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
10:31 am
Mon August 1, 2011

Online Civility

Photo by Basheer Tome (Flickr)

We used to discuss the news around the water cooler, at the barbershop and sometimes at dinner. Now, we can get right online and tell people how we REALLY feel...

Is there anyplace more cringe-worthy than the “comments section” of a news website?

The intentions were good: providing readers with a place to discuss the stories.

But all too frequently there’s name-calling and hateful comments, all disguised by anonymous “handles.”

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Where We Live
10:15 am
Fri July 29, 2011

Roundtable on the Looming Debt Crisis

Mike Poresky

Yesterday, Republicans who control the house finally addressed the issue that's been gripping the nation: Naming Post Offices.

Yes, when it became clear that House Speaker John Boehner's two-stage solution to avert the debt crisis was not going to get enough votes from within his caucus, the House quickly turned to the important task of naming the Post Offices in Peoria and Pasadena.   

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News
10:51 am
Thu July 28, 2011

Collaborative Consumption

Book Cover Design by Nicholas Blechman

We all have junk...maybe too much. You know, the stuff we just don’t use that much. But what if there was a way to make better use of it?

For instance, you use a lawn mower once every few weeks. Your weed-whacker might get used once a year. So why spend hundreds of dollars on something that only occasionally gets used?

That’s one of the questions being asked by people taking part in what is being called “Collaborative Consumption.” Why buy something when you can swap, share, barter, trade or rent for it instead?

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Where We Live
10:27 am
Tue July 26, 2011

William Tong

Chion Wolf

What do you get when a little-known candidate raises more than a half-million dollars in the first months of a run for Senate?  Could it be “tong fever"?

Well, at least that’s what Colin McEnroe called it.  The condition is named after William Tong, who in 2006, became the first Asian American elected to a state office in Connecticut.  

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Where We Live
10:58 am
Fri July 22, 2011

Jim Himes on the Budget Crisis

Chion Wolf

With a 12-year career on Wall Street before coming to Congress, Jim Himes has become a “go-to” guy on questions about the debt ceiling.

The 4th district congressman has been making the rounds of cable talk shows, warning about the coming crisis if Congress doesn’t act to raise the debt ceiling.

He told the Connecticut Mirror that he’s trying to “debunk the baloney” that he says he hears coming from the likes of Tea Party Presidential Candidate Michele Bachman.

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Where We Live
10:56 am
Thu July 21, 2011

The Book 2.0

goXunuReviews, Creative Commons

Borders Books reached its height in 2005 with more than 1,200 bookstores around the world. In a few weeks, there will be no more.

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Where We Live
11:18 am
Wed July 20, 2011

Where We Vote: Susan Bysiewicz

Chion Wolf

Susan Bysiewicz is hoping to turn her name recognition and long political career in Connecticut into a spot in the US Senate. 

Bysiewicz was Connecticut’s popular Secretary of the State, when she decided to give up that job to run for Governor.  Then, in the first round of the bizarre political shakeup of 2010, she left that race while in the lead to run for the Attorney General’s job, being vacated by now Senator Richard Blumenthal.

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Where We Live
12:17 pm
Tue July 19, 2011

Baseball Legends

Courtesy of Boston Public Library

Today,  a baseball celebration - about heroes and the places where they play.  We’ll talk with the author of a new oral history of Fenway Park; with the organizers of a Hartford Little League trying to stay afloat; and hear a classic public radio documentary about the real homerun champion.

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Where We Live
10:28 am
Thu July 14, 2011

Big City Violence

Chion Wolf

The number of violent crimes in the US dropped significantly last year to the lowest rate in 40 years.

But then why haven’t Connecticut cities like Hartford and New Haven been able to join this trend?  

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Where We Live
10:31 am
Wed July 13, 2011

The Education Takeover

The city of Bridgeport is the latest struggling school district to be taken over by the state.

The Board of Education in the city has essentially voted to dissolve itself - to be replaced by an oversight board hand-picked by the State Department of Education.

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Where We Live
10:15 am
Tue July 12, 2011

Men At Work, With Added Stress

Chion Wolf

A new Pew study says the sluggish recovery from the “Great Recession” has been better for men than women.

But in the context of  the June recent jobs report that shows only 18,000 new jobs were created nationally - it might signal continued bad times for both sexes.

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Where We Live
12:37 pm
Mon July 11, 2011

The New "Normal" In Eating Disorders

Tara Gulwell, Creative Commons

Here’s the misperception: Eating disorders affect white, middle and upper class women.  A new study says, “not true.”  

The study, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, finds that Native American women are just as likely to suffer from binging and purging as white women.

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Where We Live
9:41 am
Fri July 8, 2011

Olmsted's Legacy

Where We Live
10:22 am
Wed July 6, 2011

Combating Food Allergies

vizzzual

Thirty years ago, food allergy was extremely rare. Today, about 5.9 million U.S. children under 18 suffer from this potentially life-threatening condition.

That’s 1 in every 13 children. Or, to look at it another way, one student per classroom has a food allergy. What’s more, nearly 2 out of every 5 affected children suffer from a severe food-allergy.

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Where We Live
11:19 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Animal Rights

Mike Baird

Michael Vick is once again a star in the Nike universe - only a few years after serving time for his role in a dog-fighting ring.

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Where We Live
10:11 am
Thu June 30, 2011

Sounds Around Us

ky olsen, creative commons

If you stop and really listen, there’s a world of sound all around you.

For many people, this ambience of life is drowned out by the constant soundtrack of music...in our cars...on our headphones as we walk a city block or hop a subway.  

But today we’ll explore a different soundtrack, that of our actual surroundings.  

