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.


Southern Oregon's representation in the state legislature was already headed for a big change even before the sudden death of Sen. Alan Bates. 

Because Rep. Peter Buckley of Ashland had already announced his retirement from the House. 

Buckley had a huge impact beyond the district, as the chief budget-writer in the House. 

Pam Marsh of Ashland is the Democrat running to succeed Buckley.  Steve Richie is the Republican running (after Alan DeBoer opted to run for Senate instead). 

We had a practice a bit just to be able to say the name "Cthulhu." 

It's a character from a horror story by H.P. Lovecraft... and now the central figure in a musical!  With puppets! 

"Cthulhu: The Musical" is being presented at an Ashland tavern (Oberon's) by the wonderfully named troupe "Puppeteers For Fears." 

Public Domain/Wikimedia

The recent flaring of concern over racism in our country reminds us that bad days are not that far behind us. 

Lynchings of black men took place well into the middle of the 20th century. 

Karlos K. Hill is an expert on the history of lynching and the author of Beyond the Rope: The Impact of Lynching on Black Culture and Memory.  

Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument by the state line could expand. 

The monument, created by presidential order in 2000, protects public lands in a zone where the ecosystems of the Cascade, Klamath and Siskiyou Mountains meet.  A proposal to expand the monument by thousands of acres is under consideration in Washington. 

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and a top official in the Interior Department will take testimony Friday afternoon in Ashland (October 14th). 

For a place with a lousy reputation, lots of people want to become members of the U.S. Senate. 

And four of them want to oust a long-entrenched Oregon incumbent to get there.  Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden is running for another six years in the November election. 

He faces challenges from Republican Mark Callahan, Libertarian Jim Lindsay, Shanti Lewallen of the Working Families Party, and former Ashland city councilor Eric Navickas, running as the Pacific Green Party candidate. 

They've all got ideas about what they'd like to do if elected. 

Washed Ashore

One person's trash is another person's treasure. 

That is proven frequently by Washed Ashore on the Oregon Coast.  The organization takes its name from the plastic and other trash that washes up on the beaches... which artist and Executive Director Angela Haseltine Pozzi turns into art representing sea creatures and scenes. 

It's a fascinating look at the beings that are threatened by human trash in the oceans. 


Most of our trash goes out of sight, out of mind in landfills. 

But plenty of the world's refuse ends up in waterways, to end up in the ocean.  And plastics in the ocean can present hazards to sea creatures and the health of creatures up the food chain. 

The organization called Algalita is dedicated to studying plastic trash and its effects at sea.

To call Cherríe Moraga a writer understates the case. 

She is that, yes, but also an activist on behalf of people of color, particularly women. 

And she comes to the University of Oregon this week (October 13-14) to talk about civil rights and civil liberties... and methods to use in activism. 

Those who know her best call her Maestra Moraga. 

Rick Bowmer/AP

Even in relatively quiet fire seasons like the one just past, you can count on the Klamath National Forest for at least a couple of tough fires. 

Rugged terrain and hot, dry summers make the Klamath River country highly prone to wildfire.  So it should come as no suprise to find people training there now, with an emphasis on prescribed fire. 

A TREX--Training Exchange--is currently underway, with a focus on protecting communities from wildfire. 

Public Domain

For a guy who is around water a lot, Tim Palmer seems like he's thirsty.  But thirsty for more experiences with the beautiful and wild places of the west. 

Tim is the author of Field Guide to Oregon Rivers, Field Guide to California Rivers, and many other books. 

He recently weighed in on the Malheur wildlife refuge trial with a column in the Oregonian spelling out his view of the value of public lands (hint: it stays public). 

Alexander Novati/Wikimedia

Precious Yamaguchi heard the term "camp" a lot growing up in a Japanese American household. 

It wasn't until she was a little older that her parents and grandparents added a key modifier to the phrase: internment camps.  Her exploration of the effects of the camps on family members and other led to a monograph, Experiences of Japanese American Women during and After World War II

Dr. Yamaguchi now teaches communications courses at Southern Oregon University. 


Who would have thought that the drug story of our time is a story of legal drugs, prescribed by doctors? 

Opioids, prescription painkillers, became highly popular for pain management.  And then they became a source of consternation for health workers and police, as people began committing crimes to obtain the drugs or to obtain money to buy them, because they are so highly addictive. 

RxSafe Humboldt is one of several coalitions that have cropped up to address opioid addictions in our communities. 

University of Oregon

Stephanie Majewski likes it when things bump into each other. 

Which is a huge OVER-simplification of her work in the field of physics at the University of Oregon. 

But it IS true that she learns a lot from atoms crashing into each other, especially at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland. 

Dr. Majewski's work is the topic of this month's installment of "cUriOus: Research Meets Radio." 

Dennis Richardson lost the last race for Oregon governor, only to watch his opponent resign a little more than a month into his term. 

Which set up another race for governor this year, but Richardson opted not to run. 

Instead, the former legislator from Central Point is running for the Secretary of State of Oregon. 

His opponent, Brad Avakian, currently holds statewide office as the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries. 

The secretary of state has its own important roles, including that it is second in command to the governor... and the last secretary is the current governor. 

Bad Apple Photography/wikimedia

"What's that smell?" is something we ask each other every so often.

If dogs could talk, it would be a constant discussion topic, because they smell so much more than humans can. 

It's a subject Alexandra Horowitz gets deeply into, in her book Being A Dog

And just so no one thinks we've gone completely to the dogs, we give equal time for cats in this hour.

Eugene Ballet

Any Friday is something of an event. First Friday is a slightly bigger deal in the arts world, as several communities in our region observe First Friday Art Walks. 

The Exchange goes with the flow, with our monthly First Friday Arts segment.  We open the phone lines (800-838-3760) and invite arts organizations from throughout the listening area to call in with details of arts events in the coming weeks... from fine art to open mike nights, all arts events are fair game. 

If you're just not available to be on the phone at show time (8:10-8:30 AM), RECORD your message in advance at our voicemail box: 541-552-6331. 


The play version of Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology" features the characters telling their stories from the graveyard, after death. 

So it seems appropriate to use the play as a fundraiser for a graveyard. 

And that's just what's happening, as the Friends of Jacksonville's Historic Cemetery mount a production of "Spoon River" to bring in money for cemetery upkeep. 

David Gordon provides musical accompaniment for the play. 

Margaret Herrick Library/Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Next time you see your favorite female actor risk life or limb on-screen, think good thoughts for the stunt double. 

That's the person who really faced the risks. 

Mollie Gregory tells the story of these unheralded heroines in her book Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

As with many statistics, there's some dispute about this one: every 28 hours a black person in America is killed by a vigilante, security guard, or police officer in the United States. 

It gave a name to the Every 28 Hours project of plays begun at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 

OSF artists and theaters in other parts of the country created one-minute plays about the subject matter, and OSF and collaborators present plays and discussion at an event Monday (October 10).

Minoru Yasui is no longer with us, but he is well-remembered as the 100th anniversary of his birth approaches. 

Yasui was a native Oregonian, born in Hood River.  But that status did not stop the federal government from sending him to an internment camp during World War II. 

His legal training and challenge to the internment made him famous and earned him a Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Yasui is remembered in the film "Never Give Up! Minoru Yasui and the Fight for Justice," and a play called "Citizen Min," written by Holly Yasui and directed by Chisao Hata