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!

What I’ve always loved about my line of work is setting a mood. As a DJ, there’s nothing more satisfying than creating just the right soundtrack to make the moment complete, whether I’m spinning discs on the radio, playing tunes at a wedding, or just putting together the background music for a family celebration on my iPod. It’s more than just lining up all the popular hits for a particular demographic. It’s finding the right music to transport listeners to a particular place and time and emotional situation.

Every new technology is a Frankenstein. Once it is created it is no longer in the control of its creator and once released into the world, it may behave in ways the creator never intended. That’s not to say that all new technologies are monsters; rather, it’s to point out the inherent duality in every new technology to be both good and bad. To put it simply: technology is not neutral.

Into The Woods

Oct 1, 2013

Two heroes of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival this summer are scenic designer Michael Ganio and projection designer Alexander Nichols, who manage with a single set to turn the ornery Elizabethan Stage into a space that splendidly serves all three outdoor productions.  In Cymbeline, the rocky, wooded terrain supports a primitive ancient Britain and the wilderness of Wales.  In David Farr’s The Heart of Robin Hood and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on the other hand, the scaffold of trees hovers over scenes of palace and town like an ironic reminder.  Enha

Hands Across The Watershed

Oct 1, 2013
Katrina Mueller / USFWS, Pacific Region

They’re almost unfathomable, those images from a not-so-distant past: Streams thick with flashing bodies. Wagons overflowing with fish. Canneries on every major river. The salmon may be the iconic symbol of the Pacific Northwest, but in less than 150 years, the breathtaking bounty of its numbers has dwindled to wan runs supplemented by hatchery stock. In particular, several runs of Coho are in trouble, including the federally Threatened Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast population.


What do 50,000 dying bees look like?   A writhing scatter of black, swept by early morning brooms at a Target parking lot in Wilsonville, OR.   It is old news now, all the way back in June, but it sticks with me:  50,000 bees, feeding on the linden trees.  A neonicotinoid pesticide was applied to the trees to control aphids, which create a sticky secretion that was dripping on cars in the parking lot.

Christina Ammon

If a small town store is a reflection of a community, then looking around the Ruch Country Store, one gets the sense of the diverse set of people who live in the surrounding areas. On a small, recycled magazine rack, back issues of The New Yorker sit next to copies of American Rifleman. Pinned to the community board are various flyers. Housing needed for organic gardener one reads. Sagittarius, Ayurvedic dosha: vata. Enneagram personality type 3, vegan. Next to that: an advert for Medford BMX.

The New

Sep 12, 2013

By the time you read this I hope you’ve had an opportunity to explore JPR’s new website.  There are a number of features about the new site that I’d like to highlight.

Sounds Of Summer

Sep 1, 2013

I write this column as the oppressive heat of July and the smoke from local fires is hanging over the state of Jefferson, challenging my brain to summon up some of the music I've enjoyed recently. The first one that comes to mind is a wonderful documentary entitled You Want a Banjo. It‘s an enlightening history of the instrument, narrated by Steve Martin, and features many of the most influential banjo players.

The history we learn from text books is made up of stories selected by academics to explain and give shape to a civilization’s collective past. But history is much more than that. Beyond the textbook stories of political battles and sweeping social movements are the stories of ordinary people who make history in their own right by everyday acts of bravery and by standing up to injustice in the very communities in which they lived.

Country’s First Tiny House Hotel Opens in Portland

Sep 1, 2013
Toni Tabora-Roberts

Sure, tiny homes are adorable. But could you handle living in 120 square feet?

Portlanders Kol Peterson and Deb Delman think you should try it – if only for one night.

This past July, they opened the country’s first tiny house hotel.  The Caravan Tiny House Hotel consists of three tiny homes on what used to be a vacant lot in northeast Portland.

And, yes, they really are tiny.

Feasting On Blues

Aug 29, 2013

  The diversity of "Blues" music continues to reveal itself in 2013, as new releases within the genre highlight a variety of styles and approaches.

The Myth of History

Aug 28, 2013

For its special initiative, American Revolutions, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival commissions playwrights to explore a critical moment or issue in U. S. history.  Of the five works the OSF has developed and produced under this rubric so far, Naomi Wallace’s intriguing, disruptive The Liquid Plain, premiering this season in the Thomas Theatre, also questions the stability of history itself, composed as it is of competing myths. 

Mary Landberg

On a sunny day last March over a hundred mostly gray-haired people file into an auditorium at Asante’s Smullin Health Education Center in Medford. A large screen behind the stage projects the afternoon’s agenda: HAVING THE CONVERSATION. On stage are two empty armchairs, violet with pale blue dots, a white rug, and a hospital gurney. On the gurney lies a manikin, its hairless head resting incongruously against a flowered pillow. For some reason I find this detail heartbreaking.

We seem to live in the age of “zero tolerance.” A zero tolerance policy imposes automatic pre-determined punishment for infractions of a rule or law, forbidding people in positions of authority from exercising discretion or changing punishments to fit the unique circumstances or history of any given infraction. While it’s hard to argue against the merits of certain zero tolerance positions society has taken, like drinking and driving, numerous examples exist where zero tolerance rules have led to unjust outcomes and caused detrimental unintended consequences.

Pets In A College Town

Aug 1, 2013

I love living in a college town. Ever since Socrates first got away with it, educators have learned they can ask questions for a living. It must be an intellectual version of keeping up with the Joneses, but before you know it, everyone is asking questions just for the fun of it.

Having been a fan of José Gonzalez’s solo work and then his work with Zero 7, I was intrigued and then delighted when I discovered his “new” project in 2010 – his band, Junip, and their first full length recording, Fields. Well aware of his popularity as a solo artist, as well as his apparent interest in collaboration, I assumed it was just one of his many side projects, not one that would necessarily take root. 

This summer as families break out the GPS (or road maps, if you’re old school) and hit the road for the mountains, rivers and beaches, NPR has a great selection of interesting radio series planned to inspire lively conversations and fill the silence during those long road trips. Here’s a taste of what’s on deck.

Animal Love Farm

Jul 1, 2013

Angel hair ears and pompadoured pig’s tail. Brazilian crystals. Speckled hen.

Old wood. Sunning kitty. Mule Mountain. Emerald woods. Open pasture. Scarlet hen’s comb. Sweet smelling barn. Smiling dogs. Cocky crowing roosters. Belly-scratching stumps. Labyrinthine stones. Big-leafed comfrey.

Why does it feel like I’m singing “My Favorite Things”?

Lost in Translation

Jun 1, 2013

I recently exchanged email with a JPR listener who was frustrated that one of our translators was experiencing a degraded signal. After our communication, I thought it might be useful to dedicate my column this month to explaining how translators work and why recent developments have caused difficulties for some translators JPR has operated for decades.

In 15 years of doing these essays, I’ve always tried to focus on something about the State of Jefferson — and now it seems time to realize this includes an invisible new layer called Facebook. Most of my 600+ “friends” live in Jeffersonia and this is how I know and communicate with them.