holidays | KCUR

holidays

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. 

Kyle Palmer / KCUR 89.3

With a day and a half to go before Christmas, the Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri needs a late push to meet its yearly fundraising goal of $1.2 million.

Major David Harvey says they still need to raise around $400,000.

Adding insult to injury, the Salvation Army vans in the Northland were damaged over the weekend — vandals stole catalytic converters and punched holes in the gas tanks. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Holiday traditions sometimes start in unlikely ways.

Case in point: Gerald Dunn and Kansas City's Musicians Appreciation Day, which these days offers live music for the public and free health screenings and fresh produce for musicians of all genres.

It started years ago as a chance encounter between Dunn, director of entertainment at the American Jazz Museum and Blue Room general manager, and tenor saxophonist Eddie Saunders, who died in 2012.

Segment 1: Some institutions of higher education use tracking software to assess prospective applicants.

Segment 1: Why it's so important that kids make it to class.

Between the years 2013 and 2016, Kansas City Public Schools staffers falsified attendance records, presumably to help the district regain full accreditation. Why is it so hard for kids to get to school in the first place, though? Also, what is really at stake for schools when they don't show up and what can we reasonably expect educators to do about it?

Segment 1: Reporters unravel the dysfunction that plagues government in one Missouri county.

Clay County, Missouri, residents want answers as to how their commissioners are making decisions. The county is currently embroiled in legal wrangling with the state auditor and the county sheriff, and citizens are complaining their voices are not being heard. Journalists covering the situation say they've "never seen a series of actions quite like this."

How to impress this holiday season without driving yourself nuts.

Our expert Kansas City hosts include a restaurateur who feeds people like they're her personal dinner guests and a bartender who makes strangers feel like friends.

Segment 1: Thanksgiving's got us thinking about turkey (and duck and quail and pheasant).

Hunters and chefs are making plans for fall birds. From the key to a good brine to the effect of flooding on duck season, we get the inside story. Plus, the food critics help us find the best places to go in Kansas City for the fowl-less-eaten.

Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

"The Nutcracker" is a December tradition for audiences big and small, at elaborate productions by professional dance companies as well as small dance studios. In recent years, however, more people have expressed discomfort with stereotypes of Asians in the Chinese Dance in the Land of the Sweets.

On Friday, the Kansas City Ballet announced the company has signed on to a national campaign called Final Bow for Yellowface, a pledge to remove outdated caricatures. 

Courtesy / Creative Commons

The merriment and mirth it's assumed we experience during the holiday season can lead to disappointment, anxiety and, in some cases, depression.

The American Psychological Association reports that the expectation of  “gift-giving, decorating, feasting and family gathering" can lead to holiday-related stress or the "holiday blues."

Toy guns have been a popular item on Christmas gift wish lists for decades. Little Ralphie Parker from the 1983 holiday classic A Christmas Story spends most of the movie wishing for a “Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle.”

Many toy guns look more real than toy, however, which has city officials, law enforcement and safety experts across the country urging parents to use extreme caution when purchasing them for children.

Sharice Davids campaign

Segment 1: Women have made strides as candidates, but are still looking to break through as campaign managers and advisors. 

Some have called 2018 another "Year of the Woman" in politics — but not everyone. A record number of women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, but many had to fight to be taken seriously as candidates. Today we discussed the accomplishments and future goals for women in politics.

Segment 1: What would we be doing if we weren't on Facebook?

Eric Winkler

 

Segment 1: A new report shows mid-sized cities are better positioned to see faster growth.

NASA

Fifty years ago on Christmas Eve, the astronauts of Apollo 8 — the first humans to leave Earth’s gravity — orbited the moon, photographing its dark side and witnessed the first view of an earthrise.

Broadcasting back to Houston, they offered a Christmas greeting to those on Earth, where one in four people were watching the televised event.

Jeff Fudge / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: Barbecue, jazz, and historical sights connect visitors with the soul of the city. 

Kansas Citians, prepare yourselves for a big year of tourism in 2019. National Geographic listed KC as one of the world's most exciting destinations for the year ahead. Today, we talked with an editor-in-chief at National Geographic Traveler about the appeal of our Midwestern city compared to other exotic places on the list. 

Segment 1: A make-over with the Fab Five.

The owner and chef of Succotash in Kansas City recently food-styled the lifestyle book: "Love Yourself, Love Your Life.”

Segment 2, beginning at 16:43: How to stock your holiday bar.

CC - eggrole / Flickr

Segment 1: Medical cannabis is now legal in Missouri, but doctors are not trained on how to prescribe the drug. 

It's been two weeks since Missourians voted to allow the use of medical marijuana in the state. However, because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, research on its efficacy and side effects is limited. The executive dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences spoke to concerns physicians have about recommending a drug they don't know enough about.

Segment 1: The finale of My Fellow Kansans.

This election season was a doozy in Kansas. So we look back with one last episode of My Fellow Kansans, exploring the outcome of the governor's race and putting it in context.

Segment 2, beginning at 21:25: The marching band experience.

Marching bands keep spectator spirits high. But there's more to it than the music. KCUR intern Sofia Gillespie brings us this story.

Strawberry Swing

There’s no reason to just give a gift this holiday season when you can give the gift of Kansas City. These holiday craft and art sales will make shopping thoughtfully, and locally, simple.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR

Witches and vampires are classic Halloween costumes and perennial favorites, but costume shop owners say Halloween trends also reflect what's happening outside of the holiday  – such as the last Presidential election and when the Kansas City Royals won the World Series. 

So what's in this year in Kansas City?

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The New Year is a natural time for people to reflect on years past, and look for ways to improve their lots going forward. Today, we do too. First, we discuss the dilemmas American history educators face when teaching inclusive lessons about such a diverse country. After that, a hard look at resolutions. We get expert advice from some very motivated people, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's personal trainer. They share tips about making resolutions you can keep, and keeping the resolutions that you make.

Danie Alexander / KCUR 89.3

Have a little last minute shopping to do for the young bookworms on your list? With a visit to your local bookstore, and these recommendations from the Johnson County Librarians, you'll be all set. Today, the librarians give us their reading pics for tots to teens and all the kids in-between. 

Guests: 

  • Debbie McCleod, retired librarian.
  • Elena McVicar, youth collections librarian.
  • Dennis Ross, youth services supervisor.

Books:

Shelby L. Bell / Google Images -- CC

It's the time of year when KC expats come home for the holidays. We take a look at the restaurant meals that they have to have during their visit, and a chat with a KC native whose New York barbeque restaurant has become a hangout for homesick Kansas Citians.

Plus: we say goodbye to Fun House Pizza in Raytown, which is closing after 53 years, and our Food Critics search out the best pizza in and around town.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

Every once in a while, a Kansas City band releases an original Christmas song. But it’s unusual for area musicians to put out an entire album of holiday standards.

That’s what the bluegrass band Old Sound did this year, but making it happen involved something like a Christmas miracle.

“This is one those instances where the universe starts kind of opening up and giving you signs,” says guitarist Chad Brothers.

Courtesy The Floozies

The Floozies, a Lawrence based electro-funk duo, are one of the region’s most popular party bands. Their celebratory, dance-oriented concerts, accentuated with colorful lighting and video displays, have made the band a fixture on the summer festival circuit.

Brothers Mark (drums) and Matt (guitar) Hill have been honing their self-described “future funk” for more than a decade. In September they released their most fully realized album, the irreverently titled "Funk Jesus."

Danie Alexander / KCUR 89.3

Before reaching for a bottle of red or white from California, Italy or France, you might think again about shopping a little more close-to-home. Today, Master Sommelier Doug Frost returns to give us the low-down on the award-winning local vino that deserves your attention, and which bottles are garnering attention from winemakers around the country.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

In the early 20th century, people didn't have a lot of options for making the tradition of unwrapping gifts more festive. They'd cover packages with brown shipping paper or newspaper, or sometimes wallpaper or fabric.

Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards, Inc., gets credit for starting the modern-day gift wrap industry 100 years ago, an invention created out of necessity during the holiday season. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

As always during this season, Kansas City musicians are booked for holiday gatherings.

"Christmas is the busiest time of year. We all have a million gigs," says Johnny Hamil, an area bass player and teacher (among his efforts to promote his instrument, Hamil lures esteemed bass players from around the world to town for his annual Kansas City Bass Workshop).

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Gingerbread houses crafted by Kansas City Public Schools culinary arts students are on their way to Union Station, where they’ll be on display until Christmas.

“They make some amazing things,” says Rashawn Caruthers, director of Career and Technical Education for KCPS. “One year they made SpongeBob’s house. It’s not just your traditional gingerbread house.”

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