Connections with Evan Dawson

By Evan Dawson

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WXXI's Evan Dawson talks about what matters to Rochester and the Finger Lakes on Connections, Every weekday from Noon-2 p.m. on WXXI-AM 1370, WRUR FM 88.5, and online at

Episode Date
Connections: Congressman Joe Morelle on the coronavirus relief bill
Congressman Joe Morelle joins us to discuss the coronavirus relief bill that passed both houses and was signed by the president. We also discuss how Rep. Morelle sees the ongoing crisis, and how to eventually reignite the economy. Our guest: Congressman Joe Morelle
Apr 03, 2020
Connections: Discussing how people affected by COVID-19 can access assistance through the CARES Act
The Rochester Area Community Foundation is offering a webinar to help people and organizations affected by the pandemic better understand the CARES Act. This hour, we’re joined by experts who will be leading to webinar. They discuss how organizations can access the federally-backed forgivable loans available through the program and how they work. They also answer listener questions about individual and small business relief. Our guests: Simeon Banister , vice president of community programs at Rochester Area Community Foundation Martin Birmingham, CEO of Five Star Bank Emily Cohen , attorney with Harter, Secrest & Emery Todd Butler , president and CEO of Causewave Community Partners
Apr 03, 2020
Connections: Discussing next steps for the Democratic Party
Democrats have elevated Joe Biden to a nearly insurmountable delegate lead in the nomination process. But supporters of Bernie Sanders argue that Biden has largely been in the background during the pandemic, and they want Sanders to keep pushing. Biden has said he sees no point in debating anymore, and his camp wants Sanders to exit the race. Meanwhile, some Democrats are publicly wondering if there's an opening for New York governor Andrew Cuomo. We talk about next steps during an unprecedented modern crisis. Our guests: Chris Amato, member of Rochester Democratic Socialists of America Konnie Collins, administrator for the Rochester for Bernie Sanders Facebook page Jay Levin, Democratic organizer and volunteer
Apr 02, 2020
Connections: Pregnancy during the pandemic
Expectant mothers are expressing concerns about a number of issues surrounding pregnancy during the pandemic. Many are exploring the option of home births in an effort to avoid the hospital setting. Others who plan to deliver in hospitals have questions about safety and precautions for themselves and their babies. Our guests discuss those concerns and what families need to know: Dr. Daniel Grace , M.D., division chief of maternal and fetal medicine, and associate chair of obstetrics at Rochester Regional Health Dr. Courtney Olson-Chen , M.D., assistant professor of OBGYN at UR Medicine Kathy Kingsley , expectant mother and freelance writer for CITY Newspaper Lucia Petito, expectant mother
Apr 02, 2020
Connections: Dr. Ray Dorsey on his new book, "Ending Parkinson's Disease"
Dr. Ray Dorsey at the University of Rochester Medical Center has written a new book on Parkinson’s disease. The disease is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. Dorsey’s book is a “prescription for action.” He outlines the causes for the disease – many of them environmental – and directives for how to prevent the condition. He joins us this hour to discuss his research. We also hear from a local woman living with Parkinson’s disease. Our guests: Dr. Ray Dorsey , M.D., David M. Levy Professor of Neurology, director of the Center for Health and Technology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and author of "Ending Parkinson's Disease" Yvonne Hylton, woman living with Parkinson’s disease
Apr 01, 2020
Connections: Astrophysicist Adam Frank on how the pandemic is a fire drill for climate change
Astrophysicist Adam Frank says this pandemic is a fire drill for climate change. Writing for NBC News, Frank says we're re-learning just how fragile life is. We have not conquered risk and uncertainty, much to our horror. But we are also learning how quickly we can mobilize to confront an emergency. We discuss the painful lessons that can shape how our civilization deals with threats going forward. Our guest: Adam Frank , astrophysicist at the University of Rochester
Mar 31, 2020
Connections: Update on the state of COVID-19 and PPE in Monroe County
WXXI health reporter Brett Dahlberg joins Connections to share an update on the state of COVID-19 and personal protective equipment in Monroe County.
