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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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.

Ashland-based Project A started helping businesses and other organizations put up websites 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, 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.  


It's always nice to get home after a full day at work or school.  We know the place, but perhaps not the concept. 

Think about it... can you think of other animals that have anything more than a simple place to sleep? 

Anthropologist John S. Allen says turning our sleeping space into a habitat is a major feature of being human.  He demonstrates in his book Home: How Habitat Made Us Human


Some of the stigma has come off of getting paid for sex, but not all.  Everyone knows who Stormy Daniels is, but not everyone reserves judgment on her work as an actor in adult films. 

There are some very basic questions for and about people who work in the field: what are their rights? 

That is the domain of the ESPLER Project (Erotic Service Provider Legal, Educational and Research).

"Call Her Ganda" is a new documentary from PJ Raval, an award-winning Filipino-American filmmaker from Austin, Texas.

The film is about the controversy surrounding the murder of Jennifer Laude, a Filipina trans woman, by an American serviceman in the Philippines in 2014.  "Call Her Ganda" premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. 

The screening is sponsored by the Queer Resource Center and Women's Resource Center on the Southern Oregon University campus, by the SOU Student Film Club, and by Ashland Independent Film Festival, as part of the campus events for Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). The film will be shown at the SOU Music Recital Hall on November 18 at 4 PM. 


America's independence from England wasn't just fought on the battlefield. Early Americans insisted on a new way of speaking that would be a distinctly American variation of English.

Linguist Rosemarie Ostler, who lives in Eugene, has traced the evolution of American English, and the cultural mix that produced terms like "gerrymander" and "gnarly."  She lays them out in her book Splendiferous Speech.


Siskiyou County is a big county with very few people; something like seven people per square mile.  But they have issues that need attention, as in any community. 

Providing needed services can be tricky, so the five far-flung family resource centers in the county joined forces this year as the Siskiyou Community Resource Collaborative

Jeff Fennell, CC BY 2.0,

You can count on two events after any major forest fire: 1) life returns to the forest, and 2) someone suggests salvage logging as a way for the forest to grow back like it was. 

A recent study that involved scientists from Oregon State and Portland State focused on the Klamath region on both sides of the state line. 

And with one tree species in particular, the famous Douglas fir, the study found the tree grows back well without any salvage logging. 


We have so many pathways to communicate with people now... phone, text message, email... and that's before we even enter the realm of social media. 

Just the same, studies indicate people actually feel more isolated in this age of hyper-connectedness.  Dan Schawbel makes his living advising businesses on helping employees work well together, he's the research director at Future Workplace. 

And he looks at how managers can help co-workers feel authentic connection, in his book Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation


Flying passengers into small cities can be a tricky business.  Not the flying part; the keeping the airline in business part. 

Dominic Sherony, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The City of Ashland owns a big chunk of property across Interstate Five from town, and there are always ideas floating around for uses for the land. 

The Imperatrice property, as it's known, has been proposed for the location of electricity-generating solar panels, among other ideas.  Which thrills people who favor renewable energy, but poses some issues for bird fanciers. 

Because the land is home to a colony of grasshopper sparrows, a bird species that has mostly disappeared in some parts of the region. 


Kiese Laymon has had an interesting life, to put it mildly.  Fortunately, he's a good writer, too, so we get to read about his life and how he's dealt with a number of challenges. 

They include issues with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and gambling.  He presents the challenges, and how he overcame them, in his memoir, titled simply Heavy

Rob Goodwin, the host of our segment The Keenest Observers, returns to host Kiese Laymon. 

University of Oregon

It's astonishing to look at maps from hundreds of years ago and realize just how accurate some of them are, despite their creators possessing very primitive mapping tools. 

Things are just a bit easier for the people at the University of Oregon's InfoGraphics Lab.  They have satellites and myriad other technologies available in helping them create maps and other visual aids for the Department of Geography, the University at large, and Oregon state government agencies. 

One of the lab's recent projects: an atlas showing wildlife migration routes, made in collaboration with the University of Wyoming. 

Mary Landberg

Contemplating the end of life itself is an enormous task.  And there's an additional degree of complexity when someone considers making use of an assisted-suicide law, like the ones on the books in Oregon and California. 

End of Life Choices Oregon works as a third party, sharing its expertise on Oregon's Death With Dignity Law with people considering ending their lives.  Sue Porter is the founding executive director of EOLCOR, as it calls itself. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

Octavio Solis is used to telling the stories of other people in his work.  He's a playwright with a large body of work and several awards to show for it; his plays have been produced at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among many other venues. 

Now he's strayed from his usual genre by writing a memoir focused on his early years in El Paso, Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border

Google Street View

OnTrack provides substance abuse treatment in the Rogue Valley, and has been working to right its ship after several bumpy years. 

A new bump emerged in October, when Josephine County cancelled its contract with OnTrack on short notice. 

County commissioners said the break was necessary after an audit showed funds being used improperly.

We may be getting better over time, but society still fears mental illness in ways it does not shrink from physical illness or injury. 

Many organizations are set up to make life easier for people who struggle with mental illness, including Southern Oregon Compass House in Medford.  Once a month we hear a personal story from a clubhouse member about their own experience. 

This month Compass Radio features a woman with a physical injury among the issues she faces.