Robert Neff/Fifth World Art

Slowly, almost glacially, our society has begun to pull apart the many components of homelessness.

One of the main constituent groups is veterans.  And homeless vets get special attention at a number of "stand down" events around the country. 

North Coast Stand Down returns to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds this weekend (October 2-4), with a constellation of services for all veterans, not just the homeless ones. 

Kenneth Ingham/National Park Service

Open warfare broke out between the U.S. government and Native Americans many times in our region in the late 19th century. 

The incidents include the Modoc War of the 1870s, which took place in and around what is now the Lava Beds National Monument. 

The Modoc War and its setting have been explored many times in print, including the book Modoc: The Tribe That Wouldn't Die by Cheewa James, and a new book on the Lava Beds themselves by Herald and News (Klamath Falls) reporter Lee Juillerat. 

To Help With Drought, One Plan Wants To Drain A Lake

Sep 24, 2015
Courtney Flatt/EarthFix

This summer’s hot, dry weather has left Northwest fruit growers hurting for water to irrigate their orchards. It’s a hint of what’s predicted as the climate continues to warm.

That’s why a drought plan for Washington’s Yakima basin is being worked up. In Part Two of our EarthFix series on drought, reporter Courtney Flatt goes to a mountain lake slated to be partially drained to provide more water for agriculture.

And that’s struck a nerve with some conservation groups and homeowners.


We're so excited about bees of late, that three cities in the Rogue Valley have received "Bee City" designations.  Can the butterflies get a little love here?

Indeed they can, and do, from the people of Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates

These friends of the monarch butterfly are in the process of creating "monarch waystations," places where a weary monarch might like to stop for a rest and a meal. 


California voters passed medical marijuana into law nearly 20 years ago, but the state has not added anything in the way of regulation since the original vote.  Until now, maybe. 

The recently concluded legislative session produced a package of three bills constructing a regulatory framework for marijuana... if Governor Jerry Brown signs them. 

The California Cannabis Industry Association pushed for the bills, and eagerly awaits the outcome of Brown's decision. 

Parched Northwest Community Eyes New Reservoir

Sep 23, 2015
Ashley Ahern/EarthFix

As summer winds down, water supplies in much of the Northwest continue to drop. The snow that usually melts and keeps streams and lakes full late in the season never really showed up this year. That’s putting stress on farmers and endangered fish.

In part 1 of our EarthFix series on drought, Ashley Ahearn headed out to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula to see how people are responding.


  Young people in Eugene continue to make headlines with lawsuits filed against state government, meant to produce action on climate change. 

The cases, with mixed legal success so far, are based upon the "public trust doctrine." 

University of Oregon law professor Mary Wood wrote the book on public trust law.  Really, she's the author of a textbook on public trust law, and will explain the approach at the coming Southern Oregon Climate Summit in Medford. 

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

  Latinos make up the largest minority group in America, with great cultural and growing political power. 

The cultural end of that influence is reflected in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's "Latino Play Project," September 25-27 in Ashland. 

The weekend highlights works by and about Latinos, in a couple of play readings and a panel discussion.

Basic Books

  Free speech in America?  You bet.  Free to shout "fire!" in a crowded public space?  Absolutely not.

See, right there the Constitution is not as absolute as some people make it out to be. 

The annual observance of Constitution Week is September 17-23, and we tack an observance of our own onto the end: Paulsen and Paulsen's The Constitution

The book gives history on perspective on our founding document, including shedding light on some of the major disagreements and perceptions about it. 

kcmckell/Live Aloha

Hypothetical: if we all have the same opportunity for success in society, but some of us live in environmentally degraded areas, are we all receiving justice?  Under the concept of environmental justice, the answer is no. 

It's not a new concept; the Oregon Legislature created an Environmental Justice Task Force nearly a decade ago. 

The task force meets in Medford this week (September 25th) with the heading "Fairness For the Land and the Worker." 

The Northwest Forest Worker Center and the farmworker group PCUN are among the sponsors.


The world would indeed be a different place if our region's top professional theater were called "The Oregon de Vere Festival."  Who?  Exactly. 

But a surprising number of people insist that "William Shakespeare" was either not a real guy, or not the guy who wrote all those plays. 

The Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship points to evidence that indicates Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, is the true author. 

The Oxfordians invade Ashland this weekend (September 24-27) for their annual conference. 

JPR's News and Information Service is now available on 102.3FM in the Rogue Valley! After nearly a year of concentrated effort to acquire and construct an FM translator for our News and Information Service in Jackson County, we began service today. Broadcasting is a highly regulated industry and the effort to make this happen was multi-layered, requiring extensive legal and technical work and the joint support of Southern Oregon University and the JPR Foundation.

Oregon Announces Details Of Elliott State Forest Sale

Sep 21, 2015
Tony Anderson/Oregon Department of Forestry/Flickr

Oregon has taken the next step in its plan to sell a public forest near Coos Bay.

The World reports that anyone interested in buying the Elliott State Forest will have to meet key requirements.


Oregon Governor Kate Brown told a reporter in Pendleton, Oregon, Friday that she will run for the office next year.

Michael Richardson/Wikimedia

Fire and water both figure prominently in the state of the forests in our region. 

The size and intensity of fires indicates and determines forest health, and so does the health of native fish. 

So it seems natural to talk fire and water together... scientists Dominick DellaSala of Geos Institute and Jack Williams of Trout Unlimited join forces to talk about forests from their perspective this week at ScienceWorks in Ashland (September 24th). 

Wikimedia/Garry Knight

The graying of America means changes in some of society's infrastructure. 

Because more people will choose to age-in-place in their own homes, AND they will need transportation to get around town. 

So it should come as no surprise that AARP maintains a focus on transportation and livability. 

Jana Lynott is a senior advisor in AARP's Public Policy Institute. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR

The waters that bubble from the fractured volcanic rock underlying Mount Shasta are clean, cold and tasty. Rainfall, snowmelt and glacial meltwater, some of which has been percolating through the mountain for more than 50 years, gushes from hundreds of springs. Now, a Calistoga-based beverage company wants to tap those waters. Local authorities have given the green light. But some Mount Shasta residents say that decision has made without knowing enough about the impacts, and they’re trying to put on the brakes.

Two Wolves Found Dead In Northeast Oregon

Sep 16, 2015

Two wolves were found dead under what Oregon State Police called “unnatural” circumstances in northeast Oregon during late August.

The male and female pair — who were raising pups — were found deceased within 50 yards of each other by an OSP Fish and Wildlife Trooper during the week of Aug. 24 north of Enterprise.

While the cause of death still is under investigation, state police spokesman Bill Fugate said the case is a criminal investigation and that poaching is being considered.


Maybe you can't tell a pine from a fir from a spruce, but the people of the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation can, and they're concerned. 

The pines, generally found in higher elevations, are important species in mountain ecosystems. 

And they faces challenges from a number of quarters, climate change among them. 

WPEF holds its annual meeting in Ashland this week. 

Mark Lincoln/Wikimedia

Emergency managers have to walk a fine line between making people aware of earthquake dangers in the region... and scaring them. 

But the threat is real, considering our part of the world sits atop the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the site of large earthquakes every few hundreds years. 

And it's been more than 300 since the last one.  Oregon Emergency Management's Althea Rizzo is the Geologic Hazards Coordinator for the department. 

And she's in the middle of a "road show" (September 14-21) bringing earthquake and preparation details to the southern part of Oregon.