Gina Kaufmann

Host, Central Standard

Gina’s background combines print and broadcast journalism, live event hosting and production, creative nonfiction writing and involvement in the arts. Early in her career, she followed a cultural beat for The Pitch, where she served as an editor and art writer in the early 2000s. She also worked as a contributing editor of Heeb magazine out of New York, assisting with the Heeb Storytelling series and ultimately starting her own live storytelling event series in Kansas City. Gina got her public radio chops working first as an intern for KC Currents with Sylvia Maria Gross, then as a co-host of The Walt Bodine Show. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

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Central Standard
2:49 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Quality Check: What's In The Air Kansas City Breathes?

Leticia DeCaigny measures air quality in Kansas City, Kan., and says the rail yards in the neighborhood contribute to air quality issues.
Credit Sneebly / Flickr, Creative Commons

A recent community meeting gathered in response to high levels of sulfur dioxide pollution in neighborhoods near downtown Kansas City. What's in our air, where is it coming from, and what exactly do our lungs do with the contaminants we breathe, anyway?

Guests:

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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:

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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:

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Central Standard
5:24 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Ferguson In Perspective: Race Riots In Midwestern Cities

Police surround an incapacitated man after throwing tear gas into the crowd of protesters, 1968, Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Western Historical Manuscript Collection

  Festering tensions reach a boiling point, erupting into a stand-off between police and the African-American community. This basic scenario has played out in Kansas City, Mo., Lawrence, Kan., St. Louis, Ill. and now Ferguson, Mo.

Guests:

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Central Standard
3:10 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Living To Tell The Tale: Missouri River Racers Make It Home

After paddling solo 340 miles down the Missouri River, stopping only briefly to catch the teensiest bit of shut-eye, two competitors in the MR340 share their experiences, from paddling through fog to hallucinating on the water.

Guests:

  • Doug Jennings, organizer and longtime participant
  • Amy Sevcik, first-time competitor
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Central Standard
3:06 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Beyond The Check Book: An Update On Financial Literacy

With more than 60 percent of Americans admitting to not keeping a basic budget, the Cash Money Crew explores the state of financial literacy, offering tips for teaching young people about money management. 

Guests:

  • Sandi Weaver, financial planner, Financial Security Advisors
  • David Jackson, financial planner, Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City
  • Lucas Bucl, financial planner, KHC Wealth Management
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Central Standard
2:50 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Behind The Sticker Price: Tomatoes

Gerry Newman of Providence Farms shows off his tomatoes at the Overland Park Farmer's Market.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Fresh tomatoes are a pleasure of summer, but they typically come at a price. Discover what goes into setting that price, whether it's worth it, and what you can do with them when you get home.

Guests:

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Community
4:29 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Responding To A Police Shooting

The community response to the death of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo. has varied from rioting and looting to peaceful protests and calls for civil discourse. Is there a way of responding to police shootings that can effect personal, social, or political change?

Guests:

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Central Standard
1:02 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Music Animates Memory In Alzheimer's And Dementia Patients

Alzheimer's and dementia can make loved ones appear unreachable, like shells of their former selves. A new documentary and increasingly popular treatment program use music to connect with the dynamic inner lives of patients. 

Guests:

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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:

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Central Standard
9:29 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Kansas City's Vi Tran Is 'The Butcher's Son'

Actor and musician Vi Tran has a new play based on his childhood experiences as a refugee in Garden City.
Credit Courtesy of Vi Tran

When Vi Tran was a young boy growing up in Garden City, Kan., his mother made the most of what the refugee family had. She would take rice and roll it into a ball, adding a little bit of soy sauce. 

“Honey, look,” she’d say. “It’s an egg, it’s a treat.”

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Central Standard
4:59 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Stress: From Causes To Coping Mechanisms

More than a quarter of Americans self-identify as being under a great deal of stress. What's troubling us, and why do some people respond to stressful situations with greater resilience than others?

Guest:

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Central Standard
3:43 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

When We Talk About Troost, Are We Talking About Race?

Troost Avenue: Is it just a street like any other, or does it carry symbolic weight?
Credit Paul Sableman / Flickr, Creative Commons

To conclude KCUR's extended investigation of Troost Avenue as a border that Kansas Citians perceive as a dividing line, Central Standard asked a question that often goes unspoken. That is, when we talk about Troost, as a city, are we really talking about race?

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Central Standard
2:08 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Troost As A Meme

When we talk about Troost in Kansas City, are we really talking about race? A panel of people who live, work and think on the street discuss whether our Troost meme is useful, or causes further divisions.

Guests:

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Central Standard
4:04 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Behind The Numbers: The Significance Of College Rankings

The Kansas City Star recently published a report indicating that UMKC's highly-touted Bloch School of Management's rankings might be misleading. Money's Kim Clark and Kaplan's Arthur Ahn discuss how publications rank universities, and what those rankings mean to prospective students and employers.

