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.

Our first VENTSday of the November election season features Oregon Measure 97--a revenue boost to supporters, a tax on sales to opponents. 

Time for your take... VENTSday removes the guests and puts listener comments front and center on The Exchange. Once a week, it's all about you... we plop a topic on the table, post a survey (see below), and open the phone lines and email box for live comments.

Got an observation or opinion? Share it with the State of Jefferson on VENTSday. Join by phone at 800-838-3760, email JX@jeffnet.org, or take the survey online. 

Mott Hall Bridges Academy

Nadia Lopez wanted to help kids in tough areas learn. 

And she went all-in, starting an entire middle school in one of the toughest neighborhoods in New York City. 

She tells the story of her efforts as principal in her book The Bridge to Brilliance

The school has motivated students to work hard and even show up when school is not in session. 

We hear the keys to its success when Nadia Lopez visits The Exchange. 

M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia

Oregon's last big legislative session--a year ago--was supposed to produce a major transportation bill.  It didn't. 

Now it falls on the next session, in early 2017, to pull together a package of transportation improvements and enhancements. 

So legislative leaders sent the Joint Transportation Committee on Preservation and Modernization on a road trip, collecting information from all over the state. 

Medford gets a committee meeting on Wednesday evening at the main library. 

In a world full of conflict, is it even possible to find peace?  Yes. 

Not every corner of the world is involved in conflict; the trick is expanding the zones that are peaceful. 

Scott Brown, psychologist, life coach, mediator, and mentor, shares his approach in his book Active Peace: A Mindful Path to a Nonviolent World

The Keenest Observers: Immigration

Aug 29, 2016
JPR News

A presidential candidate or two may have whipped up a bit of a frenzy on immigration this year, but it's always a hot topic in America.

And it is the focus of the latest installment of our perusal of issues facing non-white people in a region where whites are the overwhelming majority. 

We're calling these sessions "The Keenest Observers," because often the keenest observer is the outsider. 

Robert Goodwin of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is back to host this hour, with JPR News staffer Jessica De Nova--about to become a U.S. citizen--among the guests.  Also on the panel: Carlo Alban and Ricardo Lujan Flores. 

Brian Turner via Flickr

If asserting our rights were simple, we would not need laws.  But a situation in Lane County demonstrates just how complicated it can be to secure rights. 

Community Rights Lane County proposes a ballot measure for a future election that would assert the rights of county citizens against corporations and non-local governments. 

A majority of Lane County Commissioners think the measure--if it passes in an election--would be thrown out in court.  So they've instructed staff to look for a legal way to pre-emptively block the measure. 

Redwood Rides

You can actually hurt your neck just walking through the redwoods of Northern California... all that looking up at the tall trees can leave you sore. 

You can add soreness to your legs by taking a mountain bike into the woods. 

And the opportunities to do that may expand; mountain bike enthusiasts want to turn some decommissioned former logging roads into bike trails in the redwoods. 

Jason Hollinger/Wikimedia

You have probably heard of CSAs, community supported agriculture, arrangements in which consumers subscribe for food from local farms. 

There are also CSFs, community supported fisheries.  Same kind of deal: you say what you want and how much, and go pick up your fish. 

Sea Forager in San Francisco operates this way; founder Kirk Lombard shares his ideas in a book The Sea Forager's Guide to the Northern California Coast

The book provides tips on catching and collecting your own fish, clams, and seaweed, all delivered with Lombard's sense of fun and humor. 

ljmajer/Wikimedia

Dunes are for playing, for many people. 

Either on foot or in a dune buggy, it's just fun to romp on those mountains of sand.  But there's more than sand to them, a LOT more. 

George Poinar shows us how they're teeming with life, in his book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Hidden World of Pacific Northwest Dunes

Kristen O'Neill

Thanks to social media, we get to go on our friends' vacations, in a sense.  They snap pictures and put them on Instagram or Facebook, and we get to see them right away. 

Pete Miller of Grants Pass put a real twist on that process when he hiked the Oregon Coast Trail this summer. 

He snapped pictures all right... and sent them to artist Kristen O'Neill.  She then set about painting the image, with a new painting every day along the route. 

NPR

A lot of what we know about the world got locked up a long time ago. What if we're just plain wrong?

