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Inside the Finger Lakes

Inside the Finger Lakes

By Inside the FLX
Telling stories through conversation. Digging deeper into politics, education, social issues — and even journalism — to inform the community better. Hosted by Josh Durso the show is recorded in the heart of Upstate New York.
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#246: Mental Health Services For Youth Amid Pandemic
This week we connect with Bob Ritter from Seneca County to discuss the various mental health programs that are available to young people. The Coronavirus Pandemic has elevated anxiety, and uncertainty around back to school has created even more of it. He talks about programming, process, and new digital resources for those looking to connect with help or find out what's available in Seneca County.
August 7, 2020
#245: Chris Clemens On Exploring Upstate During A Pandemic
This week we explore the inner-workings of the Exploring Upstate blog with Chris Clemens, the founder and author behind it all. Chris has been on the program before, but since we're in truly unusual times -- and local travel is being encouraged to help local economies survive during the pandemic -- bringing him in was a no brainer. We discussed pandemic life, the future of travel -- local and otherwise -- and so much more.
July 24, 2020
#244: Animal Shelters During Coronavirus Pandemic
What changed at local animal shelters during the Coronavirus Pandemic? The answer is a lot. To discuss those changes, how it impacted operatoin, and what's next for shelters as they look at continuing adoption through multiple methods we caught up with Dianne Faas. She's the shelter manager at the Happy Tails Animal Shelter in Ontario County.
July 17, 2020
#243: Jennifer Lake, CEO of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes
When Jennifer Lake took on the role as CEO of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes -- she like many other leaders -- did not see a pandemic on the way. Few people did. However, while her role hasn't evolved a ton, the work she does every day to keep Goodwill running in the Finger Lakes region, and expanded coverage area that the district covers has been extra important amid the pandemic. Goodwill stores operate as a staple in local communities, and while the pandemic may slow down growth and expansion -- Lake remains optimistic about the organization's future. Today on the show we're joined by Jennifer Lake. She walks us through the transition into her role, and what Goodwill is working toward amid the pandemic.
July 12, 2020
#242: Michael Warren Thomas Talks Changes To Savor Life
For more than two decades Michael Warren Thomas has been a staple on regional radio. His series 'Savor Life' focuses on gardening, the Finger Lakes, food, wine, and more. For years, his program was run exclusively on WYSL. However, after a string of unsettling posts to social media by the radio station - he took his show to an exclusively digital platform. Now, his show is online at Check it out and be sure to check out our conversation with Michael about the move, life, and some of the things he's learned about the Finger Lakes and Western New York over his years on the air.
July 5, 2020
#240: Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo talks Auburn City School District
What's next for school districts across New York State? That's the question administrators like Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo are considering as they stare down uncertainty in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. He leads the Auburn City School District and was in-studio talking about prospective plans for his schools, and how students and faculty could be impacted.
June 23, 2020
#239: Ann Marie Heizmann for New York State Assembly
Ann Marie Heizmann has spent a large chunk of her time in recent years advocating on behalf of local farmers. And while ordinary circumstances would have made that a hot topic during this year's campaign process in the Republican Primary for New York State Assembly in the 131st District -- this year has been anything but ordinary. Heizmann sits down with Josh Durso to discuss the issues ahead of that primary contest.  
June 21, 2020
#238: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester CEO Lisa Mattoon
As the Coronavirus Pandemic impacts more-and-more events, one organization that covers Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, and Yates counties has kept going. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester serves a large part of the Finger Lakes, and CEO Lisa Mattoon joins us for an important conversation about the work they do. Listen, watch, and subscribe today.
June 17, 2020
#237: U.S. SBA Mid Atlantic Region Administrator Steve Bulger
Are small businesses being helped? The answer is a resounding 'yes' for Steve Bulger, who serves as U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Admin for the Mid Atlantic region. He joined Josh Durso for an at-length conversation about the program, its effectiveness, and what's next for small businesses. 
May 15, 2020
#236: Wells College Might Close This Year
Last week Wells College President Dr. Jonathan Gibralter published a stunning letter, which left the college- and regional community in shock. It simply said: If students cannot return on-campus this fall - Wells College will not survive. He assumed the presidency in 2015; and it's safe to say that this letter was the most-significant of his tenure. What's next for Wells College?  Is this an indicator about what’s coming for private colleges across Upstate New York? Those questions and so many more were addressed during an exclusive conversation Dr. Gibralter had with about the future of one of the most-important institutions in higher education.
May 13, 2020
#235: NYSEG, RG&E President Carl Taylor on COVID-19 Pandemic Response
While New York State Gas and Electric, or NYSEG, and Rochester Gas & Electric, or RG&E, have received a lot of headline attention for their charitable contributions to local and regional food banks - their response to the Coronavirus Pandemic has been among the more interesting. President Carl Taylor spoke with about that response effort, both from operations and community giving standpoint. He noted that while people have been at home, usage has remained balanced throughout most of Upstate New York. However, as part of their response to COVID-19 - both NYSEG and RG&E took steps to ensure customer, worker, and community safety. Listen to the entire conversation below, and look for more of this conversation later this week on The Daily Debrief.
May 12, 2020
#234: Steve Keeler discusses future of media amid layoffs
This week on Inside the FLX a conversation with Steve Keeler. He leads the school of media and arts at Cayuga Community College in Auburn, New York. The conversation was wide-ranging, but included discussion about the future of the news business, as layoffs and furloughs make headlines of their own. Check it out here or on
April 30, 2020
#233: Mike Woloson talks Finger Lakes Works amid pandemic
The Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board, or Finger Lakes Works for short, is contending with some of the biggest questions the region faces moving forward. In particular, they are wrestling with questions about workforce makeup following the pandemic. As the economy reopens and people go back to work, Michael Woloson, who serves as Business Services Coordinator for the organization is working to help all parties involved. Today on the show, a conversation with Woloson, about FLW's efforts, and what the regional economy might look like after the pandemic.
April 25, 2020
#232: Steve Zielinski talks schools after pandemic
South Seneca Superintendent Stephen Parker Zielinski is looking at ways to keep his district whole after this pandemic. It's already become clear that a major funding loss is en route. So, the district is working to understand what comes next. Here is our full-conversation with Zielinski as he outlines response to the pandemic, and what comes next.
April 24, 2020
#231: Peter Mantius on environmental headlines
Today on Inside the FLX a conversation with Peter Mantius. He founded The Water Front Online, which is dedicated to reporting on environmental issues in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Western New York, and Upstate New York at-large. This week, Mantius gives an update on the four biggest environmental stories of 2020, with the context of a global pandemic, which paints a picture about how some of these issues could be handled - or shelved - in the coming months.
April 22, 2020
April 22: Rural Schools Stare Down Pandemic Crisis
How are schools going to function moving forward? Stephen Parker Zielinski is the superintendent of schools at South Seneca. It's a smaller, rural district, and we wanted to catch up to ask him about potential budget cuts, navigating a pandemic on limited staffing, and what some of his expectations were moving forward. While he said the plans in place right now, to not only educate - but feed students are sustainable - they only stay that way if state and federal aid comes through. And if it doesn't? Zielinski says it will be a very challenging day.
April 22, 2020
#230: Matt Miller works and campaigns through pandemic
This week on Inside the FLX, our full-conversation with New York State Assembly Candidate Matt Miller. The Canandaigua resident is a frontline worker during the pandemic - working at a local wine store - and has maintained his effort to be elected in the 131st. That district has been controlled by Republicans, namely Assemblyman Brian Kolb for much of the last three decades. Miller is optimistic that his experiences - even through the pandemic - align with the district, and voters who are eager for change.
April 15, 2020
#229: Leslie Danks Burke campaigning in 58th amid pandemic
When Leslie Danks Burke set out to run for New York State Senate in the 58th District she could not have imagined what this campaign would look like. Even the most-astute politicians have been thrown for a loop by the Coronavirus pandemic. Traditional campaigning has been turned into virtual town hall events -- conducted over Zoom or Skype. Door-to-door petitioning was shut down as it became clear that the Coronavirus was too much of a risk to have face-to-face contact. And now, primaries and special elections have been pushed to June. That said, there's an even greater need now for candidates to connect with voters -- to learn more about the things they're concerned about. The economy has been ground to a halt, jobless claims are in the hundreds-of-thousands in New York alone, and the healthcare system at-large was left unprepared for a crisis of this magnitude.  Listen to her full-appearance on Inside the FLX below.
April 5, 2020
#228: American history in Auburn, New York
The Seward House in Auburn, New York is an historic landmark. It's a space that serves a major role in local history, as well as American history. The Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19 has made running a museum and local landmark a challenge, but those who carry on the legacy haven't given up. Jeff Ludwig, who leads the educational effort at the facility catches up with Josh Durso on Inside the FLX to discuss it all.
April 4, 2020
#227: Mark Palmieri talks Coronavirus shutdown
It is truly rare for an entire economy to stop. Except that is essentially what we’ve seen in response to the Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19. The pandemic that started in China, spread to other European countries like Italy with devastating result — is now putting an intense burden on the U.S. healthcare system. Hospitals are stressed, supplies are running low, and in an effort to stop ‘the wave’ from capsizing hospitals — Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump have issued a mixed bag of guidelines and expectations. Among those, the shuttering of all non-essential businesses for the foreseeable future. This week, we explore the reality of shutting down entire industries — and look at the prospect of small business surviving in a post-COVID world. Mark Palmieri, who has led the Geneva BID, or Business Improvement District for the last several years — talks about what he’s heard from business owners, and what they hope to see in the coming weeks.
March 20, 2020
#226: Michael Kracker from Unshackle Upstate
Michael Kracker has been leading the business advocacy group Unshackle Upstate for several years. He's been a guest on Inside the FLX before, and this week, he's in the Studio for another conversation.  On Episode #226 Kracker discusses the 2020 proposals, the budget process, and so much more. 
March 12, 2020
#225: Loretta Sanchet and Ann-Marie Buerkle reflect on careers in Congress
On this special roundtable edition of "Inside the FLX" former Congresswomen Loretta Sanchet and Ann-Marie Buerkle reflect upon their careers in Congress as women, discuss how to act in bipartisan fashion when addressing abortion and reproductive rights and weigh-in on the female candidates that once comprised the 2020 Democratic Primary field inside the WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio studio in Geneva. 
March 10, 2020
#222: Cindy Wade for NYS Assembly
Former Canandaigua City Councilor Cindy Wade has entered the race for the 131st District. The Republican is looking to succeed longtime Assemblyman and former Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, who announced his retirement earlier this year. On Episode #222 of the Inside the FLX podcast Wade gives us some insight into her run, and what issues are most-important to her.
March 5, 2020
#224: Casey McDonald for Congress (NY-23)
Casey McDonald is running for Congress. At least that's the goal. For the last several months he's been working to help residents understand the choice they have as petitions go out. If he can secure enough, he will challenge Rep. Tom Reed in June's primary.
March 5, 2020
#221: John Kane of "Let's Talk Native" talks latest on Cayuga Nation
John Kane, the host of “Let’s Talk Native,” the only native program in Western New York spoke with on episode #221 of “Inside the FLX.” During the conversation, Kane confirmed circulating rumors that the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Grand Council has decided to call-out for an estimated 30 to 40 Onondaga Nation men to descend upon Seneca Falls in the aftermath of the violent brawl last Saturday. With possibly even more on the way from Mohawk communities in Canada, the governing body of the Grand Council comprising of 50 chiefs has sought to mobilize men to reach Cayuga Nation territory. In this conversation, Kane also candidly points out the key players and stakes that are at play in this longstanding conflict, not only between the Cayuga Nation factions but even among other tribal nations including the Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk.
March 3, 2020
#220: Gabriel Galanda weighs in on Cayuga Nation conflict
On episode #220 of the Inside the FLX podcast Gabriel Galanda, the managing lawyer of Galanda Broadman, an Indigenous rights law firm stationed out of Seattle, Washington weighs in on the latest chapter of the longstanding Cayuga Nation faction conflict. Last week, a hostile takeover included destruction of several buildings along State Route 89 in the town of Seneca Falls. Galanda called the actions of Cayuga Nation leadership unprecedented. Reporter Gabriel Pietrorazio leads the conversation in this exclusive to
February 28, 2020
#219: Jeff Gallahan for New York State Assembly
Manchester Town Supervisor Jeff Gallahan was the first Republican to enter the race to succeed longtime Assemblyman Brian Kolb in the 131st District. On episode #219 of the Inside the FLX podcast, he goes in-depth on the issues, as we take a closer look at his campaign to represent the heart of the Finger Lakes in Albany.
February 28, 2020
#218: Vinnie Esposito of Empire State Development
On Thursday Vincent Esposito, Finger Lakes Regional Director of Empire State Development was in-studio ahead of a State of the State address scheduled in Seneca Falls. The discussion focused on economic development, rural communities in the Finger Lakes, success stories in recent years, as well as the areas most-needing improving as the state continues on its mission to develop local economies in a meaningful way.
February 27, 2020
#217: Scott Comegys for New York State Assembly
On episode #217 of Inside the FLX it's a closer look at another New York State Assembly contest in the Finger Lakes. This one, which is shaping up in the 130th District, where Democrat Scott Comegys is looking to challenge Republican Brian Manktelow, an incumbent from Lyons. He discusses his campaign, the big issues, and how he feels voters in Wayne and Cayuga counties should be represented.
February 25, 2020
#216: Jeff Shipley for New York State Assembly
Jeff Shipley is running for New York State Assembly. The president and CEO of the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce announced his candidacy on February 18th and since then, has been actively campaigning ahead of the petition signing process. Shipley visited the Studio to discuss his campaign, the issues he feels most-important for the region, and how he would legislate if selected by Republican voters in June's primary.
February 21, 2020
#214: Dr. Scott Noren for NY-23
On Episode #214 of Inside the FLX it's a conversation with Congressional Candidate Dr. Scott Noren. He says political parties and affiliation should not be the primary driving force in the electoral process - rather representation should take center stage. He's looking to elevate the profile of the Southern Tier through his candidacy. Watch the interview here.
February 20, 2020
#215: Funding nightmare in Auburn
Board of Education VP Joe Sheppard and Board Member Ian Phillips talk Auburn Enlarged City School District finances, as New York continues to hold out funding.
February 20, 2020
#213: Supervisor Lou Guard on Ontario County's landfill, economy, and future
Ontario County is battling odors from the landfill located along 5&20, but that's hardly the only issue impacting life in the middle of the Finger Lakes. This week on Inside the FLX, we go in-depth on some of the most-pressing issues with Supervisor Lou Guard. He represents part of the city of Geneva on the Ontario County Board of Supervisors.
February 17, 2020
#212: Matt Miller for NYS Assembly District 131
This week on Episode #212 of the Inside the FLX podcast - Matthew Miller is in-studio. He's talking about his campaign for Assembly District #131 after the announcement that Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) would not seek another term this fall. The young challenger is taking a broad approach to politics, and working to bring new voices into state policy.
February 14, 2020
#211: Finger Lakes Birding Festival
There's an exciting event taking shape in Cayuga County. It's a first for the region, but organizers hope that the Finger Lakes Birding Festival will become a staple in a region ripe with festivals from spring to winter. This week on Inside the FLX we dive into the details of the inaugural event, which is slated for March 26th - 29th. Montezuma Audubon Center Director Christopher Lajewski was in-studio alongside Sterling Nature Center Director Jim D'Angelo and Karen Kuhl, from Cayuga County's Office of Tourism to discuss the implications of this exciting event.
February 6, 2020
#210: ARC merger leads to big changes in Finger Lakes
This week on Inside the FLX Allen Connely, CEO of the newly-named MOZAIC (formerly known as the Cayuga-Seneca ARC and Yates ARC) is in-studio discussing the merger that brought on the new name. He talks about the work that went into the change, and how it’s impacting the services provided by the organization.
January 24, 2020
#209: Local impact of the Finger Lakes Land Trust
What does the Finger Lakes Land Trust do? That's a question the newsroom has gotten a number of times over the years. This week a conversation with Andy Zepp. He's the executive director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust, who works as a conservation advocate in the region. The Land Trust was founded in 1989 to protect forests, farmlands, gorges, and shorelines in the Finger Lakes region of New York. It has grown to save more than 23,576 acres across the state by creating public nature preserves, and helping landowners to conserve their properties.
January 16, 2020
#207: Port 100 helps change what economic development looks like in Finger Lakes
Earlier this month it was announced that around $30,000 had been secured in funding through Ontario County Economic Development for Port 100, a co-working space in downtown Geneva, which had seen its public funding disappear unceremoniously after a decision by last year's City Council. Maureen Ballatori, who runs the facility, as well as her own marketing agency out of the co-work space is going to be in-studio discussing the changes, and what 2020 has in store for one of Geneva's most-exciting ventures.
January 16, 2020
#208: Women March in Seneca Falls
This weekend organizers hope thousands turn out again, like in past years, to celebrate inclusion and inspire conversations. Women March in Seneca Falls 2020 is an event that will span three days this year, compared to the single-day event, which it has been in the past. While a march will be the major draw, several other important events are scheduled throughout. To learn more about the event, click here. Susan Scheuerman was in-studio to discuss all of it on Inside the FLX.
January 15, 2020
#206: More Solar Investment in Geneva
Last month Ryan and Tracey Wallace outlined plans for a $20 million project in the town of Geneva. It would be placed on Carter Road, on property owned by the Wallace's, and would account for some- $20 million worth of new investment at the site. The project would be another solar village, much like the one in downtown Geneva, and according to Ryan, is exciting because it would produce as much energy as it uses.
January 3, 2020
#205: Leadership & Changing Views
Kristen Fragnoli has been on a journey for many, many years. Her goal has been to inspire other people, and this past fall - she had the opportunity to showcase the best-of-the-best in leadership qualities. A conference she held, which we previewed on the show in September - was a huge success. Nearly 200 attended, and it was described as a transformative experience for everyone involved. She came back as 2019 draws to a close to talk about the biggest moments of the day, as well as her personal journey.
December 23, 2019
#204: Courageous Beauty Studios Launches on YouTube
What is Courageous Beauty? Well, for one local organization - it represents something it believes in at its core. It also happens to represent a digital strategy that has proven successful. The 'Courageous Beauty' YouTube Channel was launched by Kylie Allen, as part of the Family Hope Center of Geneva's digital initiative to find teens where they spend a lot of time. Check out the channel here, and listen to Allen's conversation with Josh Durso of on this week's episode of Inside the FLX. 
December 21, 2019
#203: Swing Beds Improve Outcomes
This week on Inside the FLX Maureen Loyal and Katie DeMitry sit down to discuss the Swing Bed Program at Soldiers & Sailors Hospital in Penn Yan. The program built by Finger Lakes Health is an effort to improve patient outcomes. Best yet, it's a program that's available to all people who have experienced an acute care stay at a hospital in the 30 days leading up to admission to the program. It helps patients transition from life inside a hospital to whatever comes next - whether that's home - or additional long-term care.
November 28, 2019
#202: Donations Drive A Mission
Do you hear what I hear? It’s the holiday season, and that means the Red Kettle campaign is underway. The bells ringing around stores and local businesses — mean crucial funding for projects that are only possible because of the work that the Salvation Army does year-round in the Finger Lakes. It’s an important time, but one that Mike Rusinko says organizers with the Salvation Army are preparing for year-round. On this episode of Inside the FLX — Rusinko talks about the great people who make bell ringing possible; as well as how local residents can get involved.
November 28, 2019
#201: Count Those Blessings
Hopefully we all have something to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. We're grateful for the stories told in our studio, and by the FL1 News Team. This week on Inside the FLX - a conversation with Geneva resident Antonio Gomez. He's a Guatemalan native, who moved to Geneva more than 20 years ago. In his conversation with FL1 News reporter Gabriel Pietrorazio he discussed the changes in his life; and the things that he's grateful for in a community he loves, and calls home. More importantly, though, in this piece - Gomez shared his deeply-personal story about progress, triumph, and the challenges experienced over the last two decades. Listen below, and subscribe to Inside the FLX on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
November 27, 2019
#200: George Washing Machine
Writing a book is no easy task. It takes time, organization, and the right mindset. When people think of authors - they likely imagine the kind that works for months, possibly years, on that single-project. It's a job for them. But what happens if you're an author who has a full-time job leading one of the region's longest running newspapers? It's a heavy lift ... but one that's really, really enjoyable, if you ask Mike Cutillo. He was in-studio this week to discuss his book called "George Washing Machine, Portables, and Submarine Races: My Italian-American Life," which is available now on Amazon. He serves as Executive Editor of the Finger Lakes Times, located in Geneva, New York. His book, while about his life, was written with experience in mind - something he gained plenty of in the newsroom over the years.
November 19, 2019
REWIND: Discussing The Rise Of Urgent Care
In a rewind edition of Inside the FLX - the team replays a conversation with officials from Finger Lakes Health looking at the rise, and dominance of urgent care centers across the region and U.S. It's unmistakeable that urgent care facilities have become a major part of the healthcare ecosystem nationwide; and locally - FLH has seen a lot of success.
November 18, 2019
#199: Giving Hope To Families, Parents, and Teens
This week on Episode #199 of Inside the FLX: A discussion with Doreen Teed, of the Family Hope Center located in Geneva, New York. The Center gives hope to families by providing pregnancy and parenting education, support services for relationships, and baby supplies. Teed serves as executive director of the Center. The discussion focused on the importance of relationships, experience, and communication. Especially communication between parents and children. 
November 17, 2019
#198: Entrepreneurship, modeling, and more with Kristin Bauer-Gross
What's life like for a model in Upstate New York? The short answer: Not much like what people see on television, or in the fashion industry. The complex answer, as Kristin Bauer-Gross explained in this week's Sunday Conversation, though, is that it can be a career, and now, supporting others through a new business venture is her latest effort. "I wanted to create the knowledge-base and use my experience to help others," she explained in that interview. "There are so many things I experienced, and getting to share that now with others is so rewarding." Check out the full-episode in the podcast player above, or on your favorite platform - like Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
November 9, 2019
Ep. #197: Paul Kronenwetter for Supervisor (Part II)
In this two part episode - the two Republican candidates for Seneca Falls Supervisor. Second up, Paul Kronenwetter. He's lived along Cayuga Lake for many decades; and has represented taxpayers for a number of years. Now, he focuses on lake health and how HABs are a growing problem in the region. 
October 30, 2019
Ep. #197: Ralph Lott for Supervisor (Part I)
In this two part episode - the two Republican candidates for Seneca Falls Supervisor. First up, Ralph Lott. The incumbent touts himself as agriculture's voice in county government. He's looking to represent taxpayers in Seneca Falls for another term.
October 30, 2019
Ep. #196: Mark Sinkiewicz for Seneca County District Attorney (Part III)
Mark Sinkiewicz is the Acting District Attorney in Seneca County. He assumed the role in early-2019 after former District Attorney Barry Porsch won a successful bid to become Seneca County Court Judge. Sinkiewicz says the experience and time in-house, serving as Assistant District Attorney for many years make him best-qualified for the job. This week he was in-studio discussing his campaign and experiences on Inside the FLX.
October 25, 2019
Ep. #196: John Nabinger for Seneca County District Attorney (Part II)
John Nabinger is a public defender and criminal defense attorney now, but that wasn't always the case. He started out as a prosecutor - working in a busy Onondaga County office. He was in-studio this week discussing his campaign, background, and vast experience as he looks to become the next District Attorney for Seneca County.
October 25, 2019
Ep. #196: Christopher Folk for Seneca County District Attorney (Part I)
Christohper Folk brings a diverse background to the Seneca County District Attorney's race. After losing a close primary in June to be on the Republican Party line - Folk stayed in the race after receiving the Working Families Party endorsement. This week on Inside the FLX he was in-studio talking about the campaign, and what he hopes to bring to the District Attorney's Office in 2020.
October 25, 2019
Ep. #195: Mike for Seneca Falls Town Supervisor (Part II)
Mike Ferrara is a retired school principal in Seneca County, and a strong supporter of bringing back tranquility to the Town Board. That's why he's running for Town Supervisor. While he has a name local residents recognize, some of his policy positions catch some off-guard. While a listed Republican on the ballot - he pushed back against recent mailers, which attached his candidacy to the Seneca Meadows Landfill. He was in-studio this week, discussing the biggest issues facing the Town, and what he would like to see accomplished in the next four years.
October 25, 2019
Ep. #195: Doug Avery for Seneca Falls Town Supervisor (Part I)
Doug Avery currently sits on the Seneca Falls Town Board; and now is pursuing a greater leadership role in the community. He's the Democrat who will appear atop the ballot on Election Day for Seneca Falls Town Supervisor. He was in-studio last week, discussing his campaign; and the issues he's most-eager to address if elected.
October 25, 2019
Ep. #194: Bringing new life to the Trinity Church
In Geneva, The Trinity Episcopal Church on South Main Street is the site of that continued debate. Developer Mark McGroarty has gained support and approvals from the City, mostly-clearing way for a development at the Trinity site, which has deep history in the city itself. He was in-studio this week alongside Murray Heaton, a local attorney with a practice in Geneva; as well as Major General Bruce Tuxill, a ranking member of the congregation, which despite being smaller - still has a voice in the future of the church. McGroarty, Tuxill, and Heaton support the proposed redevelopment. While the development team still has a couple more hurdles to clear - they are hopeful that work can begin in 2020 to bring new life to the Trinity Church. The site was announced this week as one of the 'Five to Revive' by the Landmark Society of Western New York. Each year the organization selects historic sites that it views as favorable for their support and redevelopment. 
October 19, 2019
Ep. #193: Steve Bulger & Richard Mayfield talk U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Small Business Administration in local communities
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Small Business Administration are two federally funded agencies that work hard to improve quality of life in rural communities. What many people may not realize, though, is that these agencies are not nearly as one-dimensional as some may believe. Richard Mayfield, who serves as State Director for Regional Development with the USDA returned to the Studio with Steve Bulger, Regional Administrator for the SBA. Bulger oversees efforts in several states, including New York. The duo talked about programs available individually, as well as programs that both agencies work together on. They also discussed some broader concerns about the future of rural life, and how communities that fall between the major metro areas can thrive moving forward.
October 12, 2019
Ep. #192: The Race for Seneca Falls Supervisor (Part II)
This week, another two-part episode of Inside the FLX. As Election Day draws closer, we're going to feature more-and-more of these episodes. The goal: To let voters see where candidates stand on issues - against each other. Part II Rachel Weil discusses her campaign, and the role she believes government should play in Seneca County. If elected in November, she says that doing right by voters, and doing right by an objective measure will be important. Part I Susan Sauvageau talks about her campaign, how she views the current Board of Supervisors in Seneca County as being "asleep at the wheel," and how she would operate serving on the County Board again. She isn't a political newcomer, but Sauvageau brings a new energy, and experience to the race. Both parts of Episode #192 of Inside the FLX are live now on all platforms.
October 10, 2019
Ep. #192: The Race for Seneca Falls Supervisor (Part I)
This week, another two-part episode of Inside the FLX. As Election Day draws closer, we're going to feature more-and-more of these episodes. The goal: To let voters see where candidates stand on issues - against each other.  Part I Susan Sauvageau talks about her campaign, how she views the current Board of Supervisors in Seneca County as being "asleep at the wheel," and how she would operate serving on the County Board again. She isn't a political newcomer, but Sauvageau brings a new energy, and experience to the race. Part II Rachel Weil discusses her campaign, and the role she believes government should play in Seneca County. If elected in November, she says that doing right by voters, and doing right by an objective measure will be important.  Both parts of Episode #192 of Inside the FLX are live now on all platforms.
October 10, 2019
Ep. #191: Barnhart runs for Lodi Town Supervisor
Kyle Barnhart, while not a Democrat in affiliation, will be running on the top line of this November's election in Lodi, New York. Barnhart currently serves as mayor in the Village of Lodi; and wants to bring renewed focus to village, town, and county representation by serving as Town Supervisor if elected. He sits down with Josh Durso on Inside the FLX to discuss the issues.
