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.

We venture into the archives once again for this hour of the Exchange. 

Leah Hager Cohen helped us explore three of the most fearsome words in the English language. 

No, not "I Love You."  The words are also the title of Cohen's book: I Don't Know

Friday = Love + Economics x Love + Age

Apr 24, 2015

We turn to our (voluminous) vault of previous interviews for the Exchange of Friday, April 24.  And both of the segments that came up ready for air deal with love and relationships, but from VERY different perspectives.

In hour one: Marina Adshade turns her economist's mind loose on relationships... her popular blog led to a book by the same name, Dollars & Sex.

In hour two: Suzanne Braun Levine, who writes about women in "second adulthood," writes about their love lives in How We Love Now: Women Talk About Intimacy After 50

Southern Oregon University

The Oregon Legislature is getting closer to completing the state budget for the next two years (it takes effect July 1st). 

But before budget adoption, the budget writers will travel the state, getting an earful from people who want more money for their programs. 

The Ways & Means Committee's road show comes to Springfield Thursday, Klamath Falls Friday, and Grants Pass Saturday, and students from Southern Oregon University plan to be on hand in Grants Pass. 

Funding State Universities By Outcomes

Apr 23, 2015

While supporters of higher education in Oregon ask for more money for the system, the system itself is changing. 

By this summer, all seven of the state universities will have their own governing boards. 

And, by decision of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (pronounced "heck"), their future funding will be based in part on the numbers of degrees they confer--not on simple enrollment. 

Outcome of students will affect input of dollars.

A New Look At An (Unloved) Old King

Apr 23, 2015
Basic Books

When your father is a Henry and your brother Richard The Lionheart, you have big shoes to fill. 

King John of England does not measure up historically. 

But he did give in to the nobles and sign the Magna Carta, the basis for many a modern constitution. 

Historian Stephen Church tells the monarch's story anew in King John and the Road to Magna Carta.

Earth Day For The Mill Creek Forest

Apr 22, 2015
NPS/Public Domain

Earth Day is here once again, the 45th anniversary of the first celebration. 

One of the many recommended activities for the day is to plant a tree. 

That kind of work is a regular thing in the Mill Creek forest in the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park. 

The restoration work is meant to preserve the mighty redwoods for many years to come.  But the work does involve removing some trees, too. 

It's been 45 years since the first Earth Day.  How are we doing, Earth and its inhabitants? 

That's one of this week's VENTSday topics.  The other: tell us how you're liking all the presidential campaign coverage, nearly 10 months before the first primary.  

Our weekly VENTSday segment puts the listeners front and center. We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics.

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

Thinking About "Happiness"

Apr 22, 2015
Melville House Publishing

One of our country's founding documents addresses our right to the pursuit of happiness. 

Notice it doesn't say we have a right to obtain and possess happiness. 

Much has been written and said about happiness through history, and now French philosopher Frederic Lenoir weighs in. 

With his Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide, Lenoir goes back in time for a history lesson, and up to the present day for thoughts on pursuit and possession.

The sweet voice coming out of the radio implored us to "send your camel to bed." 

That was Maria Muldaur, in her smash hit of 1974, "Midnight at the Oasis." 

Muldaur is still singing that song and many others, and brings her show to Mt. Shasta (Friday April 24th) and Ashland (Saturday) later this week. 

Redding's Firereel Film Festival

Apr 21, 2015
Firereel Film Festival

When you're a younger film festival, you start a little smaller. 

So the Firereel Film Festival in Redding shows short films exclusively, May 1st and 2nd. 

But there are 30 of those films to watch, along with filmmaking workshops and other events to attend. 

Shakespeare Comes Alive (In A Sense)

Apr 21, 2015

For a guy who died nearly 400 years ago, William Shakespeare has some serious staying power. 

Southern Oregon University just expanded its Shakespeare focus with the creation of the ShakespeareAmerica Institute. 

Now that institute and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival are joining forces for a symposium called "Much Ado About Shakespeare In Contemporary America," coming May 2nd. 

Assessing Tsunami Readiness--And Finding Issues

Apr 20, 2015

When--not if--the Cascadia subduction zone in our region produces an earthquake, it will likely also produce a tsunami. 

And a recent report indicates varying degrees of evacuation readiness in coastal communities. 

Dr. Nathan Wood at the U.S. Geological Survey is the lead author of the report. 

Putting Distance Between Kids And Toxics

Apr 20, 2015

The sale of lead-based paint ended nearly four decades ago in America. 

Until that time, there were great concerns--justified--about children eating paint chips and suffering the effects of lead poisoning. 

Concerns remain about other products that could expose children to toxic substances. 

And the Oregon Environmental Council is concerned enough to back a bill in the legislature clamping down on such products. 

Not Just Good: The Best Of The Best In Art

Apr 17, 2015

The art students descending on Medford's Rogue Gallery today (April 17th) aren't just good.  They are the best of the best. 

Which is what gives the title to the 30th annual Best of the Best Student Art Show

Students from 15 high schools across Southern Oregon not only get a chance to see their art works displayed together, they get their works judged by professional artists. 

Beekeeping For Beginners

Apr 17, 2015

So many people are interested in beekeeping right now, the next beginner class at the Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association sold out. 

The word is spreading about just how important bees are to the pollination of many plants, including many we depend upon for food. 

So we'll present something of a mini-class for beginners. 


The moon will be new this weekend, AND the skies will be mostly clear, a great chance to view the stars. 

Unless you live in town, with lots of artificial lighting around. 

We've made it much harder to seek the night sky over the years. 

Paul Bogard certainly noticed... he joined us a couple of years ago to talk about his book The End of Night

Twisting The "Short Bus" Into A Positive

Apr 16, 2015

Jonathan Mooney took a derogatory term and turned it on its head.

He rode "the short bus" to school once he was diagnosed with learning disabilities and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (LD/ADHD).

After his graduation from an Ivy League university, he took a real short bus on the road, meeting people who defied the constraints of "normal."

Mooney is part of a conference on "reframing" LD/ADHD next week in Medford.

The Health Care System As Hoax

Apr 16, 2015
Health Communications, Inc.

Raymond Francis caught a couple of colds. And that's about it, in the last 26 years.

He is generally quite healthy now, a far cry from how he once felt.

Medical science gave up on him years ago, and he gave up on modern medicine in return.

Francis lists the reasons in his book The Great American Health Hoax.

Teachers And Technology At Ed Tech Summit

Apr 15, 2015
Almonroth/Wikimedia Commons

In theory, the process of learning is usually the same: teachers teach, and students learn. 

But then throw technology into the mix, and all bets are off, especially in a world where so many people carry powerful computers in their hands. 

The Ed Tech Summit this week (Friday, April 17th) at Southern Oregon University brings educators and gadgets together, so the former can get up to speed on the latter. 

April 15th is here, and with it our annual deadline for filing income tax returns.  How would you like your federal or state income taxes spent?  That's one topic of VENTSday this week. 

The other: "sit-lie" ordinances, that make it illegal for homeless (or any other) people to block sidewalks by sitting or lying down. 

Our weekly VENTSday segment puts the listeners front and center. We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics.