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.

Shirley Chan/OPB

We see cats and dogs aplenty in our communities, but there are plenty of other critters around, in town and out.  We want to recognize some of the notable ones, with a monthly Creature Feature on The Exchange. 

And the creature-of-the-month is the Asian jumping worm, alternately called "crazy snake worm." 

It's a worm, not too different from the average earthworm, but with some particular abilities. 

Among them: a voracious appetite for material on forest floors.  So recent sightings in Oregon, including in Grants Pass, concern agencies like the Oregon Department of Agriculture

JPR News

Our region is rich in history, much of it hidden just below the surface. 

Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) dig it, in the most literal sense. 

And it's fascinating work... we invited them to join us monthly for a segment we call "Underground History." 

This week, Oregon's assistant state archaeologist joins in; John Pouley made a rare find of a "biface cache" in the Willamette Valley. 

Dr. Mike Baxter/Wikimedia

Imagine becoming an international celebrity, when you're way too old to enjoy it.  Dead, even. 

This is the after-life story of the human fossils Lydia Pyne writes about in her book Seven Skeletons

The title is a reference to the seven most-celebrated and most-traveled fossil sets, including "Piltdown Man" (an actual hoax) and "Lucy."  Pyne tracks the history of each since discovery. 

YouTube

You might listen to Jake Wardle and not even know it.  Because the guy can speak English in a huge variety of accents. 

Meryl Streep might have trouble keeping up with him. 

He makes films and seeks voice acting work; Wardle already has a huge following on YouTube

The Siskiyou/Moro Campaign/JPArt

It will be Ashland's former mayor versus the Rogue Valley Transportation District's board chair in a special November election for Oregon Senate District 3. 

A special Republican convention held Tuesday night in Medford chose Alan DeBoer to run for the seat vacated by the sudden death of Sen. Alan Bates on August 5th. 

USDA Forest Service

It's easy to find markets for big trees coming out of national forests, but not so easy to cut big trees in an era of environmental protection.  So think small; REALLY small. 

Siskiyou County Supervisors, the Klamath National Forest, and the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Wisconsin are exploring ways to make commercial uses of nanocellulose technology. 

Nanocellulose--think powdered wood--does not require big or even medium-sized trees.  Get ready for a lesson in nanocellulose and what it will take to set up a facility in the Yreka area. 

guernicamag.org

Sexual harassment is not a new term, but it seems portions of society are only now fully understanding what it means.

In this week's VENTSday, tell us what it means to you, and if it's been part of your life, either giving or receiving. 

VENTSday removes the guests and puts listener comments front and center on The Exchange. Once a week, it's all about you... we plop a topic on the table, post a survey (below), and open the phone lines and email box for live comments.

Got an observation or opinion? Share it with the State of Jefferson on VENTSday. Join by phone at 800-838-3760, email JX@jeffnet.org, or take the survey online. You can ALSO record a phone message in advance, at 541-552-6331. 

Karuk Tribe

Reasserting tribal identities involves more than focus on the people. 

It also involves focus on the things that surrounded the people, in nature, in previous generations. 

So the Karuk Tribe is elevating its preservation of natural resources significant to the tribe, with the opening of the Tribal Herbaria.  Herbaria, the plural of herbarium, are collections of plants; in this case, plants native the to the lands in which the Karuk are native. 

This is believed to be among the first native plant collections managed by an indigenous people. 

Wilson Webb/Bleecker Street Media

There's no nice way to put it: Matt Ross plays a jerk on TV. 

But the same guy who makes Gavin Belson so mean on HBO's "Silicon Valley" is the writer and director of the warm-hearted film "Captain Fantastic," wowing audiences from Cannes to Ashland. 

Which, by the way, is where Matt Ross went to high school.  Ashland, not Cannes. 

He comes back home for a screening of his film in a benefit event for the Ashland Independent Film Festival (Tuesday, August 23rd). 

Wikimedia

Sex education in Oregon includes more than understanding human sexuality.

A year ago, the state legislature passed a bill (SB 856) to require sex abuse prevention education as well. 

The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) in Jackson County works with the schools to deliver the information required; we learn about the elements of the program.

Gary Halvorsen/Oregon State Archives

College campuses are filled with buildings named for pillars of the community in times past.  And as times change, so do attitudes about the people once considered pillars. 

Matthew Deady and Frederick Dunn were important people in the history of the University of Oregon; both have buildings named for them.  Both also held views of non-white people not considered appropriate in our time. 

UO President Michael Schill wants input on removing one or both names from the buildings. 

Simon Johnson/Wikimedia

Amy Lang has no problem with sex education; she's not only a true believer, she teaches the subject matter. 

But she finds that most parents like to delegate the job. 

In fact, she says parents are doing "a terrible job" talking to kids about sex. 

So she's more than happy to work with parents, to get them to stop squirming and giggling before they talk to their kids about sexuality. 

Moro Campaign/JPArt

Jackson County Democrats picked Tonia Moro to run for Oregon State Senate in a special convention Friday night (August 19).

She will run for the Senate District 3 seat vacated by Sen. Alan Bates of Medford, who died two weeks before.

mikerhodes.us

Mike Rhodes got closer than a lot of people to understanding life on the streets. 

For more than a decade, he documented homeless people and their treatment in Fresno, for the Community Alliance newspaper. 

The treatment including the occasional bulldozing of homeless encampments by the city. 

Rhodes compiles his work from those years into a book called Dispatches From The War Zone

gofundme.com

The very same tides that an Ashland family helps other people navigate may sweep them out of town. 

Jason and Vanessa Houk are community activists, working on behalf of homeless people and many other community causes.  Now the high cost of Ashland real estate--the home they rent is being sold--may drive them out of the town they love and serve. 

Just as you'd expect of activists, they're working a number of avenues to stay in town, including a gofundme.com campaign. 

OSU Press

If the concept of "citizen journalism" makes you a little uneasy, how might you feel about "citizen science?"  In either case, there's more going on in the world than just the professionals can handle in their normal workload. 

Citizen scientist Sharman Apt Russell took her fascination with Western red bellied tiger beetles to the beetles' lair, to find out things about their life cycle previously unknown to science. 

Her often humorous take on the process and the findings is contained in her book Diary Of A Citizen Scientist, from Oregon State University Press. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

The sudden death of State Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford) created a vacancy and an election in Oregon Senate District 3.

Twelve Democrats have expressed a desire to fill the position, either short or long-term. 

Wikimedia

People used to crack jokes about their phones being tapped. 

It's less of a joke than it used to be, given the knowledge of how extensive the federal government's surveillance apparatus is.  Does the government pick up as much information as we give freely through social media and smartphone app choices? 

Kristian Williams answers that question and others in an Oregon Humanities Conversation Project on "Keeping Tabs on America: Surveillance and You." 

Ashland Honey Festival

The Oregon Honey Festival aims to make itself sweet and sticky to a variety of tastes.  Presenters range from bee scientists to honey sellers to artists. 

And it's in that last category you'll find Meesha Goldberg of Eugene.  One of her projects is a combination of performance art and ritual and activism called "Equilibrium Rites;" Goldberg and companions mirrored the annual pollination of California almond groves. 

Works of art from the project are on display at a gallery in Los Angeles for another week. 

visityurokcountry.com

The Yurok Tribe will host its annual Klamath Salmon Festival on schedule on Saturday.  But for the first time in the half-century history of the festival, no salmon will be served. 

Tribal leaders say there just are not enough fish to feed all the festival visitors. 

Not with any sense of environmental responsibility, anyway. 

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