WXXI AM News

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

Despite a lot of hype leading into the summer, we haven't seen many streets closed down to car traffic during the pandemic. Many businesses have been allowed to expand their outdoor seating, but there hasn't been a transformation of outdoor spaces like some advocates wanted. Was it a missed opportunity? Or was that unrealistic all along?

We discuss it with our guests:

This fall, Greece Central School District will operate under a hybrid model. Under the plan, most students will be in schools two days a week and then do remote learning for three days, but students also have the option to learn at home 100 percent of the time.

Superintendent Kathleen Graupman says the model was selected after the district heard from thousands of parents and students. She joins us this hour to discuss Greece's plan. Our guest:

  • Kathleen Graupman, superintendent of Greece Central School District, and head of the Monroe County Association of Superintendents

https://www.greececsd.org/domain/25

First hour: Greece Central School District Superintendent Kathleen Graupman on the district's reopening plan

Second hour: Was summer a missed opportunity for transforming outdoor spaces during the pandemic?

There's a lot of debate about whether it's safe for teachers to be back in classrooms this fall. But they aren't the only ones who could potentially be at risk in this pandemic.

We talk to local cleaning staff members, food service workers, security officers, and bus drivers about their concerns. Our guests:

  • Dan DiClemente, president of BENTE/AFSCME Local 2419
  • Wilbert Navedo, bus driver for the RCSD
  • Joe Jackson, lead school safety officer at Edison Career ad Technology High School
  • Victor Wilson, custodian at Franklin
  • Bonnie Ferrari, cook manager for food services at the RCSD
  • Jessica Rinebold, lead secretary for the RCSD

There are a number of factors that could lead to a possible eviction crisis. The pandemic has put many people out of work, and now additional federal support for unemployment has run out. Advocates say something has to be done very soon or the crisis will hit Western New York.

Our guests discuss it:

freeimages.com/John Evans

First hour: Discussing the looming eviction crisis

Second hour: How reopening schools would impact essential support staff

21 years ago this month, the NAACP was advocating a boycott of the major television networks. That's because the networks had just released their fall schedules. 26 new shows would be hitting the airwaves that year, and not a single one of them featured a star or prominent character of color. For African American leaders in particular, enough was enough. The networks promised to change. In some ways, they have: there are more African American and Latino leads than ever before. But in many other ways, the industry has not changed much at all. As the LA Times reports, there are very few executives of color at the networks, and while the networks are pledging support of the Black Lives Matter movement, African American actors have their doubts.

This hour, we explore representation in media. Our guests:

  • Calvin Brown, Jr., executive producer of "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder"
  • Tina Chapman, director of diversity theater at RIT
  • Chris Thompson, engineer, writer, comedian, and activist
  • Darnell Hunt, dean of social sciences, and professor of sociology and African American Studies at UCLA

Most colleges and universities are planning to welcome students back to campus in just a few weeks. The schools bring a range of approaches – from testing to quarantines to allowing for remote learning. There is no single handbook for running higher education during a pandemic, but most universities in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region believe they can do it with sufficient safety and planning.

So what are those plans? We hear the approach from four different institutions. Our guests:

Nazareth College

First hour: Local college and university presidents on their reopening plans, part 2

Second hour: Discussing the state of diversity in television in 2020

Kodak has won a $765 million government loan to make generic drugs. How did this happen? The answer is stranger than you might think, and it has a local connection.

Todd Moss worked for the State Department under President George W. Bush, is an author, and is doing global affairs work that helped bring a bipartisan solution to a question about the federal government: how can the U.S. invest overseas appropriately? They found a situation, but how did the money get back to Kodak? Was it the right thing to do? Todd Moss explains it.

Our guest:

  • Todd Moss, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development

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