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 Summer of Food takes a journey half an hour east of Rochester to the site of the historic Pultneyville Grill. When the restaurant closed in the past year, locals worried about what might replace it. The answer has been twofold: Swilly's, a fast casual joint that offers lobster rolls and other sea-based fare at a walk-up window, and The Owl House, which has a home in Rochester and a new home in the old PG.

These kinds of establishments can offer new life for communities, and we talk to long-time Pultneyvillers who want to see a successful enterprise in this space. Our guests:

  • Brian Van Etten, owner of Swilly's
  • Jeff Ching, owner of the Owl House on the Lake
  • Deb Parts, Co-Chair of the Pultneyville Home Tour
  • Peter Parts, former owner of the Pultneyville Grill and owner of the Pultneyville Docks on Salmon Creek

The new film The Big Sick explores the challenges when Muslims decide to date outside of their own culture and religion. Based on the real-life relationship of writer and star Kumail Nanjiani, the film centers on a Pakistani-American and his white, non-Muslim girlfriend.

We discuss the themes of the film and the occasionally uncomfortable issues that can arise. Our guests: 

  • Ilhan Ali, intersectional feminist, activist, and stand-up comedian
  • Imad Abid, 25-year-old Muslim American
  • Sareer Fazili, president of the Islamic Center of Rochester
  • Doug Kester, teacher, actor, and traveler


First hour: Themes from the film, The Big Sick

Second hour: Summer of Food - New life for the historic Pultneyville Grill

NPR recently released its list of the top 150 music albums by women of all time. Joni Mitchell's Blue topped the list, inspiring the Smith Opera House in Geneva to celebrate with a tribute concert. One of the themes of Blue is women's reaction to the issues of the countercultural 1960s.

We discuss those themes and debate which albums deserved higher billing with our guests:

The debate over Google's decision to fire an engineer has served as a kind of Rorschach Test. James Damore posted a memo criticizing Google's hiring practices based on race and gender. The reaction to Google's decision to fire Damore ranges from outrage -- Damore's supporters say he was only discussing basic differences between genders -- and strong approval.

We discuss the issue from a legal perspective, and from the perspective of modern feminism. Our guests:

  • Justin Cordello, employment law attorney with Cordello Law PLLC
  • Barbara LeSavoy, director of the Women and Gender Studies program at the College at Brockport


First hour: Reactions to the memo about race and gender at Google

Second hour: Themes of Joni Mitchell's Blue album, and the music of female singer-songwriters

What is the future of Catholic education? We’ve seen some schools shift and close, but the evolution of Catholic education shows some resilience. Nazareth Elementary, for example, is moving to the old Sacred Heart School. Interestingly, 70 percent of the students at Nazareth are not Catholic.

Our guests discuss modern challenges and how they’re adapting. In studio:

  • Sr. Margaret Mancuso, principal of Nazareth Elementary
  • Deborah Hanmer, parent of two children in Catholic elementary school
  • Mary Martell, principal of Holy Cross School

We continue our series of interviews with the candidates for Rochester City School Board. We discuss the candidates’ priorities, and we discuss hot issues in the election. In studio:


First hour: Candidates for Rochester City School Board, group two

Second hour: What is the future of Catholic education?

New York's SAFE Act has been hotly debated ever since it passed. Now, Republican Congressman Chris Collins has proposed SAGA, or the Second Amendment Guarantee Act. Collins says he doesn't think local or state governments should be able to supersede federal law when it comes to gun rights. 

We discuss the proposed bill and what's next for New York's SAFE Act. Our guests: