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 | December 2, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Digging Up The Timber Industry's Past

John Kaiser and Bob Durham dig at the mill site.
Credit Fremont-Winema National Forest

The region is still home to a busy timber industry. 

Today's industry owes much to the loggers and millworkers of the past, and that's a rich history.  A history that even includes archaeological digs. 

Like the one in Lake County, at the site of the long-defunct Crooked Creek mill camp. 

The U.S. Forest Service's "Passport in Time" project brings professional and amateur archaeologists together for research, and the process took place at the Crooked Creek site. 

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First...The News
2:59 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Why There's No Yelling

When the dust clears, do we really know any more than we did when it started?

On our weekly Wednesday VENTSday segment, I make a point of telling Jefferson Exchange listeners that they are welcome to call and weigh in on the topics of the day, but to vent “politely.” Once in a while, somebody misses that modifier and lets loose with some cutting remarks, occasionally directed at the opinions or tone expressed by another caller. I’m happy to say that’s a rarity.

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Jefferson Exchange | December 1, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Jacksonville's Victorian Christmas

Credit Jacksonville Chamber

Celebrating Christmas often involves traveling. 

For one Southern Oregon city, it's travel back in time. 

Jacksonville observes a Victorian Christmas Celebration this and every December. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 1, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Spreading Local Food Around

Credit Wikimedia

The idea of eating food grown nearby certainly caught fire in recent years. 

But there are some continued issues with getting people who live here--wherever "here" is--to buy food grown here. 

One of the issues is where to buy the food. 

It often takes a special trip to a farmer's market or similar store to obtain locally-grown food. 

Getting the food into "regular" grocery and even convenience stores could make a big difference. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 1, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Taking Down The Berlin Wall

Credit Basic Books

"…and the walls came tumbling down."  The song could easily have been written about the Berlin Wall. 

The wall's demise in 1989 marked the end of the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union. 

But the end of the wall was not an orderly process; more like a series of decisions and non-decisions made with incomplete information. 

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Jefferson Exchange | December 1-5, 2014
7:47 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Local Food, Living With Dying, and "The Daily Show": JX For December 1-5

Efforts to get people to buy their food from local sources continue; that'll be just one of many topics in a full week of Jefferson Exchange items. 

We'll also talk about getting used to death with a hospice chaplain.

And "The Daily Show's" Aasif Mandvi checks in to talk about his memoir.  Here below... the full list so far:

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Thanksgiving Thursday/Friday
11:38 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Holiday Special: "Five Farms"

Harvesting corn in Iowa.
Credit Five Farms/Wesley Horner Productions

We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at The Jefferson Exchange and JPR. 

We are especially thankful for a couple of days off, and we'll replace the Exchange for Thursday and Friday with holiday specials. 

The public radio documentary "Five Farms: Stories From American Farm Families" will take our place, both daytime and evening. 

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Jefferson Exchange | November 26, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Oregon Employment Takes Off

Credit Public Domain

The last time Oregon's employment shot up this high, Bill Clinton was president, and "Waterworld" was in movie theatres. 

Figures from the state Employment Department show October of this year adding nearly 10,000 to Oregon payrolls. 

Several sectors of the economy performed better than economists expected. 

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Jefferson Exchange | November 26, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Wed November 26, 2014

VENTSday: Police Shootings + What You're Thankful For


It's time we had a chat about the NEXT police shooting, and how to prevent it from happening.  That's one of this week's VENTSday topics. 

For the other, break out the list of things you're thankful for. 

VENTSday is our weekly "opinion swarm"… we throw a pair of topics on the table, and let listeners vent--politely--on those topics. 

They can range from the global to the hyper-local, and all responsible opinions are welcome.  We bring the topics, you bring the opinions. 

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Jefferson Exchange | November 26, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Extreme Novel-Writing Explained

Credit Chronicle Books

You can apply the term "extreme" to just about anything. 

Witness "extreme sports" and "extreme couponing." 

But "extreme noveling?"  Yep. 

Chris Baty invented the practice, known through National Novel Writing Month. 

His tips on the practice are contained in his own non-fiction book, No Plot? No Problem! Revised: A Low-stress, High-velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days. 

