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.

ODOT

It's pretty typical to complain about potholes, but even the people who fix Oregon's roads will tell you repairs are needed.

And the state legislature recognizes this; that's why it's been talking for a couple of years about a major transportation bill. 

Now one is on the table, with a mix of tax and fee ideas and plans for shoring up the ways of getting around Oregon. 

WiLPrZ, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40528832

The kids we get are not necessarily the kids we expected. 

Nature has a way of making changes in the family tree.  Andrew Solomon talked to hundreds of people in families where the children were born in a variety of circumstances... with disabilities or other differences from the parents. 

How parents and society cope is the focus of Solomon's book Far From The Tree

Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity

It's almost like an old-fashioned barn-raising, the way Habitat for Humanity works. 

People with home-building skills come together with a soon-to-be homeowner and work together to build the house. 

Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity marks 30 years on the job this year, with activity in Medford and several other communities. 

Kaye Runner, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58972525

Craig Chaquico has played the guitar in a lot of circumstances; he was just 20 when he joined Jefferson Starship. 

But Chaquico has never played with a choir, he says.  Until now... a concert on May 20th has him strapping on his guitar to accompany the Jefferson State Choral Coalition

What do you know... another band named Jefferson? 

University of California Press

"We're going to build a wall" were practically the first words of Donald Trump's campaign for president.

The plan for a continuous wall on the Mexican border has many friends, and enemies, and practical obstacles. 

Ronald Rael is an opponent of the wall, but considers it as both architectural and metaphorical construct. 

His book Borderwall as Architecture is a mix of anger, whimsy, and design. 

Gary Halvorson/Oregon State Archives

The news about Oregon's unemployment rate is great, on its surface: the lowest rate recorded since the current accounting system went into place in 1976. 

But if you live in rural Oregon, as many of our listeners do, you might wonder where the prosperity is. 

A new report on "The Employment Landscape of Rural Oregon" shows just how much the rural parts of the state lag economically behind the urban areas. 

Cycle Oregon

What began as an idea for a long bike ride has turned into much more over the years.  30 years, in fact. 

That's how old Cycle Oregon will be this year, and it celebrates with a multiple-day ride through the South Cascades, including Crater Lake, in September. 

Former Oregonian columnist Jonathan Nicholas and Jim Beaver of Ashland were part of the original ride and the growth of Cycle Oregon. 

The race doesn't just collect money from riders, it also hands out plenty through its foundation. 

Grendelkhan, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47467048

Will the future be flying cars or robot overlords?  It could be neither, but Vivek Wadhwa and Alex Salkever urge us to make conscious choices. 

Because technology will inevitably advance, and people should have a say in whether our future looks like "Star Trek" or "Mad Max." 

Wadhwa and Salkever are the authors of The Driver in the Driverless Car, a look at how we make such choices. 

Owen via Wikimedia Commons

Today is election day for voters on the Oregon side, but you might get a blank stare when you ask someone who they voted for. 

Because the majority of ballot items are races for school and fire district boards and similar local positions.  Many candidates run for those positions unopposed. 

And that's one thing Springfield's Jim Cupples would like to change, through his website Run for Office.  It gives people across the country a chance to look up local races where they live, from school board to Senate, and prepare to run for office. 

Lindbergh Foundation

Flying across the Atlantic in a plane is no big deal these days, apart from the cramped seats in coach. 

90 years ago, it was A Very Big Deal.  Charles Lindbergh took his life in his hands as he flew a single-engine plane from New York to France in 1927. 

Dan Hampton, an accomplished and decorated fighter pilot, tells the story of Lindbergh's dangerous and successful mission in the book The Flight: Charles Lindbergh's Daring and Immortal 1927 Transatlantic Crossing

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The work of August Wilson has been staged on plays around the world. 

But his poetry takes center stage in a new work at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival called "UniSon."  It is a musical based on Wilson's work and shaped by the OSF company-within-the-company called Universes

They wrote and performed "Party People" at the festival a few years back, and that's when we first got to know Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, and William Ruiz, who goes by "Ninja." 

Siskiyou Food Assistance

The interactive map at the website of Feeding America shows the levels of food insecurity county-by-county across the country. 

And one county in our region stands out: Siskiyou County is the county most likely to contain hungry people, and it is listed as the most food-insecure county in California. 

Siskiyou Food Assistance is one of several organizations working to help feed local residents. 

Butte Falls School District

Some schools are just closer to nature than others. 

So it is with Butte Falls Charter School, nestled in the foothills of the Cascades.  Trees and mountains and streams are all close at hand, and part of the educational curriculum for the school. 

In fact, the school is now in charge of restoring a long-closed fish hatchery to help teach students. 

Schyler at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13465049

Baseball has always been a game of numbers, sometimes to the distraction of its less-ardent fans. 

But even diehards are confronted by different SETS of numbers that are increasingly used to measure the capabilities of players. 

RBI (runs batted in) and ERA (earned run average) are moving to the back seat, giving way to OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) and WAR (wins above replacement). 

Help!  ESPN Senior Baseball Writer Keith Law provides help in his book Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball

Our entire region is prone to landslides, and the chances are higher in the rainy coastal areas.  Case in point: Last Chance Grade, on US 101 in Del Norte County. 

The road sits on an active landslide, and road crews are constantly working to shore it up and keep it from collapsing. 

Plans are in the works to move the road to a safer area, but money and environmental laws are keeping the progress slow. 

socompasshouse.org

Few of us are equipped to understand the challenges of mental illness. 

And that's why we hear the voices of people struggling with mental health in our monthly segment "Compass Radio."  It is co-produced by Compass House in Medford, a center that functions on the clubhouse model of mental health care. 

This month, Compass House members talk about hobbies and how those help the members in their progress, in recordings made at the house. 

Wikimedia

Aristotle leave you cold?  Epicurus leave a bad taste in your mouth? 

Philosophy is not for everyone... or maybe it is.  If reading the original works of the philosophers does not appeal to you, maybe Jules Evans can interest you in his book Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations

It's all about practical applications in today's world for philosophy, some of it quite old. 

Neil McIntosh/Flickr

People may sit atop the food chain on Earth, but they can certainly learn things from the other animals. 

The Kerulos Center in Southern Oregon is all about respecting animals and their rights. 

Center director Gay Bradshaw has some ideas about how animals think; she presents her thoughts in a talk at Southern Oregon University. 

Arturo Pardavila III, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49782715

One giant TV chain wants to buy another giant TV chain. 

Stephen Colbert's presidential insults draw the attention of the FCC chair. 

Social media "influencers" played a role in the recent Fyre Festival fiasco. 

Yep, always SOMETHING to talk about in the media, and we gather up some highlights for our monthly chat "Signals & Noise" with Southern Oregon University Communications faculty Precious Yamaguchi and Andrew Gay. 

Marylhurst University

It only took a few thousand years, but Oregon has its first official Native American Poet Laureate. 

Elizabeth Woody was named Oregon Poet Laureate by Governor Kate Brown last year. 

Woody is member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, a writer in several genres and a visual artist as well. 

She visits Ashland for a speaking engagement (May 11), and drops by the studio for a visit. 

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