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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The public lands law recently passed by Congress creates a number of new protected areas, including wilderness. 

But the law also puts new names on existing federal lands.  The Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument will become simply Tule Lake National Monument. 

The mission will not change; the monument contains sites where Japanese-Americans were imprisoned in camps during the war. 

Susan Haig/U.S. Geological Survey

Long, hot summers are just part of life in the Great Basin.  But they appear to be longer and hotter still over time, to the detriment of waterbirds that fly to and through the basin. 

Small but steady changes in temperature, water quantity, and water quality make life more difficult for birds and their babies. 

Susan Haig at Oregon State University is the principal author of a study on the trend; John Matthews of the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation is a co-author. 

Kevin Eng, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The Bible is still selling like hotcakes: something like 100 million new Bibles are printed every year.  The FIRST printed Bibles, though... that's a different story. 

Only 48 of the Bibles that came off Johan Gutenberg's early printing press are known to exist.  The long and twisted journey of one copy, known as "Number 45," are told in Margaret Leslie Davis in her book The Lost Gutenberg: The Astounding Story of One Book’s Five-Hundred-Year Odyssey

Gary Halvorson/Oregon State Archives

The Department of Transportation is one of the state agencies Oregon citizens are most aware of. 

It's also been one of the most stable agencies, with the same director, Matt Garrett, in charge for a dozen years. 

Now Garrett is planning to leave, and it's time to hire his replacement. 


You probably get used to the way the Internet works... you look up one topic, one time, and next thing you know, all the ads on your browser pages relate to that topics.  So what other information about you is being collected? 

The issue of "surveillance capitalism" is being taken up by a project called "The New Organs," which investigates and publicizes what corporations do with our information. 

Sam Lavigne and Tega Brain are the names behind the project. 


If you want to learn how to take a race car around a track at screaming fast speeds, Ben Collins would be a great choice for a teacher.  But he wants people to be safe in regular cars on regular roads. 

Collins, a race driver and for seven years the mystery man "The Stig" on BBC's "Top Gear," shared his thoughts on everyday driving in the book How To Drive

What Collins learned--sometimes the hard way--about the physics of cars in motion is useful information even on trips to the local store. 


Just when people are retired and (hopefully) dealing with fewer stresses in life, along come the people who want to take their money. 

Scams that target senior citizens are on the rise, and there are programs to help seniors avoid becoming victims. 

Billie McNeely works for Adult Protective Services for the state of Oregon, Dawn Johnson is with the Better Business Bureau, and Don Bruland is with AARP

Public Domain, Pixabay

Shopping trips always bear interesting results for the Environmental Working Group

It's become a frequent occurrence: EWG analyizes test data from USDA and FDA, and the government tests frequently show the presence of pesticides. 

Dr. Olga Naidenko is a senior science advisor on children's environmental health at EWG; she participated in two recent pieces of research that detailed the non-food items found on common food items. 

John T. Bledsoe/Library of Congress

More than one political scientist has observed that American voters often vote for candidates who work against the voters' economic interests. 

Jonathan Metzl is a physician, and comes at the issue from another angle: he says voters' decisions can actually shorten their lives.  He gives examples of policies implemented by anti-government politicians, like denying Medicaid expansions, cuts to social services, and looser gun restrictions. 

These are among the cases Dr. Metzl cites in his book Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland

Tiia Monto, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Home prices are getting so high, it's becoming harder for people to afford buying their first homes.  So the state of Oregon is stepping in with its First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account, effective at the beginning of this year. 

Participants can have money taken out of their paychecks--up to $5,000 a year for individuals and $10,000 for couples--to save for down payments and other housing costs.  And it's not strictly limited just to first-timers. 

Christian LInder/Wikimedia

Mental illness affects something like 19% of the U.S. population over the course of a year.  So there's a good chance someone you know--or you--will be affected. 

Recognizing that fact, and knowing about treatment options, is critical.  Medford will be the location for a Mental Health Service Information Forum, tomorrow, March 21st.  Reps from La Clinica and Jackson County Mental Health will be on hand., CC BY 4.0,

Freak out your loved ones: tell them you want to change your career to comedy. 

Laughing is fun, but it takes work to produce laughs, and often little money for the work.  But Joe Randazzo made it, and then offered advice to people who want to be, in the words of his book title, Funny on Purpose

Randazzo worked as the editor of The Onion, among other gigs.  He joined us in June 2015 with advice on making people laugh all the way to your bank. 

ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0-igo,

What causes the intense and long fire seasons in California?  The Pacific jet stream, among other features. 

Penn State University researcher Alan Taylor says the Pacific jet determines where moisture goes in California, and its recent movements suggest more rain than snow, and continued hot, dry fire seasons. 

Taylor recently published research on the subject, including reconstruction of 400 years of data on the movements of the jet. 


Just talking about smoke from fires can make people uneasy in our region.  The last few fire seasons have featured smoke hanging around--at unhealthy levels--for weeks at a time. 

The state of Oregon just enacted new rules for its smoke management program, which deals with prescribed burns in the forest.  But the rules also have a bearing on notification of smoke from wildfires. 

Nick Yonker manages the Smoke Management Program for the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF).  Michael Orman runs the Air Planning Program at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). 


And the Oscar goes to... a guy.  Men still get most of the attention in the movie industry behind the camera, but it's not for lack of effort by women. 

They've been cranking out quality work since the beginning of the industry.  Many of today's independent producers tell their own stories in the book Independent Female Filmmakers: A Chronicle through Interviews, Profiles, and Manifestos

Michele Meek collected the independents' writings as the editor of the project. 

William Smith

One of the features of the "eat local" movement has been an urging to get to know the farmers who grow your food.  But not all local foods involve farmers. 

Confused?  Food still grows wild, despite the overwhelming presence of agriculture.  And this month's edition of our food segment, Savor, takes in the great variety of foods available by foraging in the woods. 

Our partner, food stylist Will Smith, is out of town this month.  But we welcome Chef Josh Dorcak of MÄS, which offers a tasting menu of local delights. 

Andrew Kumler/KLCC

The name might provide an ominous tone, but "Devil's Staircase" makes people in Oregon happy.  The stairstep-like water feature in the Coast Range is now part of a wilderness area, protected by the public lands bill that recently sailed through both houses of Congress. 

Cascadia Wildlands, Trout Unlimited, and Oregon Wild both worked for years to protect Devil's Staircase and other areas under the Oregon Wildlands Act.  The act ended up a portion of a much larger bill. 


Would you like to hear about today's specials?  By the time you get that question, you've got a restaurant menu in your hands.  And a Rogue Valley company makes sure the menus have an impact on a customer. 

Jim Williams is the CEO of Ashland-based Must Have Menus; he is our guest in this month's edition of our entrepreneur segment, The Ground Floor. 


Milicent Patrick was one of Disney's first and few female animators. She was also the creative mind behind one of the all-time classic film monsters: "The Creature from the Black Lagoon."

But credit for her creation was taken by an envious male co-worker, and Milicent faded into oblivion.

Mallory O'Meara's tale of the search for the creator of the Gill Man tells the almost forgotten story of an extraordinary creative career, and the Hollywood sexism that erased it.  The book is called The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick


The people who make acronyms outdid themselves with the naming of the Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog at NASA.  The letters spell out SUBSEA, which is the kind of exploration in question. 

At NASA?  Yes, because the agency aims to treat the exploration of the deep ocean similar to the approach to exploring deep space. 

Shannon Kobs Nawotniak is one of the staff scientists at SUBSEA, an expert on undersea volcanoes.