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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Political figures are fond of making moves they say will help "the economy."  And often, out of sight, economists roll their eyes at the politicians. 

They rely upon each other, but economist Alan S. Blinder sees a dysfunctional relationship. 

And he demonstrates why in his book Advice and Dissent: Why America Suffers When Economics and Politics Collide.  Blinder advocates for more hard-headed but soft-hearted policies. 

NIH/Public Domain

There is a race gap in many things in America, health care among them.  Health outcomes are just generally better for people with white skin. 

But Oregon's ongoing work in expanding Medicaid through the Oregon Health Plan may be closing that gap. 

Recent research shows an improvement in health for members of minority groups, since Oregon began using CCOs--coordinated care organizations--to deliver OHP services.  The study comes from OHSU in Portland. 

Public Domain

Only one color is supposed to make a difference in renting or buying a house: green.  As in, if you have enough money, you get the home. 

But evidence of racial discrimination in housing lingers across the country.  This despite the fact that it's been 50 years since Congress passed the Fair Housing Act. 

The Fair Housing Council of Oregon tracks compliance with this and other laws.  The Racial Equity Coalition of Southern Oregon also keeps tabs on the progress. 

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We understand that all things are made of atoms.  Quantum physics explains how atoms move and relate, but there still plenty of mysteries left for scientists to discover. 

And the approach to mystery-solving has changed over the years. 

Adam Becker, science writer with PhD in astrophysics, reports on the change in approaches in his book What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics.  Yes, Schrödinger's Cat makes an appearance on page 3. 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

We're still two years away from the centennial of women getting the right to vote under the Constitution. 

For women in the United Kingdom, the party is this year.  1918 was the year British women gained the right to vote, an event commemorated in a new play “Pankhurst: Freedom or Death,” a one-woman show presented by Ashland Contemporary Theatre starting April 7th. 

Jeannine Grizzard is the playwright and actor, playing suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst. 

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The engine's fine, the tires are good, the brakes work... but still, there's SOMETHING making noise underneath your favorite motor vehicle. 

Is there something amiss with the suspension?  Something out of whack in the steering mechanism? 

These are the parts of the car we focus on in this month's installment of The Squeaky Wheel, with Ashland Automotive owner Zach Edwards. 

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You can probably remember a few names from the early days of white settlement in Oregon and California. 

A few people were prominent in the formation of both states, including Peter Burnett.  Who?  Well, Mr. Burnett organized one of the first wagon trains to Oregon Territory and served in prominent positions there. 

Then he moved to California and became the first governor of the new state.  And he's generally regarded as a failure in that role and several others. 

Historian and former Oregonian reporter R. Gregory Nokes takes up The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett in a new book. 

Richard Sniezko, US Forest Service, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=341170

Crater Lake would just not be the same without that big blue lake. 

Would it be very different without the big whitebark pine trees?  There's a chance we could find out, because the trees appear to be under great stress, from insect infestation, tree diseases, and climate change. 

Sean Smith at the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network has been keeping an eye on the fate of the trees for several years now. 

Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University has been recognized for five straight years as one of the country's Top 25 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities. 

Programs to ensure the inclusion of LGBTQ+ students abound.  And they include an upcoming session combining LGBTQ+ issues with leadership programs, “The Audacity: A Queer Leadership Experience.” 

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Low pay, unpredictable schedules and staff shortages has nurses at a Southern Oregon hospital edging closer to a strike. 

 

Nurses at Providence Medford Medical Center voted Wednesday to hold an informational picket, a peaceful rally that they hope will garner community support. They’re seeking contracts similar to those of nurses in Portland, which offer better pay and reliable schedules to prevent burnout.

  

Dan Richmond is a nurse leading the negotiations. 

White Cloud Press

It all starts with dreams for Denise Kester.  Before the paints and oils and other materials of her art come the dreams. 

The animals and people that come to her in dreams end up on paper, in a complicated art process called monoprinting. 

The artist provides both instruction and insight in her book Drawing on the Dream: Finding my way by art

bbcrc.org

Anybody who knows a thing or two about railroads in our region knows the significant of Black Butte. 

It's the junction south of Weed where the Siskiyou Line of the former Southern Pacific, the old main line, meets its successor, the Cascade route: the current main line. 

Seems like a good place for some kind of celebration of railroad history.  And it is, through the efforts of the Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture

It is not strictly a railroad museum, because it incorporates railroad literature and music and other aspects of railroad culture.  And it is the focus of this month's edition of Underground History, our regular confab with the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology, SOULA. 

Pixabay

California is Venice Beach, with buff bodies and tiny tank tops.  No, it's the "hemp highway" between Mendocino and Humboldt counties. 

No, it's Death Valley.  Fisherman's Wharf?  Obviously, it's all of the above and much, much more, as related in the Sacramento Bee columns of travel writer Sam McManis. 

A new book collects some of his best columns: Crossing California: A Cultural Topography of a State of Wonder and Weirdness

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Many of the debates over state laws on abortion concern restrictions on clinics that perform abortions.  In California, nearly the opposite is true. 

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments on the FACT act (the California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act), which requires counseling centers where abortion is opposed to inform clients that abortions are available for free elsewhere. 

Free speech or forced speech?  That's what the justices have to consider,  and the California ProLife Council believes it is forced speech. 

Roughly a third of the people who work as nurses in Oregon are approaching retirement age.  So in a few more years, a shortage could result... with perhaps 6,000 nursing positions unfilled by 2025. 

These are figures the Oregon Nurses Association provides and wants to avoid. 

ONA is working on several fronts to address the issue, including providing scholarships and other educational incentives to get more people to train for nursing jobs.  ONA reps walks us through the issues and possible solutions. 

jajance.com

Does the name J.P. Beaumont mean anything to you?  How about Ali Reynolds?  Joanna Brady?  If none of those names mean anything, you probably don't read mystery novels, at least the novels of J.A. Jance. 

To call her a prolific author is putting it mildly... between her three series of murder mysteries and novellas, she's cranked out roughly 60 books. 

One of them takes place at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Failure to Appear).  The author is on tour supporting her latest work, Duel to the Death

rexmedlen/Pixabay

You've heard of eco-tourism, but are you ready for "canna-tourism?"  Would you consider staying at a "bud and breakfast?" 

These are business categories that could be possible if Humboldt County adopts the draft ordinance now before county supervisors. 

The general goal of the ordinance is to loosen up county regulations on marijuana-based businesses, allowing more types of businesses, and potentially more income. 

Will Houston covers cannabis for the Times-Standard in Eureka and for the Cannifornian

BruceBlaus/Wikimedia

Women alone can bear children, and women have borne much of the burden of NOT getting pregnant. 

There's a wide array of contraceptive methods for women, a much narrower range for men.  But there IS a contraceptive pill for men getting close to market. 

It's already being tested on humans, with success in blocking sperm production.  Researchers at the University of Washington developed the pill and the studies of its effectiveness. 

Warren K. Leffler / Library of Congress, ID ppmsca.04301.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A nor

Many authors have written about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his impact on civil rights and the country. 

Jason Sokol chose to focus his latest work on the aftermath of King's assassination in 1968.  There were decidedly mixed feelings about King abroad in the land at the time of his murder. 

And the expression of those feelings in the days and weeks that followed the murder forms the core of Sokol's book, The Heavens Might Crack: The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Pixabay

Moving from town to the country does not automatically confer knowledge of how to take care of the land. 

And a few longtime city- or suburb-dwellers may be a little mystified about the needs of landscapes and their inhabitants.  Which is why Oregon State University's Extension Service runs a Land Steward Program

Even people who grew up in the country can benefit from a brush-up on skills.  The program includes an annual Living On Your Land conference, set for mid-April in Grants Pass. 

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