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.


We can feed the world!  We can poison the world!  Those are the approximate extremes of the arguments in favor of, and in opposition to, the use of genetic modifications in food crops. 

McKay Jenkins, journalist and journalism professor, sought to find the true pros and cons of GMOs.  The fruit of his research is the book Food Fight: GMOs and the Future of the American Diet

The analysis points to some issues with the American food system that pre-date the GMO controversy. 

La Raza Centro Legal

A recent White House effort to curtail immigration focuses on the "public charge" concept.  That is, if immigrants have difficulty supporting themselves and might need public assistance like food stamps, they might be denied citizenship and even residency. 

The Oregon Health Authority takes a position, asserting that "health care is not a cash assistance benefit," but a way to strengthen individuals and society. 


Ah, the open road.  The weather's good, the highway is clear, the wind is in our hair... and what's that sound? 

Motor vehicles may be more reliable generally than a generation ago, but parts still wear out and vehicles stop working correctly.  Zach Edwards and his team at Ashland Automotive make a living correcting things that go wrong under our hoods. 

Zach visits once a month for a segment we call The Squeaky Wheel, to take your questions on car care and feeding, and otherwise talk shop.  Join in by phone at 800-838-3760 or by email at 


Science fiction movies and comic books made a lot of money by imaging parallel universes.  You know... the idea that there are multiple Earths, many with a Clark Kent (and so a Superman)? 

Sean Carroll says it's more than imagination.  Carroll is a theoretical physicist at Cal Tech, and he says new versions of us are splitting into separate universes all the time. 

The one on THIS Earth wrote a soon-to-be-published book, Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime.  It lays out his theory, and the general crisis he sees in physics and how it is understood and taught. 

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Facebook page.

The music scene in our region is a very active one.  Seriously, two different symphonies playing the Medford area? 

We focus on music with rock DNA in a monthly segment called Rogue Sounds.  Josh Gross, music player, creator, and lover, is our guide. 

He joins us with a list of band gigs and sound samples to whet our appetites for a live music show. 


Nothing like a beautiful garden to stir the senses.  And maybe the appetite. 

Those experiences can combine on the first Edible Garden Tour presented by Cooperation Humboldt on Sunday (September 8th) in the Eureka/Arcata area. 

The idea is not just to have a traveling lunch, but to present concepts of permaculture, and maybe encourage more people to grow their own food. 


Eating local provides benefits beyond supporting nearby farmers.  It also puts fresher food on consumers' tables, food that is produced for flavor instead of portability. 

Two films boosting the eat-local movement screen together as the Food For Thought film project at Eureka Theater (Saturday, September 14th): "Going With the Grain," about the local grain movement, and "Coastal Foods: Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability." 


We've seen them in our region: young, seemingly able-bodied people who are living on the streets, panhandling and scrounging a living.

Our names for them -- travelers, hobby homeless, street kids -- are a simplistic reaction to a complex societal phenomenon.

Journalist Vivian Ho first encountered street kids as a crime reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, where she covered the trial of three street kids accused of a brutal double murder in the Bay Area.

She takes a broader look at the street culture and its attraction for young people in the book Those Who Wander: America’s Lost Street Kids

Rico Shen/Wikimedia

We've reached a point in technology our grandparents could only dream of: we can tell a little speaker to turn on the lights or the TV or the air conditioning. 

But for some of us, the fun is not in using the great gadgets of our age, but in understanding how they work... and making them do new things.  By now the term "maker space" may be in your head. 

These have sprouted up in many communities, and ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum in Ashland offers a daylong Maker Fest (September 15th) to let people release their inner makers. 

Why is it that in our culture, a girl is deemed more likely to say "I want a horse" than a boy?  Aren't horses manly animals, revered by cowboys and tough guys? 

Jean O'Malley Halley was a "horse girl" herself as a child.  Now she's a sociologist, examining with relish the way girls subvert gender norms, in her book Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses

Public Domain, Wikimedia

Labor Day finds most of the Exchange crew... not laboring.  But we worked in advance to provide you with a couple of quality hours of interviews. 

