from September 2015, News
Farmer Tom Mallams responded to the charges of being above the law and flaunting water regulations with an article published in the Herald and News. What often becomes a casualty in an emotional, unfolding story are the facts. In this case the timeline is important to understand what happened and when. We have constructed the following timeline from Mallams account and the Herald and News reports.
|June 16||Klamath Project made a call on its water right|
|July 3||OWRD issued shut-off notices to junior water users, which included Mallams|
|July 21||OWRD issued a second shut-off notice|
|July 30||OWRD issued a third shut-off notice|
|Aug 7||OWRD issued a violation notice against Mallams|
|Aug 25||Mallams ceased his water usage|
|Aug 28||OWRD issued a second violation notice to Mallams|
Now at sometime (we do not know exactly when yet) Tom Mallams asked for a judicial review of his water rights. This judicial review temporarily suspended all notices made by OWRD until Mallams case can be adjudicated. Tom Mallams admits he misunderstood the administrative rule, that the OWRD rule goes into effect when issued, not received. Mallams also has said he would pay any fines if found guilty of violating the rules.
Since Tom Mallams did not receive a notice until, most likely after, he filed for judicial review, it is easy to understand why he continued to use water until late August — he thought while his case was being reviewed, any power behind the OWRD notices were suspended. The question arises is whether it reasonable to believe that Mallams knew his water rights had been terminated before he asked for a judicial review. That is a difficult point to argue one way or the other because it requires getting inside the head of Mallams. Nevertheless, there is a much larger issue at work here, and that is of Administrative Rule.
For those asleep during the summer, it is time to wake up and take notice that another business is closing its doors in Klamath Falls. If JELD-WEN officially moving its headquarters to Charlotte, NC for a more business friendly environment wasn’t enough, now Haggen is closing its two stores in town. What? Haggen, when did they come to Klamath Falls?
Earlier this year Safeway and Albertsons merged into one company. The merger was approved by the FTC only if they would sell off 146 of their combined stores. Haggen won that bid to purchase those stores and went from an 18 chain grocery store to 164 overnight. Talk about a growth spurt. In Klamath Falls both Safeway locations were converted into Haggen stores. However, within months of Haggen’s acquisition, Haggen was losing money — and a lot of it. Haggen needed to borrow $25 million to weather their cash flow problems, which increased their total debt to $270 million. Did Haggen bite off more than it could chew?
What Went Wrong
After Haggen took control of their new stores, Haggen immediately incurred losses in several of those stores. Local customers either did not know the brand Haggen or thought it was too pricey compared to the previous occupant. There was an error assuming business would continue as usual. Clearly this was not the case everywhere. An outside consulting firm was brought in to do some analysis. They found stores fell into two groups: core and non-core. Core stores were profitable. Non-core stores were losing money. The non-core store loses occurred because of either a lack of traffic (revenue) or they were too costly to support. Some non-core stores were also in remote locations where Haggen did not have efficient distribution. The Klamath Falls stores most likely fell into both categories and easily made it to the Haggen chopping block.