Klamath Basin News, Monday, 5/1/23 – Complaints Continue from Waste Management Customers About Increases To Bill Increases for Recycling Services

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Monday, May 1, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

Today,   20% chance of showers after 11am.  Partly sunny, with a high near 59. Light west winds 7 to 10 mph.  Overnight, showers with a low of 40. Chance of rain 60% with a tenth to quarter of an inch possible.
 
Tuesday    A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 11am. Snow level 6500 feet rising to 7300 feet in the afternoon. Partly sunny, with a high near 59. North northwest winds to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Wednesday   A 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Snow level 7100 feet rising to 7900 feet in the afternoon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 68.
Thursday  A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 65.
Friday   A chance of showers. Snow level 6700 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59.
Saturday   A chance of showers. Snow level 5900 feet rising to 6800 feet in the afternoon. Partly sunny, with a high near 60.
 

Today’s Headlines

Waste Management and the Klamath County Board of County Commissioners came together last week to problem solve and navigate solutions to customer complaints in the Pine Grove area of Klamath County.

While not directly an issue of the board, beginning roughly more than one month ago, the commission began to be flooded with complaints from Waste Management customers regarding increases to their bill for recycling services after an unnamed individual claiming to be a representative of a Homeowners Association requested to receive service outside the Urban Growth Boundary in the unincorporated community of Pine Grove.

To accomplish this, Waste Management Contract Manager Tyler Mackey, attending through Zoom, stated that a new county ordinance written into law by the commission allowed Waste Management to execute the service and increase cost.

Seeking to find a resolution, Commissioners Kelley Minty and Dave Henslee debated back and forth on what would be the simplest and lawful way to proceed with ideas of ceasing the service, eliminating the ordinance or establishing a survey to let the Pine Grove community decide what is best.

Board Chair Commissioner Derrick DeGroot decided the service will continue as the county seeks solutions.

In other business during the meeting, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Klamath Coordinator Matt Baun also spoke to the board requesting input on where to best allocate available grant monies totaling $15 million.

Baun said Fish and Wildlife has received more than 40 proposals, totaling more than $50 million. He said Fish and Wildlife will share with the board and the Klamath Tribes starting May 12.

The board will have until May 22 to review and submit feedback on the proposals.

 

The Klamath Falls City Council will be hosting a work session as well as a joint session prior to the regular council meeting Monday, May 1.

Starting in the afternoon the Klamath County Economic Development (KCEDA), Klamath Falls Downtown Association (KFDA) and South Central Oregon Economic Development District (SCOEDD) will meet with city officials to discuss development grants and review ongoing projects.

A roundtable discussion between the City Council and Klamath County commissioners will follow at 6 p.m. Topics of discussion are set to include current and potential joint projects.

The regular City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Council’s meeting agenda includes an action item proposing the authorization of an amendment to the city’s contract with ZCS Engineering and Architecture regarding the static F-15 jet display.

If approved, the amendment would provide additional funding to ZCS — $21,450 with a contingency of up to $2,150 — for the purpose of preparing a new set of plans for the placement of the jet display on the existing concrete stage within Veterans’ Memorial Park.

According to the agenda item, the new location of the jet display has a lower estimated overall cost.

 

Community members in Klamath Falls and surrounding areas are invited to attend an open house event to learn how to become licensed teachers without leaving Klamath County through Klamath Community College (KCC) and Southern Oregon University (SOU).

The event is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 2 in KCC’s Building 8, Room 812.

Representatives from KCC and SOU are jointly hosting the open house to share information about their partnership, which allows students registered at SOU to complete a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education at KCC. The event is intended as an informational evening for anyone interested in earning a teaching license.

Bullock said the program is designed to be flexible to meet students’ needs, and program courses can be completed online and remote via the Zoom videoconferencing platform.

The KCC-SOU collaboration provides a clear pathway for students in the Klamath Falls area to earn a bachelor’s degree and provides options for earning a teaching license and/or a minor in early childhood development.

Community members who already hold a bachelor’s degree and want to become teachers can also get information about earning a teaching license, as well as school staff, graduating high school students, and those who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field of study. Options include a K-12 special education teaching license, a second bachelor’s degree with licensure, and a Master of Arts in Teaching at SOU.

 

The arrival of warmer weather has melted the snow at lower elevations, bringing ideal conditions for underburning to begin on the Klamath National Forest.

According to a press release, the first underburn for 2023 on the forest is planned on the Salmon-Scott River Ranger District at Scott Bar Mountain. The project area is about 12 miles west of Fort Jones in the vicinity of Jones Beach and Indian Scotty Campground. Fire crews will target up to 200 acres for burning starting Monday, May 1.

