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.

THIS WEEK:

Epic Summer

Jun 16, 2015

If summertime means being out of school, think again. Crestview Elementary is one of two schools in the metro experimenting with a year-long schedule. So we attempt to redefine summer, with great literature set amid sweltering summer heat and a roadtrip in search of a frozen dessert called "pineapple whip."

Guests:

The Best Books About Summer

Jun 15, 2015

Summer can be defined by so many things: weekends spent lounging at the lake, barbecues and fireworks on the Fourth of July, the all-night chirps of cicadas and quick bursts of light from fireflies. 

Feelings of summer nostalgia have inspired authors to write profound literature on the subject. On KCUR's Central Standard, Gina Kaufmann discussed the best books about summertime with our book critics Jeffrey Ann Goudie, Mark Luce and Kaite Stover. Below are their picks for best books about summer, along with some picks from KCUR staffers.

   Jeffrey Ann Goudie, freelance journalist and book critic: 

  • The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen
  • Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani

Kaite Stover, readers' service representative, Kansas City Public Library

  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  • Jane-Emily by Patricia Clapp
  • The Long Secret by Louise Fitzhugh
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
  • Foolscap by Michael Malone (adult)
  • City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (adult, coming October 2015)
Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

Sometimes, it’s just not the right time for an alcoholic drink.

As luck would have it, bartenders and bars across Kansas City are beginning to offer options for non-drinkers, from the Berry-tini at Eden Alley, to the Mango Tango at The Brick.

The mixology movement has picked up over the last few years, and as a result mocktails — cocktails without the booze — have become increasingly available, more popular and without a doubt, more tasty.

Maureen Didde/Flickr -- CC

“Happy hours are the early-bird specials of the 21st century,” said Food Critic Charles Ferruzza. “If you eat early enough, you get an inexpensive meal.”

Alyson Raletz, KCUR

Kansas City is a dress-casual town, for the most part — it's not uncommon to see people (especially guys) wearing baseball caps or Big 12 gear while out and about. However, there are signs that the men's fashion scene is branching out. We invite two local suit connoisseurs and a bow-tie entrepreneur to talk about style and what fashion means to them.

Kansas City was founded as a Missouri River port, but we've come a long way from our waterway roots. Take Turkey Creek — it flows through Kansas City, Kansas by Southwest Boulevard (and makes for a scenic stop at Merriam's Waterfall Park), but few people know it's there. We talk to three local residents who use art to take a new look at our waterways.

Colonel Bob Moore, Commemorative Air Force (CAF)

During World War II, 18-year-old Mary White spent her days soldering wiring on the instrument panels of B-25 Mitchell bombers at North American Aviation in Fairfax, Kansas. A true Rosie the Riveter, White never thought of it as a sacrifice — it was her duty to her country. She also never thought she would be recognized for her work, certainly not 70 years later.

A 13-year-old from Olathe won the title of co-champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The omnivorous speller banters with other local word-enthusiasts, and correctly spells cruciverbalist

Guests:

Briana O'Higgins / KCUR

The thought of being locked in a small room with a bunch of math and logic problems might trigger some uncomfortable flashbacks to a 7th grade math test, but for two new businesses in Kansas City's River Market, that's the whole point.

Breakout Kansas City and Escape Room Kansas City both opened up within a few weeks of each other, and they're bringing an unusual experience to the metro area.

An update on plans to repurpose about 30 vacated schools in Kansas City. Plus, the challenges, joys, and enduring impact of finding new uses for buildings that have outlived their intended functions. The transformation of gas stations, old theaters, churches and post offices.

Maria Carter / KCUR

Talking about the Johnson and Wyandotte County border in Kansas for the past few months literally has hit close to home for me — I live just a few blocks north of the county line in Wyandotte. As I found out since moving there, I'm closer to home than I realized.

I never really thought I’d live in Kansas. I grew up a Missourian. My parents fled the Johnson County suburbs for the Missouri Ozarks after I was born.

Esther Honig / KCUR

It was a tearful, dramatic day five years ago, when the school board of Kansas City Public Schools decided to close 21 buildings in order to adjust to a shrinking student population. That was in addition to nine previously closed schools, leaving the district with 30 surplus buildings.  

Paul Andrews

When Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes came in for her photo shoot for the cover of Camp Magazine, she had no idea that she’d be styled as a 1950s housewife holding a rainbow layer cake.

Kansas Citians Say The Minimum Wage Is 'Not Enough'

Jun 5, 2015
Caroline Kull / KCUR

We wanted to know how Kansas Citians feel about a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City to $10 an hour, so we took to the streets.

We talked to folks at the Country Club Plaza, Troost Avenue and Westport and asked, “What’s your minimum wage story?”  

