The Jefferson Exchange

News & Information: Mon-Fri • 8am-10am | 8pm-10pm

JPR's live interactive program devoted to current events and news makers from around the region and beyond. It airs on JPR's News & Information service; choose that service from the stream above or find your station here.

Participate during the live program by calling 800-838-3760 or emailing JX@jeffnet.org.  

Connect on Facebook and Twitter, or suggest a guest.

Roguecreamery.com

The Rogue Valley is generally known for its sweet and juicy agricultural products: pears for eating and grapes for making wine. 

But the dairy industry is rising in stature, thanks in part to the work of the Rogue Creamery

Owner David Gremmels bought an established business and added his own distinctive stamp.  What IS in the Caveman Blue Cheese?  These and other questions are revealed in this month's edition of The Ground Floor, about entrepreneurs and their work. 

Wikimedia

Country, company, and family all come together in the story of Saudi Arabia.  The al Saud family put its name on the country in the 20th century, as both family and country reaped the rewards of all the oil underneath the Arabian sands. 

Energy Industry and Middle East expert Ellen R. Wald helps us understand the blurred lines between the country, the al Saud family, and the oil company Aramco in Saudi, Inc.: The Arabian Kingdom's Pursuit of Profit and Power

The book arrives as a member of the royal family is shaking up Saudi culture, allowing women to drive and re-opening movie theaters. 

Derek Williams, https://www.flickr.com/photos/154745016@N06/38715705681/in/dateposted-public/

The wide-eyed man walks down the hallway to a particular door.  What awaits behind it?  Is the music happy and carefree, or tense, with the sound of low string notes? 

See, music plays a huge part in movies... we depend upon the music to give a context beyond what our eyes can see.  And our region is home to several people who have composed music for the big screen. 

Joby Talbot, Tessa Brinckman, and Terry Longshore are among them, and they'll speak about the craft at a session at this weekend's Ashland Independent Film Festival

socompasshouse.org

If you break a leg or come down with a disease that confines you to bed, people generally know what to do.  But that's physical illness. 

Mental illness presents a different set of challenges in diagnosis and treatment.  All of the members of Southern Oregon Compass House in Medford learned this firsthand. 

Once a month, we visit with clubhouse members and staffers to explore issues in mental illness, issues we're often hearing about for the first time. 

Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14760894

Freak out your loved ones: tell them you want to change your career to comedy. 

Laughing is fun, but it takes work to produce laughs, and often little money for the work.  But Joe Randazzo made it, and then offered advice to people who want to be, in the words of his book title, Funny on Purpose

Randazzo worked as the editor of The Onion, among other gigs.  He joined us in June 2015 with advice on making people laugh all the way to your bank. 

AIFF

South Medford High School graduate Laura VanZee Taylor suffered from depression and anxiety as a young woman. 

So she's aware of the confusion and stigma that attaches to mental illness, especially in young people. 

Her documentary "I Am Maris," screening at this week's Ashland Independent Film Festival, features 17-year-old Maris Degener, yoga instructor who has dealt with anorexia. 

If we had more money, we could probably turn our monthly Signals & Noise media segment into a 24-hour service. 

There's just THAT much to talk about in the media, all day and every day.  Especially since we define "media" broadly, to include everything from modern social media to books. 

Andrew Gay and Precious Yamaguchi from the Communication faculty at Southern Oregon University are our regulars.  We tee up some key issues in the media--like the promo copy all the anchors of Sinclair TV stations were required to read--and discuss. 

AIFF

It wasn't THAT long ago that people with developmental and intellectual disabilities ended up shunted away from society and placed in mental institutions, until they died.  We treat them better now, but better enough? 

That is the question Dan Habib asks in his film "Intelligent Lives," screening this weekend at the Ashland Independent Film Festival.  The film follows three people who challenge society's definition of intelligence, and pursue their dreams despite their own personal challenges. 

The historical portions of the film are narrated by the actor Chris Cooper; he and his wife had a son with cerebral palsy who experienced some of the same treatment as the subjects of the film.  The Coopers--Chris and Marianne Leone Cooper--are also executive producers of the film. 

Wikimedia

People are full of surprises.  And sometimes they surprise themselves, not in a good way. 

Can you honestly say you're aware of all your biases?  Police officers face a lot of scrutiny for their biases after many shooting incidents. 

Eureka Police take part in a program called Principled Policing, which includes attention to implicit bias and procedural justice. 

