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.

Celebrating Diversity In Shasta County

Feb 20, 2015
CrossPointe Church, Redding

Shasta County is one of the whitest counties in California. 

But there are certainly pockets of diversity, including the presence of a Mien community with Asian roots. 

A celebration of the Mien community's acceptance began a dozen years ago in Lake Shasta, at the Multi-Cultural Celebration

It returns again this weekend (Saturday 11-3) to Central Valley High School.

Promoting Art At The Grants Pass Museum

Feb 20, 2015
Grants Pass Museum of Art

36 years ago, Oregon was not blessed with abundance of art museums. 

The Grants Pass Museum of Art became the fourth at that time, and it is still going strong today. 

It's an accomplishment for a place that started in a 20 x 24-foot upstairs room downtown. 

The museum celebrates past, present and future at its Black, White, & The Blues event this weekend. 

Random House

Discussions of crime in America frequently turn to the issue of black-on-black violence, its causes and effects. 

It's nearly an everyday occurrence in the part of Los Angeles some residents and police refer to as "ghettoside."

Jill Leovy uses the term as the title of her book on a Los Angeles murder: Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

Oregon's First Licensed Hemp Farmer

Feb 19, 2015

Edgar Winters probably deals with a little confusion over his name.  But for an extra S, it's the same as the name of a legendary rock musician ("Frankenstein" et al). 

But Edgar Winters is making a name for himself as the first farmer in Oregon with a license to grow hemp. 

The versatile crop is now being allowed in Oregon fields, despite it being banned along with its sibling, marijuana, under federal law. 

Connecting To Services For Seniors/Disabilities

Feb 19, 2015

The aging of the population probably means more people using Oregon's ADRC in the coming years. 

ADRC, the Aging and Disability Resource Connection, provides a gateway to many services available to seniors and people with disabilities. 

A person or caregiver just beginning to deal with new issues related to aging or a disability can easily be overwhelmed with the situation... and the many choices for remedying it. 

Homebrewers And Professionals Unite (Over Beer)

Feb 19, 2015

  The weekend is almost here… is it too soon to pop open a cold one? 

People across the country are making their own "cold ones" by brewing beer at home. 

The American Homebrewers Association gives them plenty of support, including providing connections to local professional brewers. 

The AHA will hold a rally at an Ashland brewery this weekend to unite beer likers and makers. 

Back To The River: Atkinson On The Klamath

Feb 18, 2015
Amelia Templeton/EarthFix

A new documentary on the Klamath River and the efforts to restore the Klamath Basin is due next month. 

Producer and former Oregon state senator Jason Atkinson is putting the final touches on the project. 

The group Oregon Wildlife hosts Atkinson discussing the project tonight (Feb. 18, at 6:30 at the Craterian) in Medford. 

VENTSday: Oregon's New Governor + Declaring War

Feb 18, 2015

Shortly after this week's VENTSday segment, Oregon gets a brand-new governor in the person of Kate Brown. 

And when Congress returns from vacation next week, it will consider a new authorization of force--essentially, a declaration of war--for the president to use against the Islamic State group. 

These are this week's VENTSday topics.  VENTSday puts our listeners front and center. 

We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics. 

Iran, Baha'i, And Working To End Oppression

Feb 18, 2015

Iran's relationship with the rest of the world has its ups and downs.  The country's development of nuclear power continues to cause anxiety in America and elsewhere. 

And the regime continues to cause anxiety and worse for its own people... especially religious minorities. 

As Amnesty International and other groups point out, Iran severely oppresses the Baha'i and other non-Muslim groups, denying Baha'is the right to education, even torturing and killing some of them. 

Spencer Raymond/OPB

Oregon’s new governor will be sworn in Wednesday morning at the state capitol in Salem, and JPR will carry the event live.  Kate Brown replaces John Kitzhaber… he announced his resignation last week, effective today.

Kate Brown is currently the secretary of state; she will take her oath of office as governor at 10 AM Wednesday.

