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. 

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Metal sculptures will be put  on display throughout downtown Springfield this month in the latest effort to use public art to attract more people to the city’s downtown.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

        The sculptures are the work of Hilltowns artist James Kitchen, who takes discarded metal, such as wheel rims, machine gears, farm implements, tools and other scrap metal and turns it into art, which he describes as thoughtful and whimsical.

After State Representatives and Senators passed special legislation this week that would allow school districts to exempt themselves from the provision in the Nutritional Standards for Competitive Foods in Schools that would prevent school from selling sugary sweets during school hours for special events such as fundraisers, the Department of Public Health has come up with amendments to the regulations that would take effect in August.

Aime Kunes is President of the LGBT Coalition of Western Massachusetts. She says that President Obama’s support for gay marriage falls in line with other efforts his administration has made, such as the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.

Kunes says that the she thought the president spoke his mind despite political risk.

Jason Verchot, president of Berkshire Stonewall, a nonprofit supporting the well-being of the gay and lesbian community in the Berkshires, says that president Obama’s support at the federal level is significant.

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

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A community wide collaboration is credited with helping to reduce teenage pregnancy in Holyoke Massachusetts.  Officials acknowledge there is much work yet to do, as Holyoke has the highest teen birth rate in the state.   WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports

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  With the start of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season  23 days away,  hundreds of people attended a hurricane preparedness conference Wednesday in Massachusetts.. The first of its kind event was hosted by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

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.

 

 

Students are choosing where to go to college. A college education is expensive but too many graduates come out of college without a skill set. What do they need from higher education?

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The founding of the third oldest county in Massachusetts, Hampshire County, is being observed this year.  Officials are using the 350th anniversary to promote an effort to fund major repairs to the county's best known landmark.  WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.
       

With a new online criminal background check system launching Monday,  improvements to the Criminal Offender Record Information system, or CORI, come two years after legislation was signed to protect Massachusetts residents who have paid their debt to society.

The new CORI database provides easier access to the public including landlords and employees seeking background information on potential tenants or employees. At the same time the system overhaul will restrict their searches to information on convictions dating back ten years.  

Governor Andrew Cuomo today unveiled new legislation to establish the strongest standards and practices in the nation for protecting people with special needs and disabilities. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

 

The nation has made tremendous progress in reducing the number of cancer deaths.  But a new trend is developing – cancers caused by the American lifestyle.

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A first of its kind in the nation transit center opens Monday in western Massachusetts. The multi-modal facility in downtown Greenfield was dedicated Friday in honor of a soon to be retired Congressman.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

On April 17, the front page of the New York Times had an article about two economists.   No, it was not about Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan who are very well known.

Instead, the two economists are academics – academics who are not household names.

These two economists, Thomas Piketty and Emanuel Saez, have done path-breaking research to document the incredible increase in inequality that has occurred in the US since about 1980. 

On Monday, Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan wrote a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Empire State Development Corporation President and CEO Ken Adams concerning reports that ESDC planning to restore Empire Tax Credits to 545 businesses that had their benefits stripped in 2009. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Senator Kruger says even though the Empire Zone program has sunsetted, some companies continue to draw on credits that were pre-approved for a ten year period.

Total student debt in America has hit the $1 trillion mark, exceeding, for the first time, national credit card debt.  Yet at this very moment, the airways and media outlets are alive with stories and opinion pieces regarding the imminent doubling of the interest rate on new Stafford Subsidized Loans to undergraduates.  While in college at least half-time, students holding such need-based, federally guaranteed loans pay no interest; rather, the government pays the interest which accrues during that time.

Total student debt in America has hit the $1 trillion mark, exceeding, for the first time, national credit card debt.  Yet at this very moment, the airways and media outlets are alive with stories and opinion pieces regarding the imminent doubling of the interest rate on new Stafford Subsidized Loans to undergraduates.  While in college at least half-time, students holding such need-based, federally guaranteed loans pay no interest; rather, the government pays the interest which accrues during that time.

Total student debt in America has hit the $1 trillion mark, exceeding, for the first time, national credit card debt.  Yet at this very moment, the airways and media outlets are alive with stories and opinion pieces regarding the imminent doubling of the interest rate on new Stafford Subsidized Loans to undergraduates.  While in college at least half-time, students holding such need-based, federally guaranteed loans pay no interest; rather, the government pays the interest which accrues during that time. These loans, currently at a  3.4% interest rate, represent a critical element in the to

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  A survey of  people affected by the tornado in Springfield Massachusetts nearly a year ago finds dozens still have unmet needs. These range from major roof repairs to replacing household appliances and furnishings  with an estimated total cost of almost $1 million.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

 

Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities Program funded improvements to the First Street Commons in Pittsfield, a park that had previously fallen into disrepair. At a ceremony today outside the park, state and city officials gathered to officially open the new gateway entrance to the Commons.

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Anti poverty activists want more housing for the poor in Springfield Massachusetts. The comprehensive master plan for rebuilding from the tornado does not call for more affordable housing to be built.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports..

 

May 1st is recognized as International Workers Day. In Pittsfield, an Occupy Berkshires rally was held to commemorate the day and raise awareness of political issues. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard attended the rally and spoke with activists and occupiers.

 

 

The AP recently revealed a spying operation by the New York City police on Muslims and Muslim institutions. What should we think about that?

Several years ago I arranged to teach a course on Privacy Law because I wanted to figure that out. I read, studied, corresponded with experts in the field and chaired a committee to come up with solutions. Here is some of what I’ve come up with.

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Law enforcement officials and community leaders from the greater Springfield Massachusetts area met Monday to consider ways to deter crime.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports

 

      Hampden County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni  believes a policing model that employs strong community partnerships and focused deterrence can be a successful strategy  to reduce violence in high crime areas of Springfield and Holyoke.

The new regulations now up for a public comment for the next 30 days come after two years of study commissioned by the state Department of Energy and Resources. DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia…

Biomass energy production comes from the generation of power by burning organic materials, most notably wood. Opponents of the practice say that unregulated biomass energy production can lead to overharvesting of timber, increased air pollution, and the excess release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

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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