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.

Public Domain

The search for pain relief is turning respectable members of the community into drug addicts.

It's happened for years, since the introduction of the highly effective and highly addictive opioid pain killers, like Oxycontin and Vicodin. 

Doctors are now trying to limit prescriptions to them, but that's sent some people turning to heroin for relief. 

JPR reporter Liam Moriarty researched the issue in a series of reports, "Silent Epidemic."

St. Martin's Press

We interview lots of authors, and we interview lots of authors who write about food.

We can't quite place Ellie Alexander in that category. 

Yes, she writes about baked goods, but not in recipes. 

Ellie--a pen name--writes about people who die in and around bakeries.  She writes murder mysteries, set in Ashland. 

Number two in "The Bakeshop Mystery" series just came out; it's called A Batter of Life and Death.

Flying Hammer Productions

Houses are still built the same way they've been built for years... with wooden studs, drywall, and all the usual materials.

But not ALL houses are built the same. 

Some decidely low-tech but high-efficiency homes are built using natural materials... straw bales, earth, and cob, among other materials. 

Lydia Doleman at Flying Hammer Productions specializes in natural building practices.

NOAA

Unusual events related to global warming are not restricted to unexpected weather patterns.

The oceans are very much part of the picture as well. 

Witness: "The Blob," an area of the Pacific about seven degrees (Fahrenheit) warmer than the water around it, first noticed nearly two years ago. 

The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University is monitoring "The Blob" and many other climate phenomenon. 

Wikimedia

Independence Day falling on a Saturday makes Friday a day off for the Exchange crew.

We cued up a couple of notable interviews from the past for the day:

At 8: Sabine Heinlein followed the adjustments of longtime prison inmates moving back into society after their releases.  Her book is Among Murderers.

Cascadia Wildlands

Oregon's Elliott State Forest is almost at the point of producing more arguments than trees.

The forest is supposed to supplies trees for timber companies, in order to provide income for Oregon's Common School Fund. 

But environmental protections reduced the harvest.  So in some years, the forest loses money, rather than making it. 

The State Land Board is looking at options, including a possible sale of at least a portion of the forest. 

Kari Greer | California Interagency Incident Management Team

Fire season has already begun, with the usual discussions of which fires are burning where, and how big.

Scientist Dominick DellaSala of the GEOS Institute is less concerned with individual fires than with the overall approach to wildfire. 

We know fire is a normal part of life processes in any forest. 

But it may be that even the more intense fires--the ones often labeled "catastrophic"--are natural and necessary. 

Rob Bingham/Facebook

Don't get into an argument with a member of the Ashland High School Speech and Debate Team.  You'll probably lose.

All but one other debate team in the entire country found out the hard way. 

It's true... members of the Ashland team recently took home a second-place trophy at the national championships in Texas. 

This came after a win in the state championships.

The U.S. Supreme Court just concluded a noteworthy session, and Oregon is stuck on funding a transportation bill.

Guess what our VENTSday topics are?

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.

PGHolbrook/Wikimedia Commons

Southern Oregon and Northern California's Smith River could be temporarily protected from mining by a maneuver proposed by the Bureau of Land Management.

BLM plans to withdraw roughly 100,000 acres of public land from mining in Curry and Josephine Counties, including land considered for a major nickel mine.

MeganKimble.com

You've heard of people who tried to do something different for an entire year?

Megan Kimble may have set herself the hardest task of all: attempting to spend an entire year NOT eating processed foods. 

Easy for someone who already eats whole foods, maybe, but a trick for the rest of us. 

The journey led to Megan Kimble's book Unprocessed, in which she takes up her year-long challenge while living in a city, far from farms. 

NASA/Public Domain

If you're concerned about global warming, it stands to reason that you think about the future.

The people of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now--SOCAN--are thinking long-term and a few months down the road. 

October is when SOCAN hosts a climate summit, "Our Critical Climate," in downtown Medford. 

An impressive list of speakers is already shaping up.

Wikimedia

The Pacific Crest Trail was already a popular place to take a hike, long or short.

Then the movie "Wild" and other events focused more attention on the trail, adding to its mystique.

But the mystique can't correct hot and dry conditions with potentially little water available--the conditions of this summer.

The Pacific Crest Trail Association manages sections of the PCT.

And trail managers are bracing for issues created by the drought and earlier-than-usual summer heat.

Wikimedia/JPR titling

The Countdown to Legalization is almost at zero.

On July 1st, Oregon residents will be able to grow and possess marijuana for recreational use, under state law. 

Measure 91's approach produced a flurry of activity, including many interviews and reports. 

Those include a segment of Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Think Out Loud" talk show. 

OEA

We can't seem to go a week without some news about standardized testing.

It's the accepted way to measure the progress of students. 

But when student progress is extrapolated to measure teacher quality, that's when the National Education Association and its state affiliates get their backs up. 

The national Representative Assembly this week includes Oregon Education Association President Hanna Vaandering. 

New is apparently better for Oregon gamblers, at least in one sense.

The Oregon Lottery began installing new video lottery machines (VLMs) last year, and its revenues are up ten percent since that time. 

The machines come with new features, like allowing players to gamble smaller amounts of money. 

That's no consolation to organizations that treat problem gambling, like Emergence in Eugene. 

Thinking Of Economies As Computers

Jun 29, 2015
Basic Books

You would not expect your first computer from years ago to be able to stream video.

Likewise, it's perhaps unrealistic to expect developing countries to register economic growth by leaps and bounds. 

MIT associate professor César Hidalgo sees economies as akin to computers... information systems that process information at different speeds. 

He fleshes out the concept in his book Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies.

National Weather Service, Medford

The summer's first major heat wave could also produce a round of wildland fires.

UPDATED at NOON, SUNDAY, JUNE 28: The Red Flag Warning issued by weather forecasters for a broad swath of Southern Oregon and Northern California, remains in effect.

The only forecast zones served by JPR not included in the warning are Mount Shasta, Redding/Red Bluff, and the Northern California Coast.

BLM

The arrival of fire season, summer, and hot weather reminds us of some of the major points of living near potential wildfire zones.

Like leaving defensible space around the house, so fire can't burn to and through it. 

But the finer points of being fire-wise can include things like gardens containing fire-resistant plants. 

Fire District 3 in Jackson County (generally north of Medford) set up three gardens at fire stations in the district to demonstrate the principles and plants.

Wikimedia

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus--HIV--is no longer the death sentence it once was. 

But modern drugs still can't shrink distances, so treatment can be difficult for HIV patients in rural areas. 

The HIV Alliance, based in Eugene, is ramping up a "telehealth" program to provide services to HIV patients in rural Southern and Eastern Oregon. 

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