Valerie Ing

Northern California Program Coordinator | Classical Host

Valerie Ing’s history with JPR goes back to the stone age, when she volunteered to answer phones during the 1981 fund drive. She was still a teenager when she hosted her first music program on the airwaves, and while getting her degree at SOU, she was JPR’s Student Chief Announcer and the station’s first volunteer in the news room. After graduating, Valerie’s adventures included living on islands in Greece & Alaska, but she came back to the State of Jefferson in 2002 as JPR’s Northern California Program Coordinator.  As the sole staffer of the Redding studio where she hosts Siskiyou Music Hall, Valerie is the unofficial foreign ambassador of JPR. Valerie often serves as mistress of ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre, writes a music column for, and plays second base on the Dirty Dozen co-ed softball team. She used to play bass in a punk rock band, drove a school bus for a few years and can cook Thai food like nobody’s business. Valerie adores her family, which includes husband Eddie, two teenagers and Casper the friendly white Westie.

People said Dale Ross could run like a deer.

Today the coastal town of Port Orford holds a Fourth of July celebration called the Port Orford Jubilee that more than a century ago was known as the Agate Festival held on Agate Beach in August.

Jack Stevens was a popular kid in Coquille, Ore., in the 1940s, serving in high school as class president for several years.

Movie stars, gangsters, even a U.S. President are said to have spent time at the Clark Creek Lodge in its heyday.

Summer in Shasta County can feel as hot as the Sahara Desert, but on one occasion the Burney Falls State Park doubled in the movies as a cool spot in the African jungle.

When Whiskey Creek gold was discovered south of Coos Bay in 1852, miners from all over the world showed up on the Southern Oregon Coast, hoping to strike it rich.  As more European immigrants arrived, some brought place names with them.

The small Siskiyou County town of Weed, Calif., finally embraced linking its name to marijuana by holding a Four Twenty Educational Weed Festival this year.  On April 20, of course.

In November 1933, Doris Sparks and Andrea Mardelle stepped into their car in Spokane, planning to drive all night to Klamath Falls to meet up with Doris’ fiancé.  The two cosmetics demonstrators were never heard from again.

Women Of The Baton

Mar 1, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

The names Chiquinha Gonzaga and Elfrida Andree probably won’t ring a bell with many classical music fans today, but both were not only pioneers in music as the first female orchestra conductors in their respective hemispheres, they were both strong advocates for women’s rights, paving the way for women who wanted to follow in their footsteps with professional music careers.

In March 1967, a private plane took off from Portland for San Francisco with pilot Alvin Oien, his wife, Phyllis, and their teenage daughter, Carla.  The plane never reached its destination. A massive search gave up after two weeks.

The pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Redding, Calif., in the 1960s, Noble M. Streeter, enjoyed sharing stories about his hard times as a child in the Northern California town.

In September 2018, a wildfire exploded in northern Shasta County alongside Interstate 5, its 300-foot-high flames forcing freeway motorists to ditch their vehicles and run for their lives.  The fire burned 63,000 acres of timber and brush, as well as 120 structures, including a handful of homes and commercial buildings in the sparsely populated area.

Explorer Jedediah Smith’s party faced hard times in 1828 while making the first recorded Euro-American journey by land from the California Coast to Oregon.

Many places in Northern California and Southern Oregon honor the name of early explorer Jedediah Smith, including two rivers and the popular Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.  But to the Mexican governor of Alta California, Smith was an outlaw.

Samuel Handsaker quit school at the age of 11 and emigrated from England to Alton, Ill.   He lacked a formal education, but was a gifted writer and observer.

For settlers along the upper Coquille River in the 1800s, mail delivery was tenuous.  The closest post office was in Empire City, a present-day district of Coos Bay, Ore.  The round trip took about four days, and generally depended upon the generosity of local farmers who sporadically sailed downstream to sell their produce.

George Vaughan grew up in North Bend, Ore., in the roaring 1920s.  From the stories he would tell his kids, he was a man who knew how to have a good time, but sometimes took it a little too far.

John William Fitzhugh gave new meaning to the phrase “going barefoot.”

In 1845, Hoy Flournoy emigrated from Missouri to Douglas County and a year later joined a Jesse Applegate survey party that slowly moved south for six months.

Explorer Jedediah Smith and his travelling companions nearly starved during the first documented land journey of American explorers up the California coast to Oregon in June of 1828.