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Kevin Steinberg, USN/Public Domain

For a country that's supposed to have separation of church and state, they sure get up in each other's business.

And that's not the only issue with religion in America.  Even different sects that pray to the same god can get into turf battles. 

Kenneth Woodward watched a lot of this happen in nearly 40 years as religion editor at Newsweek magazine.  He gives us an overview of the intermixture of religion, politics, and culture in that time and beyond, in his book Getting Religion.


Some of the best moments of our lives can happen over a beer.  Why NOT preserve some memories? 

Documenting the past of beer and brewing is the role of the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives, dedicated to preserving artifacts and stories from the history of making beer, cider, and mead in Oregon. 

Mugs, mats, and more are included in the growing collection, under the watchful eye of Director Tiah Edmunson-Morton.

Consortium of Asian American Theater & Artists

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival worked for years to promote diversity, on and off the stage. 

The efforts take another step with OSF's hosting of the National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival (ConFest), October 1-9. 

There's much to see and talk about, especially in a year with notably diverse works on stage from community theatre to Broadway. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Most of us can't imagine what it would be like to be in a place where a mass shooting happens. 

We don't WANT to imagine the horror.  Students and staff at Umpqua Community College do not have that luxury; UCC was the scene of ten gun deaths almost exactly a year ago (October 1st). 

The Umpqua Story Project encourages people in Douglas County to share their memories of that day and its aftermath. 

Mark Yaconelli runs the Story Project; Susan Rochester is a professor of fine arts at UCC.  They join us to talk about the anniversary, the project, and the feature. 

Women's Foundation of Oregon

"All things being equal" may be a way to start a sentence, but it's usually not a reality in public policy. 

Decisions made by political leaders--who are mostly men--can have uneven effects on different segments of society, including on females. 

The "Count Her In" report by the Women's Foundation of Oregon claims to be the first comprehensive data collection on the status of women and girls in Oregon in 20 years. 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

The driving of a final spike in Ashland in 1887 completed the railroad line running up the West Coast. 

But the project took a few shortcuts along the way, and the evidence of options not taken are still out there.  Like Buck Rock Tunnel near Ashland.  Crews drilled 300 feet into the rock and stopped, in favor of a different tunnel across the valley. 

Buck Rock is the focus of this month's Underground History segment with our resident archaeologists, Chelsea Rose and Mark Tveskov. 


Just in time for the heart of election season, A Field Guide to Lies

Daniel Levitin joined us less than a year ago to talk about his previous book, The Organized Mind.  He's back with advice on how to look at the way people use facts and figures, and pierce through the inconsistencies and outright untruths. 

Just think about it: the Internet gives us access to so much information... so much of it wrong. 


Congressional races in Oregon tend to yield similar results, year after year. 

Members of the house tend to get reelected, and Rep. Greg Walden wants another term in Oregon's 2nd district, representing vast portions of rural Oregon. 

But this election year is a bit unusual, to say the least.  We continue our election interviews with a focus on the race in CD #2.  Greg Walden gets the floor first, Democratic challenger Jim Crary follows him. 


What's your definition of compassion?  And can you even put it into words? 

David Breaux has been asking people to do just that for YEARS now.  He stands on a street corner in Davis, asking people to write their thoughts on compassion in a notebook he holds. 

By now, he's filled several, because the best of them are contained in a book he self-published. 

He and book are on tour, and David Breaux visits Ashland on that tour. 

Ryan Hagerty/Public Domain

Hunters are getting fewer and farther between, according to reports from Oregon in the last few years. 

But there are still hunters out there who don't want to follow the rules.  Poaching and other crimes still provide plenty of work for the Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division

And they keep one Linn County Deputy D.A. so busy, he won an award as the Oregon Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year. 

Gordon Friedman/Wikimedia/UCC/JPArt

Running a community college figures to be a complicated job. 

But it's just that much more complicated at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, still recovering from a mass shooting last year.  Debra Thatcher was not on campus at the time; now she's the president of UCC.

One benefit of writing historical fiction: you already know what happens to the major characters, even if they're in the background of the book. 

So Candace Robb knows which pretender dethroned which king, but she can create and flesh out characters off to the side.  And people have to read her books to find out what happens to them. 

Her latest novel is The Service of the Dead, set in England at the turn of the 15th century. 

Wikimedia/Public Domain

You can say this about nuclear power plants: no carbon emissions. 

But is that enough to make them a viable option in a world attempting to cut emissions sharply?  SOCAN, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, will at least listen to the arguments in favor of nuclear power plants, at its next regular meeting (Tuesday, September 27). 

Retired physicist Dr. Charles Sinclair, who now lives in Medford, will lay out the workings of nuclear plants. 

Fish need water, and the Klamath River does not have a lot of it, especially in drought years. 

So the Hoopa Valley Tribe filed suit against the federal government over the summer, to force the feds to release more water into the river.  The tribe says the government violates the Endangered Species Act in its current management of river flows. 

Supporters and opponents of the suit break along the usual lines.  The Klamath Water Users Association says the suit unfairly targets farmers. 

The Karuk Tribe stands in favor of moves to provide better habitat for fish. 


Most of Oregon's people live in the Willamette Valley.  So that's where many of the state's elected leaders come from. 

But Oregon has many people living far from the urban areas, with their own concerns about state government.  The Oregon gubernatorial candidates--Kate Brown and Bud Pierce--agreed to hold their first debate in Bend, focused on the issues of Rural Oregon. 

JPR is one of the partners in this first debate (Saturday, September 24th), with Emily Cureton representing JPR News on the panel.

It's a natural fit for the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission to bring in singer Cecilia St. King

She is billed as an "inner peace troubadour," providing songs of peace and hope to audiences in many places. 

The Culture of Peace Commission brought Cecilia to town to take part in the "11 Days for Peace" events beginning September 11th.  She has her own story to tell about living in New York on 9/11/01. 

Audio Pending...

Fall marks the end of the growing season, the time to reap what we sow.

But hang on, there's some sowing to be done as well.  Spring is not the only season for planting, and there are a few things we can be putting in the ground now for next year. 

Christie Mackison of Shooting Star Nursery in the Rogue Valley is well-versed in planting, no matter when it takes place. 

The first of three presidential debates marks the beginning of the end of the election season on Monday, September 26. 

Whatever storyline emerges from this and subsequent debates, there's a long backstory for each of the two major party candidates.  Both are highly successful, both are highly unpopular. 

NPR News presents a special looking at both candidates in depth: "The Making of Clinton and Trump: Character in the 2016 Election." 

The Siskiyou/Moro Campaign/JPArt

There wasn't even supposed to be a race for Oregon Senate District 3 this year. 

But the sudden death of Sen. Alan Bates required a special election to fill the final two years of his term, so district voters will pick a new senator in November. 

The major parties moved quickly to choose candidates.  Alan DeBoer and Tonia Moro will appear on the ballot.  Moro is an attorney and board member at the Rogue Valley Transportation District; DeBoer is a car dealer and former Ashland mayor. 

Copyright Jack Wiens 2016

There's no getting around grief.  If someone we love dies, we're going to feel it somehow, sooner or later. 

Ashlander Jack Wiens wanted to provide an easy-to-read guide for people experiencing grief.  So he wrote and drew Tending Our Grief

It marries Wiens' expertise both as a psychotherapist and as an accomplished artist in a slender volume.