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 October 28, 2014

"The Rise of ISIS" and What to Do About It

Fighters from the Islamic State march in the northern Syrian
Raqqa Media Center

A new PBS FRONTLINE documentary explores "The Rise of ISIS." Producer and reporter Martin Smith joins us to talk about his reporting from Iraq, chronicling the conditions that allowed for the so-called Islamic State to become so powerful. He was also on the ground when U.S. airstrikes began this summer.

We also check in with Senator Chris Murphy, who has been a vocal opponent to U.S. military intervention in the crisis, and with a Syrian peace activist who is a part of the Yale World Fellows program.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Election Check-In: Regional Reporter Roundtable

Toronto Public Library

We’re just over a week away from the November 4 elections, and, so far, we’ve spent a lot of time talking politics here in our state. But what about our neighbors to the north, east, and west? 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Two Years After Hurricane Sandy, What Have We Learned?

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Wavian Creative Commons

It’s been almost two years since Hurricane Sandy tore her way through the Northeast -- leaving behind a trail of destruction throughout much of our region. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu October 23, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Candidates Attempt to Win Hearts and Minds

Joe Visconti, Dan Malloy, and Tom Foley debate in New London last week.
Tim Cook The Day

Gov. Dannel Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley may not be trying to make people like them, but they're trying to make the other guy look worse. Now, that Connecticut has the "least positive" race in the nation and the candidates remain in a dead heat in the polls. Malloy told WNPR earlier in the week that he isn't the most lovable guy. Meanwhile, reporters keep asking for Foley's state tax returns and he keeps refusing to hand them over.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Where We Vote 2014: Tom Foley

Tom Foley joined us for the final installment of our Where We Vote series.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse is postponed a day as Republican candidate for governor Tom Foley stops by for his final appearance on Where We Live in the 2014 campaign. We’ll catch up with him about the race, his plans, and the issues facing Connecticut.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Reporting or Sensationalizing? How We Talk About Ebola

Ebola ward in Lagos, Nigeria.
CDC Global Creative Commons

Last week, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Michel du Cille’s plans to speak at Syracuse University were unexpectedly halted when university officials “uninvited” du Cille -- citing concern over his recent trip to Liberia, where he’d been covering the Ebola outbreak. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Where We Vote 2014: Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy on WNPR's "Where We Live."
Chion Wolf WNPR

We’re in the home stretch of the 2014 race for governor. Dan Malloy stops by our studio for the hour to discuss his record, the race, and his plans if he’s re-elected. As always, we’ll take your questions for Governor Malloy in our Where We Vote series.

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Where We Live
8:31 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Exploring Polish Culture in Connecticut

Broad Street, New Britain
Chion Wolf

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama went to Poland to celebrate the 25th anniversary of democratic elections in Poland. The speech signaled a continued strong relationship between the countries - something forged by the decades of immigration from Poland to the US - a connection that created large Polish-American communities in places like New Britain, CT. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu October 16, 2014

The Challenges of Management; Exploring the Music of Madagascar

Phil Whitehouse Creative Commons

It’s National Boss’s Day, so today we’re diving into the world of office management. 

This hour, we talk to management expert Bruce Tulgan about his new book, The 27 Challenges Managers Face: Step-by-step Solutions to (Nearly) All of Your Management Problems. We learn about some of the challenges managers come up against in the workplace, and find out some of the best ways to handle them.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed October 15, 2014

The Wheelhouse Debates the Debates

Supporters at the second congressional district debate in New London.
John Dankosky WNPR

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows the race for governor is neck and neck and now some political heavy hitters are coming to Connecticut to turn the tide. This hour, it’s our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse. We’ll also discuss a big weeks of debates from the fifth congressional district, to our gubernatorial debate in New London on Thursday.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue October 14, 2014

The Return of the American Streetcar

Jay Galvin Creative Commons

Sometimes called trams, sometimes called trolleys, the streetcar was once a primary method of transportation in many American cities. Nowadays, well, not so much. But as many metropolitan districts grapple with issues like traffic congestion and economic development, some have begun looking to streetcars as a potential solution.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Connecticut Summit Promotes Climate Stewardship; a Taste of Iceland in Litchfield County

Kenneth Lu Creative Commons

Last month, hundreds of thousands showed up for the People’s Climate March in New York City, the largest climate march ever seen in U.S. history. There, climate activists worked their way through the busy streets of New York, calling on Americans to act on global climate change. Today, we talk to someone who was at the march. We’ll also preview today’s Climate Stewardship Summit at the University of St. Joseph.

