Klamath Basin News, Friday, 5/5/23 – Wet Weekend Expected; KCC Invites Public to Opening of Apprenticeship Center on Saturday, May 6th

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Friday, May 5, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

Today  A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 5pm. Snow level 5700 feet rising to 6500 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 56. Light winds to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. Overnight showers likely with snow level at 5300 feet, low around 38 degrees. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Saturday   Showers likely, with thunderstorms also possible after 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53.  Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch. Rain mixed with snow overnight, snow level lowering to 4400 feet, low of 34.  Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Sunday   A slight chance of rain and snow showers before 8am, then a slight chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 54. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Monday   A chance of rain and snow showers before 8am, then a chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 54. Chance of precipitation is 50%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.
Tuesday   A slight chance of showers after 11am. Snow level 4800 feet rising to 5900 feet in the afternoon. Partly sunny, with a high near 59.
Wednesday   Mostly sunny, with a high near 63.
Thursday   Sunny, with a high near 69.

Today’s Headlines

The Klamath Falls City Council meeting was a packed house this week. During the regular meeting earlier this week, community members turned out in an unprecedented show of support for the city’s F-15 static jet display.

Last summer, the city revealed plans to install a decommissioned F-15 jet from Kingsley Airfield in Veterans’ Memorial Park.  The project has been a highly debated issue since its announcement.

During public comment, 28 community members made their voices heard on behalf of the project with an additional 12 comments submitted in writing.  In line with a previous pro-jet statement from Chamber of Commerce Vice President Joe Spendolini, Potter argued that a compromise needs to be made.  Spendolini spoke on behalf of an item on the City Council’s meeting agenda which aims to make such a compromise.

The action item, which received unanimous approval, asked the City Council to decide whether to allocate additional funding — $21,450 plus $2,150 for contingencies — for the purpose of asking ZCS Engineering & Architecture to redesign plans for the project at a different location in the park.

The proposed new location would place the jet display on the concrete amphitheater located on the northside of the park.  Official design plans have not yet been made public, but city documents said the jet display was to be placed on a two-acre plot near the center of the park.


For Immediate Release, May 5, 2023

Luke AFB F-35s to fly at Kingsley Field for two weeks

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. – A squadron of F-35A Lightning II’s from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. will be flying with the 173rd Fighter Wing, arriving Tuesday, May 9 for a two-week stay.
Photo: Visiting U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II aircraft sit beside 173rd Fighter Wing F-15 Eagles at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Ore., Oct. 12, 2022. The 63rd Fighter Squadron from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., brought 14 aircraft and flew nearly 500 hours over a 13-day period, increasing their capacity to train student pilots by utilizing Kingsley’s large and accessible air space. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Emily Copeland)

“This is the second time Luke Air Force Base is traveling here to use our outstanding airspace with their F-35s,” said Col. Lee Bouma, 173rd FW commander.  “Our local airspace is a national treasure in terms of size, location, and availability for use compared to many other Military Operating Areas that are much smaller and overcrowded.”

Luke AFB came out last fall for two weeks to train out of Kingsley Field.

Bouma also notes that integrating the F-35s and F-15s together for training flights gives the pilots the opportunity to practice in a more complex environment, enhancing their skill set. 

“This will allow them to fully train to the capabilities of the F-35 and at the same time, continue to strengthen the relationship between our two units,” said Bouma.

Because of the additional aircraft and flights, the community may experience an increase of aircraft noise during this time.

Luke AFB is home to the 56th Fighter Wing, an F-35A training wing in Phoenix, Arizona.

The 173rd FW has an established relationship with the 56th FW.  Since 2014, the active association at Kingsley Field, the 550th Fighter Squadron, is a detachment of the 56th Fighter Wing. 

Following years of community project planning and fundraising, the public is invited to witness the finished product for themselves at an open house celebration for the new Klamath Community College Apprenticeship Center on Saturday, May 6.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring tours of the facility, speakers, and refreshments The open house event marks the culmination of the Build the Basin campaign — a multi-year effort toward construction of the multipurpose educational facility funded through community donations, and grants. Its designed purpose is to train professional, skilled trades workers for the Klamath Basin and beyond. Approximately $11 million was raised for its construction, funded without use of a school bond or tax levy.

