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.


It's not officially fire season yet on both sides of the state line, but tell that to the fires, like the two fires (near Butte Falls and Chiloquin) that scorched hundreds of acres in recent days. 

Hot weather is here and more regular fires will almost assuredly follow.  Agencies of many types are talking about preparedness. 

Those include Pacific Gas & Electric, which is blamed for some of the fires of recent years. PG&E plans more outages during times of high wildfire risk. 

And Ashland's CERT or Community Emergency Response Team is always trained for emergencies. 


Other parts of the country seem to get more attention, but Oregon ranks high in its drug addiction rate, and low in its access to treatment. 

The state Alcohol & Drug Policy Commission is working on a long-term strategic plan for dealing with addiction.  And it is getting input and guidance from the coalition known as Oregon Recovers


The barista who gave you a nice smile may have gotten a better tip from you, but there could be other costs. 

A researcher at Penn State looked into the effects on employees of enforcing "service with a smile" guidelines.  And roughly, the effect appears to be more drinking. 

Employees who force smiles at work appear to drink alcohol more heavily after work. 

The end of the road is in sight for Bill Rauch at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  His successor as artistic director, Nataki Garrett, has been named, and the next season has been announced. 

But Rauch has more duties to attend to before he leaves Ashland for a new company in New York City in August.  One of them is to join ShakespeareAMERICA for an onstage retrospective at Southern Oregon University (Monday, May 6). 


Remember all those studies that say teens need more sleep?  Some schools have adjusted their start times to accommodate the need, but now the push to eliminate the biannual daylight/standard time change is confounding those efforts. 

Researcher Anne Skeldon at the University of Surrey in England notes that going to permanent Daylight Saving Time will mean later sunrises in the winter, forcing students to get up in the dark. 

Her research also notes legislative efforts to adjust the time change, and how the bills sometimes come to cross-purposes. 


Your car survived the winter... the engine starts up okay, the studded tires are off, and smooth driving lies ahead.  Or does it? 

Anything you might have deferred in vehicle maintenance in the last few months?  It might come back to haunt you, when something clanks when it should be humming. 

Zach Edwards is used to the noises vehicles make; he owns Ashland Automotive.  And he joins us once a month for a vehicle visit called The Squeaky Wheel.  Join in with your car care questions: 800-838-3760 or


Have we reached a point in history when we just don't know HOW to do the right thing?  The planet is facing serious climate change because of human activities, so it can be hard to know how to be a good person while going about daily life. 

This is the issue Roger Gottlieb takes up in Morality and the Climate Crisis, a book that takes in philosophy, political theory, global religion, ecology, and contemporary spirituality. 

Jay Gordon

Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the entertainment is.  Or something like that. 

Spring is in full bloom around the region, and so is the region's arts scene.  So let's catch up: our monthly arts buffet, First Friday Arts, returns.

It's all listener-generated content: we open the phone lines for calls from and about arts organizations, about arts events in the coming weeks. All calls go to 800-838-3760.

Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0,

It is a rare bill that passes either house of the Oregon legislature without a single no vote.  Senate bill 576 is such a bill. 

"Kaylee's Law," as it is known, is a memorial to Kaylee Sawyer, a Central Oregon Community College student murdered by a campus security officer.  SB 576 would require non-police officers to be clearly identified as such. 

It passed the house 29 to 0, with Senator Floyd Prozanski of Eugene acting as co-sponsor. 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

Suggesting a father-daughter activity to a teenager can be an adventure.  Even if there's not an eyeroll, will there be enthusiasm? 

In James Campbell's case, the answer was yes... even though he was asking his daughter Aidan to travel to a remote part of Alaska.  Which she did, several times. 

The story is told in the book Braving It: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild

Community Investment Trust

In an age of gentrification and widening income inequality, it can be hard for many people to make investments that will make them money over time.  But that's part of the focus of the Community Investment Trust in Portland, which allows people to invest in real estate, with little upfront cost, and build equity over time. 

CIT sprang from Mercy Corps Northwest, which aims to lift people out of poverty. 

John Haines from the global Mercy Corps offices talks about CIT and similar ventures. 

April Ehrlich/JPR News

Before wildfire season begins this year, there are lingering effects to deal with from last year.  Those include the need to rebuild thousands of homes in communities where destructive fires burned. 

In Redding, where the Carr Fire burned more than a thousand homes, contractors are getting organized to rebuild them. 

The California Contractors State License Board is assisting both builders and homeowners in the process, with workshops starting today (May 2nd). 


What started out as a summer job became a lifetime vocation for Clay Dickerson. 

The summer job was working on a fire crew near Grants Pass, and it led to a career that stretched across four decades, taking care of the region's forests and fighting fires when they burned. 

Clay tells the story in his memoir, Fire at My Feet

The first Thursday of any month is our time for a bit of musical education on the Exchange.  That's the usual slot for our Rogue Sounds segment with Josh Gross

Josh makes, plays, and writes about music, and loves it in many forms and genres.  He brings in news of bands coming to play in the region, and we get to sample the sounds before they arrive. 

This month: Decker, Flight Mongoose, Hard Fall Hearts, Carsie Blanton, and TK and the Holy Know-Nothings. 


Youth Rising in Klamath Falls has always been about supporting young people in the community with a variety of needs.  And now it plans to address the issue of youth homelessness. 

YR envisions an expansion of its services, including the creation of emergency shelter facilities for young people.  And it's already beyond vision, with YR buying the old Gospel Mission in Klamath Falls. 

Keith Burtis/Flickr

Native American tribes across the country have worked over the years to install justice systems that are in tune with tribal culture.  The federal government provides financial support to the efforts, and recently awarded large sums to tribes in our region. 

The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians plans to use the money--more than $700,000--for transitional housing.  The Klamath Tribes plan to enhance programs for crime victims, and the Karuk Tribe will be able to build a Victim Services Access Center. 


A not-so-old song sings "every generation blames the one before."  In our time, the one after, as well. 

Cutting remarks and jokes about OTHER generations are par for the course these days.  Nobody should have to say that each generation has gifts to offer the others, but Hayim Herring says it anyway, in the book Connecting Generations

The books lays out the issues each generation has with the others, and how we can reach across generational divides to the benefit of all. 


Life goes a lot faster when we like what we do at work.  Being passionate rivets the attention and can result in eruptions of creativity. 

But it can also lead to exploited workers, says new research out of Duke University.  It shows employers taking advantage of passionate workers, asking them to do things--including work for free--that they do not ask of workers who lack passion. 


Redwood trees still grow tall and strong, but not all of the species is represented.  Individual trees that may have possessed characteristics key to the species' survival have been cut down. 

That's why researchers worked for years to sequence the genomes of the Coast Redwood and the Giant Sequoia.  It's a big job... a Coast Redwood has nine times as many base pairs of DNA as a human. 


It is a concern in many parts of the world, and has been through history: how can we keep our culture alive?  It is a particular issue for indigenous cultures in lands that have been colonized by people from elsewhere. 

And it is a focus of attention this week at Southern Oregon University, which hosts the Pacific Islander Indigeneity and Education Conference (May 3rd).  Rob Goodwin, the host of our Keenest Observers segment, returns to talk about the issues in keeping culture alive when people--in this case Pacific Islander students--leave home for extended periods.