The way some people tell the story, government is always getting in the way of business. 

But in Oregon, several state agencies are focused on the needs of businesses large and small. 

And a relatively recent addition to the list is the office of the Small Business Advocate in the Secretary of State's office.  It is designed specifically to help clear out regulatory and paperwork encumbrances with other state agencies.

Ruth Miles is the current occupant of that position. 

Oregon Judge Refusing To Marry Same-Sex Couples Would Go To Supreme Court

Sep 10, 2015
Statesman Journal

Attention has been focused like a laser in recent days on Marion County Circuit Judge Vance Day following revelations that an investigation has been launched into his judicial conduct over refusing to perform same-sex marriages.

Initial reports about the investigation by the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability snowballed into mentions of Adolf Hitler, Navy SEAL Team Six, firearms, constitutional freedoms and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Klamath County Commissioner Flouts Water Regulations

Sep 10, 2015
Klamath Herald and News

Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams defied notices sent to him in July and August to stop pumping groundwater to irrigate his upper Basin farm.

His case has been referred to the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) Formal Enforcement Section.

Stouts Creek Fire Facebook Page

How hot a wildfire burns can determine which bird species show up when the fire is over. 

That's the basic finding of a ten-year study that focused on fire effects on bird populations after the Quartz Fire of 2001 on the Oregon side. 

The Klamath Bird Observatory's science director, Jaime Stephens, is the lead author of the study. 

Grants Pass Schools

If we are truly determined to reduce violence and sexual assault, it makes sense to work with people at the age when aggressive and violent tendencies begin to emerge: when they are young. 

The Women's Crisis Support Team in Josephine County brings its prevention classes to Grants Pass High School for another school year, with a great deal of previous student interest documented. 

We talk about the components of the program, and the effects it is showing. 

Judy Patrick/

Throughout President Obama’s tour of Alaska last week, he spoke at length about efforts to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. He spoke very little about his support for oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. But an analysis suggests the drilling policy could affect the global climate much more than any of Obama’s climate-friendly initiatives.

Pink Sherbet Photography

It's not just how we produce energy that is evolving. 

Our thinking about how we use it and channel it, share it and sell it is also changing with time. 

Which is no surprise to either the Redwood Coast Energy Authority or the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University. 

Both are in the vanguard of efforts to transform our thinking and use of energy. 

Redwood will be represented at an environmental law conference coming to Eureka Friday. 


Crystal Geyser Water Company is moving ahead with plans to open a water bottling plant in Mount Shasta, but it faces a court challenge first. 

The group W.A.T.E.R., We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review, just filed suit against the company and Siskiyou County, seeking more environmental studies. 

The company says it is disappointed in the suit, but generally does not comment on pending litigation. 

Emails Shed Light On Oregon’s Former First Couple

Sep 9, 2015
Oregon Governor's Office

More than 18,000 pages of emails released Tuesday show a close — and at times ethically cloudy — relationship between former Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes.

Grammys.... Oscars... Rusty Hubcaps

Sure, Sam Smith is talented. But he still hasn't won the most coveted award out there: The Rusty Hubcap!

Every year, The Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program presents awards to distinguished public radio stations across the nation to recognize the special achievements of public radio listeners supporting their local station by donating a vehicle. Jefferson Public Radio is currently in the lead for 2015 in a very special category: Oldest Donated Vehicle!


It's a lot easier to say the acronym "STEMI" than to pronounce what it stands for: ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction.

It's the most severe kind of heart attack, the kind of heart attack Ashland resident Finn Honore experienced. 

He's alive to talk about it because he received treatment at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford. 

ARRMC just won an award from the American Heart Association for its handling of heart patients. 


The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has made it clear for years that its work extends beyond the confines of its stages, to a real interest in people and the human condition. 

OSF's "Living Ideas" program brings conversations about issues raised in its plays to communities around the region. 

This year's world premier of "Sweat" shows the effect of industrial layoffs on people and communities, something the timber towns of our region know too well. 

Rogue Rovers

We'll have to come up with an onomatapoetic sound to replace "vroom vroom" if electric and hybrid vehicles continue to catch on. 

The (limited) sounds and sights of electrics and hybrids will be in abundance this weekend (Sept. 12) at ScienceWorks in Ashland, at the Electric & Hybrid Show. 

The array of vehicles includes the Rogue Valley-based Farm Dogg, which recently appeared at a White House showing. 

PGHolbrook/Wikimedia Commons

Plans to mine in the headwaters of some of the most pristine streams in the region could be short-circuited by a federal move to withdraw the areas in question from mining activities. 

Earlier this summer, the Bureau of Land Management published its intention to close off lands around tributaries of the Smith and other rivers in Curry and Del Norte Counties. 

The announcement triggered a comment period that closes soon, after a pair of public meetings. 

The Smith River Alliance supports the withdrawal proposal. 

Amy Quinton/CPB

California’s drought is having a devastating effect on its forests. Aerial surveys around the state show more than 20 million dead trees so far. And the drought has a partner in crime – the pine beetle. If this deadly combination continues, it could drastically change California’s forested landscape. 


FINAL UPDATE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 10 AM ... The majority of the wildfires in Trinity County are at full containment. The South Complex near Hyampom may reach full containment by Labor Day and the River Complex near Denny passed the 50 percent milestone yesterday. The Route, Mad, and Fork Complexes are all at full containment (ie. fire line surrounds the entire perimeter). 

In Del Norte County the Nickowitz Fire is over 70 percent contained and the Gasquet Complex will likely reach 50 percent containment over the weekend. 

Weekend weather is expected to remain relatively cool with favorable humidity levels. Gusting winds may increase and pose a risk of both fanning fires and toppling vulnerable trees and snags. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR

After a summer of record heat and ongoing drought, water conservation is a big concern. Now, tenants of a low-income rental apartment complex in Talent say a management plan to reduce water consumption is going too far by removing lawns, shrubs – and their personal gardens. JPR’s Liam Moriarty checked it out.

Oregon Cabaret Theatre

Ashland's "other professional theatre" is having a landmark year.  The Oregon Cabaret Theatre is under new ownership/managers, and celebrating a 30th season in business.

Artistic Director Valerie Rachelle is our featured guest on this month's First Friday segment. 

The Exchange syncs up with the art world on First Friday, by visiting with listeners about arts events in the coming month.

Join the free-for-all by calling with details about arts events in your town... 800-838-3760 around the region.

Lane County Parks

We love our wide open spaces here in the West. 

Once in a while, it helps to review our plans for some of those spaces, especially the ones we share. 

This is NOT a tale of timber plans... but it IS about Lane County reviewing the Master Plan for county parks.

No one disputes that Army National Guard veteran Brian Babb was a man in crisis. 

But his family and friends dispute the notion that Babb's death at the hands of Eugene Police was the only resolution to his crisis. 

The Lane County District Attorney ruled the Babb shooting justified. 

His family is determined to prevent future such incidents from taking place.