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.

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New York News
12:27 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Advocates: Medical Marijuana in NY closer than ever

This could be the year that New York joins the 18 other states including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont, that already have medical marijuana laws on the  books.  

On Tuesday, New York State Senator Diane Savino and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried, along with 68 other co-sponsors, introduced a bill to allow seriously ill patients in the Empire State to use medical marijuana legally with a doctor’s recommendation. Gottfried argues passage of the law is long past overdue.
 

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New York News
4:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Gov Offers New Yorkers Tax Help

Credit WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

With the April 15 tax deadline approaching, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is encouraging residents to avail themselves of free tax assistance.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is available to individuals and families with an annual income of $51,000 or less. Taxpayers can have their federal and state taxes prepared and filed for free by IRS-certified volunteers at more than 400 locations across the state.

VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.

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Capital Region News
3:07 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Albany App Targets Graffiti

A decades-old problem that plagues large cities is about to meet a new, digital foe.

The city of Albany is turning to smartphone technology in the fight against urban blight: Mayor Jerry Jennings announced the activation of The Graffiti Buster.   The free app was about a year in the making, the brainchild of Tim Varney, a partner at Troy Web Consulting. Albany's Department of General Services cleans up hundreds of incidents of graffiti every year.
 

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New York News
12:48 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

NY's New Minimum Wage: You'll Pay For It

A provision buried deep in New York's tentative budget shows taxpayers will get part of the bill for raising the minimum wage.

The deal to raise the state minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 by 2015 includes a "minimum wage reimbursement credit" for employers. The credit would reimburse employers for part of the difference in wages from the current $7.25 minimum wage as it rises to $9 an hour by 2016. Once it reaches $9 an hour, employers would pay 40 cents and taxpayers $1.35 of the extra $1.75 an hour workers are paid.

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New York News
4:46 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Activists: New NY Minimum Wage Not Enough

Mark Dunlea of the Hunger Action Network
Credit WAMC / Dave Lucas

Wall Street may be booming but Main Street is still struggling:  activists vow to push for an even higher minimum wage in New York.

Although some say an American revival is underway, activists argue the current “recession recovery” has been the weakest in American history. Mark Dunlea with the Hunger Action Network says we’ve only seen about half the normal number of jobs come back into the economy:

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Hudson Valley News
4:39 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Hudson protectors get concessions, back NY bridge

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Two environmental groups have agreed to support the new Tappan Zee Bridge project after winning concessions from New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state has issued an environmental permit for the $3.9 billion project after reaching agreement with Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson. The environmental groups will now get a role in monitoring construction. The state will increase a fund that will be used to repair environmental damage.

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Central New York News
4:37 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

NY Budget Will Restore VLT Aid to Central New York

The New York State Budget has produced an agreement which would provide Oneida County, along with the Town and Village of Vernon with video lottery terminal support revenue.

Republican New York State Senator Joe Griffo of Rome and Democratic Assemblymember William Magee of Nelson say that after the expected adoption this week of the 2013-14 Budget, the Senate and Assembly will have helped secure close to a half million dollars in VLT support revenue for the Town of Vernon area and Oneida County.

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Central New York News
4:56 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Old Shopping Complex Awaits Restortaion

A former shopping complex straddling two Central New York counties has been in limbo for years while owners, developers and nearby residents play a waiting game hoping to see some activity.

Decades ago, the CharlesTown outlet center along Utica’s  Turner Street, was a thriving shopping destination. The property is located in both Utica and the town of Frankfort. The line separating Oneida and Herkimer counties runs right through the middle of the building.

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Capital Region News
1:09 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Calsolaro Backs Applyrs For Council

Dorcey Applyrs was born in Washington, D.C. and moved to Albany, NY after graduating from Delaware State University with her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She is a graduate of the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY Albany) School of Public Health with a Master's of Public Health. Dorcey is currently pursuing her Doctor of Public Health degree at SUNY Albany. Dom Calsolaro says she is passionate, energetic and will be a wonderful addition to the Council.
Credit dorceyapplyrs.com

A popular three-term Albany city councilman says he won't make another run. Dom Calsolaro has been thinking about stepping aside for awhile:
 
"I just think it's time for a change. Hopefully the city will be changing in more ways than one with other elected positions. I have a person, her name is Dorcey Applyrs, she's a young African-American woman, a phD candidate the school of public health, she really wants to do this job, she's excited about it, she has the energy..."

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Capital Region News
12:19 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

GlobalFoundries Planning Changes

Michael Relyea, President of the Luther Forest Technology Campus
Credit ..::WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas::..

Citizens turned out for a Monday evening public hearing regarding some amendments proposed by chip fabrication company GlobalFoundries for its Fab 8.2 project that will impact Malta's planned development district.  

GlobalFoundries is seeking amendments pertaining to clean room space, enlarging the fab's overall footprint, extending building height limits and revised traffic mitigation.

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