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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.

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For some, it’s a quiet reading corner in the crowded public library.

For others , it’s the same spot at the bar in their favorite local pub, or table at the corner coffee shop.

Maybe your favorite home-away-from-home is an art gallery or museum.

When we heard at one of our neighborhood meetings that some felt their community offered a lack of gathering spots, we got to wondering — where do you like to hang out?

TELL KCUR:  Where are you most comfortable when you’re not at home?

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?

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.

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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? 

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.

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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.

The DLC / Flickr-CC

Whether you're craving Malaysian almond chicken, French duck confit or even hot dog fried rice, head north of the Missouri River — the Northland has become a dining destination.

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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? 

Kansas Citians Say The Minimum Wage Is 'Not Enough'

Jun 5, 2015
Caroline Kull / KCUR

We wanted to know how Kansas Citians feel about a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City to $10 an hour, so we took to the streets.

We talked to folks at the Country Club Plaza, Troost Avenue and Westport and asked, “What’s your minimum wage story?”  

Most of the people we talked to were in favor of an increase.

“It’s really not enough,” said Emmitt Fennell, a retiree who used to work as a cook.

He said he’s always earned more than the minimum wage, but he watched his lower-paid co-workers struggle.

“For the time and the work you put in, to get seven or eight dollars an hour?” he said. “If you support a family, you can’t live off of that.”

Several business owners were supportive of a wage increase — at least a modest one.

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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?”  

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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?

Earthworm / Flickr--CC

As a nation we have been talking about race a lot lately. And with Mother's Day just ahead we thought we would pair two unlikely subjects.

"How did your mother talk with you about race?" we asked.

What you told us ran the gamut from “my mother didn’t talk to me about race,” to “she let us know her feelings, but indirectly,” to “she told us exactly what she thought and what she wanted us to know.”

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We’re linking two slightly unlikely topics this week for our Tell KCUR question.

As we consider the unrest in Baltimore, Ferguson, and other places around the country and as Mother’s Day approaches, we thought it was a good opportunity to ask about race — and your mother.

Tell KCUR: How did your mother talk to you about race?

Did she talk to you about it at all, and if so, was it direct, coded, comfortable or uncomfortable?

Scutter / Flickr--CC

Kansas City is up-and-coming. We're totally cool, and this October we found out our city (and our boys in blue) look great on national television.

We are used to telling visitors what they should do while they are here (Eat the barbecue! Go to the Nelson-Atkins!). 

Kevin Harber / Flickr--CC

The 2014 American League Champion Kansas City Royals  face the Chicago White Sox in their home opener Monday afternoon. And to get ready, we asked you to imagine yourself in the line up. What music would you want to hear blasted over the speakers at Kauffman Stadium as you stepped up to bat?

We had a deluge of Tweets, Facebook comments and phone calls with a range of responses — from the silence of John Cage’s "4'33"" (hmmmm ...)  to "You Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate, to George Frederic Handel’s Royal Fireworks Suite.

Bennie Campbell called to say he’d like hear Jim Neighbors singing "To Dream the Impossible Dream." Come on, Bennie, have a little confidence!

Baseball’s opening day is just right around the corner — so imagine this — as you enter the batter’s box the PA person announces your name, followed by a tune.

But what is it? Is it your favorite song? Do the lyrics describe you? Is it lucky?

Tell KCUR: What Would Be Your 'At-Bat' Theme Song?

Tweet us your answers with the #TellKCUR hashtag or go to our Facebook page and leave your answer in a comment.  

Just who is the middle class?  The Wall Street Journal wondered in a piece earlier this year. The paper points out the term means little, and that’s why politicians love to use it.

Middle class in the Kansas City metro is certainly different than middle class in San Francisco, but how should we decide who fits into that category?

Bullying became the topic of a national conversation in 2010 after a young college man committed suicide after his roommate filmed him being intimate with another man.

Since, there have been major campaigns to combat bullies and bullying, and schools across the country have mobilized anti-bullying efforts and policies.

Even though both Wyandotte and Johnson Counties were founded with connections to Native American tribes, the two have evolved into dramatically different places.

As we pursue the next segment of our look into lines that unite and divide the metro, we're turning our attention the boundary between Wyandotte and Johnson Counties. What do you know to be true about these counties? What have you heard that isn't true? 

Tell KCUR: What do people get wrong about Wyandotte and/or Johnson Counties?

Wikimedia Commons - CC

As legislators in Kansas and Missouri get back to work, we thought it a good time to ask you, the people of Kansas City, what you would like to ask them. Or tell them, if you're so inclined. 

We got an array of responses back.

@Mattk2 tweeted: if given the choice between funding education and cutting taxes, which would you choose and who (did you) listen to?

A number of you referred money in politics.

As the legislative sessions in both Kansas and Missouri get under way, lawmakers face a number of challenging and controversial issues.

In Kansas, education funding and state finances are at the center of debate. In Missouri, school transfers and ethics are at the top of a long agenda.

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In 2014, we launched a series to look at why people come to Kansas City and why they stay, called Going To Kansas City.

file photo / Harvest Public Media

Here at KCUR we grew a lot in 2014, not only in numbers but also in the way we go about reporting the news. Our Community Engagement team launched a long-term project and mobilized our staff to get out and meet you and to listen more to our community.

It's here, another year. 2015. 

Last year was a big one for KCUR. Our newsroom grew and grew; we launched a big project called Beyond Our Borders, a health collaborative called Heartland Health Monitor and a new talk show with a new host.

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."

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