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

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The First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival is coming. We hear from a whirlwind of performers, who will preview the wide range of shows. Get ready. The guest list:



Perhaps the most controversial DNC email released in the recent leak was the one that questioned whether Bernie Sanders is actually an atheist, and whether that could be used against him with voters. Across the country, atheists groaned at yet another slur against the non-religious. Polls show atheists are viewed with great suspicion by religious Americans.

We talk about atheist-phobia, and whether atheists feel like they'll have a chance to ever hold higher office in this country. Our guests:

First hour: Atheist-phobia

Second hour: Previewing the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival

Our Summer of Food series of conversations continues with a woman who is known as both a dynamo activist in the Finger Lakes, as well as one of the finest cider makers in the region.

Autumn Stoscheck's family has a farm near the border with Pennsylvania. Starting in 2009, Stoscheck began warning her fellow agricultural industry workers about hydrofracking. At first, they didn't know what she was talking about.

We discuss her activism, and her work to elevate cider to the level of wine and beer. Our guest:

Teachers across the country are preparing to talk to students about plagiarism by referencing Melania Trump's speech at last week's Republican National Convention. The Trump campaign says that Melania admires Michelle Obama, and mentioned some of her favorite lines from the First Lady's 2008 speech to one of her speechwriting assistants. Somehow, that entire passage made it into Melania Trump's speech.

We discuss a range of issues related to the plagiarism: how to detect it, how to avoid it, and why it matters. And we discuss the importance of crafting great speeches in the modern age. Our guests:

  • Curt Smith, presidential speech writer, author, and senior lecturer in English at the University of Rochester
  • Evvy Fanning, high school English teacher

First hour: How to detect and avoid plagiarism

Second hour: Summer of Food - Autumn Stoscheck of Eve's Cidery

Most Americans know very little about the region called Kashmir, which has erupted into chaos. Demonstrators recently gathered outside the United Nations in New York City to express solidarity for Kashmiris, but what was it all about?

Sareer Fazili, president of the Islamic Center of Rochester, joins us to discuss Kashmir's history, and what is behind the recent violence in a region where people largely feel ignored. 

The tiny house movement is gaining traction. You may have heard about the reality TV show, Tiny House Nation, but how much do you really know about tiny houses?

The typical tiny house is between 100 and 400 square feet. Some owners say they have built tiny houses to save money, not have a mortgage, and be more environmentally conscious. However, there are challenges: access to land, zoning laws, and social pressures.

We hear from a couple taking their tiny house on a cross-country tour, and we answer your questions about tiny house living. Our guests: 

Deprina Godboldo

First hour: Tiny house living

Second hour: Learning about Kashmir

Did the DNC's first night, capped off by Bernie Sanders, do enough to unify the party? Sanders delegates on the convention floor were saying no, but polls show that Hillary Clinton is picking up at least 80% of Sanders voters.

We discuss the state of the race with reporter Karen Dewitt in Philadelphia, and our guests:

  • Josh Keaton, local Democratic activist and Clinton supporter
  • Kevin Sweeney, Sanders delegate