Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, September 6 2012 at 2:32 PM, Updated: Thu, September 6 2012 at 2:39 PM
The 61st annual Tulelake - Butte Valley fair is now underway, despite some serious budget challenges...
Fair Manager Dave Dillabo is playing 'host' to roughly 50 thousand people. A loss of over a quarter million dollars in state funding means he's doing it on a budget...
"We took a 100% cut in funding last year." Notes Dillabo. "Which accounted for 42% of our annual budget."
The theme for this year's fair is 'Keeping the Dream Alive'.
Dillabo hopes that taking donations for entry will help to keep the fair alive...
"Last year, we implemented the 'pay what you can' policy, and generated the fair about $24,000 last year."
Volunteers are playing a key role in helping to make ends meet at the fair...but a strong public turnout will help to provide an even bigger boost.
The 'pay what you can' policy reflects a new chapter for the Tulelake - Butte Valley Fair, and organizers and the community are hoping that the fair can fly on its own.
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.