John Dankosky

VP, News/Host

John is Vice President of News for CPBN, and Host of Where We Live, twice recognized by PRNDI as America’s best public radio call-in show. He oversees WNPR’s talented and award-winning newsroom. You can also hear him as the regular fill-in host for the PRI program Science Friday in New York. He has worked as an editor at NPR in Washington, and reported for NPR and other national outlets on a variety of subjects.

As an editor, he has won national awards for his documentary work, and regularly works with NPR and member stations on efforts to collaborate in the public media system. As an instructor, John has held a chair in journalism and communications at Central Connecticut State University and been an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University. He is also a regular moderator for political debates and conversations at The Connecticut Forum , the Mark Twain House and Museum and The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. John began his radio career at WDUQ in Pittsburgh, his hometown.

Ways to Connect

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Will state lawmakers have a budget deal in place to be thankful for on Thursday? Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will bring you updates from the state capitol where time ticks away for an agreement on how to fix the state budget. 

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This hour, we hear three stories that all converge around the topic of China. 

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There was one moment in Tuesday's Republican presidential debate that reminded us of all those other unwieldy, freewheeling and circus-like debates that came before: Rand Paul getting cut off by Carly Fiorina, and then Donald Trump drawing boos for being Trump. For the most part, though, last night’s debate was much more orderly. It was so orderly that rarely did the candidates, who had complained so loudly about previous moderators, get challenged on any of their statements.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Municipal election day has come and gone in Connecticut. This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse checks in on three of the state's big races: Hartford, Bridgeport, and New London. We chat with reporters, hear from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, and take your comments and observations. Did you vote? If so, what was your experience like at the polls? 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

In the middle of bipartisan negotiations with state lawmakers over a gap in the current year budget, Governor Dannel Malloy's administration unveiled a new series of measures aimed at making the state budget more sustainable in the long run. But the problem and the fix are so complicated that he called it "a little mind-bending" in a meeting with reporters.

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This week, legislative leaders met with Governor Dannel Malloy to talk about the state's budget deficit. This hour, we review those talks with a panel of Capitol reporters.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

After weeks of dismissing the idea of a special session, more bad budget news is pushing Governor Dannel Malloy in that direction. On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss this and all the week's news, including an update on a plan by the state's Board of Regents that has professors fighting mad.

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America has seen a renaissance in storytelling of various forms, especially on the radio. This hour, we talk with two producers who are telling very different kinds of stories. Joe Richman has been putting tape recorders in the hands of people for nearly two decades as part of his Radio Diaries series heard on NPR. He's speaking at Quinnipiac University this week.

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A recent New York Times op-ed drew attention to Yale University’s endowment and how the money is spent. The report found more was spent on private equity fund managers than to students. This has prompted renewed debate and criticism over big endowments at big schools. But the argument isn’t new. This hour, a conversation with higher education experts about the management of endowment money at the nation’s elite schools.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is less than a year into his second term in office and it doesn’t look like it will be any easier than the first term.

The budget remains in a state of permanent fiscal crisis, forcing a $100 million cut to the budget, just months into a new fiscal year. Those cuts, especially the ones hitting social services and hospitals, have been criticized by Republicans and Democrats alike, and there are calls from editorial boards for a special session to reinstate some of the funding and find new ways to plug budget holes. 

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It wasn’t that many years ago that gambling was seen as a pretty good bet when it comes to improving the state’s economic situation. In Connecticut, two tribal casinos were thriving and spinning off slot revenues into the general fund. Then came the recession and declining revenues just as other states started to get into the gambling business.

Now, in a move that couldn’t have been predicted a decade ago, both state tribes have agreed to work together on a new casino to help stave off a threat from Massachusetts. That plan is now under legal attack.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut is waking up on Thursday learning who the nominees are for important mayors’ jobs around the state. And it's a little bit of a surprise. All three Democratic incumbents in Bridgeport, Hartford, and New London lost their respective races.

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When Senator Richard Blumenthal announced that he would support the deal struck between the Obama administration and Iran over that country’s nuclear program, it all but assured that the plan would go through without congressional obstacles. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With a week to go before the Hartford Democratic primary, mayoral candidate Luke Bronin stops by for our Where We Vote series. Incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra was our guest last month and today, we meet his biggest challenger for what is expected to be a tight primary race. We discuss the politics of this race, his plans for the capital city if he's elected, and how his administration would be different from his opponent's.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The 2016 presidential race is well underway, but the race for a Connecticut Senate seat is still in its infancy. A new challenger announced his potential bid against incumbent Sen. Richard Blumenthal who had "no comment" about Larry Kudlow's political ambitions.

Thomas Autumn / Creative Commons

A recent New York Times op-ed drew attention to Yale University’s endowment and how the money is spent. The report found more was spent on private equity fund managers than to students. This has prompted renewed debate and criticism over big endowments at big schools. But the argument isn’t new. This hour, a conversation with higher education experts about the management of endowment money at the nation’s elite schools.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is in the midst of a tight re-election campaign against Democratic challenger Luke Bronin. After walking out of his party’s endorsement convention, Segarra gathered enough signatures to get on the ballot for the September primary. The mayor stops by our studios to discuss his record, plans for the future of the capital city, and the close race he's in.

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Is General Electric really looking to leave the state? What’s Connecticut doing to try to keep them? That’s one of the stories we’re talking about on The Wheelhouse, our weekly news roundtable. Also, there's another round of musical chairs in state government and Governor Dan Malloy brings his support of Hillary Clinton to the Granite State.

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The Litchfield Jazz Festival celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year, and we’ll be broadcasting from the site of the festival’s jazz camp - which exposes young musicians to some of the best instructors in the world of jazz. The festival is also celebrating the groundbreaking Connecticut composer and saxophonist Tom Chapin - we’ll hear from those who remember him.

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The city of Hartford has seen 19 homicides so far this year, the same number as all of 2014. While there’s nothing new about an increase in violence during the summer months, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has admitted the police force needs help. He called on the state to provide more manpower and resources. 

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When Donald Trump talked about Mexicans as “rapists,” one might have thought, “that’s the craziest statement I’ve heard from a political candidate in a long time.” Which he then followed up by questioning John McCain’s war hero status. The outcome? Trump’s only risen in the polls.

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A scathing new report from the office of the state child advocate lists a series of troubling problems at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the new Pueblo girls unit. State child advocate Sarah Eagan said the conditions in the jails put children there in state custody in physical and emotional harm. Now the state DCF has responded with a promise of change. We’ll talk about what’s in this report.

Also, we’ll sit down with a Yale Law professor who is on President Obama’s task force examining policing, as America grapples with a series of deaths of African Americans after confrontations with police.

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The life of the black Republican is pretty lonely these days, but it hasn’t always been that way. Black Americans were deeply rooted in the party of Lincoln for decades to avoid joining a Democratic Party controlled by "devils from below the Mason-Dixon line."

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When Dustin Johnson missed that four-footer on the final hole in this year's U.S. Open that would've forced a playoff with eventual champion Jordan Spieth, he wasn't under this much pressure.

Joe Courtney, the mild-mannered Connecticut Congressman, had scored a spot in a weekend foursome with fellow House Democrats John Yarmuth of Kentucky, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, and the most famous lefty golfer this side of Phil Mickleson, President Barack Obama.

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 This hour, two education leaders discuss turnarounds of a very different type. In Bloomfield, not too many years ago, students struggled with some of the worst math scores in the state, and only about half of students went on to colleges. Those numbers have improved substantially over the last few years. We talk about the successes with the school superintendent, James Thompson.

Tom Tomorrow

This hour, we talk toons on the week that Bloom County returns. Local artist Dan Perkins (better known as Tom Tomorrow) has a new retrospective celebrating 25 years of his strip, This Modern World. His Kickstarter campaign to fund the book had an $87,000 goal and was surpassed in less than 22 hours. We also hear from the Hartford Courant’s always colorful Bob Englehart. Meanwhile, there's a new celebration of political cartoonist Art Young in Bethel.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

While all the other members of Connecticut's congressional delegation voted against it, Jim Himes has been a strong supporter of "fast track" trade authority, which allows the president to negotiate with 11 other Pacific nations.

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Water shapes our lives. From streams to rivers, bays to oceans, water defines not only topography, but the neighborhoods and culture around us. 

The Connecticut Mirror

Connecticut’s legislative session ended with a soft thud last week. There wasn’t quite the mad rush we're used to seeing as the clock ticked down. That means, lawmakers will have to return to the capitol for a special session. This hour on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we recap the long session and talk taxes, as business groups and even other states are jumping in with comments on the state's new tax plans.

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When NPR launched a network-wide “diversity project” in 2012, the aim was for the network to sound more like America. Three years later, race and diversity issues are in the news like never before –- from stories about immigration, to police conduct, to how we interact on social media. 

This hour, two leaders of NPR’s project join us to look more closely at how the media covers diversity, and how we talk about it in society.