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

If Rochester's "Big Three" are no longer the same, then it might surprise you to learn that patents and intellectual property remain big business. That was the case decades ago, when Kodak led the way in innovations. Today, intellectual property remains a regional economic asset. The Rochester Intellectual Property Law Association is marking 40 years of Inventor of the Year awards, and yes, Rochester is still inventing things. The man who invented the digital camera will lead our panel discussion:

  • Steve Sasson, inventor of the digital camera
  • Dominic P Ciminello, IP attorney, Lee & Hayes
  • Sean Lahman, database reporter, Democrat and Chronicle

We're looking at the future of transportation as we look at what other cities have done -- and what might be possible in Rochester. It's the final lecture in the annual Reshaping Rochester series, and we'll preview it on Connections with our guests:

  • Norman Garrick, Ph. D., Associate Professor, University of Connecticut, Speaker for the final RRCDC lecture
  • Crystal Benjamin-Bafford, Director of Service Planning, RTS  
  • Jim McIntosh, City of Rochester Engineer
  • Howard Decker,FAIA , RRCDC Rochester board member

Legendary musician and music industry executive Herb Alpert is coming to Rochester to play the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, but first he talks to us on Connections. We'll close the hour with a conversation with John Nugent, co-producer of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.

Jennifer Henley, the director of security operations at Facebook, recently gave a keynote address at RIT. As head of security for a site that has nearly 1.5 billion active users every month, she has some practical tips for staying safe on the internet.

Then we’ll check in on what a nationwide survey of people in the rental market can tell us about our cities and communities. The rental market is at a 20-year high, probably good for landlords, but do renters matter to cities? And what aspirations does this highly mobile segment of our population have? We’ll ask Andrew Tam, vice president of data science at Apartment List

We’re talking about neurodiversity in the workplace. Between 60 and 70 percent of people living with autism in America are unemployed. We’ll touch base with families who are working to support people with autism and look at local programs aimed at getting people on the spectrum into meaningful employment. We’ll also speak with a former director of the California State Labor Department  about the Autism Job Club and six strategies that could reshape employment for adults with autism.  

  • Michael S. Bernick, Co-Author of The Autism Job Club
  • Zakarya Banks, guest living with Asperger syndrome
  • Evelyn Evans, Zakarya’s aunt
  • Anne Harvey, Dazzle School president  

Henrietta supervisor Jack Moore insists he's not a racist, and he's not resigning. His comments, captured on video and reported by 13WHAM News, include referring to African Americans as "city cousins." His own party leaders are asking him to step aside. We'll talk about his comments, and the larger questions centering around racism. What is the difference between personal racism and systemic racism? We discuss with our guests:

  • Verdis Robinson, professor of history and African American studies at MCC
  • Simeon Bannister, Henrietta town Democratic leader
  • Dave Andreatta, Democrat & Chronicle

In 2015, 20 percent of New York State residents are age 60 or older for the first time in history. The baby boomers are living longer than previous generations thanks to modern medicine and lifestyle. That means the "age wave" will continue to accelerate. Eventually, 80 million Americans will be 65 or older. So we're talking about age, and the age wave, and how to handle the various challenges of living longer with Ann Marie Cook, CEO of Lifespan, and Mary Rose McBride, vice president for communications at Lifespan.

We take a fresh look at the plans for developing the Port of Rochester. Rochester city leaders say plans are moving forward, and ground could be broken next spring. The city is expecting a new hotel, condominiums, and more. Critics say there are numerous reasons to oppose the project, and they'll outline their concerns at a meeting on Thursday. But business owners in the area say that the plans could spark new life to a dormant area. Our panel debates:

  • Kate Washington, City of Rochester deputy commissioner of neighborhood and business development
  • Bill Brown, president of TMS Solutions
  • Ed Steinberg, city resident

NASA says the last remaining section of a huge Antarctic ice shelf will be gone by 2020 -- faster than scientists initially expected. The shelf is known as Larsen B, and it's existed for 10,000 years. We'll take a look at the data and talk about how this event fits into the broader context of climate change with our panel:

We'll hear the previously untold story of the founding of Arlington National Cemetery. Author Carlo DeVito tells the tale in his new book, Mrs. Lee's Rose Garden. It's a look inside the tragically disintegrating relationships that turned a towering estate into the national resting place for so many war heroes. We'll also talk about Arlington's role in our country's history; Robert E. Lee and Reconstruction; and the poignancy of these subjects with Memorial Day approaching. Our guests:

  • Carlo DeVito, author
  • Timothy Kneeland, chair of the department of history and political science at Nazareth College
  • Joseph Fornieri, director of the Center for Statesmanship, Law, and Liberty at RIT