WXXI AM News

Connections

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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Ways to Connect

We talk about creative therapies for children with autism. Research proves that art can directly impact brain development in people with autism. We talk about the benefits of activities that incorporate music, dance, film, visual arts, writing, and more. 

We also preview the documentary, Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the Arts, which airs Thursday, January 26 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV. Our guests:

The following program is presented as part of Dialogue on Disability Week – a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies – in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series. Dialogue on Disability is supported in part by The Golisano Foundation with additional support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation.

Saturday's series of marches and demonstrations around the world were remarkable in size, scope, and meaning. We discuss the focus of the movement, and the goals for the future. Our guests:

Iheoma Books

First hour: Reactions to the Women's Marches in Washington and around the world

Second hour: Creative therapies for children with autism

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:

  • A local professor's trip to Iraqi Kurdistan and how she views oil as a human rights issue;
  • The dangers and realities of human trafficking;
  • SNAP and food options for people living in poverty;
  • The value of art.

The New York Times set off a kind of firestorm with a front-page story on food stamps, or SNAP benefits. The story pushed the claim that soft drinks are the number one purchase for households that use SNAP. It turns out that the Times did a rather loose job at interpreting the data, and critics say the article became a vehicle to malign Americans in poverty.

So we start there: what did the article get right, and what did it get wrong? And then we discuss the best ways to promote access to healthy food for everyone. Our guests:

  • Mitch Gruber, chief program officer for Foodlink
  • Mike Bulger, healthy communities coordinator for the Healthi Kids program at Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency  
  • Leverett Copeland, SNAP recipient and healthy living ambassador

Republicans are rapidly preparing to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Donald Trump said this week that it would be replaced with a program that would cover all Americans at a lower cost. Assuming this is impossible, there are significant questions about what the replacement for the ACA will be.

Our panel discusses what they know, what they don't, and what they think the big questions are regarding the next iteration of American health care. WXXI health reporter and producer Karen Shakerdge helps lead the discussion, along with our panel:

  • Dr. David Topa, pediatrician at Pittsford Pediatric Associates
  • Andrew Graupman, archaeologist concerned about losing health insurance
  • Dr. Brendan O'Connor, primary care physician at Unity Family Medicine at Chili Center

NPR

First hour: Laying out the questions that are still unanswered as the GOP moves to repeal the Affordable Care Act

Second hour: Understanding SNAP and promoting access to healthy food

Last May, RIT journalism professor Andrea Hickerson spent two weeks in Iraqi Kurdistan as part of a human rights delegation. This week, she published an op-ed explaining how that trip enhanced her view of the role of oil.

Specifically, Hickerson says the trip has offered perspective on Donald Trump's choice of Rex Tillerson to lead the State Department. Tillerson is the CEO of ExxonMobile, a company that Hickerson says "has abdicated and exploited villages in Iraqi Kurdistan." Trump himself said of Tillerson, at a D.C. dinner last night, "He's led this charmed life. He goes into a country, takes the oil."

We talk to Hickerson about what she saw on the ground, and how she feels the news media can better cover this issue.

The Community Design Center is launching its 2017 Reshaping Rochester Series, with a call for more civic engagement.  The new season of events is titled "Our City, Ourselves: Loving Where We Live."

The first event focuses on how to bring the arts to where they're needed most, to revitalize neighborhoods. We talk about how the arts are impacting Rochester neighborhoods, and we look at a successful endeavor in another city. Our guests:

  • Maria Furgiuele, interim executive director for the Community Design Center of Rochester
  • Helen Hogan, marketing and communications specialist
  • Gina Renzi, executive director of The Rotunda, and director of the 40th Street Artist-in-Residence Program

Andrea Hickerson

First hour: How art can revitalize neighborhoods

Second hour: An RIT professor's lessons from a trip to Iraqi Kurdistan

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