WXXI AM News

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

Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • Music, history, and culture, with cellist Rufus Cappadocia;
  • The heroin epidemic and one former addict's story;
  • The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council;
  • The Arnett Cafe's success story and the co-owner's thoughts about growing up in Rochester;
  • A new CSA charter.

We preview this Sunday's Academy Awards. Our guests give their predictions for who will win, who should win, and we discuss how this year's Oscar nominations have ended the diversity drought. Our guests:

  • Jack Garner, longtime film critic
  • Lester D. Friedman, professor and former chair of the Media and Society Program at Hobart and William Smith College
  • Adam Lubitow, film critic for City Newspaper

Rufus Cappadocia began playing the cello when he was three-years-old. 14 years later, he added a fifth string to his instrument, and was thinking about music through a global and historical context.

We talk to this remarkable musician about composing and playing music, designing instruments, and about the social and environmental causes he supports.

Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP

First hour: Cellist Rufus Cappadocia

Second hour: Previewing the Oscars

What is a real CSA? Some local farmers feel that once the local food movement became popular, a lot of businesses have started calling themselves a CSA without really following the original ideas, putting actual CSA farms at risk of losing customers. In other words, your CSA might not really be a CSA, and smaller farms could be hurt by this.

We talk to several local farmers, including a woman who has created a charter to define what a CSA is -- just in time for CSA Day on Friday. Our guests:

Heroin has exploded as a problem in the United States, and it doesn't discriminate: rural communities, city neighborhoods. WROC-TV's Adam Chodak recently reported on several aspects of the problem in Rochester, along with the debate over solutions. Drop-off treatment centers? Needle exchange? Read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

We discuss the various approaches with our guests:

  • Adam Chodak, WROC-TV anchor
  • Matt Woodring, advocate and former addict
  • Miguel Melendez, special projects director for Ibero-American Development Corporation

First hour: Debating how to handle the heroin epidemic

Second hour: Defining what a CSA is -- and is not

The annual push to "End the R-Word" is back on. Is it working? Last year, a comedian in a Showtime special delivered a deeply insulting rant about people with mental disabilities. The term still comes up on occasion in pop culture.

We check in with our guests:

The story of what the late Assemblyman Bill Nojay did -- his scams, his lies, his theft -- is only known because of the work of reporters Steve Orr and Gary Craig. They pushed to have records unsealed, and they chased down many threads to a strange and sad tale of deception.

Steve and Gary join us to explain how they pulled the entire, complex story together, and what questions they still would like to answer.

First hour: D&C reporters explain how they cracked the story of Bill Nojay's scandal

Second hour: Ending the R-word

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