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 host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer, and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

The show is sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

A photo of the prisoner of war camp at Weingarten, MO.
Courtesy David Fiedler

Sunday, Dec. 11, marks 75 years since the United States declared war on Germany and Italy. That was four days after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, which killed 2,403 Americans, and three days after the U.S. declared war on the Empire of Japan in retaliation.

The United States had officially entered World War II. With that entry, few realize that the nation would open its borders to house prisoners of war from the Axis powers for the remainder of the war.

From 1942 to 1945, more than 400,000 Axis prisoners were shipped to the United States and detained in camps across the nation. Missouri figured into this equation, housing some 15,000 prisoners of war from Germany and Italy inside state lines.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says St. Clair County's proposal for the NGA's relocation to Scott Air Force Base is better than those for three Missouri sites.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are honored to welcome U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to the program.

The Illinois Democrat serves as the Senate minority whip, making him the second most powerful member of his party next to the minority leader. He recently won another term in office in the 2014 election cycle.

Pearl Harbor survivor Bill Johnson reads the list of names inscribed in the USS Arizona Memorial.
Chief Journalist David Rush | U.S. Navy

Walter Schoenke was 9 years old when he survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Schoenke was not an active military member at that time, though he would go on to serve in the Air Force during the Korean War, but his father was. His father, Raymond, had moved to Hawaii to help construct the Schofield Barracks at Pearl Harbor, one of the targets of the attacks and Walter was born on the islands.

A view of the Trestle above I-70, just north of downtown St. Louis.
Paul Sableman | Flickr

Josie McDonald is “always looking for new walkable and bikeable destinations in the city.” She says she fell in love with St. Louis because of its road and bike path bike-ability.

But something’s been weighing on her mind for a while: a seeming bike path she just can’t bike. It goes by the name of “The Trestle” and you may have seen it as you drive on Interstate 70 north out of downtown St. Louis.

So, she asked Curious Louis to solve the mystery for her — so we have.

Jarl Mohn has been NPR's CEO since 2014.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, St. Louis Public Radio had a special visitor: Jarl Mohn, the CEO of NPR. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh had a few moments to talk with him about the future of public radio, his thoughts on covering the Trump administration and the state of media literacy.

Mohn joined NPR as CEO on July 1, 2014. Prior to that, Mohn founded E! Entertainment Television and held senior leadership positions at MTV, VH1 and CNET.

Below, we’ve summarized some of the most interesting points from the conversation:

On the Trump administration…

Katie Herbert Meyer and Stephen Legomsky discussed the efforts of Migrant & Immigrant Community Action Project in St. Louis on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Since Nov. 9 and the results of the presidential election, the phones have been “ringing off the hook” at St. Louis’ Migrant & Immigrant Community Action Project. MICA is a local nonprofit that provides immigration law services at a reduced cost for documented and undocumented immigrants who cannot afford to pay the thousands of dollars it would take to retain an attorney in asylum, work authorization and other kinds of immigration cases.

Joe Buck doesn’t like NPR. You might not be able to tell this fact from the number of interviews he’s had on the network about his first memoir “Lucky Bastard,” but there it is. St. Louisan and national sportscaster Joe Buck has distaste for public radio. Just not for the reason you think.

Rachel Lippmann, Mike Wolff, Bill Freivogel and Jason Rosenbaum joined St. Louis on the Air's "Behind the Headlines" segment on Friday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the past and the future on “Behind the Headlines.”

Earlier this week, Missouri Supreme Court Justice Richard Teitelman died at age 69. He was considered a leading liberal voice in the Missouri legal community. We heard from two of his colleagues, SLU Law School Dean Mike Wolff and SIUC Journalism Professor Bill Freivogel, in reflection of his life and service.

Kea Wilson recently published her first novel, "We Eat Our Own," with Scribner.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

“Canny, funny and impressively detailed.” That’s what the New York Times had to say about Kea Wilson’s first novel “We Eat Our Own,” published earlier this year with Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Missouri capitol
RebelAt | English Wikipedia

The Republican near-sweep of statewide offices in the Nov. 8 election in Missouri opens the path for a lot of changes in the state but none is as assured as the passage of “right to work” legislation, which would alter the ability of labor unions to require dues from members to work certain jobs.

Members of the group Stile Antico:  Helen Ashby, Katie Schofield, and William Dawes.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio.

