Maryam Laly
She left Kabul to escape deadly violence in the city and across her native Afghanistan. Now, she’s attending St Lawrence University in northern New York.
This part of the Empire State is a remote, quiet place where cows outnumber people and roads meander, often turning to gravel outside tiny villages and hamlets.
The difference between her life at home and her experiences at school is so dramatic, you have to hear her describe it.

Maryam Laly

She left Kabul to escape deadly violence in the city and across her native Afghanistan. Now, she’s attending St Lawrence University in northern New York.

This part of the Empire State is a remote, quiet place where cows outnumber people and roads meander, often turning to gravel outside tiny villages and hamlets.

The difference between her life at home and her experiences at school is so dramatic, you have to hear her describe it.

Does your government work?

In New York, there’s a sense that - after years of dysfunction and stoogery - the people we elect are actually doing a few things that could be beneficial to the electorate.

Damn few. Still, in the Empire State, this is progress.

It won’t burn coal any more
Instead, the power plant will run on biomass
The old coal plant hasn’t been used in a while. Now, a New York energy company plans to buy it and make it run on wood - including the tree parts left behind by foresters.
The project is expected to cost more than $30 million and bring lots of jobs to Watertown, New York.
The locals are pretty excited
  [photo: sustainablesushi.net]

It won’t burn coal any more

Instead, the power plant will run on biomass

The old coal plant hasn’t been used in a while. Now, a New York energy company plans to buy it and make it run on wood - including the tree parts left behind by foresters.

The project is expected to cost more than $30 million and bring lots of jobs to Watertown, New York.

The locals are pretty excited

  [photo: sustainablesushi.net]

“Why are we paying their bills and funding their oppression? Today there’s a better way, ethical oil from Canada’s oil sands”

advert run by the Canadian energy industry, arguing they will help free US consumers from reliance on petroleum from the Middle East.

"Canada is an an interesting place. And it needs to decide whether its economic future lies in being a petro-state – in the long run, petro-states don’t end happily. That’s the story if you look around the world."

-Bill McKibben, author, biologist and environmental activist

The rub: in the Northeast, one of every six American homes and businesses is now powered by Canadian electricity.

And there is a loud clamor among politicians, businesses and pundits to get much more energy from north of the border.

The cost, ecological and economic, is staggering

Away from the glare of politics, one woman’s struggle balancing faith and sexuality

Erica Macalintal is a 22-year-old nursing student and devout Roman Catholic who says her sexual life has been deeply influenced by theology.

But past actions, not in accordance with church teachings, “took a toll”

It’s not black and white - this contraception, religious liberty issue
"It is a religious freedom issue. If I am practicing my faith as I see it I can opt not to participate in something, but if something is not offered and not provided then my employer is already telling me that I must opt out. So to me it is religious freedom, but it is the freedom to choose whether you are participating in having birth control or not having birth control, and that’s a personal choice."
-The Reverend Laurena Will, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Ogdensburg, New York [pictured in an image from the church]
Read the transcript or hear the interview

It’s not black and white - this contraception, religious liberty issue

"It is a religious freedom issue. If I am practicing my faith as I see it I can opt not to participate in something, but if something is not offered and not provided then my employer is already telling me that I must opt out. So to me it is religious freedom, but it is the freedom to choose whether you are participating in having birth control or not having birth control, and that’s a personal choice."

-The Reverend Laurena Will, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Ogdensburg, New York [pictured in an image from the church]

Read the transcript or hear the interview

There’s less natural gas here than we thought
Department of Energy drastically reduces estimates of natural gas reserves in Marcellus shale.
Hear more on NCPR
  [map: david quintana]

There’s less natural gas here than we thought

Department of Energy drastically reduces estimates of natural gas reserves in Marcellus shale.

