Connections with Evan Dawson-logo

Connections with Evan Dawson


WXXI's Evan Dawson talks about what matters to Rochester and the Finger Lakes on Connections, Every weekday from Noon-2 p.m. on WXXI-AM 1370, WRUR FM 88.5, and online at

WXXI's Evan Dawson talks about what matters to Rochester and the Finger Lakes on Connections, Every weekday from Noon-2 p.m. on WXXI-AM 1370, WRUR FM 88.5, and online at


Rochester, NY




WXXI's Evan Dawson talks about what matters to Rochester and the Finger Lakes on Connections, Every weekday from Noon-2 p.m. on WXXI-AM 1370, WRUR FM 88.5, and online at




Connections: Discussing the possible impacts of Trump's executive order aimed at social media

On Thursday, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at limiting liability protections for some social media companies. The move comes just days after Twitter fact-checked and labeled two of his tweets as inaccurate. According to NPR, legal experts say it's unlikely that the order will have any practical effect on tech giants like Twitter. Meanwhile, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called out Twitter for its fact-checking, saying Facebook won't be "arbiters of truth." What does all...


Connections: Discussing the history of African Americans being falsely reported to police

The story of a white woman in New York City who called police and falsely accused an African American man of threatening her has gone viral. Amy Cooper was walking her dog in an area of Central Park where leashes are required. Christian Cooper (no relation), an avid bird watcher who was in the park for that purpose, approached her and asked her to leash the dog. When she didn't, the situation escalated and led to the woman calling police and claiming the man was threatening her and her dog....


Connections: The Gandhi Institute's "Nonviolence Now" campaign

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated social inequalities, and at times, led to frustration, stress, and even fights in the community. The Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence has launched a new campaign called "Nonviolence Now" to help people communicate peacefully and resolve conflicts without causing harm. We talk to representatives from the Institute about the project and what they hope to accomplish, especially during the pandemic. Our guests: Kit Miller , director of the Gandhi...


Connections: Updates from the Libertarian Party

How is the nominating process changing for political parties as a result of the pandemic? This hour, we discuss that question with local members of the Libertarian Party. The party moved its presidential nominating convention and a convention to elect party officers to Zoom and YouTube. Our guests talk about the process, and share additional updates from the party, including their selection for a presidential candidate. Our guests: Tony D'Orazio , chair of the Libertarian Party of New York...


Connections: Candidates for the 136th Assembly District Democratic primary

Assembly member Jamie Romeo has decided not to seek re-election for her 136th District seat; instead, she will seek the Monroe County Clerk position, which she has held since it was vacated by Adam Bello. Three Democrats are vying for the Assembly seat in the upcoming primary. This hour, we hear from Sarah Clark, Nelson Lopatin, and Justin Wilcox. They share their platforms and priorities, and answer our questions and yours. Our guests: Sarah Clark Nelson Lopatin Justin Wilcox


Connections: Local World War II veterans share their experiences

75 years ago this month, the Allies celebrated V-E Day. As time marches on, the voices of those who fought in the war or who were part of the war effort on the home front become fewer. This hour, we hear from two local veterans who share their experiences. Our guests: Jack Foy, machine gunner in the Army 87th Infantry Division, World War II Corporal John Woods, Army Air Corps, World War II


Connections: How has the pandemic impacted bed and breakfasts?

We continue our series of conversations about the impact the pandemic has had on businesses. Bed and breakfasts owners are working to adapt to the current situation, while also preparing for the months ahead. This hour, we talk with innkeepers in different parts of our area about how the pandemic has affected their businesses, and how they think the industry could change in the longer term. Our guests: Richard Trayford, co-owner of Letchworth Farm Bed and Breakfast Susan Alvarez, co-owner of...


Connections: Guidance for employers preparing to reopen their facilities

As the regional continues its Phase 1 reopening process, what do employers need to do to prepare their workplaces and their staffs? We’re joined by two local labor attorneys who share guidance regarding reopening facilities: how to ensure employees’ safety; how to stay compliant with state and federal regulations; and how to adapt to the pandemic. Our guests answer our questions and yours: Dan Moore , partner at Harris Beach , and leader of the Harris Beach Labor and Employment Practice...


Connections: Candidates for the 56th Senate District primary

Longtime Republican state Senator Joe Robach is not seeking reelection. Three Democrats are vying for the seat in the upcoming primary. This hour, we sit down with Jeremy Cooney, Hilda Rosario Escher, and Sherita Traywick to discuss their platforms and priorities for the 56th District. Our guests: Jeremy Cooney Hilda Rosario Escher Sherita Traywick


Connections: Discussing creative solutions for reopening local businesses

As the Rochester and Finger Lakes region begins to reopen, business owners in many different industries are brainstorming how to safely attract and retain customers during the pandemic. Curbside service, outdoor seating, and drive-in performances are all being discussed and -- in some cases -- offered. This hour, we hear from local business owners about their creative solutions. Our guests: Mark Ippolito, co-founder of Comedy @ the Carlson Jenna and Pete Morgante, owners of the Tree Town...


Connections: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is our guest. In recent weeks, Gillibrand has been outspoken in her defense of SNAP, USPS, and in her ideas for how to rebuild the American workforce. We talk with her about the federal government's response to the pandemic. We're also joined by Nazareth College professor Tim Kneeland, whose new book explores bipartisanship during a crisis. Our guests: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Tim Kneeland , chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Nazareth...


Connections: What the pandemic has taught us about food systems

From millions of pints of milk being dumped down drains in Britain, to strawberries meant for markets in India being fed to cattle, the pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the international food trade. The global food system is built around countries specializing in specific products -- think cocoa in Ghana and potatoes in Belgium. But when borders close and demand drops, the system goes awry. People go hungry while food rots. So what's the solution? Experts point to the surprise boom...


Connections: New Rochester City School District Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small

The Rochester City School District has a new superintendent. On Monday, the district named Lesli Myers-Small its new leader. Her appointment follows the unexpected and abrupt resignation of Terry Dade. Myers-Small was the superintendent of Brockport Central Schools for seven years, and most recently served as assistant commissioner of school reform and innovation for the New York State Department of Education. She's the first woman of color to lead the RCSD outside of an interim role. This...


Connections: Previewing NOVA's new special, "Decoding COVID-19"

A new NOVA special, "Decoding COVID-19," takes viewers inside hospitals and scientific research labs around the world during the height of the outbreak. The film follows the work of scientists as they race to develop treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, and it shares the personal stories of families who have navigated illness and loss. We preview the special with its producer, and with an infectious disease physician and an infectious disease researcher featured in the film. NOVA's...


Connections: How to build public trust and prepare Americans for our "pandemic summer"

In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, writer Charlie Warzel says, "Heading into our pandemic summer, my biggest worry is that in the effort to get Americans to flatten the coronavirus curve, nobody prepared the country for what comes next." He makes a case for how to build public trust and prepare Americans for the months ahead as parts of the country reopen. Our guest: Charlie Warzel , New York Times opinion writer at large


Connections: "Plandemic," and how to have conversations with people who believe conspiracy theories

“Plandemic” – the debunked film about COVID-19, featuring a discredited researcher – went viral before platforms did their best to remove it. More than eight million people watched the movie, which pushes conspiracy theories and misinformation about the origins of and treatments for COVD-19. While news sources have reported on the hoax, many people have shared points and clips from the film, saying they believe the information that has been proven false. How do you have conversations with...


Connections: How is the pandemic impacting the local housing market?

Local realtors say Rochester’s housing market is still hot, despite the pandemic. While the number of newly listed homes has decreased sharply, buyers are taking tours over Zoom, waiving inspections, and putting in offers well over asking price. This hour, we’re joined by four real estate brokers who give us an inside look at the housing market during this unprecedented time. They also discuss how they anticipate the pandemic could change the market and the buying/selling process in the...


Connections: What has the pandemic taught us about remote learning?

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently said that the pandemic should change the way we approach schools. He said that with technology, and our new experience with remote learning, some things should not go back to the way they were before. The governor is not suggesting that all learning happen remotely; he wants to take the good aspects of remote learning and apply them going forward. But many parents and teachers are apprehensive about that; they are struggling to find much good to take from this...


Connections: The stories of local women who became single moms by choice

Many parents across the country have had to make major adjustments to their home and work lives in order to balance child care and their careers during the pandemic. Some single parents in particular say they’ve struggled. The New York Times recently profiled four women who decided to become single mothers on their own. The women describe why they chose their paths, the joys of motherhood, and the unexpected challenges they’ve come to face -- especially during the pandemic. One of those...


Connections: Local residents express concerns about exercising in public as African American men

Authorities in Georgia say there were no burglaries, no reported thefts in the two months before the stalking and killing of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in February. Two white men, a father and son, tracked and then killed Arbery in the residential street of their mostly white neighborhood. Our guests discuss what it's like to be an African American man just wanting to go for a jog in public or to exercise without provoking fear. We also discuss what it might take to build a society in which...