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.

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Ski Area Hibernates
2:14 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

No Storms Near: Mt. Ashland Lays Off Staff

Even a daring skier would not take on Mount Ashland's current conditions.
Credit mtashland.com

The snow-free January already closed the ski areas closest to the state line.  Now Mount Ashland operators have taken the extra step of laying off core staff.

The layoff, announced January 22nd, dates back to the previous Saturday.  Mount Ashland ski area opened for 13 days in December and January, after lack of snow kept it from opening at all the previous winter.

And like the previous winter, the snow just stopped around the first of the year.  Ski area operators last opened the slopes for business on January 5th.

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JeffX | January 26, 2015 | 8:00
11:08 am
Fri January 23, 2015

The Boy Who Flies, Chapter 2

Taking to the air can make you famous.  Especially if you do so without the benefit of an airplane. 

Godfrey Masauli is the first person to paraglide in the African country of Malawi. 

He has converted his success into motivational speeches, TED talks, and a film: "The Boy Who Flies." 

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JeffX | January 26, 2015 | 8:30
11:06 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Second Time Around For Speaker Kotek

Speaker of the House Tina Kotek receiving an award.
Credit Oregon Health Authority

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek is the first speaker in ten years with experience. 

It's been that long since a House Speaker served back to back terms in that leadership position. 

Democratic victories in November put Kotek back in the Speaker's office, with a larger Democratic majority.

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JeffX | January 26, 2015 | 9:00
10:58 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Thoughts From Timber Country In "Overstory: Zero"

Credit Sylph Maid Books

A lot has changed in Oregon's timber country in the last 20 years.  So it seems only fitting that a collection of stories and essays about timber country should be brought up to date. 

Robert Leo Heilman of Myrtle Creek first published Overstory: Zero in 1995. 

And as he puts it, there's been a lot of water down Myrtle Creek since then. 

So he revised and polished and cut and added to the collection for a 20th anniversary edition. 

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Jefferson Exchange | Jan 26-30, 2015
10:37 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Trails, Trees, and The Speaker: Jan 26-30 on JX

Hike all the way from Jacksonville to Ashland?  You can do it now, but it'll be easier if a major trail plan becomes reality. 

That's one of the topics we'll cover on this week's Jefferson Exchange.

We'll also talk about trees... standing and not... and visit with the Speaker of the House in Oregon.  Even JFK gets a session.

Here's our list, in development...

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JeffX | January 23, 2015 | 8:00
10:10 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Oregon Jobs Bouncing Back

Credit Public Domain

Two recent reports show a building strength in the Oregon economy. 

This week the Employment Department announced a dip in the unemployment rate to 6.7%, its lowest level in more than six years. 

Just before that report emerged, a job vacancy survey also showed growth. 

But there are some qualifiers to each. 

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JeffX | January 23, 2015 | 8:30
10:10 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Speaking Out On The Gas Pipeline

Credit Cascadia Wildlands

If all the approvals fall into place, the Coos Bay area will be home to the Jordan Cove terminal, a natural gas liquification plant that will load liquified natural gas (LNG) onto ships for export. 

The plant would require a long (200+ miles) pipeline to deliver the gas, and that's the rub for a lot of people.

They got their chance to speak out at a series of meetings hosted by the state Department of Environmental Quality. 

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JeffX | January 23, 2015 | 9:00
10:10 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Best Performances In Economic Development

Credit Deviant Art/Wikimedia

Look out, Sheboygan and Gainesville… Medford's on the move. 

The recent report on "Best Performing Cities 2014" showed the Medford area moving up among the ranks of small metropolitan areas in economic performance (#91, just behind the other two cities). 

Minoli Ratnatunga is one of the authors of the report, and she'll visit Medford next week as part of the Southern Oregon Business Conference. 

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JeffX | January 22, 2015 | 8:00
10:10 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Okay, Tell Me: Paula Poundstone Visits

Credit Paulapoundstone.com

We're glad comedian Paula Poundstone likes public radio. 

She is a regular member of the panel on the popular quiz show "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me," and she consented to a second interview with The Exchange. 

We chat with Poundstone prior to a Medford appearance this weekend. 

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JeffX | January 22, 2015 | 8:30
10:10 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Keeping Workplace HR Procedures Legal

Credit Wikimedia

Running a business is tricky enough, and the business process is subject to the legislative process. 

Meaning Congress and the state legislature can and do pass laws that change business procedures. 

That's why there are Small Business Development Centers, like the one at Rogue Community College

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JeffX | January 22, 2015 | 9:00
10:10 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Helping Non-Muslims Understand Muhammad

Credit White Cloud Press

Scholar Steven Scholl has co-written a book that appears at first glance like one of those pocket guides to a tourist destination. 

It IS a pocket guide, but to one of the key figures in history. 

Scholl studies and writes about Islam and comparative religions, and his slender book is Muhammad: The Prophet of Islam

The book features words and pictures about the founder of Islam and the places connected to his life. 

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JeffX | January 21, 2015 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Healing The Hard(esty) Way

Credit Bacho Press

Portland's Alice Hardesty is a strong believer in health and a healthy environment. 

So her world sustained a major shaking when her husband was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer.  Twice. 

Husband Jack and Alice then embarked on a quest for all the possible remedies the world has to offer. 

It's a story Alice tells in her book An Uncommon Cancer Journey

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JeffX | January 21, 2015 | 8:30
10:10 am
Wed January 21, 2015

VENTSday: MLK Legacy + State Of The Union

Credit guernicamag.org

Does Martin Luther King's mean much to most people, other than a day off?  That's one topic of this week's VENTSday. 

The other: let's hear your thoughts about the president's State of the Union address--or why you missed it.

Listeners are always welcome to phone or email The Exchange to join our discussions. 

But our weekly VENTSday segment puts the listeners front and center.  We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics. 

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JeffX | January 21, 2015 | 9:00
10:10 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Civil Rights NORTH Of The Mason-Dixon Line

Credit Basic Books

Ask anybody to list some of the key locations of the struggle for civil rights in America, and they'll generally tick off a list of Southern cities: Birmingham, Selma, Little Rock. 

Federal action and legislation finally lifted the Jim Crow segregation laws in The South, but The North was no paradise for African-Americans. 

Bigotry and deep-seated racism are brought to light in historian Jason Sokol's book All Eyes Are Upon Us: Race and Politics from Boston to Brooklyn

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JeffX | January 20, 2015 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Clearcuts To Court In Lane County

Credit Bureau of Labor Statistics

Members of Congress from Oregon continue their efforts to increase timber cutting on the BLM lands that share half of timber income with Western Oregon counties. 

But the prospect of returning to old logging methods leaves conservation groups cold. 

Witness the recent filing of a lawsuit against the "Second Show" timber sale proposed for BLM land in Lane County. 

Cascadia Wildlands opposes on the basis of clearcutting. 

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JeffX | January 20, 2015 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Making A Case For More School Money In Oregon

Isaac Villalpando of Klamath Falls is one of the students profiled in "The Promise of Oregon."
Credit promiseoregon.org

Oregon's state government income is rising so fast, taxpayers might get refund checks under the state's "kicker" law this year. 

But education advocates want to see some of the increased revenue going to schools, to reduce class sizes and make other improvements. 

The Oregon School Boards Association--OSBA--demonstrates school successes with its "Promise of Oregon" campaign. 

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JeffX | January 20, 2015 | 9:00
10:10 am
Tue January 20, 2015

"A River Between Us": Klamath Restoration On Film

Shooting "A River Between Us" on the Klamath.
Credit Jasonaatkinson.com

Restoring the Klamath River and the lands around it is far more than a conservation project; political decisions will have to be made to make it all  happen. 

Jason Atkinson was a politician himself, a longtime member of the Oregon legislature and a candidate for governor. 

His latest work steps outside the political system: a documentary film on efforts to restore the Klamath Basin. 

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Jefferson Exchange | January 19, 2015 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Eureka Goes Crab-Crazy

Credit Jon Sullivan

As pretty as the lands by the Pacific can be, winter can be a miserable time to visit the coast. 

The worst storms of the year tend to come ashore during the winter, so it's not a great time for the tourist business. 

Which probably explains why coastal communities are rolling out mid-winter events, like the first-ever Eureka Crab Crawl Festival, set for February 6-7. 

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Jefferson Exchange | January 19, 2015 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Coquille Casino Plans Move Ahead

The site proposed for a casino in Medford. Roxy Ann Lanes is the building with orange highlights, South Pacific Highway is at bottom.
Credit Coquille Tribe

Dueling billboards along Pacific Highway in South Medford give a clue to a battle shaping up. 

The Coquille Tribe wants to build a casino on the former site of Kim's Restaurant. 

That explains the Coquille billboard.  The other is rented by the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians, which opposes the casino plan. 

Local and state officials have also spoken out against a Medford casino, but the Coquilles are moving ahead.  A public meeting is planned for February 3rd. 

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Jefferson Exchange | January 19, 2015 | 9:00
10:10 am
Mon January 19, 2015

The Trouble With (Helicopter) Parents

Credit Skyhorse Publishing

Maybe the parents of the baby boomers were a little on the lax side, often telling their kids just to be home in time for dinner. 

The parenting pendulum swung in a big way since that time. 

Now the frequent complaint is that parents are TOO involved in their kids' lives, negotiating obstacles that children need to handle themselves. 

The trend is examined in The Overparenting Epidemic: Why Helicopter Parenting Is Bad for Your Kids . . . and Dangerous for You, Too! 

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