October 8, 2019
Ep. #190: The Race for Geneva Mayor (Part II)
Mark Pitifer is an unaffiliated party candidate, who is running for Geneva Mayor on the Republican Party line. He gained the party's support through the early-fall, which prompted him to launch a campaign.  This episode is a two-part piece on the race for Geneva Mayor. In the first part you heard from Steve Valentino, a Democrat, and member of Geneva City Council. Now Pitifer, the man who will appear on the Republican line on Election Day, outlines his efforts to become the next mayor of Geneva. Click here to hear Valentino's part of the episode.  Special thanks to WEOS station manager Greg Cotterill for hosting the interview. You'll hear the voice of FL1 News Reporter Gabriel Pietrorazio in both parts, as he is leading the Candidate Snapshot series. Read and listen to them all by clicking here.
October 4, 2019
Ep. #190: The Race for Geneva Mayor (Part I)
Steve Valentino is a Democrat, who has served in Geneva for enough time to recognize his role in local politics. Altogether he's spent more than a decade and a half serving the community he calls home. This episode is a two-part piece on the race for Geneva Mayor. First up is a conversation with Valentino. Next up will be Mark Pitifer, the man who will appear on the Republican line, on Election Day. Click here to listen to that part of the episode.  Special thanks to WEOS station manager Greg Cotterill for hosting the interview. You'll hear the voice of FL1 News Reporter Gabriel Pietrorazio in both parts, as he is leading the Candidate Snapshot series. Read and listen to them all by clicking here.
October 4, 2019
Ep. #189: Preserving History & Bolstering Economic Development
When it comes to economic development, more-and-more residents and stakeholders in the Finger Lakes are turning to the concept of historic preservation, or 're-use' as a means to achieve that. While it's not always the least-expensive, or most-popular at first - it frequently yields the best outcomes, according to folks in the historic preservation field. This week on Inside the FLX Erin Tobin, Vice President for Policy and Preservation at the Preservation League of New York State and Emil Bove, a local attorney in Seneca Falls, talk about that work; and how it can impact small, rural communities in a positive way.
September 20, 2019
Ep. #188: Women Lead
For Kristen Fragnoli it comes down to starting a conversation. This week on Inside the FLX, she joins Josh Durso - highlighting the opportunities, and previewing a daylong conference - set to be held on Friday, November 1st in Fairport, New York.  The goal is simple: Start a dialogue, energize women and leaders alike in the Finger Lakes, and spark change. That's not easy to do, and Fragnoli realizes that. It doesn't quell her energy to make the Finger Lakes Region better through more diverse leadership. 
September 14, 2019
Ep. #187: Mark Benjamin runs to change Lodi
This week on Inside the FLX, Benjamin was in-studio discussing the issues and opportunities the Town of Lodi has to grow and become more sustainable for taxpayers in 2020. If elected in November, he will succeed longtime Supervisor Lee Davidson.
September 6, 2019
Ep. #186: What does Gannett-GateHouse merger mean for consumers and journalists?
Earlier this month the news and newspaper industry was rocked by the headlines that Gannett and GateHouse would be joining forces in a merger of epic proportions. The $1.4 billion deal clears way for what New Media CEO Mike Reed says will be better, stronger journalism. That said, not everyone takes the merger as a sign of 'good times'. Rather, some view more merger prospects as a net-negative for news products across the board, and those who work in the industry. This week on Inside the FLX - the topic of mergers in media, and the future journalists face.  Guests in-studio included Professor Steven Keeler, Director of the School of Media and Arts at Cayuga Community College; Ted Baker, Program Director and Host of Finger Lakes Morning News on Finger Lakes News Radio; and Jim Meaney, Founder and Reporter for the Citizen Journalism outlet Geneva Believer. 
August 30, 2019
Ep. #185: Scott Johnson for Sodus Town Supervisor
Scott Johnson is running for Town Supervisor in Sodus. The lifelong resident and businessman says he's working to bring positive changes to Sodus and Wayne County. Among motivating factors for his candidacy was the flooding along Lake Ontario, New York's lackluster efforts to address this, and a desire to improve community assets and improve Sodus' position in Wayne County as a whole. Johnson says there is a lot to be optimistic about, and this week he was in-studio discussing the things he wants to see continue moving forward in 2020 if elected this fall.
August 22, 2019
Ep. #184: Running for Transparency in Local Government
Randy Walker is not new to politics. He's served on the local school board, which was an important experience for him; and also served on the Richmond Town Board for several years recently. Now though, he sets his sights on the job of Town Supervisor. As he runs, the focus of his campaign is on long-term planning and spending. He says it's something that the Town Board has lacked; and now the State Comptroller's Office has weighed in, giving guidance on how much should be spent, and how much should be saved. Walker discusses his philosophy of governing, as well as politics in a small community that is driven by a shrinking population. He also discusses the plentiful natural resources that the Town possesses; and the unique opportunity to drive an expansion in the area of recreation. 
August 9, 2019
Ep. #183: Communication is Important
David Hayes attributes his desire for openness and communication as primary drivers for his candidacy. Hayes is a Republican, and defeated incumbent David Kaiser in June's primary contest. Both will appear on the ballot in November, but Hayes was in-studio this week discussing his run for office, the things that inspired it, and how he believes incremental change is necessary to create a strong community. Even as issues like the proposed Circular enerG incinerator, and ongoing lake-health issues persist -- he looks ahead at responsible governing, as a way to drive Romulus and Seneca County into the future.
July 31, 2019
Ep. #182: The Future of the Classroom, Part II
Change is coming in public schools. From year-to-year the change is slow, perhaps unnoticeable to some. That change weighed over a longer period of time - perhaps 5 or 10 years - is another story. The degree to which classrooms have evolved in the last decade prompted Part I of this Inside the FLX special called "The Future of the Classroom." This week, we look beyond the classroom - at the programs, which are shaping the way students learn.
