News

Study Shows Humans Cause Most Wildfires

Mar 3, 2017
PNAS

Every summer, we listen for the most basic facts about any wildfire: human- or lightning-caused? 

Human-caused does not necessarily mean deliberate; it just means the activities of people started the fire. 

And a new scientific study shows that humans have it all over lightning as starters of wildfire: 84 percent of wildfires trace back to human causes. 

Jennifer Balch at the University of Colorado is the lead author of the study. 

The Squeaky Wheel: Starting And Charging

Mar 3, 2017
Ashland Automotive

What ails your car?  Zach Edwards can't fix it over the phone, but he can certainly try to diagnose the problem. 

Zach is the proprietor of Ashland Automotive, and our monthly visitor for a segment we call The Squeaky Wheel.

This month we focus on those unwelcome moments when we turn the key and very little happens; we talk about starting and charging systems. 

Grab a phone and call in about the clinks and clanks of your ride. 

PG&E Decides Some California Pot Growers Can Qualify For AG Energy Rate

Mar 3, 2017
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

PG&E announced this week it will include legal pot growers in an AG energy rate program designed for farmers of crops like almonds and alfalfa.

Angelica Garcia appropriately likens her journey to “going down the rabbit hole.” Upon graduating from Los Angeles County High School For The Arts, the 17-year-old native Angeleno found herself living in a 200-year-old gothic brick home encircled by magnolia trees and under a blanket of bright stars in Accomac, Virginia. Her stepfather traded a career in the music industry for Episcopalian priesthood, and an Eastern Shore church would serve as his (and the family’s) first congregation. Behind that residence where Union General Henry Hayes Lockwood once passed through during the Civil War, Angelica began to fashion her musical world in the dusty old parish house. Nodding to her personal “holy trinity” of Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and Jack White, she tenaciously penned music.

On Tuesday, February 28th, NPR announced Tank And The Bangas as the winner of their 2017 Tiny Desk Contest. Here at JPR, we wanted to acknowledge some of best regional submissions again this year, plus announce our favorite - King Roy Wing - who will be invited to do a JPR Live Session with us later this year!

Saul Martinez

Richard Herskowitz adjusts his orange-rimmed glasses, opens his laptop, and turns the computer screen towards the small group seated around a conference table at the offices of the Ashland Independent Film Festival on A Street in Ashland. It’s a soggy day in mid-January and AIFF is gearing up: in just four months an estimated 8,000 people will flood the movie theaters in Ashland, Oregon to attend the 16th annual film festival, which takes place April 6th to April 10th. About 80 percent of the attendees come from within 50 miles of Ashland and 20 percent from out of town.

JC Concerts

Spring has sprung.  Okay, we're getting a LITTLE ahead of ourselves; the actual astronomical equinox is still more than two weeks away (March 20th).  But winter is surely coming to an end, and the arts scene will warm up with the weather. 

We track that arts scene in our First Friday Arts segment, a free-for-all featuring phone calls from around the region boosting arts events for the coming weeks. 

Listen for details of arts events in your town... or if you have them handy, pick up the phone and call 800-838-3760 while the segment is on the air. 

Tim Holt Presents Songs From The Sea

Mar 2, 2017
Wikimedia

If someone once sang a song about water, there's a good chance Tim Holt knows of it. 

Holt is a folk singer who makes his way around the West Coast, often singing songs of rivers and oceans and the people who work on them. 

He performs his program again at the Medford Library on March 31st. 

Sierra Snowpack Near Record Levels But Drought Concerns Remain

Mar 2, 2017

The Sierra Nevada snowpack is at near-record levels according to a state survey taken Wednesday, but that doesn't mean the state's drought issues are fully erased.

Robert J. Boser, EditorASC, http://www.airlinesafety.com/editorials/AboutTheEditor.htm

All eyes have been on the Oroville Dam of late, with its damaged spillway leading to evacuation orders for thousands of people. 

The problem there is a problem across much of California: an abundance of water. 

The problem was the opposite in recent years of drought, now many dams, Shasta Dam included, have had to ramp up water releases to leave room for the water from later storms. 

Wikimedia

First the U.S. Department of Education sent guidance to schools across the country, pointing out how transgender students were to be treated.

