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.

Photo of teenage girl

Alice Tallmadge lost a beloved niece to suicide nearly three decades ago.  It was at the height of the controversy over "recovered memories," which often involved sexual abuse and often turned out to be false memories. 

Alice Tallmadge lives in Springfield and thinks a great deal about the events that led up to her niece's death.  Tallmadge offers her view of that time and the aftermath in the memoir Now I Can See the Moon

After the Grove of Titans of redwood trees was identified near Jedediah Smith State Park in 1998, car traffic on nearby roads increased dramatically, as did impromptu trails through the grove, many of which have received widespread publicity via social media.

The increased traffic has brought predictable negative impacts to the area. Now a partnership between environmental groups, California State Parks and the National Park Service has formed to protect the grove from being loved to death by humans. 

Jackson County Sheriff

Whether people are arrested in Ashland or Butte Falls, they'll be booked into the same lockup: the Jackson County Jail.  The jail in Medford was built at a time when the county population, and the number of annual arrests, was much lower. 

Overcrowding and court-imposed caps require some inmates awaiting trial to be released even if they have not paid bail. 

Sheriff Nathan Sickler is taking steps to get a newer jail with greater capacity built.  District Attorney Beth Heckert has a major stake in the project.  It won't be cheap, with initial cost estimates of $100 Million to build the new jail.

Mary Stensvold/U.S. Forest Service

You don't need to snorkel at a coral reef to see evidence of climate change.  Rising sea levels, longer droughts, worse wildfires all appear to have connections to the changing state of the planet. 

In a memoir of climate change, ecologist Lauren Oakes tells the 30-year story of a stand of rare cypress trees in Southeast Alaska and its slow death due to climate change.  Oakes' book is In Search of the Canary Tree: The Story of a Scientist, A Cypress, and a Changing World


Suicide rates are higher in rural areas than urban in the United States, by a lot.  The mental healthcare community has turned a lot of attention to rural suicide prevention in recent years. 

It is among the issues addressed and taught in the marriage and family therapy (MFT) program at Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls.  The program recently added a medical family therapy concentration.  Kevin Garrett is the clinical director in the program at OIT. 

Last season set a record at the Britt Festival in Jacksonville, and not a good one.  For the first time since the festival opened in the 60s, there was not a single orchestra performance outdoors on the hillside. 

Wildfire smoke drove the concerts indoors or cancelled them outright. 

Teddy Abrams, the musical director and orchestra conductor, now picks up the pieces and looks forward to next summer's season.  He just signed up for five more years leading what has just been re-branded the Britt Festival Orchestra, BFO.


Marc Freedman is not into plastic surgery, nutritional supplements, or the Singularity. He's about bridging the generational divide in ways that benefit old and young alike. 

Freedman has been working on issues of our aging population for most of his professional life. With such a large percentage of the population now over the age of 50, Freedman sees a vital need to unite the generations.

It's what young people want and need, he says, and it's vital both to the quality of life for older people and for the general health of our society.  He wrote a book, How to Live Forever: The Enduring Power of Connecting the Generations.  

If the rush into the Christmas shopping season is not your thing, there are alternatives to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Like Giving Tuesday, which focuses on contributions to organizations and people who work for the public good. 

The Shasta Regional Community Foundation gathers all of its groups together for North State Giving Tuesday, encouraging donors to pony up for groups in Shasta and Siskiyou Counties, of which there are more than 170. 

Last year the one-day event brought in more than $1 Million in pledges. 

It's a pretty typical question from people mulling the wide-ranging effects of climate change: "what can I do?"  Get started in the backyard, for one thing. 

Cultivating a garden, especially if lots of people do it, provides more than symbolic benefits to the planet and its inhabitants. 

Carley Corrado of Enliven Leadership got her degrees in chemistry, and now works to inspire other people to talk at least small steps to turning back climate change.

We all know that house prices and rents are skyrocketing. Randy Shaw is a San Francisco-based housing activist who shows that even socially progressive cities are seeing housing costs that are pushing poor and working people out.

