Weekdays Noon-2:00 p.m. on WXXI-AM 1370 or WRUR-FM 88.5 in Rochester and WEOS 89.5 FM in Geneva

Evan Dawson talks about what matters to you on ConnectionsEvery weekday from Noon-2 p.m. Be part of the program with questions or comments by phone - 1-844-295-TALK (8255), email, Facebook or Twitter

Subscribe: RSS - Stitcher - iTunes

Connections FAQ

Ways to Connect

In this Move to Include conversation, we explore how Rochester has become a town more welcoming to people living with Parkinson's Disease. From diagnosis to research to resources, we cover it all. Our guests:

  • Dennis Whitney, president of the National Parkinson Foundation of Greater Rochester, and the primary caregiver for his wife
  • Bill Carpenter, board member for the foundation and the caregiver for his wife
  • Flo Dorsey, living with Parkinson's Disease
  • Michelle Burack, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center

If you're feeling some panic about the presidential election, a question: are you going to stay on the couch, curled up in the fetal position, for the next six weeks? Or might you go to work, volunteering? Would you go to a swing state for a weekend? Would you phone bank?

No matter whom you support, we're exploring ways in which you - yes, you! - can get involved to help impact the election. Beyond, you know, asking the universe to intervene. Our guests:

  • Dick Hastings, Republican organizer and volunteer
  • Carol McManus, Republican organizer and volunteer
  • Larry Knox, political and community engagement coordinator with SEIU
  • Michelle Daniels, Democratic volunteer

First hour: Panicked? Well, what are you doing about the election?

Second hour: How Rochester is becoming a Parkinson's-friendly community

When it comes to zoology, conservation, and nature studies, America has a significant lack of diversity. At the Seneca Park Zoo, when such jobs become open, there are rarely any nonwhite candidates. Kids in urban centers -- particularly impoverished centers -- tend to grow up disconnected from nature.

The Seneca Park Zoo Society is bringing in Drew Lanham, author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair With Nature. Lanham discusses race, conservation, and how to broaden America's connection to our land. Our guests:

  • Drew Lanham, author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair With Nature
  • Pamela Reed Sanchez, executive director of the Seneca Park Zoo

In 2000, Florida's now-infamous "butterfly ballot" caused confusion among voters who weren't entirely sure whom they were voting for. The dizzying design was a mess, and it sparked a kind of movement in design.

Marcia Lausen took the opportunity to not only offer a better design concept for ballots; she wanted to redesign democracy to better serve citizens. The result is a book called Design for Democracy, which provides a template for ballots, registration forms, posters and signs, and more.

So have we put these safeguards in place, or is another Florida possible? Lausen joins us to discuss her work, and her visit to RIT for their series on design conversations.

First hour: Design for Democracy and avoiding another Florida 2000

Second hour: Bringing diversity into conservation and nature

What are some of the best (and worst) films about politics? And do they have the power to change viewers' political views?

We discuss a number of films with 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

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will face one another in the first of three presidential debates Monday night. If you’ve already made up your mind regarding your vote in the election, you might be surprised that these events could determine the outcome, but they certainly could. Longtime political analyst and strategist Matthew Dowd says that from here on out, the polls will be influenced by only two things: major external events, and the debates.

In advance of the first debate, we focus on what makes for an effective debater. Our guests:

  • Sandy Foster, debate coach, and history faculty at The Harley School
  • Ben Plotnik '17, member of the debate team at The Harley School
  • Sebastien Lazardeux, professor in St. John Fisher College’s Political Science Department

First hour: What makes for an effective debater?

Second hour: The best films about politics

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:

  • The new documentary, Defying the Nazis, and if another figure like Hitler could rise to power. Our guest is a Holocaust survivor;
  • Mental illness and recovery with actor Richard Dreyfuss;
  • Poverty in Rochester;
  • The impact this summer's drought has had on regional farms;
  • How satire can affect public sentiment.