News

M.O.Stevens via Wikimedia

The landmark welfare reform bill is 20 years old this month. It was signed into law by Bill Clinton and overhauled the way the government distributed cash assistance. The reforms gave states a lot of flexibility in handing out money. Some states have been more successful than others when it comes to helping the poor. Chris Lehman of the Northwest News Network reports that Oregon is one of the places that's done the best job.

Lane Fire Alderwood Station 114 via Facebook

UPDATE MONDAY, AUGUST 29, 8:00 a.m.

The crews have made tremendous progress in mopping up this fire. They have spent the last several days working to extinguish all smokes around the rim of the fire. In most places crews have a 200 feet zone and are working towards 400 feet.

 

BLM Resources Advisors are finalizing plans to repair the federal lands affected by this fire. This includes pull back of any dozers berms and installing water bars to direct water off skid trails to prevent sediment delivery into streams. 

 

Brian Turner via Flickr

If asserting our rights were simple, we would not need laws.  But a situation in Lane County demonstrates just how complicated it can be to secure rights. 

Community Rights Lane County proposes a ballot measure for a future election that would assert the rights of county citizens against corporations and non-local governments. 

A majority of Lane County Commissioners think the measure--if it passes in an election--would be thrown out in court.  So they've instructed staff to look for a legal way to pre-emptively block the measure. 

Redwood Rides

You can actually hurt your neck just walking through the redwoods of Northern California... all that looking up at the tall trees can leave you sore. 

You can add soreness to your legs by taking a mountain bike into the woods. 

And the opportunities to do that may expand; mountain bike enthusiasts want to turn some decommissioned former logging roads into bike trails in the redwoods. 

Jason Hollinger/Wikimedia

You have probably heard of CSAs, community supported agriculture, arrangements in which consumers subscribe for food from local farms. 

There are also CSFs, community supported fisheries.  Same kind of deal: you say what you want and how much, and go pick up your fish. 

Sea Forager in San Francisco operates this way; founder Kirk Lombard shares his ideas in a book The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast

The book provides tips on catching and collecting your own fish, clams, and seaweed, all delivered with Lombard's sense of fun and humor. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR

Relations between federal land managers and residents of the Applegate Valley in southern Oregon have long been strained by disputes over the Bureau of Land Management’s forest plans. With another large forestry project now under consideration, JPR’s Liam Moriarty recently went on a field trip with BLM staff and Applegate residents to look at the proposed Nedsbar timber sale on Bald Mountain.

Update 8/30/2016 9 am -- Our engineer continues to work to resolve this issue. The counties affected by this issue are:

Jackson
Josephine
Coos
Curry
Douglas

Update 8/29/2016 9 am -- The intermittent interruptions  caused by the problem with our microwave system have increased in frequency. The counties affected by this issue are Coos, Curry and Douglas. Our engineer has narrowed down the source of the issue to our transmitter on King Mountain. He will visit the site today to work to resolve the problem.  

ljmajer/Wikimedia

Dunes are for playing, for many people. 

Either on foot or in a dune buggy, it's just fun to romp on those mountains of sand.  But there's more than sand to them, a LOT more. 

George Poinar shows us how they're teeming with life, in his book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Hidden World of Pacific Northwest Dunes

Kristen O'Neill

Thanks to social media, we get to go on our friends' vacations, in a sense.  They snap pictures and put them on Instagram or Facebook, and we get to see them right away. 

Pete Miller of Grants Pass put a real twist on that process when he hiked the Oregon Coast Trail this summer. 

He snapped pictures all right... and sent them to artist Kristen O'Neill.  She then set about painting the image, with a new painting every day along the route. 

Shirley Chan/OPB

We see cats and dogs aplenty in our communities, but there are plenty of other critters around, in town and out.  We want to recognize some of the notable ones, with a monthly Creature Feature on The Exchange. 

And the creature-of-the-month is the Asian jumping worm, alternately called "crazy snake worm." 

It's a worm, not too different from the average earthworm, but with some particular abilities. 

Among them: a voracious appetite for material on forest floors.  So recent sightings in Oregon, including in Grants Pass, concern agencies like the Oregon Department of Agriculture

JPR News

Our region is rich in history, much of it hidden just below the surface. 

Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) dig it, in the most literal sense. 

And it's fascinating work... we invited them to join us monthly for a segment we call "Underground History." 

This week, Oregon's assistant state archaeologist joins in; John Pouley made a rare find of a "biface cache" in the Willamette Valley. 

Dr. Mike Baxter/Wikimedia

Imagine becoming an international celebrity, when you're way too old to enjoy it.  Dead, even. 

This is the after-life story of the human fossils Lydia Pyne writes about in her book Seven Skeletons

The title is a reference to the seven most-celebrated and most-traveled fossil sets, including "Piltdown Man" (an actual hoax) and "Lucy."  Pyne tracks the history of each since discovery. 

The Siskiyou/Moro Campaign/JPArt

It will be Ashland's former mayor versus the Rogue Valley Transportation District's board chair in a special November election for Oregon Senate District 3. 

A special Republican convention held Tuesday night in Medford chose Alan DeBoer to run for the seat vacated by the sudden death of Sen. Alan Bates on August 5th. 

Will Lawmakers Fill The Holes In Denti-Cal?

Aug 23, 2016
Coronation Dental Specialty Group / Wikipedia

California does not have enough dentists willing to see the millions of low-income patients enrolled in state dental coverage. Some patients with Denti-Cal coverage wait years for treatment or even leave the country to get it. That’s even as the program is overwhelmed with millions more who have become eligible.

Lawmakers have taken note, but are reluctant to open the state’s pocketbook to solve the problem.

guernicamag.org

Sexual harassment is not a new term, but it seems portions of society are only now fully understanding what it means.

In this week's VENTSday, tell us what it means to you, and if it's been part of your life, either giving or receiving. 

VENTSday removes the guests and puts listener comments front and center on The Exchange. Once a week, it's all about you... we plop a topic on the table, post a survey (below), and open the phone lines and email box for live comments.

Got an observation or opinion? Share it with the State of Jefferson on VENTSday. Join by phone at 800-838-3760, email JX@jeffnet.org, or take the survey online. You can ALSO record a phone message in advance, at 541-552-6331. 

Cleveland Ridge Fire Burning Itself Out

Aug 23, 2016
Oregon Department of Forestry

FINAL UPDATE: SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 11:15 a.m.

This is the final update about the Cleveland Ridge Fire unless conditions change.
The number of hot spots remaining inside the Cleveland Ridge Fire’s fire line is dwindling as burning vegetation either naturally burns out, or firefighters extinguish them. The day shift’s objective is to put out all hot spots within 300 feet of the fire line, and go farther when it is warranted.

Karuk Tribe

Reasserting tribal identities involves more than focus on the people. 

It also involves focus on the things that surrounded the people, in nature, in previous generations. 

So the Karuk Tribe is elevating its preservation of natural resources significant to the tribe, with the opening of the Tribal Herbaria.  Herbaria, the plural of herbarium, are collections of plants; in this case, plants native the to the lands in which the Karuk are native. 

This is believed to be among the first native plant collections managed by an indigenous people. 

Wilson Webb/Bleecker Street Media

There's no nice way to put it: Matt Ross plays a jerk on TV. 

But the same guy who makes Gavin Belson so mean on HBO's "Silicon Valley" is the writer and director of the warm-hearted film "Captain Fantastic," wowing audiences from Cannes to Ashland. 

Which, by the way, is where Matt Ross went to high school.  Ashland, not Cannes. 

He comes back home for a screening of his film in a benefit event for the Ashland Independent Film Festival (Tuesday, August 23rd). 

Ben Bradford/Capital Public Radio


The government spends more than $1 billion annually on California teeth, offering dental coverage to 13 million low-income residents who qualify for Medi-Cal services. But, most California dentists refuse to participate in the Denti-Cal program, leaving patients with impossible wait times that lead to expensive health consequences.

Wikimedia

Sex education in Oregon includes more than understanding human sexuality.

A year ago, the state legislature passed a bill (SB 856) to require sex abuse prevention education as well. 

The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) in Jackson County works with the schools to deliver the information required; we learn about the elements of the program.

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