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.

CONTACT US: When we're on air | With a suggestion for our program
LISTEN ANYTIME ANYWHERE: Podcast
CONNECT WITH US: Twitter: @KCURcst | E-Mail

THIS WEEK:

Monday: Have Conversations Around the Death Penalty Changed? / Audio Postcard: Kites

  • Rebecca Woodman | director, Death Penalty Litigation Clinic
  • Sean O’Brien | associate professor, UMKC School of Law

Tuesday: Transgender Kansas City / Black Journalism

  • Caroline Gibbs | transgender counselor, Transgender Institute
  • Luke Harness | transgender activist
  • Sandra Meade | host, KKFI's Trans Talk, state chair, Equality Kansas
  • LaShonda Katrice Barnett | author, Jam on the Vine

Wednesday: Kansas City's Mob History Leaps onto App / Radical Politics At KU

  • Gary Jenkins, retired KCMO police officer, creator, Kansas City Mob Tour
  • Laird Wilcox, author, founder, Wilcox collection
  • Becky Shulte, KU archivist, curator, Wilcox collection

Thursday: Fish Artist / Tell KCUR: KC's 'Bucket List' / Arcades Come Back To KC 

  • Briana O'Higgins, director of digital content, KCUR
  • Joseph Tomelleri, fish artist, scientist
  • Cody Newill, KCUR

Friday: ScreenTime: Woman in Gold

  • Antonia Bostrom, chief curator, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Russ Simmons, movie critic
  • Karen Pack, past president, Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City

LAST WEEK:

Monday: Surface Parking (Encore) / Drill Teams (Encore)
Tuesday: Missouri State Representative Brandon Ellington / Tequila
Wednesday: The Best Books On The Prairie
Thursday: From Montana To Kansas City: On The Missouri River In A Canoe
Friday: Food Critics: The Best Signature Desserts In Kansas City

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Joseph Tomelleri is trying to discover a new species of trout. That's why he was just in Mexico, and that's why he'll be returning again soon.

Working as a scientist and an artist rolled into one, he's created upwards of 1100 hyper-realistic colored-pencil illustrations depicting fish species for scientific books and magazines. He goes on research expeditions, documenting the distinguishing characteristics of each species, in some cases more faithfully than even a photograph could capture. 

Robert Viglasky/The Weinstein Company

What happens to art during and after wartime? And what happens when that painting that you're trying to reclaim is considered the Mona Lisa of Austria? We invite a curator, a relative of Holocaust survivors and our movie critic to discuss the new film Woman in Gold.

Guests:

  • Antonia Bostrom, director of curatorial affairs, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Russ Simmons, movie critic
  • Karen Pack, past president, Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City
Joseph Tomelleri

Joe Tomelleri draws fish, with colored pencils... for a living. He draws even the fish that he's pretty sure nobody else cares about in painstaking, scientific detail. That is, more detail than you can see with the naked eye. So far, he's done about 1100 scientific illustrations of fish, some of them extinct. And he's been traveling to Mexico in hopes of discovering a new species of trout. Meet Joe Tomelleri.

Rob DiCaterino/Flickr --CC

Mention Pac-Man, Galaga or BurgerTime, and a generation of Kansas Citians will conjure up memories of going to Fun Factory at Bannister Mall or Malibu in Overland Park. Well, good news, '80s kids: The arcade is back. KCUR's Cody Newill visited two bar arcades that opened in the Crossroads and discusses his experiences at both places — and reveals where he got the second-highest score.

Charvex / Wikimedia -- CC

Every Kansas Citian has a list of out-of-towner attractions — barbecue, the Nelson-Atkins, a stroll through the Plaza. But we have been wondering: what should Kansas Citians be putting on our own to-do list? What hidden gems are right next to us that we need to see (or do) at least once?

We asked you to give us your suggestions, and we got a ton of them!

Here we present the incomplete "Kansas Citian bucket list" — a list of things every person in Kansas City should do at least once. Feel free to add additional items in the comments.

KU Libraries Exhibits / University of Kansas

As a teenager, Laird Wilcox was fascinated by extremists, radicals and fringe movements, regardless of their views and objectives. He started collecting materials and attending political events, collecting leaflets, fliers, and newsletters from as many causes as he could.

www.FBI.gov

Many Kansas Citians have heard of the Union Station Massacre or the River Quay explosion — two of the more infamous episodes in KC's mobster history. But what about the lesser-known mob landmarks?

Gary Jenkins, a retired KCMO police officer, created a new app that reveals the history behind all of those spots. He talked to Central Standard's Gina Kaufmann about Kansas City Mob Tour.

"Kansas City is a great place for trans people and [supportive]." So says Luke Harness, a UMKC alumnus and transgender advocate. The new reality show New Girls on the Block follows transgender women in Kansas City--we explore what KC is really like for the transgender community.

Paul Sableman / Flickr

LaShonda Katrice Barnett remembers going out with a quarter to buy the latest issue of The Call for her grandmother. Now, Barnett has written a novel about the trailblazing founder of a fictional African-American newspaper called Jam on the Vine. If it resembles The Call, that's no coincidence. 

Guest:

  • LaShonda Katrice Barnett, author, Jam on the Vine

Eyes are on Missouri as the state's implementation of the death penalty enters national discussions. What has already shifted in approaches to challenging the death penalty, and what further developments can be expected now that celebrity Larry Flynt has been granted the right to ask for previously sealed documents from Missouri executions?  

Guests:

On a stormy April weekend, three kite-fliers were at the Overland Park Arboretum for Kite Fest. The event has been known to draw upwards of one thousand people, but these girls were the last kite-fliers standing, the most committed to getting their kite in the air.  This postcard takes you on their cloudy-sky adventure.

Mayra Chiachia/Flickr -- CC


Niecie's peach cobbler, Glacé's sweet corn ice cream, Winstead's skyscraper milkshake ... what makes for an unusual dessert that you can only get at a specific place in town? Is it in the presentation, an interesting take on a traditional classic, something totally original — or all of the above?

 

On this week's show, KCUR's Patrick Quick reminisces about the Peach Nehi float, a treat from Osceola, Missouri, and then our Food Critics Charles Ferruzza and Jill Silva weigh in on the best signature desserts in Kansas City.

Maureen Didde/Flickr -- CC

For most Kansas Citians, the only time we interact with the Missouri River is when we drive over one of the many bridges that span it. Local author Patrick Dobson has a different take; he traveled from Montana to Kansas City down the Missouri River in a canoe. 

Guest:

  • Patrick Dobson, author, Canoeing The Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer
Edwin Olson/Google Images -- CC

    

Whether it's the sound of the wind rustling through the tall grass, the crackling spectacle of a controlled burn or just the sheer enormity of this swath of land, the prairie has inspired authors for hundreds of years. We discuss the best books about the prairie with our Book Critics Jeffrey Ann Goudie, Mark Luce and Kaite Stover.

Oonagh Taeger / Flickr

  

You can learn a lot from a sip of tequila. Explore tequila's history, taste, origins and pairings, and learn about other beverages in the mezcal family. Just in time for a citywide tequila-tasting workshop and culinary event

Guests:

  • Grisel Vargas, Chamber of Tequila
  • Berto Santoro, Extra Virgin

Brandon Ellington has been an outspoken proponent of legal reform in the aftermath of the Department of Justice report on Ferguson, Missouri. But he won't call the bills he's pushing in the Legislature "Ferguson-related bills." Here's why.

Plus, what it's like to be a minority in the Legislature, in every sense of that word. 

Guest:

  • Brandon Ellington, Missouri State Representative for District 2, leader of Missouri's Black Legislative Caucus
Paul Andrews

The first time Danny Cox visited Kansas City, it was not a pleasant experience.

It was 1963, a year before the Civil Rights Act banned racial discrimination in public places, and Cox was a nationally touring musician arriving for a show. When he walked in the door at the Muehelbach Hotel, the clerk told him that black people couldn't stay at the Muehelbach.

Though the word he used for "black people" was not quite so polite.

Most of Cox's fellow musicians and road crew were white, but they refused to stay in a place where their vocalist wasn't welcome.

Creative Commons -- Google Images

DeSoto is a town on the edge of the suburbs. K-10 used to run through it, but not anymore. Commuters used to drive into DeSoto for work, but now, traffic tends to flow in the opposite direction. We discuss how the transformation of DeSoto unfolded, and we'll learn what it's like to live in exurban communities like DeSoto today.

Guests:

Capoeira, karate and Krav Maga — the martial arts of Brazil, Japan and Israel, respectively — are all being taught and diligently practiced here in Kansas City. It can be a source of fun, or exercise, even philosophy. And people form entire communities and identities around them. We meet some of these martial arts practitioners and find out more about their disciplines.

Guests:

What do the different groups assembled within the LGBTQIA umbrella need in order to feel safe in a "safe space," and what are the obstacles to creating an inclusive hub that serves everyone? Plus, an exploration of the role that law and policy play in creating a sense of safety for this community.

Guests:

llovebutter / Flickr--CC

What inspires people in white collar jobs, or those just out of college, to take up farming? As the trend continues, we hear from people who have done just that about how it's going and whether they're finding whatever it was they were looking for.

Guests:

Jen Chen / KCUR

Thick or thin crust, red or white sauce, square or triangle ... Kansas City offers a plethora of pizza choices for just about everyone.

On this week's show, Erik Borger, chef/owner of Il Lazzarone, shows our Food Critic Charles Ferruzza how to make a certified authentic Neapolitan pizza. Craig Jones also discusses pizza tips for the home cook, and the Food Critics weigh in on the best pizzas in Kansas City.

Charles Ferruzza:

I love pizza: The good, the bad and the ugly...

Sylvia Maria Gross -- KCUR

For nearly 20 years, Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys have created songs about love, love lost and heartbreak. This Saturday, the band releases its first album in 10 years, "Long Shot of Hard Stuff."

After a decade-long hiatus, Scott Hobart (Scott is his real first name) didn't think they'd have a new album.

"I just thought we'd kind of ride our own western-cut blazers into the sunset or something, but we did it," he said. "When the opportunity came up, we just said, 'well, why not, let's try it.' The worst thing that can happen is that we get three songs out or something."

Jen Chen, KCUR

According to Erik Borger, the chef-owner of Il Lazzarone, there's a specific way to make authentic Neapolitan pizza. And he should know; his original Il Lazzarone restaurant in St. Joseph has been certified as authentically Neapolitan by the American Delegation of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.

Recently, our food critic Charles Ferruzza visited Borger's newest outpost in Kansas City's River Market to get the details on making an authentic Neapolitan pie.

Patrick Quick / KCUR

Steve Bean is the guy who oversees Kansas City's 127 tornado sirens, each expected to alert people within a mile of potentially life-threatening storms. It's part of his job at the city's Office of Emergency Management.

Even so, he doesn't have tornado nightmares. 

"In an odd way, I love it," he admits. "We spend a lot of time preparing for the 'big one,' so to speak. So it's kind of like — I guess it's like fishing. Once in a while, you want to catch something. Now, I don't want tornados to come, but we do like to be able to see that we made a difference."

Kevin Harber / Flickr--CC

The 2014 American League Champion Kansas City Royals  face the Chicago White Sox in their home opener Monday afternoon. And to get ready, we asked you to imagine yourself in the line up. What music would you want to hear blasted over the speakers at Kauffman Stadium as you stepped up to bat?

We had a deluge of Tweets, Facebook comments and phone calls with a range of responses — from the silence of John Cage’s "4'33"" (hmmmm ...)  to "You Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate, to George Frederic Handel’s Royal Fireworks Suite.

Bennie Campbell called to say he’d like hear Jim Neighbors singing "To Dream the Impossible Dream." Come on, Bennie, have a little confidence!

When Stephen Metzler passed away this week, many Kansas City organizations lost an avid supporter. On social media, his passing sparked a discussion about the role philanthropy plays in Kansas City. We discuss whether Kansas Citians with means have a responsibility to be philanthropic -- and whether the philanthropic community reflects its potential.

 

Guests:

The dictionary definition of the word adjunct is: "something that is joined or added to another thing but is not an essential part of it." But have adjunct professors become essential to higher ed? And if so, what are the implications for students attending local universities and colleges?

Guests:

Courtesy photo

“Leaving Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of why people decided to live somewhere else. It follows our series “Going to Kansas City.”

Martin and Cindy Blair are both from Kansas City. They went to the University of Kansas, met in Topeka at a dive bar, and were married in Kansas City. But 35 years ago, a job offer sent them to San Diego.

After a year or two they really missed Kansas City BBQ.

Courtesy Paul Richardson

At the Gem Theater on Saturday night, the Louder Than A Bomb competition brought the top four spoken-word poetry teams from metro high schools up against one another for the last time this school year.

On Monday, after a win from the returning champs at Paseo High School, Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann spoke with Paul Richardson, a soon-to-be-former English teacher from Washington High School who is responsible for bringing Louder Than A Bomb to Kansas City. They talked about the culture of spoken-word competitions and explored why Richardson is leaving his position as a high school educator.

Below is a shortened and edited version of their conversation.

But first, here’s Saturday night’s winner: Alton Herron.

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