Geoffrey Riley

News Director | Jefferson Exchange Host

Geoffrey Riley began practicing journalism in the State of Jefferson more than 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.

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Fire crews on both sides of the state line spent Monday fighting fires from Sunday's thunderstorms and waiting for new flare-ups to show.

Ray Ok, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56226311

Converting farmland to solar power collection does not necessarily mean the end of its use as farmland. 

A growing number of farms are able to continue growing certain types of crops, on the same land occupied by solar panel arrays.  And right next to each other, too. 

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a federal agency, monitors and assists the development of these mixed-use farms. 

Robert J. Boser, EditorASC, http://www.airlinesafety.com/editorials/AboutTheEditor.htm

This is likely to be one of those years in which drivers on Interstate Five will wonder what happened to Shasta Lake.  Another drought year has the lake well below its fill level, something that happens in many years.

stevepb/Pixabay

If you're skeptical about the world moving to new forms of energy, just remember that some people probably had doubts about any fuel replacing wood. 

We have a long history of ways to keep our houses warm and lit.  And Pulitzer prize-winning author Richard Rhodes takes in a lot of that history. 

His book is Energy: A Human History.  From wood to coal, from horses to steam to internal combustion, from burning fuels to capturing the son, the book takes it all in. 

The Jackson County Sheriff's office has issued a level 3--go immediately--evacuation order for homes along Sterling Creek Road near Jacksonville, due to an advancing fire caused by Sunday morning lightning.

Here is the statement, from the JCSO Facebook page: "Due to a wildfire, residents of Sterling Creek Road near Schlesinger Reservoir, east of Buncom, should evacuate immediately."

Cal Fire

Summer lightning returned to the skies over Southern Oregon and Northern California on Sunday, just as Klamathon Fire managers were preparing to declare that fire 100% contained.

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68908707

Growing cannabis is now legal in both California and Oregon, but that doesn't mean all the practices involved with growing it are legal. 

Noble Coffee Roasting/Instagram

Jared Rennie picked a good time in history to get into the coffee business. 

He started Noble Coffee Roasting in Ashland at about the time the taste for coffee products of all kinds exploded.  His belief in coffee certainly paid off in the success of his business. 

His is truly a story of knowing when to get in on the ground floor. 

Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay

Are we in love with bees?  And sadly, is it too late for the relationship? 

Bees have been around a long time and are a critical part of life on Earth, but they are in deep trouble in many areas. 

Conservation biologist Thor Hanson, who joined us in the past with his book on seeds, returns with his latest: Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

From the evolutionary roots of 125 million years ago to the pollinator gardens of today, there's a lot to learn. 

João Felipe C.S./Public Domain

The supermarket age is all about food traveling great distances to reach us.  So the chance of getting to know the people who grow your food is limited. 

Unless you buy local food... which is encouraged by many people these days.  The Rogue Valley Farm Tour enhances the eat-local experience by taking people out to meet the farmers. 

Ashland Food Co-op and Medford Food Co-op are partners on the tour. 

socompasshouse.org

Mental illness often shows up early in adulthood, but it can affect a person earlier in life. 

This month on Compass Radio we hear from Debra, a Southern Oregon Compass House member who has experienced episodes of mental illness since childhood.

She told Compass House interviewer Bryce Harding that her illness first manifested itself in the form of premonitions – she would actually predict events before they happened. 

ivanovgood/Pixabay

Even having a room full of people greet you unexpectedly can be stressful.  Especially if they jump out from behind the furniture and yell "Surprise!" 

Not all of us appreciate surprises, even the good ones.  But unexpected events--things we simply can't control--can be good for us. 

That's Tania Luna's take in her book Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected.  She's built a whole business based on surprises. 

Erich Ferdinand, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=63988292

Methane is perhaps the most potent of greenhouse gases, and California has 1.8 million emitters of methane walking around on four legs.  Dairy cows "give off" methane in ways you'd expect (think the back end), and ways you might not: they burp. 

Cow burps are methane-rich.  But experiments at the University of California-Davis show that the addition of just a little seaweed to a cow's diet can greatly reduce the burps. 

Forest Service/Public Domain

The emerald ash borer is an invasive pest that has devastated ash tree populations in the rest of the country. It's not in Oregon yet, but it's just a matter of time before it shows up.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture has just released its action plan for fighting the pest when it arrives.  Notice the use of the term "when," not "if." 

Ash trees are important in the ecosystem, especially in riparian zones along creeks and rivers.

Wyatt Williams helped write the response plan for the insect at the Oregon Department of Forestry. 

Public Domain

Wake up.  Go to sleep.  Run away.  Stay and fight.  Have you figured out the common connection yet?  It's hormones, which influence these and many of our behaviors. 

And boy, does life change--frequently for the poorer--when our hormones get out of balance. 

Medical journalist Randi Hutter Epstein spins a rich history of hormone discoveries and misuses in the book Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything

Bureau of Land Management / Flickr

There's a certain regularity to some stories emerging from Washington, like the program that will soon expire if Congress does not renew it. 

So it is once again with the Land and Water Conservation Fund, LWCF.  It runs out at the end of September without Congressional intervention, and there may just be some additional concern about the mood on conservation in the current Congress. 

The Wilderness Society is watching events unfold, as is University of Idaho professor Adam Sowards

Save The Redwoods League

You can find Humboldt martens, weasel-like mammals, in just two places: Oregon's Siuslaw National Forest, and the Siskiyou portion of Oregon's Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.  That's it. 

And that's why the group Cascadia Wildlands wants the marten protected under the state's Endangered Species Act. 

The best estimate is 200 animals left. 

Wikimedia

Can you name even one American religious leader who is a woman?  The people who garner attention from the general public tend to be men. 

But there are plenty of examples of women working in spiritual matters who have had great influence. 

Adrian Shirk, who teaches women's studies and creative writing, writes of these remarkable women in And Your Daughters Shall Prophesy: Stories from the Byways of American Women and Religion

It's warm, it's light late into the evening, and we have a little spare time. 

That's the reason summer is so conducive to a little extra reading.  Or a lot, if we're lucky. 

Our Summer Reads segment returns for a second summer, visiting with local and locally-owned bookstores to get ideas for good summertime reads. 

Bloomsbury Books in Ashland starts off the weekly series.  Sheila Burns from Bloomsbury drops by to drop some book titles.  And she's bringing Eileen Bobek, the owner of Jacksonville's new bookstore, Rebel Heart Books with her. 

Brian Robert Marshall, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12577801

It's doubtful that anyone ever turns on a light in California and thinks about the Independent System Operator

But the ISO provides oversight to the power grid in California, to make sure the country's most populous state always has electricity available.  Now there's a proposal, backed by Governor Jerry Brown and others, to share oversight of the grid with other western states. 

That has drawn criticism from a number of groups.  But it is praised by others, including the Union of Concerned Scientists

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