Betsy Kaplan | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Betsy Kaplan

Senior Producer

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. Prior to that, Betsy worked as an intensive care registered nurse in several Connecticut hospitals.

While taking time off from nursing to have fun with her three young daughters, she was elected to three terms on her town's Board of Education and worked at a local museum. 

She's produced shows for Where We Live and the Colin McEnroe Show, several of which have won local awards.

She is currently the senior producer for the Colin McEnroe Show

Elias Baker / John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

Nicholson Baker once spent a portion of his retirement savings to rescue first edition newspapers from being destroyed. He also fought to save card catalogues and to prevent library managers from sending thousands of books to landfills in their rush to microfilm. 

He fought on behalf of all of us who think about what is lost when the specifics of a particular moment are worn away or forgotten or altered in the subsequent retellings of the original observations. It's kind of like a childhood game of telephone where the original message is passed from child to child until the last person relays a message with little resemblance to the original. 

Stalin's Ghost

Nov 26, 2018
Eugene Zelenko / Wikimedia Commons

Joseph Stalin's only daughter grew up the beloved pet of a man responsible for a decades-long campaign to arrest, torture, execute or forcibly imprison millions of Soviet citizens, including children and members of his own family. That's what we know now.

Sandy Cole / Wikimedia

The Argus Pheasant is a lifelong bachelor. He mates with multiple females but has no further contact with his mates or the baby pheasants he sires. By human terms, not much of a feminist.

Kathrine Holte

The repeated incidents of mass shootings are shocking. Yet, they're sanitized and abstract for most of us who haven't been directly touched by gun violence.

The response to mass shootings has become predictable: anguished adults, candlelight vigils, and photos and remembrances of the victims in happier times. It's never about the carnage or the lingering impact on survivors or their families, communities,  medical doctors, nurses and psychiatrists who care for them. 

Crystal from Bloomington / Wikimedia Commons

Thirty million red blood cells circulate twelve thousand miles in a never ceasing loop through our bodies every day. Our blood has to keep moving in order to perfuse every organ and vessel necessary to keep us alive. Nothing in our body works without the constant presence and movement of our blood. Yet, few of us think about our blood until we see a few drops trickle from a cut. Then, we're horrified by it.

Pixabay

We all regret and we should not regret that we regret.  I regret buying that pair of pink sneakers that I'll never wear. I can't take the sneakers back but I can call the brother that I regret not speaking to for several months. 

United Kingdom Government / Wikimedia Commons

This weekend was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. World leaders convened in Paris and listened to French president Emmanuel Macron warn against reviving the "old demons" of nationalism that led to our first world war. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Women won big in these 2018 Connecticut midterm elections. This follows a national trend sparked in response to the 2016 election of Donald Trump. More women ran and more women won, many in seats not held by a Democrat in decades, let alone by a woman. 

Today, an hour with several of Connecticut's new female legislators. 

Mark Goebel / Creative Commons

We have a tradition on the show of celebrating voting and the people who vote by speaking to thoughtful "citizen observers" from around the state about their experience of voting on this Election Day. 

Lewis Black

Lewis Black is a funny guy. His expletive-laced RANTS and YELLING about whatever's on his (our) mind lends a rejuvenating catharsis for anyone who's thinking exactly what he's saying. 

Theresa Thompson / Creative Commons

It's almost over. One more day of lawn signs, robocalls, nasty mailers and deceptive commercials. Election Day is upon us and is shaping up to bring an unprecedented number of voters to the polls.  

The Burkhart Family / Doubleday

Native Americans have been getting forced off their land for a long time. Thomas Jefferson forced them from their ancestral home in 1804 after he signed the Louisiana Purchase and promised they shall know the United States as only "friends and benefactors." 

Little Hinges USA / Google Images

Are you one of those people who wants to vote for Oz Griebel for governor but won't because you're afraid your vote might lead to a win for your least favorite candidate? 

Douglas Fernandes / Creative Commons

There's a set of steps and a big stone fireplace sitting in the middle of the woods where I used to walk my dog. I can envision the family living in the house that was part of the neighborhood that got washed away when the Farmington River overflowed its banks in 1955.  My exploration led me to the origin of those steps. 

Mark Anderson / Creative Commons

Shakespeare was famous for his off-color puns, yet much of their cleverness has been lost to the  evolution of our English language.

