Where We Live Where We Live is a call-in talk show about who we are in Connecticut and our place in the world.
Where We Live

Where We Live

From Connecticut Public Radio

Where We Live is a call-in talk show about who we are in Connecticut and our place in the world.

Most Recent Episodes

Exploring the origins and evolution of the Peace Corps

The Peace Corps has evolved over years, faced controversy and has made an international impact on poverty. Today, we talk to one of the architects of the Peace Corps living in Connecticut. After hearing President John F. Kennedy speak about the Peace Corps, Dan Sharp was inspired to join. He became instrumental in establishing diplomatic relations between other countries and making the Peace Corps the behemoth it is today as well. Training and volunteering for the Peace Corps or any service organization is a rigorous experience. Have you volunteered with a service organization? We want to hear from you. GUESTS: Dan Sharp: Peace Corps founding member Khari Brown: President and CEO of Spark the Journey Tasha Prados: Branding & marketing strategist, digital nomad creator & travel writer. She served with the Peace Corps from 2011 to 2013 Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Addressing the 'waste crisis': Possible solutions and regional trends

Connecticut's waste management crisis is already a top-ticket item for lawmakers. Before the latest legislative session began, newly-appointed Environmental Committee Chair State Sen. Rick Lopes told the CT Examiner he was focused on finding solutions. The State Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has been sounding the alarm since 2020, when Commissioner Katie Dykes said the dwindling options for waste disposal posed a "silent crisis." In July of last year, one of five of the state's waste-to-energy plants ground to a halt, offloading up to one-third of Connecticut's waste out-of-state. In recent years, DEEP has offered grants to support pay-as-you-throw programs and food collection services, hoping to help towns and cities stem the tide of trash. Food scrap collection is already bring offered in Middletown, Meriden and West Haven. This hour, we hear from Waste Dive editor Cole Rosengren, as well as the recycling director for the nearby Cambridge, Massachusetts, where citywide food waste collection is now a mainstay. Plus, Alaina Wood is a climate communicator who goes by The Garbage Queen. She takes your questions. GUESTS: Cole Rosengren: Lead Editor, Waste Dive Mike Orr: Recycling Director, Dept. of Public Works for Cambridge, Massachusetts Alaina Wood: Climate Communicator AKA The Garbage Queen Cat Pastor contributed to this episode which originally aired January 20, 2023. Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

In 'Reciprocity Project,' Indigenous voices reframe our relationship to the Earth

In one episode of the docu-series Reciprocity Project, Connecticut-based educator and member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe Chris Newell teaches acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma a pow-wow song. Together, they play at sunrise, "singing up the sun" in the tradition of the Wabanaki or People of the Dawnland, a confederation of four tribes in Maine including Passamaquoddy. This hour, we hear about this film series from Newell and executive producer Tracy Rector, and about the increasing urgency of centering Indigenous perspectives on our planet and the climate. The series is intended to inspire conversation and action on climate; "to create a paradigm shift that reframes our relationships to the Earth, other living beings, and one another." Plus, a conversation on the Native food movement with Navajo journalist and podcaster Andi Murphy. GUESTS: Chris Newell: Co-Founder and Director of Education, Akowmawt Educational Initiative; Member of the Passamaquaddy Tribe; Museum Educator; Children's Book Author Tracy Rector: Managing Director of Storytelling, Nia Tero; Executive Producer, Reciprocity Project Jennifer Kreisberg: Composer; Member of the Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina Andi Murphy: Navajo Journalist; Host, Toasted Sister Podcast Where We Live is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode! Cat Pastor contributed to this show which originally aired February 10, 2023. Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

In 'Reciprocity Project,' Indigenous voices reframe our relationship to the Earth

'Transforming Corrections': Highlighting resources for reentry

Willard Correctional Institution in Enfield will be the third prison in Connecticut to close in two years. Connecticut Mirror's Jaden Edison reports that prison admissions have decreased by more than 11,600 people since 2013. "The most recent increase came in the last fiscal year, when admissions rose by more than 4,300 people," Edison says, "though the numbers are far below pre-pandemic levels." This hour, Edison joins us to discuss the closures, and the resources required to smooth reentry. Plus, Connecticut Public investigative reporter Bria Lloyd previews the latest CPTV "Cutline" all about "transforming corrections" in Connecticut. Luis Luna uses radio and music as a tool in organizing and educating. He's a WPKN radio producer who co-produces Abolition Transmission, "a radio show produced collectively by incarcerated abolitionists across the country." He joins us to discuss their latest episode, focused on Connecticut prisons. GUESTS: Jaden Edison: Justice Reporter, Connecticut Mirror Bria Lloyd: Investigative Reporter, The Accountability Project at Connecticut Public Luis Luna: Co-Creator, Abolition Transmission; Radio Producer, WPKN; Community Organizer, HUSKY for Immigrants Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

How are lawmakers addressing Connecticut's housing crisis?

