Rock Out: "Rogue Sounds" For June

May 31, 2017

Josh Gross has an addiction, and it's one we're only too happy to share. 

He loves music, and across a wide spectrum of genres and styles. 

Josh makes music, and writes about music for the Rogue Valley Messenger

And once a month, he visits the studio with "Rogue Sounds," a compilation of musical samples and news of coming band dates. 

Today Caterpillar is afraid of a big change, and the Story Machine crew try to help. Listen in with Randal the Reading Rat, Cog and Gear as to one amazing story about a young boy who finds that he is the hero he needs in “The Black Tower” by Owen Johnson.

Redding Police Facebook page

Redding's Neighborhood Police Unit (NPU) racked up some impressive numbers in curtailing crime in its first couple of years. 

But city voters rejected a sales tax in the November 2016 election that would have provided continued funding for NPU. 

Yet it persists; a campaign to raise the money privately has been set up, and Bethel Church pledged $500,000 and some additional funds to help keep neighborhood policing intact. 

Mount Ashland webcam

Mount Ashland Ski Area is closed for the season, and what a season it was. 

Heavy snowpack brought big crowds to the mountain. 

And right after the season ended, the ski area got STOKE certification, STOKE standing for Sustainable Tourism Operator’s Kit for Evaluation. 

Sustainable can and does mean different things... we sort out the meaning of the certification with ski area manager Hiram Towle and STOKE co-founder Carl Kish. 

Josephine Libraries

There's a lot of work to do at the Josephine County libraries

But for the first time in years, the future of the libraries is assured.  Voters just passed a ballot measure creating a library district and a property tax base to fund it, after years of non-profit/non-governmental library operation. 

All kinds of details have to be addressed to set up the new regime for the four libraries. 


"American Exceptionalism" is a phrase that floats through the body politic from time to time, usually in election years. 

Yet despite many Americans thinking our country is the envy of the world, we fight a lot with each other. 

Mugambi Jouet brings up many examples in his book Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other

Robert Goodwin hosts the author in the return of our "The Keenest Observers" segment. 

UC Davis

There’s a new study of the effects of ocean acidification on tiny shell-forming sea creatures in northern California. The findings suggest the ongoing buildup of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere could set up a destructive feedback loop with the deep ocean. And that could disrupt natural cycles for centuries to come. 

The study – from the University of California Davis – found that a common type of plankton had trouble growing and repairing their shells in acidic water. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

About 200 people gathered in Ashland on Saturday night to celebrate the life of a hometown boy who died trying to protect a pair of women from anti-Muslim abuse in Portland.

Asha Deliverance Facebook page

One of the victims of the hate attack on a train in Portland Friday afternoon was raised in Ashland.

Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, was one of three bystanders who attempted to intervene when a man began shouting slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim. The attacker stabbed the three men, killing two and injuring one, before leaving the train.

Eric Teel

An adoptive Montrealer, Leif Vollebekk has toured extensively across America and Europe, opening for the likes of Daniel Lanois, Gregory Alan Isakov and Patrick Watson. He has released two records, Inland (2010) and North Americana (2013) that received praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, Paste and The Line of Best Fit, to only name a few. His songwriting has garnered comparisons to Bob Dylan and his voice to Jeff Buckley.

Man Survives 1,000-Foot Fall Into Crater Lake Caldera

May 25, 2017
Courtesy of the National Parks Service

A man survived a roughly 1,000-foot plunge into the Crater Lake caldera.

The 22-year-old was rescued by helicopter and taken to a Medford hospital Sunday evening after he fell over the rim and tumbled down the crater just after 2 p.m., according to Crater Lake National Park spokeswoman Marsha McCabe.

Are 'Berniecrats' The 'Tea Party' Of The California Democrats?

May 25, 2017

California Democrats are experiencing a case of “be careful what you wish for.”

Young activists who backed Bernie Sanders for President are surging into the party's political process — and now, they're upending the usual order. Establishment Democrats worry it’s their Tea Party, while Republicans see new hope.


Many agencies and organizations are set up to help the more vulnerable members of any community. 

And once in a while, they join forces to compare notes and consider new approaches. 

That is the function of Project Community Connect, happening in Jackson County since 2009.  It brings together nonprofits, government agencies, businesses and more to help people in need, primarily people dealing with homelessness. 


The images chosen by gyms and fitness centers to advertise for new customers tend to show young and slender people who look like they live at the gym.  Any gray hairs in there? 

Probably not, but we need exercise to maintain fitness as we age, and the Rogue Valley's Andy Baxter focuses his fitness business on people 50 and older. 

Baxter sees himself as standing in opposition to the giant "fitness industry," and his feelings led to a small book, The Exercise Prescription

Southern Oregon became a getaway for Hollywood stars during the 1950’s, many drawn by the fishing on the Rogue River. They often stayed at Ginger Rogers’s ranch west of Medford, including Mario Lanza, the Hollywood tenor who starred in the 1951 hit movie “The Great Caruso.”

In both Oregon and California, teenagers can now pre-register to vote

They sign up when they are 16 and 17, and the registration becomes official on their 18th birthday. 

Assembly Member Evan Low (D-Campbell) wants to go a step further and lower the actual VOTING age to 17. 

He's introduced a bill in the legislature to make the change. 

You think of archaeology, you think of shovels... digging in the ground is what recovers artifacts. 

But technology helps in covering broader areas, like the ancient burial mounds of the Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota.  Most of the mounds have been disturbed, but LIDAR technology has allowed the mapping of the remaining mounds. 

And further investigation shows a propensity for lightning strikes at the mounds.  That's the focus of this month's "Underground History" with Mark Tveskov of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

Public Domain

Wolves came a long way in a human lifetime.  In Oregon, the last bounty for killing a wild wolf was paid out in 1947. 

60+ years later, OR-7 captured the attention of the state and nation, as the first wolf known to be living free west of the Cascades since the time of extermination. 

OR-7 is one of the key characters in Brenda Peterson's book Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves

Riccardo Rossi,

There is no commercial salmon fishing season in the Pacific along much of the coast this year, because of the need to protect sensitive species from overfishing. 

This is not the first time fishery managers shut down the take, and will not be the last.  And a recent report from California Trout and researchers at UC-Davis indicate fish are in serious trouble despite the efforts. 

"SOS II: Fish in Hot Water" predicts extinction for 74% of California's native salmon, steelhead, and trout in 100 years. 

© Raimond Spekking, CC BY-SA 4.0,

"Do not go past this point."  How do YOU respond to a sign with that message? 

A lot of us think "maybe it's not SO dangerous..."  And we're often wrong. 

Psychologist Steve Casner shows us HOW often in his book Careful: A User's Guide to Our Injury-Prone Minds

We learn much about why we're wired to ignore danger, and what that gets us.