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Jenny Graham, Oregon Shakespeare Festival

In 1626, officials of the Dutch West India Company claimed to have bought Manhattan Island from a local tribe. Before long, they drove the Indians from their homes.

Nearly 400 years later, millions of Americans lost their homes when Wall Street banks bundled shaky loans into triple-A-rated securities.

The confluence of these events is the canvas on which playwright Mary Kathryn Nagel paints “Manahatta.” The play had its world premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival on April 1.

Wikimedia

It's part of the imagery of the American West that wild horses still roam the landscape.  But the beauty and freedom belie the ongoing debate about how best to manage the herds. 

The federal Bureau of Land Management is responsible for managing wild horses and burros, and BLM is trying a few new techniques. 

Those include an adoption event coming up in mid-April in South Central Oregon in partnership with Beaty Butte Wild Horses

böhringer friedrich, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3180208

If timber management is the number one ongoing source of environmental debate in the region, cattle grazing is not far behind. 

Ranchers and environmental groups are often at odds with each other and with agencies responsible for managing grazing on public lands.  Now researchers at Michigan State University inject a new note into the melody: a study showing how cattle production can be environmentally friendly

Paige Stanley is one of the researchers, now at the University of California-Berkeley. 

Spencer Smith practices careful cattle management at the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management in Modoc County. 

PolitiFact California: Checking The Facts On California’s Wealth And Poverty

Apr 2, 2018

We’ve heard endless claims about California’s extreme wealth and poverty.

Think You're Recycling In Southern Oregon? Think Again

Apr 2, 2018
Jamie Lusch/Mail Tribune

Cardboard, plastic milk jugs, newspapers and cans that customers place in Rogue Disposal’s curbside-recycling bins are being dumped in the landfill, contrary to statements made on the company’s website and in fliers.

NIH/Public Domain

There is a race gap in many things in America, health care among them.  Health outcomes are just generally better for people with white skin. 

But Oregon's ongoing work in expanding Medicaid through the Oregon Health Plan may be closing that gap. 

Recent research shows an improvement in health for members of minority groups, since Oregon began using CCOs--coordinated care organizations--to deliver OHP services.  The study comes from OHSU in Portland. 

Public Domain

Only one color is supposed to make a difference in renting or buying a house: green.  As in, if you have enough money, you get the home. 

But evidence of racial discrimination in housing lingers across the country.  This despite the fact that it's been 50 years since Congress passed the Fair Housing Act. 

The Fair Housing Council of Oregon tracks compliance with this and other laws.  The Racial Equity Coalition of Southern Oregon also keeps tabs on the progress. 

geralt/Pixabay

We understand that all things are made of atoms.  Quantum physics explains how atoms move and relate, but there still plenty of mysteries left for scientists to discover. 

And the approach to mystery-solving has changed over the years. 

Adam Becker, science writer with PhD in astrophysics, reports on the change in approaches in his book What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics.  Yes, Schrödinger's Cat makes an appearance on page 3. 

A. / Flickr

In some California counties (and some in Oregon, as well), there are more opioid prescriptions than residents. The state is trying to change prescribing practices, but the technology needed to do that isn’t quite ready yet.

The California opioid database, called CURES, has been around for decades, but it recently got a reboot to make it faster and easier to use. A 2016 law mandates that doctors check the database before prescribing opioids, to make sure patients aren’t doubling up.

Oregon Cougar Sightings Are On The Rise And Officials Wonder If There's A Problem

Apr 2, 2018
Brian Wolfer/Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife/Flickr

In the late afternoon daylight, Tamara Swanson was walking through Silverton’s Oregon Garden when she came across a cougar attacking a small animal. 

At first, she was exhilarated. The Mid-Valley resident has long loved watching animals in the wild.

Then the moment turned tense.

Dahlia Bazzaz

Hidden in the recently signed $1.3 trillion GOP spending bill were a few paragraphs that have huge implications for anyone who works in a bar or restaurant.

The bill clears up laws regarding the legality of what is called "tip pooling" — collecting and redistributing tips diners leave to members of restaurant staff.

Western Values Project

A Montana-based environmental group is trying to pressure Oregon Congressman Greg Walden. They want him to oppose pending bills that would shrink some national monuments and make it harder for presidents to create monuments in the future.

The Bee Eaters are brother-sister duo Tristan and Tashina Clarridge, long known and lauded by those steeped in the American fiddle tradition, plus hammer dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman. Together, they weave a tapestry of sound all their own, drawing on roots in bluegrass, Celtic, jazz and old-time traditions.

Public Domain/Wikimedia

We're still two years away from the centennial of women getting the right to vote under the Constitution. 

For women in the United Kingdom, the party is this year.  1918 was the year British women gained the right to vote, an event commemorated in a new play “Pankhurst: Freedom or Death,” a one-woman show presented by Ashland Contemporary Theatre starting April 7th. 

Jeannine Grizzard is the playwright and actor, playing suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst. 

cars cars cars Florida, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38128730

The engine's fine, the tires are good, the brakes work... but still, there's SOMETHING making noise underneath your favorite motor vehicle. 

Is there something amiss with the suspension?  Something out of whack in the steering mechanism? 

These are the parts of the car we focus on in this month's installment of The Squeaky Wheel, with Ashland Automotive owner Zach Edwards. 

Wikimedia

You can probably remember a few names from the early days of white settlement in Oregon and California. 

A few people were prominent in the formation of both states, including Peter Burnett.  Who?  Well, Mr. Burnett organized one of the first wagon trains to Oregon Territory and served in prominent positions there. 

Then he moved to California and became the first governor of the new state.  And he's generally regarded as a failure in that role and several others. 

Historian and former Oregonian reporter R. Gregory Nokes takes up The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett in a new book. 

Don Ryan/AP

Oregon state Rep. Knute Buehler, long regarded as the front-runner in the race to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination, is irking many of the party faithful by skipping a string of GOP candidate forums.

Ann McGarry

A fight over Oregon’s campaign finance laws could lead to huge changes in state elections. Now, backers of those changes say they’ll try to speed the process  way up.

JPR’s Liam Moriarty talks with OPB political reporter Dirk VanderHart to discuss the court case and the potential impact statewide.  

Featured Works for April – First Concert
(*Indicates April birthday)

Apr 2 M Maurice Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 1
Apr 3 T Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco*: Guitar Quintet
Apr 4 W Camille Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 1

Apr 5-11 Spring Membership Drive

Apr 12 T Pietro Nardini*: Violin Concerto in G major
Apr 13 F William Sterndale Bennett*: Caprice in E major

Richard Sniezko, US Forest Service, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=341170

Crater Lake would just not be the same without that big blue lake. 

Would it be very different without the big whitebark pine trees?  There's a chance we could find out, because the trees appear to be under great stress, from insect infestation, tree diseases, and climate change. 

Sean Smith at the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network has been keeping an eye on the fate of the trees for several years now. 

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