Wikimedia Commons

Where once methamphetamine labs concerned police, now it's BHO operations: butane honey oil labs. 

Pretty name, but volatile process; it extracts the main "high" chemical from marijuana through the use of butane or propane.  You could flunk chemistry and know those substances are prone to explosion. 

Josephine County's sheriff and other police agencies report 10 lab seizures and two explosions this year.  The seizures are tops in Oregon, and a cause for concern for both police and fire agencies like Illinois Valley Fire District

Underground History: Yreka's Old Chinatown

Nov 29, 2017
Southern Oregon University

There's a good chance that if you set a shovel to the ground in a place where people have lived for a long time, you'll find SOME kind of artifact.  This is what keeps archaeologists busy and provides content for our monthly Underground History segment. 

This month: the excavation of Yreka's old Chinatown, dug up when Interstate Five was built.  There's a good collection of artifacts, but the documentation and interpretation were never completed. 

Sarah Heffner is working to update the information about the collection. 

She is our guest, along with regulars Chelsea Rose and Mark Tveskov of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

We wonder sometimes when Robert Arellano sleeps. 

He's got talents as an author, teacher, and musician (among other skills), and has just cranked out his sixth novel.  Havana Libre is the sequel to Havana Lunar, his critically acclaimed book from 2010. 

Bombs, terrorists, and spies populate the new book, which is set in the Cuba of 20 years ago.

Our monthly hit of contemporary music, Rogue Sounds, steps up a notch for December (yes, we're a day early). 

Because Josh Gross of the Rogue Messenger, our music curator, is also the organizer of a CD of local bands and a party to release it, coming up next week. 

So Josh will treat us to a souped-up collection of songs, just in time for the holidays. 

California Capitol Staffers: Sexual Harassment Training ‘A Joke’

Nov 29, 2017

Earlier this year, a female legislative staffer entered Room 4202 inside California’s state Capitol, a large space with tan paneling and green carpet. The staffer, who wants to remain anonymous, was there to attend sexual-harassment training along with “hundreds” of colleagues — including, she says, her harasser.
The woman said the presence of so many people during the training, especially the staffer who sexually harassed her, made the class uncomfortable.
“It was a joke,” she said.

Wikipedia Commons

The State of Oregon recently reported on the numbers of homeless students in the state. 

And the figures were not encouraging: of the five districts with the highest rates of student homelessness, four are in our listening area.  Butte Falls tops the list. 

The Maslow Project works to assist homeless students in both Jackson and Josephine Counties, and seldom has to look far to find people to serve. 

BLM/Public Domain

It's called the "prairie chicken," but nobody really intends to eat a sage grouse. 

The bird is a focus of controversy in Oregon's high desert, with conservation groups seeking greater protection for it and resource-use groups trying to reduce regulations. 

The latter category includes the Oregon Farm Bureau.  Mary Ann Cooper from the Bureau visits.

Tom Sharp is a rancher and the chair of the Oregon Cattlemen's Association's Endangered Species Committee. 

They join us with the farmer/rancher perspective on the sage grouse, prior to a federal deadline for comment on December 1.

Army/Public Domain

Jere Van Dyk knows Afghanistan well from decades of covering the news there.  But his vast knowledge did not protect him from kidnapping; he was taken in 2008. 

45 days later, he was free... and not sure why.  He decided to investigate the odd circumstances of his release, a story he tells in The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping

The title is not applied casually... kidnapping is indeed a business in Afghanistan. 

California Asks Pot Dispensaries To Pay Taxes Before Getting Seller's Permit

Nov 27, 2017
Melissa Bosworth / Capital Public Radio / File

Taxes on California’s cannabis industry could top a billion dollars a few years from now. But along the way, the state is looking to bring in gray-area operators who haven’t been paying taxes, and get them to square up.

It turns out small birds can lead to large and heated debates.  Think spotted owl, marbled murrelet, and sage grouse. 

The grouse, the so-called "prairie chicken," is a candidate for federal protection, but the feds declined to put it on the Endangered Species list. 

