Community Matters

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Community Matters is a weekly, half-hour long program focusing on various issues that relate to the Jamestown and Chautauqua Region. Featuring various guests, recaps of important news, and the occasional commentary from WRFA Public Affairs Director Jason Sample (pictured), Community Matters is your source for engaging and relevant radio programming in Chautauqua County.

Audio from 0ur past shows can be found at our Soundcloud Page

Shows that were prodcast prior to June 20, 2013 are no longer available online, but the audio has been archived at WRFA in Jamestown, NY and can be made available upon request.

June 13 2013
Jamestown Public Schools newly appointed superintendent Timothy Mains.

June 6 2013
Interview with Chris King from the Jamestown Farmers Market; Ron Johnson – Democratic Candidate for County Executive; and comments from a group of concerned citizens who addressed members of Jamestown City Council regarding traffic safety issues on Falconer St. in the city.

May 30 2013
An interview with Vince Horrigan, Repubilcan Candidate for Chautauqua County Executive, plus comments from Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi and Gebbie Foundation Executive Director John Merino on the expansion of the city’s riverwalk project.

May 23 2013
U.S. Cheif Justice John Roberts, Jr. visits the Robert H. Jackson Center.

May 16 2013
Community Matters for May 16, 2013. Replaying the commemoration ceremony of the Robert H. Jackson Center, which took place May 16, 2003 and feaured then-Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.

May 9 2013
Featuring the Critical Discussion involving Chautauqua Lake. Hosted by the James Prendergast Library and held on April 29, 2013.

May 2, 2013
Community Matters, featuring an interview with Tina Scott of the Jamestown Prendergast Library and Scott Nedreberg of the Forest Heights Golf Course.

April 25, 2013
A replay of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Legislative Breakfast, featuring Senator Cathy Young (R-Olean) and Assemblyman Andy Goodell (R-Chautauqua)

Apr 18 2013
WRFA Public Affairs Director Jason Sample talks with Bob Ciesielski of the Sierra Club about renewable energy week.

Apr 11 2013
Comments from Jamestown School Superintendent Deke Kathman and Jamestown School Board President Joe DiMaio on the 2013-14 school budget; Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi reacts to the state budget being passed; and Prendergast Library Board President Tom Price talks about the effort to create a director position for the library, separate from the Library System director.

April 4, 2013
Part 2 (of 2) of the second Critical Discussion on horizontal hydrofracking and the potential health and environmental impacts associated with it. The discussion was held on Thursday March 21, 2013 at the James Prendergast Library in Jamestown, N.Y.

March 28, 2013
Part 1 (of 2) of the second Critical Discussion on horizontal hydrofracking and the potential health and environmental impacts associated with it. The discussion was held on Thursday March 21, 2013 at the James Prendergast Library in Jamestown, N.Y.

March 21, 2013
An interview with John Jablonski, Executive Director of  the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy.

March 14, 2013
An interview with Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, recorded at Jamestown High School in front of Mr. Peterson’s Government and Economics Class.

March 7, 2013
An interview with Bill Tucker, Executive Director of the Local Chapter of the American Red Cross, and a discussion with David Crane and Jennifer Champ, who were involved with a recent Civil Rights exhibit at the Robert H. Jackson Center.

Feb 28, 2013
Chautauqua County Executive Gregory Edwards delivers his 2013 State of the County Address to the members of the Chautauqua County Legislature on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.

Feb 21, 2013
Featuring Chautauqua County legislators Larry Barmore (R-Gerry) and Bob Whitney (D-Jamestown) discussing a local law that would change the way the county sells its property; a discussion with city council members Tony Dolce andKim Ecklund regarding the appointment of Vince DeJoy as City development director; and highlights of a recent Jamestown City Planning Commissionmeeting and the discussion of community gardens in residential areas of Jamestown.

Feb 14, 2013
An interview with Peter Lombardi, executive director of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.

 Feb 7 2013
On Feb. 6, 2013, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi announced his appointment for City Director of Development, Vince DeJoy.

Jan 31 2013
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi delivers his 2013 State of the City Address.

Jan 24, 2013
Recap of the Chautauqua County Legislature’s meeting on Jan. 23, 2013, focusing on the failed effort to sell the Chautauqua County Home to Altitude Health Services, Inc.

Jan 17, 2013
A portion of the Critical Discussion on the Sale of the Chautauqua County Home, presented by the James Prendergast Library and held on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013.

Jan 10 2013
Replay of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2013 State of the State Address

Dec 27 2012
Discussion involving the consolidation of police services in Chautauqua County between the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and the Jamestown Police Department.

