Real Life Survival Guide Episode 52

Jul 29, 2012
Cindy Papish Gerber

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about which chapters to include in this "guide to modern living", and one of the obvious choices is - and always has been - a chapter on 'Relationships'.

With this in mind, I convened our weekly brainstorming session at Zinc Restaurant on Chapel Street in New Haven. (Thanks to Co-owners Donna and Denise, as well as Manager Peter Koll for hosting!)

The Great River

Jul 27, 2012
The Connecticut Historical Society, Gift of Dr. W. J. Russell

Highway. Barrier. Resource. Sewer. Each of these names has been used to describe the Connecticut River in the almost four centuries since Europeans first settled along its banks.  This prominent feature of the state’s physical landscape also provides a reference point for our sense of place (e.g. “east of the river” or “the lower valley”) in a land where local identity still exerts a powerful influence.

Reporter Roundtable: The Donovan Dilemma

Jul 27, 2012
Chion Wolf

Federal authorities made seven new arrests in their investigation into the campaign of house speaker Chris Donovan

The arrests circle around an alleged scheme to cover up campaign donations that were aimed at using Donovan’s influence as speaker of the house to kill a bill aimed at “roll your own smoke shops.”  

Getting To Know Springfield, Massachusetts

Jul 26, 2012
Rusty Clark (Flickr Creative Commons)

Springfield is Hartford's neighbor to the north...we share an airport, a major highway and a river. But what do we really know about Springfield?

Today, for the first time, we broadcast live from Springfield, MA. We're celebrating our new relationship with American International College and its radio station WAIC 91.9 FM.

Discrimination Lawsuit Raises Question In Bridgeport

Jul 25, 2012

Steelpointe Harbor has been promised to residents of Bridgeport for more than thirty years. This empty 50-acre piece of land is expected to be built out into a complex of hotels, retail, high-rise apartments and offices. With the announcement that the outdoor goods megastore Bass Pro Shops would be moving in as early as next year, that promise could finally become a reality. But in a city where 38 percent of residents are Hispanic and 34 percent are black, allegations that Bass Pro Shops deliberately shut minority job applicants out is hitting hard.

The Park River: Exploring Hartford's Underbelly

Jul 25, 2012
Catie Talarski


Questioning the Creative Class

Jul 24, 2012
David Hilowitz, Creative Commons

It’s been ten years since Richard Florida’s bestseller, “The Rise of the Creative Class.” So, has it risen yet?

Florida touted the cities like San Fransisco and Austin Texas that have, for years, attracted young “creative” types with socially tolerant attitudes, plenty of outdoor activities and a confluence of art and hi-tech.

But even Florida seems to be adapting his ideas - talking about everyone being a “creative” person in the new economy.

Big Bang Economic Development

Jul 23, 2012
Av Harris (File)

Today, the “big bang theory.” Not the kind that Ira Flatow talks about on Science Friday...but the kind that city leaders talk about when they want to make a splash...to revitalize their city...to get millions in taxes.

These urban “big bangs” are often pipe dreams that never get beyond an architect’s sketch. But sometimes they do become reality - with mixed results.

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 51

Jul 22, 2012
Cindy Papish Gerber

Welcome to a new phase in the development of The Real Life Survival Guide, as we focus our efforts on brainstorming ideas for the Guide around a single theme or "chapter". For our 51st session we gathered at the amazing Barcelona Restaurant and Wine Bar in New Haven - to talk about the chapter on "Self Care".

Youth Vote: Connecticut Primary

Jul 20, 2012
CPBN Media Lab

Hartford, CT - Four candidates from Connecticut are fighting for a senatorial seat this fall, and continue to campaign for a chance to represent the state. Many Connecticut residents are following the race, but what about college students? Candidate Chris Murphy has stated that "today about 20 percent of 20 year olds vote, and 80 percent of the 80 year olds vote."

Calder in Connecticut

Jul 20, 2012

July 22nd is the birthday of Alexander Calder, one of the best-known and most prolific sculptors of the 20th century.  His work hangs in museums all over the world, but for over forty years, he lived and worked in Roxbury, a small town in Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills.

Samuel Amadon, The Hartford Poet

Jul 18, 2012
Chion Wolf

Samuel Amadon is a poet who grew up just outside of Hartford. He left for college, and grad school, but kept finding himself coming back to the capital city. Now he teaches in South Carolina, and has recently published “The Hartford Book” – a collection of gritty poems he wrote about his time living in and around Hartford.

Chion Wolf

As the University of Connecticut gets bigger - with more global aspirations - what does that mean for the state university system?

This fall, Dr. Elsa Núñez starts her seventh year as president of Eastern Connecticut State University. Some view it as UConn’s little sister campus in nearby Willimantic. But Núñez has bigger plans. She wants ECSU to make a name for itself as a first-choice liberal arts school.

Bevin Bells On The Road To Recovery

Jul 17, 2012
Tucker Ives

It's been six weeks since the Bevin Brothers factory burned to the ground and the East Hampton company is moving forward with plans to rebuild. WNPR's Tucker Ives reports on what's ahead for the last bell factory in Belltown USA.

Since the devastating fire, Bevin Bells has received an outpouring of support from across the country. That support convinced the company's president, Matthew Bevin to get his family's business up and operating again.

"We will continue to put one foot in front of the next until we're continuing to make bells in Belltown," said Bevin.

Ethiopian Pop and Schizophrenic Rock

Jul 17, 2012

This week on the Needle Drop, we'll be sampling new tracks from Parquet Courts, Ariel Pink's  Haunted Graffiti, and electronic music producer John Tejada. We'll also be listening to the latest albums from these two artists: Ethiopian pop sensation the Debo Band, and the schizophrenic singer-songwriter duo known as Foxygen.

