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Connections

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

First hour: Author Sarah Burns on her book, "The Politics of War Powers"

Second hour: Exploring the role of chief diversity officers on college and university campuses

The team from “This Old House” is coming to Rochester. The show is celebrating its 40th season with a special event at the Hochstein School Monday night. We talk to host Kevin O’Connor and carpenter Nathan Gilbert about the show’s success, trends in the home improvement industry, and more.

Then, we sit down with local contractors and architects who answer our questions and yours. Our guests:

CITY Newspaper editor David Andreatta’s recent op-ed, “New York’s high-speed rail fail,” has reignited the local debate over high-speed rail in the state.

Last week during his State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his proposal to develop a strategy to build high-speed rail in New York. The plan will include a panel of outside experts that will re-examine previous designs for the Empire Corridor. Cuomo has argued that high-speed rail service can transform economies.

In his piece, Andreatta asks if the state can support it. He points to academic studies that show mixed results, and a lack of foot traffic at Rochester’s train station, which can’t support a coffee shop or other retail options. But local urbanists are pushing back, saying the issue is more nuanced and the region has the potential to transform mass transit. Our guests debate the future of high-speed rail in New York. In studio:

Jacob Walsh / CITY Newspaper

First hour: Can New York State support high-speed rail service?

Second hour: The cast of "This Old House" celebrates 40 seasons and discusses home improvement trends

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 members of the United Methodist Church are responding to the proposed denominational split over LGBTQ-related issues;
  • How the local faith community is addressing systemic racism;
  • Ricky Gervais' monologue at the Golden Globes.

This edition of Weekend Connections was produced by Connections intern, Emmarae Stein.

Finding housing can be a challenge for many older Americans, but older adults who identify as LGBTQ say it can be particularly daunting due to issues related to possible discrimination. An organization called Senior Action in a Gay Environment is teaming up with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to assess how long-term care facilities are treating residents who are part of the LGBTQ community. 

This hour, we discuss the state of housing options for LGBTQ adults, fair-housing practices, and what inclusive and welcoming housing looks like. In studio:

Elizabeth Wurtzel, the author of “Prozac Nation,” died Tuesday at the age of 52 from cancer. Wurtzel’s memoir chronicling her experiences with depression was a best-seller, and has been praised for how it helped open dialogue about mental illness. It also sparked conversations about treatment for depression and other mental health challenges, specifically, the use of psychiatric medication.

This hour, our guests discuss the impact of the book, stigma related the mental illness, and how treatment methods have evolved. In studio:

  • Eric Caine, M.D., former chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Melanie Funchess, director of community engagement for the Mental Health Association of Rochester
  • Jeremy Moule, news editor for CITY Newspaper
  • Jerome Stiller, owner of Thrive Health and Wellness LLC, and In Our Own Voices presenter for the National Alliance on Mental Illness

First hour: Discussing the impact of the book, "Prozac Nation"

Second hour: Exploring the state of housing for older LGBTQ adults

Can artificial intelligence -- or AI -- help us become more fair as a society? Proponents of AI point to success stories, such as a case in which AI is helping find resources for homeless youth; another example includes AI helping diagnosis cancer more effectively. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is hiring an ethicist to oversee military-based AI. But there are also warning signs that AI can be limited and can exacerbate inequality.

How can we make sure the technology we create does not simply serve the most powerful in society? Our guests explore it:

  • Matt Kelly, independent journalist
  • Ehsan Hoque, Asaro-Biggar Family Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Rochester
  • Jonathan Herington, lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, and assistant director of graduate education in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at the University of Rochester
  • Hadi Hosseini, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at RIT

The world seems to be on a knife's edge in so many regions, and American relationships are vital.

We welcome a semi-regular guest to discuss his latest work in understanding world events and geopolitics in Russia, China, and more. We also discuss the Iran crisis. In studio:

  • Randy Stone, director of the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester

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