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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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Free Trade in the Americas: Critics and Supporters, Pt. 2

When leaders of the Americas head to Quebec City next weekend to continue negotiations on the Free Trade Area of the Americas, there'll be a lot more on the table than free trade. The FTAA, as it's called, also establishes the economic, legal, and intellectual rights of companies when they deal with foreign governments. FTAA critics say the rights of people take a back seat to the rights of corporations in free trade deals. In the second installment on protests in Quebec City, David Sommerstein tests the anti-corporate arguments.  Go to full article

Free Trade in the Americas: Critics and Supporters, Pt. 1

Meetings to fuel the engines of free trade in the Americas begin next week in Quebec City. Today we hear the arguments of their critics. David Sommerstein's first in a two-part series.  Go to full article

Free Trade Opponents Try to Enter Canada

Opponents of free trade talks in Quebec City this month will try to cross into Canada at Cornwall next week, escorted by Mohawks from Akwesasne. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

EPA to Review Chatham Permit

Half a year after state and county officials gave Chatham Forest Products the go-ahead to build a chipboard plant in northwestern St. Lawrence County, federal regulators are going to review the factory's air pollution permit. As David Sommerstein reports, the action stems from the efforts of a local activist.  Go to full article

Clarkson Makes Science Come Alive in Area Schools

In the 1990s a National Science Foundation study found that U.S. middle schoolers lag behind their peers in other countries in science and math preparation. The findings provoked national concern that U.S. students will be ill prepared to compete in the high-tech global economy. Many educators believe the problem is that students need to be more involved in real scientific inquiry, solving dilemmas they find in the world around them. David Sommerstein reports on two Clarkson University programs in local schools that are giving kids hands-on experience in the world of science.  Go to full article

St. Lawrence County Asks New York for Better Cancer Data

After giving the state over a year to deliver, St. Lawrence County lawmakers are preparing to renew their request for more detailed data on cancer rates in the county. Early statistics show North Country counties have some of the highest rates of cancer in the state. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Breaking the Ice on the St. Lawrence Seaway

With so much snow still on the ground, spring can seem a long way off. But on the frigid St. Lawrence there is a sign of the warm days to come. Huge icebreakers are clearing a path for the international freighters that use the Seaway nine months of the year. After a long winter, the interior of North America will soon re-open to the Atlantic Ocean, and the rest of the world. David Sommerstein climbed aboard the Robinson Bay for one of the tugboat's first missions of the season--breaking ice in the canal between Eisenhower and Snell Locks near Massena.  Go to full article

Playwright Maria Irene Fornes Performs Works at American Identities Festival

David Sommerstein talks with avant-garde playwright Maria Irene Fornes. The SUNY Potsdam Dance and Drama Department will perform two of her plays as a part of the America 2000 celebration. Promenade will run March 29-31st, and Tango Palace debuts April 24th. SUNY Potsdam's American Identities Festival kicks off tomorrow with dozens of exhibits, performances, and lectures.  Go to full article

NYPA Supports Excluding Lisbon From Power Project Boundaries

The new relicensing team for the New York Power Authority is making good on its promise to be more sensitive to the concerns of local communities. NYPA is asking the federal government for approval to drop the town of Lisbon from the St. Lawrence Power Project boundaries. David Sommerstein reports the new-found cooperation may have come from political pressure.  Go to full article

St. Regis Mohawks Divided over Competing Casino Plans

Plans for a downstate casino are stirring up years of internal strife for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. The tribal council has ordered a dissident court to disband or be ejected from the reservation. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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