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.

Dorothea Lange shot some of the most memorable photographs in 20th-century America. 

But they were still photographs.  Now Lange is the subject of a documentary film called "Grab a Hunk of Lightning," a story in moving pictures about her work in still pictures. 

It's a labor of love, directed by Dyanna Taylor, who is Lange's granddaughter. 

W.W. Norton Books

If the name Winston Groom does not ring a bell, maybe you'll recognize the name of one of his books: Forrest Gump. 

It's one of more than a dozen books Groom has written, but certainly the one he's best known for. 

El Paso, the new novel, is set in a very different place and time... along the Mexican border in the early 20th century. 

Cattle, railroads, and Pancho Villa himself all figure prominently in the book. 


Regardless of your own attitude toward the truth, your brain does not lie. 

At least it CAN'T when it is scanned by medical imaging devices.  And the brains of people who use marijuana show reduced blood flow, as reported in a recent study

That's especially true in the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in Alzheimer's disease. 

Dr. Daniel Amen of Amen Clinics is the lead author of the study.

It's not every day a state sells its own forest.  But that could happen today (December 13th) when the Oregon State Land Board meets. 

On the table: the proposed sale of the Elliott State Forest to bring in revenue for the Common School Fund. 

Lone Rock Timber and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians joined forces to put in the only bid. 

Jes Burns of our Earthfix unit has covered the story for a long time now. 


We can rail all we want about the nasty way people deal with each other in politics.  But Sarah Schulman says it's not just politics. 

Schulman is an English professor and a prolific author; her latest book Conflict is Not Abuse examines a culture of scapegoating in modern society. 

The book examines, among other things, how the behavior of supremacy and the behavior of being traumatized bears some resemblance. 


There's a good chance the Halloween decorations and supplies were still on the shelves at your local store when the Christmas music started playing on the speakers. 

The winter holidays can be filled with great joy... and also stress, frustration, and even depression. 

How to avoid the negatives?  Troy Campbell of the University of Oregon has some ideas in this month's installment of "Curious: Research Meets Radio."

Dr. Campbell, with degrees in psychology AND marketing, can provide insights into what wears people out at Christmas... and what they and commercial enterprises can do to provide more joy. 

Opportunity Village Eugene

It took a while, but Medford is ready to break ground on a tiny-house village to house homeless people while they get back on their feet. 

Hope Village will be located on Columbus Avenue in Medford, on a city-owned piece of property. 

Rogue Retreat and the Jackson County Homeless Task Force are working together on the village. 

Biswarup Ganguly-

Even those of us who consider ourselves tech-savvy can be left in the dust by today's children. 

The "digital natives" grew up with screens of all sizes in their lives nearly all the time.  And keeping up can be daunting for parents, even frightening at times. 

Devorah Heitner has a Ph.D in Media/Technology and Society from Northwestern University, and is raising a child herself. She advises other parents on how to roll with the changes of the times... and how to set firm limits. 

Heitner's book is Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World


It costs more than $21,000 a year to put a child in child care in Oregon, on average.

Which is a huge chunk of income for young families, and simply not affordable for many. 

ChildCare Aware of America compiled the reports for all 50 states (California is slightly more than Oregon).  CCAA policy chief Michelle McCready visits with details of the report. 

Julianna Brown/Wikimedia-curid=53814812

The Oakland "Ghost Ship" fire killed 36 people, by the most recent count.

It is horrifying to all, but of particular concern to fire officials.  Because a similar tragedy could occur in just about anyplace where people gather, if their gathering places are not meant to handle crowds. 

Ashland Fire Marshal Margueritte Hickman and Grants Pass Fire Marshal Joe Hyatt are among the fire experts in our region asking for public caution. 

National Youth Theatre

It is not unusual for a high school to put on a few plays. 

It's less usual for a high school to put on consistently good plays.  And rare indeed is the high school drama program that launches young actors toward Broadway. 

But that happened consistently, for years, at the Pennsylvania high school Michael Sokolove wrote about in his book Drama High

Sokolove actually attended the school, then went back to write about its unique claim to fame. 


Conservatives have complained for decades that college campuses are hotbeds of liberal, even radical, thought.

The conservative group Turning Point USA decided to take action.  It started up a web entity called "Professor Watchlist," so that the public can peruse news stories about various university professors with "demonstrated liberal biases." 

Turning Point USA has a chapter at the University of Oregon; student organizer Jacob Vandever gives his view of the effort and how the watchlist is developed. 

Sociology professor John Bellamy Foster is the first UO professor on the list.

The U.S. Air Force was not a good fit for Larry Wardwell.  Ditto for working in intelligence, the government kind. 

LSD showed some possibilities, though... and soon young Larry embarked on a journey that took him around the world in search of higher understanding, at the side of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, among others. 

Larry Wardwell tells the story in his memoir Confessions of a Closet Yogi

Bees get credit for a lot of good deeds. 

But supplying the drinks for a party?  Indeed, one of humankind's oldest beverages traces its lineage back to bees, and that's mead. 

Nectar Creek in the Willamette Valley makes meads of many flavors for responsible comsumption.

Army.  Navy.  Marines.  Army Air Force. 

It took a lot of people to win the war that started for the United States 75 years ago today at Pearl Harbor.  And the list of services gets even longer when you add in the Merchant Marine. 

USMM ships and people helped supplies get through during the war, and the service suffered casualties at a greater rate per capita than any other branch. 

Toni Horodysky, whose husband served in the Merchant Marine in WWII and Vietnam, started a web page tracking USMM history

Fibonacci Blue -

Anti-Trump protests on the streets.  Anti-pipeline protests on the edge of the reservation. 

Just two examples of people taking their disagreements and disappointments public.  Free speech, protected by the first amendment, right? 

This VENTSday, December 7th, let's hear your thoughts on IF there is a line protestors can cross, and what that line is.  Are there situations and places where protest ceases to be free speech and becomes something else? 

Call the show live at 800-838-3760, email or, if you can't make it live, take the survey below or record a message at 541-552-6331.

Society has come a long way in acknowledging the lives and realities of people who change gender. 

Similar attention is focused on their life partners in the book Housewife: Home Remaking in a Transgender Marriage

Eugene's Kristin Collier wrote it, sharing the story of how her husband became her wife.  Her partner had a journey, but so did Kristin and their kids. 

Vanessa Silberman Facebook page

Vanessa Silberman is a road warrior. 

She's already played 120 shows with her voice and guitar, and the year's not even over yet. 

Her work in alt rock has been compared to Nirvana and Neil Young, among other artists. 

Silberman plays a couple of shows in Ashland this week. 

Shifting POV via YouTube

If you don't feel like you've seen all sides of the confrontation over the Dakota Access Pipeline, Shifting POV has a remedy for you. 

SPOV is an Ashland-based collective of filmmakers, and its principals have been recording the events at the DAPL protest sites with virtual reality cameras... so a 360 degree view of the events. 

Jeris JC Miller and Aaron Moffatt were tear-gassed by police with cameras rolling.  But they felt it was important to document the events.

It's easy to be dazzled by the visuals of a movie and lose track of how great an influence the music exerts on our emotions. 

That's Joby Talbot's job as score composer... assist the mood while not overwhelming it.  Oh, and make the music work in time with the on-screen action. 

Talbot lives in Ashland and sees his work go worldwide... including in the coming animated feature "Sing."