Dec 20 2012
Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) uses his weekly media conference call to address the Newtown shooting tragedy, gun control and mental illness.

Dec 13 2012
Featuring Roxanne Wendling from the Chautauqua County Humane Society.

Dec 6 2012
Congressman Tom Reed talks about the Fiscal Cliff and Infinity Executive DirectorShane Hawkins discusses programing for the the 2013 winter semester.

Nov 29 2012
Comments from Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi and City Council PresidentGregory Rabb on the 2013 City Budget – plus a discussion with representatives of the Jamestown Salvation Army and the St. Susan Center.

Nov. 22, 2012
Part 3 of Prendergast Library’s Critical Discussion forum on Fracking

Nov. 15, 2012
Part 2 of Prendergast Library’s Critical Discussion forum on Fracking

Nov. 8, 2012
Part 1 of Prendergast Library’s Critical Discussion forum on Fracking

Nov 1, 2012
Congressional Candidates Tom Reed (R-Corning) and Nate Shinagawa (D-Ithaca) answer questions from WRFA’s Jason Sample in the week prior to Election Day 2012. Plus a conversation about the Hydro-fracking critical discussion that was scheduled to take place the evening of Nov. 1, 2012 at the Prendergast Library in Jamestown.

Oct 25, 2012
WRFA presents the 2012 Meet the Candidates forum, sponsored by the Chautauqua County League of Women Voters and the Jamestown Chapter of the American Association of University Women. Oct. 22, 2012 at the James Prendergast Library and moderated by Marcia Merrins (LWV) and Dr. Lillian Ney (AAUW).
150th State Assembly Debate
– A debate between incumbent Andrew Goodell (R-Jamestown) and challenger Dr. Rudy Mueller (D-Lakewood).
Chautauqua County Judge Debate
– A debate between incumbent Judge John Ward and challenger William Coughlin.

Oct 18 2012
A discussion on the Reapportionment process in Chautauqua County with County Legislators Tom DeJoe (D-Brocton) and Larry Barmore (R-Gerry), with two separate plans coming up for a vote on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Plus an interview withKim Ecklund, discussing Make a Difference Day (Oct. 27, 2012).

Oct. 11, 2012
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi presents his 2013 executive budget proposal.

Oct 4, 2012

  • Part 1
    Part 1 of Community Matters for October 4, 2012, featuring an interview withMarcia Merrins from the Chautauqua County League of Women Voters, offering her thoughts on the news that there will not be a Meet the Candidates forum for the two congressional candidates, due to Congressman Tom Reed declining the offer to participate.
  • Part 2
    Community Matters Part 2 for Oct. 4, 2012, featuring comments from Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi regarding his upcoming 2013 proposed city budget.
  • Part 3
    Community Matters Part 3 for Oct. 4, 2012, featuring a conversation with Ken Hardley, who talks about an upcoming appearance by Tibetan Lama Anam Thubten.

Sept. 27, 2012
An interview with Lexi Bishop Baglia of Chautauqua Tapstry, Legislator Lori Cornell responding to the 2013 County Budget Proposal, and Stephanie Burdofrom the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau.

Sept. 20 2012
Discussions involving WCA Emergency Room, the Chautauqua County Home, and the United Way 2012 Campaign.

Sept. 13 2012
Interview with volunteers with the 2012 Resource Center Autism Walk, along with a conversation with Jason Stronz and Peter Lombardi of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.

Sept. 6, 2012
Interview with Jamestown City Council President Greg Rabb from the Democratic National Convention, State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell and local Chadakoin River Cleanup Coordinator Dan Myers.

Aug 30, 2012
Part 1

Community Matters for Aug. 30, 2012. Featuring an interview with Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi and his staff about the 2012 City of Jamestown Labor Day Festival.

Part 2
An interview with Mark Geise, Deputy Director of the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development, discussing the recently completed $50,000 Greenways Plan.

Aug 23, 2012
A presentation to the Jamestown City Council by officials from the Lucille Ball – Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy on Aug. 20, 2012.

Aug 16, 2012
Portions of the Aug. 16, 2012 Chautauqua County Legislature Audit and Control Committee Meeting, featuring a discussion involving a proposed property tax exemption local law that would benefit low income, first-time homebuyers.

Aug 9, 2012
A talk with a representative of the Wings of Freedom historic aircraft program, along with portions of the Press Conference featuring the New York Secretary of State and details on a new visitor Brochure for downtown Jamestown.

Aug 2, 2012
Recap of the property revitalization announcement on July 31, with County Legislator Lori Cornell and Jamesown Mayor Sam Teresi. Plus a conversation with Jamestown Resident Stephanie Stafford, captain of the latest Neighborhood Watch Group in the city of Jamestown.

