Carmen Baskauf | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Carmen Baskauf

Producer, Where We Live

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Carmen Baskauf is a producer for WNPR news-talk show Where We Live, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil. She has also contributed to The Colin McEnroe Show.

Carmen produces shows on a wide variety of topics for Where We Live; she especially loves producing shows about science and history. Some highlights include producing a full hour about menstruation (recipient of a national PRNDI award) and meeting a real-live glowing axolotl in studio for a show on bioluminescence and biofluorescence.

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Carmen now lives in New Haven, Connecticut. She has a B.A. in History from Yale University, where she studied nationalist movements in 20th-century North Africa and the Middle East, as well as international migration and human trafficking.

In her free time, Carmen likes reading about science, playing bridge, and learning new languages. You can sometimes find her riding to work on an electric scooter.

Ways to Connect

Fiber optics
Groman123 / Flickr

COVID-19 has shown the Internet is more important than ever. From Google Classrooms for distance learning to endless Zoom meetings for some professionals, the Internet has become even more essential during the pandemic.

But how many Connecticut residents still don’t have access to a high-speed connection? This hour, we look at Connecticut’s digital divide.

How does the lack of broadband in communities exacerbate existing disparities in education and economic opportunity? We talk with experts and hear how some communities want to address the issue.

We want to hear from you, too.  Have your children struggled to access remote learning?

images of Giant ground sloth (Megatherium americanum), Moa (Megalapteryx didinus), Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Ballista, George Edward Lodge, Michael L. Baird / Wikimedia Commons

What would it have been like to see a huge, elephant-like mastodon roaming our state? 

The earth has been home to some spectacularly large animals. A few of them still roam or swim our world today.

This hour, we take a look at the biology of these giants. 

Members of Students for a Democratic Society stage demonstrations New Haven Green near area where huge rally was being held by Black Panthers and supporters, May 1, 1970. Panthers were protesting the jailing of eight of their group in New Haven.
AP

On May 1st, 1970, the eyes of the nation were on the Elm City. Students and others from around the country had gathered to protest the murder trial of Black Panther Party leaders Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins.

This hour, we take a look back at May Day in New Haven, 50 years ago this year. We talk with Huggins and hear from a former Baltimore mayor who was one of the Yale students who helped keep protests peaceful.

Do you remember May Day and New Haven’s Black Panther Trials?

David McBee / Pexels

Protests against police brutality have put systemic racism in the spotlight. But how do the written and unwritten rules in communities perpetuate racial inequality?

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

In the heart of Wooster Square, New Haven’s historically Italian American neighborhood, the statue of Christopher Columbus has come down after more than 125 years -- to the cheers of a crowd of mostly younger New Haven residents and laments of some older Italian Americans.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

1.5 million people filed for unemployment last week according to the US Department of Labor, despite states re-opening in the last month. 

This hour, we look at unemployment insurance during the pandemic. Many Connecticut residents who have been laid off have been getting by with a combination of money from state unemployment insurance and a $600 weekly benefit from the federal government.

But that money is set to expire next month.

Governor Lamont has said he doesn’t support extending that benefit because he believes it “discourages work”.  Coming up we find out the impact of unemployment insurance on both workers and employers.

And we want to hear from you, too. Have you been receiving unemployment?

A runaway slave ad from 1785 in the Connecticut Courant, now the Hartford Courant
Hartford Courant archives / Proquest

Today is Juneteenth, a holiday that marks the day that slavery finally ended in Texas -- two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

We don’t often think of Connecticut as a slave state and often celebrate the role of Connecticut’s abolitionists. Yet American slavery was not just confined to the South.

There were an estimated 5,100 enslaved people who lived and worked right here in Connecticut. 

Carmen Baskauf / Connecticut Public Radio

New Haven has become the latest municipality in Connecticut to announce it will remove a statue of Christopher Columbus. The statue, in Wooster Square, is in the center of the city’s traditionally Italian American neighborhood.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

A greater portion of COVID-19 tests have come back negative in Connecticut compared with other states, which the Governor’s team says is a good sign.

But who should be getting tested as the state rolls out its phase two reopening on Wednesday?

This hour, we talk with Governor Lamont’s Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe about this latest phase of reopening Connecticut's economy. And we hear from Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin about the state's latest testing guidance for city residents. We ask: should asymptomatic people get a COVID-19 test?

