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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Jefferson Exchange | December 10, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Wed December 10, 2014

VENTSday: Gas Tax Hike + Limiting Voter Initiatives

Credit guernicamag.org

With gas prices so low, why NOT raise gas taxes?  That's one argument we'll explore in this week's VENTSday.

The other: the idea of making it harder to put voter initiatives on the ballot.

VENTSday is our weekly "opinion swarm"… we throw a pair of topics on the table, and let listeners vent--politely--on those topics. 

They can range from the global to the hyper-local, and all responsible opinions are welcome. 

We bring the topics, you bring the opinions.  It's VENTSday on The Jefferson Exchange, and you participate by calling 1-800-838-3760 or emailing JX@jeffnet.org.

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Jefferson Exchange | December 10, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Happiness By Design

Credit Hudson Street Press

Lots of researchers approach the subject of happiness from many different fields, but economics? 

When you stop to think about it, much of the discussion of happiness in our time focuses on economic matters, like how much money we make. 

So Paul Dolan, an economist by training, is uniquely positioned to add to the discussion. 

And add he does, in his book Happiness By Design.

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Jefferson Exchange | December 9, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Adding To Farm To School Programs

Credit kcmckell/Live Aloha

Maybe kids really do like healthy food better when they understand where it comes from. 

And when they grow it themselves. 

That's the business of Rogue Valley Farm to School. 

That organization and Rogue Farm Corps are getting grants to continue their work from the Oregon Community Foundation

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Jefferson Exchange | December 9, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Priced Out Of Childcare In Oregon

Credit Wikimedia

Oregon's long lag in recovering from the recession keeps median wages down. 

Unfortunately, Oregon is also a state in which child care costs are high relative to income. 

Not only is the picture not improving, it could be getting worse. 

Those are among the findings in a report out of the Secretary of State's Audit Division

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Jefferson Exchange | December 9, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Tue December 9, 2014

What To Know BEFORE Eating Wild Mushrooms

Matsutake mushroom=edible.
Credit Catapult Films

When in doubt, throw it out. 

That's the first rule of eating mushrooms from the wild. 

There are plenty of other rules to keep in mind if you either venture to the woods to get your own mushrooms, or get them from someone else. 

The Oregon Mycological Society focuses on edible fungi. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 8, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon December 8, 2014

John Fischer on Winter Weather

John Fischer with Geoffrey Riley in 2011. You can grow a beard when you no longer work in TV.

This time a year ago, the Rogue Valley was digging out from a snowstorm and freeze that closed schools for most of a week. 

This year is different.  EVERY year is different. 

Which is why we like to bring somebody with weather knowledge onto the show to talk about what we might expect from the winter ahead. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 8, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Polar Express Stops In Medford

Credit Rotary Club of Medford

Kids and adults alike thrilled to the book "The Polar Express" when it hit the bookstores. 

The thrill remains, nearly 30 years and a feature movie with Tom Hanks later. 

Now many towns across the country offer their own "Polar Express" attractions in the Christmas season, including an event at Medford's Railroad Park next weekend. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 8, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Mon December 8, 2014

A Revolution In Raising A Kid

Credit Morgan James Publishing

The Baby Boomers had it pretty good as kids… no depression or world war, an affluent society, and parents who often just told them to be home in time for dinner. 

The cares and concerns of the world have changed over time, to say nothing of how technology has changed life. 

The changes add layers of complexity to the already complex job of parenting. 

In Revolutionize Your Child's Life, executive and personal development coach Peggy Caruso offers tips for modern-day parents. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 5, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Musical "Wonderful Life", Seasonal Singing and More: First Friday For December

Ed Dunsavage and Leslie Kendall play a couple of gigs in December, and sing songs in our studio (16:40 in the recording).
Credit Belle Fiore Winery

"It's a Wonderful Life" in a musical, voices raised in song, and oh yeah... Christmas is coming.  

Must be time for our First Friday Arts segment for December. 

The first Friday of any month has become a day to celebrate the arts around our region. 

Several communities hold First Friday art walks, and some hold similar observances on other weekend days. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 5, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Christmas Trees Beyond Imagining

Credit Providence Foundation

Think about all the Christmas trees of your lifetime.

Think about them all in one place at the same time. 

Now you have some idea of what the Providence Festival of Trees in Medford looks like. 

