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Your Letters Archive: Letters prior to 1/1/07

Home Humidity Suggestions 12/4/06
I would like to offer an alternative to Amy Ivy's advice for increasing humidity in our homes in the winter. Instead of rushing out to buy another plastic gadget that uses electricity (in this case, a humidifier), why not hang your laundry inside the house to dry? You'll not only eliminate the need for an energy consuming dryer, but you will also humidify your home. A pot of water on our woodstove and moisture from the laundry, (as well as Amy's other suggestion of putting houseplants on top of pebbles and water) works well for us all winter long.
Katherine Brown, Keene, NY

Ill-usaged 11/9/06
As Morning Edition asked for comments on English usage, please recommend to your "language police" that presenters stop using the term 'precipitously' for "suddenly," or "without further ado." This means extremely steeply, as in a drop from a cliff-top. The correct term is "precipitately." Both terms would of course play havoc with Carl Cassel's upper plate!

Music through the Night
Too Strident
I work late, sleep late. Turning in anytime after 1 a.m., I prefer to be lulled by the dulcet tones of Valerie Koehler(?) than shaken by the strident marching orders of Mr Jacobsen. Could the producer of this small-hours classical space pay more attention to a listener's somnolent mood?

Ian Brookes, Kingston ON

Finding NCPR Online 10/30/06
NCPR!!! I miss you so much! I am originaly from Potsdam, but I am now living in Central IL (I have been away for 2 years). I just started streaming NCPR from my computer last week and I feel whole again. You have great programing and reporting, THANK YOU!
Esther Dubrovsky, Normal, IL

Blue Helmets began with Canada 10/28/06
I am not shocked, but cannot shake being appalled at yet another example of American and British arrogance - or is it ignorance? - as heard on Weekend Edition Saturday 28 October, in Scott Simons' discussion with the 'jolly good fellow', Urquhart, on the subject of establishment of the UN peace-keeping operation on the Suez Canal in 1956. The discussants got so wrapped up in their nations' roles at Suez, that they made no mention of Lester Pearson, the originator of that operation, the first such performed by the UN. Pearson, then Canada's UN ambassador, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of this. Urquhart's claim to have organized the blue helmets for this operation pales beside Pearson's origination of UN peace-keeping operations.
Ian Brookes, Kingston ON

Fundraiser Kudos 10/22/06
Congratulations on a succcessful fund campaign! We were tuned in til the happy end. So impressed with how all you folks maintained your enthusiasm thruout the wk. You're a fabulous group. You make our ADK lives better and so well informed. Thank You for being out there!
Carol Morrison, Old Forge

Propaganda by omission, and repetition 10/12/06
In repeated discussions this week on NPR of the first American arrested for treason since WW2, and on and on... Could we please update the background of this story? NPR states, there have been many other terrorist charges brought against many other Americans. PLEASE rephrase or add, not one conviction has resulted under the new laws, not one. This veil of propaganda by omission, and repetition, could not better serve the Bush administrations agenda of instilling fear and surrender in our nation.

This week PBS has done a story exposing the fear and government terror levied against many, including two Muslims in Lodi California, who were charged with terrorism and never found guilty of anything close to terrorism. NPR, just keeps repeating that many others were "charged with terrorism." The use of "charged" with the crime "terrorism," seems very similar to the effective old school use of: "Sadam" and "9-11", "Sadam" and "mushroom cloud."

This type of overt propaganda is not acceptable, is poisoning the well of facts needed in our democracy and is an insult to your listeners.
Richard, West Stockholm

Stuart McLean a Treat 9/29/06
What a treat to hear the voice of Stuart McClean of the Vinyl Cafe on NCPR. We are long-time fans of this show on CBC, but often miss it as it airs Saturday mornings, when so much is going on. Wednesdays at 1 will be NCPR time now. For those who have not tried this show, do so. Good music, stories with humor and heart, and an easy relaxed style.
Cliff Westerling , Potsdam, Moore's Hill

Photo of the Day: Iwo Jima no circus 9/1/06
My heart sank coldly reading the caption to today's photo 9/01/06. Iwo Jima was no circus. I did not expect such insensitivity from my favorite station.
Rosalyn Smith, NYC and Lake Titus

Photo of the Day in poor taste 8/31/06
Is this station insensitive to the plight of animals in circuses? Have you read the recent statement by the Potsdam Humane Society regarding cruel treatment of circus animals? perhaps before you post a photo of the day (and compare it to the flag raising on Iwo Jima) you should visit the websites listed in the Humane Society's recent letter. Very poor taste!
Frederick, Canton

Great Sunday line-up 8/28/06
I listen to and am a member of all 3 of the public radio stations I receive in Plattsburgh. Your Sunday midday lineup is MUST listening for me. When I'm away I would like to pick up the podcast of This American Life and Selected Shorts.
Maomi Bradshaw, Plattsburgh

Ed. You can subscribe to the This American Life podcast and download editions of Selected Shorts at

Up Beat, off Point and Where's Dick? 8/15/06
Been listening to the station call-in, thanks for that! I grew up in the Brasher Falls area, been a listener for quite a few years. I now live in Fredericksburg VA and I listen to the station all day long at work on the web. It keeps me connected to home (and makes me miss it quite a bit!). I just wanted to say thank you so much for all the hard work and effort you put in to give us this great source of information. A few comments/questions...First, LOVE the Beat Authority!! It is a great kick off to the weekend, very fun. Second, what happened to Dick Gordon after The Connection was cancelled? Is he on a new show, and if so, any chance of trying it out. I do like the topics of On Point, but Tom Ashbrook has a more abrasive style than Dick, whom I enjoyed very much. Thank you so much again,
Adrienne Pike, Fredericksburg, Va

Ed. Dick Gordon has a new program, The Story, at WUNC, North Carolina Public Radio. A national distribution deal is under discussion and program director Jackie Sauter is keeping an eye on it for possible broadcast on NCPR.

Keep the Local Programming 8/10/06
In response to the latest Listening Post (about the Ask the Station call-in, ed.) I would like to say that your locally-produced programs are the reason I listen to NCPR over the local NPR affilliate. I also like the laid-back attitude that the on-air staff has - they do a professional job but don't take themselves too seriously and seem to really enjoy their work. Keep the local programming - I can find all the news I don't want to hear everywhere else.
John Doty, Westford, Vermont

Missing the Newsletter 7/19/06
I was heartsick to read that we will no longer be receiving NCPR newsletters. For those of us who can't listen much--the Malone transmitter doesn't come in to my desk at work--the newsletter kept us in touch with what was going on at the station. I feel a connection to the station; it was a lifeline when I was travelling the gravel roads alone, doing home visits for years. It kept my mind busy as I folded unending piles of laundry and chased cows who decided to be "on the road again". I'd come home from work, and sit right down with the newsletter. I don't know where I would get the same information on the website. If it is legitimately to save paper, does that mean we won't be receiving paper and envelopes for fundraising? I love the website; but am a reader; and feel cut off from the station already.
Jill Vaughan, Moira

"Suspicion" Loosely Defined 7/18/06
II listened in disbelief to your All Before Five article about the Coast Guard requesting Americans to watch for suspicious people on the St. Lawrence River. The most astounding statements concerned the definition, or should I say lack of definition, of "suspicious" activity; which, if one followed the advice of the Coast Guard, was ludicrously loosely defined. Equally heart warming was the Coast Guard's contention that a more clear definition was not possible because information about suspicious activity previously collected was "classified." Shades of the "Hitler Youth"-- we are going to have the "Bush Old-timers" keeping us in line.
Ken Hall, DeKalb

Kudos for Regional News 7/13/06
Just wanted to make a quick note that I enjoy listening to NCPR and especially the 8 o'clock hour for regional news and the interactivity of the hosts. My hometown NPR stations is WRVO and they do a great job but there are some programs that you carry that they don't and I enjoy those. Keep up the great work. It also makes me feel that I am in the Adirondacks instead of 5 minutes outside of Syracuse.
Patrick Dunn, Jamesville

No Kudos for Local Weather 7/10/06
HI we spend a lot of time in the adirondacks during the summer and listen to NCPR daily. The programming is excellent, with the exception of the weather reports or lack of. One of the most important pieces to know while you are vacationing is accurante and complete weather forcasts so hikes, paddles, etc. can be planned. We find your weather reports cursory at best, and then normally only cover one day. We listen to WAMC at home and at 12:15 they have a complete forcast for a number of days. This would be an example of a format that I would hope you would consider. Thank you for your attention.
Alan O'Mara, Catskill

Majority of New Yorkers Support Tax-free Reservation Sales 6/27/06
In spite of a recent Zogby poll that indicated 68% of New York State residents do not support efforts to stop the Native sale of fuel and tobacco free of state taxes to non-natives, the state legislature and all of the would-be governors seem hell bent on destroying the economic base of all the native communities in New York. The ironic part is that revenue leakage to reservation sales is paltry by comparison to losses to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Ohio. Another irony is that all states, including New York, work diligently to attract out-of-state purchasers to buy products in one state for use and consumption in their own state, yet fail to see the hypocrisy in targeting the destruction of reservation sales.
John Kane, Plattsburgh

Comment on Gay Marriage Ban Amendment Commentary 6/9/06
I listened to your commentary regarding the current attempt by conservatives to legislate our marital preferences by invoking law. Nice job. I couldn't agree more. Perhaps we are all more alike than we realize. I read a book before the last presidential election by Anthony Read titled "The Devil's Disciples". It gave me a chill. Perhaps it will do the same for you. Best regards as always,
Reynold Hubbard, St. Regis Falls

Online Homesick Cure 5/15/06
Today I am officially homesick. I was looking for internet radio stations and today it struck me to see if NCPR had a live stream. One year ago I moved from Saranac Lake all the way to Dallas, Texas, and tuning into your station brought back a flood of fond memories and emotions that I hadn't felt in a while. I am glad to have this connection to home.
Steve Williams, Denton, Texas

Not Just North Countyisms 5/11/06
I heard today a caller from Antwerp identify two unusual usages in the area, 'youse' and 'chimbley'. The first is common on both sides of the St. Lawrence (e.g. in Prescott on the Canadian side) and probably dates from the settlement of the late 18th century. The latter is an archaism from England (you'll find it, for instance) in Dickens. What, I suspect, will become very clear as you proceed with your series on local usages, is that the St. Lawrence river is an artificial barrier created really by the building of the Seaway (still hated by locals on this side of the border) and the termination of most of the ferries and reinforced by current security paranoia.
Roger Blockley, Kemptville, Ontario

New Member Wants Ottawa Signal 3/22/06
I have just (today) joined NCPR, which I listen to while driving to and from work at Carleton University in Ottawa. What I hear is far superior to anything I can get from CBC. My only gripe is that as I approach the south end of Ottawa (the real city not the fields and marshes that constitute about 90% of what is now called Ottawa) I lose the signal. Maybe Radio Bob can do something about that.
Roger Blockley, Kemptville, Ontario

Kudos from Eastern Europe 3/17/06
I like your programs and especially your orientation that you support people with various impairments and that you read books to communities. Music is very good during the night and day, choice of music as well--choice of music is sometimes educational too, sound quality is very good. Keep up with your good work. I am glad that you are socially responsible.
Vedran Vucic, Belgrade

"Get a little Crazy" with Regional Music 3/8/06
I think that NCPR, as a local and regional station, should give much more attention to local and regional musicians, and be a little more adventurous, and less risk-averse in their airing of music. Of course, we are able to hear different music, and better music than what can be generally found on commercial radio, but far too often it seems as though the same sorts of filters infect Public Radio, and the most original and interesting material (some of which is being made in our own back yard) falls victim to the gatekeepers (yes, public radio has it's own gatekeepers both at the local and national levels). Most of the very best stuff never gets that stamp of approval. Let's decentralize, think community, and get a little crazy once in a while.
Larry McGory, Potsdam

Rumsfeld Blames the Messenger 3/8/06
Regarding the NPR story headed "Rumsfeld Sees Potential for Civil War" on March 7 and his consequential blaming the media for overly negative reporting on civilian casualties, it strikes me that Rumsfeld is attempting to kill the messenger with his comments attacking the credibility of the press in general.
     In the on-air fundraising segment during the 6 pm news, Ellen made reference to talking as an NPR board member with the CEO of NPR regarding a meeting wtih NPR reporters in the Middle East and their reiterating that the situation in Iraq, according to Ellen, is far worse than is being reported. I took Ellen's comments to mean that if anything, the press is being conservative in attempting to inform listeners as to the potential threat of civil war. That being said, I would hope Ellen as an NPR board member would forcibly request some type of rebuttal from NPR regarding their journalistic credibility and accuracy in the reporting from Iraq.
     Further, I believe it would be helpful for NPR to reiterate the basis for Mr. Rumsfeld's credibility and ethical standard, given his lack of concern about treatment of prisoners, ignoring the Geneva Conventions and protocols, and inability to provide troops with adequate protective armor.
David Duff, Macomb

Oscar Coverage Kudos (not!) 3/6/06
I enjoyed your review of the Oscars this morning and your enthusiasm for 36 Mafia and their glorification of prostitution by their song, "It's Hard For a Pimp". It takes Public Radio to support profane, struggling thugs like 36 Mafia. Keep up the good work!
Randall Cornelison, Philadelphia

NCPR: One of a Kind 3/6/06
When we moved from this area 16 years ago, one of the things I missed most was NCPR. I missed the sense of community that it offered, along with the one-of-a-kind music in the afternoon! I listened and supported Public Radio where we lived in Ohio, but never felt the same way about the station. Upon our return to the North Country six years ago, the first thing I did was tune into NCPR - it truly was a welcome home!
Lori MacIntosh, Waddington

Notional Grid? 2/23/06
After hearing Brian Mann's interview with the spokesman from National Grid on NG's tepid response to the windstorm, I had just one question: "When did National Grid learn the levee's had been breached?"
Bob Dickie, Cadyville

The Return of Bob? 2/20/06
I see that Bob Edwards has a 2-hour long show called Bob Edwards Weekend that is being produced by PRI and XM Radio, and marketed to Public Radio stations. Any chance that it will be picked up by NCPR? I'd love to hear it.
Bethany Usher, Canton

Too Much Religion 2/10/06
I very much enjoy listening to your station, but I don't like your recent emphasis on religious topics and programs.
Joan Lalonde, Potsdam

NPR Already Chooses Between the Good and Bad in Business 1/27/06
I was interested in the fact that several people asked the same question I had about NPR accepting sponsorship from Wal-Mart. I had asked you about it some time ago, and shouldn't have been surprised that Mr. Stern [NPR Chief Operating Officer in a recent NCPR Call-in, ed.] gave the same response that you had; that NPR is not going to decide between the "good guys" and "bad guys" of business. But you do, right? I believe that you told me that NPR does not accept sponsorship from liquor or tobacco companies, how about casinos, brothels? And there must be others that NPR would not associate with. I believe that, for example, the casinos and brothels may have a less negative effect on our society (or at least on my life) than Wal-Mart does. In spite of this I still think that NCPR is the best radio I have ever heard. Keep up the good work.
Armond Spencer, Potsdam

NPR Soft-Pedals Serious News 1/26/06
Unfortunately I missed most of this morning's call-in show with the NPR representative--I heard only the last 10 minutes. I have no idea of the tone of earlies calls. I had hoped to call up and complain about NPR's apparent abandonment of serious news. Over the last week I've listened with increasing frustration to soft-hearted reports on heaven, mothers and daughters, football, and collard greens (cooked, OMG, in olive oil!!!), with astonishingly slight coverage of iraq (a *war*), Bush's illegal spying (*spying*), Darfur, etc. In fact, of the few serious reports on the NSA disaster, most have featured Republican apologists. Even the coverage of New Orleans, which is extensive, seems to emphasize the 'human interest' story rather than anything remotely 'political.' The ads for Weekend Edition seem to flaunt all of this--the show is relaxing, silly, comforting, a respite from the week's rush. Many of us would agree that this country is collapsing into a horror-show of lies and authoritarianism. It's depressing and pathetic that NPR doesn't seem interested in covering any of it.
Nat, Underhill VT

Try Diane Rehm 1/26/06
I want to second the motion made a few minutes ago on the call-in show with the COO of NPR...I REALLY want to have Diane Rehm on your program schedule.
Kathy Clarke, Lake George

Jamming? 1/26/06
I found it very curious that the only time I had reception problems was when you mentioned that you were trying to arrange with a station in North Carolina for a program other than On Point. It was if it was "jammed." The reception has been totally clear ever since? Any thoughts on that?
Mary Henry, Raquette Lake

Our spiffy new digital transmitter responds to power fluctuations by switching over to generator power. When that happens, there is a short (30 seconds or less) burst of static. That happened twice during the Thursday am call-in. Our apologies--we are working to shorten or eliminate that delay. To our knowledge, Tom Ashbrook of On Point and WBUR Boston have no direct control over the local power grid or the NPR satellite. Ed.