The idea came to us from two recent shows we did...one about how new technology is allowing us to map our worlds in all kinds of new ways...and another about field recordings as a type of cultural anthropology.

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Where We Live
11:09 am
Wed June 29, 2011

A Conversation with Hartford's State Legislators

Chion Wolf

Hartford is at a time of transition. Recovering from corruption, transforming its education planning for the future.

Today, Where We Live teams up with The Hartford Public Library for “The Year Ahead: A Conversation with Hartford’s State Legislators.” 

We'll be talking with members of the state congressional delegation from the city. They'll share their thoughts about the state of Hartford, and what lawmakers are doing to solve some of the city’s problems - from violence, to education scores, to literacy rates.

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Where We Live
10:25 am
Tue June 28, 2011

The Role of the Informant

The capture of Boston Gangster Whitey Bulger puts an end to a long manhunt - but it brings up questions about his dealings with the FBI.

Despite his disdain for “rats” - Bulger, now charged with 19 murders and implicated in countless other crimes, was an informant with the FBI for years.  He developed a special relationship with agent John Connolly that allowed him to keep committing crime - and gave him a chance to flee in 1995.  

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Where We Live
11:01 am
Mon June 27, 2011

The New Cartography

Christine Rondeau, Creative Commons

Since the days of great explorers, maps have served a very simple purpose, getting us from point A to point B (without falling off the edge of the earth, of course). 

But with the advent of digital mapping technologies, the form, function and potential of maps has been revolutionized.

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Where We Live
11:41 am
Fri June 24, 2011

The Art of Field Recordings

Field recordings of traditional music and oral history have provided an important window into the past.  

Mystic Seaport has been collecting the stories of Connecticut’s dwindling fishing industry for exhibitions and books.  We’ll hear the voices of the men and women who keep alive our state’s only remaining commercial fishing fleet, and hear how Calabretta gathers these stories.  

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Where We Live
10:42 am
Thu June 23, 2011

Where We Live: Cocktails, A History Of

creative commons

WNPR has a popular regular show where food and drink flows freely.  This is not that show.

Yes, while Faith Middleton's Food Schmooze gets ready to crown a “Connecticut state cocktail” tonight - we’ll take our “sober” look at the history of the cocktail.

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Where We Live
12:01 pm
Wed June 22, 2011

Journalists In Conflict

Creative Commons

As we get ready to consider an end to the war in Afghanistan, it's not just soldiers who've paid the price in American wars.

American society is just beginning to seriously consider the emotional trauma of fighting war. But what about reporting it?  The deaths of two photojournalists in Libya this year sparked fresh conversation about the emotional and psychological — and not just physical — health of reporters and photographers who cover conflict.

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Where We Live
9:43 am
Fri June 17, 2011

On Fatherhood

JeffS, Creative Commons

Looking for a Father's Day card you might think that all dads do is grill, golf and goof around. Those themes run through the imagery of this holiday. You can see the picture now - a tired man, finally able to relax in the hammock one day of the year. Dog at his side, hot dog on the grill.  But we know that being a dad is a bit more complex.

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Where We Live
11:24 am
Wed June 15, 2011

International Festival of Arts and Ideas

Uma Ramiah

This past weekend kicked off the annual International Festival of Arts and Ideas, a highlight of the summer in New Haven.

For 15 days the festival creates an environment of entertainment and serious discourse in the city through concerts, lectures, films, live theater, tours and activities for kids.

We didn’t want to miss out on the action so we headed down to New Haven for a live broadcast today from The Study at Yale.

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Where We Live
10:44 am
Mon June 13, 2011

The Question Of Jewish Identity

Gregthebusker, creative commons

Young people today have a lot of ways to define themselves – their clothes, their music, their Facebook profiles.  But what about religious and cultural identity?  These things are a bit trickier, especially for young secular Jews.  What does this identity mean today in a world where Israel is a place of pilgrimage, and the center of the thorniest political issues we face today?

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Where We Live
1:44 pm
Fri June 10, 2011

The Future Of Our Forests

notfrancois, creative commons

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Where We Live
10:47 am
Wed June 8, 2011

Hedge Funds

AMagill, Creative Commons

Hedge Fund managers are America’s new economic elite...they weathered the storm of the financial collapse better than anyone, and have made the kind of money that’s hard to imagine.  In fact, author Sebastian Mallaby calls it “More Money Than God.” He’s studied the history of hedge funds for this bestselling book that’s - now out in paperback.  

He paints a picture of complicated men - who crave secrecy, exude eccentricity, and who have unlocked the mystery of how markets work, making billions in the process.

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Where We Live
10:26 am
Tue June 7, 2011

Ikea

Per Ola Wiberg, Creative Commons

You can find a blog called Colorado Ikea Fans” - where you’ll see a real-time countdown to the store’s opening in Denver on July 27th at 9 AM.  

Now, anxious shoppers - we’ve learned - will be lining up 48 hours before opening day.   

The Ikea craze is widespread – indoctrinating us with their “Life Improvement Plan” mentality.  

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Where We Live
10:43 am
Mon June 6, 2011

Putting Humanity Back Into Medicine

Brittany G, Creative Commons

Doctors get years of training in medicine, but what’s often left out is humanity.

The relationship between doctor and patient is among the most important many of us will have in their lives, yet it’s becoming increasingly depersonalized thanks to overwhelming patient loads.

But there’s a growing field of study - and practice - that aims at putting the humanities back into doctor’s training...to better treat the humans they serve.

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Where We Live
11:05 am
Thu June 2, 2011

Poisoned By Food

Creative Commons

E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Cyclospora - All bacteria that have caused food borne illnesses and deaths in the past decades.

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