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.
 

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If you break a leg or come down with a disease that confines you to bed, people generally know what to do.  But that's physical illness. 

Mental illness presents a different set of challenges in diagnosis and treatment.  All of the members of Southern Oregon Compass House in Medford learned this firsthand. 

Once a month, we visit with clubhouse members and staffers to explore issues in mental illness, issues we're often hearing about for the first time. 

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South Medford High School graduate Laura VanZee Taylor suffered from depression and anxiety as a young woman. 

So she's aware of the confusion and stigma that attaches to mental illness, especially in young people. 

Her documentary "I Am Maris," screening at this week's Ashland Independent Film Festival, features 17-year-old Maris Degener, yoga instructor who has dealt with anorexia. 

If we had more money, we could probably turn our monthly Signals & Noise media segment into a 24-hour service. 

There's just THAT much to talk about in the media, all day and every day.  Especially since we define "media" broadly, to include everything from modern social media to books. 

Andrew Gay and Precious Yamaguchi from the Communication faculty at Southern Oregon University are our regulars.  We tee up some key issues in the media--like the promo copy all the anchors of Sinclair TV stations were required to read--and discuss. 

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It wasn't THAT long ago that people with developmental and intellectual disabilities ended up shunted away from society and placed in mental institutions, until they died.  We treat them better now, but better enough? 

That is the question Dan Habib asks in his film "Intelligent Lives," screening this weekend at the Ashland Independent Film Festival.  The film follows three people who challenge society's definition of intelligence, and pursue their dreams despite their own personal challenges. 

The historical portions of the film are narrated by the actor Chris Cooper; he and his wife had a son with cerebral palsy who experienced some of the same treatment as the subjects of the film.  The Coopers--Chris and Marianne Leone Cooper--are also executive producers of the film. 

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People are full of surprises.  And sometimes they surprise themselves, not in a good way. 

Can you honestly say you're aware of all your biases?  Police officers face a lot of scrutiny for their biases after many shooting incidents. 

Eureka Police take part in a program called Principled Policing, which includes attention to implicit bias and procedural justice. 

Weechie, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39180964

The world says "football," and we say "soccer."  We say "football," and the world says "huh?" 

Our version of football--pointy-ended ball and helmets--is not played in much of the world.  But soccer is the most popular sport in the world (under the name football).  And billions of people around the world will be watching the World Cup coming this summer, the quadrennial world championship. 

Where DID soccer come from, and how did it get so popular everywhere but here?  Answers to these questions and more appear in Laurent Dubois's book The Language of the Game: How to Understand Soccer

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It helps understand our region and its history when people take the time to jot down a few notes. 

Annice Olena Black comes from a family of historians who recorded tales of people and places in the Applegate Valley around Ruch. 

Annice is the focus of this month's edition of Stories of Southern Oregon.  She has many stories of her own to tell about her parents and their writing, including a book. 

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Got 20 cents?  Those two dimes represent the difference between what men and women make on EVERY dollar. 

True: women make, on average, 80 cents for every dollar men make.  The disparity is a hot topic of discussion on this day (April 10), Equal Pay Day

Oregon has some news to contribute to the day: an equal pay law passed by the legislature that goes into effect at the beginning of next year. 

Christopher Briscoe

"Get Your Kicks on Route 66," an old song says.  We're betting the song is familiar to Christopher Briscoe and his son Quincy. 

They took the famed highway of the song for a cross-country ride.  Not a drive, a ride... a 2700-mile bicycle ride that took them nearly two months.  It's the subject of their film "The Road Between Us."

Who did they meet and what did they see and why do it in the first place?  All topics for discussion as the Briscoes visit the studio before their film screens at the Ashland Independent Film Festival later this week (April 12-16). 

Mig Windows

Maybe you saw a play so good that you just HAD to talk to the actors when it was over.  Maybe you even uttered the phrase "you were so good," and then moved on. 

Ashland actor and filmmaker Mig Windows imagines such a meeting in her short film "You Were So Good," screening this week at the Ashland Independent Film Festival (April 12-16). 

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Technology may yet help us avoid the worst of climate change. 

But there are plenty of people who think it'll take more than science to solve the problems.  Because humans come with multiple skill sets. 

The Center for Environmental Futures at the University of Oregon examines environmental issues from a humanities perspective. 

Professor Stephanie LeMenager is one of the co-directors for the center. 

Check out the people blinking at the daylight in downtown Ashland starting next weekend.  Chances are their eyes are light sensitive from sitting in the dark, watching movies. 

The Ashland Independent Film Festival returns for another extended weekend of film viewing and presentations by filmmakers. 

And this year AIFF expands to a handful of events in Medford. 

Tom Smail, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20998887

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  The first sentence of the first amendment to the Constitution lays out the fundamental position on the state's dealings with religion--state in both senses. 

But like the rest of the Constitution, it is written vaguely enough for some interpretation.  So there's a constant back-and-forth about how MUCH room is needed between church and state. 

The name of Rob Boston's group is clear: Americans United for Separation of Church and State.  Boston gives a talk tonight (April 9) in Ashland. 

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A billion dollars.  That's what the most recent superhero movie, Black Panther, made at the box office, and that was as of a month ago. 

Superheroes are popular all over the world, still, 80 years after Superman first put on that red cape. 

Southern Oregon fans of superheroes and comics generally convene later this month (April 28-29) at Medford Comic Con, presented by Jackson County Library Services and Rogue Community College. 

The weekend offers plenty of chances for dress-up cosplay and other events. 

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If you've ever tried to manage a roomful of boys, you know how much of a challenge it can be. 

Janet Allison heartily agrees.  She realized from her first day teaching just how differently boys and girls move, live, and learn. 

So now she speaks and coaches about the best ways to educate boys, how best to work with their natural tendencies. 

Sandy Rae, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26424181

The best-laid plans in forest management can go awry.  Even controlled burns can have unintended consequences, as happened not long ago in the Ashland Forest Resiliency project. 

Although a controlled burn stayed within its designated lines, a few big trees that were meant to survive did not. 

So project managers took up a new strategy: plant sugar pines.  They used to be part of the landscape in the Ashland watershed, and fit the needs of the project--the overall intent of which is to keep catastrophic fire out of the watershed. 

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"Ouch, my back" and its equivalent is heard frequently around the planet.  By some counts, more than half a Billion people suffer from low back pain at any point in time. 

Treatment for low back pain can take a number of different approaches.  And many of them are wrong, in the eyes of Dr. Roger Chou at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). 

He's part of a study team evaluating treatments like opioid painkillers. 

We have yet to find a musical genre that Josh Gross does not like. 

His enthusiasm for music in all forms is infectious, and reflected in his music columns and articles in the Rogue Valley Messenger

So we borrow that enthusiasm once a month, for our own Rogue Sounds segment.  Josh Gross returns to talk about the works and local appearances of a handful of bands. 

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It's part of the imagery of the American West that wild horses still roam the landscape.  But the beauty and freedom belie the ongoing debate about how best to manage the herds. 

The federal Bureau of Land Management is responsible for managing wild horses and burros, and BLM is trying a few new techniques. 

Those include an adoption event coming up in mid-April in South Central Oregon in partnership with Beaty Butte Wild Horses

böhringer friedrich, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3180208

If timber management is the number one ongoing source of environmental debate in the region, cattle grazing is not far behind. 

Ranchers and environmental groups are often at odds with each other and with agencies responsible for managing grazing on public lands.  Now researchers at Michigan State University inject a new note into the melody: a study showing how cattle production can be environmentally friendly

Paige Stanley is one of the researchers, now at the University of California-Berkeley. 

Spencer Smith practices careful cattle management at the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management in Modoc County. 

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