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.
 

BLM/Public Domain

The organization is called Rainforest Trust, and that neatly encapsulates its work: get land set aside in the part of the world that is often referred to as the "lungs of the planet."

The trust has been on the job for 30 years now, working to protect sensitive environments and their occupants. 

We get a year-in-review glance from Dr. Paul Salaman, the CEO of Rainforest Trust. 

Wikimedia

In most of Oregon's counties, less than half of the children born into low-income families will reach the middle class or beyond as adults. 

That is one of the starker findings of the Oregon Community Foundation's "Tracking Oregon's Progress," or TOP, report for 2017.  The latest TOP also finds that child poverty is on the rise in the state, which could doom even more people to less-than-middle-class status for life. 

Caitlyn Ruffenach of OCF was the lead author of the report. 

Harris.news/Wikimedia

It was Henry Luce, the publisher of Time magazine, who declared an "American Century" in early 1941. 

Historian Alfred W. McCoy is not at all convinced we'll get the full 100 years. 

McCoy has long observed the methods America has used to maintain its position as a superpower.  He sees China using its own methods to put the United States in the back seat, sooner rather than later. 

McCoy's latest book is In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power

Rich Reuse/John Kern

After a major wildfire, we can at least console ourselves with the knowledge that forests grow back.  Or do they? 

New research out of Colorado State University examined forest fire zones in several Western states... and found that on the warmer Earth of today, forest regeneration happens more slowly, or not at all. 

Camille Stevens-Rumann is an assistant professor at CSU. 

Penguin Random House

It's true that we do not put a lot of fiction authors on the air; it's just hard to introduce characters and plots on the radio.  It's also true that our region is home to several published authors of fiction. 

James Anderson of Ashland just saw his second novel published, Lullaby Road.  It is another story of Ben Jones, the trucker introduced in Anderson's The Never-Open Desert Diner, which won critical praise. 

Ben and his truck find further adventures on lonely Route 117 in the Utah desert. 

A special edition of our "Curious" segment is geared to the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday. 

University of Oregon associate professor Curtis Austin has researched the civil rights and black power movements extensively. 

He tracks the rise of the movements and the responses to them... from the public, the government, and police, among others. 

Dr. Austin visits with some insights into the history of the struggle for equality in America. 

bellhardware.com

The official name is still "Bell Hardware," but it's not the kind of business where you go buy a screwdriver. 

This third-generation business is now focused primarily on doors and frames and other components of getting people into commercial buildings... or keeping them out. 

John Bell is the grandson of the company founder, and Bell Hardware, still based in Klamath Falls, has outlets from Portland to Redding. 

Andreas Praefcke/Wikimedia

Can you imagine spending a day in the White House, with all the important people and egos and pressing business? 

Yet it is from the White House, in a sense, that we get advice on Treating People Well in a new book by Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard. 

They were social secretaries: Berman worked in the Bush White House, Bernard with the Obamas. 

And they learned a thing or two about maintaining civility in high-pressure situations. 

socompasshouse.org

Mental illness is not good for anyone.  It can endanger the life of the ill person, often by their own decision.  Suicide is a constant challenge for mental health professionals and the people they serve. 

At Compass House in Medford, several club members have stories to tell about considering or attempting suicide. 

We meet one of them, Mary C., in this month's edition of Compass Radio. 

M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia

Restoring some of the famed fish runs of the West will take some time. 

And it often appears that recovery happens a stream at a time. 

Trout Unlimited in Oregon recently touted a pair of projects designed to improve conditions for fish, in streams in Deschutes and Klamath County. 

There's plenty to think about when you're homeless.  Where you'll find shelter and food, how you'll stay healthy... and many more basic concerns about life itself. 

And then there's the fact that many people avoid, distrust, fear, and even hate homeless people. 

Our series of interviews on homelessness, "Out in the Cold," explores issues and offered solutions for homeless people in the region. 

Our attention turns to Shasta County, with Larry Olmstead from United Way of Northern California and Jonathan Anderson of the Good News Rescue Mission

Szánthó Zoltán, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49501159

Trump and The Book.  Those four words make an impactful statement at the moment, as the White House deals with the revelations in Michael Wolfe's book "Fire and Fury."  

That's one of several major stories simmering on the media stove at the moment. 

Others: Oprah at the Golden Globes, net neutrality gets a vote in Congress, and more. 

There's always something new to digest and discuss in Signals & Noise, our monthly conclave with members of the Communication faculty at Southern Oregon University. 

Michael Richardson/Wikimedia

Chris Bratt is all about the trees.  He has plenty of experience using wood products from his days as a carpenter and contractor. 

And he's perfectly happy to leave the trees alone to grow, in his role as an environmental activist and forest protector. 

Chris Bratt's story is the latest to be archived in the Stories of Southern Oregon collection at the Southern Oregon Digital Archives at Southern Oregon University's Hannon Library. 

Chris visits the studio to talk about his rich and varied life in the Applegate Valley. 

Library of Congress/Wikimedia

2018 is a milestone, and not a happy one, in remembering the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.  It was 50 years ago that an assassin's bullet killed the civil rights leader in Memphis. 

But Monday January 15th is not for mourning, it is for celebrating the birthday and life of Dr. King. 

Ashland hosts one of the larger celebrations, often playing to overflow crowds. 

Cassie Fetty is the director and curator of the event, one of several planned for the region. 

Austin Jenkins/Northwest News Network

Josephine County Commissioners upset a lot of marijuana farmers when they passed a new ordinance in December. 

It bans commercial cannabis farming on rural residential lots five acres or smaller and creates other new regulations. 

In the eyes of the farmers who use such lands, the county "stole their business."  Attorney Ross Day represents cannabis growers. 

Wikimedia/Public Domain

The work of Chinese superstar artist and dissident Ai Weiwei is currently part of the collection at the University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The display features the 12 figures of the Chinese Zodiac, cast in bronze. 

They can be enjoyed on several levels: as art, as animal heads, and as a statement about looting and repatriation.  The Zodiac heads are recreations of figures that once stood in Beijing and were looted by British and French troops in the 19th century. 

If you've only been paying attention to marijuana laws for a couple of decades, it can look like pot is on a bit of a high of its own. 

State after state, including California and Oregon, has legalized marijuana for medical or personal use or both.  This moment looked like a sure thing a couple of generations ago. 

But then a backlash began against marijuana and other drugs. 

Emily Dufton tracks the trajectory in Grass Roots: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America

Coquille Indian Tribe

The Coquille Indian Tribe now has more control over its forest land.  

President Donald Trump signed the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act on Monday, the tribe announced in a press release.

The act "decouples" the Coquille from federal rules that limited the tribe’s autonomy in managing its own land. 

 

Wikimedia

There's general agreement that opioid abuse has reached epidemic levels in our country. 

People from coast to coast started taking prescription drugs designed to counter pain, and now they can't stop. 

A teacher at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland says primary care physicians should be the key players in curbing opioid addictions, but they lack the support they need.  She outlines the issue in a recent essay in the journal Health Affairs

Being homeless in the winter is a reality facing hundreds, possibly thousands, of people in the region.  Public and private agencies are set up to assist people, but there are still more people who need help. 

Our series of interviews on local homelessness, "Out in the Cold," continues with a look at the situation and responses in Humboldt County. 

Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives, or AHHA, and Eureka Rescue Mission provide help to homeless people. 

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