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

Dr. Tony Collins, president of Clarkson University
Clarkson University

There is a new member of the higher education community in the capital region. Clarkson University based in Potsdam, New York, is now in Schenectady. The Clarkson University Capital Region Campus at 80 Nott Terrace in Schenectady is the former Union Graduate College. Clarkson University President Dr. Tony Collins tells WAMC’s Brian Shields that the merger which took effect February 1st began to take shape just over one year ago.

Orange County Chamber of Commerce/Energize NY

Governor Andrew Cuomo has set an energy mandate for New York. By the year 2030, 50 percent of the state’s electricity needs will be met with renewable resources, such as solar and wind power.  To get there, the state has set up a program under which colleges can compete for $1-million awards for the best energy ideas, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has set up a 10-year, $5-billion Clean Energy Fund. John Rhodes, the CEO and president of NYSERDA, explains to WAMC’s Brian Shields how that money will be used.

After decades of violence, distrust and broken negotiations, can a lasting peace ever be achieved between Israel and the Palestinians? A man who has tried to bridge that gap will be speaking this evening at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. Dr. Gershon Baskin has been an advisor to both Isreali and Palestinian leaders and has been involved in backchannel negotiations, one of which led to the release of an abducted Israeli soldier.

Thirty-five years ago, an airport in the Hudson Valley marker the end of a long and troubling event in American history. January 25, 1981 was a cold Sunday at Stewart Airport, but it was a very warm and welcoming place as well. It was at Stewart Airport that the Americans who were held hostage in Iran for 444 days returned home. WAMC's Hudson Valley Correspondent Hank Gross was there that day covering the events for a local radio station.

  

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last week on a case that could have a big impact on unions, especially in the public sector. A teacher in California objects to paying union fees for activities which she does not support. A Supreme Court ruling in 1977 upheld those so-called fair-share fees, to support the benefits all union members receive under collective bargaining. For more on the case, and what it could mean for the labor movement, we spoke with attorney Mike Billok, a labor and employment expert with the law firm Bond, Schoeneck and King

Tim Kremer
Tim Kremer

While some issues come and go at the state capitol in Albany, education always remains on the agenda for the governor and the state legislature, and this year will be no different. The theme of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address on Wednesday was “ built to lead,” but Tim Kremer, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association says a better description might be a work in progress.

  Actor Charlie Sheen’s recent announcement that he is HIV-positive shed new light, albeit temporary , on a disease that once dominated health care policy and the headlines. It may not get as much attention, but HIV and AIDS is still a serious health care issue, and one organization still in the fight is the Alliance for Positive Health in Albany. William Faragon was recently selected as the organization’s new executive director, and spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

It could be months before some 5,000 people in a small town to the east of Albany can use the municipal water supply. The EPA recently urged people in Hoosick Falls in Rensselaer County not to drink or cook with the water. In addition, children and people with skin conditions should avoid long showers or baths. EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck says the water in Hoosick Falls has been contaminated with the chemical PFOA.

When moviegoers leave the theater after taking in the latest chapter in the Star Wars story, will it translate into a new or renewed interest in the exploration of the universe? The answer to that question is a definite "yes" according Dr. John Delano, a distinguished teaching professor emeritus of atmospheric and environmental sciences at the University at Albany who has worked on NASA-funded projects including the chemical analysis of samples brought back from the moon.

Saru Jayaraman
Saru Jayaraman

As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to push for a $15 an hour minimum wage for all New Yorkers during the legislative session that begins next month, one organization says New York should make sure everyone gets the higher wage, especially workers who rely on tips. Saru Jayaraman is the co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California at Berkeley. 

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