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.
 

Google Street View

It was back in May of last year that Josephine County voters said yes, re-open the long-closed juvenile shelter. 

And it took until this month to get there. 

The shelter opened again recently, one sign of services expanded by the property tax levy passed in May. 

Joi Riley/JPR News

The sign can freeze the heart: "Chains Required." 

But it is a fact of life in winter that mountain passes will occasionally get enough snow to make the roads slippery, requiring a little more than the usual tires to get through. 

The transportation departments in both Oregon and California work hard to keep the mountain passes open, but they present challenges. 

Gary Leaming from ODOT explains how the two states coordinate efforts, and how they deploy crews and equipment in winter storms. 

Public Domain

Not all the people we choose to join in relationships are good at it.  Being in relationships, that is. 

Ashland author Sierra Faith notices in particular that narcissists make poor relationship partners. 

She writes of the initial attraction and the predictable problems in Absolutely Adored: Stop Choosing Narcissistic Men and Finally Be a Well-Loved Woman

It contains plenty of advice for recognizing risky relationship partners, and steering clear. 

Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

Can we talk about poop for a moment?  Specifically, raccoon poop in the wild. 

It can provide... well, nutrition for other animals.  But it can also provide parasites. 

So some scientists set out to find out if animals would avoid raccoon bathrooms the way they avoid places where their predators hang out.  An "ecology of fear" is the theory. 

Oregonlegislature.gov

Oregon legislators caught a break this week with the passage of Measure 101 (January 23). 

It ratified an earlier legislative decision on new taxes to fund the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon's form of Medicaid for people living on lower incomes.

If the vote had been No, legislators would have had to come up with roughly $300 Million in funding, or accept program cuts somewhere. 

If there was any doubt, our series of interviews "Out in the Cold" has confirmed that every part of our region includes homeless people among its inhabitants. 

We turn our attention to Klamath County, taking in issues for homeless people both young and old. 

Older people face challenges with age-related health issues, in fact sometimes end up homeless because of those issues. 

Meanwhile, families with children struggle to keep up with school when permanent shelter is an issue.  Klamath and Lake Community Action Services, KLCAS, works to address the issues. 

Underground History: The Modoc War In Photos

Jan 24, 2018
Eadward Muybridge/California Historical Society

The Modoc War of the 1870s gets lots of attention from historians, archaeologists, and just folks.  It was a major episode in the defeat of Native Americans at the hands of the federal government, resulting in their movement to reservations. 

And it is the focus of this month's edition of Underground History, our regular visit with Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA)

Chelsea Rose and Mark Tveskov bring in Eric Gleason, who's been doing research on the Modoc War. 

Anastasiaka, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62135530

Even people who would describe themselves as consistently happy can run into issues with a marriage partner. 

We are different people, and some friction and disagreements are inevitable between people who spent a lot of years together. 

It may be even truer now that we're living longer, and many of us are determined not to add to the divorce statistics compiled by our parents' generation. 

Psychologist Daphne de Marneffe used the obvious phrase for her book title: The Rough Patch.  The author tracks the stages of most marriages, and the challenges each presents. 

Introvert, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=501880

Maybe you're the kind of person who appreciates winter weather far from the beaten path.  If so, would you mind measuring some snow while you're out there? 

No joke here; Community Snow Observations is a citizen science project enlisting the help of backcountry skiers, snowshoers, and other winter recreationists to measure snowpack. 

Scientists and telemetry sites can't cover all the places where snow fall, so this is where the amateurs come in. 

Mark Lincoln/Wikimedia

Bit by bit, emergency service providers and families in the region prepare for what could be a very big earthquake: a movement along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. 

Other parts of the country do not have the localized risk we face.  But they do have something we don't: a major increase in seismic activity in recent years. 

The more frequent quakes appear to be "induced" quakes, caused by human activities like wastewater injection at petroleum sites.  U.S. Geological Survey spends money and staff time investigating the increase. 

Mstyslav Chernov, http://mstyslav-chernov.com/, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26711106

Put the United States 2016 election aside for a moment and consider the rest of the world. 

