St. Louis on the Air | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis on the Air

Noon-1 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. (repeat) Monday-Friday
  • Local Host Don Marsh

St. Louis on the Air creates a unique space where guests and listeners can share ideas and opinions with respect and honesty. Whether exploring issues and challenges confronting our region, discussing the latest innovations in science and technology, taking a closer look at our history or talking with authors, artists and musicians, St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan, Caitlin Lally and Xandra Ellin give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

St. Louis on the Air is sponsored by University College at Washington University

(L-R) Engin Blackstone, Christie Huck and Stella Erondu are leaders of St. Louis area charter schools. They joined St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh to talk about the success of their schools in the region.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For students in underserved school districts, charter schools can prove to be an important educational option. Some charter schools fail, but others thrive.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with leaders of three St. Louis charter schools about how they have sought to achieve success and what charter schools have to offer local communities.

From left, Marie-Hélène Bernard and Erik Finley look forward to the season opener of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra this weekend.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Founded in 1880, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra begins its 2018-19 season this weekend.

“It’s an exciting time,” Marie-Hélène Bernard said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air in advance of the SLSO’s 139th season that features music director designate Stéphane Denève.

While Devène does not officially start as music director until the 2019-20 season, he will conduct four concerts, and Bernard explained his role this year with an analogy.

Lebanese photographer Fadi BouKaram is making a return trip through U.S. towns named Lebanon.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Fadi BouKaram is a Lebanese photographer who in late 2016 embarked on U.S. road trip to visit communities named Lebanon. There are more than 40 such towns and cities in the country that share the name of his homeland, a country in the Middle East that’s a bit smaller than Connecticut.

BouKaram is making a return trip to many of the communities he visited more than a year ago with stops planned in Lebanon, Illinois and Lebanon, Missouri.

Fiction writer Michael Nye (at left), Left Bank Books co-owner Kris Kleindienst (center) and Kathleen Finneran, a senior writer in residence at Washington University, are among those involved in this weekend’s festival.
Erica Ott & St. Louis Public Radio

Kris Kleindienst need only glance out toward the entrance to her bookstore at the corner of Euclid and McPherson avenues for some solid reminders of St. Louis’ literary legacy. The busts of four canonical writers adorn the intersection – T.S. Eliot, Tennessee Williams, Kate Chopin and William Burroughs, all of whom spent formative years in the city.

But Kleindienst is just as enthusiastic about St. Louis’ contemporary writing community as she is about the region’s historical claims to writerly fame.

“We’re a great literary town, and that – in my 44 years of bookselling – has really just become clearer and clearer to me,” the Left Bank Books co-owner said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air during a discussion ahead of Bookfest St. Louis.

Kim Gardner began serving as the city’s top prosecutor in January 2017.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

 

Updated at 2:46 p.m. Saturday with clarification — St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim  Gardner has been on the job for a little over a year and a half now, and her office has been the subject of some controversy and criticism over the course of that relatively short time period.

Earlier this week, Gardner was the focus of an in-depth piece in the Riverfront Times. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, she joined host Don Marsh for a conversation in light of the recent news coverage, and Marsh started by asking the prosecutor what she thought about the recent description of her office as a “chaotic” one.

“In any transition period when you are a new elected official, taking over an office can be difficult, and transition is difficult and hard for people,” Gardner responded. “So, of course, as [with] any prior prosecutor, there’s going to be transition. People will leave. And some people may say it’s chaos, but I say that’s change.”

Felicia Shaw is the executive director of the Regional Arts Commission.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The Regional Arts Commission is trumpeting what it claims is the first comprehensive regional planning effort of its kind in St. Louis.

Among other things, the 90-page report calls for more arts education and collaborations among groups that have previously not worked together.

The focus of the report is “how can the arts play a larger role in making St. Louis a better place to live,” explained Felicia Shaw, executive director of the Regional Arts Commission (RAC).

Shaw was St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh’s guest on Friday.

The St. Louis-based literary magazine’s latest issue, which runs about 200 pages and includes some focus on immigration, features cover art by Tran Nguyen.
Boulevard

For nearly 35 years now, Boulevard magazine has been publishing works of fiction, poetry and nonfiction by both luminaries and emerging writers. Its hot-off-the-press 100th issue continues that tradition, offering readers a vibrant mix of contemporary literature penned by a wide range of writers.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the St. Louis-based literary magazine’s evolution and legacy since its founding in 1984.

Joining him for the discussion were the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jessica Rogen, as well as celebrated writers Joyce Carol Oates and Carl Phillips.

In the wake of Ferguson unrest, longtime St. Louisan Henry Biggs felt a pull to do something about the issues facing the St. Louis region.  He chose to swim.
Swimming to Ferguson

University City resident Henry Biggs remembers hearing “a lot of talk” about bridging St. Louis’ racial divides and disparities in the months that followed Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson four years ago.

“But I didn’t really see many people saying, ‘OK, well, what’s the thing that I could do?’” Biggs recalled this week on St. Louis on the Air.

For Biggs – a longtime St. Louisan, scholar and athlete – that one thing ended up involving a whole lot of swimming. He decided to swim the entire 28 miles of water surrounding Manhattan in New York City, and he asked people to pledge a dollar per mile to support “things that would make the Ferguson area better.”

Alongside the work of established artists and entertainers, artwork created through several outreach-oriented organizations - including these pieces by participants in Preferred Family Healthcare’s A.R.T.C. program – will be in the spotlight this weekend.
A.R.T.C.

Lorraine Reeb will be one of many individuals and organizations hawking their creative wares along St. Charles’ historic Main Street this weekend, and she’s excited about what her organization, Blank Canvas Studios, will have to offer passersby.

“Having a divergent way of interpreting the world makes really raw, uninhibited, amazing art,” she said on this Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

One of a handful of outreach-oriented nonprofits that will be showcasing work at the 24th Annual Mosaics Fine Arts Festival, Blank Canvas Studios provides an artistic outlet to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Reeb is the program director, and she joined host Don Marsh for a conversation alongside Lauren Zeiger, regional coordinator of Preferred Family Healthcare’s A.R.T.C. program.

DeRay Mckesson poses in the trademark blue vest that he first wore in the early days of the Ferguson protests.
Adam Mayer

An educator who quit his job to join the Ferguson protests, and then became a nationally known activist is coming back to St. Louis on Thursday.

DeRay Mckesson will appear at Union Avenue Christian Church to talk about his book, “On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope.”

Maplewood on June 7, 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The City of Maplewood may soon overhaul a controversial public-nuisance law that has been challenged by two recent lawsuits.

Maplewood’s City Council introduced an ordinance Tuesday that would add protections keeping victims of crimes from eviction and exclude calls to police from counting as a nuisance against residents.

From left, host Don Marsh interviews Sonia Sotomayor at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.
August Jennewein | UMSL

From the Bronx in New York City to Yale Law School and now the nation’s capital, Sonia Sotomayor has made a name for herself despite the obstacles she’s encountered throughout her life.

“My life hasn’t been always easy, and yet I succeeded,” Sotomayor said in a conversation with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh.

Growing up in poverty, learning English as a second language and being diagnosed with diabetes as a child, as well as grieving the death of her father when she was 9, are just a few of those obstacles.

Cameron Collins is the co-author of the third edition of "St. Louis Brews: The History of Brewing in the Gateway City."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The history of the beer industry in St. Louis is a winding one that goes back generations. Brewers named Lemp, Anheuser, Busch and Griesedieck played an important role on the local and national beer scenes.

While Anheuser-Busch is now a multinational company that’s no longer locally owned, the legacy of the beer that has its roots in St. Louis remains strong.

File photo I Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s latest special legislative session is underway as House and Senate members work to revise two bills vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Mike Parson.

The legislation would promote science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, known commonly as “STEM,” and expand treatment courts.

Andrew Hurley is the historian for the five-year project “The Missouri Transect: Climate, Plants and the Community.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The Great Flood of ’93 took a severe toll on St. Louis as an unprecedented weather phenomenon. But St. Louis is no stranger to floods, tornadoes, heat waves, ice storms and more.

Amid dealing with the effects of these events, St. Louisans should be aware that climate change has the potential to increase the frequency of them as well.

Onlookers watch as Air Force One lands at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in March 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

There’s one person who will affect Missouri’s U.S. Senate race more than a pointed attack ad or dumptrucks full of money: President Donald Trump.

Both U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley believe he’ll make an impact in their nationally-watched contest.

The question, though, is who will benefit?

Brian Cohen (at left), the founder of LouFest, and St. Louis Public Radio’s Holly Edgell discussed the cancelation of this weekend’s festival.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Like so many St. Louisans this week, LouFest founder Brian Cohen was surprised and saddened to learn that the major St. Louis music festival set for this weekend had been canceled.

“It’s a sad day for sure, for a lot of people,” he told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “I didn’t necessarily see it going down this way – it certainly was a shock to me, and we’ll just have to see if we can find some answers as to why it all happened this way.”

Cohen, who in 2016 sold his stake in the company that organizes the festival, didn’t speculate about possible financial mismanagement or poor decisions that may have led to this year’s issues. But he acknowledged that the music industry is a difficult one where it’s easy to run into trouble.

From left, Nigel Darvell and Charles Whitehead discussed video-gaming addiction on Friday’s "St. Louis on the Air."
Caitlin Lally | St. Louis Public Radio

The World Health Organization recently announced that digital gaming can be addictive. The type of addiction falls under gaming disorder, which is “characterized by impaired control over gaming … to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities … despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire lifts his 10-year-old son, Matt, after hitting his 62nd home run of the 1998 season on Sept. 8, 1998, breaking Roger Maris' record.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

On Sept. 8, 1998, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire sent a low line drive over Busch Stadium’s left field wall to break Roger Maris’ 37-year-old home run record.

McGwire’s 62nd home run of the season sent the sellout crowd and the city into a frenzy. But for some fans, McGwire’s eventual admission that he used steroids has taken the shine off the record-breaking summer.

On Friday evening, the Archdiocese of St. Louis is holding a Mass of Reparation at the Cathedral Basilica for victims of sexual abuse.
Brian Plunkett | Flickr

The word “outrage” doesn’t quite capture how Catholics in St. Louis have been reacting to a recent report revealing that nearly 1,000 young people were sexually abused by hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania over a 70-year period.

“I think everyone is just really grieving … there’s so much anger and some hostility even,” said Sandra Price, executive director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. “The reports that were outlined in the grand-jury report in Pennsylvania [were] grisly, detailed reports of abuse – that’s what sexual abuse is. And that the public has seen what sexual abuse really looks like, it’s traumatic – there’s just no words.”

Price, along with colleague Carol Brescia, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh for a conversation leading up to Friday’s planned Mass of Reparation. The segment also included comments from Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley and from David Clohessy, founder of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP.

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