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.

Maybe you've been nailed by a red light camera, or not. 

Or maybe you saw somebody texting away behind the wheel, oblivious to the law and paying no penalty for it.  Let's hear your traffic enforcement issues in VENTSday (take our survey in advance).

Our other topic this week: your reaction to the Super Tuesday primary and caucus results and the momentum building for this fall's presidential races.

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

Penguin Books

The realization often comes to us in the form of a question, one day at work: what am I doing here?  Followed by: but what else would I do? 

Julie Jansen can totally relate; more than a decade ago, she published the first edition of her book I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This

She's updated it several times, with a new edition out this week.  The basic approach remains the same: helping readers in unsatisfying jobs--or unemployed--figure out what jobs would best use their skills and interests.

With a title like "Urinetown," a theater group had better be prepared to convince audience members that they made the right choice. 

No trepidation there for the leaders of Barnstormers Theatre in Grants Pass. 

The group claims to be Oregon's oldest continuous community theatre, making crowds laugh and cry since 1952. 

Carl Chapman/Wikimedia

The global glut of fossil fuels is good for consumers; paying less than two bucks a gallon for gasoline is a big benefit. 

But part of the glut traces back to increased oil and gas production in the United States, largely because of fracking. 

Sightline Institute, an environmental and policy think tank, assembled a report on facilities proposed for transporting the products of fracking in Oregon and Washington. 

Those facilities include the planned Jordan Cove gas export terminal near Coos Bay, and the long pipeline proposed to run to it. 

John Craig, BLM via Wikimedia

While it's true Oregon contains only one national park (Crater Lake), it contains several national monuments.

These include the occasionally controversial Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which protects the unique ecosystem where the ancient Siskiyou Mountains meet the volcanic Cascades. 

The wonders of the landscape are observed and sung (literally) by scientists and artists alike. 

Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou include those groups and many more. 

Susan Langston

Show biz was where Guy Finley worked for years, but he didn't feel satisfied. 

So he retired to the hills near Grants Pass, setting up the Life of Learning Foundation. 

As the name implies, Finley explores a lot of issues that adults face, including relationships. 

He recently developed a new program on "Relationship Magic." 

Catherine Opie/

It's more than sauerkraut, it's SANDORKRAUT! 

Sandor Katz began making fermented foods on a very small scale, but after his first batch of sauerkraut, he was hooked. 

Now he's a fermentation guru and award-winning author, and one of the speakers at this weekend's Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene (March 3-6). 


We have so many questions, just about the place where Dr. Abigail Baird works.  Really, the Laboratory for Adolescent Science?  It is INDEED a study of adolescents, not immature science.   

Dr. Baird focuses on reasoning and decision-making, and how these skills develop as we age (we hope). 

Jokes aside, Abigail has worked to abolish the death penalty for juvenile lawbreakers. 


We do right by the planet when we don't chuck all of our refuse in the trash can. 

But there's certainly a level of complexity to recycling.  Can pizza boxes be recycled with all that cheese stuck to them? 

That's one question well within the domain of the Master Recyclers

Just as Master Gardeners know the tips and tricks of working the soil, Master Recyclers know the practices of keeping our refuse out of the landfill. 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Playing in the snow is not for everyone.  And traveling through the snow for more than a thousand miles on a sled is even more limited in appeal. 

But Debbie Clarke Moderow saw the appeal in Alaska's famed Iditarod sled dog race, taking on the challenge in 2005. 

She tells her story of mushing and slushing with her beloved dogs in a memoir, Fast Into The Night


When you hear the term "MAP training," you might think it's about finding your way to a destination. 

And in a sense, it is... but MAP in this context means "mental and physical."  MAP combines mental training through meditation and physical training through aerobic exercise. 

And researchers show some success in reducing depression through the use of MAP training. 

Brandon Alderman at Rutgers University's Department of Exercise Science led a recent study. 

Public Domain

To drug or not to drug?  It's a tough question for the woman about to give birth. 

Natural childbirth is a great concept, but it is a pain-filled experience for most women. 

Sociologist Adam Rafalovich looked into the decision-making process for a report called "Pain IS the Club: Identity and Membership in the Natural Childbirth Community." 

Basic Books

Maybe someday we'll be able to eat meat created in a laboratory, without any animals being harmed.  But... WOULD we eat that? 

Our love affair with eating animals dates back a long way, long before the likes of our current species walked the Earth. 

In the book Meathooked, Marta Zaraska looks into the many ways in which we have fed our addiction with eating meat... and display some reluctance to give up the addiction. 

Pink Sherbet Photography

The Klamath Basin is almost over-endowed with renewal energy possibilities. 

The sun shines more than 300 days a year, the wind blows briskly at times, and there's all that geothermal energy available beneath the ground. 

So Klamath Falls is an obvious place for a workshop on energy sources in rural areas. 

Such a workshop is set for Friday (Feb. 26), with a variety of agencies and individuals lined up to consider the future.

Jes Baker is quite out-front about her body image: her web page identifies her as "body image blogger/fat chick," among other titles. 

Her motto is "change the world, love your body."  And she brings the message to Medford this week, welcomed by Rogue Community College.

Downtown Jacksonville, Oregon looks a lot like it did 100 years ago and beyond... like an Old West town.  But there's also a strain of Far East running through the town and the Rogue Valley in general. 

Because the valley was home to large numbers of Chinese immigrants in the 19th century, mostly men who worked hard to send money home to their families, and were generally resented by white settlers. 

The Southern Oregon Historical Society commemorates the Chinese presence with its annual display at the Rogue Valley Mall in Medford. 

Southern Oregon University

Lots of us pick up old guitars and other musical instruments at yard sales and antique stores. 

But the Schuman family took the pursuit seriously. 

The result is the Schuman Collection of musical instruments, a large cache of instruments from several centuries and many places around the world. 

Stephen Bacon of Bellwood Violin in Ashland is the appointed conservator of the collection. 


You go to the sink and turn the tap, and expect water to come out. 

For half a century, residents of Weed had that same expectation, perhaps unaware that the water was provided on a 50-year lease.  The lease with Roseburg Forest Products expires this June. 

The City of Weed recently warned residents that the loss of water rights would prevent the city from providing water to large portions of town. 

Roseburg insists that negotiations are still going on, and the water supply will not be affected. 

Wikimedia/JPR News

Mount Shasta's longstanding battle over a water bottling plant and the prospect of neighboring Weed losing a city water source raise an age-old question for this week's VENTSday segment: who can or should own water sources or the rights to use them?

That's just one topic of our weekly pair.  The other is the hot issue of whether Apple should help the FBI hack into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino mass shooters.

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

Crown Business Books

We learn more about the brain all the time; don't you wish you had a dollar for every time you heard the term "neuroscience" in the last year? 

That field is only one of several that are brought to bear in Caroline Webb's approach to improving your day--ANY day. 

Her book is How To Have A Good Day