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NCPR News Staff: Natasha Haverty

Reporter and Producer

Natasha Haverty has an English degree from Brown University and got her radio training at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Maine.

From Maine she went to work at The Moth, a nonprofit in New York City devoted to the art of live storytelling, where she was the coordinator of the community outreach program that teaches workshops to schools and community centers and brings storytellers to the Moth stage (and the radio). She also helped produce the first two seasons of Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour (now playing on NPR stations across the country).

Tasha returned to her home state after receiving the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities’ “Liberty and Justice for All” grant to create an oral history of the Norfolk Prison Debating Society, which had an outstanding record against top college teams in the Forties and Fifties. She recently premiered her original 'improvised audio drama' The Yankee City Series at a live listening event at Harvard University. Tasha arrived in the North Country on April Fool's Day, 2012. E-mail

Stories filed by Natasha Haverty

The student center at St. Lawrence University.
The student center at St. Lawrence University.

Heard Up North: Looking for the heart of Saturday night

The student center at St. Lawrence University has a vaulted wooden ceiling and a wide column of open space down the middle, giving it the feel of an Adirondack concert hall.

Late on Saturday night, the bottom floor is noisy with groups of friends getting pizza or playing pool; the ground floor is dotted with pairs of students leaning into each other; and on the top floor, a few lone students are scattered in giant armchairs silently studying or texting. And on some Saturday nights, one young man comes up to the top floor and plays the piano.  Go to full article
Photo: Village of Massena
Photo: Village of Massena

Village of Massena may bring back youth curfew

The village of Massena is considering reviving a 40-year-old curfew. In the past couple decades, juvenile curfews have been challenged by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and often failed constitutional tests in the courts. But the Massena police are confident that this one passes the test.  Go to full article
The Palace Theater in Lake Placid, late on a Saturday night. Photos: Natasha Haverty
The Palace Theater in Lake Placid, late on a Saturday night. Photos: Natasha Haverty

The Last Picture Show? The future of small movie theaters in the North Country

The last decade or so, the North Country has seen a rebirth of its small-town movie theaters. Screens from Tupper Lake to Indian Lake to Ausable Forks have reopened. From Canton to Old Forge, small cinemas are often a big part of the local nightlife, offering a spark of light and glitz.

But the movie industry is changing, shifting fast from old-fashioned film projectors to new, high-tech digital systems. As Natasha Haverty reports, the price tag for that conversion is high and some North Country theater owners worry they might not survive the transition.  Go to full article
NY-21 Green Party candidate Don Hassig. Photos: Natasha Haverty
NY-21 Green Party candidate Don Hassig. Photos: Natasha Haverty

Congressional campaigning as a tool for the revolution: Don Hassig and the NY-21

In the past couple of elections, third party candidates have had big effects on North Country political campaigns. In 2010, Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman reshaped the outcome of the NY-23 House race. This year, Donald Hassig will be on the Green Party ballot for the 21st congressional district. It's unclear what effect his campaign will have on the 2012 election. Natasha Haverty reports.  Go to full article
Juanita Babcock, bellydancing instructor. Photo: Kimberly Doerr
Juanita Babcock, bellydancing instructor. Photo: Kimberly Doerr

Profile of a Belly Dancing Troupe in the North Country: A feeling of freedom

For over 25 years Juanita Babcock has been teaching belly dancing to a group of women on Wednesday evenings, in the community room of the First Presbyterian Church in Potsdam. Some of the women have been with Juanita for almost a decade, others are just beginners.

They leave their jobs or school, and at 6 o'clock begin to wander into the wide, open room. Each woman grabs a coin-covered hip scarf from a basket Juanita has brought in, ties it around her waist, and they keep dancing until the church choir kicks them out for rehearsal. Juanita says belly dancing is for all ages--she's had a 78-year-old woman take lessons, and a current member of her group began when she was just eleven.

Juanita started belly dancing in 1973 when she was living in Ulster County. When she first started offering classes in the late eighties, the belly dancing landscape here in the North Country was pretty barren. But since then, belly dancing classes and groups have popped up all over. Producer Natasha Haverty came to one of Juanita's rehearsals and has this profile.  Go to full article
Photo by Jennifer Herrick
Photo by Jennifer Herrick

Heard Up North: Pre-K dreams

What did you want to be when you grew up? Imagine sitting down with your four-year-old self today and telling him or her about your future. Would that child be surprised? Excited? Disappointed?

Last week the pre-kindergarten class at Lawrence Avenue Elementary School in Potsdam graduated. For the graduation ceremony, their teacher Jen Herrick had them record what they wanted to be when they grow up. These recordings played as each child walked across the stage to receive his or her diploma. Tasha Haverty turned some of them into today's Heard Up North.  Go to full article
The view through one of the St. lawrence University telescopes last evening.  Venus is the little black dot. Photo: Melissa Burchard.
The view through one of the St. lawrence University telescopes last evening. Venus is the little black dot. Photo: Melissa Burchard.

Earthlings watch the Venus Transit

Yesterday evening Venus made its last journey across the face of the sun, as seen from Earth, until the year 2117. People of all ages covered the southeast corner of the St. Lawrence University practice fields to get their look at earth's closest neighboring planet, peering through one of the big telescopes or a pair of safe solar glasses.

Tasha Haverty joined the crowd, and talked to physics professor Jeff Miller, as well as Lillian LePage and her son Wally, Chip Jenkins and Tucker Catanzaro for today's Heard Up North.  Go to full article
Rep. Bill Owens
Rep. Bill Owens

Owens gives students a farming peptalk

The new federal Farm Bill reaches the Senate floor this week. The farm bill includes a myriad of policies that will affect farms and food over the next five years. It's been the subject of public hearings and committee reviews in the House and Senate.

The conversation about the future of agriculture never stops in farming areas like the North Country. Yesterday afternoon, Congressman Bill Owens came to Canton Central School to speak with students of FFA.

Tasha Haverty reports.  Go to full article
The Dairy Princess float
The Dairy Princess float

Heard Up North: The Dairy Princess Parade

June is National Dairy Month, and this weekend was the annual Dairy Princess Festival and Parade. Despite the crummy weather, the hundreds of people who came out didn't look like they were feeling a drop.

Fire trucks, high school bands, girl scouts, politicians, local businesses and, of course, the Dairy Princess and her court rolled through town, throwing handfuls of candy all along the way. Tasha Haverty got to meet the parade's unofficial tallier of the floats, 11 year-old Ryan Nolan. They send us this postcard.  Go to full article

Storytime sows seeds for lifelong literacy

This week we're looking at literacy in the North Country. Yesterday, we heard what it's like to live without knowing how to read or write, and the challenges and rewards of learning to read late in life. Today we'll spend a few minutes at the other end of the age spectrum.

Reading to children is a good way to plant the seeds for a lifetime of literacy. For today's Heard Up North, we'll nestle into the downstairs at the Canton Free Library for Children's Storytime.  Go to full article

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