Up To Date

Weekdays at 11 a.m.

Up to Date focuses on pressing issues, both local and national, including politics, economics, planning and design, history and entertainment - topics that have an impact on the lives of the Greater Kansas City region.

  • Monday: War Photographers
  • Tuesday: The Postwar Dreamhome: The Ranch House / Statehouse Blend
  • Wednesday: Powers of Two /  The First African Americans in the Space Program /Local Listen
  • Thursday: The Economic Value of Teacher Quality / Weekend To Do List
  • Friday: Indie, Documentary, and Foreign Film Reviews 

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LISTEN ANYTIME ANYWHERE:
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CONNECT WITH US:
@KCURUptoDate | E-Mail | About

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

Between teaching at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, writing for the Kansas City Star, and hosting Up To Date, you might think KCUR’s Steve Kraske doesn’t have time to spend reading. But you'd be wrong.

The voracious non-fiction reader has brought some titles from his bookshelf to share. He spoke with the authors of three of his picks on Up To Date.

Local Listen: La Guerre

Apr 24, 2015
La Guerre / Facebook

More than 120 acts are performing Ink’s Middle of the Map Festival this week, and La Guerre is one of them. The solo project of Lawrence-based Katlyn Conroy, La Guerre specializes in intimate indie-rock.

This week’s edition of Local Listen features La Guerre’s muted “Lover’s Sway.” La Guerre will appear at the Record Bar at 4:15 p.m. Saturday, April 25.

Thunderclouds might be creating a scary tableaux outside, but on the silver screen you can choose a different backdrop. Try a suggestion from Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary critics this weekend.

Cynthia Haines:

Wrecking Crew

  • Documentary about legendary studio musicians

Seymour: An Introduction

  • Documentary about a pianist who found his calling as a teacher

Woman in Gold

If you want to catch a flick in Kansas City, there are plenty of options. You could stream movies from your own couch, or venture out to a multiplex for an IMAX screen experience. We explore what keeps so many Kansas Citians going to smaller, independent movie theaters. 

Guests: 

For decades, politicians have battled over how to regard people who suffer chronic pain.  Are we a compassionate nation or are we enabling people to take advantage of the system?

Guest:

New revenue numbers in Kansas have dipped again, leaving lawmakers with a budget shortfall in the hundreds of millions of dollars. On this edition of Up To Date, we talk about what led to the larger than expected deficit, and what Kansas lawmakers can do to close it. 

Guests:

  • Bryan Lowry is with the Topeka bureau of The Wichita Eagle.
  • Duane Goossen served as the Kansas Budget Director from 1998 to 2010.

On this Earth Day, we speak with two conservationists about local and nationwide efforts to protect the planet. We talk about how preserving our air, water and land can be good for business, and the challenges of passing environmental legislation in the United States. 

Guests: 

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Stephanie Clayton from Overland Park, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

Guests:

HDR, City of Kansas City

In just over two months, Kansas Citians will take to the polls to elect 12 council members that will lead the city for the next four years.

Due to term-limits, half of the seats held by incumbents will be wide open, which means that if Mayor Sly James is re-elected, which looks likely, he will have a council very different from the one he enjoyed his first four years.

You can’t avoid death and taxes, but you can -- and should -- plan for them. The financial planners return on Monday's Up to Date to discuss how you can do that successfully.

Guests:

cdbaby.com

  New York based drummer Matt Kane returned to Kansas City last year to record compositions by Ahmad Alaadeen, Pat Metheny and Bobby Watson. The resulting album, Acknowledgement, features the Kansas City Generations Sextet, an ensemble of local luminaries including local saxophonist Steve Lambert and trumpeter Hermon Mehari. This week’s Local Listen is a sensitive rendition of Metheny’s “Question and Answer”.

Matt Kane reunites with members of the band Friday and Saturday, April 24-25, at the Green Lady Lounge to celebrate the release of "Acknowledgement".

  

  The last time the Oakland A’s came to town, the result was one of the wildest come-from-behind victories in Kansas City sports history. Tonight’s rematch at the K marks an historic comeback of another sort, at least for one longtime fan favorite. Commentator Victor Wishna explains in “A Fan’s Notes.”

In the history of Kauffman Stadium, only a handful of men have stepped up to the plate more often than William Raymond Butler, Jr. His 2,422 appearances include seven home openers, one All-Star debut, and, of course, the bottom-of-the-ninth in Game Seven of the World Series. Tonight, he’ll be there again for the first time since. And, for the first time ever, this home plate won’t be home.

The Royals have started this year with the same intensity that electrified the city in October. It’s as if they don’t realize the season ever ended. Which makes it even harder to believe that Billy Butler, the man known as “Country Breakfast,” is now an Oakland Athletic. It’ll be tough to see him in that green-and-gold, only in part because no one looks good in those colors. The A’s will come in here looking to avenge their Wild-Card humiliation. But for Butler and fans, the sure-to-be-bittersweet reunion calls for a warmer brand of payback.

This weekend has it all: rain, Royals and a whole slate of films for you to try. Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary critics have some suggestions to guide your appointment with the silver screen:

Cynthia Haines

Seymour: An Introduction 

  • Inspirational documentary about 88 year old pianist Seymour Bernstein 

Wild Tales 

  The gun has officially gone off for the 2016 presidential elections, and NPR's team of political correspondents and editors are working around the clock to bring you the latest from the White House and the campaign trail. On this edition of Up To Date, we check in with Tamara Keith, Scott Horsley, and Domenico Montanaro

Jennifer Teege was strolling through her local library in Hamburg, Germany when she happened upon a book about the daughter of a brutal Nazi commandant—and recognized her mother's picture. Her life was turned upside down as she learned more about her infamous grandfather. It resulted in her recently released book, My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers her Family’s Nazi Past.

The last time Conrad Anker reached the summit of Mount Everest, he did so without the aid of supplemental oxygen. This feat is achieved only by the world's top climbers. He collaborated with researchers from The Mayo Clinic,  National Geographic and others to study the effects of high-altitude on human physiology. 

On this edition of Up To Date, Scott Simon discusses sharing his mother’s final days on Twitter and recalls his start with NPR. Plus, his thoughts on people he's interviewed — including Bill Cosby, Ernie Banks, and Michael Jordan. 

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Kansas Rep. Jarrod Ousley from Merriam, provides an insider perspective on the historic 2015 legislative session underway in Topeka. 

Guests:

Cody Newill / KCUR

Richard Eiker, 45, earns $11.05 an hour at McDonald's, a job he's held for 25 years. He has no sick pay, no medical benefits or retirement, and even though he makes more than minimum wage, he struggles to pay his bills and take care of his needs.

He’s part of a movement in Kansas City and nationwide to demand a $15 per hour minimum wage.

He says that after 25 years of working every position at McDonalds, he is afraid to leave in search of better pay.

Little, Brown and Company

If we learned anything from the David and Goliath legend, it's that underdogs can win, right? On this edition of Up To Date, journalist, author and critical thinker Malcolm Gladwell speaks with Steve Kraske about the traditional understandings of the weak and the powerful. Plus, the advantages of thinking outside the box. 

Johnson County Public Library

As we increasingly turn to Google and other search engines  for our information needs, is the library becoming obsolete?

Educator and technology expert John Palfrey doesn't think so, though he thinks it needs a system update.

andrewlawler.com

A descendant of Tyrannosaurus Rex, the chicken has made an legendary and winding journey from pre-history to our dinner plates. In his new book, Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization science writer Andrew Lawler provides an account of the long partnership between human and chicken.

It's severe weather season in Kansas city, and that means you'll want a some options for rainy day activities. Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary critics have a few for you:

Cynthia Haines

  • Wild Tales
  • The Hunting Ground
  • What We Do in the Shadows

Steve Walker

  • The Hunting Ground
  • While We're Young
  • Wild Tales
Missouri Department of Transportation

Missouri has the seventh largest highway system in the country, but it ranks 46th nationally in funding per mile. That ranking could drop still more. Last year, the Missouri Department of Transportation spent $700 million on road improvements— in two years, that amount will be cut my more than half. 

Dave Nichols has been with the Missouri Department of Transportation for 31 years, serving as director for the last two. He recently announced his retirement, effective May 1.

Nichols spoke with Up To Date host Steve Kraske about the hard choices the department will have to make and the future of the state's transportation systems. 

Interview highlights:

On the gap between the current and future budget:  

It takes about $485 million just to maintain the system in the condition the roads are in today, so we're $160 million short [with a $325 million budget in 2016]. If there are any capital improvements, any additional work that needs to be done, that's on top of that. It's a pretty big gap, and that's what we're talking about with the legislature right now — how do we take care of that gap that we have.

In 2017, we will not be able to match $167 million of our federal dollars. In 2018, that number grows to $400 million and last thing any of us in Missouri want to do is have tax dollars that are paid from Missourians go to Washington and not come back to our state.

Interactive toy maker Sphero has challenged University of Kansas design and engineering students to create its next generation of products — robots that can be  companions and have emotional value to a person. On this edition of Up To Date we talk about the potential social significance of robotics and what the future looks like in the field. 

Guests: 

April 13 will mark one year since Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. is alleged to have made his way to two Jewish sites in Overland Park and opened fire, killing three people. As we approach the anniversary of the shootings, Up To Date visits with Jewish leaders in Kansas City about the changes —both tangible and intangible— they've felt in their community.

Guests:

Cristopher Crance / Burns &McDonnell

When you were a kid, did you ever dream of becoming an astronaut? Some area students are taking the first steps. Grade-schoolers at Resurrection Catholic School in Kansas City, Kan. and Prairie Fire Upper Elementary in Independence are creating experiments to send into near space in a big weather balloon.

Guests:

Women make up almost half of the workforce in the United States. Even so, the higher you look on the corporate ladder the fewer women you'll find.  On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske speaks with a journalist and producer who continually explores how gender is perceived in the workplace. 

Guest:

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Kansas City has been waiting anxiously for baseball season to officially begin after an epic World Series run last year that left the Royals just short of the title. As fans waited outside the ballpark before the home opener, Up To Date was inside talking to the people behind the scenes at Kauffman Stadium.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

The energy was palpable at Kauffman Stadium, as fans filed in to watch the Royals defeat the White Sox 10-1 in the first game of the season. Though a light drizzle fell from a grey sky, there's wasn't an empty seat to be found. Standing room only tickets sold for more than $100. 

Couldn't make it to the game? The Up To Date team arrived at the stadium bright and early to capture the experience — check out the slideshow above.

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