Where We Live | Connecticut Public Radio
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Where We Live

MONDAYS, TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, AND FRIDAYS AT 9:00 AM AND 8:00 PM

Where We Live is a call-in talk show about who we are in Connecticut and our place in the world.

On any given day, we explore topics you may be talking about at your job or at home. From immigration and education to workplace and family issues. We explore the latest scientific research and how worldwide events impact us locally.

We highlight our diverse communities. We want to hear your stories. Join the conversation with host Lucy Nalpathanchil, every day on Where We Live -- radio with a sense of place.

Contact Where We Live:

Senior Producer: Tess Terrible

Producer: Carmen Baskauf

Reach us when we're live at 888-720-9677. Reach us in the newsroom with pitches or questions at 860-275-7272.

Smaley / Wikicommons

When we talk about going back to school, we usually focus on what will happen when K-12 students return to the classroom. But what about the students coming from across the nation to return to campus? 

Empty desks in a classroom
Don Harder / Flickr

The school year starts soon, and teachers and parents still ask: How will schools open safely?

This hour, we talk with Jeff Leake, the president of the state’s largest teachers union, the Connecticut Education Association.

The union says the state should only open school buildings if CDC and other safety guidelines are met. Some teachers worry that crowded classrooms won’t have sufficient measures to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks.

Creative Commons CC0

This pandemic has caused a lot of interruptions in our lives. It has put people out of work, and it is also keeping some people from starting a career. This hour, we hear how recent law school graduates are preparing for the Connecticut Bar Exam amongst the pandemic. 

Carl Zimmer - New York Times columnist and author of 13 books about science, including She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity.
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Inside our genomes, we carry information about our recent ancestors as well as ancient human history. This hour, we talk with science writer Carl Zimmer about his book, She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity. We ask him what our DNA can—and can’t—tell us about where we’re from and who we are.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly five months since Connecticut had it’s first coronavirus diagnosis in the state.

This hour, Connecticut Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner Deidre Gifford joins us to discuss where we are now.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

State lawmakers in Connecticut’s House of Representatives have passed a major police accountability bill in the middle of a national conversation about police violence and racism.

This hour, we check in with CT Mirror reporter, Kelan Lyons to learn more, as the bill heads to the state Senate this week.

Window air conditioning units on the outside of an apartment building
Marina Shamesh / PublicDomainPictures.net

On sweltering summer days, having a house or apartment with air conditioning is important not only for comfort, but also for safety.  The need to cool down will only grow as climate change makes our world  hotter.

But air conditioning itself also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. This hour, we talk about how to make sure climate-friendly cooling options are available to everyone.

Here in Connecticut, not all residents can afford to run air conditioners in the heat of summer because of sky-high electricity costs. We talk about how energy efficient homes are important not only for our state’s carbon footprint, but also for racial and socioeconomic equity.

Photography by Clay Williams

Did you ever play the game Statues as a child? This is how you play:

Fadein / Wikimedia Commons

With the weather getting hotter and many indoor activities limited because of the pandemic, a trip to the water is a great way to cool off.

But not every Connecticut community has a beachfront or river in town, and many wealthy communities with waterfronts have a history of limiting water access to residents only.  Some of those restrictions have reappeared this summer in response to COVID-19.

This hour, we talk about the implications of excluding access to our state’s natural waters, especially during a pandemic.

Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jonathan Berlier / U.S. Navy photo

Governor Lamont promised free coronavirus testing for all Connecticut residents who want one. This hour, who’s footing the bill for coronavirus testing and how much does it really cost? Connecticut Public Reporter Patrick Skahill joins us to talk about his reporting on this.

Flickr

We’re reaching the middle of the summer here in Connecticut. Although many of our favorite summer activities aren’t feasible this year, there are lots of ways to get outside.

Ascalon Studios

We have spent the last few months bringing you coverage on COVID-19. This hour, we’re going to talk to someone who was diagnosed with coronavirus, and recovered. For those that survive the virus, the recovery process is not easy. Many have long-lasting side effects from having the virus, including permanent damage to the heart and lungs. And later, we learn those who have survived the virus can donate blood and help others defeat the virus with convalescent plasma. We will also hear how physicians are using plasma transfusion to treat the seriously ill.

Tre' Sowers / Flickr

It’s summer reading time! After spending the last four months quarantined indoors, it might be hard to find fun activities for your kids. 