Yay Cafe! 1/25/06
An old adage, maybe something my Grandmother once said, says to not say something negative without something positive to say also. With this in mind, I would like to say the The Vinyl Cafe is a great addition to NCPR's program lineup.
Paul, Canton

Play More Music 1/24/06
Please explain what I as a listener have gained with the inclusion of All Before Five in your daily programming. Same old news, different time; not to mention 15 minutes lost on the already too short music programs - Stop talking Bob, Jackie, and play more music!!!
Paul, Canton

Canadian Election Analysis Lacking 1/18/06
Your piece about the current Canadian election campaign featuring Prof. Thacker was the most ridiculous explanation of why the Liberals are going down in flames. Why was there absolutely no mention of all the corruption scandals? It is amazing that someone claiming to be an expert on Canadian politics failed to mention AdScam even in passing. Is is that hard for you to equate Liberal with Corrupt? Another reason why our tax dollars should not support such biased reporting.
Douglas Yu, Plattsburgh

Impeachment Silence is "Defining" 1/14/06
The "silence is defining" as they say! I looked over the NPR news searches and nothing on the growing movement to impeach Bush. No matter how small the chance (given the media blackout), the movement is large and growing, and has behind it patriots who fear the growing loss of civil rights and Liberty.
     Do we have to wait until 2008 to hear more than one sentence spoken on NPR on the subject? I am so very disappointed to the point of correctly declaring the NPR system: negligent, blatantly censored, and complicit in furthering the illusion that your listeners are informed. The last one is what really pisses me off and contributes to ill will amongst the fast growing number of ex-listeners, ex-contributors and the outspoken anti-NPR community. Evolve or perish. The future neocon cut backs to NPR are sure to come as government, corporate and private debts, debts largely financed by communist third world nations (China), reach astronomical and unsustainable levels.
We cannot afford to wait for the "news."
Richard Paolillo, West Stockholm

Canadian Kudos, with Orthodontic Caveat 1/11/06
As a Canadian listener in Kingston, Ontario, I want to say how glad I am that during the CBC staff lock-out of late last year, I listened to NPR from Canton NY, and was impressed to find how relevant, judicious, and balanced your programming is, and am now a regular listener most of the day.
     But I also have to say, as a crotchety old retired academic, how annoying I find that news-reader's voice from Washington, Carl Kassel. Maybe you have a mandate to represent on staff all sectors of the listening population, including those with loose-fitting upper dentures. But the good of the greatest number is better served if people so afflicted are tasked with other jobs than reading the national news! Thanks!
Ian Brookes, Kingston, ON

New Years Eve with Ellen & Guy "A Blast"! 1/2/06
Just got to tell you that was a blast. We had three generations of the family from five to seventy-five here and we all listened from 8 to nearly 1 am. A great mix and a great community feeling.
Alan McLeod , Kingston, ON

Schorr Misses Impeachment Moves 12/25/05
Daniel Schorr needs to update his commentary: There IS a call for Censure and Impeachment for Bush and Cheney.

On December 24, 2005 newscast, Daniel Schorr was reviewing the weeks news and reported that despite domestic spying on American citizens, torture approved, civil right questioned finally being raised, "There was no impeachment moves against Mr. Bush." Mr. Shore who holds high status at NPR as senior news commentator, needs to update this assertion.

Several years ago former Attorney Ramsey Clark formally drafted articles of impeachment. His call for impeachment is widely available on the net.

Congressman Conyers of Michigan, was investigating impeachment through his constituents a year or so ago, and on December 20, 2005 launched three articles of censure and impeachment for both Mr. Bush and Cheney.

Press release below is from Conyers official website:


Calls for Censure of President Bush and Vice President Cheney

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representative John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement regarding today's release of a staff report entitled "The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retributions and Cover-ups in the Iraq War." The Report is my best effort to examine all of the charges of misconduct by the Bush Administration concerning the Iraq War.

Conyers Report:

"In brief, we have found that there is substantial evidence the President, the Vice-President and other high ranking members of the Bush Administration misled Congress and the American people regarding the decision to go to war in Iraq; misstated and manipulated intelligence information regarding the justification for such war; countenanced torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in Iraq; and permitted inappropriate retaliation against critics of their Administration. There is at least a prima facie case that these actions that federal laws have been violated--from false statements to Congress to retaliating against Administration critics.

In response to the Report, I have already taken several initial steps. First, I have introduced a resolution (H. Res. 635) creating a Select Committee with subpoena authority to investigate the misconduct of the Bush Administration with regard to the Iraq war and report on possible impeachable offenses. In addition, I have introduced Resolutions regarding both President Bush (H. Res. 636) and Vice-President Cheney (H. Res. 637) proposing that they be censured by Congress based on indisputable evidence of unaccounted for misstatements and abuse of power in the public record. There are a number of additional recommendations in the Report that I expect to be taking up in the coming weeks and months.

The Report rejects the frequent contention by the Bush Administration that their pre-war conduct has been reviewed and they have been exonerated. No entity has ever considered whether the Administration misled Americans about the decision to go to War, and the Senate Intelligence Committee has not yet conducted a review of pre-war intelligence information, while the Silberman-Robb report specifically cautioned, that intelligence manipulation "was not part of our inquiry." There has also not been any independent inquiry concerning torture and other legal violations in Iraq; nor has there been an independent review of the pattern of cover-ups and political retribution by the Bush Administration against its critics, other than the very narrow and still ongoing inquiry of Special Counsel Fitzgerald."

My Conyers has also said,
"I have just completed a thorough review of this administration's misconduct and have produced a 250-page report that provides evidence suggesting further steps to be taken." [A copy of the report may be found at Raw and also at where additional action items may be found.] Retrieving the report through Conyers' official web site is impossible for mysterious reasons, although all other parts of his website are in fine working order.

NPR, please update Mr. Schorr and report on this important development both in commentaries and as news stories.

Richard Paolillo, West Stockholm

A Franklin Manor Christmas 12/14/05
I fell in love with the Sunday holiday reading of A Franklin Manor Christmas. Is this book able to be purchased yet? I would really enjoy a copy of my own to share with my nieces and nephews. As a lover of the Adirondacks and the magic that takes place there, this story is beyond beautiful! Thank you for adding some Christmas magic to my home through the radio.
Tammy Ronas-Slate, Philadelphia

A Franklin Manor Christmas is not available in print yet, but you can listen to, or download a copy of Paul Willcott's reading of the story in the UpNorth Concert Hall, Ed.

Holocaust Denial: NPR Spotlight Too Dim 12/14/05
I thought that, as much as possible under the circumstances, i.e., interviewing Mr. Naji, an Iranian journalist, about the latest holocaust denial statements of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, Mr. Inskeep did a balanced job. The interview turned predictably clinical and political, as was to be expected with the given cast of characters.

Yet at it's root, this is not a clinical or political issue. The very sad fact of the reality of the holocaust, with it's six million Jewish victims is beyond debate. (The Nazi's were very good at record-keeping; I am well aware that not ALL the victims were Jews, just most of them; being a Jew was, however, sufficient provocation alone for murder; and, about 25% of the victims were children..)

As the war ended a little over 60 years ago, the eye-witnesses will soon all be gone. Regardless, there are still literally millions of pieces of physical evidence to corroborate this horrific stain on human history, as well as the living children and grandchildren of both victims and eye-witnesses.

There is a whole generation for whom this period of history is being relegated to just another chapter in a history book.

It cannot be assumed that blatantly political, antisemetic, inflammatory rhetoric is universally recognized for the nonsense that it is.

Therefore, when a head of state with a world-forum propagates a big lie over and over (i.e., holocaust denial), it then becomes the responsibility of others (such as NPR) with an equally potent forum to shine the spotlight of truth clearly and brightly.

What is most disappointing is how dim NPR's spotlight is. President Ahmadinejad isn't even throwing a shadow.

Up your wattage.

Don, Saranac Lake

Up Beat! 12/7/05
just a quick note to let you know that I think The Beat Authority is the freshest thing to come along on radio up here (I live across the Lake in Charlotte) in a long, long time. I like Radio Bob's program, too, but the BA exposes me to more great music that I would probably otherwise never hear. I love the Spanish lingo, too. I'm nowhere near as fluent as the host, but it helps keep me sharp on what I do know and remember.
Rick Brokaw, Charlotte VT

Best on the Block 11/22/05
I have just moved back to the Glens Falls area, after spending 5 years in Indianapolis, IN, where there was a great public radio station. I have been struggling with the Albany and Vermont stations because they do not broadcast any of my favorite shows during the day. I have just discovered that you do have some great daytime programming. Thank you. Your station is the one I will support financially.
Kathy Clarke, Lake George

Don't Move The Folk Show 11/18/05
I miss listening to The Folk Show (on the Internet) on Friday afternoon! It was great company as I would try to wrap things up at work, and transition to the weekend. Thanks, Mike, I've really enjoyed your show.
Gayle Barton, Bennington, VT

String Fever "Doth Tame the Savage Breast" 11/17/05
I've got a whole new appreciation for that song you just played, "Single Girl," as I walk my colicky three-month-old around the house. He quieted down to listen to that one with me though! Thanks for a great show. It reminds me of the show I had for a few years out in California. I miss it, but it's nice to be able to hear someone else doing it here. All the best, Erica Andrus, St. Albans, VT

Loves story on Music for a Monday 11/16/05
Monday afternoon I had to make a quick trip 'home'...out of the ADK and downstate to the Soutern Tier area. I was able to listen to Music for a Monday to nearly Alder Creek or Barnville and enjoyed listening to the story told by the CBC storyteller--It made me laugh, just when I needed a little levity!
David Knapp, Paul Smiths

On Point Shows Bias 10/26/05
Once again I need to comment on the On Point broadcast. I find this show to be very offensive at times. Today's show (Wednesday, Oct 26th at 10 am) was about the personal losses in the Iraq War. Those interviewed were from families who had lost loved ones. Many of them (it seemed to be the majority) told about how those who died from their family believed in the mission in Iraq and were proud to serve our country in this way.

Then, at the end of the program, an editorial was aired that blamed the entire war effort on the current administration and ignored the feelings and ideas expressed by the majority of the callers. If I had been one of those callers, I would have been grossly offended. The editorial completely missed the point of what these people, who have made a supreme sacrifice, expressed. It offended me. This is not the first time On Point has used their air time to promote a political agenda. What is this show about anyway? If it is just an anti-administration, pro-liberal point of view show, then it should clearly state that at the start of every show.
Rich Loeber, Saranac Lake

Appreciates Hunting Story Online 10/24/05
My name is Paul Nadeau and I have just listened to the commentary presented on this website pertaining to hunting and it's traditions in the North Country.

I really enjoyed the broadcast. I too grew up in Tupper Lake and knew John Quinn and members of his immediate family. In fact his father was a high school science teacher of mine and I was sad to hear of his passing. I also lost my father but at a much younger age. Time will heal the pain.

As a teenager I can recall John bagging a buck across the lake from the village where we resided. In fact I can safely say that hearing of his success that day helped trigger in me a deep rooted desire to hunt whitetail deer. To this day I still have that hunger and have had some hunting success living in Vermont. I also have tried to instill the hunting tradition in my family but have not had the same success that John has had. I am still holding out hope. My son's are 22 and 20 years of age.

In the broadcast I believe someone had stated that if you harvest a deer "it's a bonus". I couldn't agree with that statement more. It was very well stated, you see "I get it" as I'm sure most hunters do. It is really not about the deer kill but more about the thrill of the chase and the hunanity that is abtained throughout the process and via ALL your fellow hunters.

I too have concerns regarding the dwindling numbers of young hunters and am also concerned for the future of hunting and those traditional values lost therein.

Growing up in Tupper Lake in the 60's life was very hard at times, but in general we lived in a much simpler time. As a society we took this for granted. Having lived in Vermont over the past 25 plus years and having been raised in the Adirondacks I feel that I have a good sense of the problem at hand. I do believe that our youth today have different pressures on them that we did not have when we were young and that their free time is at a premium considering all of the modern conviences and distractions.

I look at this problem a little bit differently based on my life experiences than probably most hunters, but am always interested in hearing everyones views on this matter. Interstingly enough I only hear the same old same old opinions that seem to reasonate as if it were a broken record.

  • "The deer numbers are dwindling", "I never see any deer when I am in the field"
  • "The kids just don't have the interest in hunting that we did"
  • "etc..etc...etc"

Just for a second, lets just look at this problem intraspectively and look at it for what it is and stop blaming everything and everyone else and clean up our own house first before we start solving problems with hunting that have nothing to do with solidifying the traditions that come from within the sport.

Hunters as well meaning as they may sound, are basically selfish by nature when it comes to bagging that buck. I am no different. The proof is in the pudding one might say. I say this because everytime I discuss these hunting problems with my hunting counterparts, hardly anyone ever mentions LAND POSTING and those self centered, selfish character traits that in my opinion are at the root cause for the demise of our great ourdoors adventure. Any HUNTER who owns or leases private property that restricts the use of said property for the same purposes because they are not in the same "circle of trust" is only being hypocritical in their intent and are only thowing up smoke screens. This clearly demonstates to me that hunting is only for me and not for you. Let's face it, land today is at a premium. Even in the Adirondacks real estate and real property have pricing pressures on them that were not there many years ago.

I am writing this long comment in hopes of envoking emotions that will open up dialogue and bring to the forefront those issues that should be addressed first by the hunting community before we can expect to change the mind set of the non - hunting forum.

Recently the State of New York has purchased outright land and conservation easements from timber companies within the Adirondack Park. I believe that if the state uses this oppurtunity constructively for purposes of mananged forest harvasting and keeps hunting access open indefinitely to the public, this will help preserve those hunting traditions we hold so dear. We must find a way to ensure that hunting access is available to everyone and not just the affluent or well connected.

Paul Nadeau, Moretown VT

p.s. Private property rights in this country in my opinion are not up for discussion. The framers of our constitution made this clear. We must however think outside the box and create a community for hunting that is accessable to all. Take care of hunting and the tradition will take care of itself.

Jazz and Giggles 10/23/05
This is the only radio station I listen to when I go to camp. I love to listen to the jazz on Saturday nights. Sometimes you have some weird talk shows, but I giggle sometimes. Overall I think you have a great broadcast!
Joe Thayer, Blue Mountain Lake

Lost that lovin' feeling 10/18/05
You lost all your sex appeal when you dropped Dick Gordon and The Connection. judging by the number of letters in defense of his show, it would seem that many of your listener sponsors have little input into what is broadcast on "their" public radio. the replacement show is so bland and innocuous, good for the dying patient. r.i.p.
A. Stinson, Alexandria

On Point on target 10/18/05
I'm not sure what type of feedback you've received re: the switch from The Connection to On Point. Personally, I am thrilled! I used to be a big fan of The Connection when Christopher Lydon was host - but was increasingly disappointed and bored with the show under Dick Gordon. Now, with On Point on the air, I feel as if we've made a semi-return back to the Lydon days - which is great!
Michael Connett, Burlington VT

Off Beat 10/15/05
Please bring back Mike Alzo's Folk Show [to 3-5 pm Friday]. The Beat Authority is better suited to Friday night. Sorry, but muy bien is mal noticias.
Phillip, Aiston

APA: Time to Go 10/15/05
Re: The APA decision to limit public comment--I think it is about time for the APA to be disbanded. Turn stewardship of the park over to the Forest Service and the DEC where it belongs. The APA has always had and still does have way too much power. It looks as if they intend to broaden that power by muzzling the people they work for, the taxpayers. Therein lies the problem, the APA has never recognized their true bosses. They believe they answer to no one. Time to shut it down.
Ron Hubbard, St. Regis Falls

Change is Difficult 10/14/05
I miss The Connection but am learning to really enjoy On Point. I too long for some classical music programming during the day. Some 25 years ago when I first moved here, that kind of programing is what drew me to the station. Whatever you do, please don't take Speaking of Faith off the air. I deal with Thursday if I must, but I can't tell you how many times Krista Tippet's gentle and thoughtful interviews have lifted me out of the doldrums.
Patrici Lennox, Potsdam

Scheduling Pains 10/9/05
You could not help losing The Connection, and I am probably the only person in your listening area that wants classical music programming during the daytime schedule (thank God for my CDs, but to put Tavis Smiley in Krista Tippet's spot is too much! Color me disappointed and in pain!
Bill Hart, Canton

Up Beat and Connett, Too! 10/9/05
David Sommerstein debuts The Beat Connection and Paul Connett returns. My public radio station is heaven.
Kathleen, DeKalb

Up Beat! 10/8/05
I'm writing to express my deep appreciation for and joy in listening to yesterday's The Beat Authority. What a fantastic addition to the NCPR line-up, and what a great way to spend a Friday afternoon! My wife and I are both NCPR contributors and we are thrilled that we are helping to support such a program.
Kevin Sanderson-Doughty, Lowville

Up Beat! 10/5/05
Thanks for the new show The Beat Authority. As much as I like Mike Alzo's Folk Show, something a little more upbeat is going to bring 5 pm on a lot more quickly! Thanks too for all the new programming. Whether we agree with it or not, it's good to know NCPR is listening and responsive.
Mike Erickson, Brant Lake NY

Don't Move Folk Show 10/4/05
Don't move the Folk Show to Friday night. It is one of the best afternoon music shows you air. Besides already having a show for music from around the world, The Beat Authority seems better suited to Friday evening dance parties. Certainly it is more on the mark for Friday night than the Folk Show. Why not put The Beat Authority Friday night?
Matt Scafidi-McGuire, Canton NY

Don't Move Folk Show 10/3/05
I strongly disfavor the pending move of The Folk Show from Friday afternoon to Friday night. Friday nights frequently involve socializing and other events such that I am unlikely to listen to Mike's show. This is truly unfortunate as it is my favorite musical programming and I listen every week. Worse yet, I don't share David's enthusiasm and presentation of the music that will replace Mike's show on Friday afternoons.
Greg LeRoy, Hinesburg, VT

Missed Connection 9/9/05
I am saddened by the loss of The Connection. It was by far my favorite radio program. Dick Gordon is wonderful and it is tragic that he will no longer be heard on NCPR. I live in Burlington, VT, but support NCPR more generously than VPR because of Mr. Gordon's show. Unfortunately, this may change the love I've had for NCPR.
Martine L. Gulick, Burlington, VT

Move American Routes 8/20/05
A suggestion: move American Routes (a terrific program) to Sunday 6-8 pm and either get rid of or move the folk music show (sorry can't remember the title [Mountain Stage, ed.]) to Saturday afternoon. The folk music show features one well known singer but, unfortunately, the rest of the program then contains mediocre preformers or first time singers. It's not a quality program. At present American Routes is hidden on a date and time that's hard to listen to. Sunday evening would be much, much better.
John Barthelme, Canton

Bring on Diane Rehm 8/14/05
I would like to suggest that rather than pick up the WBUR replacement program On Point, that NCPR broadcast Diane Rehm from WAMU. It plays from 10AM-12 also, and covers national current events with top experts in the appropriate fields.
R. Curley, Ballston Lake

Bring Back Dick Gordon 8/9/05
I,too, am profoundly upset that The Connection has been cancelled. Dick Gordon's interview style and ability to capture the "humannous" of news captivated me. I looked forward to the radio time spent with Mr. Gordon. I would often put on 2 radios so that when I walked to another room I could still hear the broadcast. His shows were so well researched and complex in nature. His knowledge of the subject / people background was so very impressive to me and added to the intelligence and insight shown in the programming. I truly hope that Connection listeners will create a protest that will result in getting his show bought by another radio station. Hopefully, the quality of this show will not be lost.
Katherine Williams, Durham NC

Dick Gordon "Bobbed" 8/9/05

The Connection was one of the most independent and thoughful programs on radio. I didn't like the intro music byte, but that's all I didn't like about this show. Something is wrong with public radio, not the least of which is that we have a meddling Congress that cannot but intimidate when it negotiates funding for public television and radio. WBUR should be ashamed. Maybe they can hire Bob Edwards to make amends. (Incidentally, a friend and I have started using the term "bobbed" to mean someone who got fired for no good reason.) Looks like Dick Gordon got bobbed.
Emmett Hoops, Saranac Lake

WBUR "Charming" 8/9/05
My guess is that The Connection was cancelled because NPR is moving more towards being a liberal, reactionary mouthpiece. Tom Ashbrook, the liberal wienie that he is, seems more suited for the position than the non-partisan and unbiased Mr. Gordon. While the job of the interviewer is to provide a forum for exchange of ideas and smooth the transition between a podium and a public space, Ashbrook and his yes-man from Atlantic monthly regularly bully their guests and impose their own demented world-view. Gordon knows why he was fired: he didn't want to tow the party line. He didn't want to be pro-or-against the war, pro-or-against Bush e.t.c. He is the ultimatte mulatto: too white for the liberals, too black for conservatives. The listeners get what they deserve preachers in the church and snake-charmers on the radio.
Boooboo Gabor, Brookline, MA

Lost The Connection 8/8/05

What a shock to turn the dial to The Connection and to find the program has been pulled. There are few programs I listen to on a regular basis but Dick Gordon's intelligent, stimulating and wonderfully varied presentations were ones I hated to miss. There are so few programs (are there any?) of The Connection's calibre that it boggles the mind that it, of all talk programs, should be cancelled. Neither does it bode well for NPR in its requests for funding. A very disappointed and, I might add, angry would be listener.
Patricia Highland, Raleigh, NC

Lost The Connection 8/6/05

I am profoundly upset that Dick Gordon's show The Connection is being cancelled, and I can't imagine that the fiscal reasons that have been given by Mr. Fiedler and the rating reasons that have been stated by Ms. Sterling are even remotely true. Could Dick Gordon and his colleagues cost WBUR (his home station) so much that they can afford to lose one of NPR's best syndicated talk show hosts? I've always been an avid supporter of public radio, and contribute what little money I am able to support it. I am starting to consider abandoning my listening to WBUR and listening to WGBH instead, based on the fact that they have let this fabulous man and talk show host go. I just read an article in the BostonPhoenix newspaper (Aug. 5th, 2005) by Mark Jurkowitz shedding light on Dick Gordon's plight, and I think WBUR (and by dint of association) all NPR carrying stations who have also broadcast Dick Gordon's show for years will only be harmed in the longrun. He is one of the me dia's bright lights. He is intelligent, kind, sensitive, diplomatic, fair, witty, and quite frankly, as good--if not better than any talk show host on public radio that I can think of. Dick Gordon's show being cancelled is a real tragedy, especially for his most loyal listeners. I have grown to think of him as a "family friend" of sorts (on an auditory level, of course), and look forward to each and every show he produces. Alas. I hope he reads this comment, because he is beloved by many listeners, especially myself!
L. Merl, Brookline, MA

Lost The Connection 8/5/05

Why is Dick Gordon's show being canceled REALLY. Cost cutting measures is simply not a good enough explanation. He is the best interviewer on the air. VERY dismayed.
Erica Heilman, South Hero VT

The Connection's cancellation is dismaying news. Is there a chance that it will be picked up elsewhere and we'll hear it again?
Daniel Vellone, Old Forge

WBUR's fiscal problems are very real. This is from the Boston Globe article "WBUR to change talk show lineup." July 16, 2005:

"WBUR, which is owned and operated by Boston University, has run up about $13 million in deficits over the past few years, Sterling said. [WBUR's current annual budget is $20 million--NCPR.] The station has streamlined operations and made changes after Christo [WBUR CEO] resigned last fall following allegations of mismanagement -- charges that Christo denied." Complete article.

The August 5 issue of the Boston Phoenix, quotes fired Connection host Dick Gordon"

"I have about 4000 theories for the cancellation of the show," Gordon says. But he acknowledges that he can’t be sure which, if any, are accurate.

The author goes on to speculate:

"Budgetary concerns could certainly be involved. There’s also WBUR’s expressed desire to focus more on local journalism. With The Connection, Here and Now, and On Point, it can be argued that the station has too many topical interview and information shows. One theory is that The Connection was elbowed out of the way by On Point, hosted by Tom Ashbrook, and that the station was eager to move On Point out of its 7 pm slot, perhaps because Chris Lydon [the original Connection host] has recently returned to the airwaves with a show on rival WGBH-FM in that same time period." Complete article.

NCPR Online

Lost The Connection 8/4/05

Why is The Connection being cancelled? It is one of the reasons I listen to NCPR. Has Public Radio bowed to political pressure? Start a campaign to save it!
Virginia Glover, Brockville ON

I was extremely disappointed to learn that The Connection with Dick Gordon was being discontinued this Friday. It has been one of my favorite programs on NCPR--is there anything you can do to continue the program?
Jim Marlatt, Keene Valley

WBUR Boston, the station that produced The Connection, had developed a whopping budget deficit under its previous manager. The cancellation of The Connection is said to be in response to WBUR's fiscal crisis and appears to be unrelated to any national political considerations. NCPR Online

For the Department of Faux Pas 6/29/05
Dear Ellen: I was listening to you speak yesterday afternoon (today is Jun 29) and I was aghast to hear you tell your listeners that Friday, July 1 is Canada's "Independence Day." Canada never left the fold of the British Empire, and in fact, we accepted all the outcasted loyalists from the US when the rebels (we think of the rebels as the wayward sister... hahaha) were chased out of the country. In fact, we have an active Governor General who is the figurehead of our country, representing the throne of England.

July 1 is our celebration of the anniversary of the coming together of a number of provinces to join into a national confederation. I just thought you should be made aware of your faux pas as I am sure that I an not by any means the only Canadian listener to NCPR.

By the way, my wife is from Canton, from one of the older families in the area.
Doug Johnson, Cornwall, Ontario

Not Alone 6/13/05
I check north country [public radio] now every day and today I listened to Brittany LaBrake describe life after foster care. Brittany, I don't know if you'll ever see this, but you're not alone. I moved into my own apartment at 16 while going to school and I know right now you feel like it's never going to end and things are never going to get better and you just feel trapped, but it isn't always going to be so. When you're young and you move out on your own it's diffcult as hell, especially since there's no real help for kids in St. Lawernce County, and you feel like you have no one who understands your frustrations. I tell you I went the party route and made a lot of mistakes with my own apartment at 16, but things can get better if you make them. I also learned family is what you make it and blood is not always thicker than water. I'm married now with 2 great kids, a decent job and decent place to live--it can be done. Brittany just keep trying and you'll get where you want to be, just remember the best person for you to count on, for you to get it done, is you. And you're not alone.
Rebecca Rushlow, Potsdam

Poor Kids 6/08/05
Anne, Imlay City, Michigan

Jerks 4/01/05
My comment on trout fishing or any fishing for that matter - One jerk at the end on the line waiting for another jerk. ENJOY!
Denise, North River

Who's Biased? 3/30/05
NPR does a fair job in reporting both sides of the big issues affecting us in these troubling times. People on the far right seem to think NPR is "liberally biased," but it is my feeling that they feel this way because they listen to so much "poopoo" on stations like Fox News that is TRULY biased toward the right and they hear a truly unbiased news source and feel it's "liberally biased." I do feel that more needs to be done to expose the right wing's absolutely incomprehensible disdain for the truth. I heard on The Connection the other day a vile member of congress compare the Terri Shiavo feeding tube tragedy to the Holocaust. How is it that this person is allowed to say something so incredibly offensive and not get called on it. Poor souls who are in the situation that Terri Shiavo is in have their feeding tubes removed DAILY. Overwhelmingly the public agrees that government officials should not be involved in this wrenching decisions. Why give these wackos a forum for such nonsense?????
Deborah Cleary, Peru

Evidence Outweighs Balance 3/30/05
Regarding balance: as important as it is, I think that more essential, is the evidence that is asserted to support the "balanced" report. So, more in-depth fact-based examination of issues is necessary in order for the listener to critically form his/her opinions.
For an educated and thinking public, that's the mission of public media. Thank you NPR and NCPR for "no-spin" reporting.
Lenore Zaunere, Hermon

Thanks, I Think 3/30/05
You guys and gals, well, I know it's the gals who run and rule the place...but anyhow, you make the North Country the sweet sweet Paradise it is. The only thing that is missing is Lamar on the radio in the morning. Thank you again and if I had a pot to piss in, I'd leave it to you in my will.
Keep it up, I listen from afar just to hear your voices and your programming. P.S. Ellen Rocco is still the sexiest woman in radio. The brains! The looks! The checkered past!! Ah, mercy.
Ok carry on.
Elizabeth von der Ah, Seattle

Dick Gordon an "Education" 3/4/05

I am a relative newcomer to the public raido crowd. I must say that I enjoy listening everyday. I got to give prop's to Dick Gordon with The Connection. He really has the ability to relate and convey to the audience that he is genuinly interested in what the guest and listeners are talking about. My favorite part is when he cuts off the caller or guest and says that he has to go to a commerical break. I honestly believe that I have been educated on so many diffrent levels.
I thank you oh so very much!!! BRAVO!!!
Sarah Holvik, Gabriels

Annoyingly Underserved 2/7/05
I've always been a vocal if not financial supporter of Public Radio, and wherever I’ve lived, I've been one of those folks who have always turned people on to their local public radio station - but I've had it. The media landscape is widening, and more and more I leave NCPR's increasing conservative and irrelevant shows (like The Connection and Talk of the Nation) for Democracy Now!, Air America, and other stations that are playing more serious shows that are less driven by the corporate and conservative echo chamber. I think it's time NCPR revised it's schedule to reflect a more Independent Radio stance - or you may find yourselves more and more irrelevant. On the positive side - your 8 O'Clock Hour is a good start. In hope and with regards,
John Warren, Chestertown (annoyingly unserved by NCPR, WAMC, and VPR, though we’ll never have our own radio because they already have a lock on our market – such as it is)

Keeping in Touch Online 1/8/05
NCPR allows local information, important to me, to travel many miles and always up-to-date. I love this and hope to return home someday with more knowledge, due to the participation of so many people. I love NNY and my heart will always be with everyone there. Peace, love and prosperity to all.
Paul Cutler, Falmouth, VA

In praise of Radio Bob 12/29/04
I drive from Tupper Lake to Saratoga Springs most Wednesdays between 3:30 and 5 pm. I love the music that Bob plays and wonder where he gets it all from. If you could see me changing between your repeaters and stations as I make the journey, as your station fades from one area to another, it is quite amusing. I manage to "hold the station" all the way to exit 20 on the Northway south, and then it fades completely. You need a stronger, higher-wattage station. Love Bob's program.
Tony Hobson, Wilton

Can't Fly on One Wing 12/21/04
Thank you so much for your great station. As the corporate media streches to control its right wing agenda, it's good to know there's an alternative in upstate NY.
Larry Dwyer, Denville NJ

Wants Democracy Now! 12/20/04
It seems to me that NCPR and Democracy Now!, the alternative media source for those seeking the truth would be a natural partnership. What are the chances of this station ever broadcasting such a program? I for one, would be really interested. Thanks for the great programming!
George Donahue, Saranac Lake

Hijacking Morality 11/12/04
Most of the American media is helping the right wing hijack the word “Morality.” I commend Brain Mann for his article this morning in which he considers another side of the concept of morality.
    I was first made aware of the wash of “morality” at a Lions Club dinner, when another Lion asked me what I thought of President Bush winning with voters who cared about morality. I was surprised at that use of the word, but then became aware that it was all over--in the papers, on TV, even on NPR.
   It seems for those who claim this interpretation of the election that morality ends six inches from the crotch. Gay marriage and abortion are the main issues claimed by these “morality” voters. “Protection of the family” is just code words, as it has been since the “Defense of Marriage Act,” for anti-gay, anti abortion feelings.
   Brian Mann rightly connected morality with wider issues, specifically the war in Iraq. But it has more facets. Those who oppose abortion have not spoken of wider issues besides their wish to outlaw it.
   One of those issues is the probability that women would again go to back-alley abortionists if they couldn’t afford to go to a country which allows abortion. That’s what was happening before Rowe v. Wade. The rich could fly to an overseas site, have their abortions safely, and return home after a “vacation.” One of the things the Supreme Court addressed at the time of Roe v. Wade was this discrepancy of protection for women of different classes.
   Another issue involves the children which would be born, if, indeed, all abortion were to be stopped. I don’t hear these “morality” claimers offering to raise the children that would be born to women who couldn’t take care of them. And I hear many of these same people working against, as the current administration has, birth control in other parts of the world. How moral is it to force a woman to carry to term and support for a lifetime a child which she is not equipped to raise?
   Is it moral to require a gay or lesbian person to go without visits from their closest partner when they are hospitalized? Is it moral to cut these partners out of any consideration of the treatment of their beloved?
   Until those who claim “morality” can raise their eyes from the center of their fixation, and look the rest of us in the eye, and give some answers to these, and many other, concerns, I will not concede them that title.
Ted Tate, Star Lake NY

Rushing on Fresh Air 10/29/04

Very grateful for Terri Gross' interview with Josh Rushing. What a loss for the world that Mr. Rushing is no longer employed in his capacity as a journalist with the military. Loved his style, thought process, sincerity and intelligence.
Trudy, Jay, NY

Project Censored
Project Censored needs to be covered in the main news programs: All Things Considered etc. Corporate news is, and or needs to be, made irrelevant; they have almost total national saturation by six or so conglomerates. The media today are: right wing, control the language, crush dissent, pro business, glorify war, and do not serve the public in any meaningful way. The question is: Is NPR corporate or “alternative,” quality, investigative, relevant and independent?
    The press and journalists, when negligent in their vital and constitutionally protected role of maintaining an informed citizenry, is a direct treat to our democracy, liberty and freedom. This is not a new idea. You have the responsibility, the duty. If not, then drop the word “public” and stop taking money from your listeners. I have personally spoken to dozens and dozens of listeners and ex-listeners, and they all agree that the NPR of 20-25 years ago was much more relevant, investigative and deserved/derived support from listeners. The Internet, cable, satellite are blowing you out of the water.
    Get Democracy Now! and make yourself relevant once again. My call, and the call of dozens and dozens of people, is for Democracy Now! (DN). Your management, and station representatives have resisted this call for many reasons (although, an average of three stations enlist for DN per week). NCPR reasons stated for not having DN for news are: “Advocacy journalism, poor quality and left wing.” You have said if you carry such a left wing show, you would have to balance it with a right wing show and this would lead to “ping pong” journalism. Go for it! Give this to us; it would be an enormous improvement over the middle of the road dribble that now poses as news. Try it for a few months and put it to a vote. NCPR has added two BBC programs: The 5-6 AM BBC show marginally passes as news (tailored for American audiences and not true BBC) but the evening show is dribble and entertainment, not news. As far as quality, yes DN has had a few bad days or poor phone connections to un-embedded journalists (30 have died in this war alone mostly at the hands of US troops) reporting first hand accounts of the wars. Wars, to remind you, that are funded with borrowed taxpayer dollars, and fought with the blood of our son’s and daughters, friends and neighbors.
    Enclosed is an article from Syracuse New Times, 9-15-04: Ten Important Stories the National Media Ignored. NPR needs to do these stories, not during “day” shows, but as part of the evening and morning news so that “The People” working/commuting/busy can hear what they’re not hearing from “The Press.”

