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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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Comparing Environment in the Great Lakes

New York compares well against other Great Lakes states on environmental issues, according to a report released last week. But as David Sommerstein reports, the study says the region as a whole lags behind other parts of the country on environmental protections.  Go to full article
Family Readiness coordinators show off the I-87 battalion quilt.  L-R, Heather Taylor, Kathy Koop, Denise Cornell, and Theresa LaCamera.
Family Readiness coordinators show off the I-87 battalion quilt. L-R, Heather Taylor, Kathy Koop, Denise Cornell, and Theresa LaCamera.

Soldiers & Wives Reflect on Battle

Tenth Mountain Division soldiers who fought in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan have begun a two week leave after returning to Fort Drum last week. Before they left base for vacations and family visits, they took time to reflect on their experiences with a pack of local and national media. David Sommerstein has this report.  Go to full article

"Hot Pstromi": Hot Klezmer

David Sommerstein talks with Yiddish musician and folklorist Yale Strom about klezmer, the music of central and eastern European Jews. Strom and his band, "Hot Pstromi", perform their klezmer-blues-jazz fusion Thursday at 8pm at St. Lawrence University in Canton.  Go to full article

Filmmaker Stephanie Black: Life and Debt

David Sommerstein talks with award-winning documentary director Stephanie Black. She'll be in Potsdam tonight to show and talk about her latest film, Life and Debt. It highlights how the policies of global lending organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund affect everyday people in Jamaica. The film features a reggae soundtrack.

Life and Debt will be shown at the Roxy Theater in Potsdam at 7:15, with an introduction and discussion afterwards with Stephanie Black. One of the artists featured on the soundtrack, Yami Bolo, will be playing live at Maxfields in Potsdam Monday at 10 pm.  Go to full article

10th Mountain in Kosovo: Making Peace Last

More than 3000 soldiers from Fort Drum are in the last two months of their deployment in Kosovo. Their main mission is to enforce a safe and secure environment in the war-torn region.

But the soldiers are using more than weapons to keep the peace. They're providing humantarian assistance to help rebuild a damaged land from the ground up. And they're trying to bring ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbs together to end centuries of hatred. David Sommerstein went to Kosovo with the U.S. Army earlier this winter and has this report...  Go to full article

Rural Fire Fighters Get Help With Wildfires

Like the rest of the Northeast, the North Country is experiencing drought or near-drought conditions. Climatologists are expecting high fire danger in the region's forests this summer. David Sommerstein reports New York is offering help to local fire departments that are often the first to respond to wildfires.  Go to full article

Ogdensburg Bishop Responds to Sexual Abuse Scandal in Church

David Sommerstein talks with Gerald Barbarito, bishop of Ogdensburg, about how the local diocese responds to allegations of sexual abuse by its priests and what impact the cascade of difficult news has had on priests and parishioners.  Go to full article

St. Lawrence Co. on Burn Barrels: Educate, Not Regulate

St. Lawrence County plans to use education, not a ban, to stop people from burning their trash. Members of the county Services Committee voted yesterday to table a draft law that would have banned the use of burn barrels in the county. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Sap Flows Above Average

The wild temperature fluctuations this winter have been good to New York's maple syrup producers. David Sommerstein reports the sap flow is already above average.  Go to full article

Winter Camping & Climbing in the High Peaks

The Adirondacks' High Peaks can be a hard place to find peace and quiet during the busy summer months. Many people choose the winter to get their fix for solitude among New York's tallest mountains. Winter camping offers unique pleasures and sometimes, unexpected perils. Brian Mann and David Sommerstein got plenty of both on a late winter expedition to Lake Colden and Algonquin Peak last weekend.  Go to full article

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