Where We Live

Weekdays at 9:00 am and 7:00 pm

Where We Live, hosted by John Dankosky, is a talk show about where we live in Connecticut, in New England, in the United States, and on the planet (sometimes even beyond).

On any given day, you can hear interviews with elected officials, roundtables on transportation and infrastructure, the latest scientific breakthroughs, changes in the health care system, education in the 21st century, and the effects of worldwide events like climate change on our local communities.

We also take questions and hear stories from you and your neighbors doing amazing things to improve life in our cities and towns.

You can join the conversation every day on Where We Live, where we bring you radio with a sense of place.

Contact producers:

The executive producer is Catie Talarski. The digital editor is Heather Brandon.

Chion Wolf

Republican State Senator Andrew Roraback is leaving the legislature to run for the 5th Congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy.

Chowder, Inc

If Connecticut’s new marketing campaign is any indication, we’re a state filled with “history.”

History is the main theme behind the 2-year, $27 million tourism project - which now has the tagline, “Connecticut: Still Revolutionary.”  It’s meant to capitalize not just on our role in the revolutionary war as well as the revolutionary thinkers, builders and tinkerers our state has been home to.  

The State of Play

Apr 26, 2012
Lou & Traci plus, creative commons

The Executive Director of the Alliance for Childhood talks about how important play is for young people. She’s part of a two-day creativity conference coming up in Ridgefield, CT.

Chion Wolf

With everything else going on at the Capitol, it’s good someone is paying attention to the budget.

That someone is The Connecticut Mirror’s Keith Phaneuf.  Our budgetary Obi Wan Kenobi stops by to give us an update on the fiscal health of the state - along with news on the “hot button” issues like minimum wage and Sunday liquor sales.

Connecticut has lost more of our 25-34-year-old population since 1990 than any state but Michigan. I’m no demographer - but that’s not good. Of course, big population shifts are happening around the country as baby-boomers retire – but Connecticut is poised for the most hardship, unless we turn this around quickly.

Inst. for Exploration & Inst. for Archaeological Oceanography

Dr. Robert Ballard is probably the world’s most famous explorer - in part because of his Titanic discovery - in part because of his tireless mission to uncover secrets of the deep.

Chion Wolf

In Washington, the Supreme Court held an unprecedented three-days of hearings on the constitutionality of President Obama’s “Affordable Care Act.” Gregory Warner - the Marketplace reporter who’s been covering the hearings called it a kind of “Constitutional Woodstock” with protesters, ticket scalpers, and seldom-heard Justices opining on everything from legislative vote-counting to “broccoli.”  Warner gives us the play-by-play.

Losing Your Voice

Mar 28, 2012
thekeithhall, creativecommons

John Mayer, Adele and Keith Urban have all had to cancel shows in past months because of vocal problems.

But pop singers aren’t the only ones who find their careers in jeopardy because they’ve lost their voice.

Our NPR colleague Diane Rehm has struggled for years with a condition called “spasmodic dysphonia” - which causes spasms in the vocal cords.

It’s a condition very similar to the one that knocked me off the air for nearly a year in the late 1990s.

pascal, creative commons

Playing to a red-meat conservative crowd, Rick Santorum called President Obama a “snob” for saying people should go to college.

This statement - and others like it about the liberal “indoctrination” that happens on college campuses - obviously set off millions of educated Americans.

And not just because the value of higher education was being challenged - but because his statement flies in the face of everything we know about what people need to get jobs in America.

Those with college degrees get jobs more readily - and those jobs pay better wages.  

Stephanie Hicks (Flickr Creative Commons)

Arguments begin in the Supreme Court today over the Affordable Care Act - its one of the biggest, longest, and most highly publicized cases in the court’s recent history - and it has enormous political implications.

Josh Madison (Flickr Creative Commons)

Connecticut is working to get back on the tourism map...and the Eastern part of the state is a big part of that plan.

The region has some of the most evocative names... “Mystic Country” and “The Quiet Corner.” It has legendary seaports like New London and Stonington, and the many perfect little New England towns along the Connecticut River.

But how is the tourism industry holding up during the recession? And how will the state’s plan affect the many small businesses in the region.

Chion Wolf

In late January, the city of St. Louis did something unusual. Actually, in the America of 2012 it was more than unusual...it was extraordinary...they held a parade to honor those who fought in Iraq.

frankjuarez, creative commons

A coalition of… coalitions has coalesced in support of Governor Malloy’s education reform legislation.

The group includes organizations that support boards of education and superintendents, the business community and charter school advocates.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

We now take some things for granted about voting in Connecticut.

1.) It’s gonna happen on a Tuesday.

2.) You’re going to have to register in advance - then go to a polling place and hope you’re on the list.

3.) You’re going to “bubble in” your choice on a piece of paper - yes, “bubble in” is an idiom.

4.) Connecticut is going to be almost irrelevant to the national political discussion.

5.) In some towns, we’re gonna have a hard time conducting an election at all.

miamism, creative commons

More people are buying local food, choosing more sustainably-produced food, and growing their own.

This trend is the topic of The Fifth Annual Global Environmental Sustainability Symposium at CCSU.

Today we talk to some of the panelists -- Bill Duesing - head of the Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, which is involved in a lawsuit against Monsanto and is pushing for “Genetically Modified” labeling in Connecticut.

Chion Wolf

Hartford and New Haven held their St. Patrick’s Day parades last weekend...but the holiday is actually this weekend. It’s a time when we’re supposed to honor and celebrate the rich Irish culture and history.

But - if you look at the way most Americans celebrate - it’s just another excuse to go to the bar.

Chion Wolf

String Theorie is a Hartford-based band that plays what they call “Instrumental World Fusion.”

Fingerstyle acoustic guitarist Joel Weik, electric bassist Karl Messerschmidt and percsussionist Jordan Critchley have been playing all over Central Connecticut for the last few years - including in our studios.  

Adult Ed For Teens

Mar 15, 2012
preetamrai, creative commons

Thousands of teens are leaving traditional high school in Connecticut and opting for adult education programs instead.

These programs have more flexible hours and fewer requirements for graduation, allowing students - in some cases - to finish school more quickly.

But there are complicated reasons why some teens are taking this opportunity.  One is that some low-performing students - or those with troubled pasts - are being “pushed out” of the traditional school system...and there aren’t always spaces in “alternative” schools.

Returning To Iraq

Mar 14, 2012
USAG-Humphreys (Flickr Creative Commons)

Roman Baca entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 2000 and was eventually deployed to Iraq. He returned to Connecticut and struggled to adjust to civilian life. He finally found purpose in his life...in dance. Baca started the Exit 12 Dance Company and is the artistic director there. He’s getting ready to embark on a trip back to Iraq later this month where he will teach dance to local children there.

Chion Wolf

Today we'll profile an interesting program happening at Central Connecticut State University within the English Department.  It’s in collaboration with the “Veteran’s Project” which is putting together a “Welcome Home” event on March 31 at the Armory in Hartford. English professor Mary Collins is working with her creative writing students to tell Veteran's stories. 


Reporter Roundtable

Mar 13, 2012
Chion Wolf

While we’ve been obsessed with the big changes that may be coming to the state’s education system - there’s plenty more that lawmakers are considering.

On that long list: Red light cameras, hotel taxes, racial profiling, Sunday liquor sales and the death penalty. There’s also news about more firings over the D-SNAP scandal, and there’s the state of the budget in a slow-recovery economy.  Some economists are saying that it will take several more years to undo the damage of the last recession.

Racial Profiling

Mar 12, 2012
Emad Ghazipura (Flickr Creative Commons)

It has been a sad - but well-known - fact that in many communities, “Driving While Black” or “Driving While Hispanic” can be seen as a reason to get pulled over by police.

While the state has a law that mandates reports on the ethnicity of drivers pulled over in traffic stops - that data is not universally reported by towns. And the state agency that collects it is overburdened.

kevin dooley

We’ve been hearing about a “war on women” in the political arena - mostly over issues of contraception and reproductive rights. But a new book by Dr. Mariko Chang looks at what might be a more pressing problem...a wealth gap that’s faced women for years. The book is Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It.


It’s been a year since the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands and set off a new conversation about nuclear power.

In his new documentary series called “Burn: An Energy Journal” - public radio pioneer Alex Chadwick is back with a report examining the future of nuclear power after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.  It premeires this weekend on WNPR and we’ll get a preview.

Teachers Unions

Mar 7, 2012
LizMarie_AK, creative commons

Connecticut teachers have been feeling under fire since Governor Malloy announced a sweeping new education plan.

Among the many points in his 163-page plan that’s now being debated by the legislature is a provision to change the rules on teacher tenure.

Malloy says that unions have already agreed to a deal that would tie student performance to teacher evaluations – but they’re cool to the Governor’s tenure plan.

Patient Safety

Mar 6, 2012
isafmedia, creative commons

Patient safety is one of the nation's most pressing health care challenges.

Patient safety advocates say that thousands of people are put in harm’s way from preventable hospital-acquired infections and medical errors.

Connecticut alone reported more than 16-hundred “adverse hospital events” 2004 and 2011, including 157 cases in which patients died.

But reporting by the Connecticut Health Investigative Team shows that few of these cases are actually investigated by the state.

Chion Wolf

After a series of bad storms, Governor Dannel Malloy declared a “War on Trees!” Or, at least, that’s what it seemed like at the time. The governor was reacting to the hundreds of thousands of power outages caused by downed trees after a tropical storm and a freakish October snowstorm.

In his defense of more aggressive tree-cutting he coined this signature phrase: “Trees grow, ladies and gentlemen of the state of Connecticut, they grow.”

On The Road

Mar 2, 2012
Michael Krigsman (Flickr Creative Commons)

Roads get you where you need to go...at least some of the time. But roads are more than just well worn paths for busy motorists.

Crossing The Bridge

Mar 1, 2012
Russ Glasson (Flickr Creative Commons)

In the nearly five years since a tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota, the nation’s bridges have been under scrutiny.

And a national overview shows that 11.5% of the country’s bridges are “structurally deficient.” But what does that mean exactly? Are they in danger of falling apart, like the span over I-35 in Minneapolis, or the Mianus River Bridge on I-95 that killed motorists in Connecticut in 1983?

Jay Zhang (Flickr Creative Commons)

A hundred years ago, the tallest building in the world was 700 feet. Today, the record is 2,000 feet taller than that...and this trend isn’t slowing down. Skyscrapers have gone from being merely “tall” to “supertall.” Seven of the world’s ten tallest skyscrapers were built since the turn of the millennium.