WNPR

Betsy Kaplan

Senior Producer

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. Prior to that, Betsy worked as an intensive care registered nurse in several Connecticut hospitals.

While taking time off from nursing to have fun with her three young daughters, she was elected to three terms on her town's Board of Education and worked at a local museum. 

She's produced shows for Where We Live and the Colin McEnroe Show, several of which have won local awards.

She is currently the senior producer for the Colin McEnroe Show

Kaz Vorpal / Creative Commons

Inauguration Day is here. In a few short days, President Obama will transfer what remains of his power to Donald Trump. Some are elated, others afraid.

Travis Wise / Creative Commons

The plane that crashed in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11 was likely headed for the U.S. Capitol. Had it hit its intended target and disabled - not killed -  multiple members of Congress, we wouldn't be able to look to the Constitution for answers on how to prevent the resulting chaos. It simply doesn't address it.

Paul Villavisanis / Creative Commons

Do you ever think about the people who make sure the medicine you're taking is safe for you to take? If your like most of us, probably not. 

U.K. Department for International Development / Creative Commons


  His followers were “impressionable voters” duped by “radical doctrines and quack remedies,” claimed The Washington Post. Now that Hitler actually had to operate within a government the “sober” politicians would “submerge” this movement, according to The New York Times and Christian Science Monitor. A “keen sense of dramatic instinct” was not enough. When it came to time to govern, his lack of “gravity” and “profundity of thought” would be exposed.

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Molly McKew says the liberal world order of democratic values is unraveling. In its place, Vladimir Putin is building a new world order with the primary goal of weakening America and NATO. He's waging a quiet war of subversion rather than domination and we've been slow to catch on. Yet, we see it all around us in Americans loss of faith in its democratic institutions. Is a new Cold War what America needs? We're already in the war - whether we want it or not. 

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Clive James called Dick Cavett one of the great intellectuals who shaped the 20th century. Cavett combined wit with serious discussion for ninety-minutes each night as host of  The Dick Cavett Show, welcoming a staggering roster of cultural icons that spanned the worlds of art, culture, literature, music, and politics: Groucho Marx, Laurence Olivier, Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Richard Burton, Orson Welles, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Noel Coward, Salvador Dali, Ingmar Bergman, Mel Brooks, Mort Sahl, Angela Davis, Marlon Brando, Katherine Hepburn, Carol Burnett...the list goes on. Even today, no one comes close - not even Stephen Colbert.

DAVID SCHEEL / Flickr Creative Commons

The octopus has always been the stuff of spine-tingling legend, like that of the Kraken, the many-armed sea monster believed to drag ships to the bottom of the sea after dining on the crew. Or  Gertie the Pus, the giant Pacific octopus that lives under the Narrows Bridge connecting Tacoma, Washington to Gig Harbor.

Hubble ESA / Creative Commons

Scientists say that the asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia four years ago was a rare event, unlikely to happen more than every 100 -200 years. But a research in the scientific journal Nature said the earth should expect and plan to get hit by Chelyabinsk-sized asteroids more often -  maybe every decade or two! 

And we thought the election was rough. 

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Donald Trump's election last month was the culmination of a venom-filled campaign that was nastier than almost any in recent memory. The mean-spirited comments tossed to voters eager to "lock her up" fell just shy of the malicious rhetoric coming from Thomas Jefferson's presidential campaign in 1796. Jefferson's hatchet-man called John Adams a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

Wikipedia

The Voice of ​America is a U.S.- funded and independent source of news that airs in societies that don't have a free press. Last week, Congress decided to shift oversight from an independent board to one person chosen by the president. President Obama embraced the shift from an unwieldy part-time advisory board to a professional CEO. Do we trust Donald Trump, a man who has threatened to change libel laws to better control the U.S. press, with this responsibility?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Felix Funicello walks into the historic Garde Arts Center in New London to prepare for his Monday night film class. He takes a moment to appreciate the splendor of the old building and consider the talented performers who have played at the Garde. He then climbs the staircase lined with movie posters from films as far back as 1926 to enter the production room at the top of the landing. That's where Felix finds not one, but two ghosts. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Nancy Butler was first touched by God while listening to bible stories at the Methodist bible camp she attended when she was nine-years-old. By the end of the week, she was ready to give her life to God, first through through daily prayer and bible readings, later by founding one of the first inclusive evangelical churches that welcomed everyone regardless of sexual orientation.  God became the center of her life - but she kept it private from others. 

Jay8085 / Creative Commons

Gustave Whitehead became a household name in Connecticut in 2013 when the editor of the highly-respected aviation magazine IHS Jane's All the World's Aircraftdeclared Gustave Whitehead had been treated "shabbily by history." This comment came after Australian historian John Brown found a picture of a plane he alleged Gustave Whitehead flew in Bridgeport two years before the Wright brothers got their 1903 Flyer off the ground. 

sam_greene@ymail.com / Creative Commons

Donald Trump will make an announcement on December 15 that he will leave his business "in total" to focus on the presidency. This will likely mean he is transferring management responsibilities to three of his five children: Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric. But a transfer may be nearly impossible, given the wide-ranging and deep entanglements Trump's children have in his business. 

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Many Americans were surprised by the results of the presidential election last month. During the early morning hours of November 9, half of America celebrated the ascension of the man (and not the first woman) that championed the needs of Americans who felt betrayed by those in power. The other half feared the election of a man with no experience in government and a stated desire to dismantle much of President Obama’s legacy.

Beyond Words

Dec 1, 2016
Katie Tegtmeyer / Creative Commons

Imagine if you couldn't speak and had no capacity for learning language as we know it. You couldn't choose words to communicate your feelings and desires and needs. You wouldn't know words that help others understand the world in which you live.

This isn't like vacationing in a country that speaks a different language where the words are different but still convey universal concepts. It's so difficult to understand a world without words, that we block the signals sending us non-verbal cues every day. This is completely foreign to most of us. What would you do? How would you communicate? How would you survive? 

Maureen McMurray / Creative Commons

The charged language used by President-elect Donald Trump this election season may have emboldened people with open hostility toward blacks, gay people, Muslims, Mexicans, Jews, and women.

How do we respond to incidents of hate and people who feel emboldened to hate? How do we teach our children to respond? How do we begin to see bigotry through a wider lens?

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Patti Smith wasn't seeking fame when she landed in Manhattan in 1969.  She was a fan of the greats of the day - like Dylan, Mapplethorpe, Pollock, Ginsberg - who she followed and emulated, hoping to find her own creative space next to those she most admired. 

Brad Greenlee / Creative Commons

We're all a little tired of this election. I vacillate between excitement, fear, anger, fatigue - sometimes all in the same hour. What will become of the country after this election?Will we accept the results? Will there be 'revolution?' Will Congress come together to legislate in the best interests of the country? 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

American democracy is limping to the finish line this election week, dehydrated and injured from many stumbles during this race. Can it recover before Americans lose faith that America has the will or ability to help them? Can it recover before foreign friends and foes alike lose faith in America's sanity and stability? 

To Catch a Burglar

Nov 2, 2016
Robert Martin / Creative Commons

George Leonidas Leslie robbed the Manhattan Savings Institution of $3 million in 1878. At the time, it was considered one of the safest buildings in the world. He made detailed models of the bank and its vault from blueprints he charmed from a bank employee. 

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FBI Director James B. Comey wrote in a Friday memo to Congressional leaders that "the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation" of Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server. The memo sparked a firestorm that rages hotter by the day, resisting all attempts to contain its damage. 

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Al Capone told everyone who asked him what he did for a living that he was a "property owner and taxpayer in Chicago." He was really a powerful multimillionaire in 1920's Chicago who made money from the illegal sale of alcohol during Prohibition and the vices that usually accompanied it: gambling and prostitution.

Betsy Kaplan / WNPR

Against Everything is a book about self-improvement. Before you tune out, I ask you to challenge your notion of 'self-improvement.' 

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Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met in Las Vegas last night for their third and final debate before the November 8 election. 

"I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now...I'll keep you in suspense. Okay?" This was Donald Trump's response to Chris Wallace asking if he would honor the outcome of the election. His answer is unprecedented in the history of American politics. His answer dismisses the privilege Americans enjoy by the seemingly benign transfer of power that occurs with each presidential election. Stop for a moment and think about the violence in countries where people die to vote or where their vote doesn't matter because a leader won't step down. 

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