Countries that we once thought of as reliable democracies are taking turns for the autocratic and nationalistic.  Even Germany has far-right groups in parliament for the first time since the demise of the Nazis. 

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt track the longstanding erosion of political norms in their book How Democracies Die

Rob Manning/OPB

The Northern spotted owl seems to get it from all sides.  Habitat loss and the encroachment of the barred owl have contributed to a continued decline in spotted owl numbers. 

Now the illegal marijuana trade appears to be having an impact as well. 

Spotted owls that gobble up rodents poisoned at illegal grow sites test positive for rodenticide.  A study from the University of California-Davis tracks the occurrence in Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte counties.

Public Domain

The deserts of the West can be vast and forbidding.  And apparently, worth traveling for some black bears. 

A recent study shows bears returning to their old stomping grounds in Nevada, where they were wiped out decades ago. 

To get there, the bears are leaving Northern California and moving great distances to the east. 

Groups that advocate for establishing travel corridors for wildlife, including The Wildlife Conservation Society of North America, are excited about the findings. 

Chromaphonic Recordings

Tiny Yreka is hard enough to find on a map.  It's unlikely place for a regional comedy tour.  

But audiences get a chance to gather and laugh later this week when the "Joker and Jester Comedy Tour" plays some shows at the Music Hall in the Siskiyou County Seat. 

The performances will be filmed for use in a comedy special to be seen on Netflix, so Yreka could get some national recognition. 

NASA/Public Domain

Being able to communicate with each other by speaking made a big difference in our development as a species.  But when we turned our pictures into words and communicated through writing... that opened up a whole new dimension. 

Martin Puchner, editor of The Norton Anthology of World Literature, takes us on a writing appreciation tour in his new book The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization

His survey covers stories from the earliest civilizations, through religious texts and classics, right up to Harry Potter. 

Plane777/Wikimedia

Crater Lake may be Oregon's crown jewel, but the state's only national park needs some love.  Like many national parks, Crater Lake has not received enough money to keep up with maintenance. 

And a combination of harsh winters and heavy use keeps up the pressure on park facilities. 

A campaign to fix up the park is gathering around the National Park Service Legacy Act, introduced in both U.S. House and Senate.  It would take some mineral royalty money from digging and drilling on federal land and divert it to the parks.  

The plan has major boosters in Medford.  Bill Thorndike is president of the Crater Lake National Park Trust and Brad Hicks is the president of the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County. 

PNAS

Just four weeks after the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection released its draft environmental impact report on the Vegetation Treatment Program (VTP), the largest fire in the state's history broke out. 

The Thomas fire destroyed or damaged more than a thousand homes north of Los Angeles. 

The VTP is designed to treat the landscape in a variety of ways to prevent future fires from getting so huge.  The comment period on the environmental impact report just closed. 

UC-Berkeley

Maybe "Brodiaea matsonii" does not roll off the tongue easily (BROH-dee-uh mat-SOHN-ee-eye), but it's a significant flower. 

And it only grows in one place in the entire world: Redding. 

The city recently approved the building of subdivision that may take out some of the plant's habitat, and the California Native Plant Society would like more study before anything drastic happens. 

"IT'S THE CLIMATE," reads the sign in downtown Grants Pass.  But the climate includes winter, so trying to get through the days and nights without shelter is a true hardship. 

We continue "Out in the Cold" with a look at services available in Josephine County. 

UCAN (United Community Action Network) is the agency that works toward homelessness and housing solutions in Josephine and Douglas Counties.  One major program available in Douglas County is not on the list in Josephine: housing provided by the agency.  And Josephine County's ultra-tight housing market is a major issue.

Wikimedia Commons

It gives some people great comfort to think that they will see their long-gone loved ones again, in another place. 

Michael Shermer is not inclined to think there IS such a place.  He is a professional skeptic, even teaches a course called "Skepticism 101." 

And he takes up the human need to believe in an afterlife, and the quest for longer life--if not immortality--in a new book, Heavens on Earth.   

Could we live 200 years or more?  Could our bodies be frozen until science can fix what ails us?  Could our consciousness live in a robot body? 

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