Klamath Basin News, Wednesday, 5/17/23 – Kingsley’s 173rd Fighter Wing Investigating Recent Jet Crash Off Runway; Pilot Okay

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Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Klamath Basin Weather

Today,  Sunny, with a high near 87. Overnight clear with a low near 52.
 
Thursday,  Sunny, with a high near 88. Calm wind becoming south southwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon.
Friday,   Sunny, with a high near 89. Calm wind becoming south southwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.
Saturday,   Sunny, with a high near 88.
Sunday,   Mostly sunny, with a high near 78.
Monday,   Sunny, with a high near 75.
 

Today’s Headlines

The investigation continues into a U.S. Air Force F-15D which departed the runway during landing at approximately 3:15 p.m. Monday at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls.  The aircraft was returning to base following a routine training mission.

Upon landing the aircraft left the paved surface and came to a stop in the Bureau of Reclamation irrigation canal at the south side of the runway. 

Col. Micah Lambert, 173rd Fighter Wing vice commander said in a press release that they don’t believe the aircraft was leaking any petroleum products based on initial assessment of the water in the canal.

Lambert also said the wing is conducting ongoing water sampling to detect if there is a presence of petroleum products in the water. 

The plane was assigned to the 173rd Fighter Wing, and there was one crew member on board.  The F-15 instructor pilot exited the aircraft safely and was transported to Sky Lakes Medical Center as a precaution and for evaluation.  He has since been released with minor injuries.

Lambert noted that the wing is partnering with local authorities and federal agencies, to include the Bureau of Reclamation, to ensure the aircraft is safely removed from the canal.

A board of officers has been assigned to investigate the mishap.  Additional updates will be provided as soon as they are available.

 

A lighthearted, western-themed shindig held Saturday May 13, raised approximately $27,000 for student scholarships at Klamath Community College.

The “Hay Klamath: Back in the Saddle Gala” was a welcomed return to pre-COVID-19 days for an annual fundraiser organized by the KCC Foundation supporting student scholarships, which hadn’t been held in-person since 2019.

A catered dinner by Melissa’s Country Kitchen and an old-timey saloon hosted by Mia and Pia’s Pizzeria & Brewhouse matched by the evening’s feature entertainment: the world premiere of an original play titled “A Fistful of Spuds.” The comedy-musical play themed around KCC was original work by veteran Klamath-area actor Dan Neubauer and KCC’s Director of Resource Development Peter Lawson, following a troupe of hapless cowboys out to hijack a shipment of potatoes. The performance drew plenty of laughs from a sold-out audience inside KCC’s Building 4 Commons, a group that also gave generously toward the ultimate cause of the evening – to raise funds for students to pursue higher education aspirations.

An intermission included raffle drawings with assistance from Miss Klamath County Shelby Johnson, Miss City of Sunshine McKenzie Simono, and Miss City of Sunshine’s Teen Makina Start. Prizes included doghouses built by KCC Carpentry Apprenticeship students and a Running Y Ranch Resort golf and vacation package.

In addition to the play, the audience also heard from KCC President Dr. Roberto Gutierrez, departing KCC Foundation Board Chair Steve Tippin, and current KCC student Vanessa Navarro.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with the City of Klamath Falls and many community partners will present an in-person event to celebrate the 23rd annual World Migratory Bird Day this weekend.

According to a press release, this free event — from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 20 at Veterans Memorial Park in Klamath Falls — will be full of family-friendly activities offered at a variety of booths hosted by local groups and agencies which are providing fun, entertaining and educational ways to learn about the wonderful world of migratory birds.

Some of the many hands-on activities scheduled for the event include a variety of outdoor arts and crafts such as building a bird house, bird identification for all ages, live music and stories, puppet shows and bird walks for everyone, the release states. There will be a Bird Search with prizes for all youth. Food vendors will be onsite.

According to the release, this event is one of thousands taking place around the world in support of World Migratory Bird Day the theme of which is “All living things in a watershed, including wildlife and people, are united by and dependent on its water.”

 

The downtown Klamath County Library is set to host a new monthly event beginning this month.

According to a press release, the event features hands-on workshops with medieval history buffs from the Society for Creative Anachronism. “Time Travel Tuesdays” will be held at 5 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month. The first in this series will be all about inkle weaving Tuesday, May 23.

According to the press release, the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) is a group, founded in California in the 1960s, where fans of pre-17th century eras gather to dress in period clothing, feast, dance and even swordfight as they examine the “what ifs” of history.

For more about the SCA, go to the national website at www.sca.org, or the regional website for southern, central and eastern Oregon at summits.antir.sca.org.

For more information, call 541-882-8894.

 

A downtown parade for new graduates of local area high schools is scheduled for June 1st, 2023 on Main Street in Klamath Falls.

The 2023 Klamath Promise Parade and graduation sensation party in the park will be held the first of June.

The parade featuring the graduates of all high schools will travel down Main street beginning at noon.  Afterward, the party in the park, along with an award and scholarship presentation will take place at Veteran’s Park.

All graduating Klamath Basin seniors can sign up by going to Klamathpromise.org for more information.

The Klamath Project Drought Response Agency (KPDRA) is currently accepting applications for its 2023 No Irrigation Programs to provide financial incentives to local farmers and ranchers who normally water through the Klamath Project to align water supply and demand. The application deadline is June 16, 2023 at 5 pm.

Qualified irrigators who do not apply irrigation water from any source to eligible Klamath Project lands from November 1, 2022 to October 31, 2023 may be eligible for Full Season Program Payments.

Also,  Qualified irrigators who irrigated between November 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023, but do not apply irrigation water from any source to eligible Project Lands from March 1, 2023 and October 31, 2023, may be eligible for Partial Season Program Payments.

Eligibility criteria are set forth in detail in the Programs Policy. Please review the policy carefully as the criteria have changed from prior years.

For unirrigated lands, the KPDRA will make a determination regarding the amount of compensation per acre based, in part, upon the funding available to it from the Bureau of Reclamation and the number of eligible acres participating in the program(s).

Questions and inquiries can be directed to info@klamathwaterbank.com or 541-630-0752.

The DRA will hold two workshops to assist applicants with their applications. 

One is scheduled for   May 23, 2023, from 8 am- 2 pm at the Merrill Civic Center 365 W. Front St

Another is scheduled for May 24, 2023, from 8 am – 3 pm at the Klamath Water Users Association’s office located at 2312 South 6th Street, Suite A, Klamath Falls

 
Klamath County may be losing its State Senator, Dennis Linthincum at the end of his term. 

Republicans continued their boycott of the state legislature at the Oregon Capitol, where which liberal Democrats continue to allow the state fade into chaos, offering up weak bills wanting them to become laws.

For a 10th day on Monday, Republicans say they are sick of some of the bills coming into the hall at the Capitol. Now, this is apparently leading disqualification of two Republicans and one Independent from re-election due to a new, voter-approved law.

No Republicans, nor Sen. Brian Boquist, an Independent in Dallas, were present in the Senate chamber for a floor session Monday morning. That marked 10 unexcused absences this legislative session for Boquist, Sen. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, and Sen. Daniel Bonham, R-Welches.

About 68% of Oregon voters approved Measure 113 last November, which disqualifies from reelection any state lawmaker who receives 10 or more unexcused absences during a legislative session.

The boycott continued Monday after Senate President Rob Wagner, D-Lake Oswego, suspended floor sessions through the weekend to open talks with Senate Republicans led by Minority Leader Tim Knopp, R-Bend.

Lithincum could not immediately be reached for comment.   Top Democrats and Republicans had expressed hope that the two sides could hammer out an agreement over the weekend to end the walkout. In a statement Monday, Wagner said he was “extremely disappointed” that the boycott had continued. Knopp’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Republicans began boycotting the Senate on May 3rd. Knopp and top Republicans said they were protesting violations of a little-used, 40-year-old law requiring bill summaries to be penned in plain English. The boycott began after House Democrats passed bills on more gun safety legislation, more abortion measures wanted, and transgender-affirming health care legislature that Republicans vehemently opposed.

Mr. Knopp has since said his party is protesting about 20 bills it considers to be “hyperpartisan.”

