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 Commons

Climate change concerns the planet at large, but requires action at many levels. 

The City of Ashland is one of many local communities that opted to develop a Climate and Energy Action Plan

It is in draft form, has received a large amount of public input, and is moving toward a final document. 

bababrinkman.com

Most scientists believe climate change is caused by humans. 

But there are still plenty of holdouts in society. 

Maybe they just need to hear the facts a different way.  How about through rap? 

Done already... Baba Brinkman is a Canadian rap artist who has even put Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in rap form. 

He takes on climate change in "The Rap Guide to Climate Chaos." 

empresshasnoclothes.com

Joyce Roché was heading for the top in the corporate world. 

She broke barriers and glass ceilings on her way to executive suite, but one person doubted her: Joyce herself. 

She describes feeling "imposter syndrome" in her book The Empress Has No Clothes

Public Domain/Wikimedia

Maybe you get confused by those news stories about fish swimming back into their native rivers from the ocean. 

Put aside how they find their way... how do we, as humans, keep track of which species belongs where?  How do species differ from stream to stream? 

These are among the questions to be answered by an Aquatic Environmental DNA Atlas for the Western United States now in the works. 

Dan Isaak of the Forest Service is one of the people helping to compile the atlas. 

River Design Group

The Rogue River is a very different stream from just a decade ago. 

The removal of Savage Rapids, Gold Hill, and Gold Ray Dams from the river means it now flows freely from North of Shady Cove, all the way to the Pacific. 

But the Rogue River Watershed Council says there's still work to do, removing small dams and other fish obstacles from tributaries to the Rogue.  Newly-awarded grants will boost that work. 

juanedc, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27828497

"What's that word?"  If there were ever a person to ask that of, it's John Simpson. 

He spent half a lifetime as the senior editor of the final word in words, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). 

In his book The Word Detective, he shares stories of how words come into the language, change in use, and even depart. 

John Simpson joins us, no doubt using many interesting words. 
 

University of Washington

Compared to some other animals, humans have it rough. 

When we lose a body part, it does not grow back.  We've dreamed of regeneration for as long as we could dream. 

There IS a glimmer of hope, and it comes from a worm.  See, the worm that has most in common with people CAN grow back severed parts. 

Our Creature Feature takes up the topic with Dr. Billie Swalla at the University of Washington. 

Dorothea Lange shot some of the most memorable photographs in 20th-century America. 

But they were still photographs.  Now Lange is the subject of a documentary film called "Grab a Hunk of Lightning," a story in moving pictures about her work in still pictures. 

It's a labor of love, directed by Dyanna Taylor, who is Lange's granddaughter. 

W.W. Norton Books

If the name Winston Groom does not ring a bell, maybe you'll recognize the name of one of his books: Forrest Gump. 

It's one of more than a dozen books Groom has written, but certainly the one he's best known for. 

El Paso, the new novel, is set in a very different place and time... along the Mexican border in the early 20th century. 

Cattle, railroads, and Pancho Villa himself all figure prominently in the book. 

Wikimedia

Regardless of your own attitude toward the truth, your brain does not lie. 

At least it CAN'T when it is scanned by medical imaging devices.  And the brains of people who use marijuana show reduced blood flow, as reported in a recent study

That's especially true in the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in Alzheimer's disease. 

Dr. Daniel Amen of Amen Clinics is the lead author of the study. 

oregon.gov

It's not every day a state sells its own forest.  But that could happen today (December 13th) when the Oregon State Land Board meets. 

On the table: the proposed sale of the Elliott State Forest to bring in revenue for the Common School Fund. 

Lone Rock Timber and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians joined forces to put in the only bid. 

Jes Burns of our Earthfix unit has covered the story for a long time now. 

Wikimedia

We can rail all we want about the nasty way people deal with each other in politics.  But Sarah Schulman says it's not just politics. 

Schulman is an English professor and a prolific author; her latest book Conflict is Not Abuse examines a culture of scapegoating in modern society. 

The book examines, among other things, how the behavior of supremacy and the behavior of being traumatized bears some resemblance. 

Wikimedia/JPArt

There's a good chance the Halloween decorations and supplies were still on the shelves at your local store when the Christmas music started playing on the speakers. 

The winter holidays can be filled with great joy... and also stress, frustration, and even depression. 

How to avoid the negatives?  Troy Campbell of the University of Oregon has some ideas in this month's installment of "Curious: Research Meets Radio."

Dr. Campbell, with degrees in psychology AND marketing, can provide insights into what wears people out at Christmas... and what they and commercial enterprises can do to provide more joy. 

Opportunity Village Eugene

It took a while, but Medford is ready to break ground on a tiny-house village to house homeless people while they get back on their feet. 

Hope Village will be located on Columbus Avenue in Medford, on a city-owned piece of property. 

Rogue Retreat and the Jackson County Homeless Task Force are working together on the village. 

Biswarup Ganguly-https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19497290

Even those of us who consider ourselves tech-savvy can be left in the dust by today's children. 

The "digital natives" grew up with screens of all sizes in their lives nearly all the time.  And keeping up can be daunting for parents, even frightening at times. 

Devorah Heitner has a Ph.D in Media/Technology and Society from Northwestern University, and is raising a child herself. She advises other parents on how to roll with the changes of the times... and how to set firm limits. 

Heitner's book is Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World

Wikimedia

It costs more than $21,000 a year to put a child in child care in Oregon, on average.

Which is a huge chunk of income for young families, and simply not affordable for many. 

ChildCare Aware of America compiled the reports for all 50 states (California is slightly more than Oregon).  CCAA policy chief Michelle McCready visits with details of the report. 

Julianna Brown/Wikimedia-curid=53814812

The Oakland "Ghost Ship" fire killed 36 people, by the most recent count.

It is horrifying to all, but of particular concern to fire officials.  Because a similar tragedy could occur in just about anyplace where people gather, if their gathering places are not meant to handle crowds. 

Ashland Fire Marshal Margueritte Hickman and Grants Pass Fire Marshal Joe Hyatt are among the fire experts in our region asking for public caution. 

National Youth Theatre

It is not unusual for a high school to put on a few plays. 

It's less usual for a high school to put on consistently good plays.  And rare indeed is the high school drama program that launches young actors toward Broadway. 

But that happened consistently, for years, at the Pennsylvania high school Michael Sokolove wrote about in his book Drama High

Sokolove actually attended the school, then went back to write about its unique claim to fame. 

Wikimedia

Conservatives have complained for decades that college campuses are hotbeds of liberal, even radical, thought.

The conservative group Turning Point USA decided to take action.  It started up a web entity called "Professor Watchlist," so that the public can peruse news stories about various university professors with "demonstrated liberal biases." 

Turning Point USA has a chapter at the University of Oregon; student organizer Jacob Vandever gives his view of the effort and how the watchlist is developed. 

Sociology professor John Bellamy Foster is the first UO professor on the list. 

closetyogi.com

The U.S. Air Force was not a good fit for Larry Wardwell.  Ditto for working in intelligence, the government kind. 

LSD showed some possibilities, though... and soon young Larry embarked on a journey that took him around the world in search of higher understanding, at the side of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, among others. 

Larry Wardwell tells the story in his memoir Confessions of a Closet Yogi

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