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.


Blanket, sunscreen, shades, cool drink: check, check, check, and check. 

But what will you bring to read on your summer excursion?  That's a question we provide some answers for, in our weekly segment Summer Reads. 

Independent booksellers from around the region join us, and this week it's Bloomsbury Books in Ashland. 


The biggest change in Oregon agriculture in the last ten years involves the explosion in the growth of the wine and cannabis industries.  Both of those--at least the cannabis that gets people high--are under the regulation of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, OLCC. 

OLCC spends a chunk of July and August holding meetings around the state, to take input from the wine and marijuana industries on issues and concerns.  Sessions in our region start Wednesday in Ashland and Medford. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Public Domain,

You can be forgiven if you hear the news about methamphetamine and think "I saw this movie already."  Methamphetamine trafficking is a major concern once again for the Oregon-Idaho HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area).  In fact, it's generally the top concern.

But opioid-based drugs are also prevalent in the region, and pose concerns for law enforcement and other entities. 


If you want to get good at something, decide on what that field of interest is, and dig in.  Only through specialization can you get really good, the thinking goes. 

David Epstein begs to differ, and does at length, in the book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.  Dabbling in a lot of interests instead of staying in a silo pays dividends, he points out.

Having the Senate Republicans walk out of the Capitol--twice--took up a lot of headlines.  But there was more to this year's session of the Oregon Legislature than that. 

Legislators have now had two weeks to sleep off the effects of the session, and we want to catch up with them about accomplishments and missteps.  Democrats from both houses join us here, when Sen. Jeff Golden and Rep. Pam Marsh, both of Ashland, visit. 


We wouldn't have these jobs if we didn't believe in the power of audio.  Craig Black got to a similar place many years ago, deciding to start a company that specialized in what we then called "books on tape." 

The tape is gone, but the books are not, and what became Blackstone Publishing is thriving.  We get the story on the birth and growth of the company in our regular business segment, The Ground Floor. 


Archaeology on the ground is easy to understand: dig in the ground, find something, carefully--very carefully--remove it from the ground, analyze, repeat. 

But that's not the only kind of archaeology in an age of technological wonders.  Insteads of shovels, we talk satellites with Sarak Parcak, the author of Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past

If you're thinking "how can satellites see underground?", they can't.  But they can detect patterns and shapes of human settlements that are not easily apparent from the ground. 


The opioid epidemic is often associated with Appalachia, but the drugs are all over the country.  And the responses to the epidemic are all over the map. 

The University of Michigan actually laid out that map, several, actually, showing where addiction is high and low, and showing where services are numerous and not. 

The map shows some big differences on both counts, between counties in our part of the country. 

Stouts Fire Facebook page

Leaders in many communities are concerned enough about climate change to want local policies and plans to account for changes.  But not every community has the resources, even when much of the community is in agreement (rare in itself). 

GEOS Institute, based in Ashland, offers a template through its Climate Ready Communities program. 

"Abraham Lincoln attacked the South." 

"I can't do it tonight, I have to wash my hair." 

"The dog broke it, Mommy."  Each one a lie, but obviously lies of somewhat different degrees. 

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin takes up the human capacity to wander from the truth, and gives some pointers on staying in a truth-based world, in the book A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age

People who catch ocean creatures for a living always want to keep their equipment intact, but the ocean can change those plans.  Storms and tides and currents can pull things like crab traps out to sea, where they can snare unintended victims, like whales. 

The state of California is moving toward a program that would send non-fishing boats out to retrieve gear that crabbers lose.  The retrievers would be paid, and the crabbers who owned the retrieved gear would be fined if they didn't pay. 

The state Fish and Wildlife Department is still working on the rules, with public input. 

The two recent Democratic presidential debates are plenty of fodder for a discussion of items in the media.  But there's always more, much more, available for our monthly Signals & Noise segment. 

We bring in Southern Oregon University Communication faculty members Andrew Gay and Precious Yamaguchi for a wide-ranging discussion of media topics, both about content in the media and news about the media themselves. 


This month marks the 50th anniversary of the first human moon landing. Science writer Oliver Morton (who actually has an asteroid named for him) has written an intimate portrait of our moon, exploring humanity's relationship with our nearest neighbor in the solar system. 

His book is called The Moon: A History for the Future.  The author joins us to talk about our natural satellite. 

By Fibonacci Blue from Minnesota, USA - Counter-protest against Donald Trump rally, CC BY 2.0,

The military and businesses recruit on college campuses.  No surprise there: there's an ample supply of bright young people looking for things to do in the future. 

Which is also why white supremacist groups have targeted college campuses.  The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) keeps statistics of attempts to recruit college students, and finds a sharp upswing over the last couple of years. 

Wikimedia/Garry Knight

Who watches the people who watch senior citizens in care facilities?  Family members don't always have the ability to check up on their loved ones in long-term care. 

That's why Oregon has a Long-Term Care Ombusdman program, LTCO.  Staffers visit seniors in care facilities and keep track of everything from medical care to meal quality, and beyond. 

Prayitno, CC BY 2.0,

Race, religion, sexuality, otherness... these are all topics for discussion in the life of writer Carla Rachel Sameth. 

And discuss them she does, in the book One Day on the Gold Line: A Memoir in Essays.  The Gold Line is a light-rail line in Los Angeles, where Carla was a single Jewish lesbian raising an African-American son. 

The highs and lows of her non-traditional life are reflected in the book's essays. 

Evgeniy Isaev, CC BY 2.0,

Ah summertime... a chance to pick a shady spot on a warm day and enjoy a good book.  But which book? 

That's a question we aim to answer with our weekly segment Summer Reads.  We visit once again with independent booksellers in the region for their ideas on quality titles and treatments. 

Up first: Rebel Heart Books in Jacksonville. 


If you can play an instrument or paint a picture, you're considered creative.  If you can figure out how to get a big stone to the top of a pyramid, you're also considered creative. 

Is it the same kind of creativity?  We have a chance to find out. 

Southern Oregon University hosts another Creativity Conference, starting July 11th.  Speakers and sessions deal with creativity in many forms and for many uses. 

The people we meet in our Stories of Southern Oregon segment mostly worked the land: farmers, timber workers, miners.  There are certainly not as many people working the land as there once were. 

Flo Bohnert has one of those stories to tell; she and her husband Don farmed land near Central Point that came into the city's urban growth boundary and has since been developed.  She shares her story in the studio. 

Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1973-023-19, CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,

It's a scary thought: how different would the world be if the Nazis had developed a nuclear weapon first?  We'll never know. 

But we do have the ability to learn more about the covert operation by the Allies designed to disrupt the German nuke-building project.  Science writer Sam Kean visits The Exchange for a fourth time to tell the story, as told in his book The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb.