Steve Kraske | KCUR

Steve Kraske

Host of Up to Date

Steve got a call out of the blue one day from then-news director Frank Morris who asked if I would be interested in hosting a show. I said no...didn't think I had the time...then thought it over and changed my mind. So glad I did. Our focus of late has been on race and the plight of the poor in Kansas City with shows on health disparities, housing, the sky-high maternal death rate in Missouri, how technology undermines the poor and how immigrants are faring in our community -- all topics of critical importance. Steve loves two things that, chances are, you don't: jazz and the Andy Griffith Show. Now there's a combination for you...

Ways to Connect

The Coronavirus Q&A, Is It Safe To Go To The Bank?

Mar 18, 2020
Curology / Unsplash

Panelists answered questions regarding the coronavirus and the resources available in the Kansas City area to diagnose and treat.

As part of special coverage of the novel coronavirus, KCUR 89.3 opened the phone lines to answer your questions. From hospital preparedness to mental health to where to find social services, our panel of experts fielded questions from around the metro including one senior in need of cash who wanted to know if even the drive-through at the bank could put her at risk.  

Steinar Engeland / Unsplash

Segment 1: How sports journalists are adapting to a lack of sporting events.

The coronavirus has proven to be a huge disruption in the world of athletics. Aside from professional teams suspending seasons (to the dismay of thousands), sports journalists are also facing a major shift in how they find and report stories.

Segment 1: Kansas' 2020 Democractic presidential primary will will work a little differently this year.

The 39 Democratic delegates in Kansas aren't up for grabs until May 2, but the voting process will look different from a traditional caucus. Voters this year will participate in a rank-choice system, in which Democrats will rank their top five candidates.

DimitrI Karastelev / Unsplash

AUDIO FROM THIS BROADCAST IS NOT AVAILABLE

Segment 1: Understanding the basics of what a virus is

With the increase in COVID-19 cases in this country, questions are swirling around the novel coronavirus. We thought this a good time for a Virology 101 primer. Gene Olinger described how viruses work, why they like humans, and why it is difficult to kill a virus once it enters our bodies.

Segment 1: How local churches are finding their way in the midst of coronavirus

Houses of worship have long served as a safe place for some people to gather in times of fear and uncertainty. But when large gatherings pose a threat to health, where do people turn? Today, we learn what three local churches are doing to serve their congregants while ensuring their health and safety are protected.

Segment 1: Answering your medical questions about coronavirus

The spread of coronavirus has monopolized the world’s attention and people have a lot of questions, understandably. Today, two medical experts look to answer them, and clear up some of the panic.

Segment 1: Lenexa, Kansas, is reconsidering its rules around homeless shelters.

Zoning restrictions in Lenexa caused a stir this winter because they precluded the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church from operating a homeless shelter on their campus, which is an old school. A temporary solution was reached, but now the city is taking another look at how it regulates shelters. With possible changes on the horizon, advocates for those experiencing homelessness share their thoughts on the process and its outcomes.

Segment 1: Kansas City health experts on keeping your family prepared

With cases of COVID-19 popping up in Missouri and Kansas, we talk with local doctors about prudent precautions to keep your family safe, and to keep the virus from spreading. We also ask how and if Kansas City's most vulnerable — children and the elderly — are being affected. 

Segment 1: One proposed bill in Kansas legislature would allow state prisoners expected to die to be released  sooner.

Although the bill would extend Kansas' current 30-day compassionate release statute to 120 days, State Representative Highberger, said that it would only be "a drop in the bucket" for easing the state's prison overcrowding problem. We learned how the stalemate between abortion rights and Medicaid expansion may have resulted in other potential prison reform legislation being overlooked.

Segment 1: The Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods funds new initiative against violent crime in Kansas City, Missouri.

Segment 1: A career change introduced one man to the hidden flaws of the American justice system.

Jason Hardy's time as a parole and probation officer in Louisiana revealed a system that makes a prisoner's re-entry into society difficult. Today, he describes the misinterpreted freedom of being released from incarceration and the unfavorable working conditions for officers.

Segment 1: "Our infrastructure isn't an asset, it's a liability," said architect Dennis Strait.

In recent years many cities, including our own, have become seemingly unaffordable, not just for the people responsible for running and operating them, but for those who live and work in them as well. So what can be done to make Kansas City a more budget-friendly place?

Segment 1: Kansas State University could be a testing ground for rebranding white nationalism, a new report says.

A report from the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights concluded that white nationalists are attempting to mainstream their image and ideology, and they're using college campuses to do so. Not only are college campuses full of people ready to learn about different ideas, they're also notable platforms for protecting free speech.

Segment 1: Almost 35,000 Missourians have received medical marijuana ID cards but have nowhere to buy legally.

Despite being approved by voters in late 2018, state officials estimate that the earliest medical cannabis will be available for purchase will be this June or July. It could be a year for all 192 state-certified dispensaries to be up and running. Once open the price of products will be determined by market forces and competing with marijuana sold on the street.

Segment 1: Is it time for voters to select Johnson County's election commissioner? 

