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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Lewis and Clark College

Reading the name of Oregon's current Poet Laureate can make people do a double-take.  Because his name is Stafford.  Kim Stafford

He is the ninth poet laureate of the state, and the second with the name Stafford; his father William also held the job in the 70s and 80s. 

Kim Stafford has made his own way in the world of literature, writing and teaching poetry and prose. 

Geoffrey Riley

Even if the wet winter produces a light fire season and a relatively smoke-free summer, there are perceptions to counter.  Our region got a reputation over the last few years as a place where wildfires get big and destructive, and smoke collects at unhealthy levels. 

This creates issues for local residents and the tourism business, a mainstay of the region's economy.  Travel Southern Oregon and Southern Oregon University joined forces for a marketing study examining tourist perceptions of wildfire smoke. 

RV Symphony

The Rogue Valley Symphony reached out for a world-class pianist to perform in its final concerts of the season, "Masterworks 6." 

And RVSO reached all the way to... Ashland.  That's where Alexander Tutunov works and plays and teaches piano. 

He'll play Beethoven's Piano Concerto #3 in the concert.  And we get a musical preview, as Tutunov and RVSO Musical Director Martin Majkut pay us a visit... in the music studio, complete with piano. 

Public Domain

"A rising tide lifts all boats" is often the rationale for tax cuts for wealthy people.  But the phrase can be applied in other ways, too. 

For one, the California Immigrant Policy Center recommends helping residents develop skills for the workforce, regardless of immigration status, because it can help the overall economy.  CIPC lays out the case in a recent policy brief

Criminal justice reform advocates are getting a thorough airing of their proposals, with some changes in law already passed. 

Oregon is one of several states where the legislature is considering bills to change the juvenile justice system, so people do not enter the justice system as children and stay there for life.  

The senate passed a comprehensive overhaul bill, SB 1008, on Tuesday.  The bill goes to the house.

The ACLU of Oregon is one of the groups pushing for juvenile justice reform. 

National Park Service/Public Domain

Human management of the environment is based on a lot of trial and error.  Even if we're willing to fix the errors, how far back do we go? 

The first humans to affect the landscape didn't take notes, so there's a lot of guessing... and no guarantees that we've considered the myriad of variables. 

Former park/forest ranger Jordan Fisher Smith points out the difficulties in managing wilderness and other land types in his book Engineering Eden, now in paperback. 


The legal cannabis industry is certainly making the dollars flow in Northern California.  Example: business property that sat vacant for years got buyers--from cannabis-related businesses--soon after legalization. 

Shasta Gateway Industrial Park in Shasta Lake City sold off its last three undeveloped parcels in the boom.  There are some particular twists in the activity in a mostly cash-only industry. 


Arguments over water are par for the course in the West, but the situation in Mount Shasta has dragged on for a while.  That's where Crystal Geyser plans to open a bottled-water plant, but is meeting opposition. 

The City of Mount Shasta's recent issuance of an industrial waste discharge permit moved things a step further, and drew protest from the group that uses the acronym W.A.T.E.R. and the Winnemem Wintu tribe. 


Josephine Ensign dedicated herself to helping homeless people by giving them health care at a free clinic.  Then her entire life turned upside-down, and she too ended up homeless for a time. 

She is back under a roof, the author of the book Catching Homelessness, and the head of a project at the University of Washington that aims to help homeless young people. 


Does a change in state gun laws track with a change in homicide and suicide by gun?  It does, shows an analysis of gun laws and gun data for all 50 states, from 1991 to 2016. 

It's a huge volume of data to process, but a team affiliated with the National Institute of Health put it all together in research recently published.  The team can't say for sure that the relationship is causal, but there is a relationship. 


New products for skin care and adornment debut all the time, making all kinds of claims about their scientific foundations.  But the practices are very old, in some cases. 

The Rogue Valley's Neeta Singh learned techniques and substances from her mother and grandmother that may date back five thousand years.  And she built a business on them, Neeta Naturals Ayurvedic Beauty & Wellness

Neeta Naturals and its founder are this month's focus in our business/entrepreneur segment, the Ground Floor.

Laurie Halse Anderson's groundbreaking 1999 novel, "Speak," is credited with opening a new phase in the national dialogue about sexual assault and consent.

In a unique memoir told in free-verse poetry, Shout, Anderson shares her own experience of sexual assault. 

The book denounces society's failures in dealing with sexual aggression, and boosts the people with the courage to speak up in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. 


The animals that walk the Earth today are survivors; their ancestors adapted or moved to stay alive.  So maybe rats will inherit the Earth, because they sure know how to live in a variety of environments. 

And you notice: they're usually not far from people and all the things they use/eat/drop.  Emma Marris is a freelance journalist based in Klamath Falls; she got knee-deep in rats (so to speak) for a recent piece in National Geographic

It is not unusual for a person who has suffered from mental illness to have at least considered suicide.  Several of the members of Southern Oregon Compass House who have told their stories on our Compass Radio segment described suicidal feelings. 

Media outlets around Oregon join forces April 7 to 14 in a campaign called "Breaking the Silence," to speak out loud about suicide and contributing factors.  So this month's edition of Compass Radio visits with a member who can help us understand suicidal thinking. 


It was just two weeks ago that U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced that the country will send people to the moon again, within five years. 

The announcement no doubt cheered people who want to see us go back to the moon and establish an ongoing presence there.  Paul Spudis was a big proponent of going back to the moon. 

Before he died last year, Spudis wrote The Value of the Moon: How to Explore, Live, and Prosper in Space Using the Moon's Resources.

It's supposed to be one of the happiest times in a woman's life: a new baby!  But the body and mind can conspire against new mothers; suicide can be a leading cause of death for women in the months after they give birth. 

Media outlets around Oregon join forces April 7 to 14 in a campaign called "Breaking the Silence," to speak out loud about suicide and contributing factors. 

Peter Schmidt is a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health, well-acquainted with the subject matter here. 

The 24-hour news cycle is more intense than ever; sometimes it feels like a 72-hour news cycle crammed into a single day. 

Numbers aside, there's always plenty of material when we convene our monthly media roundup, Signals & Noise.  Andrew Gay and Precious Yamaguchi of the Communication faculty at Southern Oregon University join us for a wide-ranging perusal of items in the media. 

And when we say media, we mean everything from the latest electronics to books... and beyond. 


The odds of dementia get grimmer as we get older, roughly doubling every five years after age 65. 

Tia Powell, physician and ethicist, knew this well; it still did not prepare her for her grandmother and then mother developing dementia.  The journey changed her outlook, from cure to care, working to make life as good and happy as possible for people with declining mental abilities. 

Dr. Powell tells her story in Dementia Reimagined: Building a Life of Joy and Dignity from Beginning to End

Fred W. Baker III, U.S. Department of Defense.

The term "Medicare for all" is several years old, but it is certainly gaining traction this year.  Some newer members of Congress are pushing for national health care along the lines of Medicare. 

Associated Students of Humboldt State University offer a chance for the public to catch up on the concept and potential features of M for A. 

AS of HSU brings Ed Weisbart of Physicians for a National Health Program and Timothy Faust, author of Health Justice Now to campus Thursday (April 11th) at 5 PM. 


The changing face of America presents challenges for educators.  There's greater variety over time in ethnic backgrounds and languages students learned. 

Zaretta Hammond knows this and teaches teachers across the country to deal with it.  She visits Southern Oregon University for a presentation on "Beyond Good Intentions: Becoming a Culturally Responsive Educator."

The session later today (April 10th) is free and open to the public; it is part of the SOU campus theme "From Ignorance to Wisdom."