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Just imagine the anxieties of college students these days.  They are training for careers that may, and probably will, change drastically over their working careers. 

Steven Brown has seen such changes in his work in high tech, including at Intel. 

Now as a speaker, "The Bald Futurist," he speaks to students about facing and embracing the future. 

U.S. Census Bureau

Before it was called "public TV," it was often called "educational TV," and Southern Oregon's PBS affiliate is putting a new focus on education. 

Southern Oregon Public TV, SOPTV, is joining the PBS Teacher Community program.  The program gives teachers in primarily rural districts, both new and older, a chance to sharpen skills. 

Ben Garcia is SOPTV's "Teacher Ambassador" and Larry Conley, a retired teacher, will speak at an upcoming teacher summit. 

Christina Belasco/OPB

Most of the Klamath River (see algae map)  looks like pea soup of late.  A toxic algae bloom is affecting the river on both sides of the state line. 

Oregon ended, then reissued an algae warning for the Link River and the Klamath River above Keno Dam. 

On the California side, warnings are in effect for much of the main stem of the river and for Copco and Iron Gate reservoirs.

Agencies including the Karuk Tribe keep an eye on lower reaches of the river.  Craig Tucker and Susan Fricke from the tribe and Rebecca Hillwig of Oregon Health Authority's Harmful Algal Bloom program are familiar with the outbreaks. 

MANCC

Andromeda and Venus sound like great characters to build a dance around.  Now add wheelchairs. 

That is exactly what the art/architecture/social justice group Kinetic Light is doing with its work "DESCENT." 

The piece will have its West Coast debut at the Britt Festivals on Friday (September 29), after Kinetic Light spends five days in residence at Crater Renaissance Academy in Central Point. 

Californians With Fuel-Efficient Cars Fall Prey To "Diet Soda" Effect

Sep 27, 2017
Maiko Walk 27 / flickr

Just as studies have shown that people who order diet drinks tend to increase their consumption of unhealthy foods, new research out of UC Davis shows Californians do a similar thing when it comes to their vehicles.

California Could Soon Allow For "Liquid Cremation"

Sep 26, 2017
Kai Schreiber / Flickr

California Gov. Jerry Brown is considering a bill that would offer another option for Californians deciding what to do with a deceased loved one’s body.

The bill would allow for so-called “liquid cremation,” where a chemical bath dissolves most of the body away except enough bone to put in an urn.

Deborah Meckler with the Bay Area Funeral Consumers Association said the process creates less pollution than flame cremation.

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California's far North recently gained some clout in the state legislature. 

First District Assembly Member Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) was chosen by fellow Republicans to be the party's leader in the house. 

The GOP is in the minority in a chamber where Democrats hold a super-majority.  And Dahle has some ideas about reducing the Democratic edge in the 2018 elections. 

Lulu Vision

The teen years are tough enough without also having to worry about where you'll sleep next. 

But teen homelessness is a fact of life in many communities.  And a recently-formed group in Redding seeks to come up with some solutions. 

Aaron Hayes of Catalyst Mentoring has some experience with homeless teens; he is a member of the new group. 

Wikimedia

If you're still driving in Oregon with your hands on a phone, watch out.  A new law takes effect Sunday, October 1st, laying out stiffer restrictions on use of electronic devices behind the wheel. 

A loophole in the old law allowed people to use their devices as long as they were NOT talking on the phone or texting. 

The loophole is gone, to the relief of people like Ray Thomas, a lawyer who watches out for the rights of bicyclists; he's one of our guests. 

And it means a different approach for law enforcement.  Jackson County Sheriff Sgt. Julie Denney visits with Sgt. Jeff Proulx of the Oregon State Police. 

Oscar13SMU, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31065179

It's been a fear in Medford for a long time... that gangs would gain a foothold and drive up the crime rate.  Some of that has come true. 

But Medford Police have a few tools in the toolbox for monitoring and curtailing youth gang activity. 

