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Try to imagine "Downton Abbey" floating on the ocean, and you have some idea of the opulence of the RMS Lusitania, the ship sunk by a torpedo during World War I. 

Author Erik Larson tells the story of the ship and its sinking anew in the book Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

He helps peel the layers of fact and fiction apart, helping us understand the state of war and the reason for the ship sailing into the middle of a war zone. 

April 7–11 marks the 15th anniversary of the Ashland Independent Film Festival. The festival has grown from 73 films in four days at the beautiful art deco Varsity Theatre to more than 90 films and dozens of special events in five days across Ashland. AIFF16 will expand across town and across genres with films, live performances, and art installations at the Varsity, the Historic Ashland Armory, Ashland Street Cinema, the Ashland Springs Hotel, and new venues, ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum and the Schneider Museum of Art. 

Wikimedia

It is National Crime Victims' Rights Week next week (April 10-16), providing a chance to catch up on what society does for the victims of crimes. Reports by JPR's Emily Cureton about domestic violence in far Northern California found that violent crime victims there are getting much less support than previously.

This may be an outreach problem, not a budget one, since California provides a stable Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) to give money to the victims of some violent crimes. 

Claims range from medical payments to home security installations. 

When you and Bowser get out in the woods, do you let him off his leash?  Despite the "leash your dog" signs? 

Dogs and owners and proper behavior on public lands is our survey topic on this week's VENTSday. 

Give us your take on that, or on our other topic: whether landlords should be allowed to specify "no students" in renting housing. 

Listeners take the stage on our weekly VENTSday segment, a chance to vent on a couple of topics in the news--by phone, by email, or through our online survey. 

We provide the topics, you provide the opinions.  Your thoughts are front and center on VENTSday. No expertise necessary; just opinions and the ability to express them in a radio-friendly way.

Southern Oregon University

College has become so expensive, students look for a variety of ways to bring down the bill... including spending time at community college before transferring to a four-year school. 

Southern Oregon University wants those students on its own campus, so SOU just introduced a three-year program for students from Jackson and Josephine Counties. 

The "Pledge Program" offers support, assistance, and a faster (and presumably cheaper) track to a degree. 

Gary Halvorson/Oregon State Archives

The armed takeover at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge over the winter was not the first of its kind, and it probably will not be the last. 

Anti-government feelings are common across the rural west. 

And the Rural Organizing Project of Oregon works to track the history of those feelings, and their channeling into militias and white supremacist groups and other entities. 

ROP's work is about assembling coalitions in rural areas to work for change beneficial to all, not just people of one political or ideological stripe. 

Nancy J. Price/Wikimedia

Diagnoses of autism in children have zoomed in recent years, and Oregon is among the states where the rate of new diagnoses is the highest. 

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) has a chapter in Eugene, which offers training workshops for parents of children with autism. 

They begin later this week (April 8) and will present parents with tools, resources, and a greater understanding of the autism diagnosis.

Just because your middle name is "Shakespeare" doesn't mean all your work has to be hundreds of years old. 

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival commits art in a number of avenues, including hip-hop. 

The Hip Hop Poetry Open Mic Nights started several years ago at OSF.  The next, coming tonight (April 4), features Dahlak Brathwaite, who has gained a national reputation for his work (it's free!). 

Penguin Books

Diane Rehm's weekday talk show precedes the Exchange, but today (April 4), she's part of it. 

2016 is a big year for the longtime radio host; she's announced her retirement later this year, and published a book, On My Own, about her recent widowing. 

Her late husband John was fed up with years of suffering with Parkinson's disease, and his struggles turned Diane Rehm into a supporter of the right to die movement, which Oregon pioneered. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR

The downtown economy of Ashland is heavily dependent on the tourists who flock to see the Oregon Shakespeare Festival or who come to hike, bike, ski, fish and boat the area’s mountains and waterways.

Last year, complaints from merchants, residents and visitors about aggressive panhandling and uncivil behavior by some homeless people reached a fever pitch.

