News

Pages

Environment
7:55 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Oregon Nickel Mine Proposal Runs Into Stiff Opposition

North Fork of the Smith River, near Hiouchi, CA.
Credit PGHolbrook/Wikimedia Commons

A Britain-based company is making preliminary moves that could lead to a 4,000-acre open-pit nickel mine being established in the headwaters of the Smith and Illinois Rivers in southwest Oregon.

The firm says it’s at the beginning of a long process of evaluating whether such a mine would even pencil out. But opponents in Oregon and California are taking no chances.  They’re going all-out to kill it in the cradle.

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 15, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Fire Season Intensifies

Credit Federal Emergency Management Agency

July and August can be tricky months to try to schedule interviews with firefighters and their bosses. 

The region's propensity for high heat AND dry lightning often converge in raging wildfires in the month of July.   

And true to form, we scheduled an interview shortly before new fires forced evacuations in Shasta and Klamath Counties.

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 15, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Tue July 15, 2014

The "New Approach" To Legal Marijuana In Oregon

Credit United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Signatures are still being counted, but it appears nearly certain that Oregon voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for personal use in the November election. 

New Approach Oregon is behind the campaign for the measure. 

It calls its approach "the new gold standard" for its careful construction: marijuana for users, taxes for government, prohibition for minors. 

Read more
Holding at 2500 Acres
2:13 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Klamath County Fire Destroys Homes, Forces Evacuations

An aerial view of the Moccasin Hill fire on Sunday.
Credit SCOFMP

A wildfire in Klamath County burned down half a dozen homes and continues to threaten 100 more.

The Moccasin Hill fire began burning Sunday afternoon (July 13) and has spread to 2500 acres.  The acreage figure is actually smaller than earlier reports, due to better mapping and reconnaissance.

The fire is burning on mostly private land under Oregon Department of Forestry protection, north of the community of Sprague River.

Fire agencies say the cause is under investigation.

Read more
Live Session Archive
10:56 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Black Prairie Live Session

Eric Teel

The band's story started in 2007, when Chris Funk gathered local musicians he admired for a chance to write music and play instruments he wasn't utilizing in his role as guitarist for The Decemberists. He pulled in fellow Decemberists Nate Query and Jenny Conlee, on bass and accordion, Annalisa Tornfelt on fiddle, and Jon Neufeld on guitar. In 2012, Decemberists drummer John Moen joined in, too. Their only ambition was to have fun, and their all-acoustic instrumentation meant they could hold practices in each other's living rooms.

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 14, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Ashland Considers Pot Taxes

Credit Wikimedia

Oregon law allows cities and counties to ban medical marijuana dispensaries until the spring of 2015. 

So, many of them did… more than 150 jurisdictions banned dispensaries, rather than deal with the legal complications of dealing with a substance illegal under federal law, but allowed by state law. 

Ashland stands apart; the city council is considering a package of regulations on marijuana--even recreational marijuana, if it is legalized. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 14, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Revamping Rogue Valley Highways 99 & 140

Oregon 99 on the north end of Ashland.
Credit Geoffrey Riley/JPR

The roads that are fine for today's traffic could become clogged if no plans are made for future traffic. 

Fortunately, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is looking down the road (so to speak) a bit. 

Two of the main highways in the Rogue Valley, Oregon 140 and Oregon 99, are both due for new "corridor plans." 

Read more
The Party Next Door
9:20 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Idaho Cops Worry About Cross-Border Pot Shopping Trips

106 pounds of marijuana confiscated by the Idaho State Police
Credit Idaho State Police

Recreational marijuana went on sale last week in Washington state, but police across the border in Idaho and Oregon say that doesn't mean the pot will stay there. Law enforcement worry people will try to sneak pot products across the border – or worse, the legal market in Washington will seep into the black-market.

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 11, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Hashtagging World Population Day

Credit Wikimedia

We welcome you to World Population Day! 

And you, and you, and you…  you get the idea here. 

Earth is home to an estimated 7.2 Billion people, and today (July 11) is the day several organizations want people to consider the impacts. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 10, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Charging Motorboaters More In Oregon

Credit Wikimedia

The greater fuel efficiency of cars means fewer gallons of gas are being sold, so less tax money gets set aside for road-building. 

