Senator Wyden hosts town hall meeting in Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Water issues were a hot topic at a town hall meeting held by Senator Ron Wyden Saturday at Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls.

Senator Wyden has now held 879 town hall meetings during his 22 years in office.

Mike Byrne of Malin has been to several of the meetings in Klamath Falls.  “I try to talk to him every time he comes by, mostly about the water issues – because I’m a rancher.  This year, our water is at risk.”

Senator Wyden cited rancher Becky Hyde’s ‘mutual respect’ approach at water solutions, as opposed to pointing fingers of blame.

“We’re going to try to make it a ‘black eye free zone’.”  Explains Wyden.  “Because she said, you can’t solve this if you’re just throwing punches and giving people black eyes.”

Other topics included health care…the Pacific Connector Pipeline…forest health, and wildfires…energy…and veterans.

“It’s the main place for our representatives and senators to get the information from the community.”  States Mike Byrne.  “It’s our main interface with him.”

About 60 people attended Saturday’s meeting in Klamath Falls.

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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