Klamath Falls, Ore. – The pandemic has had a big impact on activities at the Klamath Basin Senior Center.
Executive Director Marc Kane says changes at the senior center begin at the front door. “Everybody that comes into the building must wear a mask. Everybody that comes into the building must wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer.”
Group meals have been cancelled, but seniors are still being fed.
“Demand is up.” Notes Kane. “Because we’ve taken our congregate meals program, and turned it into a food box program – curbside pickup program.”
Kane adds demand for ‘meals on wheels’ has nearly doubled. “About a third, maybe, of the caseload is getting two meals a day. So all in all, we’re up to about 1400 meals a week.”
Kane says bingo revenues are down about 15 to 18 thousand dollars a month. “Aside from bingo, however, there are other losses – and so total loss here every month is about 25 to 39 thousand a month.”
But, Kane says the biggest loss due to the pandemic isn’t financial. “The social loss is really the biggest loss. Everything at the senior center wraps its arm around keeping seniors connected to family, friends, and the community.”
The senior center hopes to resume some exercise classes in June.
Kane hopes to begin offering group meals again sometime in July.
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.