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.


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. 

Y! Música, Wikimedia

Racism continues to rear its head and speak loudly in our time.  Will Harris was motivated to write about it, but not in a strictly black-or-white way. 

Harris is a British writer with dual racial backgrounds, and he focuses his work on two other people of mixed race who lived very public lives: Barack Obama and Keanu Reeves.  Will Harris's book is Mixed-Race Superman: Keanu, Obama, and Multiracial Experience.

Rob Goodwin returns with our segment The Keenest Observers to host a discussion on the subject matter. 

CC BY-SA 2.5,

Californians need to know if the fish they catch are safe to eat, so the state keeps spending money on testing fish for mercury. 

Cal EPA recently awarded another grant to Humboldt Baykeeper to continue its mercury testing program, this time on some species of fish that were not the focus of previous testing. 

Those earlier tests revealed that not all the fish on the North Coast are safe to eat all the time. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The current administration has taken an aggressive stance on illegal immigration; that much is indisputable. 

But plenty of people take exception with the tactics used, including people who have taken steps to thwart the work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in rounding up people of interest. 

The Eugene-based Civil Liberties Defense Center is one of several groups publicizing the rights that people can exert should ICE pay a visit. 


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.