News

PGHolbrook/Wikimedia Commons

A flurry of federal environmental protections took place in the waning days of the Obama administration. 

In addition to the much-publicized expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, 100,000 acres of headwaters of the Smith River and other streams were withdrawn from possible mining by an action of the Interior Department. 

It is not a permanent block, though it would likely be a long time before mining interests were able to work their claims. 

The Kalmiopsis Audubon Society is one of several groups that pushed for the mineral withdrawal. 

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The Southern Oregon Historical Society is trying not to become history itself.

SOHS was once funded by property taxes, but a change in law allowed its levy money to be redirected, and it was. 

The organization has struggled since then, with programs and staff cut to a bare minimum. 

Staff is now all-volunteer.  And a tax levy to create a historic preservation district failed in the November election. 

Bryan M. Vance/OPB

Sales of recreational marijuana in Oregon continued to plummet in December, figures from the Oregon Department of Revenue show.

Taxes collected on sales totaled $5.6 million in December, a 13 percent decline from November and a 28 percent drop from the peak of $7.8 million in October.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

An estimated 8,000 people marched through downtown Ashland Saturday to voice opposition to the new administration of President Donald Trump. The march was one of hundreds that took place across the country the day after Trump’s inauguration.

Jon Sullivan

It's becoming a regular part of the Dungeness crab season on the West Coast: waiting for domoic acid levels to drop into safe ranges. 

When they're up, the crab fishery is closed to protect human health.  It's open now, after a delay.

Oregon State researcher Morgaine McKibben looked into the ocean conditions that appear to contribute to the rise in domoic acid, which is a neurotoxin. 

The work McKibben and five other researchers produced is published in a scientific journal

pulsepoint.org

A friend collapses, complaining of chest pain.  You reach for the phone, call 911, and activate an app that finds people nearby who know CPR. 

This is not science fiction, it is an existing app called Pulsepoint

Emergency medical crews in Jackson County are embracing Pulsepoint as a way to get medical help to heart attack patients faster.  The program launches in Jackson County February 1st.

revolutionwhereyoulive.org

Talk of revolution breaks over the American consciousness in waves every so often, maybe more often just before and after elections. 

Yes! Magazine co-founder Sarah Van Gelder, who practices "solutions journalism," took a cross-country trip to find people who are already changing the country and the way it does business, one local effort at a time. 

The result is Van Gelder's book The Revolution Where You Live, detailing her odyssey from the Northwest to the East Coast and back. 

From downtrodden Newark and Detroit to the Bakken oil field and Montana coal country, there's a lot going on. 

San Joaquin Valley Reaping Economic Benefits Of Climate Policies

Jan 20, 2017
freethesun / Flickr

The San Joaquin Valley is reaping more than $13 billion in economic benefits from California’s climate change policies, according to the first comprehensive academic cost-benefit study. 

EPA

The Oregon Environmental Council is a non-partisan non-profit focused on the environmental health of living things in Oregon.  That's rather like the mission of the federal Environmental Protection Agency. 

But OEC is concerned with President-Elect Trump's choice to head the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.  Pruitt is a climate change denier who has taken the EPA to court on several occasions. 

OEC's Deputy Director, Chris Hagerbaumer, has many stories to tell about environmental successes in Oregon and how she hopes they'll continue under new EPA leadership. 

Elvert Barnes, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53062041

Not long after Donald Trump walks into the White House, plenty of other Americans will be walking. 

The Women's March on Washington will draw thousands of women to the capital to show resistance to the Trump administration. 

Many smaller marches are planned for communities across the country, including a march set for Ashland on Saturday. 

What drives the desire to march?  We have two people to ask: Sharon Dohrmann, a co-organizer, and Teresa Cisneros, a featured speaker. 

Calif. State Senators Question Proposed Spending Cuts

Jan 18, 2017

California Senators are questioning Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to cut back state spending and the revenue projections that proposal is based on. The Senate budget committee met for its first hearing on the plan Tuesday.

A Deficit-Sized Math Error In California

Jan 18, 2017
CarbonNYC / Flickr

An unforeseen deficit now projected for the next California budget is due, in part, to a math error.

Chris Darling/Wikimedia

The child foster care system can't seem to stay out of the news for long. 

The very concept of foster care comes with some issues: removing children from their homes and putting them in the care of strangers.  Tweaks and overhauls come about from time to time, but some issues remain. 

The court appointed special advocate--CASA--system is designed to keep another set of eyes on kids in foster care, and the voluntary system is always looking for new volunteers. 

CASA of Siskiyou County is one of many such programs around the country, and we learn more about the system in this interview. 

Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou

The news from Washington was expected, but it came with a surprise. 

President Obama did indeed decide to expand the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Jackson, Klamath, and Siskiyou Counties.  But the expansion, 47,000 acres or so, did not double the footprint of the existing monument. 

Just the same, pro-monument groups hailed the decision and anti-expansion groups criticized it. 

www.va.gov

California counties are trying to figure out how they’ll keep funding a program that helps seniors and disabled people. That’s because the state is poised to end a five-year agreement that helped pay for In-Home Supportive Services.

Now counties say they’re facing more than $500 million in new costs. 

dianacoogle.blogspot.com

Longtime listeners of Jefferson Public Radio will remember the name of Diana Coogle.

She provided commentary for years on an afternoon news magazine program JPR once ran. 

Her capacity for observing and remarking on the world around her remains undiminished.  In fact, she recently finished a new work, a book called Wisdom of the Heart, combining her prose with the painting of fellow Applegate resident Barbara Kostal. 

Don Ryan/AP

We speak of a "wall of separation of church and state" a lot in our country. 

But that actual phrase does not appear in our founding documents.  So there's a constant tug-of-war over just how much faith should be represented in the process of governing the country. 

The Reverend Tony Hutchinson of Trinity Episcopal Church in Ashland is both man of faith AND former man of government, as a diplomat.  He gives an OLLI lecture on faith in the public forum--for good and for ill--Wednesday January 18th in Talent. 

National Park Service

Opponents of proposed mining projects in the Klamath Mountains in the southwest corner of Oregon are praising a federal order withdrawing more than 100-thousand acres in the area from mining activity.

Wikimedia Commons

Compass Radio is about listening to people in our region as they navigate mental illness, and the mental health system.

This month we asked about education, and got some challenging answers. 

ODF

Ideally, an area burned in a forest fire can be left alone, and the forest will regenerate naturally. 

But not all fires create ideal situations.  In fact, the large, hot fires of California appear to stall the regeneration of conifer forests. 

That's the finding of a joint study of the US Forest Service and the plant sciences department at the University of California-Davis. 

If conifers do not grow back naturally, how should humans help? 

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