The Rhythm & News and Classics & News services are experiencing issues on the Oregon Coast. Our engineer is working to diagnose the issue. 

In the meantime you can hear any of our three services using the listen live feature at the top of the page.

Thanks for your patience!


Dunes are for playing, for many people. 

Either on foot or in a dune buggy, it's just fun to romp on those mountains of sand.  But there's more than sand to them, a LOT more. 

George Poinar shows us how they're teeming with life, in his book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Hidden World of Pacific Northwest Dunes

Updated 8/25/2016 10:30 am -- We have received the parts needed to complete the repairs and our engineer will work on repairs this week. 

Updated 8/3:  KNHT is operating at low power due to the failure.  We're working to restore power to normal levels.

Updated 8/1/2016 9:15 am -- The transmitter for KNHT had an equipment failure. Our engineer is working on repairs now.

The Classics & News service is off the air in Humboldt and Mendocino counties. We are working to get the service back on the air.

Kristen O'Neill

Thanks to social media, we get to go on our friends' vacations, in a sense.  They snap pictures and put them on Instagram or Facebook, and we get to see them right away. 

Pete Miller of Grants Pass put a real twist on that process when he hiked the Oregon Coast Trail this summer. 

He snapped pictures all right... and sent them to artist Kristen O'Neill.  She then set about painting the image, with a new painting every day along the route. 

Shirley Chan/OPB

We see cats and dogs aplenty in our communities, but there are plenty of other critters around, in town and out.  We want to recognize some of the notable ones, with a monthly Creature Feature on The Exchange. 

And the creature-of-the-month is the Asian jumping worm, alternately called "crazy snake worm." 

It's a worm, not too different from the average earthworm, but with some particular abilities. 

Among them: a voracious appetite for material on forest floors.  So recent sightings in Oregon, including in Grants Pass, concern agencies like the Oregon Department of Agriculture

JPR News

Our region is rich in history, much of it hidden just below the surface. 

Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) dig it, in the most literal sense. 

And it's fascinating work... we invited them to join us monthly for a segment we call "Underground History." 

This week, Oregon's assistant state archaeologist joins in; John Pouley made a rare find of a "biface cache" in the Willamette Valley. 

The Siskiyou/Moro Campaign/JPArt

It will be Ashland's former mayor versus the Rogue Valley Transportation District's board chair in a special November election for Oregon Senate District 3. 

A special Republican convention held Tuesday night in Medford chose Alan DeBoer to run for the seat vacated by the sudden death of Sen. Alan Bates on August 5th. 

Will Lawmakers Fill The Holes In Denti-Cal?

Aug 23, 2016
Coronation Dental Specialty Group / Wikipedia

California does not have enough dentists willing to see the millions of low-income patients enrolled in state dental coverage. Some patients with Denti-Cal coverage wait years for treatment or even leave the country to get it. That’s even as the program is overwhelmed with millions more who have become eligible.

Lawmakers have taken note, but are reluctant to open the state’s pocketbook to solve the problem.

Sexual harassment is not a new term, but it seems portions of society are only now fully understanding what it means.

In this week's VENTSday, tell us what it means to you, and if it's been part of your life, either giving or receiving. 

VENTSday removes the guests and puts listener comments front and center on The Exchange. Once a week, it's all about you... we plop a topic on the table, post a survey (below), and open the phone lines and email box for live comments.

Got an observation or opinion? Share it with the State of Jefferson on VENTSday. Join by phone at 800-838-3760, email, or take the survey online. You can ALSO record a phone message in advance, at 541-552-6331. 

Mop-Up Continues On Cleveland Ridge Fire

Aug 23, 2016
Oregon Department of Forestry


Night shift firefighters made good progress toward the goal of completely extinguishing all hot spots 100 feet inside of the fire line around the Cleveland Ridge Fire. Today, more than 260 day shift firefighters continue the task of mopping up smoldering stumps and other vegetation burned by the fire that began on Monday.

The fire has stabilized at 530 acres and is 60 percent contained.

Some crews, fire engines and aircraft will be released from the fire today, as there are other wildfires burning elsewhere in Oregon that need additional fire-fighting resources. The fire camp at TouVelle State Park will stay in place through the weekend and possibly into early next week.

