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.

WIBG via Facebook

Josh Gross has an addiction, and it's one we're only too happy to share. 

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. 

Wikimedia

The last thing any police officer wants to encounter is a suspect with a gun. 

So Eureka Police recently made some efforts to make it less likely that they'll encounter people with stolen guns. 

A "security expo" encouraged people to buy safes and other gun safety equipment, and a gun buy-back gave people premiums for giving up guns, no questions asked about ownership. 

A fiction piece in a recent edition of The New Yorker described a town that sounds very much like Ashland. 

And it should: author Victor Lodato lives in Ashland for part of the year.   He is both author and playwright, with an award to show for a previous novel. 

His latest novel, Edgar and Lucy, is drawing praise from critics. 

indiegogo.com

You only need to say the name "OK Corral" to conjure up an image of a gunfight in the Old West. 

It really happened, but accounts differ. And in the film "Tombstone Rashomon," different perspectives of that famous gun battle are laid out side-by-side. 

California Department of Water Resources

It's been quite a year for snowfall... an exceptional year, by any measure. 

And we have the latest measures in hand, with the end-of-March snowpack surveys just completed. 

The always-on measuring devices show a minimum of 120% of normal snowpack on either side of the state line. 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

Ronald Reagan's time as president has become truly legendary. 

EVERYONE seems to have a story about Reagan and his accomplishments, positive and negative. 

Craig Shirley has written several books about Reagan, including the recently published Reagan Rising, about the period from Reagan missing the Republican presidential nomination in 1976 to his victory four years later. 

Wikimedia

Quick, what do you think is the greatest invention ever?  Wait... before you answer, we offer an alternative question: what is the WORST invention ever?  That might be a little harder, but it turns out there's stiff competition for that list. 

Think of some of science's stumbles, like frontal lobotomies, chemical warfare, and margarine.  Margarine?  Not good for the heart. 

Pediatrician/author Paul Offit narrows the list in his book Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong

Runner1616, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39215568

Films long and short and funny and sad will fill screens and eyeballs when the Ashland Independent Film Festival returns to the city's two movie theaters this week (April 6-10). 

And it's not just about the movies, but the movie makers, too... like James Ivory (as in Merchant Ivory Productions), who is a Klamath Falls native. 

What does it take to pull together all the films and all the filmmakers for the five-day blitz? 

Ashland Automotive

You know the catalytic converter does SOMETHING to your car's exhaust to make it less noxious to the atmosphere.  But do you know much beyond that?  And are you aware of the things you can do to keep it working correctly? 

Zach Edwards does.  He's the boss at Ashland Automotive, and our monthly guest for a segment we call The Squeaky Wheel. 

We get into the guts of the catalytic converter and what it takes to keep it converting. 

@.IMAD.COM, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56066599

Some of us know wine really well and insist on the best in our bottles... and some of us are content to drink it out of boxes. 

Bianca Bosker started in the latter category, and moved to the former.  Her intense interest in wine and the people who serve it led her to quit her job in journalism and go full-bore into wine. 

The result is the book Cork Dork: A Wine-fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste

Wikimedia

Wow, is it tax time already?  You may be among the many people who get organized early and file their taxes well before the deadline. 

For the rest of us, April 18th is the deadline for filing taxes this year (the 15th is a Saturday). 

Tax time can be stressful in a number of ways, and one of them is the possibility of identity theft in the tax preparation process. 

The Oregon Department of Revenue issues warnings about how to avoid such theft. 

John Craig, BLM via Wikimedia

We tend to focus on ice caps and polar bears, but climate change effects every place that has a climate.  Meaning: Earth. 

Environmental scientist Susan Harrison tracks the changes in plant species in our region. 

And she has some recent comparisons with older findings in the Siskiyous that are eye-opening. 

Earl McGehee, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31144223

Maybe it's happened to you... you stub your toe on something, and that makes you walk funny. 

Next thing you know, your knee or hip hurts from the weird walk, and then your back starts to act up.  Our bodies are finely tuned mechanisms, or should be. 

Grants Pass physical therapist Doranne Long got into the tweaks that can improve the workings of our bodies in her book, simply named Your Body Book

publicceo.com

The State of Jefferson gets some recognition from the Oregon Historical Society in its latest publication. 

The Oregon Historical Quarterly's latest issue focuses on historical events and research in our corners of Oregon and California. 

The issue itself bears the one-time-only title of "Jefferson Historical Quarterly."  So we talk about some of the work to explore the region in this month's edition of "Underground History." 

In-house archaeologist Chelsea Rose from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology returns. 

missingmiddlehousing.com

The housing shortage is real in several communities around the region. 

Vacancy rates are low, so rents are high, and it can take a long time for people to find suitable housing.  Community leaders are aware of the issue and working to address it. 

One approach: build up the middle of the housing market, the multiple-family homes that are not full-blown apartment complexes.  Urbanist Daniel Parolek calls this the "missing middle." 

We talk housing needs and the economy on a wider scale with Dan Parolek, Guy Tauer of the Oregon Employment Department and Connie Saldaña, an advocate for the homeless for Rogue Valley Council of Governments

Wikimedia

Are we nostalgic for the Civil War?  People in several states have talked about secession in recent years, from Texans frustrated with Barack Obama to Californians frustrated with Donald Trump. 

Actually, some of the agitation for an independent California pre-dates the Trump administration. 

Yes California is the organization most vocal about splitting the state from the union. 

Marcus Ruiz-Evans is a co-founder, Clare Hedin is the Bay Area representative. 

Public Domain

Even people who can afford homes are aware of how tight the rental market is. 

From Eugene to Redding, vacancy rates hover around one or two percent.  Which makes rental housing hard to find AND expensive.  The situation contributes to homelessness as well. 

In the city of Redding, the Community Revitalization and Development Corporation works to bring up the numbers of affordable housing units. 

Wikimedia

The interest in immigration is acute at the moment, but it's always there. 

Daniel Connolly spent more than a decade reporting on immigration, specifically Mexican immigration, legal and not. 

He dug a bit deeper with a focus on one young man considering his options in a country where his parents reside illegally. 

The Book of Isaias tells the story of the young man. 

Heather Franklin / via Facebook

This summer marks three years since the Boles Fire tore through the north end of Weed, destroying 145 homes and several other buildings, including the library.

The city is recovering, though slowly. 

Homes are being built to replace the ones lost in the fire, but there's a long road ahead in the rebuilding process. 

Wikimedia

One of the major issues with balancing the state budget in Oregon is the amount of money needed to make sure retired public workers get the pensions they were promised. 

PERS, the Public Employee Retiree System, needs more money to match what retirees expect with what has been saved for them. 

Tim Nesbitt knows PERS from both labor and management sides.  He worked for a couple of Oregon governors and once led the AFL-CIO in the state. 

Pages