The climate news just gets grimmer all the time.  Nature continues to add insult to injury

Example: the recent study that shows the increase in temperature becomes more pronounced during droughts... which also appear to be more frequent as the planet heats up. 

Felicia Chiang is a doctoral candidate in civil engineering at the University of California-Irvine. 

Jessie Eastland, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Racism is alive and well in America.  Which should not surprise us, given its long history in the country. 

Few places would admit to being "sundown towns" now, but many once bore that moniker; they were places where African-Americans were expected to be out of town by sundown, at the risk of limb or life. 

James Loewen began researching sundown towns, expecting to find maybe 50 across the country.  He found thousands, including Grants Pass and others in our region. 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A coalition of good-government groups, social justice organizations, affordable housing advocates and teachers unions held press conferences across the state this week announcing they had submitted signatures for a measure that would significantly increase property taxes on California businesses and generate tens of billions in revenue for local and state governments.


Businesses can go to college, too. 

Small Business Development Centers like the one at Southern Oregon University provide advice to entrepreneurs and small businesses to help them launch and stay airborne. 

Most of the advice and guidance are provided free of charge.  But a new, intensive, nine-month program called the Small Business Management program starts this fall, and does charge a fee.

Todd Tippin is the trainer/advisor for the program. 


The people who lived here for thousands of years before white people arrived knew how to feed themselves.  And the traditional knowledge has not been lost; in fact, it is being revived over time. 

The Karuk Tribe and the University of California-Berkeley developed a partnership several years ago to rebuild Traditional Ecological Knowledge. 

Now that partnership got a boost, a grant of $1.2 Million from the federal Department of Agriculture to develop resilience in tribal food and plant resources in the face of climate change. 

Oregon Forecast Predicts Hot, Dry, Smoky Autumn; Likely Little Relief On The Way

Aug 20, 2018
Geoffrey Riley/JPR

There appears to be little relief from the hot, dry and smoky conditions that have plagued Oregon this summer.


People love to go look at baby animals, but that's not really the purpose of SOAR Wildlife Center in the Green Springs outside Ashland. 

SOAR stands for Southern Oregon Animal Rehabilitation; the plan is to "rescue, rehabilitate, release."  So the center does not give tours and does not make a lot of money for its efforts. 

Tiffany Morey created the center and has ridden the ups and downs of getting baby animals back to the wild. 


Of all the businesses you could start in today's world, would a bank be on top of the list? 

The megabanks seem to rule the business, continually buying up the local operations.  Yet one regional outfit, People's Bank of Commerce, has managed to stay local and independent for 20 years now. 

How is the number one question for Ken Trautman, who started the bank with Mike Sickels.  Ken is our guest in this month's edition of The Ground Floor, our survey of entrepreneurs in the region. 

Classically-trained singer/pianist Olivia Chaney graduated from England’s Royal Academy of Music, before teaching herself guitar and Indian harmonium, delving back to the inspiration behind the British folk revivalists. She has since built a loyal and growing following as a songwriter and interpreter, both in the UK and internationally, through her acclaimed and eclectic live performances and much lauded recorded works.

Breakthrough In Effort To End Cash Bail In California

Aug 16, 2018
Ben Adler/Capital Public Radio

A years-long quest to end cash bail in California is heading for a showdown in the Legislature as soon as early next week after the bill's author released closely guarded details Thursday.

Ian Poellet, CC BY-SA 3.0,

We're long past the days when we ignored and abused our streams to the point where they'd actually catch fire (Cuyahoga River, Cleveland, 1969). 

But our flowing waterways still need plenty of attention to be able to support all the creatures that live in them and depend upon them. 


Nothing like a little closeness to nature to get your mind off something bothering you.  It works for many people in many circumstances. 

Pam Mindt has a story to tell in this vein; she's a retired colonel in the National Guard who served in Iraq, among many places.  And she likes bees. 

She found that beekeeping was therapeutic, both for her and for buddies coping with PTSD at the Central Oregon Veterans Ranch

Renowned Oregon Wolf OR-7 Is A Father Again

Aug 16, 2018

Gray wolf OR-7 may be quite long in the tooth, but he’s still got what it takes in the den.

Federal wolf biologists released new trail-camera footage Tuesday showing that OR-7 and his mate had three pups this spring.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

The tourism business is taking a pounding in the region this year.  Even the people who love living here don't want to stick around when the wildfire smoke gets too thick. 

Outdoor events have been cancelled, and visitors have voluntarily cancelled many more. 

So how do you convince visitors to follow through on planned visits?  That's an question the Ashland Chamber of Commerce has been mulling, along with the people at Travel Southern Oregon


Bee appreciation continues its upswing in the United States.  Just take a look in your neighborhood, and see if any of your neighbors have planted pollinator gardens. 

Honeybees and their output are celebrated at the Oregon Honey and Mead Festival, coming this weekend to Ashland. 

Sharon Schmidt is a beekeeper and the festival founder.  She visits the studio, while we get Amina Harris on the phone. 

Dr. Harris is the director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the University of California-Davis. 


When you're based in The Beaver State, once in a while you'll get around to talking about beavers.  And we do, with Ben Goldfarb. 

He wrote a book called Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter.

That last phrase is the key; beavers were instrumental in creating the landscape that early white visitors found when they arrived in the region. 

And those visitors promptly set about trapping the beavers, thus changing the landscape.  Can it look like that again? 

Where Do People Get Money To Buy California Homes These Days? Often, From Mom And Dad

Aug 14, 2018
Signe Larsen / KPCC

When Melanie Gerber started working as a mortgage loan officer in Riverside seven years ago, she didn't see many first-time buyers hitting up their parents for help.

Now she sees it all the time.


College is expensive, and housing is tight in much of the country.  So it should not be much of a surprise to learn that some students are technically homeless while they go to college. 

A study released earlier this year showed that across the California State University system, more than 10% of students were at risk of homelessness at some point in the academic year, and another 41% experienced food insecurity. 

Jennifer Maguire at Humboldt State and Rashida Crutchfield at Long Beach State joined forces for the study.  They join us to lay out some of the facts. 

Breathing Wildfire Smoke Every Summer Could Have Long-Term Consequences

Aug 14, 2018
USFS/Darren Stebbins

The skies across much of the Northwest are choked with smoke from wildfires. 

Air quality east of the Cascade Mountains has deteriorated as wildfires burn across Oregon and Washington. In Southern Oregon, the air is hazardous. In Central Washington, air quality is unhealthy for everyone.

New Air Quality App Maps Oregon Wildfire Smoke Dangers

Aug 14, 2018
Geoffrey Riley | JPR News

Oregon’s new air-quality web site has had nearly a half-million visits since wildfire activity picked up July 15, creating smoky skies over much of the state.