News

Chuck Grimmett

The acres and acres of land in the region planted in cannabis should have been a clue: growers were making too much product. 

The glut of marijuana crashed the market, bringing prices way down.  Great for consumers, but economically hazardous for the growers. 

There is one spot that may be bright for producers but a concern from other angles: marijuana usage appears to be on the rise in Oregon and in the other states that legalized weed for personal, recreational use. 

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis tracks the trend. 

California Lawmakers Want To Tax Sugary Drinks And Regulate Soda Sizes

Feb 20, 2019
Vox Efx / Flickr

How sodas are taxed, sold and marketed in California could change under a newly proposed package of bills.

Five state lawmakers each introduced a bill on Wednesday aimed at reducing the amount of sugary drinks that are sold in California. The suite of bills is co-sponsored by the California medical and dental associations.   

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Marthe Cohn escaped Nazi oppression in France before the Allies liberated the country.  But rather than celebrate the freedom, she chose to enter Germany--potentially lethal for a Jew--to spy for the French in the waning days of the war. 

It's a story she tells in her book Behind Enemy Lines, a story she'll recap in an appearance in Ashland on February 26th. 

Wikimedia Commons

We don't like to think about death.  And that's a problem when the event approaches and we've made no plans. 

It takes some advance thinking to stay healthy late in life and meet the end of life on our own terms.  Northern Californian Katy Butler walks us through the kind of thinking necessary in the book The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life

Bill To Stymie Offshore Drilling Passes Oregon Senate

Feb 20, 2019
catmoz via Pixabay

Oregon’s rugged coast is poised to grow even more inhospitable to oil and gas interests in coming days under a bill that passed the state Senate on Tuesday.

Ericka Soderstrom/JPR NEws

The Holly Theatre in Medford, built in 1930, was southern Oregon’s first true movie palace. Over the decades, it fell into disrepair and was once scheduled for demolition. Now, an eight-year effort to restore the theater to its former glory has taken a big leap.


pixabay

Layoffs and even bankruptcy have burdened Oregon newspapers this year, and it’s only February.

Adding to the list are the Ashland Daily Tidings and the Medford Mail Tribune, which lost five editorial positions this month.

Rogue Theater Company

A place that probably already has more stage plays per capita than just about anywhere just got more. 

The Rogue Valley is now home to an additional outfit, the Rogue Theater Company, lighting up an Ashland stage with its first production in early March.  "Fragments" is written by RTC Artistic Director Jessica Sage; it draws from her own life growing up on New York's Long Island.  Ashland theater veteran Liisa Ivary directs the production. 

Public Domain

The title of Oregon's new five-year housing plan is aspirational: "Breaking New Ground."  The report is part of a state effort to spur the building of new housing, with an emphasis on housing affordable to people who do not make much money. 

The report shows more than a quarter of Oregon's low-income residents spend more than half their pay on rent.  The report comes from OHCS, the Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services

Wikimedia

Insects outweight humans on the Earth.  So when the large numbers of insects become somewhat smaller numbers, there is cause for concern. 

A long-term review of scientific research shows insects going instinct at an alarming rate; up to 40 percent of all species could be at risk. 

Entomologists can give us some insight into causes and effects; Alan Journet of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now is retired, but paying plenty of attention.  So is Lynn Kimsey at the University of California-Davis, as well as Kristina Lefever at the Pollinator Project Rogue Valley.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy has set off a financial race among creditors, bondholders, wildfire victims, insurers and others hoping to recover as much money as they can from California’s largest utility. The road to rehabilitation is expected to be twisty and long, lasting two to three years.

stevepb/Pixabay

We trust that regulators will make sure nothing deadly gets into our food.  But that doesn't mean our food is completely pesticide-free. 

Recent research by Friends of the Earth and Eugene-based Beyond Toxics sampled store-bought foods away from the organic aisle.  The research found measurable amounts of pesticides in many products, including breakfast cereals and produce like spinach and apples. 

Janna Nichols/REEF via UC Davis

Sea stars--starfish to the kids--took a pounding from an undetermined pathogen along the West Coast several years ago.  Since them, some populations of sea stars have rebounded. 

But not sunflower sea stars.  These creatures, given the name because of multiple arms that make them resemble sunflowers, are still very hard to find in waters close to shore. 

The zone extends from Baja California to Alaska.  Researchers from University of California-Davis,  Cornell University, and other institutions are tracking the situation. 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

More than 30 hospitals across California, many in rural areas, will soon be able to treat patients for opioid withdrawal on the spot.

The state chose the hospitals for a federally-funded program that trains doctors on medication-assisted treatment. It’s a way of easing opioid withdrawal symptoms by giving someone a less addictive painkiller.

marcino/Pixabay

Societal attitudes and laws may be changing, but it can still be a real challenge growing up LGBTQ.  Research from the University of Texas Department of Human Development and Family Sciences bears this out. 

The research, based on student surveys in California, shows that LGBTQ youth are more likely to be living either in unstable living situations or in foster than straight kids. 

True South Solar

Will there come a day when all of our electricity truly comes from renewable sources?  If so, Eric Hansen plans to be ready. 

He is the founder of True South Solar, which installs photovoltaic panels all over the Rogue Valley.  The business has grown since Hansen and Shawn Schreiner started the company not quite ten years ago. 

It is the focus of our business segment, The Ground Floor, this month. 

ODOT

UPDATE: Friday, 2/15, 5:30 a.m. --  A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for all of southwest Oregon, including the Sikiyous and south Cascades, Jackson County, east Curry and Josephine Counties, east and central Douglas County and the Klamath Basin.

Courtesy PG&E

UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 15, 4:30 p.m. -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company issued this update:

More than 250 PG&E workers and partner utility workers are in the North Valley, where heavy, low-elevation snow and heavy rains on Wednesday fell trees and damaged power lines and poles.

The extensive damage to PG&E equipment, coupled with blocked roads and snowy terrain, impacted 60,000 PG&E customers at its peak on early Wednesday morning. 

As of 4 p.m. Friday, about 22,000 customer remain without power, most of them – or about 19,000 – are in Shasta County, which was hit especially hard by severe weather.

Nearly 3,000 are without power in Tehama County communities of Cottonwood, Lyonsville, Mineral, Mill Creek and Manton.

With adverse weather this weekend, there may be fresh power outages. PG&E crews and its partner crews are working to assess and repair damages to electric equipment.  

michaelpjensen.com

As you survey the current landscape of unscripted "reality" and game shows on broadcast TV, it's hard to imagine the major networks having a fight over Shakespeare.  But they did, way back in radio days. 

Both NBC and CBS broadcast adaptations of Shakespeare plays in 1937, a situation Rogue Valley writer Michael Jensen explores in his book The Battle of the Bard: Shakespeare on U.S. Radio in 1937

William Smith

The groundhog has come and gone, the Valentine gifts are half-eaten or starting to wilt, and the rain is coming in buckets. 

What food could dispel the mid-winter gloom?  Citrus!  Will Smith, our partner for the Savor food segment, says the brightly colored orbs definitely raise the spirits. 

Geoffrey Stewart, the produce buyer at the Ashland Food Coop, visits with talk of varieties. 

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