July 26 2012
A discussion from the July 25 Chautauqua County Legisature session, regarding the continuation of a pilot program that provided legal council to indigent defendents, with the county providing additional funding to the DA’s office to pay for its participation in the program.

July 12, 2012
An update on the community gardening effort in Chautauqua County, spearheaded by the Creating Healthy Places initiative of the Chautauqua Health Network.

July 5, 2012
The Chautauqua County Legislature discusses an amendment to provide more funding for Chautauqua Lake Association in an effort to remove weeds on the lake. Audio from the June meeting of the County Legislature (June 27, 2012).

June 28, 2012
Members of the public show up in force and speak out against the weed problem on Chautauqua Lake during the June meeting of the Chautauqua County Legislature – June 27, 2012.

June 21, 2012
Q&A with all three Democratic candidates for the NY 23rd Congressional District –Nate ShinagawaLeslie Danks Burke and Melissa Dobson.

June 14, 2012
Roundtable discussion on Region High Schools – Part 3. Sponsored by SenatorCathy Young and taking place May 17, 2012 at Jamestown Community College.

June 7, 2012
Roundtable discussion on Region High Schools – Part 2. Sponsored by SenatorCathy Young and taking place May 17, 2012 at Jamestown Community College.

May 31 2012
Roundtable discussion on Region High Schools – Part 1. Sponsored by SenatorCathy Young and taking place May 17, 2012 at Jamestown Community College.

May 24 2012
A conversation with Stacey Tanner and Vannessa Weinert from the Salvation Army Anew Center about the services provided by the organization as well as details on the upcoming 5K Run/Walk. Plus comments from Senator Cathy Youngand Assemblyman Andrew Goodell on the effort to pass legislation or Regional High Schools in New York State.

May 17, 2012
A conversation with Lee Harkness from the DJDC about Hands on Jamestown, plus members of the Chautauqua County Humane Society talk about their latest fundraising campaign effort to renovate the cat colony room at the Strunk Rd. facility.

May 10, 2012
Stephanie Burdo of the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau and Delana Rupp of JCC’s Continuing Education Department discuss the 2nd annualChautauqua in June Learning Festival, plus a conversation with Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards to get more details about the Municipal Consolidation Forum, taking place Tuesday May 15 at Jamestown Community College.

May 3, 2012
The Chautauqua County Legislature Discusses a resolution involving the county’s Welfare to Work program and increased oversight of the participation of local residents in the program. With reaction from County Executive Greg Edwards.

April 26, 2012
A recap of the Chadakoin River Revitalization Project, including comments from the Project Director, City Planning Director and Head of the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy.

April 19, 2012
A conversation with Laurie Mattson and Kim Lombard from Evergreen Health Services to discuss Dining out for Life (April 24). Plus an interview with two residents involved in the Lillian Dickson Park restoration project and also more details on the St. Susan Cener Giving Garden Project.

April 12, 2012
Update from the March 2012 County Legislature meeting, including the issue of a sales tax increase along with more details on the effort to create a County Landbank.

April 5, 2012
An interview with Prendergast Library Directory Linda Mielke and Prendergast Library Board President Tom Price.

March 29, 2012
An update on the Prendergast Library, with audio from the March 22 library board meeting and the March 26 Jamestown City Council Meeting.

March 22, 2012
Interview with Sue Colwell from the St. Susan Center – who will discuss the annual St. Susans basket fair – along with Megan D’Angelo from Hospice Chautauqua County, who provides details for the Second Chance Prom taking place next month. Plus Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell weigh in on hydrofracking.

March 15, 2012
A discussion with Linda Burton from the Foster Grandparents program, and a portion of the Chautauqua County Chamber’s Legislative Breakfast, featuring Senator Catherine Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell.

March 8, 2012
The 2012 State of the County address, delivered by Chautauqua County ExecutiveGreg Edwards. Followed by comments from Jay Gould (County Legislature Chairmen); Larry Barmore (County Legislature Majority Leader); and Lori Cornell (County Legislature Minority Leader). Delvered on Feb. 22, 2012.

March 1, 2012
A recap of the Friends of the Prendergast Library impromptu public forum that took place Tuesday, Feb. 28. The gathering was the result of community concerns involving the James Prendergast Library in Jamestown, N.Y.

Moderated by Board president Tom Price. Also in attendance were Assistant Director Tina Scott and other library senior staff members, along with about 40 members of the public.

Complete audio of the forum can be found below.

