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.

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Jefferson Exchange | July 28, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Be A Local Hero (Online)

Credit be.alocalhero.com

Jim Teece rolls out "Be A Local Hero."

Social media users love to tell their friends about what they're doing. 

It's really the point, after all--to keep up with your social network. 

So why not rack up some points for what you've been doing, if it benefits your community? 

That's the point behind "Be A Local Hero," a website started by Ashlander and Project A President Jim Teece. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 28, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Eugene's Big Sick Leave Vote

Credit Tuality Healthcare/Jeff Schilling

Claire Syrett and Laurie Trieger detail Eugene's proposed sick leave ordinance.

Few people think workers should NOT get paid sick leave. 

The major questions revolve around who should provide it, and if government should order it. 

The Eugene City Council may vote tonight (July 28) on whether to require paid sick leave at companies doing business in city limits. 

The Lane County Commissioners voted first, though, and their ordinances may stop any sick leave ordinance cold. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 28, 2014 | 9:00
1:38 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

The Good Spy

Credit Crown Publishing

Kai Bird shares his profile of Robert Ames.

Terrorist acts are often known by their numbers: the numbers of people who died in this bombing or that attack. 

People may remember that the bombing of the American embassy in Beirut in 1983 killed 63 people. 

What they may not know or recall is that Robert Ames was one of the 63. 

Ames was a key CIA employee, renowned for his effectiveness at forging relationships with key Arab figures.

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Jefferson Exchange | July 25, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Addressing Oregon's High Rate Of Drownings

Credit Wikimedia

Ruth Harshfield talks about keeping kids safe.

Oregon can be a dangerous place for swimmers. 

The state ranks 10th in the country in the per-capita rate of drownings. 

That's not good, considering the state ranks in the second half of states in population. 

Efforts by Safe Kids Oregon and other groups are focused on reducing child injuries, including drowning. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 25, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Britt Picks A Handful Of ACEs

Britt Institute students.
Credit Britt Festivals

Gillian Frederick, Julissa Martinez, Steve Kessler and Rachel Jones talk about ACE.

Not everybody gets to be an "American Idol," but there are jobs to be had in the arts field. 

The Oregon Arts Commission handed out grants to help minority and other students learn about arts careers. 

The grants include one to the Britt Festivals for its "ACE" program, Arts Career Exploration. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 25, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Fri July 25, 2014

A Grizzly Bear Near You... Maybe

Credit National Park Service/Public Domain

Noah Greenwald makes the case for more grizzly habitat.

The grizzly bear roams just a small fraction of its historic range here in the Lower 48 states. 

But talk of expanding that fraction could draw some sharp reactions.  Already has, in fact. 

The Center for Biological Diversity recently proposed expanding the grizzly's range to areas including parts of California (the Sierra) and Oregon (somewhere in the Klamath-Siskiyou region). 

And people who like the idea of a healthy grizzly population were forced to confront their feelings about having that population nearby. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 28-August 1, 2014
5:09 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Sick Leave, Drought, and Crime Fighting: Another Week on The Exchange

Eugene's city council may vote on its proposed sick leave ordinance on Monday, six days after the Lane County Commissioners passed their own ordinance that may pre-empt any move on sick leave. 

Meanwhile, the City of Ashland plans a Drought Summit to talk about water conservation strategies, and Redding's Police Chief faces a potentially irate audience at a town hall meeting.

You'll hear about these and much more on The Jefferson Exchange during the week of July 28... here, minus pretty pictures, are our plans:

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Jefferson Exchange | July 24, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Small Biz "Friendliness" Lacks In Oregon

Credit Wikimedia

Jon Leiber explains the survey on small biz friendliness.

Nobody likes getting a bad grade.  Especially when it's a whole state. 

But Oregon just got below-average marks for its friendliness to small businesses from Thumbtack.com and a partner. 

The state got a C+ for overall friendliness and a D for the friendliness of its regulations.  California got a D and an F in the same categories.

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Jefferson Exchange | July 24, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Plugging The Job Skills Gap

Credit Public Domain

Oregon state Rep. Peter Buckley talks about jobs and workers.

The recent findings that Oregon job openings are staying open for long periods because of under-qualified workers got the attention of political leaders. 

State Rep. Peter Buckley of Ashland and his Senate counterpart host a meeting this evening (July 24) to explore the factors in the "skills gap" and possible solutions. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 24, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Thu July 24, 2014

How To Stop Hating Yourself

Credit Tarcher/Penguin

Anneli Rufus talks about her recovery from low self-esteem.

It's one thing to be hard on yourself, and take setbacks and criticism to heart. 

It's another thing entirely to actually hate yourself. 

Author Anneli Rufus is one of many people who struggled with low self-esteem all her life. 

