Skip Navigation
r e g i o n a l   n e w s
on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.

NCPR News Staff: Martha Foley

News and Public Affairs Director
Martha Foley joined the staff of WSLU as morning host in 1981, after a stint at The St. Lawrence Plaindealer. She helped found the news department in 1982, and has seen it grow, and shrink, and grow again. "I especially liked the 'grow again' part," she says, "it means working with really talented reporters, telling more and more stories from around the North Country."

Martha has won state and national awards for her reporting and editing. She has encouraged local news at public radio stations across the country as a member and director of Public Radio News Directors, Inc., an organization of over 100 local newsrooms. As a director of PRNDI for six years, she was responsible for The PRNDI Project, an annual training program for young reporters, and NewsWorks, training for station news departments.

Martha grew up on an Adirondack foothill in northeastern Saratoga County. She lives just south of Canton with her husband, boatbuilder Everett Smith, and her teenaged son, Emmett. Favorite pastimes: sitting, looking, and listening. E-mail

Stories filed by Martha Foley

Show             
Mature apple tree before and after pruning. Photo: W. Lord, UNH Co-operative Extension
Mature apple tree before and after pruning. Photo: W. Lord, UNH Co-operative Extension

It's time to prune fruit trees

This is the best time of the season to prune your apple and other fruit trees. Horticulturist Amy Ivy has the best tips and how-to information to help insure good production.  Go to full article
Five Omar Mualimm-ak, speaking at St. Lawrence University earlier this month. Photo: Tzintzun Aguilar
Five Omar Mualimm-ak, speaking at St. Lawrence University earlier this month. Photo: Tzintzun Aguilar

Five Mualimm-ak: A voice out of solitary confinement

Last month, the state of New York made sweeping changes to its use of solitary confinement. The new policy, signed by a federal judge, prohibits anyone under the age of 18, women who are pregnant, and people with severe mental illness, from being locked away in solitary.

Five Mualimm-ak helped write the new protocol. He's a prison reform activist. Mualimm-ak spent five years of his life in solitary confinement, out of 12 years he served inside New York prisons on charges that were later overturned. He was in Canton last week for talks and events at St. Lawrence University, and sat down with Martha Foley.  Go to full article
Seed packet for a disease-resistant variety of cucumber. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20561948@N00/3472478600/">Cris</a>, Creative Commons, somew rights reserved
Seed packet for a disease-resistant variety of cucumber. Photo: Cris, Creative Commons, somew rights reserved

Disease resistant seeds? What's that?

It's a detail you don't want to miss, because planting "disease resistant" varieties of flower, fruits and vegetables could save a lot of heartache during the gardening season.

But, Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy says, "being disease resistant doesn't mean it's disease proof." That said, planting, say, squash that resists powdery mildew can be a real advantage. It isn't a cure, but it's a preventive step that can help produce a squash harvest rather than a squash failure.  Go to full article
The Robinson Bay breaks Seaway ice back in 2001. NCPR file photo: Lisa Lazenby
The Robinson Bay breaks Seaway ice back in 2001. NCPR file photo: Lisa Lazenby

Seaway ice breakers coming, season opens March 31

In a press release yesterday, the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Authority announced ice-breaking will soon be underway in advance of the opening of the shipping season March 31.

Lori Curran, spokesperson for the agency, says it's hard to be specific about exactly when ice-breaking will progress upstream to the Eisenhower and Snell Locks near Massena. She said they're now waiting for a Canadian ice-breaker to clear the channel from the first lock in Montreal. She said it's expected to start moving upstream over the next couple of days.

Ice fishermen, snowmobilers, ATV riders are asked to stay away areas where ice has been cleared to avoid numerous open water leads and unstable ice cover caused by the clearing.  Go to full article
Fishing the Salmon River, one of the Lake Ontario tributaries stocked by the DEC. Photo: David Chanatry, New York Reporting Project
Fishing the Salmon River, one of the Lake Ontario tributaries stocked by the DEC. Photo: David Chanatry, New York Reporting Project

Lake Ontario sport fishery is a $110M business

A successful stocking program has led Lake Ontario to be one of the premier fishing destinations in the Great Lakes.

The Department of Environmental Conservation pumps trout and salmon into the lake each year. That brings out more than 2.5 million anglers to the lake and its tributaries.  Go to full article
This year's "wobbly" polar vortex (left) compared to last year's more "compact" vortex. Image: NOAA
This year's "wobbly" polar vortex (left) compared to last year's more "compact" vortex. Image: NOAA

What's up in the sky, and what's up with the weather

The night sky, and so much more today from St. Lawrence University Physics professor Aileen O'Donoghue.

In fact it's a double-header today: the sky, and the wobbly polar vortex.  Go to full article
Martha Foley's husband Everett Smith illustrating how deep the snow is inside their 7-foot garden fence, last Thursday just after the last big snow. Photo: Martha Foley
Martha Foley's husband Everett Smith illustrating how deep the snow is inside their 7-foot garden fence, last Thursday just after the last big snow. Photo: Martha Foley

Your garden and the deep, deep cold

Extreme cold nights this week are adding to concerns about how this cold, snowy and icy winter will affect how the yard and garden will grow this year. How deep is the frostline? Is the snow cover protecting perennials? Or is an icy crust smothering the grass? What about flowering shrubs?

Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy says the consequences of the winter likely won't be good, especially as trees and shrubs may be beginning to "wake up" as spring approaches. That makes them more vulnerable to the cold. But she says there really isn't much you can do, except wait and see.  Go to full article
The tap...
The tap...

Listen: In Canton, tapping trees for syrup

The immediate forecast isn't ideal for making maple syrup, but it's coming: that combination of cold nights, warm days and sunshine. Chickadees get busy, and the sap rises.

Whether your operation includes a bulk holding tank and miles of plastic tubing, or just a few buckets hanging off the trees in the backyard, it all starts the same way, with a strategically placed hole in a sugar maple.


Today's Heard Up North was first broadcast in March 2010.  Go to full article
Ecologist and film maker John D. Liu. Photo: Screen shot from Liu documentary <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBLZmwlPa8A"><em>Green Gold</em></a>
Ecologist and film maker John D. Liu. Photo: Screen shot from Liu documentary Green Gold

Environmental filmmaker chases the biggest story

Filmmaker and ecologist John D. Liu is in the North Country this week. He's meeting with students and giving a talk "Choosing the Pathway to Sustainability: Ecological Restoration" at Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University and Paul Smith's College.

Liu is an American who lives in China. As a journalist, he covered some of the really big geopolitical stories of our time: the normalization of relations with China, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. He worked for CBS News for 10 years, and left there in 1990.

He's concentrated on ecological film making since the mid-1990s. He's written, produced and directed films on grasslands and deserts, stories where the interaction of people and the land has not worked so well--ruined landscapes and also their restoration.  Go to full article
Wait a little longer for the intense cold to pass before pruning. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ndrwfgg/82103133/">Andrew Fogg</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Wait a little longer for the intense cold to pass before pruning. Photo: Andrew Fogg, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Gardening: Is it too soon to prune?

Martha Foley and Cornell Cooperative Extension horticulturalist Amy Ivy talk about what it is, and isn't, safe to do in your garden this early in a very chilly year, and how to simulate spring indoors.  Go to full article

« first   « previous 10   31-40 of 1334 stories   next 10 »   last »