John Dankosky

News Director/Host

John is News Director of WNPR and Host of Where We Live.  He started working in radio at WDUQ Pittsburgh in 1988, and has spent most of his career in public media.

Since coming to Connecticut in 1994, he’s helped to build WNPR’s award-winning newsroom – cultivating one of the most talented news staffs in public radio. He has reported for NPR on politicseconomic redevelopmentdrug crimeassisted suicidetribal recognition, immigration and a surprising number of stories about sports.  He’s also worked as an editor at NPR in Washington, and as a regular fill-in host for NPR’s Science Friday in New York.

John has won national and local awards for his reporting, and Where We Live has twice been honored by PRNDI as public radio’s “Best Call-In” Show.  He’s also won awards for editing nationally distributed documentaries on care for the chronically ill, the evacuation of Manhattan on 9/11, and the mental health of children.

In 2010, John accepted an appointment as the Robert C. Vance Endowed Chair in Journalism and Mass Communication at Central Connecticut State University, having previously served as an adjunct journalism professor at Quinnipiac University.  He has hosted countless political debates, along with live panel discussions for The Connecticut Forum, the Mark Twain House and Museum and The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center.

John is a native of Pittsburgh who tells anyone he meets about the Steelers, the Pirates, the Penguins, The Andy Warhol Museum and Primanti Brothers sandwiches.  He lives in Winsted with his wife Jennifer, and cat, Dirk.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue July 22, 2014

The Culture and Design of Podcasts

Julia Pistell.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Radio has a very long and storied history, and is influenced by -- some might say ruled by -- some long-held, traditional practices.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Conversations With "Democracy Now!" Host Amy Goodman and Guitarist Yovianna García

Yovianna García.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Amy Goodman’s radio, TV, and Web program Democracy Now! has a wide following among people who think the mainstream media doesn’t let us hear enough voices from those who protest against powerful interests. This week, she visits the Mark Twain House and Museum to discuss her new book The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance and Hope.

This hour, we preview that event, with a conversation about the state of the news media today. We also listen back to a conversation with a Hartford-based guitarist who celebrates the music of her home country, Puerto Rico, while also exploring the classical repertoire.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri July 18, 2014

The Modern Age of Science; Connecticut Bull Osborndale Ivanhoe

Horia Varlan
Creative Commons

Back in March, a team of Harvard scientists claimed to have found the first direct evidence of gravity waves from the Big Bang. Within a matter of hours, their story had made its way around the Internet, spreading across blogs, news sites, and social media.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Everything You Want to Know About Turtles

Red-eared slider.
Catie Talarski

There are currently some 57 turtle species living in the United States and Canada, 12 of which can be found right here in Connecticut -- including some sea turtles!

Chances are, you’ve probably seen a few of them poking around a nearby pond or basking on some sunlit rocks. Perhaps you’ve even rescued a few from the peril of oncoming traffic.

But there’s a lot more to these terrestrial critters than meets the eye.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Transgender Rights: "The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time"?

Susan Bigelow.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Those who identify as transgender Americans continue to face social stigmas, discrimination, and legal issues not often faced by other members of the LGBT community.

This hour, we talk with some transgender rights experts and advocates about what Vice President Joe Biden has called "the civil rights issue of our time."

We also check in with WNPR reporter Lucy Nalpathanchil, who gives us the latest on the case of transgender teen Jane Doe.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Connecticut Prepares for Sale of Medical Marijuana

Later this summer, certain patients will be able to legally purchase medical marijuana in Connecticut.
Credit Rusty Blazenhoff / Creative Commons

Approved patients will soon be able to obtain medical marijuana…legally. The marijuana producers who were approved by the state earlier this year will start to get their product out to dispensaries later this summer.

We talk with Commissioner William Rubenstein from the Department of Consumer Protection about the state’s medical marijuana program. 

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From Birdcalls to Beantown
1:50 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

This Week on WNPR: Five Things Not to Miss

Hummingbird? Or Dinosaur?
The British Library Creative Commons

There's lots of news to digest this week, from birdcalls to Beantown. Below are a few things you shouldn't miss.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Israeli/Palestinian Conflict Escalates; LIRR Strike Looms; World Cup Preview

A missile from the Israeli Iron Dome.
Credit Israeli Defense Forces / Creative Commons

Once again, violence has escalated in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine. Rockets are now reaching northern Israel and that government is responding with barrages of its own rocket attacks on Palestinian targets. We talk with a local professor who recently returned from the region and studies this on-going conflict.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Is Boston Fit to Carry the Olympic Torch?