Within months, several states sued, and a court blocked the implementation of the guidance--which said transgender students should be able to use bathroom and locker room facilities corresponding to their gender identity. 

Now the Trump administration has chosen not to defend the Obama-era guidance in court.  Which leaves anyone in school administration wondering what happens next. 

Education departments in both Oregon and California are both keeping an eye on the situation. 

At age 50, the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra is looking fairly fit. 

As it reaches a half-century, it reports a healthy growth in recent years, while maintaining a balanced budget. 

Music Director Martin Majkut (pronounced MY-koot) gets some of the credit.  He's led the orchestra since 2010, and into a period of artistic and monetary growth. 

The maestro has interesting stories to tell, both about RVSO and his own life journey as an immigrant. 

"Rogue Sounds" Returns For Springtime

Mar 1, 2017
Facebook page

Josh Gross has an addiction, and it's one we're only too happy to share. 

He loves music, and across a wide spectrum of genres and styles. 

Josh makes music, and writes about music for the Rogue Messenger. 

And once a month, he visits the studio with "Rogue Sounds," a compilation of musical samples and news of coming band dates. 

Carol M. Highsmith, https://cdn.loc.gov/master/pnp/highsm/30600/30668a.tifOriginal url: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.30668, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/i

It's an issue now and will become a bigger issue in the future: people need care from other people when they are very old and very young. 

And as the average age in America slides up, more care workers will be needed. 

Family Forward Oregon joined forces with SEIU, the service workers union, to create a project called Oregon CareWorks, examining issues with the care economy--paid and unpaid--in Oregon. 

An initial report finds care workers largely overworked and underpaid.  The report makes the case for more public money to be devoted to caregiving. 

Preparing For A Non-Profit Future

Feb 28, 2017
VeronicaTherese/wikimedia

Money helps in today's world, but many of us want a sense of fulfillment from our work, too. 

And maybe that does NOT involve profits. 

Vicki Lind started her own company in Portland, counseling people who want to work for nonprofit organizations.  Donnie Maclurcan envisions a future in which MOST workplaces are nonprofits. 

Understanding Ayurvedic Healing

Feb 28, 2017
http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/42/ea/021e3cc426d33baac73528f44039.jpgGallery: http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/image/V0045682.html, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36661881

The world wasn't created yesterday.  And over the years, human beings have learned a few things about how the body works and thrives. 

Some of the things learned are very old, including the ancient Indian healing wisdom of Ayurveda. 

Acharya Shunya is a practitioner, and offers up advice in her book Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom: A Complete Prescription to Optimize Your Health, Prevent Disease, and Live with Vitality and Joy

Higher Education Handles Immigration Changes

Feb 27, 2017
Southern Oregon University

The American approach to immigration changed with the departure of Barack Obama and the arrival of Donald Trump. 

And that is a concern for any and all organizations that work with and for immigrants, legal and not. 

Educational institutions in particular generally work to educate anyone who shows up. 

Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University are both taking steps to adapt to the new landscape. 

SOU President Linda Schott visits with Marjorie Trueblood-Gamble, the director of diversity and inclusion at SOU. 

Taxes And THC: What It Takes To Stay Legal

Feb 27, 2017
Wikimedia

Maybe the details take a while to sort through, but filing your taxes is a straightforward process: you fill out a return, and file it by April 15th. 

And if you need help and can afford it, you use a tax preparer.  All easier said than done for people in the marijuana business, because it's legal under state law and forbidden under federal law. 

Ben Yuma is the manager of Jefferson State Farms, in the marijuana business. 

Justin Botillier is managing partner of Rogue Tax Professionals

On Tuesday night, President Donald Trumped addressed a Joint Session of Congress and laid out his administration's plan for the future. NPR has provided a transcript of his speech, as well as the Democratic response, complete with researched annotation from NPR reporters.

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Liam Moriarty/JPR

The Oregon legislature’s budget-writing committee came to southern Oregon Friday night as part of a series of hearings around the state. Lawmakers are facing a shortfall of about $1.6 billion for the next two-year budget period.

The Senate and House budget leaders – both Democrats -- have proposed a budget that makes deep cuts in many programs and services. Citizens representing a wide range of programs came out to make their case for continuing to fund what they say are essential services.

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