April Ehrlich

Morning Edition Host/Jefferson Exchange Producer

April Ehrlich began freelancing for Jefferson Public Radio in 2016. She officially joined the team as Morning Edition Host and a Jefferson Exchange producer in August 2017.

April previously worked as a reporter covering local government, housing, and the environment in rural Oregon and Idaho. She also served a two-year stint with AmeriCorps, where she worked with nonprofits helping low-income communities in rural Oregon. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English at Cal-State University, Fullerton, where she worked as an editor for the campus paper.

April spends her free time hiking through nearby forests with a rambunctious border collie or reading fiction at home with her two favorite cats.

Wildlifeimages.org

Wildlife Images near Grants Pass started simply: take animals that have been injured, rehabilitate them, and return them to the wild, when possible. 

Easier said than done, because animal healthcare and rehab can get tricky indeed. 

But the organization has been doing it for nearly 40 years now, through snow and smoke and whatever else nature throws at animals and the facility. 

Ascentron.com

The technology sector of the economy is about ideas; cool new things that can make the world a better place.  But after the ideas, somebody's got to make the stuff. 

And that's where Ascentron, based in White City, comes in.  The company manufactures a variety of items, from printed circuit boards to complete assemblies, for industries ranging from medical to military. 

And the company managed to survive the recession of several years ago. 

This month's edition of The Ground Floor, our business segment, focuses on Ascentron and its ascent (sorry). 

Wikimedia

Maybe John Wayne provided the most iconic example, the image of the "manly man" inhabiting the American West during settlement.  It was indeed a society dominated by men, so you could not blame a woman for feeling excluded. 

Oregon author John Larison explores in fiction what that feeling might lead to, in the novel Whiskey When We're Dry.  His main character, Jessilyn Harney, decides to pass as a man in society, for a variety of reasons. 

Jackson County Cultural Coalition

Who would come to see a play with the actors just standing and reading off a script?  Lots of people, it turns out.  Especially if the plays are new works still in development. 

The Ashland New Plays Festival presents four plays (twice each) to packed houses every October. 

ANPF returns Wednesday, October 17th through Sunday, October 21st, with another slate of plays, plus workshops. 

socompasshouse.org

Fall down and hurt yourself, and there's a good chance someone will come to your aid.  Develop a mental illness, and the circumstances are different. 

Society still misunderstands and even fears mental illness.  Southern Oregon Compass House in Medford works to ease club members into society, and shares stories with us every month in a segment called Compass Radio. 

This month we meet Mihn and Dan and hear about their struggles with both mental illness and blindness. 

Oregon Senate District 3 is a hot commodity.  The switch of the seat from Democrat to Republican in a special election two years ago changed the course of business in the Oregon Legislature. 

Incumbent Alan DeBoer chose not to run again, opening the door for Democrat Jeff Golden and Republican Jessica Gomez

They join us for a candidate forum co-sponsored by JPR and Southern Oregon University, held on the evening of October 11th. 

Wikimedia/Public Domain

California continues to pass laws--like the recent net neutrality bill--that challenge the rest of the nation to keep up.  With a huge chunk of the country's population, the state is in a position to lead. 

So it could be highly influential in healthcare legislation.  Should the state stick with the battered Affordable Care Act, or could it set up a single-payer system of its own? 

These are questions Richard Scheffler mulls; he is a healthcare economist at the University of California-Berkeley. 

Georg_Wietschorke/Pixabay

For 25 years now, people enthusiastic about keeping birds on the planet have celebrated World Migratory Bird Day.  One teensy little problem: birds don't all migrate at the same time, so the day has been observed on different dates in different parts of the world. 

So many organizations just observe the Year of the Bird.  Klamath Bird Observatory in Ashland works to protect birds and educate people about them. 

The Storm That Blew Oregon Away

Oct 10, 2018
Oregon Historical Society, PGE Collection

Weather forecasting was not very sophisticated in 1962, and Western Oregon paid a price for that lack. 

The Columbus Day storm blew onshore with winds in excess of 100 miles an hour, toppling buildings and trees and more. 

Dozens of people died in the storm, described in John Dodge's new book A Deadly Wind.  The book is from Oregon State University Press; OSU itself sustained heavy damage in the storm. 

bizmology.hoovers.com

California is one of just a handful of states that allows rent control, but the price caps on rent are limited by the Costa-Hawkins act of the mid-1990s. 

So it should surprise no one that the limits on rent control are being challenged in the November election.  Proposition 10 would repeal Costa-Hawkins, allowing more flexibility for cities to put controls on rents. 

The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and the Yes on Prop 10 campaign support the repeal. 

The current version of Oregon's 2nd Congressional District has never elected a Democrat to represent it. 

The district stretches from Grants Pass to the Idaho state line, and contains far more registered Republicans than Democrats.  But Jamie McLeod-Skinner is putting great effort into capturing the congressional seat from 20-year incumbent Greg Walden. 

McLeod-Skinner joins us to talk about her qualifications and positions.  

Philipp Hertzog/Wikimedia

The numbers and reports about the Earth's temperature are fairly grim.  By the most recent accounts, there's little chance we can avoid having temperatures rise sharply this century. 

But that doesn't mean we should not try.  BF Nagy is all for the effort, and he takes a practical and positive approach for people to follow, in his book The Clean Energy Age: A Guide to Beating Climate Change

Nagy says he doesn't want to shame or scold, just make some progress in arresting the change. 

Rogue Retreat

Rogue Retreat has several programs in place to get people living on the streets into housing.  And it recently got approval from the City of Medford to expand Hope Village, its tiny house community. 

To help raise awareness and money, former Hope Village residents and volunteers are spending a night each in one of the tiny houses, parked at the Rogue Valley Mall in Medford.  The Overnight Challenge runs through October. 

U.S. Fish & Wildlife

After a long and costly fire season, few people want to talk about burning trees.  Unless it's their job to do so. 

We're reminded frequently that fire is a natural part of life in our forests, and the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership is right in the middle of its annual training exchange, or TREX. 

The 13-day event involves controlled burns and many other activities related to fire-adapted ecosystems. 

João Felipe C.S./Public Domain

We probably all have farming in our family backgrounds.  Once upon a time, more than 80 percent of the American population was involved in agriculture. 

Jania Schiefer-Wolff can name her ag ancestors, because they include her parents.  Jania herself is a farmer, with Not-So-Mini Pigs and Vogel Dairy. 

She is our focus in this month's Stories of Southern Oregon, curated by Maureen Flanagan Battistella. 

rheins/Wikimedia

People are still reading a book written 2,500 years ago.  But the Tao Te Ching can be dense and difficult to understand in today's world, where the time to let its lessons soak in can be lacking. 

Francis Pring-Mill addresses the concern in the book In Harmony with the Tao: A Guided Journey Into the Tao Te Ching

Pring-Mill's book includes a complete and well-regarded English translation of the Tao by Stephen Mitchell, along with some guidance to understanding the meaning. 

Mount Shasta is the very visible volcano in Siskiyou County.  But a few dozen miles away lies Medicine Lake Highlands, a shield volcano (flatter) that stretches on for miles. 

It is geologically and culturally significant, both to natives of the region and beyond.  And it is a potential site of geothermal energy production. 

As you might guess, the proposals to drill wells for geothermal development met with stiff opposition, both from the Pit River Tribe and the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center

USFS/Darren Stebbins

How bad was last summer for tourism in the region?  Millions of dollars bad, with cancellations and actual destruction from fire and smoke reaching new levels. 

California, Oregon, and Washington tourism officials have banded together as the West Coast Tourism Recovery Coalition, with one major goal: convince potential visitors that it's safe to visit here.  That might be tricky, especially since longtime residents have their own complaints about the quality of life in the summer. 

Visit California and Travel Oregon officials are assembling plans and approaches. 

insidesou.edu

50 years ago, kids looked forward to Columbus Day, because it usually meant they got October 12th off from school.  Times and attitudes toward Christopher Columbus and his "discovery" of America have changed. 

Now the day--the second Monday in October--is often observed in honor of the people Columbus found upon his arrival; it's called Indigenous Peoples Day.  Southern Oregon University is one of several places that hold special events to mark the day. 

Public Domain, Wikimedia

Banks and post offices took the day off, calling it Columbus Day.  Other people choose to observe the (approximate) date of Columbus's arrival in the "new world" with Indigenous Peoples Day. 

Our knowledge of Columbus and the effects of his discoveries is known better over time.  Which raises the question for educators and society at large: how teach the story of Columbus and what he wrought? 

Jefferson Greene is a cultural liaison at the Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs

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