The Jefferson Exchange

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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:   Check us out on Facebook.

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Michael Richardson/Wikimedia

Fire and water both figure prominently in the state of the forests in our region. 

The size and intensity of fires indicates and determines forest health, and so does the health of native fish. 

So it seems natural to talk fire and water together... scientists Dominick DellaSala of Geos Institute and Jack Williams of Trout Unlimited join forces to talk about forests from their perspective this week at ScienceWorks in Ashland (September 24th). 

Wikimedia/Garry Knight

The graying of America means changes in some of society's infrastructure. 

Because more people will choose to age-in-place in their own homes, AND they will need transportation to get around town. 

So it should come as no surprise that AARP maintains a focus on transportation and livability. 

Jana Lynott is a senior advisor in AARP's Public Policy Institute. 

Basic Books

Talking and thinking about DNA is so deeply ingrained now... well, it's IN our DNA. 

But it's useful to remember that our knowledge of deoxyribonucleic acid and the way it shapes every living thing is relatively recent. 

Life's Greatest Secret, zoologist Matthew Cobb calls it in his book by that name. 

He makes the case that cracking the code of DNA profoundly changed the way we think about life.

Good friends stick together, through thick and thin.  Kathy Oliver, Judy Pouley, and Michelle Andersen first started hanging out 40 years ago, and they're not done yet. 

Michelle's diagnosis of lung cancer four years ago gave them a scare. 

So they've diverted their energy into a drive/bike down the West Coast to the Ellen DeGeneres show, "The Ride To Ellen." 


Film festivals keep popping up all over the landscape, and this year the Scott Valley gets into the act. 

Fort Jones will be home base for the first ever Jefferson State Flixx Fest, September 24th through 27th. 

It is dedicated to showing films reflecting the rugged spirit of the mythical State of Jefferson. 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

We're always excited when Eureka's Amy Stewart comes out with a new book.  But darn it, her latest work is fiction, and we don't do (much) fiction. 

Fortunately, Girl Waits With Gun is based on a true story. 

It's about a towering New Jersey woman of a century ago, Constance Kopp, and the circumstances that turned her and her sisters into heat-packing law enforcers. 

Constance became the first female deputy sheriff in the country! 


A hundred years ago, half the U.S. population wasn't allowed to vote in presidential elections. Now, a black man runs the White House, and women are running for President.

We've come a long way in some regards, but there's still a long way to go in creating a society where your rights don't depend on your gender or race.

Consider what it means to be transgender. We do that in this segment, with Aydin Olson-Kennedy, a Clinical Social Worker at the Los Angeles Gender Center and Dr. Johanna "Jo" Olson-Kennedy, Medical Director for the Center for Transyouth Health & Development at the Children’s Hospital in L.A.

Fuze Publishing

  Growing up isn't easy, and apparently, neither is moving out.

More and more young adults are living with their parents into their 20s and even 30s.

This might be typical in some cultures, but in America it's overhauling a family dynamic built on the promise of an empty nest for hardworking parents, and job opportunities for grown kids.

A couple of PhDs specializing in family counseling tracked five households as they grappled with this generation gap.

They wrote the book Whose Couch is it Anyway?

Simon & Schuster

  Gone are the days of chastity belts and scarlet letters, but is sexuality in America really so liberated?

Sure, television and pop music might have you thinking that the young are having more transgressive sex, more openly than ever-- see Britney Spear's dancing with a python or Lady Gaga's latest garb, if you need further evidence.

Spurred by feelings of inadequacy for not being sexually adventurous enough in her 20s, our guest, Rachel Hills, wrote a book exploring whether or not young people were really getting down--as much as a culture soaked in hyper-sexualized content would have us believe.


Maybe you can't tell a pine from a fir from a spruce, but the people of the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation can, and they're concerned. 

The pines, generally found in higher elevations, are important species in mountain ecosystems. 

And they faces challenges from a number of quarters, climate change among them. 

WPEF holds its annual meeting in Ashland this week. 

Mark Lincoln/Wikimedia

Emergency managers have to walk a fine line between making people aware of earthquake dangers in the region... and scaring them. 

But the threat is real, considering our part of the world sits atop the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the site of large earthquakes every few hundreds years. 

And it's been more than 300 since the last one.  Oregon Emergency Management's Althea Rizzo is the Geologic Hazards Coordinator for the department. 

And she's in the middle of a "road show" (September 14-21) bringing earthquake and preparation details to the southern part of Oregon. 


Maybe they don't serve breakfast in bed (yet) as in the science fiction movies, but robots DO exist in our world. 

Witness driverless cars, or the machines that replaced workers building those same cars on assembly lines. 

Can we make them smarter, and should we?  That's an ongoing debate, one portrayed in John Markoff's book Machines of Loving Grace.

The book focuses on the opposing approaches of developing artificial intelligence (AI) versus intelligence augmentation (IA). 

Vuong Ta/Wikimedia

Setting up and keeping a non-profit going can be a tricky business, pun intended. 

It helps when non-profit managers compare notes on effective approaches, as they will soon in Fortuna. 

That's the meeting of the Northern California Association of Nonprofits

The refugees showing up in Europe are desperate, AND they're an ocean away. 

But should the United States take a bigger role in helping them find safety?  That's one of the topics in this week's VENTSday. 

The other: the proper use--and value as public records--of police body cameras. 

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.

Milkweed Editions

The effects of humans on the Earth are so profound, scientists have taken to calling this era on the planet the "Anthropocene." 

And while it may be easy for us anthros to wonder how to slow or stop climate change, hand-wringing is not universal. 

People around the world are making surprising efforts to reverse the trend, efforts detailed in Gaia Vince's book Adventures In The Anthropocene

From artificial glaciers to painted mountains to smaller-scale efforts, she found a lot going on.

It's hard to believe it's been five years since the Affordable Care Act--"Obamacare"--became law. 

What's less hard to believe is that many people still seek better health care laws, to further protect people from medical and economic catastrophe. 

The one-man play "Mercy Killers" debuted shortly before the law passed; it details the all-too-frequent circumstances of a man attempting to care for a sick wife. 

The play comes to Springfield on September 20th and Eugene on September 25th. 

Wikimedia Commons

Parkinson's Disease is one of those afflictions we hear a lot about, especially as the population ages in America. 

And as with many diseases, the search for better treatments and a cure continues. 

Parkinson's Resources for Oregon helps patients and families with an array of services, with a major fundraiser coming up this weekend in Medford. 

Penguin Books

The response to "I'd like to skydive" is often this: "why would you jump out of a perfectly good plane?"  Planes are optional for the current generation of aerial adventurers: BASE jumpers and wingsuit flyers and their ilk.

Their exploits are daring in the extreme, and do sometimes meet with tragedy. 

Freelance journalist Matt Higgins gets inside the pursuit in his book Bird Dream: Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight, now in paperback.


The way some people tell the story, government is always getting in the way of business. 

But in Oregon, several state agencies are focused on the needs of businesses large and small. 

And a relatively recent addition to the list is the office of the Small Business Advocate in the Secretary of State's office.  It is designed specifically to help clear out regulatory and paperwork encumbrances with other state agencies.

Ruth Miles is the current occupant of that position. 


It probably started a couple of weeks ago... neighbors giving you piles of zucchini, sharing the bounty of their summer gardens. 

We have good growing conditions and good growers here, but can you use all the zucchini/apples/corn before they begin to rot in your kitchen? 

The answer is an emphatic YES, at least in the hands of De Davis-Guy. 

She is both Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver through Oregon State University's Extension Service