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.


If the state spends more on public goods, are the people who live there happier?  Yes, in short

Political scientist more spending by the state on public goods like parks and roads parallels people reporting satisfaction in those states. 

But there's a lot of ground to explore in what does and does not constitute a public good. 

ThomasMer/Wikimedia Commons

Maybe it's just a better term than "lecture."  Whatever the key to success, TED talks have caught on all over the world.  We even have a "TED Radio Hour" on our weekend schedule. 

The smaller, more local TEDx talks are also popular, and will soon include a Southern Oregon version, TEDx Ashland

The talks will fill half a day on May 20th, but speaker proposals are due by Valentine's Day, February 14th. 


Whether you think the term is fairly applied or not, the term "illegal alien" certainly chafes some of the recipients.  Beyond the term is the reality of why people risk legal action and occasionally life and limb to remain in a country where they have no official status. 

Here's where immigration lawyer J.J. Mullen Sepúlveda steps in.  He works at the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of California-Davis, and he has many stories to tell.  His first book is No Human Is Illegal: An Attorney on the Front Lines of the Immigration War

Oregon Health Authority/Oregon Department of Education

One in eight students in an Oregon survey reported being pressured into unwanted sexual activity.  But the incidents are not evenly distributed across the landscape. 

For example, Douglas County shows a higher rate of sexual coercion than Jackson and Josephine Counties.  A new set of maps from the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Education show the information graphically.  

The Sexual Violence Prevention Resource Map is meant to assist in lowering the rates of sexual coercion. 


California state government has gone big into energy-efficiency programs and is resolved to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The City of Arcata is going a step or two further.  Arcata recently enacted new energy standards for buildings that are more stringent than the state requirements, at least for now. 


The same alternative-medicine treatment that makes your doctor frown might also make you feel better. 

We're not all sold on the value of conventional medicine, with the doctors and the drugstores and the stethoscopes and all that.  Even if we are, people have received benefits from treatments conventional medicine did not provide. 

Former New York Times reporter Melanie Warner takes a tour of alternative medicine from many angles, in her book The Magic Feather Effect: The Science of Alternative Medicine and the Surprising Power of Belief

The acronym SNYP makes a bit more sense when you find it stands for Spay/Neuter Your Pet. It's been giving out inexpensive vouchers for people to get birth control surgery for their cats and dogs for years now. 

But issues developed with the system, and SNYP chose to open its own low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Talent, with the doors expected to open in February. 

It was not an easy decision, reports SNYP board president Sally Mackler. 

Quantum Innovations

If you've ever been to an eye doctor and got quizzed about the kind of coating you'd like on your glasses, you've got the beginning of an understanding of what Quantum Innovations in Central Point does. 

But lens coating is just the tip of a very big iceberg.  Quantum founder Norm Kester is the guest on this month's edition of our business segment, The Ground Floor. 

Rowland Scherman; restored by Adam Cuerden - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain,

The observance of Martin Luther King's birthday sends us into the archives in search of MLK-related material. 

Newspaper reporter Marc Perrusquia joined us a while back to talk about his book A Spy in Canaan: How the FBI Used a Famous Photographer to Infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement.  The level of infiltration and detail is amazing. 


We continue our observance of Martin Luther King's birthday with more material about his time in history. 

The Vietnam War was one cause MLK devoted attention to, and it alienated him from some previous supporters when he spoke against the war. 

Christopher Goscha considered the war and all that came before in Vietnam: A New History

Thomas J. O'Halloran/Library of Congress

Have you heard the stories of "segregation academies?"  Those are the private schools that sprang up in the South after the Supreme Court ruled that public schools must integrate. 

Jim Grimsley's family kept him in public school, and his white life got quite an awakening when the first black students showed up. 

He tells the story in How I Shed My Skin: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood

Library of Congress/Wikimedia

Ashland has come a long way in nearly 100 years.  The town that was a hotbed of Ku Klux Klan activity in the 1920s now puts on one of the region's larger celebrations of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.  It's at high noon on the day MLK's birthday is observed, this year on January 21st. 

D.L. Richardson has MC'd the event for many years and Gina DuQuenne has helped shape the program for some time, too. 

Savor: Making The Most Of Meat

Jan 17, 2019
William Smith

Even people who eat meat and enjoy it immensely can have a few pangs of conscience about it.  It's nice to know that the animals we eat didn't suffer in life or its end. 

This month's edition of Savor, our food segment, brings food stylist Will Smith back into the studio.  We talk about hearty meat dishes for mid-winter.

Does life at 50 match up to what we thought it would be at age 20?  For that matter, does any 20-year-old even imagine life at 50? 

Former NPR reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty took serious stock of her life when she went through what she now calls a "faux midlife crisis."  It led to a book called Life Reimagined

The numbers come flying at us daily: unemployment reports, Dow Jones averages, top-grossing movies, you name it. 

But just once every year, the Oregon Community Foundation releases its TOP report, TOP standing for Tracking Oregon's Progress.  Last year's TOP tracked several measures of success for children in the state, and found some issues. 

The new report is arriving now, accompanied by OCF's Sonia Worcel.   Its title is "Oregonians Mobilizing for Change."


You've probably heard about people who try to avoid using plastic for a month, or who spend a year not buying products from China.  But a month not using any products from Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, or Microsoft? 

It's harder than it sounds.  Daniel Oberhaus even wanted to run his phone on something other than Android or iPhone platforms.  He wrote about his experience for an article on Motherboard, focusing on not sharing his information with the tech giants. 

Public Domain

The deep rifts in American society are evident. But how did they develop?

Historian Kevin M. Kruse and CNN political analyst Julian E. Zelizer have traced the divide back to 1974, a year in which the country was rocked by political, economic and cultural events (think Watergate). Their new book, Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974, is based on a popular history course they teach at Princeton. 

California State Parks

The last time Shasta State Historic Park was open was a scary time.  The Carr Fire was bearing down on the park and workers loaded all the portable valuables onto trucks for a trip to Sacramento. 

Only now is the park ready to reopen (on January 25th), minus the Old Schoolhouse, which burned in the fire. 

Park Superintendent Lori Martin and crew spent the last several months making the park habitable again.  


We like to think we're long past the days when people were forced into slavery or prostitution.  But the stories of people who have been victims of human trafficking reveal how contemporary a problem it is. 

Shine A Light plans to raise awareness and money in its annual yoga fundraiser, January 27th in Ashland.  Celina Reppond runs the program, while Staysha Hackmann spoke last year and coordinates the Jackson County Sex Trafficking Task Force at Community Works.  


We're generally heavier than we used to be across society, we get more kinds of allergies and other health issues, and nobody seems to be making much money. 

Pediatrician/professor/researcher Leonardo Trasande points the finger in his book Sicker, Fatter, Poorer: The Urgent Threat of Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals to Our Health and Future . . . and What We Can Do About It.   The author asserts that endocrine-disrupting chemicals in common household products are causing a whole range of serious health problems, especially in children.