Sidsel Overgaard

After taking a semester off from college to intern with Vermont Public Radio in 1999, Sidsel was hooked.  She went on to work as a reporter and producer at WNYC in New York and WAMU in Washington, DC before moving to New Mexico in 2007. 
As KUNM’s Conservation Beat reporter, Sidsel covered news from around the state having to do with protection of our earth, air and water.  She also kept up a blog, earth air waves, filled with all the bits that can’t be crammed into the local broadcast of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.  When not interviewing inspiring people (or sheep), Sidsel could be found doing underdogs with her daughters at the park.
 
 
 

Back in 2011, Mohamed Abdi Farah, who goes by the stage name Mo, seemed to be Norway's next rising pop star. Success on his country's version of The X Factor led to a record deal and the release of several singles, all before his 18th birthday. But then, Mo found himself in the middle of a national nightmare: a mass shooting on the Norwegian island of Utøya.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Wow. For all we know this could be the next European TV program to become a hit in the United States. You've heard of "Downton Abbey," this program goes a little more continental. The program by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation is spreading to other countries, sparking a discussion of the edgy subject of inheritance.

Sidsel Overgaard reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SERIES, THE LEGACY)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken)

This story begins with a lemon. It appeared not long ago on a houseboat-cum-food lab docked outside Scandinavia's temple of local food, the restaurant noma, in Copenhagen.

"Isn't that, like, the forbidden fruit?," I ask. "Are you allowed to have a lemon here?"

"I don't know why that's sitting there," says Ben Reade, the lab's head of culinary research and development, looking perplexed.

An anthropologist, Mark Emil Tholstrup Hermansen, pipes in, "We have an Italian on the boat."

Reade concurs: "He needs a lemon every so often for staff food."

Who doesn't love a Danish pastry?

And in Denmark, they like their pastries sprinkled with plenty of cinnamon.

But now, Denmark's bakers are being told that their time-honored recipe for the beloved kanelsnegle — or cinnamon swirl — may be unhealthy and against the law. Recent testing by the Danish government found that a large number of the rolls had too much cinnamon — more than the recommended limits set by the European Union.

Martin Jensen smokes heroin.

In the past, when this gaunt-faced Dane had to hide in elevators and stairwells to feed his addiction, he probably wouldn't have been so willing to advertise that fact. Back then, his days were spent scouring Copenhagen — mostly the notorious Vesterbro neighborhood — for places to smoke, out of sight of the police and children. He says he never felt safe, understandably, given what happened to one of his friends.

"My friend, he [was trying to] get some sleep, when he had smoked," Jensen recalls.

That's when an arsonist stopped by.

Hey there, hipster. No bike helmet, huh? Well, we all have our excuses. There are the vanity-driven ones that — let's be honest — explain why the majority of our brain cages sit collecting dust in the dark corners of the garage. Squashed hair, unflattering chin straps, general discomfort, etc.

Karen Hanghoj, a scientist with Denmark's Geological Survey, points to the southern tip of Greenland on a colorful map hanging in her office.

"What you can see here in the southern region here is you have a big pink region," she says. "And then within the pink region, you see you have all these little purple dots.

"And what the purple dots are is a later period of rifting. These complexes have these weird chemistries and have these very, very strange minerals in them," she adds.

In Denmark, pigs outnumber people 2 to 1. No traditional Danish meal would be complete without something wrapped in, wrapped around, or topped with pork.

In 2012, the country exported close to $6 billion in pig meat, a figure that includes "carcasses" — which leads to the question: What does one do with a pig carcass?

All this is by way of explaining the hubbub that erupted following a recent headline: "Day Cares Ban Pork."

Doug Kerr / Flickr

Back in the 1930s, when Finger Lakes resident Carl Mortensen was a kid, agriculture was his small town’s link to the rest of the state.

“New York City was full of horses,” Mortensen said. “They used horses for everything. And our big thing then was to put up oats, straw and hay and like that and ship it to New York City.”

