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

Industries and economic trends come and go, but everybody's got to eat.  So agriculture is always a major industry in a rural area like ours. 

And that industry is different from what it was just a generation ago.  Where the Rogue Valley was once the center of the pear industry, many orchards have been converted to vineyards, now producing grapes for wine. 

A number of projects track the region's agricultural heritage, including Oregon's Century Farm program and the Wine of Southern Oregon collection at Southern Oregon University's Library. 

caballitonegro.com

The Britt Festivals in Jacksonville just made a big splash with the announcement of this season's concerts.  But there's more to Britt than the summer concerts on the hill; there's also an ongoing education program that brings musical performers to schools. 

The duo Caballito Negro just completed a short residency through the program. 

The Southern Oregon swing completes with a public concert Thursday at Ashland's Schneider Museum of Art.

William Morrow Books

The recent announcement from Sea World that it will phase out the "performances" of orcas before crowds represents another step in a series. 

Industry is responding to pressure to manage animals more humanely, even if they will end up killed and eaten at the end. 

Call it The Humane Economy, that's what Wayne Pacelle calls the trend, and his book.  The name should ring a bell; Pacelle is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. 

Eurico Zimbres/wikimedia

It was just another rainy spring day in 2014 when a landslide killed 43 people and destroyed dozens of homes near Oso, Washington. 

The event unleashed unimagined tragedy on a rural community, though the conditions that lead to such catastrophic landslides are commonplace throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Scott Burns is our guest, a landslide expert from Portland State University. 

Wikimedia/JPR News

You've heard the line: only two things in life are sure--death and taxes.  So those are the topics on this week's VENTSday.

Let's get your thoughts on death with dignity in this week's survey, and your observations as the income tax filing deadline arrives (April 18). 

Listeners take stage on our weekly VENTSday segment, a chance to vent on a couple of topics in the news--by phone, by email, or through our online survey.

We provide the topics, you provide the opinions. Your thoughts are front and center on VENTSday.

No expertise necessary; just opinions and the ability to express them in a radio-friendly way. We post our weekly survey on one or both of the topics in advance.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

It might be the most famous lawsuit of all time: Roe vs Wade. 

You only have to say "Roe," and people instantly understand you mean the case that made abortion legal, with limitations,  in the United States, in 1973.  Which probably explains why the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's new play on the suit and its implications is called simply "Roe."

The play is the latest to premier in OSF's ongoing "American Revolutions" cycle of history plays. 

ODOT "Moving Ahead"

Do you get the impression that a LOT of people are texting on their cell phones will driving?  Your impression is correct, according to a study of distracted driving commissioned by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and run by Southern Oregon University.

Three-quarters of the people surveyed admitted to driving distracted while alone in their vehicles, with cell phones being the chief distraction. 

And the SAME survey respondents, 84 percent of them, said they feel uncomfortable riding in a car when the driver is distracted. 

The road ahead for ODOT is to engage partners to change behind-the-wheel behavior. 

PeaceJam Foundation

Winning a Nobel Peace Prize certainly has its advantages. 

Winners do good things for humanity to win the recognition.  But what now?  The organization called PeaceJam Foundation is one answer. 

PeaceJam brings Nobel Peace laureates and young people together, to help develop the peaceful leaders of tomorrow. 

Amelia Templeton/EarthFix

Time ran out for the Klamath Basin Agreements, but not on the desire to remove four hydroelectric dams from the river. 

The governors Brown of Oregon and California recently gathered with the federal Interior Secretary to formalize a deal to take a new approach to dam removal. 

If all goes as planned, demolition will start in four years, resulting in the Klamath flowing free in California for the first time in a century. 

Bob Wick/BLM/Wikimedia

Spring is in the air, and with it the many migratory bird species winging their way through the region.

The Pacific Flyway is something like a bird freeway for semi-annual migrations. 

This year marks a century since birds sparked a conservation movement in the United States.

Rogue Community College

Proposed tax levies often don't end with a green light from Oregon's rural voters.

