Alyson Raletz

Social Media Editor

Alyson Raletz is social media editor at KCUR. She joined KCUR in 2013 after working as a technology reporter and lead Twitter voice for the Kansas City Business Journal.

She’s spent most of her journalism career as a government watchdog, having covered Missouri state politics, county governments, courts, education and crime.

She also previously worked for Missouri Lawyers Weekly and the St. Joseph News-Press.

The daughter of a retired military officer, Alyson bounced around the globe a bit before her family moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, in the 1980s. She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and lived in San Francisco, New Jersey and Germany. She earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Kansas State University and studied Spanish at La Universidad De Malaga’s extension in Ronda, Spain.

She lives in Kansas City with her husband and newborn daughter.

Ways To Connect

Responding to our query about garage sales, two of our listeners explain their favorite finds.

Guests:

  • Brad Lieffring
  • Lynette Fisk
KCUR

Maybe seeing your grandmother's linens on sale in a stranger's driveway brought a smile to your face.

Perhaps antique china in pristine condition made you jump for your wallet. Or possibly it was something more practical, like a fully functional riding lawnmower with a $5 price tag.

With garage sale season in full swing in Kansas City, we're curious about what secondhand treasures you've discovered.

Tell KCUR: What is your greatest garage sale find in Kansas City?

Courtesy photo / Missouri Valley Special Collections -- Kansas City Public Library

What a lot of Kansas Citians love about Midtown is the historic character of the area.

Twenty-two distinct neighborhoods make up what Kansas Citians call Midtown, an area spanning from 31st to 55th streets, former KCUR news director Mary Jo Draper lays out in her book, Kansas City's Midtown Neighborhoods.

Kevin Dooley / Flickr--CC

KCUR Announcer Linda Sher's life changed when her high school French teacher challenged her.

Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann credits her love of literature to fond memories of listening to her elementary school teacher read out loud in class.

And I owe my career in journalism to my first-grade teacher, Mrs. Bentley, who turned my weakness in writing into a strength by paying me a little extra attention.

KCUR

School may be out, but teachers are top of mind at KCUR this summer.

Our special reporting project, Teaching It Forward, is looking at what makes teachers effective and ready for a changing education landscape in Kansas City.

We'll share this reporting later this summer, but for now, we're curious.

What do you remember about your school teachers? Do you have good or bad memories?

Tell KCUR: Who's your most memorable teacher? Why? 

Julie Denesha / KCUR

We’re learning a lot about the Northland in Kansas City.

But we know you know more.

As KCUR continues its look at the Missouri River as a dividing line in Kansas City — part of our Beyond Our Borders project — we’re posting photos of life north of the river on a new Tumblr site called Northland Exposure.

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

The Northland. Kansas City north. Northtown (also spelled Northtowne in some cases.)

Whatever you call the part of the Kansas City metropolitan area north of the Missouri River, we wanted to know more about its boundaries. But the answer is a little muddy.

Cyrus Farivar / Flickr--CC

White trash, bigotry, honor and home.

Those were just some of the words that Kansas Citians used to describe the Confederate flag when we asked, "What does the Confederate flag mean to you?" in our online and on-air Tell KCUR poll this week.

The sentiments echoed a national discussion on the Confederate flag in light of recent shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, which has provided a polarizing debate.

KCUR

The shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, have ignited a national discussion on one of our country's most controversial remnants of the past — the Confederate flag.

Lawmakers are pushing to remove the Civil War-era battle flag from the South Carolina Statehouse, shining a light on Confederate symbols across the United States.

@mayorslyjames / Twitter

For some Kansas Citians, Friday's Supreme Court decision that same sex-couples have the right to marriage meant holding back tears at work.

That was the case for Twitter user Nicolette Martin (@nicoletteemma).

For Josh Neff, the decision meant breaking "the news to my LGBTQA daughter."

KCUR

KCUR is northbound. And we need your help.

For the next few months in our Beyond Our Borders project, we're turning our attention to one of Kansas City's most prominent dividers — the Missouri River, which separates the Northland from the urban core.

As we begin to take our reporting across the river, we want to know more about why you already cross it.

Tell KCUR: What's your favorite thing to do north of the Missouri River? 

KCUR

As the Kansas City Council considers whether to raise minimum wage, we want to know more about your experiences with minimum wage.

In July, the council is expected to vote on a proposal that would raise the wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

The proposal has ignited controversy over whether it's legal for the city to have a minimum wage that's higher than Missouri's wage of $7.65 an hour.

Creative Commons/www.gotcredit.com

As we reported last week on how The Kansas City Star is changing, we wanted to know more about how  news is consumed in Kansas City.

We took to social media and our airwaves and asked, “How do you keep up with the news?”  

KCUR

You don't need a TV screen or a newspaper subscription to get your news anymore.

Gone are the days of waiting for a specific time or a delivery boy to check in on the day's weather or headlines.

Desktop computers and smartphones bring news to our fingertips via websites and apps, countless blogs and social media outlets.

So, do you need a quick hit of Twitter before starting your day or is the Huffington Post a must-read? What about your hometown newspaper or news stations?

The former dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s business school died Tuesday.

Teng-Kee Tan was named dean of the Bloch School of Management in 2009. Tan, who was in his 60s, died “peacefully,” surrounded by family in Seattle, the Kansas City Star reports, citing an email from the current dean, David Donnelly. 

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

We asked for haikus/ to sum up 2014/ Thanks, Kansas City.

That is our thank you poem to everyone who obliged us and answered this week’s Tell KCUR question: What are your most important memories of 2014 in haiku?

The three-line, five-seven-five-syllable formula proved most effective in conveying 2014, with muses ranging from sports, to engagements, to family and public tragedies — plus one of KCUR's transmission hiccups.

Courtesy photo / KCUR

The past year was an eventful one in the Kansas City area, marked by big moments in sports, politics and high-profile tragedies.

We want to know what memories you think of when you ponder 2014.

But this week's Tell KCUR question isn't that simple. We want you to use a little poetry, too.

Tell KCUR:  What are your most important memories of 2014 in haiku?

To put it another way, "KC, what’s your fave/ 2014 memory/Haikus only please."

Mingo Hagen / Flickr--CC

As podcasts pick up in popularity across the country, we wanted to see what Kansas Citians were choosing for their earbuds.

This week, we asked: What podcasts are you listening to? Why?

The question came as we prepared for our event, “Serial: The Listening Party,” set for Thursday night in Westport.  

Courtesy photo / KCUR

 

The whodunnit treatment of a real-life murder mystery in "Serial" the podcast, from the producers of "This American Life" has captivated millions of listeners.

The podcasting medium's first "breakout hit" — as dubbed by the New York Times — has us wondering about other podcasts that are on  your radar.

michaelfranks6 / Flickr--CC

Kansas Citians love eating and drinking, so it should come as no surprise that food and drinks top their list of the best Kansas City gifts.

In our social media quest for a rundown of presents that would represent the Kansas City area , you shot back a grocery list of items that sound like the makings for a fun holiday party: regional beer, popcorn, coffee, chocolate, pastries, toffee, nuts and more.

And the list wouldn’t be complete without the ample mentions of Kansas City barbecue sauce.

Courtesy photo / KCUR

 

When you want to send a little bit of the Kansas City area to friends and families during the holidays, what's your go-to gift?

Maybe it's a jar of barbecue sauce or a Kansas City Royals T-shirt. Perhaps it's a bag of sunflower seeds or a six-pack of locally brewed beer.

As we enter the holiday shopping season, divulge your Kansas City-inspired wish list.

Tell KCUR: What's the best Kansas City gift?

alamosbasement / Flickr--CC

Geography plays a big role in how Kansas Citians decide where to send their kids to school.

At least that’s what we heard back from parents when we asked them this week about how they made the big decision.

futureatlas.com / Flickr--CC

Do you use the word, Kansas, as shorthand for the suburbs?

Our daily talk show Central Standard explored that question Wednesday.

There’s some truth to the perception that the Kansas side of the metropolitan area is way more suburban than the “real city” in the Show-Me-State, said Bill Coldiron.

Coldiron, of Overland Park, Kan., is a member of Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., where KCUR held a community forum last week as part of our Beyond Our Borders series.  

File photo / KCUR

As we explore state line in the Kansas City area as a uniter and divider in our Beyond Our Borders series, this issue continues to crop up — schools.

Parents are very passionate about how and why they've chosen certain schools in the metropolitan area for their children. 

With charter schools, private schools, public schools and application-based specialized schools on both sides of the state line in the region, we're curious about how you reached your decision.

Wikimedia Commons

Online dating doesn't seem any worse or fruitful than traditional dating, according to feedback we received this week from avid online daters in the Kansas City area.

Earlier this week, in anticipation of our storytelling event with NPR, "Storied: The Science of Online Dating," we asked our listeners: What are your online dating success and horror stories?

We heard a mix of recounts of dating mishaps and successful couplings.  

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

If you're in the mood for booze, cigarettes or candy in the Kansas City area, consider taking the state line into account when you make your purchases.

That's because the Missouri-Kansas border definitely plays a role in what you will pay for life's guilty pleasures, KCUR found in its phone survey of prices across the metro.

File photo / KCUR

Maybe the allegedly tall, dark  and handsome man you connected with online after hundreds of emails turned out to be a dud.

Or perhaps the woman who gave you a five-star rating on OKCupid.com was so wonderful, you ended up marrying her.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

A Kansas race that is catching attention from political junkies around the country has Kansas City-area voters captivated, too.

That’s according to feedback we heard on social media in response to our Tell KCUR question of the week. We asked, “What’s the most important political race to you in election 2014? Why?

“KS Gov race for sure! Need child advocates,” Alexis Ceule (@AlexisCeule) tells us on Twitter.

File photo / KCUR

During this election season, are you focusing your voting attention on Congressional seats or local City Council races?

Are any Constitutional amendments more significant to you or do you spend your energy following candidates running for state offices?

Kansas may be under the national spotlight for its governor’s contest, but we know there are a lot of other candidates and issues at stake on both sides of the state line next week on Election Day.

Atomic Hot Links / Flickr--CC

The mayors of Kansas City, Mo., and San Francisco may really be betting honorable things like feeding the homeless and reading to children if their teams win the World Series.

But if the Royals triumph over the San Francisco giants, Kansas City wants something sweeter — chocolate.

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