Chris Bolt

News Director

Maybe I was destined for a career in radio when I built my first stereo receiver from a Heathkit box…then later spent time running wires over beer-stained floors for local bands in Colorado bars.  I remember becoming enamored with Public Radio's story-telling style covering an exiled music group that had come to Syracuse from El Salvador.  The piece involved interviewing through an interpreter and mixing in the music with a strongly-political story of death squads.  Over the next 23 years I’ve enjoyed covering the issues, people, events, challenges and accomplishments of Central New York. 

I came to Syracuse to finish a Broadcast Journalism degree at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.  I’ve worked at WAER since 1990 and truly enjoy our mission of educating and engaging the community, while training aspiring journalists and broadcasters.  I’m passionate about the area’s lifestyle and efforts to improve its vitality.   When not on a story, in a studio or editing and mentoring students, I can probably be found outside.  I love Central New York’s natural areas and waterways, as well as golfing and biking opportunities.  

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Water Pollution
5:02 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Environmental Research Group Reports Widespread Water Pollution in New York State

One information graphic from the Wasting our Waters report from Environment New York
Credit Environment New York Center

New York’s rivers and lakes are still a dumping ground for polluters…and some of the worst are here in Upstate New York.  That’s the assessment of the research group “Environment New York.”  Their new report “Wasting Our Waters” points at Anheuser-Busch in Baldwinsville for dumping 1.4  million pounds of toxic waste into the Oswego River in 2010. 

It also notes Eastman Kodak had the most discharges by toxicity with 12,000 pounds of toxic compounds released into the Genesee River. Environment New York Director Heather Leibowitz wants to see practices change.

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Local News
12:40 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

CNY Restaurant Owners Express Anger, Seek Help for Business Lost to Destiny Eateries

Are local establishments losing out to people flocking to the mall? Asti Cafe owners joined a meeting looking for answers.

  A number of restaurant owners from around the Syracuse Area were pretty mad at seeing a dip in their business blamed largely on a government decision.  Al Barbagallo and his family have run Barbagallo’s Restaurant for 38 years and he shared his feelings.

“Anger…because small businesses employ 95% of the people in this country.  Why should somebody get a tax break that I can’t get, why should the empire zone get a tax break or why should Destiny get a tax break.”

 

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2014 Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival
5:15 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

A Weekend of Jazz, Wine, and Arts Comes to Clinton Square in Late July

Credit cnyjazz.org

If you’ve been thinking about some Jazz Music with a sip of wine from the vine… chances are that you live in the right city.  The Northeast Jazz and Wine Fest will bring plenty of music to Downtown Syracuse almost a month from now. 

Organizer Larry Luttinger says there are many acclaimed artists in this year’s line-up.

"That consists of pianist Michael Wolff who did many years as Arsenio Hall music director, Mike Clark best known for his fantastic work back with the  legend Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters back in the eighties and we're bringing in Gil Parris, America's finest guitarist in all possible genres. He's a great blues player, a great smooth jazz player, a great R&B player, a great straight-ahead jazz player. He'll be joining that trio for an hour of fun. "

Some other main stage performers include Sherma Andrews, Michael and Angela Lynn and Marcus Johnson. Luttinger says Johnson will also serve a role as mentor to scholastic musicians. 

"Student groups play, Marcus Johnson listens to them and then he plays with them as a soloist in their final tune. Then he stays on stage, takes the microphone and gives them support of commentary and tips and pedagogical advice in front of an audience of parents and the general public. That way we hope to let the public in on the way jazz concepts are taught." 

Rounding out the two day event are separate stages that feature Mardi Gras inspired music, world beat, local jazz ensembles along with wine tasting.

Larry Luttinger says this year's festival will appeal to all of your senses.

The Northeast Wine and Jazz Fest is scheduled for the weekend of July 25th and 26th and will coincide with Syracuse ArtsWeek.  

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Interstate 81 Replacement
9:13 am
Wed June 25, 2014

New I-81 Replacement Plan Emerges on Eve of Public Meeting

The elevated portion of I-81 continues to be in focus with a new proposal, as well as a public meeting Thursday.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

  Just days before a public meeting about the replacement of I-81 through Syracuse, a closed door meeting was held today with local and State DOT Officials.  Senator John DeFrancisco brought in engineering plans provided by his constituents.  It calls for building a 1.2 mile tunnel with an overlapping boulevard. 

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Local News
6:36 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Peace Activists Help Residents Call Congress to Keep Military Out of Iraq

Amelia Lefevre is beside the phone booth set up for people to call congress and oppose military intervention in Iraq.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

Peace Activists set up a phone booth in downtown Syracuse today to allow people to call their congress members to keep the U.S. completely out of Iraq.  They oppose any military intervention there – even the limited involvement proposed by President Obama in response to the advances of Islamic militant groups.  Syracuse Peace Council Staff Organizer Amelia Lefevre continues to see a hunger for militarism in government leadership.

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