Pop-Up Storefronts

Jul 17, 2012
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Popup storefronts are popping up all over. Maybe even in your town.

Here’s the idea: You take one empty retail space and offer it up for free. A new business comes in for a day, a week, a month, or who knows?  

The hope? It can re-energize a commercial strip and fill in a sad, vacant storefront while giving entrepreneurs a chance to test out new ideas and hopefully turn it into a sustainable business.

Understanding Global Environmental Politics

Jul 16, 2012

At the Rio Earth Summit that just concluded, more than 100 world leaders gathered to talk global sustainability and set goals for the environment. President Barack Obama was not among them. Neither was Angela Merkel of Germany or David Cameron of the UK. This may say something about the real importance of these gatherings.

City Slighted By CEO's Comment

Jul 16, 2012

A comment by the European CEO of the clothing storeGant  in New Haven has drawn the ire of some in the city.

Dirk-Jan Stoppelenburg heads company, and one of his 600 or so stores opened on Broadway in New Haven last year. Here’s what he had to say about New haven in an interview last month:

“Only two things only ever came out of New Haven. Yale University and Gant.”

Connecticut's "Transportation Gap"

Jul 16, 2012
Chiyeuk (Wikimedia Commons)

New research from the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy program finds a stark disparity in public transit options between Connecticut’s bigger cities and their surrounding areas.

Brookings researcher Adie Tomer spent two years running transportation models in 100 metro regions across America. He says having data on commuting times is crucial in figuring out how to jumpstart struggling economies.

“Public transportation is a critical cog in actually making sure our metropolitan economies function to the peak of their abilities," Tomer says.


Jul 13, 2012

Jean-Honoré Fragonard was one of the best-known French painters of the 1700s, known for his slightly risqué representations of upper class life in Paris before the French Revolution.  Why was one of his pictures showing men and women playing blind man’s buff printed and published in Hartford, Connecticut during the 1830s?  Why was court painter Jacques-Louis David’s famous portrait of Napoleon Crossing the Alps reproduced in no fewer than five different prints by Hartford’s Kellogg brothers?

The Rise of Women

Jul 13, 2012
UNE Photos

Women outpace men in colleges and graduate school and account for half of the workforce, so why are there still so few women in top jobs?

Because women have more education and career opportunities than ever before, because they’ve entered male-dominated fields like medicine, the military and engineering in numbers only dreamed about by their grandmothers...there’s a case that we’ve reached a kind of “gender equity.”

But women hold only 14% of corporate executive jobs.  Only a third make partner in law firms, and their wait is longer.

Dancing In The Big City

Jul 12, 2012
Christopher Duggan

The dance ensemble, the Brian Brooks Moving Company returns to Wesleyan University for a pair of performances tonight and tomorrow night at Wesleyan's Center for the Arts Theater in Middletown. On the program is the New England premier of his new work Big City. The dance company has performed all of the world. Joining us by phone this morning is dancer and choreographer Brian Brooks. 

America, We Need To Talk: Take a Vacation

Jul 12, 2012
Doug Wheller (Flickr Creative Commons)

Everyone counts down the days to vacation, right? Well not in America...it seems we’d rather keep working.

Yes, despite all the data that time off makes you happier, healthier and MORE productive, a majority of americans - some 57percent had unused vacation time at the end of 2011, and most of them left an average of 11 days on the table.

Meanwhile, profits per-employee are at a 10 year high. What if we just cut into those corporate profits by taking a day we’ve earned here and there?

The Needle Drop: 07-07-12

Jul 10, 2012

This week on TND, we've got tracks off the latest releases by H-SIK, Hot Chip, and Dirty Projectors. We'll also be sampling tracks from the new Blur single as well.

Transforming The Local News

Jul 9, 2012
Jon S / Creative Commons

The whole point of the company Journatic is that you’re not supposed to know that they exist.

What do they do? Well, they provide news stories for papers - sometimes written under fake bylines - often “reported” from far flung places. Think that story about West Hartford gas prices had the local touch? Might be someone from California...or the Philippines.

The Greatest Showman on Earth

Jul 7, 2012

Born in Bethel, CT in 1810, Phineas Taylor Barnum was one of history’s most colorful characters. At the age of 21, he purchased a printing press and soon learned to use sensational advertising to capture the public’s attention and create what we today would call “buzz”. Barnum moved to New York City in 1834 and in 1841 opened Barnum’s American Museum, which featured over 500,000 artifacts, curiosities, and human attractions, including the Feejee Mermaid, Chang and Eng the “Siamese Twins”, and Sara Swan the “Tallest Girl in the World”.

Effects of Sprawl on Water

Jul 5, 2012
fishhawk (Flickr Creative Commons)

Lee Epstein, in a recent piece for the Atlantic Cities blog, wrote that healthy watersheds and sustainable in-town development are directly linked: “what happens on the land affects the water downstream” across a wide area.

He says sprawling development damages water quality for the whole region. When we spread out our town development, rather than keeping it in areas that are already developed, there’s more waste and less vegetation to absorb it.

Epstein is with the Lands Program of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. 

Lincoln's Hundred Days

Jul 5, 2012
Kevin Burkett (Flickr Creative Commons)

The Always Important Swing Vote

Jul 5, 2012
Ho John Lee (Flickr Creative Commons)

We know they’re the biggest voter block in Connecticut...and we know they’ll decide this year’s presidential election...

Harsh Garage Rock and Unapologetic Art Rap

Jul 3, 2012

This week on the Needle Drop, we're sampling new albums from Liars, Bobby Womack, Open Mike Eagle, and Ty Segall. Covering all the bases from quirky art rap to tough-as-nails garage rock.