United Community Partners P.O. BOX 545 Halfway, Oregon 97834 [email protected] 541-540-1411

Minutes – November 4, 2013

Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:35-3:10pm

Present: Liz McLellan (President)*; Bill Schuhle (T-Bill) (Secretary/Treasurer)*; Rev. Bill Shields (R-Bill)*; Steve White*; Celinda Miller*;  Larry Miller, Ruai Gregory   (* indicates Board Member)

Minutes: Liz asked if there were any objections to the minutes as sent out via email. Celinda indicated she had offered a correction to Bill via email which he said he had fixed. As there were no objections, the minutes were adopted.

Finance Report. T-Bill passed out copies of both the main finance report and an updated accounting of how the Ford Family Foundation grant for the MainStreet Stage had been spent. He indicated that next month’s report should show approximately $1,086.00 more in the checking account when funds spent for Stage equipment would be reimbursed to us by the Hells Canyon Chamber.

The bottom line on the Ford accounting sheet indicated about $156 as yet unspent. Bill asked for suggested items/materials for the stage that could be purchased with this money so that he could contact Ford for appropriate permissions and an extension of the purchasing deadline which had already passed. Liz asked that R-Bill and others interested draw up a list of needed items to give to T-Bill and that he present those to Ford for approval. Ruai stressed that Ford appreciates photographs in a final grant report, especially where a building is involved.

T-Bill indicated he’d like to follow up on Liz’s suggestion of purchasing some accounting training time from local CPA Kelly Higgins. R-Bill indicated this might be an expensive proposition. Alternatives were discussed with the bottom line being that T-Bill was voted permission to spend up to $200 (a price he said he had found online) for a copy of QuickBooks Nonprofit which is accounting software designed both structurally and terminology-wise to fit the needs of non-profit organizations. Ruai also suggested former UCP treasurer Zella Sly as someone who would likely be willing to help out with accounting questions. T-Bill said he would contact her. R-Bill pointed out that Veryl Waldron uses QuickBooks and could be a source of advice as well.

Record-keeping Discussion: Liz reiterated her position that all money going out of UCP needs to have records that account for it. R-Bill felt that we have not made it clear to grant recipients exactly what the expectations are and that therefore after-the-fact requests for detailed receipts have met with some resistance. A clear, up-front policy and signed agreement could prevent these problems. T-Bill and Liz agreed to put together draft agreement, simple and to the point, to present to the group.

T-Bill talked about the year 2000-era computer he had received from Sue Forrester which contained many files related to the early days of UCP and the forestry project plus the Granite Peaks assisted living facility project. Bill said he could provide a more complete inventory next month of what was there and a determination could be made about what to print and file. Liz suggested that anything having to do with finances should probably be saved.

Ruai said it would be really nice to have brief summaries of the results of all the various projects that UCP has supported/been involved in over the years and indicated that this has not been something that has been done nearly enough. She agreed to see about getting something written up on the Pine Eagle Education Foundation and the Pre-School in particular.

Liz will request a paragraph about the recycling project from Linda Collier if we no not have one. She will also update the web site with these reports and add a means for online donations to the pre-school project.

The existing timeline chart of UCP accomplishments up through 2008 needs to be brought current.

Bylaws and Voting Discussion. It was clarified that, per the bylaws, a quorum for making decisions consists of three board members present (60% of the five-member board). R-Bill contended that the consensus/voting section of the bylaws is cumbersome and is influenced by the definition of “member” which is strange. He said that at the recent training in Baker, it was suggested that non-profits not even have members, but simply a board that is responsible for decision-making within the organization. He suggested that consensus be defined as “unanimous minus one”. Steve pointed out that with only board members voting, and a quorum requirement of three, two members could make decisions. Other options, such as re-defining “membership”, were discussed and this included the possibility of a signed membership agreement, a set membership term, loss of membership for non-attendance, and charging an annual membership fee. Celinda recommended that a quorum of the board consist of all five members. R-Bill pointed out that this could preclude needed action in a deadline-driven situation. T-Bill suggested a necessary minimum of three affirmative votes of the five board members to make a decision which was re-stated by R-Bill as “a majority of the board” as opposed to “a majority of a quorum”. Liz suggested that a committee of interested members address the issue and R-Bill and Celinda agreed to head up such an effort.

Ford Leadership Program Update. R-Bill suggested that UCP keep the list of community projects that has been compiled at the Ford training as possible projects for UCP to consider. So far, the training group has whittled an original field of 30 suggested projects down to four: 1) a timebank; 2) a re-building of Lions Park in Halfway and a similar venue in Richland with playground equipment, etc.; 3) a youth after-school activities program; and 4) an area history project involving the local museum.

Liz indicated that, either via the local investing program underway at NEOEDD, or independently of that program, a timebank may be in the works even if it is not chosen as the Ford group project.

Open Discussion. Ruai said we still haven’t heard back from Sally Andrews about what’s happening with the oral history project that UCP contributed to and that was to be carried out by Sally and her daughter Vicki Johnson.

Ruai also reported that Cindy Delcurto, new parent representative member of the pre-school board, is out actively soliciting funds for the pre-school. The issue was raised of the use by the pre-school (and other organizations) of UCP’s 501(c)(3) status for fund-raising without adequate accountability for the funds so raised. R-Bill made the point that funds given to a 501(c)(3) are in the public domain and if passed to a non-501(c)(3) which subsequently fails, the funds must be returned to the donating 501(c)(3) or passed on to another 501(c)(3) so as to remain in the public domain. He also made it clear that any donations made to take advantage of our 501(c)(3) status need to be made to us directly and there needs to be a signed contract with the receiving organization (pre-school, etc.) as to how the funds are to be spent and what kind of reporting is required. Ruai said she will let Cindy know how she needs to proceed in her fund-raising efforts based on these considerations. Ruai will also give us a report at our next meeting of what’s happening at the pre-school and how funds raised through UCP have been spent.

