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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Wikimedia

Lagging student performance in public schools often focuses on minority students. 

Often--not always--the darker the skin, the lower the grades.  More minority teachers could help, and that's where Kelly Ramirez comes in. 

The Grants Pass resident is a senior at Southern Oregon University, the first in her family to attend college. 

And she plans on teaching when she graduates. 

Counterpoint Press

The good guys and the bad guys in environmental issues are often determined by which side you favor. 

But the murkiness of good/bad and right/wrong is brought into sharp focus in Summer Brennan's book The Oyster War: The True Story Of A Small Farm, Big Politics, And The Future Of Wilderness In America

It concerns a decades-old oyster farm in California, a federal effort to protect sensitive lands, and the ability of anybody involved in an extractive industry to protect or enhance the environment. 

Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon is home to plenty of galleries, but only one true museum of art: the Schneider Museum of Art on the campus of Southern Oregon University in Ashland.  

  The Schneider is home to an exhibit of the photorealist works of Chuck Close and the moment.  And it is the office of Interim Director Scott Malbaurn. 

Summer and smoke are completely intertwined this summer, so we devote this week's VENTSday to the topic on two fronts: 1) tell us your personal stories of avoiding high temperatures and pervasive wildfire smoke; 2) tell us what should change about our approach to fightingfires.

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. 

Before we get completely carried away by the latest on Donald Trump's mouth and Hillary Clinton's server, can we pause for just a moment?  

The White House race for 2016 is plenty interesting, but it's not even 2016 yet.  We take a look back, revisiting an earlier interview with Washington Post Chief Correspondent Dan Balz.  

He is the author of Collision 2012, a book about the internal workings of the campaigns in the last presidential election.  

Remember Obama-Romney and the greatest hits of that race?  

Stouts Creek Fire Facebook Page

  Summer may be drawing to a close, but fire season will be with us for at least a few more weeks.  Which is why the bosses at Ashland Fire and Rescue are putting out reminders of things people can do to prepare for the possibility of a wildfire nearby.

Ashland had a close call with the Siskiyou Fire in September of 2009, and the city's proximity to forested land makes it ever-vulnerable.

  Some of those berries growing on bushes look like they might be mighty tasty. But they could also be poisonous, so we walk on by. It's great to know WHICH plants that grow wild are edible. 

  John Kallas of Wild Food Adventures possesses that knowledge. He also shares it, like in a session coming to the Eugene Library on September 2nd. 

  The recent news that the Earth's population could hit 11 billion by the end of the century should give anyone pause.

Maybe we are capable of feeding all those mouths with current agricultural technology, but what if large chunks of farmland are rendered unusable by climate change? These are the questions Joel K. Bourne, Jr. considers in his book "The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World.

NASA

  One bloom of toxic blue-green algae is a concern.  Two is a problem. 

A whole series approaches the realm of crisis, and that's where we are. 

Researchers at Oregon State University are taking note of the many--and increasing--incidents of toxic algae blooms, and the challenge they represent for managers of recreational and drinking water. 

Not to mention the challenge for all of us who use water. 

La Clinica

  Being healthy involves more than going to the doctor from time to time. 

The doctor probably reminds you to get regular exercise and eat well. 

Combining approaches to health is one of the features of the new wellness center of La Clinica, set to open soon in Medford. 

Health care workers will see patients there, but there are also features like a demonstration kitchen, for showing patients how to prepare healthy meals. 

Penguin Books

  We use the term "autism" more and more all the time... especially since the numbers of people with the condition continue to grow.  But could you define it? 

Steve Silberman, a reporter for "WIRED," aims to answer that question and more in his book NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity.

He delves into history, diagnosis, and even a portrait of Hans Asperger, for whom the syndrome is named.

NOAA

Some of the most clear evidence of climate change is being seen inside the Arctic Circle.

Sea ice has been much less extensive in recent years, impacting animals like the polar bear and the native cultures that coexist with the animals. 

The Gwich'in people are concerned in particular about protecting caribou, threatened by climate change and oil exploration.

Southern Oregonian Dennis Specht recently spent time among the Gwich'in, he and Sarah James of the Gwich'in Steering Committee are working to convince members of Congress to act. 

Wikimedia

Offshore drilling for oil and gas is often opposed by people who favor the protection of sensitive and significant lands. 

Except for one thing: the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund

LWCF uses offshore oil and gas lease income to purchase property for public use; grants have bought big chunks of land in both states. 

But two issues loom: Congress often diverts money from the fund for other purposes... and the fund will expire this year without Congressional intervention. 

Workman Publishing

It doesn't take a big budget to cook creatively. 

Leanne Brown set out to prove that in her cookbook Good and Cheap

It is designed for the SNAP (food stamp) budget, which comes to about $4 a day for meals. 

And the author puts her money where her mouth is: the book is available as a free PDF download online, as well as in a tangible version. 

©Berkeley Rep/Kevinberne.com

Where you start in society often determines where you end up in society. 

If you start poor, odds are good you'll end up poor... and maybe in prison, too. 

The playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith explores the situation in a one-person show, "Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, The California Chapter." 

It's about the school-to-prison pipeline that exists for many people, and Smith brings excerpts from the show to some rural communities, including to the Yurok reservation on Monday (Aug. 24). Admission is free. 

Public Domain

Chapters of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are present all over the country, delivering on the society's goal of helping people in need. 

St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County defines that mission broadly, with many facets to its operation. 

One of the facets is building affordable housing, and the society just broke ground on new housing in Junction City, with additional units about to open up in Eugene (there's a waiting list). 

HarperCollins

If you've ever heard of the "wrap dress," you've heard of Diane Von Furstenberg. 

In fact, you've probably heard the name even if you haven't heard of the dress. 

Von Furstenberg is one of the most influential fashion designers of our time. 

Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped tracks the designers career and work. 

NASA

The judge said no.  The plaintiffs appealed.  The judge said no again. 

That's the ultra-short version of a lawsuit filed against state leaders in Oregon, filed to produce action on climate change on behalf of children, by Our Children's Trust

Despite limited success in state court (now on appeal), the group just filed a similar suit against the federal government. 

At least one group is determined to get government to act on climate change through court action (see today's 8 AM segment). 

On VENTSday, let's hear what you think of that approach, and what you think of the big gap between the salaries of CEOs and their workers. 

Why should the politicians and pundits have all the fun?  You've got opinions on events in the news, too.  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.

Caravel Books

A truck driver walks into a diner. Not a joke setup, but the first scene in James Anderson's debut novel, The Never-Open Desert Diner.

Anderson calls Ashland home for part of the year, and he can call his novel a success, at least judging by some of the reviews of it.

Anderson's own story--logger, truck driver, car salesman, book publisher--is at least as interesting as the tale of his tractor-trailer driving protagonist.

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