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North Country Public Radio is always looking for new voices and new views. If you are interested in writing and recording a commentary for use on-air, e-mail Martha Foley to arrange an audition.

Aug 22, 2014 — What makes some middle-aged men and women act like children at the baseball park? Commentator Alva NoŽ wonders about that distinct attitude of love and longing that we call "being a fan."
Aug 21, 2014 — Are trigger warnings a good idea when teachers ask students to consider material about emotionally wrenching topics? Anthropologist Barbara J. King says yes — in some cases.
Aug 21, 2014 — Commentator Sandip Roy, an editor with Firstpost in India, has an appreciation of yogi B.K.S. Iyengar. Iyengar, who died on Wednesday, helped to introduce the practice of yoga to the Western world.
Aug 20, 2014 — Is immortality something desirable, or a many-headed monster? Commentator Marcelo Gleiser says that as medical science extends our lifespan, the question becomes more real all the time.
Aug 19, 2014 — Life as we know it is being threatened by everything from climate change to resource depletion. Commentator Adam Frank looks back at 1177 B.C. — and what we might learn from peoples past.

A soldier from A Co., 1st of the 187th Infantry, on a hilltop overlooking a search site June 7, 2010.
A soldier from A Co., 1st of the 187th Infantry, on a hilltop overlooking a search site June 7, 2010.

An audio postcard from the mountains of Afghanistan

Yesterday President Obama fired his top commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, in the wake of comments he made in Rolling Stone magazine. Pundits applauded McChrystal's replacement, General David Petraeus. But the dismissal has renewed doubts over the military's ability to win the war. Violence is at its highest since 2001. Corruption and poppy production remain serious obstacles.

With thousands of Fort Drum soldiers already in or soon going to Afghanistan, we're examining the war effort from various points of view. Several years ago, photojournalist and ex-soldier Bill Putnam sent us audio diaries from Iraq. Now, Putnam is in the mountains of Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan. He's embedded with a unit out of Texas. Today he sends us the first in a series of audio journals.  Go to full article

Commentary: no recovery without workers' rights

It's been about two years now since the near collapse of our economy, and Congress is finally getting serious about making financial institutions follow tougher rules.

Commentator George Gonos thinks this all to the good, because, he says, de-regulation of the banking industry over the last 30 years - the weakening or elimination of rules - was a major cause of the crisis. He hopes Congress will pass new laws to govern the banks, and put some teeth into them. But he adds that at best, reining in the financial executives will deal with only one-half of the problem.

George Gonos is associate professor of sociology, at SUNY Potsdam  Go to full article

Finch Paper Reacquires 1,700-acre Tract in Indian Lake

Three years after the Nature Conservancy bought tens of thousands of acres of timberland from the Finch Pruyn paper company, the company is buying some of the land back near the town of Indian Lake. The sale is part of a complex plan to return some of the land to private ownership, or to ownership by local towns. Chris Morris has our story.

Also yesterday, an environmental group called the Open Space Institute announced that it had acquired a conservation easement on 1400 acres in Essex County.
The deal will prevent future commercial or real estate development on a section of forest that includes the shore of Butternut Pond and part of Poke-O-Mmoonshine Mountain.
The land will remain in private ownership. But the conservation easement was donated to the green group by the family of Eric Johansen. Logging will still be allowed on the property.  Go to full article

Commentary: envisioning a new direction for Moriah

The state corrections officer union says it will launch an "aggressive" campaign today designed to save three prisons in the North Country. The effort will include an ad...  Go to full article

Commentary: A time for giving... locally

The end of the year is a busy time - holidays to plan for. Travel. Celebrations. It's also a natural time for reflection, and thinking ahead, for trying to make a difference....  Go to full article

At last. A BIG Christmas tree

Commentator Paul Willcott and his wife, Ann, had long dreamed of the perfect Christmas tree. In 2002, when they became the new proud owners of a rambling old cure cottage in...  Go to full article

Commentary: Feeding the debate

NCPR Web Manager and commentator Dale Hobson has an idea to return civility to public discourse. He says it has to do with casseroles.  Go to full article

Midsummer in the garden

It's not too late for some planting...but don't wait long to get the garlic out of the ground. These, and other midsummer notes, as Martha Foley catches up with cooperative...  Go to full article

Commentary: passing on a golden legacy in the Champlain Valley

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest farm census (2007) reports that New York State is fourth in the nation, behind California, Wisconsin and Washington, in the number...  Go to full article

Wanting more change on this Independence Day

On this first Independence Day of the Obama years, liberals may be feeling a sense of pride and triumph. A lot has changed since a year ago, and most of the changes are to...  Go to full article

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