Onno Kluyt / Flickr

As more and more young people flock to the world’s largest cities, smaller cities have had to struggle to keep up. Perhaps nowhere has this played out more dramatically than New York, a state housing one of the world’s most tempting urban centers.  But there are young people who do move to New York City, only to discover - sometimes to their own surprise - that success can be found back home.

FashionMingle

In 1950, New York City’s garment industry employed 300,000 workers. During the last several decades, those production jobs have all but disappeared. But the story of what happened next in this industry is dramatically different from others in cities elsewhere in the state.

Today, Fashion Week in New York City attracts nearly 250,000 visitors from around the world and has an economic impact on the city of of more than $750 million.

Sidsel Overgaard/WRVO

In 1975, the workforce in several major cities in upstate New York had more than 40 percent of their jobs in manufacturing. Today, that number hovers around 10 percent. There are examples of manufacturers and workers in New York state who have found a place in our new global economy, but not without sacrifice.

New York State Archives & governor.ny.org

All this week, we’ll be bringing you  a series of stories from the documentary about the state of the economy in New York state. "New York in the World" with Garrick Utley will air on WRVO Public Media  Sunday, August 25 at 7 p.m.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / via Flickr

Hundreds of Finger Lakes residents gathered in Geneva recently for what’s expected to be the first of several conversations about the region’s landfills.

Sidsel Overgaard

Three opponents of a proposed gas storage facility near Seneca Lake were released from jail early Thursday. The activists were sentenced to fifteen days after trespassing on property owned by Inergy Corporation, but were released after about a week. Inergy is seeking approval to store millions of barrels of butane and propane in an old salt cavern near Watkins Glen.

It may seem like the 2012 elections are barely behind us, but in New York’s 23rd congressional district the race for 2014 is on. 

Dan Klimke / Flickr

The results are in from this weekend’s Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, and it’s good news for the region. A dozen wines from the Finger Lakes came away with coveted double-gold medals -- twice as many as last year. 

Sidsel Overgaard/WRVO

Imagine a New York autumn with almost no red or orange -- just brown, brown, brown. Experts say that could be the scene 50 years from now if people don’t start paying more attention to what’s going on with the shrubs, bushes and saplings in the forest. 

Sidsel Overgaard/WRVO

Maple producers across New York will throw open their doors to visitors this weekend and next for the state’s 18th annual Maple Weekend. 

Sidsel Overgaard/WRVO

Opponents of a proposed underground gas storage facility near Seneca Lake are ramping up for a legal fight as a decision on the project nears.

Sidsel Overgaard/WRVO

In March, many places in central and northern New York will hold local elections. Among them is the village of Dresden on Seneca Lake, where residents will vote in a new mayor.  But, there’s just one problem: no one’s running.

Fred Chiang / Flickr

It’s wine competition season, a time of year when judges offer their opinions at dozens of events around the world. New York Wine and Grape Foundation’s Jim Trezise was at an event in Sonoma to see how Finger Lakes wines have been faring.

Boston Public Library / Flickr

Despite the sluggish economy, at least one small town in the Finger Lakes has been seeing some promising signs of life in its downtown corridor.

Forget touch screens and voice recognition — what if you could control your computer just by looking at it? Gaze-based interaction has been around for 20 years, used mainly by people with disabilities. But the technology could be available to the masses soon, allowing users to move a cursor with their eyes, or turn the pages of an e-book without lifting a finger.

Toothbutter: noun. Butter spread so thickly as to reveal teeth marks upon biting.

The fact that this word exists in the Danish language should help to explain what politicians were up against when they introduced the "fat tax" just over a year ago. This is a country that loves it some butter (and meat, and all things dreadful to the arteries).

In the U.S., Thanksgiving marks the unofficial start of the race to Christmas (unless you happen to decorate department stores, then it starts in October). But in Denmark, the Christmas race starts tonight.

Wherever you look these days, it seems labels that strive to send a message about our food are on the table. In California, there's a vote coming up on whether genetically modified foods should be labeled. A few weeks ago, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission updated its guidelines for "green" labeling.