Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, October 3 2012 at 3:06 PM, Updated: Wed, October 3 2012 at 3:16 PM
The only public restrooms in downtown Klamath Falls will be closed for at least a week.
Locked doors at the Community Lounge caught Suzy Potter off-guard...
"How important this is to the people with children." Noted Potter. "And the cold weather coming, and the rain - we need this place for the disabled."
Community Lounge League Board President Ernest Palmer explains that the temporary closure is due to funding problems related to the collection of an annuity from a private donor...
"We tried to tap into that. We just found out that the process is far more complicated than we thought, and it's going to take a number of days, or weeks before we can get that money."
Palmer adds that a loss of funding from the city and county have left the future of the lounge in jeopardy...
"At some point down the road, we are at very serious risk of having to close forever."
For now, the lounge is scheduled to re-open on Thursday of next week. But for some, such as Delthia Parrish of Beatty, that might be too long to wait. We asked Parrish what she'll be doing while the lounge is closed...
"We run over to Subway."
The facility first opened in the 1950's as the 'Ladies Community Lounge'. It's estimated that around 25 thousand people visit the Community lounge each year.
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.