ALBANY - Park Playhouse has, in recent years, earned a reputation for offering musicals that were a bit dark, kind-of daring and always entertaining.  Works like “Ragtime,” “Chicago” and “Cabaret” built a reputation for Park Playhouse as the summer place to see challenging theater.  Better yet, many seats are offered free of charge in the Washington Park outdoor space.

North Adams, Massachusetts has its first new mayor in almost a decade. After his 2017 election victory, Tom Bernard took office in January — just around the time skydiving business owner and convicted rapist Alex Kelly’s bid to lease space at the North Adams airport began to make waves at the city’s airport commission meetings. In the wake of the controversy surrounding Kelly’s involvement with the public airport — which culminated in the city leasing him space at June’s commission meeting —  residents have raised questions about management of the facility and the city’s role in shaping the decision-making around it. The commission is due to meet again on Tuesday. In a conversation with WAMC Landes, Mayor Bernard says one of his first moves regarding the airport was to install two new members to its commission: Dean Bullett and Mark Morandi.

Paul Caiano

NewsChannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the regional midday weather summary for Sunday, July 15, 2018.

UVM Medical Center nurses' union announce intent to strike
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Nurses at Vermont's largest hospital are back on the job after a two-day strike.

a no smoking no vaping sign

The largest city in western Massachusetts to moving to restrict vaping in public places.

Ralph Gardner Jr: Labor Is A Form Of Worship

Jul 14, 2018
Columbia County Historical Society’s "Shaker Baskets from the Shaker Museum"
Ralph Gardner Jr.

It’s typically the objects not the wall text that catch the eye at an art exhibition. But a few words at the start of the Columbia County Historical Society’s new show of Shaker Baskets from the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon resonated with me.

A film crew working in downtown Albany in 2016.
Ian Pickus

Roads will be closed, cars will be racing through city streets, and there may even be a shootout next week in downtown Albany. But don’t be alarmed — it’s all part of a television shoot by the ABC network. Albany will host a week of filming starting at 6 a.m. Monday until the scheduled wrap time Saturday evening. For more on what to expect, WAMC’s Ian Pickus spoke with Albany Film Commissioner Deb Goedeke.

Paul Caiano

NewsChannel 13 Meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the regional midday weather summary for Saturday, July 14, 2018.

Democrats that ran unsuccessfully for their party’s nomination in New York’s 21st Congressional District are turning their attention to the state legislature.


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          A federally-funded $500,000 renovation project has been completed at a park in the North End neighborhood of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

A Capital Region hospital and healthcare network will remain independent after a two-year review.

The Albany Police Department is investigating another shooting death as a rash in violent crime continues.

(Airs 7/13/18 @ 10 p.m.) The Legislative Gazette is a weekly program about New York State Government and politics. On this week’s Gazette: Governor Cuomo rails against the President’s choice for US Supreme Court, our political observer Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the ripple effect of the President’s Supreme Court nominee in New York, and we’ll report on the impact of tariffs on paper upstate.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

New York state is selling nearly $10 million in pension investments in two companies that operate private prisons and detention facilities.  Democratic state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli approved the divestments Thursday for Florida-based GEO Group and Tennessee-based CoreCivic.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The second set of corruption convictions of former associates of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has renewed calls to reform  the governor’s multibillion dollar economic development program that was at the heart of the bribery and bid-rigging cases. Cuomo says the problem has already been fixed.

NY U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in Troy
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

New York U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in Troy this afternoon to announce new legislation aimed at making prescription drugs for older Americans more affordable.

Garett Argianas' Evening Forecast

Jul 13, 2018

Meteorologist Garett Argianas delivers the evening weather forecast for Friday, July 13, 2018.

Greg Haymes
Times Union

WAMC's Brian Shields speaks with Nippertown's Greg Haymes about his July music selections.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's adminstration released a study Friday that finds the state could benefit by legalizing marijuana.

wikipedia commons/Takeaway

Dora Swan and Rob Handel of fin: your fishmonger in Guilderland, New York join Food Friday to discuss seafood grilling. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

Dr. Alain Kaloyeros and Rensselaer Mayor Dan Dwyer.

It took a federal jury in New York City only 13 hours of deliberation over two days to return guilty verdicts in the latest state government corruption trial in New York. Former SUNY Poly leader Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, once the major force behind the Cuomo administration's upstate economic development programs, was found guilty of a bid-rigging scheme that steered state contracts to favored companies in Buffalo and Syracuse. Several co-defendants were also convicted. Rob Gavin, who covered the trial for the Albany Times Union, says while Gov. Cuomo has not been accused of any wrongdoing, his name did come up, along with his former top aide Joseph Percoco, who was convicted of corruption earlier this year.

Western Electric Model 5302 telephone
ProhibitOnions / Public Domain - Wikimedia Commons

It's time to hear what our listeners had to say. Here are this week's highlights from the WAMC Listener Comment Line. 

Paul Caiano's Midday Forecast

Jul 13, 2018
Paul Caiano

Newschannel 13 meteorologist Paul Caiano delivers the Midday Weather Summary for Friday, July 13, 2018.

After months of contentious debate, the Pittsfield School Committee on Wednesday doubled down on its decision to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the public school calendar.

Ann Harada is best known for the musical "Avenue Q," in which she originated the role of Christmas Eve, the heavily accented Japanese therapist who had such winning numbers as "The More You Ruv Someone" and "Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist."

She has also starred on Broadway in "Les Miz," "Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella" and TV’s "Smash." She is at The Williamstown Theatre Festival starring in Douglas Carter Beane’s “The Closet” as Brenda, the office worker nobody quite likes or trusts but who is always ready to launch into a show tune.


   A contract has been finalized that will put Springfield in line to be the first big city in Massachusetts with police officers wearing body cameras.

Jessica Hecht was last seen on Broadway in Arthur Miller’s "The Price." Before that she starred as Golda in "Fiddler on the Roof" and was in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of "The Assembled Parties." She was nominated for a Tony Award for her role in "A View From the Bridge."

She was at Williamstown Theatre Festival last season to star in "The Clean House" with Jayne Atkinson and returns this season in "The Closet," where she plays Pat Pennebarry, Martin O'Reilley's (Matthew Broderick) only friend and eternally optimistic co-worker -- who can’t bake enough muffins to stave off her romantic longings for him.

We speak with Hecht about "The Closet," doing comedy, and The Campfire Project which uses the power of theater and Shakespeare to provide Syrian Refugees in Camp Ristona with an outlet to exercise imagination and express their humanity.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

It's been a busy month so far for Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas sat down with the mayor at city hall.

Matthew Broderick will forever be linked to the cinematic classic of 1986, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." However, before doing that at age 24 – he had already won a Tony Award for Neil Simon’s "Brighton Beach Memoirs" and had starred in Simon’s follow-up "Biloxi Blues." All of this after making his stage debut in Harvey Fierstein’s "Torch Song Trilogy."

Now, Broderick stars in this world premiere comedy by Douglas Carter Beane, "The Closet," as Martin O’Reilly who is stuck in Scranton, PA in a dead-end job at a religious supply company, his marriage is over, and his son won’t return his calls. Then a stranger, played by Tony nominee Brooks Ashmanskas, sashays into his world and drags Martin and everyone around him out of their respective closets.

"The Closet" runs through Saturday night on the Main Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.