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.

Pages

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

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

Caring for Those on the Autism Spectrum

Dr. John Molteni.
Chion Wolf WNPR

A new report from the CDC suggests that Autism Spectrum Disorder may be even more prevalent than we thought. The report estimates that roughly one in 68 children born in the U.S. has autism -- a 30 percent increase since 2012.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Walking Into the Flames: Discussion With Connecticut Firefighters

After thousands of years, the best tool to fight fire is still water.
Jessica Whittle Creative Commons

One of the most basic functions of local government is to protect its citizens. We talk with a panel of local firefighters who do just that.

When a fire breaks out, many Connecticut towns have volunteer forces that go to the rescue. What draws firefighters to this profession that includes a lot more than just fighting fires? Some Connecticut firefighters are even taking it a step further, and are going out west to help fight forest fires.

Read more
DaVinci Code Author Opens Up
6:01 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Dan Brown on Overpopulation, God, and Global Warming

Mstyslav Chernov/unframe.com Creative Commons

Dan Brown does a lot of complicated historical research for his novels like The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol. Sometimes, a simple raw number just jumps out at him, and onto the page.

"A couple years ago," he told me on WNPR's Where We Live, "I heard a statistic that just sort of floored me: In the last 80 years, the population on the planet Earth has tripled. I thought, 'That can't be right.'"

Read more
Polish Stories
9:57 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Poland's Anniversary of Democracy a Time to Remember

Lech Wałęsa speaks at Gdańsk Shipyard's gate during the strike of 1980.
Polish magazine "Znak" Creative Commons

This week's big anniversaries of the Normandy Beach invasion 70 years ago, and the crackdown in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago have taken away from another important milestone: the 25th anniversary of Polish freedom from Communist rule. 

President Obama marked the anniversary in a speech, but the real reason for his visit was to highlight the success of Poland in the last quarter-century, while vowing NATO support for Ukraine in its struggle for independence from Russian influence. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Looking Back on Ukraine's Election; Interviews with Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka and Olu Oguibe

Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko
Kathrin Möbius Wikimedia Commons

This hour, we feature three international voices with Connecticut connections. We begin with a local professor, who recently returned from serving as an elections monitor in Ukraine. He tells us about his experience and talks about what lies ahead for the country and its people. 

We also talk with a Nigerian-American artist, who has found a way to create beautiful prints using just his fingers and an iPad. We learn as well the story of a Polish hero, and find out what a top Polish official in America thinks of Ukraine’s chances for success.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Ralph Nader In The Wheelhouse

Ralph Nader in a previous appearance on WNPR's "Where We Live."
Chion Wolf WNPR

For this special edition of our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we welcome author, political activist, and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, and talk about his new book, Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance To Dismantle The Corporate State. Nader joins our conversation about the week's news.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Where We Vote 2014: John McKinney

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney.
Chion Wolf WNPR

John McKinney is the only Republican running for governor who would be considered a political "insider." The current Senate Minority Leader is leaving his post in hopes of returning Connecticut's governorship to Republican control. But he has a tough primary fight ahead of him this summer after narrowly reaching the 15 percent threshold at the Republican convention.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

The Art and Power of Poetry

Poet and author Maya Angelou.
Credit York College ISLGP / Creative Commons

When the great poet Maya Angelou died last Wednesday, we learned about it during a conversation about the death penalty. Maybe you learned about it while reading about deadly violence in Ukraine, or the search for the kidnapped girls in Nigeria. 

Her death was sad news, to be sure. We don’t think we're the only ones who felt forced to step back from the news and consider the beauty and power of words.

This hour, in memory of Maya Angelou’s spirit, we welcome a group of Connecticut poets into our studio to read their work and try to measure the art and power of poetry.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

The Present and Future of Gun Control In America

Sen. Chris Murphy
Chion Wolf WNPR

The latest mass shooting in California has left many questioning America’s gun control policies, and left a grieving father pleading for action from lawmakers -- not sympathy.

This hour, we look at the present and future of gun control in America. We also consider how to celebrate the 200th birthday of Samuel Colt, the man who revolutionized and popularized the gun.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Kerri Powers and Quiet Life: Music With a Sense Of Place

Singer-songwriter Kerri Powers performing in WNPR's studios.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our show is, as much as anything, about a sense of place, and about things that matter to people who live here. When we talk to artists and musicians, we want to know about the places that influence them. This hour, we have two conversations that are firmly planted with Connecticut roots.

Kerri Powers is a singer-songwriter who grew up in Massachusetts, even though her voice might read “West Texas.” She lives in suburban Connecticut now, but the songs on her new self-titled record might well fit in a small southern bar. This weekend, she’s performing at the Hartfolk Festival at the University of St. Joseph - we hear her music and get a preview.

Read more
Forceful Arrest
1:28 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Bridgeport Police Respond to Arrest Video

A Bridgeport police officer was captured on video striking a teen while on the ground on Stratford Avenue.
Maria Diaz YouTube.com

Bridgeport police are defending the actions of a police officer shown in an Internet video forcefully arresting a teenager. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed May 28, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Death Penalty; Political Musical Chairs; Native American Mascots

Catch up on news from the state capitol and beyond on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse.
Credit Mamata.mulay / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut has a complicated relationship with the death penalty. Over more than 50 years, the state executed just two death row inmates because they asked for it. Two years ago it was repealed for cases moving forward, but last week, one more man was sentenced to die for a crime he committed before the repeal.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue May 27, 2014

How Healthy Is Connecticut?

