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.

gofundme.com

The very same tides that an Ashland family helps other people navigate may sweep them out of town. 

Jason and Vanessa Houk are community activists, working on behalf of homeless people and many other community causes.  Now the high cost of Ashland real estate--the home they rent is being sold--may drive them out of the town they love and serve. 

Just as you'd expect of activists, they're working a number of avenues to stay in town, including a gofundme.com campaign. 

OSU Press

If the concept of "citizen journalism" makes you a little uneasy, how might you feel about "citizen science?"  In either case, there's more going on in the world than just the professionals can handle in their normal workload. 

Citizen scientist Sharman Apt Russell took her fascination with Western red bellied tiger beetles to the beetles' lair, to find out things about their life cycle previously unknown to science. 

Her often humorous take on the process and the findings is contained in her book Diary Of A Citizen Scientist, from Oregon State University Press. 

Geoffrey Riley/JPR News

The sudden death of State Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford) created a vacancy and an election in Oregon Senate District 3.

Twelve Democrats have expressed a desire to fill the position, either short or long-term. 

Wikimedia

People used to crack jokes about their phones being tapped. 

It's less of a joke than it used to be, given the knowledge of how extensive the federal government's surveillance apparatus is.  Does the government pick up as much information as we give freely through social media and smartphone app choices? 

Kristian Williams answers that question and others in an Oregon Humanities Conversation Project on "Keeping Tabs on America: Surveillance and You." 

Ashland Honey Festival

The Oregon Honey Festival aims to make itself sweet and sticky to a variety of tastes.  Presenters range from bee scientists to honey sellers to artists. 

And it's in that last category you'll find Meesha Goldberg of Eugene.  One of her projects is a combination of performance art and ritual and activism called "Equilibrium Rites;" Goldberg and companions mirrored the annual pollination of California almond groves. 

Works of art from the project are on display at a gallery in Los Angeles for another week. 

visityurokcountry.com

The Yurok Tribe will host its annual Klamath Salmon Festival on schedule on Saturday.  But for the first time in the half-century history of the festival, no salmon will be served. 

Tribal leaders say there just are not enough fish to feed all the festival visitors. 

Not with any sense of environmental responsibility, anyway. 

NASA/Public Domain

President Kennedy talked about putting humans on the moon by the end of the 1960s.  The job got done, but it took a lot of people, money, and work. 

Now President Obama wants the same kind of effort in finding a cure for cancer.  The head of an Ashland-based company is excited.  Michael Stadnisky is the CEO of FlowJo, which works with human cells. 

One aim: helping the body's immune system fight cancer. 

OSU Press

Marie Equi may be the most amazing woman you never heard of. 

She was born when child labor was still legal, got out of textile work, and fled New England for the West Coast. 

Equi attended medical school at a time when few women did so, fought for women's suffrage and other rights, and was perhaps the first well-known lesbian in Oregon. 

Equi is the focus of the new book Marie Equi: Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions, from Oregon State University Press. 

Wikimedia

Maybe if you live to be 100, you'll get a lot of birthday parties with new music.  The National Park Service centennial has been observed with new music in Washington and at Crater Lake. 

Now it's time for a similar celebration at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. 

"Symphony on the Beach" on Saturday night (August 20) features the Shasta Symphony performing a new work for the occasion by Redding composer Dan Pinkston called "In This Great Expanse." 

The piece celebrates Northern California's natural beauty. 

Wikimedia

Controversy seems to follow water bottling operations wherever they indicate an interest in setting up shop. 

An entire Oregon county voted in May's election to block the Nestlé company--and any other bottler--from setting up shop in the county. 

But the city that would host such a plant, Cascade Locks, voted in favor, by a wide margin.  So the city council directed staff to keep working with Nestlé on getting a plant set up. 

Wikimedia

Half the states in the country legalized marijuana for either medical or personal use.  But within the past week, the federal government refused to budge, keeping pot as a "Schedule 1" narcotic: no medical value. 

So that's topic we serve up, fresh and hot, for this week's VENTSday: what's the value of marijuana to you or society? 

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 topic 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.

Wikimedia

J.D. Vance's memoir Hillbilly Elegy is well-timed for an election year focused on the rage of working-class white people. 

Because that's the family background that spawned him, before going on to the Marines, college, and Yale Law School. 

His family moved from Appalachia to the industrial Midwest... in the days before people called that "the Rust Belt."  Vance is honest and probing and frequently very funny in writing about his birth family and culture. 

Discussions of reproductive rights for women in America often quickly devolve and divide into "pro-choice" and "pro-life" sides. 

The concept of "reproductive justice" is meant to be much bigger than abortion, focusing on a whole range of issues facing women, minorities, and otherwise marginalized people. 

Loretta Ross and Toni M. Bond Leonard were present to create the term Reproductive Justice.  Ross is co-founder of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective

Leonard is Past Board President of SisterSong, also Co-founder/former President-CEO of Black Women for Reproductive Justice.

They arrive in Ashland this week for a Friday session at the Shakespeare Festival, discussing and explaining the many concepts wrapped up in the term. 

Wikimedia

All things bee are celebrated on Saturday, August 20th, at the Oregon Honey Festival in Ashland. 

Our appreciation of pollination has grown in recent years, as bee numbers have continued to decline. 

Entomologist Dr. Lynn Royce has studied bee population declines, and her nonprofit Tree Hive Bees aims to put bees where they naturally belong: in trees. 

Even people and programs that celebrate history can make a bit of history themselves. 

So it is with "As It Was," the two-minute regional history program that airs weekdays on JPR (and immediately following the second hour of the Exchange). 

The current series of "As It Was" airs its 3,000th installment next week.  And the people involved still like doing it. 

ODF

Life returned to normal in areas around the Redwood Highway Fire on Saturday. 

By evening, firefighters had the fire nearly contained, and evacuation orders were being relaxed.

ODF

Saturday, 8:30 AM: Three homes and at least five outbuildings destroyed by the fire.  The fire itself at 85 percent containment, kept to roughly 50 acres.  One spot fire extinguished downwind from main fire.  Deer Creek Road still closed, evacuations and road closures to be evaluated later in the day.

Edward J. O'Neill/National Fish and Wildlife Service

Upper Klamath Lake is full of food for fish. 

So it's a bit of a mystery why big fish like redband trout leave the lake and head into its tributaries, where there's less food. 

Oregon Fish and Wildlife has a new tool in potentially solving the mystery: radio tags in the fish.  The tags will help ODFW track fish movements in and around the lake. 

Wikimedia

The plight of bees in recent years produced a swelling of concern about pollinators. 

Bees are not the only pollinators, and the others have problems, too. 

Take the monarch butterfly, for example.  A report published last month by the Xerces Society in Portland shows a huge drop in monarchs gathering at winter sites in California, down 74% in two decades. 

Simon & Schuster

He was a 19-year-old sailor ashore in Japan.  She was a 31-year-old Japanese woman. 

It sounds like the beginning to a song, but it's a true story for Paul Brinkley-Rogers, former sailor and Pulitzer-winning journalist. 

It's a love story too big to fit in a web caption... but fits well in Brinkley-Rogers' memoir Please Enjoy Your Happiness

Pages