The Jefferson Exchange

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JPR's live interactive 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.  Find the News & Information station list here.

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Mark Buckawicki/Wikimedia

At last, we have numbers.  Or will, by the time VENTSday begins on the morning AFTER the election. 

So you can guess what we'll be talking about.  From president to town council, from death penalty to mosquito tax, all election results are fair game on the super-sized edition of VENTSday. 

Grab a phone or email device while we dive into the pile of results--800-838-3760 or

Overjoyed?  Underwhelmed?  A little of each?  This is our chance to get a big community discussion going on the election results.

We know more about the brain than ever before, and we are more aware than ever before about what happens to many people with mental illness in our society. 

But can the knowledge help us treat people, reduce jail populations, and get some homeless people off the streets? 

Residents of Compass House in Medford share their stories of living with mental illness, while the facility's staff joins us in the studio to talk about their mission. 

From "Ratf**ked"/W.W. Norton

It can be mighty hard to remember that there is more on the ballot than the race for president, MUCH more.  And what happens at the top of the ticket can have a profound effect on races down the ballot, like races for Congressional seats. 

Even so, do not expect the Democrats to win control of the House of Representatives.  The districts are drawn to accentuate Republican power in many states, as David Daley told us months ago in his book Ratf**ked

He adds an addendum to the book with a recent article at Salon

Southern Oregon University

Bertold Brecht left Germany shortly after Hitler came to power in 1933. 

But Brecht's dislike of Hitler waned little in self-exile, resulting in the play "The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui."  Audiences recognize a Hitler-like figure in Arturo Ui, a Chicago mobster trying to monopolize the cauliflower market.  Yes, cauliflower. 

Southern Oregon University's Department of Performing Arts brings Brecht's work to the stage in Ashland starting this week (November 10). 

Up & Down Ashland

There's some disagreement about the actual numbers, but the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is up for expansion. 

By some counts, it would double in size if President Obama approves the expansion.  But there will be more discussion, and not a little vocal opposition, before the decision. 

Commissioners in both Jackson and Klamath Counties are on record opposing the expansion; cattle grazing groups oppose as well. 

Groups in favor are thrilled by the prospect of a bigger monument.

Bad feelings about the U.S. Army's "School of the Americas" die hard. 

The training center at Fort Benning in Georgia trained some of the worst Latin American dictators and their operatives after its creation in the 1960s. 

School of the Americas Watch has campaigned for its closing for years. 

The army officially changed the name 15 years ago, but the function remains.  As does the protest. 

Adrián Cerón/Wikimedia

Law enforcement is greatly aided by sharing information: about suspects, about cases, about places. 

Three decades ago, there was no central database to keep track of missing children.  That changed, partly due to the efforts of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

NCMEC works to end sexting, sextortion, and child abduction and exploitation.   A NCMEC rep visits the Rogue Valley for a session at the Medford Library today (November 7), at the invitation of the Children's Advocacy Center. 


Shaun Usher has built a fascinating career reading other peoples' mail. 

Best of all, he's not about to be arrested for it, since he compiles letters from people no longer alive. 

Usher visited a couple of years ago with the first Letters of Note; he's back with a second volume. 

Highlights include letters written by J.K. Rowling, Che Guevara, and Marge Simpson.  Marge Simpson? 

Camelot Theatre

First Friday is a big deal in our region. 

Several cities celebrate the occasion with First Friday art walks; we mark the day with the return of our First Friday Arts segment. 

It's a virtual party, with arts groups and performers from around the region calling in with news of their arts events, ranging from wall art to modern dance and beyond. 

The advertisements for beer tend to be a bit on the macho side. 

Which is not surprising, given that more men than women enjoy beer. 

But stand aside, guys, here comes Ginger Johnson, the creator of Women Enjoying Beer. 

Her beer/women outreach includes a new book, How to Market Beer to Women.  It carries the lovely subtitle of "Don't Sell Me a Pink Hammer." 

Library of Congress

We give our presidents some slack when it comes to war. 

Americans revere the presidents who oversaw major conflicts, especially Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

You'll have to excuse Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith if they do not join in the reverence.  They are the co-authors of The Spoils of War: Greed, Power, and the Conflicts That Made Our Greatest Presidents

The book argues that presidents support waging war for selfish reasons. 


The very word "seed" is used many different ways in our language.  But it's always about beginnings. 

Plants begin with the planting of seeds in the soil.  Basic and simple, but the planet has created tremendous numbers of plant and seed varieties. 

And the diversity of seeds is less important in large-scale agriculture; that's one of the points of the film "Seed: The Untold Story." 


The tiny house movement came on suddenly. 

People who needed homes or wanted smaller homes embraced the idea of living in houses that contain square footage in dozens, not hundreds, of square feet. 

But building codes written for fixed structures often have no place for tiny houses. 

So tiny house builder Andrew Morrison has been working on getting tiny houses included in the International Residential Building Code (IRC). 

Penguin Random House

Living things will go to amazing lengths to find meals, mates, and places to sleep.  And that's not just humans in college. 

Matt Simon, a science writer at WIRED, collects some fascinating and often gruesome tales of how creatures in the natural world go about getting the things they need. 

Simon's book is The Wasp That Brainwashed The Caterpillar.  Yeah, that one's pretty gross. 

Stephen Albanese/

Great indie bands pass through our region all the time... And occasionally they actually stop to play some shows.

But it's all too easy to miss up-and-coming acts, while the smaller venues that host them tend to fly under the radar, too.

That's where Josh Gross steps in. He's the music editor for the Rogue Valley Messenger, so he pays great attention to the live music scene.

From the slave trade to legal segregation, many public policies throughout American history have harmed Black communities.

These days African-Americans make up more than a third of the prisoner population in the U.S., despite their being just 12 percent of the general population.

Filmmaker and activist Raheim Shabazz says this skew begins in public schools, which have become one end of the school-to-prison pipeline. His films, "Elementary Genocide," parts one and two, screen at Southern Oregon University this week. 

Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ;

High school graduation rate is too low, drug abuse rate is too high, and the economy could be better. 

These are among the issues facing communities across Southern Oregon.  And Southern Oregon Success is determine to do something about those and more. 

The project brings together governments, school districts, non-profit groups and more to focus on making communities healthy and productive.

Soon-to-be former State Representative Peter Buckley of Ashland is one of two "Success" project co-managers.

Running a marathon a month would be a challenge. 

And probably like a walk in the park for David Gething.  He ran a marathon a DAY for a week. 

Wait, there's more... he ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents, in the inaugural World Marathon Challenge, winning first place. 

He tells the story of the agony and the jet lag in his book Relentless


Wild mushrooms are mysterious lifeforms. 

For instance: we still don't know WHY morel mushrooms bloom after a wildfire. What we do know is that morels pack a delicious punch.

They're a distinctive species, popular with foragers, foodies, and with Dr. C. Alina Cansler, a research ecologist at The University of Washington.

Dr. Cansler co-authored a study of morels published last month in Forest Ecology and Managment.

Northern California Prescribed Fire Council

This has been the year of the TREX on The Exchange. 

We just learned a few months ago about wildland firefighters gathering for training exchanges, which they abbreviate TREX.  Unfortunately, it's pronounced "treks" and not "t-rex". 

Anyway, we get to add a W, to make WTREX, because there are training exchanges for women.  The very first WTREX just wrapped up in Northern California, after giving women firefighters and managers a chance to sharpen skills and compare notes. 

The University of California and The Nature Conservancy were among many partners in this TREX.