In Shakespeare's English, the word "nothing" was pronounced as "no-ting," which at that time was a euphemism for um, a female lady part. In modern parlance, that would translate to Much Ado About... (female lady part.) Much is lost between Elizabethan times and today. 

The White House / Wikimedia Commons

The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has hit a cultural nerve in America. The sustained anger outstrips our response to the killing of 43 other journalists in 2018, Saudi Arabia's jailing of these dissidents, or the U.S.-supported Saudi invasion of Yemen that has created a humanitarian crisis that is affecting millions of people and getting worse.

Mark Anderson / Creative Commons

We're having a pun contest this Wednesday, October 24, 1-2 pm. Wanna join? Send us a pun on any of these topics - animals, food, politics. (Or, just send us your best)

Call us at 860-275-7266 during our live show, Tweet us anytime @wnprcolin, or comment on this post on our Facebook page.

Noah Stern Weber / LA Opera

Have you ever been to the opera? I know, you think it's stuffy and formal and only for rich, white people of a certain age. You're wrong. 

Mark Goebel / Creative Commons

Despite Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and attempts by hackers to infiltrate voter-registration databases in Illinois, Arizona and several other states in the summer of 2016, little has been done to better secure America's network of electronic voting systems.

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

  

Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton were using strategies to deliberately divide America's political system decades before the pivotal 2000 presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush divided us into gangs of  'red' or 'blue.'

Pixabay / Creative Commons

Today, we've booked no guests. It's Colin and your calls. 

Saturday's confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was the anticlimatic coda to a nomination that has both riveted and more deeply divided our country.

Depending on your view, the Kavanaugh confirmation either endangers the legitimacy of the court or is a welcome culmination to a decades-long effort to capture a solid conservative majority on the high court.

Jeaneem / Creative Commons

The Eagles' first album touched a cultural nerve in 1971, with songs like "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and "Witchy Woman." And the hits never stopped. Despite mounting criticism from critics and fans alike, within five years they rolled those hits into one of the biggest selling Greatest Hits albums of all time. 

Julie Jordan Scott / Creative Commons

A lot of you reading this are familiar with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder because you watched the popular "Little House on the Prairie" television show that ran from 1974-1983.

But the television show came long after Laura Ingalls Wilder began sharing the story of her family's journey through the open frontier. She shared her memories in a series of beloved Little House books that spanned a life of pioneering both before and after the government declared the frontier closed. She speaks in simple and intimate prose of everyday life that fascinated millions of young readers who wanted to live like Laura. Fans today still want to believe in the absolute truth of every word. 

Eric Draper / Wikimedia Commons

Like many Americans, our newsroom was glued to the eight or so hours of testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh during last week's Senate Judiciary Hearings, including the dramatic committee vote on Friday that led to a limited FBI investigation. 

Catherine Sebastian

Joyce Maynard has been writing for over 45 years about the kind of human experiences we're often taught to keep hidden - stories  about envy, anger, vanity, self-pity, pride.  

We read her stories because they offer a chance to first confront and then forgive ourselves for how those emotions can shape us into people we don't like. 

Eric Draper / Wikimedia Commons

The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat of departing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy had already widened the chasm between Democrats and Republicans before allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh blew it wide open. 

We were going to produce a show today on loneliness with British writer Olivia Laing. We still want to do that show with Olivia - but not today.

Instead, we decided to switch gears and talk with Olivia and other artists about the themes in Olivia's new novel because they mirror our own concerns: how to live life in this fast-moving world where the present is history in the blink of an eye and world leaders can end our world with one wrong tweet? How can we exist, create art, raise children, commit to a future in a world that could be ending?

Angela N / Creative Commons

Today, we have no guests. We want to hear from you. We canceled our previously planned show so we could dedicate the entire hour to understanding how you are feeling about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the  Supreme Court.

Creative Commons

Would you rather be with your dog than most of the people you know because nobody really gets you anyway? Do you feel alone even when you're surrounded by people at work or at home?

J Stimp / Creative Commons

Nearly ninety-percent of Americans own a smartphone.

On average, we spend more than four hours a day on our phones, which adds up to about 56 full days a year. That's like sealing yourself in a room on the first day of summer and not emerging until the kids head back to school. 

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