Jefferson Monthly

Jefferson Monthly Feature
12:41 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Deadly Euphoria: Heroin's Grip Tightens

A so-called ‘stamp bag’ of powder heroin -the name comes from the fact that there is usually a "brand" stamped on the bag.
Wikipedia

Lieutenant Kevin Walruff, 49, is a big, clean-shaven man wearing a light blue button-down and a Santa Claus and reindeer tie. I follow him down a hallway and into a conference room in the nondescript building of florescent lighting and concrete blocks that currently houses the Medford Police Department. I notice that he has handcuffs clipped to his pants and .40-caliber Glock holstered at his waist.

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First...The News
12:19 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

The Perils Of Celebrity Journalism

In February 10, 2015, Williams was suspended for six months without pay from the Nightly News for "misrepresenting events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003."
Credit Wikimedia Commons

We live in an age that worships celebrity; a time where personalities such as Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton can be “famous for being famous.” So-called “reality” TV shows blur the line between the scripted and the genuine, and as a society we seem increasingly comfortable with a very elastic definition of “real.”  

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Jefferson Almanac
12:00 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Prisons And Prisoners

Bastøy Prison is a minimum-security prison on Bastøy Island, Norway, about 75 kilometres (46 mi) south of Oslo.
Credit http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bast%C3%B8y_Prison.jpg#/media/File:Bast%C3%B8y_Prison.jpg

The English Department at Rogue Community College recently changed the curriculum for the writing course I have taught for years. I could have said, “Good time to retire,” and avoided the work of developing a new course, but I was intrigued and challenged by the new curriculum, which requires all students in the class to write about the same issue.

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Recordings
11:50 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Everlasting Blues

While the mainstream culture of America explores new trends in various genres of music, following the evolution of hip-hop, pop and the folk/singer-songwriter styles, blues-related music chugs along with modest markets and a narrow niche. Here are some of the best blues recordings I’ve heard lately.

I Say What I Mean by Jim Liban & The Joel Paterson Trio, Ventrella Records – Jim Liban has played blues harmonica for almost 50 years, based in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. He came to San Francisco in the late 60’s, where I saw him in a band called A.B.Skhy. 

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Inside The Box
10:56 am
Wed April 1, 2015

"Just the facts, ma'am"

Google's Knowledge Vault has, to date, amassed 1.6 billion facts culled from the World Wide Web.

Here are some things that I learned on the Internet recently:

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Theatre
10:39 am
Wed April 1, 2015

"Pericles" At OSF: A Magnificent Journey

Pericles (Wayne T. Carr, left) washes ashore from a shipwreck and is met by a group of fishermen (Michael J. Hume, U. Jonathan Toppo, Cedric Lamar).
Credit Jenny Graham

Shakespeare’s Pericles bears the stamp of its source, a series of medieval romances by the poet John Gower. Like the typical romance, Pericles dismisses realism in favor of the magic of legend as it follows a youthful prince embarking on a journey to maturity.  In the process of discovering his own identity, he will save the world from a destructive force threatening its vitality and be rewarded with a fertile marriage.   

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Tuned In
9:56 am
Wed April 1, 2015

"Radio" Stories Hip Again

Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller, the co-hosts of “Invisibilia,” a new podcast from NPR.
Credit John W. Poole/NPR

Harkening back to the golden age of radio when radio was the dominant home entertainment medium and families gathered around elegant living room radio consoles to experience the latest episodes of Dick Tracy, The Lone Ranger or The Shadow, dramatic audio storytelling is making a comeback.  While the nostalgic days of radio are long gone, podcasts are breathing new life into the tradition of telling stories without pictures. 

Consider this:

·         Last year, Apple reported that subscriptions of podcasts through iTunes reached 1 billion.

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Theatre
12:39 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

"The Last Scene Of All"

Rituals originally evolved in order to manage the unmanageable fact of somatic change: birth, maturation, procreation, death.  Contemporary culture and technology have loosened the inevitability of these life-cycle milestones: children can be planned or altogether avoided; adulthood—marriage, gainful work—can be postponed seemingly indefinitely; sexual initiation has broken from its containment by traditional ritual altogether and happens wherever, whenever.  Even death, though it remains inescapable, has been disrupted in its timing thanks to medical advances.  This last is good news.  The

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Recordings
12:28 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

From Willy Wonka To Willie Watson

Each year brings new opportunities for live music. If my January is any indication, 2015 is going to be an interesting and diverse year. In a Venn Diagram of people who saw the two acts I saw, I would likely be quite alone in the overlapping subset.

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Jefferson Almanac
9:23 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Auto Correct

First they came for the carriage returns, and I did not speak out. New York Times legend Russell Baker was quick and right to bemoan the loss of the mechanical “ding” at the end of every line. That bell demanded writers do some physical work, swiping the carriage to the left with a strong right haymaker.

Word processors demanded less of everyone. Everyone was pleased.

