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.

Nature Conservancy

Think of TEK as a combination of the very old and the very new. 

It's an acronym for Traditional Ecological Knowledge, like the knowledge of land management gained by indigenous people over thousands of years.  TEK practices are still very much valid today, including in fire management. 

Margo Robbins is a member of the Cultural Fire Management Council of the Yurok Tribe, and she joins other fire managers at this week's Klamath Fire Ecology Symposium


Norma Paulus was a key figure in Oregon politics in the 70s and 80s, and ran for governor in 1986. 

She missed there, but she was Oregon's first female secretary of state and later served as state school superintendent. 

Her years in the limelight are told in her book The Only Woman in the Room: The Norma Paulus Story

İncelemeelemani, CC BY-SA 3.0,

You have to be a VERY good poet for your work to still be revered hundreds of years after you die. 

Even Shakespeare's work has not been esteemed as long as the work of the Persian poet generally known as Rumi.  He died in the 13th century, but his work is still held in high regard today. 

In fact, several days of Rumi events are planned for this week in the Ashland area.  Andrew Harvey will participate, reading and exploring the poet's work.

Josephine County voters have a chance to make the public libraries truly public once again in the May 16th election. 

Hard budget times for the county forced it to close the libraries as public entities years ago... they've operated since then with a non-profit organization doing the work. 

The May ballot includes measure 17-79, to form a library district as Jackson County did several years ago, with a property tax rate to support it. 

Voters will also decide on candidates for the library district board, should the measure pass. 


The term "streamside buffers" sounds innocuous enough, but it's a subject of some tension in Oregon. 

The Oregon Department of Forestry proposes new rules for the buffers in part of the state... meaning logging on private lands by certain streams will have to leave more land untouched to preserve water quality. 

Wider buffers means fewer trees cut, so there's some resistance from the Oregon Small Woodlands Association and other timber groups. 


It's possible that half of the people in California who need mental health treatment do not get it. 

And money is not the only issue; social stigma also keeps people from getting mental health care. 

Those are just some of the findings of a white paper from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

And the younger you are, the more acute the situation: the same paper figures two-thirds of adolescents who need treatment don't get it. 

University of California Press

It's a story you've probably heard a few times: the immigrant to the United States who earned a doctoral degree back home but works as a cab driver here.  It is not just anecdotal. 

Immigrants can struggle to find jobs commensurate with their knowledge and skills.  Deepak Singh had an MBA, fluency in English, and experience working with the BBC.  His first American job: clerk at an electronics store in a mall. 

He tells the story and the larger context in his book: How May I Help You? - An Immigrant's Journey from MBA to Minimum Wage

University of Oregon

At least one journalism professor we know reports more people signing up for classes in the Donald Trump/Fake News age. 

And the business of journalism got a shot in the arm from the 2016 campaign and its outcome: more people paying for some major newspapers and their web pages. 

We get a perspective on the news business and renewed interest in it from Ed Madison at the University of Oregon School of Journalism

He worked for CNN when it started up and has worked many places since. 

Maybe the recent hot spell snuck up on you.  Did you turn on the car air conditioner, only to find it blowing warm air on you? 

'Tis the season to find out if your vehicle is ready to keep you cool on longer drives. 

We focus on air conditioning maintenance in "The Squeaky Wheel," our monthly visit with Zach Edwards of Ashland Automotive

It was no quick path to statehood for Oregon, and the years leading up to the territory becoming a state in 1859 were frequently turbulent. 

A group of young men allied with the Democratic Party were behind some of the turbulence, and they were accused of everything from supporting slavery to seeking to establish a Mormon republic. 

These men get a modern-day examination in Barbara Mahoney's book The Salem Clique: Oregon's Founding Brothers

RV Symphony

The days are longer, the evenings warmer, and the arts scene heats up further in the month of May in our region. 

We track the arts scene in our First Friday Arts segment, a free-for-all featuring phone calls from around the region boosting arts events for the coming weeks. 

Listen for details of arts events in your town...


When you think about butterflies, there's a good chance that what you envision will be a monarch. 

They are the rock stars of the butterly world, but also as troubled as a rock star facing legal issues. 

Efforts to help the monarch come back from very low population numbers abound. 

They include a symposium coming to Southern Oregon University next week, with help from Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates

Public Domain/Wikimedia

It is the fluid of our lives.  Blood, not water. 

Think about its critical importance to our very existence, and the many ways we think about it: "that trait is in the blood" or "blood will be spilled" or "blood is thicker than water." 

Lawrence Hill put all this and more into his book Blood: The Stuff of Life


Volkswagen messed up, and now the state of Oregon benefits. 

The German car builder admitted to designing diesel cars to trick emissions testing equipment, then apologized and agreed to pay out millions in restitution. 

Oregon's share is more than $70 Million, and the state is now taking public input on how to best spend the money making the air cleaner. 

Mark Schuster/U.S. Department of the Interior

Maybe looking at trees and mountains does not generate a lot of money, but people who do those activities spend plenty. 

The National Park Service is totaling up what people spend when they visit national parks across the country. 

And the parks near us (Crater Lake, Lassen, Oregon Caves, Lava Beds, and Redwood) generate something like $143 Million dollars in economic activity. 

Cancillería Ecuador, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was all about preventing totalitarian government from taking hold in the world. 

Now the Cold War is long over, the Soviet Union gone... and totalitarian government is gaining anyway. 

Brian Klaas at the London School of Economics says if western democracies are looking for whom to blame, they should look in the mirror. 

That is the case he makes in his book The Despot's Accomplice: How the West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy

Banana Stand, Portland

Josh Gross has an addiction, and it's one we're only too happy to share. 

He loves music, and across a wide spectrum of genres and styles. 

Josh makes music, and writes about music for the Rogue Valley Messenger

And once a month, he visits the studio with "Rogue Sounds," a compilation of musical samples and news of coming band dates. 

Wikimedia/Garry Knight

No one really relishes making plans for their care when they are old and infirm. 

And that's just the problem: not enough people plan for the possibility that they will need assistance late in life. 

Sharon Johnson makes the case for planning, both in her newspaper column "Healthy Aging" and in her work as executive director of Age-Friendly Innovators

Shaundd via Wikimedia Commons

State Senator Alan DeBoer arrived in Oregon's capitol along with a big issue: not enough money to keep state services at their current levels. 

So much for a gentle introduction to legislating.  DeBoer gets to share, with 89 other legislators, the headache of either cutting $1.6 Billion or raising more revenue, or both. 

He joins us with his impressions of his first months in the legislature, and the daunting task ahead.  Senator DeBoer says his previous experience in business and government makes him a natural for budget tasks.

Con-struct, CC BY-SA 3.0,

If someone displays racist behavior in front of you, do you know what to do?  The question gets asked more frequently these days, given the rise in bias incidents since the last election. 

Workshops coming to Medford and Ashland next week (May 8 and 9, respectively; arranged by Resolve Center in Medford) will give attendees tools to interrupt hate in public spaces. 

Rabbi Debra Kolodny of Resolutions Northwest leads the workshops and joins us with details.