John Dankosky | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

John Dankosky

Executive Editor, NENC

John is Executive Editor of the New England News Collaborative, an eight-station consortium of public media newsrooms. He is also the host of NEXT, a weekly program about New England, and appears weekly on The Wheelhouse, WNPR's news roundtable program.

Previously, he was Vice President of News for CPBN, and Host of Where We Live,  twice recognized by PRNDI as America’s best public radio call-in show. You can also hear him as the regular fill-in host for the PRI program Science Friday in New York. He has worked as an editor at NPR in Washington, and reported for NPR and other national outlets on a variety of subjects.

As an editor, he has won national awards for his documentary work, and regularly works with NPR and member stations on efforts to collaborate in the public media system. As an instructor, John has held a chair in journalism and communications at Central Connecticut State University and been an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University. He is also a regular moderator for political debates and moderated conversations at The Connecticut Forum , the Mark Twain House and Museum, The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, The World Affairs Council of Connecticut and The Litchfield Jazz Festival.

John began his radio career at WDUQ in Pittsburgh, his hometown.

Ways to Connect

Japan, One Week Later

Mar 18, 2011
Fox News Insider, Creative Commons

After a full week of pictures and words and statistics, it’s still hard to get a grip on the scope of the tragedy.  Thousands killed, with many thousands more missing.  Hundreds of thousands without water or shelter.  And, the specter of a nuclear meltdown that has taken the world’s attention away from the devastation of the original event.

Today, a week after the earthquake – we’ll look at Japan.  How it’s coping, and how people in Connecticut are helping.

Dan Esty Goes DEEP

Mar 17, 2011
Chion Wolf, WNPR

Dan Esty is the new head of the Department of Environmental Protection – and if Governor Dannel Malloy gets his way, that job will grow to include “Energy” in the title. 

Esty’s a Yale professor who’s advised President Obama on energy policy, and several corporations on how to “go green.” 

He’s been talking about how to create more “green jobs” in the state – how to speed up the DEP’s permitting process – and how to bring down our sky-high energy costs. But this is a big job. So how is he going to protect the environment while making life easier for business?  

bgottsab, creative commons

Across the country, millions are still unemployed…and they’re not just older workers who’ve been laid off.

The most recent government report says nearly 20% of young adults don’t have jobs.

Recently on the show we talked about “emerging adulthood” – the phenomenon of young people postponing marriage and parenthood until at least their late twenties, and spending lots of time in self-focused exploration. 

Winning

Mar 14, 2011
D. Basu, Creative commons

You can win the peace, win the future, win the game, win the lottery, or if you’re Charlie Sheen you can just be “A Winner.”

You’ve heard variations on the saying, “Winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing.”  Motivational, to be sure – but when winning is the only goal, does that make most of us “losers?

Creative Commons

Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey are all talking about taxes and public sector unions.

It’s a different kind of conversation in the Northeast than they’re having in say, Wisconsin - but the rhetoric is still kind of hot.

Dannel Malloy dubbed himself the “Anti-Christie” (take that New Jersey!) and then got a nice write-up in the New York Times for what they called a “Better Budget” proposal without bombast.

DMahendra, Creative Commons

Today, Long Island Congressman, Peter King, holds a hearing called "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response."

As chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, King says he wants to look into the threat of homegrown terrorism and its ties to Islam.

Casey Serin

On the day Illinois is expected to abolish the death  penalty, Connecticut lawmakers are grappling with the same question.

Democrats in this state who want to repeal the law allowing executions feel this is their year - with a Governor who says he’ll sign a “prospective” law.  But many people from both parties want to keep the punishment as a tool for prosecutors.

National Geographic

Could it be true?!  The lost city of Atlantis has been found!  Well, not yet, but a University of Hartford archeologist is on the case.

Farai Chideya

Mar 7, 2011

Farai Chideya has been following the intersections of race and gender, pop culture and politics for years.  During the 2010 campaign, she hosted a series of election specials for public radio in association with her blog, “pop and politics” – where she traveled the country, talking to voters about their lives and what drives their votes.  She joined us to talk about African American women in politics.

Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work pioneering the concept of “micro credit,” providing small loans to village entrepreneurs as a way to fight poverty. 

Chion Wolf, WNPR

In 1961, Estelle Griswold, president of Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, opened a birth control clinic to dispense contraceptives -- a bold act of civil disobedience that changed the course of the history of family planning legislation. 

It resulted in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut, where the US Supreme Court removed one of the last serious barriers to family planning. 

Emerging Adults

Feb 28, 2011
archie4oz, creative commons

Step aside “quarter life crisis” -  there’s a new term for 20-somethings in that transition phase of their lives.  He calls it “emerging adulthood”

Dr. Jeffrey Arnett claims that in the past half century, the experience of people aged 18 to 29 has changed dramatically - at least in some societies.

Most young people now postpone marriage and parenthood until at least their late twenties, and spend their late teens through their mid-20s in self-focused exploration, trying out different possibilities in love and work.

Sue Clark, Creative Commons

Gun Control

Feb 22, 2011
westside shooter / Creative Commons

It’s been a little more than a month since the shooting of a congresswoman made the nation stop and really think about how it talks about guns.  Well, that didn’t last long.

Here’s a case in point:  When New Haven Mayor John DeStefano announced that he's laying off some city employees, including police, it prompted protests by officers. 

Chion Wolf, WNPR

This year Joette Katz takes over one of the hardest jobs in Connecticut. 

