Betsy Kaplan

Senior Producer

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. Prior to that, Betsy worked as an intensive care registered nurse in several Connecticut hospitals.

While taking time off from nursing to have fun with her three young daughters, she was elected to three terms on her town's Board of Education and worked at a local museum. 

She's produced shows for Where We Live and the Colin McEnroe Show, several of which have won local awards.

She is currently the senior producer for the Colin McEnroe Show

Muffinn / Creative Commons

The British voted to leave the European Union yesterday. Let that sink in for a minute. This decision will likely cause geopolitical and economic turmoil and uncertainty for years to come as the world negotiates how to separate Britain from our global economy.

Olivier Bacquet / Creative Commons

Most of us know Cinderella as the poor servant girl who stuck it to her mean step-mother and step-sisters by proving she was good enough to marry the rich and handsome prince. She had a little help from a fairy godmother, a pumpkin coach, and a foot small enough to fit into the glass slipper.

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

Donald Trump has had a really bad few weeks. His poll numbers are dropping to the lowest point for any general election candidate in the last three years. He's coming under fire for his response to last week's shootings in Orlando, and for saying U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel -- who is the judge overseeing the fraud case against Trump University -- may be biased against him because of his Mexican heritage.

Thomas Hart / Wikimedia Commons

When you "pull a Benedict Arnold," you sell out your side to join the stronger side of a situation out of fear, not honor.  Needless to say, that's not a compliment.

More than 230 years after America secured independence from Britain, this skilled warrior and confidante of George Washington is remembered as a traitor and coward for defecting to the British side.

But it's not that easy.  

US Embassy / Creative Commons

Orlando, Florida was the scene of a mass shooting Sunday that left 50 people dead and dozens more injured. We've heard the story before: a shooter walks into a crowded room with multiple weapons to kill large numbers of people in an astonishingly small amount of time.

Steve Jurvetson / Creative Commons

"Hamilton," the wildly popular musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, will likely win several Tony Awards this weekend for changing the form of musical theater from what most of us perceive it to be. He uses rap lyrics that challenge what we think we know about the founding of our nation.

Steve Terrell / Wikimedia Commons

There has never been a time in the last ten presidential cycles when voters have disliked two presidential front-runners as much as they dislike Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Yes, the country is becoming increasingly polarized, but that doesn't explain why the candidates aren't well-liked by their respective parties.

Ian Sane / Creative Commons

Most of us have heard that our bodies need eight cups of water every day to stay healthy and hydrated. Some think that's the minimum we should drink to prevent the chronic dehydration that doesn't trigger the usual warnings of dryness, like thirst.  

Liz West / Creative Commons

Colin has a "pet" raccoon that visits his porch. The raccoon will press her tiny paw up against the outstretched palm of Colin's significant other, which rests on the indoor side of the glass. Eventually, the raccoon gets a bit of food because "she" is too cute to resist. The pleased raccoon now visits on a regular basis. Colin fears this cannot end well.

FutUndBeidl / Creative Commons

 Reporters at The Washington Post noted that Donald Trump has a history of calling reporters under the guise of phantom spokespersons named John Barron and John Miller. He uses the guise to share the wonderful things he's been up to, or depending on how you look at it, to spin his bad press into something more golden, especially his relationships with women he believes are attracted to him. 

Robert Huffstutter / Creative Commons

Wilhelm Reich was  a once promising psychoanalyst and scientist under the guidance of Freud in pre-World War II Europe. He promoted "sexual revolution" to support his belief that sexual repression was linked to bodily and societal ills like neurosis and even fascism.

AllenRan917 / Creative Commons

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana, 1905

David Rieff isn't against the lessons of remembrance, but he believes it shouldn't be the only morally-sanctioned option. Forgetting may be the better choice.

Ben Burgraff

In 1800, James Callender, pamphleteer and journalist, wrote this about John Adams, one of America's most revered founding father:

It is not so well known, as it should be, that this federal gem [John Adams], this apostle of the parsons of Connecticut, is not only a repulsive pedant, a gross hypocrite, and an unprincipled oppressor, but that he is, in private life, one of the most egregious fools upon the continent. 

He went on to "enquire by what species of madness America submitted to accept, as her president, a person without abilities, and without virtues."

Michael Czerski / flickr

There’s a kind of idiocy about the way the White House Correspondents Dinner is, conceptually, a Feast of Fools with a comedian as Lord of Misrule, a night when decorum is suspended, comedy rules, etc.

