The Jefferson Exchange Team

Jefferson Exchange Team

The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. John Baxter is the senior producer, April Ehrlich is the producer and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.

To contact the producers to pitch a segment idea or make a comment about the show, email them at or call 541-552-7075.

John Stanley Ford was extremely pleased to be hired at IBM, where he was the company's first black software engineer.  And for a long time, the only black software engineer. 

Racism held Ford back and made him bitter, and ultimately affected his relationship with his son.  But Clyde Ford followed his father to work at IBM, albeit with a very different approach. 

Clyde Ford unfolds the story in his book Think Black


Parts of New Orleans sit below sea level.  And the city gets reminded more frequently these days, most notably in Hurricane Katrina 15 years ago. 

Ashlander Barret O'Brien is from New Orleans, and his play about people stuck in a bar in a flood, "Water Made to Rise," opens tomorrow (February 13th) in Ashland. 

O'Brien is taking a year off from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to mount this independent production on Earth's changing climate. 


The federal government began planning for Real ID years ago, and as of October 1, 2020, identification that meets Real ID standards will be required to board a plane at any domestic airport. 

And that's a potential problem for Oregonians, because the state's driver's licenses do not currently meet Real ID standards--and won't until July. 

There are other forms of ID, including passports, that already meet the standards. 


The insurance rates seem good, but the "service charges" on the bill cancel the savings.  The terms of the mortgage are okay, but what are all these additional charges? 

We face a dizzying array of fees and additional charges on many transactions, and they can bury a person who doesn't have much money to start with.  Devin Fergus examines the extent of the situation in his book Land of the Fee: Hidden Costs and the Decline of the American Middle Class


There are many approaches being tried to deal with the region's housing shortage.

Klamath County found that there just weren't enough contractors in the county to build the housing needed. So the County Commissioners recently instituted a contractor incentive program.

OSU Extension Service

Cows! Chickens! Crops!  Children in 4-H learn to grow these and more, and have been doing so for more than a century. 

4-H in the Rogue Valley is the subject of this month's edition of Stories of Southern Oregon, which focuses on people who live on and/or work on the land. 

Lena Hosking is the current coordinator of 4-H in Jackson County (head, heart, hands, and health, if you're wondering about the Hs).  She visits with Deb Brown, a farmer and 4-H advisor. 

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, CC BY 2.0,

Your friend really bugged you with that Facebook post about politics.  So you blocked her.  Then you went back and "unfriended" her. 

Easy come, easy go in the age of digital friendships.  These are a source of concern to many people, including journalist Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips. 

She shares her own experiences, and those of doctors, scientists, teachers, and more, in the book The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World

US Fish & Wildlife

You found a feather on the ground when you got home last night, and you just don't know which bird it came from.  Enter The Feather Atlas

It is a website set up by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's forensics laboratory in Ashland, and it provides a place to compare the feather you found with images of bird flight feathers compiled by the site. 

Steller's jay or scrub jay?  There IS a difference...

NinasCreativeCorner /Pixabay

You can learn a lot about a society by what its people eat.  And, for that matter, who cooks the food for that society. 

That is among the threads of research pursued by Diana Garvin, an assistant professor in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon.  She is our guest in this month's edition of Curious: Research Meets Radio. 

Listen as we explore the food history of Italy, and what it reveals about the people who prepare food (mostly women), and how roles changed under Fascism. 


If you've been reading the news about disappearing species and thinking "yikes, what can I do?", Douglas Tallamy has a few ideas. 

You know those pollinator gardens springing up here and there?  That's one idea. 

Tallamy, a scientist at the University of Delaware, offers a suite of ideas in his new book Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard


The luck of the calendar (or lack thereof) put the first Friday in February at the END of the first week. 

No matter; we will roll out our First Friday Arts segment just the same, even though only 22 days follow.  Thank goodness for leap years. 

First Friday Arts celebrates arts events of all kinds; musical, visual, terpsichorean, you name it.  And it's all listener-provided content, put on the air by arts organizations and friends calling 800-838-3760 to share news of their arts events. 


We can only hope all those people enjoyed their beaver hats and coats.  Because decimating the beaver population altered landscapes all over the world. 

How different might our warming world be if we brought beavers back to our ecosystems?  This is a question considered by the film "Beaver Believers," a centerpiece of the Siskiyou Film Fest, coming to Grants Pass on Sunday (February 9th). 


"Political hobbyism?"  Is that what you're doing, if you vote regularly, attend the occasional rally, and consume political news? 

Could be, says political scientist Eitan Hersh.  He works to convert political hobbyists into more active and engaged citizens, in his book Politics Is for Power: How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, and Make Real Change


The U.S. wine industry faces some headwinds, observers say.  Rob McMillan is one of the observers; he is an executive at Silicon Valley Bank and the compiler of an annual report on the state of the wine industry. 

The report lists the challenges facing the wine business, but finds some of those challenges absent in Oregon, where the industry continues to grow by double digits. 

McMillan will report on his findings at the Oregon Wine Symposium next week. 


How many of us are there?  We'll know later this year, when results of the 2020 federal census begin rolling in. 

The Census Bureau is mustering a wide array of resources, including a program communicating the importance of the census to children in school.  The Statistics in Schools program (SIS) launched earlier in the school year, and it gives teachers and students tools to work on projects demonstrating the importance of the census and the information it collects. 


The world is riveted on the novel coronavirus.  And with good cause; this week the number of cases worldwide climbed over 20,000--most of them in China. 

Tanya Lewis, an editor at Scientific American, spent some time studying the virus and its effects.  And she published a recent paper on the biology of the pathogen

Summer Colds Facebook page

Ah, February.  It's barely begun before it's gone.  But there's plenty of time to plug in a few guitars and keyboards and play some tunes. 

Musician/composer/performer/writer Josh Gross keeps track of musical acts visiting the region.  He visits once a month for Rogue Sounds, a perusal of a short list of musical acts planning gigs in the coming weeks. 


Hemp-mania showed up in the region in the last couple of years.  The federal legalization of industrial hemp, marijuana's non-stoner sibling, opened the floodgates for production. 

Now there's a move to blur the line between the two kinds of cannabis.  Some hemp farmers want a higher level of THC--the stoner chemical--allowed in hemp.


When the 20th century began, 60 percent of the American population lived in rural areas.  Today?  Roughly 20 percent. 

That makes rural areas lacking in population density and companionship, and it's having an effect on the residents.  Social isolation is a concern in many parts of the country, but the sheer distance to other people can make the concern acute in rural areas. 

And it can affect overall health, not just mental health.  Carrie Henning-Smith at the University of Minnesota recently co-authored a report on rural isolation


Peer pressure is a powerful thing.  Did Americans stop smoking because of all the government ads pointing out their dangers?  Or because when a few people stopped, it made it easier for the people around them to stop?  Probably both factors were involved.  

And peer pressure continues to exert force, leading us to do things like buy and build bigger houses and drive bigger and heavier cars.  Neither of which is helpful to a warming planet. 

Economist Robert Frank writes about putting peer pressure to work for positive change, like saving the planet, in his book Under the Influence