Kevin Steinberg, USN/Public Domain

For a country that's supposed to have separation of church and state, they sure get up in each other's business.

And that's not the only issue with religion in America.  Even different sects that pray to the same god can get into turf battles. 

Kenneth Woodward watched a lot of this happen in nearly 40 years as religion editor at Newsweek magazine.  He gives us an overview of the intermixture of religion, politics, and culture in that time and beyond, in his book Getting Religion.

One Year After UCC Shooting, Community Looks To Move Forward

Sep 30, 2016
Rachael McDonald/KLCC

One year ago Saturday, a gunman opened fire during a writing class in Snyder Hall at Umpqua Community College. He killed 9 people and then himself.

The events of that day forever changed the rural community of Roseburg and Douglas County.  The one-year mark will be a sober observance.


Some of the best moments of our lives can happen over a beer.  Why NOT preserve some memories? 

Documenting the past of beer and brewing is the role of the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives, dedicated to preserving artifacts and stories from the history of making beer, cider, and mead in Oregon. 

Mugs, mats, and more are included in the growing collection, under the watchful eye of Director Tiah Edmunson-Morton.

Consortium of Asian American Theater & Artists

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival worked for years to promote diversity, on and off the stage. 

The efforts take another step with OSF's hosting of the National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival (ConFest), October 1-9. 

There's much to see and talk about, especially in a year with notably diverse works on stage from community theatre to Broadway. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Most of us can't imagine what it would be like to be in a place where a mass shooting happens. 

We don't WANT to imagine the horror.  Students and staff at Umpqua Community College do not have that luxury; UCC was the scene of ten gun deaths almost exactly a year ago (October 1st). 

The Umpqua Story Project encourages people in Douglas County to share their memories of that day and its aftermath. 

Mark Yaconelli runs the Story Project; Susan Rochester is a professor of fine arts at UCC.  They join us to talk about the anniversary, the project, and the feature. 

Women's Foundation of Oregon

"All things being equal" may be a way to start a sentence, but it's usually not a reality in public policy. 

Decisions made by political leaders--who are mostly men--can have uneven effects on different segments of society, including on females. 

The "Count Her In" report by the Women's Foundation of Oregon claims to be the first comprehensive data collection on the status of women and girls in Oregon in 20 years. 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

The driving of a final spike in Ashland in 1887 completed the railroad line running up the West Coast. 

But the project took a few shortcuts along the way, and the evidence of options not taken are still out there.  Like Buck Rock Tunnel near Ashland.  Crews drilled 300 feet into the rock and stopped, in favor of a different tunnel across the valley. 

Buck Rock is the focus of this month's Underground History segment with our resident archaeologists, Chelsea Rose and Mark Tveskov. 


Congressional races in Oregon tend to yield similar results, year after year. 

Members of the house tend to get reelected, and Rep. Greg Walden wants another term in Oregon's 2nd district, representing vast portions of rural Oregon. 

But this election year is a bit unusual, to say the least.  We continue our election interviews with a focus on the race in CD #2.  Greg Walden gets the floor first, Democratic challenger Jim Crary follows him. 

Ryan Hagerty/Public Domain

Hunters are getting fewer and farther between, according to reports from Oregon in the last few years. 

But there are still hunters out there who don't want to follow the rules.  Poaching and other crimes still provide plenty of work for the Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division

And they keep one Linn County Deputy D.A. so busy, he won an award as the Oregon Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year. 

Gordon Friedman/Wikimedia/UCC/JPArt

Running a community college figures to be a complicated job. 

But it's just that much more complicated at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, still recovering from a mass shooting last year.  Debra Thatcher was not on campus at the time; now she's the president of UCC. 

During the Vice Presential debate Tuesday night, NPR's team of journalists provided live fact-checking of the statements by both candidates. Below is a transcript, as well as NPR's comments.


Wikimedia/Public Domain

You can say this about nuclear power plants: no carbon emissions. 

But is that enough to make them a viable option in a world attempting to cut emissions sharply?  SOCAN, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, will at least listen to the arguments in favor of nuclear power plants, at its next regular meeting (Tuesday, September 27). 

Retired physicist Dr. Charles Sinclair, who now lives in Medford, will lay out the workings of nuclear plants. 

Fish need water, and the Klamath River does not have a lot of it, especially in drought years. 

So the Hoopa Valley Tribe filed suit against the federal government over the summer, to force the feds to release more water into the river.  The tribe says the government violates the Endangered Species Act in its current management of river flows. 

Supporters and opponents of the suit break along the usual lines.  The Klamath Water Users Association says the suit unfairly targets farmers. 

The Karuk Tribe stands in favor of moves to provide better habitat for fish. 


Most of Oregon's people live in the Willamette Valley.  So that's where many of the state's elected leaders come from. 

But Oregon has many people living far from the urban areas, with their own concerns about state government.  The Oregon gubernatorial candidates--Kate Brown and Bud Pierce--agreed to hold their first debate in Bend, focused on the issues of Rural Oregon. 

JPR is one of the partners in this first debate (Saturday, September 24th), with Emily Cureton representing JPR News on the panel. 

How The Dot-Com Bubble Set Up California’s Public Employee Pension Crisis

Sep 22, 2016
Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times

Audio Pending...

California faces a mounting public employee pension debt. In his State of the State address, Gov. Jerry Brown said the liabilities are “so massive that it’s tempting to ignore them,” but he said people in the state can’t turn away from these obligations promised years ago.

To figure out how California got in this situation, it’s helpful to rewind the clock to the late 1990s, back to the days of the dot-com bubble. That’s when the state and local governments chose to make pension benefits a lot more generous.  It’s a decision that turned out to have lasting implications.

It's a natural fit for the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission to bring in singer Cecilia St. King

She is billed as an "inner peace troubadour," providing songs of peace and hope to audiences in many places. 

The Culture of Peace Commission brought Cecilia to town to take part in the "11 Days for Peace" events beginning September 11th.  She has her own story to tell about living in New York on 9/11/01. 

Tony Schick/OPB

Caitlin Poliak’s 9-month-old daughter sleeps in a bedroom about 5 feet from an old house that could soon be a heap of scrap wood, broken glass and toxic dust.

The Siskiyou/Moro Campaign/JPArt

There wasn't even supposed to be a race for Oregon Senate District 3 this year. 

But the sudden death of Sen. Alan Bates required a special election to fill the final two years of his term, so district voters will pick a new senator in November. 

The major parties moved quickly to choose candidates.  Alan DeBoer and Tonia Moro will appear on the ballot.  Moro is an attorney and board member at the Rogue Valley Transportation District; DeBoer is a car dealer and former Ashland mayor. 

Copyright Jack Wiens 2016

There's no getting around grief.  If someone we love dies, we're going to feel it somehow, sooner or later. 

Ashlander Jack Wiens wanted to provide an easy-to-read guide for people experiencing grief.  So he wrote and drew Tending Our Grief

It marries Wiens' expertise both as a psychotherapist and as an accomplished artist in a slender volume. 


Another day, another dollar; another studio, another guitar.  Guitars are common in our culture, and the usual accompaniment of our musical studio guests. 

But we get a SITAR once in a blue moon, and this is one of those times.  Deobrat Mishra from India can trace sitar players back 11 generations in his family. 

And he shares his skills as the director the Benares Academy of Indian Classical Music.