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Coming up on Connections: Wednesday, January 27th

First hour: The fate of the Seneca white deer

Second hour: Understanding the new study on the safety of home births

The fate of the famous white deer is now, quite literally, up for bid. Next month, the Seneca County IDA is collecting bids for how to develop 7,000 acres of land between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. That land is fenced off, with quite an unusual history: it spent years as a controversial munitions storehouse for the military. Living on that land are 200 white deer (not albino), and a group is trying to protect their future, while bidding to create a new ecotourism center. Their concern is that a developer will win the bid, take the fences down, and the white deer will become trophies for hunters. Our panel explains their alternative plan:

  • Dennis Money, president of Seneca White Deer Inc.
  • Jim Howe, executive director, Central and Western Chapter of the Nature Conservancy
  • John Ingle, owner, Heron Hill Winery
  • Howie Jacobsen, marketing executive

In our second hour, a new studyabout home births indicates there are advantages and risks. Most importantly, as the New York Times recently highlighted, the study finds that home birth increases the risk of infant death from 1.8 per 1,000 in a hospital setting to 3.9 per thousand at home. The study also finds that home birth decreases the rate of cesarean delivery, induction, and other interventions. In the past decade, the rate of home births has increased more than 50% in the United States. So what should we take from this new study? In studio:

  • Loralei Thornburg, M.D., associate professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UR Medicine
  • Michele Burtner, M.S., midwife and senior associate, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UR Medicine
  • Alison Spath, birth doula
  • Meg Grindrod, CNM, midwife, Welcome Home Midwifery
  • Amy Haas, certified childbirth educator
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.