Dialogue: 145 Amy Parmenter

January 14th Dialogue Show

Amy Parmenter, manager of public and government affairs for the AAA Allied Group.

Amy Parmenter, manager of public and government affairs for the AAA Allied Group.

This week on Dialogue, reporter Steve Kotchko interviews Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for the AAA.  Schwartz discusses the recent cold wave and snowstorm that pushed AAA’s emergency road crews to the limit.  She explains what you can do to get ready for winter’s next big challenge.  Parmenter discusses a new poll her agency is working on that will seek input from  Connecticut drivers on how the state should finance transportation projects.

Dialogue: 144: Bridgeport Democratic Mayor Joseph Ganim

January 7th Dialogue Show

Bridgeport Democratic Mayor Joseph Ganim, now a candidate for governor of Connecticut.

Bridgeport Democratic Mayor Joseph Ganim, now a candidate for governor of Connecticut.

This week on the new year’s first edition of Dialogue 2018, reporter Steve Kotchko interviews Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim, who is now a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor.  Ganim is asked if he believes voters will accept him as a candidate for governor after his conviction and prison sentence on federal corruption charges during his first go-round as Bridgeport’s major.  Ganim also explains how he will finance his campaign.  Due to his conviction, he is not eligible for public financing.  Ganim also addresses taxes, tolls, and the continuing deficit crisis.

Dialogue: 143 Ray Noonan

December 31st Dialogue Show

 

Ray Noonan, associate policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children.

Ray Noonan, associate policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children.

This week, reporter Steve Kotchko interviews Ray Noonan, an official at Connecticut Voices for Children.  Noonan explains a new analysis of census data that shows childhood poverty and the lack of health insurance for families actually are trending downward in Connecticut while the state’s median household income remained flat.  Noonan says despite some progress, changes in the state budget and federal policies still pose great risks for the wellbeing of children and families in Connecticut.

Dialogue: 142 Brenda Watson

December 24th Dialogue Show

Brenda Watson, acting director of Operation Fuel

Brenda Watson, acting director of Operation Fuel

This week on Dialogue, reporter Steve Kotchko interviews Brenda Watson, acting director of Operation Fuel.  Watson explains her non-profit’s 40-year history of helping low-income people cope with their winter heating bills.  She discusses the struggle many families go through trying to spread around their limited income to pay for fuel, food, and health care.  Watson explains that often, the combined resources of Operation Fuel, the utilities, the state and federal governments are not enough to resolve the financial stresses involved for people in need.

Dialogue: 141 Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman

December 17th Dialogue Show

Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman

Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman

This week on Dialogue, reporter Steve Kotchko interviews Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.  Wyman explains why she decided not to run for governor next year.  As chair of the state’s Health Care Cabinet, Wyman discussed Connecticut’s concerted effort to sign up individuals for Obamacare health insurance coverage, even as Republicans in Congress continue to attack the program.  Wyman also talks about the continuing budget deficit struggle at the State Capitol.

Dialogue: 140 Howard Schwartz

December 10th Dialogue Show

 

Howard Schwartz, executive communications director for the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.

Howard Schwartz, executive communications director for the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.

This week on Dialogue, reporter Steve Kotchko interviews Howard Schwartz, executive communications director for the Connecticut Better Business Bureau.  Schwartz offers advice on a variety of holiday-related shopping issues including local retail vs. online purchases, return and exchange policies, seasonal jobs, and being on the alert for scams.  Schwartz also discusses what to look for when considering various weight loss programs and fitness club memberships.

Dialogue: 139 Jay Kaplan

December 3rd Dialogue Show

 

Jay Kaplan, director of the Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton.

Jay Kaplan, director of the Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton.

This week on Dialogue, reporter Steve Kotchko interviews Jay Kaplan, director of the Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, about the annual Christmas Bird Count, taking place this month across Connecticut, as well as much of the rest of North America, and parts of Central America.  Kaplan talks about the history of the Count, now in its 118th year.  He discusses how the Count is conducted, and why this example of “citizen science” is important to the environment.

Dialogue: 138 Timothy Phelan

November 26th Dialogue Show

 

Timothy Phelan, president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association.

Timothy Phelan, president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association.

This week on Dialogue, reporter Steve Kotchko interviews Timothy Phelan, president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association.  Phelan offers predictions about the holiday buying season, now underway.  He also discusses the continuing challenges “brick and mortar” retailers face from ever-expanding online sales.  Phelan also talks about gift cards, after-Christmas sales, and “small business Saturdays.”

Dialogue: 137 State Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven)

November 19th Dialogue Show

State Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven).

State Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven).

This week on Dialogue, reporter Steve Kotchko interviews the top Democrat in the State Senate, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney.  Looney discusses the new state budget approved by lawmakers and signed by the governor.  He also talks about long-term state revenue problems, and how they might be resolved for the better.  Looney also discusses the political climate for the 2018 state elections.

