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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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Massena GM Dump Waiting for Cleanup: 20 Years and Counting

In 1983, the federal government delcared the land and water around GM's factory along the St. Lawrence river a Superfund Site. Cancer-causing PCBs were seeping into the earth and the river. The action identified the site as a top priority for clean-up. Almost twenty years later, the toxic landfill is still there. David Sommerstein reports lack of progress is due to different understandings of what "clean" and "clean up" mean.  Go to full article

PCB Study Shows Proximity to Site Biggest Risk Factor

From the St. Lawrence to the Hudson Rivers and on land in between, the North Country has a number of PCB contaminated waste sites. Scientists have long believed that the greatest human risk these areas pose is when people eat PCB contaminated fish. A new study challenges that assumption. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Pataki Looks to Corrections Budget for Savings

Governor Pataki is expected to unveil significant budget cuts for 2002. One way he's looking to save money is by reducing the number of corrections officers at state prisons. New York's prison population has dropped sharply this year. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Program Assists Mobile Home Owners

David Sommerstein reports on a program designed to help mobile home owners renovate their old trailer or buy new ones.  Go to full article

Living with uncertainty at Fort Drum.

David Sommerstein reported on the first deployments to Central Asia in October.  Go to full article

NORAD Tracking Santa Claus

The story of Norad. The military agreement between the U.S. and Canada was signed in the North Country. And now NORAD uses its high-tech equipment to track missiles…and Santa Claus…  Go to full article

Border Town Residents Assess the New Security Deal

Following new border agreements between the U.S. and Canada, we visit border towns between New York and Quebec, where there's both approval and concern. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

People: SLU Government Professor Bob Wells on the Art of Redistricting

David Sommerstein talks with government professor Bob Wells about the political intrigue of redistricting, both for Congressional representatives and for state lawmakers.  Go to full article

Draft Redistricting Plan Due by Year's End

The 2000 census told New Yorkers that our population is growing at a slower rate than the rest of the country. What that means for New York politics is that the state will lose two of its 31 representatives in Congress. The state legislature and the governor will decide which two lawmakers will lose their job through a process called redistricting. David Sommerstein reports a draft plan for redistricting could be out by the end of month.  Go to full article

LTX Fiber to Reopen Beaver Falls Paper Mill

There was another bit of good news yesterday for the ailing North Country paper industry. State officials announced the purchase of the Beaver Falls paper mill near the Lewis County village of Croghan. David Sommerstein has the details.  Go to full article

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