Richard Paolillo, West Stockholm, NY

Odyssey Hits No Homer (8/23/04)
That Odyssey show is awful. It's a show-off contest on how intelligent the host Gretchen Helfrich is. You would do well to cancel it from your lineup.
Jeff Rose, New York City

Home Home on the Web (8/11/04)
I am in Jochiwon, South Korea teaching English. I live in Massena and enjoy NCPR. I have been using my computer to listen while I am here. It is the only link I have to US news. I turn it on in the AM my time which is evening your time and listen to the news. I also listen in the evening before and after dinner and the evening class. I am very glad you are available on the Internet.
Joan Westcott, Jochiwon, South Korea

McGreevey Report Shows Bias (8/13/04)
Yesterday I was listening to the news on NPR when the report came on about the New Jersey governor resigning. Throughout the few minutes of the report, the affiliation of the governor was never mentioned. I assumed he was a Democrat, since it was NPR reporting and if he were a Republican, it would have been mentioned in the very beginning because of the tawdry details. Then the report mentioned something about the Kerry campaign's concern, and I figured McGreevey was a Democrat. Your media bias is obvious and obnoxious. You insult all people with your bias. Let the people think for themselves.
Barb Hawley, Los Angeles

Willcott Incites Liberal Pride (7/29/04)
Paul Willcot was able to put into words what I have felt for a long time. I greatly appreciate his commentary today on what it really means to someone who is, and proud to be, a "liberal." I cringe when I'm called unpatriotic if I don't fall lock-step behind the extreme Right's ultraconservative views. I have been so frustrated in being painted as unAmerican because I believe in freedom of religion (separation of church and state), freedom of the press, freedom of speech, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. If one were to read the United States Constitution and study history, they would find that being a liberal is soooo American!
Mark Kurtz, Saranac Lake

Willcott Incites Property Destruction (7/29/04)
Please let me know when you decide to be an unbiased source of news. The commentary on being a liberal in this morning's 8 O'Clock Hour made me want to destroy my radio. Thats it for me and NCPR.
Matthew Whelan, West Potsdam

Is NPR Worth the Price? (7/19/04)
I with perhaps other silent NCPR listeners have wondered if NPR is actually worth what seems the exorbitant costs of its often poorly done and extremely biased programs.
   I for one am sick to death of the Dick Gordon hour from WBUR. I also am not fond of much of Morning Edition and many of the fluffy fillers NPR uses.
   What is unique about NCPR is its local station personalities, who come across to me not as faceless, masked broadcasting professions. Rather, many of you come to me in impression as friendly, just plain folks.
    Think how much great, unique local programming and music you could offer by dumping 80 percent of NPR and doing things the old fashioned way.
Gary, Highgate Springs, VT

War Dialog Should Include All (7/15/04)
Thanks, Ellen, for the report this morning from the Army War College. Though it was gratifying to hear that attendees shared my feelings toward our involvement in Iraq, the report was important in a much more fundamental way: it reminds us all that engagement in dialog with ALL members of our community is essential to ensure the exchange of ideas in the messy marketplaces of Democracy. We, outside of the military, need to be reminded that, though soldiers follow orders by necessity, they do not do so without opinion or understanding of issues. An important story to run when Fort Drum listeners need to be included in this dialog. With false patriotism used divisively in an election year, an important story for us all.
Stephen Horne, Paul Smiths

Reagan Funeral Last Straw (6/15/04)
I've stopped listening to NCPR (in particular) and in NPR (in general). A week ago Monday, as one of the gushing reporters was going on and on about Reagan and His Wonderful Funeral, I decided to turn NPR OFF.
Not just for the program, but for the long term.
  • I missed waking up to Music Through the Night, I hated getting up to that terrible BBC production.
  • I missed listening to dinner time programs like Living on Earth, and being offered The World (which was even worse than the BBC program in the morning)
  • I hated the news orgy last December about Saddam Hussein's capture, and turned the radio off for a week.
On Monday morning I realized, "Just Turn it Off."
    By Tuesday, I'd reprogrammed my three radios - I wake up to Classical Vermont in the morning, have Classical Vermont at dinner, and have calculated that the ads there are no worse than the pledge drives (which I actually listened to ! Imagine--pledge drives are better than the average news coverage ! NPR is really hurting.)
    In one sense, I'm sorry that I don't listen anymore. But honestly, I'm happier gone. It was nice while it lasted, but it's time to move on. Ciao ...
Steve Cavrak, Burlington VT

NPR Should Resist Pressure to "Simplify" 6/11/04
It has been my considered opinion, reached over years of thinking about the issue, that the assertion that there is "liberal bias" in the journalistic community, and for that matter in the academic community, is simply the result of advanced education and scholarship. Journalists are students of the subjects they write about. And the fact is that the more one studies problems, as journalists and academics do, the more one comes to realize that there are seldom simple answers to things, that issues often present themselves in shades of grey, rather than the simpler black and white which many (though not all) political and social conservatives seem to prefer. Thus, to most conservatives, the journalist students of complex political, social and public policy issues appear to be "liberal" in that they come to know too much about the subject to present simple answers. Sorry folks, but many things are much more complex and difficult to comprehend than simplistic ideolog ies would like.
    I hasten to add that there are sophisticated, knowledgeable conservatives to be found, in the general public, in journalism and in academia, but one usually finds they tend to work more strongly from an ideological base, a moralistic base often, which may govern their conclusions in the face of many of the complex issues which we face in a pluralistic and increasingly international world. I think the fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives is in their thinking methodology. Liberals tend to be empirical, building ther conclusions from observed and collected facts (inductive thinkers if you will). Conservatives usually work downward from first principles, fitting facts as they find them into a previously established and often fervently held principle or attitude.
    The current presidential administration in its considerations and actions on foreign policy issues proceeds in just such a way. The press, empirically inclined often objects, calling these policy makers on what seems to the journalistic mind decision making which flies in the face of well known facts, or too quickly in the face of profound complexities. Such journalists cry foul when they see that ideology will govern despite inconvenient information to the contrary.
    On social issues like gay marriage or abortion, again the conservative approaching the issue from a moral perspective may be deeply upset the the journalist (or academic) who points out that there may be other perspectives on the issue based on their observations of social realities which may not fit into an ideal picture which one might prefer. Abortion can be seen as murder, but in some cases other realities intrude, like pregnancies resulting from war rapes, or pregnancies which will proceed (based on medical evidence) to threaten the life of the mother. Obviously abortion is a complex issue, and the decisions we sometimes have to make are often not as clear cut as we fervently would like.
    Gay marriage is another social issue which escapes straightforward understanding. Homosexuality is a social reality, and apparently always has been, though managed in different societies and times in different ways. In our society at this time gay, lesbian and bi-sexual people exist with varying degrees of social acceptance. Their social and sexual needs and preferences are just as real as those of the "straight" community, and would seem under our civic sense of law to have equal rights. If marriage is seen as both a civil as well as a religious role in our society, why isn't it under our republican system of government to be available to all citizens?
    Thank you for this opportunity. I have often felt that thoughtful journalism needs to have a place within the spectrum of available media choices. Certainly the conservative has ample media sourcs to read, listen and watch. Let us remember to keep the channels open to thorough, thoughtful and detailed news coverage. Call it liberal if you will, but also call it responsible.
    NPR has provided for the last thirty five or so years a clarion voice on the radio which delves into issues with appropriate depth and consideration. This is a necessary alternative if we are to continue a society free in our thinking as well as in other ways. NPR should resist the pressures, funding and otherwise, that would have them trim their wicks and modify their conclusions to more closely accord with established social and governmental entities which see open thinking as threatening to society.
Richard Lunt, Potsdam, NY

NPR " losing its critical perspective" 6/11/04
When you can hear on Public Radio that Ronald Reagan was "the most popular president of the modern era," which is simply not true, you begin to suspect that Public Radio is these days less & less public and more & more corporate. (According to the polls, Bill Clinton was the most popular president of the modern era, but you'd never know that from the recent coverage in the media, including NPR.
     Commercial media is saturated with right-of-center political views. I don't expect NPR to take on the task of counterbalancing this rightward tilt, I'd like to be able to expect real balance. The Pew study suggests that NPR has been co-opted by the dominant political paradigm.
     We have a situation where the most extreme right-wing views can be presented as falling within the mainstream, while at the same time the mildest liberal views are cast as radical, anti-American, etc. Though I am a decades-long financial supporter of NPR, I am increasingly tuning out. I get most of my political news & commentary from the internet these days.
     Now, NCPR's local programming is just fine. The station serves its diverse communities very well, I think. Less & less of what comes from the national network, though, is distinguishable from the media haze that comes through television & commercial radio. NPR is quickly losing its critical perspective.
Joseph Duemer, South Colton

Where the Fairness Doctrine Went 6/6/04
I don't know if this qualifies as a post, but as it relates to the Fairness Doctrine and the recent passing of Ronald Reagan, I quote William Rivers Pitt from a recent editorial:
Planet Reagan
    By William Rivers Pitt
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective

  "  ...Mainstream media journalism today is a shameful joke because of Reagan's deregulation policies. Once upon a time, the Fairness Doctrine ensured that the information we receive - information vital to the ability of the people to govern in the manner intended - came from a wide variety of sources and perspectives. Reagan's policies annihilated the Fairness Doctrine, opening the door for a few mega-corporations to gather journalism unto themselves. Today, Reagan's old bosses at General Electric own three of the most-watched news channels. This company profits from every war we fight, but somehow is trusted to tell the truths of war. Thus, the myths are sold to us.
    The deregulation policies of Ronald Reagan did not just deliver journalism to these massive corporations, but handed virtually every facet of our lives into the hands of this privileged few. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat are all tainted because Reagan battered down every environmental regulation he came across so corporations could improve their bottom line. Our leaders are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the corporations that were made all-powerful by Reagan's deregulation craze..."
Jason King, Medford, MA

NPR: Liberal But Never Biased 6/6/04
I believe public radio tends to be very public. I realize that is not specific, so let me clarify. Public radio seems to appeal to a range of people and they seem often to be active in a variety of ways. I find public radio avoids the mainstream and I think that is good. I don't want to hear the newest rock song on public radio, instead I want to hear a Bach aria or a Etta James blues song. I think that the elitisst moniker comes from the constant admonition to think seriously about the music or commentary you hear on NPR. And yes, I think NPR is liberal but never biased. ATC constantly makes me think. Maybe if we hear Rush Limbough on NPR, that would cure NPR of its leftist leanings. But the great thing about NPR is that there is a place for him on NPR. So that possibly is my point, NPR is as inclusive as our society. With all its warts and blemishes, with all its flowers and beautiful sunrises, NPR is America. This is more meaningful because I listen from
Japan. God(dess) bless the U.S.A. and keep NPR broadcasting!
Kenneth Knodle, Potsdam (via Okinawa)

Plea for Better Balance 6/6/04
I certainly have no use for the likes of Rush Limbaugh, but find that NPR does tend to have a definite tilt to the left. The Connection, and All Things Considered/Morning Edition both look this way from my point of view.
    I am not a Pollyanna, and realize that we have serious issues with which to deal. At the same time, I do not think it appropriate to focus so completely on the negative side of events. Is there a radio counterpart to people like George Will?
    As one simple example, the frequent association made between the present adminikstration and its refusal to endorse the Kyoto Treaty seldom, if ever, mentions that the treaty was negotiated during the previous administration, and was rejected 95-0 by the senate. Air pollution and greenhouse gases are an important issue, but not necessarily a partisan one. And, the third world pays little attention to such issues. We need to do our part, but so does everyone else.
    My plea is for better balance.
Ed Milner, Olmstedville, NY

Responding to Dvorkin: Media Bias Liberal, But Not Leftist 6/5/04
Come on Jeff. What NPR calls left is liberal on social issues, conservative on economic--although I'll admit that's an opinion I picked up on NPR, so it's not a firewall. I ask, why don't we hear from Noam Chomsky, for example? Maybe he's too abrasive, but you know, there are lots of real lefties that aren't. The laudable goals might really be laudable if you were to expand the "whole country" to the "whole world," and I think anyone would say your broadcast content would change a lot. I know your job is to take on all comers, but you don't want to slide too far from ombudsman to apologist. NPR takes up a space similar to the Democrats, the platform doesn't stand alone. It's only value is rooted in contrast to Republicans.
   Having said that, I think that yes, media in general has a liberal bias, but not a left bias. Liberals believe that we can regulate capitalism into something that won't destroy all we hold dear. Personally, I believe that running out of oil will have a much more positive effect than any political move the majority of our culture could ever codify. To many self interested porkers at the trough. It's going to be a hard wave to stay on, but the post petroleum beach could be very beautiful for the ones who make it.
Mike Owen, Pierrepont

FCC Should Reinstate Fairness Doctrine 6/3/04
The basic problem is not whether this or that radio source (including NPR) is conservative or liberal. It is that, taken overall, radio does not provide politically-balanced information, and it currently has an overwhelming conservative bias. The root of this difficulty can be traced back to the demise of the so-called fairness doctrine, which required provision of equal air time for responsible proponents of opposing views. The FCC needs to reinstate this doctrine for both radio & television.
David N. Carson, Long Lake

Hopes NPR Will Live Up to Goals 6/3/04
Thanks for posting this issue on your site. It would certainly have been easier to let it exist elsewhere in cyber space and say nothing here. While the results of the study are discouraging, still public radio has a unique mission to serve the citizens of this country that for-profit media conglomerates do not. For that reason, it's my hope that NPR will diligently live up to its goals.
Jason King, Medford, MA

NPR Still Better than Most Media Outlets 6/3/04
Yes, you skew to the male perspective, and no, you do not cover enough international news. But compared to most American commercial radio, television, and print media, NPR still provides a relatively thorough and thoughtful news coverage & commentary as befits a "responsible media." And good jazz as well ;)
Xu Xi, Morrisonville, NY

NPR Needs More Liberal Voices to Balance Other Media 6/3/04
In general, NPR is less right wing than the networks. However, NPR, especially on the issue of SSM (same-sex marriage, ed.), adhers down the line, to the right-wing perspective. NPR needs many more liberal viewpoints to serve as a counter to the unremitting stream of conservative voices found in other broadcast media.
Barry Bley, Macomb

Looks Forward to Homecoming (5/20/04)
I just want to say how thrilled I will be when the 41st Engineering Battalion/B. Co. returns from Bagram, Afghanistan later this month. My son, a medic with this company will be returning to Fort Drum and later to his family in Arkansas. I wish I knew when they were scheduled to arrive at Fort Drum, so maybe it will be on the news. I would love to be there but it is so expensive and I can't afford it, but at least he will be on US soil. Thank God. I know he will be thrilled to see his five-year-old daughter as soon as he gets to come home.
Ann Brietz, Harrisburg, AR

Hassig No "Hero" (5/4/04)
Donald Hassig "Folk Hero"--please. I think perhaps "public enemy no. 1" would be more appropriate. The economy in the North Country is not stagnant, it is CRUMBLING before our very eyes. This self-proclaimed "hero" has had a hand in attempting to thwart ANY industrial progress in this region. I would be able to take his "anti-smokestack" views a lot easier if I didn't see him on television rail about air pollution and then get into his automobile and drive off.
     Oh, let me not forget--FREE healthcare, and FREE education. NY is the most heavily taxed state in the union. Does Mr. Hassig plan on chanting his way to these ends or does he plan on taxing me into poverty?
     Mr. Hassig and his brother are two of the most selfish, self-serving characters I have ever seen, and anyone who gives them any recognition only feeds their childish desire to get attention.
Walter Relling, Lisbon

TOTN "Tiresome" (4/26/04)
I read recently that listeners to NPR had fewer misconceptions concerning Iraq than other network listeners. However, listening to Neal Conan's Talk of the Nation is tiresome. He seems to deliberately have conservative "Think Tankers" on regularly with opinions supporting the Bush administartion's continued occupation of Iraq. An alternative radio source, Democracy Now!, may be heard through the web at I suggest, in addition to NPR, listener's tune in this program for greater perspective.
Gary, Highgate Springs, VT

Speaking of Faith (and Dean) (4/5/04)
Speaking of Faith makes me very uncomfortable. I went to Sunday school. I don't want to hear Bible stories nor comparisons of everyday life to the Bible. As Howard Dean said, we don't talk about faith in the North. I have my beliefs that encompass far more than Christianity. I'd like not to have that program on, though for what it is, it is interesting. Still, not a subject I want to hear. I think you can fill the time with other programs of general interest. How about the history of Lake Champlain and the Revolutionary War and War of 1812?
Jill Martin, Richmond VT

Cartoon Undermines Morale (4/8/04)
Your editorial cartoon on April 8th was extremely tacky. Don’t you liberals realize that idiotic cartoons as such only serve to undermine the morale of U.S. troops? Heck, I should know better; your extreme hatred for President Bush does serious damage to your judgment.
Craig, Lawrenceville

Fast One Now Will Later be Slow (3/28/04)
When I heard that programming was going to be preempted for the 9-11 hearings, I knew that the commission was packed with people who were personally responsible for the drafting of "homeland security" policy and therefore didn't expect any signifigant light to be shed on the questions they were charged with investigating. What I believe was to be learned--that is important--is that even when honest and forthright testimony is given, what it reveals about our nation is worse than the terrorist attacts: not only were these people incapable of preventing the horrors of 9-11, but that we will do the wrong thing again. In two days of question and answer I didn't hear a single Republican or Democrat ask for any information that would suggest that no one has ever bombed anyone into peace. I put it up to a national personality that reflects an imperial nation; we must dominate. Just as racism, sexism and homophobia are an embedded birthrigh of all Americans, so is nationalism, deadly violence, and the belief that one person can save us from these blights.

