Klamath Basin News, Friday, Nov. 11 – Today is Veterans Days, Parade and Other Remembrances Are Scheduled; Schools, Banks Closed, No Mail Service

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Friday, November 11, 2022

Klamath Basin Weather

Friday, Veterans Day Rain and snow after 4pm. High near 42. Calm winds to the southeast, chance of rain 80% at times. Tonight, rain and snow expected, becoming all snow after 7pm. Low around 26. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.

Saturday A 20% chance of snow. Partly sunny, with a high near 41. Overnight, very cold and cloudy with a low around 19.
Sunday Mostly sunny, with a high near 40. Low overnight to 19 degrees.
Monday Partly sunny, with a high near 40. Cloudy overnight and a low around 18.
Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 43, with an overnight low of 16.
Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 43.
Thursday Mostly sunny, with a high near 46.

See Road Camera Views

Lake of the Woods   
Doak Mtn.   
Hiway 97 at Chemult   
Hiway 140 at  Bly       
Hiway 97 at GreenSprings Dr.            
Hiway 97 at LaPine

Today’s Headlines

It is Veterans Day today. Many businesses will remain open, but there is no school, no mail service today, and banks and credit unions are closed for the holiday.

The annual Veterans Day Parade is planned for 10AM in downtown Klamath Falls, sponsored in part by The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Klamath Freedom Celebration and Pacific Crest Federal Credit Union. The parade will start at 10 o’clock and proceed from Spring Street then along Main Street to Veterans Park Memorial Park.

According to a separate press release from the City of Klamath Falls, South Spring Street and Main Street will be closed from 8:30AM. to 11AM.

There will also be a flyover of F-15s in honor of our veterans today at 11AM here in Klamath Falls.

The Klamath County Library will be closed today, along with all associated branches.

Several military organizations have events planned to honor our veterans today. Go to BasinLife.com, or the heraldandnews.com  for complete event lists.

A drought state of emergency has been declared for Klamath County.

During the Klamath County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, the local Emergency Management declared a state of emergency due to the impact the drought has had on more than 100 domestic wells. Those wells are now dry.

While a disaster declaration can only bring attention to this matter, a state and federal declaration for Klamath County will provide more resources to meet this disaster as well as the recovery to follow.

Currently the county has a Domestic Well grant for owners who might have been experiencing troubles with their wells due to drought.

Also taking place at the BOCC meeting, Sheriff Chris Kaber stood before the podium and made a request to purchase a new canine and restart the K9 program after a year and half hiatus.

Commissioner Dave Henslee said he shared the concerns and frustrations community members have expressed to Kaber about the previous time this program took place and the opinion of it “not being successful.”

For further clarification, Commissioner Chair Kelley Minty asked the sheriff blankly, “What happened?”

Kaber admitted the program simply “didn’t work.” He continued to further detail the combination of “the training of the dog and the handler.” Kaber said he believed the program was “started wrong” and ended with “even my own deputies being afraid of the dog.”

During the program’s closure, Kaber said the sheriff’s office checked out a new training facility, better dogs and more effective training to ensure they and the dog are right and ready for service within the community.

Minty thanked the sheriff for his candor and his acknowledgment of what didn’t work. Henslee spoke about his support of the program. He said that a successful canine program is extremely important for any city, any county, any government agency to provide as a service to the people of their respective jurisdictions.

Oregon Institute of Technology announced this week that it is the “first university in the nation to secure an agreement of this type with Boeing for its commercial airlines.”

OIT says the agreement involves a new internship program with The Boeing Company.  It says the agreement will allow students to stay on the Klamath Falls campus while performing a paid internship for project work provided by The Boeing Company.

OIT says the internships will enable students to gain valuable industrial experience while remaining full-time students. They will use Boeing equipment, computers, and software and Oregon Tech will provide a secure Collaboration Lab for the students to complete internship projects.

A squadron of one of the Nation’s most advanced fighter aircraft traveled from Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, to the 173rd Fighter Wing in Klamath Falls, Ore., for a two-week stint in late October 2022.

