Weekdays Noon-2:00 p.m. on WXXI-AM 1370, FM 107.5, and WRUR 88.5 FM in Rochester, WEOS 89.5 FM in Geneva

Evan Dawson talks about what matters to you on ConnectionsEvery weekday from Noon-2 p.m. Be part of the program with questions or comments by phone - 1-844-295-TALK (8255), email, Facebook or Twitter

At midnight on Monday, Wegmans enacted its ban on most single-use plastic bags. That means customers can now use reusable bags or pay five cents for each paper bag. Community members are reacting to the change, with some complaining about what they call an inconvenience and added expense, while others are lauding the company for going more green. The move comes in advance of a state ban on plastic bags that begins March 1.

This hour, we discuss the impact of the change on customers and the environment, if and how other entities will follow suit, and how to have effective conversations about sustainability and recycling. Our guests:

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit Puerto Rico on Saturday. It's the latest in a series of earthquakes and aftershocks that have shaken the island over the past several weeks.

Puerto Ricans in Rochester are coming together to offer relief and support. Our guests discuss their efforts and the broader response from the mainland. In studio:

First hour: An update on Puerto Rico and how Rochestarians are providing support 

Second hour: Discussing the impact of Wegmans' ban on most single-use plastic bags

We have a conversation about former vice president Joe Biden' candidacy. He remains at or near the top of national polling, with voting set to begin next week. Biden is often described by voters as a safe choice.

We’ve tried to bring together a panel of enthusiastic Biden supporters to make the case that the “safe” choice is the best choice. Our guests:

  • Sandy Frankel, former Brighton town supervisor
  • Devin McAndrew-Greiner, grad student and Biden supporter

What do you think about the so-called Megxit news? Earlier this month, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their plans to step back from royal duties and work toward living financially independent from the family. The couple cited the British tabloids’ treatment of Markle as one of the main reasons the two are seeking distance from the royals.

This hour, we’re joined by local Brits who weigh in on the news and its possible impact. They discuss shifts in the modern monarchy, questions surrounding racist treatment of Markle by the press, and more. In studio:

  • Colin Coffey, small business owner
  • Mark Brummitt, professor of Hebrew bible interpretation and assistant dean of students at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
  • Isobel Davies, Brit living in Rochester
  • Saratu Ishaya-Audu, Brit living in London


First hour: Discussing "Megxit" and the modern monarchy with local Brits

Second hour: Analyzing Joe Biden's candidacy 

Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • How so-called rust-belt cities like Rochester can use their histories to fuel revitalization;
  • The state of early intervention services in Monroe County, and how they benefit families;
  • The value of respite programs for caregivers and people with disabilities.

Several of these stories are reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk. This edition of Weekend Connections was produced by Connections intern, Emmarae Stein.

We wrap up our annual Dialogue on Disability Week with a conversation about sports, media, and inclusion. Special Olympics New York is celebrating 50 years. We’re joined by an athlete who has been part of the program for 40 years, as well as RIT photojournalism students who have covered athletes’ stories.

We discuss how sports can help people discover new abilities and strengths, and how effective media coverage can help create a more inclusive society. In studio:

  • Patty VanSavage, athlete and member of the Great Tigers Club
  • John VanSavage, Patty’s brother and coach with the Great Tigers Club
  • Stacey Hengsterman, president and CEO of Special Olympics New York
  • Jenn Poggi, assistant professor of photojournalism at RIT
  • Josh Meltzer, assistant professor of photojournalism at RIT
  • Jackie Diller, photojournalism major at RIT
  • Ashley Crichton, advertising photography major at RIT

This story is reported from WXXI's Inclusion Desk.

First hour: Dialogue on Disability - Sports, media, and inclusion

Second hour: Connections preempted for NPR's coverage of the Senate impeachment trial

How can so-called rust belt cities take advantage of the digital economy to revitalize their urban centers? It’s a question planner and developer Jennifer Vey at the Brookings Institution has explored in depth. Her work in transformative placemaking focuses on inclusion, innovation, and job creation.

She’ll be in Rochester next week as a guest of the Community Design Center for its 2020 Reshaping Rochester Series, but first, she joins us on Connections. Our guests: