Geoffrey Riley

News Director | Jefferson Exchange Host

Geoffrey Riley began practicing journalism in the State of Jefferson nearly three decades ago, as a reporter and anchor for a Medford TV station. It was about the same time that he began listening to Jefferson Public Radio, and thought he might one day work there. He was right.

Geoff came to JPR as a backup host on The Jefferson Exchange in late 2000, and he assumed the full-time host job at the beginning of 2010. The two hours of the Exchange allow him to join our listeners in exploring issues both large and small, local and global. In addition to hosting The Exchange, Geoff oversees JPR’s news department as its News Director.

Geoff is a New York native, with stints in broadcast news in Missouri, Alabama, and Wisconsin before his arrival in Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

New Society Publishers

Even people who take great pride in their appearance may blanch occasionally when looking at clothing labels.

It's tough to live a lifestyle that combines fashion, a sense of worker justice, and environmental ethics. 

But Kate Black says it's entirely possible, and she shows how, in her book MagnifECO: Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-toxic Beauty.

The book is the first print extension of the MagnifECO brand Black pioneered on the web. 

Moller International

We're 15 years into the 21st century, and still looking for the flying cars.  But perhaps not much longer. 

Paul Moller, engineer and entrepreneur, focuses the efforts of his company, Moller International, on that very goal. 

Moller already has prototypes that can hover ten feet off the ground, with plans for sleeker and more impressive vehicles ahead. 

Penguin Books

What's in YOUR kitchen junk drawer?  Or is it a whole closet? 

Humans can be messy creatures, but the tendency to lose track of things can seem amplified in this age of "information overload." 

Fret not: neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin says it's still possible to keep track of appointments, car keys, the works. 

He explains in his book The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload


Thanksgiving is here, and the Exchange crew is grateful for a day off.  We'll fill the hours usually occupied by the Exchange with a few holiday specials. 

At 8: A Sporkful holiday treat, "Thanksgiving is For Eaters."  Mo Rocca and Amy Sedaris present useful tips on how to make classic Thanksgiving dishes, interesting facts about the science of cooking and the art of eating, and surprising details about the ways in which diverse cultures have adapted Thanksgiving traditions and made them their own.


Thanksgiving weekend continues with more specials parking in the Exchange slots. 

At 8: You know the story of Thanksgiving origins: Pilgrims, Indians, a big feast... annnnd how much of that is true?  BackStory, with The American History Guys, separates fact from legend about our tryptophan-drenched holiday, in "American As Pumpkin Pie." 

David Gibbs/Holly Theatre

Shows are still a couple of years away at a minimum, but Medford's Holly Theatre is a busy place. 

The interior restoration of the 1930 movie house into a performing arts space has already begun, including modifications to bring the building into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). 

A gift from Asante Health System pays for the ADA compliance; other gifts past and future will address other aspects of the renewal. 


Thanksgiving is upon us, so we'll ask listeners to join a special VENTSday segment, telling us what you're thankful for this year. 

And if that doesn't tickle your dialing or email fingers, let's hear your thoughts on the idea of ending smoking in all public housing in the United States. 

You've got opinions on events in the news, and our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them. We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them.

Basic Books

We all get one, but do we fully appreciate it?  Body, we mean. 

Gavin Francis is well-acquainted with the human body from his work as a surgeon. 

And he appreciates the complexity and simplicity, the mechanics and the poetry, of what our bodies can do. 

He shares the fascination with us in the book Adventures in Human Being

It's billed as a grand tour of the body from top to bottom. 

Wikipedia Commons

"You go say you're sorry to Bobby."  Phrases like that have been heard for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. 

And what do kids actually learn from the experience?  That's a question being considered in the Phoenix-Talent School District, which wants to move beyond punishment and into "restorative justice." 

That is a concept embraced by Resolve (formerly Mediation Works), which teamed up with the district on a project to introduce restorative justice to Phoenix High School. 

Wikimedia Commons

Some of your friends and neighbors will be walking off the turkey and pie this weekend. 

And some will be doing that while making a statement about climate change. 