And Matt Sweeney at Rogue Valley Youth For Christ has a plan to turn an old firehouse into a community center, in the heart of the area with the most gang activity. 

OSF Photo Illustration

The plays of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival show clearly the festival's commitment to diversity.  Characters of all colors and genders appear. 

And the work of OSF extends well beyond the boundaries of its stages.  The education department at the Festival reaches out to the community in a number of ways, including an upcoming project called "Take Them Into the Dirt."

It's an immersive experience--meaning audience involvement--that explores indigenous stories. 

Rob Goodwin, our host for "The Keenest Observers," is part of the project at OSF. 

Bill Requiring More Details On Cleaning Product Labels Awaits Jerry Brown's Pen

Sep 25, 2017
Arria Belli / Flickr

Companies that manufacture cleaning products may have to disclose a lot more information about what’s in them, under a proposal passed by California lawmakers. The final version of the bill now headed to the governor includes some compromises.

The bill applies to detergents, disinfectants, floor cleaners, even automotive products—but not items like toothpaste or shampoo.

California Dairy Farmers Send Aid To Hurricane Victims

Sep 25, 2017

California’s dairy farmers have come to the aid of the hurricane victims in Houston and Florida. Seventy Thousand pounds of dairy products have been delivered to local food banks there.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

You don't have to sell people in the state of Jefferson on the region's charms.  And tourism certainly helps pay the bills around here. 

But are we getting a rep as a place that's on fire or smoky or both?  It's been a rough fire season, with a number of events canceled by smoke concerns. 

Travel Oregon and Discover Siskiyou are in the business of convincing people they want to come here.  We check in with them to see if that job has become more difficult. 

Centers for Disease Control

Only two students in Ashland schools were confirmed to have pertussis (whooping cough) when Jackson County Health officials declared an outbreak. 

But as they have pointed out in the past, pertussis is not something to take lightly.  It's one of those diseases that had become rare until parents concerned about vaccines stopped having children vaccinated against it. 

Now under-vaccinated students are required to stay out of school for three full weeks, and that includes students who came in contact with the children with confirmed cases.  27 were excluded at first, down to 18 as of September 25th.

Well, this was predictable... after all the experiments with people in real time or "functional" MRI scanners (fMRI), somebody got a dog in there.  And a few other animals as well. 

Snicker if you must, but we now know more about what goes on in the brains of animals. 

And it's pretty fascinating stuff, giving us clues to the mind functions of individual animals. 

Gregory Berns lays out the findings in the book  What It's Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience

Salem May Outlaw Sitting On Sidewalks In Homeless Crackdown

Sep 21, 2017
Molly J. Smith/Statesman Journal

Salem is poised to outlaw sitting and lying on city sidewalks from dawn to dusk.

But the city is taking its chances with such a proposal after a Multnomah County court ruled a similar Portland ordinance was unconstitutional several years ago.

No public hearing is scheduled on the plan, but city councilors could vote Monday to hold one.

California Sues To Stop Trump's Border Wall

Sep 21, 2017
WBUR, flickr

California has filed a lawsuit against President Trump’s border wall. The suit filed Wednesday argues that plans to begin construction in San Diego and Imperial counties could harm the state’s sensitive environmental resources.

Eric Mindling, ericmindling.com

Eric Mindling is not a just-scratch-the-surface kind of guy.  When he takes photographs, they convey a deep sense of the people portrayed. 

And when he takes tour groups to Mexico, he skips the tourist spots in favor of an authentic flavor of Oaxaca. 

Mindling keeps an apartment in Ashland, but he's lived in Mexico since 1992, so he's quite knowledgeable about the culture, traditions, and challenges of life off the beaten path. 

lunacyfest.com

The biggest circus in the country may have shut down, but there's plenty of circus left to enjoy. 

In fact, the Rogue Valley is home to a circus academy, Le Cirque Center. 

The center and Ashland's Flying Actor Studio are putting on the first-ever Lunacy Festival, this weekend and next in Ashland.  Circus acts, physical comedy, and music are among the attractions. 

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