Jefferson Monthly

The Jefferson Monthly is JPR's members' magazine featuring articles, columns, and reviews about living in Southern Oregon and Northern California, as well as articles about finance, health and food from NPR.   The magazine also includes program listings for JPR's network of radio stations. The publication's monthly circulation is approximately 10,000.  To support JPR and receive your copy in the mail each month become a Member today!

Prisons And Prisoners

Apr 1, 2015

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.

Everlasting Blues

Apr 1, 2015

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. 

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


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.   

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.

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

From Willy Wonka To Willie Watson

Mar 1, 2015

Each year brings new opportunities for live music. If my January is any indication, 2015 is going to be an interesting and diverse year.

Auto Correct

Mar 1, 2015

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.

Let There Be Music

Mar 1, 2015
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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

What Is A Clock?

Feb 1, 2015

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.

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:

Gaining Momentum

Feb 1, 2015

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

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.

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.

“Britney Spears Instagrams Selfie With New Boyfriend”

That was the headline that caught my eye recently while scrolling through my Twitter feed. No, I’m not a fan of Britney Spears. I don’t follow her on Twitter (but I do follow The Huffington Post, which posted the story). I dislike her music. I find her stage apparel distasteful. I hate that we live in a world in which she has become wealthy and famous for being a solipsistic attention whore.

Paul Giancarlo

October marked one year since I returned to the Rogue Valley from Europe to take up my new assignment at Jefferson Public Radio: to add local and regional news features to JPR’s broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition. 

Looking back over this past year, I think we’ve been successful at bringing JPR listeners interesting news and compelling stories about issues and events from around the region.