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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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Rooftop Highway Draws Raves from Lawmakers, Mixed Reviews From Public

Authors of a study that recommends a four-lane highway from Watertown to Plattsburgh held public meetings on the idea last week. The response from local leaders has been overwhelmingly positive, but the public's reaction has been mixed. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Democracy Matters: Taking Campaign Finance Reform to College Campuses

On the heels of election day, David Sommerstein spoke with Adam Weinberg, a professor of Sociology at Colgate University, to see where campaign finance fits in these days. Weinberg is the founder of "Democracy Matters" which organizes college campuses on campaign finance issues.  Go to full article

Jefferson and Lewis Counties Pick Legislators, Supreme Court Judges

In Jefferson and Lewis Counties, all county legislators were up for election yesterday. Voters also decided on Jefferson County Clerk and Supreme Court judges for the 5th Judicial district. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Oneidas to Impose Tribal Sales Tax

The Oneida Nation wants to impose its own five-percent tax. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Family Court Judge Race Tops St. Lawrencve County Ballot

Tomorrow in St. Lawrence County, voters will elect a new Family Court Judge to a ten-year term. It's considered one of the most complex and influential positions in the judicial system. A family Court Judge not only decides how to apply the law. But also how to help broken families reassemble the pieces. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Challenging the Assumption "Growth is Good"

It's generally accepted that economic growth is good. David Sommerstein talks with a biologist who challenges that notion: Brian Czech, author of Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train: Errant Economists, Shameful Spenders, and a Plan to Stop Them All.  Go to full article

North Country Transportation Study Public Comment Hearings Scheduled

Last week consultants for the North Country Transportation Study announced their findings after a year and a half of research. The study recommends an East-West highway across the North Country along Route 11. St. Lawrence, Lewis, and Franklin County leaders have been effusive in their support of the results. The so-called "rooftop highway" is what they've wanted for decades. David Sommerstein reports the areas that already have a four-lane highway see the plan as a backbone for other projects.  Go to full article

Seaway Relicensing Process Wraps Up

A report from the last meeting of the group that's been negotiating with the New York Power Authority on conditions for relicensing the Moses Saunders hydro project--David Sommerstein has reactions to the experimental, collaborative process.  Go to full article

St. Lawrence River Towns Settle With NYPA

Town leaders along the St. Lawrence River approved a settlement Friday with the New York Power Authority as a part of its bid for a new license to operate its power dam near Massena. The $115 million deal includes recreational improvements, returns of land, and payments to St. Lawrence County and its towns affected by the power project. David Sommerstein reports the agreement ends years of often tense negotiations.  Go to full article

St. Lawrence County Leaders Praise Transportation Study

St. Lawrence County political and business leaders had nothing but praise for the results of the North Country Transportation Study. David Sommerstein reports the study's recommendation of a 4-lane highway from Watertown to Plattsburgh closely mirrors what they've been seeking for decades, but it may take almost as long to build. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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