WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Kelly Walker

Morning Edition Host

Kelly Walker started his public radio career at WBAA in West Lafayette, Indiana in 1985 and has spent some time in just about every role public broadcasting has to offer. He has spent substantive time in programming and development at KWMU in St. Louis, WFIU in Bloomington, Indiana, and Troy Public Radio in Alabama before his arrival in Geneva, New York. In addition, his work has been heard on many other public radio stations as well as NPR. Kelly also produces The Sundilla Radio Hour, which airs Sundays at 1 p.m. on Finger Lakes Public Radio and is distributed to public radio stations all over the country through PRX.


With performance spaces due to be some of the final businesses to reopen from the New York State pause, many continue to find ways to reach their audiences virtually, online.

Like many theatres, The Smith Opera House has been hosting music performances, which they release as videos on social media. But, they’ve also made one of their popular attractions available online as well.


One business that has seen significant growth during the coronavirus pandemic is sales of alcoholic beverages. In New York state, restrictions on carry out and delivery of alcohol sales have been relaxed significantly during stay-at-home orders. But, easier access along with the stress of social isolation may lead to people having problems with alcohol.

Fox Run Vineyards

Another long standing summer event in the Finger Lakes has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This was to have been the 28th year that Fox Run Vineyards hosted its Glorious Garlic Festival. But, out of an abundance of caution and with the safety of their customers, vendors, and employees their top priority, the event has been cancelled for 2020 along with the annual Town Pants concert. Scott Osborn is president and co-owner of Fox Run Vineyards. He said they made the decision sooner rather than later so that none of the 13 to 14 thousand people who attend make plans that they have to cancel at the last minute. And, Osborn wanted to give the vendors plenty of notice.

Red Tail Ridge Winery

During the coronavirus pandemic, food insecurity has become a top of mind issue across the country. Food banks are facing unprecedented demand as the economy has ground to a halt. 

For one Finger Lakes winery, a commitment meeting the challenge of food insecurity has been a part of their business all along. Red Tail Ridge Winery on Seneca Lake produces around 9,000 cases annually. Their largest volume wine is an estate Riesling called Good Karma. The name is appropriate. For ten years, 10-percent of the profit from every bottle goes back to a food bank in the state where it’s sold.

This year’s Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance was to have been a celebration of the event’s 30th Anniversary. Now, the party will have to wait until 2021.


The City of Geneva is making changes to a grant program to provide support to small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

NYS Homes and Community Renewal (NYS HCR) has approved a plan for the city to utilize a portion of its 2020 Microenterprise Assistance Program (MAP) to assist the businesses in the city who have been negatively impacted by stay-at-home orders. The new Small Business Disaster Grant Program will provide funding to pay operating expenses. Up to $10,000 be available over a 3 month period.


In mid-March, all kinds of products started disappearing from store shelves in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic. One of the items that was in immediate short supply was hand sanitizer. That’s when upstate distillers realized they could put their expertise to use in creating the product, which is a vital need for healthcare professionals. When they had questions about reconfiguring their businesses to meet the need, they turned to Cornell AgriTech in Geneva.

Artist Edisa Weeks at a recent Roots Party
Rebecca Fitton

Edisa Weeks is a multi-disciplinary artist currently in residence with Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Dance Department. She is on campus performing and presenting workshops. And, she’s creating the components of a future performance.

  “I'm in the process of making one thousand eight hundred and sixty five roots out of paper and twine. 1865 represents the last year of legalized chattel slavery in America and it's for a performance installation that I'm doing and which I'll be performing in March of 2020 on liberty.”

 

Senator Chuck Schumer with wine industry representatives and local officials
Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio

Senator Schumer joined several Finger Lakes wine makers as well as local officials and industry representatives at Fox Run Vineyards in Yates County. To produce canned wine, Finger Lakes wineries have to deal with regulations from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Senator Schumer says the regulations are outdated and burdensome to the industry.

HWS President Dr. Joyce Jacobsen
Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Joyce Jacobsen’s tenure as the president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges began Monday morning. She comes to HWS from Wesleyan University in Connecticut where she was Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. Jacobsen is an economist with degrees from Harvard, the London School of Economics, and Stanford University. And, so I asked her why an interest in administration rather than a life spent on research and in the classroom.

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