Sherman County eNews #211


  1. Resident Incentive Application Deadline, Aug. 31

  2. Quilts for Cops Workshop in Wasco, Sept. 21

  3. An Invitation for Western Oregon University Alumni, Oct. 1

  4. 134-year climate record from Tatoosh Island

  5. State Senator Bill Hansell: To leave or not to leave: that was the question

  6. The Near and Dear

  7. Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Matches Record Low of 4.0 Percent in July

“If by the liberty of the press were understood merely the liberty of discussing the propriety of public measures and political opinions, let us have as much of it as you please: But if it means the liberty of affronting, calumniating and defaming one another, I, for my part, own myself willing to part with my share of it.” —Benjamin Franklin (1789)

1. Resident Incentive Application Deadline, Aug. 31

The deadline for Sherman county residents to submit their Resident Incentive application is August 31st. If you have misplaced your BRIGHT ORANGE application, forms can be found on the Sherman County website Finance Department page. You can also get a form from the Finance Department at the courthouse or call 541-565-3623 to have one mailed to you.

2. Quilts for Cops Workshop in Wasco, Sept. 21

Thread-and-needleWHEN…Saturday, Sept 21,2019

WHERE…Wasco School Events Center, 809 Barnett St, Wasco Oregon

TIME…9 am to 4:30 pm

COST…$35.00 includes, Quilt top kit, light breakfast of muffin/coffee/tea & lunch.

All completed quilt tops will be returned to the organization to be finished and mailed to recipients.

BRING… your sewing machine and usual sewing supplies. (I would mark each) Ironing boards, irons and rotary cutting mats will be provided       .

PLEASE PRE REGISTER! We are hoping to have 40 or more participants. Unfortunately, too many of these quilts are needed in today’s times. They are given to all wounded police, firemen and EMS injured in the line of duty.

Feel free to come to Wasco to see what is happening in this workshop. $$Donations gladly accepted– it is expensive to send these quilts (60”X80”)!  If you want to help but not sew, ironers and cutters will be needed. That is what I plan to do, and I  gladly will pay the fee.

CONTACT Carol MacKenzie, PO Box 85, Wasco, Ore, 97065 or 541-980-7738.

Write and mail check payable to “Quilts for Cops” to Carol. This is tax deductible donation as the organization is a 501 3C  organization. You will be given a receipt for your taxes.

3. An Invitation for Western Oregon University Alumni, Oct. 1

Emily Lafon, Alumni Relations Coordinator for Western Oregon University, is extending an invitation to all Gorge WOU Alumni and their guests to attend a gathering Tuesday, Oct. 1st, 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Shoreline Room at the Best Western, Hood River.

A RSVP is requested by Sept. 25th by contacting Emily at either or by calling 503-838-8710. This free event is an opportunity to enjoy conversation with former classmates, meeting new friends, partaking of refreshments and hearing WOU President Rex Fuller share “What’s New at WOU”.  There will also be drawings for great prizes.

4. 134-year climate record from Tatoosh Island

thermometer.degreesAbout one mile off the NW corner of Washington State sits Tatoosh Island.  We are fortunate to have a 134 year climate record from this location.  The mean annual temperature has changed only slightly since observations began in October 1883:

Years      # Yrs    Mean Temperature (deg. F)


1884-1949    61      48.9

1932-1965    34      49.2

2007-2016    10      49.3

Since 1890 we have seen 7 years with mean annual temperature greater than 51 F.  Only one of these seven years occurred in the 21st century:

1) 1941  51.6 F

2) 1940  51.5

3) 1958  51.5

4) 1926  51.4

5) 2015  51.4

6) 1997  51.3

7) 1934  51.1

~ Mark Albright
Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences
Box 351640
University of Washington
Seattle WA 98195-1640  USA.

5. State Senator Bill Hansell: To leave or not to leave: that was the question

Oregon.Flat.poleMuch has been written, discussed, opined, and debated about the denying of a quorum for 9 days, when the 11 Oregon Senate Republicans made the decision to leave. Since I was one of what became known as the “Oregon 11”, and as I have tried to do with every decision I have ever made as an elected official, I want to explain why I did what I did. It is also important to explain the events leading up to that decision.

With all I have read or listened to, especially social media, I have come to the conclusion I am either a hero or a zero. There isn’t much in between. My purpose here is not to debate the merits and flaws of HB2020, the Cap and Trade bill, that precipitated the decision to leave. I personally believe there were huge problems with HB2020 as it was written. But that is not the reason I walked.

My primary reason for leaving was the refusal of the majority party to refer this bill to the people for a vote. Oregonians deserved to be able to vote on this bill. I believed the costs, the impacts, and the insignificant results of actual carbon reduction, needed to be decided by the citizens, not the supermajority of one party.

There were two ways Cap and Trade could have gone to the voters. First, the legislature could have amended the bill to refer it. I believe such a referral was included in several of the 117 proposed amendments offered to the bill but all were turned down by the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction. The second way was for the legislature to remove the infamous “Emergency Clause.” Without getting too far into the weeds, when an emergency clause is attached to a bill it becomes law upon signature of the Governor. It makes it much more difficult for citizens to refer it to the ballot. Technically it is not impossible for the referral but much harder and more difficult. In my opinion, that is why the emergency clause was attached to HB2020. I was hard pressed to see any reason to justify an emergency. There was none.

Without an emergency clause, any bill becomes law six months after the governor signs it. In those six months, signatures can be gathered and a vote taken prior to the bill becoming law. The referendum process is a check and balance Oregonians have on their Legislature. Oregonians have used it to repeal or adopt legislation over the years.

On Tuesday, June 18th, a good friend and member of the Senate Democratic leadership came to my office and asked me what it would take to keep me from “walking.” I replied, remove the emergency clause from HB 2020. Let the people have the opportunity to vote on something this monumental. It needs to be on the ballot. That senator indicated that made sense and they would try and see what could be done. I believe my friend tried, but to no avail.

The Republican Caucus was also informed that three of our colleagues across the aisle were no votes, but we were unable to satisfactorily confirm their position. Later, when Senate President Courtney publicly announced he did not have the votes, it set the stage for our return.

Next on Wednesday, June 19th, two events happened which might have averted the walkout. The first would have been delaying the second reading of HB2020. The Oregon Constitution requires every bill be read three times before voting on it. The bill is first read by title only and then sent to a committee. If the bill survives the committee process, it comes back to the floor for the second reading again by title only, and the next day it is read for a third time and a vote taken.

Republican leadership urged the Senate President to not second read HB2020 in order for negotiations to continue. However, HB2020 was second read on Wednesday, with the emergency clause intact, and it would be third read the next day, June 20th. That meant the walkout was on for Thursday unless negotiations could hammer out something of a compromise.

Three individuals began meeting on Wednesday morning at 10:00am and for the next seven plus hours came up with some kind of a proposal. Those individuals were Senator Cliff Bentz, vice chair of the Carbon Committee, Nik Blosser Chief of Staff for Governor Brown, and Representative Karin Power the Co-Chair of the Carbon Reduction Committee. Two Democrats and one Republican, worked into the early evening. Fifteen minutes after the proposal was presented to Governor Brown, House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney, a call was made to Senator Bentz informing him that the proposal had been rejected. Had either of these two events produced a different result, we would have stayed.

On Wednesday evening the emergency clause remained in HB2020. It would be third read on Thursday, and the citizens, for all practicable purposes, would be denied the opportunity to consider and debate the merits of the bill in the referendum process. I felt this was wrong and I joined my fellow Republican Senators in leaving and denying a quorum on Thursday.

So there you have it, why I decided to leave. If you believe impediments should not have been removed enabling the good people of Oregon the opportunity to vote on this proposed legislation, then we disagree and I’ll continue to be a zero. But at least you know why I did what I did. This is what I owe all my constituents whether I’m a hero or a zero or something in between, and with apologies to Mr. Shakespeare regarding how I answered the question to leave or not to leave.


Senator Bill Hansell

6. The Near and Dear

Do you ever feel that the people who are closest to you are the ones who resist the most as you try to change for the better? Sometimes, when we are committed to personal growth and change, family members or others who are close to us will do everything they can to try and get us to change back to the way we were – even when the way we were wasn’t so great.

Did you ever wonder why that might be? Well, for one thing, when people are used to their lives being a certain way, any change – even when it is an improvement – can be threatening. It is also fairly common for people who are stuck in negative habits to have a hard time tolerating others who are making positive efforts toward change.

If you can convince your family to join you in your quest for personal growth, you will all have an easier time of it. You can support each other through the tough times and give each other encouragement and approval as you begin to see results.

If you have no choice but to go through it alone, let those significant others in your life in on what you are trying to do, and tell them how positive results will benefit them as well as you. Paint them a vivid word picture of what the end-result will look like, and ask for their help in achieving it.

If you don’t get that help, be patient. It may take time to convince them that you are serious, and that you intend to stay close to them even though you are changing. They may be waiting for proof before allowing themselves to believe you. Belief without evidence is difficult even in the best of times, with the best of people.

If it ever comes down to the difficult choice between continuing a painful relationship and developing yourself as a person, remember that you always have the right to choose growth without guilt. If you want to do better for the world, then you first need to do better by and for yourself. ~The Pacific Institute

7. Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Matches Record Low of 4.0 Percent in July 

Oregon.Flat.poleOregon’s unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in July, the same as the revised June rate of 4.0 percent. This was Oregon’s lowest unemployment rate in the current series dating back to 1976. It tied the 4.0 percent unemployment rate reached in the state in May, June, and July 2018. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in both June and July 2019.

In July, Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment added 2,400 jobs, following an over-the-month loss of 1,000 jobs, as revised, in June. Monthly gains for July were strongest in professional and business services (+1,300 jobs); health care and social assistance (+1,100); and construction (+800). Two industries cut more than 1,000 jobs in July: leisure and hospitality (??’1,100 jobs) and government (??’1,300).

Newly revised payroll employment figures show that there was minimal growth of only 2,000 jobs between December 2018 and March 2019, which was much weaker growth in the first quarter of 2019 than was originally estimated. Oregon’s total nonfarm employment for March is now pegged at 1,931,900 jobs.

Looking at longer-term trends, the new numbers show Oregon’s economy growing moderately for quite some time. Since July 2018, total nonfarm payroll employment was up 29,600 jobs, or 1.6 percent. In fact, Oregon’s over-the-year job growth has averaged 1.6 percent during the past 16 months.

The most rapid gains since July 2018 were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+4,500 jobs, or 7.0%) and construction (+4,500 jobs, or 4.3%). Construction’s growth rate, although still rapid, has slowed from the 8.2 percent annual growth it averaged in 2015 through 2018. Several industries contributed to Oregon’s expansion since last July, including health care and social assistance (+8,200 jobs, or 3.2%); manufacturing (+5,000 jobs, or 2.6%); and professional and business services (+5,500 jobs, or 2.2%). However, six major industries were nearly flat or down over the past 12 months, led by retail trade (-2,800 jobs, or -1.3%) and information (-1,500 jobs, or ??’4.4%).