Jefferson Journal

The Jefferson Journal is JPR's members' magazine featuring articles, columns, and reviews about living in Southern Oregon and Northern California, as well as articles about finance, health and food from NPR.   The magazine also includes program listings for JPR's network of radio stations. The publication's bi-monthly circulation is approximately 10,000.  To support JPR and receive your copy in the mail each month become a Member today!

Quiet, Please!

Nov 1, 2016

Noisy crowds are a regular, and indeed expected thing at music clubs that specialize in louder rock music. But the inherent decibel level of the act on stage is usually more than enough to drown out the din. But at smaller venues or with quieter acts, a noisy crowd can be a real detriment to an artist’s ability to connect in a meaningful way with their fans and to fans’ ability to enjoy the artist.  At one recent show I attended in Ashland, the crowd of 150 or so was so loud it was difficult to tell when the concert even started.

Jenny Graham | Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Some things you should know about Sara Bruner, the OSF actor who played both Viola and Sebastian in last season’s Twelfth Night and Norma McCorvey, a k a Jane Roe, in the premier of Roe.

She first appeared onstage in the guise of an appleseed.  The Missoula Children’s Theatre came to her small town of Deer Lodge, Montana, and as is the custom, two professional actors organized a production about Johnny Appleseed casting the local kids according to the sizes of the available costumes. Bruner was four years old.

“Hi There… You’re On The Air”

Nov 1, 2016

The moment of greatest trust between a talk show host and a listener starts with a casual turn of phrase:  “Let’s take a call.”

What happens next can be the real beauty of a live program — A spontaneous exchange grounded in civility and mutual respect for each other’s intelligence.

Or… it could go the other way, allowing an off-topic caller or a bad phone connection to take over for a few merciless minutes.

America invented the Internet.

The first iteration of what became “the Internet” that you use everyday, was built in the 1960s. It was called ARPANET and was one the first packet-switching networks that transmitted data using TCP/IP. Packet-switching is a method by which data is transmitted in chunks or “packets” that can be retransmitted if there is a disruption. TCP/IP are the protocols that manage and control the communications process.

Hiking Cultures

Nov 1, 2016
Diana Coogle

Somewhere along the 100 miles of the Alta Via 2 trail that I hiked, with my friend Mike Kohn, in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains last September, someone asked us to describe the most beautiful place we had seen on the trail. I was at a loss to answer, but Mike thought immediately of a summit along the trail just before a descent to the Lago di Fedaia at the foot of Marmolada, the highest mountain in the Dolomites. It was at least an appropriate answer, being one of a number of most beautiful places.


In late August, NPR announced that it was discontinuing the feature on that enabled visitors to make public comments about its online news stories. The announcement surprised me. After all, it seems antithetical for an organization with the word “public” in its very name to eliminate a mechanism for receiving public feedback. In making the announcement, NPR cited three main reasons.

Editor’s note: Ashland-based investigative journalist and science writer, Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., delves into the world of in-home senior care for this feature, made possible by The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) in Washington D.C., and the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program of New America Media and the Gerontological Society of America.

Soul Is Back

Aug 31, 2016

My mom grew up in inner city Detroit, attending grade school in the 1960s with Stevie Wonder. She shared social studies, science and an arts elective called “Auditorium” with Mr. Wonder. In this class, students were required to create mock radio shows and Stevie’s contribution was usually playing his harmonica. 

The Game Of Thrones

Aug 31, 2016
Jenny Graham | Oregon Shakespeare Festival

As do all Shakespeare’s history plays, Richard II serves up a political lesson on the civil chaos brought on by misrule. It brings us an England consumed by an all-or-nothing game of power politics, in which victory is Pyrrhic and defeat is a capital crime. The endlessly fascinating OSF production, directed by Bill Rauch in the Thomas Theatre, transposes the action to a contemporary arena and peels ideology down to personality.

Engaging A Nation

Aug 31, 2016

By now it’s evident that the 2016 Presidential election is not a typical affair.  One of the ways it’s been atypical from a media standpoint is that Donald Trump has been the first major party candidate in modern times to so unabashedly embrace the concept that “there is no such thing as bad publicity” – an expression made popular by P.T. Barnum, the 19th century American showman and circus owner.

