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Skeptics, Sex Assault, and Politics: Oct 13-17 on The Exchange

A psychologist who studies why we believe in things like space invaders is among the guests scheduled for the week on The Exchange (Ray Hyman, October 14).

And we'll talk about the state of the art in investigating and prosecuting sexual assault.

Plus, with Election 2014 getting close, we launch another round of candidate and measure interviews.

Here, minus pictures and colorful links, is our outline:

Monday, October 13, 2014/8:00            Catching Up With The Hiking Queen
You might enjoy hiking with Jennifer Pharr Davis, but don't plan on keeping up with her.  She's ambitious on the trail… even holds the record for the fastest traversing of the Appalachian Trail.  And she named National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2012.  And she'll visit the Rogue Valley later this week for a series of library talks.  We get to meet her first.  

Monday, October 13, 2014/8:30            Remembering The Ongoing Needs Of Haiti
The world learns about major tragedies like the Haiti earthquake of 2010… then the news media move on.  Attention focuses on the latest disaster.  Former Medford resident Kurt Hildebrand could not move on.  His wife, Wilda Mondestin, is from Haiti, and they worked together on a large earthquake response through the Mennonite Central Committee.  They visit Medford this week and stop by to explain the many difficulties involved in rebuilding Haiti.   

Monday, October 13, 2014/9:00            Meeting The "Blue Collar Nomad"
Jake Kaida is a man on the move.  He travels the lower 48 states and parts of Canada in search of work and spiritual fulfillment.  And he sets some of the tales of his travels down in the book "Blue Collar Nomad."  The book comes with a CD of music by Matthew Tavis Johnson, a pianist and composer.  Both men join us in the studio to talk about the project.    

Tuesday, October 14, 2014/8:00            Spreading Effectiveness In Approaching Sexual Assault
Ashland, Oregon is not one of the major cities of the United States.  But it is a leader in at least one field: the investigation of sexual assault crimes.  The city's "You Have Options" program is drawing attention and requests for information from law enforcement all over the country.  Now the country comes to Ashland for the 2014 Southern Oregon Sexual Assault Symposium.  A pair of speakers from the event join us in the studio.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014/9:00            Not Believing Everything You Hear
Maybe we don't talk about "flying saucers" anymore, but there are plenty of subjects that produce a spirited debate over physics versus psychology.  That second field is the home of Dr. Ray Hyman, emeritus professor at the University of Oregon.  Hyman is a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and he dedicated much of his career to studying why people believe strange things.  So it comes as no surprise that Ashland's secular-humanist Jefferson Center invited him to speak.  Dr. Hyman visits our studio to talk about myth and magic.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014/8:00        "Two Talking Wolves" Sit And Stay A Bit
Take a journalist who covers conservation issues and pair him up with a wildlife biologist who specializes in species recovery, and what do you call the duo?  They chose (or somebody chose for them) "Two Talking Wolves."  Todd Wilkinson is the journalist wolf, Bob Ferris is the biologist.  They visit the Rogue Valley to talk about their work and their concerns for the planet.  The drop by the Exchange studio to fill in the radio audience.  

Wednesday, October 15, 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, October 15, 2014/9:00        Hearts Of Gold: "Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy"
Remember that scene in "Gone With the Wind" where Scarlett O'Hara shoots the soldier?  There's a real-life parallel, in which a woman named Belle Boyd (her real name) shot a soldier in her parlor.  Her story is just one of several tales of real-life women involved in the fighting of the Civil War; always behind the scenes, frequently in great danger.  Karen Abbott tells the tales in her book "Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War."  Abbott joins us to discuss the book.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014/8:00            SOU Puts Time Pressure On Scholarship Campaign
People seem to respond well to deadline pressure, so why not provide some for a fundraising campaign?  That's the thinking at the Southern Oregon University Foundation.  SOUF is mounting a 100-hour campaign for the SOU scholarship... in this case, SOU stands for "Supporting Opportunities for Undergraduates."  A rep from the foundation visits to explain the workings of the campaign, and who benefits.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014/8:30            Kevin Talbert On Running An Indy Campaign
Not a single Democrat signed up to run for the two open seats for Jackson County Commissioner in this year's primaries.  But the Republicans will not run unopposed after all.  A Democrat got on the ballot by write-in in Commissioner Position 1, and Kevin Talbert is on the ballot for Position 3 as and independent.  Air time has been offered to both candidates; Talbert joins us to explain his positions.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014/9:00            Inside The Values Of Oregon
Our country is deeply divided politically, and Oregon is just like any other state.  Or is it?  When you ask people around the state about the values they hold dear, the answers are often similar, despite factors like political party.  The Oregon Values Project discovered this in its most recent once-a-decade assessment of values among the state's citizens.  Education, health and environmental quality make up the top three values.  We'll discuss those and the others with the project's research director.  

Friday, October 17, 2014/8:00            RVTD Asks For Tax Money
A federal grant allowed the Rogue Valley Transportation District to add bus service in the evenings and on Saturdays to its schedule.  But grants expire, and now it's time for another funding source.  So RVTD is asking voters to approve a five-year property tax levy so the additional service can continue.  Some of the RVTD board members join us to make the case for the levy.  

Friday, October 17, 2014/8:30            Art Robinson's Aim For A Seat In Congress
Maybe third time's the charm for Art Robinson, running for Congress for the third time against longtime incumbent Peter DeFazio.  He has run respectable races against DeFazio in the Oregon Fourth District, which includes communities as varied as Cave Junction and Springfield.  Which are the towns the two men call home.  Rep. DeFazio spoke to us on October 9th, now Robinson makes his case.  

Friday, October 17, 2014/9:00            Gas And Its Costs This Winter
Quite a few of us heat our homes with natural gas in the winter.  And winter is not far away.  So how much can we expect to pay for the heat this year?  It can vary a bit from year to year.  So we'll visit with a rep from the American Gas Association.  The conversation will take in gas prices, gas safety, and more.  

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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.