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.

Living outside is never easy, but it could be deadly this time of year.

A Portland man living on the street succumbed to hypothermia Monday, as temperatures plunged into the teens.

We hear about efforts in Lane County to keep people warm during dangerously cold times of year. Groups like St. Vincent De Paul are providing warming shelters from Dec. 1 to March 31 this year, longer than ever before thanks to a bump in state funding.

Ashland also provides cold-weather shelters.  Our guest is William Wise, Director First Place Family Center for St. Vincent De Paul Lane County. 

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Todd Blubaugh planned a motorcycle trip across the country, combining his twin passions for motorcycles and photography. 

His journey of self-discovery racheted up in importance when his parents died just days before his intended departure. 

Prose, personal letters, artifacts, and stunning photography combine to tell the story of the trip in Blubaugh's Too Far Gone.

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We'd be hard-pressed to find another person who is as passionate about music as Josh Gross. 

Or at least as passionate and ARTICULATE before 10 AM as Josh is. 

Josh is the music editor at the Rogue Valley Messenger (check out his Best of 2016 list), and a monthly contributor to The Exchange with "Rogue Sounds." 

JPR News

Rogue Valley communities are not used to dealing with snow in any amounts, and eight inches fell on Medford on Tuesday (January 3, 2017). 

That's a headache for travelers to deal with, and the job of road crews to clean up. 

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) works closely with its California counterpart, CalTrans, on the Interstate Five corridor linking the two states. 

So California blizzard conditions led to a half-day shutdown on the Siskiyou Summit on the Oregon side, to allow road maintenance to catch up with the weather.

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It's been more than a decade since beekeepers began noticing huge die-offs of bees in their care, in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder, or CCD. 

Science is perhaps closer to understanding the causes of CCD, but not to stopping it outright.  And the public at large has a stake, since bees pollinate so many of the crops we depend upon for food. 

Biologist Sainath Suryanarayanan and sociologist Daniel Lee Kleinman teamed up to explore bee plague and human reaction, in a book called Vanishing Bees

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Recent history shows how trends in human behavior produce similar movements in different places far apart. 

Example: the UK vote on "Brexit" and the American presidential election.  But that's to be expected in a modern, connected world, right? 

So how do we explain some of the human revolutions of antiquity?  Michael Scott takes on that project in his book Ancient Worlds: A Global History of Antiquity, showing how societal changes happened even among humans scattered far and wide. 

ODOT/CalTrans

"Pick your poison," the early 2017 weather forecasts seem to say. 

While parts of the region had been bracing for sub-freezing temperatures, the outlook has changed.

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The State of Oregon will have to scramble for funding again in the coming legislative session. 

Revenue projections are not keeping up with the cost estimates, to no one's surprise.  Measure 97 in the November election was supposed to address the systemic issue by taxing corporations more.  But voters rejected it, leading to the obvious question: what next? 

A Better Oregon is already on it, floating an idea for a new corporate tax and a health care provider tax. 

By FluttershyIsMagic - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37476638

There tends to be a controversy attached to any official designation of a wilderness area. 

The argument against wilderness set-asides is that they restrict economic activity.  But the wilderness proponents point out that roads crisscross the planet, rendering most roadless areas small. 

There is now a global map of roadless areas showing exactly where the untouched islands lie. 

White House Photo Office/Wikimedia

Conservative giant William F. Buckley called his TV show "Firing Line" when it debuted in 1966. 

But despite the title, it was not a free-fire zone for people to yell at one another.  Debate and disagree, yes... but not like today's shouting matches on cable news channels. 

Buckley's show and his other work in media made him the prototype pundit, and that role allowed him to present his ideas to a broader audience.  Over time, they became mainstream. 

M.I.T. professor Heather Hendershot reconstructs the journey of conservatism from outcast to inner circle in her book Open to Debate

JPR News

Over the course of 12 months, we meet a LOT of interesting people on The Exchange. 

And some of them arrive in-studio with musical instruments in hand.  Those are actually some of our favorite segments; less talking and more listening. 

We grab some of the musical highlights of this year and pack them into a single hour. 

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Let's sit down for a meal.  Figuratively, not literally. 

Literal meals have become quite adventuresome of late, with generous helpings of science and fusions and exotic ingredients. 

Dana Goodyear captures the mood in her book Anything That Moves

USDA

It's not just that our region is full of interesting people. 

There are plenty of non-human living things to make the place unique and exciting. 

Some of them are too small to see, like face mites.  Yes, the name indicates where they live. 

A samurai master from Japan from two centuries ago would probably appreciate the work coming out of Dragonfly Forge in Coquille. 

Michael Bell and son Gabriel turn out swords the old way, combining centuries-old practices with modern technology. 

Their work is highly regarded, and carries a high price. 

We're a lot more open-minded about people's disabilities than we used to be.  Mostly, anyway. 

But it's not universal... in some parts of the planet, blind people are still considered stupid. 

Rosemary Mahoney had her eyes opened to the way people think about blindness, both with and without it. 

Her stunning book is For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind

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Immigration, legal and not, is seldom out of the news for long. 

And it pretty much parked on the front pages this year and stayed there, due in large part to the election campaigns. 

Immigration will continue to be a hot topic as new people take office in 2017. 

We take parts from several of our interviews in the subject area and combine them for a full hour of immigration perspectives. 

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It was an uneventful trip in the car, but that guy who cut you off and forced you to stomp on the brakes stays with you. 

There's a reason: the human brain's "negativity bias."  It keeps us from getting into danger, but certainly has its drawbacks. 

Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson says it can be avoided; he shows how in his book Hardwiring Happiness

National Weather Service

Nature threw some potential obstacles in front of travelers as Christmas 2016 approached. 

The National Weather Service warned of snow down to valley floor level by Christmas Eve.

University of Washington Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology

It's a little cold to be digging in the ground at the moment, but at least we have our summer memories. 

And that's the focus of this month's Underground History segment, with Mark Tveskov of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (Chelsea Rose is away). 

Mark brings in a couple of guests to talk about the summer archaeology program at the Grande Ronde Reservation. 

It brings archaeologists and tribal members together to search for artifacts using techniques in harmony with tribal values. 

Compass Radio: Making Ends Meet

Dec 21, 2016
socompasshouse.org

Finding the way to mental health is no simple feat for many people.

With Compass Radio, we hear directly from members of the Compass House in Medford, which provides services and a community for people with a history of mental illness.

Compass Radio is a series about what it's like to meet the challenges of mental illness, and this month we focus on money issues, and how some Medford residents make financial ends meet with very little income.

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