Upstate Issues with WGY's Diane Donato

Upstate Issues with WGY's Diane Donato

WGY's Diane Donato presents the important issues facing New York's Capital Region.

Episodes

December 8, 2022 15 min
In August of 2022 the Pact Act was passed. It expands health care benefits for veterans exposed to a variety of toxic substances. Now the Stratton V.A. is conducting outreach to help identify veterans who have may have been exposed, and to inform them about the expanded coverage. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Diane Donato talks about the Pact Act with Peter Potter, Public Affairs Director, Albany Stratton VA Medical Center, an...
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Opportunities abound for coders, web designers, and software developers but many people don’t realize they have the aptitude to pursue those kinds of careers. The growing need for training for coders and developers has led to growth for CanCode Communities. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Diane Donato talks with CanCode founder Annmarie Lanesey about how locally, statewide, and nationally, careers in web and app development are ...
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More than two-and-a-half million high school and middle school students are vaping, with many of them attracted to the sweet, fruity flavors that are offered. That’s according to a report from the CDC. A local group is trying to educate parents and community members about the risks of vaping. Tim Murdick, President of the Nopiates Committee says many parents don’t realize how easy it is for kids to buy and hide vaping materials.  I...
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Helping to keep our roads safe in New York involves the work of over 400 Drug Recognition Experts. In this episode of Upstate Issue, Diane Donato talks with New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Deputy Commissioner Owen McShane about the intensive training that is involved for officers to become Drug Recognition Experts and how they then work with law enforcement throughout the state to help identify drivers who have been ope...
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Securing childcare is one of the major hurdles for working parents, especially when children are young. Recent changes in eligibility for aid have made many more New York families able to get financial assistance to pay for care for their children but many families remain unaware that they can get help. Many other families don’t know how to go about applying. Schenectady County Cares is a new online portal that helps families ge...
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September 23, 2022 10 min
The City of Troy has been bringing some unique recycling opportunities to its residents, such as the Pumpkin Smash, curbside composting, and string-lights recycling. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Diane Donato talks with Naomi Pitkin, the Recycling Specialist for the City of Troy about efforts to connect with the community about ways to get involved in recycling efforts.
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Be it a home fire, a hurricane, or other natural disaster, the American Red Cross responds with food, shelter, and other resources necessary to stabilize families and communities. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Diane Donato talks with American Red Cross Senior Disaster Program Manager Josh Moskowitz about the services the Red Cross provides. Moskowitz has years of experience responding to disasters and says there are specific a...
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For 25 years, a local group has been supporting area students achieve their dreams of graduating from college. 518 ElevatED, formally known as Capital Region Sponsor-a-Scholar, provides mentorship to students at Albany, Schenectady, and Troy High schools.  The program requires students meet weekly at school and at least once a month with a volunteer mentor. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Diane Donato talks with Laura Marx Presi...
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Public libraries have long been community centers providing avenues to a better life through shared learning resources. Now, a number of libraries in our region are finding creative solutions to expand community access to internet services. According to the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, in New York State nearly 27% of households do not subscribe to broadband at home. This is often due to the high cost of service but i...
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As attitudes continue to evolve around mental health and dealing with trauma, first responders are being offered several new tools to help them cope with the many demands of their jobs. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Diane Donato talks with Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple about new approaches to help all first responder agencies in New York State recover from the stresses of their jobs. He speaks candidly about how witnessi...
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As a nation and locally we are having a lot of dialogue about aspects of dealing with mental health issues. One of the topics we are trying to get better at is de-escalating when someone is having a problem. Another of the topics has to do with a scarcity of mental health services and providers. The Living Room is a unique program located in the Ellis Health Center in Schenectady, with Alyssa Starrantino as the Psychiatry Superv...
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Step one: Just show up. That’s the advice William Rivas gives to people who are looking to improve their communities. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Rivas talks about what inspired him to take action and how he navigates his passion for making the City of Schenectady and the neighborhood he grew up in a better place for everyone. Rivas has made a lot of progress bringing together other institutions and community members to get ...
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A club that served the needs of children is closing in Albany because of the violence that surrounds it. Pastor Charlie Muller of Victory Church says it was a difficult decision to close the JC Club but they could no longer ensure the safety of workers or the children coming there for programs. For 20 years the club fed kids and helped them with their homework at 498 1st Street in Albany. In recent years the building has been s...
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A local group is well on their way with an ambitious plan to create the Capital Region Veterans Memorial in Glenville. The 6-acre site will be developed to offer a serene setting complete with a pond and will also feature the Legacy Project. The Legacy Project will include a Welcome Center and Veteran’s Café. In this episode of Upstate Issues, board member Ginny Barr talks about where the idea for the project came from and the h...
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Individuals and families who are dealing with mental health issues are about to have a new tool to help them when a crisis arises. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Diane Donato talks with Matthew Shapiro, Director of Public Affairs, National Alliance for Mental Health New York State about the new 9-8-8 Mental Health Crisis Line which will debut in June. Shapiro says not only will this bring comfort to people and families when t...
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Every year in increasing numbers, veterans are launching their own businesses in the Capital Region. Many of them have benefited from an initial boost through the Boots to Business program. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Diane Donato talks with Boots to Business instructor Emil Baker, who is also the owner of Big Moose Deli and Country Store. Also joining in the conversation is Boots to Business graduate Sean Dion, who is no...
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In this episode of Upstate Issues, James Globe, Vice President of Operations, Center for Internet Security talks about some of the cyber attacks schools have endured and how they can help before and after bad actors target schools.
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A local homeless shelter is under increased scrutiny as a community weighs the benefits it provides against its proximity to an elementary school. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Perry Jones, Executive Director of the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany talks about the services it provides, which are many. The Mission provides daily hot meals, beds for the homeless, transitional housing, a food pantry, free clothing and job an...
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Mental Health issues are something people are becoming much more comfortable talking about, but at the Charlton School in Burnt Hills, the discussion had already been going on for decades. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Alex Capo, LMHC, Executive Director at The Charlton School talks about the school’s individualized approach to helping young women cope with mental health issues while readying them for life after high school. ...
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A new community space and sensory gym designed with a neurodiverse population in mind, is about to open on Fuller Road in Colonie. In this episode of Upstate Issues, Lisa Audi, and her daughter Carabelle, talk about why she decided to open Bring on the Spectrum and her mission to offer social, recreational and lifestyle activities for individuals of all ages and abilities. Audi talks about what will be offered in the gym and her go...
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