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.

Mike Midlo / Kristyathens.com

"Vote with your dollars" is a common phrase, meaning support businesses you agree with by buying their products (and vote against other companies by NOT buying theirs).  

How well does that work in food products?  That is a question Kristy Athens considers in her work, which includes an Oregon Conversation Project event called "Good Food, Bad Food: Agriculture, Ethics and Personal Choice."  

Penguin Random House

It's a brave new world, one where new computers become aged and infirm in three years, or less.

  But what do the gadgets, games, or the military hardware of today tell us about tomorrow? Kevin Kelly says there are 12 trends in the recent explosion of new technologies, random and prolific as they may seem. 

Wellcome Images/Wikimedia

Lead hit the headlines in a big way with the news of lead in the Flint, Michigan water supply. 

And that led to many other communities wondering about the chance of finding lead in their water.  So a series of tests on water systems, facilities, and appliances has shown lead at actionable levels in schools and homes in Oregon, including recent findings of lead pipes in Medford. 

We begin to get a picture of lead in water, and why it's such a concern, with Jackson County Health Director Jim Shames, pediatrician Lauren Herbert at PeaceHealth in Eugene,  and Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center Director Richard Roseberg. 

Michael Richardson/Wikimedia

  It's time to get to know our lichens better. 

Naturalist Kem Luther can help in that department.  He's written a book about lichens, mosses, fungi, and the other things that grow on the forest floor in his book Boundary Layer from Oregon State University Press. 

Luther makes the comparison between the importance of plankton in the oceans and the importance of the plant layer in the forest. 

BLM

The image of wild horses on the open range is stirring. 

But beyond the image, there are some real issues for land managers. 

Because left alone, herds of wild horses and burros quickly multiply in number, beyond the ability of the federal Bureau of Land Management to see to their needs. 

So BLM proposes birth control for wild mares in Oregon, and plans to study the proposal with the help of Oregon State University this year.  But there's controversy attached to this and pretty much any plan for horse population control. 

Wikimedia

Long live wild horses.  That is the essence of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, which advocates for keeping horses alive and free and not facing slaughter in the American West. 

But horse populations grow relatively quickly, forcing federal managers to consider options to keep herd numbers down. 

AWHPC opposes slaughter and keeping horses captive, especially when removing animals from the range appears to favor private cattle herds. 

Southern Oregon University

  Aja Monet is probably pleased to know that she is difficult to categorize. 

She is a poet, songwriter, singer, activist, and much more.  And she arrives in Southern Oregon for the Youth Artists Institute in Ashland, at a time when issues she holds dear are very much in the news. 

Juvenile justice, police violence, and race relations continue to trouble the country, and they are of concern to her. 

HarperCollins

  Claire Hoffman had "made it" in life, doing work she liked, living with family in Los Angeles. 

But something felt empty about it all, and she realized she missed her unusual upbringing in the Midwest. 

She grew up in a meditation community where she learned spiritual practices and beliefs that stick with her to the present day.  It was also a community that grew more insular over time. 

Claire Hoffman tells the full story in her book Greetings From Utopia Park

City of Eugene

Maybe you've had one of those conversations while helping a friend prepare a meal: "do you compost?" 

Not everybody saves food scraps for composting.  And Eugene will soon start a trial run for the people who don't: curbside food waste pickup. 

1500 households will be included in the now business-only "Love Food Not Waste" program. 

Lulu Vision

Our VENTSday segment is meant to put anybody and everybody on the air with cogent comments about topics in the news.  But not everybody has easy access. 

So this week, in talking about appropriate laws, regulations, and supports for homeless, we hit the streets. 

Conversations with a handful of homeless people in Ashland are meant to spur further discussion from you, live at 800-838-3760 or JX@jeffnet.org

Our alternate topic this week--and our survey--follows our conversation about curbside food waste recycling: what do you need to recycle more? 

