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.

Gun Bills Pile Up In Oregon Legislature

Mar 9, 2017
Public Domain/Wikimedia

Another year, another raft of gun bills. 

Congress may be slow and slower on firearms legislation, but the Oregon legislature has dozens of gun bills to consider in the current legislative session. 

Most are designed to toughen gun restrictions and close sale loopholes, and with Democrats in control in both houses, there could well be changes. 

Oregon Firearms Federation resists new controls on guns, while Ceasefire Oregon relishes the possibility of further restrictions. 

Kim Boek, Seoul, South Korea, CC BY 2.0,

We don't want everyone to know everything about us. 

But that's just privacy; secrets are another matter entirely.  And research shows that keeping secrets can damage relationships, wounding both keeper and finder of the secret. 

Jane Isay, who comes from a family of psychologists and psychiatrists, wrote about the issues in her book Secrets and Lies

The Geology Of Terroir In Wine

Mar 8, 2017

The explosion of the wine industry in our part of the world has introduced some new terms to everyday language.  "Terroir," for example. 

If you read it quickly, it conjures up images of horror films. 

But it's not "terror," just a term to indicate the way wines from different vineyards taste different, due to soil and other conditions.  Like rocks. 

Geologist Scott Burns, emeritus at Portland State University, is well-versed on what goes on below that affects the grapes above. 

Bidgee, CC BY-SA 3.0,

There's never a dull moment in media lately.  President Trump has gone from talking about "fake news" to declaring members of the news media "enemies of the people." 

And on the lighter side, who handed Warren Beatty that wrong envelope at the Oscars? 

We track the changes in the world of information in a segment called Signals & Noise.  Our partners: the Communications department at Southern Oregon University.

The goal of was to convince people to stop the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, to stop it at 350 parts per million. 

That's now a past-tense goal, since the number consistently hangs above 400.  But and other larger organizations continue the fight for meaningful curbs on greenhouse gases. 

Board Chair KC Golden visits Ashland for a talk at Southern Oregon University this week. 

Friends of Cascade-Siskiyou

President Obama expanded the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in his final weeks in office. 

Supporters of the expansion did not get all they wanted, but it's still too much for some people.  Including the Association of O & C Counties. 

Those are the counties that get revenue--at one time a LOT of revenue--from timber sales on the former Oregon & California Railroad lands managed by the BLM. 

The counties claim the monument expansion will curtail timber sales, and they're going to court to block the expansion.  Timber companies filed their own suit a week later.

Don Ryan/AP

March figures to be a very slow month at the bottle returns in Oregon.  Because the first day of April, the money paid for each bottle doubles, from a nickel to a dime. 

It's a change in Oregon law that requires more money to be paid per container if the level of container recycling falls below 80 percent for two years running. 

It did, so now the nickel returns become dime returns. 

Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative runs centers all over the state; you hear how the system works. 

Medford Doctor Co-Authors Health Book

Mar 7, 2017

Your heart, your mind, your body... and the dance floor. 

These are all subjects in a new book by Medford MD Robin Miller and co-author David Kahn. 

In Healed: Health & Wellness for the 21st Century, Miller and Kahn link health and happiness, insisting you need both for a good life. 

And the dancing?  That gets a whole section of the book, after Dr. Miller's appearance in a local dance competition got her hooked on ballroom dancing. 


Since none of us are able to fly into space and change the planet, Superman-style, any actions on climate change will be done at the local level. 

Message received long ago at both Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN) and Rogue Climate.  Those two organizations work hard to put climate change concerns into action in Southern Oregon. 

And they are far from the only ones... Ashland-based Geos Institute also gets into the act, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival even addresses climate change in its work. 

Donar Reiskoffer, CC BY-SA 3.0,

We have private schools and private prisons... how about private oceans?  The question is facetious, but only mildly so. 

Because commercial fishing in the United States is regulated through "catch shares" that allocate who can fish.  And those shares are privately held. 