Dialogue: 136 State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby)

November 12th Dialogue Show

 

State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby), State House Republican leader

State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby), State House Republican leader

This week on Dialogue 2017, reporter Steve Kotchko talks with State House Republican leader Rep. Themis Klarides (R-Derby).  Klarides discusses the long process that finally led to a new state budget being approved in a bipartisan legislative vote, and signed into law by Gov. Malloy on Halloween.  Klarides talks about structural changes in the budget she believes will be beneficial for Connecticut.  Klarides also discusses the possibility she may run for governor next year.

Dialogue: 135 Jim Wadleigh

November 5th Dialogue Show

Jim Wadleigh, CEO of Access Health CT

Jim Wadleigh, CEO of Access Health CT

This week on Dialogue, reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Jim Wadleigh, CEO of Access Health CT.  Wadleigh discusses all the issues facing his program that runs “Obamacare” in Connecticut.  This includes Trump administration efforts to undercut the program by cutting federal subsidies and funding to pay for outreach on individual health care plans.  He also addresses what Access Health CT is doing to insure enrollment for 2018 despite a shorter sign-up period and fewer insurance carriers.

Dialogue: 134 Mick Bolduc

October 29th Dialogue Show

 

Mick Bolduc, epidemiologist at the State Department of Public Health.

Mick Bolduc, epidemiologist at the State Department of Public Health.

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Mick Bolduc, epidemiologist at the State Health Department about the importance of getting a flu shot this fall.  He discusses the seriousness of flu as an illness and how each year’s vaccine is developed and distributed to protect public health.  Bolduc also comments on this week’s news that federal health officials will recommend a new vaccine for protection against the shingles virus.

Dialogue: 133 Bill Seymour

October 22nd Dialogue Show

Bill Seymour, chief of staff at the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Bill Seymour, chief of staff at the State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko interviews DMV chief of staff Bill Seymour.  In the show, Seymour discusses the DMV’s ongoing work to promote teen driving safety, including the start of the annual high school video competition to create teen driving safety messages.  Seymour also offers data to show Connecticut’s nationally-recognized teen driving restrictions have saved lives.  The DMV official discusses teen input into state decisions on driving rules for young people.

Dialogue: 132 Alan Bruce

October 15th Dialogue Show

 

Alan Bruce, professor of sociology at Quinnipiac University.

Alan Bruce, professor of sociology at Quinnipiac University.

This week on Dialogue 2017 reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Alan Bruce, professor of sociology at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.  Bruce explains why he and 150 other professors, scholars, and law enforcement officials signed a letter urging the news media to change the way they cover mass killings such as the Las Vegas incident.  Bruce discusses how extensive media coverage could impact or encourage other troubled individuals to act on their impulses.

Dialogue: 131 Ron Pinciaro

October 8th Dialogue Show

 

Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting incident.  Pinciaro discusses the prospects for gun control legislation in Congress to respond to the wave of mass shootings, and he also warns of possible Congressional consideration of bills to loosen gun regulations.  Pinciaro discusses why the National Rifle Association continues to have great influence in Washington, despite national polls showing Americans favor passage of universal background checks on all gun sales in the U.S.

Dialogue: 130 Phillip Cunningham

October 1st Dialogue Show

Phillip Cunningham, assistant prof. of media studies at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

Phillip Cunningham, assistant prof. of media studies at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

This week on Dialogue 2017 Steve Kotchko talks with Phillip Cunningham, assistant professor of media studies at Quinnipiac University, about the “take a knee” controversy in the NFL.  Cunningham says sports and politics have collided many time in America.  He offers historical perspective and looks into the racial elements that fuel the current controversy that has preoccupied news and sports media.

Dialogue: 129 Steven Reviczky

September 24th Dialogue Show

State Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky.

State Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky.

This week on Dialogue, Steve Kotchko talks with State Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky, recently elected as president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the first Connecticut commissioner chosen for the post in the group’s 100-year history.  Reviczky discusses national issues facing the agriculture industry, and offers an update on how Connecticut agricultural interests are faring in 2017.

Dialogue: 128 Mary Sotos

September 17th Dialogue Show

Mary Sotos, Deputy Commissioner for Energy at the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

Mary Sotos, Deputy Commissioner for Energy at the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Mary Sotos, Deputy Commissioner for Energy at the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  Sotos explains why Connecticut is updating its comprehensive energy strategy and why this detailed plan is important.  She discusses related energy issues including natural gas supplies, wind power, solar power, and how the state and federal governments may differ on energy policy.

Dialogue: 127 Donna Swanson

September 10th Dialogue Show

Donna Swanson.jpg

This week on Dialogue reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Donna Swanson, executive director of the FOCUS Center for Autism in Canton.  Swanson explains autism as an illness, and the so-called autism “spectrum” that covers various ways autism presents itself in children.  Swanson offers parents advice on how to get a diagnosis for a child potentially affected by autism and what treatments and strategies are available after a positive diagnosis.  She also discusses the challenges of educating children with autism.

Dialogue: 126 Lori Pelletier

September 3rd Dialogue Show

Lori Pelletier, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO.

Lori Pelletier, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO.

This week on Dialogue 2017 reporter Steve Kotchko talks with Lori Pelletier, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO on this Labor Day weekend.  In the program, Pelletier discusses the current state of organized labor, the effects of the prolonged state budget battle, how labor relates to the Trump administration, and challenges facing unions in the future.