June 26, 2019
Ep. #182: The Future of the Classroom, Part I
What does the future of learning in public schools look like? Well, a number of teachers and administrators in local districts are evaluating this very question. "The Future of the Classroom" is a two part series dedicated to answering the question, based on the countless interviews conducted in the Studio on the subject.  This week, we hear from the following stakeholders and leaders: Bob McKeveney, Outgoing Seneca Falls CSD Superintendent; Jeramy Clingerman, Incoming Seneca Falls CSD Superintendent; Stephen Zielinski, South Seneca CSD Superintendent; Jim Bruni, Administrator of Business & Operations at SFCSD; Amy Hibbard, Prinicpal at Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elementary School; and Jodie Very, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Professional Development at SFCSD. We walk through their perspective on public schools with a focus on those in rural parts of the region. Listen to the podcast below, or follow it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or the App.
June 19, 2019
Episode #181: How do we get more foster parents in the Finger Lakes?
Building numbers in the foster care community is a challenge. May was Foster Care Awareness Month, and advocates throughout the region spent it working to raise awareness about the realities of foster care. It's difficult work. But families that take on the effort gain something that few others are able to accomplish. This hour is a panel discussion about the topic, and what advocacy looks like in the Finger Lakes.
June 6, 2019
Episode #180: Impact of the New York Wine Industry Association on Regulation & Local Business
It’s fair to say that the Finger Lakes Region benefits from a stable, advancing wine industry.  That’s exactly what the New York Wine Industry Association is aiming to accomplish.  The not for profit advocates for stability and advancement of the wine industry in New York through advocacy and public education. It’s the only association of wine and grape professionals across the state, which focuses on informing, promoting, representing and defending the diverse interests of New York’s wine industry. 
May 30, 2019
Episode #179: Library expansion celebrated in Ovid
Earlier this month the Edith B. Ford Memorial Library celebrated a landmark occasion - holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for a multi-million dollar expansion. It was a big moment for a library, which serves as a hub for learning, community building, and much more. Shannon O'Connor, Library Director for the Edith B. Ford Memorial Library is in-studio with Luke Hodde, IT Specialist - to discuss that and much more. 
May 23, 2019
Episode #178: Reaching Rural Vets in Upstate New York, Part II
In the second part of this discussion - Dr. Marek Kopacz and Kelly Mohrman, of the VA Health System look at 'moral injury'. What does it mean to suffer a moral injury? How is it identified? What are researchers learning about it - that perhaps wasn't known a decade or two ago? Those are just a few of the questions answered in the second half of this episode. 
May 18, 2019
Episode #178: Reaching Rural Vets in Upstate New York, Part I
The United States Department of Veteran Affairs, or VA, tracks a lot of data. It's a massive entity, serving over 18 million across the country. With sprawling services available - providing access to anyone would be challenging. That said, providing services to those in rural communities, which the VA estimates is somewhere around 4.7 million vets, is an even bigger challenge. Vets choose to live in rural communities for a variety of reasons. However, providing services in those communities is still vital. This week, Dr. Marek Kopacz and Kelly Mohrman of the VA Health System are in-studio discussing the work being done in form of outreach; and research to better serve vets across the board.
May 16, 2019
Episode #177: Discussing Entrepreneurship as YEA! Program grows in the Finger Lakes
Student engagement isn't easy - but with a relatively new program, which has seen incredible results within the Finger Lakes - students are learning skills that ready them for the business world locally- and beyond. This week on Inside the FLX, LaToya Collins, YEA! Program Manager; Michael Zellers, a senior at Mynderse Academy; and Megan Marley, a freshman at Mynderse Academy are in-studio talking about the program, their experiences, and so much more. 
April 30, 2019
Discussing Taste of Spring Coming to del Lago in Seneca County
Spring is here.  We know this because the United Way of Seneca County is gearing up for their annual 'Taste of Spring' event, which will be taking place Thursday, May 9th at del Lago Resort & Casino from 5:30 - 8 p.m. While the event is a sure sign of spring - it reinforces the importance of local partnership provided by the United Way. The United Way of Seneca County invests funds in programs that demonstrate measurable results for people who need help and to help improve the community as a whole. Rhonda Jasper, Executive Director of the United Way; and Tammy Orlopp, Prevention and Treatment Program Director for Seneca County were in-studio discussing partnership, previewing the Taste of Spring, and much more.
April 27, 2019
Discussing the NYS budget with Michael Kracker of Unshackle Upstate
New York State has adopted a $175.5 billion budget. What does that mean for Upstate New York? Well, it has serious implications - as noted by Unshackle Upstate. Unshackle Upstate advocates on behalf of businesses and trade organizations in Upstate New York who are working to create a better, more-favorable environment for development. Michael Kracker, Director of Unshackle Upstate was in-studio discussing the ways his organization are working to correct what the fiscal 2020 budget has created.
April 17, 2019
Discussing the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System
What do you know about the VA Health System? If you're like a lot of people - particularly not in the VA community - the answer might be not much. That said, there's a lot to know about the services provided at local VA clinics. Particularly, those in the Finger Lakes, which are providing unmatched services to those who have given a great deal to the United States. In this conversation, we explore the services being provided by the VA health system, how those services are evolving, and how they're working to build community. Brian Westlake and Sarah Levis join us from the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System for this week's episode of Inside the FLX.
April 10, 2019
Discussing Rural Development and Services with the USDA
Representatives from the United States Department of Agriculture were in-studio to discuss rural initiatives, and the volume of funding that's available for projects in rural communities. Whether it's funding an ambulance, hospital expansion, firehouse, town hall project, or many others - the USDA's Rural Development team works hard to bring that information to local leaders. Jim Walfrand, a Community Specialist and Area Director for the USDA’s Western New York Region; and Richard Mayfield, New York’s USDA Rural Development Director joins us to discuss rural development.  
April 3, 2019
John Nabinger discusses campaign for Seneca County District Attorney .::. Inside the FLX 3/28/19
John Nabinger calls on his experience, as he campaigns to be elected District Attorney in Seneca County. We caught up with Nabinger to discuss the issues, as well as the challenges of running an office in rural Upstate New York.
