Catie Talarski

Executive Producer

Catie Talarski is Executive Producer at WNPR, focusing on original WNPR programs; working to develop new concepts, live events and content strategies, with concentration on three pillars: Talk Programming, Community Outreach, and Education.

Catie got her start in documentary radio at the Salt Institute in Portland Maine. She has produced several PRNDI award-winning programs on Where We Live, including coverage of young people leaving Connecticut and Sexual Assault on College Campuses. In honoring her award-winning 2010 episode about what makes a good neighbor, PRNDI judges wrote that Where We Live “takes a news story and spins it into universal connections for listeners. This program is an inspiring example of how talk programs can take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.”

Catie’s also documented end-of-life decisions made by young people with Cystic Fibrosis for NPR’s Hearing Voices, and dug into archival tape of artist Romare Bearden for Studio 360. For WNPR, she’s explored the underbelly of Hartford’s Park River, and the history of the women who helped save the Mark Twain House. She worked with the Public Radio Exchange to produce the hour-long specials BULLIED: Teen Stories from Generation PRX and Left Behind, Dropping Out.

Her foray into magazine writing includes an article about her Polish heritage published in SilverKris, the in-flight magazine of Singapore Airlines.

Catie was inspired by Third Coast and others to create live events to build community around radio. She launched *the ear cave* a listening session hosted by a rotating cast of local radio professionals held at a coffeehouse in Hartford. And her Radio Adventure Theater is an experimental variety show that combines live music, theater, poetry and documentary radio. You can follow Catie on Twitter.

Ways to Connect

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Ahmed Mohamed is a 14-year-old Texas student who likes to tinker. He was arrested for bringing a home-made clock to school, because school officials thought it was a bomb. What followed was an outpouring of support for Mohamed, who many said was targeted because of his Muslim faith. President Obama invited him to the White House, Mark Zuckerberg invited him to Facebook HQ, and he even got a scholarship to space camp.  

Chion Wolf

This hour, we get updates from a few of our favorite former guests. UConn physicist Ron Mallett is looking to fund a feasibility study to pay for the first steps of his time machine. We’ll catch up with him.

And New Haven-based filmmaker Gorman Bechard is working on two documentaries – one about animal cruelty, and the other on the New Haven pizza wars.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Gary Franks was the first black Republican elected to the U.S. Congress in nearly 60 years when he took office in 1991. Since his political career ended in the late 1990s, he hasn’t been heard from in Connecticut.


It was a rocky start to Stephen Colbert's Late Show debut. He admitted he went way over time, and barely got it on the air. But days later, his emotional interview with Vice President Joe Biden reminded us why we just love him so. 

United States Air Force / Creative Commons

Since 1986, the United States has been granting visa waivers to citizens of countries it sees as trusted allies. Someone from France or Spain can, relatively easily, use a passport and visit for up to 90 days. There are 38 countries whose citizens do not require visas to enter the United States. 

But one key ally has been wait listed: Poland. And the Polish community is asking, “Why not us?” 

frankileon/creative commons

This hour we'll talk Evan Osnos' in-depth look at the nationalist movement behind presidential candidate Donald Trump. How much power lies with the fringe? 

Creative Commons

Hunter S. Thompson was one of those writers whose lives start to matter more than their art. From almost the beginning, life and art were intentionally interwoven. Thompson's outsized appetites for drugs and food and stimulation were set into his hyperbolic prose. The story of the wrier was the story of the story. He was hardly the first to do it, but he did it in a fashion that made both the lifestyle and prose of Norman Mailer seem comparatively restrained. 


Last week's Republican debate created chaos on the internets:  Trump insulted Fox's Megyn Kelly, which naturally led to ladies live tweeting their periods at the wanna-be President. And a new slang was born: "Cuckservative."  

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With ongoing tensions between Palestinians and Israelis, life for musicians there can be challenging. Israeli political and military control over most of the West Bank can mean a separation between Palestinian artists and their audience. In Jerusalem, that sense of isolation can be even more acute. 

Chion Wolf

  Our guest this hour, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz, was at the center of a public hearing this week at the state capitol in the wake of two reports critical of the state’s juvenile detention facilities.

Robert Couse-Baker/Creative Commons

The city of Hartford has seen 19 homicides so far this year, the same number as all of 2014. While there’s nothing new about an increase in violence during the summer months, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has admitted the police force needs help. He called on the state to provide more manpower and resources. 

This hour, the Nose will definitely NOT talk about Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

But they will cover Gawker's horrible week. After lots of backlash, the online site retracted a story in which they outed a married executive who solicited a male prostitute. They've now made the pledge to be "20%  nicer." Or maybe just 10%.

Tom Tomorrow

This hour, we talk toons on the week that Bloom County returns. Local artist Dan Perkins (better known as Tom Tomorrow) has a new retrospective celebrating 25 years of his strip, This Modern World. His Kickstarter campaign to fund the book had an $87,000 goal and was surpassed in less than 22 hours. We also hear from the Hartford Courant’s always colorful Bob Englehart. Meanwhile, there's a new celebration of political cartoonist Art Young in Bethel.

Peter Dutton/Creative Commons


This hour we’re checking back in on a few stories we’ve been following.

First, we’ll look at Puerto Rican out-migration caused by the financial crisis. According to Pew, there are now more Puerto Ricans in Florida than Puerto Rico. We’ll talk to the director of Pew’s Hispanic Research Center to hear what this means for the island, and for cities like Hartford.

dierk schaefer

Elinor Burkett, citing Summers' speech and asking if men and women have different brains.

We'll talk about the controversy surrounding one of the Inland Northwest's most prominent civil rights activists. The family of Rachel Dolezal says the local leader of the NAACP has been falsely portraying herself as black for years.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When Jules Bashkin was in his mid-80s, he saw a sign at the Wallingford Senior Center looking for people interested in playing music.

The former mattress salesman dug his son's old saxophone out of the closet, dusted it off, and joined the group. He'd played as a teen, but 60 years later, he had a bit to catch up on.

Exploring European Conservatism

Jun 10, 2015
Bobby Hidy, Creative Commons

Just listen to Republican candidates for president of the U.S., and you have a pretty good idea of what modern, American conservatism is all about: lower taxes, gun rights, and smaller government, to name a few notions.

But in Europe, where political, social, and economic climates are much different, what does the political right look like? 

SIM Central and Southeast Asia / Creative Commons

The death toll from the earthquake that rocked Nepal over the weekend has surpassed 5,000 people. The quake and its aftershocks toppled homes and historical buildings, and caused a deadly avalanche at Mount Everest that killed at least 18 climbers.

Catie Talarski / WNPR

The town of Chicopee, Massachusetts first reported Polish settlers in 1880. It was the beginning of an influx of immigrants to the Connecticut River Valley to work as farmers and factory workers. 

Stanislaw, or Stas, Radosz is working to keep that history alive at the Polish Center for Discovery and Learning.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Last year, Polish community members in Bridgeport came together to name a street corner after Pope John Paul II, who was canonized in 2014. This year, he's being honored with a mural.  

J E Theriot / Creative Commons

Known to many as the “first lady of the black press,” Ethel Payne fearlessly documented the struggle for civil rights in twentieth-century America. This hour, we take a look at a new biography, which celebrates the life and legacy of the pioneering journalist. 

Tony Webster / Creative Commons

The shocking video out of South Carolina has race and policing back on the front page. This hour, we learn what a new CCSU report tells us about racial profiling and traffic stops in Connecticut.

Joseph / Creative Commons

After more than two hours of debate on Tuesday, the Holyoke, Massachusetts City Council voted against a plan to create a Polish historic district in town. 

It’s a debate that’s been going on for four years -- involving passionate community members, the local Catholic Diocese, and city government. The proposal would have created a historic district that includes 21 residential and commercial properties centered around a 114-year-old church. 

DVIDSHUB / Creative Commons

New patterns of extreme weather have insurance companies thinking more seriously about climate change. As storms intensify and damages increase, many are looking at new ways to predict losses from climate related risks. 

Mara Lavitt / WNPR

The data breach that affected Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in February affected more than a million and a half current and past Connecticut members. Most recently, Anthem announced they’ll be sending letters to those whose data was possibly leaked, offering them two years of free credit monitoring. We'll get an update. 

Beverly & Pack, Creative Commons

It's cold, snowy winters like this that make us question why we choose to live in a place where snow, sleet, and wind define one-third of the year.  It's a great excuse to complain, but does it also make us stronger and better people?

Zbigniew Warzynski

"Song of the Goat" is the literal meaning of the ancient Greek word for tragedy. It's also the name of the  theater company from Wroclaw, Poland bringing a new adaptation of "King Lear" to New Haven this weekend.

In Polish, that's "Piesn Kozla."

Grzegorz Bral, the artistic director of the theater company, said he doesn't see "King Lear" so much as a story about a father and his three daughters, but rather a "tragedy without a mother."

creative commons

Governor Dannel Malloy announced his two-year budget plan last week, and everything has been a mess ever since. The proposed budget would hurt social services and cause potential layoffs at UCONN, a situation that drew star basketball players to testify at the Capitol.  

On Tuesday, we learned that a SNAFU with accounting sets Malloy's proposed budget more than $50 million over the state's spending cap for the next fiscal year. That might be more cuts. OPM Secretary Ben Barnes issued a formal (somewhat confusing) apology.  

Chion Wolf

Salvatore Pinna moved to Connecticut 20 years ago. The 52-year-old has been living on the streets and under bridges since he moved here. He's one of many chronically homeless people in the state.

This hour, we meet Sal and hear the first of a series of stories about homelessness in Greater Hartford, where the 100-Day Challenge is about to begin, an initiative to try to to eliminate barriers and connect stakeholders -- to create a plan to end chronic homelessness -- in 100 days.

Logan Ingalls, Creative Commons

We take a break from the usual news and politics to talk about something that newsmakers and politicians just don't seem to talk about very much: arts and culture, history and humanities, our museums and gathering places. 

We hear that all of these things are important to "revitalize" cities and to "spur economic growth." If that's true, why isn't there more investment, more coordination, more big thinking about the arts?