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.


Being a doctor is a job with plenty of challenges.  Now imagine adding many degrees of difficulty by taking the job on the road. 

Not house calls, but countries that have people in desperate need of medical attention.  Assisting them is the mission of Médecins Sans Frontières, Doctors Without Borders in English. 

Karen Stewart of MSF works in mental health and has stories from 11 assignments to talk about. 


We always sit at attention when Alexandra Horowitz visits.  Wait, that makes us sound like dogs. 

Which is appropriate, because Alexandra researches dog behavior, and our behavior with dogs.  Should we necessarily spay and neuter our dogs?  How should we talk to dogs?  Is breeding ethical?

Our guest tackles those and other surprising questions in her new book, Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond.


The Ashland Culture of Peace Commission might not exist if not for the work of Anwarul K. Chowdhury.  And now he's set to amplify the favor. 

Chowdhury, who worked as a Bangladeshi diplomat and at the United Nations, was intrumental in advancing the concept of a culture of peace.  He is the featured speaker and guest at a Global Peace Conference in Ashland on Saturday. 

William Smith

How can something so simple (and delicious) be so confusing?  We get into disagreements over whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable (surprise! It's a berry), we get into disagreements over how to pronounce the word... at least we agree on its versatility. 

From pasta sauce to jam, tomatoes have many uses.  We explore those in this month's edition of Savor, our food segment. 

Food stylist Will Smith returns to share the hosting chores, offering up his recipe for gazpacho (cold tomato soup, yum!).  And Promiseland Farm in Sunny Valley offers up some tomato expertise. 


Something like 1.5 million people took part in "climate strike" actions earlier this year, walking out of school and work to demonstrate support for action to curb climate change. 

Global Climate Strike activities for this Friday, September 20th, are expected to be even bigger.  They are timed to coincide with the opening of the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on the following Monday. 

Local student discuss planned actions.


We run a bit of a risk with this month's edition of Underground History.  Normally the segment is about archaeology, but this time around we talk to a paleontologist. 

Which is fine; the work is similar, and in fact, the fields are often confused.  Nick Famoso grew up in Grants Pass and is now the chief paleontologist at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Eastern Oregon. 

Chelsea Rose is back from that part of the state, back at the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA). 

Steven Larsen, CC BY 3.0,

"I can say what I want, it's a free country."  Easy to say, not so easy to justify; no rights are absolute in the United States (or anywhere else). 

Free speech has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years, with conservatives complaining about how their views are handled on college campuses, and liberals complaining about political money identified as speech by federal courts. 

P.E. Moskowitz takes up many facets of the speech debate in The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent

CharmaineZoe's Marvelous Melange/Wikimedia

Jacksonville was born and grew into the county seat back in the Victorian days.  Even now the historic downtown does not look that different from how it looked when "good Queen Vic" was alive. 

Historic Jacksonville, Inc. spends a few days this month and next recreating those halcyon (and occasionally bizarre) times in town.  Events include people wearing Victorian clothing and recreating elaborate Victorian mourning rituals. 

34 Seconds Facebook page

The treatment of people crossing the US-Mexican border is always a topic for debate. A former Ashland resident is focused not on crossings, but on people shot on the Mexican side by law enforcement people on our side. 

Adam Markle takes up the topic in the movie "34 Seconds."

Will you hear music when you die? 

Forget the after-life implications, that's an Earth-bound question.  And the answer is yes, if you want it.  Music thanatologists play music by the bedsides of dying people, frequently harp music. 

Peter Roberts has been doing it for a very long time, and he is the subject of a documentary film, "From Music Into Silence," by filmmaker Farshid Akhlagi.  We get a visit from Peter Roberts and hear some of his music. 


Air ambulances in California get some public funding to stay in business.  And before the legislature closed, it passed a bill to extend that funding. 

That buys time for the air ambulance services, which point to the evacuation of an entire neonatal unit from Redding during the Carr Fire as proof of their value. 

The California Association of Air Medical Services pushed for the passage of the funding measure, AB 651.  It awaits Governor Gavin Newsom's signature. 

James Heilman, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The death of son Max to a heroin overdose spurred Julia and David Pinsky to action.  They created the nonprofit Max's Mission, dedicated to handing out Naloxone doses so that the overdose-reversing drug would be available in a hurry. 

The Pinskys recently received an award recognizing programs around Oregon that target drug addiction. 

Alabama Public Radio

Fentanyl can be a confusing drug.  Not only is its name often mispronounced (it's "fentan-ill"), but it's just hard to conceive of a drug so strong that a little bit can kill. 

And it does; fentanyl figured in the deaths of Tom Petty and Prince, and kills thousands of lesser-known people every year. 

Why IS there a drug roughly 50 times stronger than morphine and heroin?  These are among the questions researched by Ben Westhoff in the book Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic.  The research included visiting a fentanyl lab in China. 

Coming of age in a dreary Northwest town.  That's a very basic outline for the movie "Low Low," which is set in (but not actually shot in) Vancouver, Washington. 

Four working-class teen girls try to figure out what comes after high school in the film, which has already had single-night screenings in Ashland and Eugene (yes, and Vancouver). 

KDA Homes

For once, The Ground Floor focuses on a business that really deals with ground floors.  KDA Homes in the Rogue Valley brings some experienced builders together to create housing that incorporates recent innovations in energy, in design, and in concept. 

An example is The Garden Cottages in Ashland, a set of smaller homes designed to function as a community. 

Laz Ayala, who joined us a few months ago to talk about immigrating to the United States, is one of the partners in KDA. 


We've got some issues facing us now that require some long-term planning.  Global warming will not be solved immediately; we won't see results of climate-positive actions right away. 

Which makes it hard for creatures bent toward instant gratification.  So how do we modify our behaviors in ways that provide benefits a while from now, perhaps not in our lifetimes? 

Bina Venkataraman examines who we are and what we're capable of in the book The Optimist's Telescope


The Klamath Independent Film Festival has been slowly building its reach and reputation in recent years.  This year it has the perfect main event: a feature film shot IN Klamath Falls. 

It's true, the indy film "Phoenix, Oregon" needed a bowling alley; Klamath Falls has one, where Phoenix does not.  The feature is only one of many films to screen over the three days of the festival. 


For several years now, the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission has worked to instill a sense of people doing right by each other in the community. 

And it is clearly not the only organization of its kind, because others are sending reps to the Ashland Global Peace Conference, next week in Ashland (September 21st).  Anwarul K. Chowdhury, the founder of the global culture of peace, will be among the guests. 


When we refer back to "the wisdom of the ancients," a logical follow-up is "which ancients?"  There were many influential cultures in the world millennia ago. 

And despite the way they tend to be taught, they had some awareness of each other, even some interaction.  That explains the plural in the title of historian Michael Scott's book Ancient Worlds: A Global History of Antiquity

The book focuses on a period 2500 years ago when things began to turn in the direction of the civilization we know today. 

Rogue Valley Mentoring

A little nudge in the right direction can make a huge difference in the life of a young person.  Going beyond nudge to general guidance is what mentoring is all about. 

We visited in the past with the people of The Rose Circle, which started with women mentoring girls and expanded to include males.  Now the program has even outgrown its old name, and is now known as Rogue Valley Mentoring