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.


Chocolate or vanilla?  How about chocolate or vanilla or strawberry?  Decisions can perplex us, especially when the number of choices increases. 

Ellen Peters at the University of Oregon knows this well... she is an expert in decision-making and in the science of communicating science.  That's not a typo, there's a science in delivering information about science. 

And Peters, who heads the Center for Science Communication Research at UO, joins us to lay out the basics. 


Les AuCoin spent 18 years representing Northwest Oregon in the U.S. House, at a time when issues like the spotted owl and forest management were looming large. 

He ran for the Senate in 1992, lost to Bob Packwood, then watched as a sexual misconduct scandal swept Packwood from office three years later.  AuCoin had to let the painful loss go, a practice he used on other disappointments in life. 

AuCoin gives many details of his journey in the book Catch and Release: An Oregon Life in Politics

City of Ashland

Did anyone really ever give the contents of a "doggie bag" to a dog? 

Regardless of who consumes the contents, we take our take-out containers home, throwing the bag and any other containers in the trash.  Which goes to a landfill. 

Ashland recently instituted a pilot project called "Rogue To Go," which offers reusable containers for people picking up meals to take home.

Folk music was BIG for a time in the early 1960s.  There was even a TV show featuring folk music, until the British Invasion (Beatles, anyone?) eclipsed the folk revival. 

The Kingston Trio played a major role in the revival, and the trio--albeit with different members--still tours today.  Bob Haworth, who grew up in Medford, sang with the trio a few times since 1985. 

He plays and sings a tribute to the trio's music with a pair of fellow Rogue Valley musicians. 


Remember when you could graduate from high school, get a job at the local factory, and make decent money there until you retired?  Few people do in today's America. 

The economic framework changed over the last several decades.  And so did the relationship between workers and employers. 

Rick Wartzman, longtime journalist with the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, tracks the changes in his book The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America

Ellin Beltz, Public Domain,

The "Lost Coast" might not stay lost for long.  Especially when the rest of the country realizes that California's northwest coast might have an easier time with the effects of climate change. 

Effects will be felt, says Michael Furniss at Humboldt State University, but temperatures will generally be cooler than anywhere else in California. 

Golden Globe Winners!  New TV shows!  And maybe an impeachment trial... there's PLENTY to talk about in media land. 

And we survey that landscape every month in a segment called Signals & Noise.  Andrew Gay and Chris Lucas from the Communication faculty at Southern Oregon University give their take on some of the hotter issues in the media. 


No parent would walk up to a total stranger and show off pictures of their children.  We think. 

But it happens all the time on social media, as parents post pictures of their clever and beautiful children, often without any permissions required for the rest of the world to see them. 

Leah Plunkett sees a problem here: parents creating a digital dossier that could follow their kids for life.  Plunkett, an expert on the Internet and the law, lays out her case in the book Sharenthood: Why We Should Think before We Talk about Our Kids Online

Oregon State University

We fear the eruption of a volcano on land; Mount Saint Helens proved how destructive such an eruption can be.  But there are eruptions all the time that escape notice. 

Because they are under the sea, in some cases very far under the sea.  Oregon State researchers recently reported the deepest-known undersea eruption, close to the Mariana Trench in the Pacific. It's 14,700 feet down... enough water to submerge Mount Shasta and have plenty of clearance. 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

Scientists and fishery managers were already concerned about fish stocks, before the effects of climate change became apparent.  Salmonids in our region can be very sensitive to changes in temperature; they often need colder water to survive. 

But recent research out of the University of California-Davis shows that the effects of warm water can be mitigated somewhat by an abundant food supply.  So let the water warm, but feed the fish more? 

Not exactly, says lead research Robert Lusardi.  His work focused on the Shasta River, a unique ecosystem.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

OK, Boomer.  And while we're at it: OK, Millennial.  These two generational groups get the lion's share of media attention; no surprise, since Boomers were, and Millennials now are, the largest age cohorts in the American population. 

Ada Calhoun wants to talk about the generation in between, Generation X.  Gen Xers are now entering midlife, and quite a few do indeed feel in crisis or close to it. 

These are the people Calhoun talked to for her book Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis.  Concerns from divorce to money to housing keep Gen X women up at night. 


The coast of Southern Oregon does not have a lot of people, but it has more than enough wind.  And it is a likely place for electrical generation from wind power, especially offshore. 

Photo of person's hands holding prescription medications.

Multiply by five.  That is the general formula for computing the price of a prescription drug in the United States, versus what it costs in the rest of the world. 

That is one of the starker findings in a year-end report on prescription drugs prepared by Oregon's Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).  The report is one of the requirements of a prescription drug price transparency program created by the legislature two years ago. 


It's become something of dogma that grief will follow a standard trajectory: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  But it's entirely possible for people to feel these in random order, or several of them at once. 

Psychologist George Bonanno took up the subject in his book The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss

It received an update after ten years, but still holds to the idea that our emotions help us deal with loss--all of our emotions. 

Image of forest on fire
skeeze via Pixabay

The raging wildfires of our time in history provide plenty of impetus to understand fire better. 

And that reminds us that there are thousands of years of knowledge about fire still resident in the region.  Native Americans used fire to manage the land before white settlers arrived. 

Chris Chambers, chief of the forestry division of Ashland Fire & Rescue, begins with that history and brings it up to the present day in a pair of upcoming lectures on wildfires past and present, January 8th and 15th. 


It hasn't been too tough so far, but winter can be hard on cars and their owners.  Getting them to start on cold mornings and shoving them out of snowbanks can be hard on both vehicles and operators. 

We have some questions about good procedures for Zach Edwards, the owner of Ashland Automotive, and our regular guest in The Squeaky Wheel. 

What questions or stories do you have to share on driving in winter (or any other season, for that matter)? 


When we talk about developing brains, we usually mean for little kids.  The first three years are critical to the shaping of the mind and person, we're told. 

But add 60 years to that kid, and there's still development going on.  The post-60 brain has needs just like the young one does, in order to stay supple and meet the challenges of aging.

Christmas concerts, Christmas pageants, Christmas plays... yeah, that's all over. 

Now it's January, the days are short, and even the pretty lights are coming down.  SOME of the pretty lights, we stress. 

There are still lights shining on stages and gallery walls all over the region, and we highlight those in our monthly First Friday Arts segment.  This is a public participation party... the list of events is provided by arts organizers calling 800-838-3760


Bicycles are moving around the city of Medford, sometimes ridden by people who do not own them.

Medford Police report an uptick in bike thefts this year, more than 62% up from the same time last year. The reasons are not clear, but some preventive actions could curb the trend.


Quick, name the powerful figures behind the rise of right-wing politics in America.  The Koch Brothers?  Yes, and... James McGill Buchanan. 

Who?  Buchanan was a Nobel-winning economist whose ideas were largely taken up and boosted by the Koch Brothers. 

Historian Nancy MacLean told the story in her book Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America