Sylvia Maria Gross

Senior Producer / Reporter, Central Standard

Sylvia Maria Gross is the senior producer of Central Standard, KCUR's daily talk/magazine show. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, The World and Studio 360. Gross grew up in New York City, Brazil and the suburbs of Washington, DC. She came to public radio after a long stint as a middle school teacher, and has spent a lot of time trying to capture the attention of wandering minds.

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Central Standard
1:24 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Burgers Of All Kinds, And A Check-In On The Beef Industry

At Alex Pope's Pigwich, burgers come with butter, a chip in the middle and some other distinguishing touches.
Credit Patrick Quick / KCUR

In a city known as a cowtown, what are the tastiest burgers around? Enjoy debates about cheese on a burger, house-made ketchup, bun preferences and what to order on the side (hint: it's hard to argue with french fries). We take a trip to an East Bottoms food truck to meet a new burger on the block. Plus, our friends at Harvest Public Media tell us what going on in the industry that brings us burgers: the beef industry.

Guests:

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Central Standard
5:19 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Protecting Children From Becoming Victims Of Violent Crime

The office of civic leader Alvin Brooks is plastered with flyers like these, pleading with information about unsolved youth homicides in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Since October, four children have died in drive-by shootings in Kansas City. What's going on, and what are the first steps we can take to work against this trend? A physician, a criminologist, and a mother weigh in. Race, opportunity in life, gun safety and witness protection play into the discussion. 

"When they took my son's life," says Roslyn Temple, "That's the worst thing they could have ever done to me. ... That was my child."

Guests:

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Central Standard
3:00 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

St. Luke's Researcher Warns Of Health Risks Associated With Sugar

Sugar is sweet; it's also highly addictive, say researchers.
Credit Umberto Salvagnin / Flickr

Sugar consumption can now be linked to a number of health complications, including cardiovascular problems. James DiNicolantonio, a researcher whose New York Times op-ed about sugar has gone viral, says he still allows himself one "hit" of added sugar a day. If that language hints at drug references, that's not as far-fetched as it sounds. DiNicolantonio says studies show that lab rats prefer sugar to cocaine. 

Guest:

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Central Standard
1:32 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Did Someone Say Beer? 25 Years Of Craft Brewing In Kansas City

KC Ale Trail is a guide to the craft brewing industry in our region. Inspired by the 25-year milestone since Boulevard Brewing Company got its start, author Pete Dulin has expanded our palate by adding several smaller startup breweries to the local must-try list. Plus, a young beer-preneur shares his insights into what makes Kansas City's beer scene unique. 

Guests:

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Central Standard
1:18 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Editorial Cartoons: Free Speech, Safety And Taste Here At Home

Cartoonist Lee Judge draws for the undecided, and doesn't shy away from controversy.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

If we are all "Charlie" in the wake of an armed assault on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, no one has earned that solidarity more than political cartoonists. A left-leaning cartoonist and his conservative counterpart weigh in on the risks and rewards of taking a bold stance. In the course of doing a job intended to provoke, are there lines they do not cross?

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Central Standard
12:19 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Self-Help: The Books, The Ideas And The Problems We're Trying To Solve

"Problems are the gasoline that runs the self-help car." So says David Wayne Reed, who wrote the play Help Yourself. On the heels of a discussion of this darkly humorous new play, a librarian and a psychologist discuss the self-help genre, its history and the human condition that fuels it. Is change possible? And when might acceptance be just as important?

Guests:

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Central Standard
9:49 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Seminal Book On History Of Race In Kansas City Gets An Update

In the 1990s, Kevin Fox Gotham began researching Race, Real Estate and Uneven Development: The Kansas City Experience, 1900-2000. The book's premise is that housing patterns isolating impoverished, minority populations in city centers don't naturally result from free market pressures; institutional policies contribute, and the desires the free market satisfies originate somewhere. After the subprime mortgage crisis of recent years, Gotham decided to publish a second edition.

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Central Standard
2:09 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

The Fine Art Of Giving And Receiving Criticism

Good criticism can make all the difference, but that doesn't make it fun to hear. It can also be tough to deliver, even when it's intended in a loving spirit. Self-examination, careful listening and sensitive timing can go a long way, when both giving and receiving input.

Guest:

  • Bruce Liese, psychologist and professor of family medicine, The University of Kansas Medical Center
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Central Standard
2:19 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

The Future Is Now: How 2015 Stacks Up Against Predictions

We don't have flying cars, and futurists guess we never will. That's an infrastructure thing. On the other hand, leaps in communication technology have changed our lives in ways that surpass most of our wildest dreams. How does the 2015 we are living in compare to the 2015 visited by Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II? Up next: Blade Runner, 2019.

