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.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The American Revolution, our war of independence, was a singular thing.

But American Revolutions, plural, is a cycle of several plays commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, including the Tony-Winning "All The Way." 

The cycle continues with this week's opening of "Sweat," about the decline of industrial America and the way it plays out in individual lives. 

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage is the creator of the play. 

Penguin Press

Dan-El Padilla Peralta's family arrived in New York legally from the Dominican Republic.

But their visas lapsed, and they stayed.  Dan-El excelled in school, winning a private school scholarship and zooming to the top of his class. 

It was just before his salutatorian speech at Princeton that Dan-El revealed to the world that he was "undocumented," a story he tells in his book, Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League.

U.S. Navy/Public Domain

It turns out living in paradise has its drawbacks.

Residents of Christmas Island in the Pacific are prone to a "surfer's disease," caused by exposure to abundant dust, wind, and sunlight. 

Two doctors from Medford's Medical Eye Center noticed the situation on a fishing trip years ago. 

Now they return on a regular basis to treat eye patients with techniques otherwise unknown to the area. 

Suppose the drought never really ends?  How do we approach water allocations then? 

That's one topic on this week's VENTSday.  The other: do we want to erase Confederate history enough to rename Lane County (slave owner) or Fort Bragg (Confederate general)?

Our weekly VENTSday segment puts the listeners front and center.

We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics.

Blue Rider Press

Even devoted baseball fans marvel at the length of the regular season.

At 162 games, it is twice as long--in number of games--as the NBA season, the next longest. 

Players can go weeks without a single day off, leading to their common name for the schedule: The Grind

Those two words are also the title of a book by Barry Svrluga, baseball writer for the Washington Post.

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest

Forests have a way of regenerating after devastating fires.

Human-built amenities in or near the forests take a bit of time and attention.

The Biscuit Fire burned through the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest 13 years ago.

And it was just recently that members of the Siskiyou Mountain Club completed the rebuilding of a trail through the burn area.

Wikimedia

Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District has a rare issue facing it: it has a right to more water than it can currently use.

But it's a use-it-or-lose-it proposition for the district.

It either needs to find more users, or risk losing a portion of its water right.  

A change would have a significant on the Mad River, the water source... a lower water right would drop the flow in the river markedly.

Plume Books

Adam Resnick may not actually like people (he tells us he does).

But he certainly knows how to make people laugh; he did so for years as a writer for David Letterman's TV show.  

Resnick gives us a memoir in essays in his book "Will Not Attend;" it turns out he's hated parties since an Easter egg hunt went awry in his childhood.  

Wikimedia

  When you stop to think about it, we know less about the oceans of Earth than the space immediately surrounding the planet.

Because unlike space, we can't see through the ocean or use satellites to explore it. 

That's why the Ocean Observatories Initiative started up... to place sensors off both coasts of the United States, to track a broad array of information. 

A crew from Oregon State University recently placed the final sensor in the Pacific. 

Public Domain

  HIV is still a scary virus for many people, but not the death sentence it once was.

People can now live long lives with HIV, provided they get the proper treatment and medication.  Could a vaccine be far away? 

It is certainly under study, but has been for a long time. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, has been involved in the quest for decades now. 

Henry Holt and Company

  Richard Nixon managed to keep voluminous records of his activities and simultaneously desire to keep complete control over information about himself and his presidency.  It did NOT end well.

And with newly-declassified documents available through the years, we learn even more about Nixon's practices and paranoia. 

Tim Weiner provides a fresh portrait of the late president, in his book One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon.

Wikimedia

The leader of Israel could not be more clear about his opposition to the recently-announced deal to put Iran's nuclear weapon ambitions on hold.

Netanyahu calls the deal a historic mistake.

But he does not speak for all residents and friends of Israel.
Alon Pinkas was Israel's Consul General in New York for several years; he speaks in favor of the deal on behalf of the pro-peace organization J Street.

Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup

People on the West Coast have been talking for years about the pending earthquake in the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

It took ONE article in the New Yorker to sweep through social media and rekindle the quake concerns. 

And they are well-placed... damage from a Cascadia quake would rattle the ground and everything on it, likely from California to British Columbia. 

Geologists say one could happen at any time. 

Lomakatsi Restoration Project

Forest restoration can be a learning experience as well as a benefit for the environment.

And it IS, in the Ashland Watershed Summer youth Training and Employment Program. 

Lomakatski Restoration Project is one of the partners in the Ashland Forest Resiliency Stewardship Project, and Lomatski adds high school juniors and seniors to its workforce in the summer, both for learning and for pay. 

HarperCollins

Imagine the danger in fighting wildland fires.

Now imagine fighting wildland fires AFTER jumping out of an airplane. 

Jason Ramos does it for a living, and tells his story in the book Smokejumper

Oregon Health Authority

The Oregon Legislature's session was bound to have a few wobbles this year.

Having the governor resign a month into his term shook up state government at many levels. 

The legislature got back on track and completed its work on a two-year budget for schools, prisons, police, and all of the responsibilities of state government. 

But it left some business unfinished, too, like a major bill to fix up Oregon's transportation infrastructure. 

House Speaker Tina Kotek presided over half of the legislative apparatus.  

Wikimedia

The dream in breast cancer treatment is a simple one: that one day women will be able to take a pill, and the cancer will disappear.

Until that day, the key to treatment is early detection.  And Providence Medford Medical Center's Leila J. Eisenstein Breast Center is installing state-of-the-art devices for just that purpose. 

3-D imaging machines will help doctors find smaller lumps in breast tissue, allowing earlier diagnosis. 

Simon & Schuster

The title characters are the big timbers in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".

But there are other characters who act like the glue binding the play together. 

Those include Juliet's nurse, the main character in the novel called, fittingly, Juliet's Nurse.

Portlander Lois Leveen is the author of this look at one of the legendary settings of Shakespeare from a different angle. 

Wikimedia

Jail space tends to be at a premium in our region.

Funding is often tight, and cells are limited in the best of circumstances. 

So jail cells are not the best places for drunk or drugged people to "sleep it off", especially if they have not committed any crime.

Grants Pass will be home to a "sobering center" by sometime next year, a non-jail place for substance abusers to get straight. 

The Oregon Legislature approved funding for it last month. 

The prospect of avoiding war with Iran started a cold war OVER a deal with Iran on nuclear weapons.

Here's your chance to weigh in... the Iran nuclear deal is one of the topics on VENTSday this week. 

The other: use of domestic drones, becoming an issue for firefighting aircraft in the region. 

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