When you think of the Christmas hits making the rounds on the radio today, your mind probably doesn’t immediately jump to Renaissance music. That’s what the British early vocal music ensemble Stile Antico is bringing to St. Louis tonight — selections from their Christmas music repertoire that hail back hundreds of years.

Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane navigate life after loss at age 50 in a new book.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

What do you do when you lose the love of your life after age 50? That’s a question two nationally-known authors with ties to St. Louis tackle in the book “Suddenly Single After 50: The Girlfriends’ Guide to Navigating Loss, Restoring Hope and Rebuilding Your Life.”

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the book with authors Barbara Ballinger and Margaret Crane. 

Crane lost her husband of 42 years after a five-year battle with lymphoma. Ballinger and her husband divorced after 29 years of marriage.

Zora Mulligan, Missouri's Commissioner for Higher Education, has been in the position since August.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Zora Mulligan has been on the job as Missouri’s Commissioner of Higher Education for less than four months. But before she stepped into those shoes, she served as the University of Missouri System’s Chief of Staff during the 2015-2016 protests at Mizzou, which grasped the attention of the entire nation.

Did such exposure hurt the UM System as a whole?

An example of an image found in "Capturing the City," which features workers at the intersection of Grand and Olive circa 1907.
Capturing the City

Charles Clement Holt was many things: an engineer, a draftsman, a surveyor for the St. Louis Streets Department. He became so good at the latter that he eventually became head of the Streets Department.

Al Li, president of the St. Louis Asian American Chamber of Commerce, and John Clark, President and CEO of Masterclock, Inc.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s been more than 40 years since the United States pulled out of Vietnam, leaving hundreds of thousands dead. In those 40 years, communist-controlled Vietnam has also solidified its place as a burgeoning business power. The country currently has the 55th largest GDP in the world. Within 10 years, Vietnam will be the 17th largest economy in the world.

Peal Harbor Print
Hasegawa Sadanobu III | Saint Louis Art Museum

The Saint Louis Art Museum’s current exhibit “Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan” highlights an underappreciated category of Japanese art.

The museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Fellow for Japanese Art, Rhiannon Paget, and curator of Asian Art, Phillip Hu, joined St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter to discuss the exhibition.

Slinkies are one of the toys on exhibit in the Missouri History Museum's "Toys of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s" exhibit. https://www.flickr.com/photos/southpaw2305/4291636470/in/photolist-7xeL1f-64TFJk-64XYyu-4DfKXx-8hNXsa-e44sdM-oGHS7T-e44ri4-e4a5i1-ixGSpw-mk
Clare Black | Flickr

Baby Boomers, rejoice! A nostalgic throwback exhibit has rolled into town highlighting the toys of yesteryear. Hailing from the Minnesota State Historical Society, you can view collections of toys from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s through January 22, 2017 at the Missouri History Museum.

Sharon Smith, curator of Civic and Personal Identity at the Missouri History Museum, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the exhibit and what separates toys of Baby Boomers’ childhoods from the rest.

William Freivogel, Ronald Levin and Mark Smith participated in this week's Legal Roundtable.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday, St. Louis on the Air’s monthly legal roundtable returned, this time to address pressing issues of the law that are brought up the results of the 2016 election in Missouri and across the United States. Other topics will also be discussed.

Joining the panel this time around:

Ann Plunkett and Russ Riggan shared their experience in employment law by dissecting new FLSA overtime rules that go into effect Dec. 1.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Nov. 22, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III blocked Obama Administration changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rule that was set to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2016. The rule would have extended overtime eligibility for some 4.2 million Americans and 300,000 workers in Missouri and Illinois.

Read below for background on how the rule could change. More from NPR here

How should you handle potentially divisive conversations at the Thanksgiving dinner table? https://www.flickr.com/photos/kasilof/11692803775/in/photolist-iPfFc6-5JGFXS-7iBRKu-5FUxrh-qkjkNx-qByHBx-5FQhBX-6Ts5w-5FQdin-qkjkf8-u16R8-49Z9XY-t9JaW-49kPWh-5FUvn3
Robert & Pat Rogers | Flickr

Meditation. Listen and ask questions. A “no politics” rule. Not attending. “I don’t know what I’ll do.” These are all answers St. Louisans gave when asked “how are you planning to handle political differences at the Thanksgiving dinner table this year?”

