April Ehrlich

Morning Edition Host/Jefferson Exchange Producer

April Ehrlich began freelancing for Jefferson Public Radio in 2016. She officially joined the team as Morning Edition Host and a Jefferson Exchange producer in August 2017.

April previously worked as a reporter, covering local government, housing, and the environment in southern Oregon, eastern Oregon and western Idaho.

April served a two-year stint with AmeriCorps, where she worked with nonprofits helping low-income communities in rural Oregon. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English at Cal-State University, Fullerton, where she worked as an editor for the campus paper.

April spends her free time hiking through nearby forests with a rambunctious border collie, or reading fiction at home with her two favorite cats.
 

ep_jhu / Flickr

The opioid crisis in America brings attention primarily to two groups: patients who take the pain pills, and the doctors who prescribe them. 

Dr. Mark Greenberg of Ashland is a pain management specialist, and he has been both doctor and patient in pain situations. 

He was mentioned in a recent article on opioids in the Wall Street Journal, telling his story of not taking the meds prescribed for him after surgery last year. 

We are not kidding when we say the media landscape changes at lightning speed in today's world. 

Who would have thought major news organizations would quote the purported comments of the president and say "s**thole" on the air?  But it happened, just hours after the last Signals & Noise segment. 

That's our monthly conclave with members of the Communication faculty at Southern Oregon University

Ajay Tallam, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12180487

Enrollment is at record levels in the California State University system, which includes Humboldt State.  But CSU is considering raising tuition for the next academic year, as is the University of California. 

UC trustees recently put off a decision until May, in the hope that the governor and legislature will deliver more money and make higher tuition unnecessary. 

Meanwhile, the University of Oregon is considering a 3% tuition hike for next school year.

We delve into the cost of higher education and the ability (or not) of students to pay it, with several guests. 

Dr. Lucie Lapovsky is an economist who focuses on higher education; Dr. Richard Fossey is an expert on the student debt crisis.  And Maxwell Lubin represents Rise, a movement to make college tuition free. 

Wikimedia

For all the attention we lavish on St. Valentine's day, very little is known about the person for whom it is named.  If he even existed... it's almost like a blind date, we know so little. 

While we're on the subject of dating, let's bring in Skyler Wang, a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of California-Berkeley.  He studies and leads classes in the subject areas of love and romance. 

Some of his work focuses on the difficulties and opportunities in dating in rural areas (of which we have plenty). 

U.S. Army/Public Domain

The White House proposal for the next federal budget is out. 

Like the previous one, it proposes to cut all funding for the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system.  But Congress keeps funding in the spending plan that passed recently.

Susan Jacoby scanned the American culture and found a prevalence of what she calls "junk thought." 

So she wrote a book, The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies.  And that was nine years ago. 

Just think of how much more there is to talk about now, in the age of daily lies from public figures and cries of "fake news." 

Susan Jacoby updated her book to include the current political players and the likes of Breitbart News and Twitter, all contained in a new paperback edition. 

Not all of the Democrats sat in silence during President Trump's recent State of the Union address. 

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley stayed busy during the speech, or at least his Twitter account did. 

Merkley tweeted many responses to the president's remarks, and he's had much to say in the days since. 

US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons

Lots of people are pulling for monarch butterflies to make a comeback.  But the numbers from the Thanksgiving count of last fall show a continued decline in monarch numbers in California. 

And that's despite the counters making it to more locations. 

The Thanksgiving count is now in its third decade, and the overall trend has been consistently downward... even though more and more people are creating monarch-friendly gardens and waystations. 

Emma Pelton leads the monarch program at the Portland-based Xerces Society

Maybe a third of a million people came to California for the gold rush of 1849, and easily thousands more have come to the West since.  Many of them had little to show for their efforts. 

But not Glenn Wadstein.  He mined Jackson County's Sterling Creek for gold for a decade and a half at the end of the last century, and he claims to have pulled POUNDS of gold out of the stream. 

What did he do with his gains, and what kind of shape did he leave the creek in?  These and more questions are answered in Wadstein's video story at the Southern Oregon Digital Archives at Southern Oregon University. 

This is the latest chapter in Stories of Southern Oregon. 

