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.

After The Summer Of Love: "Days Of Rage"

Apr 15, 2015
Penguin Books

It only takes the finding of a "suspicious device" to clear a public building these days, at least until a police bomb squad can take a look at it. 

Bomb squads were far busier in the late 1960s and early 70s, the time that provides the title for Bryan Burrough's book, Days of Rage.  And they responded to more than threats: many actual real bombings, nearly one a week at the peak.

Burrough takes a new look at those days, with fresh interviews with members of the radical groups that wanted to change America--violently. 

Springing Into Gardening With The Masters

Apr 14, 2015
Wikimedia

An early spring around much of the region might have caught some gardeners unprepared. 

Flowers bloomed weeks earlier than usual, before the weather snapped back to something like seasonal norms. 

These are the situations in which Master Gardeners get to use the benefits of their training. 

The Jackson County Master Gardeners are just about to graduate this year's class. 

Assessing Housing Needs In Oregon

Apr 14, 2015
Wikimedia

It is one of the simplest wishes for any human: a roof over our heads, a place to call home. 

Simple wish, not always simply fulfilled. 

April is Fair Housing Month across the country, and Oregon Housing and Community Services is taking input on housing needs around the state. 

This is part of a five-year look at housing issues. 

NIH/Public Domain

It's been pointed out by many critics of the American health care system that it is largely about "disaster care"... treating illness when it becomes acute. 

The other approach would be to take care of issues earlier, performing preventive maintenance. 

Ashland's Rick Kirschner trained as a Naturopathic Doctor (ND rather than MD), and he's examined the history of American medicine. 

He says what is practiced now is "sick care," not health care. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

"Threatened" status may not be enough for the Northern Spotted Owl. 

The old-growth forest dweller continues to decline in number, and that could lead to its reclassification as "endangered." 

EPIC, the Environmental Protection Information Center based in Arcata, petitioned to reclassify the owl nearly three years ago. 

Now the federal Fish and Wildlife Service is beginning a review to see if the move is warranted. 

Still Riding Championship Wave

Apr 13, 2015
NAIA.org

The glow of a national championship in college football is lasting a while for the Southern Oregon University Raiders. 

They won the NAIA small-college trophy in December, but their championship rings just arrived. 

And the Oregon legislature is considering a resolution to honor the team. 

The football success appears to be having an effect in other areas of SOU campus life, too. 

Inside The Embattled Forest Service

Apr 13, 2015
OSU Press

Did anybody LIKE the U.S. Forest Service around 1990? 

It was constantly in the middle of battles over proper forest management, the timber industry demanding more logs on one hand and conservationists urging more protection on the other. 

Jim Furnish was more than halfway through a long career with the Forest Service then. 

In Toward a Natural Forest, he details the pressures and pleasures of life within one of the most visible and controversial government agencies. 

Getting Even Fire Wiser In Ashland

Apr 10, 2015
Oregon.gov

Ashland, built on forested hills, has always been especially vulnerable to wildfire.

11 homes were lost in the Oak Knoll fire of five years ago, and firefighters are determined to minimize the risk of a future such fire.

So several sections of town have been designated "Firewise" communities.

More than in any other city in the country, we're told.

Megan Mercier/JPR

There are seldom dull moments for Oregon's Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum.

Her office is always busy with something, from pushing for stronger laws to protect sexual abuse victims, to suing a computer company over the Cover Oregon fiasco.

Then there's the resignation of the governor, shortly after the AG announced a state investigation (later dropped in deference to a federal probe).

Working To End Nuclear Weapons

Apr 10, 2015
Wikimedia

The world has fewer nuclear weapons than it once did.  But it would only take one to cause death and destruction on a massive scale. 

David and Anne Hall of the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action spent the last three decades working to rid the world of nukes... while more countries have built the weapons. 

They appear at events in Eugene this weekend, welcomed to town by Oregon Women's Action for New Directions

Missing Out On Quality Preschool

Apr 9, 2015
Wikimedia

The federal Department of Education and the White House are big on "high-quality preschool"... pre-kindergarten programs that get kids ready for school.

And a recent DOE report shows that many American students are not enrolled in such programs.

The percentages are even higher in California and Oregon.

Saving Water Without Losing The Lawn

Apr 9, 2015
Wikimedia

Drought puts pressure on water users to find ways to use less water.

And in suburban environments, that quickly turns our attention to lawns: green and pleasant, but water-intensive.

Short of ripping out the lawn, there are grasses that require less watering.

The Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance teamed up with the City of Ashland on demonstration projects.

Searching For Life's Next Step... On The Road

Apr 9, 2015
Chronicle Books

What do young people do when they're trying to figure out the next step in life?  Often, they take a road trip.

Nathan Gebhard and his friends did just that nearly 15 years ago, and they're still at it.

Their efforts to find out how people got to where they are in life became Roadtrip Nation: a movement, a documentary series, and several books.

The latest is Roadmap: The Get-It-Together Guide for Figuring Out What To Do with Your Life.

Mexico And Drug Violence In Focus At AIFF

Apr 8, 2015
Sundance Institute

Ashland's annual Independent Film Festival returns to screens in the city this weekend, with nearly 100 films all lengths and subjects.  Today we visit with some of the filmmakers displaying their work.

Matthew Heineman is the director of "Cartel Land," about the drug war and carnage in Mexico. 

And Bill and Turner Ross join us to talk about "Western," dealing with similar themes in the cities of Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Niegras, Mexico. 

guernicamag.org

Oregon could get background checks on private guns sales, and America could get an agreement on nuclear weapons with Iran.  Guess what our VENTSday topics are this week? 

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. Topics range from the global to the hyper-local, and all responsible opinions are welcome.

Returning The Favor: "Saved By The Sea"

Apr 8, 2015
New World Library

We'll be celebrating Earth Day in the near future.  Journalist, documentary producer, activist, and scuba diver David Helvarg once observed that our celebrations seemed to stop at land's end, and did not include the oceans. 

He aims to correct the oversight in his book Saved By The Sea

Helvarg recounts his many experiences--plenty bad with the good--in the Earth's oceans in this memoir. 

From Redding To The Land Of Ebola

Apr 7, 2015
Wikimedia

Shasta County nurse practitioner Susie Foster recently returned to work after an extended leave.

But don't think of it as a vacation... Foster went to Sierra Leone in Africa to help treat Ebola patients.

It was neither fun nor easy, and it was not the first time Foster, from Hill Country Clinic in Round Mountain, made such a journey.

She also assisted earthquake victims in Haiti five years ago, among other trips.

The People Who Preserve The Past

Apr 7, 2015
yrekahistory.blogspot.com

Preserving the past takes a lot of work in the present.

Just ask the people who work in museums, historical societies, and libraries.

They'll get a chance to ask each other for ideas at the Oregon Heritage Conference coming up later this month on the coast.

Count on Kyle Jansson being there from the Oregon Heritage Commission.

Barbara Marx Hubbard on "Conscious Evolution"

Apr 7, 2015
New World Library

Think about your own worldview of 17 years ago, and how much it's changed. 

The futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard has certainly observed some changes in herself, along with the human race. 

The book she wrote 17 years ago, Conscious Evolution, has been revised and re-released to take all the changes into account. 

Arbor Week In Oregon

Apr 6, 2015
Wikimedia

When your state is known for its trees, just one day for Arbor Day is not enough. 

So both Oregon and California take a full week to celebrate trees and all they provide to the planet. 

Arbor Week is this week in Oregon (April 5-11). 

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