Weechie, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39180964

The world says "football," and we say "soccer."  We say "football," and the world says "huh?" 

Our version of football--pointy-ended ball and helmets--is not played in much of the world.  But soccer is the most popular sport in the world (under the name football).  And billions of people around the world will be watching the World Cup coming this summer, the quadrennial world championship. 

Where DID soccer come from, and how did it get so popular everywhere but here?  Answers to these questions and more appear in Laurent Dubois's book The Language of the Game: How to Understand Soccer

mdvaden/Wikimedia

It helps understand our region and its history when people take the time to jot down a few notes. 

Annice Olena Black comes from a family of historians who recorded tales of people and places in the Applegate Valley around Ruch. 

Annice is the focus of this month's edition of Stories of Southern Oregon.  She has many stories of her own to tell about her parents and their writing, including a book. 

sallyjermain/Pixabay

Got 20 cents?  Those two dimes represent the difference between what men and women make on EVERY dollar. 

True: women make, on average, 80 cents for every dollar men make.  The disparity is a hot topic of discussion on this day (April 10), Equal Pay Day

Oregon has some news to contribute to the day: an equal pay law passed by the legislature that goes into effect at the beginning of next year. 

Christopher Briscoe

"Get Your Kicks on Route 66," an old song says.  We're betting the song is familiar to Christopher Briscoe and his son Quincy. 

They took the famed highway of the song for a cross-country ride.  Not a drive, a ride... a 2700-mile bicycle ride that took them nearly two months.  It's the subject of their film "The Road Between Us."

Who did they meet and what did they see and why do it in the first place?  All topics for discussion as the Briscoes visit the studio before their film screens at the Ashland Independent Film Festival later this week (April 12-16). 

Mig Windows

Maybe you saw a play so good that you just HAD to talk to the actors when it was over.  Maybe you even uttered the phrase "you were so good," and then moved on. 

Ashland actor and filmmaker Mig Windows imagines such a meeting in her short film "You Were So Good," screening this week at the Ashland Independent Film Festival (April 12-16). 

Wikimedia

Technology may yet help us avoid the worst of climate change. 

But there are plenty of people who think it'll take more than science to solve the problems.  Because humans come with multiple skill sets. 

The Center for Environmental Futures at the University of Oregon examines environmental issues from a humanities perspective. 

Professor Stephanie LeMenager is one of the co-directors for the center. 

Check out the people blinking at the daylight in downtown Ashland starting next weekend.  Chances are their eyes are light sensitive from sitting in the dark, watching movies. 

The Ashland Independent Film Festival returns for another extended weekend of film viewing and presentations by filmmakers. 

And this year AIFF expands to a handful of events in Medford. 

Tom Smail, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20998887

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  The first sentence of the first amendment to the Constitution lays out the fundamental position on the state's dealings with religion--state in both senses. 

But like the rest of the Constitution, it is written vaguely enough for some interpretation.  So there's a constant back-and-forth about how MUCH room is needed between church and state. 

The name of Rob Boston's group is clear: Americans United for Separation of Church and State.  Boston gives a talk tonight (April 9) in Ashland. 

RV Symphony

Spring is in full swing as we roll out the April edition of our First Friday Arts Segment. 

We offer a series of chats on arts events coming to towns around the region, but it's all audience-driven: the phone calls make the segment. 

Call 800-838-3760 to be one of the participants; tell the audience about an event in the performing or visual arts coming soon. 

Wikimedia

A billion dollars.  That's what the most recent superhero movie, Black Panther, made at the box office, and that was as of a month ago. 

Superheroes are popular all over the world, still, 80 years after Superman first put on that red cape. 

Southern Oregon fans of superheroes and comics generally convene later this month (April 28-29) at Medford Comic Con, presented by Jackson County Library Services and Rogue Community College. 

The weekend offers plenty of chances for dress-up cosplay and other events. 

NASA/Public Domain

Humans can be a bit tough on nature, to put it mildly.  Paul Ehrlich generally does NOT put it mildly... he coined the term "population explosion" many years ago, and has continued to pound the point that people could lead to their own extinction, if they're not more careful. 

A book Ehrlich wrote with Gerardo Ceballos and his wife Anne Ehrlich brought him to the Exchange in 2015. 

The book is The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals.  It's a pretty book about an un-pretty subject. 

Pages