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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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Army Corps Seaway Study Points Toward Expansion

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is putting the finishing touches on a preliminary study of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system - what Corps officials call a "snapshot" of shipping on the waters. It recommends a more detailed, and more expensive, study that would consider building wider locks and deeper channels for bigger ships. Any possible construction would be years or even decades away. But seaway expansion critics are determined to stop the process in its tracks. David Sommerstein has this report.  Go to full article

What's a Jefferson County Resident?

Jefferson County residents like where they live, would like it better if there were more jobs, volunteer 10 hours a week, and go to Canada less than they used to. That's part of the profile painted by an attitudinal study released yesterday. David Sommerstein has more.  Go to full article
The Raquette River runs fast just below the Hannawa Falls Dam.
The Raquette River runs fast just below the Hannawa Falls Dam.

Hiking Through History: The Red Sandstone Trail

Hiking trails in the North Country are generally considered good ways to get away from human society, gateways to the unspoiled natural world we're lucky to live so close to. But a new trail along the Raquette River south of Potsdam takes hikers on a different sort of trip. The Red Sandstone Trail highlights both the natural beauty of the area and the ways people have shaped the river and its valley over time. David Sommerstein explored the trail with John Ohmohundro early this spring.
 Go to full article

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

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