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 had to choose either brains or money, which would you take? 

A recent study shows there may be a distinction to be made between intelligence and wisdom. 

And it's possible that the poorer you are, the wiser you are

Igor Grossman is a social psychologist at the University of Waterloo in Canada. 

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Maybe you enjoy gardening.  But is your garden CERTIFIED? 

Certification is offered for gardens friendly to bees and other pollinators. 

And the City of Talent is putting out some money to challenge local residents to create certified pollinator gardens. 

The Talent Garden Club is taking on much of the work. 

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The Journey song "Don't Stop Believin'" is a rock anthem, one of the most famous songs of recent history. 

A guitar-driven song, sure, but the drums matter, too.  And the guy who played them lives in Ashland, where he'll play this weekend at the Ashland Jazz Festival

Steve Smith still tours with Journey, but his jazz-fusion group, Vital Information, still records and tours. 

AND Smith creates visual art, too, using his drumsticks to paint a picture of motion. 

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Everyone understands that there's a federal budget deficit.  But federal agencies can still create an uproar by raising or instituting fees. 

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest just got an earful about plans to raise many fees at recreation sites in the forest. 

Some would as much as triple under the proposal; others, like charges to stop at the Rogue Gorge site, would be new charges for sites that have been free until now. 

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The recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was not just for national leaders and rich people. 

Plenty of scientists got to hang out there as well, seeking solutions to issues countries can address together.  Those include the new Universities Partnerships for Water Cooperation & Diplomacy, which includes Oregon State University

The basic issue: the world is making new people all the time... but not more water. 

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Eugene got one, Medford got one, now a group in Ashland wants one: a tiny house village. 

And not just for cuteness, but to house people who can't afford other places to live in one of Oregon's most expensive cities. 

The Ashland Tiny House Village Group envisions perhaps 12-15 houses in a cluster, a place for people to get on their feet financially while seeking permanent housing. 

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We do love our motor vehicles in America.  And in a region like ours, far-flung and thinly populated, we often can't live without 'em. 

So it's plenty stressful when our cars and trucks begin to act up or act strangely. 

Zach Edwards has seen plenty of strange vehicle behavior in his years working on cars and owning Ashland Automotive

He visits once a month to take listeners calls and emails on automotive issues, in a segment we call The Squeaky Wheel.  Join the conversation; we welcome questions about vehicle repair and maintenance, and stories about automotive mysteries. 

Stephen Cunliffe/Jefferson Land Trust

It's easy to take our physical surroundings for granted, especially if we're outdoors and the landscape is pretty.  But could it be pretty in different ways? 

That's the question that faced biologist Scott Freeman and his family.  The "drainage ditch" they adopted was actually a stream, as important as any stream to the creatures who live in it... and downstream, and in the bay, and so on. 

The process of working to restore that stream is told in Scott Freeman's book Saving Tarboo Creek: One Family's Quest to Heal the Land

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Springtime is a long way off, but it's always arts time in the region. 

For a place that can be thinly populated, we pack a lot of arts organizations onto the landscape. 

One of the better-known, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, returns to the stage in February. 

That's just one of many events happening in theatres and galleries.  Our First Friday Arts segment seeks to publicize as many as possible in half an hour.  Listen to the list, or make it longer by calling 800-838-3760.

RV Peace Choir

Music can bind us together at a time in history when we can easily find reasons to disagree. 

Peace choirs sing to enhance the sense of shared humanity. 

The Rogue Valley Peace Choir is the host organization for a joint concert of peace choirs from both sides of the state line, coming up February 11. 

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Items that we find on the beach may not look terribly important to the casual observer, but can have critical importance to creatures beneath the surface. 

Case in point: kelp.  It is a major food source for some sea creatures, and kelp forests on the West Coast have been decimated by a series of events.  In California, there's less than 10% of the usual kelp.

As a result, the abalone fishery has been shut down on both sides of the state line. 

Cynthia Catton is a scientist with California Fish and Wildlife.  Scott Groth works for Oregon Fish and Wildlife

Lane County is the most populous county JPR serves.  And along with the big population, there is a large population of homeless people. 

Homeless advocates in the county have provided a number of innovative programs, like Opportunity Village Eugene. 

But there are many other entities involved in caring, or attempting to care for, the homeless population.  ShelterCare is one of them. 

Community Sharing in Cottage Grove also plays a role. 

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Norwich, Vermont.  Name ring a bell? 

It's the town of fewer than 3,500 that has had a representative on every U.S. Winter Olympic team (except one) since 1984.  How is that possible? 

Well, winter DOES last a long time in that part of Vermont... but there are other factors as well. 

Karen Crouse explores those in her book Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence

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Seasons may change, but the music never stops. 

Certainly not for Josh Gross, the music editor at the Rogue Valley Messenger

Once a month, the day BEFORE First Friday, Josh visits with news of bands coming to play at venues in the region, with a particular emphasis on the Rogue Valley.  We call it "Rogue Sounds."

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Cap and trade.  Simple phrase, but a loaded one in political circles. 

The idea is a cap on carbon emissions, payments by emitters going above a certain amount, and a market to trade the permits. 

California already has a cap and trade law; the Oregon Legislature will take up a similar concept in the legislative session starting next week, over the objections of several legislators. 

State Senator Michael Dembrow is one of the cap-and-trade sponsors, and he chairs a committee that will consider the bill. 

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Baby boomers can well remember learning how to sew in home economics classes in high school. 

As society and education changed, skills like sewing got less emphasis and attention.  But sewing know-how is still in demand, as we learn from the co-directors of the Redding Fashion Alliance

Jan Kearns and Robin Fator are looking for some people who know how to sew, and interested in getting those skills taught again. 

Lindsey G, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44776359

Fracking for oil and gas in the United States has proven highly profitable and productive.  But it's not like everyone involved is getting rich and happy. 

Witness the epicenter of the oil boom in the Dakotas: Williston, North Dakota.  Its population exploded with oil workers, stressing the housing market and schools and many more community elements. 

This is the story Blaire Briody tells in The New Wild West: Black Gold, Fracking, and Life in a North Dakota Boomtown.  The book tracks the people who lived in the area before the boom, and the people who came to make the boom. 

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High school graduation rates are discouraging in Oregon.  Roughly one out of every four students will not get out of high school in four years with diploma in hand. 

The numbers show slight improvement from year to year (77% in numbers out last week), but not enough to get the state out of the bottom five. 

The legislature will likely discuss programs to improve the graduation rate in its upcoming session. 

The issue is very much on the radar of Colt Gill, newly named as the permanent Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

Families with children and little money for housing can end up sleeping at the homes of friends and relatives, or in their cars, or outdoors. 

Douglas County has an answer for homeless young people, with and without parents: Casa de Belen.  It provides transitional housing for homeless young people and their families to get back on their feet. 

We learn more about it as our series Out in the Cold focuses on Douglas County. 

Santa Rosa Junior College

The debate over immigration, legal and not, is of great interest to the artist Maria De Los Angeles.  There was nothing legal about her arrival in California from Mexico at age 11. 

She worked hard, was the first person in her family to graduate from high school, and worked even harder to get to and through college, finishing up at Yale. 

Her art tells her story, including the installation of "Transcending Myths" at the Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon University (through March 17). 

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