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NCPR News Staff: David Sommerstein
News Reporter and Producer

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GM Adds Jobs in Massena

General Motors Powertrain in Massena adds new jobs this summer despite the slumping economy. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

U.S. Senate Approves Prescription Drug Bill

The U.S. Senate has passed Senator Charles Schumer's legislation to make the access to prescription drugs easier. But the plan still hasn't been acted upon by the Republican-controlled House and faces opposition from the White House. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

"Cybersquatting:" Dirty Tricks in 118th Assembly Campaign

One of the three Republican Assembly candidates in the so-called "river", or 118th, district of Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties has been the victim of a world wide web-related practice called "cybersquatting". David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Teaching a "Learning Centered" Classroom

This week the Best Western in Canton hosts the 10th annual Constructivist Conference. It sounds like a gathering of philosophers. But it's really educators from all over New York State practicing what they call "learning-centered" teaching skills. In learning-centered classrooms, the focus is on doing things, discussing things, not reading and lecturing about them.
David Sommerstein reported from last year's conference, which was held at St. Lawrence University.  Go to full article

Clinton Presses Bush For More LIHEAP Funds

New York's junior senator is calling on President Bush to restore money for low-income and elderly people's utility bills in next year's budget. Senator Hillary Clinton says the President's 2003 budget would cuts New York's Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance program by 38-millon dollars. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

118th GOP Primary: A Secret Poll

A leaked poll and secret meetings in Albany have shaken up what seemed like a tranquil Republican primary race in the 118th Assembly district. Two candidates from Jefferson County--Scott Gray and David Renzi, and one from St. Lawrence County--Patricia Ritchie--are vying for the chance to run against Democrat Darryl Aubertine in November. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Protecting Adirondack Alpine Vegetation

For over a decade the Adirondack Nature Conservancy has been protecting the alpines of the Adirondacks through education and careful observation. But that may not be enough, and the group's started a new technique for conservation--carrying heavy rocks up to the summits to stabilize the delicate plants that grow there.  Go to full article

Jake Swamp: A Story of Warning

Chief Jake Swamp tells the story of a Mohawk prophet called "Handsome Lake".  Go to full article
Chief Jake Swamp looks on while his grandson, Frank, hammers a log to loosen strips for basketmaking.
Chief Jake Swamp looks on while his grandson, Frank, hammers a log to loosen strips for basketmaking.

Spreading a Legacy of Harmony

This week the Tree of Peace Learning Center in Rossie in western St. Lawrence County hosts an annual workshop series called the Sacred Circle. It brings together people to teach and learn about a variety of native issues, from how the Iroquois document history to native burial mounds in Ohio.

The Tree of Peace Society was founded two decades ago by Mohawk Chief Jake Swamp. Its mission is to recover and pass on Mohawk and other tribal culture and philosophy. David Sommerstein went to the learning center in Rossie to talk with Chief Swamp.  Go to full article

An Energy-Saving Habitat

Habitat for Humanity in St. Lawrence County breaks ground today on a low-cost home in Rensselaer Falls. Thanks to a collaboration with a regional energy efficiency group, the home will use 30% less energy than a conventional one. David Sommerstein reports it could become a model for more low-income housing.  Go to full article

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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

Recent David Sommerstein stories carried by NPR: