturday at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, Aug. 17

sun.simpleBob Yoesle will present a solar viewing free to the public Saturday, August 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles. Using special safely-filtered telescopes you can view the surface of the sun. This event is free, and will be held, weather permitting, on the museum lawn. Museum admission still applies for visitors who wish to see the exhibits. For more information visit

4. Golf tournament fundraiser brings in college scholarship funds

golf2Participants, volunteers, and sponsors of Columbia Gorge Community College Foundation’s 20th Annual Founder’s Cup golf tournament helped raise more than $13,000 for Columbia Gorge Community College Foundation’s student scholarship fund. This scholarship benefit was sponsored in part by Columbia State Bank.

Gorge Net and Toole Carter Tissot and Coats LLP teams earned first place trophies in the tournament at Indian Creek Golf Course on Saturday, Aug. 3. Gorge Net won the low gross category and Toole Carter Tissot and Coats LLP took home the low net prize. MHCC +1 and Fore Education won second place awards, while teams Google DC and Arnerich Massena won third place awards.

Rob Pollard took home the closest-to-the-pin for the men and Dixie Schanno for the women. Tim Urness won the longest drive contest for men and Lauri Hausafus for the women. Chris Olson came closest to the pizza box to win a Papa Murphy’s pizza each month for one year.  No one drove home the hole-in-one prize of a new car from C. H. Urness Motor Company.

Twenty-one teams participated in this year’s tournament. Several sponsors provided support, including Mike and Marta Cronin, team and trophy sponsor; NW Natural, power cart sponsor; Ruby Mason Windermere Realty, driving range sponsor; Consumer Cellular, longest drive contest sponsor; Tucker 1147 and Lyle Style, Bloody Mary and juice bar sponsor; Food Services of America, lunch sponsor; and North Wasco County PUD, Northwest Graphic Works, and Walter E. Nelson, hole sponsors. In addition, the foundation raised approximately $4,000 through a general raffle that included 12 fabulous prizes donated by community members and local businesses as well as a wine raffle that included six cases of local, exceptional wine prizes.

Columbia Gorge Community College Foundation board members invite golfers of all ability levels to join next year’s 21st Annual Founder’s Cup golf tournament on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, at Indian Creek Golf Course. For more information and/or to reserve a team slot, please email CGCC Foundation at

5. Get your free digital Guide to the Constitution from The Heritage Foundation

constitution-wethepeopleThe Heritage Guide to the Constitution is a landmark, one-of-a-kind book that presents the U.S. Constitution as never before. With your instant access now, you’ll receive:

  • Useful, clause-by-clause analysis of the entire Constitution and each amendment
  • Input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts
  • 475 pages reviewing what the Constitution actually says and how it applies today
  • A copy of the Constitution and the documents that serve as its foundation

So get your free digital access to The Heritage Foundation’s Guide to the Constitution and have it at your fingertips as your reference. Be able to explain every clause in the Constitution in a way that is clear and understandable.

6. Time to Think

As we here in the Northern Hemisphere bask in those lazy days of summer, a lot of us find that sunshine promotes some lively daydreaming. It’s a little like letting your mind “off the leash” to wander where it will. This valuable time to think can give us the opportunity for what we like to call “ah-ha!” moments.

How many times have you suddenly, seemingly from out of nowhere, found yourself saying, “Yes! Now that makes sense! Why didn’t I realize this before?” Insights seem to come at the strangest times for some of us. They come in the shower, in the carwash, out for an evening walk, pulling weeds in the garden, or standing in line for your morning espresso – in short, anywhere!

It seems that our insights come when we have given our minds time to think, without forcing answers on the conscious level. How many times have you given yourself a problem to solve, handed it off to your subconscious mind, and then let go of conscious control? Does this not sound “normal” to you? Well, believe it or not, given enough time, the answers you need come through, complete with all the details.

There is great value in giving yourself time to think, for active reflection is the launching pad for change and growth. Those few moments of quiet reflection allow us to drain away the stress of the day, and also focus in on what is truly important in our lives.

Give yourself time to think, time to focus your thoughts on what you truly want in your life. Let go of the conscious demands of the day, and wait for those insights that will surely come – maybe even beyond the end of your “leash!” ~The Pacific Institute

7. ‘Big Read’ arrives in Columbia Gorge this October

books.loveStarting this fall, people in Hood River, The Dalles and surrounding communities will celebrate reading in a very big way, as “The Big Read” brings book readings and discussions, folk dancing, artists, a comedian, theatrical troupe, musical performances and panel presentations to schools, libraries and the campuses of Columbia Gorge Community College.

“The Big Read” is a National Endowment for the Arts partnership with Arts Midwest to broaden understanding of the world, its diverse communities and peoples through the joy of shared reading. Since the initiative began in 2006, more than 5.7 million Americans have attended a Big Read event.

That number will certainly grow this year, as Hood River and The Dalles join 77 other communities across the United States in the 2019 Big Read.

“Money can’t buy happiness, but participating in the Big Read will make you happy — and it’s free!” observed Jeff Wavrunek, director of The Dalles – Wasco County Public Library.

Different authors and books are showcased in each community. Featured author for the Columbia River Gorge is Luis Alberto Urrea, whose book “Into the Beautiful North” sets the theme for dozens of Big Read events beginning Oct. 4 in The Dalles. The book describes the US-Mexico border – the subject of controversy today – as a “dream-line destination and departure point, surrounded by desperation and expectations,” according to the book’s preface.

Urrea was born in a poor neighborhood of Tijuana and moved with his parents to San Diego at the age of five. A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, he re-discovered Tijuana as a relief worker for a church mission. He later secured a writing position at Harvard, and today is a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois – Chicago.

“No one writes more tragically or intimately about border culture than this son of a Mexican father and Anglo mother,” said journalist Bill Moyers of Urrea, author of numerous works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

“Into the Beautiful North” is Urrea’s third novel. He invites readers “to think of the border as more than a stark divide between nations … [but] a place of convergence where meaningful conversations, and even love, between cultures begins.”

Free copies of the book in English and Spanish will be widely available.

Urrea substantially reduced his speaking fee in order for “The Big Read” to come to the Columbia Gorge. Local co-sponsors are The Dalles – Wasco County Public Library and Columbia Gorge Community College, which are teaming up with 34 partner organizations including the Hood River County Library District, local school districts, Columbia Center for the Arts, The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce, The Next Door, Klindt’s Book Sellers, Immigration Counseling Services, local elected officials and many others.

The Big Read opens Oct. 4 in The Dalles Civic Auditorium, followed by a wide variety of events throughout the entire month of October in Hood River and The Dalles: Book readings, discussion groups in English and Spanish, film screenings, workshops, and panel discussions on issues affecting the Latinx community. A total of 44 separate events are planned. A detailed schedule will be posted on the college, Hood River County Library and The Dalles – Wasco County Public Library websites.

Columbia Gorge Community College is a Hispanic Serving Institution. In its successful grant proposal to The National Endowment Endowment for the Arts, Columbia Gorge Community College said its goal is to strengthen the college’s relationship with the Latinx community by providing events that honor their heritage, improve understanding of the immigration process, encourage inter-cultural dialog and strengthen partnerships.

People are invited to watch for upcoming events through local newspaper stories and radio public service announcements, the college and library websites and social media.