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Rally At District Office
6:11 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Medford Union Supporters Plan Occupation

Supporters of the striking Medford teachers are being called to occupy the offices of the Medford School District this morning. A facebook effort has been launched, urging supporters to go to the offices at 7 this morning.

Union officials say they don’t know who is organizing the event, but it is posted as a peaceful protest.

In a comment on the Occupy549C facebook page, the author says he recognizes that teachers will not be able to go on the district property, but urges teachers to ask family and friends to participate.

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Jefferson Exchange | February 20, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Trying To Turn Bee Concern Into Legislation

Credit pdphoto.org

Aimee Code of Xerces Society talks about efforts to reform pesticide use that will help bees.

The killing of tens of thousands of bees in the Portland area last year sparked widespread concern about the use of pesticides. 

And the concern translated to regulation, but so far, no legislation.  A bill to toughen up some pesticide laws just got watered down in the Oregon legislature.

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Students Plan Walk-Out
5:53 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Strike Talks Continue

Credit Joi Riley/JPR

Talks between striking Medford teachers and the Medford School District continued yesterday and both sides say they are intent on settling a contract as quickly as possible. The parties have agreed not to disclose details of their proposals.

The Mail Tribune reports that talks were continuing late into the night.

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Jefferson Exchange | February 19, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed February 19, 2014

E-Cigarettes Legislation Dies in Oregon Legislature

An E-cigarette and various bottles of fuel.
Credit Wikimedia

Rep. Phil Barnhart explains his opposition to e-cigarettes, and why the bills died in the legislature.

Oregon's short 2014 legislative session will end without new regulations on new cigarettes. 

Electronic or “E-cigarettes” came on the market fast enough to catch many regulators by surprise.

Yes, there is nicotine in the devices, but no actual tobacco.  Users do inhale burned nicotine and other substances, but in the form of vapor, not smoke. 

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Jefferson Exchange | February 19, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Marriage Campaign Ramps Up In Oregon

Credit Giovanni Dall'Orto/Wikimedia

Stephen Jensen and Mike Marshall argue for same-sex marriage in Oregon/discuss the campaign.

Oregon voted to enshrine marriage in the state constitution as a one man/one woman transaction nearly ten years ago. 

With the tide of public opinion changing, a campaign is mounting to reverse that earlier vote.  The Oregon United for Marriage Campaign wants to broaden the definition to include either two men or two women.

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Agreement Reportedly Closer
6:28 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Teacher Strike Talks Scheduled

Credit Joi Riley/JPR

An unexpected bargaining session took place Tuesday between the Medford School District and its teachers' union. The talks ended with both sides reporting positive movement toward a solution.

Superintendent Phil Long reported progress, but neither side would elaborate on how far they have budged in terms of compensation, working conditions, or early retirement.

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Mourning in Ashland
8:07 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Retrenchment Means Upheaval at Southern Oregon University

During a mock funeral protest, SOU student Jamie Thoma reads the list of majors proposed for elimination under the university's retrenchment.
Credit Liam Moriarty/JPR

Budget problems bring academic reorganization to SOU

“Retrenchment” isn’t a word you normally hear in everyday conversation. But it has a very specific meaning in the context of Oregon’s state universities. And if a proposed retrenchment plan is adopted at Southern Oregon University, it’ll mean fewer programs – and fewer teachers.

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Jefferson Exchange | February 18, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Meals On Wheels With A Wobble

Credit Wikimedia

Marc Kane explains the evolving funding situation at the Klamath Basin Senior Citizens Center.

The Meals on Wheels program for seniors is popular in Klamath County. 

Maybe a little too popular for its own good.  The program that delivers meals to seniors has a waiting list... and not much money to make that list shorter. 

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Jefferson Exchange | February 18, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Oregon Students Missing Out On AP Chances

Credit The Leaf Project

Crystal Green and Andrea Morgan of the Oregon Department of Education discuss AP classes.

College-bound high school students can get a leg up on their post-secondary education by taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams and classes. 

But a recent national report shows many Oregon students do not take advantage of the AP offerings. 

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Labor/Employment
6:29 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Medford Teachers Strike Continues

Credit Joi Riley/JPR

The Medford School District hired 24 more substitute teachers over the holiday weekend and shifted some classified support staff to elementary schools to balance out the adult-to-student ratio, according to district officials.

Classes will resume today after the long holiday weekend.

The Mail Tribune reports that last week, enrollment districtwide dropped from 68 percent Tuesday to 44 percent Friday. Students reported large class sizes and inadequate instruction under substitute teachers.

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