The Jefferson Exchange

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Some of our trees are looking mighty ragged after several years of drought.  That's to be expected. 

But the kinds of stresses they're showing are new to researchers who know trees well. 

Those include the coast redwoods and the giant sequoias... many are clearly stressed, and some are dying. 

Redwood expert Anthony Ambrose at the University of California-Berkeley points out that the biggest redwoods need up to 2000 liters of water A DAY to survive, and drought and climate change will challenge that intake. 


The title of the latest report on the state of Oregon's highway bridges does not induce panic. 

But it does include a cautionary phrase: "we've got work to do." 

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) delivers the report annually. 

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The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is quite serious about extending discussions of its plays into the real world, the world beyond the stage. 

The world premiere play "Sweat" now playing at OSF is about the real-world issue of America's de-industrialization and the accompanying job loss. 

Now factor in the recent preliminary agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, billed as a chance to spread the benefits of globalization around.  Will it? 

That is the central question in a panel discussion set for Saturday (Oct. 17) at OSF, titled "Does Economic Recovery Benefit Everyone?"

Oregon Public Broadcasting

For years, he's been one of the major shapers of the budget for state government in Oregon, a budget affecting millions of people and guiding billions of dollars. 

During that time, he has earned less than $30,000 a year from being a state legislator. 

That's not the only reason Rep. Peter Buckley recently announced his retirement from the legislature with the 2016 election. 

Buckley represents a diverse district from the California line to Medford, including Ashland liberals and rural conservatives. 

S.O. Pride Facebook page

The celebration may turn up a few notches at this year's Southern Oregon Pride Festival, Saturday (Oct. 10) in Ashland. 

This is the year the Supreme Court overturned state laws banning same-sex marriage, and there have been other gains for the LGBTQ community. 

But changes in attitudes toward gay rights seldom move in a straight line, pun unintentional. 

Arcata House Partnership

Trying to get homeless people off the streets and into homes is a process that bedevils communities across the country. 

Arcata took a major step recently with the opening of Arcata Bay Crossing, described as a "supportive housing" development. 

It is the product of work by several organizations, including Arcata House Partnership, which has worked for years on solutions to homelessness. 

Penguin Books

Just admit it: you've eaten meals at Chinese restaurants and thought you could NEVER duplicate those flavors in your own kitchen. 

Time to think differently.  The book Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees by Kian Lam Kho de-mystifies Chinese cooking. 

There are recipes, to be sure, but the book is largely about the techniques used in authentic Chinese cooking. 


  Linda Boly just wanted to do her job as a nurse at a Portland hospital. 

But she had concerns about the quality of nursing, and pointed out to hospital administrators that cost-cutting was jeopardizing patient care. 

She was fired for poor job performance, even though her job reviews had been stellar. 

Boly begged to differ, and did so in court.  Now her former employer has to pay her $3 Million for wrongful termination. 


Many a small business person will tell you that they had the necessary skills to run a business, but lacked knowledge of marketing or some other critical area.

These are the areas that can be aided by Small Business Development Centers, like the one attached to Southern Oregon University in Medford (one of six in SW Oregon). 

In addition to offering assistance and classes, SBDCs also perform some educational outreach, including an upcoming Business Resource Forum (October 17). 

Minotaur Books

  We attach a certain level of cinematic romance to the gangsters of the Prohibition era. 

But they were just as scary in their time as our drug cartels and their operatives are today. 

And Joe Urschel gives us an idea of just how scary in his book The Year of Fear

The year in question is 1933, a critical turning point year, both because Prohibition ended and because it was a year in which the FBI began coming into its own as a major force. 

Hazelwood (MO) School District

The shooting deaths at Umpqua Community College remind us that people can show up with deadly intent anywhere. 

A police officer who wanted to keep his wife--a school principal--safe developed a training program for dealing with active shooters. 

Greg Crane calls his program ALICE, for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. 

He has worked with the Eugene Police, among many others.

VENTSday returns for the first time since the Umpqua shootings, and we open the phone lines and email box for comments on how best to move forward. 

The other topic is very much related... what information--like the shooter's name--should be public or withheld? 

You've got opinions on events in the news, and our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them.

We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them.

Algonquin Books

Theresa Brown loves her work as a nurse, and loves to write about it. 

She gives glimpses of the medical world in her New York Times column, and long, unblinking views in her books, including the new The Shift.

The title refers to a single day, one 12-hour shift in which Brown and her colleagues deal with life-and-death matters involving four separate patients. 

It gives a plain and frank look at the situations and decisions faced by medical professionals, and the effects on patients. 


Holy Shakespeare!  The Oregon Shakespeare Festival just announced a project to re-write the 39 plays attributed to William Shakespeare into modern English. 

People who insist that the strength of the plays is the quality of the language may burst a blood vessel. 

But OSF insists the translations--by 36 diverse playwrights paired with dramaturgs--are meant to complement Shakespeare, not replace his work. 

The idea is to make the great works accessible to broader audiences, with great respect for the original material.

Little Mountain 5/Wikimedia

While planning and zoning laws and codes are plentiful, businesses that are less environmentally-friendly can still set up shop, as long as all the permits are in place. 

Perigee Books

We have come a very long way indeed from the days when spanking and belting children was common and accepted. 

It's not just that children don't especially like being hit, researchers have also documented a number of long-term negative effects on children who grow up in a household where people hit each other. 


Isolation is a major concern for older people. 

Having friends move away or die can often leave seniors with few people to talk to on a regular basis. 

And there's evidence that isolation leads to depression. 

The evidence is collected and amplified by a new survey that shows depressive symptoms increase as face-to-face contacts with other people decrease. 

Oregon Health & Science University's Dr. Alan Teo, an assistant professor of psychiatry, is the lead author of the study. 


We expect water to come out of the faucet when we turn the handle. 

But the task of providing water gets harder in a drought, and our region has been living with drought conditions for several years. 

A national awareness campaign called "Imagine a Day Without Water" brings together a number of water agencies and interested groups to press the case for wise use and conservation this week (October 6-8). 

Viking Press

Talk about making a splash: Mary McGrory's first assignment in Washington was to cover Sen. Joseph McCarthy's hearings to root out communists in the Army. 

McGrory had a knack for being first in a lot of different ways.  She is the subject of John Norris's book Mary McGrory: The First Queen of Journalism.

McGrory rattled many cages and took no prisoners in a career as a liberal columnist stretching into the George W. Bush years. 


It happened again, and this time in our backyard: a person brought a gun to an educational institution and opened fire. 

The Thursday mass shooting at Umpqua Community College is only the latest in what seems like a never-ending series of events involving guns and schools. 

Several guests join us in this hour to talk about this specific incident, but more broadly, what--if anything--we understand about the perpetrators and their motivations. 

Eugene's Joe Lieberman, who wrote two books on school shootings, joins us.