Central Standard

Monday - Friday at 10 a.m.

Central Standard is a daily radio show that explores what really matters to the people in the Kansas City area. We tell the stories of our city and region from the bottom up and through the perspective of individuals. We are an inclusive forum that explores art, ideas and how the news affects lives and communities.

CONTACT US: When we're on air | With a suggestion for our program
LISTEN ANYTIME ANYWHERE: Podcast
CONNECT WITH US: Twitter: @KCURcst | E-Mail

THIS WEEK:

Monday: Have Conversations Around the Death Penalty Changed? / Audio Postcard: Kites

  • Rebecca Woodman | director, Death Penalty Litigation Clinic
  • Sean O’Brien | associate professor, UMKC School of Law

Tuesday: Transgender Kansas City / Black Journalism

  • Caroline Gibbs | transgender counselor, Transgender Institute
  • Luke Harness | transgender activist
  • Sandra Meade | host, KKFI's Trans Talk, state chair, Equality Kansas
  • LaShonda Katrice Barnett | author, Jam on the Vine

Wednesday: Kansas City's Mob History Leaps onto App / Radical Politics At KU

  • Gary Jenkins, retired KCMO police officer, creator, Kansas City Mob Tour
  • Laird Wilcox, author, founder, Wilcox collection
  • Becky Shulte, KU archivist, curator, Wilcox collection

Thursday: Fish Artist / Tell KCUR: KC's 'Bucket List' / Arcades Come Back To KC 

  • Briana O'Higgins, director of digital content, KCUR
  • Joseph Tomelleri, fish artist, scientist
  • Cody Newill, KCUR

Friday: ScreenTime: Woman in Gold

  • Antonia Bostrom, chief curator, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Russ Simmons, movie critic
  • Karen Pack, past president, Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City

LAST WEEK:

Monday: Surface Parking (Encore) / Drill Teams (Encore)
Tuesday: Missouri State Representative Brandon Ellington / Tequila
Wednesday: The Best Books On The Prairie
Thursday: From Montana To Kansas City: On The Missouri River In A Canoe
Friday: Food Critics: The Best Signature Desserts In Kansas City

With the advertising and design community immersed in Kansas City Design Week, we examine how local companies get people to identify with their products and their stories. Let's pull back the curtain on some popular KC brands: Shatto Milk, Sporting KC and SPIN! Pizza.

Guest:

House of Cards is one of those shows that you can’t watch without discussing. It’s so dark, so addictive and so dramatic. Plus, the worldview it establishes ties into real world issues and dynamics in a way that makes you wonder, what if this is kind of maybe a little bit accurate? We invite a politician, a media critic and a Congressional reporter to give their reviews of House of Cards.

Guests:

Charvex / Creative Commons, Wikimedia

Rashaan Gilmore is a Kansas City native with a lot to say about our city's unspoken code for polite conduct. During a January conversation about race in Kansas City's LGBTQ community, he said, "We don't like to talk about things that are uncomfortable, we don't like to talk about things that are difficult. We're Kansas City Nice."

We invited Gilmore and some fellow panelists back to to Central Standard to unpack that phrase.

Here's Gilmore's definition of Kansas City Nice:

A uniquely Kansas City behavior that gives the appearance of kindness, helpfulness or interest but which belies a true attitude or feeling of envy, anger, disinterest or apathy.

And here is his list of 9 key characteristics that he thinks should tip us off when this particular form of politeness is in full effect.

"Kansas City nice." It's a term you hear all the time around here, but what does it mean? Is there such a thing as a Kansas City-specific code of conduct? We explore the purpose and history of etiquette in general, then we focus on etiquette in Kansas City today. What do we consider polite and what offends us? And do our etiquette rules hinder us in any way?

Guests:

Ford Motor Company / Wikimedia Commons

The middle class is seemingly ever-present in American politics and ideals. President Obama pushed for what he calls "middle class economics" in his State of the Union address, and according to a Pew research study in 2012, nearly half of all Americans identified themselves as being part of the middle class.

Earthquakes are more frequent than ever in Oklahoma, and they're hitting harder. KCUR's Frank Morris visits Kansas's neighbor to the South and gets perspectives and stories from those directly affected by the situation. Is the cornerstone of that state's economy shaking its foundation?

