Brian Shields

Senior News Anchor

WAMC Senior Correspondent Brian Shields has been with WAMC for 23 years as senior news anchor, host and reporter.

Ways to Connect

Among the delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is Dolores Huerta, a member of the California delegation and a board member of People For The American Way. In 1962 she co-founded The National Farm Workers Association with Cesar Chavez, which later became The National Farm Workers Union. She is also president of The Dolores Huerta Foundation for grassroots organizing. Dolores Huerta says the economy is among the most important issues facing the nation this election year.

  By the end of the year, a new newspaper will be in the Capital District, both in print and on-line. The Daily Gazette, Proctors Theater in Schenectady and Overit Media of Albany are part of the new venture called The Alt. The president and publisher of the Daily Gazette, John DeAugustine, spoke with WAMC.

DeWitt: Day Two Of RNC Under Way

Jul 19, 2016
Donald Trump at the Flynn Theatre
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Day two of the Republican National Convention is under way is Cleveland, and tonight a rising star in New York Republican circles, who is from the Capital Region, will deliver a nominating speech. WAMC's Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt says the New York delegation has been front and center so far in Ohio.

The President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Albany writer and activist Barbara Smith are the featured guests at an event today in Albany in support of the Upper Hudson chapter of Planned Parenthood. The women's leadership circle luncheon at the Albany Hilton is part of a fundraising effort by Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood and its President Chelly Hegan, who joined Cecile Richards on the phone in advance of the event. Richards commented on the importance of a recent U.S Supreme Court ruling against Texas laws regulation.

Could a gondola like this span Rensselaer and Albany?
Doppelmayr

Gondolas are a common site at large ski resorts, carrying visitors to the highest peaks, but they can also cross rivers, and one such project is under consideration in the Capital District. A transportation feasibility study is under way on an aerial gondola between the Amtrak station in Rensselear, across the Hudson River into downtown Albany. The McLaren Engineering Group is self-funding the study. Peter Melewski is the national director of strategic planning for McLaren.

Professor Adrian Masters
albany.edu

Following the decision by voters in the United Kingdom last week to leave the European Union, the word uncertainty has been used to describe the economic and social fallout. Stock markets around the world, including on Wall Street, have fallen since the vote. Professor Adrian Masters, the chair of the department of economics at the University at Albany, spoke with WAMC News about why so much uncertainty has followed the Brexit. 

Soldier's heart was the name given to the post war stress and trauma suffered by soldiers in the civil war. It has been called PTSD, battle fatigue and shell shock, but Soldier's Heart is also the name of an organization based in the capital district that helps veterans to recover from the emotional and mental scars of the battlefield. Tuesday on Midday Magazine we heard from Harry Scott a vet who was helped by soldiers Heart and now works for the organization. We also heard from co-founders Dr. Edward Tick and his wife Kate Dahlstedt. Today, Dr. Tick tells us more about the programs offered by Soldier's Heart, in the second part of the interview. 

For centuries men have returned from war with battle scars and medals, but also with emotional scars that are not always evident. This has been called battle fatigue, shell shock or post-traumatic stress disorder and for those back from the civil war it was known as soldier's heart. Soldier's Heart is also the name of an organization founded 10 years ago by psycho-therapist Dr. Edward Tick and his wife Kate Dahlstedt to help military veterans with P-T-S-D and the emotional scars of war. Harry Scott is a vet who came to Soldier's Heart for help and now works for the organization in Business Development and Fundraising. 

Trying to reach children before they make the wrong decisions that could lead to a life of crime is the goal of "The Leadership Project," a voluntary program aimed at fifth graders in schools across Albany, Schenectady and Troy. 80 people from federal, state and local agencies go to the schools to encourage good decision making. The leadership project is the initiative of the U.S Attorney for the Northern District of New York, Richard Hartunian.

Haley Viccaro
Daily Gazette

The Schenectady City Council will meet behind closed doors in executive session late this afternoon, and the talk is expected to center on allegations made against the mayor, Gary McCarthy. 38-year-old Sarah Dingley of the town of Rotterdam says the mayor was intoxicated in the early morning of May 19, following her vehicle and flashing his headlights. The mayor has denied any wrongdoing and police haven't filed any charges. Haley Viccaro is a reporter for the Daily Gazette and says the council meeting at 5:30 will be closely watched.

Times Union reporter Robert Gavin
Times Union reporter Robert Gavin

It is very unusual for a person to be tried four times for murder, but that is exactly what happened to Cal Harris, a wealthy Tioga County, New York resident who was found not guilty on Tuesday in a non-jury trial in Schoharie County, bringing an end to the criminal portion of a 15-year legal saga. Harris was charged with killing his wife on the night of Sept. 11, 2001. Her body has never been found. Robert Gavin, who covered the case for the Times Union, says the case of Cal Harris was long and legally complex.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Nippertown's Greg Haymes is back with his May music selections.

Pete Seeger
coverlaydown.com

The music of Pete Seeger will be transformed into dance this Saturday afternoon at the Pete and Toshi Seeger Auditorium at Beacon High School in Beacon, New York. Livia Vanaver and her husband Bill are the organizers of the event, which is a fundraiser for their life’s work of the past 45 years, the Vanaver Project. 

  The recent New York primary was marred by reports that 126,000 Democratic voters in Brooklyn had been removed from the election rolls, leading to renewed calls for voting reforms in New York. Two election officials from Colorado will be in Albany on Wednesday for a panel discussion on election modernization at the Rockefeller Institute of Government. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

With word that a former top aide to Governor Cuomo is under investigation, the Governor has ordered his own probe into a major economic development project in Western New York.

John Dankosky
John Dankosky

Today is primary day in Connecticut, and as with last Tuesday’s vote in New York, today’s vote in Connecticut will matter for the first time in years. By this point, primaries in both states haven’t mattered very much, with nominations often decided, but not this year as the fight is likely to go to the conventions. For more on today’s primary in Connecticut, we spoke with John Dankosky, the host of the program “Where We Live” on WNPR in Hartford.

Earth Ethics is the everyday work of Karenna Gore, the eldest daughter of former Vice President Al Gore. Karenna will be the featured speaker and guest this Saturday for the All Species Day at Southern Vermont College in Bennington. She is the director of the Center for Earth Ethics in New York City.

The Albany-area will be the center of attention for the presidential race today with three candidates making campaign stops. More from WAMC's Brian Shields...

Patricia Strach
UAlbany

  

 As Election Day approaches, political advertising will begin to saturate radio and television, and a new study says the chances are male voices will be used far more often than female voices to try to get your vote. Patricia Strach, Deputy Director of Research at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, and as Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration and Policy at the University at Albany, says a study she authored found that in the Congressional races of 2012 and 2014 male voices were used in political ads 63 percent of the time, female voices 28 percent of the time, while 9 percent of the candidates used both male and female voices.   

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team is being welcomed back to campus today after the Huskies won an unprecedented fourth straight championship last night against Syracuse. Behind Breanna Stewart’s fourth consecutive tournament MVP award, the victory was UConn’s 75th straight win. But the Huskies have faced some criticism this week for being too dominant. Mark McGuire, executive sports editor at the Daily Gazette in Schenectady, and Albany Times Union sports editor Pete Iorizzo say if anything, UConn has been great for the sport.

An expert on homeland security says there is little doubt that today’s attacks in Brussels that left more than 30 people dead and more than 166 injured was in retaliation for the arrest last Friday in Brussels of the alleged ringleader of the Paris attacks that occurred late last year. Rick Mathews, the director of simulations and training at the University at Albany’s College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, tells WAMC News why he believes Brussels has become ground zero for terrorism in Europe.

There are three new members of New York’s Education Policy Panel, the State Board of Regents, but will it lead to any changes in the debate over education? The Executive Director of the New York State School Boards Association Tim Kremer believes it will. 

 

 

 Woodstock and Watkins Glen, both of which were in Upstate New York, were among the rock festivals that set the standard for the scores of festivals that would follow. At Hunter Mountain in Greene County Mountain Jam 12 is set for June 2-5. It began with just four acts in 2005, and is now a major and economic event for the region. Mountain Jam founder Gary Chetkof told us how the festival goes about booking the line-up. 

Republicans are standing firm, saying the next president should nominate the person to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, not President Obama, who is in his final year in office.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

Nippertown's Greg Haymes is back with his March music selections.

The legal standoff between Apple and the FBI over access to the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters is the latest debate over privacy versus security. Dr. Schuyler Foerster, the Brent Scowcroft Professor of National Security Studies at the Air Force Academy, will be speaking Monday evening at the Donald Katt Institute for Constitutional Studies at SUNY Ulster where he will address crime versus terrorism and other related topics including Apple versus the Justice Department. 

  

  Today is the 11th annual National Women and Girls HIV-AIDS Awareness Day. The organizer of today’s events is the Office of Women’s Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington. WAMC News spoke with Martha Bond, the Senior Public Health Advisor in the Office of Women’s Health, for more information on National Women and Girls HIV-AIDS Awareness day. 

Ruth Reichl
Ruth Reichl

The Berkshire Festival Of Women Writers, which begins on Saturday, has 33 events over nine days. On the festival guest list is Ruth Reichl, well known for her cooking and writing with a career that has included the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Gourmet, the Food Network and WNYC. In advance of the festival, Reichl spoke with WAMC, recalling a fond memory from a previous visit to the fest.

Robert J. Freeman, Executive Director New York State Committee on Open Government
NYS Forum

Just how transparent and open is New York state government and the hundreds of local and county governments across the state? That question will be at the center of the discussion tomorrow evening in Woodstock as the Executive Director of the New York State Committee on Open Government, Robert Freeman, speaks at the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center. The speech, which begins at 7, is free and open to the public. In advance of the speech, Freeman spoke to WAMC.

Courtesy of Clearwater

There is new leadership at Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, albeit temporary. Dave Conover is the interim director, taking over for Peter Gross, who recently stepped down amid disagreements with the board over the direction of the organization. Conover has been with Clearwater in various capacities for 25 years, and spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields about his new position.

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