On August 16th, the Klamath County Commissioners voted 2-1 in favor of placing an advisory measure on November’s ballot.
“Are you in favor of removing the four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River?”
Commissioner Kelly Minty Morris, the dissenting vote, claimed the issue was too complicated to be resolved with a simple question. “This is not a simple issue. This vote simplifies something that is not appropriate. I truly believe in asking for voter input where something could be acted on, such a funding the jail. This is just furthering a political agenda. The topic of dam removal hijacks the conversation when we need to be talking about health care and other issues.”
The Myths, Lies and Deceptions Behind the Klamath Basin Agreements
By Lawrence A. Kogan
The Desired Implementation of the Klamath Basin Agreements
Klamath Basin groups claiming to represent the majority of Klamath Basin residents, such as the Klamath Water Users Association (“KWUA”) and the Family Farm Alliance (“FFA”), have long perpetuated the myth that the Klamath Basin Agreements will benefit ALL Basin residents. The evidence clearly shows that these groups will stop at nothing to keep this fraudulent narrative alive.
The Basin Agreements include: 1) the now-defunct Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (“KBRA”), originally executed by these and other parties in 2010, but which expired on January 1, 2016 because Congress refused to ratify it; 2) the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (“KHSA”), originally executed by these and other parties in 2010, but which they renegotiated and subsequently amended pursuant to secret meetings on April 6, 2016 after Congress refused to ratify it by January 1, 2016; 3) the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement (“UKBCA”), originally executed by the tribes in 2014, which the parties are currently renegotiating; 4) the new Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement, executed by the parties pursuant to secret meetings on April 6, 2016 in an effort to resurrect portions of the now- defunct KBRA; and 5) the Wyden-Merkley Amendment (S.A. 3288) to the U.S. Senate Energy bill (S.2012) currently being evaluated by a U.S. House-Senate conference committee, which, if passed and enacted into law, would appropriate congressional monies to support certain activities in which local farmers would engage to fulfill the objectives of these agreements, as well as, specially designated irrigation-related monies (federal subsidies) to financially reward those supporting farmers.
This week the National GOP Convention takes place. Delegates from across the country will descended on Cleveland in order to nominate a Republican candidate to run for President and conduct other national party businesses.
Locally we do not have a convention but we do have an “event” of our own — liberals attempting a take over of the Republican party. At last Thursday’s local GOP meeting, the rabble rousers were in full force, holding bylaws in their hands and speaking with arrogance, as if they owned the place.
What this group of faux-conservatives hope to accomplish is a takeover of our local Republican party. If successful, expect your local GOP party to endorse candidates that are not conservative — matter of fact, the plan is to endorse candidates who are running as Democrats.
If you like mind-bending puzzles that can’t be solved, then I have a great one for you. Todd Kepple is seeking the State Senate #28 seat and Al Switzer the State Representative #56 seat as... Democrats. You read that right. What’s so odd about that? Well let’s start with the fact that both men are registered Republicans. You read that right as well.
Todd Kepple has made it abundantly clear that he is a Republican and wants people to know that. He also wants people to understand that he was forced to run as a Democrat. Huh? No one forced Mr. Kepple to do anything he does not want to do. The fact is Todd Kepple is seeking a powerful political position and it looks like he will do almost anything to get that power — even if it means confusing voters. “I’m a Republican running as a Democrat.” Like I said, this would be a mind-bender.
Al Switzer is no better off. He will be running as a Democrat, and as an an Independent — as a registered Republican! Yeah. I’m not exactly certain why Mr. Switzer didn’t just add the Pacific Green Party or the Progressive Party to his list of parties he doesn’t belong to while he was at it.
The British Exit, or Brexit, from the European Union shocked the world on Thursday evening. Even a few years ago the idea of the EU’s largest economic member leaving the European Union was only left to pub-talks in rural English neighborhoods — and that was only after a few good pints.
51.8% of England decided enough was enough and voted to leave the “comfort and security” of the European Union. But why? Upon examination the ideas our jolly ol' friends from across the pond took to heart are the very same ideas that founded America.