Guests:

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Central Standard
2:11 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Food Critics: Kansas City Restaurant News Of 2014 And Looking Ahead To 2015

Our food critics share their favorite meals of 2014, go over the year's restaurant openings and closings, and predict some local food trends for the coming year.

Guests: 

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Central Standard
9:35 am
Wed December 24, 2014

End-Of-Year Remembrances, And Why We Eulogize

As we say goodbye to 2014, we remember the people we lost this year. Author Jack Gantos shares his boyhood experience typing stories for his town's obituary writer, offering insights into why a community needs to remember. Kansas Citians share memories, plus, a tribute to the Westside's Lynda Callon, who died in October. 

Guest:

  • Jack Gantos, author, Dead End in Norvelt
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Central Standard
1:18 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Halfway To Graduation: Class Of 2015 Check-In

Harold Burgos, Sache Hawkins and Ashwanth Samuel are on the brink of going places. But where?
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Central Standard is following three high school seniors through the trials and triumphs leading up to graduation. Catch up with Ashwanth Samuel, Harold Burgos and Sache Hawkins on internships, waiting to hear back from colleges, career dreams, school lunch, juggling coursework with outside interests, senior-itis, and what grown-ups don't know about high school today. Plus, one of these seniors surprised us with an early graduation in December.

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Central Standard
5:09 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Where Are You From? (And Why Does It Matter?)

Lots of people are "from" somewhere they've left behind.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

When we tell people where we're from, we're not just clarifying our address. We're saying something about who we are. So when we proclaim that we're from Kansas City (or Kansas or Missouri or the Midwest), what is it we're trying to communicate? And when you move to a new place, when do you start truly being from there?

BONUS: Hear KCUR's Suzanne Hogan exploring her own dedication to the 816 area code, despite growing up just a short walk from the Kansas border.

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Central Standard
12:19 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Money Therapy: The Ghost Of Finances Past

Financial decisions carry information etched into our brains long, long ago.
Credit Creative Commons, Wikimedia

We don't learn anything in a vacuum — including financial skills. So it comes as little surprise that we are inclined to save, spend and budget based on lessons from the past rather than circumstances of the present. But, can we change how we're wired in order to adapt?

Guests:  

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Central Standard
4:37 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Kansas City Wine Vendor's Advice: Slurping Is Good

Ryan Sciara, right, owns Underdog Wine Co. in Crestwood Shops.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Wine merchant Ryan Sciara says “slurping” is the proper way to taste a wine.

Suck in some air to help move it to the different taste receptors in the mouth.

“You get acidity on the front, tannins in the back, and sweetness in the middle,” Sciara says.

And then he spits, so that he can function through the rest of the day.

Sciara, who opened Underdog Wine Co. in Crestwood Shops in Kansas City, Mo., earlier this year, developed a taste for wine as a small child, sitting in his grandmother’s kitchen.

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Central Standard
3:56 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Introducing Audiofiles: Central Standard's Podcast Review Show

Through podcasts, listeners curate audio experiences. Our experts provide lots of listening material to choose from.
Credit Carolyn Williams, Flickr

A whole podcast genre has developed around devices that put giant sound libraries inside people's pockets. Podcast-lovers enjoy the "headspace you can crawl into when you're listening to incredible radio," says audio-whiz Andrea Silenzi. "You kind of travel to this other space with a podcast." Our guests debate the hugely popular Serial, and discuss their top recommendations for podcast listening.

Audiofiles Recommend:

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Arts & Culture
1:54 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Best Podcasts: Recommendations From KCUR Staff

With the hit podcast 'Serial' 2014 saw a resurgence in the listening platform.
Credit Doug / Flickr--CC

The line between radio show and podcast is pretty blurry.

After all, a podcast is just audio that you can stream or download on your own time. (You can subscribe to KCUR podcasts here.)

Many of our own staff at KCUR are also big consumers of podcasts, whether produced by public radio or not.

Here are some picks from our staff and interns:

Maria Carter, news director/newscaster

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Talk Show
4:21 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Modern Historic Irish Pageantry

After gaining independence, the people of Ireland used pageantry to express their heritage. These thematic recreations of historical and mythical events were subversive acts of forging a new national identity. In All Dressed Up: Modern Irish Historical Pageantry, Joan Dean explores the public imagination of history.

