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

New York's Legislature has voted to ban selling electronic cigarettes to minors. WAMC's Dave Lucas reports.

If Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the bill into law, New York will join Alaska, Idaho, Kansas and Maryland in restricting so-called e-cigarettes that can carry nicotine. The devices are sold without regulation in malls and other places where cigarettes are sold.

The American Cancer Society had called for the measure for two years.

The online edition of The Atlantic is running an article entitled "Can Google Predict the Impact of Racism on a Presidential Election?" It focuses on a study that tries to make a case for linking Google searches for racially-sensitive terms with election results to "reveal what Americans truly think." Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas spoke with two community leaders to find out "what THEY truly think" about racism.

Saratoga JAZZ!

Jun 21, 2012
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson Wednesday proclaimed June is “Jazz Month” in Saratoga Springs --- WAMC's Dave Lucas was on hand when the Mayor issued the proclamation, and files this report.

Saratoga Performing Arts Center President Marcia White greeted the crowd gathered in Wednesday afternoon's scorching heat on the lawn of the Saratoga Springs Visitors Center...

Mayor Scott Johnson proclaimed June “Jazz Month” in recognition of the 35th anniversary of the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival.

Joel Tyner’s campaign treasurer has resigned and has made serious accusations against the 19th district congressional candidate ... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Misha Fredericks says she couldn't continue as Joel Tyner's campaign treasurer, with Tyner's cash-on-hand claim off by thousands of dollars. Sensing trouble and fearing being investigated for embezzlemant, Fredericks filed a letter with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday.

A new study shows that opponents of President Barack Obama's health care plan clearly beat supporters in getting their message across through the media. More from WAMC’s Dave Lucas…

The study released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism found that opponents won because their positions were sharper and easier to understand. The critics also more frequently drove coverage, particularly when Tea Party demonstrations came to the fore.

Pew director Tom Rosenstiel said the competition wasn't even close.

New York State is expected to "press on" with efforts to increase and improve health care coverage, should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn all or part of the landmark 2010 Affordable Care Act. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Regardless of the court decision, it is expected New York will move forward to expand health coverage to the 2-point-8 million state residents who are without it. The Supreme Court is expected to release a decision any day now, and groups like Citizen Action are very concerned, ready to launch reactionary "speak-outs".

Some questions and concerns over thruway tolls and how emergency responders pay to use the superhighway - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

In a letter reportedly sent to emergency service providers, New York State Thruway Department of Maintenance and Operations Deputy Director H. McCarthy Gipson, detailed a new law which requires the authority to collect and issue refunds for tolls incurred on the superhighway by ambulance or fire vehicles in emergency operations. Thruways officials suggest using EZpass  electronic readers.

 

New York’s economic recovery continues to add jobs around the state.As Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports, the upward trend has the private sector looking for more employees…

The State Labor Department says New York’s private sector continues steady growth while the labor force expands at a rapid pace:

Capital Region labor Market Analyst James Ross says that the latest numbers show that New York's private sector job count now stands at 7,321,400 – an all-time high. 

WAMC Photo

"Is There a Regional Agenda for the Hudson Valley?" - that's the theme and title of a conference held today at SUNY New Paltz - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

Elected officials joined business and municipal leaders exploring new ideas - in a spirit of working together toward economic growth -The conference was hosted by CRREO, the New Paltz Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO), and sponsored by The Advocacy Coalition of the Hudson Valley.

York Senate leader Dean Skelos says the Legislature is close to a deal on a law to require college coaches, professors and others to report sex abuse. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports…

The Senate majority leader tells The Associated Press that what's referred to as the Sandusky bill is among the top priorities for the legislative session that ends June 21.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Chesapeake Appalachia has agreed to let more than 4,400 landowners renegotiate old gas leases for more favorable financial and environmental terms. More from WAMC’s Dave Lucas…

Chesapeake also agreed to pay $250,000 to cover the state's investigation costs. The agreement was announced Thursday. 

For decades Citizen Scientists have helped  answer serious scientific questions and provide researchers in various fields with vital data that may otherwise have gone uncollected and never catalogued.As Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports, one New York State agency has rolled out a program that depends on ordinary people to sign up and participate:

For decades Citizen Scientists have helped  answer serious scientific questions and provide researchers in various fields with vital data that may otherwise have gone uncollected and never catalogued.As Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports, one New York State agency has rolled out a program that depends on ordinary people to sign up and participate:

Federal and State officials have been working since 9-eleven to upgrade the technology supporting public safety communications - their efforts are on the verge of paying off, as we hear in this report from Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.

New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos says he expects a deal to be announced soon to maintain a price break for beer, which has helped New York's craft brewers grow. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports…

A Belchertown, Massachusetts brewer had successfully sued to eliminate the price break for its New York competitors.

USGS http://nd.water.usgs.gov/gage/how.html / USGS

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection recently announced changes to its stream flow and snow monitoring network, stemming from a new alliance with the National Weather Service aimed toward improving streamflow forecasting.

Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports on the importance of stream gauges in weather forecasting and flood control...

As the debate over the future of hydraulic fracturing rages on, a group of upstate New York landowners has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn "Local Law Number Six," a temporary ban on natural-gas drilling in the city of Binghamton. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Five property owners filed suit last week in state Supreme Court in Broome County, charging that  Binghamton's Mayor and city council violated state law when the municipality passed a two-year ban on drilling back in December,  without first seeking approval from the county's planning department.

WAMC Photo Composite by Dave Lucas

Veterans of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Persian Gulf, Vietnam and Korean wars joined with World War Two Veterans in Latham over the weekend for the second annual "D-Day Revisited: Day of Recognition and Remembrance" - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there and files this report

New York Lawmakers have drafted bills in the Senate and Assembly which would crack down on anonymous commenters on blogs and websites... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Under the proposed legislation, New York-based websites would be required to hold off publishing comments posted by readers who declined to identify themselves... no more "anonymous" reactions to blog posts or newspaper articles. Instead, those wishing to weigh in would have to attach a "legal name" to any comment, along with their HOME address as well as their computer's IP address.

Planned Parenthood is launching a TV ad campaign in three battleground states suggesting that women's rights would suffer if Republican Mitt Romney is elected president. The political arm of the women's health care organization has endorsed Democratic President Barack Obama for re-election. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has details…

The group announced Wednesday, a day after Romney claimed the GOP presidential nomination, that it would spend $1.4 million to air its ad in Florida, Iowa and Virginia, as well as Washington, D.C.

New York's top court will consider reinstating the lawsuit filed by French investors who lost $43 million out of $50 million they put in two structured investment vehicles. The investors claim Barclays Bank, Standard & Poor's and two management companies were all complicit in leaving investors holding plummeting securities shortly before the Wall Street collapse. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports.

Land Trusts soon will be able to purchase insurance aimed at assisting enforcement of easements. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

A land trust is a nonprofit organization that, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition, or by its stewardship of such land or easements.

The Land Trust Alliance out of Washington DC claims there are 1700 land trusts that have more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members.

An Ulster County town is looking to outfit its municipal facilities with solar power - there are questions, conerns... and a catch to making it work. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Facing an approaching deadline, the Woodstock Town Board decided in favor of designating a Kingston-based vendor to seek state-funding through NYSERDA to construct a photovoltaic power array that would transmit electricity to town-owned properties. 

Occupy Albany demonstrators in the Capitol insist the movement to increase the minimum wage is unstoppable. About 40 protesters wound throughout the building Tuesday, chanting and refusing to accept that the measure is politically dead. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has more…

The Occupiers targeted Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos and Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, saying their refusal to push the Assembly bill is "shameful." Neither Cuomo nor Skelos was in Albany.

A federal judge has set February 4 to start the retrial of former New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno on fraud charges and imposed a gag order on the lawyers. More from WAMC’s Dave Lucas…

U.S. District Judge Gary Sharpe says Tuesday the case will be tried in court, not the press, while acknowledging he imposed the same rule at the 2009 trial, where Bruno himself held daily press conferences on the courthouse steps to say he was innocent while his lawyers stood quietly by.

The Cuomo administration is suspending its restrictions on smoking in parks, pools, beaches and historic sites after a smokers' rights groups objected. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports.

The administration says Tuesday the measures will be voluntary for at least two months while a full rule-making process including public comment is concluded.

The Federal Government is ordering New York Counties to give back Nursing Home money... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided to retroactively recover “Intergovernmental Transfer” or IGT funds from several New York counties going back to State fiscal year 2006-07. The net effect statewide is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $7.2 million dollars.

 

In Eastern New York, Albany county tops the list, owing $3.7 million... followed by Westchester at $2.1 million and Ulster, $1.5 million...

Hudson Cruises

It's been decades since people could travel between two Hudson Valley communities without a car. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports that ferry service between Greene and Columbia counties resumes this summer…

Hudson Cruises owner Captain Guy Falkenheimer says the Hudson-Athens ferry is back on the river and full operations are expected to begin in June. The first ferry service between Hudson and Athens launched in 1778 - The last "official" ferry to sail the 11-mile one-way trip was in 1947.

The residential real estate market in upstate New York is showing some promising signs. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports…

The burst of the so-called "housing bubble" in late 2007 sent the real estate market into a spin... a new batch of numbers is leading industry insiders to believe that things are turning around... according to  the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes rose in April and remain above a year ago, while home prices continue to rise.

The New York Yankees say they aren't for sale. WAMC's Dave Lucas reports… 

The Daily News reported Thursday that there were rumors in Major League Baseball and New York banking circles that the Steinbrenner family "is exploring the possibility of selling the Yankees."

Not so, says Yankees managing partner Hal Steinbrenner. He says the idea of a Yankees sale is "pure fiction" and "I expect that the Yankees will be in my family for many years to come."

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