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Smokejumpers, Screens, and Year-End VENTS: JX Dec 29-Jan 2

Many of us would not jump out of a plane with a parachute.  Fewer would do so to fight a fire, we'd guess.

The practice of "smokejumping" gets a discussion this week, along with how screens--TVs, phones, etc--can help or hurt kids.

And our VENTSday segment invites comments on top stories of 2015 and New Year resolutions.

Here's the entire list for the week...

Monday, December 29, 2014/8:00        Year-End Whale Watching
If the torn wrapping paper and long nights and excessive eating are all too much, there is a holiday season alternative: whales.  In the right conditions, gray whales can be spotted this week off the Oregon coast, heading south.  And by OFF the coast, Oregon State Parks means they can be seen FROM the coast.  Whale watching sites and volunteers dot the coast for a few more days.  We hear about the arrangements.  

Monday, December 29, 2014/8:30        Smokejumping Into History
The idea of jumping out of a plane to fight a forest fire sounds hazardous (it is), but it has a long history.  Long enough to be commemorated in a museum.  The Siskiyou Smokejumper Base in Cave Junction operated for decades, closing in 1980.  Now it's a museum, restored to its 1950 appearance, with additional protections from the federal government.  Museum president Gary Buck joins us.  

Monday, December 29, 2014/9:00        Parenting Kids With All Those Screens
Remember when we used to joke about the TV as "the electronic babysitter?"  We're not joking anymore.  Today's kids park in front of the TV less, but only because they have a dizzying array of OTHER screens to look at, from computers to smart phones.  How much is too much?  Child psychiatrist (and parent) Jodi Gold walks us through the concepts in her book "Screen-Smart Parenting: How to Find Balance and Benefit in Your Child's Use of Social Media, Apps, and Digital Devices."  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014/8:00        Whooping Cough And Chicken Pox Flare Up
California is seeing more cases of whooping cough (pertussis) than at any time in the last 70 years.  And Jackson County on the Oregon side is seeing more cases as well.  Pertussis and chicken pox are both up in number, causing concerns for county health officials.  We hear the causes and the approach to bringing the numbers down.  


Tuesday, December 30, 2014/8:30        Sharing The Dental Wealth (and Health)
There's nothing quite like the pain of a toothache.  It's remarkable how a problem with one little tooth can affect so much more.  Actually, it's not remarkable to medical people, who know the many ripple effects of poor dental care.  Providence Medford Medical Center partner with a couple of community groups to provide dental services to people who can't otherwise afford them.  We get the details in this office visit.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014/9:00        Diet Advice From a Diet Maker (And Breaker)
Ted Spiker is author or co-author of a dozen books on health and diet.  But he's not a strict adherent of his own advice.  In fact, Ted has been known to wear his wife's pregnancy pants upon occasion, and finds them quite comfortable.  So her certainly knows the ups as well as the downs (on the scale).  He joins us with the details from his book "Down Size: 12 Truths for Turning Pants-Splitting Frustration into Pants-Fitting Success."  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014/8:00    Singing In A New Year
Darn, with Christmas over, there are no more seasonal concerts.  Or are there?  The Jefferson State Choral Coalition held back while a myriad of other groups held holiday concerts.  JSCC's big bash is January 3rd; twice, in fact.  The choir--or is it a chorus?--features American popular music in a variety of styles.  Director Kirby Shaw visits.  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014/8:30    VENTSday: Big Stories of 2015 + Resolutions
New Year's Even marks the VENTSday to end all VENTSdays... or at least to end the year.  These topics are easy: 1) what's the biggest news story of the year? 2) What's your New Year resolution, either for yourself or somebody else--even the whole world?  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 31, 2014/9:00    The Story of David, THE David
"For unto you is born in the city of David…"  We hear that line every Christmas season (thank you, Linus).  Which David?  The one who slew Goliath, or the one who ruled as a king, or the poet with the sensitive heart?  Same guy.  Rabbi David Wolpe examines what we know about the biblical figure in his book "David: The Divided Heart."  

Thursday, New Year's Day, 2015        Whitewater and "Wild"
New Year's Day is a day off for the JX staff.  But we trolled the archives for a couple of memorable shows from the past.  
At 8: river guide Jo Deurbrouck wrote about a daring/reckless attempt to set a whitewater speed record, in her book "Anything Worth Doing."  
At 9: Just in time for the movie version of "Wild" with Reese Witherspoon, we replay our interview with the person she plays.  Author Cheryl Strayed talked about her journey of the soul up the Pacific Crest Trail.

Friday, January 2, 2015            Peacemakers and Drinkers
The holiday weekend continues with another off-day for the JX staff.  So we reach again into the archives for significant interviews from the past.  
At 8: she never liked either bullies or violence, and stood in their way from an early age.  Her convictions led Jody Williams to a Nobel Peace Prize.  Her book is "My Name Is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl's Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize."   
At 9: One of our favorite regional authors gets a second play.  Amy Stewart finds all the great stuff from the garden you can turn into drinks, in her book "The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create The World's Great Drinks."  

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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.