Case in point: San Francisco. But for many years, The Bay Area's stratospheric housing costs have increased prices in other markets, like southern Oregon and northern California, as Bay Area residents cash out and move north.

Shaw's new book, Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America, details the process and offers strategies for helping lower income Americans cope with insane housing costs. 

Oregon State University

It wasn't that long ago that we explored the concept of dual-use farming with solar panels.  The idea is that the panels co-exist with crops, and it works in many places. 

Oregon State University agriculture researchers were not trying to create a dual-use farm, but they discovered that an installation of solar panels provided shade in which certain grasses grew on dry farmland without irrigation. 

Even better, the grasses that grew were the kind that livestock like to eat. 


By the time they get to high school, young people seem capable of eating just about anything.  But even if they're not very discriminating, the people who prepare their food can be mindful of health. 

Schools have been pushing healthier menus in recent years, with the backing of governments that help provide food service. 

Ashland's schools are keeping an eye out for local suppliers, to instill the locavore spirit at an early age. 


When a Republican Congress and a Democratic President, Bill Clinton, ended "welfare as we know it," millions of Americans were thrown off the welfare rolls.

The reform focused on work requirements, and made it impossible for a recipient to receive funding for more than five years.

Author Felicia Kornbluh argues that these reforms fell especially heavily on the backs of poor single mothers, especially mothers of color.  Her book with Gwendolyn Mink is Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform in Feminist Perspective

RVTD Facebook page

Veterans Day came and went, but the Go Vets program continues at the Rogue Valley Transportation District.  The name is almost self-explanatory; it's about helping vets find mobility through riding RVTD buses. 

And mobility can lead to so much more... jobs, friends, shopping, and more.  The program includes training for vets in making full use of the system. 

Go Vets recently won an award for the Transportation Options Program of the Year through the Oregon Department of Transportation.


Who's a good boy?  We have many ways of motivating our pets to behave as we wish, and some of them actually work. 

Rogue Valley dog trainer J.P. Parrett has developed a knack for getting inside a dog's head (and finding his way out again).  His skillset for dog training includes neither treats nor scolding. 

So what does he use? 

Stromcarlson, Public Domain,

From bacteria to cockroaches to black mold, our houses can be home to some unappealing invaders. The market for pesticides, fungicides and antibacterial cleaning products is enormous.

But for Rob Dunn the household is a whole ecosystem, and many if not most of the non-human life in the house may actually be beneficial to human health. He wrote a book explaining it all, Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets and Honeybees: The Natural History of Where We Live

Rob Dunn is an ecologist who says we should think twice before turning our households into sterile environments.

Ashland-based Project A started helping businesses and other organizations put up websites and expand their technology before many of us had even seen the web.  The success of Project A has allowed co-founder Jim Teece to branch out into other ventures. 

Those include buying a business called Art Authority, which makes high quality prints for notecards and other products from the art of museums around the world. 


There's a certain sense of virtue that comes from flinging an item into a recycle bin.  "At least I'm not throwing it away," you might think. 

But even before China clamped down on the recyclable materials it would accept, we were lagging behind other countries in recycling.  About 34% of our materials get recycled, a much lower rate than, for example, Germany's 65%. 

Why don't we recycle more?  Confusion is one reason, suggests Beth Porter.  She runs a website on recycling and just put out a book, Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine: Sorting Out the Recycling System

Cannupa Hanska Luger grew up on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, the scene of many a protest over the Dakota Access Pipeline.  He is an artist, but incorporates activism into his work as well. 

One of his creations is the "seed bomb," a combination of clay and native plant seeds broken on the land to help restore native habitats (they are NOT explosive). 

Cannupa Hansker Luger gives a workshop in making seed bombs as part of a visit to Eugene this weekend (November 17). 


Maybe it's because our live broadcast falls between breakfast and lunch, but we like talking about food.  In fact, we like it enough to launch a regular local segment about food.  It starts here... under the name "Savor." 

The segment features a new partner: food aficionado William Smith.  And a guest: Regan Emmons of the Rogue Valley Food System Network

They get into some of the details of getting more locally-sourced food into our diets, especially in Thanksgiving dinner.