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

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. 

Pexels / Creative Commons

From surprise bills to sky-high deductibles, the American health care system is not working perfectly for many. But what’s the fix?

This hour: Democratic presidential candidates have a wide variety of ideas to reform how Americans are insured, from a “public option” to “Medicare for All”. But what do these terms mean? We break it down.

Audio transcript of the Where We Live show “Connecticut Veteran Writes About Lasting Impact Of Rape In The U.S. Military,” which aired August 15, 2019

SECTION I:

Lucy Nalpathanchil: This is Where We Live from Connecticut Public Radio. I'm Lucy Nalpathanchil.

Ryan Leigh Dostie

Ryan Leigh Dostie is an Iraq War veteran. She joined the U.S. Army to serve her country. But before she was deployed, she experienced violence from one of her own when she was raped by a fellow soldier. 

This hour, we sit down with Dostie. She is a Connecticut resident and author of the new book: Formation: A Woman’s Memoir of Stepping Out of Line.

Recent statistics show sexual assaults in the military have surged in recent years. We talk with a retired colonel about this disturbing trend.

And we want to hear from you. Are you a veteran? How do you think the U.S. military should confront this epidemic of violence in its ranks?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Although he is running against a seasoned politician, Justin Elicker is not a new face in New Haven politics. The former alder faced off against now-mayor Toni Harp in 2013, and this year, they are set to do it again.

This hour, we sit down with the candidate for mayor of New Haven, ahead of the September 10th primary.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

During the Arab Spring, young Egyptians took to the streets, calling for the end of dictatorship in their country. It worked: former President Hosni Mubarak would leave. But today, eight years later, Egypt is more repressive than ever.

Connecticut resident Esam Boraey was one of those young Egyptians who led the movement for change, long before the revolution. His decision would eventually force him to flee his country.

Flowcharts of algorithms
Somepics/Wvbailey/Sakurambo / Wikimedia Commons

They are the force behind big companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Often hidden or misunderstood, these chunks of computer code drive pretty much everything we do online.

This hour: algorithms. They permeate throughout our lives, from credit scores to GPS driving directions. But how do algorithms work?

We talk about algorithms, machine learning, and the ethics of computer-problem solving.

BankingBum / Wikimedia Commons

In 2017, nearly 40,000 people died from gun violence in the U.S. according to the CDC.

Aswad Thomas is a survivor. A victim of a Hartford shooting outside a convenience store in 2009. He is also one of the people featured in the documentary The Sweetest Land, which looks at the epidemic of gun violence in the city of Hartford.

This hour, Thomas joins us along with the documentary’s director. What steps can local policymakers and public health take to effectively address gun violence? We take a closer look and we want to hear from you.

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.

Later, we talk about another iconic pollinator: the monarch butterfly. Have you spotted one of these rare and magnificent creatures near your home?

Yale University
Pixabay

Yale University is offering a voluntary wellness program to some employees. The catch? You have to share your health data and there’s a financial penalty if you don’t participate. Now, Yale is now being sued by some of it workers over this program. This hour, we take a look at the legal questions surrounding employer-sponsored wellness programs. Does your job offer one?

Later, we take a look at the cost of childcare in Connecticut. Paying for daycare can be as much or more than in-state tuition in this state. We hear from an economist and the Commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood.

Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo / Associated Press

After more than a week of mass protests, Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rosselló says he will step down. This hour, we ask: what happens next?

We hear the latest from on the ground in Puerto Rico, and talk with Connecticut residents with ties to the island. 

Did you participate in the #RickyRenuncia protests?

THOMAS BREEN / NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT

She’s been mayor of Connecticut’s second largest city since 2014. Now, Toni Harp is hoping voters in New Haven will give her a fourth term. 

This hour, Mayor Toni Harp joins us in studio just days after she received the endorsement of the city’s Democratic town committee.

NASA

Fifty years ago, man walked on the moon. But before that happened, millions held their breath at each stage of the Apollo 11 mission, starting with the launch.

This hour we talk about the lasting impact of this historic moment--a feat of engineering, science, and political will. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement / Flickr

For weeks, undocumented communities braced themselves for large-scale immigration raids targeting those who live here illegally.

President Trump had announced these roundups would take place across the country over the weekend. This hour, we hear what actually happened. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

An accident at Bradley International Airport caused tens of thousands of gallons of firefighting foam to leak into the Farmington River in June. That foam contains PFAS, a group of chemicals linked to serious health risks. 

