The Jefferson Exchange

News & Information: Mon-Fri • 8am-10am | 8pm-10pm

JPR's live interactive program devoted to current events and newsmakers from around the region and beyond. It airs on JPR's News & Information service. Choose that service from the stream above or find your station here.

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You've heard of watersheds and viewsheds, now welcome to the concept of Fibershed.  That is the name of a Sonoma County-based organization that focuses on the fashion industry as a way to improve the planet. 

Fiber can be grown for clothing with an eye to storing carbon in the soil, greatly reducing the footprint of the fashion industry. 

Rebecca Burgess is the Executive Director of Fibershed. 

Grown Rogue

Businesses that were flat-out impossible a few years ago are thriving under the legalization of marijuana for personal use. 

One example: Grown Rogue, which provides cannabis and concentrates in many different varieties.  The company describes itself as a "seed-to-sale" operation, involved in cannabis from cultivation to final product. 

Sarah and Obie Strickler started the company and run it still. 

Mrs. Charles Stephenson (Grace Murray), Public Domain,

It is one of the most significant dates in American history: June 19, 1865.  That is the day that Union troops arriving in South Texas informed the community that slaves were free, two years after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. The month and date got contracted to "Juneteenth" over the years, and the occasion is now observed in many communities around the country.  Oregon Shakespeare Festival always puts on a joyous celebration.  

James Case / Flickr

Most of the work of the Ashland New Plays Festival is staged readings of plays in development; ANPF's main event is in October.

But this weekend (June 14-15), the festival presents a full production. Subject matter and the playwright's bio clearly made this an easy choice: E.M. Lewis is from Oregon and wrote a play about the debate over firearms.

"The Gun Show" features a single actor and the playwright together, and takes a middle-of-the-road approach more interested in discussion than debate.

Maybe a quarter of the people in the world will experience mental illness at some point in their lives. So it's not rare, but seeking treatment can be.

Southern Oregon Compass House in Medford welcomes people dealing with persistent mental illness. And once a month in our shared Compass Radio segment, we get to meet house members, to hear their personal stories.


J.D. Vance made quite a splash with his book Hillbilly Elegy.  The book about hard times in Appalachia and environs, and how the people living those hard times see themselves and the country, shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. 

It was seen as a key to understanding how Donald Trump won the presidency.  And Ron Howard will make a movie out of it. 


Manipulating the genes of human beings in any form can make some people uneasy, even though the process can save lives.  The work of the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at OHSU in Portland works on the assumption that there is value in science correcting what nature got wrong. 

But there are limits to what can be done by the scientists there, including a ban on federal funding for research involving genetically altered embryos. 

Congress has kept that ban in place, to the chagrin of Center director Shoukhrat Mitalipov and Paula Amato, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the OHSU School of Medicine. 


The winds blowing into Humboldt County from the Pacific make it an attractive place to consider generating electricity from wind.  And the renewable energy company Terra-Gen plans to do just that. 

The project proposal is bold in scale, with up to 60 wind turbines envisioned for high ground near Scotia and Rio Dell.  The visual impact is a concern for some of the people in those community.  We recently heard some of those viewpoints. 

Jenny Graham / Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival play "Cambodian Rock Band" packs a lot into a single production: music, comedy, tragedy, even genocide.

The murders of more than a million Cambodians (closer to two million) by the Khmer Rouge is just one of the storylines in the play by Lauren Yee, with music by the band Dengue Fever.

Imagine the work it takes to pull it off on stage night after night.


Oregon's struggling child foster care system took another hit recently.  The Audit Division of the Secretary of State's Office released an audit that showed the Department of Human Services making only slow progress on problems pointed out in an earlier audit a year ago. 

The major problems center around numbers: too many children in foster care for the available placements, and too few caseworkers to guide children to appropriate care. 

There are some signs of progress in the latest audit, too. 


Humboldt Redwood Company trumpets its environmental stewardship to the public.  But not all of the public is pleased with the company's logging on Rainbow Ridge, west of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. 

In fact, protestors have demonstrated against the logging, with a handful getting arrested on Monday (June 10th). 

Lost Coast League is one of the groups taking issue with HRC's logging in the Mattole River watershed. 


Having the candidate who won the most votes lose the presidency is not just a demonstration of the workings of the Electoral College.  It's also an example of a set of circumstances that provide opportunities for each political ideology, but not spread evenly across the country. 

Political scientist Jonathan Rodden gets into the details in his book Why Cities Lose: The Deep Roots of the Urban-Rural Political Divide.  He shows how events both accidental and deliberate make Democrats and the left stronger in cities, and Republicans and the right stronger in rural areas. 


We don't have to like death, but we do have to accept it.  Any life will include some grief, and that's why WinterSpring exists. 

The Medford-based nonprofit helps people grieve in healthy ways, through group counseling and other activities. 

Hogan Sherrow is the Executive Director of WinterSpring. 

Maureen Flanagan Battistella

Many of the people we talk to in Stories of Southern Oregon work the land... farmers, loggers, and miners. But someone has to feed the people who work the land, and that's where Cory Hamann comes in.

She runs the Sugar Pine Company Cafe in Butte Falls, feeding people on their way to and from working in the woods and other jobs.


The news of a couple of weeks ago only confirmed the continuation of a trend: fewer American women are having babies. In fact, the most recent figures (from 2017) show the lowest U.S. birth rate ever.

No surprise for sociologist Amy Blackstone, who has no children of her own, and writes of people in the same circumstance in Childfree by Choice: The Movement Redefining Family and Creating a New Age of Independence.


Close to half the people on Earth can speak more than one language. The percentage (43) is actually higher than the percentage of people who speak only one language (40).

But in this country, only about a fifth of the population is bilingual, and foreign-language programs are often the targets of budget cuts in schools and colleges.

That troubles foreign-language learners at Southern Oregon University, who want to see more support, not less.


Anybody who watches a fair amount of sports is used to the concept of concussion.  It's bad enough when adults get their brains rattled; it can derail a life plan for a young person working to get through school. 

So the University of Oregon's Center for Brain Injury Research and Training (CBIRT) started a project to help teachers help students with brain injuries.  We learn about the project from CBIRT Director Ann Glang and Project Coordinator Melissa McCart in this month's edition of Curious: Research Meets Radio, our joint venture with UO. 


High costs and low availability can discourage just about anyone in the real estate market. Those conditions can also make options like tiny homes more attractive.

The fascination with very small houses has been around long enough that some books on the subject are now in second editions. Those include A Tiny Home to Call Your Own, by Patricia Foreman.

And some builders specialize in tiny homes, like Oregon Cottage Company in Eugene.

Summer is (almost) here, and with it a huge variety of arts events around the region. 

We highlight as many as time will allow in our First Friday Arts segment.  It's all listener-generated content: we invite arts organizations to call with news of their events--800-838-3760--and keep taking calls until they run out. 


Artificial Intelligence, AI, is already at work in our lives.  The concern is how it might work in the future. 

Some of our science fiction shows a future with robots running wild.  James Adams, journalist and entrepreneur and former JX host, put his own thoughts on AI to paper in the book Artificial Intelligence: Confronting the Revolution