Christina Lieffring

Intern, Central Standard
Central Standard
3:43 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Shopping And The Black Friday Backlash

Thanksgiving traditions used to be all about turkey and potatoes on Thursday, with Black Friday shopping early the next morning. As stores begin Black Friday sales earlier and earlier, the shopping mayhem has started to intersect with Thanksgiving itself. This year, a number of business have forgone marketing huge sales in order to promote the fact that they're closed, and giving employees the day off.

Guests:

Read more
community
11:36 am
Wed October 22, 2014

For Ukrainians In Kansas City, Conflict Hits Close To Home

Alexey Ladokhin wearing a Ukrainian embroidered shirt with his daughter, Anna.
Credit Alexey Ladokhin

Kansas City’s Ukrainian community is small but active, regularly hosting events and get-togethers. Many came during the fallout of the Soviet Union and still have direct ties to their homeland. So for them, this tumultuous year of protest, violence, annexation and war has taken its toll.

Here is a look into the lives of three Kansas City-area Ukrainians and how they manage being so far away from a country and family close to their hearts.

Alexey Ladokhin

Read more
Central Standard
1:09 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Kansas City's Immigrant Communities Feel The Pull Of International Crises

At the Liberian service at the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Kansas City, Mo., parishioners are concerned about Ebola in their home country, and the stigma of the disease here.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Syria, Liberia and Ukraine are places most Kansas Citians know through news reports. But for immigrants from these countries, headlines aren't the half of it; friends, relatives and even memories remain in places left behind. Sound and stories take us around Kansas City, and around the world, as experts on the transnational experience add perspective. 

Read more
Central Standard
2:00 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Won't You Be My (Online) Neighbor?

A new social media platform that helps people connect with their neighbors has entered into partnerships with Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan. Which got us wondering: What happened to a friendly wave across the driveway?

Guests:

Read more
Central Standard
11:04 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Motorcycle Culture: Separating Myth From Reality

The sound of a motorcycle revving its engine signaled trouble back when the Shangri-Las sang "Leader of the Pack," but the biker image has grown more nuanced since then. This conversation explores the evolving reality of motorcycle culture in Kansas City. 

Guests:

Read more
Central Standard
9:57 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Identifying And Teaching 'English Language Learners'

In many school districts, immigrant students with low English comprehension aren't always immediately identified as needing ESL (English as a Second Language) courses when they enroll. A new proposal in Kansas City, Missouri would help identify these students earlier so they have access to the assistance they need. We look at this program as well as the latest trends in ESL education. 

Guests:

Read more
Central Standard
5:00 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Author Puts Unconventional Spin On Economics

John Hope Bryant's recent book has a different take on the relationship between capitalism and the poor.

Who has the power in capitalism? The critics of capitalism say the rich have the upper hand. But author John Hope Bryant thinks the story is more complex than that. He thinks that capitalism works best when it benefits not the few, but the many.

Read more
Central Standard
2:06 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Kyle Hatley Looks Back On Eight Years In Kansas City's Theater Scene

Kyle Hatley has become a familiar face in Kansas City; after eight years, he's preparing to move back to Chicago.
Credit Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Kyle Hatley arrived in Kansas City to serve as Assistant Artistic Director for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre in April 2008. He drove into town in the midst of a tornado, and he hasn't stopped moving since.

After eight years of tireless immersion in both the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and the grassroots theater scene, Hatley has decided it's time to return to Chicago. There, he will join his fiance, actress Emily Peterson. 

Read more
Central Standard
12:32 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

In Angola Prison, KU Researcher Found Music, Stories And Pain

Daniel Atkinson's doctoral research took him inside the walls of the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
Credit University of Kansas

Ethnomusicologist Daniel Atkinson describes Louisiana State Penitentiary (commonly called "Angola") as a “living, breathing plantation.” The land where the prison stands today was converted from plantation to penitentiary after slavery was abolished. 

Read more
Central Standard
4:45 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

The Modern Role Of State And County Fairs

Food vendors are setting up at the Wyandotte County Fair.
Credit Christina Lieffring / KCUR

Counties and states all over America host seasonal fairs. Originally, they were organized to share the latest technology in agriculture and genes among livestock. But in an age of instant information are state and county fairs still relevant? On Tuesday's Central Standard, we investigate the modern function of fairs, and talk with some professional livestock judges about their criteria for appraising animals and producing the food of tomorrow.

