1. Editorial Reminder! Sherman County eNews is Retiring!

  2. Last Week of Foster Youth Holiday Gift Drive

  3. Youth Dance Classes in Sherman County to Begin in January

  4. Learn Online to Safely Preserve Foods with Preserve @ Home

  5. Distance Learning Grant, College, Rural School Districts

  6. The Intersection of Only and Forever – Part 1

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

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

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth,
good-will to men!
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

1. Editorial Reminder! Sherman County eNews is Retiring!

It’s time. The right time. 1999-2019. The last Sherman County eNews post will be made on December 27th.

2. Last Week of Foster Youth Holiday Gift Drive

children.cartoonWe are in the final days of the Foster Youth Holiday Gift Drive!

This year over 115 children in the Gorge will be spending their holidays in foster care, help make them a little brighter by donating a holiday gift!  Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, Columbia Gorge CASA, DHS, and Mid-Columbia Health Foundation (MCHF) have joined forces to create a Foster Youth Holiday Gift Drive that will run through Monday, December 16.  Drop off unwrapped gifts at two locations in The Dalles (Cascade Sotheby’s office at The Foley, 106 E 4th St & MCHF Office, 309 E 2nd St) and one location in Hood River (Lucky Littles, 201 Oak Street).  Gift tags with specific gift requests from local foster youth can also be picked up at these locations.  For more information, call Columbia Gorge CASA at 541-386-3468.

3. Youth Dance Classes in Sherman County to Begin in January

girl.hopLeaps and Beats Dance Studio located in Sherman County will launch January, 2020!  We will be offering dance classes for children ages 5-12 in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Hip hop.

Leaps and Beats dance studio is a safe place for children to instill a love of dance, self-confidence, discipline, friendship and a respect for performing arts.

Contact us to register!


4. Learn Online to Safely Preserve Foods with Preserve @ Home

Interested in safely preserving food for you and your family but don’t have time for traditional classes? It is time to think about gifting yourself or a loved one with an online, hybrid course, Preserve @ Home. Oregon State University Extension Service invites you to enroll in Preserve @ Home, a national award-winning, online food safety and preservation course to teach individuals how to safely preserve a variety of food products. Participants learn how to produce high quality, preserved foods and the science behind food preservation and food safety. Individuals with full-time jobs or live in remote areas may be very interested in this course because it is self-paced. There are weekly topic releases and a hands-on lab offered in several regions in Oregon at the end of the series on a Saturday.

The registration deadline is Monday, January 13, 2020. The first class of the 6-week course opens online on Thursday, January 16, 2020. Each lesson includes online text (that can be downloaded and printed), online forum to facilitate participant discussion, and a real-time weekly chat session to interact with classmates and instructors. The weekly online chat session for the first lesson will be on Thursday, January 23, 2020 from 1:00 to 1:45 PM. Topics to be covered in the course include: Foodborne Illness – causes and prevention, Spoilage and Canning Basics, Canning High Acid Foods, Canning Specialty High Acid Foods – pickles, salsa, jams, jellies, etc., Canning Low Acid Foods, and Freezing and Drying. Supplemental materials this year will include materials on planting varieties for food preservation and cold storage and root cellaring.

Oregon State University Extension community educators will provide a hands-on lab experience for participants in eight regions of Oregon. Students can choose one to practice pressure canning and water-bath canning. Hands-on labs will be held in Deschutes, Harney, Jackson, Klamath, Tillamook and Wallowa Counties on Saturday, February 29, 2020. Additionally, hands-on training will be held in Columbia and Polk counties on Saturday, March 7, 2020.

Cost of the course is $55 plus the cost of required supplemental materials. Many of the supplemental materials are available free, online. Class size is limited. This course is offered cooperatively with the University of Idaho Extension Service and eXtension, a national resource for online courses offered by Extension professionals. Register on-line by January 13, 2020 at

Preserve @ Home won the 1st Place Award for Food Safety Education from the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences in 2016. For more information, or contact Glenda Hyde at or call 541-548-6088.

5. Distance Learning Grant, College, Rural School Districts

High school students throughout the Mid-Columbia region will participate in real-time instruction with Columbia Gorge Community College faculty thanks to a $498,623 distance learning grant awarded by US Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

“Many rural students have to travel long distances to attend school,” said John Huffman, Oregon Director for USDA Rural Development. “This investment will give students the ability to access classes remotely, helping to improve their quality of life and starting them on the path toward a college degree.”

The college is contributing $79,115 for a total project value of $577,738. Classroom technology will foster expanded dual credit achievement in 13 high schools from The Dalles to Arlington, White Salmon to Spray, and Stevenson to Wishram. There will be special emphasis on career-technology and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) coursework. “Dual credit” refers to students’ opportunity to gain college credits while still in high school.

The grant is one of two awarded in Oregon, and one of only two in the nation involving multiple states. A total of at least 2,499 high school students will be served in the initial three-year roll-out. Willamina School District is the other Oregon recipient.

College faculty in The Dalles and Hood River will live-stream instruction via “Zoom rooms” established on The Dalles and Hood River campuses to specially-equipped classrooms at participating high schools on both sides of the Columbia River Gorge. Differing from many “on-line” classes that simply deliver coursework with no opportunity for interaction, these classes will be “synchronous,” meaning students can ask questions of faculty in real time, just as if they were on campus. The college will work with high school administrators to coordinate course scheduling.

