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.


It's only in the last few decades that a lot of the region's agriculture has shifted from fruit orchards to grape vineyards.  But the region's experience with growing wine grapes is long and deep. 

And Scott Stursa plunges into the stories of the industry with his book Oregon Wine: A Deep-Rooted History.  His previous book was about hard liquor in Oregon; we sense a trend. 

Jackson County Continuum of Care

The wintertime homeless counts around the country get a lot of scrutiny before they get released. 

The count for Jackson County recently saw the light of day, and it indicates a slight lowering of the homeless population (732 to 712), with particular progress among homeless veterans. 

But there's still plenty of work ahead for the Jackson County Continuum of Care and all of its affiliated agencies and organizations.

Roughly a quarter of the population around the world will experience some form of mental illness at some point.  Yet society still struggles to comprehend diseases that affect the mind and not the body. 

Southern Oregon Compass House in Medford provides a safe space for people with persistent mental illness.  Our monthly visits in Compass Radio provide us with a first-person story of coping with mental illness and its associated challenges. 

Philip Groshong/Cincinnati Opera

When a prosecutor switches sides and begins calling out the excesses and abuses of his former fellows, it's bound to have an impact.  And so it was with Mark Godsey and his book Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions

But the work has taken an interesting turn: it has been turned into an opera.  Cincinnati Opera premiered the sung version of "Blind Injustice" in late July, with performances running through July 27th. 


More than half the American population has no memory of cigarette commercials on TV and radio, because they stopped in the early 1970s.  And regulators have put additional pressures on tobacco companies to curtail their marketing, especially marketing that might appeal to younger people thinking about starting smoking. 

The Oregon Health Authority's tobacco unit recently put out its Tobacco Retail Assessment Report.  Bottom line: the tobacco industry still spends something like $100 Million in Oregon every year to get people to buy cigarettes and other products. 


Chinese workers played a large part in the building of today's American West.  But little more than a decade after the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, Congress and state legislatures passed laws ending Chinese immigration. 

Recent archaeological work in Eastern Oregon indicates more Chinese people living there in the 19th century than previously thought; people who also stayed longer than presumed.  A dig in the Malheur National Forest includes the U.S. Forest Service Passport In Time program and the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA). 

So this month's edition of our Underground History segment focuses on that dig. 


The last two American elections have shown a desire to rip up the old and build something new.  But the greatest source of frustration--economic inequality--remains in place, along with the system that allows/creates/confirms it. 

It does not need to be this way, say Marjorie Kelly and Ted Howard.  They are leaders of The Democracy Collaborative, working for a more democratic economy. 

And they lay out their ideas in the book The Making of a Democratic Economy: Building Prosperity for the Many, Not Just the Few

Cal Fire

Our broadcast signals reach from Mendocino in the south to Eugene in the north.  But our people generally work out of the studios in Ashland. 

One notable exception: Valerie Ing, who works and lives in Redding.  She was there a year ago this week, when the Carr Fire swept into town, destroying hundreds of homes.  Hers was spared, but she knew plenty of people who had to start from scratch. 


Many of the responses to climate change action initiatives come back to a simple question: what will this cost?  The Center for Climate Integrity provides answers for coastal communities around the country.  

CCI made estimates for what coastal communities will pay for seawalls and similar structures to hold back a rising ocean.  Example: close to $750 Billion for Lane County alone, and that's not the most expensive figure for Oregon. 


RU ROFL about Internet communication, or do U H8 it? SWYP?

Linguist and author Gretchen McCullough explores how the Internet is changing the way we speak and write. She totes wrote a book about it; it's called Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language

Listen to this segment, bcuz YOLO.


You have a bunch of choices to consider for spending a nice, slow, summer day.  Things like whether to bring a beach umbrella or wear sunscreen, whether to bring a chair or a blanket. 

We can help you with one of those choices, what to read on your outing.  Our Summer Reads segment invites people from independent book shops up and down the listening area to visit with their ideas for great books to read on quiet summer days.  Or noisy ones, we're not picky. 

Toni Wheeler of Mendocino Book Company is up this week. 

Ryan Russell Studios via McConnell Foundation

It's been a productive year, rebuilding the parts of Redding scorched by the Carr Fire.  But the work is a long way from being finished. 

We continue our year-later lookback with a visit on the long-term recovery of the Redding area.  The efforts get a boost from the Shasta Regional Community Foundation and the local chapter of the Salvation Army.  Both organizations are members of NorCal CRT (Community Recovery Team).


One of the greatest expenses of making wine is the cost of people. 

Much of the work in maintaining wine grapes, is the cost of doing the work by hand.  Many hands are required.  For now, that is; inventors continue to tweak designs for machines that can prune as well as pick in the vineyards. 

The Viticulture & Enology program at the University of California-Davis is involved in the transition, as is the UC's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Allie Caulfield from Germany/Wikimedia

It's true you can drive right up to some of Northern California's giant redwood trees.  But you can also walk up to them and enjoy the difference in scale between their majestic height and our rather insignificant elevation. 

Plenty of hiking trails exist, and John Soares lists them in a new book: Hike the Parks: Redwood National & State Parks

April Ehrlich/JPR News

We devote several segments of this week's Exchange to a one-year lookback to the Carr Fire and its ongoing effects in the Redding area. 

But JPR News has other avenues of approach to covering wildfire past and present.  Exchange producer and reporter April Ehrlich has been working for months on collecting the individual stories of people who live in communities affected by wildfire. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

It may seem like yesterday, but the Carr Fire destroyed all those homes in Redding a full year ago.  The memory is fresh for many people because their homes are not yet rebuilt. 

But the area is continuing to recover from the devastation.  Superior California Economic Development is one of a host of entities helping guide the post-fire recovery. 

Nelsen Family Farm

The drive to get people to eat food grown near their homes continues to produce new initiatives.  The Oregon Farm Bureau, which already celebrated agricultural producers through "Oregon's Bounty," just added a new searchable directory to the online publication. 

One of the beneficiaries is the Nelsen family of the Illinois Valley.  Maybe you saw their farm stand, advertising "Sweet Cron."  The misspelling certainly draws attention. 


Mummies and tetracycline.  Not a combination you hear much about, but mummified bodies from the ancient world show traces of tetracycline. 

So we've had antibiotics for a very long time, just without knowing what they were or what they did.  The trouble came with the constant use of antibiotics once we understood them; now we have bacteria that have developed immunity to antibiotics. 

These are the Superbugs of the title of Dr. Matt McCarthy's book.  He is a physician and teacher and part of a trial to develop a new antibiotic that offers hope of getting past the obstacles of the superbugs. 

Geoffrey Riley | JPR News

The last few fire seasons were hard on everybody who got caught in the smoke.  And that was nearly everybody in our region, at some point in the summer. 

The impact is that much greater on people who already had breathing issues like COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. 

Reporter Robin Epley at the Chico Enterprise-Record researched the issue for a podcast series called "Inhaled." 

William Smith

Summer flavors are in full swing, and some of the foods growing around us are beginning to ripen.  We celebrate fruit in this month's edition of Savor, our food segment. 

Will Smith returns with tales of the care and preparation of stone fruits, including a recipe for grilled peaches with vanilla cream (below). 

And we get some tips on fruit preservation from the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center.