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.


It's probably safe to call Michael Patrick Lynch a critic of the Internet. 

But you might want to Google him to be sure.  Lynch runs the "Humility and Conviction in Public Life" project at the University of Connecticut. 

He joined us last year to talk about his book The Internet of Us, about how we seem to know LESS in an age when huge amounts of information are available to us in seconds. 

The concept of a "slow news day" seems like so long ago. 

The inauguration of Donald Trump is just one factor in what seems to be an hourly, rather than daily, explosion of news in the world.  And it gives us plenty to talk about with Andrew Gay and Precious Yamaguchi of the Communication faculty at Southern Oregon University. 

They join us once a month to talk about media topics--news and not--in a segment we call "Signals & Noise."  This month, Twitter bots, Wonder Woman on the big screen, Congressional testimony carried live and more. 

DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

The American right wing is fond of talking about "the deep state" of late. 

Each side has its boogeymen and suspected conspirators, like the way the left wing feels about the Koch brothers. 

Nancy MacLean adds a name in her book Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

And the name is that of James McGill Buchanan, presumed architect of many right wing victories and a friend to the Kochs. 

Picture of suction dredge.
Oregon Wild

Vacuum action on Oregon streams moves from temporarily banned to permanently prohibited.

Both state House and Senate have passed the Suction Dredge Reform Bill (SB 3), and Governor Kate Brown signed the bill on June 14th.

Long a project of the late Senator Alan Bates, the bill prohibits suction dredge mining in Oregon streams where it would disturb sensitive fish habitat, while allowing the practice in areas where it will do less harm.

kcmckell/Live Aloha

It's getting late in the Oregon legislature.  A budget is due when the fiscal year begins July 1st, and there's not enough money to pay for all existing programs.

So agencies large and small are still unsure about what their funding will be.  Large as in: all the school districts in the state. 

Small as in: the Farm to School program, which teaches kids about where food comes from AND provides local food to their cafeterias. 

One version of the budget would cut funding entirely, another would cut funding in half.

The ancient tale of Scheherazade is about a storyteller. 

She saved her own life, and many more, by telling stories to a tyrannical king for a thousand nights. 

The story resonates with Portland storyteller Will Hornyak, who tells stories in prisons and many other venues, firmly believing that storytelling can change lives. 

Jan Jankovič/wikimedia

"A home."  That short phrase, uttered by senior citizens, is not a pleasant concept. 

The majority of senior citizens would rather live their later years in their own houses, not "a home." 

The national Senior Companion program pairs seniors who need some assistance at home--their own homes--with other seniors who are prepared to help. 

And the Lane County Senior Companion program is seeking volunteers. 

Jana Haemels, CC BY-SA 3.0,

It's not uncommon for a piece of land to be used for a business, then the business closes and the site is left vacant.  But not empty. 

Hazardous substances or other pollutants can be left behind, with no one responsible for the cleanup. 

These are designated "brownfields" by the federal EPA, and an EPA grant to the Rogue Valley Council of Governments will help identify brownfields in the Medford/Grants Pass area. 


Frances Stroh had it all growing up.  She was a rich kid, the heiress to the Stroh Brewing fortune. 

Then the economy of urban Detroit collapsed, beer tastes changed, and the family's fortunes went quickly south. 

It got ugly, a story Stroh tells frankly in her memoir, Beer Money: A Memoir of Privilege and Loss

University of Oregon

The academic year is drawing to a close at the University of Oregon, but the work never stops. 

This month we visit with Leslie Leve from UO's Counseling Psychology and Human Services Department. She updates us on the University's Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, UO's $1 billion initiative fueled by the Knights' $500 million gift last fall.  Dr. Leve will talk about her own research and how the Knight Campus' approach will help. 

Michael Richardson/Wikimedia

There are those who walk in the forest, and those who walk in the forest and recognize what grows there.  Scott Kloos is firmly in that second category. 

He is the founder and managing director of The School of Forest Medicine. 

So you can probably guess what his new book is about.  Yep, it's called Pacific Northwest Medicinal Plants, a guide to foraging and finding wild herbs, which Kloos says are superior to the herbs you could grow in a garden. 

JFK Library/Wikimedia

The late John Kenneth Galbraith is generally regarded as a liberal economist, but his story is quite a bit more complicated than that, and more than 97 years long.

Galbraith served under four presidents, wrote dozens of books, and worked for half a century at Harvard.

And now we get to read his mail, courtesy of a Southern Oregon University professor. Economics professor Ric Holt is the editor of The Selected Letters of John Kenneth Galbraith, epistles to world leaders, journalists, famous authors, and political opponents (like William F. Buckley).

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. 

Maines family

Nicole and Jonas Maines are identical twins; they were born with identical bodies. 

But their minds viewed those bodies and their lives differently, and Nicole knew from an early age that she was fated to be female, not male. 

The transition from Wyatt to Nicole involved many obstacles; legal and political and personal. 

Nicole Maines and her father, Wayne, are traveling the country telling their family's story. 

They visit Rogue Community College in Medford today (June 9). 

Juliancolton, Public Domain,

It started with a pencil, but it became so much more. 

Adam Braun came face-to-face with a little boy in India who wanted a pencil.  It was really symbolic: what he really wanted was an education. 

So that incident led to the formation of a group that has now built hundreds of schools all over the world. 

Adam Braun told the story in The Promise of a Pencil and joined us on The Exchange to talk about it three years ago. 

Resolutions Northwest

The recent murders of two men defending people from racial harassment in Portland made us think instantly of Rabbi Debra Kolodny at Resolutions Northwest

She teaches workshops on defusing such situations, and lives in the Portland area. 

We talked to Kolodny not long ago, before she taught one of her workshops in the Rogue Valley. 

She returns with her thoughts on the double murder (and wounding of a third man),

Rico Shen/Wikimedia

Maybe at one time the appropriate term was "community workshop," but "maker space" is the handle now. 

And several communities in the region are in the process of setting up maker spaces, or at least exploring the possibilities. 

Anyone with some knowledge and skills could potentially make use of such a space and the community-owned tools contained within. 

Oneshop in Redding is already going, as is ADX in Portland; the City of Roseburg is just getting started on its maker space exploration. 

Howard R. Hollem/Library of Congress/Wikimedia

Walk out of high school, walk into a factory job.  Stay until 65, then retire.  Millions of Americans followed exactly that pathway for generations. 

They worked hard and were paid well, in money and fringe benefits.  But the social contract changed, as Rick Wartzman points out in his book The End of Loyalty

Wartzman tracks the changes at four major American employers--GM, GE, Kodak, and Coca-Cola--to see just how profoundly the relationship shifted. 

Wikimedia Commons

Perusing the vast collections of the Oregon Historical Society does not require a trip to Portland. 

You will have to make your way to a computer, but you're already there, right?  OHS just flung open the doors of its new online Digital Collections Site, containing photographs and documents and oral histories and more. 

OHS Digital Archivist Mathieu Deschaine and his staff got the project on its feet. 

National Park Service

It's fun to sit on the river bank and watch the water go by. 

Sean Fleming has done that, we suspect, but he's also thought a lot more deeply about rivers and what they represent, both in reality and in metaphor. 

Fleming is a geophysicist at Oregon State University and the author of Where The River Flows: Scientific Reflections on Earth's Waterways.

From how rivers shape the landscape and vice-versa... to how fluctuations in stock markets mimic rivers, there's a lot in here.