Meeting adjourned at 3:10pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer

Minutes – October 7, 2013

Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:35-2:35pm

Present: Liz McLellan, Bill Schuhle, Steve White, Celinda Miller, Mark Christianson

Absent: Bill Shields, Ruai Gregory, Larry Miller, Denise Christianson

Preliminary Question: Liz asked what constituted a quorum for decision-making purposes. Bill Schuhle said he thought 2/3 for board decisions, but wasn’t sure about general meetings.

Minutes: Liz asked for any objections to the minutes as sent out via email. She indicated that objections should be stated by email so corrections could be made, asking that Celinda pass that info along to Larry. There were no objections, so the minutes were considered adopted.

Finance Report. The finance report, which included information on both UCP’s grant to the MainStreet Stage and the grant from the Ford Family Foundation to UCP for the stage, was approved and is available separately. Bill stated that he would very soon be requesting a report from the Cornucopia Arts Council on how UCP’s $2,000 grant for Pine Fest was spent. He also reported on the destruction of UCP’s debit card based on the strong recommendation in the financial stewardship sessions recently in Baker that these NOT be a part of non-profit organizations’ financial tools as they are too open to abuse. USBank is offering a new credit card designed specifically for organizations like UCP with several advantages over a debit card and Bill said he would apply for one if that was agreeable to the group, which it was.

After Bill explained the current status of the Ford grant as being approximately $150 still available, but with the official deadline for disbursement past, it was agreed that he would contact Ford about an extension and inquire about the use of the funds for stage wall finishing (which is a different use than stated in the grant application).

Bill also explained an anti-embezzlement practice suggested in Baker of not having the person who writes the checks be the same person who signs them. It was agreed that, as a practice, henceforth Bill, as Treasurer, will write our checks and Liz, as President, will sign them.

Liz’s Letter to the Editor: Liz asked if there were comments or feedback on her letter to the Hells Canyon Journal attempting to clarify her role and UCP’s role in online fund-raising for Eagle Valley Orchards. People seemed to like the letter. Liz said she would think about re-structuring the way she handles fund-raising, particularly when the recipient is a business vs. a non-profit. Liz commented on the “bang-up” summer we’ve had with fund-raising, events at the MainStreet Stage, Pine Fest, etc. Steve suggested some kind of newspaper write-up about it all.

Ford Leadership Training. Liz, Larry, Celinda, and Bill Shields are participating in the Ford training being held in Halfway over several months. Liz and Celinda both reported being very enthusiastic about their experience so far and what they are getting from the training. Liz asked that folks consider ideas – and put the word out that the group is seeking ideas – for what they might adopt as their project to accomplish for the local community. Steve suggested augmenting the cross-country ski program.

Center for Non-Profit Stewardship Training. Liz, Celinda, Bill Schuhle, and Bill Shields, as UCP board members, attended this one-day training in Baker City. It was primarily about the legalities and responsibilities of serving on a non-profit board. There were several sessions related to finance as well as sessions on board and membership recruitment and succession planning. Bill and Liz commented on their pleasure at meeting and talking with Kirk Harvey, Chief Investigator for the Oregon Department of Justice, how helpful he was, and how very much “on our side” he is.

Bylaws Proposal. Liz, after looking through the bylaws, has concluded that re-working them will not be the huge task we have been envisioning since they mostly consist of boilerplate legal wording which we will not be changing. She asked that we specifically look over the section on voting, quorum, and membership, and see if there are things there that we would like to change. This discussion will be on the agenda for our November meeting. She feels that the Vision & Strategy Statement is ripe for updating and offered to form an ad hoc committee of herself, Bill Shields, and maybe one other person, to compact the vision statement and bring it back to the group for discussion in December or January. Liz will send out emails regarding these two separate discussions and how to prepare for them. She also suggested placing a discussion of our goals for the coming year on the December/January agenda.

Open Discussion: Steve offered the idea of an ice skating rink in Lions Park as a possible Ford community project. Liz recommended creating a skills matrix as part of any board recruitment effort to see where gaps might be that could specifically be filled by a new board member. She also proposed the possibility of hiring an accountant (local CPA Kelly Higgins?) for a couple of hours of coaching for treasurer Bill Schuhle if he thought that would be helpful, which he did.

Meeting adjourned at 2:35pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer

Pumpkins and Mammoth Sunflowers

A short list of crowdfunding links for Eastern Oregon

As most know our community has recently successfully crowdfunded two projects, the Eagle Creek Orchard frost equipment campaign and the PineFest Music Festival campaign.  Pinefest is still going strong – Come through this Fall for a great day!

So I thought I would give some more general information on crowdfunding and the new economic models emerging in the wake of the banking collapse in 2008 which constricted the ability to get anything done if it required a bank’s approval.


Crowdfunding Platforms

There are thousands of platforms popping up which are specific to different types of crowdfunding from the very personal (weddings, medical emergencies), to creative (writers, film, musicians) community infrastructure and local projects (solar projects, school gardens, art or hack spaces) and scientific research projects. Here is a very short list of what is out there.

Some of us are familiar with the big name sites in crowdfunding, Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Here’s a comparison of these two sites.

How to Raise Funds with Crowdfunding

A successful crowdfunding campaign relies primarily on our social media connections online. While traditional funding is face to face or on the phone – crowdfunding relies on our networks online – and how active we are in those networks supporting other people and projects. The people, businesses and organizations we connect to, share and support online are the same folks who will share our story and celebrate our successes. We are much larger than the 1200 or so people here in the Pine Valley area in Baker County, Oregon. Our personal and professional networks online combined together are very large and our reach is very far when we use the internet to let people know about what matters to us.

