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Winter Weather Previews, Expensive Child Care, and Fun In Your Work: Dec. 8-12 on The Exchange

Winter is technically a couple of weeks away, but its weather is here already.  We'll bring in one of our meteorologist friends to talk about that on this week of The Exchange.

We'll also explore the ongoing issue of Oregon being one of the states where child care just costs a lot to obtain.

And one of our author guests will discuss keeping a sense of play in our work.

Here is the rough outline for the week of December 8th on the show:

Monday, December 8, 2014/8:00        John Fischer On Winter Weather
This time a year ago, the Rogue Valley was digging out from a snowstorm and freeze that closed schools for most of a week.  This year is different.  EVERY year is different.  Which is why we like to bring somebody with weather knowledge onto the show to talk about what we might expect from the winter ahead.  Old friend and former KEZI-TV (Eugene) meteorologist John Fischer returns to talk about clouds and the things they deliver.  

Monday, December 8, 2014/8:30        Polar Express Comes To Medford
Kids and adults alike thrilled to the book "The Polar Express" when it hit the bookstores.  The thrill remains, nearly 30 years and a feature movie with Tom Hanks later.  Now many towns across the country offer their own "Polar Express" attractions in the Christmas season, including an event at Medford's Railroad Park next weekend.  We get the details of the events from its sponsors.  

Monday, December 8, 2014/9:00        A Revolution In Raising A Kid
The Baby Boomers had it pretty good as kids… no depression or world war, an affluent society, and parents who often just told them to be home in time for dinner.  The cares and concerns of the world have changed over time, to say nothing of how technology has changed life.  The changes add layers of complexity to the already complex job of parenting.  In "Revolutionize Your Child's Life," executive and personal development coach Peggy Caruso offers tips for modern-day parents.  She joins us to discuss the tips.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014/8:00        Adding To Farm To School Programs
Maybe kids really do like healthy food better when they understand where it comes from.  And when they grow it themselves.  That's the business of Rogue Valley Farm to School.  That organization and Rogue Farm Corps are getting grants to continue their work from the Oregon Community Foundation.  OCF and Farm to School reps join us for the lowdown.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014/8:30        Priced Out Of Childcare In Oregon
Oregon's long lag in recovering from the recession keeps median wages down.  Unfortunately, Oregon is also a state in which child care costs are high relative to income.  Not only is the picture not improving, it could be getting worse.  Those are among the findings in a report out of the Secretary of State's Audit Division.  The auditors join us to explain the numbers, and what they mean.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014/9:00        What To Know BEFORE Eating Wild Mushrooms
When in doubt, throw it out.  That's the first rule of eating mushrooms from the wild.  There are plenthy of other rules to keep in mind if you either venture to the woods to get your own mushrooms, or get them from someone else.  The Oregon Mycological Society focuses on edible fungi.  One of the society members visits to talk about mushroom practices and safety.  

Wednesday, December 10, 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 emailing JX@jeffnet.org.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014/9:00    Happiness By Design
Lots of researchers approach the subject of happiness from many different fields, but economics?  When you stop to think about it, much of the discussion of happiness in our time focuses on economic matters, like how much money we make.  So Paul Dolan, an economist by training, is uniquely positioned to add to the discussion.  And add he does, in his book "Happiness By Design."  We visit with Paul about changing our behaviors to achieve happiness.  

Thursday, December 11, 2014/9:00    Small Farms That Make Big Bucks
Maybe you've always been interested in farming, but just didn’t have the land for it.  You might not need that much.  Organic farmer Jean-Martin Fortier runs a "micro-farm" in Quebec, with only about an acre and a half of permanent planted space.  Yet the farm makes enough money to feed Fortier's family.  And he shares the secrets and techniques in his book "The Market Gardener."  He pays us a visit to lay out the concepts.  

Friday, December 12, 2014/9:00        Putting Play Into Your Work
Maybe it's been a long time since you played hopskotch or tiddly winks.  And that's a problem, potentially.  The ways of play are valuable in shaping young brains, and they can continue to help as we age.  The book "Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life" suggests ways to use dreaming (hop), experimenting (skip), and taking action (jump) to make our work more play-like and joyful.  Author Marney Makridakis joins us.

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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.