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.

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While legislatures in other states continue to work on bills restricting abortion, Oregon is getting out front on birth control. 

House and Senate have both passed a bill that would guarantee no out-of-pocket costs for women prescribed a year of birth control. 

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon played a major role in passage of the bill. 

Robert Neff/Fifth World Art

Jackson County and the federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are teaming up with an ambitious goal: housing all homeless vets by the end of the year.

Vets can have it rough: we hire them, train them, put guns in their hands, and send them off to war.  But once they're done in the military, veterans meet with mixed success finding places in society. 

A new program will pump money into efforts to get veterans into homes, with $6 Million coming to Jackson County through ACCESS, Inc

ACCESS is Jackson County's community action agency, the focus of several anti-poverty programs. 

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Our attitude toward veterans certainly has done an about-face in 40 years. 

Vets returning from the Vietnam war were met with disdain and outright hostility in many places. 

Now we often thank vets for their service to the country, a service most of us can scarcely understand. 

Southern Oregon veterans and their stories get time in the spotlight--and on camera--in a public TV series called "My Story of Service." 

California's attorney general may take the owners of a burst oil pipeline to court.

Drought plus fish is likely to result in dead fish. And conservation groups say California can do more to protect the fish.

Bill Leonhart

Brothers should keep in touch.  Bil and Jay Leonhart do, and they play music together, including a guitar/bass concert this weekend at Belle Fiore Winery near Ashland. 

Bil Leonhart will be featured guest on this month's First Friday. 

Music, theater, dance and more are celebrated on our First Friday Arts segment.  The Exchange syncs up with the art world on First Friday, by visiting with listeners about arts events in the coming month.

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If you don't feel well enough to come to work, you call in sick and stay home until you feel better.  That's the ideal situation. 

The reality is that many people come to work when they're sick, some because they do not get paid when they do not work. 

A coalition of groups continues to push for paid sick leave for all workers in Oregon through a bill in the Senate. 

Blue Rider Press

Politicians long ago perfected the art of speaking for long periods of time without actually saying ANYTHING of substance. 

But they're not alone... spinning a story to soften or hide true intent is common now in many endeavors.  For example, ever lose a job because your company "rightsized"? 

Many of today's weasel words--sorry, terminological inexactitude--are explored in the book Spinglish: The Definitive Dictionary of Deliberately Deceptive Language. 

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden continues to celebrate the passage of the USA Freedom Act, but says there's more to do.

The federal government's power to collect phone call data and hold it expired at the end of May. 

Congress had to scramble to pass a new program, but it does not restore the power to hold the data, phone companies will hold it instead. 

Wyden worked for a long time to stop the federal collection.  And he says the efforts to find the balance between security and privacy do not end there.

Nearly twice as many Californians are concerned about the drought as are concerned about the state of the economy.

The California took a major step toward joining Oregon in allowing medication to hasten the end of life for terminal patients.

sou.edu

There's only so much anyone can learn in a classroom.  Learning about things like the environment get a lot easier IN the environment. 

That's the basic premise of the Fall in the Field program offered by Southern Oregon University. 

Graduate students in environmental education set up courses for kids in the 4th grade and up at several locations around the region. 

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David Pittman began writing a blog about being sexually abused as a teenager.  The blog caught on, and led to the formation of a non-profit group, Together We Heal

TWH works to help survivors heal, and to help educate the public about child sexual abuse. 

Those are goals shared with the Children's Advocacy Center of Jackson County. 

Penguin Books

We could talk all day about Swoosie Kurtz and the fabulous work she's done in her acting career. 

But it'd be that much better to talk TO her, and that is arranged. 

Kurtz is the author of a memoir, Part Swan, Part Goose, about her life and career. 

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JeffX, WEDNESDAY 6/3 @ 8: A place surrounded by fuel, where people struggle to keep their homes warm in the winter. 

That was the basic assessment that led to the formation of the Jackson County Fuel Committee nearly 40 years ago. 

JCFC has a variety of interests ranging from home heating to forest management. 

JeffX, WEDNESDAY, June 3 @ 8:30: It's an all-housing VENTSday on the Exchange this week; comment on one topic, or comment on both.

First up, the Oregon governor's request for $100 Million to build affordable housing awaits action by the Oregon Legislature.  Let's hear what you think about how and where (or if) government should be in the business of building affordable housing.

Next, the vacation rentals/Airbnb trend, in which people rent out their own homes online to vacationing tourists.  The hotel/motel biz generally hates it, so local governments seek to regulate it.  Give us your thoughts.

HarperCollins

JeffX, WEDNESDAY 6/3 @ 9: It's been almost exactly 200 years (June 18th) since Napoleon met his Waterloo. 

The anniversary--and the incident itself--are so significant to writer Bernard Cornwell that he wrote his first NON-fiction book about it: WATERLOO: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles

It truly was a turning point in world history. 

California Governor Jerry Brown's targets for water conservation are going to be tough to hit, if last month is any indication.

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Oregon's governor wants to make a dent in the problem of finding affordable housing in the state. 

A big dent: Kate Brown proposes spending $100 Million to build low-cost housing around the state. 

That's music to the ears of the people at Neighborhood Partnerships, an organization that works for economic opportunity and financial stability. 

Community Supported Shelters

We've been talking about homelessness for decades now.  Yet it seems like we're just beginning to understand its causes and effects... to say nothing of the people who end up homeless. 

Community Supported Shelters in Eugene had something to say. 

CSS helps shelter the homeless at places like Opportunity Village Eugene.  CSS and some partners just assembled a documentary and still-photography project, "The Dignity Project," to help people know and understand the faces and stories of homeless people. 

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