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.

When she is not at work or napping between shifts, you'll find April hiking through nearby forests with a rambunctious border collie, or reading fiction at home with her two favorite cats.
 

Wikimedia

Washington was one of the first states to legalize marijuana for personal use.  And you can bet people in Oregon counties bordering Washington crossed that border to buy pot. 

And then Oregon passed its own personal use law, and the cross-border traffic cooled. 

A study led by University of Oregon health economist Ben Hansen finds that much of the marijuana grown in Washington stays in Washington, counter to concerns that much of it is exported to the black market. 

Santeri Viinamäki, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52985577

The smoke from wildfires has made it difficult to catch a clean breath in much of the region for weeks. 

Air quality spiked into the hazardous range, spurring warnings to stay indoors by the air conditioners and filters. 

The quality of air is not just an issue for living things; our vehicles need fresh air to work properly (the internal combustion ones, anyway). 

In this month's edition of "The Squeaky Wheel," Ashland Automotive boss Zach Edwards addresses the issue of engines sucking in dirty air. 

Wikimedia

Most teens have grown up with the internet and social media. Their parents and teachers have not.

Noted educator and "millenial and teen expert" Ana Homayoun has written a guide to help parents and teachers understand teens and tweens' social media lives, and to create structures and strategies to make sure that teens' virtual lives don't swallow their real lives. 

The book is called Social Media Wellness: Helping Teens and Tweens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World

Anne Dirkse, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35952122

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  But when it falls... two area fruit cideries host community pressing events where anyone can donate their fallen or unwanted fruit.

In Ashland, Apple Outlaw and the Ashland Co-Op have partnered to host several collection weekends. Apple Outlaw gathers the fruit, presses and ferments it at their orchard in the Applegate Valley.

In Eugene, people can donate their fruit to the Wildcraft Cider Works press house during any business hours between July and November.

They then release four annual ciders in the Community Cider Series, the proceeds of which go to local community groups focused on land conservation, stewardship and food education. 

socompasshouse.org

Few of us are equipped to understand the challenges of mental illness.  And that's why we hear the voices of people struggling with mental health in our monthly segment "Compass Radio." 

It is co-produced by Compass House in Medford, a center that functions on the clubhouse model of mental health care. 

Compass House residents talk about issues in their lives, including homelessness and unemployment, in recordings made at the house. 

Wikimedia

Put an angry-face emoji on people attempting to send and receive text messages while driving.  Warnings are frequent, but the practice still happens. 

Some states even provide special pull-off-the-freeway "text stops" to accommodate the people getting antsy about being out of touch. 

Oregon's answer is something new, the "Drive Healthy" campaign.  It sets up a competition for people to get points for driving safely. 

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Disasters can come with some lead time, like hurricanes, or they can be sudden, like earthquakes and fires. 

Either way, it pays to prepare for times when conditions are not under our control.  September is National Preparedness Month, a time to... well, the name is pretty clear, isn't it? 

The City of Talent is starting up a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and Klamath County has had a CERT for a while. 

Bonnie U. Gruenberg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19697422

Adoption used to mean a quiet birth, a transported child, and records about the biological parents sealed under law.  That began changing decades ago. 

Now from the Rogue Valley comes a true story of a completely open adoption.  The book Open: An Adoption Story in Three Voices is the work of three women: an adoptive mother, her adopted daughter, and the woman who gave birth to the daughter. 

They wrote under the pen names Alaina O'Connell, Sara O'Connell, and Alex Porter.  Their real names are Marlene Wegener, Tina Zimmerman, and Molly Mish.

Oregon smoke blog

There's no escaping the smoke of late.  As August rolled into September, smoke from wildfires hung heavy in the valleys of the region, driving air quality numbers into the unhealthy range. 

The problem with smoke is that such small particles--2.5 microns and smaller--is that the lungs don't easily expel them. 

Dr. Berta Baldovino from Providence Health knows the lungs and their irritants. 