The Global March for Climate Solutions is timed to coincide with a major meeting of countries in Paris to discuss climate issues. 

The Paris terrorist attacks and the security situation there wiped out the march in Paris itself, but many communities--Eugene included--will observe the march with local activities. 

Greystone Books

The price of gasoline is certainly low at the moment, a benefit of the world oil glut caused in part by North American oil wells. 

But what are the external costs of cheap oil and natural gas?  For a Canadian woman named Jessica Ernst, they were intolerably high. 

Her home water supply became undrinkable, with the blame falling on gas wells and fracking activity nearby. 

Journalist Andrew Nikiforuk covers the oil and gas industry and tells Ernst's story in the book Slick Water.

Robert Neff/Fifth World Art

A vast array of services is available to veterans of the military. 

But vets can still find themselves between rocks and hard places, temporarily unable to access those services. 

Homeward Bound Military Family Support Services in the Redding area is set up to provide quick, temporary assistance, from food to school. 


People who behave badly are not necessarily bad people.  They might have simply missed opportunities for someone to recognize and deal with their behavior before it got out of hand. 

The new Center for Translational Neuroscience at the University of Oregon is designed to find and maximize those opportunities. 

CTN aims to train students to recognize and work with people who may be headed for addictions, anxiety, aggressive behavior and overeating. 

Perigee Books

We wonder after events of horrific violence how people could ever get so detached from other humans. 

Is it lack of empathy?  That's entirely possible. 

Philosopher Roman Krznaric, a prolific author, explores the feeling and its many facets in Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It

Krznaric is, among other accomplishments, the founder of the world's first Empathy Museum. 

Lulu Vision

Eugene and Ashland are two of the more desirable places to spend time on the West Coast. 

So they attract many visitors... including some who are creating issues for the rest of the population. 

Both Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and Ashland Mayor John Stromberg use the term "travelers" to describe the young, apparently unemployed people who hang around city sidewalks, asking for money and occasionally intimidating passersby. 

Both are working with their communities to find ways to address the perceived problems. 

New World Library

You don't need to confine your dreams, or at least interpretations, to the nighttime. 

Your dreams are often symbolic, with lots of signs and symbols representing something other than what they appear. 

Robert Moss, a proponent of "active dreaming," says you can have some fun with the signs and symbols you see in your waking hours. 

Get ready for a whole new kind of intepretation, and prepare to become a "kairomancer," as Moss walks you into the concepts in his book Sidewalk Oracles: Playing With Signs, Symbols, And Synchronicity In Everyday Life


High school students may want safe schools free of bullying and violence, but they're often reluctant to take concerns directly to school authorities. 

But maybe if a smartphone app made the process easier, things would change. 

That's the general approach outlined in Project SOAR, Student Ownership, Accountability and Responsibility, now in development at Eugene-based Iris Educational Media

The project is backed by a federal grant, and includes plans for testing at high schools in Illinois and Springfield, Oregon. 


Oregon has been steadily building ridership on Amtrak's "Cascadia Corridor" from Eugene north to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, BC. 

But the population of the surrounding valley is expected to continue rapid growth for decades, so some decisions need to be made about passenger trains and where they'll travel. 

The preference is to expand capacity on the existing line, but the state is taking input in an online open house until November 22nd. 

Penguin Books

The literary magazine The Paris Review began making history soon after its introduction 62 years ago. 

Notable writers came to the public's attention, including Philip Roth, Jack Kerouac, and many more. 

Editor Lorin Stein revamped the magazine when he took over five years ago, adding online elements and apps and more. 

Now The Paris Review has published its first anthology book in 50 years, The Unprofessionals: New American Writing From The Paris Review


Developing dementia or cognitive impairment is not like catching a cold... patients don't suddenly develop symptoms, in most cases.

So it helps medical pros and researchers when they can track changes in behaviors that can indicate changes in the brain. 

Adriana Seelye at the aging and Alzheimer's center at Oregon Health & Science University has a plan for tracking those changes through the monitoring of simple household tasks. 

And she's got a grant from the Alzheimer's Association to turn the plan into a real treatment tool.