Photo by Morgan Plunkett
A newly-designed Apple Store recently opened on the Country Club Plaza, aiming to be a gathering place for Apple users.This new addition is the first tenant in the former Halls building and the previous store has been permanently closed.
The new Apple location has been designed to be an inviting space to attract foot traffic throughout the day.
“There are really big windows and a lot of light, there are benches to sit down and congregate, there seems like there is less merchandise in the store than there was before, and it’s less cluttered,” avid Apple user and Spanish teacher Jeff Finnie said. “It is a rebranding almost, like the next generation of stores.”
Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of fashion brand Burberry and now head of Apple’s online and retail stores, helped introduce two new features: the Avenue, located on the South wall of the Plaza store. This showcases items such as headphones, apps, iPhone cases and photography accessories. The wall was inspired by retail window displays that change throughout the season, so it will be constantly filled with new items.
Another new feature is the Forum, a gathering space centered around a $6,000 dollar video wall located on the east side of the store. The Forum was created to be a place of education for Apple users. To get further input on art, photography, music and gaming on Apple products, customers are able to learn and get inspired by workers and other Apple users. Also at the Forum, Apple offers year-round programs for kids, new monthly events for teachers, sessions for current and aspiring developers and Game Night with editors from Apple’s App Store.
Alumni Akshay Dinakar, released his newest violin composition on Aug. 28, “Outside In,” published by the International Music Score Library and Amazon. After his long-time violin teacher, Gregory Sandomirsky, introduced him to the KC jazz scene, Dinakar found his passion of improvisation and fusion music, which blends classical, jazz and pop.
“I’ve been very lucky to have musical opportunities through violin that other musicians can only dream of,” Dinakar said. “Throughout my life journey with music, I’ve had individuals and mentors who have taken a chance on me, singled me out and personally mentored me whether that be in classical music, jazz improvisation or other parts of performance.”
Having previously published a music composition with Amazon, Dinakar was already familiar with the process of getting a work up in their domain. The International Sheet Music Library is a project that publishes free sheet music as long as it does not copyright and is deemed worthy enough to go up on the site.
“The hope of my piece is that it pushes any performer to accept the freedom of interpretation that the piece comes with, and be a learning experience, rather than simply playing notes off of a page,” Dinakar said. “The piece is light, ‘roller-coastery’ and has several different moods, so I hope that it will be a creative and uplifting adventure for anyone who plays it.”
In the past decade, food allergies have jumped 50 percent, affecting one in 13 children under the age of 18, according to foodallergies.org. This increase in food allergies has lead to an increase in the number of people who require Epipens
, which affects the 15 million Americans estimated to have food allergies. Insurance may cover most of the cost, but if people have high deductibles or no insurance, they could be left without this life-saving tool.
“My house recently burnt down,” junior Scheele Prust said. “I had two sets of them that were destroyed, but insurance only covered one set since each set now cost $635.”
Since 2004, the price of EpiPens has increased by 450%, now costing more than $600 a dose. With an estimated 15 million Americans having food allergies, every three minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room, according to foodallergies.org.
“I understand why they are expensive because of the medicine that is in them, but at the same time they shouldn’t cost as much as they do,” junior Katie Uresti said. “Anyone who needs [an Epipen] should be able to have one no matter what the cost is.”