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Bus Rides, "Techtoberfest," and Elvis's Last Sweetie: The Week on The Exchange

The beginning of the Rogue Valley Commuter Line, "Techtoberfest" to celebrate tech industry, and a chat with Elvis Presley's fiancee mark the week of September 22nd on the Exchange.

And we're just getting started.

Below, minus the fancy pictures and boldface web links, is the list for the week (so far).   More to come...

Monday, September 22, 2014/8:00        Getting Former Soldiers To "Stand Down"
Our attitude toward the military has come about-face since the Vietnam war.  Where once we reviled soldiers and blamed them for the unpopular war, we now praise service members as heroes, without question.  But once they settle back in society, they still have need to be met.  And "stand down" events are designed to connect them to services to meet those needs.  The North Coast Stand Down comes to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds this weekend (October 3-5).  We hear the details of the event and its many offerings.  

Monday, September 22, 2014/8:30        Tracking Senior Financial Abuse
We've been hearing for some time about how people take financial advantage of vulnerable senior citizens.  And it's more than anecdote, it's demonstrable fact.  Oregon now has back-to-back year-long reports on senior financial abuse, and the latest shows a rise in incidents from the year before.  Study author Rebecca Fetters joins us to explain the numbers, and their implications.

Monday, September 22, 2014/9:00        The Surviving Half of "Elvis And Ginger"
Elvis Presley's electrifying entry into popular culture contrasted sharply with his muted exit: discovered dead on a bathroom floor, overweight, drug-addled, and in poor health.  Ginger Alden discovered Elvis on that bathroom floor.  She was the last of Elvis's loves, and describes herself as his fiancee.  Alden recounts their whirlwind romance and strange existence in her book "Elvis and Ginger."  She joins us for a look back at those months.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014/8:00    Restoring Old Barns The Right Way
The old barn looking a little saggy?  Reach for a two-by-four.  Oh wait… the really interesting old barns tend to pre-date modern developments like standardized dimension lumber.  And that's why Restore Oregon offers workshops on activities like barn restoration.  We visit with RO leaders about their overall mission, and how they carry it out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014/9:00    Celebrating Present And Future: "Techtoberfest"
Technology will save us all.  Or will it?  Can we have a beer and a pretzel while we think about it?  Beer and pretzels and technology talk will be abundant this week (September 26th) as Sustainable Valley Technology Group rolls out its first-ever "Techtoberfest."  SVTG works to attract and assist clean businesses that can provide jobs in the Rogue Valley.  SVTG leaders join us to talk about the mission and the party.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014/8:00    Rogue Valley Commuter Line
Two bucks gets you a one-way ride from, say, Medford to Ashland.  Now the same expenditure can get you all the way from Medford to Grants Pass, or vice-versa.  The Rogue Valley Commuter Line started service in early September.  It offers cheap rides for the car-free between two of the Rogue Valley's major cities.  Josephine County Transit Supervisor Scott Chancey visits to talk about the service and how it got started.   

Wednesday, September 24, 2014/8:30    VENTSday
VENTSday is our weekly "opinion swarm"… we throw a pair of topics on the table, and let listeners vent--politely--on those topics.  They can range from the global to the hyper-local, and all responsible opinions are welcome.  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, September 24, 2014/9:00    Taking Advantage of "Living Opportunities"
We've traveled a long way from the time when people with developmental and intellectual disabilities spent their lives in "training schools" or other facilities away from the general population.  Medford-based Living Opportunities is one of the organizations that participated in the shift.  The non-profit works with clients to live, work and play as independently as possible.  Longtime CEO Roger Hassenpflug joins us to lay out the mission and the accomplishments.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014/9:00    Quilts For Kids Nepal
Americans can be big-hearted people, judging by our annual charitable donations of roughly a third of a Trillion dollars.  But some donors need some tangible proof of their largesse.  Quilts for Kids Nepal provides that, and a way for poor women to make money from their skills.  Through quilt sales, sponsorships and donations, the group helps educate children, in the hope that they will not follow their families into a lifetime of begging.   

Friday, September 26, 2014/9:00        Shopper To The Stars: "I'll Drink To That"
Betty Halbreich's once-glamourous life bottomed out after she and her dashing (and philandering) husband divorced.  Now what?  The answer came from the luxury store Bergdorf Goodman which picked Halbreich to run its first personal shopping service.  Suddenly she was the personal shopper to the stars.  She tells of her adventures in her book "I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist."  

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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.