The terms of Boquist and Linthicum end in January 2025. Bonham’s term ends in January 2027.  If the walkout continues Tuesday, Cedric Hayden, R-Springfield, could also clock 10 unexcused absences.

Stay tuned, as we watch the state unable to address increased crime, a massive homeless crisis, housing issues and high prices, illegal drugs flowing through the state, declining education system and student test scores, added taxes coming at residents from every direction and an array of other issues. [-Editor]

 

It’s a place that remembers events that people wish had never happened.

During World War II, the remote far northern California community of Newell was the site of the Tule Lake War Relocation Center.

Tule Lake opened in 1942 and became the largest of 10 relocation centers and gained notoriety a year later when it became the nation’s only segregation center. During the years it was open — it closed in March 1946, months after the war ended — nearly 30,000 Japanese-Americans, two-thirds of them U.S. citizens, were forcibly incarcerated at Tule Lake.

Most of the segregation center’s buildings are long gone. But reminders of the past, including the former stockade and a portion of a barracks that housed Japanese-Americans, are among the historic facilities reopening to visitors over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The compact visitor center will be open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays through Mondays until Labor Day. It’s located eight miles south of the city of Tulelake off Highway 139. Its entrance is from the only driveway along the highway between County Roads 113 and 176. (Some online maps, including Google, incorrectly show the entrance about an eighth-of-a-mile north of the driveway.)

Tule Lake became a California Historical Landmark in 1975 and named a National Historic Landmark in 2006. In 2008, President George W. Bush designated the Tule Lake Unit as one of nine sites — the only one in the contiguous 48 states — as part of the then newly created World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. It was upgraded as the stand-alone Tule Lake National Monument in 2019. Along with the few reminders of the past near Tulelake, the park also includes Camp Tulelake. Originally built as a Civilian Conservation Corps before WWII, Camp Tulelake later housed Japanese-Americans in 1943 and German and Italian prisoners of war from 1944 to 1946.

 

Klamath County or utility company work crews are performing work at several locations around the Basin.

Motorists are asked to use caution when in work areas and to watch for flaggers. Any motorists who are are able to avoid the work zones, are asked to use an alternate route for both their own safety and the safety of Klamath County employees and contractors.

There will be utility work with intermittent lane closures in the vicinity of Stearns Elementary School on Crest Street from Clinton to Denver and on Laverne Avenue from Crest to Altamont.

Bobs Excavating will be performing storm sewer work. Patching and asphalt paving work is scheduled for Westside Road while dust-off work will be performed on miscellaneous gravel county roads and cracks are set to be sealed in the Yonna Valley/Bonanza area.

Traffic control measures will be in place for guidance. Motorists should use alternative routes if possible.

In general, flagging stations will be set up at the end of the work zone and delays will be zero to 20 minutes for the motoring public. The county’s goal is to minimize the delay to the motoring public. There may be adjustments of work schedules due to weather or other items outside of the county’s control (breakdown of equipment, material/resource availability, etc.) The County should not be contacted if work is not seen occurring because the work could be finished already or will be rescheduled.

For more information, call the Public Works Department at 541-883-4696.

 

Around the state of Oregon

Armed Forces Day Celebration Today at State Capitol to Honor Military Service

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon National Guard is scheduled to participate in a ceremony to honor all military members on May 17, 2023 at the State Capitol Mall in Salem, Oregon.

The Armed Forces Day event is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m., with a formal ceremony starting at noon, and will conclude with an F-15 Eagle flyover conducted by the Oregon Air National Guard, and a Howitzer salute by the Oregon Army National Guard’s Bravo Battery, 2-218 Field Artillery Battalion.

In addition to honoring all military members, the event will also feature displays from various units throughout the Oregon National Guard.  “Oregon’s Own” 234th Army Band will also be featured, playing a variety of patriotic music and other selections.

Oregon Army National Guard Commander Brig. Gen. Gregory T. Day, is scheduled to preside over the ceremony.

“It has been years since we have been able to host an Armed Forces Day event,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Bomar, Director of Public Affairs for the Oregon Military Department.  “We are excited about being able to finally getting back to honoring our military service members and fellow veterans with this public event at our state capital.”

