City Limits

Hemp growers are deciding right now how much hemp crops to plant with the unknowns of when they will be able to farm and when processors will be able to start, again.  As part of City Limits Food For Thought podcast series, John Smith reports the industry appeared to be gaining state support before the COVID-19 virus hit but, was also dealing with unknowns at the federal level.  

Katie Zilcosky / WAER News

By 2050, we’ll have to feed 9 billion people globally, but our current food system is already experiencing strains. And in order to feed the world, agricultural innovation will be necessary over the next few decades. 


Katie Zilcosky / WAER News

Food for Thought is the newest project from 88.3 WAER Syracuse, focusing on the state’s largest economic sector: agriculture. In the past decade, employment in New York’s agricultural economy has grown by 25.4%, and our community is centrally located in this growth. The state has designated Central New York, along with the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier, as the Grow-NY region, an area rich in resources.

Chris Bolt/WAER News / WAER FM

Onondaga and surrounding counties are ready to take the next step in trying to reduce the area’s high poverty rate.  A call is out this week for proposals that can address some of the barriers and challenges that make it hard for people to get out of poverty. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News / WAER FM

WAER's signature coverage on poverty in our City Limits Project was among the work honored by the Syracuse Press Club with awards this past weekend.  Sports journalism and ensemble pre-game shows also won awards.

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Nojaim Market closing on Syracuse’s Near Westside renewed a conversation about food access in some of the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Local officials and nonprofit leaders worried the closure would severely affect the lives of those who lived around it.

But research done by Syracuse University Master’s Student Katie Mott revealed that people living in extreme poverty didn’t view the closure of Nojaim’s as their most pressing concern. For City Limits, Katie Zilcosky talked with Katie Mott about urban poverty and food access.


In his state of the city address this year, Mayor Ben Walsh said Syracuse's best days aren't just around the corner, but they are in reach. The future of interstate 81, the creation of Syracuse Surge and new leadership has positioned 2019 to be a year of big changes for the Syracuse area.

On this episode of City Limits Talk, Chris Bolt and Katie Zilcosky sit down with Mayor Ben Walsh and his team to discuss how they plan to achieve their goals.

City of Syracuse

It’s no secret that Syracuse has one of the highest poverty rates in the country, nearly three times the national average of about 12 percent.  But an analysis by the Brookings Institution looks at just who is living in poverty, and why.  That could be the key to finding ways to boost populations that are struggling.

It might seem like one of the quickest ways out of poverty is a steady job.  But despite low unemployment and government-funded job training, those who need jobs the most find obstacles to getting them.  Some built-in factors get in the way but there are policies and practices that could hold promise.  In this episode of City Limits, Chris Bolt examines the role local businesses play in reducing poverty in Syracuse.

Katie Zilcosky

The Greater Syracuse HOPE Initiative has been working to make a difference in Syracuse’s poverty problem. Last year, the organization asked the community what programs they think would make an impact. From that community input, HOPE chose eleven proposals and has spent the last year developing them.

City Limits’ Katie Zilcosky sat down with Greater Syracuse HOPE’s Executive Director to talk about what changes 2018 brought to Syracuse and what is still to come.