Roeland Park is a self-governing city in a 1.6-mile radius. Locals know it as a convenient place to stock up on carloads of stuff at big box stores. Or as the site of the Mexican Price Chopper. Some know it as the city that passed a non-discrimination ordinance protecting the LGBT community. But what is Roeland Park like from the inside?

Guests:

  • Tom Madigan, community member
  • Teresa Kelly, councilmember and "chicken lady", Roeland Park Ward 4
Harum Kelmy / KBIA

It's not every day a researcher stumbles on 1.9 million year-old fossils of human ancestors. But the University of Missouri's Carol Ward did just that on a trip to Kenya. Discoveries made by Ward and her team have huge implications for our evolutionary past.

Guest:

  • Carol Ward, professor, pathology and anatomical sciences, The University of Missouri
Lisa Brewster / Flickr

My Little Ponies may be great enticements for toilet training, but new research shows that material rewards for accomplishments can lead to materialism down the road. Kids raised with "stuff" as the main motivator for good behavior disproportionately correlate material things with self-worth as adults. The researcher discusses her findings. 

Guest:

  • Lan Chaplin, University of Illinois in Chicago
Eleanor Klibanoff / KCUR

Tucked up on a hill in Kansas City's historic Westside neighborhood, Novel looks more like a house than a restaurant. But, very few of the dishes on the menu will remind you of mama’s home cooking — at least at first glance.

Chef and owner Ryan Brazeal serves a lot of offal, which, despite it's pronunciation, is not a judgment on his cooking.

 

Bill Walsh / Flickr--CC


From nose to tail, chefs are getting creative with all parts of the animal. Whether it’s game or offal, we go beyond chicken breast to talk about the more unusual cuts of meat that are popping up on area menus.

 

On this week’s Central Standard, Ryan Brazeal, owner/chef of Novel, discusses how to prepare offal, and James Worley from the Missouri Department of Conservation talks about hunting and cooking wild game. Our Food Critics Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch and Bonjwing Lee hunt down the best creative meat dishes in Kansas City.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Why is the Kansas school funding formula so complicated? Or is it, really? Get a lesson on school funding, how the formula works, and why it will likely soon be replaced by block grants.

(Try and solve the formula yourself, here.)

Guests:

  • Sam Zeff, KCUR education reporter
  • Brad Tennant, math teacher, Shawnee Mission West
courtesy of the artist

For the past 35 years, artist and YJ’s Snackbar owner David Ford has been traveling to Guatemala.

His interests in the area have ranged from local foods and recipes to indigenous festivals and politics. But recently, his focus has narrowed — he’s become totally obsessed with broken doll heads, called muñecas, used in bustling marketplaces to advertise hair-braiding and hair-wrapping services to white tourists.

“It’s an advertising thing,” Ford explains.

There have been two Department of Justice Reports, two police officers shot, and several high-level resignations since our last conversation about the whirlwind of events in Ferguson, Missouri. A reporter, a professor and a reverend give us their perspectives on the latest news.

Guests:

Brian Hillegas / Flickr

There's talk of a West Bottoms revitalization. But the truth is, every fifteen years or so, the industrial stockyards district experiences a new kind of renaissance. In the 80s and 90s, it was an underground arts thing. Now, it's food, festivals and antiques. Meanwhile, industry and architecture have maintained a quiet presence all along. From art to antiques, can revivals of the recent past inform the future of the district?

Guests:

Central Avenue is a business corridor cutting across seven neighborhoods in Kansas City, Kan. The street has seen a major cultural shift over the past 20 years, as Latinos have moved into many of the surrounding neighborhoods and started new businesses along Central. 

Guests:

  • Edgar Galicia, Central Avenue Betterment Association
  • Steve Curtis, artist and community activist, Community Housing Wyandotte county
  • Allie Mason, Fokl Arts Center

As St. Patrick ’s Day approaches, many of us will be celebrating our (real or fictional) Irish heritage at local bars and pubs. But, what exactly makes a bar an authentic Irish pub?

Guest:

  • Craig Duke, Irish Center of Kansas City
Esther Honig / KCUR

On a Monday night at the Lee A. Tolbert gymnasium in Kansas City, 80 dancers ages 6-25 gather for one of two weekly practices of The Marching Cobras. 

In gym shorts and sneakers, the dancers break a sweat running through their routines. They move to the beats of a group of young drummers banging out a rhythm loud enough to make your ears pound.