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Tuned In
8:58 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Let There Be Music

The Barr Brothers' Live Session in JPR's Studio C
Credit Dominic Barth

I’ve written several times recently about the important role public radio plays in delivering in-depth, fact-based contextual journalism to citizens.

Perhaps less prominent and appreciated nationally is the compelling work public radio stations like JPR perform every day to help craft a dynamic and vibrant music scene within the communities they serve.  The simple truth is that music in America would sound very different without public radio.

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
8:51 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Celebrate Film: The 14th Annual Ashland Independent Film Festival Returns

Back On Board: Greg Louganis

Every spring, Southern Oregon buzzes with anticipation and excitement about the Ashland Independent Film Festival. What films will screen? Which filmmakers will attend? Over 7,000 film lovers gather at the art deco Varsity Theatre, the Historic Ashland Armory, and the Ashland Street Cinema to watch 80+ documentary, feature, and short films. Everyone looks forward to the opportunity to discuss independent film with fellow film lovers in line, in the theaters before the films begin, and at film festival events all around town.

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Theatre
2:20 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

Telling The Story: Oregon Shakespeare Festival Actors Engage In A Different Narrative

'Telling the Story' offers a bonus: brief tours through the inner workings of several of Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s most imaginative productions in recent years.

Actors strive onstage to “tell the story” laid down by the playwright and envisioned by the director. In an illuminating new book by Mary Z. Maher and Alan Armstrong, Telling the Story, twelve actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival have been invited to contribute to a different narrative, one that takes place before and behind the scenes. This composite account begins with the circumstances that propelled them into acting then describes the multi-faceted, idiosyncratic processes, which, leavened with dashes of luck, have supported their onstage success.

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Recordings
12:22 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

The New Basement Tapes – Linking The Old And The New

Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes - an album produced by T Bone Burnett featuring a collective of musicians recording under the moniker The New Basement Tapes—Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James and Marcus Mumford.

The New Basement Tapes is a group of musicians brought together by T Bone Burnett to write music to Bob Dylan lyric’s created during the Basement Tapes era. To fully understand the new, we start with the story of the old.

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Inside The Box
12:08 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

Taking A Byte Out Of The Internet

Every email and text we send, every picture and video we take, every Twitter and Facebook posting we make—all of it is stored out in “the cloud”.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A “bit” is the smallest unit of digital information. Put 8 bits together and you get a “byte”. Amass a billion bytes and you have a “gigabyte”. A thousand gigabytes is a “terabyte” (TB), which is the storage capacity of the hard drive in an average desktop computer today. Now imagine a billion 1TB hard drives. Together, all of those hard drives have the storage capacity of 1 zetabyte. 

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First...The News
11:51 am
Sun February 1, 2015

What Is A Clock?

Here you can see what NPR broadcasts at various points in the hour, and what is available for local stations like JPR to cover and replace with local material.
Credit NPR

The correct response to that headline is “well, duh…” But bear with me here; the clock I’m talking about is not mechanical, and does not hang on the wall. When public radio people say “clock,” they really mean “schedule.” And the changing of the clocks a few months back made for some changes in the news programming you hear on JPR.

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Jefferson Almanac
11:33 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Ten Lessons For Climate Activists From The American Robin

It’s good to be common: the American Robin is one of the most common and widespread native birds in North America.
Credit Daniel Marquard

For climate activists, this feels like the last moment. This summer, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report, covering Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, using by far the most sobering language to date. Among the impending risks that it identifies with “high confidence” are:

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Tuned In
10:10 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Gaining Momentum

In 2015, the work we do here at JPR will align with a broader vision of who we are.

As I sit down to write this month’s column, we’ve just welcomed a new year.  It’s a time for all of us here at JPR to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and set goals for 2015.  2014 was a good year here at JPR.  We grew listener support and underwriting significantly for the first year since the Great Recession.  This allowed us to strengthen our weekend programming, implement 24-hour service on all our stations, expand and improve our local news coverage, welcome a new environmental reporter to our newsroom and replace obsolete equipment at several critical transmission sites

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Jefferson Monthly Feature
3:53 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

All I Want For Valentine's Day Is A Trip To The Coast

Sunset at Coquille Point, Bandon.
Susan Langston

Well, what I really want for Valentine’s Day is a trip to the Bahamas.

Jamaica, Hawaii, Costa Rica—those places would be fine too. But since the price of air travel seems to be going up—especially around the holidays—as gas prices are going down, local romance is a lot more affordable.

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Theatre
10:06 am
Thu January 1, 2015

Performance News 2015

Valerie Rachelle
Credit Oregon Cabaret Theatre

Valerie Rachelle met Jim Giancarlo eight years ago at the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts.  As Artistic Director of the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, Giancarlo was auditioning students; Rachelle was directing and choreographing for PCPA’s Theatrefest.  He invited her to guest direct for OCT, but Rachelle had to decline—she would turn eight months pregnant during rehearsals for the show in question.  Circumstances for her OCT debut finally clicked late in 2012 with The Winter Wonderettes.

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