The festival, now in its third decade, is a fundraising for the Providence Community Health Foundation, which supports care at the Providence hospital in Medford. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 5, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Aasif Mandvi: "No Land's Man"

Credit Chronicle Books

Aasif Mandvi has an amazing capacity to make people laugh, a skill he displays as a "correspondent" for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. 

But like any funny guy, he worked hard and shed a few tears along the way. 

It's a story he tells in his book No Land's Man: A Perilous Journey through Romance, Islam, and Brunch

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Jefferson Exchange | December 8-12, 2014
11:21 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Winter Weather Previews, Expensive Child Care, and Fun In Your Work: Dec. 8-12 on The Exchange

Winter is technically a couple of weeks away, but its weather is here already.  We'll bring in one of our meteorologist friends to talk about that on this week of The Exchange.

We'll also explore the ongoing issue of Oregon being one of the states where child care just costs a lot to obtain.

And one of our author guests will discuss keeping a sense of play in our work.

Here is the rough outline for the week of December 8th on the show:

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Jefferson Exchange | December 4, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Getting Cars Ready For Winter Conditions

Credit Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Nothing like a little cold snap to remind you that it's time to get the car in shape for winter. 

Modern cars actually take pretty good care of themselves, with all their electronic diagnostics and computers. 

And Zach Edwards at Ashland Automotive is quite familiar with all the gadgets under the hood (engine included). 

We visit with Zach from time to time to get up to date on car care and maintenance. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 4, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Making The Case Against A Gas Pipeline

An artist's conception of the Jordan Cove terminal as proposed.
Credit Veresen, Inc.

Energy projects are often controversial to begin with. 

But when the energy project involves a long pipeline carrying gas taken from the ground by fracking, it's just that much more contentious. 

So while the Jordan Cove natural gas terminal and Pacific Connector gas pipeline already passed one level of environmental review, there's a lot more work ahead, and more to be said. 

There'll be a lot of talking at a series of upcoming hearings around the region. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 4, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Carbon Money: $2 Billion Question

Credit Michael Jastremski/Wikimedia

Discussions of climate change focus on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, and finding ways to reduce what humans release. 

But if you're going to tax or charge for carbon emissions, how much?  And how should the money be used? 

Those issues will be discussed this weekend at a Medford event, "The Two Billion Dollar Question."

The organization Oregon Climate set up the event. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 3, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed December 3, 2014

RCC Starts A Sports Program

Credit RCC

Rogue Community College--RCC--is decades old, but has no intercollegiate athletic program. 

Yet. 

RCC recently announced the formation of an athletics program, with a modest start in soccer and cross-country. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 3, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Wed December 3, 2014

VENTSday: "Black Friday" + Tattoos

Credit guernicamag.org

Maybe you went shopping when the Thanksgiving turkey carcass was still warm.  And maybe you got a tattoo while you were out.

If so, feel free to comment on BOTH of this week's VENTSday topics.

VENTSday is our weekly "opinion swarm"… we throw a pair of topics on the table, and let listeners vent--politely--on those topics. 

They can range from the global to the hyper-local, and all responsible opinions are welcome. 

We bring the topics, you bring the opinions. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | December 3, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Wed December 3, 2014

What The Dying Teach About Living

Credit Open Waters Publishing

Did you ever ride in a car with a person who held his or her breath when passing a cemetery?  That's just one manifestation of the American difficulty in thinking or talking about death. 

Fred Grewe was afraid of death himself, but he wanted to get over it. 

So he became a hospice chaplain, and helped more than a thousand people come to terms with their deaths. 

Grewe tells stories of several of his clients in his book What the Dying Have Taught Me About Living.

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Jefferson Exchange | December 2, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Commenting On Transportation Safety

Credit Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Next time you drive through a construction zone, think about how long it takes to move a project from conception to completion. 

And while you're at it, think about the safety considerations that go into the mix. 

ODOT, the Oregon Department of Transportation, has a safety action plan to complement its overall transportation plan. 

And ODOT is taking input on the safety plan at a series of meetings around the state. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 2, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Pollinator Recommendations Deliver A Sting

The thousands of bees that died in Oregon a couple of summers ago did not die in vain. 

The die-off, a result of pesticide use, increased awareness of both the value of bees (and other pollinators) and the perils of ignorance in chemical use. 

The Xerces Society and other groups that want more protections for pollinators hailed the formation of a task force to make recommendations to the legislature. 

The task force recently presented its work, and Xerces is less than pleased. 

Read more

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