March 25, 2019
Previewing the Traveling Little Black Dress Fashion Show (Around the Lakes Special)
In just a few weeks one of Seneca County's biggest fundraisers will take place in Seneca Falls. The Traveling Little Black Dress Fashion Show will arrive on April 4th and 5th in Seneca Falls, which will be a culmination of community-wide effort to make it a reality.  Learn all about it as two organizers sit down in the Studio to discuss how such an incredible event has come together for seven consecutive years.
March 20, 2019
Fingerlakes Beard Bros .::. Around the Lakes Special
The Fingerlakes Beard Bros have a simple philosophy: Provide the best products - for guys in the Finger Lakes to make the most of their beards. Dustin Bovard and William Hanvey set out on this journey a relatively short time ago. The duo have navigated an emerging marketplace that's dominated by some big brands. Their products are already available in select retail environments - but most of their sales come online at this point. Bovard said the reception from the community has been incredible thus far. "It's been really overwhelming - in a good way," Bovard explained during a chat inside the Studio. "The community - friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers - are buying into our products because they're affordable and high-quality."
March 17, 2019
Discussing the impact of The Fatherhood Connection .::. Inside the FLX 3/14/19
One of the easiest and fastest ways to improve the community is through family. The Fatherhood Connection, founded by Reggie Cox, has spent years connecting fathers with the skills they need to be proactive, strong parents in a variety of environments. Reggie says that the basis for the faith-based effort is 'availability'. Being available, as he proudly said during a recent appearance on Inside the FLX, has a profound impact, and makes a big difference on that child's life. He says the research backs it up, too. The aim of the Fatherhood Connection is to help fathers become the parental figures their children need them to be. Reggie Cox was joined by Tracy VanVleck, Commissioner of Human Services; and Don Black, a mentor within the program, who has been an advocate for The Fatherhood Connection, who helped bring it to Seneca County.
March 12, 2019
Discussing classroom technology, inclusion, and benefits of modern approach to education .::. Inside the FLX 3/7/19
There's no doubt that technology plays a big role in life, but what about education? While some districts have developed rules to push back against technology - particularly social media - others have embraced it. This week Josh Durso sat down with three administrators from the Seneca Falls Central School District to examine the role of technology in a classroom, and how that's developing a more prepared student base, as they enter college or the workforce. Jim Bruni, Administrator of Business and Operations; Jodie Verkey, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Professional Development; and Amy Hibbard, Principal at Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elementary School joined Josh Durso to guide a conversation on the topic.
March 6, 2019
Christopher Folk Talks Campaign for Seneca County District Attorney .::. Inside the FLX 2/28/19
Christopher Folk says his unique experiences make him the ideal candidate for Seneca County District Attorney. With background in the tech space, plenty of management experience, and time spent in local courts as Waterloo Town Judge - Folk believes one of the keys to being a strong District Attorney is understanding how to grow and become better in the position. That means finding efficiencies within the office, developing better procedures, and of course, prosecuting cases. The local attorney from Waterloo was in-studio this week discussing his platform, looking ahead to a primary, which will be held on June 26th. This is part of Inside the FLX's Election Preview series. Over the next several months the FL1 News Team will be sitting down with candidates for office, discussing issues, their platforms, and what's at stake for voters. Questions for candidates, comments about coverage, and potential guests can reach the program by emailing
February 28, 2019
Discussing rural services & United Way .::. Inside the FLX
Food scarcity, transportation, affordable housing, and jobs. Those four items play a big role in the actions of the United Way of Seneca County. The agency acts as a facilitator for a number of other agencies that do real good in the community; and the work being done by the United Way is important. Rhonda Jasper, Executive Director joins Josh Durso on Inside the FLX to discuss all of these issues and so much more.
February 20, 2019
Discussing head injuries, high school sports & more .::. Inside the FLX 2/21/19
The State of New Jersey recently made headlines when the state's high school sports governing body announced major changes to the way football would be handled moving forward. The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association passed a bill that reduces in-season full-contact limits from 90 minutes per week to 15 minutes and preseason full-contact hours from unlimited to six. "The image of the 'rub some dirt on it' football coach is really one of the past," said Chuck Klaus, former president and current board member of the NJSIAA executive committee. "They want their kids to succeed, they want them to do well, but ultimately they want them healthy and safe." Reaction has been swift across the country on this issue. While some believe that it's in the best interest of student athletes - others believe its weakening those students. We've attached some reaction to the bill's passage at the bottom of this story. This week sat down with Dr. Robert Anderson, of Finger Lakes Health. He's an expert on concussions, and had a lot to say about the changes in sports like football, but also about the changes coming in the medical community - as concussions become better understood.
February 19, 2019
Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson .::. Inside the FLX 2/14/19
When Ontario County Sheriff Kevin Henderson succeeded longtime Sheriff Philip Povero, the focus was on transitioning smoothly.  Now, more than 50 days after taking office - Sheriff Henderson is establishing himself as a leader, not only locally, but in the region. This week he joined FL1 News Intern Reporter Gabriel Pietrorazio in the Studio to get an update, and to discuss some proposed measures at the state-level that could have an impact on policing locally.
February 14, 2019
Discussing rural mental health & substance use disorders .::. Inside the FLX 2/8/19
In 2018, the CDC produced new, shocking data that showed a 30 percent increase in suicide rates over the last two decades. That increase prompted a lot of discussion, dialogue, and ideas about what could be done differently to improve mental health treatment, services available, and remove stigma. Those efforts are now being realized in a number of unique, exciting ways in Seneca County. Director of Community Services Margaret Morse joins Josh Durso on Inside the FLX to discuss the world of mental health, substance abuse, and much more. Check out more episodes, as well as the video versions of them by visiting 
February 8, 2019