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. Participate at:  800-838-3760.  Email:   Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.  Find the News & Information station list here.

Or suggest a guest for The Exchange.

Stewardship Council

There's an old line directed to gullible people: "if you believe that, I have some swamp land I'd like to sell you."  Is it better if the swamp is just given away? 

The McArthur Swamp in Shasta County is under new ownership as of a few months ago, when Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) finished conveying the nearly 7,700 acres of land to several entities in several ways. 

It's part of larger effort by the utility to protect some of its land. 

It has become nearly impossible to avoid noticing homeless people in just about any community of any size in our region. 

High rents, low vacancy rates, low wages... they are among a long list of contributing factors to homelessness in all corners of the "state of Jefferson." 

We explore the situation in many of the counties we serve, with a series of interviews under the banner "Out in the Cold."  We begin with Mendocino County, very rural but also very close to the San Francisco metropolitan area. 


Congress passed it, the president signed it, everybody argued about it. 

How WILL the new federal tax bill affect you?  It certainly depends on how much money you make. 

There are other wrinkles in there, too, especially for states like Oregon with high local and state taxes. 

The Oregon Center for Public Policy has been watching the development of the tax legislation and parsing the wording.  Daniel Hauser is a policy analyst for OCPP and our guest.

The Christmas carols may be behind us, but the music never stops. 

Certainly not for Josh Gross, the music editor at the Rogue Valley Messenger

Once a month, the day BEFORE First Friday, Josh visits with news of bands coming to play at venues in the region, with a particular emphasis on the Rogue Valley. 

We call it "Rogue Sounds."

"Up in the air, junior birdmen..."  Older listeners might recognize the song, but we'll apply it to today's crop of young people interested in learning about aviation. 

Southern Oregon Air Academy responds to that interest by teaching students as young as elementary school about flying. 

SOAA just got a big chunk of money from the State of Oregon to expand its programs, based at the Grants Pass airport. 


Few people can deny the housing crunch felt all over our region.  Low vacancy rates and high rents demonstrate the problem. 

But just HOW can any community spur the construction of new housing for people at all income levels?  That's a question asked out loud by the Housing Advisory Committee in Grants Pass. 

The committee plans a series of public meetings and forums meant to encourage the development of more housing. 

Ladislav Mecir, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Do you still write checks at the grocery store?  Or has the debit card long since become your medium of exchange? 

Most of us still work with dollars... but there's certainly an intriguing allure to the talk of Bitcoin and other digital currency, especially since Bitcoin's value has zoomed of late. 

You are not alone if you are having some trouble understanding how digital currencies work.  Scientific American has been all over the story.  Senior Editor Jen Schwartz got an education herself. 

Benjamin Esham/Wikimedia

Before we get fully immersed in 2018, just one more day of interviews from Exchanges past.  

At 8: life in timber country, with all of its highs and lows.  Robert Leo Heilman settled in Myrtle Creek a long time ago, and writes endearingly of the area in Overstory: Zero; Real Life in Timber Country


Happy New Year!  Nobody in a mood to get up early this morning? 

Count us there... along with most potential guests.  So we offer up a pair of gems from previous Exchanges.  

At 8: Debra Zaslow teaches storytelling, and told her own story of caring for a dying grandmother, in Bringing Bubbe Home

University of California-Davis

The Northern spotted owl takes the blame for the decline in logging in much of the Northwest.  Yet the numbers of owls continue to drop. 

This is true of the owl's close relative, the California spotted owl, which is not listed under the Endangered Species Act. 

Researchers from the Universities of Wisconsin and Minnesota are keeping an eye on California owl populations.  They theorize that the kind of habitat the owls favor takes a long time to grow. 


Public schools are struggling in California by several measures.  One of them is just in teaching children to read. 

The pro bono legal firm Public Counsel filed suit against the state in early December, on the grounds that students are denied access to literacy, which is required in the California Constitution. 

Is there a "right to read?" 

Simon and Schuster

Spend just a few minutes at Megan Amram's Tumblr page or on her Twitter feed, and you quickly get a feel for her unquenchable sense of humor. 

She uses it for a living, writing for TV shows like "The Good Place."  And the sense of humor works between the covers of a book, too. 

Amram is the author of Science...For Her! A politically, scientifically, and anatomically incorrect textbook beautifully tailored for the female brain.  Or what men THINK they know of the female brain. 

Megan Amram joined us in November 2014 upon the book's original release. 


You can be forgiven if you thought you might be part of the #metoo movement, but really were not sure. 

What DOES constitute sexual harassment in the workplace?  While it's true that community standards change over time, the law is clear. 

And offered up with further clarity by the nonprofit Workplace Fairness

Tuality Healthcare/Jeff Schilling

Ballots arrive in a little more than a week for Oregon's January 23rd election.  It features exactly one item: Ballot Measure 101, a vote on a tax on some healthcare providers and insurance premiums, to fully fund the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon's version of Medicaid. 


Life does not always live up to our expectations.  Is the problem life, or the expectations? 

Christine Hassler, coach, speaker, and host, says it's the expectations. 

In fact, she coins a term for that situation and uses it for the title of a book: Expectation Hangover: Overcoming Disappointment in Work, Love, and Life.  The book lays out ways to keep the expectations realistic, so the sense of accomplishment is obtainable. 

Nicolas Vigier/Wikimedia

Racism has flared anew in our country in recent years. 

Parts of our region were hospitable to racists, including Klan members, nearly a century ago.  But white supremacist recruiting posters have shown up in recent months in Grants Pass and other communities. 

Yes, there is free speech, but police also have some tools, in particular if it is hate speech. 

Heart and Hope Music

It's not generally considered a medical device, but the guitar does have some healing properties.  At least that's how it's used by Rogue Valley musician Donny Roze. 

As the founder and executive director of Heart and Hope Music, he and his guitar go where they are needed to bring a little cheer... to adult foster care homes and assisted living facilities and other places where aging people congregate. 

And they don't just listen; they sing and play instruments, too.  More such sessions will be possible with recent grants from the Oregon Community Foundation and other organizations.

Public Domain

Mark Twain is a giant of American literature, but mostly for characters he created.  The people in his real life get much less attention. 

Or did, until the publication of his writing about his loved ones; his wife and daughters and household staff. 

Editor Benjamin Griffin put much of that work in A Family Sketch and Other Private Writings

Griffin is one of the editors at the Mark Twain Project, aimed at putting previously unknown Twain writing before the public. 


The Exchange returns for the last week of the year, but starting with a few favorites from programs past. 

At 8:00 - A Chinaman's Chance: One Family's Journey and the Chinese American Dream.  Author Eric Liu writes about his own experience in America, and casts a wider focus on Chinese Americans generally.


The Exchange crew could resist neither the allure of Santa Claus nor a three-day weekend; our program takes a break in favor of these holiday specials: at 8:00 - Earth Is Our Home: Living on Earth's annual holiday show is back!

The program features and stories from three performers about living on Earth, sharing the planet and universal themes of the season.

The roster includes storyteller Jay O'Callahan, singer Denny Breau, and green hip-hop artist Tem Blessed.