Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson 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.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

file photo/CITY

First hour: State Senators Samra Brouk and Zellnor Myrie on voting reform; Remembering Jeremy Tjhung

Second hour: Special rebroadcast - The push for the four-day work week

What does the law say about who can mandate proof of vaccination? It's a question employers across the country are asking. On Friday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there will be no nationwide mandate for the vaccine. But different states are setting different rules for how businesses can go in denying service. We explore it with our guests:

  • Elizabeth Cordello, chair of the labor and employment practice group at Pullano & Farrow
  • Dan Morgenstern, owner and managing partner of Radio Social

We're joined by the co-leaders of the Finger Lakes Vaccine Task Force for the latest on the state of vaccines in the region. Currently, the seven-day rolling average positivity rate for Monroe County is 2.3%. Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza says the increase in that infection rate is due to unvaccinated people contracting the virus. About 58% of the local population is fully vaccinated.

Our guests this hour share the latest on efforts to get more people vaccinated, and what we need to know about the delta variant. Our guests: 

  • Nancy Bennett, M.D., co-leader of the Finger Lakes Vaccine Task Force, professor of medicine and public health sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center, founder and director of the Center for Community Health & Prevention, and co-director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute 
  • Wade Norwood, co-leader of the Finger Lakes Vaccine Task Force, and CEO of Common Ground Health

University of Rochester

First hour: An update from the co-leaders of the Finger Lakes Vaccine Task Force 

Second hour: What does the law say about who can mandate proof of vaccination?

This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that employers need to bring workers back to the office by Labor Day. He said that remote work is not as creative or productive, and working from home harms other businesses -- lunch spots, coffee shops, etc.

But many workers have reported thriving during the pandemic with a remote schedule. How do they interpret the governor's comments? We find out with our guests:

  • Kristen Seversky, product manager who works remotely
  • Andrew Amato, remote worker
  • Andrew Brady, co-founder of the Rochester chapter for Conscious Capitalism and CEO of the XLR8 Team

What have local theaters learned from the pandemic? We talk with representatives from several local theaters about the challenges they've faced, the successes they've had, and how they think the industry may change in the future as a result of the pandemic. We also discuss what's on stage this season.

Our guests:

Geva Theatre

First hour: How will the live theater industry change as a result of the pandemic?

Second hour: Discussing the future of remote work

Author Tom Nichols says the time has come to start shaming Americans who are declining to be vaccinated. Nichols says the prime targets of his frustration are white conservatives, and he should know something about that group, being a white conservative himself.

But many health care providers caution against shaming and mocking, saying that patience and understanding are still required to increase the ranks of the vaccinated. Our guests debate it:

  • Tom Nichols, contributing writer at The Atlantic, and author of the new book "Our Own Worst Enemy: The Assault from Within on Modern Democracy"
  • Dr. Deborah Pierce, family physician with Highland Family Medicine
  • Dr. Mario Elia, professor of family medicine at Western University

The writer Olga Khazan recently sparked discussion when she mused about how painful an IUD can be. Women responded with their own stories, often frustrated that they weren't warned about how rough it could be. On the other hand, IUDs have helped drive down the rates of unwanted pregnancy and even abortion in some states.

So how should we view IUDs? What should we know? Our guests:

First hour: Understanding IUDs

Second hour: Discussing how to talk to people who choose not to get vaccinated