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.
 

Walter Siegmund/Wikimedia

The Eastern Oregon landscape stretches out to the horizon, an area some people call "the sagebrush sea." 

But it's not all sagebrush... non-native grasses and the native but opportunistic Western Juniper are causing fits in many places, encroaching on the native grasslands. 

Landowners are spending time and effort cutting back the juniper, but new research shows their efforts can be for naught if they leave the juniper cuttings behind. 

"We the People," begins the U.S. Constitution.  The authors set some lofty goals, and we took a while to reach them... and there's some debate about whether that's happened yet. 

Women and non-white people did not get full rights at the birth of the nation, and the struggle just to get to vote took a long time. 

For women, it culminated in a debate in the Tennessee legislature over the ratification of the 19th amendment, a debate chronicled by Elaine Weiss in her book The Woman's Hour

All the key players of the time (1920) converged on Nashville for the action. 

davispigeon0/Pixabay

The state of California got chewed out by the President and the federal Attorney General recently for its attitude toward immigration raids and other enforcement actions. 

California, as a sanctuary state, is sharply resisting the crackdown on people living and working in the state illegally. 

Resistance aside, the crackdown is having an effect... by scaring undocumented workers away from farm work. 

And that is a great concern for the California Farm Bureau Federation

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=528747

Oregon's education community may be all abuzz with talk of CTE, career and technical education, but that's not the biggest concern of students. 

A report by Oregon Student Voice found the greatest concern among students is mental health resources, nearly double the number who identified CTE as the top issue. 

OSV does what its name implies: works to get the voices of students heard in the formation of educational policy. 

Philipp Hertzog/Wikimedia

The sun shines and the wind blows, and we can make electricity from those events. 

In fact, a recent study says that up to 80 percent of our electricity needs could be met by these renewable forms of energy.  But there's a catch: we'd have to find ways to store the energy they create--think batteries or something else--until the demand required it. 

Ken Caldeira at the Carnegie Institution for Science co-authored the report. 

Richard Jordana, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61304419

All eyes are the Klamath River, as a plan to remove four major hydroelectric dams moves forward.  But another stream much further south is getting continued attention, also to restore habitat and welcome fish back to areas long closed to the. 

Battle Creek in Shasta County had several hydro facilities, and those are being removed and modified to allow fish passage. 

Recently the Coleman National Fish Hatchery on lower Battle Creek took a truckload of young salmon to the upper reaches of the north fork of the creek, in the hope that the fish will now consider that area "home." 

RitaE/Pixabay

It's getting rough out there at the curb.  Placing our trash and recycle bins out for collection is a bit more labor-intensive in some communities. 

Rogue Disposal & Recycling, which serves Medford and surrounding communities, had to change the items it would accept in recycling, now that China has sharply reduced the materials it will accept. 

Laura Leebrick from Rogue joins us to talk about the challenges of recycling with new rules. 

Also on the panel: Laura McKaughan from the Northern California Recycling Association, Sarah Grimm from Lane County Public Works and Brian Fuller from Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

Carol Van Strum is not fond of pesticides.  And that may be the understatement of a lifetime. 

Van Strum fought the aerial spraying of pesticides on federal land in Lincoln County back in the 70s, and she's continued the fight up to the present day.

Her work earned her the ire of the timber industry, and the recent awarding of a lifetime achievement award from the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene. 

Jss3255, CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64990089

President McKinley has a move ahead of him.  The Arcata City Council recently voted to remove the statue of the president who died in a 1901 assassination. 

An admirer of McKinley's who actually met the president paid for the statue and a nearby plaque.  But some Arcatans have long complained that McKinley represents racist and imperialist attitudes from our country's past. 

Council member Susan Ornelas was among those voting in favor of statue removal. 

Rowland Scherman; restored by Adam Cuerden - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46527326

Ernest Withers is considered one of the great documentary photographers of the civil rights movement.

He was a confidant of Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers and James Meredith. His photos of pivotal events in the movement -- the Montgomery Bus boycott, the Memphis sanitation workers' strike, the murder of Emmett Till  -- can rightly be called iconic. There is a museum in Withers' home town of Memphis dedicated to his work.

But Withers had a secret: he was an FBI informant, and those iconic photos were often used by the Bureau to identify civil rights activists.

Memphis-based investigative journalist Marc Perrusqia has written an expose of Withers' double life, A Spy In Canaan

Klamath Tribes

The bond between salmon and the Yurok Tribe goes back thousands of years. 

And the relationship reached a new level with the recent purchase of much of the Blue Creek watersheed.  Blue Creek is a major tributary of the Klamath River, entering downstream from the Trinity River. 

dMz/Pixabay

Butterflies and bees are skilled in finding their way from plant to plant.  People need a little help. 

So that's why the Rogue Buzzway Project came into being... now people who want to track the progress of pollinators can find pollinator hangouts. 

A GIS (Geographic Information System) class at Southern Oregon University has been instrumental in making a map showing pollinator pathways. 

Wikimedia

Business students are trained to solve problems.  So Southern Oregon University and several cities in Jackson County set the MBA students loose on homelessness. 

Students set out to assess community attitudes toward homeless people and problems, from the perspective of residents, businesses, and homeless service providers. 

Corey Murphy and Lisa Marston were on the team of students studying the business community attitudes. 

Anthony Crider, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61769434

White supremacist groups seemed far from the American mainstream when Vegas Tenold embedded himself in the groups six years ago. 

The country changed a bit since then, with far-right and alt-right groups feeling emboldened, coming into the sunlight.  The tactics have changed, but the views have not: the groups still believe the white race is under attack. 

Vegas Tenold wrote a book,  Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America

NOAA

California suffered through years of drought, and implemented restrictions on water use.  Then the rains came--a year ago--and the restrictions came off. 

Now the state appears headed for another drought, and there is talk of making water restrictions permanent.  The state Water Resources Control Board hasn't gotten there yet, but plans are on the table. 

That has the attention of water users and people who work on their behalf.  Christopher Neary is a water rights attorney in Northern California; Jennifer Harder teaches law at University of the Pacific

flowjo.com

Fans of track and field perk up at the mention of "FloJo."  The late Florence Griffith-Joyner's records in the 100 and 200 meter races still stand. 

But FlowJo, based in Ashland, is a different entity entirely.  We get to hear how different, in this month's edition of The Ground Floor, our business segment. 

FlowJo is in the flow cytometry business, helping biology researchers work with single cells with the use of lasers and computers.  Mike Stadnisky is the CEO of the company, now a subsidiary of a larger firm. 

Tomasz Sienicki/Wikimedia

We talk to the authors of many books on The Exchange. 

But never have we talked to the authors of The New Testament.  And yes, of course, that streak continues. 

But David Bentley Hart has just published a new translation of the newer half of the Bible.  The New Testament: A Translation goes back to the original language, and publishes it quite literally, with the mistakes and contradictions left intact. 

L.S. Mills research photos by Jaco and Lindsey Barnard

The snowpack numbers tell us that streams may flow a little more slowly in the coming dry season.  But there are other things to consider when there's less snow (besides fewer days of skiing), like the effects on animals. 

An animal that has evolved to blend in with snow will stick out like a snowy thumb on a bare landscape. 

Scientists at the University of Montana looked into this, to see how rapidly evolution might progress in the face of climate change.  Hares in brown and white are the study animals; Scott Mills is the scientist. 

Tiia Monto, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32343945

In Western Oregon, it's the story in place after place: too many people for too few houses. 

Low vacancy rates drive up both housing costs and homelessness. 

Josh Lehner in the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis knows the numbers well. 

Himalayan Cataract Project

When you live up where the air is thin and the sun is closer, cataracts can be much more common. 

So the people who live in Nepal are prone to blindness from cataracts, a condition that can be corrected by relatively inexpensive surgery--still too expensive for most of the people in that poor country. 

So the Himalayan Cataract Project was born to bring the surgery to the people, and Dr. Matt Oliva from Medford's Medical Eye Center is part of the team. 

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