And now the Trump administration wants to make sure grouse protection does not get in the way of economic activity in the West.  A deadline for comment on federal plans comes on December 1. 

The Oregon Natural Desert Association is making sure the Interior Department hears plenty of comment.  ONDA's conservation director, Dan Morse, visits. 

NOAA/Public Domain

Dungeness crab season is a big deal on the West Coast.  It's become a big deal for whales, too, but not in a good way. 

The numbers of whales and other marine mammals tangled in devices meant to catch crabs has been climbing to record levels in recent years. 

The Center for Biological Diversity already sued the federal Fish and Wildlife service over the entanglements earlier this fall; now CBD wants the feds to declare that crabbing is dangerous to whales. 

The Keenest Observers: POC In The RV

Nov 27, 2017
Sparrowhawk Media Arts

The Rogue Valley's Nisha Burton has many artistic interests and outlets. 

Her latest short film is part of a project called "The Separation Myth," and is an an exploration of what it is like to be non-white and live in the Rogue Valley. 

She is our guest in this month's installment of The Keenest Observers, hosted by Robert Goodwin. 

Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

On Saturday, December 2nd, JPR's Classics & News Service will begin the Metropolitan Opera's 87th season of Saturday matinee broadacsts with Verdi's Requiem. All broadcasts begin at 10am except Wagner's Parsifal on February 17th which starts at 9am.

Updated 12/5/2017 | 3:00 pm -- Service is at low power, so service may be impaired. Our engineer is working to bring service back to full power. 

Updated 12/1/2017 | 10:30 am -- Our engineer restored the service to full power, however the service continues to experience intermittent outages. Our engineer is at the site today working on repairs.

The Classics & News service on 88.3 FM in Medford/Ashland is on low power after an issue occurred this weekend. Our engineer is working to complete repairs this week.

Oregon State Police took a hit from the reorganization of state funding in the 1990s. 

The numbers of troopers on patrol dropped steadily for years, then appeared to be on a rebound... when the Great Recession hit. 

There are still fewer troopers than allowed in the budget, and the shortage can lead to slow response times to calls, especially in rural areas. 

Public Domain

Oregon homes and cars will use less fuel in the future, under a pair of executive orders issued by Governor Kate Brown this month. 

One order focuses on buildings, with homes and commercial buildings ordered to be ready for solar panels, and "zero energy ready" within a few years. 

The other order focuses on getting more electric vehicles on the road in just three years. 

We focus on the building order; Fred Gant was connected to Earth Advantage, a pro-green-building nonprofit.  Dan Jovick builds green buildings and is co-founder of Jovick Construction


Capitalism rules the world now.  Even countries we once thought of as committed to communism now allow at least some semblance of a free-market economy. 

And that creates some problems for the planet, since capitalism can be tough on the environment. 

Several economists have pointed this out; now a pair of college professors make a more pointed case in A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet

Raj Patel and Jason Moore are not using "cheap" in the good sense--it's not about low prices. 

We’re Not Going Anywhere: At a historical moment of immense political, social, and ecological uncertainty, those four simple words comprise both a promise and a protest, a comforting reassurance of inclusion as well as a hearty cry of defiance. It’s a statement that offers no small sense of hope, in that sense matching the music contained on the new album from David Ramirez.

California Group Warns Parents Of Toys To Avoid

Nov 24, 2017
Sally Schilling/Capital Public Radio

A consumer advocacy group is warning holiday shoppers that some toys, including certain types of the popular fidget spinners, may be hazardous to kids.

In researching for it's annual "Trouble In Toyland" report, the California Public Interest Research Group found high levels of lead in two fidget spinners sold at Target.

CALPIRG tested Fidget Wild’s Premium Spinner in “Metal” and in “Bronze” and found they contained lead well above the legal limit for children's products. Lead exposure can cause health problems, especially for children.

Oregon State Police took a hit from the reorganization of state funding in the 1990s. 

The numbers of troopers on patrol dropped steadily for years, then appeared to be on a rebound... when the Great Recession hit.  There are still fewer troopers than allowed in the budget, and the shortage can lead to slow response times to calls, especially in rural areas.