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

Taylin Santiago, a New London High School student who identifies as Afro-Latino, testified in front of the Education Committee during a public hearing about H.B. 7082.
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Do you remember high school history? The subject has the reputation of being “boring”, thick with names and dates that can be a chore to remember. But this hour we ask: How do the history lessons we learn in school shape the way we see the world around us?

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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.

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They are one of our most recognizable national symbols, but have you ever seen a bald eagle in the wild? This hour we head out of the studio and into the field to see these birds of prey in their natural habitat--right here in Connecticut! We take you along with us on a Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruise down the Connecticut River to view these majestic birds, who nearly faced extinction in this state just a few decades ago.  

And we learn about another fish-eating raptor that is thriving on our waters today. Have you ever seen an osprey on Connecticut’s shoreline?

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Do you have credit card debt hanging over your head? Or maybe you've been thinking you should start saving for retirement, but you aren’t sure how to pay for it?

This hour we sit down with NPR correspondent Chris Arnold, who covers personal finance and consumer protection. NPR’s new family of podcasts, Life Kit, gives listeners practical tips for navigating life challenges from parenting to healthy eating. Arnold hosts Life Kit’s podcasts about money. They are all about figuring out how to get your finances in order in a fun and approachable way.

Image of twenty dollar bills
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Progressive lawmakers around the country have been rallying behind a call for a $15 minimum wage, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has joined their ranks.

This hour, what would increasing the minimum wage by almost 150 percent over the next four years mean for businesses and workers here in Connecticut? We hear from an economist and get the takes of several local business owners on Democrats’ proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2023.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

What’s it like to build a house, a family, a life…and then have a war take it all away?  

This hour we sit down with West Hartford, Connecticut residents Adeebah Alnemar and her son, Naji Aldabaan. They’re Syrian refugees who fled during the civil war, and came to Connecticut in 2016.

Their family is the subject of a 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoon series in the New York Times. We also talk with one of the people behind the cartoon series—New Haven-based journalist Jake Halpern.

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Whose responsibility is it to confront institutional racism in our country today?

Good Faith: Four Chats About Race and the New Haven Fire Department is playing at Yale Reparatory Theatre this month. It revisits New Haven after a group of firefighters sued the city. The reverse discrimination lawsuit, Ricci v. DeStefano, was decided by the U.S Supreme Court.

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Obituaries can capture the life and achievements of individuals, from local community members to the famous. This hour we talk with an editor behind the New York Times’ “Overlooked” obituary series, which highlights black men and women whose contributions were overlooked at the time of their deaths like actress Nina Mae McKinney and ragtime composer Scott Joplin.

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Cities and towns have laws to keep people from engaging in behavior that may disturb others, like sleeping on park benches, drinking in public, or just plain “loitering”.

What does it mean when just hanging out in a public space puts you in violation of these laws?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee has been a well-known figure in Connecticut courtrooms for decades. His expertise led to high-profile work investigating famous crimes from the O.J. Simpson trial to investigating the murder of child beauty queen, JonBenét Ramsey.

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They live underground and gorge themselves in dumpsters. This hour, we’re taking a long, hard look at creatures you’d probably rather not think about: RATS!

We hear about how the city of Hartford is fighting these unwelcome rodent residents, and we ask a researcher why are these scurrying creatures so successful at living alongside humans?

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When you sit down to watch a favorite TV show, do you check the program schedule for a weekly listing?  Or do you turn on Netflix or Hulu and start binging?

This hour, we take a look at what the rise of internet-based streaming services means for the television industry. And we want to hear from you, too.  Have you cut the cord on cable?

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Black and Hispanic men and boys in the U.S. experience worse health outcomes than other groups. This hour we take a look at Connecticut’s first-ever report card on the health of men and boys of color in our state.

Clarice Silber / CT Mirror

Shuttered national parks, TSA workers calling in sick, hundreds of thousands of paychecks missed. Americans around the country are feeling the impact of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. But it’s not just federal employees who are struggling.

This hour, we find out how the shutdown is affecting some of the country’s most vulnerable residents.

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On a January night in 2018, there were more than 3,000 people experiencing homelessness across the state of Connecticut.

This hour we sit down with Dr. Richard Cho, the new CEO of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness. Connecticut has made major strides in reducing homelessness, but how do we address areas where residents are still falling through the cracks?

The Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island in October, 2016.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut has joined nine states for a landmark agreement to reduce carbon emissions from transportation in the Northeast region.

This hour, as the federal government backs away from fighting climate change, what role can states play?

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

When Rabbi Philip Lazowski was just eleven years old, the Nazis invaded his hometown and began the mass slaughter of Jewish residents.

This hour we sit down with Rabbi Lazowski, a Holocaust survivor and longtime leader in the Greater Hartford Jewish community, to hear his story. After witnessing one of the worst sides of humanity, how did he maintain his faith and find the strength to help others?

Samite playing flute
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Samite Mulondo went from a refugee camp in Kenya to collaborating with Paul Simon. This year, the musician and Uganda native joined us in the studio to share his story and his music.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee has been a well-known figure in Connecticut courtrooms for decades. His expertise led to high-profile work investigating famous crimes from the O.J. Simpson trial to investigating the murder of child beauty queen, JonBenét Ramsey.

But in addition to his testimony on famous cases, Dr. Lee has been a staple of forensic science in Connecticut for the past 40 years--from serving as the state’s chief criminalist to helping found the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

After six years on the job, Connecticut’s 5th District Representative Elizabeth Esty is leaving Congress. This hour we sit down with the outgoing congresswoman as she reflects on her time in the House of Representatives.

Also, two violent incidents in Wethersfield have drawn attention to juveniles involved in car thefts across Connecticut. Police in some towns have argued that the prevalence of these crimes are a result of recent changes to state juvenile justice laws.

Connecticut Historical Society

Bicycles helped inspire modern cars, paved roads...even airplanes! But did you know they were also an inspiration for the women's movement?

This hour we take a look back in time at the origins of the bicycle, including innovation that happened right here in Connecticut. We find out the history of how this vehicle spurred social change and helped empower women to break through gender barriers a little more than a century ago.

Illusration: Carmen Baskauf

Today, it’s more common to go online for news than subscribe to a physical newspaper, but with so much content freely available on the web, how are news outlets staying afloat? This hour we talk about how the digital landscape is impacting journalism.

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The death of a pet can be devastating --yet when you lose an animal companion--you’re sometimes expected to “just get over it.”  This hour, we talk about human attachment to pets. Have you experienced the death of a beloved animal? How comfortable were you talking about your grief with others?

courtesy of the Yale New Haven Hospital Archives

It was a plague that came every summer and left thousands of American children paralyzed -- or dead -- in its wake. This hour we take a look at the legacy of polio.

How did the development of the polio vaccine change the course of history?

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The death of a pet can be a devastating emotional experience. Yet from the outside, we often don’t view someone losing a pet to be on the same level of loss as the death of a human friend or relative.

On Tuesday, December 4, Where We Live will explore the emotional impact of the death of pets.

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Multiple lawsuits allege Connecticut’s prison system failed to properly diagnose and treat prisoners with serious illnesses. This hour we hear from a mother whose 19-year-old son died of an infection while incarcerated. Scott Semple, the outgoing prisons Commissioner, also joins us. What steps have been taken to improve health care behind bars?

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Amazon’s getting billions of dollars in tax breaks and other incentives from New York and Virginia to build its two East Coast headquarters. This hour: has corporate welfare become the standard?

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Massive wildfires are devastating California, with dozens dead and hundreds of thousands of residents evacuated. This hour we talk with author and environmental journalist Michael Kodas about why wildfires today are so much larger and more destructive than ever before. Do you have family or friends who’ve been affected by blazes across the west?

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

This month marks 10 years since Connecticut first granted marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. This hour we talk about the work that led up to a historic ruling from the state Supreme Court and we learn how LGBTQ rights have advanced in recent years. Were you one of the couples that finally got to tie the knot in 2008?

Democrat Jahana Hayes addresses her supporters in Waterbury after declaring victory in her U.S. House race against Republican Manny Santos. Hayes becomes the first black woman elected to Congress in Connecticut.
Ryan Caron King / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

A record number of residents voted on Tuesday -- electing, among others, Connecticut’s first African American woman to Congress. This hour we talk with Jahana Hayes about her historic win. We also break down what happened in other midterm races, where Democrats achieved major victories in the governorship and General Assembly.

And we want to hear from you. What issues do you want our newest leaders to tackle first?

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