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

Vinoth Chandar / Creative Commons

I once took guitar lessons with a small group of people who met two nights a week in the basement of a local elementary school. We spent most of each lesson practicing in little nooks and crannies we each carved out in the old room. I enjoyed picking out tunes in my own little corner at my own pace. It was all going so smoothly until... the instructor mentioned the final "concert."

I lost sleep by night, fretted by day, and practiced a lot before forcing myself to show up on the scheduled night. But a funny thing happened: no one else showed up beside me and the instructor. I'm not sure what made me happier - that I showed up, that I got off the hook, or that I had an otherwise pleasant experience that was calm and not rushed.

Mark Dixon / Creative Commons

Republicans in Congress said little when Donald Trump's ban on immigrants led to chaos, they ignored widespread protest against his cabinet picks, and they still fail to call out statements that are untrue. Save for a scattered voice of dissent in Republican ranks, the GOP seems unruffled by Donald Trump's behavior as president - except when it comes to Russia. John McCain is turning into Trump's fiercest critic where most others fear to tread. Is this his moment to be a hero?

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.

Lifelikeapps / Creative Commons

This is a rebroadcast of our February 17, 2016 show on hearts. February is heart awareness month.

Heart disease is still the biggest killer in the United States, even though fewer people die from from heart attack and cardiac arrest than ever before.

Mike Maguire / Creative Commons

Democracy is so deeply rooted in American life that it’s hard to imagine another way of governing. But we may be living through through one of the most dangerous challenges to our democracy in a very long time.

The challenge won’t be obvious. We may not even know it’s happening because little will change...The economy will still grow, unemployment will stay low, we’ll still speak freely and hold elections.

Anjan Chatterjee

I find great joy in walking in the dead of winter along the river trail near my house. Everything leaves my mind as I watch the Canadian geese take flight, their wings flapping together as they lift and swoop over my head. I'm in awe of their beauty.

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

On Friday night, U.S. District Judge James Robart ordered a nationwide stay on President Trump's week-old executive order barring refugees and immigrants from seven countries from entering the U.S.  His ruling was broad and did not rule on whether the order was constitutional.

Old Rollei / Creative Commons

Have you ever woken in the middle of the night, looked at the clock, and noticed that it's the same time you woke up the night before - and the night before that? How does your body know what time it is?  You're not sure but the passage of minutes makes you worry that if you don't get back to sleep, you'll be too tired in the morning to get your work done on time. You can't get back to sleep. The minutes are ticking. You feel the pressure of the clock bearing down on you. 

Mike MaGuire / Creative Commons

President Donald Trump issued an executive order Friday indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from entering the United States. He also suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days, and blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries - Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen - from entering the country for 90 days. Chaos ensued, lawsuits were filed, and people protested nationwide against Trump for the second time since his Inauguration. 

Wikimedia Commons

There has been a surge of interest in the writings of Ayn Rand in the last decade, including from Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, President Donald Trump and several of his cabinet picks.

Wendy Harmon / Creative Commons

President Donald Trump made clear on the first day of his presidency that he intends to undermine the press. He sent Press Secretary Sean Spicer to use the power of his pulpit to deliberately deceive the public about the size of the crowd at Friday's Inauguration. 

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.

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

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. 

ABC Studios / Wikimedia Commons

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. 

Uptowner / Creative Commons

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. 

Pages