And then D.C. never goes all-in. The crowd doesn’t laugh, and then there’s this post-mortem in which interested parties pull organs out of the comedy set and weigh them on political scales and try to make something out of them. The whole city should sign a disarmament pact or just stop doing this thing.

Paul Van Der Woof / Creative Commons

The Tragedy of the Commons follows the theory that people can't be trusted to take care of common property without degrading it or taking more than their fair share of resources. This idea was popularized by William Forster Lloyd, who published a pamphlet in 1833 using cow herders to prove that people couldn't be trusted to share our common resources wisely. He believed property should be owned privately.

Theresa Thompson / Creative Commons

It's Primary Day in Connecticut and I'm excited about it.

For the first time in a long time, Connecticut voters feel they have a say in which candidate moves on to the general election in November, most of whom spent time speaking to voters in Connecticut this weekend.

Citizens4taxjustice / Creative Commons

The effect of a declining middle class is everywhere -- the medically uninsured or underinsured, the heroin epidemic, declining life expectancy for middle-aged white men, flat wages, weakened unions -- the list goes on and on.

Poetry: Give It a Try

Apr 20, 2016
Michael Chen / Creative Commons

Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petry wrote a column a few years ago asking if poetry was still vital enough to change anything. Poets and poetry lovers reacted strongly, sending recommendations to enlighten her and encourage her to "get out more." Petry says that column haunts her more than anything she’s ever written, enough to follow it up with a defense - and an olive branch.

Spoiler Alert! It's a Discussion About Spoilers

Apr 14, 2016
Josh Engroff / www.flickr.com/photos/engroff/

Do you like spoilers? Hate them? Whether it involves sports, television, books or movies, has a spoiler ruined something for you? Enhanced it? Do you practice spoiler etiquette?

Javier Delgado / Flickr Creative Commons

It's hard to improve on the poet, Rilke, who wrote, "Love consists of this, that two solitudes meet, protect, and greet each other." But did Rilke have to deal with Angry Birds and Snap Chat?

Campaign for Rocky2016

Donald Trump was considered untouchable on his way to winning the nomination to represent the Republican Party in the 2016 election -- until establishment forces let go an unrelenting assault on his candidacy.

Now there's talk of revolution at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer, where the votes of superdelegates, or party loyalists, get the last word on who moves forward. The Trump campaign is warning against it.

The Placebo Effect

Apr 6, 2016
CHRISTIAN SCHNETTELKER / Creative Commons

Placebo treatments have been making people feel better for a long time. They've been working since long before Franz Mesmer was run out of 18th-century Vienna for "mesmerizing" a young pianist into regaining her eyesight, after all hope for a medical cure had been lost.  

Doctors have long dismissed the placebo effect as inferior to conventional medical treatments that sometimes fail where placebo works well, including in surgical procedures like arthroscopy, a popular procedure that relieves the pain of arthritic knees. 

Dave Granlund / DaveGranlund.com

The polling industry is in transition. Fewer people consider it their civic duty to participate -- less than ten percent today compared to 80 percent two decades ago -- and pollsters haven't yet figured out how to effectively capture public opinion using cell phones and online surveys. 

Jill Hoy

Jon Imber was at the peak of his career as an accomplished artist and teacher when he was diagnosed with ALS in the fall of 2012. "Imber's Left Hand," a documentary about Jon's life as ALS claimed the use of his dominant right hand, will air on April 5 at the Hartford Jewish Film Festival. 

Scott Liddell / Creative Commons

In 2013, over 1,000 gold coins were found by a couple walking their dog on their property in Sierra Nevada, California. A rainstorm exposed the rusted can holding the gold coins. They soon found additional rusted cans, all holding gold coins dating from 1847 to 1894. The face value of the coins was just under $28,000. Today's market value is about $10 million.

North Country Public Radio

Reporters describe Donald Trump events as frightening and unsettling for those in the media. Trump relegates the media  to rectangular pens they're not allowed to leave, singles out reporters with personal insults and refuses entry to those he doesn't like, and whips up his crowds against reporters he says are "very dishonest people." Will there be a free press under a President Trump?

Alan Cleaver / Creative Commons

Pre-prohibition research into alcohol use and consumption was wiped out when the country dried out in the 1920s. In response, American "alcohol science" was created in the post-prohibition era to bring alcohol abuse into the medical realm, triggering a cultural explosion between advocates on each side of the wet/dry divide. It was in this arena that Alcoholics Anonymous was born. 

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