Here’s a great article on understanding just how big the extended network of 1000 people might be:

How large is your network: the power of second and third degree connections.

What is Equity Crowdfunding?

Equity crowdfunding is a method to fund traditional businesses and innovative start-ups. Equity crowdfunding is regulated by the SEC and requires that funders be “accredited.” This simply means that to invest via an equity campaign you must be a sophisticated investor who does not require as much protection. You or you and your partner combined must have a high income and high net worth. More info on accredited investors.

July 25, 2016 – UPDATE – SEC rules have been updated and expanded to open up equity crowdfunding to a wider community of investors. Here’s a good write up by Christopher Mirabel at Inc. Magazine – 2016 Crowdfunding Rules, More Complicated Than You Think.

More information at National Crowdfunding Association which covers the new equity or investment crowdfunding rules in place to protect consumers.

Equity Crowdfunding for bringing wealth back to Oregon

Eastern Oregon has North East Oregon Economic Development District working with Springboard Innovation to build a regional plan for localizing the economy. More details on that here.

Briefly from Lisa Dawson at NEOEDD:

By working together as organizations and individuals in three northeast Oregon counties, and taking advantage of external expertise, we will:

  • Provide support for local businesses that need investment capital and are profitable or have profit potential, but are not likely to be attractive to angel investors, venture capital investors or commercial lenders
  • Create options for individuals to invest a portion of their capital within the region
  • Work together on an economic development project that will increase the vitality of the region and our ability to work together

Their project ChangeXChangeNW is “a resource for communities in the Northwest. Our goal is to bolster local economies by connecting the dots between socially-minded investors and locally-owned businesses.”

Go to their site for details on all of these exciting changes happening. Springboard Innovation is working with NEODD to bring the same model eastward. Contact Lisa Dawson at NEOEDD for details.

Crowdfunding for Projects

Startsomegood focuses on projects with clear benefits and have strict criteria for using the platform.

“StartSomeGood is a peer funding platform for broadly-progressive social impact projects and organizations. While our focus is on social entrepreneurship as a vehicle for creating change we support all forms of changemaking: entrepreneurial, advocacy and activism, community organizing, research and information provision and inspiration.

“Our vision is a world where everyone can be a changemaker, where communities can create the future they want and governance is citizen-focused and responsive.”

“Our goal is to build the world’s best mobilizing platform for changemakers, allowing them to raise the funds, grow the community and gain the skills and contacts they need to make a difference.”

Local Projects

Crowdfunding for Rural Organizations
Crowdfunding for Civil Projects
Crowdfunding Renewable Energy Projects


Crowdfunding is a huge topic which we can’t cover in one post so please come back!   I encourage everyone to explore what’s out there and what has already been made real via crowdfunding, microlending, crowdsourcing, and equity crowdfunding. Let’s get to work on imagining what is possible!

If you have any questions or would like us to focus on a particular crowdfunding topic in the future, let me know in the comments.


Sept 20 – Letter to the Editor – Hells Canyon Journal

Letter to the Editor,

On Crowdfunding and United Community Partners,

Hey folks, Liz McLellan here. It has come to my attention that there is some confusion and perhaps bad feelings around the crowdfunding projects I and UCP have supported over the last few months. I would like to clear these misunderstandings up, in so far as that is possible. I should say, this letter is from myself and not from the UCP Board.

A little background first. I moved to the Valley in 2008 from NYC. My background is in non-profits, technology and fundraising. It took me awhile to find a place where my skills could be of use to the community. In 2012, I saw a need and had volunteered to build a website for United Community Partners. Around June that year, I started to attend regular meetings. In June 2013, I was elected President when Ruai Gregory left the post after years of service to the community. I am less comfortable being an officer on the board than I was just doing tech work to be honest.

I had been enthusiastically helping with the website – with the intention of raising awareness of the potential of online fundraising and crowdfunding for projects, businesses and organizations in the Pine Valley community. I had been through a few successful kickstarter campaigns myself and understood this was a real boon for anyone or any group which could harness the strength of our extended networks online.

At the same time I was elected to the board of UCP, I became aware of two projects which looked like they would be perfect candidates to demonstrate the power of crowdfunding to the community. Not every idea or project is a fit for this model of fundraising. I agreed to volunteer for both the Eagle Creek Orchard Indiegogo campaign and for the Pinefest Indiegogo campaign because these projects, in my estimation, had the hallmarks of potential for success from the get go:

1. A passionate champion. Someone who was willing to do anything it took to get it done, who was not me.

2. An existing network extending far beyond Pine Valley – online and off. Both the sustainable agriculture community and the music community have deep and extensive online networks of passionately dedicated people.

3. A group independent of me (or UCP) which was ready and raring to go – to help us in any way to get the word spread far and wide.

I have personally talked to other people in the Valley with various groups and projects who had good ideas but, lacked these three things. These are prerequisites to any success in crowdfunding campaigns. If you have an idea or a project – start thinking about these three things. It can take years to build up the groundwork for success.

These were not projects I sought the permission of UCP to work on. Nor, was I required to do so. Though I did let the UCP folks know it was fine with me if UCP was listed as a supporter of these campaigns because of these efforts. Members also did volunteer on their own for both in other capacities.

So what are the misunderstandings? Some people are very confused and seem to be under the impression that UCP decided as a group to allocate my time as technical assistant to these projects. They did not. The issue for others seems to be that they believe that UCP as a group CHOOSE these projects over others – and ignored other needs. That is also not the case.