Students will be able to use the same remote classrooms to complete their homework on-line, since Internet access is often a barrier for rural residents.

Each remote site will receive dedicated computers, web cam and wall-mounted display monitor.

The grant will also allow the college to upgrade its website to better support distance education, in the process taking advantage of a faster Internet connection established through assistance from Columbia Gorge Education Service District (ESD). The ESD was one of many organizations, schools, counties and rural communities providing letters of support on behalf of the college’s proposal, which was submitted to USDA last spring.

The goal is to increase enrollment of rural, under-represented high school students in dual-credit courses, pursuing STEM/CTE certificates and degrees leading to family-wage jobs.

“By expanding our capacity to offer dual credit through our partnering high schools, we expect this initiative to increase rural student enrollment, retention and graduation rates in STEM and career technology programs at CGCC,” said Dr. Marta Yera Cronin, college president.

The grant will also support a laptop lending program and create a mobile distance learning lab for use by Pre-College advisers. This aspect of the program is designed to reach adults of all ages seeking new career opportunities. Oregon Department of Human Services is partnering with the college for this outreach, which augments the college’s role as a workforce training provider with WorkSource Oregon through the East Cascades Workforce Investment Board.

The three-year program starts in January 2020 with planning and development, followed by roll-out to rural high schools in three phases.

The USDA grant is part of a $42.5 million investment by USDA is in 133 distance learning and telemedicine projects in 37 states and two U.S. territories. These investments will benefit 5.4 million rural residents.

The Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunication to overcome the effects of remoteness and link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another. Most state and local government entities, federally-recognized tribes, nonprofits, and for-profit businesses are eligible to apply. Typically, one application period is offered each year.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety, and healthcare facilities; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. Learn more at

6. The Intersection of Only and Forever – Part 1

For the past couple of days, we delved into how the ancient Greeks – Plato in particular – looked at the subject of “happiness.” These four levels run the gamut from self-centered to other-centered, to the search for the ultimate. Today we are going to look at what it means when we choose these levels to live in – and only those levels.

As we mentioned before, we live our days as a combination of the four levels – Instant Gratification, Competition, Contribution and Ultimate Perfection – every day. Each has its place, depending upon the situation at hand. The challenge comes when “only” enters the picture:

  • Instant Gratification is important, say, when we are hungry. The hunger is intense and so is the resolution to that hunger when we get something to eat. However, when instant gratification is the only thing that makes us happy, we are severely limited. Instant happiness lasts just about that long – an instant. Then we are off to find something else to make us happy. It is very much like the attention span of a three-year old.
  • Competition is important, because it harnesses energy and creativity to expand ourselves. However, when that energy is spent finding others we can feel “better than,” we don’t get anything else done. If our happiness is only based on competition against others, it’s an unfulfilling place to live. We are slaves to our own ego in order to cover up our poor sense of self-worth and we lose connection with those around us.
  • Living at the level of Contribution would seem to be the best place to be, because it encourages us to reach more of our potential. We utilize our skills and abilities, our talents, in the service of an idea, a project, a need beyond ourselves. However, if we only live at this level, we run the risk of not taking care of our basic needs. We let others take advantage of us, and we may miss opportunities to challenge ourselves to grow.
  • The seeking of Ultimate Perfection is the most difficult level to reach, and if we only search for it among our relationships with other human beings, we will be disappointed. As human beings, flawed and wonderful as we are, we simply are not capable of continuous perfection. Yes, we want to reach for those moments when we can glimpse perfection, but if that is all we do, we miss out on really living our lives.

It is in the striving for an effective balance of these four levels where we truly come into our own as human beings, and where our organizations go after excellence, to truly fulfill their vision and values. ~The Pacific Institute

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

Oregon.Flat.poleCreated: 05 December 2019 | Written by Oregon Capital Insider

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

23: Area, in acres, of the Lloyd Center mall, the “largest and oldest” mall in the region, according to Willamette Week.

$936,000,000: Amount Oregonians received in food stamp benefits in 2018, according to The Register-Guard. The Trump Administration this week announced a new rule tightening the program’s work requirements that could slash benefits for hundreds thousands of Americans.

4: Hillsboro public employees who sued their union Thursday over its handling of revocation requests.

$27,000,000,000: Unfunded actuarial liability in the state’s public pension system, OPB reports.

5: Ballot initiatives submitted this year to tamp down the debt in the state’s public pension system, according to OPB. As of last week, each has been withdrawn.

$9,000,000: Donations a campaign to boost the state’s cigarette tax via next year’s ballot have received from health systems and the Oregon Nurses Association, according to the campaign.

4,883: Signatures that backers of an effort to recall Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell, D-Astoria, needed to collect in order to be successful. The effort failed this week, according to the activist group behind the recall, Timber Unity.

2,000: Residents in Cave Junction, Ore. The town plans to rely on a volunteer police force to monitor criminal activity on surveillance cameras, according to The Oregonian.

$170,000: Amount the University of Oregon is paying in a settlement to two former architecture professors who accused the university of age discrimination, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

$913,374: Amount the CEO of Goodwill Industries Columbia-Willamette makes, according to Willamette Week.

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

bird.owl.bookBetween 65 and Death

Military Times

Defense News

Navy Times. FBI: ‘Full and complete cooperation’ from Saudi colleagues of slain Pensacola gunman

TedEd. Is marijuana bad for your brain?

N.Y. is 13th State to Give Illegal Immigrants Driver’s Licenses; Free Childcare to Sign Them Up