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.

U.S. Army/Public Domain

The ground shook in Alaska in March 1964.  And shook and shook and shook. 

When the earthquake was over, it measured higher in magnitude than any other quake in North American history, more than 130 people were dead, and the resulting tsunami wiped out downtown Crescent City. 

Science journalist Henry Fountain pulls many details together for his book The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet.

NASA/Public Domain

One of the targets set by the Paris Climate Agreement is a limit to how much temperatures rise. 

The agreement aims to keep the increase under 1.5 degrees Celsius.  But that figure will likely be exceeded. 

In fact, a new study shows there's more than a 90% chance that the Earth will warm by more than 2 degrees during this century. 

Adrian Raftery at the University of Washington is the lead author. 

Wikimedia

Cellphones are in just about everybody's hands or pockets these days, and we've gotten used to having them around. 

We just notice less when people pull them out in restaurants and other public places.  But that doesn't mean we're all using them properly. 

In fact, cellphone users are often seen as rude by the people around them. 

If Emily Post were around, what we she say is good cellphone etiquette?  Let's ask her great-great-grandson. 

Daniel Post Senning writes about manners just like his famous ancestor. 

Wikimedia

It seems like a straightforward path: fix the environment, and the people will thrive. 

But the experience of Western organizations and individuals in Africa tells a different story.  Efforts to restore animals and ecosystems have often gone awry, with researchers noting local people getting sicker and hungrier while animal populations fail to thrive. 

This is the story told in White Man's Game: Saving Animals, Rebuilding Eden & Other Myths of Conservation in Africa

Author Stephanie Hanes lived in, and reported from< Africa several years. 

Azoreg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5184943

Babies need a lot of touch and attention when they're growing up. 

Come to think of it, so do their mothers.  Linda Otto, who never had kids of her own, realized the need for something like unofficial grandmothers to help babies and their mothers thrive. 

Thus was born "Grandmas2Go," a service bringing support to high risk babies and their mothers and families in the Rogue Valley. 

Wikimedia

You've heard of POTUS and SCOTUS, now meet WOTUS. 

That acronym means Waters Of The United States, and the Obama Administration made a rule identifying even small and frequently dry bodies of water as subject to federal jurisdiction. 

Several states and groups objected, and President Trump ordered the WOTUS rule rescinded. 

The Oregon Farm Bureau supports the move, Trout Unlimited opposes. 

A public comment period is open until August 28th.  Place your comments here.

Bonnie U. Gruenberg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19697422

Boy meets girl, girl and boy love each other, girl gets pregnant. 

Bam, the relationship ends, because boy does not want children.  It's a true-life story, lived by Heather Harpham. 

Her daughter was born with serious medical issues that required attention and dedication from both parents.  The story unfolds in Harpham's memoir Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-After Ever

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

Temperatures backed off from record levels in Oregon and California Friday, but the days ahead might be no picnic.

National Weather Service forecasts show an increase in the chance of thunderstorms, well into next week.

Medford School District

Families moving from place to place for seasonal work can put a strain on their childrens' schooling. 

And the Medford School District addresses the issue with its Migrant Summer School program.  It allows students whose education has been disrupted to catch up on school work, especially their language skills. 

This summer's session serves a record number of students, around 320. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

No need to tell you that the weather's been hot  -- too hot -- and it's creating all sorts of problems. 

Spending a few minutes in the high heat can be dangerous, and so can standing in the shade breathing, when there's wildfire smoke in the air

Bruce Hope, retired from Oregon DEQ, returns to the Exchange to talk about air quality and its effects on health, and Ryan Sandler from the National Weather Service explains how and why it's been so hot, and what we can expect in the coming weeks. 

Katie Alaimo / Roseburg News-Review

Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley is getting well known outside the state he represents. 

Merkley has been outspoken in his criticism and opposition to the Trump administration, including a true talking-marathon filibuster in opposition to the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. 

Senators are heading back to their home states for a delayed August recess, and a chance to meet with constituents. 

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Smoke has been a more regular feature of the region's skies of late. 

Up until the beginning of August, the fire season did not feature the huge outbreaks of fires of recent years.  But it may just be a matter of time. 

Whatever happens,  crews and equipment from Oregon Department of Forestry and other agencies are ready for lightning or human-caused fires, or whatever comes their way. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

Smoke from wildfires in two countries only added to the misery of record-high heat in the region as the week drew to a close. 

Air quality readings from Eugene to the north showed air reaching unhealthy levels by Thursday afternoon. 

Steve Sutfin/Camelot Theatre

Wow, it's August already?  And it's time once again to take stock of arts events coming to the region's stages and galleries in the week ahead. 

The Exchange gets in sync with the many First Friday art walks around the region by offering up our own First Friday Arts Talk. 

Simple recipe: six phone lines, 25 minutes or so, and all the calls we can fit in that time. 

Call 800-838-3760 to take part and talk up an arts event in your town. 

Sunriver Music Festival

The longstanding Britt Festivals in Jacksonville gobble up much of the attention, but there are other ongoing music festivals in our part of the world. 

The Sunriver Music Festival is starting its 40th season next week. 

George Hanson is the man with the baton, the music director of the festival. 

House of Representatives

Duncan Lee is not a household name, but he probably should be. 

In an age when Americans feared Soviet spies in their midst, he was one.  A spy, that is... and he spied for a very long time, somehow avoiding prison for his deeds. 

Duncan Lee's story is told by Mark A. Bradley in the book A Very Principled Boy

thegilmore.org

Orchestral music gently (okay, not ALWAYS gently) drifts through downtown Jacksonville on summer weekend evenings. 

The Britt Orchestra is in the middle of its three-weekend run of masterworks old and new. 

Conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane brings his considerable keyboard skills to the stage in a concert Friday night (August 4th). 

Tiffany Bailey, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40584486

Oregon's tax system ensures that school budgets are relatively tight every year. 

Recessions make them worse. 

Several years ago, the Medford School District was forced to cut special education funding, essentially telling the department to do more with less.  It did. 

Outcomes have improved, by several measures. 

Wikimedia

Maybe people don't SAY rude things like "are you on your period?" much anymore. 

But they probably still THINK them. 

Psychologist Robyn Stein DeLuca researches attitudes about women and hormones and provides insight in her book The Hormone Myth: How Junk Science, Gender Politics and Lies about PMS Keep Women Down

planetbooty.org

If you want to start a conversation that you know will last a while, ask Josh Gross about favorite bands. 

He loves music, and across a wide spectrum of genres and styles.  Josh makes music, and writes about music for the Rogue Valley Messenger

And once a month, he visits the studio with "Rogue Sounds," a compilation of musical samples and news of coming band dates. 

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