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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.
 

Wikimedia

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.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The long season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival includes two plays opening this month, including "The Happiest Song Plays Last."

It is a sequel to "Water By The Spoonful," which played OSF just last year. 

Stormwater Capture: California's Untapped Supply

Jul 9, 2015
Curtis Jerome Haynes

When it rains in California, millions of gallons of water runs down city streets, into storm drains and out to the Pacific Ocean. But with the state in its fourth year of drought, it can’t afford to waste that resource. Some cities are capturing that rain by soaking it up like a sponge. Could this be California’s next big “untapped” water supply?

36 Inches The Movie

Environmental issues frequently make news in our region.  But few issues can stir up passions with just three letters: LNG.

The proposal for a liquefied natural gas export terminal at North Bend and a 230-plus mile pipeline too is like nails on a blackboard to many people.

Including the ones who made a mini-documentary film about the pipeline: "36 Inches."

Photo: Jenny Graham / | Oregon Shakespeare Festival

When times are tight, the arts are often the first to meet the ax. But what about the cost of NOT supporting the arts in society? Dollars and cents won’t tally that.  

A new initiative is seeking out more poetic measures, by asking people what they value about art and how to best express those values. 

Updated 7/7/15 | 4:00 pm -- The signals for Rhythm&News and Classics&News in Siskiyou and Shasta Counties have been restored. 

Classics and News and Rhythm and News went of the air this morning due to an issue with the microwave transmitter. Our engineer is working to resolve the problem as soon as possible. 

The first thing I realized when I started reporting on the heroin epidemic in southern Oregon is that pretty much everything I thought I knew about it was wrong.

Liam Moriarty/JPR

Dr. Jim Shames is an addiction specialist and the medical director for Jackson County Health and Human Services. He says doctors like him played a key role in creating the epidemic of addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers. Now, he’s leading innovative efforts to turn it around. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR

Today, we meet Darryl Inaba. He’s a Doctor of Clinical Pharmacy and co-author of “Uppers, Downers, All Arounders,” a book on addiction and the brain that’s widely used as a training text. He says while the belated recognition of prescription opioid addiction is reducing the number of new addicts, not enough is being done to help those already hooked.

Public Domain

The search for pain relief is turning respectable members of the community into drug addicts.

It's happened for years, since the introduction of the highly effective and highly addictive opioid pain killers, like Oxycontin and Vicodin. 

Doctors are now trying to limit prescriptions to them, but that's sent some people turning to heroin for relief. 

JPR reporter Liam Moriarty researched the issue in a series of reports, "Silent Epidemic."

http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/

Wildfire season in the Northwest started early this year. Crews recently subdued the 5,345-acre Buckskin fire near southern Oregon’s Illinois Valley.

The Buckskin fire is called a “reburn” because it’s on land that was scorched by wildfire in the recent past. These reburns are a positive indication that the forests are recovering from decades of fire suppression.

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