The Jefferson Exchange

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

JPR's live interactive program devoted to current events and news makers from around the region and beyond. It airs on JPR's News & Information service; choose that service from the stream above or find your station here.

Participate during the live program by calling 800-838-3760 or emailing JX@jeffnet.org.  

Connect on Facebook and Twitter, or suggest a guest.

NASA/Public Domain

It may not have the cachet of December 25th, but April 22nd is a well-known date: Earth Day

Concern about the environment led to the first observance in 1970, and the date (and the concern) have been remembered ever since. 

Many ceremonies and activities will mark Earth Day in the region, and we will throw open the phone lines to allow people to boost their events, much like our First Friday Arts segment. 

So listeners can call 800-838-3760 to share news of Earth Day happenings across the region. 

Oregon Blue Book

Oregon's May 15th primary is coming up fast.  Voter registration closes on Tuesday, April 24th, and ballots go out the end of the same week. 

We begin our interviews with candidates in key primary races with the Republicans challenging Greg Walden for the nomination for Congress, District 2, in Oregon. 

Paul Romero, Jr. and Randy Pollock have both filed to run against Walden, and both have agreed to join us for a joint interview. 

Trostle/Pixabay

Maybe you're not a big fan of eating just plain seeds.  But if you had a cup of coffee and a bagel this morning, there's a good example of the ubiquity of seeds. 

The coffee came from roasted seeds, and bagels are often enhanced with poppy or sesame seeds. 

And whatever flour the bagel is made of came from a plant that came from seeds. 

Thor Hanson has many more examples in his book The Triumph of Seeds

On The Fringe: Ashland Prepares For OFF

Apr 18, 2018
Oregon Fringe Festival

The very first Fringe Festival, in Edinburgh, Scotland, was born of frustration: many performers were denied participation in the Edinburgh International Festival.  So they performed anyway, on the fringes of the big festival. 

Now fringe festivals have popped up all over the world, giving expression to art forms and artists willing to push the boundaries of their genres. 

Southern Oregon University hosts another edition of the Oregon Fringe Festival (acronym gold: OFF) April 24-29 on the campus in Ashland.  The 2018 festival offers theatre, music, visual arts, and more. 

If you don't like the scenery in any part of our region, you don't have to travel far for a change. 

Desert, ocean, mountains, forest... we've got all types of landscapes.  And all kinds of things living upon them. 

The flora of the Trinity Alps takes center stage in a new book by Ken DeCamp called, appropriately, Wildflowers of the Trinity Alps

Just how different ARE the flowers up in the high country? 

JPR

Elias Alexander traveled a long way to end up playing a gig in his home town.  Elias is from Ashland and a musician... he went to college in New England and began his musical career in the Boston area. 

Elias fronts two bands, the afro-celtic "Soulsha" and the "Bywater Band." 

He returns to Ashland for a concert of his new song cycle "Born Outside: Songs of Struggle and Hope." 

The warnings about heart disease went onto cigarette packages decades ago.  Smoking can lead to heart disease; it's a clear link. 

And the last several summers have offered a few cigarettes' worth of smoke from wildfires to most people living in our region.  With predictable results: a spike in heart- and stroke-related visits to hospital emergency rooms. 

Researchers at the federal EPA and the University of California-San Francisco pulled in the data for a recent study. 

Wikimedia

Trying to keep wolves away from livestock is a constant challenge.  And news reports tend to focus on permits issued to shoot wolves. 

But there are many more approaches considered for keeping wolves away from cattle and sheep... including breeding big dogs.  Some breeds--we're talking big, wolf-sized dogs--have protected herds for centuries. 

So the National Wildlife Research Center in the Department of Agriculture spent several years studying the effectiveness of several large dog breeds in keeping wolves at bay. 

Wikimedia

Having plants and animals go extinct around us is not just sad, it creates issues for the remaining creatures on the planet. 

Chemistry professor Paul Torrence studies the ways in which we derive the materials for many effective medicines from nature.  And when the plants go extinct, the materials disappear. 

Torrence reports on the trend in his book Molecules of Nature: Biodiversity, the Sixth Mass Extinction, and the Future of Medicine.  He visits Southern Oregon University for a lecture on Thursday (April 19th). 

Steven C. Price, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36035284

The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs is by no means loved by Native American tribes.  An old joke says BIA stands for "Boss Indians Around." 

