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
Mon September 22, 2014

The Future of American Think Tanks

Credit www.GlynLowe.com / Creative Commons

Founded in 1916, the Brookings Institution became America’s first think tank -- an organization that devoted itself to the study of national public policy. Today, Brookings is just one of some 1,800 think tanks operating across the United States. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

The Middle East Conflict's Roots in Geography

The map of the modern Middle East.
Cathy Stanley-Erickson Creative Commons

Last week, President Barack Obama made his case for increased U.S. intervention in Iraq and Syria. His plan to continue air strikes, and increase the arming of those opposed to the so-called Islamic State, commonly referred to as ISIS or ISIL, has been met with some resistance from a war-weary public and Congress. But national security expert Scott Bates thinks that working with Iraqi Kurdish forces could be the key to defeating this extremist organization.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Celebrating the Arts: The Role and Importance of Arts Education

eddie welker Creative Commons

Back in 2010, a resolution was passed by U.S. House of Representatives making the second week of September "Arts in Education Week" -- a week designed to spotlight the role and importance of the arts in our schools. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Response, Relief, and Rebuilding in the Wake of Disaster

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Wavian Creative Commons

September 11, 2001 changed a lot about America, including many changes that, by now, you barely notice. So did the Hurricanes and tropical storms --Katrina, Irene, and Sandy -- all of which reshaped how and where we live.

The shooting spree that left 26 dead at Sandy Hook Elementary school was the most focused of tragedies, but we’re still adapting and coming to terms with what that disaster means to us.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed September 10, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Polls, Trials, and (Scottish) Independence

General attitude of voters these days.
Credit Screenshot from "Frankenstein"

While the rest of the Northeast was having a September primary day that pointed to voter dissatisfaction with some incumbent Democrats, Connecticut was waiting for a little bit of news about its biggest political race to drop this morning. The new Quinnipiac poll on the Governor’s race is finally out today...and look, it shows voter dissatisfaction with an incumbent Democrat.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon September 8, 2014

School Start Times: Are Your Kids Getting Enough Sleep?

Daniel McNally.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It's one of our great cultural mysteries: why we wake up teenagers -- the same one who sleep past noon on the weekends -- at six in the morning to get on a bus, and then we ask them to learn! 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Diverse, Durable, and Edible: Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants in the world.
Héctor García Creative Commons

Bamboo is a lot of things: fast growing, durable, edible, and attractive. Coming up, we take a look at this increasingly popular wood with bamboo experts and enthusiasts. What makes bamboo special?

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Connecticut's Slow Housing Recovery

Deb Chamberlain.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It’s been years since the housing market crashed. But in that time, increased job insecurity and the rising cost of living have left many questioning whether the American dream of homeownership is still a practical one, especially for the nation’s low- and middle-wage earners.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed September 3, 2014

The Wheelhouse Has Déjà Vu All Over Again

One of the few moments when former President Bill Clinton was not the center of attention in New Haven, Tuesday.
Credit CT Mirror

Former Governor John Rowland is back on trial today as he faces charges of election-fraud. Former President Bill Clinton  was in his old stomping-grounds of New Haven to raise money for Governor Dan Malloy and former Congressman Rob Simmons is getting back into politics!

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue September 2, 2014

How Well Is Connecticut Caring for Its Child Mental Health Patients?

David Fulmer Creative Commons

As the school year gets underway, the number of child psychiatric visits generally increases. But children are facing long wait times in emergency rooms around the state, especially for those coming in with mental health emergencies. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon September 1, 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
Fri August 29, 2014

Connecticut Work Life: Past, Present, and Future

American Woolen, Stafford Springs.
American Woolen Company

In 1894, a new national holiday was created -- a day when American workers could retreat from harsh work conditions and long hours to spend some time with family and friends. The holiday was called Labor Day.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu August 28, 2014

The Future of American Think Tanks

K Street, Washington, D.C.
www.GlynLowe.com Creative Commons

Founded in 1916, the Brookings Institution became America’s first think tank -- an organization that devoted itself to the study of national public policy. Today, Brookings is just one of some 1,800 think tanks operating across the United States. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed August 27, 2014

The Wheelhouse: DC Weighs in on CT

We're putting the "W" in NPR as John Dankosky hosts from NPR's headquarters in Washington, DC.
Credit Todd Mundt / Creative Commons

Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan is leaving Connecticut to join John Dankosky in Washington, DC. Actually, Counihan will be the CEO of HealthCare.gov and Dankosky will be back tomorrow.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Talking About Suicide

Robin Williams in a scene from the 2006 film, "The Night Listener."

The recent death of actor Robin Williams left many people shocked, and it re-started the conversation about suicide, its warning signs, and ways to get help. We revisit a show we did about the illness last year.

We also hear a moving story about depression from author Andrew Solomon, who shared it at The Connecticut Forum earlier this year.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon August 25, 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
Fri August 22, 2014

America: The "No-Vacation Nation"?