The fire burned on private and Bureau of Land Management forestland 5 miles north/northwest of Shady Cove. Rehabilitation projects to protect the landscape against undue erosion and invasive plants will begin as mop-up operations penetrate deeper into the burned area.

Information about fire activity and fire prevention regulations are posted on the “ODF Southwest Oregon District” Facebook page, @ODFSouthwest, and the website Maps of the Cleveland Ridge Fire can be found at


Firefighters were finally able to safely walk the perimeter of the Cleveland Ridge Fire last night allowing for a more accurate mapping of the fire. Until firefighters deem the perimeter safe, sizing estimates are made by aerial support. Crews used handheld GPS units to walk along the fire, now estimating it at 530 acres. Fire crews also strengthened fire line overnight, with some areas reaching 25 to 30 feet wide in order to prevent spot fires today.

The fire burning on private and Bureau of Land Management forestlands north/northwest of Shady Cove has a fire line completed around 100 percent of the fire and is 35 percent contained as of this morning.

The fire was reported at 4:01 p.m. Monday and started near the West Fork of Trail Creek Rd. The cause of the fire is under investigation.Air and ground support will work today to knock down the fire, continue strengthening control lines and work on mopping up hot spots along the perimeter. There will be a focus on the north side of the fire where the Cleveland Ridge Fire is most actively burning.Weather conditions today could pose a challenge for firefighters. Temperatures are expected to range from 95-98 degrees, relative humidity between 10-12 percent, morning east/northeast winds at 3 mph with potential gusts up to 8 mph, and evening north/northwest winds at 3-5 mph with gusts up 8 mph. The fire is burning in grass, brush and mixed-age conifer forest. The topography ranges from moderate to very steep. Road access is good to the east and west flanks of the fire, and has increasingly improved on the north side.The Level 1 (Be Ready) Evacuation Notice will remain in effect for residents on Taylor Rd. and the West Fork of Trail Creek Rd., as well as residents along Hwy. 227 from the junction with the West Fork of Trail Creek Rd. to address 6481 Hwy. 227. Firefighters will continue to monitor all structures surrounding the flanks of the fire throughout the day.Sections of West Fork Trail Creek Road remain closed today. While all other roads are currently open, we ask that people are cautious while traveling through areas with high fire traffic.As a reminder, TouVelle State Park in Central Point is closed to the public. The park is being used as the site for the Cleveland Ridge Fire fire camp. Please avoid the area in order to allow fire traffic the accessibility they need to the entrance/exit points.Fire management officials ask that the public continue to use caution and adhere to regulations. Current fire restrictions for lands in Jackson and Josephine Counties protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry Southwest Oregon District can be found on the district’s Facebook page ODF Southwest Oregon District and the website 

UPDATE: Tuesday, August 23, 9:10 p.m.. ...

A force of more than 200 firefighters worked throughout the day Tuesday to relocate fire lines on the northeast and southeast flanks of the Cleveland Ridge Fire, burning on private and Bureau of Land Management forestlands north/northwest of Shady Cove. The fire grew along these flanks today but a wide bulldozer-constructed fire line along the spine of Cleveland Ridge held as the fire reached the ridgetop.

The fire has reached 574 acres in size and fire line has been completed around 80 percent of the fire.

The night shift crews, comprised of approximately 150 firefighters, will work to complete the fire line on the north flank and hold established fire lines around the rest of the perimeter.

Residents on Taylor Rd. and the West Fork of Trail Creek Rd. remain under a Level 2 (Set) Evacuation Level, which into effect at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday. Residents along Hwy. 227 from the junction with the West Fork of Trail Creek Rd. to address 6481 were also placed under the Level 2 alert. More than 40 structures are within the evacuation alert area.

A structural protection strike team stood by Tuesday to protect homes and other structures in the event the wildfire posed a threat. The team is assembled from engines and personnel from fire districts in Jackson and Josephine counties. They will remain in place throughout tonight.

Helicopters with water buckets flew throughout the day to cool spot fires and hot spots along the fire lines. (One of the helicopters made 105 bucket drops.) Air tankers made numerous retardant drops in areas where the fire either crossed or threaten to cross fire lines.

