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 WXXINews.org.

Episode Date
Connections: How Me2/Orchestra is working to eliminate stigma tied to mental illness
3086
Founders of the Me2/Orchestra say it is the only classical music organization in the world created by and for people with mental illness and those who support them. The conductor, Ronald Braunstein, is an internationally renowned maestro who reinvented his career after struggling with his own mental health diagnosis. Now, the orchestra has branches in several cities around the world. The story of Me2/Orchestra is told in a documentary called "Orchestrating Change." It will be screened as part of the Reel Mind Film Series and the Eastman Performing Arts Medicine program next week. But first, the orchestra's founders, one of the filmmakers, a member of the orchestra, and a mental health professional join us to discuss how a project like this can help break down the stigma tied to mental illness. Our guests: Ronald Braunstein , co-founder and music director of Me2/Orchestra Caroline Whiddon , co-founder and executive director of Me2/Orchestra Marek Lorenc, Me2/Orchestra (Burlington)
Jun 14, 2021
Connections: Can technology predict if relationships will be successful?
3095
What does the future of dating look like? Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara think they have an idea. A project at the Computational Mate Choice Lab at USCB involves uploading personalities and relationship ideas and then allowing simulated characters to play out their relationships in the virtual world. Assistant professor Daniel Conroy-Beam says what happens in that virtual space could predict what may happen with couples in real life. His goal, he says, is to help people build happier relationships. Would you put your relationship to this kind of test? If you're single, would you trust this kind of technology to help you make dating decisions? Is this all too "Black Mirror"? Our guests discuss it: Daniel Conroy-Beam , assistant professor and head of the Computational Mate Choice Lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara Shadi Kafi , teacher and writer Nicole Rahn , young professional
Jun 14, 2021
Connections: Discussing the rise in alcoholic liver disease
3066
NPR reports that there has been a "sharp, 'off the charts' rise in alcoholic liver disease among young women." Experts say pandemic stressors have led to a rise in drinking, and pop culture has validated drinking as a coping mechanism. Survival rates for alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis, which are types of alcoholic liver disease, can be as low as ten percent. This hour, we talk about the rise in the disease, the psychological components tied to it, and what experts say can help people experiencing these challenges. Our guests: Marie Laryea, M.D. , associate professor in the Department of Medicine, Gastroenterology/Hepatology; Department of Surgery, Transplant; and associate chair of diversity, equity and inclusion in the Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center Myra Mathis, M.D. , senior instructor in the Department of Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center Sean Yantz, certified peer recovery advocate, and certified
Jun 11, 2021
Connections: Chris Thompson on his experience with homelessness
3034
Local engineer Chris Thompson wrote this week about his experience with homelessness. He was a teenager in high school when he was pulled out of class and told that he and his mother were being evicted. Thompson writes that too often, society looks at someone and assumes they understand what that person has been through -- based on the look of their clothes or the way they act. His story of being without a permanent place to live holds lessons, and he joins us to discuss it. Our guest: Chris Thompson , engineer, and contributing writer for 540WMain
Jun 11, 2021
Connections: Suzanne Simard, author of "Finding the Mother Tree"
3102
Ecologist Suzanne Simard wants to change the way you think about trees. Simard has dedicated her life to studying how trees communicate. Her research details how they perceive one another, how they collaborate with their neighbors, even how they remember the past. Her work in forests has informed the logging industry, and she hopes it can influence federal policy. Simard will be a guest of the Western New York Land Conservancy next week , but first, she joins us on Connections to discuss her new book, "Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest." We hear about her research on the "wood-wide-web", her encounters with grizzly bears, and what she wants everyone to know about the wisdom of trees. Our guests: Suzanne Simard , ecologist, professor in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and author of "Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest" Kyle Semmel , communications manager for the Western New
Jun 10, 2021
Connections: How tennis star Naomi Osaka helped put athletes' mental health in the global spotlight
3060
Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka shocked the sports world when she announced last week that she was withdrawing from the French Open. Osaka had skipped media obligations leading into the tournament, revealing that she was struggling with her mental health. The move was applauded by some athletes and advocates, who praised Osaka for putting athletes' mental health into the global spotlight. But critics and some sports journalists say that talking to the press is part of an elite athlete's job, and Osaka shouldn't neglect that obligation. The story raises a number of questions: how do we care for our mental health? When it is okay to step back? What is the responsibility of an elite athlete when it comes to communicating with journalists? Our guests address these questions and more. Our guests: Mike Maloney, M.D. , chief of the Sports Medicine Division in the Department of Orthopaedics and founder of the Fitness Science and CHAMMP programs at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and
Jun 10, 2021
Connections: Lakaya Sinclair on allegations against County Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell
3131
Eleven women have told investigators that County Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell sent them inappropriate, sexual, and sometimes graphic messages. Lakaya Sinclair is the only one of those accusers to come forward publicly. She has asked for Monroe County to pass stronger ethics legislation and remove Flagler-Mitchell from his office. For his part, Flagler-Mitchell has not denied sending such messages, but he says it was never inappropriate or predatory. For the first time, we talk to Lakaya Sinclair about what she experienced, and why she believes government is not being held accountable. We're also joined by CITY Magazine news editor Jeremy Moule, who breaks down the DA's report on the allegations against Flagler-Mitchell. Our guests: Lakaya Sinclair Jeremy Moule , news editor for CITY Magazine
Jun 09, 2021
Connections: Candidates for Rochester City School Board, part 4
3032
We're joined by two more candidates for Rochester City School Board. It's our fourth and final discussion with candidates in this race prior to the primary on June 22. Incumbent and current board vice president Cynthia Elliott and educator and activist Clianda Florence-Yarde join us to discuss their platforms and priorities for the district. Our guests: Cynthia Elliott Clianda Florence-Yarde
Jun 09, 2021
Connections: Discussing the popularity of houseplants and gardening during the pandemic
3102
Have you been buying more house plants or doing more gardening during the pandemic? WXXI’s Veronica Volk reports that Rochester’s rare plant market is booming, and NPR reports that gardens have gained popularity as people have been working from home and want to grow their own food. This hour, we talk about the popularity of houseplants, the rise in gardening, and what the experts say you need to know about growing plants and food. Our guests: Veronica Volk , reporter/producer for WXXI Benjamin Harrigan, founder and lead farmer at Thoughtful Growth Petra Page-Mann, co-founder for Fruition Seeds Laurie Broccolo, CEO of Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care
Jun 08, 2021
Connections: Candidates for Rochester City School Board, part 3
3048
We talk with two more candidates for Rochester City School Board. Nine candidates are vying for three open seats on the board. Our goal is to talk to all of the candidates before the primary on June 22. This hour, we hear from Joshua Bauroth and Tatiana Welch about their platforms and priorities for the district. Our guests: Joshua Bauroth Tatiana Welch
Jun 08, 2021
Connections: Michael Lasser, host of "Fascinatin’ Rhythm"
3069
We're joined by the great Michael Lasser, longtime host of Fascinatin’ Rhythm on WXXI Radio . Lasser has been at the helm of the nationally syndicated show for more than 40 years. His work as earned him a loyal audience and a coveted George Foster Peabody Award. As reported by WXXI's Jeff Spevak, "jurors said his program was a vivid example of what a listener described as 'radio essays with songs used as illustrations.'” Lasser has decided to retire, with June 26 being the final broadcast of his program. This hour, we sit down with him and with the program's original producer, Marianne Carberry, to talk about the many years of the show, its music, the social history of that music, and more. Our guests: Michael Lasser , host of Fascinatin’ Rhythm , author, teacher, and theater critic Marianne Carberry , original producer of Fascinatin’ Rhythm , and program host for Classical 91.5. FM
Jun 07, 2021
Connections: Local school superintendents on masking guidance
3044
Late last week, New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker released a letter he wrote to the CDC about masking guidance for the state. In that letter, he said the state will try to align its guidance for school and summer camps, meaning children and staff who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors. The changes were set to begin today. But now, state officials say no plans will be adjusted until the CDC has an opportunity to respond to the letter. Meanwhile, some local districts are making their own changes. This hour, we hear from local superintendents about masking guidance, and we talk to them about their plans for the fall. Our guests: Kathleen Graupman , superintendent of Greece Central School District, and president of the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents Bo Wright , superintendent of Rush-Henrietta Central School District, and vice president of the Monroe County Council of School Superintendents Gene Mancuso , superintendent of
Jun 07, 2021
Connections: What bees can tell us about the spread of microplastics
3082
What do bees have to do with microplastics? We're joined by experts who explain how honeybees are living probes of how microplastics are scattered around the world. Our guests: Matt Kelly , independent journalist, and creator and editor of The Bee Report Christy Tyler , associate professor in the Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences in the College of Science of RIT Greg Madejski , founder and CEO of Parverio
Jun 04, 2021
Connections: What's next for Rochester's Inner Loop?
3063
WXXI reporter James Brown has done a deep dive on the future of Rochester's Inner Loop. City officials hope President Biden's infrastructure plan could help do away with what's left of it. A goal of that plan is to help reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments and improve racial equity and access to services. Community members living in areas where development would occur say they support plans to relink neighborhoods, but they worry that the city is moving too quickly or that residents won't be involved in decision-making. We discuss the issues with our guests: James Brown , reporter for WXXI News Nancy Hernandez Maciuska, Marketview Heights neighbor Suzanne Mayer, president of Hinge Neighbors
Jun 04, 2021
Connections: Previewing this summer's films
3100
Which films are on your summer movie list? From "In the Heights" to "The Green Knight" to "Space Jam: A New Legacy with LeBron James," movie buffs have a lot to choose from in the coming months. Our guests this hour preview this summer's films and discuss how movie theaters have weathered the pandemic. Our guests: Scott Pukos , public relations coordinator for the Little Theatre Jackie McGriff , co-founder of the Our Voices Project , owner of Jackie Photography , and movie fan Adam Lubitow , film writer and programmer Jared Case , curator of film exhibitions at the George Eastman Museum
Jun 03, 2021
Connections: D&C reporters on allegations against a Western New York Christian youth camp leader
3103
Journalists from the USA Today Network have published allegations from more than 16 women that they were abused by a Christian youth camp leader in Western New York. The allegations date back to the 1990s and involve sexual and emotional abuse. We talk to the reporters who have been working on this story for months. Our guests: Sarah Taddeo , consumer watchdog reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle and USA Today Network's New York team Georgie Silvarole , backpack reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle and USA Today Network's New York team
Jun 03, 2021
Connections: Candidates for Rochester City School Board, part 2
3082
We hear from two more candidates for Rochester City School Board. Our goal is to talk to all of the candidates before Primary Day. Our guests this hour include: Minister Clifford Florence James Patterson
Jun 02, 2021
Connections: Discussing mental health first aid for victims of racial trauma and gun violence
3057
We discuss a new partnership that offers mental health intervention services for Black and Brown victims of racial trauma and gun violence. It's a grassroots, on-the-ground effort to connect people with resources and assistance. The leaders say their work is not meant to be reactionary, but to ensure stability and good long-term outcomes. We discuss it with our guests: Justin Morris, community activist Megan Clifford , psychotherapist and mental health first aid instructor Brandon Irons, entrepreneur and mental health therapy consumer
Jun 02, 2021
Connections: The rise of the card trading and grading industries
3112
Something very strange is happening with trading cards – baseball cards especially, but also football cards, Pokémon cards, and more. Target recently announced that it would stop selling such cards, and local Target stores have posted signs saying that they’ve pulled the cards in order to protect the safety of the staff. Why would baseball cards make the staff unsafe? Turns out that during the pandemic, the card market exploded – and now buyers are competing for each new shipment, hoping to suck up the supply, find the most valuable cards, and make a profit. Some of this is due to the rise of the card grading industry, too. But does this mean the old cards in your basement are suddenly valuable? Our guests help explain: Eric Snitil , WROC-TV chief meteorologist and card enthusiast Steve Chada, owner of 1of1 Sports Cards & Memorabilia
Jun 01, 2021
Connections: Discussing Rochester's proposed Food Policy Council
3079
In a recent piece for CITY Magazine, editor David Andreatta detailed plans for a proposed Food Policy Council in Rochester. The council would address the city’s so-called food swamp – “an urban area with an abundance of food that is unhealthy and where healthy food is hard to find or afford.” Food swamps can lead to systemic unequal access to food, perpetuating the structural inequalities that already exist in a community. So what would a Food Policy Council do? How would it work? Our guests discuss those questions and more: David Andreatta , editor of CITY Magazine Mark Winne , senior advisor to the Food Policy Networks Mike Bulger , healthy communities project coordinator for Common Ground Health Luvene Ford, tenant association president at Keeler Park Apartments, and member of the Food Policy Council planning team
Jun 01, 2021