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

Local urbanists share their 2021 wish list. What laws or rules or regulations could change to allow for more community building? Outdoor interaction remains the safest way to get together, but urbanists say that some regulations make that more difficult. Some municipalities ban front-yard patios, for example, forcing interactions into backyards and fenced areas.

Our guests make their case:

We sit down with iconic former WAMU host, Diane Rehm. She has a new film airing on PBS stations this month called "When My Time Comes." It's about end-of-life options for people with terminal illnesses. It comes from a personal perspective: Rehm's husband of 54 years died of Parkinson’s disease in 2014. He was denied the option of medical aid in dying in their home state of Maryland.

Since his death, Rehm has been at the forefront of activism on the issue. We talk with her about the state of physician-assisted dying in the U.S. Our guest:

  • Diane Rehm, radio host, author, and right-to-die activist

Glogau Photography

First hour: Diane Rehm on medical aid in dying

Second hour: Urbanists share their 2021 wish list

During a discussion about Body Mass Index, or BMI, Connections listeners reached out to describe their own experiences with weight shaming. Some of those experiences happened in their own doctors' offices.

This hour, we explore how communication, especially in medical settings, can be more effective in regard to weight and personal health. Our guests:

  • Holly Russell, M.D., medical director of clinical and community-based programs at the Center for Community Health and Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center 
  • Jill Chodak, clinical dietitian at the Center for Community Health and Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center 
  • Donna Burnette, mother, wife, and professional

A new report from ACT Rochester and Trillium Health shows that Monroe County has some of the highest increases in sexually transmitted infection rates in the state. We talk to the authors of the report about the data and about how health professionals can adopt a comprehensive approach to sexual health.

Our guests:

First hour: Discussing STIs, and how health professionals can adopt a comprehensive approach to sexual health

Second hour: How communication can be more effective in regard to weight and personal health

The YMCA of Greater Rochester announced Wednesday that it is permanently closing its Carlson MetroCenter branch due to financial challenges. YMCA leaders say in the year prior to the pandemic shutdown, only 19 percent of Carlson members actively used the branch once a week or more. In a press release, leaders stated, "As an organization, we cannot continue to dedicate financial resources to sustain a building that has nearly 65,000-square-feet allocated to health and wellness with so few people using it on a daily basis." Critics of the decision say the YMCA is prioritizing suburban members over members in the city. We discuss the news with our guests:

  • George Romell, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Rochester
  • Pam Cowan, chief marketing and experience officer for the YMCA of Greater Rochester
  • Chris Widmaier, former member of the YMCA of Greater Rochester

We continue our series of conversations about the recent report released by the RASE Commission. Co-chairs Bill Johnson and Muhammad Shafiq join us to focus on the economic recommendations in the report. They answer your questions as well.

Our guests:

  • Bill Johnson, co-chair of the RASE Commission, and former mayor Rochester
  • Muhammad Shafiq, co-chair of the RASE Commission, executive director of the Brian and Jean Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue, and professor of Islamic and religious studies at Nazareth College

First hour: Discussing the economic recommendations in the RASE Commission report

Second hour: YMCA leaders and a member on the decision to close the Carlson MetroCenter branch

We talk with candidates for Rochester City Council. Nearly 20 candidates have signed petitions to run for five open at-large seats. We aim to talk with all of them over the next several weeks. It's an opportunity to hear from the candidates about their platforms and priorities for office, and for listeners to ask them questions.

Our guests: