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.

California Air National Guard

Thousands of people lost their homes when wildfires swept through California north of the Bay Area last year.  And many of those people got confusing and just plain bad information from insurance adjusters sent to help them get back on their feet. 

Attorney Jon Eisenberg, who lost a house in the Oakland fire of 1991 and nearly lost his Healdsburg home last year, helped some of last year's fire victims untangle the insurance/legal snarl. 

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Camas Davis was a magazine editor with a desire to simplify her life. 

So she left New York for a job in her native Oregon, only to watch her dreams come apart in short order. 

So what next?  That's the story she tells in her memoir Killing It: An Education, about taking up with a family of French pig farmers and butchers, learning a whole new trade and outlook on life. 

Life, death, and dinner have not been the same since. 

Rico Shen/Wikimedia

We once called people "tinkers" if they spent time putting things together from parts, or fixed up worn-out gadgets with improvised fixes. 

But the expression of the moment is "maker," and Ashland will be the site of the Rogue Valley Mini Maker Faire in late September.  The call for makers, crafters, speakers, and sure, tinkers is on. 

Maker Faire organizers want to get the list locked up by August 17th. 

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Tayo Aluko can't get enough of Paul Robeson.  The singer/actor/activist sang "Old Man River" like nobody else, and left his stamp on American politics as well. 

Tayo Aluko gets to slip into the skin of the great performer in the one-man play "Call Mr. Robeson," which Aluko brings back to Ashland August 12-15. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

"Bad" and "awful" are common descriptors for the recent air quality in much of the region. 

Wildfire smoke has pushed the quality into official ranges from Moderate at best to Hazardous at worst. 

We've established in previous interviews that breathing the smoky air is  not quite like smoking cigarettes, but it does have its potential hazards. 

Jackson County Health and Human Services keeps the county up on smoke issues. 

Shasta County Sheriff's Office

The view from Redding on that Thursday night was terrifying. 

A thick curtain of smoke got between the city and the setting sun, and flames seemed to leap from ground to sky.  Scientists have confirmed that there really was a "firenado" as the Carr Fire brought its destruction into town. 

Daniel Swain at the Center for Climate Science at UCLA has been looking at the data.  Ryan Sandler at the National Weather Service in Medford knows how things usually work in the atmosphere.

Anthony Crider, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61769434

People have always harassed other people in the United States for being different. 

But the numbers of incidents seemed to climb after Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016. 

Activist Arjun Singh Sethi, himself the target of hate speech and actions, collects stories from people who've been harassed and worse in the book American Hate

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Smart meters are being installed in place of the old analog "wheel" meters in the region by Pacific Power.  But not without a fight, in some cases. 

There's a particularly sharp reaction to the meters and their wireless communication features, plus concerns about possible incendiary properties. 

We sought out a medical expert who knows something about Wi-Fi and whether it has carcinogenic properties.  Dr. Steven Seung is a radiation oncologist with Providence Cancer Institute in Portland. 

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People growing marijuana illegally in the forest don't care much who owns the forest. 

So while you hear plenty about illegal grows on federal Forest Service land, there have been many on tribal land in Northern California, too.  Have been, past tense, says the Yurok tribe. 

The tribe recently paused Operation Yurok, which focused on removing all large-scale pot grows on Yurok land. 

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The Great Depression lasted a dozen years in the United States, and was only replaced by World War II.  The Great Recession of 2008 ended a lot sooner.  Didn't it? 

Historian Adam Tooze takes a long, hard look at the more recent financial crisis and its causes, and even questions whether it's fully over. 

He also traces a number of world events--the rise of China, Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump--to the recession and its aftermath.  Tooze's book is Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World

Maybe you're pining for fall already, and a break from heat and smoke. 

But we've got long, warm days and maybe even a little time off from work.  That's the reason summer is so conducive to a little extra reading.  Or a lot, if we're lucky. 

Our Summer Reads segment is back for a second summer, visiting with local and locally-owned bookstores to get ideas for good summertime reads. 