Groundbreaking for the site took place Nov. 10, 2021, with Klamath Falls-based Kinsman Construction as the project’s lead contractor. Despite complications from severe weather delays, inflation-related cost increases, pandemic associated supply chain disruptions, and COVID-19 impacts, construction was completed within the estimated spring 2023 timeline.

The Apprenticeship Center provides a home for KCC’s growing list of pre-apprenticeship, registered apprenticeship, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. Previously, some of these workforce programs were housed off campus: KCC’s welding program was based in facilities at Oregon Tech, and KCC’s fire science program shared space with local fire districts.

The facility houses adaptable training areas for wildland and structural firefighting, emergency medical technician, welding, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, manufacturing, and more. The center is also home to KCC’s U.S.

Department of Education High School Equivalency (HEP) program, CTE program director offices, and a computerequipped open student work area. Visitors are welcomed to the center by a 1949 fire engine, restored and donated to KCC for permanent display by Klamath County Fire District No. 1. Ample outdoor space surrounding the structure — which features a multi-story fire training tower — is utilized for fire, criminal justice, and commercial driver license training, among other programs.

Apprenticeship programs typically span four years — a partnership between KCC and regional businesses to train employees working toward state certification in a number of construction and contracting fields. The addition of the KCC Apprenticeship Center means an expansion in the number of available apprenticeship programs and training space for students, which will garner an increase in state-certified contractors and skilled workers in the Klamath Basin in the coming years.


Oregon Tech and the Klamath Tribes renewed their memorandum of understanding (MOU) to further strengthen collaboration in academic support and access, financial assistance, cultural and social support, and research.

According to a press release, the renewed MOU was signed at a special ceremony Friday, April 28 by Oregon Tech President Dr. Nagi Naganathan, Klamath Tribal Council Vice Chairwoman Gail Hatcher and Klamath Tribes General Manager George Lopez. The original MOU was signed in 2017. At that time, both groups agreed to periodically review activities, performance or satisfaction with memorandum focus areas and to evaluate additional collaboration opportunities.

Before the Friday signing, the press release states, Naganathan, Hatcher, Oregon Tech Trustee Kathleen Hill and 75th Anniversary Committee Co-chair Dr. Christopher Syrnyk helped plant a ceremonial chokecherry tree on campus. The event also included a round dance and honor song by the Klamath Tribes Youth Council.

According to the press release, the MOU meets the common purpose of helping people to better themselves through education, research, economic development and other forms of personal enlightenment. It also provides a collaborative environment to make the respective communities prosperous with multiple opportunities for surrounding citizens.

The Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Engagement at Oregon Tech will play a key role in implementing the Memorandum of Understanding. Parties from both groups will continue to meet annually and evaluate the areas to increase collaboration.


Crews began work on the 3rd Street Geothermal Project on Monday and according to a press release, the construction work is expected to continue for the next several weeks along 3rd Street between Klamath Avenue and Pine Street. During the construction, portions of 3rd Street will be closed to through traffic.

The press release states there will be intermittent lane closures on Klamath Avenue near the 3rd Street intersection. Motorists are asked to use caution when driving through the work zone.

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


This year marks the 59th year since the Community Action Network was established to help American families and communities overcome obstacles to poverty.

According to a press release, more than 1,000 agencies across the country are working every day to create opportunities and transform the lives of their neighbors making communities stronger and helping families across the U.S. survive and thrive. This year, Klamath and Lake Community Action Services, a proud member of the Community Action Network, also will commemorate 19 years of helping Oregonians throughout Klamath and Lake counties.

Christina Zamora of the Klamath and Lake community action services says that  each May, during Community Action Month, we reflect on the impact Klamath and Lake Community Action Services and our network has had on families,” in a press release.  She adds, “Last year alone, we served over 4,300 in Klamath and Lake counties with a team of less than 25. The dedication of our small and mighty team in consistent service delivery and their approach to identifying opportunities to improve is constantly evolving.”

Community Action Agencies serve 99% of all American counties with life-changing services to help families achieve financial stability, the press release states. All agencies are locally controlled and represented by the private, public, and low-income sectors of the community.


Greensprings Market and Deli celebrated its one-year anniversary under new ownership Monday, May 1.

