Sen. Jeff Merkley visits Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Senator Jeff Merkley was in Klamath Falls Saturday for a series of meetings, and a town hall session.

Senator Merkley started off the day with a visit to Marquis Plum Ridge Care Center.

Merkley says he’s concerned about the possible impacts of the President’s health care plan.  “Because this health care bill could strip health care from millions of Americans, hundreds of thousands of people here in Oregon – and yet they’re wanting to do it with no committee, no dialog.”

“If we see steep Medicaid cuts, we’re very worried about our community.”  Notes Catherine Prather of Marquis Plum Ridge.  “And who will take care of the seniors, and what it will look like for them.”

The Senator then held a town hall meeting at Mazama High School.

Dani Watson of Klamath Falls was one of the more than 100 people on hand.  “I deal a lot with water issues, and irrigation, and instream flow rights – so I’m hoping he might be able to talk a little about where the agreement is at.”

“I did hold meetings both with the Tribe, and with the water users.”  Notes Senator Merkley.  “I’m encouraging them to connect back up, and try to find the common ground that they had before.”

Some of the topics covered during the town hall included a proposed liquid natural gas pipeline, benefits for disabled veterans, construction of a border wall to Mexico, and climate issues.

Merkley says the way that he arrived in Klamath Falls reflects a step in the right direction.  “To be able to get on that plane last night, and be able to take Penair back down, it’s like – Yes! – that’s a big improvement.”

Senator Merkley is making good on a campaign promise to hold a town hall meeting in each of Oregon’s 36 counties every year he serves in office.

The meeting in Klamath Falls marked his 309th town hall.



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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