2012 London Olympics.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office Creative Commons

We’ve spent a lot of time considering whether it’s a good idea to build a new minor league ballpark in Hartford to lure a team up the road from New Britain.  

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed July 9, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Cost of Clinton; Political Swiping; FOI Hit Again

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to students at UConn earlier this year.
Peter Morenus University of Connecticut

We learned that it cost $250,000 to bring Hillary Clinton to speak at UConn earlier this year. As the cost of higher education continues to soar, there are lots of questions being raised about this speaking fee. Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses this story, and we check in on the race for governor as candidates start buying air time for those omnipresent campaign commercials. Also this week, the Connecticut Supreme Court took another swipe at Freedom of Information laws.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

The Design of Workspaces Past, Present, and Future

Tony Amenta.
Chion Wolf WNPR

From the nineteenth century “counting house” to the modern-day cubicle, the layout of our workspaces has undergone some pretty radical changes over the years.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Financing Higher Education

Jeff Bartlett.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Some people say that bachelor’s degrees are the new high school diplomas; they are becoming more and more necessary for job seekers to be competitive in the job market. But as the cost of higher education rises, students who attend college are now saddled with decades worth of debt in loans. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu July 3, 2014

GI Bill Funds; Coast Guard Safety; the Future of the Department of Veterans Affairs

2011 New York Veterans Day Parade.
DVIDSHUB Creative Commons

Passed in 1944 -- 70 years ago -- The Serviceman’s Readjustment Act, better known as the GI Bill, was designed to provide American vets with a number of benefits, ranging from business loans, to mortgages, to money that would help with their education. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed July 2, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Health Insurance; Charter Schools; Bridgewater Turns The Car Around

The Supreme Court of the United States.
Credit Mark Fischer / Creative Commons

It looks like the world'’s largest hedge fund won'’t build a new headquarters in Stamford…. What does that say about the state'’s economic development plans? A charter school organization faces investigations of its finances and operations. What does it say about the school reform movement? We’'ll look at those stories, plus the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, and whether the employer-based insurance model makes sense today.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue July 1, 2014

With Proposed Hartford Stadium Come Questions, Concerns, and Criticism

David Panagore.
Chion Wolf WNPR

When officials from the City of Hartford announced it would build a Minor League Baseball stadium, many people were caught by surprise, including Hartford residents.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

A Conversation With Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson

Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson.
Chion Wolf WNPR

A few months ago, I was asked to be part of a panel discussion about politics, and sat next to Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson.

During the panel, he said something that you don’t often hear out of municipal leaders in Connecticut -- that maybe one of our problems is that we have too many towns, or at least not enough cooperation between the ones we do have.

Regionalization -- it’s sometimes a dirty word in towns that value their “home rule” -- but it’s also seen as increasingly necessary as a way to provide public services at the best possible cost.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri June 27, 2014

The Modern Age of Science; Connecticut Bull Osborndale Ivanhoe

Horia Varlan
Creative Commons

Back in March, a team of Harvard scientists claimed to have found the first direct evidence of gravity waves from the Big Bang. Within a matter of hours, their story had made its way around the Internet, spreading across blogs, news sites, and social media.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Should Minor League Rock Cats Relocate to Hartford?

Pedro Segarra.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The lure of professional sports teams has often been irresistible to municipal leaders. It’s very easy to imagine a stadium filled with happy fans, spending money and spreading civic pride.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue June 24, 2014

How Healthy Is Connecticut?

Our third Health Equity panel discussions was held at CPBN's Chase Family studios.
Steve Honigfeld

Our third Health Equity Forum is a project we’ve been working on for a few years now with our partners at Connecticut Health Foundation, exploring the idea of health equity in Connecticut. How do we make sure that everyone has the best possible health outcomes regardless of race, regardless of how much money you have?

It’s a tricky issue for policy makers, which is why we’re so glad to have as the basis for our conversation a new set of information called the Connecticut Health Care Survey. Six organizations came together to put out this report, which is drawn from some 5400 households interviewed. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Once Thought to Be Caused By Demons, What Do We Know About Epilepsy Today?

