Recent history has not been very kind to one of the primary keepers of history in Jackson County. 

The Southern Oregon Historical Society lost its primary funding source through a change in property-tax law; it is currently all-volunteer.  But still working to preserve the region's history, and working to raise money for the effort. 

SOHS presents a fundraiser on Saturday, August 5th, the Hanley Farm Music Festival

Wyoming State Historical Society

The path of the August 21st solar eclipse goes right over the American land mass, from Oregon on the Pacific to South Carolina on the Atlantic. 

So the tag "American Eclipse" has been attached to the event. 

And it's not the first time... in July 1878, another solar eclipse passed over the country, also called American Eclipse.  Which is also the name of a book on that event by David Baron. 

He tracks three people of scientific bent, including Thomas Edison, into the path of the celestial event, with a mix of results. 

Birds Go Begging For Water In Klamath Refuges

Jul 27, 2017
Jes Burns/EarthFix

The wildlife refuges of the Klamath Basin are great places to see (and hear) birds in great numbers. 

But the numbers would be even greater with an additional ingredient: water. 

Status as a wildlife refuge not only does not guarantee an allocation of water, the refuges are used as farmland in some areas. 

Jes Burns from our EarthFix unit investigated the situation for a series of reports (here's part one). 

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Everybody needs care at some point in their lives. If not as elders, or when injured or sick, then certainly as children. But a study of what it calls the “care economy” in Oregon says the state is failing to invest in the social infrastructure needed to make high quality care available to everyone who needs it, at whatever stage of life.

Oregon Farmer Shipping Hay To Aid Victims Of California Wildfire

Jul 27, 2017
Cooper Roberts/The Herald and News

Farmer Jack Chapman Jr. of Merrill, Oregon, looked over his bales of hay Tuesday, hoping his initiative to help fire victims will inspire others to do the same.

Irangilaneh, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Buses, bikes, and other non-car forms of transportation got some funding in the transportation package passed by the Oregon legislature in early July. 

There's even money for transportation that does not necessarily involve wheels of any kind: Safe Routes to School

The program to make the streets around schools safer for walking and biking children got dedicated funding for the first time. 

But while nobody's sniffing at $10 Million dollars a year (and more in a few years), there are limits to how the money can be spent. 

Wikimedia Commons

Before you click on that cute GIF of the fuzzy kitten, you might want to hear a few words from Mike Ahmadi. 

He is well acquainted with the baits and lures used by hackers to get people to surrender critical information over the web, sometimes real money. 

Southern Oregon University was recently victimized in a scam that resulted in nearly $2 Million dollars being wired to a fraudster by mistake. 

Mike Ahmadi sees such activity all the time in his job helping big companies protect their computers and all the information they hold. 

Evgeniy Isaev, CC BY 2.0,

Can you pull yourself away from the news long enough to get immersed in a good book?

The long, warm days lend themselves to reading, and we'll spend the summer getting advice on WHAT to read from some of our local bookstores. 

Oregon Books in Grants Pass checks in with the latest installment of "Summer Reads". 

Congress Advances Proposal To Preempt Calif. Regulations On Self-Driving Cars

Jul 26, 2017

Congress is advancing a proposal to preempt some California regulations on self-driving cars. 

Bureau of Land Management / Flickr

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is only one of more than two dozen under review by the Trump Administration. 

While the power of either the president or Congress to amend a monument designation is a question, Brent Rose is not waiting for the answer. 

He set out to visit all 22 land-based monuments under review, and got to most of them. 

Rose posted short videos showing the highlights from each of the sites visited, imploring people to keep monument protections in place.

People in good health were once described as being "in the pink." 

Good health takes on a different hue under the Blue Zones Project in Oregon. 

In blue zones, all kinds of individuals and entities come together to work for better health for all. 

The goal is to reduce obesity, smoking, and chronic disease. 

Government Alliance on Race and Equity

Racism continues to bedevil our country. 

Even people who have the best of intentions can be completely surprised when they are shown the effects of their words and deeds from the point of view of a person of color. 

Racism won't vanish without further effort; the Racial Equity Coalition in the Rogue Valley encourages people to learn how to host frank discussions about race through its Race Tool Kit Project, and we explore its features in another edition of "The Keenest Observers."  Robert Goodwin returns to host, with guests Alma Rosa Alvarez and Majorie Trueblood-Gamble. 

Solar Eclipse Could Bring Chaos To Oregon's Forests And Mountains

Jul 24, 2017
Ian sane / Flickr

Whoever scheduled the solar eclipse for Aug. 21 should be fired.

That’s the joke, at least, among land managers bracing for the tidal wave of humanity expected to descend on the nation’s public lands for the once-in-a-lifetime event.

Lomakatsi Restoration Project

What young person would NOT want to spend summer in the woods?  Did we mention there's a little work involved? 

Lomakatsi Restoration Project specializes in forest restoration projects like the one ongoing in the Ashland Watershed. 

But the project also runs summer programs for young people, training them to do the work of caring for outdoor areas that need some attention. 

The offerings include programs for tribal youth. 

Oregon Department of Transportation

Maybe you're totally sold on solar power, but you can't afford to install panels on your house. 

There IS an option for you, and that is community solar installations. 

Oregon law allows groups of people to buy shares in a solar installation on public or shared property. 

It's a way to get the benefits of solar for the planet, without the burden of shouldering all the upfront costs alone. 

Overcoats is New York-based female duo Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell. Their sound captivates, combining electronic backdrops with soaring, harmonic intimacy — a sort of Chet Faker meets Simon & Garfunkel. Overcoats’ songs draw strength from vulnerability, finding uplifting beauty in simple, honest songwriting.

Josh Morrell/

It took some vision to put an orchestra on a grassy hillside in Jacksonville. 

And the vision took: 54 years later, the Britt Orchestra still entertains large crowds over three weekends in the summer. 

The players have changed, but the mission remains the same. 

And mission control takes over Friday, as the orchestra season begins.  Teddy Abrams leads the flock in his fourth full season as music director and conductor. 

Mary Landberg

Reading all the books about handling death and grief may not prepare people for tending to a person in their final days. 

Ashland authors Katie Ortlip and Jahnna Beecham leave nothing out of their book Living With Dying: A Complete Guide for Caregivers

It runs the gamut, from emotional and legal matters to specifics on use of bedpans and what to do with ashes after death. 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

President Trump said on Wednesday that states such as California that won’t agree to share data with his commission on voter fraud must be worried about what the results will show.

BLM via Flickr

Opponents of expanding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon say the move was rushed through with little public notice. Supporters point to a series of well-attended public meetings and a comment period in which over 5,000 written comments were received.

But Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s visit to the monument last weekend showed that the community divide over the monument is far from resolved.