1. Sovereignty and Self-Governance: The British were tired of being told by far away officials that they could not influence one way or another what their immigration policy was going to be, what regulations they had to adhere to, what trade restrictions must be followed towards those outside the union, and so forth. In other words the Brits were tired of aristocrats on the continent telling them what they could and could not do. Sound familiar? Is that not what we want for ourselves here in Klamath and Lake Counties? To have more power locally rather than bureaucrats and politicians in DC and Salem deciding what we can and can not do with our land, our water, our timber, our agriculture? The American project is about local governance which enables real accountability, not centralized control without accountability.
Proponents of Dam Removal along the Klamath river continue to promise peace and prosperity if they get their way. But if you think about it, just the opposite will occur. Here are a few key points to consider:
Dam Removal will limit our ability to control water flow
Without the four dams along the Klamath river, water, once released from the Upper Klamath Lake head-gates, will flow uninterrupted into the Pacific. This means it will require more water from the Upper Klamath Lake in order to maintain stream flow levels. The end result is less water for local farmers and ranchers. Moreover, by removing the Keno dam, the ability to send water back into the Klamath Reclamation Project, is impossible.
Dam Removal will increase electric rates
During a time when many are struggling to make ends meet, unnecessarily increasing our cost of living is the last thing we need. The Klamath river dams provide the most affordable, most efficient and most consistent power to Basin residents. Removing this resource will only send electric rates for all rate payers higher, much higher.
On first glance the results of last Tuesday night’s election might seem puzzling. How could a conservative like Tom Mallams lose by a 2-to-1 margin and yet conservatives like Linthicum and Reschke win by wide margins? Why did the Predator Control ballot measure pass and the marijuana one fail? Those were some questions we wrestled with until we looked closer at the races and the data. Below are some truths that will help make sense of what happened in May’s primary election.
Principle #1: Voters preferred non-incumbent candidates in non-partisan races. Whether it was the two Commissioners’ races or the Sheriff’s race, it was clear that voters preferred someone new over someone currently in the job. Current Commissioners Mallams and Bellet were both beat by political new-comers Boyd and DeGroot. While Mallams was significantly outspent, the only difference in the Position #1 race was that Boyd was able to secure over 50% of the vote and not have to run again in November. DeGroot is the favorite against incumbent Bellet. It will be interesting to see if the trend of “throw the incumbents out” in non-partisan races continues this fall and onto 2018.
For the Sheriff’s race Martin Rowley was seen as Sheriff Skrah’s substitute. Voters clearly preferred the two outsiders: Kaber and Lewis. Kaber and Lewis will have run-off election in November to see who our next Sheriff will be.
If you have not voted yet, you still have time to fill out your ballot. At this point DO NOT mail it but drop it off at the County Clerk’s office by 8pm tomorrow night.
Even if you don’t know who to vote for Dog Catcher Position #15, you should still vote for those people you do know and want to support.
Three of those people that should be on your list are: Tom Mallams, Dennis Linthicum and Werner Reschke.
On Tuesday April 26th at 9:00 A.M. there will be a brief presentation of the “In God We Trust” plaque from the people to the County Commissioners. This event is open to the public. In February the Klamath County Commissioners approved the sign on a vote of 3-0 after overwhelming support by local residents.
There are now 616 city and county offices all over the U.S. displaying the National Motto — that is 100 more than when residents in Klamath County began this project last year.
On our ballots this May you will find Measure 18-105, which will make the production, access and distribution of marijuana/cannabis far more readily available to the general public in Klamath County.
All of the anonymous blog writers at KlamathNews.net urge a strong No vote on 18-105. If passed, there is nothing this ballot measure will do but make a few people a little richer while sending more of our citizens into a downward spiral of despair. Is that what we have now become? A people who are willing to profit and prey on the weakest among us in order to make a few bucks?
In addition, ask any of the three Sheriff’s candidates if they are in favor of this measure. See if they think crime will go up or down with the passage of 18-105. If you think the Sheriff’s budget is stretched thin now, just wait!