Need to Know

Thursday 8:00 p.m. & Sunday 11:30 a.m. on WXXI-TV & on City 12
Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People

It’s a rather simple equation.  Soul + Groove = Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People. The local group has performed throughout Europe and around the US winning over audiences and the “Best Local Band” award from the 2015 Roc Awards.

But the meaning behind the songs written by Rochester native and vocalist for the band, Danielle Ponder, are anything but simple and surface-level. It was the online music source SoulSource that called Ponder’s vocals a combination of “the spirit of the church with the speak-truth-to-power assertiveness of a movement leader.”

On this segment of Need to Know Danielle Ponder shares more about her story, her band and the influence of her work as a public defender on her music.

Polls find that most Americans want a president with strong religious beliefs. But to what degree does religion play a role in how voters vote, the key issues and talking points in a presidential election and who wins the title of the next president of the United States? In what’s being called “one of the most polarizing election years,” we’re examining how religion could influence the 2016 presidential election.

Danielle Ponder and the Tomorrow People

Mixing religion and politics can be a bit taboo, but religious issues can impact decisions in the voting booth.  On this edition of Need to Know, we discuss the relationship between religion and politics in this year’s presidential election.

Also on the show, she’s a public defender by day and a soul singer by night. How Danielle Ponder is combining her law career and her powerhouse voice to  empower, inspire and even create change.

Rochester filmmakers talk advocacy and social justice through documentaries. On this edition of Need to Know we’ll discuss how non-fiction films are impacting society in ways some may not realize. And a number of these documentaries  are being led by members of the Rochester community.

Also on the show, some are calling it “The House of Cards Effect.” The sport of rowing seems to be all the rage right now. But there’s a local rowing club taking the sport from trend to treatment for things such as PTSD among other disabilities.

And we’ll take you inside a Rochester gallery where everybody has a chance to become a selling artist. Hear the story behind a 6x6 square inch phenomenon.

Butch Dill/Associated Press

Black Lives Matter, which launched 3 years ago, is now a household slogan. It’s recognized throughout social media. It’s discussed by everyone from politicians and celebrities to kids. It has launched protests and debates around the United States and in the Rochester community. But what’s the end game for this modern-day movement, how much does it align with and differ from the civil rights fight of the 1950s and ‘60s, and can it bring about real change in our community?

Dark Justice

The Black Lives Matter movement has served as an inspiration of sorts for murals, music, and new films. It has also influenced a local web show filmed in Rochester. It’s called Dark Justice. But this web series is far from a dark drama. It takes a satirical look at racism and policing as it tracks the story of the first black police officer in a small town. Che Holloway, lead actor of Dark Justice joins this Need to Know segment to talk humor, controversy and race relations.

The Black Lives Matter movement of today and the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Two causes for justice, but will our modern day fight for human rights result in the types of change instituted in the past? We explore this question and more on this edition of Need to Know.

Also on the show, finding humor in issues such as racism and policing can be tricky. However, a locally filmed and cast web series is focused on lightening up some of the most intense issues of our day. We’ll hear about the story behind the comic relief of Dark Justice.

And is there a chance we could start mistaking the birds of the air for....drones?  We’ll learn about new rules that will impact the use of these unmanned aircraft systems.

Watch Need to Know with host Hélène Biandudi Hofer Thursdays at 8pm on WXXI-TV, Channel 21.1 and Cable 11 or 1221.

Erik Cherchio- 8i photography

There’s a sport that you may not realize exists in Rochester. Teammates combine strategy and speed while entertaining crowds with their skills on skates, powerful elbow throws and larger-than-life personalities. I’m talking about the Roc City Roller Derby. This team is made up of college professors, mechanics, financial analysts and nurses competing in games - referred to as “bouts” throughout the east coast and Canada. On this edition of Need to Know we hear more about this revived sport and how it’s winning over fans in Rochester.

Associated Press

Imagine for a moment a street lined with picturesque green ash trees towering above you. Shade from the sun, protection from the rain, the perfect spot for your dream hammock. The benefits are endless. But all of those benefits are being wiped out leaving neighborhoods bare and empty by something no bigger than a half-inch in length. It’s the emerald ash borer. This beetle is responsible for destroying more than 50 million ash trees in the United States since it was first discovered here in 2002. And it’s in Monroe County. If you’ve ignored the headlines in the past about the emerald ash borer, on this edition of Need to Know, hear from three experts explaining why you can’t ignore the warnings any more.