This makes the teachings of Osama Bin-Laden, George Bush and John Kerry of equal value. We cannot coexist. Fortunately, for the world and eventually us, it won't matter much longer. Estimates indicate China will equal the US demand for oil by 2008. If the implications of this are not entirely obvious, check out this site: Have fun, for the fast one now will later be slow--and love to all who try to do something for the world.
Mike Owen, Pierrepont

Will Miss Bob Edwards(3/26/04)
I am dismayed that Bob Edwards will be leaving Morning Edition. Please encourage the people who made this decision to reconsider!
Marilyn Riotto, Lake Clear

Enough Blame to Go Around (3/26/04)
I was glad for the opportunity to listen to some of the two-day broadcast of the 9/11 investigation. I felt that at times it was very political. The questions asked by the Democratic and Republican members of the commission often reflected their political stance. I was impressed by the apology given by Richard Clarke to the families and friends of the victims. However, I have noted in subsequent interviews on news programs, members of the Bush administration have gone out of their way to say either clearly, or imply by their answers, that they were not responsible for 9/11. There is enough blame to go around to the current and past administrations--perhaps no one could have done anything to prevent the attacks.

My question is: What has our governmennt done to prevent the larger world from thinking the US is a bully who wants to change any adminstration around the world if it does not agree with our kind/type of govenment? What has our government done to prevent armed conflicts with peaceful methods-- helping to end poverty and hunger around the world? What is our fear of taking world problems to the UN? But I digress; I did hear discussion that was valuable, if only to raise my concerns and fears, even further, for this country.
Peggy Sperling, Ogdensburg

North Country Bones (3/25/04)
Some dear soul signed me up to receive The Listening Post and what a treat it is to see and hear. I haven't lived in the North Country since 1979, but it's still in my bones. And judging from all the familiar names I see, everybody else stayed there. Nice job, Dale!
Cathy Brady, Salisbury, MD

Went and Bought the Book (3/25/04)
I was so impressed by Clark's apology, as were the victims families. I believe that everything Clark said is the total truth, and am so convinced, I went and bought his book Against All Enemies today. It is reprehensible that Bush never apologized to all of the victims and the country as a whole. He is the most hubristic human being I've ever "known" and to me is not fit to be our leader. I also totally agree with the so called "off the record" remarks that Kerry made about the Bush team. Why should Kerry apologize? I agree--Bush and Co. are a bunch of crooked liars and it is VERY scary! Thank you for this opportunity to have my say!
Lois L. Ruplin, Chestertown,NY

No Crystal Ball (3/25/04)
Hindsight is a great human pastime. Even with current 'intelligence' why would officials become alarmed when two former administrations let the terror issue slide? Is is not possible that today's leaders reacted honestly to what they perceived to be correct information ? Who has a crystal ball ?
Miriam Kashiwa, Old Forge, NY

P.S. The 2003 Burt Symposium sounded on the mark. The Adirondacks Ecological Center Inc. (to be) needs help in compiling a list of engineers, architects, companies, agencies--ANY projects actually constructing NOW with hybrid systems of renewable energy. Pass the word.

Occasional Kernels of Truth (3/25/04)
I was thrilled to learn that NCPR would pre-empt its normal schedule to cover the 9/11 Commission hearings. Then, listening for two days, began to feel a bit more hopeful about our country's future. Not that some disquisitions weren't murky, slithery, self-serving, biased, etc. But wasn't there the sound of kernels of truth occasionally being shaken out, and going, "plop" in front of us? The Bush campaign is at work now on TV and radio ads to drown out those sounds of truth. I doubt if they will succeed.
Ruth Beebe, Potsdam

We'll Never Know (3/25/04)
I continue to be stunned by the attack. But still want to know what Saddam Hussein has to do with Osama Ben Laden. The reports at that time (if I recollect), was that we were more concerned about China. I feel diversions are presented to throw us off the offense. As with the Kennedy assination, I feel we will never recieve the full truth.
Carol, Tupper Lake

First Apology? (3/25/04)
Is (Richard) Clark, as has been reported, the only government official ever to directly and publicly apologize to the 9/11 families? Unbelievable! A full two years after the event and neither Bush himself or any of his emissaries have ever apologized? Just incredible!
Jason King, Medford, MA

Why the Short Change from TOTN? (3/18/04)
After being away for about a year, I returned to NCPR this week. I see nothing has changed with Dick Gordon or Talk of The Nation. Could it be my imagination these programs tend to have only conservative interviews. This afternoon I heard a man be cut off because he had the gall to contend Iraq is not better off since April last and the world not safer from terror. Why are for most part non-mainstream or Bushite points of view given short change on these programs?
Gary, Highgate Springs, VT

Wouldn't Bet the Farm on ESCO (3/12/04)
I listened to the "ESCO" story this morning and I thought I'd point out a couple of things. Although it is commendable, the concept is not likely to produce results. Power producers are in the business of making money, in essence they sell to the highest bidder and will not sell power at a loss. New source renewables such as wind are very expensive and certainly will not provide any savings to end users. It is naive, in my opinion, to think that because we have "cheap" power in the north country (and I assume they are talking hydro power) that some hydro power owners are going to suddenly be interested in selling their power to this ESCO for something less than they are currently selling it to NIMO for. An ESCO also needs a substantial amount of credit. Perhaps these folks in Brasher have access to the amount of credit necessary but I have heard many a story of would be ESCOs not being able to scale this hurdle. I wish them good luck, but I wouldn't bet the farm on success.
Walter Relling, Lisbon

Haiti Coverage Doesn't Inspire Check-Writing (3/5/04)
Our local public radio station, they don't carry Democracy Now! because it is "technically poor" and "advocacy journalism."
    Even if I accepted these as valid criticisms, it still does not explain why the Haiti COUP (well covered by Democracy Now!, including hard cogressional questioning)story has failed to air on WSLU in any form. As I write this, Ellen Rocco is going on about how I should send my money to support the station.
    I readily admit that there is a lot of good material on WSLU but I'm baffled how a station can that regularly airs the White House press release version of news, opinion pieces by the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and an assortment of blatantly right wing commentators while ignoring liberal and progressive viewpoints and news embarassing to the administration can convince itself that it is consistently not engaging in advocacy journalism.
    Forgive, I'm not motivated to search for my checkbook at the moment. Best regards.
Richard Paolillo, West Stockholm

Upbeat Pros Party Hard (3/4/04)
I am always amazed by how professional and upbeat everyone is during your fundraisers. You take something that I see as onerous and turn it into a party. We are not only lucky to have NCPR, we are lucky to have such a truly competent team running the show. Thank you.
Steve Knight, Colton

Misses Car Talk, Pledge Drive Deals (3/4/04)
I recently renewed by mail. I wish now I had waited as I missed out on all these deals during the dive. My only real complaint is that Car Talk is no longer on at night.
Robert Barstow, Cranberry Lake

Hearts of (Cyber) Space (2/16/04)
I'm a listener in Reno, Nevada and am glad that I can tune NCPR in over the 'Net because our local NPR stations don't carry Hearts of Space. Thanks for airing my favorite show.
Ryan, Reno

Where's Car Talk? (2/11/04)
I loved Car Talk at Noon every Saturday, and if I missed it, it was on Wednesday at 1900 hrs. Where did it go????
Bob, Lake Placid

Ed. Car Talk now airs at 10 am Saturday. The Wednesday repeat was discontinued.

Rude Awakening 7 (2/4/04)
I get up early in the morning and you have always been there with me. Unfortunately you changed your format recently, now, instead of music until 6am I am listening to more news. I do not like it, I much prefer the "music through the night" program". Will you continue with this world news program, I'm anticipating waiting until 6am to turn you on
Crescent, Potsdam

Bloom is Off BBC (and NPR) (2/3/04)
Yesterday we received your latest fund raising letter informing us of a poll conducted by The Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) finding a correlation between public misperceptions of the war in Iraq and one's primary source of news. Surely you must see that the very nature of such a poll carries its own bias. I would very much like to read those questions and learn of the backgrounds of the team that designed the poll. Contrary to the findings of the poll, my own experience is that if I had relied solely upon NPR/PBS to gain perspective on the matter of the war in Iraq I would have had huge gaps in my understanding of the total picture. Only by reading and listening to other sources does one recognize NPR's bias by what is not said and what news item is not explored. Mostly I find that many of the reporters are unseasoned and confuse confrontation or a gotcha attitude with true inquiry, and, I think they have no clue that they are doing this. As to broadcasting BBC World Update, perhaps you want to rethink that matter now that the superior, unbiased reporting of BBC has officially been found wanting.
Lorraine Mackin, North Salem

Misses New Dimensions 10 (2/3/04)
Add my name to the folks who miss New Dimensions and other diverse programming in your weekly 7 pm to 8 pm timeslot. They were a welcome and often inspirational break from two hours of All Things Considered. Not that I have anything against ATC, it's the most complete, informative news show on the planet. Airing The World immediately afterward is laying it on a bit too much. NCPR used to resonate from my speakers until bedtime. Now it goes silent at 7 pm.
Peter Blush, Iron Hill, Quebec

Lose Odyssey (1/16/04)
Odyssey should be renamed "The World According to Gretchen Helfrich". I am not interested in listening to musings of a mediocre mind that does not contribute to my understanding of the world. Please cancel the program.
Marion Jones, Canton

Thank You for BBC! 4 (1/16/04)
I have been among the critics of National Public Radio. My criticism has risen from my comparison of NPR's news coverage with other sources of news that I have sought out with some measurable effort and expense. My observations have been thus: Over and over and over again I find that NPR ignores or gives rapid-fire perfunctory and confusing "coverage" to the most important stories of the day. Over and over again I find myself listening to international or alternative news broadcasts and I wondering out loud "Why didn't NPR cover this?" One thing that NPR has been covering with increasing commitment is Consumer News--What to Buy and How to Buy It. I ask myself "How can this be happening?" I have always had affection for Public Radio, but I cannot avoid the evidence. I am not uncomfortable with the concept of advocacy journalism per se. What makes me uncomfortable with the advocacy journalism of NPR is that it is so slick (or "High Quality") as to be undetectable except to those of us who also listen to international sources of news. I am never aware of what NPR left out of the story until I hear coverage of the same event elsewhere. Now I listen to NPR and say "Hmm--I wonder what they didn't say." Later that day I find out.

I have been told that NPR provides balanced and impartial coverage. What is painfully clear to me is that NPR employs newscasters who do a very good job of not displaying any opinions. Once in a while they almost ask a difficult question--but then they quickly back off. This may convey an appearance of impartiality to some, but to me it just makes the reporter seem less than human. True partiality, on the other hand, is displayed in the choice of what story to cover and what parts of the story to ignore. Programs like "Democracy NOW" also engage in advocacy journalism, but their intentions are transparent. They focus on the stories and voices that are being largely ignored by global corporate media. They even ask rude questions! I am intelligent enough to take into account the point of view of the messenger when evaluating the message.

But wait--there is a light at the end of the tunnel! North Country Public Radio has made a redeeming choice by including some BBC reporting in their broadcasts. I want you to know that this is not being overlooked by the former NCPR members/supporters who have dropped out over the years. I'm sure that we are taking our time for an evaluation of the new news programs--and trying to get into the habit of listening to NCPR again--at 5 AM no less!

To control the world, one must merely control the minds of people. To control the mind, one must merely control information. I live in a world that is being closed-off to me more and more through the control of information. We invade a country to bring "Democracy", and now we try to stop democratic elections there. Our president hangs a picture of Martin Luther King in the White House for the first time, and then he works to overturn affirmative action. Every single day it happens. This is a matter of life and death. People are dying because we were ignorant of the holes and deception in our government's case for war. People are dying because reporters failed to ask rude questions. Iraq is not the end of their plans. The time has come to be rude.
Diane Colbert, Winthrop

Infinite Mind Superior to Odyssey 2 (1/14/04)
I wish that you would bring back The Infinite Mind, or switch to anything else except the Odyssey show with that terrible Gretchen Helfrich. Ms. Helfrich is obviously a person of mediocre talent and ability who tries to sound intelligent at every turn. She doesn't pull it off and frankly, I'm not interested. With her show's spacey themes, she comes off as ditzy.
Jim Farrell, Burlington VT

Rude Awakening 6 (1/13/04)
Miss my wake-up music! BBC World Update is nice, but not for me at 5:55 a.m. when I am used to being waken by soft classical music. Now I am forced to set my alarm to go off with a CD.
C. Hennessy, Colton

Misses New Dimensions 9 (1/9/04)
We are very disappointed that New Dimensions has been dropped from the program schedule. It was a unique show that only npr would carry. Now we are undecided about renewing our pledge to NCPR.
Michael & Lisa Flahe, Malone

Rude Awakening 5 (1/10/04)
Sorry guys, this is a kick. I do not enjoy waking to the sounds of BBC World Update at 5:45 in the morning. That is the time for soothing music, not a stiff Brit. I almost caused the demise of my clock radio on the first morning as I franticaly tried to turn it off in my groggy fog.
Dave Lennox, Potsdam

New Dimensions Not Logical (1/9/04)
Thanks for dropping New Dimensions from NCPR's lineup: it provided a forum for so-called experts with fuzzy thinking in a world that needs more expertise in logical analysis.
E. Darryl Barnes, Clayton

Misses New Dimensions 8 (and Living on Earth) (1/9/04)
I see that I am not alone in my disappointment that New Dimenions has been cut from your programming in the new year. It has been the highlight of my week ever since I was first introduced to it in the mid '90s. I am also saddened by the loss of another 7 pm program, Living On Earth, to the BBC World. And having no classical music to listen to first thing in the morning for me is disturbing. (I still miss Bob and Bill's classical music program from 10 to noon every day.) The trend is definitely toward more news at the expense of music. Daytime radio now is mainly talk. Please bring back some balance into your programming. I will be listening a lot less to NCPR this season, but remain hopeful that change will restore some of my loss.
Elizabeth Kochar, Saranac Lake

Misses New Dimensions 7 (1/9/04)
I know you can't please everyone all the time, but I am really going to miss New Dimensions. Nancy and I really look forward to that progam. Can you find another slot for it? If so, please bring it back. I love the jazz all night; maybe you could do more during the daylight hours. Anyway, keep up the good work.
Don and Nancy Potter, Hannawa Falls

Loves Speaking of Faith (1/8/04)
Love the addition of Speaking of Faith. Last Friday's first program, "Children and God", was outstanding and I can hardly wait for tomorrow's program. Thank you.
Ronnie Peterson, Star Lake

Hooray for BBC! 3 (1/8/04)
I wish to thank NCPR for adding the BBC World Update at 5 AM. It is one of the programming changes I've suggested several times when pledging my support to NCPR. Although I sometimes use Music Through The Night as an inducenment to fall asleep. With the BBC, it's nice to have intellegent and balanced commentary with which to awaken and begin the day. Thanks again.
John Wolfe III, Norfolk, NY

Missing Living on Earth (1/8/04)
I enjoy listening to THE WORLD. However, I miss LIVING ON EARTH and hope you bring it back. NCPR needs an environmental news program. I found LIVING ON EARTH very helpful for my work and as a way to stay an informed citizen.
Rick Welsh, Canton

Rude Awakening 4 (1/8/04)
I must add my voice to those who disapprove of the removal of Music Through the Night between 5:00 am and 6:00 am. For years, I have enjoyed being gently awakened with lovely, soft chamber music or a light classical symphony at 5:15. I fear I may have to buy myself an alarm clock/CD player in order to start my day the way I want to.
Paul Haggett, Massena, NY

Misses Barb Heller on Saturday am (1/8/04)
We miss Barb Heller on Saturday mornings! While we have no complaints with starting Weekend Edition an hour earlier, we wish you'd go back to having a "live" person on-air from 7-8 am. We miss hearing local weather, the community calendar, Field Notes, and the Clarkson and SLU hockey scores!
Laura Cordts, Potsdam

Misses New Dimensions 6 (and Living on Earth) (1/8/04)
I just recieved your new postings of what we are to expect this listening season and frankly I am highly disappointed. As regular listeners and contributors to NCPR and the radio being our #1 form of information and entertainment, I was saddened to see that both Living On Earth and New Dimensions were cut from your programming. Although I am a lover of Jazz, an entire night is a bit too much and I would gladly give this up to enjoy these shows we tried never to miss. Tami Millington North Creek, NY

Rude Awakening 3 (1/8/04)
I am truly disappointed to have Music through the Night cut off before 6 AM. I appreciate the fact that you are able to raise more money by having a more diverse lineup. However, it seems those of us who look forward to classical music get less and less. PLEASE don't take off anything else.
Oeggy Sperling, Ogdensburg

(Hits and) Misses New Dimensions (1/8/04)
I want to add my voice to those who will miss New Dimensions. We have NCPR on almost all the time in our home, and New Dimensions is one of the very few programs in the NCPR line-up that routinely drives us to turn off the radio and revisit our CD collection. We really do have a nice collection of music at home and now we will have one less reason to take advantage of it.
Mark Scarlett, Rossie, NY

Misses New Dimensions 5 (and Living on Earth) (1/8/04)
Is there such a thing as too much news? I think so. Why do we have to have more news at 7:00 every night? New Dimensions and Living on Earth are shows that give us a broader perspective, info that is found nowhere else on the radio. Why not cut that annoying Odyssey show? Her voice reminds me of a commercial radio station. Please reconsider finding a new slot for New Dimensions at least or God forbid... forego one night of that extra hour of news.
Roseanne Gallagher, Malone

Rude Awakening 2 (1/8/04)
I too was disappointed to find that you have followed VPR's lead in having BBC on at 5 AM. I sought refuge at that hour in Music Through the Night. Now, I have to find WCVT.
Marc Kessler, Starksboro, VT

Misses New Dimensions 4: No way to Say Goodby (1/7/04)
Wow, what a pity New Dimensions is no longer on the station. My wife and I were great fans and looked forward to the show every Friday. New Dimensions brought ideas into our life that are not easy to find elsewhere. Change is inevitable and it must be difficult to make these decisions. However, I am very disappointed in how you put the changes in place. In the recent newsletter, I saw no mention, not even an explanation that New Dimensions was cancelled. We listened Friday night and again no mention of the change was made. In essence the show was dissapeared. As faithful listeners and members this only made loosing our favorite show that much harder. In the future maybe a goodbye, some thanks to the New Dimensions staff and suggestions on how to find the show in other format would be helpful. In addition it saddens me to see yet another independent voice swallowed by corporate media. the voices on New Dimensions get little chance to be heard over those from organizations such as the BBC and WGBH. We will still be members and will continue to support the station. Hopefully changes in the future could be made more openly and kindly.
Kevin Abnet, South Hero, VT

Rude Awakening (1/6/04)
Music through the Night has been cut short! Rising at 5:00AM each day, I have grown to depend upon the classical music program as a smooth and pleasant transition into the work day. Awaking to the BBC reporters' purposeful, yet monotonous, intonations leaves me searching for the CD collection. As a school administrator, however, I depend upon the weather updates that are interjected into your early morning programs. The bottom line: anyone with an internet capable computer can listen to the BBC on-line whenever they want to. Please consider returning music through the night to it's previous schedule. This change was very disappointing
Dr. Paul J. Alioto, Star Lake

Misses New Dimensions 3 (1/6/04)
By 7 pm, I've had enough news & world affairs for one day. Please bring back the old 7:00 schedule, including New Dimensions. Thanks.
Wayne Morris, Lake Placid

Change is Good 3 (1/3/04)
Love the new Car Talk time.
Lorraine Krause, Huntingdon

Misses New Dimensions 2 (1/3/04)
I am extremely disappointed that you have discontinued one of my favorite programs: New Dimensions. I listened on Friday night to its replacement, The World, and found it to be too similar to All Things Considered. I am supporter of NCPR.
Jean Cannon, Burlington

Change is Good 2 (1/2/04)
Thanks for adding BBC World Report to your early morning programming. The matter-of-fact manner and timely content make it a worthwhile hour. Now if you could only get the first hour of Weekend Edition with Scott Simon on Saturday mornings.
DeForest Tinkler, Bloomingdale

Ed. note: We do air both hours of Weekend Edition on Saturday, but the time has shifted one hour: 8-10 am, instead of 9-11 am. For complete schedule changes, visit our New Programs page.

