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.

When you and Bowser get out in the woods, do you let him off his leash?  Despite the "leash your dog" signs? 

Dogs and owners and proper behavior on public lands is our survey topic on this week's VENTSday. 

Give us your take on that, or on our other topic: whether landlords should be allowed to specify "no students" in renting housing. 

Listeners take the stage on our weekly VENTSday segment, a chance to vent on a couple of topics in the news--by phone, by email, or through our online survey. 

We provide the topics, you provide the opinions.  Your thoughts are front and center on VENTSday. No expertise necessary; just opinions and the ability to express them in a radio-friendly way.

Penguin Random House

Parents can agonize a bit over their children and their education. 

A lot of stock is placed in getting into good pre-schools, getting good teachers in school, getting into a good college. 

Erika Christakis advises parents to take a breath.  Kids are really excellent learners in many environments, a point she hammers home in the book The Importance of Being Little

Christakis says adults often confuse schooling with learning, often to the detriment of the children. 

Southern Oregon University

College has become so expensive, students look for a variety of ways to bring down the bill... including spending time at community college before transferring to a four-year school. 

Southern Oregon University wants those students on its own campus, so SOU just introduced a three-year program for students from Jackson and Josephine Counties. 

The "Pledge Program" offers support, assistance, and a faster (and presumably cheaper) track to a degree. 

Gary Halvorson/Oregon State Archives

The armed takeover at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge over the winter was not the first of its kind, and it probably will not be the last. 

Anti-government feelings are common across the rural west. 

And the Rural Organizing Project of Oregon works to track the history of those feelings, and their channeling into militias and white supremacist groups and other entities. 

ROP's work is about assembling coalitions in rural areas to work for change beneficial to all, not just people of one political or ideological stripe. 

Penguin Random House

It may not be possible to have a dull conversation with Andrew Bacevich. 

He's a retired army colonel and retired history professor who writes compelling books about America's engagement with the rest of the world... which he often finds wanting. 

His latest book America’s War for the Greater Middle East, focuses on where most of our military action now takes place... and it predates the invasion of Iraq by a couple of decades. 

Nancy J. Price/Wikimedia

Diagnoses of autism in children have zoomed in recent years, and Oregon is among the states where the rate of new diagnoses is the highest. 

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) has a chapter in Eugene, which offers training workshops for parents of children with autism. 

They begin later this week (April 8) and will present parents with tools, resources, and a greater understanding of the autism diagnosis.

Just because your middle name is "Shakespeare" doesn't mean all your work has to be hundreds of years old. 

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival commits art in a number of avenues, including hip-hop. 

The Hip Hop Poetry Open Mic Nights started several years ago at OSF.  The next, coming tonight (April 4), features Dahlak Brathwaite, who has gained a national reputation for his work (it's free!). 

Penguin Books

Diane Rehm's weekday talk show precedes the Exchange, but today (April 4), she's part of it. 

2016 is a big year for the longtime radio host; she's announced her retirement later this year, and published a book, On My Own, about her recent widowing. 

Her late husband John was fed up with years of suffering with Parkinson's disease, and his struggles turned Diane Rehm into a supporter of the right to die movement, which Oregon pioneered. 

Eugene Ballet

The first Friday of any month has become a day to celebrate the arts around our region. 

Several communities hold First Friday art walks, and some hold similar observances on other weekend days. 

The Exchange syncs up with the art world on First Friday, by visiting with listeners about arts events in the coming month. 

Ashlandfilm.org

One harsh reality about the Ashland Independent Film Festival: it's physically impossible to see every film all the way through. 

But with more than 100 offerings in documentary, feature, and short categories, the choices are remarkable.   This year they also include some mixed-media presentations.

AIFF brings the films and events to screens and rooms in town for five days starting April 7th. 

Wikimedia

April 1st is a day for jokes and japes, and we do not have the ability to show funny movies on the radio.  Fortunately for us, our friend Ed Polish is interested in more than bad movies. 

Ed is the founder of the Bad Film Society, but he's also into less-than-stellar music.  So Ed, the owner of Ephemera, Inc. in Phoenix, brings some of his un-gems onto JPR's airwaves with his annual show "Sleazy Listening," tonight (April 1) at 8 PM on the Rhythm & News service.

He shares some of the highlights (lowlights?) on The Exchange.  Call and give your vote for the worst or weirdest song you've ever heard. 

Jos van Vliet/Red House Records

John Gorka spent time working with some of the better-known singer/songwriters on the folk end of the musical spectrum. 

And along the way, he cranked out a few of his own tunes, and a dozen records.

Gorka has played up to 150 concerts a year, and he brings his talents to the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Redding on Saturday (April 2nd). 

University of Oregon

"SPICE girls" is NOT the name of a singing group, at least at the University of Oregon. 

SPICE stands for Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence; it's a program to get middle- and high school girls excited about science and learning more about it. 

Program coordinator Brandy Todd even teaches how to win a science fair. 

Picture Veresen/overlay JPR

There was a sense that the federal rejection of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and pipeline was not the final word.  And indeed, it was not. 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission--FERC--nixed pipeline and plant in part because they had not shown any demand for LNG overseas. 

Project managers recently announced an agreement for a Japanese utility to buy some of the gas from the proposed export terminal.  Appeal papers should be filed with FERC anytime now. 

Penguin Books

We get plenty of books about seniors and living life well in our later years.  But getting one from an architect is something different. 

Matthias Hollwich's training and age combined to start him thinking about the structures designed for seniors--like nursing homes--and think he could do better. 

So he laid out his ideas in the book New Aging, ideas that range far beyond architecture and construction. 

Wikimedia

Watching cats falling off couches has turned into a worldwide pastime, thanks to the Internet. 

Virginia Morell likes to watch animals, too, but not in quite the same way. 

She is a science writer who has studied animal emotions, and she's featured in a new edition of PBS's "Animal Reunions" this week.

guernicamag.org

A petition with tens of thousands of signatures seeks to have guns allowed into the Republican convention this summer.  How does that idea strike you?  It's one of our VENTSday topics. 

The other: the proposal in Congress to have county sheriffs responsible for law enforcement on federal lands, instead of federal agents. 

Your thoughts are front and center on VENTSday.  No expertise necessary; just opinions and the ability to express them in a radio-friendly way. 

We post our weekly survey on one or both of the topics in advance. 

Penguin Books

The word itself has a creepy sound: EVICTED.  And the book by that name of Matthew Desmond shows just how wrenching a process eviction can be. 

He follows eight families in the Milwaukee area, dealing with two different landlords. 

The circumstances that lead to eviction are clearly laid out... in our part of history, people spend half of their income or more just to put a roof over their heads, and it's not always a pleasant roof. 

CDC/Public Domain

Don't look now, but your body is carrying some passengers.  By the millions. 

We're just beginning to understand the importance of the microbiome in humans--the bacteria in and on our bodies that make processes like digestion move along smoothly. 

The relationships between hosts and microbes are the bread and butter of The Microbial Ecology and Theory of Animals (META) Center for Systems Biology at the University of Oregon. 

Wikimedia

Many of them are illegal under current drug laws, but lots of people believe in the beneficial uses of psychedelic drugs.

And they'll get a chance to convene and compare notes at the Exploring Psychedelics Conference next week (April 7-8) at Southern Oregon University, the third edition of this event. 

Matt Vogel and Martin Ball organized the first event and have watched it grow. 

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