April Ehrlich/JPR

Some Republican members of Congress have faced angry constituents this week during town hall meetings back in their home districts. Senator Ron Wyden didn’t have that problem when he held his town hall in Ashland Thursday.

Fearing Nuclear Weapons More In 2017

Feb 23, 2017
Air Force/Public Domain

It was just three weeks ago that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists advanced the "Doomsday Clock" to two-and-a-half minutes to midnight, the highest threat of nuclear war perceived since the heart of the Cold War.

The Ploughshares Fund, which works to eliminate nuclear weapons, shares the concern of the scientists. 

Fund president Joseph Cirincione speaks in Eugene this weekend (Feb. 26) about nuclear policy in the age of Trump. 

Fox Pictures

Movies about space flight always seem to be strong contenders for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. 

But a movie about math whizzes who made space flight possible?  That is the storyline of Hidden Figures, up for several Oscars on Sunday, February 26th. 

It is based on the true story of African American women whose calculation skills helped people fly into space, detailed in a book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly. 

She visited with us after the book was finished and as the movie neared completion. 

Oregon Republican Activists Have Mixed Views On Trump, But Hope Triumphs Over Fear

Feb 22, 2017

Listen to the demonstrators chanting in the Portland streets or the Democratic senators trying to shoot down President Donald Trump’s cabinet picks. It’s clear they fear the worst from the new president.

Republican activists in Oregon — one of the most Democratic states in the country — have not been so visible. But interviews with six of them show they are much more likely to find at least a few big things to like about Trump.

North Coast Rises Up Against The English Ivy

Feb 22, 2017
chery, Public Domain,

It looks really pretty on exterior walls--think universities and Wrigley Field--but English ivy is a pest. 

It is not a plant indigenous to our region, and ivy causes problems for native plants, including trees in the forest. 

It's a greater problem in the moister forests of the North Coast, where the No Ivy League has worked to eradicate it for several years. 

ICE/Public Domain

It's no surprise that the White House is cracking down on illegal immigration; President Trump promised to do so, and many Americans expect a crackdown. 

But Latino communities report a ripple effect: people who do want immigrants out have taken to demonstrating their feelings. 

Ben Garcia at Revista Caminos, a Spanish-language magazine, is working on a piece about the people who feel emboldened to haze immigrants and minorities. 

California Farmers Wary Of Too Much Water From Weather Ruining Crops

Feb 22, 2017
Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

Some farmers are watching and waiting to see how their fruit and nut trees handle ground that is soaked by water, but some said they have seen this before.

Richard Taylor has prune and walnut trees in standing water adjacent to the Feather River levee in his Taylor Brothers Farms in Yuba City. He says too much water from seepage and boils can kill young walnut and peach trees.

"In 1955, when the levee broke, where we are right now was about 10 feet of water, it laid in here and stayed in here and didn't drain and it killed all the orchards," Taylor says.

Yasmin Perez

It’s Valentine’s Day, and the Story Machine crew are celebrating all of the different kinds of love!. Listen in with Randal the Reading Rat, Cog, and Bolt to hear stories about a monster finding her true love in The Monster and the Human, by Kora, age 9; love keeping a family strong in Mi Familia by Yasmin Perez, age 7; two friends saving the day in Dragon Fire by Khloe Gates, age 8; and a little dog with a huge heart in The Friend by Maille Damon-Tolleneare.

Oregon Blue Book

Oregon still requires the state legislature to draw new legislative and Congressional districts after every federal census. 

Which means the people in power get to pick the people they represent, up to a point.  It's a point too far for new Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. 

He set up a nonpartisan Fair Redistricting Task Force to explore ways to change the process of drawing new lines. 

Three guests join us: Alan Zundel, who head the Pacific Green Party in Oregon, Rep. Julie Parrish, and former Secretary of State Phil Keisling. 

Compass Radio Explores Recovery From Mental Illness

Feb 21, 2017

Members of the Compass House tell us how recovery from mental illness isn't a myth.

Compass Radio is co-produced by Bryce Harding and the members of Compass House in Medford.

Compass House is a place for adults with mental illness to find support, in the clubhouse model of mental health care.

It's still a little cold for classical music concerts outdoors. 

But the Britt Festivals in Jacksonville are not waiting for the summer concert season.  Britt sprinkles musical residency programs throughout the year, and right now the Oregon Wind Quintet is in residency. 

Somehow we cram all five members into the studio for a chat and some music. 

Oregon Bill Would Provide Health Care For All Children

Feb 21, 2017
Anna Reed/Statesman Journal

More than 17,000 children are currently excluded from the Oregon Health Plan because of their residency status.

Timber Companies Sue Over Cascade-Siskiyou Monument Expansion

Feb 20, 2017
Bureau of Land Management / Flickr

Two lumber companies filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the legality of President Barack Obama’s expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument during his last days in office.

How Naloxone Can Save Overdose Victims

Feb 20, 2017
Mark Oniffrey, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The opioid painkiller epidemic took a strange twist when doctors clamped down on the prescription drugs.  Users began turning to heroin as a replacement for opioids, and the heroin overdose death rate shot up. 

In response, many communities have begun equipping first responders with the drug naloxone--also called Narcan--to revive overdose patients long enough to get medical help. 

Julia Pinsky's son died of a heroin overdose; she started "Max's Mission" to help distribute naloxone. 

Sara Smith is a nurse and organizer for a naxolone support group under Oregon Pain Guidance

Brett Johnson is deputy police chief in Medford. 

Oregon State Archives

The federal constitution is on display at the National Archives in Washington for all to see. 

Oregon's first constitution, though younger by 70 years, is not healthy enough for public display.  Paper doesn't age well. 

The state just embarked on a crowdfunding campaign to raise $100,000 to restore and display the 1857 constitution. 

From Rickshaws To A VW Bus, Ashland Inventor Taps Solar Power

Feb 18, 2017
Jamie Lusch/Medford Mail Tribune

A rickshaw motoring down a busy, bumpy street in Mumbai and an old VW van taking the hairpin turns around the Oregon Coast have something in common — an Ashland inventor.

Brett Belan is giving a new life to both rickshaw and van, cellphone and house lights through his discovery of improved components to outfit them with renewable energy.

Planned Parenthood

It's been pointed out many times that abortion makes up a small percentage of the services offered by Planned Parenthood. 

Despite that--and a law barring federal funding of abortion--Planned Parenthood remains a target of conservatives in Congress.  They would like to eliminate all federal funding for the agency. 

That would have an impact in many places.  But an uneven impact, because Planned Parenthood's services differ from place to place.  Planned Parenthood Southwestern Oregon is the affiliate north of the state line. 

President and CEO Lisa Gardner and External Affairs Director Sky Loos visit. 

Oregon Right to Life

Oregon Right to Life seeks to protect human life from conception to death, and a natural death at that. 

ORTL often finds itself mentioned in the same paragraphs as Planned Parenthood, because it takes issue with abortion and other practices of that organization. 

ORTL formed even before the Supreme Court legalized abortion with the Roe vs Wade decision in 1973. 

Southern Oregon chapter rep Bryan Platt visits the Exchange. 

The Ethics Of Making A New Universe In A Lab

Feb 17, 2017

We know a few things about the birth of the universe.  Do we know enough to recreate the process? 

The question alone provokes thought.  But scientists have been pondering it for a while now, convinced that they could create small universes in laboratories. 

A Big Bang in a Little Room by Zeeya Merali considers both physical and ethical obstacles to lab-created "baby universes." 

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

America’s energy future is often cast as a battle that pits fossil fuels such as coal and gas against wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. But in the Pacific Northwest, we've already slashed greenhouse gas emissions -- and saved big bucks -- with a clean energy source that often doesn't even get mentioned in policy debates.