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Hillebrand Steve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia

The border wall will be built, says the president.  And the administration is letting little stand in the way, including concerns about cultural artifacts. 

The Society for American Archaeology sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, protesting what appears to be the use of explosives to level ground at wall sites. 

Some of the sites contain cultural artifacts, even human remains, says the SAA. 

William Smith

Spring is a month away still, so nothing's growing out there.  Whoops, we take that back. 

Plenty is growing right now... just look at the green grass on the hillsides.  And some edibles are growing, too, including celeriac.  You read that right, celeriac; it's like celery, but it's not exactly celery. 

What do you do with it?  That's the central question of this month's food segment, Savor, with our partner Will Smith.  He brings in some food experts from Ashland's Amuse restaurant. 


The film and TV actor Bruce Campbell is too young to have lived in the Old West.  But he did play a character or two from those horsey, halcyon days. 

So we invited Campbell, who lives in the Applegate Valley, to join us for one of our field interviews in Underground History Live.  As an actor and producer with a long resume, Campbell's got some stories and views about how Hollywood handles the task of telling stories from history. 

Hint: don't take what you see on the screen as the gospel truth. 

Cassandra Profita/EarthFix

Disasters do not discriminate; fires, floods, and earthquakes can affect all kinds of people.  So it takes all kinds of people to recover from disaster. 

For several years now the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, has incorporated young people into its preparedness programs.  That includes naming teens to FEMA's Youth Preparedness Council

Applications for the council are open until March 8th of this year.

Michael R. Noggle, Public Domain,

People trained to grab weapons and go into battle are some of the toughest people on the planet.  But they can also be among the people most reluctant to ask for help when they are having trouble adjusting to civilian life. 

The Defense Department set up the Real Warriors Campaign to encourage veterans to seek help when they need it, to not suffer PTSD or any other mental condition in silence. 

Capt. Cassandra Ross of the Montana Air National Guard did suffer in silence before seeking help.

John Francis has a nickname that almost sounds like a superhero handle: The Planetwalker.  That comes from his years refusing to ride on motorized transportation, a comment on the dangers of fossil fuels. 

Francis walked from the Bay Area to Ashland to get a degree at Southern Oregon University; he later walked across the country, including to other campuses to earn more degrees.  His commitment to the planet also included not speaking for 17 years. 

Now, both speaking and riding again, he returns to Ashland to speak at his alma mater


Like a homing pigeon, Tom Schulenberg is returning to one of his old roosts.  He got his bachelor's degree at Humboldt State University before flying off to other locales. 

Now Schulenberg works at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, where he manages taxonomy, making sure all the correct names--Latin and English--are used for birds that the lab tracks; he's also in charge of the website of neotropical birds. 

The return to Humboldt Bay comes as the keynote speaker for the Redwood Region Audubon Society's annual banquet later this month (February 29th). 


It's an odd paradox: food comes from rural areas, because that's where farms are, but some rural areas can experience issues with hunger.  That's because grocery stores are often small and far apart, and food is more expensive for families living on tight budgets. 

Oregon Food Bank developed the F.E.A.S.T. concept for community organizing--Food. Education. Agriculture. Solutions. Together.--and invited communities around Oregon to apply for grants. 

Rogue Valley Food System Network, with other local partners, applied on behalf of Josephine County, and won a $5000 grant.  A series of events in March and April will bring the concept around the county. 

Alexander Novati/Wikimedia

December 7th, 1941 was forever branded by Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the "day which will live in infamy," for the Japanese attack on American forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  But his administration soon followed with another day seared into the memories of Japanese-American families: February 19, 1942. 

Police officers are trained to be police, not counselors.  But they frequently encounter people in their jobs who are in mental health crisis, and the usual police techniques would only escalate the situation.

So more police agencies are having their people trained in crisis intervention, and crisis intervention teams (CITs) are now scattered across the land.

Oregon trainers are now offering a higher level of training, for Certified Crisis Intervention Specialists (CCIS).  The idea is to help get people in crisis to the proper services, instead of into jail.

Jenny Graham/OSF

Actors have to make what they do on stage look realistic to an audience.  But they don't stop being their real selves when they're acting. 

So situations like acting as if they are making love can be fraught with complications.  The Oregon Shakespeare Festival just hired its first resident intimacy director, to guide actors through scenes that involve nudity and simulated lovemaking. 


Name one of the groundbreaking women of history--without Marie Curie.  It can be hard, can't it? 

There's Lise Meitner, the physicist who discovered nuclear fission.  Her work earned the Nobel Prize--for her male lab partner, since the award committee could not believe that a woman was capable of such discoveries. 

That's just one example; there are many more in Janice Kaplan's book The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World.  From women of the past, like Mozart's talented but married-off sister Maria Anna Mozart, to Meg Urry, current-day NASA physicist, there are many inspiring stories of women of great talents. 


Oregon has long lagged the rest of the country in high-school graduation rates.  But the most recent report, out in January, shows the class of 2018-2019 graduating 80 percent of its members, in four years. 

It took a lot of work by students, but many adults also played a part in bringing the rate closer to the national average. 

What factors contributed to the improvement?

If you are not familiar with HAI pathogens, nosocomial infections, or pathogenic fungi, your chance of being familiar with Biomed Diagnostics is limited. 

So here's our chance to learn more about this Rogue Valley-based company.  When people involved in human or animal health care need lab tests that grow bacteria or other microbes, they turn to Biomed for the cultures where the microbes grow. 

The company is the focus of this month's edition of our business segment, The Ground Floor.

Given how much outdoor recreation is available in the region, it's a sure thing that we'll visit with the author of a trail guide now and then.  This one is a bit different, for two reasons. 

First, it's hyper-local, including only trails in the general Ashland-Medford area.  Second, it's got QR codes to scan, so each trail guide comes with a video.  This helps explain the title: The Book

Jim Falkenstein is the creator of what he calls "the beginning of trail books 2.0." 


The end-of-year count of Monarch butterflies in the west showed about the same results as the year before.  A few more butterflies were found, but there were also more counters. 

While some news organizations referred to the results as an increase, the Portland-based Xerces Society regards the count as about the same as the year before.  And that means Monarch numbers are still very low compared to historical averages. 

It is true that California voters are presented with a "jungle primary"... all candidates run in a single primary, all voters see all candidates, and the top two vote-getters (regardless of party) run in November. 

But... not the presidential candidates.  And this year California moved its entire primary, presidential votes and all, to March 3rd, Super Tuesday. 


There's little evidence that humans actually believed that babies were delivered by storks.  But what people DID believe about human procreation is a very interesting story. 

For example: the prevailing theory was that little tiny people, fully formed, resided in the sperm.  Women were only necessary as the garden in which the seed grew. 

This and other bad guesses are explored in Edward Dolnick's book The Seeds of Life: From Aristotle to da Vinci, from Sharks' Teeth to Frogs' Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come From

The history of African-Americans in Oregon can be a bit sketchy.  Even today, Oregon's population is only three percent black, and white people have not done an exemplary job of keeping the history straight. 

Enter the Oregon Black Pioneers, dedicated to preserving and enhancing the details of black Oregonians.  To date, there is no permanent brick-and-mortar museum for the Pioneers, just a series of displays and programs in other venues. 

Oscar winners, Senate trial coverage, and speeches torn on live TV... as usual, there's plenty to talk about in media-land. 

And we take up these and other issues in our monthly perusal of media stories, in this month's edition of Signals & Noise.  Andrew Gay and Christopher Lucas of the Communication faculty at Southern Oregon University are this month's partners. 

We focus on media news across a broad range of media, from virtual reality to books.