Jefferson Monthly

Features and columns published in the Jefferson Monthly.

The National Agenda

Mar 1, 2014

For better or worse, broadcasters of all stripes operate in a highly regulated environment. While we work hard to focus on and reflect life in our local communities, what goes on in Washington, D.C. impacts our work and can significantly affect our ability to serve citizens. Several national developments are underway that are worth watching.

Alys Holden, the new Director of Production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, had held the same position at the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles for over eight years. When Bill Rauch invited her to leave that professional pinnacle and sign on with the OSF, she had to make a tough choice. She decided to visit Ashland incognito, see a couple performances, and scout the town. Lunching in a local restaurant, she eavesdropped on the tourists—and they were all talking about the plays. “Nobody in L.A. talks about plays,” she said. She took the leap.

George Rubaloff

The artisan chocolate industry in Southern Oregon has found its sweet spot.

Ten years ago about the only local chocolate you could buy was made by Harry & David, Endangered Species, or Dagoba. The Oregon Chocolate Festival, which celebrates its 10th year from March 7-9, has helped nurture a local artisan chocolate industry and granted new shelf space to many new startups.

Spring is a wonderful time to be in Ashland.  The hills are green, cherry blossoms are in bloom, and the Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF) brings five days of world-class film to the Rogue Valley.  The 13th annual festival runs April 3-7 at the Varsity Theatre, the Historic Ashland Armory, the Ashland Street Cinemas, and the Ashland Springs Hotel.

A Look Inside

Feb 3, 2014

We can now say “news team” at JPR with a sense of accomplishment knowing that we have the ability to realize the full potential of that title with the addition of staff and resources. We’ll be joining you in each edition of the Jefferson Monthly with a look inside our burgeoning news operation.

True, “burgeoning” may be overstating things just a bit. But the last half of 2013 featured some key changes in what we offer to our listeners and web visitors under the banner of JPR News:

It’s the month where we commemorate love and romance with its very own day, February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Love and romance are all well and good, but boxes of chocolates, sexy lingerie, a fishing license— in other words presents—to your beloved only go so far in sealing the deal. For love to last, there is one more thing you absolutely need. It’s not as sexy or titillating as a Victoria Secret bustier or an Orvis reel but, at least from my humble perspective, it means much more. You want to go the distance? You need commitment.

University of Oregon

For years, museum conservators and paleontologists have yearned for a way to duplicate fragile fossils without damaging them. Now scientists with the University of Oregon say they have found a way to do just that, with the help of a relatively inexpensive 3-D printer.

The Internet was not designed with security in mind. It was developed by computer scientists, most who knew one another personally, with the goal of interconnecting computers (at the time, large mainframes) and moving data back and forth. Security adds a layer of complexity and the task before them was complex enough. So they pressed forward, perhaps unaware that they were laying an unsecure foundation for what would decades later become a critical global communications infrastructure that today has more than 8 billion computing devices connected to it.

Greg Eliason

The frustration in crafting this column is the long lag-time between deadline and publication date. Add to that the tradition of orienting December articles to holiday subjects, and my enthusiasm for the Southern Oregon University production last November of The White Fugue, devised and directed by James Donlon, becomes almost a why-bother-mention-it-now?

Recordings & Recorders

Feb 1, 2014

2013 proved to be a difficult year for me because several of my friends passed away, in England and here in the state of Jefferson. Among those I lost in this area are two men who made significant contributions to music: Jim Rich, who led the Jefferson Baroque Orchestra (JBO), and JPR’s own Brad Ranger.

JPR 2014

Feb 1, 2014

As we settle into the new year here at JPR, we’ve made some significant program changes that we hope you’ve had an opportunity to sample. We’ve shifted several of the programs that have been on the JPR airwaves for years between our three networks and have added several new programs to our schedule that have been high on our listener request list, such as Radiolab, The Moth Radio Hour and the return of Science Friday

Beer In The State Of Jefferson

Jan 31, 2014

Oregon Beer. Those two words incite a lot of enthusiasm among beer lovers, seemingly the world over. Right here at home, Jefferson Public Radio’s signal is flung far and wide in the State of Jefferson, a land inhabited by a multitude of independent thinkers and a preponderance of beer-loving folks. As we know, southern Oregon is a diverse territory, with much to offer in the realm of food, wine, public radio, and for the purposes of this article, beer. But where does one begin when talking about what is known as Oregon beer? And what about northern California beer for that matter?

Pepper Trail

Every fall, the maples and dogwoods color the foothills of southern Oregon with yellow and orange highlights, flaring vibrant among the dark green pines. Through these Siskiyou Mountains, the railroad line once known as the “Road of a Thousand Wonders” snakes its way toward California, crossing moss-covered ravines on rickety trestles and piercing the mountain ridges with long dark tunnels.

Amelia Templeton

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has introduced a bill that sets the stage for sweeping changes in the management of 2.1 million acres of federal forest in Western Oregon.

The bill attempts to resolve decades of lawsuits over the Bureau of Land Management’s so-called O&C timberlands in Western Oregon by designating some areas for conservation and others for timber harvest. It would limit the environmental review process for logging in some designated harvest areas, while guaranteeing protection for stands of trees over 120 years old.

Shattered Windows

Dec 31, 2013

An “operating system” is what underlies all the various digital devices you use on a daily basis. Without it, your smartphone, computer, or tablet is just a collection of silicon, plastic, various metals, and some glass. The operating system, or OS, is the software that allows these otherwise inanimate objects to come to life. Other applications hum along on top of the OS. Without it, these apps are just a collection of code that can do nothing.

The Camelot Challenge

Dec 31, 2013

Back in 2002, when Livia Genise became Artistic Director of Actor’s Theatre in Talent, she expressed her interest in producing the musical Annie, and her desire to make musicals a vital element of the theatre’s repertory. She heard plenty of discouraging words. Their gist: the Rogue Valley lacked the performers necessary to support such an enterprise. Eleven seasons have passed since Annie played to resounding applause, and they have proved the naysayers wrong.

Music At The End

Dec 31, 2013

When I was a student at university, I earned extra money by singing in a church choir and at a temple. As part of my duties, I often took part in services to mark the passing of a member of the congregation. Sometimes family members had specific music they wanted to hear; when they didn’t know what to choose, the rabbi or minister would select something he deemed appropriate, like Handel’s “The Trumpet Shall Sound” or Copland’s arrangement of “At the River.” The music was beautiful, but mostly I sang to make a little extra money. I didn’t think too much about the deeper meaning of the piece. I was paid to help people honor a life, but it wasn’t personal.

I just returned from a meeting of station managers from across the country who gathered to take stock of the public radio system and develop strategies to attract and engage the next generation of listeners. It’s always refreshing to step back from the churn of daily operations to view the bigger picture. As local stations, together with NPR and the other national producers and organizations, look to the future, it’s also pretty amazing to consider the system we’ve built together.

Christopher Briscoe Photography

Violin cases and coats lay scattered on dozens of empty seats in the recital hall at Southern Oregon University.  Under the bright stage lights, dozens of musicians laugh and greet friends they haven't seen in months. 

The first rehearsal of the Rogue Valley Symphony's 2013-2014 season is about to begin.

Best Albums Of 2013

Nov 26, 2013

JPR music hosts take a stab identifying standout recordings of 2013.

Don Matthews | Classical Music Director & Host First Concert