Jes Burns, OPB/EarthFix

It was an unseasonably warm June week when I visited Oregon’s Diamond Lake.

This made for some lovely fishing weather, but it wasn’t ideal for fish stocking. And that’s what a small group of employees with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife were there for.

“As soon as Greg gives me the word, I’ll dump ’em in,” said the fish deliveryman.

The thousands of fish had traveled via small trailer through the night from a hatchery in Utah. The driver arrived about two hours early in an attempt to beat the heat.

A New Beginning

Jun 30, 2016

After over 47 years operating from its cramped, outdated facility located in the basement of Central Hall on the Southern Oregon University (SOU) campus, JPR is getting a new home.  As part of the renovation and expansion of SOU’s theatre and performing arts building, The Oregon Center for the Arts (OCA), a new state-of-the-art JPR studio facility will be constructed starting this month with completion scheduled for late summer 2017.

It’s About Time

Jun 30, 2016
Jenny Graham | Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Lisa Loomer’s Roe and Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone surmount a similar challenge: how to bring dramatic form to a sprawling, complicated decade of American History.  The 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade legalized abortion and triggered resistance that reverberates to this day. The fall of Saigon in 1975 after over a decade of brutal conflict in Southeast Asia drove waves of refugees to the United States.  To wrest the multiple, often contradictory human truths from these events, Loomer and Nguyen have developed sharply different approaches to time. 


As our nation gets decked out in red white & blue to celebrate Independence Day, have you ever wondered what qualifies as the most patriotic song? I do think about these things. It’s the rabbithole I usually find myself going doing when sitting in 100 degree heat watching a parade go by while waving a little flag and slowing dying of heatstroke.

The Jefferson Reality

Jun 30, 2016

Anyone paying attention to politics lately has noticed that small changes barely seem worth the trouble anymore. Congress can’t be bothered to make laws. The Supreme Court is pushing cases back to the states the way an infant refuses his creamed carrots. American voters have forgotten that lofty goals are usually accomplished with tiny steps.

Untempered by realism, we’ve been hearing a lot about abolishing the IRS, providing free college, building unscalable walls. Breaking through a glass ceiling seems quaintly mundane when the sky’s the limit.

Forest Fieldnotes

Jun 30, 2016

 As I sit writing this in early June, the thermometer has already shot up into triple digits for the first time this year, and I heard thunder in the distance yesterday evening. With a now-familiar sense of mild dread, I realized fire season is upon us once again. 

This is the reality we live with each summer, those of us who inhabit northern California and southern Oregon. The temperature goes up, the forests dry out and each thunderstorm has us casting anxious glances toward the mountains, scanning for the telltale column of smoke that tells us wildfire has come to visit again.

Nature Conservancy

Last year was the most expensive wildfire season ever. Federal agencies alone spent more than $2 billion on suppressing fires in 2015 and an estimated 2,500 homes were lost. This trend has been on the rise since the mid-1990s and continues to pick up steam.               

Is there any end in sight?

My Camino

Jun 29, 2016

I learned an important thing last summer. Everyone walks their own Camino.

Daughter Mae has been living and working in Prague, Czech Republic for the past two years. She’s been teaching English and, in my view, attending a kind of finishing school.  It wasn’t an easy transition, but she figured out housing, transportation and work in a foreign country, all on her own. See what I mean about “finishing school?”

Ah, Lost In Venice

Apr 28, 2016

I'm lost somewhere within the tangle of narrow streets in Venice, Italy. There are signs high up on the walls of the crowded buildings looming claustrophobically above where the only clear direction is straight up into a bright slit of blue sky. But signs are of no use when you don’t know precisely where you are nor where, exactly, you are going.

As you might imagine, JPR gets a fair amount of listener feedback. A recent email from one listener criticized JPR for an episode of RadioLab we aired which this listener contended was the final straw that proved JPR supported the proliferation and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs have been a hot topic in recent years, both regionally and nationally, with bans approved by voters in Jackson and Josephine counties and the narrow defeat of an Oregon statewide GMO food labeling initiative in 2014.