Blue Zones Project marks 2 years in Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – The Blue Zones Project marked a two year anniversary in Klamath Falls Monday.

On March 12th, 2016, the Blue Zones Project kicked off in Klamath Falls with a celebration at the Ross Ragland Theater.

“It doesn’t feel like two years.”  Remarked Blue Zones Organizational Lead Jessie Hecocta.  “It feels like we have just started.”

Project founder Dan Buettner explained at the kickoff that ‘Blue Zones’ are parts of the world where people live the longest.  “And when you look around at the world where people are avoiding diseases that foreshortened their lives, it’s because they live in an environment that makes the healthy choice the easy choice.”

Businesses and schools are being recognized for their efforts in making those healthy choices easier.

We asked Klamath Falls Blue Zones Project Manager Merritt Driscoll if Klamath Falls is healthier as a result.

“Yes!”  Noted Driscoll.  “Klamath Falls is a healthier place, and we’re just getting healthier every day.”

The Blue Zones Project has commitments in Klamath Falls for another three years.

“We’re going to be working with Klamath Promise, Klamath Works, and Healthy Klamath.”  Explains Driscoll.  “We’re just going to keep trying to make our community a healthier place to live.”

Klamath Falls was the first Blue Zones Project community in Oregon.

The program has now expanded to include Grants Pass, The Dalles, and the Roseburg / Umpqua region.

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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