Kirkwood couple Laura and Jim Radlcliff voted in different ways in the 2016 election. How are they handling their political differences now?
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

He voted for Donald Trump. She voted for Hillary Clinton. Now that the bitterly contested election results are in, how is one St. Louis couple handling their discussions about politics, the White House and the future of the United States?

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from Laura and Jim Radcliff of Kirkwood about how they come to terms with their political differences. They also shared insights on how they talk with each other when neither side is ready to budge on the issues they care about.

Earlier this year, iLLPHONiCS released a new album titled "Gone With the Trends."
Provided by iLLPHONICS

Earlier this year, iLLPHONiCS released “Gone With the Trends,” its first album on a new label called The Record Machine. Just a month ago, the group released a music video for one of the album’s flagship songs “96to99.” The hip-hop-funk-rock fusion band has been a staple on the St. Louis music scene since 2006.

Timebanking is a concept that allows people to exchange hours of services for others' hours of services. https://www.flickr.com/photos/126915310@N08/16704483331/in/photolist-rs7QVi-8ys6Hs-93GPYw-nkc4GF-pEoeBm-8UUxKR-nN3cfZ-7ndGEZ-5r97iL-arAPMg-7UTmVK-8pPv
uditha wickramanayaka | Flickr

What if there was a way to exchange goods and services without needing your wallet stuffed with cash and credit cards?

Well, there actually is: a new-old method of currency called “timebanking.” Timebanking provides participants with the opportunity to exchange time credits for work. One time credit is equal to one hour of service, for any and every service.

St. Louis is home to such a form of currency in The Cowry Collective Timebank, founded by Chinyere E. Oteh. She said that timebanking provides wider access to goods and services for community members.

In 2013, HEC-TV producer Amanda Honingfort interned with Gwen Ifill on "Washington Week."
Amanda Honingfort

Earlier this week, beloved Peabody Award-winning PBS journalist Gwen Ifill died at the age of 61 due to complications from cancer, with which she had struggled for several years. On this week’s “Behind the Headlines” on St. Louis on the Air, we looked at the impact of Ifill’s journalism and listen to a 2010 excerpt of her interview with Don Marsh about her book “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”

Grisha Goryachev hails from St. Petersburg, Russia. He's a flamenco guitar virtuoso who draws inspiration from his classical guitar roots.
Motohiro Asano

Acclaimed flamenco guitarist Grisha Goryachev, performing this weekend in St. Louis, hails from St. Petersburg, Russia. In fact, he comes from a long line of guitar teachers: both his father and grandfather taught guitar lessons and passed their art down to Goryachev.

Amy Harmon covers science and society for the New York Times.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Amy Harmon has been a national correspondent for The New York Times, covering the intersection of science and society, since 1997. On Thursday, she joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the divide between public opinion and scientific data. She will address audiences on similar subject matter at the Danforth Plant Science Center on Thursday evening as well.

The touring cast of "Fun Home." The musical won 5 Tony Awards in 2015.
Fun Home Musical

The five-time Tony Award-winning musical "Fun Home," opened this week at the Fox Theatre — a special homecoming for the musical, which was produced by Fox Theatricals, based in St. Louis.

In 2015, 12 million coloring books for adults were sold, according to Nielsen Bookscan. That’s a huge jump from 2014, when only 1 million were sold. As for 2016? We’ll have to wait and see, but it is certain the trend isn’t going away any time soon.

The historic Bequette-Ribault House in Ste. Genevieve was restored in 2014.
Chaumette Winery and Vineyard

Earlier this year, the National Park Service completed a Special Resource Study on Ste. Genevieve to assess the area’s historic elements for their “significance, suitability, and feasibility of the resources, and potential area boundaries.”

At the end of the study, NPS determined that parts of Ste. Genevieve are eligible for inclusion in the national park system. It recommended a small NPS-managed unit and a large area affiliated with NPS for preservation. 

The apple cake dessert: creme fraiche semifreddo from Sardella
Sauce Magazine | Greg Rannells

When’s the last time that something on the dessert menu surprised you?

"Chocolate lava cake is ubiquitous, you can go to any number of restaurants and find that or a crème brûlée or a cheesecake on the menu,” Sauce Magazine art director Meera Nagarajan said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s particularly creative or different.”

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