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.


New and improved!  Bigger and better!  We've been getting advertising messages all our lives about how we could have the good life. 

Just ONE more product could make you happier, they implied.  Which would be difficult to prove in the best of circumstances; now multiply by seven billion, and can any human get there? 

Hope Jahren, award-winning scientist and best-selling author, raises the question in her book The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here.  The book follows the trail of our individual activities and how they add up to a massive impact on the climate. 

Yet the author says it is a story of hope, too.  

Tammy Rae Scott

The Arcata Playhouse production of "A Woman's Place is in Her Home" is more than theater.  Because the seed for the production is a series of interviews with people living  homeless in the Humboldt Bay area, and the people who work to help them. 

Theater, dance, and media combine in the interactive work.  


The days when 90% of the American population lived on farms are long past.  Farm population is smaller, and farms are generally bigger. 

Generally... but small farms still dot the countryside, and they can use a little guidance in agriculture and business practices.  Extension agents help, especially the ones who focus on small farms, like Maud Powell


Life may be tough some days, but at least we're not plugged into a computer, like in "The Matrix" movies.  We're not, right? 

Rizwan Virk wants you to consider the possibility.  He is the author of The Simulation Hypothesis, a book on the belief that the world we perceive is not the real one. 

The belief predates computers; even Plato wrote about the shadows of the "real world" that we see in our world. 

Southern Oregon University

Discrimination has been common against both indigenous people and people who identify as LGBTQ or queer.  Imagine the challenges for people who identify with both groups. 

Southern Oregon University's curriculum includes a course in Queer Indigenous Studies, which culminates in the annual Queer Indigenous Gathering, the 5th of its kind, on March 11th. 

Stephen Voss/

This or any election year presents a challenge for NPR's Mara Liasson, the network's national political correspondent.  From the Iowa Caucuses to Election Day and beyond, there's plenty to cover, and plenty of NPR shows making demands upon her time. 

And that does not count the side work she does for Fox News on TV. 

Liasson shares some of her time with an audience in Redding next Monday (March 16th). 

Con-struct, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Maybe history doesn't exactly repeat itself, but the racial tensions of recent years certainly give some people déjà vu.  Incidents of people being disparaged for race or nationality have gotten more common, as have incidents of people being called racist. 

Margaret Andersen, a sociologist, offers a way ahead in her book Getting Smart about Race: An American Conversation.  And the title is literal; Andersen is convinced we need to talk about race and racial healing. 

CPAC Facebook page

Spring is just a few weeks away, but the arts scene is already in bloom.  The Oregon Shakespeare Festival just opened its season, running now through around Halloween. 

And there are other signs of arts activity springing to life, which we take up in our monthly First Friday Arts segment.  It's all listener-generated... arts organizations invited by email call 800-838-3760 to tell the region of events coming to stages and galleries on both sides of the state line. 

You are invited as well, to grab a phone and help fill up the dance card. 

Lenya Quinn-Davidson, UCCE

Ashland residents have gotten used to the smoke rising from the hills above town, as the Ashland Forest Resiliency project burns an excess of fuel in the city's watershed.  The burning is mostly on public land. 

The Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association is all about coordinating the burning of private lands, for forest health and fire danger reduction. 

We get an overview of the association's activities from Dean Hunt, a local rancher and the president. 


Maybe you don't want to write the great American novel, but you do at least want to make your reports for work clear and concise.  A lot of us have to write for work, even though we may not be enthusiastic about the process. 

Mary-Kate Mackey addresses the half-hearted writers among us with tips, in her book Write Better Right Now: The Reluctant Writer’s Guide to Confident Communication and Self-Assured Style

The original interview from 2017 inspired us. 


The term "Medicare for all" is getting a workout in the presidential campaign.  People sometimes forget there was Medicare for none until 1965, and it took a big battle to get the program through Congress. 

Note that 1965 was also the year of the Voting Rights Act, a companion to the Civil Rights Act of a year before.  Medicare played a part in integrating American medicine, a story covered by the documentary film "The Power to Heal:  Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution."

It will screen in Arcata on Saturday (March 7th), sponsored by Black Humboldt, Health Care For All-California, and Physicians for a National Health Program


You can forgive a few people for losing track of new taxes in Oregon.  The current session of the legislature took up, and then broke up, over a plan to set up a cap-and-trade system to slow climate change. 

Just last year the legislature passed a new corporate activity tax to send more money to schools.  And now the Department of Revenue is traveling the state, explaining how that tax will be assessed, and how it will affect businesses. 


The median home price in the city of San Francisco is now $1.4 Million.  Most of us can only look at that information and wonder "what happened?" 

Conor Dougherty, economics reporter at the New York Times, set his sights on answering that question.  The circumstances that led to tech-industry employee buses driving past tent cities are laid out in Dougherty's book Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America

It is both history and cautionary tale for other parts of the country. 

Harlequin Gold website

"Three chords and a story."  Josh Gross frequently reminds us that's about all you need to make music people will want to listen to. 

It helps to have some talent, too, and Josh tracks talented musical acts coming and going through the Rogue Valley.  He shares a short list with us every month in a segment called Rogue Sounds. 


In a world full of lots of different people and cultures, it helps to have some sense of how to respond to people in culturally appropriate ways. 

The Rogue Valley's La Clinica, which is about providing equity in health care to many different communities, teams up with Wings Seminars to offer training on cultural agility.  Another session is scheduled for later this month in the Rogue Valley. 

Public Domain

Not all of us get our animal protein from the grocery store, wrapped in plastic in a little tray.  Meat can also come direct from the countryside, from hunting. 

And even the best hunters may have a few questions about what to do after the kill; how to prepare meat for consumption.  The Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, SOREC, offers this knowledge among its many offerings. 

Master Food Preservers give instruction in "From Hunt to Home," with another session coming up later in March. 


The polarization of the United States has less to do with color than with money, says University of Texas professor Michael Lind.  Bigotry is mixed in, but the larger issue in Lind's analysis is the decreased power of labor to influence pay and working conditions. 

The decrease has been going on a long time, as Lind demonstrates in his book The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite


Even the best parents can use a little help when their kids are babies.  And that's why an increasing number of states offer programs in which registered nurses visit with the families of newborns. 

Oregon is now embarking on such a program, called Family Connects.  The program is not limited to low-income families... any family that wants a visit gets a visit, eventually. 

Family Connects is on a six-year rollout across the state. 

Candace Bever/USDA

It's a good idea not to eat any mushrooms you pick, unless you're an expert or have access to one.  Dozens of people die every year because they mistake poisonous mushrooms for the edible kind. 

Now the Agricultural Research Service of the federal Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed a test that can identify toxic mushrooms in the field, within minutes. 

Rogue Retreat

Rogue Retreat is working to make lightning strike again, this time in Grants Pass.  Rogue Retreat had success setting up small houses for homeless people in Medford at Hope Village. 

The planned Foundry Village in Grants Pass will use the same model for temporary transitional housing.