At 8: American history with the Civil War in the middle, but not called "The Civil War."  Confused?  Steven Hahn makes his case in the book A Nation Without Borders: The United States and Its World in an Age of Civil Wars, 1830-1910

At 9: More American history, from a later period.  The laying of a ship's keel by the assistant Secretary of the Navy--Franklin D. Roosevelt--is one of many events leading up to World War II covered in Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness.


Gray wolves are back in Western Oregon, which is celebrated by conservationists. 

Not everyone likes the return of wolves to the region, but they have to live with it.  And living with the wolves and not killing them to protect livestock is an ongoing goal of several organizations. 

Oregon Fish & Wildlife is responsible for wolf management; the Jackson County Stockmen's Association wants its members' livestock free from wolf attacks. 

Randy Wolf (his real name) is with JCSA and a member of the Jackson County Wolf Advisory Committee

Chris Molé/Book Savvy Studio

Earlier generations of American readers thrilled to the tales of brave locomotive engineers on the railroads, the airline pilots of their day.  A Rogue Valley author hearkens back to that time, but with a twist: S.K. (Sue) DeMarinis wrote a book about a woman connected to the railroad.  But only by marriage, and not for long. 

How could we resist a book called The Station Master's Wife: A Scandalous Life Exposed?  We couldn't.  The story is set at and around the Ashland depot, just as the final spikes were driven completing the old mainline railroad up the West Coast, 1887. 


Science has a better grasp over time of how old-growth forest ecosystems work.  But the study area is relatively small, given how much of the ancient forests of our country have been cut down. 

Joan Maloof heads a nonprofit seeking ancient forest protection.  She is also a writer, as with Nature's Temples: The Complex World of Old-Growth Forests


All you did was click on a link to a website, now there's a flashing screen telling you all your information is locked up, and you have to buy software to fix it. 

That's called scareware or ransomware; it's annoying and scary when we encounter it as individuals.  But it's being done on a larger scale now, with computer hackers holding up local governments and other entities, demanding large amounts of money in return for the continued use of their computer systems.

Importing slaves from overseas had long been banned when the ship Clotilda sailed to Alabama in 1860. 

The ship was scuttled to hide the evidence, and stayed hidden for more than 150 years.  Until May of this year, when a team from Search2o found the wreckage near Mobile, Alabama. 

This month's Underground History goes underwater again, to talk about the find and what it means. 

James Delgado is Senior Vice President of Search/Search2o.  Chelsea Rose is our regular partner, from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

Sarah Van Gelder is a big believer in people power.  Community organizer is one of several jobs she's held over the years.  And at one point, Sarah decided to see for herself what communities across the country were doing to point toward a prosperous future. 

The journey of discovery is documented in the book The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000-Mile Journey Through a New America


Not every high school kid is limber enough for football (either kind), tall enough for basketball, or fast enough for track.  And even if they are, some prefer their sports on two wheels; mountain biking is catching on as a school sport. 

Rogue Composite is a team formed of middle and high school mountain bikers from around the Rogue Valley.  And it is sanctioned by the Oregon Interscholastic Cycling League and National Interscholastic Cycling Association, NICA. 

Skeez / Pixabay

Most of this summer has been relatively mild, but memories of large fires and widespread smoke are still fresh from the last two years. 

Jackson County commissioners put some money and political muscle into a campaign to convince the federal government to fully supress all wildfires.  The feds own more than half of all the land in the county. 

The campaign includes video components and a petition to Congress. 

War Relocation Authority, Public Domain,

Governments are not fond of admitting mistakes, you might have noticed.  It often takes a while, as it did with the federal government and the decision to lock up American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II. 

The program was controversial even in its times, but the government still chose to document what it was doing.  The result was a collection of photographs by some of the best photographers in the business, now contained in a book called Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II