Klamath News is proud to announce the publishing of Oregon State Senator Doug Whitsett’s weekly newsletter. Why are we doing this? To keep the public informed. Apparently the Herald & News has an odd policy when it comes to our public officials. According to Senator Whitsett’s office,
Senator Whitsett publishes a newsletter every Friday and it is sent to the Herald and News, the Upper Rogue Independent, the Medford Mail Tribune and the Central Oregonian newspapers (all within his district). It is published in full and on their blog every week in the Medford Mail Tribune, and in the Upper Rogue Independent newspapers, and many times in the Central Oregonian and sometimes in the Bend Bulletin, as well as the Roseburg paper and some Eastern Oregon newspapers.
The Herald and News has never printed a copy of any of Senator Whitsett's weekly newsletters to his constituents. He was told the only way he could regularly reach his constituents in Klamath County through the local newspaper was to buy "advertisements".
Summer Lunch & Story Time — H&N Wed. June 8, 2011. If you missed it, the pictures and the headlines describe a wonderful summertime program for children sponsored by the Klamath County Library and Integral Youth Services.
If you don't read through the entire article you are likely to think that children will be encouraged to read during the summertime while receiving a nutritious lunch. However, if you do read the entire story, you'll find out the program is little more than free food for children ages 1-18 who show up to a certain location at a certain time. However, only three of the 27 locations are at a library, where books are. Moreover, stories are going to be read to them. There is no indication that children will be "encouraged the read". What about the other 24 locations? Free, nutritious lunches for children 1-18, period.
What are the odds of a 1-year old going to this food-give-away alone? Right, mom, dad or someone will have to take them... oh yeah, and they can get food too. We all know how this works: the lunches are already made and will spoil if not eaten. This is not a for-profit enterprise it is a government give-away program so the more lunches given away the better it looks for the program. Matter of fact the program boasts that last year 600-700 lunches were given away each day — almost 29,000 during the summer.
Some say it's not polite to speak the truth in such a bold fashion. Others say not to hold back but just to speak your mind. There is probably some wisdom in both and knowing when to apply each bit of wisdom makes one, well, wise.
Klamath County is suffering a terrible time economically. A 13+% unemployment rate is awful for even one quarter but Klamath has been dealing with this reality for over two years — with no end in sight. Reality is rearing its ugly face and with the national economy set to double-dip into another recession, Klamath residents are holding on for dear life.
The cold, hard facts are that our community, our county, our state and our nation thrive only when capitalism is allowed to thrive. Our county does not work, when 13% are not working. Our county does not work when public employee sector jobs are the envy of the jobless or those gainfully employed! Mark Belling substituted for Rush Limbaugh today and uttered this profundity,
The Herald & News is at it again. On June 1st, their front page article titled, "Jail levy: City, yes; county, no" the paper "reports" on the break down of the jail levy failing and points the finger squarely at rural idiots.
The paper printed quotes from the Klamath Falls mayor and other city officials, but must be shy on phone numbers for comments from those who live in Chiloquin, Bonanza or Merrill. The story does nothing to explain why voters voted the way they did, just to point subtly the finger at rural residents in the county for the reason the levy failed (and at the same time assign blame). So, to do the work the H&N should've done, I'll explain why voters turned down the levy in rural areas of the county.
Sunday's Herald & News’ feature article was titled, “How Much We Pay Our Public Employees”. The paper outlined several different public employees with salaries above $50,000, $100,000 and even $200,000. With the Klamath County unemployment rate hovering well above 10%, that report ought to make a few folks a little jealous if not angry.
That said, we applaud the paper’s investigation and reporting. These are public employees that get paid by us. We ought to know what they are making. Moreover, we ought to be able to control how much they make, but sadly often can't.
The Old Lemonade Stand
As children many of us made a lemonade stand to earn a little summer money. We'd find a box, make a sign, stake out a good place on the front lawn where passers by would notice us, and of course made the best pitcher of lemonade we could.
In the May 26th edition of the Herald & News, editor Steve Miller whines about the fact that the Herald & News’ request for county documents will cost the paper more than it can afford to spend.
“Finally, after months, county officials are responding formally to our records request. And Guess what? They seem to be telling us that the records we want could be available, all we have to do is pay for them. And pay a lot, more than we feel we can afford, actually.” — Editor Steve Miller of the Herald & News, page A3, May 26, 2011
This May's election had two ballot measures to help fund the County Museums and the County Jail. Both were property tax levies that issued a $0.05/$1,000 and $0.29/$1,000 tax respectively — so $0.34/$1,000 in total if both passed.
The two organizations are short of funds because of the downturn in tax revenue due of the recession, and lack-luster "recovery". The County Museums lost all their funding when the Klamath County Commissioners decided to not fund the upcoming year through the general fund. The County Jails have been in an awful sorts for about a year now operating with only one or two of the three jail pods "open for business". The passage of both measures would've ensured the County Museums could continue as previously and that the County Jail would at a minimum have two pods open for the foreseeable future.