Connecticut is in the midst of a housing crisis. About 34 percent of residents are paying more than a third of their income to housing costs. That's according to the Connecticut Mirror. From subsidizing construction to studying rent stabilization, lawmakers are currently figuring out how to best address the state's housing crisis. Rent caps were one of the many housing-related policies being debated at the state capitol this session. But just last week, the state legislature's Housing Committee decided not to bring the rent cap bill forward for a committee vote. That's despite a report from affordable housing advocates that says 72 percent of Connecticut voters expressing support for rent caps. This hour, we check in on housing reform in the state. Plus, lawmakers are also taking up the issue of birth control access this session. We get the latest on legislation that would allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control. GUESTS: Ginny Monk: Children's Issues and Housing Reporter, Connecticut Mirror Jacqueline Rabe Thomas: Investigative Reporter, Hearst CT Media Luis Quintero: Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University Christine Stuart: Editor-in-Chief, CT News Junkie Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Finding solutions to slow the fast-fashion cycle

Where do our clothes come from? According to the Textile Exchange, 52% of our clothes are made from polyester. Fast fashion is an enormous industry, allowing us to purchase low cost clothing quickly and efficiently. But the toll these companies take on the environment is significant, and the workplace conditions for the factories that create these products are questionable at best. Building sustainable, ethical practices into the fashion industry will be a challenge, but it's not impossible. There are ways to slow down the fast fashion cycle, and build better quality fabrics. Today, we talk about these solutions and what fashion brands can do to build sustainability. We learn ways to slow down the fast fashion cycle. Lucianne Tonti, a fashion consultant and author of the new book Sundressed: Natural Fibres and the Future of Fashion joins us. We'll also hear from Reboot Eco, a zero waste and swap shop in Middletown, Connecticut. What does shopping look like for you? Do you thrift for your clothes, or prefer the convenience of shopping online? GUESTS: Miriah Kelly: Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, Southern Connecticut State University Lucianne Tonti - consultant for sustainable designers and author of Sundressed: Natural Fibres and the Future of Fashion Yasemin Ugurlu - Founder and Owner of Reboot Eco Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

A look at the local news landscape, and how to spot 'pink slime' journalism

Some 2,500 local newspapers have closed in the United States since 2005, 55 of which were in Connecticut. Researchers at the Northwestern Medill Local News Initiative have mapped out gaps in local coverage, marking "news deserts" across the country, including our own Tolland County, Connecticut's "quiet corner." Still, there are 20 online news organizations, 13 ethnic media outlets, and five public radio broadcasting stations filling the void where we live, including Connecticut Public. And those researchers say they're fielding more and more calls from hopeful newcomer newspapers. One new paper recently popped up in Connecticut called the Winsted Citizen, initially linked to longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader. We'll hear from their editor and publisher Andy Thibault. But first, journalist Ryan Zickgraf coined the term "pink slime journalism" to refer to low-quality journalism disguised as local news. Ten years later, he says the problem has evolved. Plus, UConn journalism professor Amanda Crawford and FreePress senior counsel Nora Benavidez join us. GUESTS: Ryan Zickgraf: Journalist Amanda J. Crawford: Assistant Professor of Journalism, University of Connecticut Nora Benevidez: Senior Counsel and Director of Digital Justice and Civil Rights, FreePress Andy Thibault: Editor and Publisher, Winsted Citizen Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

A look at the local news landscape, and how to spot 'pink slime' journalism

'Our Red Book': Everyone has a period story

After collecting oral histories from generations of women in her family in "My Little Red Book," Rachel Kauder Nalebuff created Our Red Book, an extended project reflecting the experience of people of all races, ages and genders around the world. But there's so much stigma and misinformation around periods. This hour, three Connecticut-based contributors featured in her book join us, breaking down this bloody topic. GUESTS: Rachel Kauder Nalebuff: Editor, Our Red Book Michelle Memran: Documentary Filmmaker Kica Matos: New Haven-based Immigration Rights Activist and Organizer Axel Gay: Teen Writer Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Going green with your self-care

When you're searching for personal care products, whether a bar of soap or a bottle of lotion, are you reading the ingredients label? What harmful ingredients should be avoided? A recent study from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found potential links between the regular use of hair straightening products like relaxers that contained "formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing chemicals," and uterine cancer, prompting a new federal lawsuit. There have been similarly troubling findings and lawsuits around some deodorants containing benzene, and powders containing talc contaminated with asbestos. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame found PFAS, sometimes called "forever chemicals," in 52% of cosmetics. Only a fraction of those products listed PFAS on the label. This hour, we hear from local makers who are focused on safe and natural ingredients. Plus, the Environmental Working Group has been building a searchable database of different products and ingredients for almost two decades, hoping to make it easier for consumers to shop smart. GUESTS: Melanie Benesch: Vice President of Government Affairs, Environmental Working Group Sami Jo Artus: Founder and Chief Beauty Maker, florapothecarie Mecca Davis-Provite: Owner, Rootuals Natural Hair Care Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The future of voting rights in Connecticut

After losing the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump made false claims about voter fraud, reigniting efforts from Republicans to restrict voting access across the country. States like Florida, Texas, and Georgia all have passed sweeping voting restrictions. But here in Connecticut, the opposite has been true. There's been a push to expand voting access, after residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of early voting last November. Now, lawmakers in the state Capitol are figuring out what that could look like in Connecticut. This hour, we look at the state of voting rights in Connecticut and at the national level. GUESTS: Jaden Edison: Justice Reporter, The Connecticut Mirror Dr. Bilal Sekou: Hillyer College Associate Professor of Politics and Government, University of Hartford Jonathan Wharton: Associate Professor of Political Science and Urban Affairs, Southern Connecticut State University Ruth Greenwood: Director of the Election Law Clinic, Harvard Law School Support the show: http://wnpr.org/donate See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.