Low-intensity prescribed fire will be used to reduce surface and ladder fuels to achieve the goals of the Scott Bar Mountain Underburn and Habitat Improvement Project, the press release states. These goals include improving defensibility of communities during wildfires, increasing fire resiliency of timber stands and improving habitat for wildlife.

According to the press release, the project area is strategically connected to a series of ridgetop fuel reduction treatments from several other projects, many of which had been planned and implemented through collaborative efforts with partners. The connectivity of these projects creates a landscape-scale fuel break that can be utilized during wildfire events to protect communities, infrastructure, and natural resources.

Prescribed underburning mimics the role that natural fire has played in the fire-dependent ecosystems in the Klamath National Forest, the release states.

Up to 560 acres of burning could occur within the Scott Bar Mountain project area over the course of the spring if conditions allow, the release states. Smoke from this project will be visible from Fort Jones and Scott River Road.

Additional prescribed burning projects are planned for other areas around the forest as higher elevations come into prescription.

 

Members of the nearby Lakeview community are raising concerns about their town’s water quality.

The Town of Lakeview said that their community has had water issues for decades.  It said that it’s due to its extremely outdated pipe system.

It said that it’s due to its extremely outdated pipe system.  The town said that some members of the community don’t want to bathe in the water because of how discolored it is.

Lakeview said that the discoloration is due to iron and manganese levels in the water, but according to federal regulations, the water is still safe to drink.

According to the town’s 2022 “Drinking Water Report,” the lead levels in the water fall under the federal limit, but the Environmental Protection Agency states that no level of lead is safe.

Town Manager Michele Parry said that Lakeview is not the only rural city with this problem. She referenced Burns and John Day as having similar issues.

The town received a $15 million state grant in 2021 that is going toward infrastructure improvements.  As part of its strategic plan, Lakeview is currently engineering a new filtration system to filter out the iron and manganese.

It hopes to begin construction at the end of 2024 or early 2025.

Lakeview is asking for more state dollars for the next step, addressing the delivery system.

 

Crews will continue work on the Washburn Way Asphalt Preservation Project through Friday, May 5.

Crews will be performing night and early morning work to repair and replace the asphalt in Washburn Way between the hours of 7 p.m. and noon of the following day. The project will be active over the next several weeks on Washburn Way between South 6th Street and Laverne Avenue.

For more information, call the City Development Services Department at 541-883-4950.

 

Friends of the Children – Klamath Basin invites the community to its annual fundraising program and auction,”Friend Raiser,” presented by Lithia Ford of Klamath Falls, Thursday, June 1.

Doors open at Mike’s fieldhouse at Steen Sports Park at 5 p.m.

The event begins at 5 p.m. with music, cocktails by Pourhorse Canna, “Cowcohol” vodka samples from TMK Creamery, bidding on silent aucon items, a wine toss, and a MirrorMe photo booth by Impressions Design. A “Bite of the Basin” buffet-style dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by a program and live auction.

The event site is accessible via friendsklamath.org or directly at hps://fckb.ejoinme.org/FR2023. Available now are event ckets ($50), succulent centerpieces ($30), and entries for a $1450 Holliday Jewelry gi cerficate raffle ($10) and a $1000 Golden Ticket raffle ($50). Silent and live aucon items will be added May 25 for preview.

Supporters unable to attend but wishing to participate can arrange for proxy bids by calling 541-273-2022 or by donang via credit card (friendsklamath.org) or check (to Friends of the Children – Klamath Basin, 3837 Altamont Drive, Klamath Falls, OR 97603). Friends – Klamath Basin was established in 2000 to impact general change by empowering youth facing the greatest obstacles. It pairs youth with professional mentors for 12+ years, no matter what.

 

The Klamath Falls Community Band, a 501©(3) nonprofit organization, is seeking players for the 2023-24 concert season.

The all-volunteer band seeks to promote band music as a traditional community art form through performances, music education programs and community partnerships. The group performs an average of three concerts per year and provides an opportunity to make music, have fun and build community in the Klamath Basin.

Any musician with at least a high school level of experience on their instrument is welcome to join the band, no auditions necessary,. High school students are welcome at the recommendation of their band teacher. The band is especially looking for clarinet and saxophone players at the moment, but all instruments are welcome.

Rehearsals are currently underway for a July 4 concert and a Halloween concert to be held in October.   Regular rehearsals are held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays in the band room at Mazama High School.   Interested musicians can sit in on a rehearsal or contact basincommunityband@gmail.com for more information.

