John Baxter

Jefferson Exchange Producer

John Baxter decided to add to his legendary history at JPR by returning as interim producer of the Jefferson Exchange.  But John's attachment goes back more than three decades.  He worked for many years as the program director at JPR, engineering the split from one station into three separate program services, among many other tasks.  We're glad to have John take a hiatus from retirement and join us back in the basement.

Josh Morrell/Brittfest.org

It took some vision to put an orchestra on a grassy hillside in Jacksonville. 

And the vision took: 54 years later, the Britt Orchestra still entertains large crowds over three weekends in the summer. 

The players have changed, but the mission remains the same. 

And mission control takes over Friday, as the orchestra season begins.  Teddy Abrams leads the flock in his fourth full season as music director and conductor. 

Mary Landberg

Reading all the books about handling death and grief may not prepare people for tending to a person in their final days. 

Ashland authors Katie Ortlip and Jahnna Beecham leave nothing out of their book Living With Dying: A Complete Guide for Caregivers

It runs the gamut, from emotional and legal matters to specifics on use of bedpans and what to do with ashes after death. 

contrailscience.com

This is our attempt at doing a Show About Nothing. Sam Kean's new book is about -- air. 

In Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us, New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it. 

The author joined us for memorable chats about his previous books The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb

Oregon Coast Music Festival

The Oregon Coast Music Festival (OCMF) has grown from a Coos Bay performance of Haydn music to an annual festival that draws 5,000 to its varied concerts in several Coos Bay area locations.   

The festival's classical concerts are scheduled next week (July 25-29) in the Marshfield High School Auditorium in Coos Bay. 

James Paul has been the Festival's music director since 1991. 

Ian Poellet/Wikimedia

Malls and suburban shopping centers did not kill downtowns completely, but they certainly damaged them. 

Now urban planners continue to look for ways to make downtowns attractive places to live and work and shop and play. 

Urban3, based in North Carolina, works with cities to move toward more vibrant downtowns, and Grants Pass and Medford teamed up to bring Urban 3 to the Rogue Valley to analyze. 

The company urges taxpayers to think of themselves as shareholders in a corporation (which cities are), and think about the best way to maximize the value of the corporation.

Betty Halbreich did not invent the concept of the personal shopper, but it can be argued that she perfected it. 

New York's swanky Bergdorf Goodman store put her to work picking out clothing for customers to choose from, rather than ransacking the racks themselves. 

Betty became legendary, a story she tells in her memoir I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist

California Arts Council

And the winners are... Eureka and Redding. 

Both cities made the list of 14 communities receiving designation of "cultural districts" from the California Arts Council. 

The districts contain high concentrations of cultural attractions and activities.  Cities from around California competed for the honor. 

nagagroup.org

Lumps of beeswax were offered by Native Americans in trade with white explorers along the Oregon Coast centuries ago. 

The explorers wondered where the beeswax came from, and the answer appears to be from the wreck of a Spanish cargo ship in the Manila-Aculpulco trade.  Possibly before 1700! 

The wax still turns up from time to time, but the ship's remains have eluded discovery thus far. 

This month's installment of "Underground History" brings Southern Oregon University Laborary of Anthropology experts Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose back to the studio. 

salon.com

Depending on your political orientation, this time in America is either the dawn of a new age or something like "springtime for Hitler." 

And it is Hitler's time that Jessica Shattuck and Rachel Kadish want to focus on, with the central question "how did good people let this happen?" 

Kadish, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, is the author of the novel The Weight of Ink

Shattuck, the granddaughter of Nazis, wrote the novel The Women in the Castle

Riccardo Rossi, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15140983

The salmon runs in the Pacific have been miserable this year, prompting the agency that regulates fishing to ban it for several species in the Klamath Management Zone. 

That is the backdrop for the 9th Spring-run Chinook Symposium, scheduled for later this month in Forks of Salmon in Siskiyou County. 

Salmon experts and people involved in fish restoration meet to compare notes and even dive in search of fish. 

Wikimedia

Headlines in other parts of the country keep saying Oregon has "decriminalized" some drug offenses. 

That is not quite the case, but it is true that the legislature recently voted to turn some drug possession felonies into misdemeanors. 

Two reasons: 1) reduce pressure on prisons; 2) offer drug treatment instead of time behind bars. 

The Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police supports the change (up to a point), along with other law enforcement groups.  Kris Allison is chief of police in Central Point and vice president of the chiefs association. 

Phil Bettin is the programs officer at the Addictions Recovery Center in Medford.

Timothy Vollmer, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15523845

Many jobs once done by people can now be performed by machines. 

Don't plan a long-term future on a job, if a robot can do it smarter and faster.  Our job is to figure out the tasks that robots and computers cannot do. 

That's the general thrust of Edward Hess's book Humility Is the New Smart: Rethinking Human Excellence in the Smart Machine Age

And yes, as the title implies, it will take some humility on the part of humans. 

Evgeniy Isaev, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45189805

What books have you chosen to read this summer? 

Philosophy?  Classics of fiction?  Comic Books? 

The long, warm days lend themselves to reading, and we'll spend the summer getting advice on WHAT to read from some of our local bookstores. 

J. Michaels Books in Eugene checks in with the latest installment of "Summer Reads". 

Our part of the world is prone to earthquakes and resulting tsunamis. 

In coastal communities, it's easy to know where to go TO, should a tsunami warning sound.  But that doesn't cover where you should run FROM. 

A new online app developed by Todd Becker, an environmental analyst for Humboldt County, shows the tsunami evacuation zones in the county. 

So you can check on a phone which areas should be left behind once the ground shakes. 

Up & Down Ashland

The big transportation bill passed by the Oregon Legislature had a lot of features for a lot of different travel modes. 

That includes bicycles, which get more off-street paths under the bill. 

But they also get a new tax: $15 on the sale of every adult-sized bicycle with a value $200 or above.  There are mixed feelings among people who use and sell bicycles, as you might imagine.

We visit with reps from Bike Portland, People for Bikes, and Talent's Flywheel Bicycle Solutions

davidrobbinsauthor.com

You thought Steven King was a prolific author, with more than 50 novels to his credit? 

Multiply by SIX to get the output of David Robbins, who calls Rogue River home. 

At last count, Robbins had written 321 (correction: 322) books, mostly novels, under a handful of different names.  And three of his books were adapted from Hollywood movies.

His most successful works are in the "Endworld" series, depicting a post-Apocalypse Earth. 

Whence comes all these stories? 

Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Lyme disease is scary, plain and simple. 

It can cause a host of problems in humans, including damage to the joints, the heart, and the nervous system.  And it appears to be spreading. 

Geos Institute chief scientist Dominick DellaSala attributes the spread of Lyme to global warming, which allows the ticks that carry the disease to expand their range. 

SOPTV

Just a small percentage of Americans serve in the armed forces now. 

But that's still 20 million and more people with experiences taking up arms to protect the country. 

Southern Oregon Public TV--SOPTV--honors them periodically with "My Story of Service," personal tales of service from veterans of all ages. 

A second season of stories is now underway, and producer Jeff LeBeau visits with Larry Slessler, who has memories from Vietnam and the Cuban missile crisis. 

Michael R. Noggle, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22695071

Two words, not terribly descriptive alone, gain surprising strength when used in a two-word phrase: special forces. 

That phrase conjures up images of elite teams of military forces, trained for the most difficult and harrowing missions. 

Special operations forces grew out of World War II and stuck around.  Now they are profiled in a book, Oppose Any Foe: The Rise of America’s Special Operations Forces.

Tomasz Sienicki, CC BY-SA 3.0, wikimedia

People continue to smoke and use tobacco in Oregon, despite programs in place to discourage smoking. 

The Oregon Nurses Association says there's a reason: the tobacco industry spending heavily to influence laws and policies in the state. 

ONA points to Oregon's low cigarette tax as one example. 

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