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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Rochester City Council endorsed the city’s Climate Action Plan in May. The plan’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 2010 levels by 2030.

We discussed the draft plan in November when the document was available for public comment. Now that the plan has been approved, members of local climate action groups say their input was not taken into full consideration. They want more information about how the plan will be enacted: How will programs be funded? Will the plan create jobs? Will it impact the city’s poverty issues?

Last month, Mayor Lovely Warren  joined the Mayors National Climate Change Agenda, which has pledged to strengthen local efforts to protect the environment. We discuss how the Climate Action Plan fits in with this goal and if proposed efforts will have enough of an impact on combating climate change. Our guests:

If you were designing the school day from scratch, what would the day look like? What would the classroom look like? Education expert Sir Ken Robinson says the education paradigm must be changed. He argues schools are organized along factory lines --with ringing bells, separate facilities, and standardized curricula. He says this limits students’ creativity, their learning capacity, and their academic performance.

So how can we change how school days are modeled to maximize students’ potential? Our guests weigh in on everything from class sizes, spaces, testing, and when certain subjects should be taught. In studio:

  • Joanne Larson, professor of education and associate director of research at the Center for Urban Education Success at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education
  • Kevin Meuwissen, associate professor of teaching and curriculum, social studies education scholar, and director of teacher education for the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education
  • Seth O’Bryan, Upper School math teacher and commons coordinator at The Harley School

First hour: Designing school days from scratch

Second hour: Understanding Rochester's Climate Action Plan

Our Summer of Food series continues with Sarah Goodenough, owner of Kitchen Verde.

As a college student in Boston, Goodenough fell into a pattern that’s familiar to many students -- eating Ramen Noodles and ordering from restaurants because it’s convenient. When she moved back to Rochester to begin nursing school, she weighed nearly 300 pounds and was experiencing a number of health issues, including the early stages of fatty liver disease. She was only 22 years old and was struggling to keep up with physical demands of her job in the critical care unit. That’s when Goodenough decided it was time for a lifestyle change. She read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and adopted a whole food, plant-based diet.  She lost 125 pounds in a year.

Goodenough is using her story and love of cooking to help other people in the community change their diets. In 2016, she opened Kitchen Verde, a whole foods, plant-based, oil-free and vegan meal delivery service. This hour, we talk to Goodenough about her journey, her business, and her goals for the future.


First hour: NPR's coverage of President Trump's meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron

Second hour: Summer of Food - Sarah Goodenough, owner of Kitchen Verde

VoteTilla is a celebration of the 100-year anniversary of woman suffrage in New York State. Boats will take a week-long journey on the Erie Canal, stopping at a number of cities from Clyde to Rochester, to commemorate the history of woman suffrage. Activities include reenactments of speeches by activists, films, a parade, and more.

We talk about the celebrations and the history with our guests:

  • Deborah Hughes, executive director of the Susan B. Anthony Museum and House
  • Bruce Schwendy, co-chair of the Fleet Committee for VoteTilla, and board member for the Canal Society of New York State
  • Jenni Werner, literary director and resident dramaturg at Geva Theatre Center and board member for the ImageOut Film Festival
  • Anne Coon, professor emeritus at the College of Liberal Arts at RIT, writer, and independent scholar

We have a conversation with comedian Mike Birbiglia. You may know his work on This American Life, or his films, Sleepwalk with Me and Don't Think Twice. Birbiglia is a comedian who not only makes you laugh, but also makes you think and feel. He's coming to Rochester this week, but first he's our guest as we talk about his sleep disorder, truth in comedy, and more.

We also talk with local people in comedy about their craft and their goals while they are on stage. Our guests:

  • Mike Birbiglia, comedian and filmmaker
  • Yolanda Smilez, stand-up comedian and CEO and co-founder of the Roc Awards
  • John Forrest Thompson, educator, creative consultant, improviser, member of the sketch comedy troupe Thank You Kiss and co-founder of the new Focus Theatre and Training Center
  • Andrea Holland, public speaking coach and cast member of EstroFest Comedy Troupe

How often do you use the Erie Canal? Do you visit for recreation? Do you use it to transport massive tanks for beer fermentation? Okay, maybe not the latter. But hey: it's the Erie Canal Bicentennial, which gives us a good reason to do two things.

First, we have a frank discussion about the future of the canal -- who will use it, and how. Second, we explore the history. Wrapped up in this bicentennial is a series of events, which we also discuss. Our guests:

  • Brian Stratton, director of the NYS Canal Corporation
  • Beth Teall, chair of Cornhill Navigation
  • Scott Winner, executive director of the Fairport Perinton Partnership for a Better Community
  • Heidi McPherson, president of the College at Brockport

Remember that racist panel that became a public controversy two years ago -- the panel depicting so-called "pickaninny art" on the Dentzel Carousel in Charlotte? That panel was taken down, and it's going to have a permanent home at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. The goal is to use the panel to educate the community about the various forms of racism that deny the humanity of black children. But first, the panel will be displayed at events around the community as part of educational forums.

Our guests explain:

  • Kathryn Murano, Rochester Museum and Science Center
  • Minister Clifford Florence, Central Church of Christ
  • Howard Eagle, Take It Down steering committee

First hour: Discussing the future of the racist carousel panel

Second hour: Erie Canal past and future