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Yeah, your pets cost you a few bucks when you have to take them to the vet.  But aren't they worth it? 

For that matter, is it possible they've saved you from a few trips to the doctor?  Pets do certainly enhance life for humans. 

And Carlyn Montes De Oca says there are real health benefits for humans in keeping animals around. 

She writes of those benefits in Dog as My Doctor, Cat as My Nurse

University of Portland

It seems like just a short time ago that award-winning writer Brian Doyle visited our studio, brimming with stories and good humor. 

Less than a year after his visit, his doctors diagnosed a brain tumor.  Brian Doyle died on May 27th at the age of 60; his memorial service is set for today (June 2nd) in Portland. 

The occasion is sad, but the life was brilliant. 

DavidShankbone, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Poor humans.  Such big noses, so little ability to smell. 

Even rats and mice get credit for better senses of smell than we have. 

But that could change with the work of John McGann at Rutgers University. 

The title of his recent publication pretty much hits the nail on the head: "Poor human olfaction is a 19th-century myth."

All three West Coast states are now hooked up to the ShakeAlert system, set up to provide some warning of seismic activity. 

California, Oregon, and Washington can all receive real-time warnings from a network of sensors monitoring the Earth for movement. 

There is much more left to do, both in placing sensors and in further developing the program. 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

If we all--all seven billion of us--got serious about reversing global warming today, change would not come overnight. 

This is the reality David Orr presents in his book Dangerous Years: Climate Change, the Long Emergency, and the Way Forward

He demonstrates the ways in which Earth is becoming a different planet from the one many of us knew. 

But there's some optimism in the book, too: Orr does not believe we're fated to destroy Earth. 

Rock Out: "Rogue Sounds" For June

May 31, 2017

Josh Gross has an addiction, and it's one we're only too happy to share. 

He loves music, and across a wide spectrum of genres and styles. 

Josh makes music, and writes about music for the Rogue Valley Messenger

And once a month, he visits the studio with "Rogue Sounds," a compilation of musical samples and news of coming band dates. 

Redding Police Facebook page

Redding's Neighborhood Police Unit (NPU) racked up some impressive numbers in curtailing crime in its first couple of years. 

But city voters rejected a sales tax in the November 2016 election that would have provided continued funding for NPU. 

Yet it persists; a campaign to raise the money privately has been set up, and Bethel Church pledged $500,000 and some additional funds to help keep neighborhood policing intact. 


Maybe you've heard about the permafrost that is proving not so permanent in the world's colder places.

Melting permafrost is damaging and even swallowing houses and bigger buildings. 

And a recently published study shows greenhouse gas buildup figures prominently in the warming of Russia, contrary to prevailing theory. 

Matthew Lachniet at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas is one of the authors. 


Meredith Maran had a pretty sweet life as a free-lance writer. 

Then, in a rather short window of time, she lost her best friend, her marriage and her life savings. 

So, at age 60, she started over: new city, new job, new friends, new lovers. 

She shows off her new life in the memoir The New Old Me

Mount Ashland webcam

Mount Ashland Ski Area is closed for the season, and what a season it was. 

Heavy snowpack brought big crowds to the mountain. 

And right after the season ended, the ski area got STOKE certification, STOKE standing for Sustainable Tourism Operator’s Kit for Evaluation. 

Sustainable can and does mean different things... we sort out the meaning of the certification with ski area manager Hiram Towle and STOKE co-founder Carl Kish. 

Josephine Libraries

There's a lot of work to do at the Josephine County libraries

But for the first time in years, the future of the libraries is assured.  Voters just passed a ballot measure creating a library district and a property tax base to fund it, after years of non-profit/non-governmental library operation. 

All kinds of details have to be addressed to set up the new regime for the four libraries. 


"American Exceptionalism" is a phrase that floats through the body politic from time to time, usually in election years. 

Yet despite many Americans thinking our country is the envy of the world, we fight a lot with each other. 

Mugambi Jouet brings up many examples in his book Exceptional America: What Divides Americans from the World and from Each Other

Robert Goodwin hosts the author in the return of our "The Keenest Observers" segment.

Three-day weekends are rare for the Exchange staff in the first half of the year.  So you'll excuse us for leaving a couple of reruns in the jukebox for Memorial Day. 

At 8: Melissa Clarke shares her doctoring experience with the world in her book Excuse Me Doctor!  I've Got What?  She shows patients how to take control of their health care.  

At 9: Former "Sex and the City" writer Cindy Chupack covers sex and love in the real world in a book about her own search for relationship success: The Longest Date: Life as a Wife


Many agencies and organizations are set up to help the more vulnerable members of any community. 

And once in a while, they join forces to compare notes and consider new approaches. 

That is the function of Project Community Connect, happening in Jackson County since 2009.  It brings together nonprofits, government agencies, businesses and more to help people in need, primarily people dealing with homelessness. 


The images chosen by gyms and fitness centers to advertise for new customers tend to show young and slender people who look like they live at the gym.  Any gray hairs in there? 

Probably not, but we need exercise to maintain fitness as we age, and the Rogue Valley's Andy Baxter focuses his fitness business on people 50 and older. 

Baxter sees himself as standing in opposition to the giant "fitness industry," and his feelings led to a small book, The Exercise Prescription


Jane Aronson lives her work.  She's a pediatrician who advocates for the adoption of children, has adopted children herself, and works on behalf of the health of orphaned children overseas. 

She tells the stories of parents who have adopted children from foreign countries in the book Carried in Our Hearts

In both Oregon and California, teenagers can now pre-register to vote

They sign up when they are 16 and 17, and the registration becomes official on their 18th birthday. 

Assembly Member Evan Low (D-Campbell) wants to go a step further and lower the actual VOTING age to 17. 

He's introduced a bill in the legislature to make the change. 

You think of archaeology, you think of shovels... digging in the ground is what recovers artifacts. 

But technology helps in covering broader areas, like the ancient burial mounds of the Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota.  Most of the mounds have been disturbed, but LIDAR technology has allowed the mapping of the remaining mounds. 

And further investigation shows a propensity for lightning strikes at the mounds.  That's the focus of this month's "Underground History" with Mark Tveskov of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

Public Domain

Wolves came a long way in a human lifetime.  In Oregon, the last bounty for killing a wild wolf was paid out in 1947. 

60+ years later, OR-7 captured the attention of the state and nation, as the first wolf known to be living free west of the Cascades since the time of extermination. 

OR-7 is one of the key characters in Brenda Peterson's book Wolf Nation: The Life, Death, and Return of Wild American Wolves

Riccardo Rossi,

There is no commercial salmon fishing season in the Pacific along much of the coast this year, because of the need to protect sensitive species from overfishing. 

This is not the first time fishery managers shut down the take, and will not be the last.  And a recent report from California Trout and researchers at UC-Davis indicate fish are in serious trouble despite the efforts. 

"SOS II: Fish in Hot Water" predicts extinction for 74% of California's native salmon, steelhead, and trout in 100 years.