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Farmers on the wrong side of the law

Over the last five years, the number of Mexican and Central Americans working on the North Country's dairy farms has risen dramatically. Industry leaders agree farms depend on reliable, plentiful Hispanic labor to survive. If national estimates are right, about three-quarters of these workers entered the United States illegally. Farmers are not required to prove their workers are legal. In fact, they can be sued for discrimination if they challenge them. Still, federal immigration officials have been raiding farms in western New York, and dairy farmers find themselves on the wrong side of immigration law. Here's part two of David Sommerstein's series, Latinos on the Farm. The stories first aired in May.  Go to full article

Latinos on dairy farms, in shadows

Just before Congress adjourned this fall, lawmakers approved $1.2 billion to begin construction on a 700-mile wall along the US/Mexican border. But they didn't pass a guest worker program to allow immigrants to work on the nation's farms. That was a big disappointment for North Country dairy farmers, who have become increasingly dependent on Mexican and Central American employees. Meanwhile, farm raids by immigration officials in western New York keep Hispanic workers living invisible lives. There are no numbers on exactly how many Hispanics work on dairy farms in northern New York. One estimate says 300 work in Jefferson County alone. Based on national estimates, three-quarters of them entered the United States illegally. Last May, David Sommerstein produced a series on Hispanics on North Country farms. The first report was on the farmhands themselves.  Go to full article
Vince and Louise Boyea in their rural Westville, NY home.<br /><br />
Vince and Louise Boyea in their rural Westville, NY home.

TAUNY honors local ?legends?

Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, TAUNY, will honor masters of traditional life at the 2006 North Country Heritage Awards this weekend. The awards will be presented at the 14th annual Salute to North Country Legends on Sunday (2 pm) at Canton's Best Western University Inn. This year's awards, which recognize the recipients' contributions to the traditions and local culture of northern New York, will be presented to Chief Tom Porter, the spokesman and chief spiritual leader of the Mohawk community in Fonda; the Greek pastry makers of St. Vasilios Church in Watertown; Barry Gregson, a builder of rustic furniture from Schroon Lake; and Vincent and Louise Boyea, French-American musicians from Westville. Vince Boyea is a quiet, shy man. But put a fiddle in his hands and he knows how to start a few toes tapping. Todd Moe has this profile.  Go to full article
Leslie Ayvazian wrote and stars in HIGH DIVE. The benefit show is Saturday night (8pm) at Saranac Lake High School.
Leslie Ayvazian wrote and stars in HIGH DIVE. The benefit show is Saturday night (8pm) at Saranac Lake High School.

High Dive benefit performance in Saranac Lake

The one-woman-show High Dive, by Leslie Ayvazian, will be performed this Saturday night at Saranac Lake High School Auditorium (8pm). It's a benefit performance for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. Standing on the high dive in Greece three weeks before her 50th birthday, Leslie clings to the railing afraid to let go, afraid to take the plunge. She ponders the various comic disasters of her life: frozen fish during a cold snap in Florida, a hurricane on her honeymoon in Hawaii and being a contestant on the "$25,000 Pyramid". She told Todd Moe that High Dive was conceived with the idea of giving the audience the opportunity to take the plunge into the play as well. Before the show starts, Ayvazian walks through the lobby looking for volunteers to play the various roles from her adventures.  Go to full article

Music: Becky Sutter and friends

Earlier this week, Adirondack singer-songwriter Becky Sutter stopped by NCPR with guitarist Billy Allen and bass player Jeff Couture to share music and conversation.  Go to full article

Spitzer speaks to gay rights group

Eliot Spitzer says gay marriage is part of the "core values" in a civil rights campaign he said should draw people together, rather than divide them. Spitzer addressed the annual meeting of the Empire State Pride Agenda last night in New York. The gay rights group has endorsed Spitzer's Democratic campaign for governor against Republican-Conservative John Faso. Faso says he's open to the idea of civil unions but not gay marriage. Last night, Spitzer made his position clear.  Go to full article

Advocates hope for more LIHEAP funding

National Grid expects the price of natural gas to decline sharply this winter by about 11 %. Weather forecasters are calling for another relatively mild winter, but the odds are it'll still be colder than last year. Low income advocates are worried about heating assistance for the poor. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article

Hurricane crag: rock climbing in the Adirondacks

Some people go for a drive. Some people take a walk. Others go to much greater trouble for the best fall colors. In October 2001, Brian Mann went rock climbing, up Hurricane Crag. But he wasn't just looking for the right view, he was with a veteran climber, looking for the "why" of the risky sport.  Go to full article

All Before Five: 10/2/06

Wind farm opponents sue to halt a wind farm project in Clinton County. Local protests in Glens Falls against the First Church of Satan at a Pagan pride festival. We remember "drowned villages" in the North Country, towns erased by rising water levels behind dams. The St. Lawrence power dam flooded 10 villages on "Inundation Day" in 1958.  Go to full article

Clinton, farmers critical of Canadian trade equity

Canada may be our closest metropolitan market, but it's a tough one to access for New York farmers. That's according to a report released Thursday by Senator Hillary Clinton's office, and coauthored by the New York State Apple Association and other farm lobby groups. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article

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