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.

Giving Money To The City Council (Legally)

Aug 18, 2014
Deviant Art/Wikimedia

Think of the joys of being a city council member: you get to study difficult issues, you get to spend time in meetings, you get to interface with members of the public, often when they're angry. 

And you don't get paid. 

It is that last issue that a couple of members of the Medford City Council want to explore. 

John Michaels and Bob Strosser, both soon to depart the council, think perhaps a few dollars could sweeten the allure of a council seat. 

Explosion Green

Aug 18, 2014
Morgan James Publishing

We've got many more people on the planet and many more devices requiring electricity, but electricity us is NOT rising sharply in the developed world. 

That's because we've gotten good at energy conservation. 

The green building movement figures heavily in the more efficient use of energy. 

Storm Large Sings Classical At Britt

Aug 15, 2014

With a name like Storm Large, can you have anything but a big personality? 

She's probably been asked that before, so we'll have to come up with a few more questions. 

Storm Large is the Portland-based singer/writer/entertainer with a big following. 

She'll perform Kurt Weill's "The Seven Deadly Sins" at the Britt Classical Festival in Jacksonville tonight (August 15). 

How Honest Are We?

Aug 15, 2014

It might sell a few more bottles of tea, but it sets up a good question: how honest are we? 

The organic beverage Honest Tea started researching this a few years ago. 

The company sets out coolers of its products, asking people not to take any. 

You can guess what happens next... or maybe not. 

Afghanistan Through A Journalist's Eyes

Aug 15, 2014
U.S. Army/Public Domain

Afghanistan has been called "the graveyard of empires," because many a powerful country occupied Afghanistan, and NONE left on good terms. 

Journalist Edward Girardet arrived in Afghanistan shortly before the Soviet Union invaded more than 30 years ago.  After the USSR left, it ceased to be the USSR. 

Edward Girardet has fared better, despite frequent trips to Afghanistan, getting to know the country and the people. 

Just as fire season winds down (we hope), The Exchange talks about what happens after the flames are gone. 

That's just one of the many highlights of the week.  We'll also visit with the Southern Oregon World of Wines Festival people and hear about wolverines denied entry to the endangered species list.

Here--minus pictures and direct web links--is the week's lineup (which could change without notice).

Gonorrhea Infections Zoom In Southern Oregon

Aug 14, 2014
CDC/Public Domain

An increase in gonorrhea cases of 18 percent is enough to cause concern among health workers. 

And that is the number for Oregon between 2012 and 2013. 

Now consider the increase in Josephine County: 270 percent in the same period. 

And that's not the highest... Jackson checks in with a 387 percent increase and Douglas County leaped 1,050 percent. 

Blocking Mines On Scenic Streams

Aug 14, 2014
PGHolbrook/Wikimedia Commons

Some of the prettiest waterways in our region could also be the richest in other ways. 

Hard-money ways, because of potentially valuable mineral contents. 

And miners have shown an interest in extracting some of the hard-rock riches of the streams. 

Which is why environmental groups including KS Wild just delivered thousands of letters to federal agencies, requesting a mineral withdrawal. 

Exploring "The Island Of Knowledge"

Aug 14, 2014
Basic Books

Remember that set of thoughts on knowledge? 

You know: there are things we know we don't know, "known unknowns." 

And then there are the "unknown unknowns"… things we do NOT know that we lack in knowledge. 

Over time, we learn more, and expand what theoretical physicist Marcelo Gleiser calls The Island of Knowledge. 

There IS A Free Lunch, For G.P. Schools

Aug 13, 2014
USDA/Public Domain

The story of schools in our times is that many of them have to do without SOMETHING because of budget cuts. 

But no student in Grants Pass schools will have to go without lunch in the coming school year. 

The Grants Pass district just announced free meals for all students this year. 

VENTSday: Iraq Policy + Smoking On Beaches

Aug 13, 2014

American warplanes are striking in Iraq again... and smokers are still lighting up on Oregon beaches.

How long should either event continue?  Tell us in this week's VENTSday.

We do not schedule guests for Wednesday at 8:30, because that's the time for VENTSday, your chance to vent (politely, please) on a pair of topics in the news. 

We bring the topics, you bring the opinions.

Building A Better Bee

Aug 13, 2014

Bees are critically important to plants and the food supply, and they've had serious survival problems in recent years. 

We could work to remove all possible health hazards for bees from the environment, but that's a long and slow process. 

What we could also do is work to breed "tougher" bees, bees with greater resistance to mites and disease. 

Southern Oregon Beekeepers Association President John Jacob is involved in the effort to breed sturdier bees. 

Complaint Filed Over Power Plant Air

Aug 12, 2014
Michael Jastremski/Wikimedia

Opponents of toxic pollution have painstakingly documented the way in which such pollution causes greater risks to people in poverty. 

Think about it; if you had the money to move away from a power plant, wouldn't you? 

Now several groups are complaining to the federal Environmental Protection Agency about the situation, specifically about a biomass power plant in Eugene. 

Another Kind Of Health Club

Aug 12, 2014

You might hear the name "Talent Health Club" and assume it's a gym. 

That assumption is incorrect.  Start by considering the initials for Talent Health Club. 

THC is a medical marijuana dispensary, one of the few doing business in Oregon after many local jurisdictions banned them. 

A Twist Of Lyme

Aug 12, 2014
Archway Publishing

Andrea Caesar is not alone in suffering the effects of Lyme Disease. 

The tick-borne illness affects at least 30,000 people a year. 

But the disease can be so hard to detect and diagnose that Caesar did not know she actually had it… for 25 years. 

Yurok Tribes Raid Pot Farms

Aug 11, 2014
United States Fish and Wildlife Service

The drought is bad enough… making streams run low and even dry in places. 

But its effects have been compounded along the Klamath River by illegal marijuana growing operations that divert water and cause streams to run dry artificially. 

The Yurok Tribe recently joined forces with law enforcement agencies from the local, state and federal level... to raid some of the illegal pot grows. 

OSF (and AIFF)'s Daedalus Project

Aug 11, 2014
Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The performers of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival get only Mondays off. 

And they give even that up once a year, for the annual Daedalus Project, a fundraiser to stop HIV and AIDS. 

The project begins on Friday with the Daedalus Film Fest and climaxes with the major stage events on Monday, August 18. 

University Press of Mississippi

The Freedom Summer of 1964 helped usher in civil rights laws for black Americans. 

But the price was steep: many people of many ethnic backgrounds gave up their security and even their lives for civil rights. 

Their efforts are not only remembered, but documented extensively. 

A companion to the civil rights efforts was the Southern Documentary Project, which scattered reporters and photographers around the South to record the events for the major picture magazines. 

Some of the fire evacuation alerts have been downgraded as of Friday morning.  Here is the list across the region, by fire and by county...

Oregon Gulch Fire:

Klamath County: Level 1 evacuation in Klamath River Canyon from John C. Boyle Dam to the California border

Siskiyou County: Evacuations have been lifted. 

Jackson County: Level 1 evacuation on Copco Road from #6000 to the state line.  Level 1 evacuation means "Be Ready" to evacuate. Level 1 evacuation for Highway 66 from the Green Springs Fire Station to the 2000 block of Highway 66

We like to think there's something for everybody to sink their teeth into on every week of the Jefferson Exchange. 

During the current week, we'll talk about building better bees, protecting streams from mining operations, and a big rise in gonorrhea cases.

Here's our working document--pix and links omitted--for the week of August 11-15, 2014.