Oregon Books and Games and The Rogue Reader, twin stores in Grants Pass, are the latest independent book stores to check in with some items for your reading consideration. 

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A complex of fires in Northern California are consuming more land than any other wildfire in the state’s history. They’ve burned 290,000 acres, an area that’s almost the size of the city of Los Angeles.

The Mendocino Complex fires are growing rapidly in three rural counties 100 miles north of San Francisco. Fire officials have evacuated entire towns, including Clearlake.

CalFire spokesman Ron Oatman says massive fires are burning through a diverse stretch of terrain.

inderwadhwa, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30365014

Now the whole country knows there is a Redding, California.  Which would be a good thing, if it weren't for the catastrophic fire that brought all the attention. 

The people working to bring visitors and businesses to the region have some work ahead of them, especially since there will almost assuredly be an economic hit from the devastation of the Carr Fire. 

The Redding Chamber is assessing the impacts, along with the Visit Redding people, who work closely with the Shasta-Cascade Wonderland Association

Jake Mangas runs the Chamber; Ed Rullman sits on the boards of Visit Redding and Shasta-Cascade, Bob Nash runs Superior California Economic Development

Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60192449

Our national parks are supposed to be places left in something like their original state.  But the fact that so many people visit them, and in warm seasons of the year, means air pollution is on the rise. 

A recent study found that ozone levels in national parks are on par with ozone levels in big U.S. cities. 

Which raises some issues about whether visits to the parks should be capped, or if vehicle traffic, the main source of ozone, should be sharply curtailed. 

Walter Gresham, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6409170

The famous "lost colony" of Roanoke Island, North Carolina, has a lot of myths built up around it.  How could a colony of 115 people just disappear? 

Much of our thinking about this 16th-century event comes from 19th-century accounts.  Science writer Andrew Lawler brings 21st-century analysis to the vanished English colony... and explores the possibility that the colonists just took up with local natives and never looked back. 

That's the thrust of The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke

Austin Jenkins/Northwest News Network

The federal government says marijuana is just plain illegal.  The state says it's legal for medical and recreational use. 

That's one level of complication... now what about at the local government level? 

Jackson County Administrator Danny Jordan says the phone rings a lot at county offices, with people asking questions about what is and is not legal in the growing of cannabis. 

Mészáros Zoltán, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49966768

When you think about all the processes that go on in our cars and trucks, it's something of a miracle that they work as well as they do.  There's a lot that can go wrong. 

And Zach Edwards makes a living from setting those things right again.  Zach is the owner of Ashland Automotive and a monthly visitor to The Exchange for our car-care segment, The Squeaky Wheel. 

What's squeaking or chattering or rubbing or grinding on your vehicle?

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Audrey Murray is a writer and comedian with a bit of an obsession with Russia.  Not in a mess-with-elections kind of way, mind you. 

But she did spend some time exploring the former republics of the Soviet Union, and got way more adventure than she bargained for. 

Audrey tells the story in her book Open Mic Night in Moscow

Oregon Cabaret Theatre

It's been a bumpy few weeks for the arts world.  Wildfire smoke has forced cancellations of outdoor plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and forced the Britt Orchestra indoors. 

But there's a lot of summer left, and a lot of great arts events planned for stages and galleries across this wide region. 

We get a list of the events in our monthly First Friday Arts segment.  You can listen and make plans, or you can call with details of an arts event near you... just call 800-838-3760 during the live airing of the show, Friday between 8 and 8:30 AM. 

A major big-city newspaper (New York Daily News) lays off half of its editorial staff. 

Its former owner runs into fresh interference at the FCC in an attempt to create a mega-group of television stations. 

And people keep tweeting... lots and lots of tweets.  Just another month in the media in 2018, a month we cover with our friends from the Communication faculty at Southern Oregon University

Precious Yamaguchi and Andrew Gay discuss media in a broad range, from books to digital media. 

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