As the new commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, she’s in charge of what many people see as the core function of state government – taking care of its neediest residents.  But over the last few decades, the $900 million a year agency has had trouble doing that job, facing court oversight for the past 20 years and massive criticism for its treatment of children in its care. 

Budget Day

Feb 16, 2011
Chion Wolf, WNPR

Budget day at the Connecticut capitol used to be like Christmas morning…you were never sure what you’d be getting.

Sure, like with Santa Claus you had a pretty good idea.  I mean you’d been dropping hints for months.  But, the final budget presented by the governor always included a hint of surprise.

Chris McClane, Creative Commons

Connecticut transportation is in crisis on the ground and in the skies.

The Northeast corridor has the nation’s busiest airspace and Metro-North’s New Haven Line the most commuter traffic in the U.S. But thanks to relentless winter weather and continued delay of the MTA’s new M8 train cars, more than half of Metro North’s New Haven line trains are out of service.  The result is a  decrease in service and plenty of livid commuters. 

How We Age

Feb 11, 2011
Creative Commons, Machinate

Advanced science and technology is helping to keep people alive longer than ever, but our emotional and mental ability to cope with aging are as regressed as ever. 

Dr. Marc Agronin is a geriatric physciatrist and author of the new book How We Age: A Doctor’s Journey Into the Heart of Growing Old

The Mayor of Hartford

Feb 10, 2011
Chion Wolf

Hartford’s new mayor is dealing with piles of snow, a hole in the budget, and the everyday problems of running a city. 

Pedro Segarra took over when Eddie Perez stepped down amidst corruption charges.  At the time, he said he wasn’t planning to run for Mayor again. 

But now he is and he’s facing challengers for that job, already.

He’s also looking at a budget deficit of $40 million dollars next year.  Yesterday he got some good news from Governor Malloy about education grants from the state.  But there’s still a long way to go to fill the budget hole.

Where We Yawn

Feb 9, 2011
Campanero Rumbero

Today, we’re going to take a break from our usual talk about the state budget crisis…or transportation policy…and talk about something really exciting.  Boredom!

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.  Especially in these mid-winter stir crazy days.  What to do with myself?  Well, according to author Peter Toohey, there’s about 3000 years of bored humans dealing with the same problem.   His book is called Boredom: A Lively History.

Chion Wolf, WNPR

Recent reports show a 3% increase of people in shelters in Connecticut from 2009 to 2010. Of this population, more than half of all families and 40% of single adults in shelters report being homeless for first time  And in these harsh winter months, even overflow homeless shelters are overflowing. 

Ahmad Hammoud, Creative Commons

After 11 days of uprising, tens of thousands of Egyptians gathering in Cairo’s Central Square have declared today the “Day of Departure.”   

In the late 1960s, jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd sold millions of records by tapping in to the psychedelic sounds of the days

He achieved a “superstar” status, unfamiliar to jazz musicians today, thanks to the cross-over appeal of this soulful and experimental music.  His 1967 album, “Forest Flower” was one of the biggest selling jazz records of all time.  

Chion Wolf

New statistics show that union membership in America has slipped again…reaching its lowest rate in more than 70 years. 

New Haven Independent

Yann Beaullan’s mother is Jewish; his father is Cambodian. He grew up listening to Buddhist chants. On Sunday he was worshiping in Wooster Square—to the strains of alto saxes offering Coltranesque riffs on the Christian hymn “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.”

Beaullan has joined what might be called a “happening” new phenomenon in the pews: a weekly jazz-style eucharist that is transforming St. James and St. Paul’s from one of the “frozen chosen” Episcopal churches in town to one of the coolest places to worship in New Haven.

Denise Merrill

Jan 24, 2011
Chion Wolf

Democrat Denise Merrill has taken over a tough job – as the new Secretary of the State.

The end of Susan Bysiewicz’ long career in the job was marked by a confusing, close election for Governor – compounded by a ballot controversy in Bridgeport.

It has some people calling for a new law that would mandate one ballot for every registered voter.  New Secretary Denise Merrill says she’s not sure that’s the right solution - but she has said she’ll be working with lawmakers, “capitalizing” on the relationships she formed as House Majority leader.

Spike & Jones

Recently a compilation came out covering 50 years of African music, an 18 CD compilation of 185 songs.  Many of these tracks crossed borders and helped build a new global awareness of Africa.  

A New City Plan

Oct 29, 2010
Chion Wolf

The underlying theme this month (right after the elections, of course) is transportation. It seems much-anticipated changes are slowly happening, on the national and local level.  This week, Connecticut and Massachusetts announced that they will share nearly 121 million in federal funds to help launch high speed passenger rail service.  One step closer to the long awaited Springfield – New Haven rail line. 

If you've noticed the political campaigns this year, they haven't exactly been rich with issues and evidence.   You're more likely to hear emotions, anger, empathy and fear. This is the world that Drew Westen studies. He is professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University, and author of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation (2007), an  investigation into the role of emotion in determining the political life of the nation.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Terrorist plots on U.S. soil, and terrorist acts around the world, are blamed on “radical” strains of Islam. But what are the causes of “radicalization,” and how can they be reversed? A conference this month in East Hartford brings together leading thinkers and writers – tackling the topics of violent extremism, the U.S. relationship with Pakistan and Pakistani Americans, and ways in which the Muslim community here is helping to weed out terrorism.

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