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For this series, featured at left, we've asked some big thinkers to make recommendations for president-elect Obama on key issues for the North Country.

Below, find stories from a parallel effort for the whole nation by NPR.

Memo to the President
Jan 19, 2009 — A hallmark of President Bush's administration has been his assertion of powers that he said were his right as president, despite objections from the other two branches of the federal government. President-elect Barack Obama faces pressure to undo many of the Bush administration actions that increased presidential power.
Jan 16, 2009 — When Barack Obama takes office next week, he'll inherit an increasingly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. A troop increase has already begun, but some question the signals that strategy sends. In addition, analysts urge Obama to take a regional approach.
Jan 12, 2009 — The Federal Aviation Administration faces tough challenges as the Obama administration takes control. An aging air traffic controller workforce and allegations of inspectors "cozying up" to airlines will test the agency and the new government.
Jan 5, 2009 — During his campaign for the White House, President-elect Obama was unequivocal about closing the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But the issue of what to do with the prisoners still there presents numerous difficult questions for Obama's team to answer.
Jan 4, 2009 — With the economy on life support and just about every state now slashing education funding, President-elect Barack Obama is likely to focus less on immediate proposals and more on building political consensus for future action.
Heather Hitchens
Heather Hitchens

A Fresh Start on the Arts: "Artists have a powerful role in winning the war of ideas"

In our series "A Fresh Start," we're asking leading thinkers to share their thoughts on what Barack Obama's administration should be paying attention to as the president-elect takes office this month. In his public appearances, Obama has been known to quote poetry and harken back to his school music teacher. He likes the works of Stevie Wonder, Toni Morrison and Ernest Hemingway. Obama formed a national arts committee as part of his presidential campaign, to the delight of Heather Hitchens, Executive Director of the New York State Council on the Arts. Not usually a hot-button topic in presidential politics, Obama has issued a comprehensive statement in support of arts and arts education in the U.S. Hitchens says she's hopeful that Obama will be true to his pledge of support for arts education.  Go to full article
Dr. Daniel Sullivan

A Fresh Start for higher education: liberal and accessible

In our series "A Fresh Start," we're asking leading thinkers to share their thoughts on what Barack Obama's administration should be paying attention to as the president-elect takes office in January.

Dr. Daniel Sullivan is president of St. Lawrence University in Canton. St. Lawrence is part of a cadre of schools, many small, many in the East, that carry the label "private liberal arts." It's a brand that's been challenged by charges of elitism as tuition and fees rise to 30, 40, 50 thousand dollars, and challenged by a changing vision, particularly under the Bush Administration, toward career- and "outcome-" driven education. Two years ago, Sullivan wrote strong and detailed responses to that vision as it was laid out in the Bush Spellings Commission report on higher education. The report concluded that higher education in America, "has become what, in the business world, would be called a mature enterprise: increasingly risk-averse, at times self-satisfied, and unduly expensive."

Sullivan called the report "negative and cynical," "a national embarrassment," and wrote its reforms "will inevitably lead toward a cafeteria, grab and go undergraduate education lacking in coherence and depth." He told Martha Foley he has several ideas for the new administration (not surprisingly) very different from those of the current one. Dr. Sullivan is currently chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.  Go to full article
John Bogle

A Fresh Start for Wall Street: "Wall Street owes Main Street an apology"

We've been hearing a lot about President-elect Barack Obama's economic team. They face some huge hurdles this winter, as they work to steady America's wobbly economy. As part of our series, A Fresh Start, we checked in with John Bogle, who spends much of each year in Lake Placid. In the 1970s, Bogle launched the Vanguard Group of investment funds. In recent years, he's emerged as one of the country's leading investment ethicists, authoring books that include The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism. Bogle told Brian Mann that Obama's first challenge will be speaking honestly with the American people and restoring consumer confidence.  Go to full article
Dr. Christopher Kirkey (Source:  SUNY Plattsburgh

A Fresh Start for US-Canada Relations: "A great sense of positive anxiousness"

President-elect Barack Obama has a lot of challenges waiting for him when he takes office in January. But official relations between the US and Canada are in relatively good...  Go to full article
Martha Swan (Photo:  Brian Mann)

A Fresh Start for Peace: "Sending a very different message to the world."

President-elect Barack Obama says he'll close Guantanamo Bay, ban torture, and begin a withdrawal of U.S. soldiers from Iraq. Peace and social justice activist Martha Swan,...  Go to full article
Marine Staff Sgt. Todd Bowers. Photo: IAVA

A Fresh Start on Veterans' Care: "we need 'ground truth'"

There are approximately 1.7 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The largest group that represents them says President-Elect Barack Obama needs to listen to...  Go to full article
J.W. Wiley (Photo: SUNY Plattsburgh)

A Fresh Start on Race: "America has evolved and we are evolving."

President-elect Barack Obama takes office on January 20th. We've asking people to think big about what his Administration might accomplish. J.W. Wiley teaches philosophy...  Go to full article
Michel Shuman

A Fresh Start for Main Street's economy: "small things that have a big impact"

We're asking people to think big, for the Obama Administration. Michael Shuman thinks big, about small things: small business, local economies. He's brought his ideas about...  Go to full article
Deborah Meier

A Fresh Start on education: "A Marshall Plan for well-educated teachers"

This week we're asking the country's most compelling thinkers for their recommendations for president-elect Barack Obama. Our series, "A Fresh Start," continues today with a...  Go to full article
Dr. John Rugge (Photo: Hudson Headwaters)

A Fresh Start on Healthcare: "We have no choice but to make fundamental changes"

North Country Public Radio is airing a new series of interviews called "A Fresh Start." We've asked some of the country's most compelling thinkers to make recommendations for...  Go to full article
Father George Nagle (Photo provided)

Fresh Start on Faith & Politics: "God is working through people who disagree with us"

North Country Public Radio is airing a new series of interviews called "A Fresh Start." We've asked some of the country's most compelling thinkers to make recommendations...  Go to full article
Bill McKibben (Photo:  Nancie Battaglia)

A Fresh Start on the Environment: "There's no more going down the road we're on"

This week, we're airing a series of interviews called "A Fresh Start." We've asked some of the country's most compelling thinkers to make recommendations for president-elect...  Go to full article
Wes Jackson

A Fresh Start: In pursuit of a "nature-based" agriculture

Today we begin a week-long series called "A Fresh Start." We've asked some big thinkers to make recommendations for president-elect Barack Obama on key issues for the North...  Go to full article

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