Ogdensburg, NY, Feb 28, 2012 — After the long recession, most pundits expected the 2012 political campaign to revolve around economic issues.
But politicians on the right and left have instead been reviving some surprising social questions, ranging from contraception to prenatal testing to the role of religion in politics and public life.
In an interview with Newsweek magazine, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, argued that opposition to insurance coverage for those services amounts to "an attack on women."
"Many of us are outraged, really outraged," Sen. Gillibrand told the magazine. "In the year 2012, we should not be debating access to birth control. No boss should be making a decision about what health care their employees should be eligible to take."
Polls show that the vast majority of American families use contraception and think contraception should be widely available. Surveys also suggest that a smaller majority of Americans think religious groups should provide full insurance benefits to employees.
But Bishop Terry Lavalley, who heads the Diocese of Ogdensburg, sees this very differently.
He argues that Federal changes to healthcare laws proposed by the Obama administration threaten the religious freedom of groups like the Roman Catholic Church.
Bishop LaValley met recently with Brian Mann to talk about the Church's prominent role in this year's political campaign and about the difficulties of teaching Catholic doctrine in an age when even many Roman Catholics are making very different moral choices. Go to full article
Potsdam, NY, Feb 27, 2012 — New York civil rights advocates want a meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo following a decision by the attorney general's office not to investigate the New York Police Department over its monitoring of Muslim students following the Sept. 11 attack.
The Associated Press reports that in a letter yesterday, the New York Civil Rights Coalition refuses to accept the decision by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Schneiderman's office said there were legal obstacles that prevented the probe. The coalition writes that the governor must direct state authorities to investigate the surveillance.
The Associated Press reported last week that the New York Police Department kept close watch on websites and blogs maintained by Muslim student associations across the northeast U.S., including at SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University.
The surveillance reportedly took place in 2006 and 2007. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has faced a firestorm of criticism. But he continues to defend the police department, saying the city needs to be vigilant against terrorism.
Susan Stebbins is an anthropology professor at SUNY Potsdam. She's also special assistant to the president for diversity. The surveillance reportedly took place in 2006 and 2007. But Stebbins tells Julie Grant the college is just finding out about it now. (NCPR did request an interview with the New York Police Department, but didn't hear back for this story.) Go to full article
Utica, NY, Feb 10, 2012 — For half a century, one of the most repressive nations in the world has been Burma, or Myanmar, as its military government renamed it several years ago. But recently... Go to full article
Ogdensburg, NY, Feb 06, 2012 — The top Roman Catholic official in the North Country is blasting the Obama administration for requiring churches to provide health insurance to employees that includes... Go to full article
Potsdam, NY, Jan 02, 2012 — After 188 years, the First Baptist church in Potsdam has voted to close. The remaining members gathered for their final services this weekend. A congregation of thirteen... Go to full article
Fonda, NY, Dec 26, 2011 — Last week, the Vatican declared that a Washington state boy's recovery from a deadly and debilitating illness was a miracle. The Pope signed documents attributing... Go to full article
Potsdam, NY, Oct 13, 2011 — Potsdam writer Evelyn Weissman's first novel, Jairus' Daughter, is a fictional autobiography that began as a series of stories for her children as an answer to... Go to full article
Saranac Lake, NY, Sep 12, 2011 — One of the uncomfortable truths about the terror attacks on 9/11 is that some families have carried a far greater burden during the months and years that followed. ... Go to full article