Some folks are not happy that “UCP helped a private business over in Richland,” meaning the orchard. I need to make this clear, I chose to help Eagle Creek Orchard out as an individual. I did so because I care deeply about local organic sustainable agriculture and localizing our economy and food systems. No UCP funds were used for the Indiegogo campaign. I also care a great deal about music and so was happy to help the Pinefest folks crowdfund when they asked. For each of these projects I donated about 30-40 hours of my time – building websites, social media campaigns and coaching both groups on how to run a successful crowdfunding effort – I did this with bells on and joy in my heart.

When the UCP members consider a project to allocate money to another process is required. Members all have a say and weigh in on the viability of projects which come to us. We have a process outlined in the bylaws for these group considerations. You too can have a say – simply attend three meetings and you can be a part of that decision making process as a UCP member. We each have our own personal criteria but, we also have criteria mandated by our bylaws which you can read on our site. We have given money as a group to projects which fit that criteria – as a group. Everyone in the community should be clear UCP as a group is open to considering projects from all groups and individuals in the Pine Eagle area. If the project is in line with UCP’s mission, we would be thrilled to help out in any way we can. In December, we will have a year end summary of how we voted to spend funds in 2013.

The UCP Board is a mix of older and newer residents but, we are very small. We seek and welcome participation from everyone in the community and hope you will consider attending meetings in the future to help us decide our priorities.

I, personally, have a limited amount of volunteer hours I can give for these tech projects. Like everyone else in the valley, I have to make a living. Finding time for everything we want to do is a struggle we all face. I am very happy to help when I can do so. As for the technical assistance I give,  I need to evaluate for myself which projects are the most likely to succeed with some technical assistance – and which projects are beyond my ability to contribute time, programming, or coaching. UCP is not in charge of allocating my time in any way and I am happy to talk to anyone who has a project in mind.

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission)  is working on rules to allow equity crowdfunding for small business. The NEOEDD (North East Oregon Economic Development District) is working on gathering financial institutions, individual investors, credit unions and community banks in the area to build up local investing strategies and vehicles to explicitly support the localization of our economy, to bring our money home. We all see the need to pull away from the large impersonal banking system. NEOEDD is also looking at crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding (where you get a return on an investment.) for small businesses and cottage industry. Much more than this is on the way but, it is beyond the scope of this letter to explain much further. I would like to leave you with the idea that lots of good things are coming and it is a great time to get involved in what you are passionate about.

I hope this note clarifies some of the backstory which seems to have created some confusion in the Valley. We all wear many hats here and sometimes it’s unclear which hat I’ve got on.  I hope everyone knows that ALL of us at UCP are working with the best of intentions and simply trying to contribute to the place we call home. I also encourage UCP members to clarify anything I got wrong here.

I would like to personally thank everyone who participated in these campaigns online and off because you helped make the power of crowdfunding and interdependence visible. We saved an orchard and put on a music festival! Thank you to Rob and Linda Cordtz and Mimi and Eric Kauffman for trusting the potential of exploring this 21st century style barn-raising! It was, for all of you, a massive leap of faith which I know was very scary. Thank you for being brave. It’s incredibly inspiring to me and many others.

We are as strong as our networks.
If you are interested I’ve posted some links about crowdfunding and the NEOEDD efforts on our site at: http://ow.ly/p5vP8
If ever something seems unclear, you’d like to get involved or you’d just like to know more feel free to email me at lizmstrategy@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading this far!

Liz McLellan, President of the UCP Board
Halfway, Oregon

Minutes – August 5, 2013

Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:35-1:50pm

Present: Liz McLellan, Bill Schuhle, Bill Shields, Mark Christianson

Absent: Ruai Gregory, Denise Christianson, Steve White, Larry & Celinda Miller

Finance Report. The financial report, which is available separately, was read to the group along with an accounting, received from Lauri Bryan (Hells Canyon Chamber Treasurer) of how our UCP grant of $5,000 for construction of the MainStreet Stage was disbursed. Liz requested that a brief descriptive word or two be added to the Eagle Valley Feed & Seed entries which lacked same. Bill agreed to do this. Constructions costs came to right at $5,500 with the Chamber covering the additional $500. A copy of that report is available separately as well. No further additions or corrections to the finance report were suggested.

Bandstand Update. Bill Shields indicated that Deanne Johnson was doing some test colorings for possible use on the stage’s back wall. Lauri Bryan and Denise Christianson have discussed an overlaying latticework of some kind. Bill Shields indicated it would be the Chamber’s decision as to how to proceed. The stage is now in their hands and no longer a necessary agenda item for UCP.

Pine Fest Update. Liz said fundraising was coming along well. Mark said that during his recent time on the East Coast, he met folks who knew about Pine Fest. Amazement all around.

Upcoming Board Training. Liz asked for suggestions for her to pass on to Mauricio for an upcoming training. Bill Shields suggested our need for a unified view of what we mean by “consensus”. Liz wants to know the process for changing bylaws.

Meeting adjourned at 1:50pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer

Minutes – July 1, 2013

Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:35-3:25pm

Present: Liz McLellan, Bill Schuhle, Bill Shields, Ruai Gregory, Mark Christianson, Denise Cristianson, Steve White, Larry & Celinda Miller

Finance Report. The financial report, which is available separately, was read to the group. There were no additions or corrections. Denise indicated she thought the $250.00 paid to Cindy Thayer for writing the Ford grant was very reasonable. The question was asked as to how many hours Cindy spent on the application, but no one had the answer.