Hear more on NCPR

  [map: david quintana]

What’s your image of a library? It’s changing.
In rural America, libraries serve as community centers or even social hubs. Now they’re scrambling to modernize and - like their urban counterparts - offer patrons a port to technology and the wider world. And they’re trying to do this with little or no money.
Hear what’s happening on NCPR news
  [lalibrairie: Canadian Parliament Library, Ottawa] What’s your image of a library? It’s changing.
In rural America, libraries serve as community centers or even social hubs. Now they’re scrambling to modernize and - like their urban counterparts - offer patrons a port to technology and the wider world. And they’re trying to do this with little or no money.
Hear what’s happening on NCPR news
  [lalibrairie: Canadian Parliament Library, Ottawa]

What’s your image of a library? It’s changing.

In rural America, libraries serve as community centers or even social hubs. Now they’re scrambling to modernize and - like their urban counterparts - offer patrons a port to technology and the wider world. And they’re trying to do this with little or no money.

Hear what’s happening on NCPR news

  [lalibrairie: Canadian Parliament Library, Ottawa]

A cat belonging to an Arkansas Democratic campaign manager was found [beaten to death] on Sunday night with the word “Liberal” spray-painted across its  side
Read more on the Chicago Trib

A cat belonging to an Arkansas Democratic campaign manager was found [beaten to death] on Sunday night with the word “Liberal” spray-painted across its side

Read more on the Chicago Trib

For Supporters, A Place to Break Ground - For Critics, Heart Breaking

Developers could soon get the final green light to build a massive housing and recreational project - that includes hundreds of homes and a ski area - near the center of the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park. The commission regulating construction in the park approved resort plans on Friday, removing one of the development’s biggest hurdles.

New York State still has to give its thumbs up. A decision is expected soon.

It’s been years since this project was first proposed and the fight over its approval has ripped apart communities and families. Building and re-building, on NCPR

Is your radio getting a little.. complicated?

Tune in to NCPR News for a little clarity.

Today, the Governor acknowledges schools need more money and relief from bloated bureaucracies. Then why are school officials so worried?

(via alioninherowncause)

Here, have a mountain

Can a Governor just give away a mountain? Apparently, yes, if it’s Andrew Cuomo and the mountain’s a ski area run by the state. He gave Bellayre Mountain in the Catskills to the people who made popular destinations out of Whiteface Mountain (pictured) and lots of Olympic venues in and around Lake Placid.

Is this a good thing? That might depend on which side of the mountain you’re on.

  [photo: Edward Murphy, NCPR’s Photo of the Day archive]

Wow! How often do you hear news stories about governmental mismanagement and state budgets in the same newscast?!

All right. So it’s common as dust. These stories, though, are about a local government that mishandled airport funds and the state government that uncovered it - the same state government that taxes its residents more than any other and is now set to debate how it’s gonna spend all that money.

(via jeydon-w00ds)

In 1998, it rained ice for five days across northern New York, parts of New England, Ontario and Quebec. The region lost electricity after power lines snapped. Roofs buckled under the weight. A few people died.
Yesterday, it rained ice through the morning and people were scared - even people who hadn’t lived through the Ice Storm of ‘98. Fortunately, as I stood in the quiet of my house, listening for the first sounds of a straining roof, the ice turned to snow - fluffy little flakes that didn’t hurt anything, but made the world outside a little prettier.
But the worry takes time to leave, especially after you see the pictures and hear the stories.
  [photo: Mark Kurtz]

In 1998, it rained ice for five days across northern New York, parts of New England, Ontario and Quebec. The region lost electricity after power lines snapped. Roofs buckled under the weight. A few people died.

Yesterday, it rained ice through the morning and people were scared - even people who hadn’t lived through the Ice Storm of ‘98. Fortunately, as I stood in the quiet of my house, listening for the first sounds of a straining roof, the ice turned to snow - fluffy little flakes that didn’t hurt anything, but made the world outside a little prettier.

But the worry takes time to leave, especially after you see the pictures and hear the stories.

  [photo: Mark Kurtz]

Both sides, on North Country Public Radio this morning

After New York shuts the door on public comments about hydro-fracking, opponents of gas drilling want more time to voice their complaints. Drillers want to get at it already.

In a related story, a new Brookings report says New York’s approach to clean energy is paying off.

Hm. That’s like three sides. At least. Hear all of them.

  [dtxmcclain: Bulova clock radio, 1964]