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

Two Rochester residents recently returned after sixteen days of study in South Africa. Both are employed as interns at the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and, among other responsibilities, share social justice principles and practices with middle school students at Northwest Middle school on the Frederick Douglas campus as part of the team of educators that the Gandhi Institute sends every day.

During the trip the youth toured the country, visiting sites and museums related to nonviolence and the history of overcoming apartheid, as well as community empowerment projects. A special highlight of the visit was meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho. We'll talk to Yahoda Miller and Malik Thompson about how they'd like to translate lessons of nonviolence from South Africa to Rochester. They'll be joined by the director of the Ghandi Institute, Kit Miller. 

The New York State legislature decided to do nothing to change the SAFE Act in this recent legislative session. Gun rights advocates feel betrayed. Meanwhile, new numbers seem to show that very few New Yorkers are registering their firearms in accordance with the new law. Can the SAFE Act work if most gun owners ignore it? We debate these questions with:

Attempts to solve problems around the world are happening right here in Rochester. Examples include a new app that could help in how we respond to epidemics, the ability to better map disasters, and understanding the value of information and how to use it. We're going to talk about these things and more with our panel:

  • Ammina Kothari, RIT School of Communication.
  • Brian Tomaszewski, assistant professor at RIT
  • Solomon Abiola, research associate at the University of Rochester Medical Center

The Supreme Court ruled Friday morning that same-sex marriages are legal in all 50 states. We gathered reaction from those on both sides of the ruling for this hour of 'Connections'.

SentrySafe is closing its local plant within a year, moving 350 jobs from the Rochester area to Wisconsin and Mexico. Business leaders and the former owner says this comes as a shock. How did it happen? What did the former owners think when the company was sold to The Master Lock Company? What opportunities are there for the workers who will lose their jobs -- many of them after at least two decades? We dive in with our guests:

  • Jim Brush, Former CEO of SentrySafe, who sold the company last year to The Master Lock Company
  • George Conboy, chairman, Brighton Securities

The City of Rochester is launching their summer series of Clergy on Patrol events on June 29th. The first event will have a focus on youth, with the goal of shaping a positive image of law enforcement early in life. Our guests in studio will give us insight on the program:

  • Tracey Miller, City of Rochester
  • David "D-Will" Williams, co-founder of M.O.G. ("Man of God")
  • Commander Joseph Morabito, Rochester Police Department
  • Ray Mayoliz, Pathways to Peace

Now that the Supreme Court ruled that subsidies for the Affordable Care Act (or "Obamacare") are legal, what does this mean for us in New York State? WXXI News reporter Michelle Faust joined Evan Dawson at the start of 'Connections' today to discuss this and also debate why the court ruled the way it did, and if there could ever be a legislative challenge to Obamacare.

We go looking for the fountain of youth based on the latest research on aging. As the Rochester Museum and Science Center says, everybody wants to live a long and healthy life. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of longevity is of utmost importance because if we learn how to slow down aging, we will be able to delay the onset of of multiple age-related diseases. Cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease are all the symptoms of aging; by delaying aging it will be possible to prevent or delay all of them by treating the cause rather than a symptom.

Our guest is Vera Gorbunova a University of Rochester biology professor, and she'll be speaking at the Rochester Museum and Science Center Wednesday night as part of their 'Science on the Edge' lecture series. 

We keep hearing about the benefits of using solar energy; so why don't we see more solar panels on homes? That could soon change, thanks to a new campaign aiming to "Solarize the Flower City." We'll discuss the ways that costs have come down, possible benefits, and what the average home needs in order to get solarized. Our guests:

Nancy Johns-Price, City of Rochester
Lane Young, O'Connell Electric
Susan Spencer, ROCSPOT
Dan Courtney, owner of home with solar

We'll talk to two towering figures in music. NPR says that pianist, composer and author Kenny Werner is known for his 1996 book Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within, which has become a university textbook for improvising musicians and other artists. He'll talk about unleashing creativity in music.

Then we'll welcome the great Steve Gadd, perhaps the finest drummer of all time. He has a seemingly endless list of accomplishments in music, and we'll talk about his remarkable career.