Also, radio personality Gerri Griswold and Icelandic singer-songwriter Lay Low join us to talk about the upcoming Iceland Affair and Fire and Ice Music Festival.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri October 10, 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
7:36 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Welcome to the Great State of New England!

Toronto Public Library

Our beloved New England is filled with scenic coastlines, lobster pots and clam shacks, Green Mountains, White Mountains, and a long river valley filled with Yankees who take their long winters as a point of pride. We have history and culture all right here.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed October 8, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Plans, Polls, and Debates!

Gov. Dannel Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley debated at UConn last week.
Credit Peter Morenus / UConn Photo

On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, our panel will discuss the rapid-fire of polls coming our way. One of them actually contained good news for Gov. Dannel Malloy. It also included information on Connecticut's underticket races, which are rarely polled for. Plus, we'll recap last week's debate where the gloves came off, and both President Obama and Chris Christie visited the state this week (but not together).

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Voices of Muslim Women, and Art With a Sense of Place

A new initiave called Muslim Women's Voices at Wesleyan runs through April 18, 2015.
Suzanne Chapman Creative Commons

The United States continues its air assault on the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But if the bombings haven’t stopped them, what will?

"The extremists were and they are afraid of books and pens," said Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old speaking at the United Nations last year. "The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them."

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon October 6, 2014

A Child Welfare Update With Connecticut's DCF

Joette Katz.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Last Wednesday, the Department of Children and Families submitted a new five-year plan calling for a redesign of the state’s children’s behavioral health system. This hour, DCF's Joette Katz and Kristina Stevens sit down with us to explain how the new behavioral health plan addresses some of the recent criticisms of Connecticut’s child mental health care system.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri October 3, 2014

"Ag-Gag" Laws; Preserving and Celebrating Connecticut's Farmland

Lindsay Wilson Creative Commons

To date, seven of America's major agricultural states have successfully passed what are known as agricultural gag laws -- laws that restrict the investigation of animal abuse on major industrial farms. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu October 2, 2014

The History and Methodology of Public Opinion Polling

Monkey Business Thinkstock

Public opinion polling has a pretty extensive history here in the United States. Since the 19th century, interest groups, researchers, think tanks, media outlets have all used polls to measure the favorability of a wide range of political, social, and economic issues. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed October 1, 2014

The Wheelhouse Took a Vacation and a Lot Happened

Today's edition of The Wheelhouse featured Jon Lender, Khalilah Brown-Dean, Mark Pazniokas, and Colin McEnroe (Clockwise from top-left)
Chion Wolf WNPR

When host John Dankosky last sat behind the microphone for our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we lived in different times. John Rowland was only convicted once. The 2014 race for governor was still three months away. Derek Jeter was a professional baseball player. And Yuengling was not for sale in Connecticut.

Oh, how times have changed.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue September 30, 2014

"Greater Expectations" of the Common Core; a Music Career's Unlikely Revival Story

Jirka Matousek Creative Commons

The Common Core has been a big part of this year’s campaign for governor -- and a rallying cry for teachers, parents and students. But new documentary looks at what’s really in the common core that might provide some common ground between many sides on the education reform debate. 

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

From Suburbs to Cities: Design for a Better Future

Norman Garrick.
Chion Wolf WNPR

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
Fri September 26, 2014

Dirt Floor: The Music Sanctuary of Connecticut

A look into the control room at Dirt Floor from the studio.
Credit Eric Lichter / Dirt Floor

Today, a conversation and music from Dirt Floor Studios in Chester, Connecticut. It’s a music studio, carved into the woods, where the sound of the music they create is every bit as organic as the surroundings.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu September 25, 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
Wed September 24, 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
Tue September 23, 2014

One for the Birds of Connecticut (Again)

Connecticut's state bird: the American robin.
Credit Ken Douglas / Creative Commons

It’s an hour for the birds! We are joined by bird lovers and experts to discuss the state of the bird population in our state and to answer your burning bird questions. We also check in with our environmental reporter Patrick Skahill about his recent bird-related reporting.

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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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