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.

Irangilaneh, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28439014

Buses, bikes, and other non-car forms of transportation got some funding in the transportation package passed by the Oregon legislature in early July. 

There's even money for transportation that does not necessarily involve wheels of any kind: Safe Routes to School

The program to make the streets around schools safer for walking and biking children got dedicated funding for the first time. 

But while nobody's sniffing at $10 Million dollars a year (and more in a few years), there are limits to how the money can be spent. 

Wikimedia Commons

Before you click on that cute GIF of the fuzzy kitten, you might want to hear a few words from Mike Ahmadi. 

He is well acquainted with the baits and lures used by hackers to get people to surrender critical information over the web, sometimes real money. 

Southern Oregon University was recently victimized in a scam that resulted in nearly $2 Million dollars being wired to a fraudster by mistake. 

Mike Ahmadi sees such activity all the time in his job helping big companies protect their computers and all the information they hold. 

Department of Defense/Public Domain

We live in an age of unprecedented, irreversible decline—or so we’re often told.

Jonathan Tepperman’s The Fix: How Countries Use Crises to Solve the World’s Worst Problems presents a very different picture.

It identifies ten pervasive and seemingly impossible challenges—including immigration reform, economic stagnation, political gridlock, corruption, and Islamist extremism—and shows that, contrary to the general consensus, each has a solution, and not merely a hypothetical one.

By taking a close look at overlooked success stories—from countries as diverse as Canada, Botswana, and Indonesia—Tepperman discovers practical advice for problem-solvers of all stripes, making a data-driven case for optimism in a time of crushing pessimism. 

Evgeniy Isaev, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45189805

Can you pull yourself away from the news long enough to get immersed in a good book?

The long, warm days lend themselves to reading, and we'll spend the summer getting advice on WHAT to read from some of our local bookstores. 

Oregon Books in Grants Pass checks in with the latest installment of "Summer Reads". 

Bureau of Land Management / Flickr

The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is only one of more than two dozen under review by the Trump Administration. 

While the power of either the president or Congress to amend a monument designation is a question, Brent Rose is not waiting for the answer. 

He set out to visit all 22 land-based monuments under review, and got to most of them. 

Rose posted short videos showing the highlights from each of the sites visited, imploring people to keep monument protections in place. 

www.va.gov

People in good health were once described as being "in the pink." 

Good health takes on a different hue under the Blue Zones Project in Oregon. 

In blue zones, all kinds of individuals and entities come together to work for better health for all. 

The goal is to reduce obesity, smoking, and chronic disease. 

Government Alliance on Race and Equity

Racism continues to bedevil our country. 

Even people who have the best of intentions can be completely surprised when they are shown the effects of their words and deeds from the point of view of a person of color. 

Racism won't vanish without further effort; the Racial Equity Coalition in the Rogue Valley encourages people to learn how to host frank discussions about race through its Race Tool Kit Project, and we explore its features in another edition of "The Keenest Observers."  Robert Goodwin returns to host, with guests Alma Rosa Alvarez and Majorie Trueblood-Gamble. 

Lomakatsi Restoration Project

What young person would NOT want to spend summer in the woods?  Did we mention there's a little work involved? 

Lomakatsi Restoration Project specializes in forest restoration projects like the one ongoing in the Ashland Watershed. 

But the project also runs summer programs for young people, training them to do the work of caring for outdoor areas that need some attention. 

The offerings include programs for tribal youth. 

Oregon Department of Transportation

Maybe you're totally sold on solar power, but you can't afford to install panels on your house. 

There IS an option for you, and that is community solar installations. 

Oregon law allows groups of people to buy shares in a solar installation on public or shared property. 

It's a way to get the benefits of solar for the planet, without the burden of shouldering all the upfront costs alone. 

Rennett Stowefrom USA via Wikimedia Commons

Thousands of pregnant women pass through our nation’s jails every year.

What happens to them as they carry their pregnancies in a space of punishment? In this time when the public safety net is frayed, incarceration has become a central and racialized strategy for managing the poor.

In the book Jailcare Carolyn Sufrin uses ethnographic fieldwork and clinical work as an ob-gyn in a women’s jail to explore how jail has, paradoxically, become a place where women can find care. 

Josh Morrell/Brittfest.org

It took some vision to put an orchestra on a grassy hillside in Jacksonville. 

And the vision took: 54 years later, the Britt Orchestra still entertains large crowds over three weekends in the summer. 

The players have changed, but the mission remains the same. 

And mission control takes over Friday, as the orchestra season begins.  Teddy Abrams leads the flock in his fourth full season as music director and conductor. 

Mary Landberg

Reading all the books about handling death and grief may not prepare people for tending to a person in their final days. 

Ashland authors Katie Ortlip and Jahnna Beecham leave nothing out of their book Living With Dying: A Complete Guide for Caregivers

It runs the gamut, from emotional and legal matters to specifics on use of bedpans and what to do with ashes after death. 

contrailscience.com

This is our attempt at doing a Show About Nothing. Sam Kean's new book is about -- air. 

In Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us, New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it. 

The author joined us for memorable chats about his previous books The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb

Oregon Coast Music Festival

The Oregon Coast Music Festival (OCMF) has grown from a Coos Bay performance of Haydn music to an annual festival that draws 5,000 to its varied concerts in several Coos Bay area locations.   

The festival's classical concerts are scheduled next week (July 25-29) in the Marshfield High School Auditorium in Coos Bay. 

James Paul has been the Festival's music director since 1991. 

Ian Poellet/Wikimedia

Malls and suburban shopping centers did not kill downtowns completely, but they certainly damaged them. 

Now urban planners continue to look for ways to make downtowns attractive places to live and work and shop and play. 

Urban3, based in North Carolina, works with cities to move toward more vibrant downtowns, and Grants Pass and Medford teamed up to bring Urban 3 to the Rogue Valley to analyze. 

The company urges taxpayers to think of themselves as shareholders in a corporation (which cities are), and think about the best way to maximize the value of the corporation.

Betty Halbreich did not invent the concept of the personal shopper, but it can be argued that she perfected it. 

New York's swanky Bergdorf Goodman store put her to work picking out clothing for customers to choose from, rather than ransacking the racks themselves. 

Betty became legendary, a story she tells in her memoir I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist

California Arts Council

And the winners are... Eureka and Redding. 

Both cities made the list of 14 communities receiving designation of "cultural districts" from the California Arts Council. 

The districts contain high concentrations of cultural attractions and activities.  Cities from around California competed for the honor. 

nagagroup.org

Lumps of beeswax were offered by Native Americans in trade with white explorers along the Oregon Coast centuries ago. 

The explorers wondered where the beeswax came from, and the answer appears to be from the wreck of a Spanish cargo ship in the Manila-Aculpulco trade.  Possibly before 1700! 

The wax still turns up from time to time, but the ship's remains have eluded discovery thus far. 

This month's installment of "Underground History" brings Southern Oregon University Laborary of Anthropology experts Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose back to the studio. 

salon.com

Depending on your political orientation, this time in America is either the dawn of a new age or something like "springtime for Hitler." 

And it is Hitler's time that Jessica Shattuck and Rachel Kadish want to focus on, with the central question "how did good people let this happen?" 

Kadish, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, is the author of the novel The Weight of Ink

Shattuck, the granddaughter of Nazis, wrote the novel The Women in the Castle

Riccardo Rossi, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15140983

The salmon runs in the Pacific have been miserable this year, prompting the agency that regulates fishing to ban it for several species in the Klamath Management Zone. 

That is the backdrop for the 9th Spring-run Chinook Symposium, scheduled for later this month in Forks of Salmon in Siskiyou County. 

Salmon experts and people involved in fish restoration meet to compare notes and even dive in search of fish. 

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