This hour, we take a look at how this accident happened, and what threats it poses to our health and environment. Here in Connecticut, some lawmakers are just learning about the risks of these “forever chemicals”.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

During the Arab Spring, young Egyptians took to the streets, calling for the end of dictatorship in their country. It worked: former President Hosni Mubarak would leave. But today, eight years later, Egypt is more repressive than ever.

Connecticut resident Esam Boraey was one of those young Egyptians who led the movement for change, long before the revolution. His decision would eventually force him to flee his country.

Pxhere / Flickr Creative Commons

Where does your food come from? Most of us go to the grocery store to buy produce, dairy, and meat. And these items aren’t necessarily local; they may come from hundreds or thousands of miles away.

This hour we hear how more people are getting involved in producing the food they eat. It’s called “modern homesteading.”

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

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 .

A woman riding a scooter in downtown Nashville.
WPLN

Electric scooters have taken over American streets from D.C. to Nashville, giving residents a speedy way to get around. But they're also causing headaches for drivers and pedestrians.

Did you know Connecticut lawmakers have passed legislation regulating these zippy rides? This hour, we’ll check in with New Haven on its proposed scooter program and we’ll hear about how New London is thinking of making public buses operate more like an Uber Pool ride.

United States' Megan Rapinoe scores her side's second goal from a penalty spot during the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Spain and US at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France, Monday, June 24, 2019.
Alessandra Tarantino / AP Photo

The Women’s World Cup is underway in France, as national teams pit it out for women’s soccer’s top prize.

This hour, we take a look at how the U.S. Women’s National Team has come to reign as an international powerhouse. And we talk about the battle women’s sports teams across the board have fought to gain recognition -- and pay.

Grendelkhan / Wikimedia Commons

What would you do with all that time if you didn't have to drive during your daily commute?

This hour: Like it or not, autonomous vehicles (AVs) will be a major part of our not-too-distant transportation future. We take a look at some of the promises and challenges of automating vehicles and ask what they will mean for the cities of our future.

BankingBum / Wikimedia/Creative Commons

In 2017, nearly 40,000 people died from gun violence in the U.S. according to the CDC.

Aswad Thomas is a survivor. A victim of a Hartford shooting outside a convenience store in 2009. He is also one of the people featured in the documentary The Sweetest Land, which looks at the epidemic of gun violence in the city of Hartford.

This hour, Thomas joins us along with the documentary’s director. What steps can local policymakers and public health take to effectively address gun violence? We take a closer look and we want to hear from you.

Amherst2005 / CreativeCommons.org

The idea of what a college education should be has changed over the years. This hour: what’s the value of a liberal arts degree in the twenty-first century?

We hear why tech giant Infosys has teamed up with Trinity College in Hartford to train and recruit new hires. Later, we learn how some colleges are bringing together the best parts of a liberal arts program with a focus on the skills needed in today’s workforce.    

DSNDR-Videolar / Pixabay

What efforts are underway -- both locally and nationally -- to help improve individuals’ access to housing?

This hour, we listen back to a panel moderated by Lucy Nalpathanchil in Hartford recently for the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. We hear from policy and advocacy experts.

Later, we also learn about a "Net Zero" affordable housing proposal in the town of Norfolk.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

This hour we take a look at some of the environmental bills the Connecticut General Assembly passed this legislative session, including a new commitment to offshore wind power. We learn what this renewable energy source means for the state’s power grid—and its economy.

And we take a look at one essential component behind offshore wind power, a group of special metals called “rare earth elements”. What does the availability—and environmental impact—of harvesting these materials mean for our energy future?

Connecticut State Capitol / Wikimedia Commons

At midnight, the Connecticut General Assembly ended its regular session on time--and with a new two-year budget.

This hour, we look at what lawmakers accomplished and what’s still left on the table. Mark Pazniokas, Capitol Bureau Chief for the Connecticut Mirror, will join us with more.

A Fidelco guide dog wearing a harness
Tikeyah Whittle / Connecticut Public Radio

Read a transcript of  this show here.

This hour, guest host Ray Hardman takes you to Fidelco -- the guide dog school in Bloomfield, Connecticut where we meet some guide dogs in training.  And we talk with guide dog users about the impact these animals have on their lives.

We also speak with author and poet Stephen Kuusisto, who’s written a memoir about his first guide dog, Corky.   

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

As a senior in high school at Loomis Chaffee, J. Collins couldn’t keep a secret from her mother any longer: although J. had lived her whole life in a girl’s body, she’d come to realize that inside, she truly identified as male. “I basically said, ‘Hey Mom, I have something to tell you. I think I’m transgender,’” said Collins, who now uses male pronouns and the name Donald rather than J.

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 .

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