A member of the community for more than 40 years, Karen Wynne spent most of her working career in retail before taking over ownership of Greensprings in 2022. (See them on BasinLife.com, our online digital magazine.)

To celebrate her first year as owner and to say thanks, Wynne gave away $1 Oregon Megabucks lottery tickets from the market’s new machine to each patron that came through the door.

Aside from bringing lottery to the business, Wynne has also taken full advantage of the market’s commercial kitchen by offering homemade baked goods and daily specials for sale such as spaghetti, meatloafs and daily soups.

Located on Riverside Drive, Greensprings Market is open 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.


Emergency personnel and students training in emergency care will take part in a mock ambulance and helicopter today.

The drill is set to take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the DOW Center for Health Professions on the Oregon Tech campus at 3201 Campus Drive in Klamath Falls.

According to a press release, Oregon Tech students, faculty and staff will participate in a multi-organization transport drill in conjunction with Klamath County Fire District 1 (KCFD1) and AirLink Critical Care Transport-Klamath Falls to gain hands-on emergency experience.

Oregon Tech Respiratory Care students will begin the drill and assess the quality and nature of the “patient” and provide emergency care of “patient” while arranging for transport with KCFD1 ambulance, the press release states. KCFD1 will provide ambulance coordination and be on the ground arranging for landing and helicopter transport operated by AirLink CCT.

According to the press release, public spectators are discouraged as pedestrian traffic might interfere with helicopter arrival and departure. Helicopter landing is dependent upon weather and landing conditions at time of arrival.

The simulation will run approximately 1 hour from care, to ambulance transport, helicopter landing, and liftoff, the press release states. The helicopter portion of the drill will occur at Lot O, which is the gravel lot east of the solar array.


The Klamath County Board of County Commissioners released $80,000 more of American Rescue Plan Act grant monies to Klamath Falls Little League during their weekly business meeting Tuesday, May 2.

The Klamath Falls Little League (KFLL) Baseball Complex is in need of serious repair according to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant proposal written by Robbyn Thompson to the Klamath County commissioners.

Seven of the 11 fields that KFLL provides for play will need work to bring them up to safety standards including repair to field fences and batter backstops. The grant proposal also mentioned building another driveway and exit to help combat traffic congestion and fire safety because currently the KFLL Baseball Complex has only one entrance and exit. KFLL also is planning to use the funds to improve the existing bleachers, concession stand and bathroom facilities.

The commissioners also opened an invitation to bid for a sidewalk project taking place along Shasta Way. The work will consist of constructing 6,100 square feet of sidewalk, removing and replacing approximately 1,400 linear feet of curb and gutter along with ADA replacements, driveway paving, asphalt patching, retaining wall construction, drainage improvements and traffic control.

Commissioners also read a proclamation declaring May as Community Action Month.

Joined by Dawn Neal Ruiz and Christina Zamora of Klamath and Lake Community Action Services, Commissioner Kelley Minty said KLCAS provides supportive services to more than 1,900 households made up of 3,820 individuals in Klamath County.


The Klamath Chorale spring performance of “What the World Needs Now” is set to hit the stage this weekend.

Beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7 the Klamath Chorale plans “a seasonal tribute to love, music and the joys of springtime” at the Ross Ragland Theater, according to a press release. The show is directed by Robin J. Schwartz and accompanied by Bill “Slippery” Eaton.

According to the press release, the 80-voice, all-volunteer choral group will present a program of songs about love and other seasonal topics, all in unique large-scale arrangements, The program also includes special solos, duets and small ensembles.

Weekly rehearsals for the Chorale’s annual spring concert began in mid-January and additional rehearsals have been held in the several weeks leading up to the concert, the press release states.

According to the press release, the concert program includes many well-known songs, such as “What A Wonderful World,” “Good Vibrations,” “Unchained Melody,” “High Hopes,” “Make Someone Happy,” “I Wish You Love,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and, of course, “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” among many others.

The Klamath Chorale was formed in 1979 as the Klamath Symphonic Choir and has generally performed one or two concerts each year ever since, the press release states. It is the largest all-volunteer choir in the Klamath Basin and is made up of people who love to sing choral music.

For more information about the concert, which will be approximately two hours long, call Production Coordinator Charles Cossey at 541-884-8484.

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