Paul Andrews

 

Paul Mesner has never been bored. 

"I was a pretty shy kid, but I also was and still am very content to be by myself,"' he says. "There's tons I can do to entertain myself."

In that sense, Kansas City's master puppeteer was his own first audience.

It started with a teddy bear.

Early beginnings

Patrick Quick, KCUR

Recently in Columbus Park, some folks built a pop-up/DIY skate park in an underused portion of a city street. Why do people go outside the typical building process, with its system of permits and bureaucracy, and how do these projects benefit a community? How common are they and how have they turned out? We explore the organic, under-the-radar, grassroots building projects around the city.

Guests:

Courtesy Nuwayv

Earlier this year when the Folk Alliance International conference was underway in Kansas City, Central Standard interviewed local musicians from different genres about how they write songs. That inspired us to launch a new series: "Story of a Song."

For this installment, Hannah Copeland spoke with members of the Kansas City band, Nuwayv, which defines its music as "rugged soul." Hannah explains how the four artists collaborated to write their new album’s final track, “We Shinin.”

It’s that time of year when we’ll start to see more and more mammals scurrying about around the city. Mammals like foxes, squirrels and, yes, maybe even some coyotes.

In the past 15 years, coyote populations in Midwestern urban and suburban areas have been increasing -- including in the Kansas City area.

“A  lot of folks don’t realize that we have them around the state, they don’t realize that they’re inside the cities. So when they see one they get all concerned,” says Andy Friesen, a wildlife damage biologist for the Kansas Department of Wildlife.

Comedy can come from unexpected sources, for example, parents of children who have autism. It can be hard for these parents to talk about their particular parenting experiences, and to laugh about the funny (and even challenging) moments. During an event called An Evening With The Rents at the Gem  Theater, KCUR announcer and newscaster Jenny Whitty shared her experience about parenting kids on the autism spectrum.

Patrick Quick / KCUR

When Kansas City comedians tour nationally, it almost feels like cheating. Used to small crowds and tough audiences in KC, they’re surprised by the raucous applause and packed houses on the road.

“All around the country, Kansas City comics have a reputation of just coming in and shattering the crowd. They’re like, man, you guys are really good,” according to Mike Smith, a Kansas City-based stand-up comedian. “And we’re like, could you email our city and tell them that?”

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Nearly a year ago, three people were shot and killed outside the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom in Overland Park, Kan. The only suspect, former Ku Klux Klan member Frazier Glenn Cross, was known by authorities to harbor anti-Semitic beliefs. 

essentialeducator.org --CC

The mother of a boy who was severely beaten in a Liberty, Missouri middle school lunchroom in February said she’d written to the school a month earlier — telling administrators her son was being picked on.

Blake Kitchen has Asperger’s Syndrome and as part of his condition, he likes routine. For example, he likes eating in the same spot in the lunchroom each day. When Blake put his tray down in that spot, an older student allegedly beat him so badly he ended up in the hospital with a broken skull and jaw.

Artist Erin Zona remembers being in a creative rut. She was working in retail, unsure how she would ever find the time and energy to get back on track with her art. Those memories inspired her current project, which provides a platform for re-emerging artists to get published.

Guest:

From Narnia to The Hunger Games, young adult literature has an age-old obsession with right versus wrong. But moral conundrums on teens' bookshelves are more complex than ever. What does the changing moral landscape say about growing up today? 

Guests: 

  • Melissa Lenos, associate professor of English, Donnelly College
  • Naphtali Faris, early literacy manager, The Kansas City Public Library
juttazeisset / Pixabay

On the face of it, bread is such a simple thing. But the difference between an ordinary, ho-hum slice of bread and a lovingly-prepared morsel with a crunchy crust and a melty middle … there’s just no comparison.

Whether it’s hard and crusty or soft and spongy, bread is more than just a delivery mechanism for sandwich fillings.

On this week’s Central Standard, our Food Critics Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch and Lou Jane Temple weigh in on the best bread in Kansas City.

Charles Ferruzza:

In the wake of a bullying incident that sent a 12-year-old to the hospital for five days in the Liberty School District, we get perspectives on bullying from administrators, parents and former students, all in an effort to figure out what can and should be done to keep kids safe.

 

Guests:

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