The NPR podcast "Invisibilia" explores the forces that shape our world and influence our behavior. We give the second hour of the Exchange time slot over to "Invisibilia" for this and the next three Fridays. Enjoy the stories and the science that make the show unique. 

This week: The ways we see the world, and our feelings about it, are shaped entirely by our personal frames of reference.  So what happens if you’re suddenly exposed to a new frame of reference? 

Shirley Chan/OPB

We see cats and dogs aplenty in our communities, but there are plenty of other critters around, in town and out.  We want to recognize some of the notable ones, with a monthly Creature Feature on The Exchange. 

And the creature-of-the-month is the Asian jumping worm, alternately called "crazy snake worm." 

It's a worm, not too different from the average earthworm, but with some particular abilities. 

Among them: a voracious appetite for material on forest floors.  So recent sightings in Oregon, including in Grants Pass, concern agencies like the Oregon Department of Agriculture

JPR News

Our region is rich in history, much of it hidden just below the surface. 

Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose from the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) dig it, in the most literal sense. 

And it's fascinating work... we invited them to join us monthly for a segment we call "Underground History." 

This week, Oregon's assistant state archaeologist joins in; John Pouley made a rare find of a "biface cache" in the Willamette Valley. 

Dr. Mike Baxter/Wikimedia

Imagine becoming an international celebrity, when you're way too old to enjoy it.  Dead, even. 

This is the after-life story of the human fossils Lydia Pyne writes about in her book Seven Skeletons

The title is a reference to the seven most-celebrated and most-traveled fossil sets, including "Piltdown Man" (an actual hoax) and "Lucy."  Pyne tracks the history of each since discovery. 

YouTube

You might listen to Jake Wardle and not even know it.  Because the guy can speak English in a huge variety of accents. 

Meryl Streep might have trouble keeping up with him. 

He makes films and seeks voice acting work; Wardle already has a huge following on YouTube

The Siskiyou/Moro Campaign/JPArt

It will be Ashland's former mayor versus the Rogue Valley Transportation District's board chair in a special November election for Oregon Senate District 3. 

A special Republican convention held Tuesday night in Medford chose Alan DeBoer to run for the seat vacated by the sudden death of Sen. Alan Bates on August 5th. 

USDA Forest Service

It's easy to find markets for big trees coming out of national forests, but not so easy to cut big trees in an era of environmental protection.  So think small; REALLY small. 

Siskiyou County Supervisors, the Klamath National Forest, and the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Wisconsin are exploring ways to make commercial uses of nanocellulose technology. 

Nanocellulose--think powdered wood--does not require big or even medium-sized trees.  Get ready for a lesson in nanocellulose and what it will take to set up a facility in the Yreka area. 

guernicamag.org

Sexual harassment is not a new term, but it seems portions of society are only now fully understanding what it means.

In this week's VENTSday, tell us what it means to you, and if it's been part of your life, either giving or receiving. 

VENTSday removes the guests and puts listener comments front and center on The Exchange. Once a week, it's all about you... we plop a topic on the table, post a survey (below), and open the phone lines and email box for live comments.

Got an observation or opinion? Share it with the State of Jefferson on VENTSday. Join by phone at 800-838-3760, email JX@jeffnet.org, or take the survey online. You can ALSO record a phone message in advance, at 541-552-6331. 

Karuk Tribe

Reasserting tribal identities involves more than focus on the people. 

It also involves focus on the things that surrounded the people, in nature, in previous generations. 

So the Karuk Tribe is elevating its preservation of natural resources significant to the tribe, with the opening of the Tribal Herbaria.  Herbaria, the plural of herbarium, are collections of plants; in this case, plants native the to the lands in which the Karuk are native. 

This is believed to be among the first native plant collections managed by an indigenous people. 

Wilson Webb/Bleecker Street Media

There's no nice way to put it: Matt Ross plays a jerk on TV. 

But the same guy who makes Gavin Belson so mean on HBO's "Silicon Valley" is the writer and director of the warm-hearted film "Captain Fantastic," wowing audiences from Cannes to Ashland. 

Which, by the way, is where Matt Ross went to high school.  Ashland, not Cannes. 

He comes back home for a screening of his film in a benefit event for the Ashland Independent Film Festival (Tuesday, August 23rd). 

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