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 a calendar of cultural events and 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!

In an age where text messages, tweets and other social media posts demand short writing, there is new focus on the benefits of getting to the point.   The Washington Post recently reported that The Associated Press (AP) has instructed its correspondents to keep stories between 300 and 500 words, citing the lack of staff at its member outlets available “to trim stories to fit their shrinking news holes” as the primary reason for this policy shift.  And, the website Talking Biz News reported that Reuters recently adopted a policy limiting most stories to no more than 500 wor

Andi Willman

Here is another Nature Note inspired by Rupert, Nature Note’s West Highland white terrier. For those of you who don’t know, Westies, as they are called by those in the know, are a very close relative to the Cairn terrier. For those of you who don’t know Cairn terriers, Toto, the small black dog in the Wizard of Oz was one. Both are Scottish breeds designed by farmers to chase to ground small mammals and dig them out. Their stout short tails are the result of being pulled out of the hole when farmers decided they wanted to move on.

T. Charles Erickson

Shakespeare’s first four history plays reconstruct the political chaos of the English court under the incompetent King Henry VI. The power-hungry House of York wages war on its cousins of the ruling House of Lancaster, but once Henry and his prince have been killed, and the Yorkish Edward wears the crown, he must guard it against his own brothers, Clarence and Richard. Richard III concludes the tetralogy, charting Richard’s ruthless rise to the throne and his final downfall.

   

It’s a wonderful thing to experience a creative soul at work. To watch a painter’s brush strokes slowly change a blank canvas into multi-layered image, and see that happen over and over again with a different beautiful result each time. To see a sculptor’s hands mold ugly lumps of nondescript clay into delicate pieces of art that are both stunning and useful, or listen to a musical project with a many faceted sound structure.

If underwater crustaceans were superheroes, the mantis shrimp would most certainly be one. Mantis shrimp 

  live in shallow tropical and sub-tropical waters. They are only 6–12 inches in length, but pack a powerful punch. The two raptorial appendages on the front of the mantis shrimp’s body can accelerate with the speed of a bullet fired from a .22 caliber rifle. In less than three-thousandths of a second, the mantis shrimp can strike its prey with 1,500 Newtons of force—roughly the equivalent of getting hit by a 300-pound brick.

A Farm Like No Other

Jul 31, 2014

At the top of a small rise, with views of meadows and mountains peeking through the tall trees, is something you wouldn’t expect to see at an animal rescue or an organic farm. Laid out on a clearing in the woods is a rustic labyrinth, outlined by rough stones placed there by young men from an alternative high school and veterans struggling to overcome the memories of war. In the middle of the labyrinth glisten hundreds of crystals, lying on the ground beneath a massive quartz crystal cluster. 

I always get a chuckle when I hear people say they don’t follow the news because it’s ”filtered.” What they want, they declare, is “unfiltered” news.

Good luck with that.

Charlie!

Jul 1, 2014

Ralph J. Gleason was the San Francisco Chronicle’s Jazz and Rock critic in the 1960s, and I learned a lot from his columns. At the end of his thrice-weekly observations and reviews, he’d run a list 

of upcoming shows in the Bay Area. The bands seemed fascinating; names like Grateful Dead or Country Joe and the Fish signaled something fresh going on. The longest name was Charlie Musselwhite’s South Side Sound System, and I wondered what kind of music the man with the odd name made, and where in San Francisco was the South Side. Daly City?

A difficult thing about becoming a woman “of a certain age” is that, while your driver’s license attests to the fact you are said woman “of a certain age” often your sense of self is still in 4th grade.

In his essay “The Morality of Things,” the late writer Bruce Chatwin asserted, “All civilizations are by their very nature ‘thing-oriented’ and the main problem of their stability has been to devise new equations between the urge to amass things and the urge to be rid of them.”

Chatwin was obsessed with things. Before emerging as a prominent and much-celebrated travel writer with a keen sensibility for place, Chatwin worked as an art dealer at Sotheby’s where he became an expert in Impressionist art.

Jenny Graham

I confess: Thornton Wilder’s Our Town was never my town. The notion of family rooted in the same rural village for generations is light years from my reality as the grandchild of immigrants and a migrant military brat. Similarly, despite Wilder’s innovations in dramatic technique, the human condition as portrayed through Grovers Corners seems abnormally normal.

Jennifer Margulis

When my brother was getting a Master’s degree at U.C. Berkeley in the early 1990s he’d take road trips to Reno, Nevada every once in a while. After all, it was cheaper than Las Vegas, and a quicker drive. Zach would find himself a motel for 20 bucks a night and hit the casinos, playing low stakes Blackjack as an antidote to the pressure cooker of his graduate studies.

That’s long been my image of Reno: a mostly seedy, rather rundown adult playground where prostitution is legal, everybody smokes, and steak is the meat on every menu.

NPR recently announced a restructuring of its newsroom designed to more efficiently utilize resources while expanding editorial hubs that combine the digital and audio work of its reporters, editors, producers and bloggers around specific areas of focus.

Wikimedia Commons

 I think we can all agree that salad forks have not fulfilled their promise. It was a noble experiment, if by that you mean something tried by nobility or those feigning nobility.   

Salads have changed over the years. Now we add all sorts of doodads on top of our lettuce. Those longer tines of the regular fork come in handy when eating a modern salad. You need that extra quarter inch for the craisins and bleu cheese chunks. Salads have even sometimes replaced the main course of a meal. The salad fork did not adapt.

Tinder Is The Night

May 29, 2014

 

"Someday I’m going to find

somebody and love him and

love him and never let him go.”

‑from Tender Is The Night
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Greg Painton

  The hiking season is here!

I guess any season is hiking season in the Applegate area of Southern Oregon, but when the snow melts on the higher elevation trails and you can put on your hiking boots and take off for the mountains, excitement rises.

Jenny Graham

Lorraine Hansberry’s premature death from cancer in 1965 at the age of the thirty-four deprived American theatre of a brilliant light. Her first play, A Raisin in the Sun, had dazzled Broadway in 1959, winning the New York Drama Critics Circle Award.  Only one other play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, saw production in her lifetime, and her deteriorating health severely challenged its development.

Jenny Graham

The two comedies anchoring the 2014 season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival put the accent on zany shenanigans. The Cocoanuts, by Irving Berlin and George S. Kaufman, was created as a vehicle for the legendary Marx Brothers—vaudeville veterans with a bottomless bag of comic shticks. And the title of Shakespeare’s early The Comedy of Errors says it all: mistaken identities, compounding misunderstandings, escalating farce.

The appropriations season is unfolding in Washington D.C. and there is both good news and bad news to report related to continued funding for public broadcasting stations around the country.

The Southern Oregon Deer Debate

May 1, 2014
Steve Hillebrand / USDFW

They roam through town in groups of three and four at dusk, or pre-dawn. They hide under bushes at night. They trespass, hopping fences and taking what they want. They’re black-tailed deer, and they’re everywhere.

For residents of just about every town in Southern Oregon, the sight of two or three deer browsing in someone’s yard or languidly crossing a busy street hardly turns a head. In certain “hot spots”--Ashland, Jacksonville, parts of Grant’s Pass and Medford--it goes without saying that if you want a successful garden, you better protect it with a fence.

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