Later in the hour, we also hear a story from Connecticut Public reporter Frankie Graziano, about grieving the loss of a loved one during a pandemic.

Pixabay

Father’s Day is next weekend. How will you spend Father’s Day? Will you have a socially distant celebration with your Dad? What is it like being a dad in 2020? On the next Where We Live, we’ll talk about social expectations for fathers as caregivers, and the impact an involved father has on the entire family, emotionally and financially.  

GUESTS:

Sgt. Ashley N. Sokolov / U.S. Air Force

This is part of a series of shows from Where We Live about the future of work after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has caused major disruptions for workers' careers, but the latest numbers show women have been hit particularly hard.

Women, and especially women of color, are bearing some of the largest economic impacts of the pandemic, from facing higher rates of unemployment to holding the majority of frontline essential jobs.

This hour: how will COVID-19 worsen gender inequality in the workplace?

We talk about how societal expectations around child care duties affect parents’ careers especially when schools have been closed.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

This is the first part in a series of shows from Where We Live about the future of work after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many Connecticut residents are used to spending a lot of time commuting, whether driving on a highway, riding on a train to the city or taking the bus across town. But the number of drivers and ridership across all modes of transportation have dropped dramatically with stay-at-home orders and the closing of non-essential businesses.

This hour, with Connecticut beginning to reopen, what will the “new commute” look like?

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Where We Live hosts a series of conversations about the future of the work during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. From the daily commute to the role of essential workers, we talk about how the workplace has been fundamentally changed by the pandemic. Listen to recent episodes and check back for more:

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

New Haveners of all ages showed up to march against police brutality on Friday afternoon, but the protest, which drew thousands, was organized by and about the city’s young people. 

With chants of “money for schools, not the police,” young Black and Latinx organizers from the Citywide Youth Coalition made clear that they see reinvesting money from the city’s police budget into education, housing, and job opportunities for young people of color as being essential to ending police violence.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Residents across Connecticut continue to protest and speak out in response to the police killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer.

This hour, as residents demand police accountability, how should they also work towards dismantling systemic racism in our state?

We talk with State Representative Robyn Porter, who has worked on police accountability legislation. We find out what more needs to be done to reform police departments and how it ties into addressing the underlying structural inequalities in Connecticut.

Dennis Carr / Flickr

The beginning of the month means the rent is due. But what if you lost your job during the COVID-19 pandemic?

This hour, we talk to a housing advocate about what protections exist for Connecticut residents who can’t afford housing costs right now. And we learn about the lasting consequences for residents who are at risk for eviction if the state and federal governments don’t provide additional protections.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Hundreds of protesters occupied a portion of I-95 South in New Haven Sunday afternoon in a peaceful protest against police brutality and the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Activists filled the southbound side of the interstate near Long Wharf, stopping traffic in both directions for about two hours before marching on to the New Haven Police Department headquarters. Activists sat in the middle of the highway, holding signs and chanting "No justice, no peace," while some stopped cars honked in support. 

Max Pixel

While swimming is a popular pastime for many Americans, a history of discrimination at pools nationwide in the 20th century has led to startling racial disparities in swimming abilities. A 2017 USA Swimming Foundation report found more than 6 in 10 African American children have low to no swimming skills.

And that has deadly consequences: Black and Latino children are statistically much more likely to drown than their white peers.

This hour, we hear from a historian about how we got to this point.

As Connecticut and other states begin to reopen during the pandemic, data is more important than ever. Today, we talk about the role of statistics in shaping our understanding of the COVID-19.

We hear from one of the researchers behind the How We Feel App, a volunteer system of symptom tracking. They plan to turn the symptoms users record into useful information about emerging hotspots.

And later, we talk with statistician Talithia Williams about how all of us are using statistical thinking in our everyday lives.

Photograph by Stephen West, originally published in Yale Alumni Magazine. / Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library

On May 1, 1970, tens of thousands of protesters gathered on the New Haven Green and the campus of Yale University. They came in support of Black Panther Party leaders Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins, who were on trial in New Haven for the murder of a fellow Black Panther, even though several other Panthers had already pleaded guilty to the murder.