  • Prendergast Library Forum 02-28-2012 – Part One (Complete Audio)
  • Prendergast Library Forum 02-28-2012 – Part Two (Complete Audio)

February 23, 2012
Peter Lombardi from the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation talks about the Thinking Spring Garden Fair – set for March 3 in downtown Jamestown. PlusJamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings provides details of Neighborhood Watch Groups in Jamestown.

February 9, 2012
An interview with Jonathon Bell and Frank Besse of Go JTNY – plus a conversation with Jim Holler and Susan Colwell regarding the Soup and a Song promotion at St. Susan Center.

February 2, 2012
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi Delivers the 2012 State of the City Address (originally given on Jan. 30, 2012).

January 26, 2012
A conversation with the Jackson Center’s Jennifer Champ about an upcoming WWII exhibit, plus details on the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program fromRich Fleurant of the United way, and Jamestown City Council President Gregory Rabb.

January 19, 2012
Replay of Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech.

January 12, 2012
A conversation with Lee Harkness, Executive Director of the Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation. We look back on 2011, preview some upcoming events for 2012, plus discuss other projects and services the DJDC will be involved with during the new year.

December 15, 2011
A recap of the Dec. 14 Chautauqua County Legislature meeting, regarding the discussion and passage of a measure that involves hiring a marketing firm to market the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk.

December 1, 2011
Host Jason Sample talks with Sue Colwell, Executive Director of the St. Susan Center in Jamestown, NY and Heather Brown, coordinator of the annual local Toys for Tots Campaign.

November 17, 2011
This week is National Community Foundation Week and WRFA General ManagerDennis Drew talks with Randy Sweeney, Executive Director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

November 10, 2011
A discussion with two organizers of the Occupy Jamestown movement, plus interview with county legislators Lori Cornell (D – Jamestown) and John Runkle(R – Cassadaga), getting their reaction to the 2011 Election and the announcement that the county executive would not be vetoing any items in the amended 2012 budget.

November 3, 2011
Featuring a conversation with Jennifer Champ, Archivist at the Robert H. Jackson Center, about the new “Jackson & Jamestown” exhibit, opening this week at the facility. Plus portions of the 2012 Chautauqua County Budget Public Hearings, with Sheriff Joe Gerace and an advocate for the county airport.

October 27, 2011
Highlights of the Oct. 26, 2011 Chautauqua County Legislature Meeting.

October 20, 2011
Featuring a discussion about Neighborhood Revitilization in Jamestown with Peter Lombardi form the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. Plus Theo Collinsdiscusses The People’s Law School seminars, running from now through Nov. 18, 2011.

October 13, 2011
The Chautauqua County Legislature’s Audit and Control Committee Meeting from Friday, Oct. 7, featuring comments from Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Geraceand the impact the cuts in the County Budget would have on his department.

October 6, 2011
Featuring an interview with WCA Hospital President and CEO Betsy Wright, who discusses the $16 Million Emergency Room Construction Project, plus Vanessa Weinert from the Salvation Army Anew Center.

September 29, 2011
Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards delivers his 2012 Budget Presentation to the County Legislature and calls for action against the ever-increasing, unfunded mandates from Albany.

September 22, 2011
Highlights of the Greenways Initiative public workshop and information forum that took place Wednesday, Sept. 21 at Jamestown Community College and hosted by the Chautauqua County Planning and Economic Development Dept.

September 15, 2011
Excerpts from the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council’s public workshop that took place Sept. 13 at JCC.

September 8, 2011
Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace discusses the changes he’s seen in both local and national law enforcement in the ten years since the September 11 Terror Attacks.

September 1, 2011
A discussion with Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi regarding the Western New York Economic Development Council he was recently appointed to, along with details from Mayor Teresi and Julia Ciesla-Hanley regarding this year’s City of Jamestown Labor Day Festival.

August 25, 2011
Featuring an interview with Roxanne Wendling of the County Humane Society and Terra Dourlain of the Humane Society’s Second Chances Thrift Shop about a new green initiatve at the store. Plus a condensed version of the 2011 Progress Report of the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan, delivered Aug. 24, 2011 to the county legislature.

August 18, 2011
Featuring an interview with Jason Stronz of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, detailing the various projects and initiatives JRC has undertaken in recent months.

August 11, 2011
Host Jason Sample discusses the effort to renovate and preserve the Erie-Lackawanna Train Station in Jamestown, N.Y. Guests are Lee Harkness (DJDC) and Mark Schlemmer (Project Director).

August 4, 2011
Focusing on the Lucille Ball 100th Birthday Celebration with Journey Gunderson, the Chautauqua County Humane Society with Sue Bobek, and Jay Gould from the Chautauqua County Legislature’s Audit and Control Committee.


  • Thursday - 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Sunday - 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm