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

We talk about the future of transit, and if we'll see a carless future. Some say cars are on the way out - they aren't environmentally friendly or economical. Others say that's a ways away - we're not connected enough as communities to rely on bikes and public transit.

We talk to people who have made the switch from cars to bikes, and people who've switched back from bikes to cars about how transit works for them. In studio:

  • Adrian Martin, cyclist
  • Kristin Small, public interest lawyer
  • Christine Corrado, freelance writer, philanthropy consultant, and community activist
  • John Hoffman, English teacher

The Gates Public Library and the Westside Family YMCA have partnered to offer a new preschool program for children in the district. Gates Chili does offer university pre-K, but based on a lottery system. In the three years prior to this school year, the district was unable to accommodate every family that requested preschool. That changed in the 2017-2018 school year, after the district worked to expand its program.

Both efforts emphasize the value education and childcare leaders place on early childhood education. This hour, we discuss learning outcomes for young children who attend preschool programs, and the accessibility of those programs in our area. Our guests:

MICHELLE FAUST/ SIDE EFFECTS PUBLIC MEDIA

First hour: The value of early childhood education

Second hour: Bikes vs. cars - what's the future of transit?

Are modern politics really more uncivil than most of our historical politics? Are we in a unique time in our history?

We talk to the leader of a national institution that aims to bring civility back to politics. Carolyn Lukensmeyer is the executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse. She says this is a dangerous time for discourse, and our children are taking cues from us.

We sit down with her to see what she thinks will lead to change.

We sit down with Kenneth Morris, the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington. Until about ten years ago, Morris says he spent his life hiding from the legacy of his ancestors; he says it was too difficult to live in their shadows. But when he saw a National Geographic story about human trafficking, he felt it was impossible to deny his family’s legacy of abolitionism any longer.

Morris and his mother founded the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives to help educate young people about modern day slavery and its parallels to history. He’s in Rochester to launch a new project that will distribute millions of copies of Douglass' life story to young people across the country. He joins us in studio for the hour.

http://fdfi.org/

First hour: Kenneth Morris, co-founder of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives

Second hour: How can we bring civility back to political discourse?

How can doctors better communicate with their patients, especially when they need to discuss the prognosis of a serious illness? That's the subject of an upcoming lecture at the Rochester Academy of Medicine.

We preview that talk with our guests:

  • Dr. Ronald Epstein, M.D., professor of family medicine, psychiatry, and oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Dr. Robert Horowitz, M.D., chief and professor of palliative care in the Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center

A new film explores the murky truth behind what really happened at Chappaquiddick. Nearly 50 years after Senator Ted Kennedy crashed his car off a bridge, killing Mary Jo Kopechne, Chappaquiddick brings a riveting story to the screen -- and it's a story that still resonates, with themes of privilege, abuse of power, political ambition, and more.

The director, John Curran, is a Pittsford native, and he's our guest in studio.

First hour: The new film, Chappaquiddick

Second hour: How to improve doctor-patient communication

Throughout its history, Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew has been analyzed in different ways. Is the play misogynistic? Satirical? Empowering toward women?

This hour, we reexamine the play in the context of the #MeToo movement. It’s a move that many theater companies have made in recent months, and many have readapted the play to make a statement. We talk about a local production, and about how we view works of theater in different cultural moments. In studio:  

  • Virginia Monte, creator of WallByrd Theatre Company
  • Scott O'Neil, dramaturg for WallByrd’s production of The Taming of the Shrew
  • Jamie Tyrrell, local actor, director, and researcher at the University of Rochester Medical Center

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