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.

University of Oregon

Let's talk about the biggest investment you'll make in your lifetime.

And no, it's not your home, though that is a big one. Your choice of college--for yourself or your kids--is a huge investment in the future, but just a bit more difficult to measure.

Peter Cappelli at the Wharton School of business at the University of Pennsylvania provides some perspective on making the decision, and what it'll cost you.

We're told often that college is necessary for today's workers, but it costs A LOT.  That's one topic on this week's VENTSday segment.

The other: Social Security just celebrated its 80th birthday... what needs to happen to make sure it lasts another 80 years?  Your thoughts are welcome.

Why should the politicians and pundits have all the fun?  You've got opinions on events in the news, too. 

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. 

Penguin Books

Any parent waiting for a great teacher to come forward for their child is waiting too long. 

Parents are the first teachers, educators point out. 

And the Thirty Million Words initiative is meant to give parents the tools to help build good brains in their kids, through the frequent and judicious use of language. 

The approach is detailed in a new book. 

Glidecycle.com

Nothing like a little pressure to stimulate the creative or entrepreneurial juices. 

Part-time Ashland resident David Vidmar probably needed plenty of both juices when he took his invention on TV. 

The "Glide Cycle" got Vidmar a spot on CNBC's "Make Me A Millionaire Inventor," with a chance to make money to launch his product. 

ALS Association

Now that the ice has melted, how's the research into the causes of ALS doing? 

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis--Lou Gehrig's Disease--got a major boost from the Ice Bucket Challenge a year ago. 

The challenge is history, but not the disease. 

Greenleaf Publishing

Even the most fervent believer in sustainability can only do so much alone. 

So it certainly helps when true believers can win converts to the cause. 

Leadership educator Steve Schein has some ideas for how to make that happen, ideas he shares in his book A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership: The Hidden Power of Ecological Worldviews

Keith Burtis/Flickr

Some police departments hire employees to build bridges to minority communities. 

That's why Springfield Police hired Thelma Barone several years ago, to serve as "multicultural liaison."  She and SPD agree on that. 

What they do NOT agree on is why she was fired, and Barone is taking her case to federal court

hemp.org

Oregon may be among the pioneering states in legalizing marijuana, but there's still a major issue: pot is illegal under federal law. 

It is up to Congress to change the law, if members see fit. 

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland) sees fit. 

Blumenauer is spending time in our neck of the woods, explaining his proposals for changing marijuana in federal law, and for getting more for Oregon out of federal farm policy. 

AB Film Publishing

We watch the long face-off between Israelis and Palestinians and wonder what can be done. 

Former Ashland resident Frank Romano wonders, too, but he's waded into the middle of it all. 

Romano leads--or attempts to lead--interfaith activities in Israel and the West Bank. 

They are the main events in his book Love and Terror in the Middle East, updated to a fourth edition. 

Public Domain

Quick, what's the only animal kills far more than it can eat?  Whoops, that would appear to be us. 

While we express concerns about wolves and other predators returning to the landscape, a group of scientists points out that humans are "super predators." 

Just by the numbers, we take a larger proportion of prey through hunting and fishing than any other creature in the animal kingdom.

Wikimedia

Flinging a frisbee downfield could become an Olympic sport. 

It's not at all a sure thing, but the organizations that govern Ultimate Frisbee have been recognized by the Olympic powers-that-be, a step toward possible inclusion in future Olympic games. 

There's particular attention being paid in Oregon, where Bethany Kaylor is a major player. 

Chronicle Books

If you're thinking the book Mastering Homebrew is about how to master the drinking of homemade beer, just keep moving. 

But if you're willing to put in some time and effort, Randy Mosher can probably help you make a decent brew. 

Mosher brews his own beer, gives talks and lectures on brewing, and even acts as a consultant and partner within commercial breweries. 

So he knows the hops from the yeast, and how to use them. 

Jorge Barrios/Wikimedia

Oregon started lighting up on July 1st, when marijuana became legal for personal use. 

But nobody can legally sell the herb until October 1st. 

And that's far in advance of the originally intended date for retail sales. 

Clear on all this?  It can be confusing as state agencies like the Oregon Liquor Control Commission develop rules. 

Crater Lake Zipline

It's a bit of a stretch to call the new treetop tour company in Klamath County "Crater Lake Zipline," because it's about half an hour's travel from Crater Lake. 

But it does offer something unique in the region... a journey through the trees of the Fremont-Winema National Forest, 90 feet or so above the ground. 

Visitors travel over nine ziplines and two sky bridges, the longest tree canopy zipline in Oregon. 

Wikimedia

Lagging student performance in public schools often focuses on minority students. 

Often--not always--the darker the skin, the lower the grades.  More minority teachers could help, and that's where Kelly Ramirez comes in. 

The Grants Pass resident is a senior at Southern Oregon University, the first in her family to attend college. 

And she plans on teaching when she graduates. 

Counterpoint Press

The good guys and the bad guys in environmental issues are often determined by which side you favor. 

But the murkiness of good/bad and right/wrong is brought into sharp focus in Summer Brennan's book The Oyster War: The True Story Of A Small Farm, Big Politics, And The Future Of Wilderness In America

It concerns a decades-old oyster farm in California, a federal effort to protect sensitive lands, and the ability of anybody involved in an extractive industry to protect or enhance the environment. 

Southern Oregon University

Southern Oregon is home to plenty of galleries, but only one true museum of art: the Schneider Museum of Art on the campus of Southern Oregon University in Ashland.  

  The Schneider is home to an exhibit of the photorealist works of Chuck Close and the moment.  And it is the office of Interim Director Scott Malbaurn. 

Summer and smoke are completely intertwined this summer, so we devote this week's VENTSday to the topic on two fronts: 1) tell us your personal stories of avoiding high temperatures and pervasive wildfire smoke; 2) tell us what should change about our approach to fightingfires.

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. 

Before we get completely carried away by the latest on Donald Trump's mouth and Hillary Clinton's server, can we pause for just a moment?  

The White House race for 2016 is plenty interesting, but it's not even 2016 yet.  We take a look back, revisiting an earlier interview with Washington Post Chief Correspondent Dan Balz.  

He is the author of Collision 2012, a book about the internal workings of the campaigns in the last presidential election.  

Remember Obama-Romney and the greatest hits of that race?  

Stouts Creek Fire Facebook Page

  Summer may be drawing to a close, but fire season will be with us for at least a few more weeks.  Which is why the bosses at Ashland Fire and Rescue are putting out reminders of things people can do to prepare for the possibility of a wildfire nearby.

Ashland had a close call with the Siskiyou Fire in September of 2009, and the city's proximity to forested land makes it ever-vulnerable.

Pages