This Health Equity panel discussion 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. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Bringing Manufacturing Jobs Back to Connecticut

John Dankosky speaks with (from left) Chris Murphy, Kris Lorch, and Sonny Morneault.
Lydia Brown WNPR

This hour, we kick off our year-long Made in Connecticut series with a conversation about keeping jobs in and bringing jobs back to Connecticut. Senator Chris Murphy joined us, along with WNPR’s Harriet Jones, and some folks from the local manufacturing industry, to take an in-depth look at the present and future of manufacturing in our state.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

A Conversation with Dan Brown; the Charles W. Morgan Sets Sail; the History of Ham Radio

J Holt
Chion Wolf WNPR

Author Dan Brown has written some of the biggest blockbuster books, from The Da Vinci Code to his latest book, Inferno. He’s coming to Hartford next month to talk with John Dankosky at the Bushnell. This hour, he joins us for a preview of that conversation.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Climate Change Is Here; How Do We Adapt?

International Space Station view of a winter storm forming in Australia.
NASA

The National Climate Assessment released earlier this month paints a bleak picture of the effects of climate change on not only the world - but right here in the northeast. “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the report says.

We’re teaming up with The Colin McEnroe Show for a big discussion on climate change and how we’re adapting to a changing world.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

The Wheelhouse Drinks Chocolate Milk To Recover From Convention Hangover

Tom Foley and Dan Malloy are endorsed for a rematch of the close 2010 race.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The conventions are over and the results are...familiar. Dannel Malloy and Tom Foley have been endorsed for a rematch of the 2010 race. But there may be a wild card entering the field. Jonathan Pelto is a liberal critic of Malloy and he's considering a run for governor.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Where We Vote 2014: Jonathan Pelto

Jonathan Pelto on WNPR's Where We Live.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Former state legislator Jonathan Pelto has been a vocal critic of Governor Dannel Malloy since day one. His frustration with the current administration may push him to run for governor as a liberal third-party candidate. Pelto joins us in-studio to talk about why he’s considering a challenge from the left.

What questions do you have for Pelto? Would you support his candidacy?

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Big Ideas (That Didn't Work)

Fire Island Inlet Bridge (part of the Robert Moses Causeway).
Credit tsaiproject / Creative Commons

If you watch "House of Cards," you might have noticed a main storyline about a bridge from Long Island to Connecticut. Sounds crazy, right? Well, here's the thing: it was a real idea!

From bridges, to highways, to malls, Where We Live takes a look at some outlandish project ideas that -- for some reason or another -- just never worked. Why isn’t there a bridge connecting Connecticut and Long Island? And why wasn't the New Haven Galleria mall ever built?

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 16, 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.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Promises, Promises, Promises: Who Keeps Them?

President Barack Obama
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Promises, promises -- all politicians make them, but they don't always keep them. Just last month, Gov. Dan Malloy canceled the $55 tax rebate he’d promised residents earlier this year. 

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

The Wheelhouse Puts On Convention Hats

Are you ready for election season?
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse gears up for the statewide political conventions, which move the campaign season into full swing. Last week's Quinnipiac poll was good news for Tom Foley, who has been largely quiet recently.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue May 13, 2014

From DCF to Prison, an Update on Jane Doe; Connecticut's "Berlin Wall"; Teens Talk Fashion

Jane Doe is currently being held at York Correctional Facility.
Credit Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

The story of an inmate at York Correctional Facility, known simply as Jane Doe, has caught the attention of Governor Dannel Malloy. She’s a 16-year-old transgender female at the center of a rare transfer of custody from the Department of Children and Families to the Department of Corrections.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Free Speech in the Public Workplace; Employment Law; an Exit Interview with Teresa Younger

U.S. Supreme Court
Credit TexasGOPVote.com / Creative Commons

Sometimes the rulings of the narrowly-divided Supreme Court actually reflect the very divided views of the public and the delicate nature of the law.

But the 2006 decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos made a lot of people scratch their heads. In it, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that work-related statements made by public employees are not protected by the First Amendment.  

Read more
Live Music
10:27 am
Fri May 9, 2014

West End Blend Is the Soundtrack to Your Party

This wall of sound goes by the name "West End Blend."
Chion Wolf WNPR

Have you heard of West End Blend? You should.

Hartford may not be known for its funk, but nobody told this 14-piece band. Horns? Check. Rap? Got it. Hearty, soulful vocals? Yup. Toe-tapping beats? Of course.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

West End Blend Brings the Party; Local Professor Monitors Ukrainian Elections In Person

"West End Blend" is a 14-piece group that started in Hartford.
Chion Wolf WNPR

When you’re right in front of West End Blend, it’s hard to not be physically blown away by their powerful sound and deep grooves. The band is about to put out an EP that they hope will capture at least some of the live energy of their stage performances. We hear a special concert and conversation with West End Blend recorded at the TELEFUNKEN factory and studio in South Windsor.

We also talk to a local professor, just days before he leaves for Ukraine to be an elections monitor in their upcoming, very controversial vote.

Read more

Pages