Rogue Community College hopes to beat the odds this election season, and win approval from Jackson and Josephine County voters for $20 million to improve its facilities.

The contribution of property owners in the county would be 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value (Measure 17-69).

Book Publishers Network

If it seems like American armed forces are frequently busy somewhere in the world now, just consider our history. 

Christopher Kelly, an American living in England, got curious about the number of countries the USA invaded or fought in through the centuries.  Answer: nearly half of them. 

And when you drop the bar to just "involved militarily," there are only THREE countries we have NOT had military dealings with. 

Kelly's book with Stuart Laycock is called America Invades

Pauline Bartolone/CPR

It's not just our loud music that escapes over the fence into our neighbor's yard. 

All of our pieces of land, big and small, are interconnected.  And many of us can stand a refresher course in good land stewardship.  What do you know, Oregon State University's Extension Service provides such a course. 

It's called Living On Your Land, or LOYL, and it will be offered in Grants Pass April 16th. 

Wikimedia

Decisions made back when Oregon became a state had a long-lasting impact. 

Like the relative paucity of African-Americans in the state.  "Exclusion laws" forbidding black people from living in all or part of the state existed from statehood's dawn into the 20th century. 

Oregon Humanities' "Conversation Project" offers an traveling presentation called "Why Aren't There More Black People In Oregon?" 

It is in Cave Junction Thursday (April 7) and Cottage Grove on Friday (April 8).  Scholar/poet/writer Walidah Imarisha leads the discussion. 

Basic Books

When people talk about the "good old days," it might be instructive to ask when those were, exactly. 

Because while we fondly remember eras like the 1950s and their relative prosperity, we look past things like the fear of nuclear war and legal racism.  Or as Stephanie Coontz puts it, "Leave it to Beaver" was not a documentary. 

Coontz drilled into the reality of times we hold in fond but fuzzy focus in her 1992 book The Way We Never Were

The book has been updated and re-released with two more decades of experience on board. 

jamesrickardsproject.com

It makes a certain amount of sense for James Rickards to advise people to buy gold. 

After all, his last book was called The Death of Money, in which he foresaw a major collapse in the economy (that was in 2014, and he joined us on JeffX then).  So... about that gold: got any? 

Jim Rickards says it's generally a safe investment in his book The New Case for Gold

bastardsydiablos.com

It must be April; the sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and hundreds of people are gathering in Ashland to sit in dark rooms.  With movie screens, we hasten to add. 

The Ashland Independent Film Festival returns for another whirlwind set of days (April 7-11) catching up on notable independent films. 

The offerings include "Bastards y Diablos," produced by and co-starring Dillon Porter, who hails from the Rogue Valley. 

PBS

Try to imagine "Downton Abbey" floating on the ocean, and you have some idea of the opulence of the RMS Lusitania, the ship sunk by a torpedo during World War I. 

Author Erik Larson tells the story of the ship and its sinking anew in the book Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania

He helps peel the layers of fact and fiction apart, helping us understand the state of war and the reason for the ship sailing into the middle of a war zone. 

Wikimedia

It is National Crime Victims' Rights Week next week (April 10-16), providing a chance to catch up on what society does for the victims of crimes. Reports by JPR's Emily Cureton about domestic violence in far Northern California found that violent crime victims there are getting much less support than previously.

This may be an outreach problem, not a budget one, since California provides a stable Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) to give money to the victims of some violent crimes. 

Claims range from medical payments to home security installations. 

When you and Bowser get out in the woods, do you let him off his leash?  Despite the "leash your dog" signs? 

Dogs and owners and proper behavior on public lands is our survey topic on this week's VENTSday. 

Give us your take on that, or on our other topic: whether landlords should be allowed to specify "no students" in renting housing. 

Listeners take the stage on our weekly VENTSday segment, a chance to vent on a couple of topics in the news--by phone, by email, or through our online survey. 

We provide the topics, you provide the opinions.  Your thoughts are front and center on VENTSday. No expertise necessary; just opinions and the ability to express them in a radio-friendly way.

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