John Dankosky

VP, News/Host

John is 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. He oversees WNPR’s talented and award-winning newsroom. 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 conversations at The Connecticut Forum , the Mark Twain House and Museum and The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. John began his radio career at WDUQ in Pittsburgh, his hometown.

Ways to Connect

Paul Gionfriddo

This is a full transcript of the show broadcast on February 2, 2016. 

Ted Eytan / Creative Commons

The eyes of the political world are on New Hampshire as candidates, supporters, and reporters descend upon the Granite State for Primary Day.

Do Democratic voters #FeelTheBern? Will Trump triumph on the Republican side? Fortunately, these questions will be answered in a few hours. But in the mean time, we check-in with reporters and various campaign supporters from Connecticut who have been making the drive to our neighbors in the north.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

More trains! Wider roads! Fixed bridges! The governor’s big plan to fix our transportation system has a lot in it but the state is still figuring out how to pay for it. Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker stops by for an update on the state of Connecticut’s current transportation infrastructure and plans to overhaul the system.

Paul Gionfriddo

Paul Gionfriddo leads Mental Health America but he has deep roots in Connecticut. He’s a former state representative and mayor of Middletown who now advocates for people with mental illness. During his time in the legislature, he worked on laws and policies that contributed to the nation's current mental health crisis. His book Losing Tim explores his own son’s struggle with schizophrenia and the mental health system that failed him.

How "Perfect" Is The U.S. Constitution?

Jan 29, 2016
Mr.TinDC / Flickr Creative Commons

From a land use standoff in Oregon, to a gun rights standoff looming in Washington, the U.S. constitution is under daily scrutiny in American life. This hour, we'll explore the foundational but outdated document called the Constitution. The system to amend the "living document" has only been utilized twice since 1970. Does new life need to be breathed into the Constitution and how politically feasible would that be in 2016?

CT Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

Questions continue to swirl around a car crash involving a state senator. Andrew Maynard, a Democrat from Stonington, was already recovering from a fall at his home in 2014 that left some questioning his ability to serve before the most recent incident. 

White House

What is the state of the union? It's probably strong, as the previous five presidents have said. This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will recap President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address. We also look ahead to the race for his successor. Former President Bill Clinton swings through Connecticut to fundraise for his wife's campaign.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty joins us ahead of President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address. One of the big issues being pushed by the president is on guns. It's something that has been Esty's focus since she took office just after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. This hour, we check-in with the Democrat from the 5th congressional district.

White House

Connecticut lawmakers were given advance notice of President Obama’s executive orders on guns. The Newtown school shooting was referenced several times during Obama's speech and several family members of the victims were in attendance. This week, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will discuss the president’s action and some recognition by the New York Times on Connecticut’s criminal justice reforms.

How "Perfect" Is The U.S. Constitution?

Jan 5, 2016
Mr.TinDC / Creative Commons

From a land use standoff in Oregon, to a gun rights standoff looming in Washington, the U.S. constitution is under daily scrutiny in American life. This hour, we'll explore the foundational but outdated document called the Constitution. The system to amend the "living document" has only been utilized twice since 1970. Does new life need to be breathed into the Constitution and how politically feasible would that be in 2016?

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

It’s the 2015 finale to our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, and what a year it’s been. From the unlikely return of Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, to ongoing discussions about a new casino, the news kept us on our toes. This hour, we recap not only the week’s news, but the year’s news with our panel and you can join the conversation with the stories that mattered most to you.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

National security expert Scott Bates recently returned from Amman, Jordan where he was working with government ministries and elected officials on a project funded by USAID. This hour, he stops by tell us more about his trip and discuss United States foreign policy in the Middle East. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

There was a whole lot of music released in 2015 and there never seems to be enough time to listen to it all. That’s where the "Internet’s Busiest Music Nerd" comes in. Anthony Fantano's YouTube channel for "The Needle Drop" has over half a million subscribers and he released more than 200 video reviews just this year alone! He stopped by our studios to share some of his favorite songs of the year from hip-hop to Björk and everything in between.

Helder Mira / Connecticut College

The national conversations about race and racism; police and African Americans; free speech on college campuses; “safe spaces” and hate speech and political correctness have all come together in very interesting and interlocked ways here in Connecticut recently.

Ruocaled / Creative Commons

Will state lawmakers have a budget deal in place to be thankful for on Thursday? Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will bring you updates from the state capitol where time ticks away for an agreement on how to fix the state budget. 

Will Clayton / Creative Commons

This hour, we hear three stories that all converge around the topic of China. 

DonkeyHotey / Creative Commons

There was one moment in Tuesday's Republican presidential debate that reminded us of all those other unwieldy, freewheeling and circus-like debates that came before: Rand Paul getting cut off by Carly Fiorina, and then Donald Trump drawing boos for being Trump. For the most part, though, last night’s debate was much more orderly. It was so orderly that rarely did the candidates, who had complained so loudly about previous moderators, get challenged on any of their statements.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Municipal election day has come and gone in Connecticut. This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse checks in on three of the state's big races: Hartford, Bridgeport, and New London. We chat with reporters, hear from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, and take your comments and observations. Did you vote? If so, what was your experience like at the polls? 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

In the middle of bipartisan negotiations with state lawmakers over a gap in the current year budget, Governor Dannel Malloy's administration unveiled a new series of measures aimed at making the state budget more sustainable in the long run. But the problem and the fix are so complicated that he called it "a little mind-bending" in a meeting with reporters.

David / Creative Commons

This week, legislative leaders met with Governor Dannel Malloy to talk about the state's budget deficit. This hour, we review those talks with a panel of Capitol reporters.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

After weeks of dismissing the idea of a special session, more bad budget news is pushing Governor Dannel Malloy in that direction. On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss this and all the week's news, including an update on a plan by the state's Board of Regents that has professors fighting mad.

Flickr user comedynose / Creative Commons

America has seen a renaissance in storytelling of various forms, especially on the radio. This hour, we talk with two producers who are telling very different kinds of stories. Joe Richman has been putting tape recorders in the hands of people for nearly two decades as part of his Radio Diaries series heard on NPR. He's speaking at Quinnipiac University this week.

Thomas Autumn / Flickr Creative Commons

A recent New York Times op-ed drew attention to Yale University’s endowment and how the money is spent. The report found more was spent on private equity fund managers than to students. This has prompted renewed debate and criticism over big endowments at big schools. But the argument isn’t new. This hour, a conversation with higher education experts about the management of endowment money at the nation’s elite schools.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is less than a year into his second term in office and it doesn’t look like it will be any easier than the first term.

The budget remains in a state of permanent fiscal crisis, forcing a $100 million cut to the budget, just months into a new fiscal year. Those cuts, especially the ones hitting social services and hospitals, have been criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike, and there are calls from editorial boards for a special session to reinstate some of the funding and find new ways to plug budget holes. 

purple_onion / Creative Commons

It wasn’t that many years ago that gambling was seen as a pretty good bet when it comes to improving the state’s economic situation. In Connecticut, two tribal casinos were thriving and spinning off slot revenues into the general fund. Then came the recession and declining revenues just as other states started to get into the gambling business.

Now, in a move that couldn’t have been predicted a decade ago, both state tribes have agreed to work together on a new casino to help stave off a threat from Massachusetts. That plan is now under legal attack.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut is waking up on Thursday learning who the nominees are for important mayors’ jobs around the state. And it's a little bit of a surprise. All three Democratic incumbents in Bridgeport, Hartford, and New London lost their respective races.

Blondinrikard Fröberg / Creative Commons

When Senator Richard Blumenthal announced that he would support the deal struck between the Obama administration and Iran over that country’s nuclear program, it all but assured that the plan would go through without congressional obstacles. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With a week to go before the Hartford Democratic primary, mayoral candidate Luke Bronin stops by for our Where We Vote series. Incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra was our guest last month and today, we meet his biggest challenger for what is expected to be a tight primary race. We discuss the politics of this race, his plans for the capital city if he's elected, and how his administration would be different from his opponent's.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The 2016 presidential race is well underway, but the race for a Connecticut Senate seat is still in its infancy. A new challenger announced his potential bid against incumbent Sen. Richard Blumenthal who had "no comment" about Larry Kudlow's political ambitions.

Thomas Autumn / Creative Commons

A recent New York Times op-ed drew attention to Yale University’s endowment and how the money is spent. The report found more was spent on private equity fund managers than to students. This has prompted renewed debate and criticism over big endowments at big schools. But the argument isn’t new. This hour, a conversation with higher education experts about the management of endowment money at the nation’s elite schools.

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