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Jail space tends to be at a premium in our region.

Funding is often tight, and cells are limited in the best of circumstances. 

So jail cells are not the best places for drunk or drugged people to "sleep it off", especially if they have not committed any crime.

Grants Pass will be home to a "sobering center" by sometime next year, a non-jail place for substance abusers to get straight. 

The Oregon Legislature approved funding for it last month. 

Southern Oregon Historical Society

We often refer to a camping trip as "roughing it."

But a perusal of camping in the old days gives a whole new meaning to the term "rough." 

Our ancestors who wanted to spend time at Crater Lake had to plan on a long, dusty journey, and a primitive existence while in the park. 

Historian and Park Service volunteer Larry Smith presents a program on camping at Crater Lake at the Southern Oregon Historical Society center in Medford on Saturday. 

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We're not even halfway through the summer, and drought concerns are rising, even in normally well-watered parts of Oregon.

Junction City recently had to declare a "moderate" water emergency and restrict water uses. 

EWEB in Eugene is keeping an eye on low river flows caused by the lack of snowpack. 

And Ashland is poised to increase warnings about water use, if its major reservoir drops below a certain level. 

Jimbelushi.ws

Jim Belushi's web page identifies him as a performer.

Not just an actor, or singer, or comedian, but a performer. 

His latest gig is building a cabin along the Rogue River, chronicled in his TV show "Building Belushi."

And Belushi's newfound allegiance to Southern Oregon has him appearing in a benefit concert for the Holly Theatre restoration on August 29th.

oregoncarepartners.com

When you've got concerns about the treatment of a child, you call the state child welfare agency.

When you've got concerns about an older adult in long-term care in Oregon, you call the office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman

The office--one of many across the country--investigates everything from physical abuse to bad food in long-term care facilities, and volunteers power the program. 

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Moving an older family member into a nursing home is hard enough.

In Humboldt County, it's nearly impossible at the moment for families receiving MediCal, the state's version of Medicaid. 

And the North Coast Journal says it's not because there's not enough space... it's because the company that owns the majority of the skilled nursing facilities wants more money per patient from the state. 

Leslie McClurg/CPR

In 2008, Californians passed a law by a two-thirds majority to give egg-laying hens more space to move around. Farmers have had the last seven years to comply. Proposition 2 -- the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act -- went into effect this January.

Yurok Tribe

Northern California's Yurok Tribe is taking a greater hand in the administration of justice to its members.

The tribe recently opened a new justice center in Klamath, and is making plans to move juvenile cases from state court to tribal court. 

The juvenile court plans are part of a larger vision for younger Yuroks through the Yurok Youth Wellness Project.

Wikimedia

Recent discussions of the warm-water "Blob" in the Pacific may have obscured previously existing concerns about ocean health.

Like the increasing level of acidity in the ocean, and the more frequent appearance of low-oxygen zones (hypoxia). 

The West Coast Ocean Acidification & Hypoxia Science Panel brings together top minds from the West Coast State and British Columbia to come up with ideas for addressing the ocean issues. 

The panel presents a progress update at a meeting in Sacramento next week (July 29), with several reports due this fall. 

Michael Joyce/JPR

With water shortages so common up and down the west coast, there's been no shortage of drought stories in the news. But JPR's Michael Joyce found this story about the only county in California with too much water, and the problem of figuring out what to do with it all.

   

Backcountry Press

Newcomers to the State of Jefferson often ask about the plant with the green leaves and orange or purple branches, the one that seems to have lost its bark.

Old-timers ask back: “the tree or the bush?” The tree is the madrone, the bush is manzanita.

And the bush is the star of a new book, Field Guide to Manzanitas, the work of Michael Kauffmann, Tom Parker, and Michael Vasey.

Amelia Templeton/OPB

A new article in The New Yorker magazine has gotten a lot of attention in the Northwest this week. The article paints an apocalyptic picture of the consequences if a magnitude 9.0 earthquake were to hit the Northwest coast. And experts say a monster quake like that could hit anytime.

Public Domain

The governor still needs to sign, but Oregon appears on its way to a "Right To Try" law.

Meaning people with terminal illnesses will gain the right to try medications and procedures that have not been approved by federal authorities. 

The Cascade Policy Institute is one of several organizations backing the policy--20 or so other states have made similar moves--but CPI has a few issues with the bill as passed. 

Penguin Books

Oregon entered a new era with the legalization of marijuana for personal use two weeks ago.

This comes after years of wrestling with the nuances of medical marijuana, legal for years now. 

Medical pot tends to exist as a parallel health care system, separate from the medical mainstream. 

But one MD is all for marijuana as medicine... Dr. David Casarett is the author of Stoned: A Doctor's Case for Medical Marijuana. 

Oregon Department of Transportation

Welcome to the age of what comes AFTER gasoline taxes.

Fuel taxes pay for road repair and maintenance... or did. 

The advent of hybrid and straight-electric vehicles reduces per-capita fuel consumption, and road funds with it.   

Oregon is just now rolling out OReGO, its voluntary program for drivers to pay road taxes by miles traveled. 

OreGO's Michelle Godfrey explains how the program works, and what is required of participants.
 

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Urges to action on climate change frequently come with critiques of current business practices.

Now businesses are joining forces to make their own call for action on climate change. 

The Oregon Business Climate Declaration is about THE climate, not "business climate." 

And companies from Nike to Dutch Bros. are among the roughly 400 businesses signing on. 

Our Children's Trust

The teenagers who sued the state of Oregon over climate change got their day in court.

And the court said no, in essence.  Now the teens are appealing their case to a higher court. 

oregon.gov

The Oregon legislature recently adjourned for the year, leaving some unfinished business when it comes to a state forest that’s been the subject of controversy. Conservation groups expressed dismay last year when state officials decided to sell parts of the Elliott State Forest to timber companies. 

Updated 7/15/15 | 6:15pm ​-- JPR engineers installed new modules today to repair our KAGI transmitter and return our News and Information Service to Josephine County following a lightning strike that took place late last week.  We also combed the electrical infrastructure of the KAGI transmitter building improving the grounding significantly.  In the coming week we'll add a third industrial surge protector to the site to avoid future damage and downtime.  These kinds of electrical issues can be very difficult to trouble shoot and resolve on sites we lease from other broadcasters.

Ellin Beltz/Wikimedia

Drought and heat waves are making it a tough summer for some of the region's waterways.

But even before the drought and summer, many streams had already reached various stages of disrepair. 

Including the Eel River, largely in Humboldt County.

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