For Visitors and New Residents? Answers from the Chiloquin News

  1. Volunteers at the 2010 Two Rivers Gallery yard sale in Chiloquin

Volunteers at the Two Rivers Gallery 2010 yard sale

This (the blue text) is Joan’s answer to questions received by the Chiloquin News. This is Joan’s opinion only. If you have other views she would be happy to hear them – and apologies to all the wonderful volunteers who did not get named in the responses.

We are a new family that moved here just over a year ago. Here are my questions:

We “claim” to have the best in the West yet new comers find it hard to find details.

I don’t know where you moved from, but for people who move here from the city to retire, it can be a shock in many ways. It’s not possible to keep the aloofness of city dwellers and find things because most of everything is word-of mouth. You have to get to know your neighbors, or you will be doing what many do, and packing up to leave again. There are many ways to accomplish this. You can just simply walk down the street and say ‘hi’, or you can volunteer. There are dozens of organizations looking for volunteers and any one of them would welcome you. Once you become part of any organization those people can help you find things.

Where to go fishing. Specific details would help new residents as well as visitors. Same with hunting, or skiing, or boating.

Julie Black and Mata Rust over in Rocky Point put together a ‘Now That I’m Here’ newspaper. It has as much information as they could find on all of those things – fishing, hunting, canoeing, hiking, birding, shopping, lodging, eating, services, phone numbers. This is an entirely volunteer effort. They spend the time contacting people, hunting down businesses to advertise to fund the newspaper, reminding people to send in events for the calendar, getting it printed and distributed to all the local businesses. It takes a lot of time and effort and they do it just to help the community. In addition Julie raised funds to start a website (ThingsToDoNearCraterLake.com) and she maintains it, despite professing to not being a computer guru. Mata began the weekly ‘Events List’ which she maintains with no assistance, yet it is a comprehensive listing of all events anywhere in this part of Oregon.

If you ever do go into Chiloquin, you will find copies of ‘Now That I’m Here’ in every store. If you should go into the Oregon Visitor’s Information Center in Two Rivers Gallery at the Community Center it is the first thing the volunteer there will give you because it has the most complete information about this area.

The ‘Events List’ is included in the Chiloquin News and on the Chiloquin.com website as well as other business websites in the area.

Then the question becomes, where to buy what we need. We’ve learned in this short year that there is almost nothing for sale here in Klamath County.

You have moved to a very poor county. There is not a lot for sale because there are not a lot of people who can afford to buy anything. Businesses are going out of business because of lack of sales. Do you buy your hardware at Kircher’s to support them or do you go to Bend or Medford where you might get it marginally cheaper? Do you buy gifts at Two Rivers Gallery to support them or do you buy your gifts online? Without support the local businesses cannot survive and new ones cannot get started.

We don’t have yellow pages like we used to. Now we go to the internet for our needs. Yet nothing in Klamath is up to date. Some is decades old. Can’t find tires in Klamath or can’t get the dealers to respond to e-mail inquiries. Can’t find products or prices in Klamath Falls. No problem, go elsewhere.

It seems to me that I end up with too many copies of the yellow pages every year, so I can only assume that you don’t have local phone service but use a cell phone instead. You are quite right though. The only information online for many businesses is that put there by the various online yellow pages and it is not up to date and mostly has no useful information. This is not a community of computer users, and many of the businesses simply cannot afford a website. They are struggling just to make the rent without the added costs of advertising and internet services.

To that end, Pat Lanctot began the Chiloquin.com website and now that he has passed on, I have taken it over. Pat’s aim was to give local business owners an opportunity to have a web presence without the costs of maintaining their own website. This, once again was a completely volunteer effort by Pat. This website is set up so that all the businesses can at least be listed (for free), and those that want more information can have their own page for a minimal charge. It is still under construction and there are more businesses to be added, but it is almost there. It does only cover the Chiloquin area though, not Klamath Falls.

The Shooting Range at Kingsley Field is still listed on the net as a public shooting range. Yet I just found out it hasn’t been a public range since 2001. Really? I had to call the County Commissioner to get a phone number for Kingsley Field just to get the update.

I would think that a gun shop would be the place to find that kind of information. It is a somewhat convoluted path but I was able to find a phone number for Kingsley Field online without calling the County Commissioner. As for information on a shooting range, you are right, the airport doesn’t have any information, probably because it has not had shooting range for 13 years. One of the problems with using the internet for research is that many pages are in the cloud forever, regardless of when they were posted. It’s really important to look for a date, though I must say, it’s sometimes very hard to find one!

I note that many things mentioned in the newspaper are reported in a way that leaves only the long term residents with where things are. Funny how you speak to one resident that has been here for decades and they know where things are. The best kept secret seems to be what we have to offer and where it is.

I’m not sure here whether you are referring to the Chiloquin News or the Herald & News but since you posted your questions on the Chiloquin.com website, I will speak for the Chiloquin News.

I publish the Chiloquin News but I am not a reporter. It states quite clearly that articles published in the Chiloquin News are by submission. That means that I do not go out and find the news, people send it to me, and I publish what they send. This is because no one is paying me to be a reporter, and anyway, I don’t want to be one. The Chiloquin News is also a volunteer effort.

It does seem to me though that posters and so forth that are submitted to the Chiloquin News generally state very clearly where and when events are going to take place. After all, these people do want you to show up at their event. Long-term also leaves things a bit up in the air. I have been here 7 years. Does that make me long-term? I still think of myself as a newcomer. I think though, that because I began volunteering at Two Rivers Gallery the first year I was here, I had already met several truly long-term residents and started learning about the area right from the time of my arrival here.

Far easier to go over the hill to get what we need if we can’t find the stores here. They may be here but if we don’t know about them, they’re going to go out of business. Instead of keeping K-Mart, we’ll have to give the next one that wants to open a large store all kinds of tax breaks to entice them to come here. Yet those very tax breaks are why our infrastructure is failing.

It is indeed a vicious cycle. It takes spending to entice new stores, and yet people in this county don’t have the money to spend. I’m afraid this debate is not a new one, and I for one, do not know the answer.

There are many things I’d like to know. Just don’t know where they are. So we spend our money in other cities and they benefit instead of us. What we don’t get in the local stores, we buy online because it’s easier to find. Tell us how to keep our money here instead of elsewhere.

There are some 3000 residents in the outlying areas around Chiloquin. If all of those people spent just one day a year as a volunteer, that would be 24,000 hours in which something could be done to improve this community. If each of those 3000 residents spent $1/year at Two Rivers Gallery it would mean the difference between sinking and swimming for the gallery. The only way to keep our money here is for EVERYONE to develop a sense of community and a willingness to participate, not just those very few who try to do it all. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it?

I am a larger landowner in the outskirts of Chiloquin.

My best.

 

2 Comments

  1. Very well stated, and very insightful. As a possible future resident, I appreciate this type of information and opinion.

  2. I just moved here and have found out most of my info via facebook. People have been more then helpful to direct me here or there.