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

Courtesy Photo / The Gordon Parks Foundation

Kansas-born civil rights photographer Gordon Parks had a consistent message through the years, according to his great niece.

“The power of choosing a weapon, shooting a camera proved to be more powerful than shooting a gun,” Robin Hickman said of her uncle during an interview this week with Gina Kaufmann, host of KCUR’s Central Standard.  

Adam / Flickr--CC

For years, the Kansas City Chiefs dominated the hearts of local sports fans.

But we wanted to know how the Kansas City Royals’ recent World Series win and national attention changed the conversation, even as the Chiefs flirted with a chance at the Super Bowl.

When we asked Kansas Citians to draw a line in the sand and answer, “Is Kansas City a football or baseball town?” we suspect a little bit of “Midwestern nice” took over.  

KCUR 89.3


Recent success from the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals begs the question local sports fans have been waiting to answer their whole lives.

Tell KCUR: Is Kansas City a football or baseball town? Why?

Kansas Citians rallied for the Royals in 2015 when they won the World Series. And in 2016, the Chiefs flirted with the Super Bowl.

So, tell us, would you paint our town red — or blue? And don't forget to explain yourself.

Artur Bergman / Flickr -- CC


A broken jaw during gall bladder surgery. Waiting 95 minutes for a doctor’s appointment. Being hit by a nurse.

When we asked, “What was your worst experience with health care in Kansas City?” you didn’t hold back.

Complaints ranged from access to health care to interactions with health professionals and facilities gone wrong.

KCUR 89.3


We've all had experiences with health care that were less than ideal.

Maybe it was a botched surgery. A bill with a lot of zeroes. Or long wait times in an emergency room.

As our health reporting desk, Heartland Health Monitor, digs into health disparities in Kansas City, we want to hear more about the local health system through the eyes and ears of our audience.

Tell KCUR: What was your worst experience with health care in Kansas City?

KCUR 89.3


You're probably used to us reaching out to you with questions.

This time, we're reaching out to you for questions.

As 2015 quickly comes to a close, KCUR's newsroom is looking ahead to 2016. We're planning out coverage for the new year, and we're curious about what you're curious about.

Tell KCUR: What question should KCUR 89.3 answer in 2016?

What do you want our team of reporters to look into? What questions do you have about Kansas City or the region? What subjects or issues do you want us to devote our resources to?

Courtesy photo / Gillian Helm

Going back to work after having a baby can create a daunting to-do list for new mothers.

Find a quality day care, adjust work schedules, come up with a contingency care plan when the baby’s sick — and so on.

 And if the mom nurses or breast feeds, high on that list is figuring out how and where she will pump her breast milk when she’s away from her baby.

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve been asking new moms to share photos of where they pump.  

KCUR 89.3


Maybe it's a cozy room that your employer provides. Perhaps it's a broom closet or your car. Or maybe you've had to get resourceful in a public bathroom.

Nursing mothers, we want to know where you pump your breast milk when you're away from your babies.

As our morning talk show, Central Standard, prepares for a program on maternity, help us shed some light on breastfeeding friendly (or unfriendly) workplaces in the Kansas City area.

Tell KCUR: Show Us Where You Pump (Or Pumped)

Tyler Adkisson / KBIA

Recent racially charged protests at the University of Missouri-Columbia have stirred up memories of the hostility toward blacks that Kwame Thompson says he saw and experienced at the university.

Thompson, a 1995 Mizzou graduate, describes his transfer to the University of Missouri as “culture shock,” explaining the campus had few black faculty members at the time.

“I can only remember ever being called (the N word) twice in my life,” Thompson tells us. “Both were at Mizzou.”

KCUR 89.3


The issue of race has exploded once again on college campuses, with the University of Missouri, among others, erupting in protests.

As student activists speak out in Columbia, Missouri, — where University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned after a series of racist problems that students said he ignored — we want to know more about what this emotional issue means to you.

Tell KCUR: What's Your College Experience With Race?

Istolethetv / Flickr--CC

It’s hard for an active-duty or former military service member to make it through Veterans Day without hearing this: “Thank you for your service.”

From seemingly well-intentioned passersby to a deluge of businesses, the November refrain isn’t always a welcome one, however.  

“Where is that coming from?” Herb Comstock, a 67-year-old U.S. Army veteran in Overland Park, Kansas, tells us. “Is it like, ‘Thanks for holding the door?’ Or is it heart felt?”

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA

Someone break open the crackers and chicken broth and get Jonathan Butler eating again.

That was the initial reaction from Jennifer Hayden in Kansas City (@Scout_Finch on Twitter) to Tim Wolfe's resignation as president from the University Of Missouri system on Monday.

Alyson Raletz / KCUR 89.3

When out-of-towners visit Kansas City, they are fascinated by the state line. 

That's one of the messages we took away from our community dinner on Wednesday at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

"Living here we take for granted what a unique situation this is," one community member wrote on a Post-It before sticking the message to a map of the metropolitan area.

The same could be said for three other lines that unite and divide Kansas City — Troost Avenue, the Missouri River and the Wyandotte County-Johnson County border.

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

If you went to bed Sunday night thinking the Royals would return to Kansas City to finish off the World Series this week, by now you know you were dead wrong.

KCUR 89.3


If you have to make it through a night of the living dead, Kansas City is a decent place to be.

In a CareerBuilder ranking of U.S. cities on how they could survive a zombie apocalypse, Kansas City came in at No. 8

(In another rundown, Columbia, Missouri, came in at No. 1.)

Courtesy Photo / Mary Mathews

It turns out, some of the best Royals' stuff comes from family.


Every Christmas, fond memories rush over Mary Mathews of loved ones who are no longer with her — and the Kansas City baseball team.  

When we asked fans this week to share their most loved Royals stuff, Mathews, of Grandview, Missouri, took a photo of two simple Christmas ornaments that commemorate the team's 1985 World Series win.

Hey Royals fans, you know all those T-shirts, baseball cards, banners and bobbleheads you've collected over the years?

We want to see them.

Tell KCUR: Show us your most loved Royals stuff.

Share photos of your most prized Royals gear and memorabilia on Twitter with the #TellKCUR hashtag or go to our Facebook page and leave your photo in a comment. 

Don't forget to tell us why you love it so much!!

KCUR 89.3


Dinner. It comes every night, whether you look forward to coming up with a menu or dread figuring out how to fill your plate.

Maybe you're whipping up a gourmet supper. Perhaps you're indifferent — whatever your significant other makes is fine with you.

You could be running out for a quick bite or dining out for a four-course meal. Or maybe you're lucky just to heat up some leftovers.

Tell KCUR: What's for dinner?


Jonathan Richard of Brookside recalls being a homesick undergraduate student at Drake University in Iowa in the mid 1990s.

Joining Sigma Chi fraternity made him feel like he was part of a family, even though his real family was in Boston.

“The secret rituals and camaraderie immediately created a special and altogether unique sense of pride and belonging,” Richard wrote us in an email.

“There were certainly stupid antics and drunken parties — but no more so than the typical experience of a college student.”

Catholic Church England / Flickr--CC

Pope Francis is expected to address the United Nations at 9 a.m. Friday.

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When you think of Greek life, do you have fond memories or are there things you'd rather forget?

Or maybe there's a reason you never rushed a fraternity or sorority at all.

With fraternities and sororities making headlines in Kansas — a task force's recommendations for the University of Kansas to make changes to freshmen recruitment have been rejected — we want to know more about your experiences with  this part of college.

@greghall24 / Twitter

Apparently, blogging about bathrooms is a thing in Kansas City.

We spoke with two people who write about the Kansas City bathroom scene this week on Central Standard.

"A Bathroom Site" blogger Kayla Regan judges local water closets on privacy and cleanliness. For "Pee Party" blogger David Hudnall of The Pitch, he knows he's found a good bathroom when the room has some sort of odd flourish.



Sometimes the best part of going out … is having to go.

We want to make a list of the best restrooms in Kansas City, so what are your favorites?

Maybe you love the vintage sinks at a trendy restaurant. Perhaps you’re enamored with the plush toilet paper at a fancy hotel.

Or maybe you like the funky wallpaper in a not-so-funky bathroom at a local shop.

Tell KCUR: Where are the best restrooms in Kansas City?

badjonni / Flickr--CC

Summer breezes may make you feel fine, but for many, summertime is all about the music.

We wanted to build a summer 2015 playlist, so we asked, “What’s your song of the summer?” on the air and on social media.  



If you were building a soundtrack for summer 2015, what would be at the top of your playlist?

You know, that one song that plays over and over in your head and defines the summer.

When we polled our newsroom, Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" and The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face" were two popular favorites.

Tell KCUR: What's your song of the summer?

Terry Smemo

If you can’t be at home, find some peace and quiet.

That’s what we heard this week on social media when we asked, “Where are you most comfortable when you’re not at home?”  

Many of the responses were tied to the solace of the outdoors, particularly running trails and the woods. On Facebook, Michelle Hammack said her home away from home is a “dirt road.”

Some people preferred indoor silence.

Caroline Kull / KCUR

Talking about downtown in the Kansas City area can be tricky.

That's because there's more than just one.

Smaller cities pepper the metro, particularly north of the Missouri River.

And while the skylines of these municipalities don't stand as tall as Kansas City's, these often historic districts are just as iconic for their respective communities.

ANSWERS: How Well Do You Know The Northland?

Aug 9, 2015
Caroline Kull / KCUR

So, how well do you know the small downtowns of the Northland?

Hopefully by now you have tested your knowledge — below are the answers.

1. Kearney

Population: 9,038

Established: 1869

Courtesy photo / Snow and Co.

If your stomach is grumbling in the Kansas City area, the Missouri River plays a big role on how to satisfy those hunger pangs.

“It’s very much a psychological thing, you think you’re crossing into another country (when you cross the Missouri River),” said Jerry Nevins, co-owner of Snow & Co., an upscale frozen cocktail bar that started in the Crossroads Arts District. “Most everybody goes south.”

Just south of the river, you’ll find a plethora of dining options at independent restaurants in Kansas City on both sides of the state line.

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


  • Brad Lieffring
  • Lynette Fisk