Thumbs Up for Guy and Ellen 2 (1/2/04)
The Ellen and Guy New Year's Eve Gala was splendid. We left you at about 0230, as our eyes were getting heavy with the unaccustomed weight of extreme lateness. The range of the play list was wonderfully wide; delightfully eccentric at times. Please do it again next year.
Paul Butterfield, Indian Lake

Thanks for the Swap (1/2/04)
During the fall fundraiser, you let me substitute Sarah Vowell's book The Partly Cloudy Patriot in place of a magazine subscription. I really enjoyed the book, it was a real treat to read. Thank you for being so accommodating.
Lisa Baughn, Williston VT

Change is Good (1/1/04)
A word of appeciation regarding your revised schedule for 2004. We particularly appreciate your addition of the BBC World Update at 5AM on weekdays, as well as moving Morning Edition to 6AM. The World at 7PM on weekdays will also be a most welcome addition. Up to this time, we have had to search and utilize other public radio stations for news from 5AM - 7AM, although our preference would have been NCPR, as you serve the Adirondack region which is our home. In our opinion, your revised schedule is a much better fit for local working residents and families who desire to be informed of world, USA, regional and local news.
You can count on our continued support in 2004. Best Regards,
Dirk & Carol Van Gorp, Schroon Lake

Thumbs Up for Guy and Ellen (1/1/04)
I was pleasantly surprised by the New Year's Eve show of Rock-n-roll and R & B. The requests and good editing generated a great play list. If you have the time and energy, won't you do it again? No need to wait for New Years Eve.
Samuel Press, Burlington VT

Misses New Dimensions (1/1/04)
Please bring New Dimensions back!!! It's one of my favoite shows on NCPR and I'm distressed that you've cut it!
Aileen O'Donoghue, Potsdam

Jazz! Yeah! (12/31/03)
I'm excited that you've added Jazz After Hours! I know where I'll be overnight Saturdays now... reclining blissfully while jazz wafts over my living room like smoke in swanky 50's underground club.
Kevin Leroux, Ogdensburg

Infinite Mind Superior to Odyssey (12/31/03)
I hope your decision to move Odyssey to Thursdays doesn't mean you will no longer be carrying The Infinite Mind, a much superior show...
Cathleen Kelley, Williston VT

Less NPR, More NCPR (12/29/03)
Thanks for making (of the three public stations I receive) the best. I am always delighted by the just-plain-folks projection of the NCPR staff. Unfortunately, you program too much NPR and not enough of yourselves.
Jeff, Swanton, Vt

More Jazz!!
I love your station and I listen everyday on my drive from Massena to Potsdam for school. I have listed to other Public Radio stations when I lived elsewhere and maybe I am jaded but I want more music. In specific more jazz!!! In Binghamton the station was only Jazz and News. While I love the variety we have up here I would like more music programming. I don't know what could be done about this or if my viewpoint is singular but I felt it is valid. Thanks for being such a great station and saving me from the "mainstream crap" out there. Congrats!
Matthew Job, Massena

Irked by Odyssey
Please cut Odyssey from your programming. The show is awful! The host, Gretchen Helfrich, has the most nerve-wracking voice on public radio, and she has a habit of dominating the program with her huge ego. She often has a "know it all" attitude, often cutting off her guests, particularly those who disagree with her. She seems more preoccupied with showcasing herself, than exploring her guests' more interesting views. Moreover, the show's topics are not grounded in reality--it offers useless knowledge that has little application in daily life. I find the show pretentious and irritating. Helfrich's fake sincerity resounds throughout the program and I want to turn the dial everytime it's on.
Paul Atkins, Brant Lake

Keep Balanced Talk
I say keep Talk Of The Nation and The Connection. They are both outstanding programming which add immeasurably to our understanding of the issues they cover. Other North Country public radio resources cover the liberal perspective exhaustively (WAMC, for one); here's my vote for balance.
Mike Erickson, Brant Lake

Guard Coverage Lauded (11/24/03)
I just listened to David's excellent reports on North Country mobilized Guardsmen and their families. As one who recently, fortunately, retired from the Guard after 17 years experienced (and 3 years regular Air Force, including Vietnam), I think the report as good as you could get for its length. I try to follow this issue closely, and no other media source I see has even come close.
I will say that the time it was on was unfortunate. Who can listen at that time? I wish you had expanded it and done it in the evening, maybe on a Thursday night as you have with other issues. I guarantee I would have called in with a comment or two.
Sincerely, Phil Newton, Saranac Lake

Bits in the Mail (11/17/03)
Thank you very much for the coffee mug, and when I glue it together I will enjoy using it.
David Beaulieu, Parishville NY

Ed. note: Please let us know if you have received damaged thank-you gifts, or the wrong one, or none. Contact NCPR using the numbers/addresses at the foot of this page.

Irksome Alarm (11/11/03)
This listener was irked to awaken on Sunday Nov. 9 to the tiresome tirade of Noam Chomsky. This relic from the '60s damns America for imposing mind control that only he can perceive. Music or news would be more appropriate to the day and hour.
Samuel Press, Burlington VT

A Cautionary Pledge Tale (10/24/03)
A short time ago I mysteriously lost my radio reception with NCPR. Well, as the saying goes you don't know what you have until you lose it. Public radio is my constant companion as I labor the hours away in my home office. When I lost reception I tried the following tactics to remedy (knowing that the problem was not in the channel selection as this is never changed)
1-I fiddled with the radio antenna until it broke
2- I moved the radio to another outlet but had to balance said radio precariously on the edge of a high counter from whence it fell and still no reception.
3-I Made a stand with a box on an ironing board but still no reception.
4-I tried one other outlet across the room for better positioning. As I reached down to YES-remove the CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM DETECTOR to plug the radio in its stead, I had a eureka moment and hesitated in my insanity-- Maybe the next time there is a pledge drive I should contribute!
Janet Potter, Malone, NY

Missing the Iraq Story (10/23/03)
The press has not covered important news from Iraq. How many fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, etc. of Iraquis have been killed? Pictures and interviews of our wounded need to be shown. Let's not forget them as we have in other wars. Many will spend their remaining years in Vet. Hosp. Please report on our crumbling infrastructure, schools libraries, etc.
Frances Nugent, Williston

Cut Out the Holier Than Thou (10/23/03)
I love NCPR. I listen to NCPR on the web. I contribute to NCPR. However, at the 12:54 pm on Thursday, Oct 23, your pledge hosts felt it necessary to assert that you receive no corporate money. This is patent NONSENSE. You receive money from and take programming from NPR. NPR receives tons of funding from corporations. In fact it has a sales force that does nothing but solicit money from corporations. What is more, you should not be acting as if corporate sponsorship and indeed corporations are bad. The commentary that this is "radio for, of and by the people" is just self-serving nonsense. I expect more from your station(s) and your hosts than to participate in blind, jingoistic corporation bashing. Wake up and check the balance sheet NCPR and cut out the holier than thou stupidity.
M Kramer, Washington DC

Prefers NCPR (over no-name brands) (10/20/03)
A simple observation about the difference among Public Radio Stations. I am now living in another part of NY serviced by Albany and NYC public stations—similar to my Plattsburgh North Country home. Aside from the annoyance that the signal from either is very weak—something I never experienced in the North Country—I am reminded why I prefer NCPR to VPR (or for that matter any other station) as this is pledge week down here. I have always thought the NCPR approach more humane and less intrusive to what i find down here—constant yelling and program interruptions! Keep up the good work NCPR. I look forward to my weekly trip to my Plattsburgh home and the soothing sound of Barb Heller.
Bob Wolleben, Plattsburgh

Democracy Now! Now (10/14/03)
Fourth request for Democracy Now! I do not have cable or satellite TV and only have the Internet to reach this show. I would really like for NCPR to broadcast this, what does it take?
Bryan, Potsdam

Cut the Talk, Cut The Connection (10/9/03)
NPR the great coward and status quo advocate. Could you consider cutting at least one or both of these programs, Talk of the Nation and the painfully conservative The Connection.
Yes, it is the connection to Dick Gordon's conservative professors and think-tankers.
There is no peace voice, voice or reason on NPR. That is why Democracy Now! would be a good counterbalance to what otherwise is a drudgery of conservative, jingoistic bluster and opinion.
Gary, Highgate Springs

Third Democracy Now! Request (9/10/03)
I just read the following listener comment:

What if...? (3/25/03)
I might have missed this question being asked.. but would like to know, with all this bombing that is going on, how can the usa be sure they don't hit an area that has WMD.. if that does happen, what horrible mess would that open up?
Linda, San Anselmo, CA

I say:
Do we all understand the answer now? Listen to what you are being told. Ask yourself if the opposite is actually true. When you hear: "We are going to Iraq because it has weapons of mass destruction." You must think: "We are going to Iraq because we know that it does NOT have WMD's." Iran and Korea understand this, so of course they start rigging up their nukes as fast as possible.

About 2 years ago I signed a letter asking NCPR to carry Democracy Now. There were about a dozen other signatures on the letter. The author never recieved a response. Several of my friends report the same story—No Response. Others rumor about a prohibitively costly $5,000 antenna required. Shall we plan a few bake sales? I have been supporting NCPR since I was about 20 yrs old.

May we all recieve some answers, so we can know where to go with this?
Diane Colbert, Winthrop

Potsdam Soldier Will be Missed (9/10/03)
Thanks to David Sommerstein for the excellent coverage of the Chad Fuller funeral this morning. Our community and Nation will miss him.
Ray Toland, LTC (R), Potsdam

Prefers Thistle to Bush (9/7/03)
I just wanted to let you know how extremely disappointed I was to hear the Thistle and Shamrock stopped half way through tonight for Mr. Bush to talk. You could have recorded his speech and broadcast it later. My opinion of NCPR is now quite lower.
Cedar Stanistreet, Riparius, NY

Seconds Democracy Now! Request (8/30/03)
I would like to second the listener who suggested NCPR carry Democracy Now. Indeed, it would not be a bias since NPR is insipid and apolitical. If it does anything it tends to lend credibility to the horrible errors of Bush and his neo con advisers. As for NCPR I have found its staff very open and professional. However, NCPR originates only a tiny percent of its programming locally. It therefore takes on more of an NPR flavor than the local open-minded beacon it could be.
How anyone in their right mind could enjoy the painful two hours of Dick Gordon, an NPR Larry King, escapes me.
Gary, Highgate Springs

Summer Listeners Say Thanks (8/27/03)
We're leaving the north country this week, and wanted to tell you how important NCPR is to us. It makes a tremendous difference in our summer listening, and we feel it's the best NPR station up and down the whole east coast. We will leave for Florida, and we are subscribers and will certainly continue to be. Thanks so much for great listening!
Gladys and Murray Schwartz, Alex Bay and Largo , FL

Memorable Musical Experience (8/25/03)
Thank you for the info on nearly forgotten opera houses in St. Lawrence County and the interview with Bridget Clark. I attended the Dreadnought concert at the Edwards Opera House and enjoyed one of the most memor-able musical experiences of my life.
Bob Doran, Norfolk

Wants Democracy Now!
For years now, I and my friends and neighbors have been encouraging NCPR to carry DEMOCRACY NOW! We need a new source of independent news. We have recently purchased a satellite DISH and can receive Democracy now on FREE SPEECH TV. We really would prefer local NCPR to carry the program and receive the money that we currently spend on satellite service. I understand that NCPR may wish to avoid political statements that could make some of your more conservative supporters less generous at pledge time. That is sad, and the media becomes part of the self-fulfilling prophecy as more and more resources move to the top of the income scale. In these days of censorship and propaganda, choosing NOT to carry DEMOCRACY NOW! is also a clear political act. Is there an alternative radio voice in the North Country?
Richard Paolillo, West Stockholm

Competing Use Groups Should Report Progress Made, Ease Tensions (7/25/03)
I have been listening to the special call-in this morning--actually I called in with a comment--and would like to add one thing to the discussion. Brian McDonnell refered to a group that is meeting to help the DEC with the UMP on the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest. I would strongly urge those in groups like that, those groups made up of what appears on the surface to be people that are in opposition to each other and their recreational uses, to communicate back to their "constituents" the progress the group is making, the issues that are being addressed and the "commonality" that exists among the "oppositions". I think it's important that these representatives of the different groups be leaders within their interest groups. Their communication back to their consituents would probably do a lot to reduce the tension that exists between the different interest groups--maybe reduce the "us vs them" that exists among the various interests.
Mark Kurtz, Saranac Lake, NY

NCPR Where Are You? (7/22/03)
Why don't you make your radio tuning frequency obvious? I still havn't found it, and I am going camping soon. This website has lots of good things, but w/o people being able to listen to your broadcast, its rather accidental.
L. Sherman, Tully, NY

Ed. note: mea culpa. You can find a list and map of our 19 fm frequencies from the front page of by clicking on the the radio tower icon labeled "FM Dial" on the right hand border bar, or by selecting "coverage map" from the "NCPR" dropdown menu. But you can't find them from any other page deeper in the site. Whoops. We will be updating our page template shortly and will correct the oversight.

AmeriCorps Budget Crisis Hits Close to Home (7/20/03)
I would like to make a suggestion for a topic of discussion that is extremely relevent to our community. The AmeriCorps budget crisis is threatening to completely cut funding for volunteers who are vital components of local non-profit social service agencies. The very real impact that AmeriCorps programs make and the affect of their possible demise deserves some coverage. This is a real news issue with a human interest facet. Coverage has been disproportionate to the impact of these events. The community will be interested and informed--especially while legislation that may aid AmeriCorps is currently being considered by Congress. I hope that NCPR as an organization dedicated to timely reporting will take time to report and discuss this issue. Thank you--keep up the good work.
Jon Brown, Bloomingdale

In Dispraise of Dolly (7/4/03)
Tuned in this evening (July 4) to hear Millenium of Music. Imagine my surprise at hearing instead Tammie Wynette (or some equally vacuous Country music star) talking about her two "secret weapons" at what sounded like a typical American feel-good Fourth of July concert program. Is this the stuff your listeners tune in to hear? If so, what's the point of public broadcasting, anyway? In my mind, it's to provide an alternative to this sort of mindless "entertainment." Oh, well. Back to VPR...
Jim Owens, Alburg VT

Wants the Good News With the Bad (6/13/03)
I enjoy much of your programming in spite of the liberal slant. After all the time spent reporting and commenting on the theft of the antiquities at the Iraqi museum, I would think you would be happy to report that only 47 items out of 170,000 are still missing. Thank you.
Brian Langtry, Gouverneur

Appreciates Akwesasne News (5/16/03)
Thanks for the coverage on this morning's regional news of the proposed agreement between the Mohawks of Akwasasne and N.Y.S. -- including the interview with Chief Alma Ransom. Good coverage of a complicated topic vital to all North Country residents.
Ron Bretsch, Norwood

Listener Lauds Lydon, NCPR--NPR, Not So Much (5/12/03)
You've restored some of my faith.
    I've been increasingly upset about the lopsided reporting on national affairs, the avoidance of allowing people to speak on alterntive views, and the lack of effective, investigative reporting.
    I was close to being upset enough to stop my donations to Public Radio because getting honest news coverage is the thing I value most in Public Radio. That you had Chris Lydon back on the air and on locally was a big boost to my enthusiam for Public Radio—NCPR in particular—and to my hope that the pendulum will swing back to balanced coverage of the news. If people don't know about and understand our current problems, they won't begin to work on finding solutions. The program Chris moderated on developing local growth was excellent in offering new approaches and ways to think about solving some difficult problems.
    I was thrilled to hear Chris and look forward to future opportunities to hear from him again. Personally I would love to see Chris have a nationally televised program as well.
    Your NCPR's programs on local issues and problems has been excellent. You have some great staff.
    Many thanks to the staff of NCPR and to Chris.
    Keep up the great work, and please lobby with the National Public Radio folks to change their policies to achieve more balanced reporting fulfilling the role our forefathers expected of the fourth estate. Our form of democracy has never been so threatened, and that threat is from within—in part due to news media failing to provide balanced reporting. NCPR has restored my hope in the possible. Thanks again.
Margery A. Pasko, Morristown

Listener Lauds Lydon (5/6/03)
Thank you for bringing Christopher Lydon to the business end of your microphones. Your show on local economics was wonderful. My only regret was I was working and could not listen to the entire broadcast. I look forward to more such relevant and intelligent programming in the future. Best regards,
Bob Ballan, Potsdam

editor's note: complete audio of the call-in will be available online shortly, along with the Burt Symposium panel discussion Lydon hosted Tuesday and the symposium keynote address by Michael Shuman, author of Going Local.

Some Canadians Support Iraq War (4/4/03)
Fight the good fight friends; our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Forgive if you can my government's position in not publically supporting your efforts to free Iraq; it is committed to the UN ideal but, sadly, we wait for resolutions that never come. While the UN debates wording, people die. GOD save the USA! Thank you Mr. Bush; this is not a cross that you asked to carry, but was put upon the American people by those in the world that have prospered by our way of life yet despise the hand that feeds them. How do we alter this kind of mind set?
PG Walter, Stratford, Ontario

Lauds Nursing Home Reporting (4/3/03)
Your recent coverage on the nursing home crisis in the North Country was the best balanced account and the clearest coverage of the problem I have heard in years. Thank you.
Rev.Daniel Callahan, Saranc Lake

Not the "Stormin' Norman Show" (3/30/03)
An interesting thing seems to be happening as a result of the "embedment" of reporters behind the lines as this grab for Iraq unfolds. I think a great deal of resentment was generated in the reporting community during the first Gulf war after media's hands were tied in favor of the "Stormin' Norman Show" approach to information disemination. It's payback time and NPR is doing better than I expected by consitently soliciting the opionions of veterans rather than anti war protesters. In my experience they comprise the most credible and reluctant group when given a choice about when to engage militarily. I laud your ability to walk the line between supporting the troops and supporting the mission. Why not hot foot it down to the local VFWs and tip a few with some non listeners, you might be surprised.
Mike Owen, Colton, NY

Too much war coverage (3/29/03)
Too much war coverage. Although I agree that we unfortunatley are taking the stand that the world needs to take. The constant in your face coverage is really unnecessary, uninformative (for 23.5 hours of the day) and just plain boring. Let's report on the rest of humanity and break in if something new happens.
Kevin, Plattsburgh, NY

Keep up the good work (3/28/03)
I am very pleased with NCPR's extended coverage of the war, and hope you keep it up. Likewise, I think The Connection is one of the best shows you carry, and the addition of Fresh Air is welcome.

If I could move/change one show it would be the Saturday Opera. Where I live, I can take my pick of 3 public radio stations, and all carry the identical Opera at the identical time. Why not play it off cycle? Maybe in the evening for a change. This is one of the few time slots where all three stations directly overlap. It seems like a waste of airtime to me.

And keep up the Web streaming. I don't use it often, but it is nice to know it's there.

I'll be backing up my comments with an extra pledge.

Keep up the good work.
Jack Downs, Plattsburgh, NY

Official Media (3/27/03)
In this country we have assumed, as an article of "faith" even, that we have a free press. It is "embedded" in the first amendment of the constitution. What happens when the media is unwilling or unable to exercise that right and instead falls into line, in this case, with the Pentagon? In a strange, and alas very American way, we end up with "official media," not in the sense that it exists in many countries, but official media none-the-less. National NPR has indeed become embedded within this insidious practice. But here is the strange thing about such a situation. The national news feed still sounds like the NPR we are used to; it has the same voices and style, the same "ring of truth," that gentle, considerate, thoughtful surface. It doesn't sound like propaganda, or Fox, etc. Isn't this so much the way we really should expect it to happen in its own quiet, gentle, reasonable way? But it is propaganda or public relations just the same, though it is much more effective.

I remember this past summer Ellen Rocco's conversations with the program director of national NPR and how quite a few people raised this issue then. Now it is much more pressing, much more important that a free and open press/media be available. I am glad to see so many other comments along these lines. Let's hope things can get back to where they need to be. A free press is not a luxury but an absolute necessity of democracy. Ellen, perhaps you could gather all these comments and send them to that program director now.
Roger Johnson, Cranberry Lake, NY

What if...? (3/25/03)
I might have missed this question being asked.. but would like to know, with all this bombing that is going on, how can the usa be sure they don't hit an area that has WMD.. if that does happen, what horrible mess would that open up?
Linda, San Anselmo, CA

Liberate NCPR (3/23/03)
I am not sorry to say that I am sadly disapointed by the round-the clock-coverage given to Bush's dirty war. People have begun saying that NPR stands for National Propaganda
Radio or worse National Pentagon Radio. Do NOT give us these unrelenting drums of war. Cancelling Garrison Keillor seems to be the last straw. Even Vermont Public Radio had the Opera!! Who's more American than Garrison, please!
Liberate NCPR!! Free yourselves from the shackles of Cental Right Wing Government! Otherwise, I'd just as soon stay tuned to CBC!!
Lynne Stewart, Moira, NY

Embedded, or In Bed? (3/22/03) Words are interesting things. Are reporters embeded with the military or are they in bed with the military. Are reporters reporting or are they conduits for government propaganda? Finally, a question? When, if ever, will the bulletin board be back up and running?
Pete Klein, Blue Mountain Lake

Can't Take it Any More (3/1/03)
I am sorry to say I am tuning NCPR off in the mornings from now on.
Your choice to carry such incredibly pro-establishment, pro-war, pro-GWB WBUR, Dick Gordon is just too much for me to endure. I wish you could tap into a radio network which really did examine ideas. Before the Canadian government defunded CBC AM radio, they had hundreds of intersting and intellectually challenging programs. I guess as with all things in the deconstruction of radio and media, public radio has become sick and infected.
I will listen to your all-too-short real people programs, such as Radio Bob and the Folk music show.
Gary, Swanton VT

Willcott Commentary Light on Theology (2/25/03)
It disturbs me greatly when people who could care less about the Bible use one verse out of it to make Christians look bad. Tell Mr. Willcott not to use one of the ten commandments unless he is going to live his life according to the WHOLE BIBLE !! He also needs to do a big Bible study before he condemns capital punishment or war.
Andy Dennis, Norfolk, NY

Missed the Boat on Worldwide Iraq Call-in (2/15/03)
As residents of Lowville and Old Forge, we are able to receive two NPR stations - NCPR and WRVO out of Oswego. WRVO is broadcasting a combined world call-in show, Talk of the Nation and the BBC this afternoon (Sat 2/15). Considering the world crisis with Iraq and our role in this conflict, it's an excellent program to say the least. NCPR is simultaneously broadcasting opera. It's a Saturday afternoon in the wintertime, and there are protests being staged all over the world today. Here, people in the north country are largely at home and there is a great world call-in show available and you're offering opera. I realize that you try to offer a range of music programming but your timing seems to reflect a lack of insight. I've always questioned your weekend progamming, since Saturday and Sunday are the two days when I'm home and can listen to the radio all day long. I've assumed it was due to a lack of funding for more engaging programming. I think this strategy is mistaken. If you get the more engaging programs, you'll get more funding as most of your listeners will stayed tuned during the weekends. We find it difficult to donate our hard earned money to two stations. In making our decision, the engaging programs will win out over music every time.
Liz and Dan, Lowville, NY

Ed. Note: There was no monetary reason for not carrying the NPR/BBC Worldwide Call-in on Iraq. We could have aired the program at no additional cost to the station. NCPR decided to stay with the regularly scheduled opera on Saturday for a number of reasons--we had bounced the opera the week before for live coverage of the Columbia disaster and we were reluctant to bounce the same program two weeks in a row. We had carried war-related special coverage for five hours Friday, the day before, airing the report to the UN Security Council by the chief weapons inspectors, and the comments that followed. Though we did not offer the worldwide call-in on air, we did carry it live via our website.

Case for War Not Made; Rally for Peace (2/8/03)

The United States seems on the verge of war in Iraq, despite anything
our allies or a growing portion of our own population may say. The President’s mind seems made up.

Secretary of State Powell certainly made a strong case to the UN that Saddam Hussein was not to be trusted.

But Mr. Powell did not prove that containment would not work. He did not prove that the USA should take unilateral military action or that it had to be done right away.

He did not detail the losses in life or the billions of dollars that the war there would cost the American taxpayer. He said nothing about how many innocent Iraqi civilians we would kill or how much we would have to pay to occupy and rebuild Iraq.

Before the President makes use of the sweeping personal permission the Congress gave him to start a war in America’s name, as American
citizens, we ought to be told what damage the war will do and what it will cost us in years, life and dollars.

Also, the USA’s starting a way in Iraq seems like an open invitation to El Qaeda to attack us. It would be far better for the UN to organize the Arab world to eliminate the threat that Saddam represents to the whole Near East and not just to the USA and the world.

We ought not let hate and fear make us support an irrational act, whatever level the terrorism index is raised to.

I hope that many of our fellow citizens who cannot travel to the
national demonstration in New York City will rally with the area’s peace groups in Canton at 1:00 PM on Saturday February 15, at St. Lawrence University’s Gunnison Chapel. The local Sponsor is the North Country’s whose web page gives the names details of the rally. AlternativetoWar’s contact phone number is: 315-267-2554. The rally speakers will include veterans for peace, local clergy, labor leaders and others.

Rev. Dudley E. Sarfaty, Malone, NY

Missing Local News at Noon (2/1/03)
I just wish to add my arm to those folks who were a bit tiffed, finding Fresh Air, replacing local news. May I say, do you folks know your own strength is with your local programming and staff? NPR has become an incredible mushy and cushy promoter of status quo. It fails to ask the right questions and in my numerous hours listening to The Connection and Nation I am appalled how little new, thought-provoking or alternative points of view are allowed. I also do not know if its just my ear, but why do all NPR male announcers sound alike? Do they run voices through some sort of "make him acceptable to NPR" electronic filter? I am telling you folks how much I appreciate your station and yes, I did contribute on your last fund raiser. But, gosh, if you delete your local programming in favor of more filtered, boring NPR, I will need rethink next time.

and furthermore:

Lose The Connection for While (1/31/03)
I can't tell you how irritating it is to continue to listen to the propaganda espoused by NPR. For example, just tonight they feature a woman who claims in her rambling on-air editorial, her family are proud capitalists. They have faith in America and have just purchased a new house and NOT one but two SUVs. I have actually been sickened by their praise for GWB and unquestioning of the bellicose plan of invasion in Iraq. Do they think for one moment this American campaign is not a gambit for power in the Middle East? I've said enough. I do love your local programs, and wonder if you could cut The Connection and Nation off air for a while.
Gary, Highgate Springs Vt

Nice Program—Can You Move It? (1/15/03)
Thanks for adding Fresh Air. Please consider moving it to the Talk of the Nation slot and bring back the noon repeat of the local news program which runs at 8 am. Many of us rely on the noon rerun to catch stories that we only hear part of in the morning or that people tell us about after they run in the morning. TOTN has become stale and unimaginative, plus, with 2 hours of call in programming in the morning (The Connection), more of it is just too much when TOTN comes on. The Connection is a far superior program anyway. Please give these suggestions serious consideration.
Thanks, Audrey Hyson, Lake Placid

NCPR Regional News: Once is Not Enough

I am a long-time listener & supporter of NCPR. So far I have felt that your station has continually improved in programming and people. However, whoever made the decision to wipe out the Noon News with Fresh Air goofed!! Fresh Air is an excellent program, but I believe myself and other listeners will sorely miss the Noon News that can't be heard at other times of the day. I, myself, have turned the dial to another FM station at noon and listen less to NCPR. I'm disappointed.
Jack A. Jones, Pierrepont

NCPR is a fine radio station, I don't know what I would do without it BUT I am having to do without a very important part of it since you have changed your schedule. I have always listened to the local news at noon because the 8 am time is not convenient for me. Now that you have placed Terry Gross at the noon spot I get no local news coverage which is the best that we have in the north country. I don't hear Brian Mann, or David or any other of the newscasters who have kept me informed about important aspects of north country life. This is a terrible loss. I realize that you had a difficult choice to make, and Terry Gross is excellent - I would prefer her in place of the Connection or the 1 pm programs. Please, please, give me back the North Country news! I am a faithful contributor to your station and won't say that I would ever stop contributing, but all these call-in shows get tiresome, but the North Country news is IMPORTANT!
Carol Poole, Saranac Lake

Thistle & Shamrock: Once is Not Enough

Hi; What happen to the Thistle and Shamrock Fri. at 1: 00. There is another bird brain program on instead and it is terrible. Please bring back T&S this is part of our heritage and culiture for many of us.. just the type of program public radio should be doing. Man I really miss it.
Kenny Ryan, Carleton Place

I was terribly sad when I clicked online today to listen to Thistle & Shamrock and it is no longer on the Friday's at 1 p.m. schedule. But I do love the music played daily at 3:00 and wish it started earlier each day! I'll miss Thistle, as it helped me make it through my Friday workday.
Debi Beirne, Charlottesville VA

Thistle and Shamrock will continue to air Sunday at 8 pm. ed.

Fresh Air: Once is Not Enough (1/04/03)
Dear NCPR: It is really too bad that you have scheduled Fresh Air with Terry Gross, only on the weekdays at noon. As a working person, I can't hear this fantastic show. It is a disapointment to miss all that fabulous information. It is a smart show and deserves to be heard later in the day as well, so we working folk can take the opportunity to listen. Thanks for all your hard work.
Deborah Forsythe, Spencerville

Poverty at Fort Drum (12/24/02)
Greetings from Colorado. We just heard Brian Mann's story on poverty @ Fort Drum on our local NPR station, KCFR. What a way to treat those who defend our freedom! Anyway, after being away from the North Country for 5 years, we will be back this summer. Can't wait.
Barry H. Bley, Arvada, CO/Brier Hill

New Building Code Will Favor Multinationals Over Local Sawmills (12/06/02)
The WSLU story on potential revision of the building code that would eliminate the use of rough-sawed lumber for residential construction was very valuable and much appreciated.

Can you do a follow-up with the local Amish mill owners?

I spoke with Cindy Pellegrino in Senator Wright's Albany office and she indicated that the code that was to take effect on January 1st was an international standard code. This makes me wonder if NAFTA or other trade agreements may be part of this change. Clearly, the revision would force NYS to become more a part of the global economy in so far as lumber and building construction are concerned. The forests of NYS would be better conserved and preserved if this were not the case. Family operated businesses that utilize the timber resource are much to be preferred to the multinational wood products companies. If the local sawmills are put out of business, the Chatham Forest Products, Inc. OSB mill would be the type of forest resource user that was expected to take over the forest products economy.
Donald Hassig, Lisbon

Salutes Sensible Radio (12/05/02)
Hi. I have been listening to NPR New York for the first time on my PC and find it educational as well as entertaining. At home I am a life-long listener to the BBC and have found nothing similar locally. I am therefore excited to be able to listen to sensible radio from the States. Best wishes:
Dave Bolton, Essex UK

Careless Hunters Endanger Others (11/22/02)
I was listening to the story this morning aout the decline in hunting. I am a very vocal opponent of hunting and the hunting culture and I will tell you why. Several years ago, a woman in Maine was shot and killed in her backyard by a hunter. As if that wasn't bad enough, hunters came to the defense of the man who shot this woman by blaming the victim for wearing white mittens in her own bacyard. The hunter apparently mistook the flash of her mitten for the tail of a deer. This woman's house was not located out in the middle of nowhere. It was in a row of houses on the edge of town. The hunter had no business hunting there or firing his rifle in the direction of the houses. I believe this incident left a bad taste in the mouth of many non-hunters. Hunters apparently think it is their right to hunt and shoot wherever they want. I would not encourage my son or husband to be hunters.
Linda Lazzari, Keeseville

Fishing for the Right Word (11/21/02)
Just before noon, I heard your talented announcer read a promo about the Tug Hill. In the promo, he refered to several interested parties, including loggers, fishers and farmers. I can appreciate NCPR's desire to remain gender neutral in its reporting, but not at the cost of accuracy. "Fishers" are mammals, members of the weasel family, and prey on porcupines. "Anglers" are people who catch fish using "an angle of iron." (See "Treatyse On Fysshynge With An Angle" by Dame Juliana Berners, printed in The Book of St. Albans by Wynken de Worde in 1496...more than a century and a hlf before Izaak Walton's "Complete Angler" was published in 1653. The next time you do a piece on outdoor sports in the Adirondacks, don't fumble with "fishers" or "fisherfolks" or "fisherwoman." Stick to the facts and call them "anglers." It is easier to pronounce and easier to understand. By the way, a "fisherman" uses a net to gather his catch. Remember when Jesus told Peter to "cast his nets upon the waters?"
Joseph L. Brosk, Carthage NY

A Love Letter (11/11/02)
I am a recent SUNY Potsdam graduate and have moved out of the north country to work in the Saratoga region. I miss the North Country greatly and often lament my departure from the Potsdam area. Of all the things that I miss the most, NCPR is absolutely #1. NCPR is the lifeblood of the north country and you have helped shape my educational experiences and my love for the region. WAMC has nothing on you!!!!! Downloading your programing just makes me miss Potsdam even more and encourages me to move back everytime I listen. Thank you for all of the hard work that has been put into public radio and for making my time in Potsdam the most memorable and cherished times of my life. Your greatest fan:
Ian Hamelin, Saratoga Springs

