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US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons

Lots of people are pulling for monarch butterflies to make a comeback.  But the numbers from the Thanksgiving count of last fall show a continued decline in monarch numbers in California. 

And that's despite the counters making it to more locations. 

The Thanksgiving count is now in its third decade, and the overall trend has been consistently downward... even though more and more people are creating monarch-friendly gardens and waystations. 

Emma Pelton leads the monarch program at the Portland-based Xerces Society

Maybe a third of a million people came to California for the gold rush of 1849, and easily thousands more have come to the West since.  Many of them had little to show for their efforts. 

But not Glenn Wadstein.  He mined Jackson County's Sterling Creek for gold for a decade and a half at the end of the last century, and he claims to have pulled POUNDS of gold out of the stream. 

What did he do with his gains, and what kind of shape did he leave the creek in?  These and more questions are answered in Wadstein's video story at the Southern Oregon Digital Archives at Southern Oregon University. 

This is the latest chapter in Stories of Southern Oregon. 

Oregon Elevates Threatened Marbled Murrelet To Endangered Status

Feb 12, 2018
Rich McIntosh/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

After a deadlocked 3-3 vote, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 Friday to elevate the marbled murrelet from a "threatened" species to "endangered."

The marbled murrelet is a seabird that nests in older coastal forests, and its population has been in a long-term decline in large part because of the loss of old growth trees to logging.

YouTube.com

Mozzy stood at a gas station one evening in early January, a bottle of codeine cradled in his arm. He wore a black T-shirt and hoodie, his short dreadlocks gathered high on his head. A friend started rolling video.

Usually a joker, Mozzy took a more serious tone as he announced his New Year's resolution to quit codeine, the prescription opiate he’s been sipping daily for years.

BenAdler/Capital Public Radio

California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia is taking an immediate — and unpaid — leave of absence as a sexual harassment investigation against her proceeds.

In North Central Washington State, Tyson Motsenbocker grew up in the apple orchards and pine forests at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. It’s the pastoral sound of his childhood that has defined the sound of his music, even among the freeways and fast pace of his new Southern California home. After the release of two EP’s Until it Lands and Rivers and Roads, Motsenbocker defined himself as a mature lyricist and accomplished songwriter, sharing the stage with the likes of David Bazan, Vance Joy and James Bay.

Tomkeene, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3292373

For most of us, the pathway is relatively simple: get hungry, eat.  Repeat as necessary. 

But the reality is that many MANY events have to take place for us to have food to eat. 

The University of Oregon is one of a short list of schools that include a Food Studies program; it started just five years ago. 

Associate Professor Stephen Wooten, an anthropologist, is the program's director.  He explains all the different disciplines connected through the program, and all the parts of life that food studies can reach. 

Leonard Bernstein, take a bow.  He would if he were here... but the rest of us can celebrate the composer/conductor's life in this, the 100th year since his birth. 

Bernstein pieces will be among the offerings heard in Jacksonville next summer during the Britt Orchestra season. 

July is a long way off, but Britt Music Director Teddy Abrams is in town this week to boost the summer shows. 

Newsom, Villaraigosa Emerge From Pack In New California Governor Poll

Feb 8, 2018
Josh Thompson / Flicker, Neon Tommy / Wikimedia Commons

Two Democrats in this year’s race for California governor have emerged as the clear favorites in the June primary, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California poll. It shows Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa locked in a virtual tie.

Wikimedia

Pressures from drought to irrigation to marijuana cultivation affect the streams in our region. 

The film "A River's Last Chance" focuses on the Eel River in Humboldt County.  It holds promise as a place for fish populations to recover, but it also faces many pressures on its use. 

The film is one of the headliners at the February 10 Siskiyou Film Fest at the Grants Pass Performing Arts Center. 

socompasshouse.org

It can be tough enough to figure out what's wrong with us when something goes wrong physically.  Some ailments just stump doctors. 

It can be far worse with mental health, and people truly suffer when their mental illnesses go undiagnosed or mis-diagnosed. 

In this month's edition of Compass Radio, we hear the story of a man who spent many years not knowing what was wrong with his mind.  The eventual correct diagnosis changed his life. 

Rex Medlen | Pixabay

Oregon state officials have put a Josephine County cannabis ordinance on hold.

 

The new ordinance restricted commercial marijuana farming on land zoned for residential use.

 The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports the state land-use board issued a nine-page order concluding that marijuana farmers would be irreparably injured if the new rules were enforced. 

Public Domain

As a biologist, Pepper Trail can appreciate the work of other biologists. 

But he REALLY appreciates the work of Charles Darwin, who did so much to teach the world about how biology works. 

And it's not an arms-length appreciation; Pepper Trail BECOMES Charles Darwin in a lecture called "Voyage to the Origin of Species" coming to the Southern Oregon University Library today (Feb. 8). 

We visit with the biologist--Trail, not Darwin--before the presentation. 

UKDID/Wikimedia

Not all of us are quick learners.  We all  learn in different ways, through different senses. 

And when there's a real obstacle, we speak in terms of "learning disability." 

Redding occupational therapist and physical therapist Suzanne Cresswell prefers to focus on the presence of the word "ability" in the term.  She's spend three decades working with people with learning challenges, or as she prefers, "unique learners." 

tiffanycooper.com/public domain

Is it possible the phrase "cry me a river" became common because of Julie London? 

She's the one who made the song by that title famous in the mid-1950s.  And Julie London's sultry style gets a tribute from vocalist Tiffany Cooper, in a new album called "Satin Mood." 

The Siskiyou Project hosts a CD release party on Sunday (February 11) at Paschal Winery near Talent. 

California Among States Challenging Trump Delay Of "Clean Water Rule"

Feb 6, 2018
Ky Plaskon / Capital Public Radio

California is once again suing the Trump Administration, joining New York and eight other states in a case about water. The states filed the lawsuit Tuesday just hours after federal agencies announced a new delay in the federal Clean Water Rule.

Wineries

As one of the more-populated counties in the region, Jackson County also has a higher population of homeless people. 

A Homeless Task Force formed years ago, with the goal of getting street people off the streets.  They remain, and have been the target of new laws, like exclusion zones in Medford and Ashland. 

Our survey of homeless people and services, Out in the Cold, surveys Jackson County issues and offerings in this joint interview. 

Wikimedia

If you had to choose either brains or money, which would you take? 

A recent study shows there may be a distinction to be made between intelligence and wisdom. 

And it's possible that the poorer you are, the wiser you are

Igor Grossman is a social psychologist at the University of Waterloo in Canada. 

Wikimedia

Maybe you enjoy gardening.  But is your garden CERTIFIED? 

Certification is offered for gardens friendly to bees and other pollinators. 

And the City of Talent is putting out some money to challenge local residents to create certified pollinator gardens. 

The Talent Garden Club is taking on much of the work. 

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