We are experiencing a failure of the microwave relay system that feeds our audio to King Mountain, which affects all our services in Josephine County and Douglas Counties. Listeners have reported experiencing periodic sharp declines in signal quality, including 'static' sounds and digital noise. Our engineer is working on both a long term and short term solution.

Public Domain

A woman who just had a baby may decide that's it; no more kids, at least for a while. 

But the most reliable methods of birth control, intrauterine device (IUD) and implant, often require a return visit to a doctor, a tough schedule for a woman with a newborn. 

IUD and implant can be placed while women are still in the hospital after giving birth, but not all states require insurance companies to pay for the service. 

California now requires it and Oregon is considering. 

President Obama recently announced a continued American military presence in Afghanistan, and the Great American Shakeout (Oct. 15) just tested our emergency warning systems.

And there are the two topics for this week's VENTSday segment... tell us--and our listeners--your thoughts on keeping soldiers in Afghanistan, and HOW we should be contacting people in emergencies.

You've got opinions on events in the news, and our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them.

We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them.


California's governor just signed a bill banning concealed weapon permit holders from carrying their guns onto the grounds of any school or college. 

Under California's previous Gun-Free School Zone law, the concealed-carry people were exempted. 

The governor's signature came a week after the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon, but the bill passed before the event. 

The California College and University Police Chiefs Association lobbied for the change. 


Gunfire is now so common at educational institutions that we can't even call the Umpqua Community College shooting "the latest." 

Because incidents in other states, albeit with less loss of life, followed quickly on the heels of Roseburg. 

Which is exactly the situation Ceasefire Oregon and other groups want to change. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR

Roseburg, Oregon, site of the recent mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, is a rural, conservative timber town in which firearms are a traditional part of the culture and gun rights are cherished.

In the wake of the shooting, calls for new gun laws were vigorously rejected by public officials and many residents. But some long-time members of the community feel there should be more emphasis on gun safety. 


Making marijuana legal in Oregon was the easy part... for voters.  But ever since last November's election, officials at all levels of government have been scrambling to understand, implement, or block the law. 

Jackson County voters passed a subsequent measure authorizing a tax on pot, but county commissioners have not enacted one, in part because of a conflict with state law. 

County Commissioner Doug Breidenthal and Development Services Director Kelly Madding will host a town hall meeting on marijuana on Wednesday (Oct. 21). 

They visit The Exchange to give a preview.

Laurie Avocado/Wikimedia Commons

On the California side, the concerns about marijuana are shared with Oregon, but the laws differ. 

Medical marijuana is legal, but not the recreational variety. 

That could easily change in next year's election, and county leaders on the North Coast want to get ahead of the game. 

They joined forces for the North Coast Marijuana Policy Statement, which addresses legal, economic, and other issues related to marijuana.

It got an award from the California Association of Counties and figured in legislation passed in the recent session. 

Ashland New Plays Festival

It figures that the town that is home to Oregon's premier professional theater company would also take a hand in the creation of new plays.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival does commission its own new plays. 

But the Ashland New Plays Festival is run by different people. 

In fact, its overseer is brand new this year, in the person of rookie Artistic Director Kyle Haden. 

Five days, one venue, four plays (and their playwrights), and a whole lot of music stands, because the plays are read rather than staged. 

Darryl Ivy

Concerns about aerial spraying of pesticides on Oregon forest land reached a new level recently, when a court ordered Applebee Aviation to stop spraying pesticides without a license. 

The Oregon Department of Agriculture asked for the injunction, which may be the first request of its kind. 

Applebee is the company whistleblower Darryl Ivy briefly worked for last spring, when he documented, in video, helicopters spraying him with chemicals. 

Ivy sought medical attention and left the company; he joins us on the air with his story.

Republicans in the US House of Representatives are in the midst of a leadership crisis, brought on by the abrupt retirement of Speaker John Boehner and the decision by presumptive replacement Kevin McCarthy of California to not seek the post.

Greg Walden represents Oregon’s Second District and is in the House Republican leadership. He spoke with JPR’s Liam Moriarty about the ongoing drama.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

This week, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have been visiting with college students to listen to their concerns about paying for higher education. Both Democrats are proposing measures to make college more affordable and to create more flexible terms for paying student loans. Wyden and Merkley came to Southern Oregon University Wednesday. 

University of Oregon

Stick with the sports pages, and the University of Oregon is a school with a national reputation--AND a cute, one-of-a-kind duck mascot. 

But behind the duck and the flashy Nike uniforms is a university, one with challenges typical of public higher education in our time. 

Chronicle of Higher Education Senior Reporter Jack Stipling lays out the challenges in a recent article, "An Academic Reputation at Risk." 

His work gives a history lesson, a state-of-the-university assessment, and views to the future from key UO players. 

Southern Oregon University

Wrestling season is highly anticipated at Southern Oregon University, every year. 

The wrestling squad is frequently among the top teams in the country. 

And now we have to say that's the MEN's squad, because there is a WOMEN's wrestling team as well. 

The Raider women's team hits the mats in competition for the first time this fall. 

And we get a preview of the team composition and its schedule, as other colleges also pick up the sports. 

Arcade Publishing

The people who serve in America's all-volunteer military represent a tiny minority, less than one percent of the total population.

And they bear burdens from their service that are often invisible to society at large.

Rogue Valley resident Stacy Bannerman works with and on behalf of Veterans and their families, and gives an unblinking portrait of their challenges in her book Homefront 911: How Families of Veterans Are Wounded by Our Wars

She visits the studio to talk about her work and her book.

This is the first of several Veteran-related interviews in a joint project between JPR and Southern Oregon Public TV called Local Focus: Debt of Honor.

The project includes an optional survey about service connected disabilities and the lives they change.

Lesley McClurg/CPR

The recent Valley Fire, north of Napa, scorched more than 75,000 acres and destroyed nearly 1,300 homes. Thousands of people were displaced. Imagine if you were one of them, you lost everything but were scared to ask for help. 

That’s the reality for many undocumented families in the area.

Tim Palmer is the kind of guest we welcome back often to the Exchange. 

Because he provides such a wealth of information in so many realms. 

It comes down to this: if it involves water in our region--flowing or frozen--Tim probably knows about it. 

He's written field guides to rivers in both states, a book about glaciers in California, and more.  He and his wife recently floated the Rogue River, all the way from Lost Creek Dam to the Pacific... journey not possible (because of dams) just a few years ago.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

Oregon Governor Kate Brown greeted students returning to Umpqua Community College in Roseburg Monday morning. It was the first day of classes since the October 1st campus shooting that left 10 people dead. 

Hundreds of Roseburg residents lined the road to the college, waving American flags and signs offering encouragement and support.

Two+two=4/Wikimedia Commons

Some of our trees are looking mighty ragged after several years of drought.  That's to be expected. 

But the kinds of stresses they're showing are new to researchers who know trees well. 

Those include the (southern) coast redwoods and the giant sequoias... many are clearly stressed, and some are dying. 

Redwood expert Anthony Ambrose at the University of California-Berkeley points out that the biggest redwoods need up to 2000 liters of water A DAY to survive, and drought and climate change will challenge that intake. 


The title of the latest report on the state of Oregon's highway bridges does not induce panic. 

But it does include a cautionary phrase: "we've got work to do." 

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) delivers the report annually.