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.

Thomas Quine, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51708455

Star Trek did it.  Superman did it.  Even Woody Allen traveled through time in one of his movies (bonus points for knowing which one).  In short, we've been talking about traveling through time for a very long time. 

James Gleick, who writes about science and its practitioners, travels back in time to the origins of people thinking and writing about time travel. 

It's all on the table, from Jules Verne to the present day, from art to science to philosophy, in Gleick's book Time Travel: A History

It includes an examination of what the author calls the porous boundary between science fiction and modern physics. 

Annette Teng, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52465073

Vaux's swifts migrate through the west coast while on their way to Central and South America every summer.

In Western Oregon, they stop to roost in old hollow snags and chimneys every evening in September. People bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets to watch the spectacle of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tiny black birds swirling around a chimney until diving in, all the while dodging preying hawks. 

But the trees and chimneys favored by the birds are getting harder to find these days, and the birds' numbers are dropping. 


Even if you never drive past a vineyard, it's easy to spot evidence of a growing wine industry in Oregon. 

Just check out the "Oregon" racks in the wine section of the grocery store. 

The Southern Oregon University Research Center--SOURCE--recently completed a Wine & Vineyard Census, commissioned by the Oregon Wine Board.

Eva Skuratowicz and Rikki Pritzlaff are the researchers.

Tristan Loper, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48424363

Dar Williams is one of a kind, so a little hard to categorize.  Sure, she is a singer and a songwriter, and highly regarded for her pop/folk work. 

But she's a writer, too, with a new book out called What I Found in A Thousand Towns.  It details the changes she sees in communities she has visited in years of touring. 

Evelyn Simak, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13063303

Trying to understand the world of legal marijuana in Oregon is enough to drive people to wine. 

Marijuana IS legal for personal as well as medical use (though still illegal under federal law), it can be grown, and it is regulated--sometimes heavily--by state and local authorities. 

We work through some of the issues with marijuana cultivation and production in a discussion with several people. 

Kit from Pittsburgh, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2031786

What do you remember most about college (the educational part)?  Large-room lectures where a professor talked and talked and you took notes?  Or smaller settings where teacher and students could really engage on subjects and issues? 

Either way, higher education is slow to change, despite its ever-spiraling costs. 

Cathy Davidson works in higher ed at the City University of New York, and she has plenty of ideas for changing the system in The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World In Flux.  The book is something of a tour of classrooms where teachers have thrown out old ideas about higher learning and are trying new approaches. 


Washington was one of the first states to legalize marijuana for personal use.  And you can bet people in Oregon counties bordering Washington crossed that border to buy pot. 

And then Oregon passed its own personal use law, and the cross-border traffic cooled. 

A study led by University of Oregon health economist Ben Hansen finds that much of the marijuana grown in Washington stays in Washington, counter to concerns that much of it is exported to the black market. 

Santeri Viinamäki, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52985577

The smoke from wildfires has made it difficult to catch a clean breath in much of the region for weeks. 

Air quality spiked into the hazardous range, spurring warnings to stay indoors by the air conditioners and filters. 

The quality of air is not just an issue for living things; our vehicles need fresh air to work properly (the internal combustion ones, anyway). 

In this month's edition of "The Squeaky Wheel," Ashland Automotive boss Zach Edwards addresses the issue of engines sucking in dirty air. 


Most teens have grown up with the internet and social media. Their parents and teachers have not.

Noted educator and "millenial and teen expert" Ana Homayoun has written a guide to help parents and teachers understand teens and tweens' social media lives, and to create structures and strategies to make sure that teens' virtual lives don't swallow their real lives. 

The book is called Social Media Wellness: Helping Teens and Tweens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World

Anne Dirkse, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35952122

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  But when it falls... two area fruit cideries host community pressing events where anyone can donate their fallen or unwanted fruit.

In Ashland, Apple Outlaw and the Ashland Co-Op have partnered to host several collection weekends. Apple Outlaw gathers the fruit, presses and ferments it at their orchard in the Applegate Valley.