The 63rd Fighter Squadron, flying 14 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, integrated with wing F-15 Eagles and contract F-5 adversary aircraft while also accomplishing airframe-specific training during their stay.

Over their 13-day stay, the visiting unit flew 345 sorties and tallied nearly 500 flying hours.

Initially, the visiting aircraft focused on their F-35 specific training with 10 sorties in the morning and eight more later in the day, The wing continued its training mission flying eight-morning sorties and six-afternoon sorties. The second week of training included integration with wing aircraft culminating in a large-force exercise involving 32 aircraft.

Col. Micah Lambert, 173rd FW vice commander, says the two units are looking at future opportunities to repeat this type of training here at Kingsley Field due to the success of this mission.

Klamath County sheriff Chris Kaber has come out strongly against the firearms Measure 114, and more specifically, how the law will be enforced and enacted with unrealistic timelines and unanswered questions about gun permits and training.

In a prepared statement, Kaber says Klamath County, that 76% voted “No” on this measure, however, it passed statewide by a very narrow margin.

Kaber says that  “Many questions have arisen as to what will happen to the rights of gun owners in Oregon if it passes. Myself, and other Sheriffs, often rely on the analysis of our legal advisor(s) through our Oregon State Sheriffs Association.  For the record, I believe BM 114 to be an unconstitutional restriction on the right to possess firearms. “

Kaber says it’s simple….. Firearms dealers will not be able to sell a firearm to anyone without a permit; since the permit system does not exist, all legal firearms sales in the State of Oregon will stop until a permit system is established. Because of this, there is a strong likelihood a federal judge will “stay” the measure until a permit process is established or the constitutionality of the measure is decided in what will likely be a court challenge. 

He adds that “None of these possible outcomes affects our current Concealed Handgun Licensing program provided by the Sheriff’s office. Many questions will likely come up in the next few weeks and I will keep you apprised of them.”

Kaber is joined by many other county sheriff’s, including Linn County sheriff Michelle Duncan who bluntly said Linn County would not be enforcing magazine limits, and, that the measure is “poorly written” and that Linn County Sheriff’s Office will work to find “the best course of action to take on permitting.”

In a new dual enrollment program between Klamath Community College and Southern Oregon University, students attending school at the community level are able to earn credits and complete their SOU Bachelor of Science in Education Studies.

At an open house hosted Monday, Nov. 7 on KCC’s campus, education program lead Peggy Bullock (KCC) and Susan Fuller (SOU), coordinator for the elementary education studies department, explained the partnership program.

Part of what initiated this cooperation between the two schools was the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan is that a full-time student would enroll one year at KCC, followed by two years as a dually-enrolled student still taking classes on KCC campus ending with one year as an online student at SOU.

KCC and SOU are currently enrolling and accepting applicants for the 2023 winter term.

Around the state of Oregon

Oregon Health Authority officials are reporting 24% increase in new coronavirus infections this week compared to the previous week, with about 445 known infections reported per day. 

A wave of infections is expected to arrive, though an Oregon Health & Science University forecast predicts that wave won’t lead to a major surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.  The case growth health officials reported this week coincided with an 8% increase in all COVID-19 tests reported to the state. It is virtually certain that far more people have been infected than is reflected in the numbers published by the Oregon Health Authority, given at-home tests don’t need to be reported. 

In its monthly update of vaccination rates, the health authority reported more than twice as many people getting a dose of the bivalent booster as of Monday compared to a month earlier. At around 550,000 people, fewer than one in five Oregonians eligible to get the booster have done so, according to state data.

Tina Kotek Wins Oregon Governor’s Race

Tina Kotek has been elected Oregon’s next governor, extending longtime Democratic control of the state and dashing Republican hopes for a rare win in a top race on the West Coast of the United States. Just before 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the Associated Press projected Tina Kotek as Oregon’s next governor with 47% of the vote while challenger Christine Drazan had 43% with 85% of votes counted.

“It is an absolute honor,” Kotek said. “I can tell you that being who I am is important to Oregonians across the state. Lots of young people have come up to me and said thank you for running and thank you for being who you are.”

The former longtime speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives had faced a stiff challenge from Republican Christine Drazan, who is also an ex-legislator.

Kotek stood in front of a fountain in Portland Thursday morning a few steps from the Willamette River and told an invitation-only crowd of reporters and supporters displaying her campaign signs that she was ready to get to work.

She said she plans to travel around Oregon starting in January to talk to community leaders about issues facing the state, particularly the shortage of affordable housing and addiction. She said her priorities are addressing homelessness, expanding access to mental health and addiction treatment and working to bridge the divisions in the state.

Kotek told reporters she has spoken with Drazan and Johnson, a former state senator who ran as an unaffiliated candidate and who conceded Tuesday night.

The Drazan campaign had said it hoped as more ballots were counted the results would cut into Kotek’s lead.

Tuesday is the last day for election officials to receive valid postmarked ballots by mail. There could be tens of thousands of uncounted ballots still in the mail in a state with 3 million registered voters. In Oregon, mail-in ballots will still be counted even if they arrive to an elections office up to seven days post-election, as long as the ballot was postmarked by midnight on Election Day

Oregon was the first state to institute vote-by-mail but the 2022 election is different because a 2021 law passed by the Legislature allows ballots to be counted if they were postmarked by 8 p.m. on election day. Previously, votes needed to be received by election day.

Like other GOP lawmakers, Drazan was opposed to the 2021 postmark bill when it went through the Legislature.

“Deadlines are deadlines,” she said in a House committee back then. “I think that it is going to create some challenges, and I think it’s going to create some legal complexity when it comes to some of these elections with close turnout.”

Johnson’s wild-card presence in the race had buoyed GOP hopes they could win an Oregon governor’s race for the first time in 40 years and break Democrats’ dominance of statewide races in Oregon, California and Washington state.

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said verifying the results takes time, with every signature on every ballot envelope needing to be is verified.

Oregon Attorney General Files Motion In Albertson’s-Kroger Merger Case

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum’s antitrust unit has filed a motion in support of the state of Washington’s lawsuit to stop the Albertson Companies Inc. from giving their shareholders a $4 billion dividend before a proposed merger with Kroger Co. can be reviewed by state and federal antitrust enforcers.

A release from the Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General said Oregon’s proposed amicus brief states in part: “The proposed acquisition of Albertsons has the potential to harm competition and consumers. And these potential harms are of critical interest to Oregon, which depends on economic dynamism that competition promotes, and for which the Oregon Attorney General is tasked with protecting. The proposed merger of these major retailers presents a substantial matter of public interest”.

Last week, Oregon also sent Albertsons attorneys a letter informing them that the Oregon Department of Justice will “fully investigate all the conduct of individuals and entities involved in negotiating and determining the ‘special dividend’ in conjunction with a thorough review of the parties’ proposed transaction”.

The amicus brief and the letter to Albertsons are linked:

https://www.doj.state.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/2022.11.09-Full-Filing-Document-Amicus.pdf✎ EditSign

https://www.doj.state.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Signed-Letter.pdf✎ EditSign

Oregon has a total of 176 stores impacted by this merger; 121 Albertsons and Safeway stores, 51 Fred Meyer stores and 4 QFC stores.

Tesla Shrinks its Solar Business and Cancels Projects

Tesla is reportedly winding up its solar business in some major U.S. markets and is also laying off employees in the division.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has recently called off many solar projects across some U.S. markets in a sudden move that left several customers hanging, Electrek reported, citing the electric vehicle (EV) pioneer’s email to customers.

Tesla is supposedly winding up solar operations in certain markets, including the greater Los Angeles area, Northern California, Oregon, and Florida regions. Also, the company is lowering the headcount in its solar scheduling, planning, and design department.

The move comes as a surprise to many as in its recent quarterly report, Tesla stated that it deployed 4.08 GWh of energy storage products and 248 megawatts of solar energy systems this year through September-end.

Further, the company disclosed plans to boost the production of energy storage products, enhance its Solar Roof installation capability and efficiency, and increase the market share of its retrofit and new build solar energy systems.

Oregon health officials reported 24% more new coronavirus infections this week compared to the previous week, with about 445 known infections reported per day.

A wave of infections is expected to arrive this fall, though an Oregon Health & Science University forecast predicts that wave won’t lead to a major surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The case growth health officials reported this week coincided with an 8% increase in all COVID-19 tests reported to the state. It is virtually certain that far more people have been infected than is reflected in the numbers published by the Oregon Health Authority, given at-home tests don’t need to be reported.

In its monthly update of vaccination rates, the health authority reported more than twice as many people getting a dose of the bivalent booster as of Monday compared to a month earlier. At around 550,000 people, fewer than one in five Oregonians eligible to get the booster have done so, according to state data.

The number of households with bank and credit union accounts continues to rise in Oregon

SALEM – The number of unbanked households in Oregon dropped from 3.8 percent in 2019 to just 1.8 percent in 2021, according to a study by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. This is significant for many Oregonians because it means they can avoid paying for expensive alternative financial services such as money orders, check cashing, and pre-paid cards.

Those costs can add up to thousands of dollars over a consumer’s lifetime. 

Nationally, over 95 percent of U.S. households had some sort of banking account in 2021. If a household is banked it means at least one member has a savings or checking account at a bank or credit union.

“One of the challenges facing the unbanked is all of the fees you have to pay to access your money,” said TK Keen, administrator of the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation at the Department of Business and Consumer Services. “While the individual cost may seem minor, having to buy several different financial products to pay rent, utilities, and other monthly expenses starts to add up and eats into your monthly budget. I am pleased to see that our financial institutions continue to help us make headway in getting consumers accounts, and in turn, reducing fees that consumers pay in their daily lives.”

Despite this improvement, Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities, as well as people experiencing a disability, are much more likely to be unbanked. Only 2.1 percent of White households are unbanked in the U.S. In contrast, 9.3 percent of Latino households and 11.3 percent of Black households are unbanked. The Bank On movement is working to address this disparity.

“It is important to get as many people as possible banked,” Keen said. “Relationships with our financial institutions come in handy for other financial services people need, such as a loan to buy a car, a mortgage to buy a home, and emergency loans for unexpected expenses that come up.”

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation is a member of the Bank On Oregon Coalition, a group of financial institutions, community organizations, and government agencies committed to carrying out the Bank On nationwide mission to reduce barriers to banking access by coordinating with financial institutions to make safe, low-cost bank accounts more readily available to consumers. Currently, 15 different institutions, including many state-chartered institutions, offer Bank On certified accounts in Oregon.

### About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and dfr.oregon.gov.​​

All Forest Lands Open to Free Day Use November 11th

The USDA Forest Service will recognize the service of America’s veterans by waiving standard amenity fees for all visitors to national forest and grassland day-use areas on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. 

“Many veterans spend time with their families and connect with nature while hiking, hunting, boating, and exploring the range of outdoor recreation opportunities national forests and grasslands have to offer,” said Tracy Calizon, regional assistant director of recreation for the U.S. Forest Service in the Pacific Northwest.

Making Veterans Day a fee-free day gives everyone an opportunity to reflect on the service of the nation’s veterans while spending time on America’s public lands, she said. 

The Forest Service offers fee-free access a few times each year to encourage everyone to explore educational and recreation opportunities available on national forests and grasslands. 

On fee-free days, standard amenity fees normally charged for day use sites, such as picnic areas, developed trailheads, and destination visitor centers, are waived. The waiver does not apply to special recreation permits, cabin rentals, or campground reservations, nor does it include expanded amenity fees charged for certain highly-developed sites, service charges, or fees assessed by independent concessionaires operating on National Forest land. 

Approximately 98 percent of national forest land can be enjoyed fee-free, year-round. Where fees are assessed, more than 80 percent of these funds are reinvested at the site where they’re collected, where they provide for necessary maintenance and services or are saved to pay for future improvements. 

Fee-free public lands access, including access to National Forests and Grasslands, is available year-round to U.S. military service members and their families, veterans, and Gold Star family members. 

The Interagency Military Pass is available at no cost to all active-duty military personnel and their families. This pass is honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging standard amenity or entrance fees. 

Veterans may present an approved ID at any Forest Service location selling interagency annual passes to receive an an interagency military pass. Beginning Nov. 11, 2022, Veterans will receive the new Lifetime Military pass, which will not need to be renewed annually. Forms of accepted ID include a valid Department of Defense Identification Card (CAC Card), Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC), Veterans Affairs ID Card, or a Veteran designation on a state-issued U.S. driver’s license or identification card. (Veterans presenting proof of disability may also be eligible for a no-cost Interagency Access Pass, which has no expiration date.)

Veterans Day: Nov. 11 — The fee waiver applies to most Forest Service day-use recreation sites in Oregon and Washington, including many picnic areas, boat launches, trailheads, and visitor centers.

Fees for camping, cabin rentals, or other permits still apply. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5350931

Fees are waived at Forest Service-managed day use sites on the following days:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – January 17, 2022
  • President’s Day – February 21, 2022
  • National Get Outdoors Day – June 11, 2022
  • National Public Lands Day  – September 24, 2022
  • Veterans Day – November 11, 2022

Gold Star family members who meet the criteria identified in sections 3.2 and 3.3 of Department of Defense Instruction 1348.36 may self-certify their eligibility by printing a voucher at this link <https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/veterans-and-gold-star-families-free-access.htm>. The voucher is valid for waiver of entrance fees or standard amenity fees when presented it in person or displayed on their vehicle dashboard when visiting sites where entrance or day-use fees are normally charged. Beginning Nov. 11, Gold Star families may choose to exchange their signed voucher for a Lifetime Military Pass at all Forest Service Locations where interagency passes are sold; paper-based vouchers will also be honored interchangeably with the new Lifetime Military Pass.

For more information about interagency passes valid on National Forests and Grasslands, visit: Passes and Permits | US Forest Service (usda.gov) <https://www.fs.usda.gov/visit/passes-permits>.

For information about the Northwest Forest Pass, accepted at all Forest Service -managed locations in Oregon and Washington, and about specific local passes honored at some Forest Service locations, visit Region 6 – Recreation Passes & Permits (usda.gov) <https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r6/passes-permits/recreation>.

Mt. Ashland

Beginning downhill skiers and snowboarders will have an easier time learning and honing their skills when the Mt. Ashland Ski Area, one of the closest to the Klamath Basin, opens this winter.

The area will open a new learning center featuring a “Magic Carpet,” a conveyor belt that will allow users to slide onto the belt and move up a portion of the hill while standing still.

The $250,000 fundraising drive was accomplished earlier this year in only three weeks. The “carpet” is expected to attract more beginners who might otherwise be intimidated by a rope tow.

The ski-snowboard area is located on 7,532-foot Mount Ashland and features 23 trails on 200 acres and, along with the “carpet,” is served by four chairlifts. On average, the mountain receives more than 300 inches of snow annually, with its season typically running from November or early December until mid-April. Half of the terrain is rated as advanced, 35% as intermediate, and 15% as beginner.

The area has been without a general manager since Hiram Towle resigned earlier this year to accept a similar position at the Bridger Bowl Ski Area in Bozeman, Mont. “We’re not in any hurry,” a spokesperson for Mt. Ashland’s board of directors said of replacing Towle.

The opening date for the 2022-23 season remains weather dependent, but skiers and riders are reminded the date for purchasing discounted season tickets is Monday, Oct. 31. T

Meanwhile, last weekend’s storm was a welcomed sight for at least one Oregon ski resort. At Mt Bachelor, the switch has flipped. 

The resort got more than a foot of snow over the weekend, and more is expected this week. That puts the resort on track for a November 25th opening – if the snow sticks around.

Mt. Bachelor hosts a winter job fair Saturday, to try to fill the remaining 40+ openings for the season.

Back to the BasinLife.com homepage

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