Much of the increased acreage today was due to the fire burning a large tract of forestland west of Cleveland Ridge. This area contains many steep, rocky bluffs and other rugged terrain that was too dangerous for firefighters to work in.

The fire was reported at 4:01 p.m. Monday, and its cause is under investigation.

UPDATE: TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 4:00 p.m. ...

A Level Two, (Be Set) evacuation notice is in effect for homes along Tiller Trail Highway 227 from W. Fork Trail Creek Rd. through 6481 Tiller Trail Highway 227, as well as areas surrounding the fire along W. Fork Trail Creek Rd. No structures have been lost, but at least 40 are threatened.


Fire crews continued battling a wildfire Tuesday that grew to 250-acres after sparking Monday afternoon about five miles northwest of Shady Cove in Jackson County.

Karuk Tribe

Reasserting tribal identities involves more than focus on the people. 

It also involves focus on the things that surrounded the people, in nature, in previous generations. 

So the Karuk Tribe is elevating its preservation of natural resources significant to the tribe, with the opening of the Tribal Herbaria.  Herbaria, the plural of herbarium, are collections of plants; in this case, plants native the to the lands in which the Karuk are native. 

This is believed to be among the first native plant collections managed by an indigenous people. 

Wilson Webb/Bleecker Street Media

There's no nice way to put it: Matt Ross plays a jerk on TV. 

But the same guy who makes Gavin Belson so mean on HBO's "Silicon Valley" is the writer and director of the warm-hearted film "Captain Fantastic," wowing audiences from Cannes to Ashland. 

Which, by the way, is where Matt Ross went to high school.  Ashland, not Cannes. 

He comes back home for a screening of his film in a benefit event for the Ashland Independent Film Festival (Tuesday, August 23rd). 

Ben Bradford/Capital Public Radio

The government spends more than $1 billion annually on California teeth, offering dental coverage to 13 million low-income residents who qualify for Medi-Cal services. But, most California dentists refuse to participate in the Denti-Cal program, leaving patients with impossible wait times that lead to expensive health consequences.


Sex education in Oregon includes more than understanding human sexuality.

A year ago, the state legislature passed a bill (SB 856) to require sex abuse prevention education as well. 

The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) in Jackson County works with the schools to deliver the information required; we learn about the elements of the program.

Gary Halvorsen/Oregon State Archives

College campuses are filled with buildings named for pillars of the community in times past.  And as times change, so do attitudes about the people once considered pillars. 

Matthew Deady and Frederick Dunn were important people in the history of the University of Oregon; both have buildings named for them.  Both also held views of non-white people not considered appropriate in our time. 

UO President Michael Schill wants input on removing one or both names from the buildings. 

Moro Campaign/JPArt

Jackson County Democrats picked Tonia Moro to run for Oregon State Senate in a special convention Friday night (August 19).

She will run for the Senate District 3 seat vacated by Sen. Alan Bates of Medford, who died two weeks before.

Making Wine From California's Oldest Vines

Aug 19, 2016
Sanden Totten/KPCC

When you think of California wine, you probably think Napa, Sonoma or maybe Paso Robles, but the state’s first major wine hub was in Los Angeles back in the 1800s.

A lot has changed since then, but one vine from that era is still producing grapes, and local winemakers are eager to work with that fruit.

Mike Rhodes got closer than a lot of people to understanding life on the streets. 

For more than a decade, he documented homeless people and their treatment in Fresno, for the Community Alliance newspaper. 

The treatment including the occasional bulldozing of homeless encampments by the city. 

Rhodes compiles his work from those years into a book called Dispatches From The War Zone

The very same tides that an Ashland family helps other people navigate may sweep them out of town. 

Jason and Vanessa Houk are community activists, working on behalf of homeless people and many other community causes.  Now the high cost of Ashland real estate--the home they rent is being sold--may drive them out of the town they love and serve. 

Just as you'd expect of activists, they're working a number of avenues to stay in town, including a campaign. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

The sudden death of State Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford) created a vacancy and an election in Oregon Senate District 3.

Twelve Democrats have expressed a desire to fill the position, either short or long-term.