Klamath Falls Parks Tobacco Ban Rekindles

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, February 18 2013 at 4:29 PM, Updated: Mon, February 18 2013 at 4:37 PM

A proposed ban on tobacco in all city parks is scheduled to go before the Klamath Falls city council Tuesday.

The tobacco ban is a revision of a proposed ordinance that went before the Klamath Falls city council last October.

Klamath Falls Community Development Director Sandra Fox explains...

"We are proposing to place signs within the developed playground and picnic areas, essentially thanking people for not using tobacco.  And we're hoping that a peer pressure take on it will do the majority of the work."

However, Fox notes that repeat offenders could still face a substantial fine...

"The proposed fine is 250 dollars per incident."

The ban was first proposed by the Klamath Falls Parks Department, and Klamath County Public Health.

Backers say a tobacco ban would reduce second-hand smoke and litter in the parks.

Opponents say the ban unfairly targets tobacco users, who are already paying more in taxes when they buy cigarettes or chew.

The Klamath Falls city council will have a first reading of the proposed ordinance Tuesday night.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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