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.

Jackson County Sheriff

Jackson County needs more jail space, that is not generally in dispute.  But the size and cost of a new jail are very much under discussion. 

The Sheriff's Office recommends a building with more than double the capacity of the current jail, and the formation of a special taxing district to fund and run it. 

Public hearings on a May election ballot measure to create that district begin this week (Wed. Feb. 5 at 9:30 in Medford).  Sheriff Nathan Sickler visits to add details to the plan. 


Smoky summers have become a real concern in recent years, with wildfires spreading thick smoke far and wide. 

But winter used to be the season of concern for smoke, and still is.  Several communities in the region still issue daily advisories on burning wood in stoves and fireplaces, because small smoke particles (PM 2.5) can linger in the air when there's little wind. 

The Oregon Environmental Council is directing attention to the ongoing issue of winter wood smoke. 

chayka1270 /Pixabay

Hillary Clinton called supporters of Donald Trump "a basket of deplorables," and they never let her forget it.  There might be better ways to address people with whom you disagree politically. 

Erica Etelson writes about those techniques, in a book for liberals called Beyond Contempt: How Liberals Can Communicate Across the Great Divide.  No name-calling, no shouting; the book centers around Powerful Non-Defensive Communication (PNDC). 


Underground History is one of The Jefferson Exchange's most popular segments.

But why just listen on the radio? We're bringing Underground History above ground with our next edition of Underground History Live -- this time featuring film and TV legend Bruce Campbell!

© Steven Pavlov /

All eyes tend to focus on the federal government, but it is the state legislatures that generally have more immediate effects on the lives of citizens. 

The Pew Charitable Trust issues an annual State of the States series of reports, focused on issues facing state legislatures.  We focus on California with Sophie Quinton, one of the Pew reporters. 


It's only a coincidence that we have featured several chats about grief and loss at a time of the year when the nights are long, dark, and cold. 

Into each life a little rain must fall, someone said.  And there's always someone willing to help with an umbrella, metaphorically. 

Two examples share time in our studio: Nancy Mansfield, who wrote The 28 Day Joy Challenge, and Katherine Ingram, who created The Grab-and-Go Grief Kit.


If millennials have not passed the baby boomers as the largest age cohort in America, they soon will.  But distribution of the goods of society are not evenly distributed between them. 

Boomers own more than half the country's wealth.  Millennials?  3%, in recent reports. 

And attitudes in the workplace are slow to change. Crystal Kadakia confronts those attitudes in her book The Millennial Myth: Transforming Misunderstanding into Workplace Breakthroughs

San Jose Taiko via YouTube

Taiko drumming and swing music are not frequently mentioned in the same sentence.  So here's a new sentence: San Jose Taiko and the Humboldt State University Jazz Orchestra are teaming up for Swingposium on the Road

It goes beyond music; the presentation features a series of living history events set in a mess hall at a World War II Japanese-American concentration camp. 

U.S. Forest Service, Public Domain,

Before astronauts walked on the moon, they had to practice.  So years before the first moon landing, they walked around parts of Oregon. 

The assumption in the early days of the Apollo program was that the moon would have a rocky volcanic surface, and Central and Southern Oregon features plenty of volcanic features, suitable for practice. 


The rape trial of Harvey Weinstein focuses attention anew on the #MeToo movement that arose in opposition to sexual assault and harassment.  A lot of people took notice. 

In the corporate world, economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett finds a few problems.  For one thing, she thinks too little attention has been paid to non-white victims; for another, she sees man afraid to mentor women, possibly stalling out the women's careers. 

Problems and solutions get a full airing in Hewlett's book  #MeToo in the Corporate World: Power, Privilege, and the Path Forward

ENERGY.GOV, Public Domain,

If you were told you have lung cancer, your first response might be "but I never smoked!"  There is another frequent cause for some lung cancer patients: radon gas. 

The radioactive gas can seep out of the ground and into houses, and recent reporting by The Oregonian/OregonLive found that public housing is rarely checked for radon.  The Oregon Health Authority runs a radon program, and works to inform people of how they can protect themselves from it. 

Christian LInder/Wikimedia

Some of the greatest needs in improving health in Jackson and Josephine Counties do not include things like diet and exercise. 

Those are important, too, but the Jefferson Regional Health Alliance recently released its Community Health Improvement Plan, or CHIP, and it laid out some priorities.  Those include better care for mental illness and substance use, safe and affordable housing, and parenting support/life skills. 

ivan.drums on Instagram

Some of us got told by our parents to stop drumming our hands on the furniture.  We might have ended up great drummers, like Ivan Trevino.  He is a Mexican-American composer and percussionist who has wowed crowds in many places with his musical skill. 

Trevino is headed for Ashland for the SOU Percussion Festival (Saturday, February 1).  The festival features both performances and feedback from the professionals to up-and-coming percussionists. 

The other headliners are Terry Longshore, both individually and with his group Left Edge Percussion.

Oregon is one of a few states that has no office of Lieutenant Governor.  It does, however, have a Kid Governor. 

No joke; every year fifth graders across the state choose from a field of candidates their age to take the title of Kid Governor.  It's a chance to teach about civics and state government, and the candidates have to run on platforms, just like their grown-up counterparts. 

Raaga Mandala of Portland is this year's winner; she ran on a platform of getting homeless people into permanent housing. 


Slavery was outlawed a long time in the United States.  But people controlling other people for financial gain is still a concern. 

Young women who have been trafficked into the sex industry have a refuge in Medford at Redemption Ridge.  The organization's Grace House provides a long-term residential care facility for women to find life after trafficking. 


It happens all the time in classrooms: the example a teacher uses to demonstrate a concept draws glazed looks from the students.  Is the teacher doing enough to reach into the culture of the students for examples? 

Without some acknowledgment of culture, lessons can go unlearned for student and teacher.  Matthew Reynolds is a teacher and consultant who works to promote culturally responsive teaching. 

NASA/Public Domain

"Reduce your carbon footprint" may be an easy phrase to utter, but what does it actually mean?  Consume less energy released from fossil fuels, but what else? 

Detailed practical suggestions for how to reduce climate change impacts can be elusive.  And that's why Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN) created its Master Climate Protector training. 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

It's a miserable time of year to be living outdoors, but plenty of people do it all over the country.  And this is the time of year a headcount of those people is taken. 

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development requires point-in-time (PIT) counts of homeless people, in and out of shelters, in January.    Tonight (January 27th) is the night for the count in Jackson County. 


People coming over the Mexican border and from Muslim countries bear the most scrutiny now, but it was once somebody else: Germans, Irish, Chinese people.  We are a nation of immigrants, but also a nation that occasionally and vociferally opposes the immigration of certain groups of people. 

Erika Lee, historian and professor at the University of Minnesota, lays out the full story, from colonial times until now, in her book America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia

Beyond Toxics

Housing tends to cost a bit less when it's close to factories and other industrial sites.  So it should surprise few people to learn that people tend to get sick from exposure to industrial chemicals more often when they make less money. 

Is that fair?  Beyond Toxics in Eugene says no.  The group is focused on West Eugene, where a cluster of industrial sites appear to impact local residents.