John Baxter

Jefferson Exchange Producer

John Baxter's history at JPR reaches back three decades.  John was the JPR program director who was the architect of the split from a single station into three separate program services.  We're thrilled that John has taken a hiatus from his retirement to join JPR as interim producer of the Jefferson Exchange.

Underground History: Yreka's Old Chinatown

Nov 29, 2017
Southern Oregon University

There's a good chance that if you set a shovel to the ground in a place where people have lived for a long time, you'll find SOME kind of artifact.  This is what keeps archaeologists busy and provides content for our monthly Underground History segment. 

This month: the excavation of Yreka's old Chinatown, dug up when Interstate Five was built.  There's a good collection of artifacts, but the documentation and interpretation were never completed. 

Sarah Heffner is working to update the information about the collection. 

She is our guest, along with regulars Chelsea Rose and Mark Tveskov of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

bobarellano.com

We wonder sometimes when Robert Arellano sleeps. 

He's got talents as an author, teacher, and musician (among other skills), and has just cranked out his sixth novel.  Havana Libre is the sequel to Havana Lunar, his critically acclaimed book from 2010. 

Bombs, terrorists, and spies populate the new book, which is set in the Cuba of 20 years ago. 

intuitive-compass.com

Our monthly hit of contemporary music, Rogue Sounds, steps up a notch for December (yes, we're a day early). 

Because Josh Gross of the Rogue Messenger, our music curator, is also the organizer of a CD of local bands and a party to release it, coming up next week. 

So Josh will treat us to a souped-up collection of songs, just in time for the holidays. 

Wikipedia Commons

The State of Oregon recently reported on the numbers of homeless students in the state. 

And the figures were not encouraging: of the five districts with the highest rates of student homelessness, four are in our listening area.  Butte Falls tops the list. 

The Maslow Project works to assist homeless students in both Jackson and Josephine Counties, and seldom has to look far to find people to serve. 

BLM/Public Domain

It's called the "prairie chicken," but nobody really intends to eat a sage grouse. 

The bird is a focus of controversy in Oregon's high desert, with conservation groups seeking greater protection for it and resource-use groups trying to reduce regulations. 

The latter category includes the Oregon Farm Bureau.  Mary Ann Cooper from the Bureau visits.

Tom Sharp is a rancher and the chair of the Oregon Cattlemen's Association's Endangered Species Committee. 

They join us with the farmer/rancher perspective on the sage grouse, prior to a federal deadline for comment on December 1.

Army/Public Domain

Jere Van Dyk knows Afghanistan well from decades of covering the news there.  But his vast knowledge did not protect him from kidnapping; he was taken in 2008. 

45 days later, he was free... and not sure why.  He decided to investigate the odd circumstances of his release, a story he tells in The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping

The title is not applied casually... kidnapping is indeed a business in Afghanistan. 

NOAA/Public Domain

Dungeness crab season is a big deal on the West Coast.  It's become a big deal for whales, too, but not in a good way. 

The numbers of whales and other marine mammals tangled in devices meant to catch crabs has been climbing to record levels in recent years. 

The Center for Biological Diversity already sued the federal Fish and Wildlife service over the entanglements earlier this fall; now CBD wants the feds to declare that crabbing is dangerous to whales. 

The Keenest Observers: POC In The RV

Nov 27, 2017
Sparrowhawk Media Arts

The Rogue Valley's Nisha Burton has many artistic interests and outlets. 

Her latest short film is part of a project called "The Separation Myth," and is an an exploration of what it is like to be non-white and live in the Rogue Valley. 

She is our guest in this month's installment of The Keenest Observers, hosted by Robert Goodwin. 

Oregon State Police took a hit from the reorganization of state funding in the 1990s. 

The numbers of troopers on patrol dropped steadily for years, then appeared to be on a rebound... when the Great Recession hit. 

There are still fewer troopers than allowed in the budget, and the shortage can lead to slow response times to calls, especially in rural areas. 

Public Domain

Oregon homes and cars will use less fuel in the future, under a pair of executive orders issued by Governor Kate Brown this month. 

One order focuses on buildings, with homes and commercial buildings ordered to be ready for solar panels, and "zero energy ready" within a few years. 

The other order focuses on getting more electric vehicles on the road in just three years. 

We focus on the building order; Fred Gant was connected to Earth Advantage, a pro-green-building nonprofit.  Dan Jovick builds green buildings and is co-founder of Jovick Construction

NASA

Capitalism rules the world now.  Even countries we once thought of as committed to communism now allow at least some semblance of a free-market economy. 

And that creates some problems for the planet, since capitalism can be tough on the environment. 

Several economists have pointed this out; now a pair of college professors make a more pointed case in A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet

Raj Patel and Jason Moore are not using "cheap" in the good sense--it's not about low prices. 

Public Domain

The return of wolves to Oregon has resulted in both exhilaration and exasperation. 

But also a sense of wonder.  Any creature gone from the landscape for decades draws notice when it is detected again in the woods nearby. 

One Oregon wolf (NOT OR-7) drew a particular sense of awe for his sheer size.  OR-4 is the subject of a recent story in Outside magazine

Wikimedia

Tables around the country will groan with the weight of turkey and other Thanksgiving foods this week (and people will groan after eating too much). 

We tend to slide into the holiday with at least one cooking segment, and the tradition holds this year as well. 

Tod Davies, the founder of Exterminating Angel Press, joins forces with food writer Sarah Lemon to explore ways to feed a family without a whole lot in the fridge. 

National Archives of The Netherlands

Women went to war with the rest of the world in World War II.  Not generally on the front lines, but on the home front, working in factories and taking on tasks men had done until they went off to battle. 

And those tasks include analyzing enemy messages, and breaking codes. 

10,000 women served as codebreakers in the war, a story told in Liza Mundy's book Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II.  

Lance Cpl. Julien Rodarte, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52238924

Anybody in your family work as a steam locomotive engineer or maker of buggy whips?  There's not much call for those jobs anymore. 

And there's no guarantee that the jobs we do today will be needed in a few years. 

One study suggests that close to HALF the jobs in the workplace now will be eliminated by technology in the next 20 years. 

The non-profit WorkingNation works to prepare people for this future.  Joan Lynch, Chief Content and Programming Officer, visits with details. 

And the Oregon Employment Department tracks the trends as well.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

The warming of the planet becomes very real to many people in the summertime. 

Thousands of people have died in extreme heat waves since 1980, and the frequency of the heat waves is increasing. 

Research at the University of Hawaii looks at specifically HOW heat works on the body... and the bad news is, there are MANY different ways. 

Camilo Mora is an associate professor of geography at the U of H. 

Pete Souza/The White House

Countries prove all the time, through hacking and other means, that you can mess with your enemies without firing a shot.  The message is not lost on people who might otherwise be fighting wars. 

As journalist David Patrikarakos points out, war is a clash of narratives, and those narratives can be delivered by the internet, rather than bombs and bullets. 

He explains further in his book War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the 21st Century

Public Domain

Congress is moving quickly toward votes on changing the country's tax system... some reorganizing and some cutting of rates, especially corporate taxes. 

There are goals in this and any tax plan that go beyond just money... like stimulating certain KINDS of economic activity. 

One kind of activity that could help many communities would be more building of housing for people who don't make much money; the lack of such housing is a factor in homelessness. 

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition has a few ideas on what might help, and the Coos Bay-North Bend Housing Authority is one of many agencies working to get people into cheaper housing. 

darex.com

Every place where people work started with an idea.  And the people who come up with ideas about businesses are studied and lauded in our society. 

We begin a new regular feature on The Exchange, "The Ground Floor," visiting with entrepreneurs in our region about how they got started and how they overcame obstacles. 

Up first: Matthew Bernard, the current CEO of Darex, the Ashland-based maker of sharpening equipment.  He is the fourth generation involved in the running of the company. 

Wikimedia

The Supreme Court decision integrating schools, Brown vs Board of Education, was a lifetime ago, in 1954.  And yet our schools are almost as segregated now as they were then. 

And it is both racial and economic segregation, further widening gaps in our society. 

Noliwe Rooks examines the many factors, and finds the profit motive one of the larger culprits.  She explains in her book Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education

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