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
11:06 am
Wed April 6, 2011

Roots of Prejudice

Linda, Creative Commons

Prejudice is one of the more troubling and baffling aspects of human nature

It has been the subject of scientific study for years.  But while social psychologists have learned a great deal about attitudes and societal influences that cause intergroup conflict, little effort has been devoted to understanding how adult humans come to have these biases in the first place.  So a Yale study set out to discover the roots of human prejudice, by studying groups of rhesus monkeys.

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Where We Live
11:34 am
Tue April 5, 2011

No Peace in the Middle East

John Ryan Recabar

Today we talk with Palestinian physician Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. In 2009 during Israel’s invasion and bombardment of Gaza, a rocket hit his house killing three of his daughters and his niece. Author of “I Shall Not Hate,” Abuelaish has devoted his life to reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.

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Where We Live
10:10 am
Mon April 4, 2011

Our Abolitionist History

In New London, a house tells the story of slavery, race and abolition. 

Multi-media artist Judy Dworin’s new work “In This House” is inspired by the Joshua Hempstead House in New London. 

The home has a legacy as a place where a slave was kept – now it sits in the middle of a neighborhood where African Americans and Hispanics live.  We’ll talk to Dworin and her collaborators about the house’s history, and what it tells us about Connecticut.

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Where We Live
11:44 am
Fri April 1, 2011

Malloy, Cuomo, LePage

So, these three Governors walk into a town hall meeting.  One’s a member of the tea party, one is Mario Cuomo’s kid, and the third guy’s wearing a green tie.

I think I’m telling this wrong. The joke’s also supposed to include something about a labor department mural in Maine, and the terms “shared sacrifice” and “transformational.” 

The new Governors across our region are all facing big budgetary challenges, and they’re handling them in very different ways.

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Where We Live
11:27 am
Thu March 31, 2011

David Folkenflik at CCSU

NPR's David Folkenflik once got into a battle of words with Geraldo Rivera.  It just proves that covering the media isn't always pretty. 

His latest assignment is a perfect example: Cover the corporate meltdown of your own company...go! 

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Where We Live
10:46 am
Mon March 28, 2011

Labor, After the Fire

Library of Congress

On Friday’s show Governor Dannel Malloy took a hard line with state labor unions – if they don’t reach an agreement on concessions, massive layoffs are on the table.

Governor Malloy said about the possibility of layoffs: “If it’s the only option, it’s the only option to pursue.” Today we’ll get reaction from an official from the state’s employee unions.

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Where We Live
10:32 am
Fri March 25, 2011

Governor Dannel Malloy

Chion Wolf

Dannel Malloy said he’d be more open to the press – more “communicative” than the previous governor.  I guess he wasn’t kidding…

Since his budget speech, Malloy has embarked on a voyage through Connecticut towns and cities that would seem ambitious by the standards of a touring rock band. 

And like those bands, grinding it out on the road – it must be getting a bit old by now. 

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Where We Live
10:42 am
Thu March 24, 2011

Shirin Ebadi

jyc1, creative commons

Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian Human Rights attorney, who in 2003 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on behalf of democracy and human rights - especially for women and children.  She’s speaking on the “Role of the West in Iran’s Struggle for Freedom,” this Saturday, March 26th at 6:30 at Hartford Seminary.  She’s also the headline speaker for the 2011 PeaceJam Northeast Youth Conference at Watkinson School in Hartford this weekend. 

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Where We Live
10:32 am
Thu March 24, 2011

NPR To The Left To The Left?

Todd Huffman

NPR is under attack over funding, fundraising and claims of bias.  So what does the network’s Ombudsman think?

We have Alicia Shepard, NPR’s Ombudsman on Where We Live regularly to talk about journalism, and the job that NPR reporters and editors do. 

She’s leaving the network, just as NPR has become a national issue on Fox News and the butt of jokes on The Daily Show. 

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Where We Live
10:43 am
Wed March 23, 2011

Northeast Utilities and NSTAR Move to Merge

Paul Cross, Creative Commons

The proposed merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR would create the third largest utility in the country and the largest in New England

NU of course is based in Connecticut and NStar in Massachusetts.  The companies would retain headquarters in both states, but the top executives would be in Boston.