Now, city officials are looking for fresh ideas to head off a new season of unpleasantness.

Eugene Ballet

The first Friday of any month has become a day to celebrate the arts around our region. 

Several communities hold First Friday art walks, and some hold similar observances on other weekend days. 

The Exchange syncs up with the art world on First Friday, by visiting with listeners about arts events in the coming month. 

Ashlandfilm.org

One harsh reality about the Ashland Independent Film Festival: it's physically impossible to see every film all the way through. 

But with more than 100 offerings in documentary, feature, and short categories, the choices are remarkable.   This year they also include some mixed-media presentations.

AIFF brings the films and events to screens and rooms in town for five days starting April 7th. 

Wikimedia

April 1st is a day for jokes and japes, and we do not have the ability to show funny movies on the radio.  Fortunately for us, our friend Ed Polish is interested in more than bad movies. 

Ed is the founder of the Bad Film Society, but he's also into less-than-stellar music.  So Ed, the owner of Ephemera, Inc. in Phoenix, brings some of his un-gems onto JPR's airwaves with his annual show "Sleazy Listening," tonight (April 1) at 8 PM on the Rhythm & News service.

He shares some of the highlights (lowlights?) on The Exchange.  Call and give your vote for the worst or weirdest song you've ever heard. 

Jos van Vliet/Red House Records

John Gorka spent time working with some of the better-known singer/songwriters on the folk end of the musical spectrum. 

And along the way, he cranked out a few of his own tunes, and a dozen records.

Gorka has played up to 150 concerts a year, and he brings his talents to the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Redding on Saturday (April 2nd). 

University of Oregon

"SPICE girls" is NOT the name of a singing group, at least at the University of Oregon. 

SPICE stands for Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence; it's a program to get middle- and high school girls excited about science and learning more about it. 

Program coordinator Brandy Todd even teaches how to win a science fair. 

Picture Veresen/overlay JPR

There was a sense that the federal rejection of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and pipeline was not the final word.  And indeed, it was not. 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission--FERC--nixed pipeline and plant in part because they had not shown any demand for LNG overseas. 

Project managers recently announced an agreement for a Japanese utility to buy some of the gas from the proposed export terminal.  Appeal papers should be filed with FERC anytime now. 

Report: Oregon Marijuana Sales Reached $265 Million In 2015

Mar 29, 2016

Oregon’s legal marijuana sales brought in nearly $265 million in 2015, according to a report by leading cannabis market research firms. The report projects Oregon’s legal marijuana sales will reach $481 million by the end of 2016.

Featured Works for April – First Concert
(*Indicates April birthday)

Apr 1 F April Fool’s Day Special

Apr 4 M Ernest Chausson*: Poème

Apr 5 - 12 Spring Membership Drive

Apr 13 W William Sterndale Bennett*: Piano Concerto No. 1
Apr 14 T Roy Harris: Symphony No. 6, “Gettysburg”
Apr 15 F Joseph Haydn: Piano Trio No. 23

guernicamag.org

A petition with tens of thousands of signatures seeks to have guns allowed into the Republican convention this summer.  How does that idea strike you?  It's one of our VENTSday topics. 

The other: the proposal in Congress to have county sheriffs responsible for law enforcement on federal lands, instead of federal agents. 

Your thoughts are front and center on VENTSday.  No expertise necessary; just opinions and the ability to express them in a radio-friendly way. 

We post our weekly survey on one or both of the topics in advance. 

Amanda Peacher/OPB

Ammon Bundy and three others currently jailed in Oregon on charges related to the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are appealing a court order that they appear in federal court in Nevada next month. 

Last week, a federal judge in Portland ordered the defendants to be flown to Nevada on April 13 and returned to Oregon on April 25. They would make their first court appearances on charges growing out of an armed standoff with federal agents at Cliven Bundy’s ranch near Bunkerville, Nevada in 2014.

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