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.

Miguel V./Wikimedia

Trees make hot days a little cooler.  Well duh, you might say, everyone knows that shade from trees is good. 

But a newly-published study from Oregon State University shows that the quality of the cooling depends on the kind of forest. 

Specifically, old-growth forests with tight canopies and dense undergrowth appear to offer more cooling than single-species tree plantations, a distinction that could matter more as the Earth warms. 

Luke Ruediger

You COULD walk from Ashland to Jacksonville now, but either on the shoulder of a busy road, or by bushwhacking through the wild (or both). 

But an alternative is in the works: the Jack-Ash Trail is planned for the ridgetops between the two communities.  Work could start later this year. 

The trail has the backing of Luke Ruediger, devotee of all things related to the Siskiyou Crest, and a blogger about his efforts and interests. 

Chronicle Books

First, a disclaimer: please do not drive as fast as Ben Collins drives in the movies.

His driving is featured in several James Bond films and other recent features, and he's a veteran of NASCAR and other racing circuits. 

And he shares techniques that can help drivers at any speed in his book How To Drive, now in paperback.  It's not about going fast, it's about going safe, with advice you didn't get in driver's ed. 

PGHolbrook/Wikimedia Commons

The Smith River, California's only un-dammed river, is a jewel in the redwoods. 

It is also not exclusive to California; some of the Smith's headwaters lie in Oregon.  Which is why retired BLM resource specialist Gordon Lyford is asking the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to protect the headwaters of the river. 

The designation sought by Lyford and supported by the Smith River Alliance is "outstanding resource waters."  By law, DEQ is supposed to respond to the petition this week (May 22 deadline). 

Wikimedia

If you want to start a fight in the West, announce plans to open a water bottling plant. 

Crystal Geyser's plan to start operations in Mount Shasta touched off a storm of protest.  And it appears to have created an ongoing political force in the  Siskiyou Forward Movement

The group is drawing up plans for a Siskiyou County ballot measure that would make it harder for future water bottlers to sell groundwater outside the county.  The group also opposes a measure on the June 7 ballot that would raise more money for a bigger jail. 

Dial Books

Susan Cain says she usually speaks quietly, but her 2012 book Quiet came in loud and clear to fellow introverts all over the world. 

It led to the creation of the company Quiet Revolution, dedicated to helping introverts share their talents and power with the world. 

And now there's a sequel for younger introverts: The book Quiet Power, aimed especially at kids and teens. 

Brown campaign

Kate Brown became Oregon's governor by accident. 

John Kitzhaber's resignation in February 2015 plucked her from the Secretary of State's office and put her on the hot seat.  AND required an election for a two-year term for governor, which she is running for now. 

And Brown has plenty of company, with multiple Democrats and Republicans and even a pair of Independent Party of Oregon candidates seeking the job in the primary. 

C4 Facebook page

A Medford school--St. Mary's--recently sent not one, but TWO teams of students to a world championship in robotics. 

A word of explanation first: clever students come up with clever team names. 

So Trial N Terror and C4 (for Computional Center for Competitive Circuitry) packed up bags and robots and headed for St. Louis to compete. 

Chronicle Books

Scott Kelly came back from the International Space Station and said his clothing felt weird.  It floats around you when there's no gravity, you see. 

Which raises all kinds of other questions, many of them addressed in a book by NASA advisor Ariel Waldman called What's It Like In Space?

Things we just do mindlessly here on Earth, like sneeze and sleep and use hot sauce (!) can become issues when you're weightless. 

U.S. Marines/Public Domain

Maybe you were one of those people who struggled through higher math in school, wondering how it would ever help you in life. 

Keith Devlin will be happy to tell you.  Devlin is the co-founder and Executive Director of Stanford University's Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute (just call it H-STAR). 

He also appears on NPR as "The Math Guy," exploring the usefulness of math in the world. 

