Scott Willis

Host, Reporter, Producer

I’ve always been enamored with the intimacy of radio.  It’s so personal.  It forces you to listen…and listen only.  No visual distractions.  I grew up listening to mostly top 40 radio in Detroit, with no shortage of entertaining DJ’s.  As a teenager, I discovered the area’s all news station.  I loved knowing what was going on, and the intensity with which they told stories.  I often wondered what it would be like to be the first to know what was happening, and then tell others.  Maybe that’s why I pursued a career in news. 

I would go on to serve as an intern at that all-news station, and it was amazing and maybe a little overwhelming to see what it took to put out a constant stream of news.  But something was missing.  It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I actually discovered Detroit’s public radio station at my alma mater.  What a difference!  You had time to write and tell engaging, meaningful stories, to be creative, all without the pressure to constantly crank out the news.  Quality over quantity.  That’s when I knew public radio was for me.  I was hooked.

I would hone my skills on and off for almost three years at WDET as an intern under the tutelage of a patient Assistant News Director. I produced daily stories for newscasts, but also was given the privilege of producing long-form features on topics that interested me, and that people knew very little about.  Now THAT was cool.  Right up my alley.  What budding reporter could ask for more?

I landed here in Syracuse in June 2001.  Today, I’ve come full circle, and now teach the craft to more than a dozen student reporters per week.  We work hard to choose informative stories, find the most engaging sound, and edit copy for clarity and accuracy. 

Outside of work, I spend time with my wife and little boy.  We like to take walks, travel, and read.  When I can, I’ll hop on my bike for a quick ride.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the honor and privilege of bringing WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners the news of the day during All Things Considered.  Thanks for listening.

Ways to Connect

Scott Willis / WAER News

In celebration of Earth Day, Central New Yorkers will have the chance on Saturday to visit more than 20 sites across Onondaga County to see how they’re using renewable energy.  We chose three of them and are starting with with a geothermal system underneath the pike block in downtown Syracuse.

President of IPD engineering Sam Cosamano walked through a series of doors to the mechanical room in the basement of the Witherell building.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Tina Serio still struggles to come to grips with the death of her younger sister more than a year ago at age 38.  At the same time, it warms her heart to know Dawn Woods saved several other lives because she donated her organs.

"One of her kidneys was transplanted into a 53-year-old man," Serio said.  "He's married, he's from New York, and has two children.  Her other kidney went to a woman who's 50 years old.  She waited three long years for a kidney."

Sophia Morris / WAER News

Hundreds of fans gathered at Driver’s Village Friday in support of republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.  Michael Skroupa was excited to hear Cruz address matters of foreign policy and military actions.

"I want to hear about what his plan is to deal with ISIS.  That's a growing problem that's destabilizing the region.  I also want to hear what he's going to do about Russian aggression  going on right now."

Scott Willis / WAER News

Sometimes the best things come in small packages. That’s certainly what the Director of Tiny Homes For Good, Andrew Lunetta believes as a wall goes up on one of his miniature houses for homeless veterans.

Volunteers have broken ground on two 300 square-foot homes on Rose Avenue in Syracuse.

Lunetta said although tiny homes have become a fad across the country, his homes are not a publicity stunt and are truly cost effective solutions to homelessness in Syracuse.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The City of Syracuse is preparing to embark on a new, proactive approach to repairing sections of its aging infrastructure.  It’s the primary focus of the city’s innovation, or I-team.   Council public works committee chair Helen Hudson looks at it this way.  

"This is the new innovative approach they're taking to try to identify the problems before they become real problems."

Chris McGlynn / WAER News

Hundreds of Central New Yorkers packed into Henninger Athletic Center at Le Moyne College Friday night to catch a glimpse of a Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich.  For some, it was a chance to find out a bit more about the Governor of Ohio.

“It will probably give me a new perspective into his policies and his ideals,” said college student Braden Lee before the event.

Facebook - Stephanie Miner

  Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner released her new budget proposal Friday. The proposal holds the line on property taxes, water, and sewer rates for the fiscal year, which begins July 1.

59 percent of the $706 million spending plan would go to the School District; the City would receive the remaining 41 percent. The plan needs $12.1 million in reserve funds to be balanced.

http://gelfny.org/

Syracuse advocates for renewable energy are urging Governor Cuomo to ramp up his efforts to reach a more sustainable New York. Mark Dunlea of the Green Education and Legal Fund says he is pleased that Cuomo recognizes climate change as a serious problem, but…

“Unfortunately, what he has proposed to date in terms of the state’s climate action agenda is not enough to really avoid catastrophic climate change.”

Scott Willis

Syracuse university and the City of Syracuse have reached a deal on a new five-year, $7 million service agreement that offsets the cost of city services to the university while also providing funding to adjacent neighborhoods.  Officials say the deal shows how the two entities are woven together.  SU Chancellor Kent Syverud says if there’s one thing that brings the university and community together, it’s successful sports teams.

Judgment in Housing Discrimination Case Raises Awareness of Ongoing Barriers

Apr 6, 2016
cnyfairhousing.org

Some Central New Yorkers with disabilities have been getting discriminated against when they look for a place to live.  Recently, a two year-old case was finalized when a judge sided with CNY Fair Housing.  A judge agreed that a caseworker was illegally asked by a rental property owner if her client had a disability. 

   Once the property owner found out the client was disabled, Executive Director Sally Santangelo says the case-worker was told the housing was no longer available.

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