Oregon Tech Wins CCC Baseball Title, Will Host CCC Championships

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The final day of the regular-season was a memorable one for the Oregon Tech baseball team, as the Hustlin’ Owls clinched their first Cascade Conference title in program history – earning the right to host next weekend’s CCC Championships.

The 4-team tournament at Steen Sports Park is set for Saturday through Monday, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championships.

It marks the fourth league title for OIT – as Tech won the 1974, 1981 and 1982 Evergreen Conference titles, with the 2009 and 2010 teams claiming South Division titles in the NAIA West Grouping.

The Owls finished their conference season last weekend with a 16-8 record and capped the regular-season with a doubleheader sweep yesterday against Simpson – finishing with a 31-17 overall mark. Playing the waiting game, OIT needed a Corban win at British Columbia this weekend to earn a share of the title – with the Warriors winning Game 3 of their series today in Vancouver, 9-5.

OIT won the tiebreaker with UBC (the two teams split regular-season series, Tech had the better head-to-head record with third-place College of Idaho) to claim the hosting responsibilities. Both the Owls and T-Birds ended an 11-year run by Lewis-Clark State as CCC champions.

Ticket Prices will be announced later this week, with all games broadcast live on the Owls Sports Network.

Tournament Schedule (at Steen Sports Park, Klamath Falls):

Saturday (May 6)
GAME 1: No. 2 seed British Columbia (31-19) vs. No. 3 seed College of Idaho (31-16), 11 a.m.  
GAME 2: No. 1 seed Oregon Tech (31-17) vs. No. 4 seed Lewis-Clark State (29-14), 2:30 p.m.

Sunday (May 7)
GAME 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 8:30 a.m.
GAME 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 12 p.m.
GAME 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 3:30 p.m.

Monday (May 8)
GAME 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 11 a.m.
GAME 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary), 30 minutes after Game 6

 

Schedule Set for CCC Softball Championships in Klamath Falls

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The field is set for the 2023 Cascade Conference Softball Championships, presented by U.S. Bank, set for this Friday through Sunday at Stilwell Stadium in Klamath Falls.

Regular-season champion, Oregon Tech, will host the event for the second-straight year, as the No. 1-ranked Lady Owls (43-6) set a new CCC record by posting a 29-1 mark in league contests.

No. 2-seed and No. 4-ranked Southern Oregon (40-9) earned the second first-round with a victory today against British Columbia – winning a head-to-head tiebreak with No. 3-seed and No. 8-ranked College of Idaho (43-6).

No. 4-seed and No. 24-ranked Eastern Oregon (31-17), No. 5-seed UBC (24-19) and No. 6-seed Carroll (20-26) round out the field.

The double-elimination tournament begins Friday at 9 a.m. – with the tournament champion earning the CCC’s second automatic bid to the NAIA Championships (OIT earned the league’s first automatic bid with their regular-season title). All games will be carried live on the Owls Sports Network.

CASCADE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Stilwell Stadium, Klamath Falls)

Friday, May 5
GAME 1: No. 4 Eastern Oregon (31-17) vs. No. 5 British Columbia (24-19), 9 a.m.
GAME 2: No. 3 College of Idaho (43-6) vs. No. 6 Carroll (20-26), 11:30 a.m.
GAME 3: No. 1 Oregon Tech (43-6) vs. Winner Game 1, 2 p.m.
GAME 4: No. 2 Southern Oregon (40-9) vs. Winner Game 2, 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 6
GAME 5: Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 3, 9 a.m.
GAME 6: Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 4, 11:30 a.m.
GAME 7: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 2 p.m.
GAME 8: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 7
GAME 9: Loser Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 11 a.m.
GAME 10: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 9, 1:30 p.m.
GAME 11: Winner Game 10 vs. Loser Game 10 (if necessary), 30 minutes after Game 10

Around the state of Oregon

The Oregon legislature is sending Governor Kotek two bills that would limit single-use food containers.

One bill bans styrofoam food containers and the other allows customers to bring their own containers for leftover food at restaurants. The Oregon Health Authority would be required to develop guidelines for personal containers and customers could still request non-styrofoam containers from restaurants.

 

Sinclair-owned TV station KTVL in Medford, Oregon, is laying off its news staff and anchors.

Only a handful of people will still work for the CBS affiliate in Medford. Sources say a number of the station’s departments will be run through Sinclair’s operations in larger cities in the West.

Sinclair purchased the old Mail Tribune building in the fall of 2019, and shared it with the then-newspaper when it moved into downtown Medford.

The Maryland-based corporation also owns the printing press building next door on Fir Street. It still owns its original building on Rossanley Drive in west Medford and runs some operations out of there.