Guests:

Read more
Central Standard
10:13 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Wyandotte County Fair Connects Kids With Agricultural Roots

Allyson Billings relaxes with her pet rabbit.
Christina Lieffring KCUR

People usually associate state and county fairs with Ferris wheels and food on a stick. But in areas that have seen their demographics shift from rural to urban populations, these fairs are now serving a new role of connecting city folk to their country roots.

One way the Wyandotte County Fair, which runs July 22 to 26, does this is through its competitions in arts and crafts, food, agriculture and livestock, run by the local 4-H club.

Read more
Central Standard
4:40 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

'Citizen Koch' Directors On Documentary Filmmaking

"Citizen Koch" is playing at the Tivoli Theatre

Citizen Koch is a new documentary that investigates the political influence of Kansas-born billionaires David and Charles Koch. The film has a strong point of view, which has drawn mixed reviews.  On Tuesday's Central Standard, we talked with the directors about how Citizen Koch was made and their approach to documentary filmmaking.

Read more
Central Standard
12:52 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

KU Linguist Transforms How The Kazakh Language Is Written

The Kazakh language is written in Cyrillic script, but likely not for much longer.
Credit James Hill / Creative Commons, Flickr

    

Languages change. Sometimes slowly and organically, sometimes quickly... and on purpose.

Kazakh President Nursaltan Nazarbayev wants the people of Kazakhstan to use Latin script (rather than Cyrillic) to write in their native language.

Read more
Central Standard
3:55 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Kansas City Bartenders Create Cocktails Inspired By Local Bands

Credit Geishaboy500 on Flickr

Music is often connected with emotions, but what about food? Can a cocktail taste like a song? On Thursday's Central Standard, we spoke with two Kansas City bartenders who recently completed a feat of synesthesia - creating original cocktails inspired by songs from local musicians.  The event was called Mixtapes & Mixology.

Read more
Government
6:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Kansas City Opens 'Dead Letter Office'

Kansas City is trying to clean out outdated laws from the books.
Credit Google Images - CC

Last month, the city of Kansas City, Mo., opened what they’re calling a 'Dead Letter Office,' which is actually a website where the residents and business owners can petition to repeal out-of-date city regulations.

Assistant City Manager Rick Usher focuses on small businesses and entrepreneurship. He says due to Kansas City’s long history, some of the old rules are still in the books.

“Kansas City you know we’re over 150 years old. The city has weathered every economic, political, social, environmental crisis that has occurred through those times,” Usher said.

Read more
Government
7:56 am
Mon July 7, 2014

KC Health Department Teaching Classes On Pesticide-Free Pest Control

Credit CC Wikimedia

Michael Swoyer from the Kansas City Health Department receives a lot of calls from residents with bedbugs.

Unfortunately, he says there's not much the city can do to help them — exterminating bedbugs is a time-consuming and expensive business.

So, Swoyer and the Kansas City Health Department are organizing classes for the general public on how to prevent rats, mice and bedbugs from colonizing in homes – and what people should do if they’re already there.

Read more
Central Standard
4:50 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Transforming Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe is a neighborhood on Kansas City’s east side with a rich history. Though recent decades have brought on hard times, the community, led by spokeswoman Margaret May, has rallied to restore its former glory. Some residents are frustrated by vacant houses on their blocks, while others love the new farmer’s market and point–with a sigh of relief—to reduced crime rates.

Read more
Central Standard
4:57 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Reflecting On The Civil Rights Act Of 1964

Civil Rights March in Alabama
Credit Peter Pettus

July 2nd is the 50th anniversary of The Civil Rights Act of 1964. This historic piece of legislation outlawed race based discrimination, enfranchised voter registration rights, and desegregated businesses, public spaces, and schools.

On Wednesday's Central Standard, Rev. Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson and Anita Dixon share their unique first hand experiences with the Civil Rights Movement in and around Kansas City, then and now.