So, what does this mean for you?

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Where We Live
10:38 am
Tue March 22, 2011

UConn President Susan Herbst

Chion Wolf

Susan Herbst is the new President of the University of Connecticut.  She says the state needs a school it can “brag on.”

Coming from the University System of Georgia, she says that’s a “Southern” code phrase for making UConn a flagship University in the mold of Michigan or Berkeley - an internationally recognized research center that has a powerful “academic brand.”

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Where We Live
10:33 am
Mon March 21, 2011

The Supreme Memory Show

therichbrooks, creative commons

Today’s guest memorized the precise order of an entire deck of cards in one minute and forty seconds.

This supreme act of memorization earned Joshua Foer a US record for speed and a winning title at the US memory championship in 2006.  But how does his uncanny ability to memorize useless information relate to our daily blunders of lost car keys, forgotten birthdays…and the classic: “I know you just told me… but what’s your name again?!” 

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Where We Live
10:40 am
Fri March 18, 2011

Japan, One Week Later

Fox News Insider, Creative Commons

After a full week of pictures and words and statistics, it’s still hard to get a grip on the scope of the tragedy.  Thousands killed, with many thousands more missing.  Hundreds of thousands without water or shelter.  And, the specter of a nuclear meltdown that has taken the world’s attention away from the devastation of the original event.

Today, a week after the earthquake – we’ll look at Japan.  How it’s coping, and how people in Connecticut are helping.

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Where We Live
11:01 am
Thu March 17, 2011

Dan Esty Goes DEEP

Chion Wolf, WNPR

Dan Esty is the new head of the Department of Environmental Protection – and if Governor Dannel Malloy gets his way, that job will grow to include “Energy” in the title. 

Esty’s a Yale professor who’s advised President Obama on energy policy, and several corporations on how to “go green.” 

He’s been talking about how to create more “green jobs” in the state – how to speed up the DEP’s permitting process – and how to bring down our sky-high energy costs. But this is a big job. So how is he going to protect the environment while making life easier for business?  

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Where We Live
11:25 am
Wed March 16, 2011

The Young And Unemployed

bgottsab, creative commons

Across the country, millions are still unemployed…and they’re not just older workers who’ve been laid off.

The most recent government report says nearly 20% of young adults don’t have jobs.

Recently on the show we talked about “emerging adulthood” – the phenomenon of young people postponing marriage and parenthood until at least their late twenties, and spending lots of time in self-focused exploration. 

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Where We Live
10:50 am
Tue March 15, 2011

Recession Redefines The Modern Family

woodleywonderworks, creative commons

The American family has been changing for decades and attitudes about what makes up a family have been changing as well.

But, it seems the recession has sped up the process. 

Most of the lost jobs in the last few years were lost by men – that tipped the balance of the workforce toward women for the first time in American history. The change is redefining gender roles and relationships at home in ways not seen since the Great Depression.

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Where We Live
10:54 am
Mon March 14, 2011

Winning

D. Basu, Creative commons

You can win the peace, win the future, win the game, win the lottery, or if you’re Charlie Sheen you can just be “A Winner.”

You’ve heard variations on the saying, “Winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing.”  Motivational, to be sure – but when winning is the only goal, does that make most of us “losers?

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Where We Live
10:55 am
Fri March 11, 2011

Tri-State Area Budget Edition

Creative Commons

Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey are all talking about taxes and public sector unions.

It’s a different kind of conversation in the Northeast than they’re having in say, Wisconsin - but the rhetoric is still kind of hot.

Dannel Malloy dubbed himself the “Anti-Christie” (take that New Jersey!) and then got a nice write-up in the New York Times for what they called a “Better Budget” proposal without bombast.

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Where We Live
11:37 am
Thu March 10, 2011

King Hearings On Muslim Radicalization

DMahendra, Creative Commons

Today, Long Island Congressman, Peter King, holds a hearing called "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response."

As chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, King says he wants to look into the threat of homegrown terrorism and its ties to Islam.

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Where We Live
10:34 am
Wed March 9, 2011

On the Repeal of Capital Punishment

Casey Serin

On the day Illinois is expected to abolish the death  penalty, Connecticut lawmakers are grappling with the same question.

Democrats in this state who want to repeal the law allowing executions feel this is their year - with a Governor who says he’ll sign a “prospective” law.  But many people from both parties want to keep the punishment as a tool for prosecutors.

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Where We Live
10:46 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Tracking Lost Civilizations

National Geographic

Could it be true?!  The lost city of Atlantis has been found!  Well, not yet, but a University of Hartford archeologist is on the case.

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Where We Live
10:24 am
Mon March 7, 2011

Farai Chideya

Farai Chideya has been following the intersections of race and gender, pop culture and politics for years.  During the 2010 campaign, she hosted a series of election specials for public radio in association with her blog, “pop and politics” – where she traveled the country, talking to voters about their lives and what drives their votes.  She joined us to talk about African American women in politics.

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Where We Live
10:10 am
Mon March 7, 2011

A Look At Microfinance

Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work pioneering the concept of “micro credit,” providing small loans to village entrepreneurs as a way to fight poverty. 

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Where We Live
10:49 am
Fri March 4, 2011

Controversial High School Theater, Worthy Risks?

Last weekend the Waterbury Arts Magnet School performed the Tony award-winning Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by the Pulitzer prize-winner August Wilson – a celebrated play that was first staged in1984 at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut.

The play almost didn’t happen, though.  A month ago, production was temporarily stopped, when questions were raised about the frequent use of a racially charged slang term…the so called “n-word.” 

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Where We Live
11:36 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Food Stamps Falter in State

Mills Baker, Creative Commons

More than 336,000 residents of Connecticut use food stamps – up over 30% in the past year. 

This program, now known as SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs – provides an average of $263 a month for each household on the program. 

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Where We Live
10:21 am
Wed March 2, 2011

The Uncertain Future of Planned Parenthood

Chion Wolf, WNPR

In 1961, Estelle Griswold, president of Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut, opened a birth control clinic to dispense contraceptives -- a bold act of civil disobedience that changed the course of the history of family planning legislation. 

It resulted in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut, where the US Supreme Court removed one of the last serious barriers to family planning. 

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Where We Live
10:40 am
Tue March 1, 2011

Looking for Quality Leadership In Education

FrankJuarez Creative Commons

Leadership in school districts is more important than ever before – as schools struggle to fulfill local educational needs, while paying close attention to edicts from the federal government.  

Then, of course, there’s the job of finding the money to do it all…while dealing with politics, parents and issues of student achievement which may not all be under your control. 

Today, where we live, we’ll look at the job of superintendent, and ask what it takes to find the right leader in the schools to run your “race to the top.”

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Where We Live
10:47 am
Mon February 28, 2011

Emerging Adults

archie4oz, creative commons

Step aside “quarter life crisis” -  there’s a new term for 20-somethings in that transition phase of their lives.  He calls it “emerging adulthood”

Dr. Jeffrey Arnett claims that in the past half century, the experience of people aged 18 to 29 has changed dramatically - at least in some societies.

Most young people now postpone marriage and parenthood until at least their late twenties, and spend their late teens through their mid-20s in self-focused exploration, trying out different possibilities in love and work.

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Where We Live
10:56 am
Fri February 25, 2011

What Age Should Children Enter Kindergarten?

woodleywonderworks, creative commons

Governor Malloy is pushing to increase the minimum age for kindergarten, hoping to close the achievement gap and raise test scores.

The state's plan is simple. To enter kindergarten, a child would need to turn 5 by October first...rather than the current date of January 1. The bill would also keep 7-year-olds out of kindergarten. It means more kids are closer to the same age- something that would make sense for a lot of schools.

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Where We Live
4:50 pm
Wed February 23, 2011

Temple Grandin and the Autistic Brain

Sue Clark, Creative Commons

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