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.


You don't have to walk far in a Southern Oregon city to find a bar that makes its own beer.  Beer-making is booming in the region, and not for the first time. 

Phil Busse, editor and publisher of the Rogue Valley Messenger, turns his attention to the first time in a new book.  It's called simply Southern Oregon Beer: A Pioneering History

It contains the stories of people brewing beer during the gold rushes, and brawling Germans who brought their skills and knowledge with them, and much more. 


You are invited to spend a day without water.  Think about it... no drinking from the tap, no washing your hands, no flushing the toilet. 

Ready?  October 23rd is the day the Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District and other agencies come together to talk about the importance of water and its conservation. 


Didn't get a plastic straw the last time you got a drink from a restaurant?  That's because under Oregon law, you have to ask for one in order to get one. 

Plastic straws have become cosa non grata in much of the world, blamed for a variety of ills, including ocean pollution. 

The company World Centric offers compostable products to move people away from plastic.


Our received wisdom is that current civilization is the highest achievement of humanity, that we should feel lucky to be alive now, and that the future is going to be better. Along comes Christopher Ryan to debunk it all.

Progress, according to Ryan, is a lie. He makes the case in his book Civilized to Death: The Price of Progress.  In the book, we're asked to consider if we really gained all that much: we don't worry about being eaten by other animals, but we do have to worry about dying in car wrecks. 

Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington, Public Domain,

Gone, but not forgotten.  World War II had a huge impact on the region; it was home to both a major army base (Camp White, where White City is now) and a Japanese American internment camp (at Tule Lake).  Oregon also suffered the only civilian deaths on American soil. 

Historian and archaeologist Jeff LaLande spent a career researching the events and trends of the past.  He still speaks about that past, including a session Wednesday (October 9th) at the Ashland library. 

State Library and Archives of Florida, Public Domain,

Our guests in the monthly Stories of Southern Oregon segment tend to be people who made a living on the land, or are descended from families who did. 

This month's guest is focused on the future more than the past.  Even the word "future" appears in Jeremy Kennedy's title, since he's the Future Farmers of America (FFA) teacher at Phoenix High School. 

He visits to talk about his work and his view of the future of Rogue Valley agriculture. 


Which historical figures do you wish you could meet and converse with?  Margaret Emerson built a book around the creator of the Tao Te Ching and the "American Taoist," Ralph Waldo Emerson.

It is an imagined conversation between the author and her predecessors, called Laotse, Waldo, and Me.  Together, they--and readers--pursue a sense of balance; yin/yang, feminine/masculine, and more, in a world that wobbles a bit at the moment.

Anybody who wished they could ride a bike on city streets without worrying about traffic gets that wish granted at Medford Open Streets

The event, on Saturday October 12th, shuts down a couple of streets in the heart of downtown to motor vehicle traffic, from 11 AM to 2 PM.  So people on foot or bike or skateboard or pretty much anything without a motor get free rein on the streets around Pear Blossom Park. 

Norm Sands/Run4Salmon Facebook page

Salmon can no longer make the journey from the Sacramento/San Joaquin delta to the McCloud River, so now people do it.  During the Run4Salmon, the Winnemem Wintu and supporters make a 300 mile prayerful journey from the Bay-Delta to the McCloud, tracing the migratory spawning route of winter-run Chinook salmon.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

It wasn't so long ago that a car reaching 100,000 miles traveled was a big deal.  Back then, odometers generally didn't even count above 99,999.  Now they do, and the vehicles that contain them survive and even thrive in middle age. 

But... but they still break down, and Zach Edwards and his staff of technicians at Ashland Automotive work to find out why.  Zach visits once a month in a segment we call The Squeaky Wheel, taking questions on vehicle care and repair. 

Call 800-838-3760 with your car questions, or send them to

Fibonacci Blue, CC BY 2.0,

You can champion the cause of tolerance and acceptance, but can you go overboard?  Can you so insist on the exercise of some people's rights that you trample the rights of others?  This is a question asked for years now on college campuses. 

Robert Boyers, himself a distinguished academic and self-described left-liberal, decries what he sees as the growing illiberal and intolerant climate created by identity politics on college campuses.  He takes on the issue in a series of essays, bundled together as The Tyranny of Virtue: Identity, the Academy and the Hunt for Political Heresies

Camelot Theatre

The equinox is behind us; the nights are now longer than the days.  Cool.  Cool in both senses of the word: the weather and the chance to spend our evenings taking in some regional works of art. 

We showcase a month's worth of arts events in our First Friday Arts segment, celebrating all art on stage and in galleries (with all kinds of other venues). 

It is ALL listener-generated content... we invite arts organizations around the region, large and small, to call us with details of their events.

The economic cycles of rural areas have a way of acting like roller coasters: way up and way down.  A project called Beyond Boom and Bust examines the cycle in the Illinois Valley, but with an artistic approach to the subject matter. 

BB&B starts with a production incorporating documentary, dance, and theatre, a piece called "The (w)Hole."  The creators call the form "docudance."


The military budgets of most countries, ours included, tend to go in one direction: up.  National security is an easy case to make, a few politicians want to be seen as weak on security by opposing spending on arms. 

Paul Holden, who has covered many arms sales, finds flaws in the logic and even the facts used by people who seek to bolster arms spending.  Holden is both editor and principal author of Indefensible: Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade

California's Central Valley is the setting for the movie "Oildale," about veterans coming back from war and finding salvation... and country music. 

So it's only appropriate that the movie should get some screen time in the Central Valley.  A showing on Saturday (October 5th) at the Cascade Theatre in Redding introduces a local crowd to the film and raises money for the local chapter of Veterans Resource Centers of America, which helps out homeless vets. 

Alex E. Proimos / Flickr

Research out of Oregon Health & Science University in Portland backs up with other researchers have found: health care for LGBTQ+ people isn't as good as what the rest of the population gets.  Issues arise that medical professionals do not catch, and often the correct questions are not asked. 

An effort to close the gap comes to Medford next week (October 8th), with an LGBTQ Health Care Forum at the Medford Library. 

Pianos for Peace Facebook page.

Malek Jandali creates music and believes in peace.  It's no surprise he's combined the two in an ongoing project called "Pianos for Peace."

It was only last fall that the Rogue Valley Symphony brought Jandali to town to oversee the debut of a viola concerto.  Now the composer is back for a series of events related to "Pianos for Peace," including the temporary placement of two pianos in Ashland for the public to enjoy. 

Moontricks Instagram

If there's a genre of music Josh Gross does NOT like, he's keeping it a secret.  Josh is a music player, maker, and lover, and he visits once a month to talk about other music makers playing gigs in the region. 

It's a segment we call Rogue Sounds, and the variety of sounds is always impressive.  Listen in as we hear about a handful of bands and artists, with some interpretation--and plenty of appreciation--from Josh.  

California is an economic giant, with an economy a bit larger than that of the United Kingdom. Yes, the UK. 

But the economic benefits are not evenly distributed; away from the big cities and the ocean, some areas are seeing their per capita income drop. 

The Regions Rise Together initiative is meant to build a plan for more inclusive and sustainable growth across the entire state.  The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the Governor's Office of Planning and Research lead the way. 

Southern Oregon University

People from all kinds of backgrounds come together to form the student body at any university.  That's why, over time, the position of diversity officer has been established and has become increasingly important. 

Suresh Appavoo recently accepted the position of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Southern Oregon University in Ashland.  The job may be straightforward, but not simple: encourage diversity and a campus where students live and work harmoniously.