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NCPR News Staff: David Sommerstein

Reporter/ Producer
David Sommerstein, NCPR's roving St. Lawrence Valley/Fort Drum/Tug Hill reporter, began his career in radio, strangely enough, as a high school Spanish teacher in Buffalo. While drilling verb conjugations and teaching a love for Latino culture during the day, he sat in as a late night jazz and Latin DJ at Buffalo's NPR affiliate, WBFO. The radio bug bit, and David found his way to southern Colorado/northern New Mexico (the Taos/Santa Fe area) where he was Program Director, Music Director, Volunteer Coordinator, and "Just About Anything Else You Can Think Of" Director at NPR affiliate KRZA.

Since joining NCPR's news department, David has reported from the chilly deck of a St. Lawrence icebreaker, the power-chord filled stage of the High School Rock Band Festival, and the tense Albanian street market of post-war Kosovo with soldiers from Fort Drum. David also gets to fulfill his passion for music of all kinds when he spins world dance and groove music on editions of The Beat Authority. E-mail

Stories filed by David Sommerstein

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More on the Redistricting Plan

Martha Foley talks with David Sommerstein about the Congressional Redistricting Master Plan.  Go to full article
The North Country's congressional districts in the special master's plan.
The North Country's congressional districts in the special master's plan.

The Master Plan: Congressional Redistricting

It's becoming more likely that a federal referee's compromise plan for redrawing New York's congressional districts will be the final one. If adopted, it would mean a dramatic political shift for the North Country. Congressman John McHugh would represent the Finger Lakes. Saratoga Springs could be the home base for St. Lawrence County's Congressman. And parts of the Adirondacks could be represented by a suburban New York City lawmaker. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Clinton Wants Federal Money to Protect Upstate Water Supplies

Senator Hillary Clinton says she wants federal money to be made available in the upcoming Bioterrorism Bill to help upstate communities protect their water supplies.  Go to full article
Courtney Perkins (top), Jessica Goesthlaw and Susan Hendershot (bottom, L to R) want to see their BOCES programs continue.
Courtney Perkins (top), Jessica Goesthlaw and Susan Hendershot (bottom, L to R) want to see their BOCES programs continue.

School Budgeting in Uncertainty

Educators in New York were breathing a sigh of relief last week when state leaders added more than 400 million dollars for schools to the state budget. Today New Yorkers vote on school budgets in their districts. But all of them were crafted well before the extra education money was announced. Many include high property tax increases and deep program cuts. That may change over the summer, but schools are struggling to provide quality education for all students when their funding is a guessing game. David Sommerstein reports on two programs in Franklin County.  Go to full article

Corps Presents Seaway Study in Ogdensburg

The Army Corps of Engineers heard an earful from St. Lawrence River residents last night in Ogdensburg. The Corps presented its draft report on navigational improvements to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

What's Shavuot?

David Sommerstein talks with Matt Wexler of the Potsdam Jewish synagogue and Shmuel Gurvitz, an Israeli visiting Clarkson University, about the little known Jewish holiday, Shavuot. Shavuot begins at sundown tonight.  Go to full article

State Court Strikes at Casino

The State Supreme Court ruled earlier this month to invalidate the St. Regis Mohawks' casino compact. Plaintiffs see the decision as a crucial step to stem the tide of gambling in New York. Tribal officials are beginning to question the Governor's ability to negotiate on a range of native issues. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

House Defense Bill Helps Fort Drum

$18 million in Fort Drum improvements are included in the Defense Authorization Bill passed by the House of Representatives last Friday. David Sommerstein reports the projects will help protect Fort Drum near Watertown from the next round of base closures.  Go to full article

McCall Impresses St. Lawrence County Dems

State comptroller and Democratic candidate for Governor Carl McCall made his first campaign swing through St. Lawrence County on Friday. He impressed party faithful with his fiscal experience and his stance on education. Strong winds forced McCall's airplane to abandon a planned stop in Hamilton County. He arrived early to the St. Lawrence County Democrats' annual dinner in Massena. David Sommerstein was there and has this report.  Go to full article
118th, or "river", and 122nd, or "foothills", assembly districts.
118th, or "river", and 122nd, or "foothills", assembly districts.

118th and 122nd: The New Political Landscape in the North Country

Every ten years, there's a sort of earthshaking rumble in state and local politics when district lines are redrawn. As people move around, the areas politicians represent must also change. This year, one of the most dramatic changes in the North Country is in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, where new assembly districts cut through both counties. David Sommerstein reports on the so-called "river" and "foothill" districts and what they might mean for the North Country's clout in Albany.  Go to full article

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