Jefferson Public Radio will join Oregon Public Broadcasting’s coverage of the event at Ten on the News & Information service.

OLCC Talks Pot, Listens A Lot

Feb 17, 2015

Got a few thoughts on HOW marijuana should be regulated when it goes legal in Oregon? 

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission--OLCC--will host several more "Listening Sessions" to take input on pot rules. 

Pot for personal turns legal on July 1st.  Public meetings are set for Ashland and Klamath Falls this Wednesday and Thursday (February 18-19) respectively. 

Mother + Baby + Hike = Hike It Baby

Feb 17, 2015

New mothers need sleep.  And hiking, apparently.  It works for Shanti Hodges. 

She wanted to get back in shape after having a baby, and found hiking--with baby aboard--worked just right. 

So she started the group Hike It Baby, encouraging other mothers to do the same thing. 

Changing The Relationship With The Doctor

Feb 17, 2015
Basic Books

There are some medical situations for which the universal response is "you should see a doctor."  One doctor begs to differ, at least in some circumstances. 

Dr. Eric Topol, himself an M.D., says modern technology brings us to a "Gutenberg moment" in medicine.  Your smartphone could take care of many of the basic diagnostic tasks you now get from seeing a physician or nurse. 

Dr. Topol wrote a book on this and other technological breakthroughs: The Patient Will See You Now

Jordan Cove Comment Period Comes To A Close

Feb 16, 2015
Veresen, Inc.

A federal comment period on the Jordan Cove gas terminal plan just closed (Friday 2/13), and it closed with a bang. 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission--FERC--got a pile of comments in opposition, as well as some in favor. 

The Western Environmental Law Center and other environmental groups shepherded and encouraged thousands of comments taking issue with the plan for the terminal and a long pipeline to it. 

The opposition includes an objection to the process of fracking to capture the gas to be sent through the pipeline to the terminal. 

Wikipedia Commons

Education has come a long way in this country. 

We're very far from the days of memorization and rote learning... but also far from satisfying ourselves that we're doing a good job teaching our kids, and students of all ages.

Now throw "competency-based learning" into the mix.  It further de-emphasizes the connection between student and classroom seat, and--in theory--lets students learn at their own rate. 

Southern Oregon University's Innovation and Leadership program is competency-based; it gives older students credit for what they've learned in life, though outside the classroom. 

Abraham Lincoln As The "Founders' Son"

Feb 16, 2015
Basic Books

Politicians love to talk about the founding fathers of America, even if they often misquote or misinterpret them. 

But what about the NEXT generation of leaders, after the founding fathers? 

Writer/historian Richard Brookhiser focuses on Abraham Lincoln, who he calls Founders' Son in his book by that title. 

Imagining A Post-Growth World

Feb 13, 2015
NASA/Public Domain

The general impression, at least in American society, is that the economy is doing poorly if it is not growing. 

But a single planet with finite resources presents some obvious limits to growth. 

Defenders of slow or no growth say it's better for the planet if we don't think in terms of constant expansion. 

Donnie Maclurcan, teacher and executive director of the Post Growth Institute, works to get that point of view across. 

Raising The Standard Of Dementia Care

Feb 13, 2015

An aging population means more likely cases of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias in the years ahead. 

Dementia patients will need caregivers, and many will be needed. 

An effort is underway to make sure the caregivers give a standard of quality care. 

The Oregon Caregiver Training Initiative is set up to raise and maintain that standard. 

Perigee Books

Finding another human being and falling in love sure looks easy in the movies. 

But in real life, it can be tricky indeed.  Especially for people who are a bit reserved and less likely to put themselves out there. 

For them (us?), there's the new book Introverts In Love.

Author Sophia Dembling writes the "Introvert's Corner" blog for Psychology Today online. 

Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity

The idea of owning a home can be a distant dream for many families. 

The dream gets closer with the assistance of Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for qualifying applicants currently living in sub-standard housing. 

The Rogue Valley branch stays busy with a number of projects at any given time.