Most of the people we talked to were in favor of an increase.

“It’s really not enough,” said Emmitt Fennell, a retiree who used to work as a cook.

He said he’s always earned more than the minimum wage, but he watched his lower-paid co-workers struggle.

“For the time and the work you put in, to get seven or eight dollars an hour?” he said. “If you support a family, you can’t live off of that.”

Several business owners were supportive of a wage increase — at least a modest one.

John Long, editorial director of Camp Magazine--KC's monthly publication for LGBTQ and allied communities--talks pride in Kansas City, the emergence and development of his magazine, and the transformation of the scene over time.

Did Dr. Bennett Hyde kill his patient, Thomas Swope, of Swope Park fame? A true-life, historical, creepy and disgusting Kansas City murder mystery, courtesy of our historian, Monroe Dodd.

Boston Public Library/Flickr -- CC

Recently, the superintendents of the Kansas City Public Schools and the Blue Valley School District announced that they're leaving their posts. What does that mean to their school districts? We explore the role of the school superintendent.

East Of Westport

Jun 3, 2015

The corner of Westport Road and Main Street, presided over by a stopped clock tower, might just be undergoing a bit of a renaissance. We invite a business owner and a resident artist to discuss the changes at this iconic intersection.

Meet Shelby Winslow, Missouri's Own Katniss Everdeen

Jun 3, 2015
Patrick Quick / KCUR

With the recent success of The Hunger Games book and movie series, competitive archery has become a rapidly growing sport with young women across the U.S. Missouri even has its own Katniss Everdeen — the series' main character — her name is Shelby Winslow.

The Great Olympian Indoor Archery Range in Lee's Summit, Missouri is where the 3-time state archery champion, who is 16, practices her prowess.

 

Kansas City's Katniss Everdeen

Jun 2, 2015

Competitive archery has taken off across the region, as young women try to match the archery skills of The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen. Hear a profile of Missouri's 3-time champion and Olympic hopeful Shelby Winslow, a high school student in Lee's Summit.

Two retired MLB players--Rex Hudler of Fox Sports (now a Royals announcer) and Fred Kipp of the Dodgers and the Yankees--share their experiences on and off the field, then and now. 

Kansas City's Rosies

Jun 1, 2015

70 years later, we catch up with Kansas City's own Riveter Rosies--the women behind the manufacturing of the aircrafts taken to battle in WWII. 

During World War II, the noses and tails of airplanes often were painted with cartoon characters, topless women or even some geographical landmarks. A history professor explains the meaning and stories behind those iconic designs.

The Westside Local

On this week's Central Standard, we discussed the best herb-scented dishes in Kansas City. To kick off the start of summer (and herb season), we asked The Westside Local to share its recipe for one of its warm-weather drinks, which the restaurant makes with basil from its garden.

Lay, Lady, Lillet

Smabs Sputzer/Flickr -- CC

It’s almost officially summer, which means it’s time for fresh herbs from the garden. From lavender-scented lemonade to basil chocolate chip cookies, local chefs and mixologists are finding ways to add a kicky punch — or a subtle depth of flavor — to savory and sweet dishes, drinks and dessert.

On this week’s show, our Food Critics Mary Bloch, Charles Ferruzza and Jenny Vergara put together their ideal herb-friendly meals — and explore the best herb dishes in Kansas City.

April showers bring May flowers ... and herbs. We take a trip to Powell Gardens, then our food critics uncover the best herb dishes in town.

Eleanor Klibanoff / KCUR

Powell Gardens is just outside of Lone Jack, Missouri and it's hard to miss--there are huge Lego blocks sitting outside the entrance, waving you in. They are currently featuring Nature Connects 2, a traveling art exhibit of larger-than-life-size Lego structures integrated into the gardens. 

LIbrary of Congress/Google Images -- CC

During World War II, the Hollywood Canteen in Los Angeles was a famous nightclub where civilian hostesses danced with Allied soldiers of all races. It was an oasis during a time of segregation — or was it? KU professor Sherrie Tucker interviewed people who frequented the club and heard about their different — and sometimes contradictory — experiences on the dance floor.

Guest:

Monumenteer2014/Google Images -- CC

Multiple choice time. Was high school:

(a) The time of your life (kind of like Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days")

(b) A soul-scarring period of angst (as depicted in any John Hughes movie)

(c) None of the above

We catch up with our Class of 2015 students. We also talk to a local podcast host about why he was ready to put high school behind him and a Kansas City Public Schools staffer about what comes after graduation for the most vulnerable kids.

Guests:

Judith G. Levy

Every family has its secrets and stories. Artist Judith G. Levy tells her family's stories — focusing on disconnects — through photographs and captions as part of a new exhibit at La Esquina. 

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