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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The hippies arrived in the 1960s and never left. 

That's one way to look at the Oregon Country Fair, if a bit pejorative. 

But it is safe to say there's nothing else for miles around like the music/art/food festival. 

And it is coming back to the woods near Veneta for the 46th time, the weekend of July 10th. 

Wikimedia/JPR titling

While it's true marijuana will be legal for recreational use in Oregon in just days (July 1st), that does not mean a "smoke 'em if you got 'em" free-for-all. 

First of all, the law phases in, so there will not be retail sales until probably fall of 2016.  Second, pot cannot be smoked in a public place. 

A recently launched "Educate Before You Recreate" campaign aims to communicate the law's nuances to the public. 

University of Chicago Press

Environmentalists tend to tread carefully around the subject of population.

In a planet of finite resources and no place to throw things "away," overpopulation could devastate the Earth. 

Philip Cafaro has been talking for years about the intersection between environmentalism and population studies. 

In his latest book, "How Many Is Too Many?," Cafaro narrows the focus on immigration into the United States... and makes a rare progressive (not conservative) argument for reducing it. 

Wikimedia

Harmful algae blooms are so common in the Pacific Ocean, they get their own acronym (HAB). 

But the current bloom in the Pacific is decidedly uncommon: it spans much of the West Coast, and has forced shutdowns in shellfish fisheries. 

The federal Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle observes and responds to algae blooms, and this one brings some of the highest levels of natural toxins ever observed, from California's Central Coast to Washington and even Alaska. 

Deviant Art/Wikimedia

Oregon already boasts one of the higher minimum wages in the country, at $9.25 an hour. 

But activists in the state are joining up with national campaigns to push it up to $15/hour. 

City votes in Seattle and Los Angeles will raise wages there... there are several steps before a similar vote in Oregon, but petition signatures are already being collected. 

Chronicle Books

Everybody knows somebody who is just truly funny. 

But does ANYBODY know somebody who can make a living being funny?  You will now: Joe Randazzo is a former editor of "The Onion," and he's been making comedy for a living for years. 

He tells the story of his successful career in the book Funny On Purpose.

LIFEart

Art saves lives.  When people need outlets for expression that do not hurt themselves or others, art is there as an answer.

And that explains the existence of the LIFEArt program in Jackson County, which gives students expressive outlets in a handful of Jackson County schools. 

Nebraska's legislature ended the death penalty in the state three weeks ago, touching off another debate about the use and value of executing criminals. 

We want to know what you think about the subject, and about another subject: letting parents excuse their children from taking the standardized "smarter balanced" tests in school. 

Our weekly VENTSday segment puts listeners front and center.

We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics. Topics range from the global to the hyper-local, and all responsible opinions are welcome.

Penguin Books

People who did not commit crimes get sent to death row, unarmed people are shot by police, and guilty people go free. 

These things happen all the time in our criminal justice system... but not because the system is structured to be fundamentally unfair. 

In the book Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice, law professor Adam Benforado argues that unconscious biases and processes hidden to our conscious minds lead us to poor decisions. 

The Marijuana Show

It seems like anybody with even the barest claim to fame gets a reality TV show these days.

So marijuana is long overdue, but there IS such a show.

"The Marijuana Show," seen online and on digital channels, bears some resemblance to "Shark Tank," in that entrepreneurs pitch their ideas for marijuana-based businesses. 

"Ganjapreneurs" from season 2 will be recruited from auditions in California and Oregon, among other states. 

Austintexas.gov

We'll be surprised if Jeff Speck drives to the Hult Center in Eugene Wednesday night.

Speck is an urban planner who is a big proponent of walkable cities. 

And he'll be talking about how to make Eugene more walkable in his session at the Hult. 

Sukeyforbes.com

We can barely comprehend the death of a child to disease, even in the abstract.

Sukey Forbes had to deal with it as a reality in her own life, when her daughter died at age six. 

Her odyssey through grief and the search for meaning--including visits with clairvoyants--is told in Forbes' book The Angel in My Pocket: A Story of Love, Loss, and Life After Death

Wikimedia

The ongoing drought in California is turning attention in a number of directions, including to the water bottling industry. 

Several companies have come under fire for continuing to bottle water in a state hard-hit by drought. 

And in one case, the plant in question is not even open yet: the Crystal Geyser Water Company plant in Mount Shasta. 

Wikimedia

The Northwest Forest Plan just turned 20 years old, but "Happy Birthday" might not be the appropriate comment. 

The plan was designed to preserve both old growth timber and spotted owls, and both are still in decline. 

The monitoring apparatus that came with the plan just released a 20-year progress report. 

Christian LInder/Wikimedia

We're getting to know more about Alzheimer's disease over time.  And that's true in two senses: researchers understand it better, but more people have it, too. 

And there are still varieties of dementia that are not Alzheimer's. 

Dr. Patrick Gillette has come to know them well in his work at Rogue Community Health and elsewhere in the health care system. 

He'll speak about Alzheimer's later this week at a health conference in Medford. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Daniel Breaux (yep, pronounced "bro") deserves a big smile on his face when he walks in the graduation ceremony at Southern Oregon University on Saturday (June 13th). 

He actually graduated two terms early, despite using a lot of his time helping SOU win a national championship on the football field. 

And he's entering a field of work that is very much the focus of attention these days: he'll be a police officer in Berkeley, California. 

Penguin Books

It's a good thing we speak English.  We hear it is VERY hard to learn for people who did not grow up with it. 

And that's partly because it's such a mish-mosh of parts of earlier languages (and some living ones). 

And we make it harder on ourselves with the way we use it, as Ammon Shea demonstrates in Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation

Wikimedia

If a young person challenges you to a game of chess, find out where they're from.  And if it's Coquille and you're not very good, RUN! 

The Coquille Chess Club took five players to the national championships in April, a huge feat for a team from a small town. 

Brothers Aaron and Joshua Grabinsky took home some serious hardware. 

Gold Hill Whitewater Center

Some of the best whitewater running in the country and maybe the world is available on the Rogue River. 

Now a group of whitewater enthusiasts wants to add some voltage, through the creation of the Gold Hill Whitewater Center. 

It would include an Olympic-class kayak run, along with many other features. 

Emilykinneymusic.com

At home fighting zombies and singing songs: yep, that's Emily Kinney

She became a regular cast member of the AMC horror show "The Walking Dead," while writing and recording and performing her own music. 

Kinney lived briefly in Oregon and returns to the region for a Portland show Sunday, followed by a San Francisco set on Tuesday. 

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