Bees, Mines, & Gonorrhea: Big Week On The Exchange

Aug 8, 2014

We like to think there's something for everybody to sink their teeth into on every week of the Jefferson Exchange. 

During the current week, we'll talk about building better bees, protecting streams from mining operations, and a big rise in gonorrhea cases.

Here's our working document--pix and links omitted--for the week of August 11-15, 2014.

Monday, August 11, 2014/8:00        Yurok Tribes Raid Pot Farms
The drought is bad enough… making streams run low and even dry in places.  But its effects have been compounded along the Klamath River by illegal marijuana grows that divert water and cause streams to run dry artificially.  The Yurok Tribe recently joined forces with law enforcement agencies from the local, state and federal level... to raid some of the illegal pot grows.  Yurok Public Safety Chief Leonard Masten tells us about the raids and results.

Monday, August 11, 2014/8:30        OSF (and AIFF)'s Daedalus Project
The performers of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival get only Mondays off.  And they give even that up once a year, for the annual Daedalus Project, a fundraiser to stop HIV and AIDS.  The project begins on Friday with the Daedalus Film Fest and climaxes with the major stage events on Monday, August 18.  We get details on this year's activities.

Monday, August 11, 2014/9:00        Civil Rights Struggle Through "Mississippi Eyes"
The Freedom Summer of 1964 helped usher in civil rights laws for black Americans.  But the price was steep: many people of many ethnic backgrounds gave up their security and even their lives for civil rights.  Their efforts are not only remembered, but documented extensively.  A companion to the civil rights efforts was the Southern Documentary Project, which scattered reporters and photographers around the South to record the events for the major picture magazines.  Matt Herron directed the project, which gains a new audience through his book "Mississippi Eyes."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014/8:00        Complaint Filed Over Power Plant Air
Opponents of toxic pollution have painstakingly documented the way in which such pollution causes greater risks to people in poverty.  Think about it; if you had the money to move away from a power plant, wouldn't you?  Now several groups are complaining to the federal Environmental Protection Agency about the situation, specifically about a biomass power plant in Eugene.  Chris Winter at Crag Law Center joins us to explain the action and the hoped-for results.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014/8:30        Another Kind Of Health Club
You might hear the name "Talent Health Club" and assume it's a gym.  That assumption is incorrect.  Start by considering the initials for Talent Health Club.  THC is a medical marijuana dispensary, one of the few doing business in Oregon after many local jurisdictions banned them.  We'll talk business models and operations with a couple of the employees.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014/9:00        Taking Disease With "A Twist Of Lyme"
Andrea Caesar is not alone in suffering the effects of Lyme Disease.  The tick-borne illness affects at least 30,000 people a year.  But the disease can be so hard to detect and diagnose that Caesar did not know she actually had it… for 25 years.  The odyssey of treatment and discovery she endured is told in her book "A Twist of Lyme: Battling a Disease that 'Doesn't Exist.' "

Wednesday, August 13, 2014/8:00        There IS A Free Lunch For G.P. Schools
The story of schools in our times is that many of them have to do without SOMETHING because of budget cuts.  But no student in Grants Pass schools will have to go without lunch in the coming school year.  The Grants Pass district just announced free meals for all students this year.  It's part of a federal program available in Oregon for the first time.  We hear how it works and how long it might last.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014/8:30        VENTSday
We do not schedule guests for Wednesday at 8:30, because that's the time for VENTSday, your chance to vent (politely, please) on a pair of topics in the news.  We bring the topics, you bring the opinions.  It's VENTSday on The Jefferson Exchange, and you participate by calling 1-800-838-3760 or 541-552-6782 or emailing

Wednesday, August 13, 2014/9:00        Building A Better Bee
Bees are critically important to plants and the food supply, and they've had serious survival problems in recent years.  We could work to remove all possible health hazards for bees from the environment, but that's a long and slow process.  What we could also do is work to breed "tougher" bees, bees with greater resistance to mites and disease.  Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association President John Jacob is involved in the effort to breed sturdier bees.  He visits our studio to talk about the process and the outlook.

Thursday, August 14, 2014/8:00        Gonorrhea Infections Zoom In Southern Oregon
An increase in gonorrhea cases of 18 percent is enough to cause concern among health workers.  And that is the number for Oregon between 2012 and 2013.  Now consider the increase in Josephine County: 270 percent in the same period.  And that's not the highest... Jackson checks in with a 387 percent increase and Douglas County leaped 1,050 percent.  Granted, each started with small numbers from 2012.  But the concern is real, and we explore it with the Oregon Health Authority.

Thursday, August 14, 2014/8:30        Blocking Mines On Scenic Streams
Some of the prettiest waterways in our region could also be the richest in other ways.  Hard-money ways, because of potentially valuable mineral contents.  And miners have shown an interest in extracting some of the hard-rock riches of the streams.  Which is why environmental groups including KS Wild just delivered thousands of letters to federal agencies, requesting a mineral withdrawal.  The withdrawal would declare key streams off-limits to mining.  KS Wild's Morgan Lindsay joins us to talk about which streams are targeted--both for mining, and for protection.

Thursday, August 14, 2014/9:00        Exploring "The Island Of Knowledge"
Remember that set of thoughts on knowledge?  You know: there are things we know we don't know, "known unknowns."  And then there are the "unknown unknowns"… things we do NOT know that we lack in knowledge.  Over time, we learn more, and expand what theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser calls "The Island of Knowledge."  His book by that name demonstrates how new scientific discoveries make many people uncomfortable, and actually expand ignorance.