In Eugene, people can donate their fruit to the Wildcraft Cider Works press house during any business hours between July and November.

They then release four annual ciders in the Community Cider Series, the proceeds of which go to local community groups focused on land conservation, stewardship and food education. 


Few of us are equipped to understand the challenges of mental illness.  And that's why we hear the voices of people struggling with mental health in our monthly segment "Compass Radio." 

It is co-produced by Compass House in Medford, a center that functions on the clubhouse model of mental health care. 

Compass House residents talk about issues in their lives, including homelessness and unemployment, in recordings made at the house. 


Put an angry-face emoji on people attempting to send and receive text messages while driving.  Warnings are frequent, but the practice still happens. 

Some states even provide special pull-off-the-freeway "text stops" to accommodate the people getting antsy about being out of touch. 

Oregon's answer is something new, the "Drive Healthy" campaign.  It sets up a competition for people to get points for driving safely. 

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Disasters can come with some lead time, like hurricanes, or they can be sudden, like earthquakes and fires. 

Either way, it pays to prepare for times when conditions are not under our control.  September is National Preparedness Month, a time to... well, the name is pretty clear, isn't it? 

The City of Talent is starting up a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and Klamath County has had a CERT for a while. 

Bonnie U. Gruenberg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19697422

Adoption used to mean a quiet birth, a transported child, and records about the biological parents sealed under law.  That began changing decades ago. 

Now from the Rogue Valley comes a true story of a completely open adoption.  The book Open: An Adoption Story in Three Voices is the work of three women: an adoptive mother, her adopted daughter, and the woman who gave birth to the daughter. 

They wrote under the pen names Alaina O'Connell, Sara O'Connell, and Alex Porter.  Their real names are Marlene Wegener, Tina Zimmerman, and Molly Mish.

Oregon smoke blog

There's no escaping the smoke of late.  As August rolled into September, smoke from wildfires hung heavy in the valleys of the region, driving air quality numbers into the unhealthy range. 

The problem with smoke is that such small particles--2.5 microns and smaller--is that the lungs don't easily expel them. 

Dr. Berta Baldovino from Providence Health knows the lungs and their irritants. 


"Neither Wolf Nor Dog" takes an acclaimed non-fiction book by an Oregon author and puts it on the big screen. 

Kent Nerburn got to know a Lakota man named Dan, and through him, about the very different ways of looking at the world in white and native cultures

Readers praised the way the book avoided the usual white-man-gets-to-appreciate-red-path tropes.  Steven Lewis Simpson is the director of the film, coming to Eugene in a couple of weeks. 

Biswarup Ganguly-https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19497290

Maybe you cringe when you watch other people discipline their kids.  Maybe you cringe thinking about the way you guide your own children. 

Sarah Ockwell-Smith has a few ideas to reduce the cringing.  She is a parenting expert who combines deep research with a gentle approach to kids, as portrayed in her latest book Gentle Disclipline


"To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before" is great for Star Trek, but it can be a little scary in real life. 

Making big decisions have consequences, and some of us just freeze at the prospect of making them. 

Rogue Valley lawyer/business executive/author Julie Benezet recognizes the difficulties, and offers advice in a book called The Journey of Not Knowing: How 21st Century Leaders Can Chart a Course Where There Is None


Bicycle-sharing programs are not just for big cities.  A number of cities in our region have started implementing bike share programs.

In the Rogue Valley, the Rogue Valley Council of Governments has partnered with the City of Ashland to implement a community bike share program called “Rogue Bike Share”

Moves are also being made in Arcata and Eugene to crank up the community pedals. 

Vicki Nunn, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12075956

Vanessa Grigoriadis went back to college.  But not to take classes; to talk to students and observe the culture, with a particular focus on sexuality and sexual assault. 

Sexual assault appears to be epidemic, if you focus on the major news stories.  And the ways in which people relate to each other have changed greatly in the age of social media and ubiquitous cellphones. 

Grigoriadis wrote her findings in Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus