Dave Lucas

Capital Region Bureau Chief

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief.  Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.

Ways to Connect

A new alliance of educators, parents, administrators, school board members, unions, and community groups
have launched a campaign to boost funding and seek reforms to education. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave
Lucas reports.

Frustration over teacher layoffs and public school program cutbacks statewide has prompted a new,
year-long campaign intent on getting state government to “go back to the drawing board.”
Educate NY Now! is demanding that lawmakers uphold New York’s constitutional obligation to provide all
students with a quality education.  

The head of the state-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center has been dismissed - that decision by the DEC leaves many questions...  Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

An official with the state Department of Environmental Conservation says Tony Lanza was fired - and that's all they'll say. Lanza gone from his post he's held for more than a decade at the helm of the Bellayre Ski Center.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is endorsing Bob Turner in the three-way Republican primary to take on Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has details…

Giuliani said Wednesday the New York City congressman whose district will disappear next year due to redistricting is the only candidate who can beat Gillibrand in the November general election.

Police say three Bronx men have been arrested in connection with a January home invasion in Westchester County. WAMC's Dave Lucas has more...

Brandishing weapons, the trio burst into the home of a Hastings restaurant owner and tied family members' hands behind their backs. One robber claimed they were the police and flashed a badge.

They got away with about $5,000 in cash.

Hastings Police Lt. David Dosin tells the Journal News that the May 9 arrests were not made public at the time because the investigation is continuing. More arrests are expected.

A kung fu grandmaster has been sentenced to seven years in prison for sexually abusing girls during martial arts lessons in the New York suburbs. WAMC's Dave Lucas reports…

Frank DeMaria of Ossining was convicted in February of sexual abuse, sexual conduct with children and endangering children.

Four girls aged 6 to 11 claimed that DeMaria had them grab and pull his genitals during lessons at his school in Croton-on-Hudson between 2009 and 2011.

While some school districts and unions are reportedly considering suing to overturn a provision in New York State’s new tax cap law, cooler heads are urging them to take a "wait-and-see" attitude for the time being - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

In New Paltz, the school budget got 59.3 percent of the vote. But it failed. The reason: the tax cap requires a 60 percent supermajority of votes to override a school district’s tax-levy limit — Judging by the recent annual school budget elections, the supermajority requirement made an impact.

Watershed Update

May 22, 2012

The vast New York City Watershed area has taken a prominent spot in the
public eye thanks to the 2011 floods AND the hydrofracking issue.
Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports the watershed is
experiencing a burst of activity...

The 70-thousand acre watershed system employs a combination of tunnels,
aqueducts and reservoirs to meet the New York City 's daily need for
fresh water.

Several New York-based Catholic organizations are joining a nationwide court challenge to a government mandate requiring most employers to provide birth control coverage as part of their employee health plans. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports.

The Archdiocese of New York and the suburban Diocese of Rockville Centre filed suit Monday in federal court in Brooklyn. The plaintiffs also include Catholic Health Services of Long Island, Catholic Charities of Rockville Centre and ArchCare, a Catholic health care service.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Farm workers and Religious Leaders joined with Community and Civil Rights Advocates to urge state lawmakers in Albany to enact the Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

In the interest of public safety, the security of five key bridges over the Hudson River is being tightened - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

Rockland County is still feeling the sting after Moody's Investor Service dropped the county's investment status rating three notches to just above junk level. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has an update:

"Hydrokinetic Generation" could set the stage for the next battle pitting environmentalists against the state of New York - Science, Government and business leaders came together Thursday at the Beacon Institute, attending a workshop all about recommending improvements to the permitting process for hydrokinetic power generation in New York State. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

A panel of federal judges says the new election district lines drawn by the Senate and Assembly majorities will be used in the fall elections. WAMC's Dave Lucas reports…

The decision is a critical win for Senate Republicans hoping to secure their slim majority in the chamber despite a Democratic voter advantage of nearly 2-to-1 in the state.

Good-government groups have criticized the Senate GOP redistricting plan. They say it continues a tradition of twisting district lines to protect the power of the majority parties.

In the event a major catastrophe should strike the Hudson Valley, one county has put together a plan designed to meet emergency head-on. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

Taking a regional approach to disaster preparedness, Dutchess County today wrapped up its third annual "Regional Mass Fatality Management Response System Training"

Advocates for the homeless note that the recession has contributed to a
rise homelessness. In Columbia County, there are two housing proposals
under consideration by the County Board of Supervisors. Hudson Valley
Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

 

Shareholders of JPMorgan Chase & Co. have filed two lawsuits against the nation's biggest bank, accusing it and its leaders of taking excessive risk and causing a monumental $2 billion trading loss. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports…

The company disclosed the loss last week, saying it resulted from a failed hedging strategy.

The lawsuits filed on Wednesday in New York claim JPMorgan changed its risk model without telling investors. They say the shift led to the losses and claim company leaders misled investors.

An administrator says federal regulators are researching whether nuclear plants can be licensed to run beyond the current limit of 60 years. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports…

The comment came as representatives of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission discussed the two Indian Point plants in the New York City suburbs.

Indian Point's owner is seeking new licenses that would extend the plants' life to 60 years. Regional administrator Bill Dean said Wednesday the NRC is looking into whether additional extensions could be granted. None of the nation's plants is more than 45 years old.

Dave Lucas / WAMC

The issue of Hydraulic Fracturing, the gas drilling technique that extracts oil and gas from shale by blasting it with water, sand and chemicals - dominated the downtown Albany scene Tuesday:  The anti-fracking movement made a stand and a statement at the State Capitol with a full schedule of demonstrations, rallies and protests staged by various activists and green groups-

 

Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there and files this report

 

A study by the University at Buffalo's new shale gas institute concludes that state oversight of gas drilling has been effective at reducing environmental problems. WAMC's Dave Lucas reports...

The report released Tuesday examined almost 3,000 violations from nearly 4,000 gas wells in Pennsylvania since 2008. It found the percentage of environmental violations compared to the number of wells drilled fell from 58.2 percent in 2008 to 30.5 percent in 2010.

Former New York State Senator Pedro Espada Jr. has been found guilty of embezzlement charges. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has more…

A jury delivered the partial verdict Monday in federal court in Brooklyn.  It was the 11th day of often tumultuous deliberations. The jury is still deliberating on charges against Espada's son and on four remaining counts against him.

A teacher who exercised her First Amendment Rights to stand up for her beliefs at rallies and actions held by Occupy Albany could be facing repercussions for her actions. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

 

Hopes are waning that Ulster County will receive a federal designation that would boost government healthcare reimbursements for Kingston and Benedictine hospitals. The company that operates the two hospitals in Kingston says one of the facilities may have to close. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has an update...

 

School Budget votes are just days away, and on May 15 New York State residents will flock to the polls: Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports many of them must make difficult choices when they cast their ballots next week.

A survey of 403 of New York's 697 districts, released Wednesday by the state School Boards Association and the state Association of School Business Officials, shows that many districts cut positions, reduced programs, and tapped reserve funds to ensure compliance with the tax cap as they wrote their budgets for the 2012-13 school year.

The New York Commission on Judicial Conduct has recommended a town justice from Rensselaer County be taken off the bench for her involvement in two ticket-fixing cases. WAMC's Dave Lucas has details…

According to the commission, East Greenbush Town Justice Diane Schilling improperly intervened in the disposition of a speeding ticket given to the wife of another town judge in 2009. Four years earlier, the commission said Thursday, she returned her own speeding ticket to a state trooper who said he would void it.

As New York State moves closer to making a decision whether or not to allow the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports there are new concerns about the gas extraction process and its impact on clean water

President Barack Obama's endorsement of gay marriage on Wednesday was
welcome news throughout much of the Hudson Valley Region where WAMC's
Dave Lucas gathered reactions

Linda Mussman is the co-director of Time and Space Limited in Hudson -
she and her partner Claudia Bruce were among the first people to be
married in New York State under the marriage equality act -

Mussman believes President Obama's evolution will help bring issues of
civil rights and equality to the forefront more quickly

A coalition of upstate New York landowners seeking to lease land for natural gas drilling is pressing state officials to consider the rights of property owners as they make decisions on shale gas development. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has details…

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York is at the Capitol Wednesday to present a "Declaration of Rights."

A third year of dredging for PCBs has begun on the upper Hudson River. The Environmental Protection Agency says dredging started for the season Wednesday. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has more…

General Electric Co. plans to start with a single dredge about 40 miles north of Albany and ramp up work over the next few weeks.  Three to four dredges will eventually be operating all day, six days a week along a two-mile stretch of river south of Fort Edward.

Obama: The Day After

May 9, 2012

President Obama's visit to the UAlbany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering may be in the books - but it's still the talk of the town -  Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

The President's third visit to the region in as many years is being hailed as "a feather in the cap" of UAlbany's Nanotech college. 

President Obama praised SUNY's high-tech success in Albany, calling it a model for the rest of the country - SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher agrees.

 

For the third time in three years, President Barack Obama visited the Capital District for a Tuesday appearance at UAlbany's CNSE NanoTech Complex - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there and files this report.

Air Force One touched down at Albany International Airport just before noon: the President immediately taken to CNSE, where he joined New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on a brief tour.  Some observers believe Obama's change of venue from Global Foundries to UAlbany has ties to his working relationship with Cuomo.

 

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