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NCPR News Staff: Todd Moe

Morning Host and Producer
A native of rural Minnesota, Todd Moe grew up on a farm not far from mythical Lake Wobegon. He attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN; studied Speech/Theatre and Norwegian, and began his radio career as a student announcer at WCAL (2002 marks its 80th anniversary!).

Moe sings in the Potsdam Community Chorus, and hobbies include food, gardening, history and tango! He was a newscaster and reporter for Minnesota Public Radio for eight years. A favorite memory from that job was interviewing Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann. Moe and his partner, Paul Siskind, moved to the North Country in 1998. Siskind teaches at the Crane School of Music. E-mail

Stories filed by Todd Moe

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Three classic trilogies and one extremely overworked actor.  Charlie Ross brings his one man "Star Wars" show to Lake Placid July 11 and 12.  Photo:  Charlie Ross
Three classic trilogies and one extremely overworked actor. Charlie Ross brings his one man "Star Wars" show to Lake Placid July 11 and 12. Photo: Charlie Ross

A summer of theater, music, dance and "Star Wars" at Lake Placid Center for the Arts

The Lake Placid Center for the Arts has kicked off its 42nd annual summer of events at its gallery and performance space. Todd Moe talks with Executive Director James Lemons about a summer filled with music, art, dance, farmer's market and even a one man Star Wars.  Go to full article
Tomato plants starting up a trellis. Photo: <a href="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3648/3650652836_ca568ea7e6_o_d.jpg">Charles Dawley</a>, Creative Common, some rights reserved
Tomato plants starting up a trellis. Photo: Charles Dawley, Creative Common, some rights reserved

Some tomato tips before the season kicks into high gear

Even if you don't have a garden, you can grow tomatoes in a sunny spot on your front steps or patio. They're one of the most popular vegetables. But they take some tending over the growing season. Horticulturist Amy Ivy has some early season tips for keeping tomatoes healthy this summer.  Go to full article
Enjoying a concert at the Ottawa Jazz Festival in 2010. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanh/4775393235/">Byan Hughes</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Enjoying a concert at the Ottawa Jazz Festival in 2010. Photo: Byan Hughes, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Ottawa Jazz Fest: NCPR will have boots on the ground

The TD Ottawa Jazz Festival runs June 20 through July 1 in downtown Ottawa. Joel Hurd, host of The Bridge, will be posting photos and updates on NCPR's facebook page as well as on his show's Twitter feed (@thebridgeonncpr).

He chatted about the festival with Todd Moe.  Go to full article
Summer solstice sunset at Stonehenge. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/houseofcards/1361466718/">Alex Clark</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Summer solstice sunset at Stonehenge. Photo: Alex Clark, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

In the summer night sky: Solstice, aphelion, planets and skywatching events

The Summer Solstice is this Saturday, and there's plenty to see in the summer night sky. St. Lawrence University astronomer Dr. Aileen O'Donoghue joins Todd Moe for a chat about the start of summer and a great season to view various planets in the pre-dawn and dusk skies.  Go to full article
Some of the 19th century graffiti on the walls of the schoolhouse under restoration in Madrid, NY.  Photo: Todd Moe
Some of the 19th century graffiti on the walls of the schoolhouse under restoration in Madrid, NY. Photo: Todd Moe

Madrid: If old schoolhouse walls could talk

Traditional farming will be on display in Madrid this weekend. Antique farm implements, an old sawmill, draft horses and steam power are all part of the annual Antique Gas and Steam Engine Exhibition at the St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum in Madrid. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the museum's campus on the former Goolden-Mann farm.

Originally the St. Lawrence Gas and Steam Association back in 1976, the Power and Equipment Museum was formed in 2004 with a mission of preserving the history of the machines and engines that helped shape life in the North Country.
The museum includes more than 28,000 square feet of covered space for storage, collections and exhibitions, including a new building dedicated to restoring and exhibiting antique tractors.

Todd Moe caught up with one of the museum's longtime trustees, Roger Austin, for a tour of a 19th century schoolhouse that used to stand just north of Watertown. It was sold to the museum by the Indian River school district, disassembled and moved to Madrid. Built in 1850, it's the museum's oldest, new acquisition. Volunteers are busy this summer replacing the school's floorboards, windows and shingled roof. Visitors will be allowed to walk through the partially renovated structure this weekend. Austin says the goal is to have the old school fully restored -- including the original student graffiti -- by Labor Day.  Go to full article
Burdette Parks as Rothko (right) and Tyler Nye as Ken, his assistant, in Pendragon Theatre's production of "Red".  Photo: Bonnie Brewer
Burdette Parks as Rothko (right) and Tyler Nye as Ken, his assistant, in Pendragon Theatre's production of "Red". Photo: Bonnie Brewer

Preview: "Red" at Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake

Pendragon Theatre has opened its summer season with the award-winning play "Red." The two character bio-drama, written by John Logan, is set in Mark Rothko's art studio in New York City in the late 1950s. Rothko was a well-known abstract expressionist known for images which featured large, and luminous color blocks. In the play, Rothko is painting a group of murals commissioned by an exclusive restaurant, and the story follows the initiation of Ken, a young assistant, into Rothko's world. Pendragon's production features a local cast, and is sponsored by the Adirondack Artists Guild.

Todd Moe spoke with director Kim Bouchard, who also teaches drama at SUNY Potsdam. Bouchard says she was intrigued by the script's intense dialogue between teacher and pupil, and its exploration of art, artists and generational clashes.  Go to full article
John Elwood Cook combines his visual art with music as a tribute to history and life along the St. Lawrence River. Photo: Todd Moe
John Elwood Cook combines his visual art with music as a tribute to history and life along the St. Lawrence River. Photo: Todd Moe

Thousand Islands artist John Elwood Cook documents river life

Thousand Islands artist and musician John Elwood Cook's passion is using art and music to document life along his favorite place -- the St. Lawrence River. He grew up on Wellesley Island and can trace his local family history back to the Revolutionary War era. Cook's visual art has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country. He's found a niche in combining his visual art with music. He collects vintage Gibson guitars and enjoys writing music about local history, people and places along the river.

His work is on display this summer as part of the annual Members' Juried Art Exhibit at the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg. It's sometimes a mix of watercolor, collage and even vintage fishing tackle.

On a recent brilliant spring day, he invited Todd Moe to visit his Wellesley Island home, with its amazing view of the river, to talk about his art, music and family history.  Go to full article
Summer life aboard the 72-foot brigantine <i>St. Lawrence II</i>, a training vessel out of Kingston, Ontario.  Photo:  Brigantine, Inc.
Summer life aboard the 72-foot brigantine St. Lawrence II, a training vessel out of Kingston, Ontario. Photo: Brigantine, Inc.

How a tall ship can teach sailing and life skills

Since the early 1950s, the Kingston, Ontario-based St. Lawrence II has set sail on Lake Ontario and along the St. Lawrence River. The tall ship is a sail-training vessel for teens that will spend much of its time this summer as the star attraction in War of 1812 commemorations. It'll be in Cape Vincent as part of the annual French Festival next month.

Dave More is education director for Brigantine, Inc., the group out of Kingston that runs the summer sail-training program. He told Todd Moe that serving aboard the 72-foot brigantine St. Lawrence II is more than hoisting sails and swabbing decks. More says the program celebrated its 60th anniversary last summer.  Go to full article
Broadway veteran Jonathan Hadley will be up north this summer at the Depot Theatre in Westport.  Photo: Depot Theatre
Broadway veteran Jonathan Hadley will be up north this summer at the Depot Theatre in Westport. Photo: Depot Theatre

Broadway star heads north to manage the Depot Theatre this summer

Broadway actor Jonathan Hadley returns to the Depot Theatre in Westport this summer. Hadley takes the reins at the theatre as its Interim Producing Director in a slightly abbreviated summer season.

Todd Moe talks with Hadley, who appeared on stage at the Depot in the 1999 production of "Born Yesterday," about his love of summer theater in the Champlain Valley.  Go to full article
Ann Barber (L) and Wanda Renick (R) share a laugh in this publicity photo from the Grasse River Players 1992 production of "Mornings at Seven" in Canton.  Photo:  Grasse River Players
Ann Barber (L) and Wanda Renick (R) share a laugh in this publicity photo from the Grasse River Players 1992 production of "Mornings at Seven" in Canton. Photo: Grasse River Players

Grasse River Players stages 40 years of community theater, friendships

It started in 1974 with a small group of theatre lovers in Canton wanting to build an outlet for creativity. This weekend, the Grasse River Players celebrates 40 years of producing a wide variety of theater, from radio plays, to musicals to original full length dramas. The community theater group's annual meeting is on Sunday (7 pm) at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Canton. Everyone is welcome.

Todd Moe sat down with two charter members of the Grasse River Players -- Wanda Renick and Carole Berard -- for their favorite local theatrical moments, and spoke with GRP board president, Elaine Kuracina, about plans for the future.  Go to full article

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