Danie Alexander

Associate Producer, Announcer

Danette (Danie) Alexander first came to KCUR in 2007 as an intern for Up to Date after completing her B.A. in Communications at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. After her KCUR internship was completed, Danie continued to spend her mornings assisting senior producer Stephen Steigman as a volunteer with the show.  Her radio experience also includes stints with public radio's New Letters on the Air as a broadcast engineer and on local public radio as host of a weekly overnight call-in show.

In December 2011, Danie started as a temporary on-air announcer and is now the regular voice on Saturday afternoons.  In August 2012 she became the associate producer for Up to Date where one of her assignments is  producing the weekly segment 90-Mile View.  

Danette Alexander also holds a B.S. degree from William Woods University. Originally from Long Island, NY, she and her husband Steven Alexander live in Raytown when they’re not working on their future retirement property on Tablerock Lake.

Ways To Connect

Tommy Lew / flickr.com

Throughout the 20th Century our perception and treatment of cats and dogs changed from that of working animal to treasured companion. We brought them inside and made them members of our family. As society changed, however, those animals went from the constant stimulation from and occupation with the outdoor environment to that provided by stay-at-home mothers and children to often being home alone for eight hours or more every weekday.

A few decades ago, Union Station was a bustling train hub, but then people started traveling by air and the station fell into disuse and disrepair. Kansas City's grand old train station turned one hundred this year. In this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske discusses the history of the station, how a flood changed its story and the miracle of its survival. 

Guest:

www.forbes.com

Money is a crucial part of our society and often a dominating concern, but what exactly is money? And why do we know so little about it?

In this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske talks with Steve Forbes, the chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media. Forbes advocates for a return to the gold standard and explains why policy makers are dangerously ignorant of fundamental monetary principles.

Guest:

http://www.kscourts.org

A recent change in Kansas law has re-ignited the debate on how judges are selected to the bench. In this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske examines the methods for seating judges, and who should hold the final say in how they are chosen.

Guests:

kcimprovfestival.blogspot.com

Looking to get down this weekend?  Brian McTavish has suggestions from classic disco to improvisation on his Weekend To-Do List!

 

KC and the Sunshine Band
Classic ’70s hit disco entertainment with costume party
7 p.m. Saturday
Kansas City Live! Block, Kansas City Power & Light District, 13th and Walnut
Admission: Free

Local Listen: Various Blonde

Sep 13, 2014

Kansas City's Various Blonde has been attempting to expand the consciousness of listeners since 2008. The art-rock band has perfected its potent psychedelic sound on the new album "Summer High." This week's edition of Local Listen showcases the heavy mysticism of the album's title track.

Hear more: Various Blond performs at The Record Bar on October 15.

Reprisal Films

Looking for a great film to see over the weekend? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • The Trip to Italy
  • Boyhood
  • A Most Wanted Man

Steve Walker:

www.sjsd.k12.mo.us

Probably best known as the home of the Pony Express, St. Joseph, Missouri received a shock when the Feds came to town. Currently, the School District there is being scrutinized by the FBI, grand jury subpoenas have been issued, and the State Auditor has weighed in with an in-depth review of financial activities involving district administrators.

KCUR’s Sam Zeff has been looking into this and he joins Steve Kraske to explain what has caused all the interest and just how much trouble it could mean for the district.

Two people who just want to be friends might get more than they bargained for, a married couple go on a retreat to salvage their marriage and Errol Flynn's last days are recreated on film.

We look at those film plots and more on Friday's Up to Date with our indie, foreign and documentary film critics.

Here's a list of the films they discussed:

http://kcchalkandwalk.org

Something for the ears, eyes and mind. It's all part of Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List!

Buzz Beach Ball
Rockin’ with Arctic Monkeys, Weezer, the 1975, J. Roddy Waltson & the Business, the Mowglis Broods, Meg Myers, Ume
3:30 p.m. Friday
Sporting Park, 1 Sporting Park Way, Kansas City, Kan.

Frank Morris / KCUR

On this edition of Up to Date, the Ethics Professors join Steve Kraske to examine questions raised by recent events making the news. Has the digital theft of female celebrities’ photos changed how we look at victim and perpetrator?  In Ferguson, Missouri, was it right for outside influences to come on the scene and add rhetorical fuel to the fire?  How much involvement should a college or university have in investigating a sexual assault on campus?  Find out what the Professors, and listeners, had to say.

Local Listen: The Project H

Sep 3, 2014
theprojecthkc.com

The instrumental band The Project H allows several of Kansas City's most exciting jazz musicians to showcase their affinity for rock and rhythm & blues.  The ensemble's album "We Live Among the Lines" will be released next week. 

This edition of Local Listen features The Project H's brash new composition "A Bear's Cave."

The World's Work / Wikimedia Commons

One of the names most closely associated with Kansas City is J.C. Nichols-- for good or bad. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk about this creator of the Country Club Plaza and what his critics say about him. We also examine what the city gained – and some say lost – due to the efforts of this one man.

Guest:

City of Lenexa / Facebook

As the summer winds down, area festivals ramp up. Celebrating everything from the Spanish and French influence to the pioneers to Popeye’s favorite vegetable, you can go to a different event every weekend now through October.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we look at the origins of fairs and festivals in our region. We learn about the earliest one in Kansas City then turn our attention to current ones, such as the Lenexa Spinach Festival, Santa-Cali-Gon and the Grand Fete du Chez le Canses.

When Johnson County blogger Jen Mann wrote about Elf on the Shelf on her blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat, she became an overnight sensation.  Now with a book of the same name coming out, Mann sits down with Steve Kraske to talk about the leap from blogger to author.  She reveals how she met her husband, including an unusual date early on, and recounts a moms' night out at a gun range.

Words matter . . . especially in politics, but perhaps no one makes themselves harder to understand than our elected representatives.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Labor Day, envisioned as a national tribute to America’s workers, has really come to mean one thing: “Get back to work. Summer’s over.” There’s a parade, a picnic, a telethon, and then the focus turns to fall. Swimming pools close. Any schools that didn’t start class weeks ago are finally in session. And, of course, no more wearing white.

Local Listen: Carswell & Hope

Aug 29, 2014

Carswell & Hope, a soulful folk-rock band from Lawrence, Kan., will be among the performers at this weekend's Kansas City Irish Fest. A collaboration between the Irish transplant Nick Carswell, two native Kansans, and a New Yorker, Carswell & Hope released its debut album in May. This week's Local Listen is a curiously pensive track from the project, "Hunger."

wikimedia commons

National Geographic reports that in the first dozen years of this century the world lost almost 35% more forest canopy than it gained…. and some of the greatest losses have been in tropical forests.

Stuart Davies, a tropical ecologist, explains how these forests are being studied and monitored and what their reduction could mean for the rest of the world.

Guest:

Charlie Parker’s stature in the music world and in Kansas City wasn’t lost on his daughter . . . but for all his fame he was the man who held her hand and walked her as a terrified first-grader to school.

Kim Parker is in town as part of Kansas City’s celebration of her father.  She joins us to recollect more about her childhood with the legendary jazzman whose life she said was “bigger than anyone else’s.”

bacontoday.com

Everything's better with bacon, especially the weekend!  Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List where there's something for every taste.

Bacon Fest 2014
Massive appreciation and ingestion
2 to 5 p.m. Saturday
Union Station, 30 W. Pershing
Admission: $50 (GA), $100 (VIP)

Local Listen: The Phantastics

Aug 20, 2014
The Phantastics

The Phantastics, one of this area’s most formidable party bands, send audiences into frenzies with a heated blend of funk, jazz and hip-hop.

The ensemble includes the noted rapper The Phantom and several of the region's most versatile musicians.

This week's edition of Local Listen features a dance-oriented track, "Phire," from the Phantastics 2013 EP "Closer."

(Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

Among the many images that have emerged from Ferguson, Missouri, perhaps some of the most arresting are those of law enforcement personnel lined up in riot gear, helmets and vests on with batons at the ready.  And right behind them the sight of an officer atop a military-grade armored vehicle holding a sniper rifle.
 

Ryan Melaugh / Flickr-CC

Young people experience complex emotions, and it can be hard to pick out which teens are at risk for depression and other mental issues. Some problems may just be natural growing pains, but some are not.

On Monday's Up to Date, we talk about what teen depression is-- and what it isn't-- and examine the broad range of strategies available to treat it.

Guests:

erniebiggs.com

Imagine a piano bar with not one, but two, pianists, often playing simultaneously and you'll have an idea of dueling pianos. On this edition of Up to Date Steve Kraske learns that "dueling" is actually the pair working with each other to entertain the patrons. Not only do they demonstrate for Steve, but they also take listeners' requests live in the studio.

Guests:

Gvolk / Wikimedia Commons

When the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, known as the KATY, canceled its route from Machens to Sedalia, the railroad’s loss became a gain for hikers and cyclists. The 200 miles of converted rail bed, now known as the KATY Trail, is an economic engine that falls short of reaching Kansas City — but that could be changing.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we find out what’s next for the KATY Trail, and how it might expand. 

Guests:

kcjazzorchestra.org

Patrons of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra may rethink their usual wardrobe choices before attending the big band's next concert.  Instead of appearing at the its regular home at Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center, the orchestra will perform at Knuckleheads this Saturday.   On this edition of Local Listen, we'll hear the orchestra's rendition of Freddie Green’s classic "Corner Pocket."

Local Listen: Nuthatch-47

Aug 8, 2014
nuthatch47.com

Maksim Kunakhovich of Nuthatch-47 has said that "Russia is my mother and America is my wife."  His distinctive contributions make Nutchatch-47 one of the funniest and most musically unique bands in the Kansas City area.  This week's edition of Local Listen features "I Reckon" from Nuthatch-47's 2013 album "Babushka Bandita."  The song's narrator muses about his affection for unsavory aspects of American culture as his comrades riff on a familiar spaghetti western theme. 

University Press of Kansas

Gerald Ford became the 38th president of this country only because his predecessor, Richard Nixon, resigned the office. His presidency lasted only 865 days because he was defeated for election on his own by Jimmy Carter. So the question becomes: Why is Gerald Ford’s presidency worth examining?

Sage Ross / iamkawehi.com / Wikimedia Commons

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig says we can't begin to deal with problems like climate change, financial reform or anything else until we deal with the corrupting influence of money in American politics. As part of Up to Date's  continuing look at TEDxKC 2014, Lessig explains to Steve Kraske how he believes our system became broken and what it will take to fix it.

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