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!

A recent post on NPR’s All Tech Considered caught my eye. It was called Silicon Valley’s Power Over The Free Press: Why It Matters written by Elise Hu. The piece focused on how the Silicon Valley’s large tech companies, specifically Facebook and Twitter, are now controlling the distribution of the news and information people receive and pay attention to. And, as you might imagine, this is not a great thing.

The Future Of Education In Oregon

Dec 30, 2014

Ask the chief education officer for the Oregon Education Investment Board what challenges Oregon’s K-12 education system faces today, and Nancy Golden has many unsettling statistics and professional observations to share. Originally from New York, articulate, and fast-talking, Golden points out that nearly one in four children in Oregon is living in poverty, the graduation rate in Oregon’s high schools is only 68.5 percent (which is the second to last in the nation, and substantially lower than the national average of 78.2 percent, according to the U.S.

Beating Back The Winter Blues

Dec 4, 2014

Rebekah Dodson was 12 years old when she started noticing how much her mood was affected by the seasons. The daughter of a military officer, Rebekah lived on the Mildenhall Air Force Base in Littleport, England. On the cusp of puberty then, she realized that the darker it got outside the more irritable, grumpy, and tired she felt. Rebekah told her parents, and her pastor, that she was plagued by anxiety and dark thoughts.

According to the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research and analysis think-tank that claims to have “invented the Postwar World,” the year 2015 is going to be awesome. This is the year I’ll be able to clone myself and get bionic biceps. With advanced brain scanning, I’ll copy everything I know (shouldn’t take long) and imprint it onto my clone’s brain. Through gene therapy, I’ll slow down my aging process and speed up my clone’s, stopping him at a younger version of myself so that he can do any physical labor that I don’t have time to take care of with my bionic biceps.

The Pecan Puff Mystery

Dec 1, 2014

Pecan puffs were my father’s favorite Christmas cookie. We kids all liked them, but Daddy loved them. So much so that our grandmother couldn’t keep him supplied during Christmas season.

In the middle of December, the stack of Granny’s cookbooks appeared on the kitchen counter, scraps of paper with additional recipes scrawled in her round script stuck between their pages. Then she’d decide on the year’s varieties, up to a dozen, and compile her list of necessary ingredients.

Oh look, only twelve minutes left of the Christmas shopping season. If you are like me, still staring at your hands when you should be out buying a gift for someone on your list (my list is called a “hit list” —that gives you an idea of how I view the whole gift giving process), you tell yourself you have plenty of time to find other things to do instead of shop. Our kids are older, so the pressure to have a million presents under the tree, each holding the possibility of a pony, is somewhat lessened. Oh they still want presents but what those might be, I don’t really want to know.

On our weekly Wednesday VENTSday segment, I make a point of telling Jefferson Exchange listeners that they are welcome to call and weigh in on the topics of the day, but to vent “politely.” Once in a while, somebody misses that modifier and lets loose with some cutting remarks, occasionally directed at the opinions or tone expressed by another caller. I’m happy to say that’s a rarity.

Best Of 2014

Dec 1, 2014


Eric Teel 

Director FM Program Services / Music Director / Host, Open Air

Tom Magliozzi who, along with his brother Ray, hosted NPR’s Car Talk for the last 37 years, died November 3, 2014 from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.  He was 77 years old.

In announcing this sad news for the national public radio community, NPR celebrated the life of one of its most popular radio personalities in a special tribute Car Talk program and in produced segments on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Eric Teel/JPR

On Monday morning, September 15, 2014, Siskiyou County was buffeted by battering winds. In Fort Jones, west of Yreka, I felt like Dorothy in Kansas as I tried to scatter feed to the chickens. I thought wind like this will start something, and hoped we would get to the end of the day with no new fires. Fire season was still raging with many county fires still going, even after the previous week’s much needed rain. Later I got a call from a friend who had heard that Weed was on fire.

The Ultimate Question

Nov 1, 2014

In Douglas Adam’s novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, researchers from a “pan-dimensional, hyper-intelligent race of beings”, construct a super computer called Deep Thought. The greatest computer of all time and space, Deep Thought is designed to calculate the answers to the universe’s deepest philosophical questions that even the race of highly intelligent beings are unable to answer such as: Why are we here? How did we get here? From where? What is the meaning of life?

Jenny Graham

Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way brings to the stage Lyndon Johnson’s first year as President. Though the office is thrust upon him by Kennedy’s assassination, LBJ channels his political genius and immense energy into passing Kennedy’s languishing Civil Rights Act, then wins reelection by a landslide. High on these successes, the Johnson we meet at the start of The Great Society is reminiscing about his boyhood fascination with rodeo bull-riding.

From The Archives

Nov 1, 2014

With Halloween over and done with and Thanksgiving right around the corner, this time of year always makes me want to hunker down in my apartment and bake good food while listening to good radio. This hibernation also gets me thinking of some of my favorite shows on the Jefferson Exchange this past year. So, as the weather gets dark and stormy and you’re looking for some cozy listening, here are some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth behind Food Labeling


Nov 1, 2014

I have a new nearby option for Vietnamese food. I can walk to a corner parking lot and order my pho from Tam’s Place. But it’s not a place, at least not for anyone but Tam. It’s a food truck.

Eric Teel/JPR

As you might assume, I see a heck of a lot of live music each year. It’s an absolute blessing to be able to see so many amazing performers showcasing their ability at venues throughout Oregon and northern California. Last summer, I had the opportunity to experience my first true multi-day music festival: Pickathon. Held at privately owned Pendarvis Farm in Happy Valley, Oregon, Pickathon is a sight to behold. Three days of music, managed crowd density, no plastic, free water, reusable serving dishes for all food vendors, composting sites, solar panels, and on and on...

Aiming High

Oct 31, 2014

Depending on the speed of the US Postal Service in delivering this month’s Jefferson Monthly to your mailbox, JPR will either be in the final days of our Fall Fund Drive or will have just completed the campaign.  As we reach out to our listeners once again to ask for your continued support, it’s always energizing to step back from the day-to-day to remind ourselves of the big picture.

In Liisa and Shanti Shunn’s East Medford backyard, the couple’s three dogs—Dobby, Tucker, and Puck—leap and jump for the treats that Shanti offers. While these three dogs are permanent residents in the Shunn household, usually they share their home with foster dogs as well. In fact, Dobby is what Liisa and Shanti affectionately call a “foster failure”—a foster dog that they ended up adopting.

Objective News

Oct 1, 2014

Whatever became of “objective” news reporting? You know, the kind that just gives you the facts, without any slant or bias, the kind we used to have back in the good old days?

In this current era of shouting-heads cable TV shows and hot-talk radio and incendiary blog posts, when everyone with a Twitter account can make news, it’s understandable to pine for the lost paradise of “objective” journalism.                                                                                                                                                  

In its twenty-third season, Ashland New Plays Festival promises that ANPF 2014 will offer the most entertaining and edifying program yet.  To kick off the nine-day-long celebration, on Friday, October 17, OSF’s Dan Donohue will be interviewed by John Rose for a Theatre Talk.  The event will take place at 310 Oak Street, Ashland, and tickets are moving fast. 

Tom Lavine

The biography of Jim Giancarlo paints a portrait of the artist from a very early age. His boyhood fascination with producing neighborhood shows, his immersion in visual arts at SUNY Buffalo, his ongoing aspiration to be a writer—all were father to the multi-talented man who speculated recently, “Maybe the Creator’s plan is no plan at all.  Maybe ‘He’ just loves creating beauty.”