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.


Since around 2012, a grassroots organization called Love Geneva has supported artistic and economic stability in the Geneva community. When the pandemic shut down the arts and most small businesses in March, Love Geneva sought to find a way to continue its effort. Kevin Dunn is founder of Love Geneva. He worked with Stomping Grounds to print and sell signs declaring Stay Strong Geneva.

The newly remodeled Red Dove Tavern & Market in Geneva, NY
Red Dove Tavern & Market

When the Red Dove Tavern in downtown Geneva opened in 2007, the owners were told they were missing something they would need to survive.

Stomping Grounds exterior
Stomping Grounds

As New York businesses navigate reopening following the statewide pause, I visited Bethany Haswell to find out what’s involved in operating a retail store during an active pandemic. Haswell owns Stomping Grounds, which has been open in downtown Geneva for a decade.

Protesters fill Geneva's Bicentennial Park Wedneday.
Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio


For the fourth day in a row, Genevans gathered peacefully in response to the killing of George Floyd and other black Americans at the hands of police.

Geneva protesters lay prone in the parking lot of the Public Safety Building Sunday night.
Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio

Several hundred people protested peacefully in Geneva Sunday night in memory of George Floyd and other black Americans who have been killed by police. 


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.

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