It is unclear what will happen to the building downtown after shuttering the news department.

 

The City of Tillamook has received two large cargo containers that will be used to store emergency supplies for a possible major earthquake and tsunami.

The containers will be located at the Tillamook Airport and will hold enough food, water, tents and medical supplies to support 100 people for two weeks. The containers were purchased by the state Office of Resilience and Emergency Management.

 

Forestry department invites public comment on state forest management activities

Salem, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Forestry is inviting public comment on planned projects, timber sales and other management activities in state-owned forests in fiscal year 2024.

Through June 8, Oregonians can weigh in on draft Annual Operations Plans (AOPs) for state forests on the Astoria, Forest Grove, Klamath Falls, Tillamook, West Oregon, and Western Lane Districts. These plans lay out on-the-ground activities expected to take place in the coming fiscal year. State forests by law must provide economic, environmental, and social benefits to Oregonians. To achieve the legal mandate, these lands are managed to create healthy productive forests, high-quality habitat for native fish and wildlife, clean water, timber, revenues to rural communities, and recreation and education opportunities. Overall management policies and management goals are established in long-range Forest Management Plans and Implementation Plans. Annual Operations Plans describe activities to achieve the objectives and goals laid out in the longer-range plans. ODF is seeking input on the draft AOP summary documents, which can be viewed on the State Forests website.

Common topics included in an Annual Operations Plan include:

  • Timber harvest operations
  • Recreation improvement and maintenance projects
  • Forest road construction, maintenance, and improvements
  • Reforestation/replanting and young stand management activities
  • Habitat improvement for native species
  • Invasive species management

The most useful input speaks to these specific activities and whether they are consistent with longer-range plans, offers suggestions to improve efficiency or effectiveness, corrects errors, provides additional information, and is solution-oriented, understanding that state forests are working forests and by law must provide a variety of economic, environmental, and social benefits. Activities that affect fish and wildlife habitat are reviewed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, while operations that may affect threatened and endangered fish and wildlife habitat are shared with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Public comment on planned projects, timber sales and other management activities on the North Cascade District fiscal year 2024 Annual Operation Plan will be conducted separately.

ODF is offering several convenient avenues to comment on AOPs:

 

Smokey Hat is focus of new awareness campaign kicking off Wildfire Awareness Month

May is Wildfire Awareness Month. Keep Oregon Green, in partnership with federal, state, tribal and local fire agencies and organizations, celebrates May as the ideal month to create defensible space around homes before fire season and prevent the start of careless, unwanted wildfires this summer.

Protect what you love

Each year, more than 70% of Oregon’s wildfires are started by people. Many are a result of escaped fires from debris burn piles or gas-powered equipment casting sparks or catching fire.

During the 2022 season, the Oregon Department of Forestry reported that people were directly responsible for sparking 616 wildfires that burned 1,255 acres. Any spark can gain traction in dry fuels, spread quickly and impact lives, personal property, and Oregon’s scenic landscapes.

Before heading outdoors this summer, contact the agency or landowner who manages the lands at your destination for an update on current fire restrictions or bans. Any visitor to Oregon’s natural areas should be familiar with these restrictions before building campfires, burning debris, or using equipment that could start a fire.

Put Your Smokey Hat On

This year, Keep Oregon Green is launching a new wildfire prevention campaign and releasing five new public service announcements to help raise awareness of the risks. The ads feature Emmy-award winning television, movie and voice actor Ty Burrell. The ads will encourage Oregonians and tourists to keep wildfire safety in mind while enjoying the outdoors.

Burrell was born in Grants Pass, grew up in Applegate and Ashland, and graduated from Hidden Valley High School in Grants Pass. He understands the risk of wildfire and smoke that threatens our health and beautiful landscapes each year.

Smokey’s hat is the driving force behind Keep Oregon Green’s 2023 campaign. “Put Your Smokey Hat On” is a call to action, encouraging people to predict the outcome of their actions and do everything they can to protect our state’s scenic areas. New campaign artwork, PSAs, and additional wildfire safety tips can be found at keeporegongreen.org or its various social media platforms.

Coming soon: More Wildfire Awareness Month tips 

During May, a new wildfire prevention topic will be shared each week to help homeowners and recreationists learn how to prevent their outdoor activities from sparking the next wildfire. For more information, visit the websites for Keep Oregon Green at www.keeporegongreen.org, the Oregon Department of Forestry at www.oregon.gov/odf, and the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal at www.oregon.gov/osp/programs/sfm/Pages/Wildfire-Awareness-Month.aspx.

 

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