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.


To a planet of seven billion people, getting to nine billion sounds like a lot.  But population experts are convinced that the number of people will begin to decline around the middle of this century. 

And there are examples already, like Japan, where the overall population is dropping.  Which sounds great if you've had a hard time finding a seat on the train, but has potentially dire implications for the labor force and old-age pensions. 

Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson explore in Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline

CBP/Public Domain

Just say the word "border" out loud, and you can probably start an argument. 

Sonia Nazario prefers to research issues like immigration and find people affected by them.  She won Pulitzer prizes for her work, including for "Enrique's Journey," her series of reports on a Honduran boy searching for his mother in the United States. 

Sonia Nazario speaks in Redding tomorrow (February 6th) about immigration and journalism. 

CDC/Public Domain

It would not be unusual to see so many headlines about measles... if this were 1919.  But 100 years later, the disease had become rare indeed, until the distrust of vaccines led more parents to opt not to have their kids immunized. 

So Clark County, Washington (Vancouver) has an outbreak of dozens of cases, one of which is from across the river in Portland.  Jackson County Health officials point out that there are NO cases of measles in the county at the moment. 

But they're putting out reminders of vaccines and their uses just the same. 


Abby Ellin is an award-winning journalist, and her investigative skills came in handy when her fiancé's tales of his life began to sound suspicious. 

He was indeed lying, but the bigger surprise was finding out how common such lies can be.  Abby's discoveries and her research led to a book: Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married

Lulu Vision

The actual counting is done... now comes the analysis.  Volunteers and staff from several agencies counted the homeless people in Jackson County on January 21st, the annual point-in-time (PIT) survey. 

The hard numbers will not be released in official form for many months; 2018's numbers were noticeably higher than 2017's. 

Access, Inc. is one of the partner agencies, as is the Continuum of Care in Jackson County. 


They go farther on each gallon of gas, they pollute less, and they run quieter.  The vehicles of today are very different from the cars and trucks of a generation ago. 

The computer systems in modern vehicles constantly adjust them for optimum performance.  But cars can and do still break down. 

That's where Zach Edwards and the technicians of Ashland Automotive come in.  Zach shares his voluminous knowledge of vehicles with us every month in a segment we call The Squeaky Wheel. 


Sandy Allen had always been aware of the family's hermit uncle, Bob, who lived in the California desert. Out of the blue, a long handwritten manuscript landed on Sandy's desk.

It was Bob's autobiographical tale of his life with schizophrenia. Sandy polished up the work into a book called A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia

The author worked to translate the often incomprehensible work into a rare portrait of mental illness from the inside. 

Cephas, CC BY-SA 3.0,

February, already?  We're not complaining... how could we object to the arrival of the month that includes Black History Month, St. Valentine's Day, and other highlights? 

It's a short month, but an action-packed one, and we aim to cram as many arts events as time allows into the February edition of our First Friday Arts segment.  For listeners, it's a buffet of arts events from around the region, called in to 800-838-3760

We invite arts organizations from all around to call in. 

RVTD Facebook page

Getting around in the greater Medford area usually involves a car, but there are public transportation options.  Rogue Valley Transportation District, RVTD, expanded bus service after voters passed a tax levy in 2017. 

Now RVTD is planning for the longer term, creating a "2040 Transit Master Plan."  RVTD is inviting the public to take part, through virtual open houses and other events. 

WAMU American University

Her revered public radio show is no longer on the air, but Diane Rehm keeps going and going. 

Before she left the NPR scene, she visited many stations to talk about her book on her late husband's struggle with the medical and legal systems. 

On My Own told the story, and Diane Rehm visited in April 2016 to talk about it. 

Alan Sylvestre/OPB

With term limits looming, Kate Brown can't run for Oregon governor again. 

Which means she's got most of four years left to press for the programs she wants to see in Oregon state government, without having to stop for an election. 

The legislature is just getting started on its all-important budget-making session, and the governor is touring the state making the case for her priorities. 

Canine Recovery Team

Archaeology tends to deal with events in the remote past.  But it also has value in the present; people with skills digging carefully in the ground have proven helpful in disaster situations. 

Like the deadly fires in California, where archaeologists and canine forensic units have helped recover human cremains.  Not people who died in the fire, but people already cremated whose families still had their ashes. 

That process--dogs and people--is the focus of this month's edition of Underground History, with our partners at the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology

Guests are Lynne Engelbert of the Institute for Canine Forensics and Mike Newland at Environmental Science Associates


You've probably seen the T-shirts and bumper stickers saying "be the change you want to see in the world." 

Jane Mosbacher Morris and Wendy Paris tweaked the phrase just a little to urge people to exercise their consumer muscles for the greater good.  Their book is Buy the Change You Want to See: Use Your Purchasing Power to Make the World a Better Place

The idea of voting with your dollars gets a full exploration in the book.

We'd call Josh Gross a music aficionado, but it's hard to say that on the radio.  What he has is great love for, and knowledge of, music. 

And we ask him to share it with us once a month on a segment we call Rogue Sounds.  Josh scans the lists of musical acts coming to the region, and gives us a list of five to consider.  This month: Larry and His Flask, Patrimony, Reverend Horton Heat, Dravus House, and Wordsauce. 

Sebastian Ballard, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The Oregon Legislature is just getting down to business, and Ashland Rep. Pam Marsh is determined for that business to include manufactured housing. 

Several issues face the people who live in such homes, aside from the basic fact that they own their homes, but seldom do they own the land under them. 

The Oregon Law Center assists mobile home owners on several points of law.  John VanLandingham is well-versed on the law as it exists, and as he would like to see it changed. 

Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department

This winter, more than perhaps any in memory, contains a lot more discussion of wildfire outside of fire season.  Because the seasons are long and destructive and smoky. 

So it should surprise no one to learn that the annual Siskiyou Filmfest includes the film "Wilder than Wild" about fires.  This year's festival, on February 10th in Grants Pass, offers several other works with an environmental bent. 


Put on your guitarist face and get into air-guitar stance, we're going to talk about axes.  And not the kind that cut down trees. 

Electric guitars, specifically solid-body electric guitars, came into their own in the rock n' roll era.  And two companies battled for dominance in sales and prestige: Fender, with the Esquire/Broadcaster/Telecaster and later models, and Gibson, with the Les Paul model. 

The rivalry is portrayed in Ian S. Port's book The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll

Beyond My Ken/Wikimedia

It's hard enough being homeless.  But there are even electronically indignities, like not keeping up with the way the world communicates now. 

A University of California-San Francisco study found that older homeless adults are at the bottom of the digital divide: they have older phones and plans that assign them a new phone number with any upgrades. So the already-existing isolation can be exacerbated. 

Michael Clapp/OPB

The fire or hurricane or mass shooting can be many miles away, but events like those can affect children anywhere.  And recent research shows that school teachers should be ready to discuss disasters with their students. 

Our media-rich world makes it easy for children to keep up on disasters, but the coverage can scare kids and even affect their mental health. 

Brian Houston directs the Disaster and Community Crisis Center at the University of Missouri. 


By many measures of societal well-being, the USA is not number one.  The American Dream or something like it is more of a reality in Denmark. 

So say the authors of The Inner Level, a recent book.  It points to inequality as the root cause of many of our troubles.