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.


Garbage, trash, rubbish... pick your term.  Now imagine reducing what we throw there, even further than we already have. 

That's the challenge the City of Eureka is placing before its citizens: the idea that NOTHING is wasted and ends up in a landfill.  Go Zero Eureka is a campaign to push for a zero-waste community.

Mark Schuster/U.S. Department of the Interior

Waterways around the region are protected from development and pollution by a number of programs.  Some are in the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers system. 

Oregon offers its own kind of protection under the designation of "Outstanding Resource Waters."  The state Environmental Quality Commissioner recently agreed to move ahead with the designation for both Waldo Lake and Crater Lake, both in the Cascades. 

The Department of Environmental Quality is embarking on the planning process. 

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region,, Public Domain,

Dam removal continues to generate controversy in our region. Proponents see restored ecosystems and fish runs.

Opponents see diminished irrigation water for agriculture, and a loss of beloved recreational lakes. Peter Brewitt examines the politics of dam removal in his new book, Same River Twice: The Politics of Dam Removal and River Restoration.

The book looks at removal efforts of high and low controversy, from the Savage Rapids Dam on the Rogue to the Marmot Dam on the Sandy. 

Tiia Monto, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The devastation of losing a home to fire can be compounded by what follows: a long process involving insurance paperwork, site cleanup, and rebuilding. 

Oregon's Department of Consumer and Business Services offers some tips on thinking about disasters before they happen.  DCBS urges people to make sure they have adequate insurance, and take a home inventory when things are quiet and no threat is looming.

It's stunning to look at pictures of American cities before we got serious about curbing air pollution.  A heightened environmentally sensibility and the Clean Air Act has made a big difference in the quality of the air we breathe. 

Then again, it only takes a wildfire or two to bring the smoke rolling into our communities today.  And other parts of the world face air pollution on a daily basis. 

Beth Gardiner gives us a world tour in the book Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution

Public Domain,

The process that led to the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") had some lofty goals at the outset.  Supporters wanted to cut the number of people without health insurance in the country to zero, or close to it. 

But that didn't quite happen, and the removal of the requirement to buy health insurance increased the uninsured population further.  Those findings are confirmed by a recent study at Oregon Health & Science University, OHSU. 

It focused on low-cost community health centers, and found people seeking them out because they did not have insurance, for a variety of reasons. 


These are the days of the year when you're mostly likely to get into your car and speed off to a vacation spot, with the air conditioner keeping you cool on the way. 

How's your car holding up under the pressure?  Anything rattling where it didn't before? 

Zach Edwards has heard many a telltale rattle in his years repairing cars.  Now he heads a team of car-repair technicians at Ashland Automotive.  And he joins us once a month for a perusal of car-care issues we call The Squeaky Wheel. 


Human decisions ranging from the drinking of gin to the surrender of Scottish sovereignty have hinged on the behavior of a particular animal.  No, not humans.  Mosquitoes. 

That is the argument historian and political scientist Timothy Winegard advances in his book The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator.  The book goes through a surprising list of key historical events and shows how the little bloodsuckers have played major roles in the outcomes. 

Rodney Rampy/Randall Theatre

We're in the home stretch now for the end of the summer, and the arts events are still coming fast and furious.  Stages and galleries in many towns will be busy through the month of August. 

We sync up with the First Friday arts events in several towns by offering our own overview of coming attractions, called First Friday Arts. 

It's all listener-generated content; we email invitations across the region, and let them call 800-838-3760 to boost their events on Friday morning. 


In the west, water is a constant battleground; there's great demand and a lot less supply.

Drawing on her childhood grwing up in the arid west, Becca Lawton's essays dive into the the many ways that water--or the lack of it--shape our part of the world.  She collects the essays in The Oasis This Time: Living and Dying with Water in the West.

The author lives in Summer Lake, Oregon and runs the nonprofit PLAYA.

She gives a reading Sunday (August 4th) at the Ashland Public Library. 


Maybe you're really careful with the information you put online.  You don't share your name with websites, and certainly not your social security number.  You're anonymous, right? 

Maybe not, recent research shows.  Scientific American recently published an article about the research; just your gender, birthdate, and zip code can be enough to strip away your anonymity most of the time. 

Journalist Sophie Bushwick wrote the SA article. 

Bumble bees, native to our region, can be a bit hard to find.  One species in particular, Franklin's bumble bee, may already be extinct. 

There's room for non-scientists to get involved in tracking and assisting bumble bees: the Pacific Northwest Bumble Bee Atlas.  Citizen scientists get training before being turned loose to look for bees and record their sightings.

Iliana Regan figured out her love for food early.  What to do with it was another issue. 

She got her first job in a professional kitchen at age 15, worked in other restaurants while she learned cooking, and finally ran her own kitchen.  Meanwhile, she had to navigate sexuality and repression, alcoholism and kitchen macho. 

Regan is now recognized for her innovative work in her own restaurant, and writes about the pathway to it in Burn the Place.

CBFMN Facebook page

Josh Gross often says of the bands he features, "I love these guys!"  And he means it. 

Josh, a musician/performer/composer himself, is extremely enthusiastic about music in many forms.  He shares the the enthusiasm--and the work of five bands--with us in a monthly segment we call Rogue Sounds. 

This month's featured acts: Toots and the Maytals, Duke Evers, Conducted By Forget Me Not, Flock of Seagulls, and Derek Deon and The Vaughans.


Benares, India (Varanasi, if you prefer) is nearly 7,500 miles from the Rogue Valley.  But Deobrat Mishra, musician and teacher, made the long trip to share his music. 

And it's not the first time; this marks our second visit with the sitar master and teacher, who comes from a long line of musicians and composers. 


Have you thought much about what will happen to your body when you die?  In this time of increasing interest in green burials, there are alternatives to the standard metal-coffin-in-concrete-vault burial. 

The owners of Willow-Witt Ranch near Ashland recently sought Jackson County approval to turn part of their ranch into a green burial site, the Forest Natural Burial Ground.  A bit more than 18 acres will be set aside for the burying of bodies without chemicals or vaults, and with biodegradable shrouds and coffins. 


There's a certain style to noir detective stories.  Example: "Beads of perspiration trickled down my neck, in defiance of the air conditioner that groaned like a heifer in labor." 

No actual heifers were harmed in the writing of that story and the others cranked out by Clive Rosengren.  He lives in the Rogue Valley now and describes himself as a recovering actor, focusing his work on a series of books about fictional detective Eddie Collins. 

Collins treads the same streets Rosengren trod as a working actor in L.A. 


August is nearly here, signaling a return to school and work in a few weeks.  But there's still some summer left, and therefore some time to curl up someplace with a good book. 

Our Summer Reads segment visits with independent bookstore owners around the region, for their advice on volumes to take on seasonal trips or just to the backyard.  J. Aubrey-Herzog from Northtown Books in Arcata visits. 

Eethove Jeffrey Maiten, CC BY 3.0,

Education may be a key to getting out of poverty, but it's not a magic key.  Even college students report instability in their housing situations, forcing them to car-camp or couch-surf or look for alternative places to sleep. 

College of the Redwoods in Eureka took several steps in the last academic year to find quarters for COR students.  We get an update on how well those programs worked and what COR envisions for the coming academic year. 


Children with disabilities are supposed to get educations like all children.  But a group that stands up for the rights of children with disabilities in Oregon found too many children getting short school days, restricting their learning. 

The students were sent home early because of behavioral issues, and Disability Rights Oregon filed a lawsuit on their behalf, to get the supports that could help them stay in school all day.  A federal judge heard oral arguments on the case merits in early July.