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.

  Some of those berries growing on bushes look like they might be mighty tasty. But they could also be poisonous, so we walk on by. It's great to know WHICH plants that grow wild are edible. 

  John Kallas of Wild Food Adventures possesses that knowledge. He also shares it, like in a session coming to the Eugene Library on September 2nd. 

  The recent news that the Earth's population could hit 11 billion by the end of the century should give anyone pause.

Maybe we are capable of feeding all those mouths with current agricultural technology, but what if large chunks of farmland are rendered unusable by climate change? These are the questions Joel K. Bourne, Jr. considers in his book "The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World.

National Creek Complex Facebook Page

UPDATE: MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 5:00 P.M. ... It's hard to get around near Crater Lake National Park as crews work to contain the National Creek fire complex

The two fires burning in Crater Lake National Park and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest since August 1st now total 10,833 acres. The fires are 10 percent contained.

The Level 1 (Get Ready) evacuation order for the area around Diamond Lake Area has been lifted. 

Stouts Creek Fire Facebook Page

It does not count as containment yet, but fire crews have succeeded in encircling the Stouts Creek Fire in southern Douglas County.

By dawn Friday (Aug. 21), a "blackline" surrounded the fire at slightly more than 26,000 acres.  A blackline is where the fire has burned to a road or other fire line, and the perimeter is secure. 

NASA

  One bloom of toxic blue-green algae is a concern.  Two is a problem. 

A whole series approaches the realm of crisis, and that's where we are. 

Researchers at Oregon State University are taking note of the many--and increasing--incidents of toxic algae blooms, and the challenge they represent for managers of recreational and drinking water. 

Not to mention the challenge for all of us who use water. 

La Clinica

  Being healthy involves more than going to the doctor from time to time. 

The doctor probably reminds you to get regular exercise and eat well. 

Combining approaches to health is one of the features of the new wellness center of La Clinica, set to open soon in Medford. 

Health care workers will see patients there, but there are also features like a demonstration kitchen, for showing patients how to prepare healthy meals. 

Penguin Books

  We use the term "autism" more and more all the time... especially since the numbers of people with the condition continue to grow.  But could you define it? 

Steve Silberman, a reporter for "WIRED," aims to answer that question and more in his book NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity.

He delves into history, diagnosis, and even a portrait of Hans Asperger, for whom the syndrome is named.

National Creek Complex Facebook Page

UPDATE THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 5 PM: Crews working on the National Creek Complex of fires near Diamond Lake began burnout operations this afternoon, to consume fuel between the fires and containment lines.

The operations are expected to create more smoke, so the Oregon Department of Transportation may close Oregon Highway 138 intermittently, with delays of 20 minutes or more for travelers.

Stouts Creek Fire Facebook Page

UPDATE THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 5 PM: The number of firefighters dipped under a thousand at the Stouts Creek Fire , a further sign that the fire is nearing containment, and that there are more urgent fires elsewhere.

Nobody should take the changes as a signal to relax.  "We’re still sitting on a lot of fuel out there,” said John Pellissier, Operations Section Chief for the Oregon Department of Forestry. 

Another quarter-mile or so of containment line remains to be constructed, and fire managers plan further burnout out operations to rob the fire of potential fuel.

NOAA

Some of the most clear evidence of climate change is being seen inside the Arctic Circle.

Sea ice has been much less extensive in recent years, impacting animals like the polar bear and the native cultures that coexist with the animals. 

The Gwich'in people are concerned in particular about protecting caribou, threatened by climate change and oil exploration.

Southern Oregonian Dennis Specht recently spent time among the Gwich'in, he and Sarah James of the Gwich'in Steering Committee are working to convince members of Congress to act. 

Wikimedia

Offshore drilling for oil and gas is often opposed by people who favor the protection of sensitive and significant lands. 

Except for one thing: the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund

LWCF uses offshore oil and gas lease income to purchase property for public use; grants have bought big chunks of land in both states. 

But two issues loom: Congress often diverts money from the fund for other purposes... and the fund will expire this year without Congressional intervention. 

Workman Publishing

It doesn't take a big budget to cook creatively. 

Leanne Brown set out to prove that in her cookbook Good and Cheap

It is designed for the SNAP (food stamp) budget, which comes to about $4 a day for meals. 

And the author puts her money where her mouth is: the book is available as a free PDF download online, as well as in a tangible version. 

©Berkeley Rep/Kevinberne.com

Where you start in society often determines where you end up in society. 

If you start poor, odds are good you'll end up poor... and maybe in prison, too. 

The playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith explores the situation in a one-person show, "Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education, The California Chapter." 

It's about the school-to-prison pipeline that exists for many people, and Smith brings excerpts from the show to some rural communities, including to the Yurok reservation on Monday (Aug. 24). Admission is free. 

Public Domain

Chapters of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are present all over the country, delivering on the society's goal of helping people in need. 

St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County defines that mission broadly, with many facets to its operation. 

One of the facets is building affordable housing, and the society just broke ground on new housing in Junction City, with additional units about to open up in Eugene (there's a waiting list). 

HarperCollins

If you've ever heard of the "wrap dress," you've heard of Diane Von Furstenberg. 

In fact, you've probably heard the name even if you haven't heard of the dress. 

Von Furstenberg is one of the most influential fashion designers of our time. 

Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped tracks the designers career and work. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

A buildup of smoky air from wildfires prompted Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality to issue a warning for several parts of the state on Tuesday (Aug. 18).

DEQ urged residents in much of Oregon to take precautions to limit their exposure to the smoke.

NASA

The judge said no.  The plaintiffs appealed.  The judge said no again. 

That's the ultra-short version of a lawsuit filed against state leaders in Oregon, filed to produce action on climate change on behalf of children, by Our Children's Trust

Despite limited success in state court (now on appeal), the group just filed a similar suit against the federal government. 

At least one group is determined to get government to act on climate change through court action (see today's 8 AM segment). 

On VENTSday, let's hear what you think of that approach, and what you think of the big gap between the salaries of CEOs and their workers. 

Why should the politicians and pundits have all the fun?  You've got opinions on events in the news, too.  And our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them. 

We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them.

Caravel Books

A truck driver walks into a diner. Not a joke setup, but the first scene in James Anderson's debut novel, The Never-Open Desert Diner.

Anderson calls Ashland home for part of the year, and he can call his novel a success, at least judging by some of the reviews of it.

Anderson's own story--logger, truck driver, car salesman, book publisher--is at least as interesting as the tale of his tractor-trailer driving protagonist.

Wikimedia

It's not just a way of farming, it's a way of life: permaculture. 

Narrowly defined, it's about agriculture that can be sustained indefinitely, because it is agriculture that acknowledges the needs and rhythms of the ecosystem being farmed. 

And it's not just for the country.  The Northwest Permaculture Convergence is an annual gathering of permaculture devotees, to be held in a suburban setting for the first time this year, in Eugene. 

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