WAMC Northeast Report

Weekdays, 3:30PM - 4PM and 6PM - 6:30PM

Northeast Report and Northeast Report - Late Edition are two half hour magazines of news and information, aired every weekday from 3:30PM-4:00PM just before All Things Considered, and again from 6:05PM - 6:30PM just before Marketplace.

Northeast Report features reports from the award-winning WAMC News team, plus commentary, arts news and interviews, the latest weather forecast, and an afternoon business wrap-up. The program is hosted by WAMC Senior Correspondent Brian Shields who has been with WAMC for 25 years as senior news anchor, host and reporter. 

Photo by Dave Lucas

Hundreds of college students from across New York marched to the Capitol Monday calling on the Governor to ban hydraulic fracturing… Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there and files this report.

Despite the ever-shrinking number of smokers, cigarette use is still a top public health priority.  And despite the incredible gains that have been made, the carnage caused by smoking still takes an enormous physical and financial toll.

Into this debate comes a product that advertises itself as a way for smokers to reduce the harm caused by cigarette use and a way for smokers to comply with smoking bans in work and public places.

That product is the “electronic cigarette” or e-cigarette.

Officials in the Greene County town of Ashland continue talks with FEMA over reimbursement for repairs to their water supply system; Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has more along with an udate from FEMA regarding flood damage recovery throughout the Catskills.

The current framework for Pittsfield’s city government dates back to the 1930’s. 1st term Mayor Dan Bianchi is asking the city council to approve measures to appoint an independent, non-partisan review commission to update and modernize the charter.

Bianchi said that he would like the commission to take a look at the structure of city government.

The mayor stressed that he wants to panel to include active members of the community and wants to take input from the public and the president of the city council before any selections are made.

Sybil Ludington's Ride

Apr 26, 2012

On a dark and rainy night 235 years ago, 16-year old Sybil Ludington rode her horse into history - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

“Listen, my children, and you shall hear, Of a ride of our female Paul Revere…”  Sybil Ludington's 40 mile trek was a small victory that helped lead to American Independence and the eventual formation of the United States.

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The mayor of Holyoke Massachusetts has made the first major appointment
of his new administration. Mayor Alex Morse, Wednesday, appointed a new
director of economic development. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief
Paul Tuthill reports.

        Mayor Morse has hired Marcos Marrero, a young urban planner and
policy professional with experience in energy and sustainability
projects to implement the young mayor's vision for revitalizing one of
the state's poorest cities.

Since 2007 when Massachusetts enacted the Data Security Breach Law, near half the population of the state could have had their personal information put at risk. The recently released numbers show that from November of 2007 to September of 2011, over 1.2 million state residents have had their data compromised by lost or misplaced mobile devices or laptops, and over 200,000 from stolen devices.

This year's Earth Day Lobby Day at the State Capitol will focus on critically important environmental issues such as expanding solar energy, curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting New York from the dangers of fracking. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has a preview.

Tasked with helping draft a constitution for India after World War II, B. N. Rau traveled abroad speaking to jurists. In Washington, Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter advised Rau not to include a due process clause in the Indian Constitution. Instead India should have a clause simply requiring that no one be charged with a crime but by the law of the land. That was the meaning of the Magna Carta in 1215 which said:

No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned … or in any way destroyed … except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

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Massachusetts state and local officials  in Northampton,Tuesday marked more progress in  a decades  long effort to  transform a former state hospital campus into a sustainable urban neighborhood..WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

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A relatively obscure agency created to help manage growth in part of western Massachusetts is marking 50 years of  accomplishments. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

Amazon.com is opening a research facility in Cambridge and is acquiring a robotics facility in North Reading, and some are now wondering if the company is subject to the Massachusetts sales tax.

A 1992 Supreme Court decision said that states cannot make out-of-state businesses collect sales tax. In other words, a retailer must have a physical presence in the state to pay sales taxes. Spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Bob Bliss…

Lawmakers and Lobbyists say communities that have been supportive of hydraulic fracturing are likely to be among the first areas of New York to get approval if the State Department of Environmental Conservation allows the technique... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas has more.

The DEC has been involved in establishing ground rules for permitting hyrdrofracking throughout New York State since 2008 - the agency's review of the process and recommendations are eagerly awaited by individuals and entities on both sides of the issue.

