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

New York State announced new capacity guidelines for event venues last week. According to the state, "Congregate commercial and social events...such as those that host sports competitions, performing arts and live entertainment, and catered receptions can exceed the social gathering limits of 500 people outdoors or 250 people indoors if all attendees over the age of four present either proof of full vaccination status or recent negative COVID-19 test result and the required social distancing can be accommodated." The new policy begins May 19. 

What does this mean for local businesses? Our guests explain: 

How can Rochester achieve an inclusive recovery following the pandemic? ACT Rochester will explore that question at an upcoming event.

We preview that program and talk with national representatives from the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institute about their recommendations for Rochester. Our guests:

  • Ann Johnson, executive director of ACT Rochester
  • Simeon Banister, vice president of community programs at the Rochester Community Foundation
  • Tina Stacy, principal research associate for the Urban Institute

Coming up on Connections: Monday, May 10

5 hours ago
James Brown / WXXI News

First hour: How can Rochester achieve an inclusive recovery following the pandemic? 

Second hour: How NYS' new capacity guidelines are affecting local venues

A grade-school math problem went viral last month when math teachers around the world couldn't agree on how to find the answer. The equation was short, and seemingly called for the old formula of PEMDAS. So why was it so confusing? And if math teachers can't agree, can the rest of us assume we've learned enough math to practically apply it?

We have some fun with math and explore how we do, and don't, use what we were taught in school. Our guests:

  • Amanda Tucker, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Rochester
  • Ajamu Kitwana, vice president and director of community impact at ESL Federal Credit Union
  • Brian Koberlein, astrophysicist and science writer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Has there been a leftward shift in politics at the state and national level? It's a question we explore with members of the Working Families Party. We talk about the party's legislative priorities and how they view progressivism on multiple levels.

Our guests:

First hour: Has there been a leftward shift in politics at the state and national level? 

Second hour: How do we use the math we're taught in school?

One of the highest rated restaurants in the world, Eleven Madison Park in New York City, is removing all animal products from its menu. Eleven Madison's chef says the current food system is not sustainable, and his focus will be on a world-class menu that is entirely vegan. Is this a one-off, or a harbinger of more change? Even fast food restaurants now offer meatless burgers.

New York Times columnist Ezra Klein argues that vegan and vegetarian options are still harder to find and often not very good. We examine the landscape with our guests:

ATVs and dirt bikes are all over the streets of Rochester, and sometimes the drivers are ignoring traffic laws and safety guidelines. Local government is preparing to crack down harder on such activity. But the riders say they have nowhere to go, and they just want a safe outlet for their passion.

So what’s the most sensible way to approach this issue? Our guests:

  • Rachel Barnhart, Monroe County Legislator
  • Jose Peo, Rochester City Council Member
  • Demond Meeks, New York State Assemblymember
  • Lorenzo Jones, ATV rider
  • Raheim Drisdom, ATV rider

First hour: Discussing ATV and dirt bike laws and safety in Rochester

Second hour: Is the restaurant industry heading toward more meatless menus?

Could you bike to work? What about to your favorite coffee shop or restaurant? The pandemic has created a "bike boom," and leaders at the Rochester Cycling Alliance want to keep that going. They are kicking off a new messaging campaign called "20 Minutes by Bike." The goal is to help community members use maps to visualize how quickly they can get to nearby destinations by bike.

We talk with local bike bloggers about bike transit in Rochester. Our guests:

  • Jesse Peers, Cycling Coordinator for Reconnect Rochester, and project coordinator and blogger for examining bikeability in downtown Rochester
  • Pam Rogers, blogger on bikeability in Irondequoit
  • Jackie Marchand, owner of WomanTours, and blogger on bikeability in Brighton
  • Gerald Gacioch, M.D., blogger examining biking to RGH and Unity Hospitals
  • Tracey Austin, transportation coordinator at the University of Rochester, and blogger examining bikeability to URMC and the River Campus

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