Bandstand Update. Bill Shields indicated the bandstand was for all practical purposes finished with only a few items yet to be completed. Lights are yet to be installed. The installed access stairway on the right rear corner is not being used very much so the plan now is to add steps on the front as well. The deck is now sealed with material donated by the Chamber. The back wall of the stage still needs to be painted/sealed/paneled. No decision has yet been made on which way to go. Cedar paneling has been suggested. Bill stated that he has done all he’s going to do in terms of installing paneling and if more is to be done, someone else will need to do it. After some discussion, the decision was taken to seal the back wall by the end of this summer to protect the existing paneling and leaving open the options to either paint or add paneling in the future. Steve took responsibility for getting the sealing done. Mark will find a champion for doing the paneling if we so decide. Bill went on to mention modest positive economic impacts of the stage so far with Old Pine Market developing a local line of bratwursts to sell at events and some banner printing business going to William Jackson that he had not had before. Stephanie’s is also getting some new business because of the stage.

Ford Leadership Training Update. Ruai indicated that approximately 27 people are signed up for the training coming to Halfway this fall, ranging from high school students to seniors.

Ford Grant Application Discussion. Bill Schuhle who, in his position as UCP Treasurer is the designated contact/reporting person with Ford as regards this particular grant, expressed several concerns that arose for him after reviewing the grant application as submitted by our contract grant writer. He felt that some of the wording possibly overstated UCP’s role in the two partnered projects described in the application. He noted also that the list of UCP board members submitted with the application omitted the names of Bill Shields and Celinda Miller. After considerable discussion, it was agreed that past president Ruai Gregory, who, of current active members of UCP, is the most conversant and comfortable with both the grant process and with the Ford Family organization, would contact them by phone (with Bill Schuhle present for the conversation as well), correct the board member list, inform them of our concerns, offer revised wording that more accurately described our role in the instances in question, and inquire as to whether this information should be submitted in writing as well. This resolution to handling Bill’s original concerns seemed to be satisfactory to all concerned.

As a result of our discussion, it was also emphasized and agreed that all the steps in the process of submitting a grant application will in the future be delineated and codified in our bylaws, an issue to be taken up in our impending discussion of process.


Bylaws Discussion. Bill Shields suggested contacting NEOEDD and asking them to come facilitate our process of re-writing our bylaws. Ford Family/Rural Development Initiatives could also provide such assistance.

Our Grant Writing Process Discussion. Liz expressed a desire to do a “post mortem” on the current Ford grant process and asked for suggestions for improving the process. Bill Shields suggested a written contract between UCP and its grant writers as well as a written description of what is needed and expected on the part of UCP. It was suggested that a grant sub-committee could be formed of UCP officers and/or other UCP members who cared about and were conversant with the subject matter of a particular grant who would be responsible for reviewing the grant prior to submission.

Emergency Water Project Update. Bill Schuhle shared that Mike Beidler indicated that other individuals in the community were interested in supporting fund-raising for the project and asked if UCP might act as a funds collection point for those donations. He also pointed out that, should the emergency components be purchased and stored and end up not being used prior to the City completing a more comprehensive water/mini-hydro project, the then-redundant components could be sold and the proceeds given to the City as a partial reimbursement on their project. Liz pointed out that with Mike’s precarious health status, if there is not a champion for this project, then UCP’s discussion of it is moot. Steve didn’t see any need for UCP’s involvement as a bank account for donations could be set up by the interested parties apart from UCP. It was agreed that unless a champion is forthcoming, there will be no more UPC time spent on this issue.

Rodale Regeneration Project Update. Celinda talked with Bill Shields about previous meetings held in Halfway to do a “SWOTs” (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) process and the possibility of gathering the information gleaned from those. She also plans to continue studying the Rodale materials to find information relevant to our situation in Halfway.

Inclusive E-mail Discussions. Liz encouraged everyone to use the “ucpinc@googlegroups.com” address to easily send comments to the entire group and urged that responses be handled the same way so that everyone is in the loop when a subject is under discussion.

Our next regular meeting will be August 5, 2013, and will be held at the Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at 1:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer

Minutes – June 3, 2013

Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:35-2:35pm

Present: Liz McLellan, Bill Schuhle, Bill Shields, Larry & Celinda Miller

Finance Report. The financial report, which is available separately, was read to the group. There were no additions or corrections.

Bandstand Update. Bill Shields indicated a final inspection had been called for tomorrow. No bills have yet been received from Idaho Power or from electrician Luke Hearne. Original IP estimate was approximately $600. The Chamber offered to help with that if it put us over budget. A later estimate came in at approximately $87! Roofing was ordered late and will be in just two days before the First Fandango. Should be OK as it’s an easy roof to install. Bill indicated there were some engineering challenges: the timber frame joints were moving too much. Metal stabilizing plates are ordered and will be bolted on the back side of the problem joints, not visible to the audience. Re: the First Fandango, Bill Schuhle indicated an HCJ ad would be coming out in addition the flyers around town.

Eagle Creek Orchard Indiegogo Fundraiser Update. Liz said that $20,500 of the $30,000 goal has been raised with 19 days to go. She pointed out that the Cordtzs’ already-established social network in the field of sustainable agriculture was helping immensely and noted that future campaigns we might be willing to embrace, but whose proponents had no such network in place, could not expect similar results in a similar timeframe.