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Jefferson Exchange | November 25, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Why So Many Homeless Students

Credit Wikimedia

The most recent numbers show more Oregon students are homeless than a year earlier. 

737 more students, to be exact… more than the populations of most elementary schools. 

Medford's Maslow Project is an organization dedicated to fulfilling at least some of the needs of homeless young people. 

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Jefferson Exchange | November 25, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Taking People To Court Over Lynxes

Credit Michael Zahra/Wikimedia

Somebody must keep a running total of court cases against federal agencies. 

We'd guess the Fish & Wildlife service is certainly up there with the most-sued agencies. 

Witness the recent filing of a suit by the Western Environmental Law Center over the Canada Lynx. 

The groups suing want Fish & Wildlife to expand the amount of critical habitat for the big cat.

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Jefferson Exchange | November 25, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Tue November 25, 2014

End Of Life Care: "Bringing Bubbe Home"

Credit White Cloud Press

When we allow ourselves to think about death, we often choose to think about relatively happy circumstances: dying at a ripe old age, at home, in bed, surrounded by family. 

In real life, it's seldom that way.  80 percent of Americans die in hospitals or nursing homes. 

Debra Zaslow did not want that fate for her grandmother, her bubbe. 

So she brought the 103-year-old woman home, to live out her final days there.  The poignant story is told in Zaslow's book Bringing Bubbe Home. 

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Jefferson Exchange | November 24, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Oregon Leads In NOT Over-prescribing Antibiotics

Credit ParentingPatch/Wikimedia

There are ways in which you do NOT want your state to be on the bottom of the list nationally. 

But Oregon is last in one category, and state health officials are quite proud of it. 

The rate of unnecessary antibiotic use in Oregon is the lowest in the country. 

The state's Public Health Division keeps track of the numbers and encourages doctors to keep them low.

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Jefferson Exchange | November 24, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon November 24, 2014

I Hear That Train A-coming...

Amtrak in its early days.
Credit Drew Jacksich/Wikimedia

There's an old connection between trains and the holidays. 

Think of all the pictures you've seen of model trains running around Christmas trees. 

In the Rogue Valley, Thanksgiving is the holiday associated with trains. 

Because Thanksgiving weekend is the time the Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club and other train groups present the Rogue Valley Railroad Show at the Medford Armory. 

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Jefferson Exchange | November 24, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Bread As Currency

Credit Chronicle Books

Remember when people called money "bread"? 

Author/baker Malin Elmlid might singlehandedly revive the use of the term. 

Because she's been trading her loaves of homemade bread--actual baked bread--for goods, and services, and even stories. 

She tells about the process in her book The Bread Exchange.

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Jefferson Exchange | November 21, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Sing Out With The Rogue Valley Chorale

Credit Rogue Valley Chorale

It's beginning to look a lot like… and you can finish the phrase. 

You probably heard the tune in your head as you read it. 

Music and Christmas go together like Santa and sleighs, and many musical groups will sing in the season.

Count the Rogue Valley Chorale among them. 

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Jefferson Exchange | November 21, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Fri November 21, 2014

U of O Resident Elder Ramon Ramirez

Credit AFT-Oregon

Not everybody gets to go to college.  So certain segments of life and knowledge are just hard to find on campuses. 

Which is why the University of Oregon runs an Elder-in-Residence program. 

It brings to campus an elder from a community that traditionally has little representation in higher education. 

This year's EIR is Ramon Ramirez, founder of PCUN, Oregon's farmworkers union. 

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Jefferson Exchange | November 21, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Using (Not Giving In To) The Dark Side

Credit Penguin Books

We're often counseled to be pleasant and polite, and not let ourselves rage at the people and situations that cause consternation. 

Maybe a little rage is a good thing. 

So say the authors of The Upside of Your Dark Side

They point out that the positive emotions are generally good for us and the world at large.  But the negative emotions that can fire us up have their uses, too. 

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Jefferson Exchange | November 24-28, 2014
2:45 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Week On The Exchange

Turkey and all the leftovers are not far away now. 

Our week on The Exchange includes antibiotic usage, suing over lynx protection, and end-of-life care, among other subjects. 

Plus, for the first time in years, we're subbing a different program for The Exchange on the holidays Thursday and Friday. 

Here's the full list...

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