Summer reading can be fun and it’s important for children, especially when you consider learning loss.

This hour, join us for our next installment of our Pandemic Book Club to talk about making reading your new favorite family activity.

Coming up we talk about some of our new and old favorite young adult and children’s books. Wondering how to connect with your local library this summer? One of Connecticut’s local children’s librarians joins us to discuss how to connect, get books and stay reading all summer long! 

What are you reading this summer? We want to hear from you.

GUESTS:

  • Kate Capshaw - past president of Children’s Literature Association. She is also a professor at University of Connecticut (@katcapshaw)
  • Chandra Prasad - an author based here in Connecticut, and writer of the young adult novel Damselfly (@chandrabooks)
  • Caragh M. O’Brien - a young adult author based here in Connecticut, best known for the Birthmarked Trilogy (@CaraghMOBrien)
  • Carol Waxman - Children's Services Librarian at the West Hartford Libraries (@whpl)

Martin Vorel / Libreshot

COVID 19 cases have dropped in Connecticut, but it’s still important for residents to stay home when possible to slow the spread of the disease. But what about residents who don’t have a home?

This hour, we look at homelessness during the pandemic.

Ryan von Linden / New York Department of Environmental Conservation

Do you see bats where you live? These flying creatures play important roles in ecosystems around the world, from pest control to pollination.

But bats in Connecticut are in big trouble. This hour: bats in our state have been devastated by White-Nose Syndrome. We learn more about this deadly disease and talk about why we should be concerned that populations in Connecticut have been so hard hit.

Bats in China have made news because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hear why scientists have looked to these flying creatures to understand the origins of a number of deadly diseases.

And we talk with bat researchers about why--amid fears of a pandemic--bats need our support, not our fear, more than ever.

Admissions Quest

College campuses across the country are preparing to reopen in the fall. But with the potential for a second wave of coronavirus infections, students and staff are being asked to be flexible. This hour, we’re speaking with students, faculty and leaders throughout the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities system on what it will take to reopen campus in the fall. 

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?

New York Public Library

Do you know how to make an Election Cake? What about the history of the Connecticut Witch Hunters

This hour, state historian Walt Woodward joins us to talk about his new book Creating Connecticut: Critical Moments That Shaped a Great State and answer all your questions about the Nutmeg state, starting with why do we call Connecticut the Nutmeg State? 

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. 

Wood Thrush
Paul J. Fusco

Have you noticed fewer sparrows or warblers flitting about your backyard? Bird populations in North America have been declining for years, but in 2019, the data was particularly grim. Two-thirds of bird species are at risk of extinction due to climate change and urbanization, according to recent studies. What does that mean for Connecticut’s birds?

This hour, we talk to UConn professor Chris Elphick and climate scientist Brooke Bateman, from the National Audubon Society, about the factors contributing to bird decline and what we can do to protect bird habitats.

And Corina Newsome, a self-proclaimed “Hood Naturalist,” is on a mission to inspire young people of color to consider careers in wildlife sciences. We talk to Newsome about her work.

Jericho Brown in 2019
Brian Cornelius

At the start of this year, Jericho Brown addressed the graduates of the Bennington Writing Seminars Class of January 2020. 

He said, “If you can't imagine these last few days without trees, I know you can't imagine life without poetry. Literature fills needs we did not know we had. Poems and stories plant seeds for things we did not know we needed."

Jericho Brown is this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry for his book, The Tradition, a collection of poetry questioning why and how we’ve become accustomed to violence and trauma.

This hour, Jericho Brown joins us to discuss his work, and advice for new poets.

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?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The academic school year has just ended, but parents, students and teachers are already wondering what next year will look like. This hour, Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona joins us to talk about the state's plan to reopen schools in the fall.

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?

Bob Jagendorf

Pride Month is looking a little different this year. Traditionally, Pride is marked by big parades and celebrations. But social distancing and racial unrest means that celebrations won't look the same as they did years prior. This hour, we discuss how the Connecticut LGBTQ community is celebrating this year.

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. 

Ascalon Studios

We have spent the last few months bringing you coverage on COVID-19. This hour, we’re going to talk to someone who was diagnosed with coronavirus, and recovered. For those that survive the virus, the recovery process is not easy. Many have long-lasting side effects from having the virus, including permanent damage to the heart and lungs.

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:

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