Sherman County eNews #266


  1. Nominate Now for STEM Education Leader, Tech Leader of the Year

  2. Finding a Way

  3. History Tidbits: Sherman County School Superintendent’s Report, 1903

  4. Governor Brown Announces Committee to Address Rising Health Care Costs

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

1. Nominate Now for STEM Education Leader, Tech Leader of the Year

The Gorge Technology Alliance (GTA) is seeking nominations now through November 8 for its 2019 annual awards program recognizing the Tech Leader and the STEM Education Leader of the Year, with the latter receiving a $1000 award. The Gorge Tech Alliance is the regional industry association that supports, connects and develops the technology community of the Columbia River Gorge. For almost 15 years, the GTA has been supporting the growth of our regional tech industry and encouraging strong science, tech, engineering and math (STEM) education opportunities.

The GTA’s awards are given in December with two categories. Tech Leader of the Year recognizes the outstanding achievement over the last year on the part of an individual or company that principally provides technology products, services, or support in the Columbia River Gorge. The 2018 winner was Maza Brady for her volunteer leadership of the Gorge Women in STEM initiative.

STEM Education Leader of the Year recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to STEM education in the Columbia River Gorge over the last year. The 2018 winner was Lu Seapy of Wasco County 4-H. The winner of this category receives a $1000 contribution from the GTA towards their STEM education program.

Nominations must be received by 5pm on November 8, 2019 to be considered. The GTA defines the Gorge as the five-county area including Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Skamania and Klickitat Counties. Nominees need not be a GTA member or otherwise involved with the organization. Nomination forms and more details are available on the GTA website at

2. Finding a Way

When you are presented with a serious challenge, how do you respond? When you have been dealt a difficult blow by life, what do you tell yourself? These are important questions that all of us are going to want to answer as we develop our personal and organizational philosophies.

Thorny issues have been around since the beginnings of human history, and the power to overcome them has been celebrated in song and story almost from the beginning. (Human beings are inveterate story-tellers. In fact, we learn best, and remember best, when stories provide the foundation.)

Take the nearly 2700-year old story of Homer’s “Odyssey” as we talk today about the power of optimism. Odysseus’ son is worried that his father will never come home from the wars. But Pallas Athene, the heroine of the story, gently reassures him by saying, “Your father will not be exiled much longer… trust Odysseus to get free. He always finds a way.”

This is an excellent description of option thinkers: No matter how tough the problem, no matter how great the odds, the option thinker always believes there is a solution. Option thinkers keep trying, experimenting, and looking. And eventually, one of their efforts bears fruit. They just refuse to give up when things get tough.

When Odysseus finally does make it home, in time to drive away his wife’s suitors and reunite his family, it is one of the great homecoming scenes in all literature.

So, what do you tell yourself when you are up against a wall? What do you say when you have been knocked down by life? Instead of looking for someone or something to blame, instead of falling silent in defeat and depression, why not remember Odysseus and tell yourself, “There is an answer, a solution. No matter what, I will find a way!” ~The Pacific Institute

3. History Tidbits: Sherman County School Superintendent’s Report, 1903

Annual Report, Sherman County School Superintendent, W.H. Ragsdale, for the year ending 15 June 1903:

School population – 1,303

School enrollment – 1,205

Teachers – 45.

4. Governor Brown Announces Committee to Address Rising Health Care Costs

Oregon.Flat.pole(Salem, OR) — Today, Governor Kate Brown announced the membership of a committee to control the cost of health care for Oregonians. The committee will set an annual target for health care spending growth and recommend enforcement tools to hold the health care system accountable for meeting the target.

“All Oregonians should have access to the health care services they need to live healthy and productive lives,” said Governor Brown. “Oregon’s community-based approach to health care, which covers 94 percent of adults and 100 percent of Oregon children, is a model for the nation. But if we do not control the rising costs of health care, too many Oregon families, particularly those in historically underserved communities, will again find the care they need is beyond their reach.”

Research shows that Oregonians pay more for health care and have higher deductibles than residents in other states. Between 2010 and 2016, Oregon household income grew by 15 percent, while employer-sponsored health care premiums grew by 25 percent and deductibles for families grew by 77 percent. Oregon has the third-highest health insurance deductibles in the country and is in the top ten highest states for family budgets spent on out-of-pocket hospital costs.

Oregon has already established a 3.4 percent growth rate for public programs, but there isn’t a similar target for the private market, where almost half of Oregonians get their health insurance.

“Rising health care costs mean less money for wages, retirement, and other public investments like housing and education,” said Jeremy Vandehey, director of health policy at the Oregon Health Authority. “A critical step in containing health care costs is bringing everyone to the table to set a common cost growth target that all insurance companies, hospitals, and health care providers have to stay within.”

This citizen and stakeholder led implementation committee, selected by Governor Brown and under the supervision of the Oregon Health Policy Board, was established by Senate Bill 889, passed during the 2019 legislative session. In addition to setting an annual target for costs, the committee will also provide recommendations for the Legislature to adopt in 2021 on how entities with unreasonable cost increases will be held accountable.

The Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target is modeled after a program in

Massachusetts that has saved $5.5 billion for consumers between 2013 and 2016. Rhode Island and Delaware have also adopted similar programs.

Implementation Committee for Oregon’s Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target program:

  • Patrick Allen, Director, Oregon Health Authority
  • Kraig Anderson, Senior Vice President and Chief Actuary, Moda Health
  • Kathryn Correia, President and CEO, Legacy Health
  • Angela Dowling, President, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
  • Kevin Ewanchyna (Vice-Chair), Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Samaritan Health Services; President of the Oregon Medical Association Jack Friedman (Chair)
  • Jessica Gomez, CEO, Rogue Valley Microdevices
  • Felisa Hagins, Political Director, SEIU Local 49
  • Ruby Haughton, State Director, AARP Oregon
  • K. John McConnell, Director, OHSU Center for Health Systems Effectiveness
  • Mark McMullen, Oregon State Economist, Office of Economic Analysis, DAS
  • William Olson, Chief Operating Officer, Providence Health and Services
  • Jordan Papé, CEO, Papé Group
  • Ken Provencher, President and CEO, PacificSource Health Plans
  • Shanon Saldivar, Chamness Saldivar Agency; Vice-Chair Marketplace Advisory Committee
  • Cameron Smith, Director, Department of Consumer and Business Services
  • Jenny Smith, Chief Financial Officer, Kaiser Permanente Northwest
  • Jenn Welander, Chief Financial Officer, St. Charles Health System.


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

bird.owl.book1859 | Oregon’s Magazine

Northwest Rail Buffs Signal For Return Of Oregon Trail Amtrak Route To Boise

Oregon’s rural patients deserve access to quality hospice care

Military Times

Defense News

Slide Show | A day in the life of U.S. agriculture

Gorge Grown Food Network | Support Your Local Farmer

Numbers About Which SEIU and the Anti-Union Freedom Foundation Disagree

How Portland Got The Trail Blazers

Oregon Colleges Forced To Adjust As Student Priorities Expand

Oregon Secretary Of State Rejects Ballot Proposal On Immigrant Driver’s Licenses

Editorial. Real ID leads to real mess in Oregon

Science | The Epoch Times

Oregon ranks 4th in homelessness, study finds