John Baxter

Jefferson Exchange Producer

John Baxter's history at JPR reaches back three decades.  John was the JPR program director who was the architect of the split from a single station into three separate program services.  We're thrilled that John has taken a hiatus from his retirement to join JPR as co-producer of the Jefferson Exchange.

Fifty years ago today, on May 21st, 1969, Jefferson Public Radio’s flagship station KSOR signed on the air for the first time.

JPR News Director Liam Moriarty recently sat down with JPR Executive Director Paul Westhelle to share some reflections – and some archival audio -- from our past half-century. 

Thanks to former JPR executive director Ron Kramer and former program director and current Jefferson Exchange producer John Baxter who helped with this story.


Klamath Lake Land Trust

It's not fair to say the Klamath Lake Land Trust is twice as committed to its mission as it used to be.  But it is now protecting and restoring twice as much land, after the purchase of 785 acres in the Sycan Valley. 

The plan is to preserve the land as wilderness and a wildife corridor, though there may be public uses. 

skeeze/Pixabay

Roughly 35,000 people get organ transplants every year in the United States.  Which sounds like a big number, until you look at the one next to it: 115,000 people waiting for transplants. 

Experts say the first number could be bigger and the second number smaller, if a few changes were made to the acceptance of organ donations.  The group called Organize is taking big steps in this area. 

John Staggart, http://www.thebestairmattresses.com, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=55055783

Frustration with recycling remains elevated in the region.  China's decision to stop taking most American recyclables changed what some recyclers will accept at the curb. 

But the recycling spirit remains strong and committed.  Witness Klamath Works, which got a materials management grant from Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality to aid in its work recycling mattresses. 

Claudio Giovenzana/www.longwalk.it via Wikimedia

Our fascination with turtles almost makes them something like honorary mammals.  They may not be cute and fuzzy like mammals, but they certainly have their appeal. 

That appeal extends to the dinner table, though, and that's one of the reasons turtles are having an increasingly hard time surviving in the world today. 

Peter Laufer, longtime journalist and teacher (at U of Oregon), looks at the fascination and the peril we bring to turtles large and small, in a book called Dreaming in Turtle

katchafire.co.nz

Josh Gross's love of music is infectious.  So infectious, we ask him to share it with us once a month on a segment we call Rogue Sounds. 

Josh scans the lists of musical acts coming to the region, and gives us a list of five to consider.  This month: Roseanne Cash, The Shifts, Wild Moccasins, Katchafire, and Church Girls. 

Jes Burns / EarthFix

The plans for a liquified natural gas (LNG) export at Jordan Cove on Coos Bay come before the public again soon. 

Jordan Cove has to secure a number of permits before any building takes place.  The latest permit process includes public hearings planned in the region starting January 7th in Klamath Falls, January 8th in Central Point. 

Rogue Climate and other groups in opposition are working to get people to the hearings. 

Jes Burns/OPB EarthFix

The would-be builders of the LNG plant in Coos County have mounted an advertising blitz in recent months.  Advertisements and mailings have been common since before the election. 

Jordan Cove still has to win over some people before it can build its plant or the long pipeline to it. 

pixel2013/Pixabay

The title The Invisible Reich and the swastika on the cover might give you the wrong idea about Kenneth Pazder's book.  It is fiction, and it is not about Nazis now or in the past. 

The focus of the novel is actually the treatment of animals by humans... the author says 30,000,000 animals are killed every day, in North America alone. 

Gary Halvorson/Oregon State Archives

The days are short, dark, and cold right now.  Why NOT head south for a while, especially if you can get there under your own power?  That question is for whales, not people. 

But people can enjoy the sight of whales heading for warmer waters, right now on the coast of our region.  Oregon State Parks celebrates Winter Whale Watch right now. 

Wikimedia

Nearly 60 years after her death, we still can't seem to get enough of Billie Holiday.  She was a one-of-a-kind singer and performer, influenced by many factors, religion among them. 

It is that context that Tracy Fessenden explored in the book Religion Around Billie Holiday

Ataner007/Pixabay

It gives your muscles and joints a good stretching, but yoga is about more than just body health.  It is a way for practitioners to center themselves and find calm. 

So it's only natural that people think of yoga as an aid to mental health.  In fact, there's a whole book about it, Yoga for Mental Health.

Kelly Birch of Ashland is one of the editors and the author of a chapter. 

The fires swept through and the government agencies swept in soon after to provide support for fire victims.  But rebuilding after a major fire takes quite a while. 

So groups including the Salvation Army and the Shasta Regional Community Foundation have joined forces in NorCal CRT (community recovery team), designed to provide long-term support to people who lost homes and more in the Carr and Delta fires last summer. 

Evan Nesterak, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61723987

We've come a long way in a short time on the issue of race in America, and it's been an ugly journey.  It was a surprisingly short journey from thinking of ourselves as a "post-racial" country to the calls of "Jews will not replace us" in Charlottesville in 2017. 

None of this surprised the writer Vegas Tenold, because he spent years buddying up to white supremacists and their fellow travelers. 

It resulted in a book, Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America

FEMA/Public Domain

In an area as prone to wildfires as ours, we have many discussions about defensible space.  It's the practice of clearing flammable material away from a home, to keep fire from burning the house. 

And it's not just for rural dwellers; people in town can do it too.  Deschutes County's success with Project Wildfire--no houses lost to fire for 15 years--drew the attention of the New York Times. 

Similar efforts are going on in Ashland, with the FireWise program set up to defend residential areas from fire. 

Webster Young calls the Rogue Valley his home, but his work is heard all over the world.  Young is a composer of symphonic music, ballets, and operas. 

His Fifth Symphony was performed last summer in Ukraine, and the event is a subject of a documentary film coming soon to the Ashland library. 

Australian Paralympic Committee, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24421530

They dress like they're going to a KISS concert, but they're really Oakland Raider fans. 

They take their shirts off in frostbite weather.  They name their pets for their favorite athletes. 

Is this you, or someone you know?  We'll revisit our discussion about sports fans going over the top, as described in Superfans: Into the Heart of Obsessive Sports Fandom

mastersenaiper/Pixabay

The idea of buying a home with no down payment sounds too good to be true.  But such a thing does exist, particularly for veterans under the housing assistance program backed by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA. 

Statistics show the use of the loan program to buy homes has increased sharply in Oregon over the last five years. 

Veterans United Home Loans tracks the numbers. 

William Smith

Thanksgiving started things off... this time of the year, LOTS of people cook lots of things to celebrate the holidays.  Including cabbage.  That's right, cabbage, the versatile vegetable that takes on many flavors and provides some of its own. 

This month's edition of our food segment, Savor, brings back segment partner and food stylist Will Smith, and a guest, Courtland Jennings.  He is the founder and CEO of Pickled Planet, an Ashland-based maker of sauerkraut and other cabbage-based fermented foods. 

ep_jhu / Flickr

Oregon is working to reduce the misuse of opioid pain medication, like a lot of other states.  But in the eyes of one state agency, another state agency that could be helping is getting in its own way. 

The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) in the Oregon Health Authority was recently the focus of an audit by the Secretary of State's office.  The audit found people getting prescriptions from multiple medical providers, and getting combinations of prescriptions that can be deadly. 

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