News

Ashland New Plays Festival Rolls Out Readings

Oct 21, 2013

Just as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival approaches the end of its long season, its hometown plays host to a smattering of plays that may grace stages in the future.

The Ashland New Plays Festival returns this week, giving audiences a chance to see and hear readings of plays by playwrights both established and new. 

H. Zell/Wikimedia

Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but allowed for medicinal use under California and Oregon state law. 

In California, marijuana (legal and illegal) amounts to the state's biggest cash crop.

California Earthquake Faults Need Mapping

Oct 21, 2013
Jerrye & Roy Klotz MD/Wikimedia

Very few earthquake faults in California have been mapped over the past two decades despite an ambitious campaign launched in the early 1970's to help scientists learn more about the state's seismic activity.

The Los Angeles Times reports only 23 maps have been drawn since 1991 and there haven't been any between 2004 and 2011 because of budget cuts.

With their brand new release, Seven Hour Storm, Misner & Smith have created an album of vivid, poetic songwriting, filled with some of the finest harmony singing around. The album features lush, yet subtle arrangements, filling out an already rich sound that the duo is known for producing live.

Bringing Open Primaries Up For A Vote In Oregon

Oct 18, 2013
cursedthing/flickr

California used its top-two primary system for the first time in the 2012 elections. 

All the candidate run in the same primary, and the top two vote-getters--regardless of party--face each other in the general election. 

Solar Water Heat For Low-Income Californians

Oct 18, 2013
Pink Sherbet Photography

When you're struggling to make your monthly rent payment, you're generally not thinking about things like solar water heating. 

But the California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) is thinking along those lines. 

California May Legalize Marijuana

Oct 18, 2013
Jorge Barrios/Wikimedia

California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom says it's time for the state to get serious about legalizing marijuana. He says he is willing to put his political reputation on the line to make it happen.

Newson and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California announced Thursday that he is leading a blue-ribbon panel of medical, legal, and law enforcement experts who plan to spend the next 18-24 months studying how California can tax and regulate legal marijuana in an effective way.

Walden Votes Against Ending Shutdown

Oct 18, 2013
Official Congressional Portrait

Republican Greg Walden of Oregon voted against the bill to end the partial government shutdown.

He broke with Speaker John Boehner but aligned himself with most of the GOP caucus.

Loggers Can Go Back To Work

Oct 18, 2013
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Loggers may go back to work on national forests without waiting for federal agencies to lift logging bans prompted by the government shutdown.

Following a hearing in Medford yesterday, U.S. District Judge Owen Panner signed a temporary restraining order lifting the logging ban immediately.

Jorge Barrios/Wikimedia

Medical marijuana dispensaries will begin showing up in Oregon in the near future, thanks to a law passed by the state legislature this year. 

The Medford City Council recently voted to ban dispensaries, but the state law may trump that.

Learning Oregon's New School Rating System

Oct 17, 2013
Wootan01/Flickr

You can be forgiven if you have trouble keeping up with all of the changes taking place in public schools. 

Methods for testing students, teachers and entire schools continue to evolve. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera joined us on the Jefferson Exchange on Wednesday morning, October 16 (full audio here).

And when we asked him to share some of his work, he delivered a new poem, just written this morning on hotel stationery in Ashland.

Lucas/Wikimedia

Quick, what's the first thing any business needs to get started?

Money is bound to be the number one answer, but supporters and mentors would not be far behind. 

Chautauqua Poets and Writers

Both of our states can boast of official Poet Laureates, and today we meet with California's. 

Juan Felipe Herrera is a prolific poet, a professor at the University of California-Riverside, and the winner of several awards for his work. 

State Marijuana Laws Trump Local Ordinances

Oct 16, 2013

Oregon law trumps local laws that try to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.  Ashland Representative Peter Buckley who sponsored the measure passed by the Oregon legislature legalizing the dispensaries, says the state Legislative Counsel made that ruling yesterday.
 The law takes effect in March 2014.
The City of Medford has voted to prohibit any dispensaries in the city. The vote last month, and revealed this week, bans any business licenses if they violate local, state, or federal law.

Suing The Feds Over Wood Smoke Regulation

Oct 15, 2013
Katie Campbell/EarthFix

Too much wood smoke is bad for you. 

That's well established by research, and so the federal Environmental Protection Agency regulates the particulate matter that makes up wood smoke. 

When Letting The Forest Burn Is The Best Option

Oct 15, 2013
PNW #2 IMTeam

Fire helped create the forests of our region, but we've spent more than a century working very hard to stop fires from either starting or spreading. 

That has changed in recent years, but it's not an overnight process. 

California Loses Supreme Court Prison Ruling

Oct 15, 2013

The Supreme Court has rejected California's appeal of a lower-court order that could force the state to release thousands of California prison inmates before they complete their sentences.

The justices did not comment on their order yesterday, which leaves in place the earlier ruling by a panel of three federal judges requiring California to reduce its prison population by an additional 9,600 inmates to improve conditions.

California Governor Jerry Brown has argued that the state cannot meet that goal without releasing dangerous felons and jeopardizing public safety.

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Will Be Banned In Medford

Oct 15, 2013

Absolutely no medical marijuana dispensaries will be allowed in Medford, Oregon despite a state law that makes them legal next year, according to city officials.

Medford police chief Tim George says dispensing medical marijuana violates federal law and currently violates state law.

California Unemployment Computer Problems Known

Oct 15, 2013

California officials knew a computer upgrade for the state's unemployment insurance program was vulnerable to problems before it was installed.

The Sacramento Bee reports that officials underestimated how many unemployment claims would be affected by a glitch in the $188 million system upgrade.

The data-conversion problem eventually delayed jobless benefits for nearly $150,000 Californians.

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