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Coming up on Connections: Friday, July 9

Food Trucks of Rochester, NY

First hour: Discussing the state of food trucks in 2021

Second hour: What you need to know about the LDD moth infestationWhile many small businesses faced challenges and closure throughout the pandemic, at least one sector of the food industry grew: food trucks. Trucks across the country embraced technology and their own mobility to meet customers on apps, in parking lots, or to deliver food directly to them. This hour, we talk with local food truck owners about how they navigated the pandemic, and we discuss the state of the food truck industry in 2021. Our guests:

  • Veronica “Ronnie” McClive, co-owner of Le Petit Poutine
  • Marty O’Sullivan, owner of Marty’s Meats
  • Michael Dean, owner of the Dean Lane food truck
  • Joe Cario, owner/operator of Roc City Sammich

Then in our second hour, if you’ve recently seen unseasonably barren trees or trees covered in caterpillars, it’s likely due to the recent infestation of Lymantria Dispar Dispar -- or LDD -- moths in Upstate New York. You may know them by their more common name, gypsy moths, prior to the push to change it due to the reference to a culturally offensive slur. The state DEC says the population of the moths this spring is the highest it has been in about three decades. The invasive caterpillars munch on leaves and shower their excrement at a rate that some say sounds like rain. Homeowners are concerned about the long term health of their trees, and representatives in the local tourism industry worry about what the infestation could mean for places like the Finger Lakes. An uptick in a virus that kills the moths could curb the invasion, but in the meantime, what should property owners do? This hour, we’re joined by experts who tell us what we need to know about the infestation of LDD moths. Our guests:

  • Marci Muller, horticulture program leader with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County
  • Ann Hajek, professor of entomology at Cornell University
  • Rob Cole, forester with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Gary Raffel, arborist with Bartlett Tree 
  • Laura Seymour, interior stylist and artist who has a problem with LDD moths in her neighborhood
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.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.