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Sick Leave, Drought, and Crime Fighting: Another Week on The Exchange

Eugene's city council may vote on its proposed sick leave ordinance on Monday, six days after the Lane County Commissioners passed their own ordinance that may pre-empt any move on sick leave. 

Meanwhile, the City of Ashland plans a Drought Summit to talk about water conservation strategies, and Redding's Police Chief faces a potentially irate audience at a town hall meeting.

You'll hear about these and much more on The Jefferson Exchange during the week of July 28... here, minus pretty pictures, are our plans:***************    
Monday, July 28, 2014/8:00        Be A Local Hero (Online)
Social media users love to tell their friends about what they're doing.  It's really the point, after all--to keep up with your social network.  So why not rack up some points for what you've doing, if it benefits your community?  That's the point behind "Be A Local Hero," a website started by Ashlander and Project A President Jim Teece.  The site--and a pending app--allow users to score points for shopping locally, volunteering their time, and other activities.  Jim Teece joins us with the details.

Monday, July 28, 2014/8:30        Eugene's Big Sick Leave Vote
Few people think workers should NOT get paid sick leave.  The major questions revolve around who should provide it, and if government should order it.  The Eugene City Council may vote tonight (July 28) on whether to require paid sick leave at companies doing business in city limits.  The Lane County Commissioners voted first, though, and their ordinances may stop any sick leave ordinance cold.  City councilor Claire Syrett and Laurie Trieger from Family Forward Oregon join us.  http://www.eugene-or.gov/index.aspx?NID=537  http://www.familyforwardoregon.org/

Monday, July 28, 2014/9:00        The Good Spy
Terrorist acts are often known by their numbers: the numbers of people who died in this bombing or that attack.  People may remember that the bombing of the American embassy in Beirut in 1983 killed 63 people.  What they may not know or recall is that Robert Ames was one of the 63.  Ames was a key CIA employee, renowned for his effectiveness at forging relationships with key Arab figures.  The effectiveness died with him, but it is recalled and celebrated in Kai Bird's book "The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames."  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014/8:00        Water Rights For Bodies Of Water
Does a river or a lake have a water right?  This question gets asked more often lately, as the drought makes lakes and rivers run low or dry, while nearby water users still get their water.  A California court just ruled that the pumping of water out of the ground must be regulated to protect nearby rivers.  It's the first use of the "public trust doctrine" in this manner in the state.  We explore this latest crossing of the environmental and legal realms.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014/8:30        Stepping Up The Crime Fight In Redding
Regardless of the actual crime numbers, there is a perception of a crime problem in downtown Redding.  Business owners have banded together as Redding Merchants Crime Watch, and the council and mayor are floating proposals to beef up law enforcement.  Right smack in the middle is Police Chief Rob Paoletti, who plans a town hall meeting Wednesday at 6 PM to release crime stats and take input.  The chief and the merchants expect a big turnout; Ed Rullman of the merchants group joins us.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014/9:00        Education: Asia And America
By many measures, Asian countries lead the world in the overall quality of public education.  The United States is much farther down the list, despite ongoing efforts to improve schooling here.  David Scott Clegg is familiar with education in both places.  He's an educator and the Managing Director of The HEAD Foundation, a Singapore-based education think tank.  He joins us for a discussion of differences and similarities between American and Asian systems... and what we might learn from Asia.   

Wednesday, July 30, 2014/8:00        CalTrans Brings In Fish Scientists
Environmental groups complained about plans to widen California highway 197 and U.S. 199 along the Smith River, because the work could hurt fish.  A judge agreed, and postponed the beginning of the work.  Now CalTrans will consult with the federal fisheries agency, to assess the possible effects of the highway projects on salmon.  The environmental groups that filed suit are pleased; we hear from Natalynne Delapp at EPIC, the Environmental Protection Information Center.    

Wednesday, July 30, 2014/8:30        VENTSday
We do not schedule guests for Wednesday at 8:30, because that's the time for VENTSday, your chance to vent (politely, please) on a pair of topics in the news.  We bring the topics, you bring the opinions.  It's VENTSday on The Jefferson Exchange, and you participate by calling 1-800-838-3760 or 541-552-6782 or emailing JX@jeffnet.org.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014/9:00        Time In A Bottle
Time is one of those commodities with varying value.  When we're waiting for our plane to take off, time crawls.  When we're with people we like, it just seems to fly.  Life skills coach and teacher Howard Falco insists we can exert a bit more control over time than we may think.  He explains his approach in the book "Time In a Bottle: Mastering the Experience of Life."  

Thursday, July 31, 2014/8:00        Fixing Up The Old Alma Mater
It's still a struggle for state universities to get the money to run all their programs.  Getting money for construction is another matter.  Southern Oregon University just embarked on another round of renovation, thanks to the Oregon Legislature.  The 2011 legislature allocated money for a major re-working of the Science Building on the SOU campus, to make it more attractive and structurally sound.  We visit with VP-Finance Craig Morris to talk about this and other building projects.  

Thursday, July 31, 2014/8:30        Questioning Insurance Rate Hikes
As we move further into the age of health insurance reform, the arguments just keep coming.  One concerns health insurance rates: will they go up? Down? Stay the same?  Excellent question.  Oregon insurers propose a variety of new rates for 2015, and they're all over the map.  The OSPIRG Foundation takes issue with four of the proposed rate increases.  We hear which of the proposals trouble OSPIRG, and why.    

Thursday, July 31, 2014/9:00        Ashland's Drought Summit
The euphemism "D word" went out of favor early in this calendar year.  Public officials and water managers just came right out and said "drought" when it became clear the winter would not deliver the usual amount of snow and rain.  California's governor made his drought declaration before the end of January, and efforts to conserve water have been widespread.  The City of Ashland is one of several jurisdictions making special moves to encourage conservation.  Those include the hosting of a Drought Summit, coming to the Southern Oregon University campus in mid-August.  We hear drought updates and strategies from our studio guests.   

Friday, August 1, 2014/8:00        First Friday Arts
The first Friday of any month has become a day to celebrate the arts around our region.  Several communities hold First Friday art walks, and some hold similar observances on other weekend days.  The Exchange syncs up with the art world on First Friday, by visiting with listeners about arts events in the coming month.  Join the free-for-all by calling with details about arts events in your town... 800-838-3760 around the region, 541-552-6782 in the Rogue Valley, or by email at JX@jeffnet.org.

Friday, August 1, 2014/8:30        The Daily Tidings Gets Its Own Boss
The hiring of newspaper editors tends to make news only in THAT paper.  But there's a unique twist to the hiring of a new editor for the Daily Tidings of Ashland.  The paper has not had its own editor for most of the last decade.  It shared Bob Hunter with its sister paper, the Mail Tribune of Medford.  So the hiring of Bert Etling amounts to a newspaper increasing staff (at least by one) in an era of downsizing.  Bert Etling joins us to talk about why he was hired and how he plans to revamp the Tidings.  

Friday, August 1, 2014/9:00        Letters Of Note
Maybe writing letters is becoming a lost art, but it's still an art.  And we can appreciate the masterpieces, both contemporary and historical.  Shaun Usher certainly does.  He compiles letters from near and far, from people famous and not, on his blog site "Letters of Note."  The blog led to a book by the same name, and Shaun joins us to talk about his--and soon, our--fascination with the letters.  

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.