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.

W.W. Norton Books

Remember the town hall meetings with Congress members in 2009 where people screamed their opposition to Obamacare?  A year later, Republicans wiped out Democrats in the mid-term elections at all levels of government. 

The impact was especially profound in state legislatures, and GOP control of many of those gave the party the ability to control the process of re-drawing district lines after the 2010 census. 

In a book with a title we can't say on the air--Ratf**ked--Salon Editor-in-chief David Daley writes of the convergence of political players and dark money that made redistricting an enduring Republican victory. 

Wctmcollegegurgaon/Wikimedia

If a student comes up with an invention as part of a college class, who owns the rights to the invention, student?  University?  Both? 

It's a sticky subject that has already come up several times, because there's potentially a lot of money on the line. 

The tension led to the creation of Students For Intellectual Property, which advocates for the student rights to the things they create for college work. 

Kentaro Iemoto/Wikimedia

Eugene city leaders demonstrated on several occasions a commitment to lessening carbon emissions. 

Their reward was a trip to one of the worst-emitting cities on the planet: Beijing. 

Mayor Kitty Piercy recently returned from a low-carbon cities summit in China's capital, one of just a handful of American cities represented, all of them much bigger than Eugene. 

christopherphillips.com

We can totally relate to Christopher Phillips' approach to life: ask LOTS of questions. 

Phillips follows in the footsteps of Socrates in his work as author and speaker; the Socratic method is all about the questions. 

In his latest book, The Philosophy of Childing, Phillips urges us to be more childlike in our approach to the world.  Well, beyond just asking "why" over and over. 

NOAA

If you're looking for rainfall comparisons between this year and last year, try this one: Redding got 15 more inches rain of since October 1st than in the previous year.  FIFTEEN inches. 

But many a meteorologist points out that the El Niño rains were not evenly distributed: much of Southern California is still experiencing drought conditions. 

Even so, some drought restrictions are being lifted.  The Bay Institute takes major exception to actions by the state Water Resources Control Board and other entities. 

guernicamag.org

One word sums up the biggest news story of the moment: Orlando. 

On this week's VENTSday, we ask for your input on what the mass shooting says about America and its people. 

Our other topic deals specifically with our end of the country: does increased rainfall mean drought restrictions should be lifted? 

VENTSday removes the guests and puts listener comments front and center on The Exchange.  Once a week, it's all about you... we plop a pair of topics on the table, post a survey on our Facebook page, and open the phone lines and email box for live comments. 

The topics can range from presidential politics to how you spend your days off.  Got an observation or opinion?  Share it with the State of Jefferson on VENTSday. 

Penguin Random House

It was what the world wanted: the end of the Soviet Union, the "evil empire," the Communist stronghold.  And the USSR did, in fact, dissolve. 

So why is the world generally unhappy with what followed?  Because the Russia we got, with the autocratic Vladimir Putin in command, is a far cry from the democratic republic we hoped for. 

Russian native Arkady Ostrovsky goes back to the Cold War to explain how we got here, in his book The Invention of Russia

Wikimedia

 If you happen to meet Adam Davis, ask him what he does for a living. 

He'd probably get a chuckle out of it.  Davis is the Executive Director of Oregon Humanities--you know, "O. Hm."--and he leads the Conversation Project offering called "What Do You Do?"

It's a VERY common question upon meeting fellow Americans; small wonder, since we work longer hours than people in many other developed countries. 

Wikimedia

 A culture like ours that values youth and vitality does not talk easily about death. 

Which might make death all the more surprising and hard to deal with when it arrives. 

The concept of the "death café" gives people a chance to gather in a relaxing setting to just talk about death. 

Ashland Death Café meets several times a year to provide that opportunity. 

Perseus Books

 It's no accident that Native Americans revere the coyote as a trickster, and Warner Brothers named a cartoon character Wile E. Coyote.  It's just observation. 

This most clever of animals (okay, maybe not the cartoon one) has constantly confounded the efforts of humans to fence it in, knock it down, and wipe it out.  Not only do coyotes survive in their traditional habitats, they have migrated into new surroundings, including Central Park in New York, among many places. 

Dan Flores traces the battle between human and dog-like creature in Coyote America

Horsetown Clear Creek Preserve

The sign says BLM, but the Horsetown Clear Creek Preserve near Redding includes 27 acres of land owned by a private non-profit group. 

The group, which bears the name of the preserve--call it HCCP--just won an award from the Bureau of Land Management for two decades of solid work. 

HCCP volunteers perform preservation work, provide educational programs to help young people better understand nature and our relationship to it, and other duties that maximize the use and enjoyment of the preserve. 

Wikimedia

Not a corner of the country is untouched by the massacre in Orlando. 

The mixture of rage and sadness and bewilderment at the killing of 50 people will be expressed in many ways.

Southern Oregon Pride (SOPride) joins forces with other groups in a vigil on the Ashland Plaza Monday evening at 6:30.  A second vigil is planned for "the bricks," the courtyard at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, at 8:30.

HarperCollins

It's one of the sadder stories in broadcasting history: the first FM radios were rendered completely useless when the federal government MOVED the entire FM band to a different range of frequencies. 

First and most obvious question: why?  The surprising answer and the personalities involved are revealed in Scott Woolley's book The Network

Money, power, egos... all figured in the development of the industry we know and love. 

University of Oregon

The University of Oregon took the unusual step of ordering an external review of the "Greek" system on campus, fraternities and sororities. 

The review confirmed many of the issues already being addressed by University leadership.  Among them: that binge drinking, sexual assault, and hazing are still prevalent within fraternities and sororities, with peer pressure to not report serious issues. 

Dr. Robin Holmes is the Vice President of Student Life at UO; she ordered the review. 

Wikimedia

Sexual assault on college campuses was already a heavily discussed topic.  Then came the Brock Turner case at Stanford. 

Turner admitted raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster after a campus party; blamed drinking, peer pressure, and promiscuity... and got six months in jail. 

Now calls for the judge's removal are being made, while universities work to establish policies on handling sexual assault causes. 

Stanford law professor and sociologist Michele Landis Dauber, who is a member of a committee seeking the judge's recall, shares her thoughts on what should be done in such cases. 

University of Oregon psychology professor Jennifer Freyd also weighs in. 

Penguin Random House

Philippe Sands is a writer and international lawyer who works to curtail and punish mass murder by whichever term is used: genocide or crimes against humanity. 

And the author's stint in a Ukrainian university led him down the trail of two men, both lawyers who studied at the same university. 

They both took radically different pathways to get to the same place: a body of law to prosecute the likes of the Nazis who committed genocide in World War II.  East West Street is Sands' book. 

George Kramer/preserveoregon blog

Girl Scouts of several generations formed fond memories of summer days and nights spent at Camp Low Echo at Lake of the Woods in Klamath County.

But the scout days are part of history now; Camp Low Echo closed a few years ago, prior to a renovation and re-use. 

Karen and Sid DeBoer bought it through their charitable foundation and plan to donate it to the Ashland Family YMCA

Public Domain

We can take our surroundings for granted, so it's good every so often to step back and gaze in appreciation.

That's the basic idea behind the Hathkapasuta River Celebration, coming to the Illinois Valley (Near Cave Junction) this weekend. 

It gives visitors a chance to celebrate the rivers and forests that are such critical parts of our region. 

Tim  Leyba and Suzanne Vautier of CEEN, the Cultural and Ecological Enhancement Network, are organizers for the event. 

Penguin Random House

Ask anyone who lived through the 1960s about the most turbulent year of the decade, and they might say 1968: multiple assassinations, riots, and the election of Richard Nixon as president. 

Clara Bingham suggests a different time frame in her book Witness to the Revolution.  August 1969 to August 1970 saw the My Lai investigation, the American invasion of Cambodia, domestic bombings and murders, and millions of people protesting in the streets. 

Bingham's book is an oral history compiled from dozens of interviews. 

Grant Mitchell/Wikimedia

Why should the wine and beer aficionados have all the fun?  Both beverages are on the upswing, with small winemaker and brewers dotting the landscape. 

Nick Rementeria and Jen Akin want people to stand up for cocktails, mixed drinks prepared by skilled bartenders. 

Wouldn't you know it, they're both bartenders, and Jen even has a degree in chemistry. 

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