Nudists gather in Eugene for a national convention, and an Ashland bookstore feuds with the Shakespeare Festival over banned books. 

Seems like a VENTSday topic to us: whether it's books or bodies, where and when is censorship appropriate? 

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 pair of topics on the table, post a survey on our Facebook page, 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.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

11 different acts are booked for the West Coast Country Music Festival this weekend near Ashland.  At least one had to get parental permission to attend.

And Rainy and The Rattlesnakes got that permission... because Dad is one of the Rattlesnakes. 

Rainy Miatke is the title performer; she and sister Lela started playing instruments before they were ten, and formed a band with their dad, Ray, soon after. Lucas Brinkerhoff plays bass for the group. 


The feel of the Old West came through in the novels of Zane Grey. 

Grey came to love the Rogue River Valley, and built himself a cabin near the river.  The cabin recently earned designation on the National Register of Historic Places, giving it a firmer shot at survival. 

The Bureau of Land Management has been owner of the cabin for much of the last decade. 

Should nurses be allowed to work like doctors at the VA?

Aug 8, 2016

Nurses may soon do work doctors normally do at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This includes nurses performing work that anesthesiologists have been doing – and that has some physicians concerned.


Animal rights activists and the Bureau of Land Management have clashed for years over the proper management of wild horses in the West. 

Now the clash is potentially headed for court over BLM's proposal to provide surgical birth control to mares currently held in Oregon. 

That prompted Front Range Equine Rescue to file suit in federal court. 


  Tests at two Medford elementary schools (Jackson and Roosevelt) recently found elevated lead levels in the water. 

Which would be a source of concern in any school, but perhaps even more at these two.  Because both had undergone extensive remodeling in the last decade, with replacement of much of the plumbing. 

Bottled water during summer activities provides a short-term solution. 

Southern Oregon University has been dealing with very similar issues. 

Research: Cascadia Quake Could Hit Sooner Than We Thought

Aug 8, 2016
Cassandra Profita/EarthFix

A new analysis by researchers in Oregon, Spain and British Columbia, Canada, suggests that massive earthquakes on northern sections of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, affecting areas of the Pacific Northwest that are more heavily populated, are somewhat more frequent than has been believed in the past.

Bates' Death Puts His Senate Seat On November Ballot

Aug 8, 2016
Christopher Briscoe/Bates campaign 2014

Friday's death of state Sen. Alan Bates, D-Medford, means his Senate seat will now be on the ballot in November.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

Oregon State Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford) died suddenly on Friday, August 5th. 

He served Southern Oregon in the legislature for 16 years, first in the House, then in the Senate.  And it's not like he didn't already have a full-time job; Dr. Bates--"Doc" to his legislative colleagues--saw and healed patients out of a practice in Medford. 

He brought his medical knowledge to bear on his legislative work, helping shape Oregon's innovative approach to Medicaid. 

We invited some of the people who worked with Sen. Bates and knew him best to join us. 


It's not every day we read a co-memoir.  Especially when such a book is published after the death of one of the co-authors. 

But Ashland resident Josh Gross got a packet of his father's papers at his father's funeral. 

And that led to the book appropriately titled The Funeral Papers, detailing the often strained and ultimately estranged relationship between Josh and Arnie Gross. 

Alan Sylvestre/OPB

Gov. Kate Brown is endorsing a ballot measure that would raise Oregon corporate taxes by $3 billion a year. The governor endorsed Measure 97 after months of staying neutral.

Living In Color In Southern Oregon

Aug 4, 2016

It's hard for most residents of the region to imagine what it's like to live as a person of color.  Because there are so very few. 

And the overwhelming whiteness of the population has produced some regrettable events and periods in the region's history, like the rise of the Ku Klux KIan in the 1920s. 

People of color still experience discrimination today.  We assembled an all non-white panel and host to explore the issues. 

Robert Goodwin of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival hosts the discussion. 

Josh Morrell/

Any Friday is something of an event. First Friday is a slightly bigger deal in the arts world, as several communities in our region observe First Friday Art Walks. 

The Exchange goes with the flow, with our monthly First Friday Arts segment. 

We open the phone lines (800-838-3760) and invite arts organizations from throughout the listening area to call in with details of arts events in the coming weeks... from fine art to open mike nights, all arts events are fair game. 


It's been 71 years since an impossibly bright light flashed over Hiroshima, Japan: the first use of a nuclear weapon in war.  Thousands died there and at Nagasaki three days later. 

It scared the world badly enough that nuclear weapons were not used in war again.  But our country and others certainly built more of them. 

Peace House in Ashland spends three days commemorating the Hiroshima-Nagasaki anniversary (August 6-9) with the help of anti-nuclear activist Greg Boertje-Obed.  He was one of three activists arrested for breaking into a nuclear facility in Tennessee. 

California Mental Health Experts Bring PTSD Training to Jordan

Aug 3, 2016
Luisa Conlon and Hanna Miller

Amman, Jordan is on the front lines of the Syrian refugee crisis, and many of those displaced people have been through extreme trauma. But there aren’t nearly enough mental health professionals in Amman to deal with the caseload.  For a group of mental health professionals in California, watching the Syrian refugee crisis unfold on television was not an option.


Easter Island is a fascinating place, and not just because of the the moai, the statues with the big heads. 

If you look beyond the statues in photographs, you see a grassy landscape.  As far as scientists can tell, the island was a place with lots of trees when humans arrived. 

There's still some debate about what happened there, and Dr. Candace Gossen of Blackcoyote Archaeology is one of the scientists trying to find answers. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Art imitates life, but not always without controversy. 

Many people in the Roseburg area objected when Philadelphia playwright Ginger Dayle wrote and staged a play about the mass shooting last year at Umpqua Community College called simply "Roseburg."

The shooting is just part of the story; the other part is a Roseburg appearance by Bobby Kennedy just the day before he lost the Oregon primary in 1968.  Kennedy himself was murdered a few weeks later. 

Warren K. Leffler/Library of Congress

This year in America has been compared with 1968, largely because of the sour public mood, coinciding with a presidential election. 

1968 was the year Robert Kennedy, brother of the late president, decided to run for the White House himself.  By the middle of the year, RFK was dead himself from an assassin's bullet. 

In the new book Bobby Kennedy: The Making Of A Liberal Icon, author Larry Tye tracks the formation of Kennedy's political persona through the straightlaced 1950s. 

Josh Estey/AusAID

The number of people serving prison time in America--2.2 Million--can be abstract. 

So let's make it more concrete: that's more than the population of 15 states.  Criminal justice reform is becoming attractive to politicians of many stripes, and you can air your thoughts on reform on VENTSday this week. 

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 on our Facebook page (and below), and open the phone lines and email box for live comments.

The topics can range from presidential politics to how you spend your days off. 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'd think two high school students who just placed third NATIONALLY in a debate competition would be in the mood for a little down time.  Not Leo Saenger and Henry Lininger

The two South Eugene High School students returned from their award-winning performance in Salt Lake City, then soon took off for a seven-week debate camp in Michigan. 

They're only 16--how much better can they get?