Armed Forces Day was originally created in 1949 by President Harry S. Truman to honor Americans serving in all of the branches of the military, replacing the separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days.  The holiday was finally official designated in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, declaring that, “Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard.”

The public and the media are encouraged to attend, and local food trucks will be available around the State Capital event area.

Fatal Crash – HWY 238 – Jackson County

On Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at approximately 10:46 A.M., the Oregon State Police responded to a single vehicle crash on Hwy 238, near milepost 26, in Jackson County.

The preliminary investigation indicated a silver 2005 Chrysler Seabring, operated by Dena Bell Duval Arns (91) of Ruch, was traveling eastbound on Hwy 238. The vehicle traveled across the westbound lane for unknown reasons, left the roadway and overturned in a field. The operator was determined to be deceased at the scene.

The highway was not impacted during the course of the investigation.  OSP was assisted by Applegate Fire and ODOT.

Numerous Fatal Drug Overdoses Raise Concerns About Dangerous Batch

The Portland Police Bureau is alerting the community of a potentially dangerous batch of drugs circulating the street marketplace.

Since Friday, May 12, 2023, PPB has assisted the Medical Examiner with 8 death investigations that are suspected drug overdoses. Six of them are likely fentanyl related, and the other two are pending additional investigation.

All of these cases are under investigation by the Medical Examiner’s office and Portland Police Narcotics and Organized Crime (NOC) Unit. Preliminary investigation reveals a concerning pattern. NOC has found that in several of these cases, there is evidence that the user believed they were ingesting cocaine, but that it was really a blend of cocaine and fentanyl, or possibly pure powdered fentanyl. Users are warned that there may be a batch of purported cocaine circulating on the street that is particularly dangerous to use.

NOC is continuing to investigate. If anyone has information about any of these cases and have not already talked to police, please e-mail crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov and reference the corresponding case number. Additional information will be released when appropriate

Free camping, day-use and activities to celebrate State Parks Day June 3

Celebrate State Parks Day with free parking and free RV and tent site camping at all Oregon State Parks June 3 as well as special events at selected parks.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will waive day-use parking fees at the 25 locations that charge them June 3 and June 4. OPRD will also waive camping fees for all tent, RV and horse campsites June 3.

State Parks Day has been a tradition since 1998 as a way to thank Oregonians for their support of the state park system over many decades.

“Oregon has one of the best state parks systems in the country, and it’s because you have invested in parks, cared for them and preserved them for everyone to enjoy. Thank you,” said OPRD Director Lisa Sumption.

State Parks Day Events

Several free special events and service projects are planned June 3 to celebrate State Parks Day:

  • Cove Palisades:  Festival of the Landis a free festival that celebrates the diverse history, food and culture of Central Oregon 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event includes: archeology hikes, kids’ games and activities, petting “zoo”, mini farmers market, pollinator, wildfire and fish displays, fry bread and more.
  • Smith Rock: Trail Keepers of Oregon will lead a group of volunteers on some trail maintenance projects on trails in the park 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Bring snacks, lunch, water and work gloves. Free. Registration required.
  • Valley of the Rogue: Veteran’s Powwow 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 3 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 4. The event includes a powwow ceremony with gourd dancing and vender booths. It is open to all veterans, tribal members or not.
  • Honeyman:  An educational film screening will be held at the Amphitheater located in B loop overnight campground from 1 to 3 p.m. Park at the Sand Dunes Day use parking area and walk to the amphitheater, or find limited parking by the campground registration booth. This event is weather dependent.
  • L.L. Stub Stewart:  The Friends of Stub Stewart State Park will have booths and tables set up all around the Welcome Center building dedicated to local fire departments, state forestry agencies and volunteer organizations. Free snacks and refreshments provided by the friends group, in addition to arts and crafts activities and interpretive displays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Luckiamute:  Discover the birds that call Luckiamute Natural Area home by participating in Bird Bingo 9 a.m. to noon. Register online. Participants who pre-register will receive a bingo card on the day of the event that consists of birds and plants that are common in the park. The activity begins with a Ranger led casual stroll along the North Luckiamute Trail. We will supply Binoculars to all registered participants.
  • Sitka Sedge:  Join Park staff for a guided hike at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area to learn about the local plants and wildlife 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at the Sitka Sedge State Natural Area Parking Lot off of Sandlake Road. Dress for the weather, bring water and a snack. The first half mile is flat on packed gravel that is accessible for strollers and wheelchairs.
Fishing is also free statewide June 3 and 4, courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Learn more at https://myodfw.com/articles/2023-free-fishing-days-and-events.