Mar 31, 2020
Connections: RCSD Superintendent Terry Dade on his draft budget
Rochester City School District Superintendent Terry Dade joins us to talk about his draft budget. He discusses the challenging decisions facing the district, including cuts to teaching positions, services, and more. Our guest: Terry Dade , superintendent of the Rochester City School District
Mar 30, 2020
Connections: Discussing recommendations for colon cancer screenings
According to the American Cancer Society, about 1 in 22 men and 1 in 24 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer during their lifetimes. There are multiple screening tools available for this type of cancer; doctors say those tools can help them find the cancer early, and in some cases, help prevent it. This hour, we discuss colon cancer screenings with local medical professionals who tell us what we need to know. We also hear from two GI patients about their experiences. Our guests: Dr. Danielle Marino , M.D., gastroenterologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center Dr. Patrick Okolo , M.D., gastroenterologist at Rochester Regional Health Mike Tedesco, manager of health systems at the American Cancer Society, Northeast Region Tina Cottone, GI patient at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and director of Strollin for the Colon 5K Run/Walk Katie Papas, colon cancer survivor *For more information about screenings for colorectal, breast, and cervical cancers, click
Mar 27, 2020
Connections: How to disagree better politically
*This broadcast includes an update on the state of COVD-19 in Monroe County with WXXI health reporter Brett Dahlberg . Social scientist and author Arthur Brooks says Americans need to “Love Your Enemies.” That’s the title of his most recent book. In it, he argues that agreement across the political spectrum isn’t necessary, but better disagreement is needed. Professor David Primo at the University of Rochester has been teaching a course on the role of disagreement in a democratic society. He and several of his students join us to discuss issues related to political polarization, academic freedom, and diversity on college campuses. We also discuss how political disagreement has impacted responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Our guests: David Primo , professor of political science and business administration, and Ani and Mark Gabrellian Professor at the University of Rochester Madelyn Candela, sophomore at the University of Rochester Jonah Ricanati, senior at the University of Rochester
Mar 27, 2020
Connections: Is it possible to live a life without single-use plastics?
A year ago, Marielle Jensen Battaglia gave up plastic for Lent. She decided that she wanted to live differently. She wanted to find ways to eliminate plastic use -- and it turns out, there's plastic just about everywhere. Her story received some of the most feedback from any show in 2019, so we've invited her back to discuss whether she's been able to sustain a mostly-plastic-free lifestyle. Our guest: Marielle Jensen Battaglia, local resident
Mar 26, 2020
Connections: An update on the state of COVID-19 in Monroe County
WXXI health reporter Brett Dahlberg joins Connections to provide an update on the state of COVID-19 in Monroe County.
Mar 26, 2020
Connections: Anthony Magnabosco on street epistemology
When's the last time you convinced someone to change their mind? Most of us are not very effective when it comes to debate. We dig in on our positions, and we expend a lot of emotional energy, and nothing changes. Our guest is a man who is helping build an entirely new way of talking to people with vastly different beliefs. He's published hundreds of videos of calm, careful exploration of beliefs. And he does most of it in a public park, when strangers are willing to stop and chat. We get a new way of thinking, talking, and examining beliefs. Our guest: Anthony Magnabosco , executive director of Street Epistemology International
Mar 25, 2020
Connections: Discussing tips for planting and gardening during the pandemic
One of the few activities that remains entirely appropriate during the pandemic is time outdoors, and for many people, that includes planting / gardening / growing. As the weather slowly warms, our guests explore all the things we can do to grow our own food; improve our landscape; and more. But first, WXXI health reporter Brett Dahlberg joins us for an update on the state of COVID-19. Our guests: Brett Dahlberg , WXXI health reporter Petra Page-Mann, co-founder of Fruition Seeds Nathaniel Mich, urban farming and edible education specialist at Foodlink Pamela Reese Smith, community garden coordinator for the City of Rochester
Mar 25, 2020
Connections: Infectious disease physicians discuss what we should know about COVID-19
We continue our series of conversations about the impact of the coronavirus. This hour, we’re joined by two local infectious disease doctors who help us gain a better understanding COVID-19. We discuss how it’s transmitted, its symptoms, when to seek care, and questions related to immunity. We’re also joined by Nazareth College professor Tim Kneeland – an expert in studying pandemics. He discusses what we can learn about COVID-19 by studying the 1918 Spanish Flu. Our guests: Dr. Ghinwa Dumyati , M.D., professor and physician of infectious diseases at the University of Rochester Medical Center Dr. Anja Bottler , M.D., infections disease physician at Unity Hospital Tim Kneeland , chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Nazareth College
Mar 24, 2020
Connections: What local millennials and members of Gen Z are doing to promote social distancing
Reports of young people crowding Florida beaches for spring break have been a source of frustration for doctors and political leaders who are ordering social distancing. Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the issue last week, telling young people who think they are immune, “You’re not superman and you’re not superwoman, you can get this virus and you can transfer the virus and you can wind up hurting someone who you love or hurting someone wholly inadvertently.” According to the Business Insider, millennials say they’re frustrated for being called out; they say it’s Gen Z that’s not staying inside. This hour, we talk to members of both generations about what they are doing to promote social distancing and to help community members in need. They join…from a distance. Our guests: Emmarae Stein , student at Nazareth College and Connections intern Kim Morse , editor and Rochester native Bryce Spadafora, Rochester native
Mar 24, 2020
Connections: Discussing new guidelines for autism screenings
New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend specific autism screenings during well visits when children are 18 month and 24 months of age. Experts say doctors can gauge social milestones during those visits; those milestones could provide early signs of autism. This hour, we discuss the new guidelines, and we talk about how to support children and young adults with developmental disabilities who are now at home and unable to access programs during the pandemic. Our guests: Dr. Susan Hyman , M.D., professor of pediatrics, and division chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong Sarah Milko, executive director of AutismUp Rachel Rosner, director of education and support services for AutismUp This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk .
Mar 23, 2020
Connections: How physical distancing is affecting victims of family violence
The coronavirus pandemic is having an effect on the number of calls made to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Hotline staff report that a growing number of callers say abusers are using COVID-19 as a reason to further isolate victims. Locally, calls to Willow Domestic Violence Center have increased, with victims looking for advice for how to adapt their safety plans. The center has ramped up phone counseling services and is working to address a possible increase for shelter services. Advocates for children are also expressing concerns about how physical distancing could impact children who live in abusive homes. This hour, our guests discuss how to help victims of all ages. Our guests: Meaghan de Chateauvieux , president and CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center Mary Whittier , interim CEO of RESOLVE of Greater Rochester Deb Rosen , executive director of Bivona Child Advocacy Center Jerri Lynn Sparks, survivor of domestic violence
Mar 23, 2020
Connections: Author Linda Sue Park on her new book, "Prairie Lotus"
*This hour includes an update on the coronavirus pandemic from WXXI's health reporter, Brett Dahlberg. Author Linda Sue Park’s new novel, “Prairie Lotus,” tells the story of a half-Chinese girl and her white father as they make a home in Dakota Territory in 1880. In the story, Hanna and her father face racial prejudice as they try to adapt to their new surroundings. The book was released earlier this month to critical acclaim; some critics compare the historical fiction to “Little House on the Prairie.” Park won the Newbery Medal in 2002, becoming the first Korean American author to do so. She joins us this hour to talk about “Prairie Lotus,” its themes, and trends in children’s literature today. Our guest: Linda Sue Park , author of “Prairie Lotus”
Mar 20, 2020
Connections: Discussing the value of doing work that will outlive us
*This hour includes an update on the coronavirus pandemic from WXXI's health reporter, Brett Dahlberg. The great Dolly Parton recently said on her podcast that she is recording music intended to be released after her passing. She's in good health! But she's thinking beyond her living years. Our guests discuss the value of doing work that will outlive all of us, whether it's related to climate change, art, culture, or something else. Let's get a little weird and existential. Our guests: Jake Wojtowicz , ethics and philosophy writer, and professor of ethics at Brockport Hannah Davis , visiting lecturer at RIT Susan Levin, coordinator of the Rochester Women's Bike Festival
Mar 19, 2020