And while she does NOT recommend going all the way to the other end of the spectrum, she does think it's high time to close what may be an epidemic of self-loathing. 

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Thousands Of Strikes
11:13 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Lots Of Lightning, Lots Of (Small) Fires

Credit Public Domain

Thunderstorms moved through Southern Oregon and Northern California Tuesday night, with thousands of lightning strikes recorded on both sides of the state line.

The National Weather Service reports more than 1,200 downstrikes in Jackson County alone.

And so the Oregon Department of Forestry reports multiple fires caused by lightning, most of them less than two acres in size.

The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest also reports more than a dozen new fires, also small.  Crews scattered in search of new smokes.

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Jefferson Exchange | July 23, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Expanding The Oregon Caves

Miller's Chapel inside the Oregon Caves.
Credit National Park Service/Public Domain

Sue Densmore fills us in on the Caves monument filling out.

It takes a very long time to make a cave. 

All that dripping and calcifying takes hundreds of thousands, even millions of years. 

But making the legal boundaries of the Oregon Caves bigger only takes an act of Congress. 

And Congress is on it; the Senate just passed the Oregon Caves Revitalization Act and sent it on to the house. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 23, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Wed July 23, 2014

VENTSday: Sick Leave + GMO Labeling

Credit guernicamag.org

Listeners vent on sick leave and GMO labels.

The Lane County Commissioners and Eugene City Council provide one topic for discussion this week: paid sick leave, who should provide it, and which level of government should regulate it.

And if that's not enough controversy, we'll also talk GMO food labeling on this week's edition of 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. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 23, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Building Good Will At Goodwill

Credit Goodwill of S.O./Facebook

Gayle Byrne describes Goodwill and her years there.

The inventory at Goodwill Industries of Southern Oregon will soon include a very large pair of shoes. 

Those currently belong to Gayle Byrne, soon to retire as the organization's president. 

During her 37-year tenure, Byrne more than tripled the number of stores and expanded the service area and number of people helped by Southern Oregon Goodwill. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 22, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Suing To Help The Bull Trout

Credit U.S. Fish & Wildlife/Public Domain

Nick Cady spells out bull trout issues.

Environmental groups are keeping their own and government lawyers busy. 

Cascadia Wildlands and other groups recently announced an intention to sue the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management over the bull trout. 

The groups say the land agencies need a "timeout" to consider how projects on the lands they manage would affect the threatened trout. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 22, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Where CFLs Go When They Die

Credit Wikimedia

Denise Barnes gives us a recycling refresher.

We can certainly save a bunch of energy and money using modern light bulbs. 

They are uniformly more efficient than the old incandescent bulbs. 

And--in theory, anyway--they last long enough to cover the addition upfront expense of buying them. 

But the compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) contain some toxic substances that require more attention to disposal. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 22, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Tue July 22, 2014

A Mind For Numbers -- Yes, YOU

Credit Tarcher/Penguin

Barbara Oakley takes us into the math mind. Turns out it's the mind for everything else.

Okay, non-math students, stop making those gagging sounds and listen up.  Your case is not hopeless. 

Barbara Oakley is now an engineering professor, but she's one of those people who flunked math in high school. 

Yet she turned things around as an adult, and points the way for other people to do the same. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 21, 2014 | 8:00
10:10 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Medford Considers Dog (Owner) Sanctions

An American Pit Bull Terrier.
Credit Wikimedia

Chief Tim George and Maureen Swift detail the dog ordinance plans in Medford.

Just because the Medford City Council backed down from a dog fight does not mean it's done with dog issues. 

The council chose not to enact a ban on certain aggressive dog breeds earlier this year, after hearing a fair amount of barking (sorry) from dog owners. 

But issues with dogs remain in town. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 21, 2014 | 8:30
10:10 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Southern Oregon U's New President

Dr. Roy Saigo
Credit Southern Oregon University

Dr. Roy Saigo talks about the challenges at SOU.

Roy Saigo stepped into the college president's office at a time of upheaval: both faculty and students were unhappy about many issues. 

And that was at his LAST job. 

Dr. Saigo inherits a similar situation as the interim president at Southern Oregon University, following program cuts and a faculty vote of no-confidence in the previous president. 

Saigo has work cut out for him in a time of change across the Oregon state university system. 

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Jefferson Exchange | July 21, 2014 | 9:00
10:10 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Tech Will Save Us: Smaller/Faster/Lighter/Denser/Cheaper

Credit Public Affairs Books

Robert Bryce stirs up a discussion on global warming and more.

In a world of finite resources and a (so far) continually expanding human population, something has to give. 

The case is often made that people will simply have to get by with less... fewer creature comforts, more bare-bones lifestyles. 

Robert Bryce is having none of it. 

Bryce points to many cases in which technology figured out solutions that did not involve deprivation. 

Read more

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