The CDC says often, it can be difficult to find a definite cause of epilepsy.
Saad Faruque Creative Commons

Historically, people with epilepsy were thought to be possessed by demons. Research has come a long way since then, but epilepsy remains mysterious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy in their lives. Annually, it costs more than $15 billion in medical costs and reduced work production.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Juvenile Sentencing; Women in Politics; Guitarist Yovianna García

Madeline Sachs.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Each year, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center honors people whose writing advances social justice and inspires action. This year, the two winners of the Student Stowe Prize crafted essays on two issues that are very important in 2014.

Madeline Sachs, a high school student from Chicago, spoke on the inequity of juvenile sentencing standards, an issue that’s important as Connecticut lawmakers grapple with -- and still fail to implement -- a new law to come into compliance with a Supreme Court ruling on the issue. We hear some of her presentation and talk with a civil rights lawyer.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu June 19, 2014

The Second Amendment, Colt, and Tracing Guns

Emily Stanchfield Creative Commons

The Second Amendment is just 27 words long, but it has caused more debate than just about anything else in the Constitution. "It’s confusing and self-contradictory and we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what its clauses and commas mean," said Michael Waldman, author of the new book The Second Amendment: A Biography. We talk to him about the history and odd syntax of this Amendment and the debate over it that was renewed by the tragedy in Newtown.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed June 18, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Endorsements and Debates in Our Two-Party System

Tom Foley addresses the CT AFL-CIO convention delegates.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

This week, the endorsed Democratic and Republican candidates for governor addressed the AFL-CIO political convention. Not surprisingly, incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy won the union's endorsement. Notably absent from the convention was new third-party candidate Jonathan Pelto, who said he asked to address the candidates, but was ignored.

This hour, on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we take a look at the role of labor unions in Connecticut politics.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Live from the International Festival of Arts and Ideas

John Dankosky, Nick Slie, Michael Twitty, Sal Trapani, and Mary Lou Aleskie (left to right)
Credit Brittany Hill / WNPR

Today we make our annual trip to one of our favorite shows each year - broadcast live from the International Festival of Arts and Ideas -- a fifteen-day celebration of arts and creativity in downtown New Haven. Each year, the festival fills the city with live music, theater, film, lectures, tours, and conversation.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Iraq War Veterans Reflect on New Crisis

U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter flies over Baghdad, Iraq on June 15, 2007.
Tech. Sgt. Rick Sforza The U.S. Army

Throughout the U.S. occupation of Iraq, there was concern about what would happen to the country when combat forces left. Over the last year, militant extremists have slowly taken over the country and now President Barack Obama is weighing his options. "We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces," Obama said on Friday.

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Cats 'n Jammers, Dads 'n Grads
7:14 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Five Things You Have to Listen to From WNPR This Week

WoodleyWonderWorks Creative Commons

So, it basically rained all week long. And the World Cup started. And a whole bunch of bad stuff happened in Iraq, and frankly, too many other places around the country. Basically, it's been a whirlwind, so I just wanted to make sure you got to spend time with some of the stories we told on WNPR this week. Get listening as you wait for those puddles to dry.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Is Congestion Pricing in Connecticut's Future?

Tom Condon.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Toll booths have lots of bad connotations in the Northeast, and not just because of a the tragic accident in Connecticut nearly 30 years ago, which forced the closing of the toll booth.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Where We Vote 2014: Tom Foley

Tom Foley.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last month at the Republican convention, Tom Foley won his party’s endorsement. Recent Quinnipiac University polls show him neck-and-neck with Governor Dannel Malloy in a rematch of their contest four years ago.

This hour, Foley joins us for our Where We Vote series, and we take your questions.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed June 11, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Public Policy in the Dark; Metro-North Problems; and Resolution in East Haven

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announces the deal to bring baseball to town.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford’s “done deal” on minor league baseball once again has our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse thinking about the process behind government decisions. The plan to bring the New Britain Rock Cats' franchise to town was months in the making behind closed doors. 

We also check in on East Haven where a racial discrimination settlement was reached, closing another chapter in the painful history of the town. A very old bridge is creating new problems for Metro-North commuters down the shoreline too and officials are pointing fingers.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue June 10, 2014

The Best Music of 2014 (So Far)

What song do you have on repeat this summer?
Ville Säävuori Creative Commons

It's hard to believe that 2014 is almost half over, and there is so much music you may have missed. Luckily, "The Internet's Busiest Music Nerd" is picking up the slack. If that ABBA's Greatest Hits album is starting to bore you, Anthony Fantano gives you some suggestions for new music.

Do you prefer your music to be locally grown? Chip McCabe also joins us to preview the Connecticut Music Awards, which highlights some of the very best Connecticut music each year.

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