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. 

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.

Saying the time was right, long time Albany area New York Assemblyman Ronald Canastrari announced today that he will not seek re-election after more than 20 years in office. Canastrari, a democrat from Cohoes, serves as the Assembly Majority Leader. He said the decision to leave was not an easy one.  Canastrari looked back on his career today, telling WAMC’s Brian Shields what he considered to be the most important bills he helped to pass while in Albany.

Stephen Gottlieb: Environmental liability

Apr 10, 2012

Let me suggest a solution to the fracking problem. The self-styled energy companies want to draw natural gas out of the shale deposits deep below the earth’s surface. Environmentalists like myself believe that fracking will foul the drinking water, damaging a much more crucial resource than the gas they’ll extract.  We also think that if gas is so valuable, they wouldn’t be burning it off where it already comes up alongside oil wells. But that’s another story. Let’s stick to safety.

  Law enforcement is slowly embracing social media as a crime
fighting tool. The latest example was announced Monday in Northampton
Massachusetts, as we hear from WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul
Tuthill.

        The Northwestern District Attorney, David Sullivan announced the
launch of a text-a-tip program designed to help police solve crimes in
the 47 cities and towns in Hampshire and Franklin counties.

Blue Agave Mexican Grill opened last week in the campus center of the University at Albany.

The restaurant’s menu includes quesadillas and burritos. Student diners are giving the cuisine early positive reviews.

Despite praise for taste, the restaurant has also got the attention of students and faculty who are speaking out after a promotional event for the grill’s opening day.

Yampiero Polanco, University at Albany senior and President of Fuerza Latina, a student run education, and advocacy group focused on Latino culture described the promotion.

Northeast Report – Glen Johnson of Boston.com

Apr 2, 2012

Former Massachusetts treasurer Timothy Cahill has been indicted on public corruption charges related to advertisements promoting the state lottery that ran during his unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2010.

WAMC'S Brian Shields speaks with NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman about the arrest of 52 people in and around Albany on gang-related drug activity and violence.

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