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.

revbilly.com

"Reverend Billy" in some people's minds should be followed by "Graham." 

But that's not the Reverend Billy we plan to talk to.  THIS Reverend Billy is known to public radio audiences for his appearances on West Coast Live and other shows. 

He is the leader of the Church of Stop Shopping, a collection of singers and performers who oppose consumerism, militarism, and other isms. 

Penguin Random House

Emily Wing Smith nearly died in a car accident when she was twelve years old. 

And that turned out to be a good thing; because her post-accident health care discovered a brain tumor, a big one.  The presence of the tumor explained a lot of anomalies in her health and behavior before the accident. 

The story of the tumor and its effects and treatment is told in Smith's memoir All Better Now

makeoregongreat.com

Maybe you thought Oregon's race for governor was a quiet affair, given the presence of an incumbent, and the fact that it's just a two-year term up for a vote. 

But 15 people in three parties signed up to run, including Democrat Kate Brown, who gained the office through the resignation of her predecessor. 

We reached out to all the candidates entered in the May 17th primary. 

Cliff Thomason is one of two candidates running for the nomination of the Independent Party of Oregon. 

resiliencepermaculture.com

Most of us look at the nearby landscape and see trees and flowers and rocks. 

Tao Orion looks with eyes that see sustainability... or the lack of it. 

Orion, author of a book on invasive plants and permaculture teacher, offers a permaculture workshop as part of Earth Day/Arbor Day festivities at Southern Oregon University. 

University of California Press

Just as there are different approaches to worship by different sects of Jews, there are also different approaches to cooking and eating. 

When Jews scattered after the breakup of the historic Israel, they traveled to many lands, picking up wide varieties of foods and flavors. 

Cookbook author Joyce Goldstein collects recipes and methods in her book The New Mediterranean Jewish Table

BLM/Public Domain

The Bureau of Land Management is generally NOT in the business of managing forests in much of the country; it's usually the rangeland agency. 

But whether BLM likes it or not, it is obliged to manage federal forests in Western Oregon that were once lands granted to the Oregon and California Railroad (O&C). 

BLM recently unveiled its proposed final version of the Western Oregon Resource Management Plan, and nearly everybody with a stake in it has a problem with it. 

We examine the contents of the plan and reactions in a series of interviews, including reps from Cascadia Wildlands, Travel Oregon, The Association of O&C Counties, and the American Forest Resource Council. 

Stand Against Stigma

It gets a little easier all the time to talk about suicide... on a general statistics-and-treatment level. 

Individual cases can still be extremely tricky, because of longstanding societal stigmas about suicidal thoughts and actions. 

Shasta County's mental health apparatus swung into action against the taboos, creating "Stand Against Stigma." 

The project features a number of people putting their faces and stories forward, letting the world know of their struggles with depression and other mental illness. 

Basic Books

"Something in the way she moves..."  George Harrison had a particular person in mind when he wrote his song, but movement really makes us who we are. 

Case in point: sharks and dolphins.  One's a fish, one's a mammal, but because of where they live and how they have to move, they look very similar. 

Other astounding parallels abound in nature, and they are well-documented in biologist Matt Wilkinson's book Restless Creatures

Brian Turner via Flickr

When you get your primary ballot in hand, are there parts you just skip over, like maybe the races for judges? 

Both Oregon and California elect judges from statewide down to the local level, while other states feature many appointed judgeships. 

Is one system better than the other?  We put that question to the Brennan Center, which is committed to democracy and equal justice for all. 

womenon20s.org

Alexander Hamilton was supposed to get the axe, but now it appears Andrew Jackson will be cut from the 20-dollar bill, in favor of a woman.  Which woman? 

Tell us in this week's VENTSday, by survey or on the air. 

Our other topic is Earth Day-related: how have you changed your behavior with chemicals to be kind to the environment? 

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.

Penguin Random House

You frequently hear voices raised in opposition to industrial agriculture. 

Now apply that modifier to another term: education.  Sir Ken Robinson, expert on creativity and education, says it's past time to change our industrial approach to pushing young people through educational factories. 

Standardized tests don't turn them on, but a chance to exercise their creativity might.  That's the case he makes in his book Creative Schools

cybermuse.com

Bees just can't seem to stay out of the news lately, but for generally good reasons at the moment. 

The importance of bees and other pollinators to our food supply and planet is recognized frequently of late. 

Shoshanah Dubiner likes and respects bees, and makes artwork about them. 

Her bee-inspired artwork includes a piece to be unveiled at an Earth Day celebration on Friday at Southern Oregon University. 

Nicholas Blah/Flickr

For a brief time a few years ago, the greater Medford area enjoyed bus service well into weekday evenings, and on Saturday, too. 

Then the grant money to provide the extra service ran out, the Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) put a tax levy before voters, and they rejected it. 

RVTD tries again with Jackson County ballot measure 15-141 on the May 17th ballot, a property tax increase of 13 cents per thousand dollars assessed value.  There's a mix of benefits the levy would provide or protect. 

Basic Books

Major changes in American society are made by Congress (sometimes) and the president (rarely), but the Supreme Court has great power to reverse years of tradition and oppression, right?

Yes, but... the justices live in our country and observe what's going on around them. 

Which is why just plain folks can still have an enormous impact on policy, in the view of law professor David Cole. 

In his book Engines of Liberty, he argues that citizen activists have succeeded many times in turning their views into law--take gay marriage and gun rights as examples. 

Shaundd via Wikimedia Commons

What looked like a ho-hum reelection in the Oregon Senate turned suddenly interesting the day AFTER the filing deadline in March. 

Republican Senator Doug Whitsett in district 28 announced his retirement and withdrawal from the race. 

Scant minutes before the filing deadline, former Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum had filed to run in the Republican primary.  He remains the only candidate officially on the ballot. 

The action ruffled feathers across the district, which includes parts of Jackson and Klamath Counties. 

Write-in campaigns quickly mounted for former Jackson County Commissioner C.W. Smith, Michael Stettler of Christmas Valley, and Klamath County Museum Director Todd Kepple

Wikimedia

The same maneuver that appeared to clear the way to the Oregon legislature for a Republican in Senate District 28 also happened in House District 56. 

Gail Whitsett--whose husband represents the Senate district--announced her withdrawal from the race the day after the filing deadline. 

Fellow Republican Werner Reschke filed minutes before the deadline, sparking allegations of "insider trading." 

Two other candidates seek the seat, Jonah Hakanson as a general election non-affiliated candidate, and former Klamath County Commissioner Al Switzer as a Republican write-in. 

Penguin Random House

It was another battle in a long war: American Navy ships sunk the German submarine U-550 in 1944. 

For 68 years, the sub lay on the ocean bottom off Nantucket, allegedly in waters divers could reach, but its exact location unknown.  Until divers found it: the last undiscovered U-boat in divable waters. 

How divers finally located it and what they found at the wreck scene is the story Randall Peffer tells in Where Divers Dare

Wikimedia

You can start a pretty heated discussion just by using the term "pesticides" in a small gathering. 

People do not like the side effects of pesticides, but see the need for SOMETHING to keep weeds and insects from crowding out important crops. 

The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, NCAP, does what its name implies: look for non-pesticide solutions to pests. 

NCAP is one of several organizations taking part in "Pesticides, People, Pollinators, and the Planet," Saturday April 16 at Southern Oregon University. 

Wikimedia

Bees have more friends in high places than they once had.  Large die-offs of bee populations have convinced people to take greater care of bees and other pollinators. 

Bee City USA formed a few years ago to identify bee-friendly communities across the country, and three neighboring Rogue Valley cities--Ashland, Talent, and Phoenix--are among the first 15 cities so designated. 

Southern Oregon University, now designated a "Bee Campus," hosts a conference on pollinators and the issues they face, this weekend. 

Blackstone Publishing

Thomas Doty's storytelling ability can make his characters seem larger than life. 

And now the longtime teller of tales from Southern Oregon has put some of the best into a book, Doty Meets Coyote

It turns out the wilyness of the coyote was well noted long before the Road Runner cartoons.  The human half of the title visits with the animal half, sharing stories both ancient and new. 

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