Raya Sharbain, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57621002

Are you ready to be a "kindness warrior?"  Tara Cousineau considers herself one; the rest of the world would probably pigeonhole her as a clinical and research psychologist. 

And she focuses her work on the tremendous benefits of people being nice to one another and showing some compassion. 

She lays out the science and the practices in her book The Kindness Cure: How the Science of Compassion Can Heal Your Heart & Your World

Tomkeene, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3292373

For most of us, the pathway is relatively simple: get hungry, eat.  Repeat as necessary. 

But the reality is that many MANY events have to take place for us to have food to eat. 

The University of Oregon is one of a short list of schools that include a Food Studies program; it started just five years ago. 

Associate Professor Stephen Wooten, an anthropologist, is the program's director.  He explains all the different disciplines connected through the program, and all the parts of life that food studies can reach. 

Leonard Bernstein, take a bow.  He would if he were here... but the rest of us can celebrate the composer/conductor's life in this, the 100th year since his birth. 

Bernstein pieces will be among the offerings heard in Jacksonville next summer during the Britt Orchestra season. 

July is a long way off, but Britt Music Director Teddy Abrams is in town this week to boost the summer shows. 

Public Domain

Even the happiest life can end in a hospital bed, lit by fluorescent lights.  Which is not how most people say they would like to go. 

So speak up now, says Dr. Samuel Harrington. 

His work focuses on end-of-life care, and helping people make choices long before they are no longer able to participate in decision-making. 

Dr. Harrington's latest book is At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life

Wikimedia

Pressures from drought to irrigation to marijuana cultivation affect the streams in our region. 

The film "A River's Last Chance" focuses on the Eel River in Humboldt County.  It holds promise as a place for fish populations to recover, but it also faces many pressures on its use. 

The film is one of the headliners at the February 10 Siskiyou Film Fest at the Grants Pass Performing Arts Center. 

socompasshouse.org

It can be tough enough to figure out what's wrong with us when something goes wrong physically.  Some ailments just stump doctors. 

It can be far worse with mental health, and people truly suffer when their mental illnesses go undiagnosed or mis-diagnosed. 

In this month's edition of Compass Radio, we hear the story of a man who spent many years not knowing what was wrong with his mind.  The eventual correct diagnosis changed his life. 

Rex Medlen | Pixabay

Oregon state officials have put a Josephine County cannabis ordinance on hold.

 

The new ordinance restricted commercial marijuana farming on land zoned for residential use.

 The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports the state land-use board issued a nine-page order concluding that marijuana farmers would be irreparably injured if the new rules were enforced. 

Public Domain

As a biologist, Pepper Trail can appreciate the work of other biologists. 

But he REALLY appreciates the work of Charles Darwin, who did so much to teach the world about how biology works. 

And it's not an arms-length appreciation; Pepper Trail BECOMES Charles Darwin in a lecture called "Voyage to the Origin of Species" coming to the Southern Oregon University Library today (Feb. 8). 

We visit with the biologist--Trail, not Darwin--before the presentation. 

UKDID/Wikimedia

Not all of us are quick learners.  We all  learn in different ways, through different senses. 

And when there's a real obstacle, we speak in terms of "learning disability." 

Redding occupational therapist and physical therapist Suzanne Cresswell prefers to focus on the presence of the word "ability" in the term.  She's spend three decades working with people with learning challenges, or as she prefers, "unique learners." 

tiffanycooper.com/public domain

Is it possible the phrase "cry me a river" became common because of Julie London? 

She's the one who made the song by that title famous in the mid-1950s.  And Julie London's sultry style gets a tribute from vocalist Tiffany Cooper, in a new album called "Satin Mood." 

The Siskiyou Project hosts a CD release party on Sunday (February 11) at Paschal Winery near Talent. 

As one of the more-populated counties in the region, Jackson County also has a higher population of homeless people. 

A Homeless Task Force formed years ago, with the goal of getting street people off the streets.  They remain, and have been the target of new laws, like exclusion zones in Medford and Ashland. 

Our survey of homeless people and services, Out in the Cold, surveys Jackson County issues and offerings in this joint interview. 

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