VENTSday is a once-a-week chance to vent on news topics. 

beingselfish.com

Sarah Marshank set out on a journey of self-discovery. 

And wow, what a journey... she's very candid about her transformation from nice Jewish girl to sex worker to celibate monk. 

It led to a philosophy she calls "selfistry," and she writes about it her memoir Being Selfish

Restore Oregon

Before the multiplex with the dozen-or-more smallish movies screens, we had big theaters downtown.

Medford's a great example: the historic Craterian got a major renovation 20 years ago, and the Holly is set for a major reworking. 

People like old theaters, especially when they are made to look new again.  Restore Oregon is holding a series of theater restoration workshops around the state. 

Randy McKay, boss of the Holly project, visits with details of the workshop and an update on his project. 

Pinterest

Ron Kovic's name is almost instantly recognizable to several generations of Americans. 

Tom Cruise played Kovic, a wounded Vietnam War veteran, in the Oscar-winning "Born on the Fourth of July." 

Kovic followed the book upon which the movie was based with a prequel just out called Hurricane Street

It tells the story of activism by Kovic and others to get better health care for all vets. 

University of California-Davis

You've probably got a list of animals you'd never think about hurting.  But what if those animals were crowding out other animals you valued? 

That is the ethical issue faced by the people manage the curbing or removal of invasive species. 

Like the Tui Chub, a fish in Diamond Lake that has crowded out sport fish in the past, leading wildlife managers to poison the lake to kill all the fish (and later re-stock). 

Joseph Tuminello studies this kind of ethical dilemma in his doctoral research in Texas. 

Penguin Random House

A nun, a veteran, and a house painter walk into a federal nuclear installation.  There is no punchline, because it is no joke.

The three unarmed pacifists who broke into a federal uranium storage area in Tennessee four years ago were making a statement.  And along the way, making some points about nuclear security in America. 

The incident is the centerpiece of Washington Post reporter Dan Zak's book Almighty, about the nuclear age and all it has meant to Americans.  Anyone who remembers an air-raid drill from elementary school can relate. 

Chronicle Books

Salt sure adds flavor to food.  And often, a few points to your blood pressure as well. 

Which is why many doctors advocate diets somewhat lower in sodium than is traditional for the American palate. 

Jessica Goldman Foung goes by "Sodium Girl" at her blog.  She is now the author of a low-sodium cookbook, Low-So Good, filled with flavorful recipes that keep a lid on the salt. 

HarperCollins

Our society is, in theory, supposed to protect its most vulnerable members. 

But society failed The Boys in the Bunkhouse for years. 

The boys of the title in Dan Barry's book were men with intellectual disabilities who were warehoused and kept in slavery-like conditions. 

Until, that is, social workers, journalists, and a lawyer took up their case. 

Frankie Fouganthin/Wikimedia

Mountain bikes are ubiquitous today, but nobody knew what one was a few decades ago. 

Enter Gary Fisher and a few other dedicated trail riders.  Fisher is often called "the father of the mountain bike" for his innovations. 

And Fisher is the subject of a new short film made by mountain bike dealer and lover Ron Hilbert

The film shows tonight (July 7) at Backside Brewing Company in Roseburg at an event sponsored by Umpqua Velo Club

Harris & Ewing/Wikimedia

Adding the name of a famous baseball player to a disease does not make it any more appealing. 

Lou Gehrig's Disease--amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS--slowly erodes the body's motor functions, leading to paralysis and death. 

Oregon Health & Science University performs extensive research into ALS in Portland, in the hope of improving treatment or finding a cure.

Penguin Books

Quick, name the federal agency you most recently had contact with.  For a lot of people, the answer would be the Postal Service. 

Its mission and importance have changed in the age of email, but it certainly can be argued that the postal agency is of vital importance. 

In fact, that IS the argument of Winifred Gallagher's book How The Post Office Created America

Gallagher points out that the Continental Congress created a postal agency before it did almost anything else.  It predates the Declaration of Independence by a year. 

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