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

A local nonprofit is helping the homeless find permanent housing. We talk to the founders of Person Centered Housing Options about why they think a housing-first model makes for better outcomes in health, education, and in keeping families together.

Our guests:

  • Nicholas Coulter, co-founder of Person Centered Housing Options
  • Charlie Albanese, co-founder of Person Centered Housing Options
  • Enrique Arcelay, veteran of Person Centered Housing Options

What is fair trade? What is direct trade? And what's the difference? We hear about companies that deal in these practices, but if you were asked to define them, could you?

We talk to business owners who help us understand what they mean, as well as their benefits and drawbacks. Our guests:

FREEIMAGES.COM/JULIA FREEMAN-WOOLPERT

First hour: What is fair trade?

Second hour: Helping the homeless find permanent housing

How much do you know about Star WarsThe Last Jedi comes out this week, and Star Wars fans are already making predictions about the film and the future of the franchise. But what if you’ve never seen Star Wars? Even if you’ve gone your whole life without seeing the films, surely you’ve absorbed some of the saga’s references through your friends and the media, right? Maybe not.

This hour, we talk Star Wars with super fans and with people (like producer Megan Mack) who have no idea who Boba Fett is. We also discuss diversity in casting, the direction of the series, and if the films still resonate today. Our guests:

  • Tiffany Staropoli, Star Wars fan since 1980, and broadcast producer and director
  • Dan HowellStar Wars fan and personal trainer
  • Katie Beczak, recruitment and communications specialist at RIT
  • Juan Vazquez, digital engagement producer for WXXI

One year into the Trump presidency, climate activists are taking their efforts to the statewide level. So what are their priorities for New York State in 2018? Here’s one idea: In New York, activists and advocates say that many of the vital technologies – the ones that would update and improve our outdated energy grid – can not be deployed at a meaningful scale. How can we change that? Our guest:

First hour: Reviewing the year in climate

Second hour: Does Star Wars still resonate with audiences today?

Are we alone in the universe? China has custom-built the world’s first observatory designed to listen for messages from extraterrestrial life. That country's preeminent science-fiction writer, Liu Cixin, argues that making contact with outside civilizations might lead to our extinction because they may perceive us as a threat. Yet, others say that making contact would lead to advances in science, ethics, culture, and more.

So as scientists continue to develop advanced telescopes and technologies, what kinds of messages should we be prepared to send, if any? What are the implications? And how likely is it that we will make contact at all? Our guests weigh in:

  • Brian Koberlein, senior lecturer of physics at RIT
  • Roger Dube, research professor and director of the Science Exploration Program at RIT

The price of Bitcoin and other forms of crypto currency has exploded in the past month. A surge in interest has Wall Street wondering if the prices can stay this high, and average citizens are wondering if they should be buying this kind of currency. What is crypto currency? How does it work? What is its future?

Our guests weigh in:

https://bitcoin.org/en/

First hour: The crypto explosion

Second hour: Alien life: Rules of first contact

Is there a way to remove the stain of partisanship from politics? A local developer says yes. Howard Konar is the founder of a nonprofit called Common Ground, and he has written a book that aims to go beyond politics, and offer basic principles.

Konar joins us to discuss his views and how centrism might be the cure to our polarized political culture.

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