In the four most populous counties in Kansas voters do not select their election commissioner. Johnson County is one of those where the position is filled by appointment by the secretary of state. County commissioners explained why that is, whether that process should continue and what some alternatives would look like.

Segment 1: The rise of mass media has changed a president's ability to communicate.

Advancements in technology have provided modern presidents a more direct means of communication with their countrymen. Today, a leading expert in presidential rhetoric explores the rise of mass media and how presidents have adapted to communication innovations.

Segment 1: What is a non-disclosure agreement? 

After Sen. Elizabeth Warren publicly questioned fellow Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg's use of NDAs, these contractual documents made headlines around the country. Today, we discussed what the agreements are, how they are used and who they benefit.

Segment 1: "We need to make sure that we're being responsible with every dollar," said Mayor Quinton Lucas.

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas wants to allocate $1.7 billion in the latest city budget, but key stakeholders worry it isn't enough to do everything that needs to be done. He's also catching heat for a proposed budget that cuts a great deal of funding to the arts.

Segment 1: Missouri looks to start opening medical marijuana dispensaries in June.

Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services has issued licenses for 192 medical marijuana dispensaries since a voter approved initiative for medical cannabis passed in 2018. Once patients are able to start purchasing, and in some cases growing, the product, the state could look to issue more dispensary licenses based on supply and demand.

Segment 1: Odds are good that sports betting won't be illegal in Missouri for much longer.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago that states have the power to legalize sports betting, and 2020 may be the year that the Missouri General Assembly gives it the green light. If new tax revenue from legalized sports gambling in Iowa is any indication, the initiative could be a moneymaker for the Show-Me State. 

Segment 1: Just because mental health services exist, doesn't mean that access to them is equitable.

As many as 56% of adults in the U.S. report that they are unable to receive the treatment they need for their mental illness, and there's no quick fix for the obstacles in their way. Organizations in Kansas City sare working to reach everyone who needs help, but they have a long way to go.

Segment 1: Can trust in the American electoral system be restored?

As the 2020 election season takes shape, the fairness and security of our electoral systems are being questioned by regular voters, politicians and the intelligence community alike. From voter supression to foreign influence campaigns, we get a threat assessment for electoral integrity in the U.S.

Segment 1: When it comes to what makes a president's speech memorable "ideas are the most important thing."

Rhetoric expert Robert Rowland acknowledged that not every U.S. president has produced a memorable speech like Lincoln's second inaugural address. Rowland laid out the ingredients found in the ones that have stood the test of time and gave examples of those which met or missed the criteria, including speeches by Reagan, Obama and Trump.

Segment 1: President of Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City optimistic for 2020 but  keeping an eye out for what's ahead

Playing the long game with the economy is a crucial part of Esther George's job as a Federal Reserve Bank president, but she knows she can't lose sight of how people make financial decisions in real-time.  Plus, in an economy that seems to be doing well, George still has to do a balancing act between the positives and pitfalls that exist no matter how well the current situation looks. 

Segment 1: Weaving a memorable presidential speech is a difficult art.

A good speech can do wonders for a those who deliver them, but behind many famous orations are the writers who craft them. From George Washington's innaugural address, written by James Madison, to Richard Nixon's efforts to formalize the speechwriter position, the efforts of these writers have literally served to narrate history.

Segment 1: Missouri Republicans want to see a "Cleaner Missouri" version of an initiative voters passed in 2018.

Missouri Republicans argue that Amendment 1, also known as Clean Missouri, is biased when it comes to drawing legislative boundaries, and that the state's Democratic Party will get an unfair number of seats in the General Assembly. Now, a so-called "Cleaner Missouri" proposal has been introduced. Proponents say it will not only expand upon some of the original initiative's language, but it will also make redistricting more fair. 

Segment 1: Why the Shawnee Mission School Board authorized controversial teacher contract.

Failed contract negotiations between teachers and administrators in the Shawnee Mission School District resulted in the district's Board of Education unilaterally approving a three-year contract. Members of the school board explained some of the complexities of the situation and discussed what options remain for teachers.

Segment 1: "When the Chiefs needed to pick up the yards, Damien Williams was there," said sports reporter Kennetra Pulliams.

In the wake of an historic Chiefs Super Bowl win, we discussed what went right on Sunday, which players could have also been in the running for MVP, and what the future could hold for the team. Plus, what Kansas City learned from the 2015 World Series parade when it comes to port-a-potties and keeping track of children.

Segment 1: "Tough love, to me, means you love fiercely but not uncritically," said Susan Rice. 

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice recounted stories of her time as the 24th national security advisor, and what it was like to work so closely with President Barack Obama. Today, we take a second listen to a conversation on some of the best and worst things she saw during her time in Washington.

Segment 1: "Kansas City wants to end homelessness," said Josh Henges.

The Veterans Community Project gained national attention in 2018 by using tiny homes to help end veteran homelessness in Kansas City. Two years later and the initiative has expanded to several other states. 

Segment 2, beginning at 24:16: Can mushrooms save Earth?

Pages