For camping availability, please check oregonstateparks.reserveamerica.com or visit first-come-first served sites: https://stateparks.oregon.gov/index.cfm?do=reserve.first-come

About Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
The mission of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. The department manages 254 Oregon State Parks comprising more than 100,000 acres. Learn more at stateparks.oregon.gov.

 

Bend Nurses Launch Strike Vote May 16

Nearly 1,000 nurses will cast a strike vote to protect patient safety and protest unfair labor practices at St. Charles Bend.

ONA nurses lead an informational picket outside St. Charles Bend April 24 to demand St. Charles executives address the hospital's staffing crisis, raise safety standards and improve community health care. Photo Courtesy of ONA.

(Bend, Ore.) – Frontline nurses are opening a strike vote against St. Charles Bend–Oregon’s largest hospital east of the Cascades.

Nurses are voting to protect their community’s health and safety, protest St. Charles’ illegal unfair labor practices and fix St. Charles’ growing staffing crisis.

The vote will run from May 16 – 21. If passed, nurse leaders are authorized to call for a strike. The nearly 1,000 frontline nurses at St. Charles Bend are represented by the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA).

Local nurses have been meeting with St. Charles’ executives for more than 5 months to try to reach a fair contract agreement that addresses the hospital’s nurse staffing crisis, raises safety standards, increases recruitment and retention of skilled caregivers, and ensures all Central Oregonians have access to safe, affordable health care.

“St. Charles executives declared a crisis last July but nothing has changed for our patients. They’re still stuck with blocked beds, canceled surgeries, and long wait times in the ER. As Bend continues to grow, our staff needs to grow too. We need the hospital to recruit, retain and respect nurses so we can care for our community,” said Erin Harrington, a local nurse and chair of ONA’s bargaining team at St. Charles Bend. “Today, St. Charles is leaving us no choice but to vote to strike. We’ve met them halfway but they’ve refused to compromise. Nurses know our patients and our community deserve better. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.” 

Nurses are not the only ones calling out staffing and safety problems at St. Charles Bend.

St. Charles’ chronic unsafe staffing is directly linked to its failures to recruit, retain and respect frontline nurses. Since 2018, nearly 60% of registered nurses at St. Charles Bend resigned. St. Charles Bend has more than 300 vacant nursing positions as of March 21, 2023 per hospital data.

Decades of research and real-life experience confirm a lack of nurses harms community health and leads to longer wait times and hospital stays, higher costs, more patient infections and injuries, more readmissions and more preventable deaths.

St. Charles Bend is also under investigation for multiple unfair labor practices including spying on union nurses during nurses’ personal time, refusing to provide information about its multimillion dollar contracts with outside staffing agencies, and bad faith bargaining.

“The nurses we count on to save our lives are overworked, understaffed and undervalued by St. Charles’ executives. That should set off clanging alarm bells in this community,” said ONA President Tamie Cline. “Executives at St. Charles have ignored repeated warnings about its staffing crisis. Now it’s endangering patients and putting an entire community’s health at risk. Nurses have no choice but to take action to protect their community. They have ONA’s full support as they fight to make their hometown hospital safe.” 

Nurses are currently working without a contract after the previous agreement expired Dec. 31, 2022. Contract provisions remain in effect while the parties are engaged in negotiations.

The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) is the state’s largest and most influential nursing organization. We are a professional association and labor union which represents more than 16,000 nurses and allied health workers throughout the state, including more than 1,200 frontline nurses and allied health workers at multiple St. Charles Health facilities serving Central and Eastern Oregon. ONA’s mission is to advocate for nursing, quality health care and healthy communities. For more information visit: www.OregonRN.org.

 

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