Rodale Regeneration Update. Celinda indicated that Bill Schuhle had sent out a PDF of her overview, which she presented in condensed form last month, and that the current version includes credits as required by the Rodale Institute Library. She asked Bill to also send out a PDF of the document usage guidelines to all UCP members so we would be aware of the need to respect the Institute’s copyrights. She passed out two charts taken from the Rodale materials regarding “expanding your pie vs. looking for more pies” and “internal and external inputs in agricultural production”. Celinda said she would be looking to offer the Rodale model as a project for the upcoming Ford Family Leadership Training being held here in Halfway this fall. Bill Shields praised the recent meeting of community organizations and suggested that the Rodale model could serve as a framework for establishing community priorities. This needs to be followed by an action plan carried out by people with passion for the endeavor. There was discussion of overlapping economic development groups in the region with Northeast Oregon Economic Development District mentioned by Bill as the best and one we should align with. Liz emphasized that we need to proceed, not as an isolated organization, but instead collaborating with and taking advantage of all the energy that is being applied to localization and other economic development issues in the region. Bill suggested that having an actual representative from UCP as part of the NEOEDD organization would be very helpful as opposed to simply tapping into their available information.

Spartan Run Update. Larry indicated that once he had run the numbers on how many participants, staff, and materials as well as medical and other kinds of support would be required to produce a successful Spartan run, it didn’t look like something that we could pull off here. He is exploring other kinds of unique events which might draw sizeable fields.

Pine Fest Music Festival Update. Liz is working with Steve Backstrom on a web site for the Arts Council’s fall music festival and it should be live very soon.

Halfway Emergency Water System Update. Bill Schuhle told the group that Mike Beidler, champion of this project, was out of the picture for the time being due to ongoing serious health issues. Bill Shields indicated the he would in no way support a project based on a “apocalyptic, end-of-the-world” scenario. He said he had talked with councilwoman Teresa Brown and determined that the City had no interest in the project. Liz said that, without City support, since they have the water rights to the source spring, the project seemed dead in the water. She felt it inappropriate at this time for UCP to continue even with an ad hoc group, but suggested that some other group might be formed to pursue it.

Open Discussion. Bill Schuhle read to the group a note he had received from Rick Simpson, President of the Pine Valley Fair Association, describing for our records what exactly is involved in the “Rough Stock Project” at the rodeo grounds on which we are partnering with the PVFA. With regard to partnering, Liz mentioned that, though she had put something like 25 hours into the grandstands fundraiser project on behalf of the Fair Association, she could not find on their web site any kind of acknowledgement or expression of appreciation for UCP’s partnership and support on that project. She said she would like to talk with Rick about their possibly making the partnership a bit more explicit on their end. Bill Schuhle suggested that one or more non-rancher/farmer UCP members attending some Fair Association meetings might be a good idea.

On the Friends of Feline Ferals project, Liz wanted to let Lisa Ochoa know that though they had been rejected for “cash at the moment”, we’re still willing to help in other ways.

Our next regular meeting will be July 1, 2013, and will be held at the Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at 1:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer

Minutes – April 1, 2013

Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:35-2:55pm

Present: Ruai Gregory, Liz McLellan, Bill Shields, Bill Schuhle, Mark Christianson, Denise Christianson, Larry & Celinda Miller, Steve White, Eric & Mimi Kauffman

Outgoing President Ruai Gregory asked who would like to chair the meeting and Liz McLellan, who had put together the agenda, agreed to chair. Opting not to put the visiting Kauffmans through listening to last meeting’s minutes, it was agreed that Bill Schuhle would email them to all for approval.

  1. Financial Report. The finance report showed a net decrease in the Checking balance of $5,000 (paid to the Chamber for bandstand construction) and an increase of $5.06 in the Brokerage account in the past month. The full report was read and approved. Later in the meeting, Bill brought up the need for a petty cash fund for small expenses such as postage stamps and the group approved establishing a fund of $100.00.
  2. Selection of Officers. With all Board members present at this meeting, selection of officers proceeded with Bill Schuhle nominating Liz McLellan for the office of President. Denise seconded. Discussion ensued ending in a unanimous affirmative consensus. Liz accepted the job for six months and asked that in return each member commit to recruiting one new member to UCP to broaden our community representation and this was agreed. A suggestion was made that new members could be representatives of other local groups rather than simply interested individuals and this idea received positive response. Ruai nominated Bill Schuhle to continue as Treasurer and there was an affirmative consensus here as well. The position of Secretary was discussed. Bill Schuhle offered to add these duties to his duties as Treasurer and this was agreed to by the group. So our officers as of this date are Liz McLellan – President, and Bill Schuhle – Secretary/Treasurer.
  3. Cornucopia Arts Council Request for Funding. Eric & Mimi Kauffman, representing CAC, passed out a written description and proposed budget for the Music Festival they are planning for the Fairgrounds this fall. There were immediate questions about the Fairgrounds vs. the Pat’s Park bandstand and some confusion and conflation of the two projects as one among members present. The differences were explained in detail by Mimi and elaborated on later by Bill Shields. On seeing the $600 line item for rental of the Fairgrounds, Denise made a strong recommendation that CAC join the Fair Association and have a representative on the Board. Once a member, they would have use of the Fairgrounds at no charge. She also suggested that CAC could take the burden off the Fair Association of providing music during the fall Fair & Rodeo. Ruai pointed out that funding sources beyond those listed in the budget presented could include the Ford Family Foundation and Cycle Oregon. There was discussion of the option for UCP to loan rather than grant the requested $2,000. Such a loan would be subject to approval by the CAC board as well as agreement within UCP that this is something we would like to do.
  4. Bandstand Project Update. Bill Shields indicated that we have permits and that materials have been purchased. Funding in the amount of $3,500 has been secured for the sound system thanks to the family in the Portland area who donated so generously to the grandstands reconstruction project. A fund-raising brochure is in the works for distribution within the community to help with additional needs. Cindy Thayer is working on a grant application to the Ford Family Foundation for approximately $2,500 to cover running power to the site, stage lighting, and small additions to the sound system specifications. Bill asked if we would like funds donated as a result of the fund-raising brochure to come in through UCP. Liz indicated that as an umbrella organization, that would make sense. She also pointed out that donations could be made via PayPal on UCP’s web site. Checks to UCP should also be acceptable.
  5. Flip Chart Custodian. Liz noted that Steve had offered to write discussion notes on flip charts at meetings. Steve explained that this tends to move things along and to help people feel that they are heard. Liz said if he wanted to do that, he could be the guy.
  6. Spartan Run. Larry, who in the past had suggested a biathlon as a possible viable local event, introduced the group to the idea of a “Spartan run” which is race gaining popularity among athletes and is, he said, at the stage that “ironman”type triathlons were 25 years ago. There are currently none in Oregon. It is an obstacle course (including such things as burning logs) and could be hosted at the fairgrounds as it is a spectator sport. Entry fees run $50-$100 and events fill quickly. Corporate sponsors such as Nike are a possibility. Larry will bring more information to our next meeting.
  7. Procedural Issues/Respectful Exchange. Mark expressed a desire for the group to discuss and come to agreement on procedural issues – “how we get things done.” He will solidify the wording of this request for agenda inclusion. He also shared a concern about respectful exchange of ideas during meetings in an atmosphere free of judgmental comments. It was agreed that this should be our goal.
  8. Next Meeting’s Agenda. A tentative agenda for our next meeting includes the CAC funds request, a bandstand report, a report on community regeneration, possibly a “Spartan” report, and discussion of procedure.
  9. Our next regular meeting will be May 6, 2013, and will be held at the Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at 1:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer

Minutes – May 6, 2013

Pine Valley Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1:40-3:40pm

Present: Liz McLellan, Larry & Celinda Miller, Steve White, Bill Schuhle, Bill Shields (arrived late), Mark Christianson, Ruai Gregory, Denise Christianson, Teresa Brown, Inga Thompson, Lisa Ochoa, Kathy Knight

Liz began the meeting with a reminder of the recently agreed-upon meeting norms for the benefit of the new folks present as well as the “old-timers.”

Finance Report. The financial report, which is available separately, was read and approved. Bill Shields was to present a cover letter for our $2,000 check to the Arts Council for our approval at this meeting, but wasn’t present so Liz asked if she & I might have permission to sign off on that letter between meetings if it looked good and there were no objections. Regarding the generous $3,500 donation from Gordon Janzck to fund the MainStreet Stage’s sound system, it was agreed that our normal fee of 1% for handling tax-deductible donations for our partners would be assessed on this transaction for the Hells Canyon Chamber.

Bandstand Update. Foundation anchor forms are in place awaiting pouring of concrete and actual construction is scheduled to begin next Wednesday, assuming a timely inspection sign-off. The beams that George Guarino has designed for the front structure of the bandstand were described as “beautiful” to no one’s surprise. The bandstand’s opening hurrah, which is being called “First Fandango”, is scheduled for June 8th beginning at noon.

New Member Progress. Liz reiterated the need for UCP to involve more people with long-time roots in the valley so that our decisions can reflect real needs and real expectations. Liz invited Inga Thompson, who was present, as well as Deanna Pennock and Terri Simmons who couldn’t yet make it. Denise has talked to several folks and found some resistance. She emphasized the need not only for ideas, but for history as the feedback she has gotten is that UCP seems to be doing things that have already been done. She’s talked with Yvonne Riggs, David & Linda Bird, and Carol Harris and encountered anger/disappointment with regard to UCP’s past. Liz acknowledged that and indicated that we’re now a new organization under new management. Teresa Brown said the talk she hears from old-timers is that UCP is trying to turn Halfway into a new Joseph. She emphasized that the reason our town is even still here is because of the families who, for generations, have run cattle and made a living at it and we need to respect that. Denise pointed out that we need to define what we mean when we say we want economic development. Steve White said that for the past eight years, UCP has done primarily nothing, so he wasn’t sure what the fear was. He suggested getting the word out as to what we’re about by putting minutes (or a summary) in the paper. Teresa suggested interfacing with the City Council as a good way to get the word out and better inform our decisions. Inga talked about the huge advantage of keeping the money made in the valley IN the valley and referenced a study from years ago that addressed this very issue and suggested this as a possible UCP “platform.” Denise suggested considering what one of us would do to integrate ourselves into the Lions Club or the Grange or the Fair Association and think “from the other side” what it would be like for new members joining us. There was discussion of the advantages of keeping local money local and re-circulating and Liz recommend “The Small-Mart Revolution” as a good book to read in that regard.

Eagle Creek Orchard Project. The orchard has lost approximately 90% of their crop to a killing frost and Liz has offered them her help with online fundraising (through Indiegogo.com) of $30,000 to help save the orchard through upgraded frost protection equipment to weather similar future events. Since this service is something she offers both personally and through UCP, she asked if we would like to receive credit for what she is doing there and there was unanimous agreement to that proposal. Liz invited anyone interested to “Like” the project on Facebook and, for more information on crowd funding, join her online networking/fundraising workgroup, again on Facebook.

Services Offered by UCP. Liz handed out an outline of UCP and its services which had been distributed at the Chamber’s community organization gathering several weeks ago. There was a question about using the term “umbrella” organization and Bill Schuhle suggested substituting “partner.” Ruai pointed out that technically we can only partner with other 501(c)(3)-qualified organizations. The way to legitimately support a project (under IRS rules), is to make it our own and if the project is a project of an individual, that individual needs to become a member of UCP. Liz and Ruai will work on getting clarity on this whole issue and bring that information back to the group.