We learn a whole lot more in a book by investigative journalist Lee van der Voo, The Fish Market

Study Shows Humans Cause Most Wildfires

Mar 3, 2017

Every summer, we listen for the most basic facts about any wildfire: human- or lightning-caused? 

Human-caused does not necessarily mean deliberate; it just means the activities of people started the fire. 

And a new scientific study shows that humans have it all over lightning as starters of wildfire: 84 percent of wildfires trace back to human causes. 

Jennifer Balch at the University of Colorado is the lead author of the study. 

The Squeaky Wheel: Starting And Charging

Mar 3, 2017
Ashland Automotive

What ails your car?  Zach Edwards can't fix it over the phone, but he can certainly try to diagnose the problem. 

Zach is the proprietor of Ashland Automotive, and our monthly visitor for a segment we call The Squeaky Wheel.

This month we focus on those unwelcome moments when we turn the key and very little happens; we talk about starting and charging systems. 

Grab a phone and call in about the clinks and clanks of your ride. 

The Fatal Qualities Of "Fake Silk"

Mar 3, 2017

Environmental laws and regulations exist for a reason; often, it's because some ecosystem, creatures, or people once suffered for the lack of protection. 

History is full of stories of products that crippled, maimed, and killed the people who made them.  So it was with Fake Silk, the title of a book by Paul David Blanc about cellulose viscose, used to make everything from car tires to kitchen sponges. 

Users generally suffered no ill effects, but the workers exposed to it did, and manufacturing processes released toxic chemicals into the air. 

JC Concerts

Spring has sprung.  Okay, we're getting a LITTLE ahead of ourselves; the actual astronomical equinox is still more than two weeks away (March 20th).  But winter is surely coming to an end, and the arts scene will warm up with the weather. 

We track that arts scene in our First Friday Arts segment, a free-for-all featuring phone calls from around the region boosting arts events for the coming weeks. 

Listen for details of arts events in your town... or if you have them handy, pick up the phone and call 800-838-3760 while the segment is on the air. 

Tim Holt Presents Songs From The Sea

Mar 2, 2017

If someone once sang a song about water, there's a good chance Tim Holt knows of it. 

Holt is a folk singer who makes his way around the West Coast, often singing songs of rivers and oceans and the people who work on them. 

He performs his program again at the Medford Library on March 31st. 

Øyvind Holmstad/

"Never put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today."  Yeah, that works. 

But isn't a little R & R today worth a little panic tomorrow?  At some level, we seem to think so... procrastination is not rare in our culture. 

Psychologist Timothy Pychyl examines the causes and remedies, in his book Solving the Procrastination Puzzle

We talked to him a few years ago when the book first came out. 

Robert J. Boser, EditorASC,

All eyes have been on the Oroville Dam of late, with its damaged spillway leading to evacuation orders for thousands of people. 

The problem there is a problem across much of California: an abundance of water. 

The problem was the opposite in recent years of drought, now many dams, Shasta Dam included, have had to ramp up water releases to leave room for the water from later storms. 


First the U.S. Department of Education sent guidance to schools across the country, pointing out how transgender students were to be treated.

Within months, several states sued, and a court blocked the implementation of the guidance--which said transgender students should be able to use bathroom and locker room facilities corresponding to their gender identity. 

Now the Trump administration has chosen not to defend the Obama-era guidance in court.  Which leaves anyone in school administration wondering what happens next. 

Education departments in both Oregon and California are both keeping an eye on the situation. 

At age 50, the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra is looking fairly fit. 

As it reaches a half-century, it reports a healthy growth in recent years, while maintaining a balanced budget. 

Music Director Martin Majkut (pronounced MY-koot) gets some of the credit.  He's led the orchestra since 2010, and into a period of artistic and monetary growth. 

The maestro has interesting stories to tell, both about RVSO and his own life journey as an immigrant. 

"Rogue Sounds" Returns For Springtime

Mar 1, 2017
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Josh Gross has an addiction, and it's one we're only too happy to share. 

He loves music, and across a wide spectrum of genres and styles. 

Josh makes music, and writes about music for the Rogue Messenger. 

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