The Marion County Fair and the FFA

The Forum went to the Marion County Fair where Ron Johnson, our Friday morning host for Because It Matters, talked with some amazing young men and women.  They’re members of the FFA – the Future Farmers of America – and you’ll be inspired by their dedication and talents and, best of all, you’ll laugh and cry as you hear the stories of their adventures with their animals.

The FFA isn’t about bib overalls and hay wagons; it’s all about leadership, innovation and being at the center of Marion County’s most important industry – Agriculture.  Don’t miss listening to this story about the hard-working, enthusiastic young people who will be leading our next generation.

Peabody Award Winning Investigations into the Drug-prescribing Practices at VA Hospitals and the Fund-raising Practices of Charities

I take very seriously my duty to provide you with news, information and stories about things that matter.  Every Friday morning, I’m responsible for 90 minutes of what we broadcast from this radio station.

And getting to use this medium is both a privilege and an important duty.  It’s a privilege because not everyone gets to do it.  And it’s a duty because you the listener control ultimately whether we succeed at what we’re supposed to be doing.

We work hard to broadcast stories that are interesting and entertaining but we also want to broadcast stories that are important.  And by important, we mean stories that affect how people are being treated or whether things are being done right or wrong.

The special presentation you’re about to hear is a collaboration between the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and the Center for Investigative Journalism. It’s their first foray into investigative journalism, looking at the drug-prescribing practices of the Veterans Administration’s hospitals and the fund-raising practices of many charities.

And how good is what you’re about to hear?  It won a Peabody Award, broadcasting’s Academy Award for excellence.  This is what we believe radio is supposed to be all about.  Enjoy.

Why is ‘Tax Day’ on April 15?

Our least auspicious holiday has to be Tax Day – April 15.

Many of you may object to Tax Day being called a holiday, but it’s certainly become a day that most of us “observe” and “commemorate,” even though it often involves writing a check to the IRS.

But how did it get decided that Tax Day would be April 15?  After all, it’s not hard to understand why Independence Day is celebrated on the 4th of July and no one gets confused about New Year’s Day.

Did something historic or memorable happen on April 15?  And what event would want to be honored by being known as Tax Day?

You’ve found the right place for the answer to those questions.  And better yet, the right place for a little more information about the interesting history of our tax system and its holiday, Tax Day.

Thanks for stopping and giving me a read and a listen.  Let me know what you think.  Better still, nominate a question for a future episode of “Now You Know.”

Ron interviews Governor Vic Atiyeh

Ron interviews Oregon’s 32nd Governor, Victor Atiyeh, as he reminisces about his 28 years of public service, including two terms as Governor during an economic downturn that rivaled the Great Depression. He discusses his across the isle leadership and dedication to bettering the quality of life for all Oregonians.

Ron interviews Dick Eutlain, historian

Ron interviews Dick Etulain, Pulitzer Prize nominated historian who has written and edited over 50 books, specializing in the American West and the life of President Lincoln. He discusses Lincoln’s connections to and involvement in Oregon politics as the Civil War neared.

Ron Johnson interviews Dennis Jenkins

Ron interviews Dennis Jenkins, a U of O archeologist, who won international acclaim when he discovered the oldest evidence of human settlement in North America. He discusses the moment of discovery in the Paisley Caves near Fort Rock in South Central Oregon when he turned conventional wisdom upside down.