He visits Southern Oregon University for a couple of lectures this week. 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Close your eyes for a moment and try to visualize what's in the area around you.  Can you?  We tend to run on autopilot, not taking much note of familiar surroundings. 

But attention to detail is critical at times, and Amy Herman teaches a course called "The Art of Perception."  Art?  Yes, students look at works of art to learn how to fine-tune their visual perception. 

Amy Herman put it into book form in Visual Intelligence

U.S. Fish & Wildlife

A couple of phone calls this week--well before fire season--confirmed that when people see smoke in the hills, they worry. 

But the smoke they saw (on May 10th) was from a controlled burn in the Ashland watershed, part of AFR, the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project. 

There is a science to getting forests to burn ONLY where you want them to burn, and agencies share information on that science through Prescribed Fire Training Exchanges

Public Domain

It will be hard indeed to lower the amount of carbon in the atmosphere if the planet's population continues to grow. 

Project Drawdown is a coalition of organizations determined to bring greenhouse gases down, through a variety of means. 

One of those means is a focus on population growth, and ways to slow the birth rate to a sustainable level, especially in developing countries where resources for large populations of children are scarce. 

Alisha Graves centers her work on population issues for Project Drawdown, The Oasis Initiative, and Venture Strategies for Health and Development

Pentimento Press

Thanks to the rains brought by El Niño, California gets a bit of a break from drought politics this year.  But memories of last year are still fresh: sharp reductions in water use by homeowners and public entities, while agriculture uses most of the state's water. 

In Water, More or Less, journalist Rita Schmidt Sudman and artist Stephanie Taylor track changes in California water policy and make suggestions for future moves. 

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

"The play's the thing," Shakespeare wrote.  But not the ONLY thing, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival hastens to add. 

OSF continues to produce plays about our society through its "American Revolutions" project.  The plays include this year's premier of "Roe," about the Roe vs Wade decision of the Supreme Court that made abortion legal nationwide. 

OSF plans several public discussions, including a pair this weekend (May 14-15). 

guernicamag.org

Our discussion about the Roe vs Wade abortion case (8 AM Wednesday) sparks the subject matter of this week's VENTSday segment. 

Join in the discussion with 1) your experience with unintended pregnancy; 2) how society should provide for children who ARE born--food? Preschool?  College?    

Listeners take stage on our weekly VENTSday segment, a chance to vent on a couple of topics in the news--by phone, by email, or through our online survey. We provide the topics, you provide the opinions.

Your thoughts are front and center on VENTSday. No expertise necessary; just opinions and the ability to express them in a radio-friendly way. We post our weekly survey on one or both of the topics in advance.

Alex Cox via Hannon Library

Whether it's on paper, on a big screen, or on a mobile device, we're often just looking for stories. 

Our parents read them to us as kids, and the habit sticks around.  Tod Davies is all about the story.  She's written some big ones, like the screenplay for the movie "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," and is the editorial director at Exterminating Angel Press.

Hannon Library at Southern Oregon University brings Davies in for a chat on "The Importance of Story," Thursday (May 12) at 4 PM. 

USDA/Public Domain

It's not quite like the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, but we do create life from death. 

In our compost piles, that is.  Truly, we can enrich our gardens and yards through the decay of once-living matter. 

Rodney Bloom from the OSU Extension Service offers a program called "Decay for the Masses," with a session coming up Sunday in Eugene. 

Chronicle Books

Even people who do not consider themselves "birders" get excited when a bird flies by, displaying beautiful plumage. 

And the plumage is the point of Robert Clark's new book, called simply Feathers

Clark is a National Geographic photographer, and he turns his skills on bird exterior features in an astounding series of images. 

Wikimedia

We love to eat, that much is clear. 

One clear indicator: we love to talk about food.  And another chance to do just that is offered by the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project event called "We Are What We Eat: Connecting Food and Citizenship."

The chat will be offered for free at the Illinois Valley Branch of Josephine Community Libraries Friday (May 13th) at 5 PM. 

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