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.

Science is working hard to understand the causes of mental illness, but we're not far removed--if at all--from dismissals like "he's just acting crazy."  

 The language is elevated a bit above that at the Vollum Institute at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.  Researchers there work to decode the way the brain works, in physical as well as mental health.  

Maybe you've seen those small wind turbines mounted close to the ground in rural areas.  

  And maybe you've noticed that they don't seem to turn terribly fast, even in windy conditions.  That's true, because the faster winds are higher up. So go fly a kite: tethered kites might provide more, and more consistent, electricity.  

Men in Nigeria--okay, some of them--believe that people with mysterious powers can steal their penises.  

You may chuckle, but remember that people on this continent once hanged women as witches.  Such is the stuff of Frank Bures's latest book, "The Geography of Madness."  

Bures traveled the world to discover some truly astounding beliefs and the reasons people believe them.

Plane777/Wikimedia

  Light the candles on a birthday cake for the National Park Service if you dare, but there will be more candle than cake. 

NPS turns 100 this year, with a number of celebrations. 

Oregon is not overly endowed with NPS facilities, but Crater Lake and Oregon Caves are part of the system, wowing visitors and helping keep their dollars in the region. 

Steph MacKinnon

  Matt Haimovitz and his cello are on the road a lot. 

One description of his touring pace is "relentless." 

And he's not picky about venues, playing everything from concert halls to coffee houses.  Add radio studios to the list, because Haimovitz drops in to The Exchange for chat and concerto. 

ginabarreca.com

  Loud and proud would be one way to describe Gina Barreca. 

And let's add funny to that list, because she is frequently that.  Barreca's syndicated columns and essays frequently take on subjects of interest to today's women, and provide laughs for all. 

Her latest essay collection is If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse? 

Wikimedia

  The ongoing battle over gender inclusive bathrooms in North Carolina rivets the attention of activists and observers across the country. 

And it will doubtless be a topic of discussion when Basic Rights Oregon holds its annual Statewide Leadership Summit in Eugene next week (May 7).

Transgender law is a hot topic now, but the daily focus of the Transgender Law Center based in Oakland. 

C.J. Samson/Wikimedia

  It sounds almost too good to be true: we can fish the oceans AND feed the earth's growing population, sustainably. 

That is the finding of several scientists, including Christopher Costello at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

The scientists' report says "business as usual" would have to change, but that the Earth's fisheries could rebound in a decade. 

The suggested approach is "rights-based," rebuilding protected local fisheries. 

University of California

    One of these days, Janet Napolitano might take on an easy job (don't count on it). 

Napolitano has been governor of Arizona and Homeland Security Secretary, among other jobs.  And for three years she has been president of the University of California system, which faces funding and other issues, along with many state schools. 

Napolitano visits Redding for a speech at Shasta College

W.W. Norton Books

  Can you even remember the last time you opened a physical dictionary or encyclopedia? 

You don't have to anymore, with the ability to type any term into Google and get results in less than a second--and no paper cuts. 

So the facts are there for us... now there's the issue of CONTEXT.  In The Internet of Us, author Michael Lynch points to evidence that shows we may know more, but we don't understand more. 

In fact, we seem to understand less. 

julianbellforgovernor2016.com

  It figures that Republicans would jump into the race for Oregon governor; incumbent Kate Brown is less than two years into the job, and came into it because of the previous governor's resignation. 

But her competition in a crowded field also comes from fellow Democrats, including Julian Bell

Bell is a Southern Oregon physician who finds fault with Brown's stance on climate change, among other issues. 

aboldpeace.com

The level of American military spending comes up a lot, because it IS a lot; more than any other country.  Let's turn our focus to military spending in another country: Costa Rica. 

There's very little, because Costa Rica disbanded its permanent military decades ago, in favor of spending the money on improving the quality of life. 

The situation is summed up in the documentary film "A Bold Peace," produced by Matthew Eddy and Michael Dreiling. 

It's not just the Internet that encourages anonymous commenting... even The Exchange only requires first names from people who call and email. 

So this VENTSday, let's talk about the effects of anonymous venting. 

Our other topic: what circumstances (example: felony conviction) should cost a person her/his right to vote?  

Listeners take stage on our weekly VENTSday segment, a chance to vent on a couple of topics in the news--by phone, by email, or through our online survey. We provide the topics, you provide the opinions. 

No expertise necessary; just opinions and the ability to express them in a radio-friendly way. We post our weekly survey on one or both of the topics in advance.

Basic Books

Guns have certainly been a part of American society since the very beginning; just the existence of the Second Amendment is proof of that. 

But there's a debate to be had about the relative importance of guns over the last two centuries. 

Historian Pamela Haag argues that guns became more important to people through effective marketing campaigns. 

She focuses on the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, maker of many famous guns, in her book The Gunning of America

sbjforgovernor.org

It's quite the flock running for Oregon governor this year. 

Kate Brown is the incumbent by appointment, which almost makes it an open seat.  15 candidates in all signed up in the Democratic, Republican, and Independent Party of Oregon primaries. 

Stephen Johnson, home care worker and former real estate agent, runs against Brown in the Democratic primary. 

skylakes.org

A big city hospital and a small town version will team up to train doctors in Oregon. 

Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland and Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath falls plan a joint venture on the Sky Lakes Campus. 

It will strengthen health care in the Klamath Basin and skills training for physicians planning to go into family practice. 

Zoey/http://www.livetiny365.com/

Did McMansions cause a backlash, or what?  Just a few years after small families bought extra-large houses to fit people and stuff, the real estate market crashed. 

That's not the only reason tiny houses appear to be catching on; they've been out there for a while now. 

And there is something charming about the idea of a small and simple and even portable life. 

Andrew Duncan designs and builds tiny houses at Southern Oregon Tiny Homes and Andrew Morrison does the same at Tiny House Build

Keller & Keller/adamdanforth.com

Adam Danforth's books are not for everyone; vegetarians in particular will likely take a pass. 

But he knows animals and how to cut them into meat. 

He studied slaughtering and butchering at college, and is now a James Beard Award winner for his books on the subject

budpierce.com

The last time Oregon elected a Republican governor was in 1982. 

Bud Pierce is one of seven Republicans determined to break that streak. 

Pierce is a physician, an oncologist practicing in the Salem area, and he is sharply critical of incumbent governor Kate Brown. 

The Siskiyou

The tribulations of the journalism business are well documented, and affect outlets big and small. 

The student newspaper The Siskiyou at Southern Oregon University already gave up its print version several years ago. 

Now its staffers and faculty guide are trying to save it from extinction as an online-only publication. 

SOU is pulling its official support, but leaving the door open for a student-funded Siskiyou; a gofundme campaign has been set up for stopgap support. 

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