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.

Public Domain/Wikimedia

The goal is a lofty one: get 50,000 electric vehicles registered in Oregon by 2020.  That's next year.  And the state is celebrating passing the halfway point. 

Officially, Oregon puts a lot of effort into increasing the EV fleet, with rebates for car purchases and a growing list of places to charge EVs. 

The Green Family

Conversations about race are not always comfortable in America, but it's clearly necessary to have them. 

Rogue Valley residents Mike and Emily Green really have to talk about race, as a biracial couple with a blended family.  And they hold public sessions to help members of the community talk to their own children about race. 

Adam Jones, Wikimedia Commons

It's a grim anniversary, but certainly one worth noting: the arrival of African slaves in Virginia in August, 1619. 

So 400 years since the door opened wide for the slave trade that marked the development of what became the United States, and that still shows as a scar on the national psyche. 

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is one of many organizations observing the 400th anniversary.  Rob Goodwin takes up the issue in this month's edition of The Keenest Observers, our ongoing study of race issues in America. 

US Bureau of Reclamation

Managing a river is no easy feat.  Consider the needs for water released at Shasta Dam into the Sacramento River: salmon need cold water, sturgeon need warm water, and irrigators just need water. 

Recent research shows that all three needs can be met in all but the most drought-stricken years.  How? 

Public Domain,

Marijuana is now legal for recreational use in both California and Oregon, but the illegal market persists.  Off-the-books cannabis grow sites take water from streams, leave trash on the landscape, and poison sensitive animal species. Public lands, including U.S. Forest Service lands, have been especially hard-hit. 


It's really just three words contracted to two: "I'm sorry."  So there's no great expenditure of energy in saying it. 

Physical energy, anyway; psychic energy is another thing entirely.  Harriet Lerner, clinical psychologist and author of many books on relationships, examines how hard it is for so many of us to say the words and mean them sincerely. 

Lerner's book is Why Won't You Apologize? Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts


The hemp industry was bound to grow and grow quickly, given the decades of pent-up demand from federal controls.  Now hemp, marijuana's non-stoner sibling, is legal to grow. 

And Oregon alone is now growing something like 50,000 acres of the stuff, mostly for the CBD oil it contains.  Hemp industry analysts--they DO exist--say the price is likely to crash because of overproduction. 

Amanda Peacher/OPB

The Bureau of Land Management's amendment of its Southeastern Oregon Resource Management Plan is not only closely followed by the Oregon Natural Desert Association, it is the result of action by ONDA. 

The conservation group took issue with earlier BLM decisions, and took the agency to court.  Now public comments are being taken on the plan amendment--focused on grazing, off-road vehicle use, and lands with wilderness values--until August 28th. 

The land in question includes the Owyhee Canyonlands, held near and dear by ONDA. 

White House Photo Office/Wikimedia

Having people with different viewpoints debate each other on television is nearly as old as TV itself. 

But the shoutfests of today common to the cable news channels bear little resemblance to some of the meatier discussions of earlier days.  Like the ones hosted by conservative icon William F. Buckley, on his show "Firing Line." 

The creation of the show and its legacy are examined by Heather Hendershot in the book Open to Debate: How William F. Buckley Put Liberal America on the Firing Line

Greg Shine/BLM

Wilderness lovers, off-roaders, and cattle: can they all get along on the same public land?  Maybe not the exact same parcels, but the Bureau of Land Management is working to accommodate all three in Southeast Oregon. 

BLM is making amendments to its Southeastern Oregon Resource Management Plan, and a comment period is open until August 28th for people who have ideas and issues on land use. 

Rick Swart/Oregon Deparment of Fish and Wildlife

Salmon have proven time and again to be good indicators of overall ecosystem health.  And according to coho salmon, we have ecosystem issues in the region. 

Four coho runs on the West Coast are listed as either endangered or threatened, and people of many organizations and skillsets are working to bring them back. 

Many of those people gather in the lower Klamath River country this week for the annual Coho Confab

Wikimedia/Public Domain

"Medicare For All" and "Socialized Medicine" are diametrically opposed terms that really mean one thing: a single-payer health insurance, like our Medicare. 

Advocates for such a system tout its potential ease of use, while opponents warn of long waits for care. 

Count Timothy Faust strongly in the Yes column; he is the author of Health Justice Now, a full-throated defense of single-payer. 


Oregon prides itself on being an open-government state, with public information easily obtained by the public.  Journalists can and will tell you that the reality is not quite so transparent. 

But the state now has a Public Records Advocate and a Public Records Advisory Council; PRAC just released results of its first-ever survey of state and local governments about their public records requests and practices. 

The response rate was high, but responses were not mandated by law. 


Maybe you're not familiar with the word "microcystin," but there's a good chance you recognize the term "harmful algae bloom," an increasingly frequent event in bodies of water.  Many of the more toxic outbreaks are actually bacteria that release microcystin, and they are showing up with increasing frequency around the country. 


Not everybody learns at the same rate.  We know that now, and devise educational plans around it, but it took us a while. 

When Jonathan Mooney was in school, nobody quite knew how to deal with the ADHD and learning disabilities he displayed.  He learned to read by age 12, but not before riding the "short bus" to his school and enduring the feeling that he was not normal. 

Normal Sucks is the title of his latest book (The Short Bus was another), Jonathan's reminder that narrowly defining "normal" makes a lot of people abnormal. 

SSgt Alesia Goosic/U.S. Navy/Public Domain,

The major political discussions about health insurance in our country revolve around how to get more people covered.  So it perplexed more than a few observers when the numbers of children covered by public health insurance programs like Medicaid and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) appeared to dip last year. 

California, because of its large population, showed one of the largest declines, though not by percentage.  Was it an improving economy, or something else? 

Dr. Cara James at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) keeps an eye on children's coverage. 


The arguments over the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas plant (LNG) and pipeline are hot.  No surprise, given the plans for the export terminal near North Bend and the 200-mile-plus pipeline running to it. 

But it was a bit of a surprise when a British journalism organization revealed that LNG opponents have been monitored by law enforcement agencies.  The Coos County Sheriff's Office says it's only collecting items before the public, like on social media. 

But groups like Southern Oregon Rising Tide and Rogue Climate are not happy about it. 

Joe Coca/Thrums Books

Learning about the harsh processes used to create synthetic fabrics and dyes can curl your hair.  And some of the chemicals used in the processes can do that, and much worse. 

So there's a greater emphasis over time on making fashion sustainable and earth-friendly.  Keith Recker keeps an eye on the evolution from his role as editor of Hand/Eye magazine and as a color consultant for Pantone, the color standard-setters. 

He talks about the revival of nature-based dyes in his book True Colors: World Masters of Natural Dyes and Pigments


This time of year, it's easy to see pictures of wildland firefighters wearing yellow shirts and green pants.  It's not just a uniform; the clothing is fire resistant.  And it's not always comfortable. 

A quest to find FR clothing that is also easy to wear led to the creation of the Rogue Valley company Massif, which now supplies FR clothing to all branches of the armed forces.  We get the story of Massif's birth, growth, and sale in this month's edition of our business segment, The Ground Floor. 


A question that probably crosses many minds about people who enter the United States and stay, without permission, is "why?" 

You've heard many stories about the dangers people face back in their home countries.  Jeremy Slack at the University of Texas-El Paso went in search of people who had such stories to tell. 

And he found people who see the risk of discovery and deportation far more acceptable than the risk of death if they stay home--or get sent home.  Slack's book is Deported to Death: How Drug Violence Is Changing Migration on the US–Mexico Border