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NCPR News Staff: David Sommerstein
News Reporter and Producer


Tug Hill Gets Protection

New York State has joined with the Nature Conservancy and a timber company to preserve almost 45,000 acres of land on the Tug Hill Plateau. David Sommerstein reports the public-private partnership prevents the land from being subdivided.  Go to full article
Some see animal shapes in the new congessional district lines.
Some see animal shapes in the new congessional district lines.

Designer Districts?

Government reform groups say the new congressional redistricting plan puts representative democracy "on life support". David Sommerstein reports on the odd shapes of new districts drawn by the state legislature.  Go to full article

McHugh's District Largely Untouched

The Legislature's new redistricting plan for Congress reduces the state's number of representatives in the House from 31 to 29 and it targets two incumbents for elimination. But it leaves North Country Congressman John McHugh's district largely intact. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Water Levels Cut Into Marina Business

Researchers from Cornell University are asking marina owners along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario how changes in water levels affect their businesses. The survey is part of a study to update a 45 year old plan for controlling water levels in the region. David Sommerstein has more.  Go to full article

Army Corps Seaway Study Points Toward Expansion

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is putting the finishing touches on a preliminary study of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system - what Corps officials call a "snapshot" of shipping on the waters. It recommends a more detailed, and more expensive, study that would consider building wider locks and deeper channels for bigger ships. Any possible construction would be years or even decades away. But seaway expansion critics are determined to stop the process in its tracks. David Sommerstein has this report.  Go to full article

What's a Jefferson County Resident?

Jefferson County residents like where they live, would like it better if there were more jobs, volunteer 10 hours a week, and go to Canada less than they used to. That's part of the profile painted by an attitudinal study released yesterday. David Sommerstein has more.  Go to full article
The Raquette River runs fast just below the Hannawa Falls Dam.
The Raquette River runs fast just below the Hannawa Falls Dam.

Hiking Through History: The Red Sandstone Trail

Hiking trails in the North Country are generally considered good ways to get away from human society, gateways to the unspoiled natural world we're lucky to live so close to. But a new trail along the Raquette River south of Potsdam takes hikers on a different sort of trip. The Red Sandstone Trail highlights both the natural beauty of the area and the ways people have shaped the river and its valley over time. David Sommerstein explored the trail with John Ohmohundro early this spring.
 Go to full article

More on the Redistricting Plan

Martha Foley talks with David Sommerstein about the Congressional Redistricting Master Plan.  Go to full article
The North Country's congressional districts in the special master's plan.
The North Country's congressional districts in the special master's plan.

The Master Plan: Congressional Redistricting

It's becoming more likely that a federal referee's compromise plan for redrawing New York's congressional districts will be the final one. If adopted, it would mean a dramatic political shift for the North Country. Congressman John McHugh would represent the Finger Lakes. Saratoga Springs could be the home base for St. Lawrence County's Congressman. And parts of the Adirondacks could be represented by a suburban New York City lawmaker. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Clinton Wants Federal Money to Protect Upstate Water Supplies

Senator Hillary Clinton says she wants federal money to be made available in the upcoming Bioterrorism Bill to help upstate communities protect their water supplies.  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: