Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

Mayor Lovely Warren has recommended the City of Rochester end its red light camera program. City Council will vote on the issue later this month.

The recommendation has led to some cheers, while critics say that the reasons given by the mayor have been known for years.

What are those reasons? The program disproportionately impacted people in impoverished neighborhoods. We discuss that finding and more with the mayor. Our guests:

We hear the remarkable story of Irshad Altheimer, a criminal justice professor at RIT.

Altheimer can never forget the impact of gun violence in his own life: in 1997, a gang member opened fire on the car Altheimer was riding in. One of Irshad's friends was killed. Altheimer was struck by three of the 24 bullets that hit the car.

He explains how that tragic night changed him, and how it informs his work today.

First hour: A criminal justice professor's personal story of gun violence

Second hour: Mayor Lovely Warren discusses her recommendation to stop using red light cameras

Megan Mack / WXXI

Christopher Fields is rare in the teaching profession. He’s an African-American man, and he teaches sixth-grade English at East Lower School. According to the U.S. Department of Education, you'd have to stop by more than 50 classrooms in this country before you found one black male teacher.

Why would coconut milk need to be pasteurized? Strange question, but for a local small business owner, it could mean a lot of money.

Eat Me Ice Cream is five years old, and has experienced tremendous growth in the past two years. Now the company is dealing with small business headaches and frantic Thanksgiving phone calls. The owners hope they're on their way to creating a kind of "craft ice cream" revolution.

We talk about small business challenges, whether coconut milk is actually milk, and how big a craft producer can get while still being craft. Our guests:

Donald Trump's surrogates have cited Japanese internment camps as legal precedent for a potential Muslim registry. To say the least, this is a controversial defense of a so-called "Muslim ban," and it set off a storm of discussion about our own painful past.

A new exhibit at the University of Rochester explores this topic. “Internment: The Japanese-American Experience in World War II — A pilgrimage to WWII Japanese-American internment camps” is on view through December 11.

We try to learn from that past with our panel:

  • Joanne Bernardi, associate professor of Japanese and film and media studies, and head of the Japanese program at the University of Rochester
  • Notch Miyake, photographer and activist
  • Margaret Miyake, photographer and activist
  • Ken Warner, descendent of an American who was interned

First hour: Trump surrogates invoke Japanese internment as legal precedent

Second hour: Small business challenges with Eat Me Ice Cream

Megan Mack / WXXI

On a recent afternoon, Musette Castle was sifting through a stack of books on her dining room table: The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway; Dubliners by Joyce; Catch 22 by Heller. The books come from her grandson Louis’ high school English class reading list. Castle, who is African-American, pointed out that the authors and protagonists are almost all white.

A number of people from the Rochester area have traveled to Standing Rock to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

On Sunday, the Army Corps of Engineers said it will not approve an easement that would allow the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. President-elect Trump supports the pipeline project and says he will reexamine it after his inauguration.

Local "protectors" join us to share share their feelings about what lies ahead. Our guests:

  • Luc Watelet
  • Lisa Giudici
  • Isabelle Bartter
  • Angel Jimerson
  • Lauren Jimerson

Last week we sat down with Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo; now we sit down with two of the leading Democrats from the Monroe County Legislature.

Cindy Kaleh and Jim Sheppard discuss a range of issues related to county business: the budget; the recent hiring of a new leader for COMIDA; and more.