But a growing volume of evidence indicates that sexual harassment happens often within BIA and BIE, the Bureau of Indian Education. 

High Country News has been investigating both the trend and individual incidents. 

Clean Break Partnership

Taking a shower is a normal and uncomplicated event for most people.  It can be a rare event indeed for people living on the streets. 

Last year homeless people in Redding got a chance to take showers in a shower trailer set up by Clean Break Partnership and the Shasta Humanity Project.  But it was only a pilot program that did not return this year. 

And the city council in Redding just nixed a change in zoning that would have made operation of the shower trailer easier in more places. 

Wikimedia/Public Domain

Human contributions to global warming get a thorough examination in William T. Vollman's two-book series "Carbon Ideologies." 

Volume 1, out now, is called No Immediate Danger, and its primary focus is nuclear energy.  Which adds almost nothing in the way of greenhouse gases, but has its own considerable set of concerns. 

The author traveled far and wide and even put himself in some danger to research the books. 

NASA/Public Domain

Earth Day, April 22nd, figures prominently in our plans for the week on the Jefferson Exchange.  Friday morning (April 20) features a First Friday Arts-like approach to the big day: open phone lines for listeners to call and talk about Earth Day events coming to their communities.

That's just one of many events on a still-forming menu of the week's offerings:

Wikimedia

When people call Richard Blanco "the inaugural poet," they don't mean that he's the first poet ever. 

But he is rare, in that he recited his poetry at a presidential inauguration (Obama II, 2013).  There's much to Blanco's work, from poetry to memoir and beyond. 

He brings his talents back to Ashland at the invitation of Chautauqua Poets & Writers (tonight, April 16). 

Roguecreamery.com

The Rogue Valley is generally known for its sweet and juicy agricultural products: pears for eating and grapes for making wine. 

But the dairy industry is rising in stature, thanks in part to the work of the Rogue Creamery

Owner David Gremmels bought an established business and added his own distinctive stamp.  What IS in the Caveman Blue Cheese?  These and other questions are revealed in this month's edition of The Ground Floor, about entrepreneurs and their work. 

Wikimedia

Country, company, and family all come together in the story of Saudi Arabia.  The al Saud family put its name on the country in the 20th century, as both family and country reaped the rewards of all the oil underneath the Arabian sands. 

Energy Industry and Middle East expert Ellen R. Wald helps us understand the blurred lines between the country, the al Saud family, and the oil company Aramco in Saudi, Inc.: The Arabian Kingdom's Pursuit of Profit and Power

The book arrives as a member of the royal family is shaking up Saudi culture, allowing women to drive and re-opening movie theaters. 

Derek Williams, https://www.flickr.com/photos/154745016@N06/38715705681/in/dateposted-public/

The wide-eyed man walks down the hallway to a particular door.  What awaits behind it?  Is the music happy and carefree, or tense, with the sound of low string notes? 

See, music plays a huge part in movies... we depend upon the music to give a context beyond what our eyes can see.  And our region is home to several people who have composed music for the big screen. 

Joby Talbot, Tessa Brinckman, and Terry Longshore are among them, and they'll speak about the craft at a session at this weekend's Ashland Independent Film Festival

socompasshouse.org

If you break a leg or come down with a disease that confines you to bed, people generally know what to do.  But that's physical illness. 

Mental illness presents a different set of challenges in diagnosis and treatment.  All of the members of Southern Oregon Compass House in Medford learned this firsthand. 

Once a month, we visit with clubhouse members and staffers to explore issues in mental illness, issues we're often hearing about for the first time. 

Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14760894

Freak out your loved ones: tell them you want to change your career to comedy. 

Laughing is fun, but it takes work to produce laughs, and often little money for the work.  But Joe Randazzo made it, and then offered advice to people who want to be, in the words of his book title, Funny on Purpose

Randazzo worked as the editor of The Onion, among other gigs.  He joined us in June 2015 with advice on making people laugh all the way to your bank. 

AIFF

South Medford High School graduate Laura VanZee Taylor suffered from depression and anxiety as a young woman. 

So she's aware of the confusion and stigma that attaches to mental illness, especially in young people. 

Her documentary "I Am Maris," screening at this week's Ashland Independent Film Festival, features 17-year-old Maris Degener, yoga instructor who has dealt with anorexia. 

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