One in four Americans gets no paid time off.
Krystal International Vacation Club Creative Commons

Research shows that using your vacation time can have some major benefits. For one, it’s better for productivity, and -- as one study shows -- it can even be better for your health. But are Americans taking enough time off, or are we really a "no-vacation nation"? 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu August 21, 2014

This Is Your Brain on Poverty

Neil Conway Creative Commons

A recent poll from the the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that poverty leads to stress, affecting people’s ways of thinking and their overall health. In our region, researchers and doctors have found that living in poverty can actually hinder brain development.

This hour, we learn more about the psychology of poverty and find out what’s being done to combat some of the the stresses it brings on. We also talk to one researcher who has been looking at the impact of noise pollution on the brain development of children in low-income communities.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed August 20, 2014

The Wheelhouse: It's Not Just Ferguson

Protests in Ferguson, MO after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
Lovesofbread Wikimedia Commons

With all eyes on Ferguson, Missouri, many people are also taking a step back to look at their own communities. What many of us see is a problem not restricted to Ferguson. Earlier this week, we had a conversation about urban policing and the militarization of police forces. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Where We Vote 2014: Joe Visconti

Joe Visconti
Credit Chion Wolf

We continue our Where We Vote series with third party candidate for governor, Joe Visconti. He’s confident that he collected enough signatures to make it onto the November ballot - and many of those signatures came from a key demographic for him: gun owners. We’ll be joined in-studio by Visconti to talk about his candidacy and where he stands on the issues.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Ferguson, Missouri: A Case Study in Urban Policing

A police officer in Ferguson, MO.
Loavesofbread Creative Commons

The fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown sent hundreds of angry protesters into the streets of Ferguson, Missouri last week. There, chaos erupted as police and demonstrators clashed amid smoke bombs and stun grenades. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri August 15, 2014

From Suburbs to Cities: Design for a Better Future

Orange County Archives Creative Commons

In her first book The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving, author Leigh Gallagher observes a growing trend in America’s housing landscape: fewer people are choosing to live in suburbs. This hour, Leigh joins us to explain some of the forces driving Americans out of suburbia, and give us a glimpse of what the post-cul-de-sac future might look like.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Obamacare Gets a Checkup

Deb Polun.
Chion Wolf WNPR

According to new data from Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, Access Health CT, the state’s uninsured rate has dropped by roughly 50 percent since 2012 This decrease is due, in part, to the more than 256,000 residents who’ve signed up for health insurance and Medicaid since Access Health CT’s exchange website was launched last fall. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed August 13, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Primary-Palooza 2014

Turnout for the 2014 primary is expected to be low.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Maybe "Primary-Palooza" is an exaggeration, since voter turnout is abysmal, at best, in some towns. Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse recaps the results of votes cast. 

Were you one of the few, the proud, the voters? Did you join the masses of non-voters? We'd love to hear your Primary Day stories on The Wheelhouse.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue August 12, 2014

John Dean: "Master Manipulator" of Watergate?

Former White House counsel John Dean (center), on-stage with WNPR's John Dankosky and the Hartford Courant's Kevin Rennie. We're listening back to this conversation about Watergate, hosted by the Hartford County Bar Association.
Credit Tucker Ives / WNPR

As the country looks back on the 40th anniversary of the Watergate scandal, we’ll revisit a conversation with former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean. He was credited with cooperating with investigators, and linking President Nixon to the Watergate scandal. He was also called, by the FBI, the “master manipulator of the cover up.”

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Getting Frank About Political Mail

A collection of mail sent out by state lawmakers to Connecticut residents recently.
Credit Tucker Ives / WNPR

You’ve probably received a “legislative report” from your elected representatives. These mailers tout their accomplishments and some criticize political opponents. But they’re not paid for with campaign money. This “constituent outreach” is paid for with public dollars. We’ll look at the history of this practice called “franking” at the state and federal level.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Where Does All Our Trash Go?

Credit Vuilnis bij Essent Milieu / Wikimedia Commons

Ever wonder what happens to all the stuff you throw away?

Chances are, you've watched it get hurled into the back of a garbage or recycling truck. But what happens after it leaves the curb? Well, the story of trash is a lot more fascinating and complex than you probably think. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Live From Litchfield's White Memorial Conservation Center

The boardwalk at White Memorial.
claumoho Creative Commons

For 50 years, the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield has provided a hands-on look at the natural diversity of northwestern Connecticut. With workshops, educational programs -- even its own Nature Museum -- the center has been teaching visitors about the various species and habitats found on the surrounding land. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed August 6, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Dog Days of the Campaign Season

Low turnout is expected in next week's primary. What impact will that have on the results?
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

We’re less than a week away from the Republican primary and the airwaves are filling up with more and more ads. But turnout is expected to be very low. Today is also the deadline for third party candidates Joe Visconti and Jonathan Pelto to submit their petitions to get on the November ballot.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Leaving Prison, and Re-Entering Society

After decades in prison, former inmates must re-adjust to an outside world that's very different from the one they left.
Credit Neil Conway / Creative Commons

After spending years, sometimes decades behind bars, inmates leave prison with little direction for moving forward. They face difficulties obtaining employment, education, and housing. Although Connecticut is a national leader on re-entry programs, a recent study finds nearly 80 percent of inmates released in 2005 were re-arrested within five years.

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