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.


Jefferson Exchange | July 17, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Hard Times: Oregon's Disappearing Lake Abert

Lake Abert in 2010.
Credit Ron Larson

Joseph Eilers and Ron Larson warn Lake Abert could dry up this summer.

We knew some bodies of water would get smaller in drought years. 

But one Oregon lake in particular is taking it hard: Lake Abert in Lake County. 

It is Oregon's only saltwater lake, and it is disappearing. 

The lake has lost 99% of its water from its full pool volume, and is now too salty to support what life did occupy it.  The causes are more complicated than just weather patterns. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 16, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Riding Beyond Cancer

Trish Broersma describes Riding Beyond.

Horseback riding is not for everybody, but it's good for a lot of people. 

Horses, like therapy dogs, can be helpful companions for people with a variety of health challenges. 

The organization Riding Beyond pairs up horses with women dealing with breast cancer treatments... with some encouraging results. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 16, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Wed July 16, 2014

VENTSday: Drone Regulations + Reintroducing Grizzlies


Listeners vent on drones and grizzlies.

Which would bother you more, your neighbors flying drones over your house, or meeting a grizzly bear in Yosemite?

Never mind... you can comment on both issues in this week's VENTSday segment on the Exchange.

We do not schedule guests for Wednesday at 8:30, because that's the time for VENTSday, your chance to vent (politely, please) on a pair of topics in the news. 

We bring the topics, you bring the opinions.

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Jefferson Exchange | July 16, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Catching The Catfishers

Credit Career Press

Tyler Cohen Wood gives tips on protecting your identity online.

Not everybody relishes the wild-west nature of the Internet. 

Sure, it's fun to see old friends on Facebook, but how much information on you is being collected?  Short answer: a lot. 

Tyler Cohen Wood works for the Department of Defense on cyber-security and social media issues. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 15, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Fire Season Intensifies

Credit Federal Emergency Management Agency

Brian Ballou and Dennis Matheson call in from the fire camps.

July and August can be tricky months to try to schedule interviews with firefighters and their bosses. 

The region's propensity for high heat AND dry lightning often converge in raging wildfires in the month of July.   

And true to form, we scheduled an interview shortly before new fires forced evacuations in Shasta and Klamath Counties.

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Jefferson Exchange | July 15, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Sexual Assault Options Program Successes/Challenges

Credit Ashland Police

Carrie Hull and Corey Falls explain the "You Have Options" program.

One of the features of the "You Have Options" sexual assault program pioneered by Ashland Police is its speed.  Or lack, actually. 

"You Have Options" gives sexual assault victims the option of choosing NOT to press charges immediately after the incident. 

And that "go slow" option puts the program in conflict with rules that govern sexual assault reporting on college campuses. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 15, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Tue July 15, 2014

The "New Approach" To Legal Marijuana In Oregon

Credit United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Peter Zuckerman and Darian Stanford make the case for legal marijuana.

Signatures are still being counted, but it appears nearly certain that Oregon voters will decide whether to legalize marijuana for personal use in the November election. 

New Approach Oregon is behind the campaign for the measure. 

It calls its approach "the new gold standard" for its careful construction: marijuana for users, taxes for government, prohibition for minors. 

Read more
Holding at 2500 Acres
2:13 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Klamath County Fire Destroys Homes, Forces Evacuations

An aerial view of the Moccasin Hill fire on Sunday.

A wildfire in Klamath County burned down half a dozen homes and continues to threaten 100 more.

The Moccasin Hill fire began burning Sunday afternoon (July 13) and has spread to 2500 acres.  The acreage figure is actually smaller than earlier reports, due to better mapping and reconnaissance.

The fire is burning on mostly private land under Oregon Department of Forestry protection, north of the community of Sprague River.

Fire agencies say the cause is under investigation.

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 14, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Ashland Considers Pot Taxes

Credit Wikimedia

Rich Rosenthal lays out the council approach on marijuana.

Oregon law allows cities and counties to ban medical marijuana dispensaries until the spring of 2015. 

So, many of them did… more than 150 jurisdictions banned dispensaries, rather than deal with the legal complications of dealing with a substance illegal under federal law, but allowed by state law. 

Ashland stands apart; the city council is considering a package of regulations on marijuana--even recreational marijuana, if it is legalized. 

Read more
Jefferson Exchange | July 14, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Revamping Rogue Valley Highways 99 & 140

Oregon 99 on the north end of Ashland.
Credit Geoffrey Riley/JPR

Gary Leaming and Ian Horlacher describe the corridor plans.

The roads that are fine for today's traffic could become clogged if no plans are made for future traffic. 

Fortunately, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is looking down the road (so to speak) a bit. 

Two of the main highways in the Rogue Valley, Oregon 140 and Oregon 99, are both due for new "corridor plans." 

Read more