Cigarettes cause cancer.  Each pack has a warning label that tells us that.  Tobacco smoke not only hurts the smoker, but the smoke also harms non-smokers.  That’s the reason why laws were passed banning smoking in all work places and public places. 

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Officials in Springfield Massachusetts announced Friday they intend to seek state and federal funding to build a new school to replace an aged  one that was heavily damaged by the tornado almost a year ago. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

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            After almost two years of lobbying, a band of liberal political activists have persuaded Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Richard Neal to endorse some of their legislation.. This as the veteran congressman faces a Democratic primary challenge in a newly drawn district.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

 

   Experienced disaster response volunteers are canvassing the tornado devastated neighborhoods of Springfield Massachusetts to conduct a needs assessment.  Local organizations will use the  collected information to help people still struggling to recover from the storm.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

Housatonic River Walk

Director of the Greenagers program Will Conklin puts it this way…

A program of the Berkshires-based Center for Peace Through Culture, Greenagers is a youth program based in environmental stewardship and service to community.

On Saturday, April 21st, Greenagers will begin its season by providing volunteer hours to clean up and pull weeds on the Housatonic River Walk in Great Barrington. Director Will Conklin…

There is debate currently in several states including Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut about raising the minimum wage. A group in one western Massachusetts city is pushing for what it calls a “living wage” WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

A dry winter coupled with record-breaking temperatures and concern about
global warming have people in the vast New York City Watershed worried
about what may happen to the ecology in the weeks to come... Hudson
Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Severe drought conditions extend up and down the east coast, and the
lack of water is of particular concern throughout the Catskills -
potentially affecting everything from tourism to fire safety to the
delivery of fresh water to New York City.

There was some big news for New York’s uninsured last week.  First, a report was released that examined the characteristics of those upstate New Yorkers who lack health insurance coverage.  Using data obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, the health insurer Excellus released a profile of those who lacked health insurance in upstate New York.  Here are some of them:

The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition held a monthly forum in North Adams gathering area residents, community activists, and members of local government. NBCC executive director Al Bashevkin explains that the purpose of the meeting was to make the public aware of the challenges facing area food assistance programs…

The meeting let representatives from local food pantries introduce themselves to the public, discuss challenges they are facing with an increased demand with a decrease in state and federal funding, and brainstorm new ideas to address those challenges.

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Civil rights authorities say they've seen a serious uptick in housing discrimination complaints in Massachusetts.  Its further fall out from the foreclosure crisis.  WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

 The decision given Wednesday from the state’s Public Health Council, an independent panel of health professionals including doctors and advocates assembled under the Department of Public Health, has upset Ambulatory Surgery Centers in Massachusetts. Ambulatory Surgery Centers, or ASC’s, are privately-owned, tax-paying health care facilities that often provide cheaper care and services than what hospitals can offer.

The merger of Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service has become controversial due to how the merged company plans to refund $21 million owed to CVPS ratepayers.  The companies want to repay ratepayers through energy efficiency measures, but AARP-Vermont and others have been pushing for direct cash refunds. An amendment was presented in the Vermont House that would force the direct payments to customers.  The House Natural Resources and Energy and the Commerce and Economic Development committees took testimony Tuesday on the appropriateness of Legislative intervention.

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Helping people help themselves to someday leave public housing was the goal of a conference Wednesday sponsored by the public housing authority in Springfield Massachusetts.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

    Every parent seeks a better life for their children was the motivational message aimed at more than 100 mostly young parents who attended today’s conference, some with their children in tow.

The five member Massachusetts Gaming Commission held its first public meeting Tuesday as it set about to bring casino gambling to the state.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

     Declaring  the decades long debate over whether to bring casinos to Massachusetts is over, Stephen Crosby, the chairman of the powerful gaming commission, said he and the other four appointees were ready to get to work to implement the public policy in the best way they can.  He pledged that much of that work would take place in full public view.

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Beginning June first, Canadians coming to the U.S. will be able to nearly quadruple their amount of purchases before being required to pay duties and taxes when returning to Canada.  Currently, duty must be paid on purchases above 50 dollars for a single day visit, and 200 dollars for longer stays.  A provision in the new Canadian federal budget will increase duty and tax limits. And that’s good news south of the border, according to Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Garry Douglas.

The Vermont Clean Energy Investment Summit was hosted by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Governor Peter Shumlin and the state Department of Public Service.   Senator Sanders says it’s part of continuing efforts to make Vermont a leader in sustainable and renewable energy.

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