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.

Wikimedia

The Northwest Forest Plan just turned 20 years old, but "Happy Birthday" might not be the appropriate comment. 

The plan was designed to preserve both old growth timber and spotted owls, and both are still in decline. 

The monitoring apparatus that came with the plan just released a 20-year progress report. 

Christian LInder/Wikimedia

We're getting to know more about Alzheimer's disease over time.  And that's true in two senses: researchers understand it better, but more people have it, too. 

And there are still varieties of dementia that are not Alzheimer's. 

Dr. Patrick Gillette has come to know them well in his work at Rogue Community Health and elsewhere in the health care system. 

He'll speak about Alzheimer's later this week at a health conference in Medford. 

BLM/Public Domain

A federal appeals court Friday threw out a lower court ruling that required the Bureau of Land Management to increase timber sales in Southern Oregon.

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

The flurry of lightning-caused fires from earlier this week continues to keep firefighters employed.  Meanwhile, parts of the region are shifting the official fire danger level to HIGH.

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Daniel Breaux (yep, pronounced "bro") deserves a big smile on his face when he walks in the graduation ceremony at Southern Oregon University on Saturday (June 13th). 

He actually graduated two terms early, despite using a lot of his time helping SOU win a national championship on the football field. 

And he's entering a field of work that is very much the focus of attention these days: he'll be a police officer in Berkeley, California. 

Penguin Books

It's a good thing we speak English.  We hear it is VERY hard to learn for people who did not grow up with it. 

And that's partly because it's such a mish-mosh of parts of earlier languages (and some living ones). 

And we make it harder on ourselves with the way we use it, as Ammon Shea demonstrates in Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation

Wikimedia

If a young person challenges you to a game of chess, find out where they're from.  And if it's Coquille and you're not very good, RUN! 

The Coquille Chess Club took five players to the national championships in April, a huge feat for a team from a small town. 

Brothers Aaron and Joshua Grabinsky took home some serious hardware. 

Gold Hill Whitewater Center

Some of the best whitewater running in the country and maybe the world is available on the Rogue River. 

Now a group of whitewater enthusiasts wants to add some voltage, through the creation of the Gold Hill Whitewater Center. 

It would include an Olympic-class kayak run, along with many other features. 

Emilykinneymusic.com

At home fighting zombies and singing songs: yep, that's Emily Kinney

She became a regular cast member of the AMC horror show "The Walking Dead," while writing and recording and performing her own music. 

Kinney lived briefly in Oregon and returns to the region for a Portland show Sunday, followed by a San Francisco set on Tuesday. 

W.W. Norton

Our brains are capable of amazing things, but they are just a little behind the times. 

Psychiatrist and author Peter Whybrow reminds us that the brain's construction is about survival in the wild, not about navigating a land of plenty in food and consumer goods. 

So we need a tune-up, he says, in The Well-Tuned Brain: Neuroscience & The Life Well Lived.

Douglas Forest Protective Association

Five days into fire season on the Oregon side, crews stayed busy hunting and fighting fires caused by lightning on Monday and Tuesday (June 8th-9th).

Oregon Department of Forestry reports roughly two dozen fires from lightning strikes in the southwestern part of the state. 

Mt. Shasta Ski Park

It's not enough to call the snowpack from last winter low in California. 

By the end of the measuring season, there was no snow to measure. 

At Mt. Shasta, the ski park didn’t open for long last winter and it won't open for summer activities, to keep costs down and save money. 

Depending on snow has turned into a risky business in the region. 

The high temperature in Medford hit 105 Monday, 26 degrees above what is considered "normal" for the date. 

So let's talk weather and climate in VENTSday... do you need any more convincing that things are different? 

Our other topic: letting states place their own regulations on campaign spending.  What do you think? 

Our weekly VENTSday segment puts the listeners front and center. We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics.

Megathon Charlie/Flickr

It's always a politically risky move to vote for stronger regulations on guns, and the Oregon Legislature went there this year. 

A month ago the governor signed a bill that requires background checks for all gun sales, even private person-to-person sales. 

Senator Floyd Prozanski of Eugene shepherded the bill through the capitol. 

And just a few weeks after it passed, Lane County Commissioners passed a resolution opposing the law, on grounds that it will cost counties more money to enforce. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR

A series of lightning storms swept through the region starting early Tuesday, waking up Rogue Valley residents and keeping firefighters busy looking for new fires.

Loud thunder rumbled Ashland-area homes just after 4 AM, accompanied by brief but heavy rain.

Oregon Public Broadcasting will examine the heart of our region. OPB's "Think Out Loud" talk show comes to Ashland on Thursday, June 11 for a live show delving into the link between the city and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. JPR will broadcast the show live at Noon on the News & Information Service. Join the live audience at Noble Coffee in Ashland's Railroad District.

The drought in California will only get more acute as we leave the rainy season behind. 

And there are some situations that are akin to being aboard a ship approaching an iceberg with no steering. 

Like the presence of parasites in the Klamath River which thrive in warm water. 

The Yurok Tribe and other participants in Klamath water-quality efforts can do little to avert a major fish kill due to the parasites and other factors. 

Wikimedia

On a hot day, a place to swim on a lake or river looks very inviting. 

Those days are here, and so are the concerns about the safety of each swimming hole. 

Rocks aside, dangers can lurk in those inviting waters. 

Which is why Rogue Riverkeeper and similar programs across the country are helping swimmers out, by testing the water for Swim Guide.

New Society Publishers

Who grows your food?  The question has been asked a lot in recent years, with a renewed emphasis on small farms, organic farming, and eating food from local sources. 

The players are frequently white.  Natasha Bowens knew the story was more complicated and diverse... her own family tree contains both farm slaves and farm owners. 

So she set out on a multimedia project to portray farmers of color, and that led up to a new book The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming. 

National Weather Service, Medford

The heat is not the only issue with the weather. 

Thunderstorms are more likely on Tuesday (6/9), so the National Weather Service upgraded a Fire Weather Watch to a Red Flag Warning for the central part of our listening area Tuesday, 11 AM to 11 PM.

Some thunderstorms may bring abundant rainfall, but some could arrive with little precipitation, starting fires around the region.

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