Guests:

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Central Standard
3:29 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Fishing In Kansas City, On Both Sides Of The State Line

Missouri and Kansas anglers stand a decent chance of catching catfish on local waterways.
Credit Missouri Department of Conservation

Crappies, blue gills, blue bass and catfish. If that menu sounds tasty to you, then you are in luck, because that's what you stand to catch if you go fishing in and around Kansas City.

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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.

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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. 

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Central Standard
10:23 am
Mon July 28, 2014

A Kansas City Graffiti Writer's Work

This work by graffiti writer and street artist Gear is at The Mercy Seat Tattoo and Art Gallery at 210 E. 16th St., Kansas City, Mo.
Gina Kaufmann KCUR

If you've ever seen the large murals or spray paint writing on the sides of buildings along Southwest Boulevard, you've probably seen some of Kansas City based graffiti writer Gear's work.

On Monday's Central Standard, Gina Kaufmann sat down with Gear in studio to discuss the nuances of graffiti and street art. 

Gina also went out into the field and took photos of just a few of Gear's writings that can be found around Kansas City. 

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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. 

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Obituary
12:11 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Kansas City Arts Community Mourns Painter's Unexpected Death

Artist David Goodrich outside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Facebook

David Goodrich, 52, a Kansas City artist whose expressionistic paintings conveyed a perpetual state of motion, was found dead Tuesday.

Goodrich enjoyed hiking and was found dead in Horseshoe Canyon, just north of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. His body was identified on Thursday.

Authorities speculate he suffered from heat stroke, but the cause of death has not been confirmed.

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Central Standard
2:09 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Kansas City Duo Victor & Penny Make Music On The Road

Erin McGrane and Jeff Freiling perform as Victor & Penny in KCUR's talk show studio.
Credit Alyson Raletz, KCUR

With a ukelele and jazz guitar in tow, the traveling Kansas City-based musical duo known as Victor & Penny stopped by Central Standard on Wednesday to talk with Gina Kaufmann — and to perform a few of their signature "antique pop" songs live for our listeners.

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Architecture
10:02 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Prairie School Style Architecture In Kansas City

Hyde Park
Gina Kaufmann KCUR

Kansas City architect Clarence Shepard was deeply influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie School Style when he designed more than 600 homes and churches in the region a century ago.

Shepard was a native of New York, grew up in Clay Center, Kan., and came to work in Kansas City at the beginning of the 20th century for the Kendall Co. and the J.C. Nichols Co., among others.

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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:

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Central Standard
4:42 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Cash Money Crew: Planning For A New Baby

According to the USDA, a child born in 2012 to a middle income family would cost an average of 241,000 by the time they're 18.
Credit Trevor / Flickr, Creative Commons

Expecting a new baby can force many parents to make complicated financial decisions. On Monday's Central Standard, we were joined by the Cash Money Crew to discuss how to approach and manage the monetary costs that come with a new child.

Guests:

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Central Standard
3:47 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Food Critics: Where To Find The Best Slice Of Pizza In Kansas City

There's no limit to the toppings that could make a pizza great. Our food critics have suggestions for a variety of styles all over the metro.
Credit Premshree Pillai / Flickr--CC

On a beautiful summer night, stopping by a neighborhood pizzeria for a quick slice (or five) can really hit the spot.

With a handful of exciting new pizza places opening up, Charles Ferruzza and the food critics put out a call for the best pizza in the Kansas City area. 

KCUR's food critics recommend:

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Central Standard
4:26 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Kansas City Writer's Reflection On His Youth Inspires New Ideas About Being 'Midwestern'

Woodstock, Ill. might have changed since Bill Tammeus lived there, but to the former newspaper columnist, it's still quintessentially Midwestern.
Credit Teemu008 / Creative Commons, Flickr

Former Kansas City Star columnist Bill Tammeus, who still blogs for the paper, recently released a memoir titled Woodstock: A Story of Middle Americans.

It's about his boyhood in the Illinois town of Woodstock, in the middle of the 20th century. Through critical reflection on his early experiences and observations, Tammeus arrives at a handful of truisms about life in the Midwest, offered without sentimentality or rose-colored glasses, but with measured fondness.

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Central Standard
1:08 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Without Intervention, Old Barns Stand Defiantly Or Fall Unceremoniously

Kill Creek Farm in DeSoto, Kan. is home to a nostalgia-worthy barn.
Credit Lori Murdock

The barn is an icon of the American work ethic and rural nostalgia. On Wednesday's Central Standard, we explored the trend of rehabbing and restoring old barns that would otherwise fall into irreversible decay.

We also spoke with people throughout the nation and in our own area about the challenges of preserving these structures.

Do old barns -- the red ones with big huge doors -- still matter, even as larger steel structures replace them in function?

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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.

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Central Standard
2:51 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

The Transparency Of Police Records In Kansas

Karen Dillon is an investigative reporter who works for The Pitch.
Credit Hearne Christopher Jr. / Kcconfidential

In May of 2013, investigative reporter Karen Dillon wrote a story in the Kansas City Star that shed light on Kansas' restrictive police records access laws. According to Columbia Journalism Review, her work was instrumental in changing those laws. This year, Gov.

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