No to Canton Sunoco Expansion (11/11/02)
I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed expansion of the Sunoco Station currently located on East Main St. in Canton. The proposed expansion will spread the business along Stiles Avenue into a quiet residential neighborhood. The Sunoco Corporation has asked the Village Board to change the zoning of two parcels of land on Stiles Avenue from residential to commercial. Houses and trees will be torn down. A big store, a big parking lot, and a big fence with all it’s lights, noise, and smells will be built right next to my backyard. A very pleasant neighborhood where families live will be disturbed. We bought our house on East Drive after considering over thirty other properties in and around Canton. It is quiet and private. We have a great yard with trees, birds, and open space. Our children can go out to play. I know we don’t pay as much in taxes as Sunoco will, but quality of life should be the real issue, not greed. Zoning is done to protect area property owners from unwanted and inappropriate intrusions. Please do not allow the Sunoco Corporation to invade my family’s privacy. I urge the Village Board to vote against the proposed zoning change.
Jill Savage, Canton

NCPR a Fickle Friend? (11/02/02)
Are you people only friendly when you want my money? I sent you a donation used credit card and was not offered anything as a bonus. Also I sent you a cat picture as a broadcaster of which you apparently deleted and had not even the basic courtesy of acknowledging my email! I may think twice before I renew NEXT year!
Gary, Highgate VT

Hi Gary--Thanks for supporting NCPR. The last thing we want is for you to feel slighted. We are at a loss to explain what happened to your email. No one recalls receiving anything with an attached picture of a cat, and our member database shows no pledge from anyone named Gary in Highgate VT. Your message may have gone totally astray. The web comment form you used to send the message above does not record your email address unless you type it in, and you gave us no last name, otherwise we would be in touch directly. All renewals made by credit card are eligible to receive either Utne Reader or Newsweek as a thank you. Please get in touch with us.
Dale Hobson, NCPR Online Outreach

Part of the "Issues" Problem (10/29/02)
Don't you think it inappropriate that you ran a story lamenting the lack of issues in the gubernatorial campaign and followed directly with a story that reported nothing but the bank accounts of state Assembly and Senate candidates?
Richard Phillips, location not given

Counting on (and miscounting on) NPR (10/28/02)
This weekend I attended the Peace March in Washington with 2 friends from the Adirondacks. According to organizer estimates, there were over 200,000 in attendance, and there were people representing all ages and races, and we were pleasantly surprised to see, according to our estimation, an evenly divided crowd of men and women. On returning, we were dismayed to find that yesterday, NPR had reported that there were 10,000 people and that they were mostly students. We rely on NPR for accurate information, and this we know from first-hand was not accurate. Our group of 3 was representing a group called FOG--Five Old Gals. We meet for cross country skiing, hiking and canoeing, and lunch and discovered that our polital views are in agreement. We especially liked your piece on Thursday about the group going from Canton and the one written by the woman who teaches at St Lawrence and attended a peace rally in NYC. We couldn't get on the full bus from Canton, so went on one from Oneonta. If you would like me to speak about our experiences, I would be glad to. Our son in law was killed on Sept. 11, and one of the signs that was especially meaningul to me was one that said "Our grief is not a cry for war".
Jackie Mallery, Long Lake

How About a High-Irony Diet (10/16/02)
Today, Wed., I heard the announcement about Price Chopper and Hanaford staring to carry irradiated beef. Later, I heard the story on grass-fed beef! What a twisted sense of irony your programmers have. I love it! I hope lots of other people heard both pieces... how about a poll to find out how many people would choose irradiated over grass-fed???
Lynn Klein, Boonville

A Yay for Anna's Letters Home (10/16/02)
Yay for Anna! It's terrific that you're posting Anna Benvenuto's chronicles of her life in Naru. She's one of my closest friends from college and her emails always make me laugh. Thanks for bringing her adventures to a larger community.
Thaya Brook, Ann Arbor, MI

Party Does Support Ritchie in 118th (10/14/02)
I would like to take issue with an otherwise good story on the 118th district Assembly race. While it is true that Patricia Ritchie is receiving less financial support from the State party, she has met with the RACC and they have helped her campaign. Saying she is getting "no support" from the State party mischaracterizes her campaign and that of her opponent.
Todd Thomas, Pierrepont

Natural Selections FYI (10/7/02)
Heard your Saturday 10/5/02 Natural Selections about ozone layer. thought you might find this [article] interesting. It notes a smaller ozone hole and the single hole has divided in two.
Bud Duffy, Saranac Lake

NCPR Could Listen Up and Hear the "No" (10/5/02)
Your comment about the national (lack of) debate caught me up. Partly because of yesterday's TV "Washington Week" revelation that some Congresspeople are getting phone calls as massively one-sided against Bush's war plan as 20 to 1; others not so dramatic, but way, way more against than the polls the media is citing. Ordinary people have suspected this:

Item: A "Talk of the Nation" caller who didn't believe the polls and interviewed a flock of friends and neighbors in her midwestern (?Ithink?) town, finding lots more against than for.
Item: Margaret Weitzmann's walk-about, door-to-door inquirywhich she mentioned to you last week, where people were willing to write "NO" and sign their names/addresses to her question.
Item: When our Congressman McHugh's representative Mr. Whitmore came to Canton and to Potsdam last week for listening sessions, and met with residents in both communities intent on sending Mr. McHugh the NO message. (In Potsdam about 25 people kept Mr. Whitmore "listening" for the full two hours scheduled.)

In other words, if listening is the mode, NCPR could listen up and report and confirm that the NO message is loud and strong in our communities—and along with other voices out there being ignored. (None of the "Washington Week" journalists seemed aghast at the sloppy reporting by mass media OR by our representatives' blithe disregard of their constitutents' wishes.)

Ruth Beebe, Potsdam

Three Reasons Not to Go to War (10/4/02)
Bring on some folks with alternative views—let them explain why we shouldn't go to war—create the debate and other people will pick it up. Ok: here's three reasons for not going to war.
l. much of the world and especially the moslem world will hate us for it, thereby creating future problems
2. we're losing focus on all the other dangerous actors in the world.
3. it may be more about oil than we are willing to admit and we should be moving away from fossil fuels anyway.
Jerry Geier, So. Burlington, VT

New Music Needed for New Audience (10/4/02)
Regarding the question of young or different listeners, I think the answer lies in changing a portion of the music format to suit the tastes of that crowd. Volunteers are the only way I can see to get to the resources. This of course requires the sacrificing of air time devoted to existing shows. The question is really does North Country Public Radio really want to serve the whole community. Lets face it, the elites that now make up the majority of the listeners won't be hanging in for even the most sophisticated Hip Hop and they have the money; you run smack into your own opinion that good radio consists of good sound and professional sounding voices in the booth.
Michael Owen, Colton

Stop Feeding Us Warmed-Over Slop (10/2/02)
Talk of the Nation today, October 2nd, featured Lynn Neary and Steve Inskeep walking all over the truly interesting reports from listeners. I thought the idea was that WE TALK -- NPR LISTENS! I do not need Steve Inskeep to interpret callers' comments for me.

Example: The woman who called in to describe her experience collecting opinions from ordinary people in her community. The results were wildly different from the numbers we're being fed in the mass media. Mr. Inskeep then launched into a long-winded, rambling discourse -- presuming to interpret the "big picture" for us, sounding like the worst of the windbag pundits we can hear any time on any commercial news outlet these days.

Public Radio, you have lost your edge -- or your nerve, or maybe your brains? You will very soon lose me as a listener/supporter if your news people don't pull themselves together soon. THIS IS THE TIME! Stop feeding us warmed-over slop from the other news outlets. I find it insulting.

Ruth Beebe, Potsdam

A comment on anti-TV commentary:
I just heard Paul Wilcott's tirade against television. I guess I won't be inviting him to join us tonight to watch the Friends season opener. I consider myself well-read, active, involved, fair-minded, compassionate and all sorts of good things. Yet, I love a little TV from time to time. The Simpsons, West Wing, Law & Order, Scrubs are just a few of the superbly written, deftly executed shows on TV. When I watch with my kids we talk and enjoy each others' company. I'm tired of predictable rants against television. Time to ramp up the creativity, Mr. Wilcott.

Susan Stuck, Charlotte, VT

In response to our Dairy Special Report:
Congratulations! Your series on dairy in the North Country was excellent. I've alerted all of New York Farm Bureau to find your website and have a listen.

Kirby Selkirk
Field Advisor New York Narm Bureau (North Country), Chateaugay NY

In response to our Dairy Special Report:
As a former resident of the Town of Macomb now living in Colorado, I am sure that the death of dairying in St.Lawrence County is the same as the death of wheat and sugar beet farming here. Agribusiness is the real culprit. When a Florida dairy conglomerate can pasture its herd 12 months a year, have an open-air milking parlor, not have to cut hay or chop corn, and run its operations at economies of scale undreamed of by St. Lawrence County dairymen, the future does indeed look bleak.

Similarly, beet sugar farmers here cannot compete with the large plantations in the South. Should both admit that family farming, and by extension, a large chunk of the economies of both areas is obsolete?

Barry Bley, Arvada, CO

Bush Iraq Policy is a "Frog in Hot Water" Trick (9/13/02)
I am afraid that the Bush administration is pulling a "Frog in hot water" trick on the American public. According to what I have heard, if you put a frog in cool water and heat it slowly, he will not jump out, even when it reaches the boiling point, and he is killed. If you plunge a frog immediately into hot water, he will jump out. That's what I see the administration doing in the past weeks, and expecially yesterday at the UN.

If he had gone immediately to war when he first brought up the subject, there would have been a tremendous outcry in the country. What I hear, even from some I consider thoughtful people, is acceptance of W's crazy scheme. Yesterday on The Connection, or one of the other talk shows, a man in North Carolina called and said that he believed W was only doing it to be reelected. The radio commentators universally called him down for it. But he's not the only American who believes that this is exactly what the purpose of this war is. President Bush has learned at least one lesson from his father's administration: do not end a war too early, or you won't be reelected.

As a citizen, and especially as a religious person, I am sickened at the thought of US bombers killiing civilians in Iraq, and justifyling it by blaming Saddam for putting his military in the midst of civilian areas. I hope something can bring him (W) to his senses before great damage is done to our credibility around the world.

Ted Tate, Star Lake NY

Kudos for Paul Willcott Commentary (9/12/02)
I was so impressed by Paul Willcott's commentary aired yesterday, September 11th. Thank you for having the courage to air his commentary on this date. In addition to considering what changes we might make in our own lives, I feel that we, as a nation, do need to ask ourselves "Is this the life that our nation should be living?" Will we be a nation that enforces our will over the world by wielding the threat of military intervention? Or will we be diligent, yet more cognizant of what we can contribute to the lives of our brothers and sisters around the world? In addition to prayers for those of the 9/11 victims and their loved ones, I also prayed for the 35,000 children that died that day (and every day since!) from starvation. In our world at this time, exactly what is most tragic? I feel it is our inability to lead in the world as a benevolent partner more often than waging retaliation and war.

Linda Gibbs, Watertown, NY

ps: I would like to see a vibrant environmental issues discussion. There are many things to discuss, from community planting projects to land conservation to pollution. There is also the opportunity to discuss things like the State's draft open space plan.

Missed Opportunities in 9/11 Coverage (9/12/02)
The observance yesterday was in many respects appropriate and sensitively done. As one who lives "over the fence" the total coverage including our own (I certainly didn't monitor it all) seemed exclusively inward. To an extent the focus on the losses of Sept 11 was appropriate for it was a brutal day of barbarism. But while there was some recognition of the bigger picture (eg the lighting of the eternal flame with a grand number of world leaders) there were missed opportunities. PBS NewsHour featured some interviews with some of the bereaved. Somewhere in that kind of feature surely it would have been appropriate to note the loss of other nationals to acts of arbitrary violence. How about the growing numbers of Israeli and Palestinian bereaved? How about the 4,000 Afgan civilians who have died in the past year? If the "war on terrorism" is ever to be concluded it will be when the citizens of the world feel mutal solidarity in the quest for human dignity and respect. The five points of "everywhere in the world" are laudable and must be furthered honourably. The US and the world must strive to strengthen the UN as it is the only forum on our little planet where anything like a world consensus can be articulated.

David Major, Ottawa

ps: This morning cbo morning ( had an interview with a Mt Allison University prof who is teaching an entire course on 9/11 and the media. She mentioned these pages as reasonably credible counterpoints to mainstream media; ones which provide space to informed comment as contrasted to the welter of disinformation on the web. She was suggesting that one needs such fodder to balance out some of the tunnelvision afoot
I am sure you are well aware of them, but thought you'd be interested at them being singled out. otherwise known as

US Iraq War Policy: Are There No Creative Alternatives? (9/12/02)
I notice Vice President Cheney saying it is better to do something rather than nothing about Iraq.

I wonder: Does this presume that there are no creative alternatives to a unilateral preemptive military attack by the USA on Iraq?

It is certainly better not to do the wrong thing, but isn’t it preferable to discover an alternative to the US playing the lonely, uappreciated, world policeman all by itself?

I am aware, as I write, that there are still some young men suffering the physical effects of Desert Storm. I can’t be happy about exposing anybody’s children to such poisons and traumas again.

Our nation’s hands are full. North Korea’s rockets were recently our major threat. Iran is scarcely an ally. And we have certainly not yet restored democratic peace and tranquility to Afghanistan. How many wars do our leaders think we can handle at once?

The American people seem clearly hesitant to start another war, especially if it looks as if it could last a long time and cost us high casualties. Most Americans seem even more cautious when reminded of the likelihood of a long military occupation of Iraqi cities by American troops.

Our unilateral invasion of Iraq could just play into the hands of those who want to hate us, and stir up another generation of terrorist. We haven't managed to deal with the present terrorists.

Worse yet, until there is a genuine peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, there seems no chance to put the world’s attention on Iraq’s suspected, threatening armaments programs.

Our government appears to talk as if it were possible to do something that would protect us from all attacks, even those as horrendous as last September 11th. That does not seem possible anywhere in the modern world. The way the world is constituted, any great nation will always have a certain vulnerability to hostile attacks and disasters. Life offers no guarantees against disasters, whether of child kidnappings, rapes, murders, The West Nile Virus, air crashes etc.

It is easy to stir up hatred toward anyone as distasteful as Saddam Hussein. American public opinion could easily get whooped up to support an attack on him. But I can’t count how many countries we would have to attack if we chose the unilateral preemptive method to try to rid the world of every threatening dictatorship.

The threat that Iraq is to the world, and to the Arab Middle East in particular, is no secret from our allies. In time they are likely to see that as Nelson Mandella did on Labor Day. I suggest the best promise of success in peacekeeping would be to consider some type of international Marshall-Plan-approach to ease the world’s poverty and discontent rather than thinking that we can, by ourselves, by military power, suppress all the world’s ill-willed tyrants.

I’m not sure that I even hear Secretary Powell suggesting that we work together with our sister nations to bring about collective security. Are our leaders fearful of appearing unpopular? If so, and they are that lacking in vision and courage, I question whether any of them are worth having in office.

It seems that only a few Republicans who object to the excesses of runaway big government are raising red flags about "preventive war", and most Democrats are clinging to the gray middle so hard, seemingly in the hope that they don’t stand out and thus attract pro-war hostility in our next election.

Most American taxpayers will remember who it was who supported such a war at the cost of short circuiting efforts to save Social Security, Medicare, educational improvements, medical insurance and prescription coverage, air and water pollution controls and just about every other federal program dear to the heart of most Americans.

D. E. Sarfaty, Pastor Emeritus, Malone NY

What's All the Smoke? (9/10/02)
I keep wondering when NCPR is going to do an in-depth local news story on the fires at Fort Drum. Our air has been polluted by this smoke for many weeks and it is getting worse, not better. I know that my lungs hurt and my eyes burn. In addition to wood smoke, does the smoke contain toxic chemicals such as agent orange? What are the other possible health risks? When are they going to put the fires out?

Ellen Beeler, Russell NY

America Stronger When it Embraces All (9/9/02)
It is so refreshing to listen to NPR. Although you present both sides of the story it is clear that the programmers understand that the United States is much stronger when it embraces all its citizens, and extends the rule of law wherever possible. It's unfortunate the US government tries to publicly claim the same principles but their actions speak otherwise.

Blair Madore, Potsdam NY

Enjoyed UpNorth Gallery Exhibit (8/4/02)
I thoroughly enjoyed the Gallery Display of Winners from the recent Art show in Old Forge. This is the next best thing to being there in person. My dear friend, Margo Boylan shared your site via E-mail and I must truthfully say that our (Utah's) loss (when Margo and Jack moved to Old Forge) certainly is your gain. They are two of the most talented and ambitious people that I have ever met. Best wishes to all in each and every endeavor.

Bert Koon, Parowan UT

Hot About Cool (7/30/02)
Good grief - If To The Best Of Our Knowledge cannot find better subject matter than how to be cool it must be time for you to pick up another show. I sincerely hope that the short time I listened has not caused any permanent damage to my brain.

Mark Besio, Malone NY

Call for Assembly Candidate Debate (7/28/02)
Please schedule some form of debate or call-in for the candidates for assembly. The other media, both print and electronic, don't seem to care about issues at all, or what the candidates expect to do. All they do is talk about who's ahead.

William Galvin, Dexter NY

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