Facebook

"Neither Wolf Nor Dog" takes an acclaimed non-fiction book by an Oregon author and puts it on the big screen. 

Kent Nerburn got to know a Lakota man named Dan, and through him, about the very different ways of looking at the world in white and native cultures

Readers praised the way the book avoided the usual white-man-gets-to-appreciate-red-path tropes.  Steven Lewis Simpson is the director of the film, coming to Eugene in a couple of weeks. 

Biswarup Ganguly-https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19497290

Maybe you cringe when you watch other people discipline their kids.  Maybe you cringe thinking about the way you guide your own children. 

Sarah Ockwell-Smith has a few ideas to reduce the cringing.  She is a parenting expert who combines deep research with a gentle approach to kids, as portrayed in her latest book Gentle Disclipline

Wikimedia

"To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before" is great for Star Trek, but it can be a little scary in real life. 

Making big decisions have consequences, and some of us just freeze at the prospect of making them. 

Rogue Valley lawyer/business executive/author Julie Benezet recognizes the difficulties, and offers advice in a book called The Journey of Not Knowing: How 21st Century Leaders Can Chart a Course Where There Is None

WNYC

Bicycle-sharing programs are not just for big cities.  A number of cities in our region have started implementing bike share programs.

In the Rogue Valley, the Rogue Valley Council of Governments has partnered with the City of Ashland to implement a community bike share program called “Rogue Bike Share”

Moves are also being made in Arcata and Eugene to crank up the community pedals. 

Vicki Nunn, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12075956

Vanessa Grigoriadis went back to college.  But not to take classes; to talk to students and observe the culture, with a particular focus on sexuality and sexual assault. 

Sexual assault appears to be epidemic, if you focus on the major news stories.  And the ways in which people relate to each other have changed greatly in the age of social media and ubiquitous cellphones. 

Grigoriadis wrote her findings in Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus

Fc Nikon, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28921957

Wow, that was fast.  Is summer over already? 

Not quite, but it is September already. 

And on the first day of the month, we roll out our First Friday Arts segment. 

It's a celebration of the arts in all of their forms... music, dance, painting, sculpture, theater... you name it. 

And you make the segment by calling 800-838-3760 with information about arts events coming to your town in September.  There's no guest other than our callers. 

Wikimedia Commons

It's not just a TV-show trope that many of the people working at writing computer programs are male. 

It's a fact in real life, and one that Reshma Saujani aims to change. 

She is the founder of "Girls Who Code," which aims to increase the incidence of females creating the stuff that runs on our computers and smartphones. 

NIH/Public Domain

The many health insurance discussions generally do not include any mention of direct primary care (DPC)

The payment scheme in DPC is like a cable TV or cellphone bill: a monthly flat fee that is not connected to how much you use the service. 

The model is already in use in our region. 

Dr. Jill Friesen in Redding operates a DPC practice, as does Dr. Phillipp Olshausen in Medford. 

SOULA Facebook page

Untrained eyes will only see a wooded hillside.  But the people of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology--SOULA--travel with trained eyes. 

And they used those eyes, plus metal detectors and other tools, to further investigate the site of the Battle of Big Bend, the last skirmish in the "Rogue Indian War" of the 19th century. 

This month's installment of Underground History brings details of the dig to the forefront. 

National Park Service

Once upon a time, we thought earthquakes only happened in San Francisco and Alaska.  You know, not here. 

But the discovery of the Cascadia Subduction Zone removed our sense of the solid earth, and the occasional rumbles in the region remind us that a very big earthquake is possible. 

Perhaps even MORE possible in these days when we put powerful forces into the ground to release gas and oil. 

Kathryn Miles tells the story of tremors natural and man-made in her book Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake

gangstagrass.com

If you want to start a conversation that you know will last a while, ask Josh Gross about favorite bands. 

He loves music, and across a wide spectrum of genres and styles. 

Josh makes music, and writes about music for the Rogue Valley Messenger

And once a month, he visits the studio with "Rogue Sounds," a compilation of musical samples and news of coming band dates. 

Pages