Guest:  

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Central Standard
4:16 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Unearthed Documents And Memorabilia Tell A Story Of Race In Kansas City

College dormitory at Western College.
Credit Kansas City Public Library / Missouri Valley Special Collections

Sonny Gibson likes to let history speak for itself. He spent 25 years visiting flea markets, poring over old newspapers, digging through archives and even knocking on people's doors, all to gather information about the daily lives of African-Americans in Kansas City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Guest:

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Central Standard
4:12 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

The Community Response To The Grand Jury Decision In Ferguson

Tear gas was used in Ferguson, Mo., the night the grand jury decision was announced.
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold / St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday night, the people of Ferguson, Mo., learned that the white police officer who shot and killed a black teenager in August would not be indicted. After a period of stunned silence, chaos erupted between protestors and police, who showed up on the scene before violence broke out. How do residents feel, faced with immediate struggles and a national spotlight? Is it possible for the events in Ferguson to give rise to a new chapter in the history of race and justice in America?

Guests:

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Central Standard
4:31 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Teens And Grieving

Teens process and express grief in very particular ways. In the aftermath of two suicides at an Olathe high school, and while the shooting of Michael Brown is still a recent memory, experts shed light on how people at this sensitive developmental stage cope with profound loss. Plus, information on how adults in their lives can help.

Guests:

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Central Standard
4:48 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

What Matters To Kansas City Parents When It Comes To Schools?

Hale Cook, a recently re-opened neighborhood school in Waldo, has been a good choice for one of our callers.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Maybe it's a decision about which side of the state line to live on. Maybe it's public school versus private, or district versus charter. For some, there may not seem to be a choice in the matter at all. A range of issues factor into where Kansas City families send their kids to school; meanwhile, difficulty discerning myth from reality looms large. Our callers and guests help break it down.

Guests:

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Central Standard
1:06 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Is 'The Mommy Problem' Affecting Parents In Kansas City?

In a column that ran last week, the New York times coined the phrase 'The Mommy Problem' to suggest that when a woman becomes a parent, Mom becomes her identity--not just in relation to her children, but also in relation to society. Is there a public dimension to the private relationship between mothers and their children? And does child-rearing take a village... or just a mom?

Guests:

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Central Standard
2:40 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Money Therapy: Going Solo

When you're starting your own business, do the math and write things down.
Credit Keith Williamson / Flickr, Creative Commons

So, you want to go into business for yourself. Live the dream. Become your own boss. What's the best attitude to have going into it, and what are the practical steps you should take to lay the groundwork? Plus, how to ensure you're building a dream, rather than a nightmare.

Guests:

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Central Standard
4:22 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Author Rebecca Skloot On Science, Race, And Ethics

When Henrietta Lacks died in 1951, she had no idea that she would change the future of modern medicine forever. Medical researchers used cells harvested from her cervix for research projects that led to countless medical breakthroughs--all without her family's knowledge or consent. The author who uncovered the story explores her years-long obsession with getting to know Henrietta Lacks. 

Guest:

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Central Standard
4:38 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Re-Opening Of JJ's Brings A Community Back Together

A year and a half after a natural gas explosion destroyed an iconic off-Plaza restaurant, the business is reopening. Its noteworthy wine collection remains a draw, and the old-world ambiance has been recreated. The menu will change little, if at all. Meanwhile, the server killed by the explosion leaves behind a powerful absence. The re-opening is a milestone for regulars who considered JJ's a home away from home.

Guests:

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Central Standard
4:20 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

The Novel Inside: Kansas City Authors Share Novel-Writing Stories

Our city is teeming with people who dream of writing that novel... someday. If those aspiring writers decided to turn their literary dreams into reality, where would they begin? Our guests offer advice and personal stories in honor of National Novel Writing Month.

Guests:

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Central Standard
2:45 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Untangling Misconceptions About Eating Disorders

High standards. A desire for greater control. A predisposition toward anxiety or depression. These traits are common among people who suffer from eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia. These illnesses are complex, multifaceted and incredibly dangerous. Body image is just the tip of the iceberg.

Guests:

  • Dr. Ashley McCune, counselor, InSight
  • Jon Smith, patient in recovery
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Central Standard
10:46 am
Fri October 31, 2014

World Series Game Seven: The View From The Parking Lot

Die-hard Royals fans paid $25 per carload to "watch" game seven of the World Series from the parking lot outside of Kauffman Stadium.
Credit Gina Kaufmann / KCUR

Many Royals fans couldn't afford tickets to the World Series, but they wanted to be as close as possible to the historic game. Hear how they "watched" the game from the parking lot. 

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Central Standard
4:19 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

The Wyandot History Of Wyandotte County

A two-acre cemetery in downtown Kansas City, Kan. is one of the few public reminders of the Wyandot Nation, whose trail of tears brought them to the area in the early 19th century. Yet the Wyandot had an influence on what was to become Wyandotte County, as well as Kansas' civil war history.

Guests:

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