It's an issue on the water, too… recreational boating has increased in Oregon in the past five years, but fuel tax revenue declined.  And so did motorboat registrations. 

So the state marine board approved a motorboat registration fee increase, from $3 a foot to $5 a foot, pending legislative approval.

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 10, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Cleaning Up Behind The Mine

Agriculture and aggregate operations coexist near Corvallis.
Credit DOGAMI

It's one of the sharper debates in extractive industries: what happens to land that has been mined. 

Think about strip mines and mountaintop-removal mining. 

Now think happier thoughts, because Oregon rewards companies that do good work in reclaiming mined land. 

Read more
Environment
5:26 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Drought May Lead More Cities To Turn Wastewater Into Drinking Water

Reclaimed wastewater at an Orange County Water District facility in Anaheim.
Credit Capital Public Radio

Using recycled water to irrigate parks, golf courses and agriculture is one thing. Turning it into drinking water is quite another. But that’s exactly what Orange County has done for the last six years. In fact, it’s the largest potable recycled water project in the world.

Read more
4:40 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Rail Workers Raise Doubts About Safety Culture As Oil Trains Roll On

Crude oil shipments by rail increased by more than 80 percent, nationally, last year. Most of it is coming from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. That oil can catch fire and explode when trains derail. More than 15 trains of Bakken oil move through the Northwest each week, en route to refineries and terminals in Oregon and Washington. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway transports the majority of that oil. The company regularly touts its commitment to safety. But an EarthFix investigation reveals some troubling patterns in the way BNSF deals with whistleblowers.
BNSF Railway, the second-largest freight network in the U.S., is at the center of the boom in crude by rail. The railroad touts its commitment to safety. Current and former workers question the safety culture on the ground. | credit: Michael Werner | rollover image for more SNOHOMISH, Wash.
Jefferson Exchange | July 9, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Oregon's New Housing Law

Credit bizmology.hoovers.com

Discrimination in rental housing is banned under law. 

But landlords in Oregon could refuse to rent to people who got rental assistance through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. 

That ended effective July 1, when the Housing Choice Act went into effect under Oregon law. 

Read more
Waste Not, Want Not
4:53 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Drought Gives California Cities Reason To Reuse Sewage Water

Sewage gets a new life at the Fresno-Clovis Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility.
Credit Capital Public Radio

As the California drought meets the summer heat, water managers continue to look for ways to secure water for people who need it. Governor Jerry Brown wants more recycled water production. The administration has made $800 million available in loan financing for water agencies to treat wastewater. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 8, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Guide For Safe Summer Swimming

Credit Wikimedia

On those hot days, it's hard to resist a swim in a cool body of water. 

But findings of toxic algae and high bacteria levels in area lakes and rivers make a few swimmers more cautious. 

The Rogue Riverkeeper program is set up to help... with The Swim Guide. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 8, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Hobby Lobby/Contraceptives Reaction

Credit Keith Burtis/Flickr

Who knew a place with the rhythmic name of "Hobby Lobby" could cause such an uproar? 

But that's what happened recently, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby stores do not have to cover certain contraceptives in their employee health plans, for religious reasons. 

The outcry from reproductive rights groups has been sharp. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 7, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Helping The Holly Come Back

Credit Wikimedia

Façade upgrade, check. 

Roof beam repair, check. 

Medford's Holly Theatre is coming back to life, slowly but surely. 

The Holly is not yet open for performances, but is open for tours. 

And those are impressing visitors and helping bring in dollars to finish the restoration. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 7, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Ending Old-Growth Logging

Credit Nicholas_T/Flickr

The most contentious portion of the debate over forest management concerns old-growth timber. 

Can the timber industry be healthy without cutting down ancient trees? 

Scientists, including Dominick DellaSala at Ashland's Geos Institute, say yes. 

Geos and other organizations just teamed up on a study showing that old-growth logging could be phased out in Alaska's Tongass National Forest in just six years. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 3, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Bracing For The Sparks

Credit Wikimedia

If only the Declaration of Independence had been signed in March. 

Then we'd have fireworks in the part of the year when it's not so hot and dry. 

Alas, we celebrate independence on July 4th. 

Even in towns where consumer fireworks are illegal--like Ashland--firefighters keep a sharp eye out for sparks around the holiday. 

Read more

Pages