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.  

Ways to Connect

Chris Bolt/WAER News

People at all levels of the green power field are expressing confidence in the future of alternative energy.  But they also see a tremendous challenge if New York is going to reach its goal to have 50% of electricity from renewable sources by the year 2030.  David Mooney is Director at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.  He says most of the new generation of electricity is green.

 “In 4 of the last 5 years, new capacity additions, the majority have been wind and solar. 63% is the wind and solar, 66% here, and going back to 2012 where there’s 53%.”

Upstate.edu

Doctors are finding more autism and greater acceptance for people with the condition, but patients and families still face obstacles in getting treatment and support. Upstate Medical University held a symposium on autism as part of National Autism Awareness Month. Associate neuroscience professor at Upstate Frank Middleton is working on further developing tools for early diagnosis. However, he says there’s a crucial delay between warning signs and a full assessment. 

www.energy21symposium.org

The technology and the adoption of alternative energy have advanced greatly since the first Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century 13 years ago.  Director Rhea Jezer remembers the state of the industry then.

“It’s very exciting when I look back, what we were talking about then, where we went out and saw our first wind turbine and someone came and showed us what a solar panel was and everyone oohed-and-ahhed.  So in 13 years we’ve progressed a tremendous amount.”  

John Smith / WAER News

One of America’s leading environmentalists says it’s just not fair to push climate change impacts – or finding solutions – off onto the younger generations. Bill McKibben was keynote speaker today to launch Earth Week activities at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. McKibben calls it an honor to be speaking at ESF …and says young people are rallying to the cause. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The newly-approved state budget makes impacts on public schools, as well as the ability to continue through college.  But increased education aid still leaves questions for schools and students. 

Always controversial, overall state aid to school districts rose more than a $1 billion in the state’s spending plan.  New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Tim Kremer thinks the extra aid hits the right targets.

betobaccofree.hhs.gov

There’s growing momentum behind a measure that would increase the age to buy tobacco products to 21 in Onondaga County.   The legislation would target the 45 percent of tobacco users in Onondaga County who are between the ages of 18 and 24 in the hopes of curbing the addiction in that age group.  Christopher Owens is the Director for the Center for Tobacco Health Systems at Saint Joseph’s Hospital, one of at least six members of a new workgroup pushing the measure.  He says New York State is already hitting the issue from all sides.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A couple of recent developments might make it more likely that electric cars start showing up in people’s driveways.  New York just started a rebate program (details below) that Joe LaMuraglia, Regional Chevrolet Communications Manager, says will open more eyes to the gas-free cars.

WAER Archive

Advocates in here in Syracuse and in New York State are standing behind refugees and immigrants against policy statements from Washington. In the wake of Attorney General Sessions’ threat to cut funding from sanctuary cities, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is holding firm, even after a threat by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to cut funds from sanctuary cities.

Mark Rupert

About 400 people showed up at a Town Hall on Preserving Democracy to share opinions and ask questions of Congress Member John Katko – who wasn’t there. 

People voiced concerns about health care and not wanting a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, about funding for Planned Parenthood and family planning services, about climate change and other environmental concerns, about education, and about honesty of the President.

Chris Bolt / WAER News

The same day courts consider the legality of President Trump’s latest Travel Ban, an Upstate New York case saw a woman facing deportation.  Workers advocates see it as an example of what’s wrong with the trend in immigration policy.


Pages