Publicity committee getting started at Ranch
By John Bowler
Two Crooked River Ranch needs that have existed for a long time were filled recently in one fell swoop.
First came the announcement that a publicity committee had been formed, led by co-chairmen Sharon Tyndall and Jean Cochran.
Publicity about new Ranch commercial ventures and community events has been lacking since the 2008 death of Kitty Pullen, who served as a director on the CRR Club and Maintenance Association Board of Directors and informal publicist for the Ranch.
Both Tyndall and Cochran made it clear that the new publicity committee is in the early stage of forming. It doesn't yet have an approved mission statement, but it does have seven members that have met once and would like to add other members.
In a statement, they ask:
"Do you love living at Crooked River Ranch? Do you love sharing the special things about the Ranch that make you feel so at home? If so, we are forming a team who will work together to positively promote the Ranch and expand activities and events for residents and visitors alike."
"Share your passion about our Ranch with other areas of Central Oregon and the state so that everyone knows Crooked River Ranch is a 'Great Place to Hang Your Hat,'" the statement continues.
Those interested in being a part of a team effort contact may contact Cochran at 541-548-4785 or Tyndall at 541-912-8600.
Tyndall emphasized, "We want to hear what kind of news Ranchers want most."
It turns out that Tyndall also runs a coffee shop called Crooked River Coffee on the Ranch, so you can tell her in person while enjoying one of her coffees, which may be accompanied by a snack, muffin, or even oatmeal.
Crooked River Coffee is located in the Ranch commercial district at 5115 S.W. Clubhouse Road, next to Desert Oasis Salon.
There's a big sign saying "Crooked River Coffee" on the street in front of an empty former pizza restaurant which will let you know that you've found it.
Retirees' income squeezed
Most voters who are either employed or looking for a job are well aware of the continued negative impact of the current recession on their annual income.
Some readers may not be aware that annual income of retired senior citizens is also absorbing negative impact from the recession. Most seniors retired from active employment live on Social Security payments and/or fixed income from pension plans to which they contributed while employed.
Seniors who own homes and pay an annual county property tax can no longer defer payment of that tax until they sell the property.
Previously, seniors were allowed to do that without restriction. Now the state disallows that privilege if the real market value of their property exceeds the median home value of a residence in their county. The 2012 Jefferson County median home value is $101,300.
Furthermore Measure 50 allows counties to tax real estate at the "maximum assessed value" which allows a 3 percent addition to the taxable value of the property each year.
The increase in tax rate is irrespective of any reduction in the real market value of their property unless it has fallen below "the maximum assessed value."
Additionally, Social Security payments to seniors have historically been adjusted to compensate for increases in annual cost of living. In 2013, that amounts to roughly 3.5 percent.
Seniors have already been notified that in 2013, the cost of living adjustment to Social Security payments will be limited to a 1.7 percent increase.
Last Friday, the Pioneer emailed a summary of the preceding scenario to all Democratic and Republican party candidates for state offices listed on the voting ballot received by CRR residents.
The summary asked the candidates if they were aware of any legislative relief in the offing to alleviate the income reduction seniors would experience in the coming year.
By deadline this week, only State Rep. John Huffman had responded. He said, "I tried to get the Revenue Committee to allow participants in the Senior Tax Deferral Program to remain in the program since they had made long-range retirement/financial planning based on participation in the program."
"I was told that we didn't have the money to support my suggestion and we would only allow a certain number back into the program, and those allowed back into the program would be based on what I considered a challenging and somewhat arbitrary calculation," he commented.
"I fought to save the program as it had been counted on and then cap any new participants because I knew the financial challenge it was going to create for many Oregon retirees," Huffman said.