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.

Eric Todd/barbarabradleyhagerty.com

So what DO we do with our lives when we're beyond the mid-point?  Hunker down and push on to retirement, or take a different approach? 

Barbara Bradley Hagerty chose the second door, a process she unfolds in her book Life Reimagined: The Science, Art and Opportunity of Midlife

The name might be familiar: Hagerty was an NPR correspondent, heard on our airwaves many times over the years. 

She put her reporter skills to work, asked lots of questions, and uncovered a wealth of information about how to enrich life as it enters its later chapters. 

Steevven1/Wikimedia

Foster care for children always begins with a crisis. 

Child welfare agencies do not have the luxury of planning in advance to remove children from biological parents and place them with foster parents. 

But several voices in Oregon say the state can do a better job making sure children in the system are properly cared for.  The voices include state Rep. Duane Stark of Grants Pass, himself a foster parent. 

Stark helped pass some bills relating to foster care in the recently completed legislative session. 

Hearts With A Mission

The teen years can be tough; few people would argue. 

Families can come unglued for a variety of reasons, and Hearts With a Mission provides shelter for teens who need it. 

HWAM provides its faith-based approach out of its center in Medford, but a new facility in Grants Pass is set to open soon. 

OSU Press

Newcomers to Oregon can scarcely believe the stories of a few decades ago, a time when Republicans dominated state politics and fought for landmark environmental protections.

All true, and the central focus of Floyd McKay's book Reporting The Oregon Story

McKay, a newspaper and TV reporter for decades, focuses on the period from 1964 to 1986, a time when Tom McCall and Bob Straub moved up the ranks to the governor's office, facing each other in several elections. 

Accomplishments of the time include beach protections, bottle deposits, and land-use regulations, among many others.

Ashland New Plays Festival

Ashland New Plays Festival is all about celebrating new works and new voices. 

And its quest for diversity led to this spring's first ever "Women's Invitational," featuring works and workshops from women playwrights. 

Three plays by women playwrights will be read during the event this week (March 22-27), and event chair Laura Jacqmin will co-lead a workshop on what it takes to make a coherent play. 

CalTrans

Driving on coastal roads in our region can be spectacular at times... and utterly frustrating at others. 

The land that leads down to the ocean can be slide-prone and unstable, leading to closures and short-term repairs. 

The Last Chance Grade on US 101 in Del Norte County is a particular headache for CalTrans, and now the agency is collecting public input on a range of alternatives to re-route the road. 

Algonquin Books

Novelist Jim Grimsley was a public school student when public schools integrated in North Carolina. 

The black students he met were the first black people he'd ever known. 

He has the benefit of hindsight as he looks on back on that time now, 50 years later, and comes to grips with his racist upbringing.  How I Shed My Skin is the story of his experiences. 

Wikimedia

Sunshine Week is observed by news organizations, mostly; organizations celebrating public access to public information. 

Humboldt County put its own spin on Sunshine Week; encouraging people to get more involved in the community. 

The major push came from the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, part of its effort to boost participation and volunteerism. 

Oregon Arts Commission

Speaking to an audience: check.  Speaking to an audience without notes: uhh, check.  Speaking to an audience without notes and in verse: okay, this is where we lose most people. 

But this is the essence of the Poetry Out Loud competition for high school students across the country. 

Oregon's winner came from the Portland area, but he got stiff competition from Southern Oregon.  Chad Moncus, Olivia Frakes, and Sadie Swartout, all from the Medford area, all took part. 

HarperCollins

Growing up on a prairie ultimately made Laura Ingalls Wilder famous. 

The Little House on the Prairie and related books made Wilder a beloved author, and led to the TV series of the 80s. 

Wilder is the focus of another book, but this one much more intimately connected to her. 

Because it's a collection of her correspondence, The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Christiaan Briggs/Wikimedia

The people of Lane County had had enough.  They watched as child abuse rates stayed stubbornly high in the county, and wanted to bring them down. 

So 90by30 was born, a program that aimed to reduce child abuse by 90% in the county by the year 2030. 

It's now been five years since the idea first took shape, and time for an update with some of the key figures in the program. 

Berrett-Koehler Publishers

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, it often appears. 

And it's often hard to believe that it happens by accident.  Not an accident at all, says John Perkins, who once used his economic training to advise the likes of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. 

He calls himself in those days an "economic hit man," and wrote a book about the activities of himself and his colleagues. 

He's now added chapters to update The New Confessions of An Economic Hit Man

Wikimedia

Thomas Nahimana devotes himself to conflict resolution, and he can speak with authority about conflict. 

Nahimana is Rwandan, and a survivor of the genocide of the mid-1990s. 

His current home is in France, but there's a good chance he will return to Rwanda to run for president next year. 

Nahimana visits Coos Bay tonight (March 16) to offer "Lessons in Nonviolent Conflict Resolution" at Southwestern Oregon Community College. 

guernicamag.org

The fate of the Jordan Cove LNG plan is one of two big topics on this week's VENTSday. 

Tell us your thoughts on the rejection of the gas pipeline and export terminal plan... or, on this Sunshine Week, give your thoughts on openness in government (or the lack of it). 

VENTSday is YOUR forum for discussing topics in the news... we identify the topics, you do the rest, every Wednesday around 8:30 AM.

Get a head start by taking our survey-of-the-week on our Facebook page, or join the VENTSday party on-air by calling in your comments to 800-838-3760.

Viking Press

Some days you just want people to stop yelling at each other. 

One end of the political spectrum says individual freedoms are the most important thing in the United States.  The other end says we all have to work together for the common good. 

Take heart that we are decidedly NOT having this argument for the first time.  In fact, we've been fighting about it since before the Constitution was even written, as Colin Woodard points out in his book American Character

Woodard blew our mind five years ago with American Nations, his book showing the very different regional cultures that made up the "united" states. 

Bryant Anderson/Del Norte Triplicate

One of California's smallest counties is beset with one of the state's biggest problems: domestic violence. 

The Del Norte County Sheriff's office received domestic violence calls in the dozens until six years ago. 

That's when the number mushroomed into the hundreds, and now tops 1,000 per year, more per capita than in any other county in all of California.  The reasons and remedies are elusive. 

Emily Cureton, now the Exchange producer, spent a year delving into the domestic violence situation in Del Norte County. 

David R. Tribble/Wikimedia

Between electric cars and mobile devices, you'd think our electricity consumption would be heading up sharply.   

But new devices are so energy efficient--think LED lights, for example--that we're holding the line.

In fact, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council reports that the Northwest can meet its energy needs for the next 20 years with no new power plants, thanks to conservation.

S. Pakhrin/Wikimedia

When atheists gather, is it considered a congregation?

We'll find out by June, when atheists plan to gather by the thousands at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington for Reason Rally 2016

You hear plenty in the news about people who think religion should be okay in the "public square;" Reason Rally takes the opposite view. 

Basic Books

The Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage is a significant step for gay rights in the country.  The obtaining of those rights has been neither easy nor quick. 

The basic history often jumps from the Stonewall Riots of 1969 to the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.  Historian Jim Downs fills in the years in between, in his book Stand By Me

They were years of community-building for what we call the LGBT community today. 

Picture Veresen/overlay JPR

[Revised with Veresen response 3/12] The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission delivered a potentially fatal blow to a plan to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Coos Bay area.  On Friday, FERC denied permits for the Jordan Cove LNG Terminal and the Pacific Gas Connector pipeline proposed to run to it.

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