Project Proposal Form. Liz offered the group a draft of a form to be used for gathering information from folks seeking project support from UCP and asked for input on the form. Steve suggested including something like “Project Champion” as an item to be filled in. Bill Schuhle said that he had filled out the form for the water project he was bringing to the meeting and agreed to send an electronic copy to all concerned so they could take a look at it.

Spartan Run Update. Larry Miller described the concept for those unfamiliar (an extreme obstacle course race). The purpose of putting on such a race in Pine Valley would be to bring people and income to the community. After talking with community members, he suggested the possibility of doing a relay race that involved a Spartan race segment and a horse race segment. If someone came in and put a race on, much of the income would probably leave the community. A locally-produced biathlon, as Larry suggested some time ago, would not have this issue.

Rodale Regeneration Project Update. Celinda spoke of the need for community interdependence, moving beyond differences and polarization. She read portions of a synopsis of the Rodale regeneration materials that she had put together, a major feature of this approach to community “development” being the discovery of, expansion of, and reliance on local resources and skills as opposed to the more common importation of external resources at far greater expense and with a concomitant reduction in a sense of self-reliance and community. The material available on this approach is extensive, but as a starting point, Bill Schuhle will send to the UCP mail list a copy of the full synopsis from which Celinda read. Liz asked whether Celinda saw the Rodale approach as something to be presented to the community or solely to be used as information for UCP’s internal discussion and way-finding. Celinda said she wished to start within UCP with the possibility of expansion to the larger community. It was agreed that, for the time being, the materials would be used to inform our internal discussions. Ruai offered that the upcoming Ford Family Leadership Development training being offered this fall in Halfway would dove-tail very nicely with the approach described in the Rodale materials. Denise commented positively on the information and concurred with the “begin internal, expand into external projects” approach to applying it.

Halfway Emergency Water System Proposal. On behalf of local resident Mike Beidler, who was unavailable to present due to pressing health issues, Bill Schuhle presented Mike’s intensely-researched water system proposal. Bill read Mike’s one-page description of the problem and potential solution. In a nutshell, there are several scenarios which could, possibly in the near future, result in our country’s electrical grid being put out of commission for an extended period of time. Since the City of Halfway’s water supply system is dependent on electrical pumps, if and when the diesel backup generators were to run out of fuel, the City would be without water. Mike is proposing the acquisition and storage of a complete gravity-fed system that, in such a situation, could be quickly installed to bring water to the City system from the Leep Spring up the west wall where the City originally got its water prior to switching to well water. Estimated cost is $25,000 and Mike is requesting of UCP funding for a grant writer to seek grant funding sufficient to implement such a backup plan. Teresa Brown, who is a Halfway City Council member, indicated there were issues with several governmental agencies regarding the implementation of such a plan. Liz indicated that UCP would work with the City in whatever capacity the City thought would be useful. Bill emphasized the “catastrophic” nature of the circumstances under which such a plan would be implemented and the zero likelihood that the DEQ or EPA would be around to give anyone a hard time about a survival plan. He indicated that Mayor Sheila Farwell saw no problem with a group of private citizens making such preparations on their own totally apart from the City. Denise mentioned the possibility of including mini-hydro power generation in the system and suggested any grant writer might want to look into those possibilities as well. Liz suggested the formation of an ad hoc committee to work with the City on this whole idea, saying the project needs a champion and people with time to work on it. She indicated a willingness to support such a project should Mike find interested people to help and a possible source of grant funding for which we could fund a grant writer.

Friends of Feline Ferals Proposal. Lisa Ochoa, owner-operator of Paloma’s Place animal sanctuary in Pine Valley (a 501c3 corporation), described the organization’s Friends of Feline Ferals (FoFF) project aimed at humanely reducing the homeless feral cat population in town and in the valley through the trap-neuter-return method which has been proven to be more effective and cost-effective than simple euthanasia. This technique, combined with care-givers who “adopt” a colony of ferals and make sure they have food and water, drastically reduces the spread of feline disease among the feral population as well as area pets. FoFF is looking for volunteers and for assistance with funding a grant writer to obtain grant funding for acquiring sufficient traps to do the trapping that needs to be done to address the problem. Liz offered help with social media fund raising and our likely support for a grant writer if an appropriate grant can be found. Inga Thompson indicated that Best Friends of Baker is closing down and has donated $95,000 to New Hope for Eastern Oregon. She suggested contacting them for possible funds. Liz offered assistance with social media fund raising and adding a FoFF project page to the UCP web site to indicate our partnership with FoFF. Denise indicated that farmers tend to have traps and they might be willing to lend them for the project. Bill Shields said some homeowners might be happy to pay for a trap in exchange for having their feral cat problem cleaned up. Steve offered that traps could possibly be built economically by interested locals.

Bylaws Discussion. This discussion, which was the final item on the agenda, was forgone due to time getting short and some folks having to leave. The meeting was adjourned at 3:40pm.

Our next regular meeting will be June 3, 2013, and will be held at the Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at 1:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Schuhle, Secretary/Treasurer

Meeting Agenda for May 6th, 2013

Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall Annex

1. Treasurer’s Report – Bill Schuhle, 5 minutes
2. Bandstand update – Bill Shields, 5 minutes
3. New members progress – Liz, 5 minutes
4. Eagle Creek Orchard project – Liz, 5 minutes
5. Project Proposal Form – Liz, 5 minutes
6. Spartan Run update – Larry Miller, 5 minutes
7. Rodale Regeneration presentation – Celinda Miller & Bill Schuhle, 10 minutes
8. Halfway Emergency Water System proposal – Bill Schuhle, 10 minutes
9. Friends of Feline Ferals proposal – Lisa Ochoa & Kathy Knight, 10 minutes
10. Bylaws Review – All, 30 minutes
11. Open Discussion

All are welcome!