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.
 

Public Domain

"I am not a physicist and this is not a physics book." 

That's the statement from David Schwartz, the son of a physicist and the author of a new biography of Enrico Fermi, The Last Man Who Knew Everything

Schwartz figured it was time for a new biography, because Fermi's work (he died in 1954) continues to influence physics and its practitioners today. 

Tim McCabe, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24805347

Two things are generally true about conventional agriculture: 1) it takes people, 2) it takes pesticides. 

So there are situations where people are exposed to pesticides when they work on farms and orchards. 

Oregon OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) adopts new rules to protect farmworkers and people who handle pesticides, effective sometime next year.   We explore the rules and the reactions to them: Michael Wood from Oregon OSHA visits. 

We still have a love affair with our cars and trucks in America.  Until they start acting up... then the love begins to feel conditional. 

Zach Edwards is in the business of fixing that relationship through car repair; he's the boss at Ashland Automotive

And he joins us once a month for a segment we call The Squeaky Wheel, a chance to talk about car car issues and swap stories. 

Wikimedia

Drug addiction is one of the stories of our time.  Still. 

The drugs change, but the addictions keep on coming, despite The War on Drugs and many other efforts to stop people from taking drugs they do not need. 

The country is focused on opioid prescription drugs at the moment, and the heroin addictions they can lead to. 

But Addictions Recovery Center in the Rogue Valley stays focused on getting people into recovery, no longer feeding their addictions.  ARC's story goes back 40 years and more, and its configuration has changed, but the mission remains the same.

Eugene Ballet

The days are short, the nights are long, and the weather is often too lousy to go outside. 

In other words, December is a GREAT month for events in the arts!  Indoor events, we stress. 

Plays, concerts, gallery shows, and ballets about kitchen appliances abound. 

We welcome them all in our First Friday Arts segment, built entirely on listener phone calls. 

Got an event in your town?  Tell the Exchange audience about it by calling 800-838-3760.

Harland Quarrington/Wikimedia Commons

It can be truly difficult to keep up with the ever-changing media landscape.  Even for us, and we're PART of the media. 

Just consider the recent news items about media (and political) figures accused of sexual misconduct. 

Or the effort to end net neutrality through federal regulatory action. 

There's always something new to digest and discuss in Signals & Noise, our monthly conclave with members of the Communication faculty at Southern Oregon University. 

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

bobarellano.com

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. 

intuitive-compass.com

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. 

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. 

Wikipedia.org

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. 

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

NASA

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. 

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

The return of wolves to Oregon has resulted in both exhilaration and exasperation. 

But also a sense of wonder.  Any creature gone from the landscape for decades draws notice when it is detected again in the woods nearby. 

One Oregon wolf (NOT OR-7) drew a particular sense of awe for his sheer size.  OR-4 is the subject of a recent story in Outside magazine

National Archives of The Netherlands

Women went to war with the rest of the world in World War II.  Not generally on the front lines, but on the home front, working in factories and taking on tasks men had done until they went off to battle. 

And those tasks include analyzing enemy messages, and breaking codes. 

10,000 women served as codebreakers in the war, a story told in Liza Mundy's book Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II.  

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