The Jefferson Exchange

News & Info: Mon-Fri • 8am-10am | 8pm-10pm

JPR's live call-in program devoted to current events and news makers from around the region and beyond. Participate at:  800-838-3760.  Email: JX@jeffnet.org.   Check us out on Facebook.

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U.S. Army/Public Domain

Everybody supports kids learning to read.  But factions begin to form over how and where. 

The people who run Josephine Community Libraries hope many people support kids learning to read, and nurturing a love of reading, in public libraries. 

JCLI has a tough task: running a county library system with no county operating support. 

So it is now working to crowdfund children's libraries in the county. 

How far are you willing to go to get ready for an earthquake?  And how much should we prepare and spend as a society?  That's one topic on this week's VENTSday. 

The other: what our states should be doing to stop rural areas from declining in population and vibrancy.

Our weekly VENTSday segment puts the listeners front and center. We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics.

Topics range from the global to the hyper-local, and all responsible opinions are welcome. We bring the topics, you bring the opinions.

Gotham Books

People who want to do good for other people and the world often get accused of being "bleeding hearts," or worse. 

William MacAskill has heard it all before.  And he agrees that efforts toward altruism are often derailed by lack of solid information and measurements. 

And he proposes ways around those potholes, in his book Doing Good Better.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

A lot of us saw smoke plumes rise in the air from nearby wildfires. 

And then we didn't see much at all, as the smoke settled into the valleys and obscured the view.  Worse, it created potential health challenges through worsening air quality

Parts of the Rogue Valley spent the weekend with air listed in the "hazardous" range. 

Retired environmental toxicologist Bruce Hope once worked for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and still volunteers on its Air Toxics Advisory Committee

Wikimedia Commons

The letters G, M, and O aren't even words, but they've certainly become fighting words.

Witness the U.S. House of Representatives' recent passage of HR 1599. 

Officially, it's the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015," a move to prevent states from passing their own genetically modified (GMO) food labeling laws. 

Which is why anti-GMO groups call it "the DARK Act"--for "Deny Americans the Right to Know"--and some other names we won't print. 

One of the most-debated provisions concerns local bans on GMO crops, as in Jackson County. 

Would the bill prohibit those or not?  We hear both opinions in this hour... Gail Greenman from the Oregon Farm Bureau says there's no such provision. 

She'll be followed by George Kimbrell at the Center for Food Safety, who says there is. 

The source of global warming is up there, but not visible: the greenhouse gases that are warming up the planet.

The solution is up there, too: energy from the sun.  So says Robert Arthur Stayton in his book Power Shift: From Fossil Energy To Dynamic Solar Power

He shoves aside the concerns about expense and economic dislocation, and paints an optimistic picture of a future in which we get 100% of our power needs met by the sun. 

NASA/Public Domain

Nobody's in a position to wave a magic wand and make global warming stop.

One of the frustrating things about dealing with the issue is its vastness. 

But many people have pointed out the need for action within our communities, and that's what CivicSpark is about. 

It is an AmericaCorps program charged by California's governor with helping local communities address climate change. 

Wikimedia

The recent triple-digit temperatures across the region arrived with plenty of warnings and advice for how to protect ourselves from heat-related health issues.

These are issues known well to the people at the Human Cardiovascular Control Lab at the University of Oregon. 

They've spent plenty of time looking into the effects of heat on the body, and what those effects will do if left unchecked. 

Penguin Books

The California drought garners lots of headlines, but it's not the only place in the country concerned about water supplies.

Kansas and the states around it sit atop the Ogallala Aquifer, a critically important water source. 

And Julene Bair's ancestral family farm drew water from the aquifer, by the hundreds of millions of gallons every year. 

Her story of returning to the land and coming to grips with her life and its impact is told in her book The Ogallala Road. 

James Heilman, MD/Wikimedia

  Oregon is getting way ahead of the country, in a dubious category.

The state's death rate for Hepatitis C is getting close to twice the national average. 

And the rate of new infections also runs well ahead of the national average. 

The inflammation of the liver is far more common than HIV/AIDS, and health officials are scrambling to respond. 

Wikimedia

  There's more than one approach to ending drug addiction.

Lane County's Methadone Treatment Program uses a bio-psycho-social model. 

The program goes beyond the present-tense of the craving of drugs and delves into past experiences and how they contribute to addiction. 

At a time when addictions are common, the clinic has a waiting list for its services. 

Wikimedia

  

  The admission of more females to the military has resulted in more opportunities for women, but that's a sword that cuts two ways.

They now hold positions of greater responsibility, but they also get to fight in dangerous places. 

AND there are issues with their treatment by fellow (male) members of the military. 

We spend the hour delving into the issues. 

Drukpa Mila Center

Karma Namgyel Rinpoche practices a version of Tibetan Buddhism he learned in his native country, Bhutan. 

But he moves around between bases of operations of the Drukpa Mila Center in Oregon, and Colorado, as well as Bhutan. 

Here's our chance to learn about the Drukpa Kagyu branch of his faith, and some of its main tenets. 

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The American Revolution, our war of independence, was a singular thing.

But American Revolutions, plural, is a cycle of several plays commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, including the Tony-Winning "All The Way." 

The cycle continues with this week's opening of "Sweat," about the decline of industrial America and the way it plays out in individual lives. 

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage is the creator of the play. 

Penguin Press

Dan-El Padilla Peralta's family arrived in New York legally from the Dominican Republic.

But their visas lapsed, and they stayed.  Dan-El excelled in school, winning a private school scholarship and zooming to the top of his class. 

It was just before his salutatorian speech at Princeton that Dan-El revealed to the world that he was "undocumented," a story he tells in his book, Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League.

U.S. Navy/Public Domain

It turns out living in paradise has its drawbacks.

Residents of Christmas Island in the Pacific are prone to a "surfer's disease," caused by exposure to abundant dust, wind, and sunlight. 

Two doctors from Medford's Medical Eye Center noticed the situation on a fishing trip years ago. 

Now they return on a regular basis to treat eye patients with techniques otherwise unknown to the area. 

Suppose the drought never really ends?  How do we approach water allocations then? 

That's one topic on this week's VENTSday.  The other: do we want to erase Confederate history enough to rename Lane County (slave owner) or Fort Bragg (Confederate general)?

Our weekly VENTSday segment puts the listeners front and center.

We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics.

Blue Rider Press

Even devoted baseball fans marvel at the length of the regular season.

At 162 games, it is twice as long--in number of games--as the NBA season, the next longest. 

Players can go weeks without a single day off, leading to their common name for the schedule: The Grind

Those two words are also the title of a book by Barry Svrluga, baseball writer for the Washington Post.

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Forests have a way of regenerating after devastating fires.

Human-built amenities in or near the forests take a bit of time and attention.

The Biscuit Fire burned through the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest 13 years ago.

And it was just recently that members of the Siskiyou Mountain Club completed the rebuilding of a trail through the burn area.

Wikimedia

Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District has a rare issue facing it: it has a right to more water than it can currently use.

But it's a use-it-or-lose-it proposition for the district.

It either needs to find more users, or risk losing a portion of its water right.  

A change would have a significant on the Mad River, the water source... a lower water right would drop the flow in the river markedly.

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