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.

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If you've ever tried to manage a roomful of boys, you know how much of a challenge it can be. 

Janet Allison heartily agrees.  She realized from her first day teaching just how differently boys and girls move, live, and learn. 

So now she speaks and coaches about the best ways to educate boys, how best to work with their natural tendencies. 

Sandy Rae, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The best-laid plans in forest management can go awry.  Even controlled burns can have unintended consequences, as happened not long ago in the Ashland Forest Resiliency project. 

Although a controlled burn stayed within its designated lines, a few big trees that were meant to survive did not. 

So project managers took up a new strategy: plant sugar pines.  They used to be part of the landscape in the Ashland watershed, and fit the needs of the project--the overall intent of which is to keep catastrophic fire out of the watershed. 


"Ouch, my back" and its equivalent is heard frequently around the planet.  By some counts, more than half a Billion people suffer from low back pain at any point in time. 

Treatment for low back pain can take a number of different approaches.  And many of them are wrong, in the eyes of Dr. Roger Chou at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). 

He's part of a study team evaluating treatments like opioid painkillers. 

We have yet to find a musical genre that Josh Gross does not like. 

His enthusiasm for music in all forms is infectious, and reflected in his music columns and articles in the Rogue Valley Messenger

So we borrow that enthusiasm once a month, for our own Rogue Sounds segment.  Josh Gross returns to talk about the works and local appearances of a handful of bands. 


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,

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. 

Deviant Art/Wikimedia

Political figures are fond of making moves they say will help "the economy."  And often, out of sight, economists roll their eyes at the politicians. 

They rely upon each other, but economist Alan S. Blinder sees a dysfunctional relationship. 

And he demonstrates why in his book Advice and Dissent: Why America Suffers When Economics and Politics Collide.  Blinder advocates for more hard-headed but soft-hearted policies. 

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. 


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. 

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,

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. 


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. 

Richard Sniezko, US Forest Service, Public Domain,

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. 

Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon University has been recognized for five straight years as one of the country's Top 25 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges and Universities. 

Programs to ensure the inclusion of LGBTQ+ students abound.  And they include an upcoming session combining LGBTQ+ issues with leadership programs, “The Audacity: A Queer Leadership Experience.” 

MokshaDolphin / Flickr

The recent revelation that 50 million Facebook users had their personal information vacuumed up by a third party got a few people thinking their use of digital devices. 

It's a constant concern in a culture where people put a lot of time, energy, and information into phones and other devices. 

How long could you go without?  For Christina Cook, the answer is a month.  That's how long she performed an experiment in being un-wired, the story she tells in The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World

White Cloud Press

It all starts with dreams for Denise Kester.  Before the paints and oils and other materials of her art come the dreams. 

The animals and people that come to her in dreams end up on paper, in a complicated art process called monoprinting. 

The artist provides both instruction and insight in her book Drawing on the Dream: Finding my way by art

Anybody who knows a thing or two about railroads in our region knows the significant of Black Butte. 

It's the junction south of Weed where the Siskiyou Line of the former Southern Pacific, the old main line, meets its successor, the Cascade route: the current main line. 

Seems like a good place for some kind of celebration of railroad history.  And it is, through the efforts of the Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture

It is not strictly a railroad museum, because it incorporates railroad literature and music and other aspects of railroad culture.  And it is the focus of this month's edition of Underground History, our regular confab with the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology, SOULA. 


California is Venice Beach, with buff bodies and tiny tank tops.  No, it's the "hemp highway" between Mendocino and Humboldt counties. 

No, it's Death Valley.  Fisherman's Wharf?  Obviously, it's all of the above and much, much more, as related in the Sacramento Bee columns of travel writer Sam McManis. 

A new book collects some of his best columns: Crossing California: A Cultural Topography of a State of Wonder and Weirdness

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Many of the debates over state laws on abortion concern restrictions on clinics that perform abortions.  In California, nearly the opposite is true. 

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments on the FACT act (the California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act), which requires counseling centers where abortion is opposed to inform clients that abortions are available for free elsewhere. 

Free speech or forced speech?  That's what the justices have to consider,  and the California ProLife Council believes it is forced speech.