Steve Senne / AP Photo

Discrimination against Asian Americans has increased during the pandemic. An Ipsos Poll in April found 6 out of 10 Asian Americans said they observed COVID-19-related bias against Asians.

From rude comments to even violent assaults, anti-Asian racism is impacting many Asian Americans’ sense of safety, on top of the regular stresses of life during the pandemic.

Today, Where We Live, we talk about the impact of xenophobia during COVID-19.

Have you experienced anti-Asian comments or actions during the pandemic? Has that impacted your sense of security in your community?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Donald Collins first told his mom he was transgender when he was a senior in high school. His mother wasn’t totally sure what the word transgender even meant. From there, they began a difficult emotional journey as Donald began his transition.

This hour, we sit down with Donald and his mother, Mary Collins. They have written about their experience in the book At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces. We ask them how they rebuilt their relationship and what lessons they hope to share with other families.

Have you or a loved one come out as transgender? We want to hear from you.

Members of Students for a Democratic Society stage demonstrations New Haven Green near area where huge rally was being held by Black Panthers and supporters, May 1, 1970. Panthers were protesting the jailing of eight of their group in New Haven.
AP

On May 1st, 1970, the eyes of the nation were on the Elm City. Students and others from around the country had gathered to protest the murder trial of Black Panther Party leaders Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins.

This hour, we take a look back at May Day in New Haven, 50 years ago. We talk with Huggins and hear from a former Baltimore mayor who was one of the Yale students who helped keep protests peaceful.

Do you remember May Day and New Haven’s Black Panther Trials?

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

What will Connecticut’s reopening look like?  The anticipated day is just a couple weeks away on May 20. In the lead up, the Governor’s administration has released a set of rules for businesses that will be allowed to reopen, including restaurants and hair salons.

This hour, Governor Ned Lamont calls in to talk about the rules businesses will have to follow. We ask: is May 20 a firm date? What other conditions will need to be met before Connecticut reopens?

And later, we talk with Dr. Charles Lee of Jackson Labs in Farmington, Connecticut. How have research institutions in our state pivoted to fight the pandemic?

ccarlstead / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s schools will stay closed for the rest of the academic year. This hour, we talk about what two more months of distance learning will look like and what needs to happen before students return to school in the fall. State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona and Jeff Leake, the president of Connecticut’s largest teacher’s union, join us.

Later: as we approach the end of the Governor’s closure order, what might re-opening the state look like? We hear from a TIME Magazine reporter about the steps scientists and public health officials say the country must take in order to reopen and return to a “new normal.”

Jess Gambel / Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

This hour, we take a look at bees. From the famous animals that make the honey we eat to lesser-known native “solitary bees” that nest in holes in the ground, there are thousands of species of bees, and hundreds of them have been found right here in Connecticut!

We'll talk about the critical role these pollinators play in agriculture and learn about the threats they face.

Padaguan / Wikimedia Commons

Have you invited friends over virtually to visit your dream island home on Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Or maybe your weekly board game night has moved onto Zoom.

This hour, we take a break from the heavy stuff and talk about the ways people are staying connected and having fun while isolated from friends and family. From multiplayer video games to Yahtzee over Skype, we learn how you can play games with your crew while still staying home.

And later, we check in with NPR TV critic Eric Deggans to get his recommendations on what shows to binge during quarantine.

Pixabay

Deaths related to alcohol have been rising over the past two decades, especially among women.  Today, we look at the impact of alcohol on public health.

Courtesy of Person-to-Person

Many Americans have lost their jobs or been furloughed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More and more of them have turned to local food pantries to put food on the table.

But food banks have struggled to acquire adequate food supplies for residents.

This hour, we take a look at our country’s food system and the pandemic’s affect on food insecurity. COVID-19 has disrupted the food supply chain at every level, from farms to distributors to your local grocery store.

Dr. Saud Anwar, demonstrating a successful simulation to ventilate 7 patients with one ventilator using the quad splitter
Courtesy of Saud Anwar

As Connecticut approaches its peak in hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases, health systems continue to prepare so they can keep patients alive.

Connecticut State Senator and intensive care doctor, Saud Anwar worries ventilator capacities may soon become overstretched. So he reached out to friends in the design and manufacturing communities to create a novel solution. This hour, we hear more from Dr. Anwar as we talk about innovation during this public health crisis.  

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