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.


  • Monday: Roger Coleman and the Curse of Dullness / Rock 'n' Roll Orchestra
  • Tuesday: The Psychology of a City when the Murder Rate Spikes
  • Wednesday: Heritage and Legacy of the Historic Northeast
  • Thursday: Food Choices and the Environment
  • Friday: Portrait Session: TBD
Paul Andrews

According to Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, the digital divide is the civil rights issue of the 21st century.

“Having internet access is essential. It’s not a luxury,” she says.

Kositany-Buckner, the deputy director of the Kansas City Public Library, has been working to bridge the digital divide in Kansas City. And the library is the place to do it, she says.

“We provide access to digital content — whether it’s e-books, audio books or research tools you can access online,” says Kositany-Buckner.

With the recent passing of Jesse Hope, the founder and curator of the Old Quindaro Museum and one of the historic township's most dedicated champions, questions arise about the future of the site and its legacy. 


  • Laura Ziegler, community engagement reporter, KCUR

Humans and squirrels live side by side in urban and suburban neighborhoods. When humans observe and document these smaller animals in their yards and on their blocks, that isn't just a weird hobby; it informs science. 


Recent calls for police body cameras raise questions about documenting truth. An art curator, a war historian and a police major discuss. 


Where do you go to interact with your neighbors? Whether it's a soccer field, outdoor movie screening or a gathering of food trucks in a public park — or even a created space that a local artist filled with hammocks — we explore what makes for a good gathering spot.

Open Book

Aug 14, 2015
Paul Andrews

What is the role of the library in the 21st century? The Deputy Director of the Kansas City Public Library discusses her efforts to bridge the digital divide and to archive information — as well as her dream of being a jewelry designer.


  • Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, Deputy Director of the Kansas City Public Library.
Jeremy Thompson / Flickr-CC

One local music venue is in a narrow storefront and it doesn’t have a stage. The other is in the East Bottoms.

You’d think these locations wouldn’t work, but the Green Lady Lounge and Knuckleheads Saloon have succeeded in carving out a niche in Kansas City’s music scene — even to the point where Knuckleheads has opened the Garage, a mid-sized venue, next door.

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.


Aug 12, 2015

Two local music venues, recordBar and Take 5 Coffee + Bar, recently announced that they looking for new homes. In light of this news, we explore what makes for a good music venue — location or something else? A music blogger/musician and two local music venue owners share their thoughts.

Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

A Johnson County journalism professor is obsessed with cacti. And a Los Angeles-based artist is obsessed with the journalism professor's obsession with cacti. How did this happen?


  • Amir H. Fallah, artist, The Caretaker exhibit at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Mark Raduziner, professor of journalism, Johnson County Community College

Kansas Representative Gene Suellentrop is a supporter of the Kansas budget experiment known as the "march to zero" for income taxes. In his nephew's social circles, on the east coast, that position is hard to understand. So the nephew decided to immerse himself in his uncle's world, just as a legislative session turned upside-down by budget debates got underway.


Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art

Kansas City residents who'd like to experience nature in air-conditioned comfort have the option to do just this inside the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. Three site-specific installations on display through September explore "what we have taken from nature and what we do to nature," says executive director Bruce Hartman.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Teaching has changed a lot in the past few decades. From standardized testing to ADD diagnosis, technology to policy. But it's not just the classroom that's different. Teachers are going into the profession for different reasons and with different motivations as well. This discussion kicks off KCUR's Teaching It Forward series.


Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

Quantity over quality used to be the mantra for brunch spreads in the past. And who can forget the decorative ice sculptures that presided over a seemingly endless row of buffet tables?

Not anymore.

From chilaquiles to chicken confit hash (along with coffee and cocktails) — that leisurely, mid-morning meal gets a makeover on local menus.

On Friday’s Central Standard, our Food Critics Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch and Emily Farris uncover the best brunch dishes in Kansas City.

Long and leisurely and sometimes boozy, brunch is a delicious mid-morning ritual. A food historian talks about how the egg became an American breakfast staple, and our Food Critics search out the best brunch dishes in Kansas City.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Garage, yard and estate sales may not be unique to Kansas City, but we do have our peculiarities.

For example, thriving flea markets – particularly in the West Bottoms – affect what we’re finding in garage sales. And if someone insists they are having an estate sale in their driveway, you might want to lower your expectations.

Our resident historian and an attorney/engineer who is involved in KC's levee systems management discuss how floods have shaped and changed the city.

Sylvia Maria Gross/KCUR

Get into the world of KC garage sales, estate sales, yard sales and more. A local resident who runs an estate sale business and an author who has studied American garage sales share their thoughts on the thrill of the thrift.

When researchers stumbled upon a buttery substance under a lake, they thought maybe they'd also stumbled upon the answer to an age old mystery: why a pre-Columbian civilization near St. Louis abandoned the complex city they'd built. But with multiple research teams exploring the Cahokia Mounds site, not everyone agrees on what the new discovery means. 


  • Sissel Schroeder, University of Wisconsin
  • Melissa Balthus Zych, University of Toledo
Courtesy of Gary Staab

You know those gigantic dinosaur models you see in natural history museums, frozen in mid-roar? There's a good chance they were made in Kearney, Missouri by a guy named Gary Staab. From his encounter with Lucy (the famous skeleton of our human ancestor) to a mummified human known as the Ice Man, Gary Staab takes us face to face with prehistoric life. 

Courtesy of Gary Staab

Gary Staab might appear to be an ordinary guy.

He lives in small-town, rural Kearney, Missouri, with his wife, Lissi, and their two teenage sons, Max and Owen. He plays guitar for the Mechanical Prairie Dogs, and is learning to play cello in his spare time.

But for a living, Staab sculpts prehistoric monsters and ancient human ancestors. He constructs wooden skeleton bases, shapes and welds bodies with wire, crafts muscles and eyeballs and molds resin flesh with epoxy.

Praeger publishing

The escalating problem of student debt isn't just about the pain of writing large checks. So say two University of Kansas professors who have co-written a book on the crisis, using their own personal stories to make a case that differences in access to higher ed begin long before loans, and influence life and career paths far beyond graduation.


Emilian Robert Vicol -- Flickr/CC

In his book, Understanding Modern Money, Randall Wray wrote that the way the eurozone was structured would likely cause a financial crisis.

That was in 1998.

Wray, a professor of economics at UMKC, is just one of a handful of economists who predicted the current crisis in the eurozone (the countries in the European Union that use the euro as currency).

In Inside Out, emotions are personified into characters — just like in Greek mythology. A critic, a local mom and a scholar of Greek myths discuss the drama of human emotions.

Photographer Lara Shipley discusses Devil's Promenade, her photo series that depicts life in the Ozarks, where she grew up.

A Kansas Citian with ties to Greece shares his perspective on the financial crisis there, and a UMKC professor who predicted trouble in the Eurozone in 1998 discusses how it all came about — and how UMKC approaches economics in a radical way.

Responding to our query about garage sales, two of our listeners explain their favorite finds.


  • Brad Lieffring
  • Lynette Fisk

A KU professor discusses the history of Japanese desserts, and how they contain less sugar than their Western counterparts.

A food historian discusses why we prefer bold, dry wines like Cabernet and Chardonnay — and how Missouri grapes saved the French wine industry.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

Research into income mobility across US counties inspires Central Standard to take a roadtrip, talk to an economist and hear from locals with their own research and experience to share. Is the "land of opportunity" created by individuals or their environments?