Read more
Central Standard
4:49 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Historic Dividing Lines In Public Education Still Affect Kansas And Missouri Schools

US Marshalls escort Ruby Bridges to and from school in New Orleans in 1960.
Credit CC Public Domain

  

This spring marked the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, a Kansas case that went to the Supreme Court and ultimately ended with the ruling that the segregation of schools was unconstitutional. In the first half of Tuesday's Central Standard, we shared some little-known stories of the desegregation process from the months and years that followed.

Read more
Sports
8:19 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Local American Indians On The Chiefs' Name

Credit Flickr, .sanden.

The U.S. Patent Office revoked the Washington Redskins’ trademark, which has some Kansas City sports fans concerned about the fate of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Last year the National Congress of American Indians released a report that included the Chiefs in a list of sports teams they said profited from harmful stereotypes.

Richard Lanoue, President of the Indian Council of Many Nations which is based in Kansas City, doesn’t see it that way. Lanoue says the term “redskins” is racially disparaging but "chief" is different.

Read more
Central Standard
3:10 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Let's Talk About Death, Baby

At the Death Cafe, conversations about mortality are an important part of a life well-lived.
Credit Will Taylor / Flickr, Creative Commons

It's one of life's great inevitables, and we don't mean taxes.

Death Cafes, where people get together to hang out and talk about death and dying, have started popping up in cities worldwide. Locally, we have two Death Cafes: one in St. Joseph, Mo. and another in Kansas City, Mo. 

Read more
Central Standard
11:42 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Balloon Launch Combines Space Exploration And A Treasure Hunt

Volunteers keep the balloon steady as Paul Verhage prepares for launch.
Credit Christina Lieffring

For Bill Brown, the “father” of high altitude ballooning, it all started when he saw a documentary of a man who parachuted from 100,000 feet above ground.

“The description he gave of being able to see for hundreds of miles in all directions and see the blackness of space and the curve of the earth … I wanted to see that for myself,” he said. “Some people strapped a bunch of balloons to a lawn chair, but that seemed a little risky, so I decided to come up with a camera and a small video camera to put up in a small weather balloon.”

Read more
Central Standard
2:08 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Is Every Maker Also A Crafter?

Kansas City's Maker Faire At Union Station.
Credit Kaufman Foundation / https://flic.kr/p/9Xno7i

If you make your product with a 3-D printer, is it still a craft? On Monday's Central Standard, we sit down with local participants of Kansas City's Maker Faire (coming up June 28 and 29) and a Professor of Art to tinker with our concept of what it means to "craft."

Guests:

Read more
Central Standard
3:26 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Glore Psychiatric Museum Is A Missouri Mental Health Time Capsule

Devices like "fever cabinets" (on view at the Glore Psychiatric Museum) were used to treat mental illness before medical advances rendered them obsolete.
Credit Gina Kaufmann, KCUR

On Thursday's Central Standard, we looked back at the history of intervention in mental health crises, going all the way back to the 19th century. 

The Glore Psychiatric Museum (formerly known as State Lunatic Asylum #2) captures both the treatments of the past and the controversies they sparked. Treatments in mental health hospitals once ranged from a "bath of surprise," which disrupted thought-patterns by dropping the patient into a shockingly cold bath, to lobotomies and fever cabinets.

Read more
Central Standard
4:39 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Photographer Captures Landscapes From Near Space

This weekend, 'near space explorers' will be gathering  in Hutchinson, Kan. for the annual Great Plains Super Launch.  They are hobbyists who launch weather balloons and track their progress using GPS or HAM radio.

On Thursday's Central Standard, we talk with participant John Flaig who uses these balloons to take dramatic photographs from the upper reaches of the atmosphere.

Guest:

John Flaig, near space photographer

Read more
Sports
2:40 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

The Best Places To Watch The World Cup In Kansas City

An estimated 12,000 people gathered in Kansas City's Power and Light district to watch the United States take on Ghana in the 2010 World Cup.
Credit dustjelly / Flickr-CC

As the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off this week in Brazil, many soccer fans in Kansas City will be cheering for the U.S. men's team and Sporting KC players Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.

But many other Kansas Citians will cheer on teams from around the globe.

For optimum World Cup viewing, we've rounded up a list of local places to go for a more international soccer experience:

Brazil: Taste of Brazil Market, 25 E. 3rd St, Kansas City, Mo. 

Read more