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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

First hour: Unleashed: The Pet Show

Second hour: The College of Collectible Knowledge

You've heard of Too Big to Fail, the concept on Wall Street that banks were too massive to be allowed to go under. A new film looks at the opposite. It's called Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, and the man behind it is Steve James of Hoop Dreams fame. James tells the story of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings in Chinatown. Abacus became the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse. James will be in Rochester on Sunday as the guest of the One Take Film Festival, which is showing both Abacus and Hoop Dreams.

Our guests:

  • Steve James, director of Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
  • Amit Batabyal, professor of economics at RIT

2017 marks the sesquicentennial of Seward's Folly, aka the purchase of the Alaskan Territory from Russia. The Seward House Museum is celebrating by purchasing all of Siberia. Just kidding. But they've got a lot going on: a new Seward statue; museum tours; and a visit from the author of a new book about Seward's Folly. And it's a timely subject: the folly was known as the "deal done in the dark." That applies to any number of governmental actions in recent years.

Our guests:

  • Jeff Ludwig, director of education for the Seward House Museum
  • Lee Farrow, author of Seward's Folly

First hour: Digging into Seward's Folly as it turns 150

Second hour: The story of the only bank to be criminally charged after the 2008 financial collapse

Dating violence is a widespread issue, and many teens who are victims of violence in relationships do not report their experiences out of fear. According to a 2011 survey conducted by the CDC, "23 percent of females and 14 percent of males who ever experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, first experienced some form of partner violence between 11 and 17 years of age."

We'll discuss teen dating abuse and new initiatives that address barriers faced by survivors. Willow Domestic Violence Center is leading the way with local initiatives. It's opening a new state-of-the-art facility that includes an expanded emergency shelter, an expanded counseling center, and an onsite pet shelter.

Our guests:

You may have heard the phrase "zero waste" being used a lot lately. What does it actually mean? A few local entities are taking on this sustainability initiative, including CMAC and the Brighton School District. Brighton hopes to be the first district in Monroe County to recycle most of its waste. The initial goal is to divert 80 percent of the district's waste from landfills, and reach 90 percent landfill diversion in three years. Our guests explain what it means to go zero waste in 2017.

  • Cassidy Putney of Impact Earth, a company based in Rochester that helps organizations reduce waste and become more sustainable
  • Dr. Kevin McGowan, superintendent of the Brighton Central School District
  • Lynn Freida from CMAC

NPR

First hour: What does it mean to go zero waste?

Second hour: Teen dating abuse and new initiatives to help survivors

Steve Curwood is the host and executive producer of Living on Earth. His pilot of the show aired in the 1990, and now, 27 years later, he says the majority of the climate issues that he addressed on that first program -- the state of the oceans, energy choices, environmental justice -- have become more significant problems. Curwood says the only issue that has improved is the public understanding of climate change. 

This hour, Curwood joins us for a conversation about social equity, climate resilience, and green development in Rochester. Our guests:

We discuss the restorative justice approach in schools. You might have heard the term, restorative justice or restorative practice. The short version is that it's essentially the opposite of zero tolerance -- it's an approach rooted in personal responsibility, bringing people face to face, with the goal of improving behavior without suspensions or expulsions, when possible. But there haven't been many studies to suggest whether restorative practices work. There is a great deal of evidence in the form of suspension rates, anecdotes, and graduation rates -- but a year ago, we saw a formal study that analyzed the impact. What the study found was that both students and adults reported all kinds of benefits: benefits they don't see in a zero-tolerance system. 

The Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence is hosting the "Restoring Rochester" conference on Saturday. It aims to bring restorative practices and ideas to the entire community. Our guests discuss the practices and the conference:

Todd Baxter is running Monroe County Sheriff. He's running as a Democrat, challenging longtime Republican incumbent Patrick O'Flynn. But Baxter says he's not a political person; he's focused on law enforcement. He's the former Greece police chief who helped clean up the culture of corruption in that department.

We discuss why he says this election is critical, and where he sees himself differing with Sheriff O'Flynn.

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