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.


Societal attitudes and laws may be changing, but it can still be a real challenge growing up LGBTQ.  Research from the University of Texas Department of Human Development and Family Sciences bears this out. 

The research, based on student surveys in California, shows that LGBTQ youth are more likely to be living either in unstable living situations or in foster than straight kids. 

True South Solar

Will there come a day when all of our electricity truly comes from renewable sources?  If so, Eric Hansen plans to be ready. 

He is the founder of True South Solar, which installs photovoltaic panels all over the Rogue Valley.  The business has grown since Hansen and Shawn Schreiner started the company not quite ten years ago. 

It is the focus of our business segment, The Ground Floor, this month. 


It's been called the sharing economy or the gig economy.

Whatever the name, the legions of temporary Amazon employees, Uber drivers, and Taskrabbit workers inhabit a work environment that offers flexibility, but fails to offer basic worker protections or any stability.

Alexandrea Ravenelle explores the contradictions of the new gig economy in the book Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy

As you survey the current landscape of unscripted "reality" and game shows on broadcast TV, it's hard to imagine the major networks having a fight over Shakespeare.  But they did, way back in radio days. 

Both NBC and CBS broadcast adaptations of Shakespeare plays in 1937, a situation Rogue Valley writer Michael Jensen explores in his book The Battle of the Bard: Shakespeare on U.S. Radio in 1937

William Smith

The groundhog has come and gone, the Valentine gifts are half-eaten or starting to wilt, and the rain is coming in buckets. 

What food could dispel the mid-winter gloom?  Citrus!  Will Smith, our partner for the Savor food segment, says the brightly colored orbs definitely raise the spirits. 

Geoffrey Stewart, the produce buyer at the Ashland Food Coop, visits with talk of varieties. 


So you're an animal here that needs to go over there.  Maybe you can't sprout wings or legs or flippers on the spot, but evolution might address the need, a few generations down the line. 

The idea that how we move dictates how we got these bodies is explored by Matt Wilkinson in the book Restless Creatures: The Story of Life in Ten Movements

KyleAndMelissa22, Public Domain,

The spectacular view of Mount Shasta from Interstate Five is occasionally blocked by the big mountain's cousin, the cinder cone called Black Butte.  The butte is now permanently protected from development by a conservation easement granted at the beginning of the year to the Pacific Forest Trust by the landowner, the Michigan-California Timber Company

There will still be timber management on the land, but it will be sustainable.  Cal Fire played a part in the granting of the easement. 

We get new lessons in use and abuse of the media all the time.  Was the kid from the Catholic school smirking?  Did the Native American man get in his face? 

That's just one situation we discuss in this month's edition of Signals & Noise, our monthly perusal of media.  Our regulars return: Precious Yamaguchi and Andrew Gay from Southern Oregon University's Communication department. 


More than a few people have thought that racism might eventually die out in our country.  But new racists are made all the time. 

Jennifer Harvey says we could bring up future generations of non-racist white children if we wanted to. But she says both current paradigms, color blindness and diversity training, are failures.

US Fish and Wildlife Service via Wikimedia Commons

Researchers believe the Western Monarch butterfly's population floor is about 30,000.  Anything below that number could make it impossible for the species to make a recovery. 

And the Thanksgiving Count last fall showed fewer than 30,000 already.  Organizations focused on preserving the Monarch put out a call to action to urge people to help the butterflies return to their former numbers. 

Those include the Xerces Society, based in Portland. 

Josh Estey/AusAID

Criminal justice reform in the United States has lately focused on reducing the number of adults living behind bars, more than 2 million of them. 

At the same time, California's new governor is focused on reforming the juvenile justice system.  Gavin Newsom wants to move the juvenile justice agency out of the corrections department and into human services. 

This and other changes are welcome news for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency

Attorneys can toil for years in service to the government and never see their names in the news. 

Then there's Bill Erxleben, who worked for the state of Washington, the federal justice department, and the Federal Trade Commission.  The causes and cases he took on earned him a nickname, "Front Page Bill." 

Erxleben gives his own view of his work on behalf of the environment and consumers, and against corruption, in the memoir A Lion Where There Were Lambs: The Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Rule of Law in the Pacific Northwest


"Identify theft will explode."  That chilling phrase is just one of several predictions made for this year by Internet security expert Tom Kelly. 

He is the CEO of ID Experts, based in Portland, and he is not encouraged by what he sees in the handling of data by social media sites. 

His predictions are presented in a recent post at Morning Consult

Michael Richardson/Wikimedia

The country was ablaze in patriotic fervor 100 years ago, coming down from the high of having won World War I with less than two full years of American involvement.  But not everybody got on the war bandwagon.

This month's edition of Stories of Southern Oregon visits with retired Mail Tribune writer Paul Fattig.  He wasn't around for the war, but two of Fattig's uncles hid out in what is now the Kalmiopsis Wilderness during the war, refusing to take part in the fight and living off the land. 

Fattig tells the story in his latest book, Madstone. 

The big fires of last year left some people with nothing.  Nothing except a chance to rebuild life anew, and a story to tell about it. 

It is those stories that students at Shasta College are collecting in a journalism project supported by California Humanities.  Survival and resilience are the themes of the project. 

Brocken Inaglory, CC BY-SA 3.0,

People get all the credit for creating music, but we're not alone in the animal kingdom.  Birdsong, anyone? 

That's just one example of many, ranging from tiny birds to gigantic whales, all represented in a new exhibit at Ashland's ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum

The exhibit is called Wild Music. 


The days when your boss would bark "get into my office, now!" are mostly behind us (we hope).  But managers bring a wide range of skills and attitudes to their jobs. 

What counts the most?  Kate Zipay at the University of Oregon says that leadership should be exceptional and kind. 

We explore the concepts of management, and how employees can make their work time better by making better use of their free time, in this month's edition of "Curious: Research Meets Radio." 

Public Domain

Getting out of jury duty is as American as apple pie.  And maybe that's part of the reason that jury trials are becoming rare. 

But since they are a cornerstone of our legal system, it's not necessarily a good thing that so few cases now go to a jury trial.  Drury Sherrod, a psychologist who studies juries and jury behavior, wrote a book about the situation, The Jury Crisis: What’s Wrong with Jury Trials and How We Can Save Them

We're getting better at understanding and showing compassion for mental illness.  For one thing, we no longer "warehouse" people with mental illness in huge state hospitals, miles from the patients' communities and support systems. 

But people working through mental illness can still be social pariahs.  Clubhouse arrangements like Southern Oregon Compass House in Medford help.  Club members hang and work in a supportive environment. 

Once a month, we meet a member of the club in our Compass Radio segment, and this month, we hear from Jenna. 


You hear the complaints about "activist judges," but there's something very important to keep in mind: judges rule on cases brought into the court system. 

And those cases are often filed to push the envelope on current law, to take the law in places where legislatures fear to tread. 

The ACLU is known for this, and David Cole is its legal director.  He wrote a book on using the courts to expand rights: Engines of Liberty: The Power of Citizen Activists to Make Constitutional Law