Community

Community
8:47 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Poll: Kansas Sixth Most Charitable State

Kansas: known for farms, flat terrain and ... charitable residents?
Credit Roy Montgomery / Flickr--CC

Kansas is the sixth most charitable state, according to a poll out this month from the research company Gallup.

Sixty-two percent of Kansans reported donating money in the past month, while 45 percent donated time and 39 percent donated some of both.

Missouri came in at 34th with 64 percent of residents donating money, 41 percent donating time and 31 percent engaging in both.

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Beyond Our Borders
1:52 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Prospect MAX Bus Decision Expected From Court Soon

An approval of a transit plan involving the streetcar and a new MAX bus line would send a taxing district question to voters.
Credit Kyle Gradinger / Flickr--CC

Any day now, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Marco Roldan is expected to hand down a decision that would allow an election to create a special transit taxing district.

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Central Standard
12:25 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Does Our City Bring Strangers Together, Or Keep Them Apart?

This crowd on Kansas City's westside probably assembled lots of strangers; where else does that happen, and how often?
Credit Jean / Flickr, Creative Commons

A recent article in the New York Times compiled a growing body of evidence suggesting that the more frequent our interactions with strangers, the happier we tend to be. The findings apply to introverts and extroverts alike. In response to the enthusiasm around that article, Central Standard asked whether the people of Kansas City encounter strangers often enough in their day-to-day lives. Does Kansas City's built environment facilitate or prohibit these kinds of interactions?

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Up To Date
10:59 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Kansas City's 'Cowtown' Heritage

Local food critic Charles Ferruzza dives into the 'meat and potato past' of Kansas City's stockyards and steakhouses.
Credit Kansas City Public Library

Kansas City used to be the place, "where the steak is born." Now it's known more for barbecue than steaks and stockyards.

On the first half of Wednesday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske sits down with local food critic Charles Ferruzza to dive into Kansas City's carnivorous past. 

Guest:

  • Charles Ferruzza​, food critic.
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Community
9:43 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Then And Now: Pictures Show Changes In KC's Blue Hills Neighborhood

Credit Suzanne Hogan / Google Street View 2011 / KCUR

It's been three years since the Google Street View camera made its way through the streets of the Blue Hills neighborhood between Prospect Avenue and Paseo Boulevard, and 47th and 63rd Streets.

In that time, as the community has tried to shake the stigma of being filled with blighted homes, the community has seen a lot of visible changes. (See how Blue Hills has been trying to change its reputation.)

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Beyond Our Borders
5:30 am
Wed May 14, 2014

After Recession, Blue Hills Neighborhood Works To Change Its Reputation

Helen Bryant of Bryant Real Estate likes to call herself an 'affordable housing real estate agent.' She's been working in Blue Hills and the urban core since she started her business 20 years ago.
Suzanne Hogan KCUR

Kansas City has a reputation for being one of the most affordable cities in the country to buy a home, and as the metro emerges from the recession, some of the most affordable neighborhoods are trying to draw in buyers.

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Community
5:30 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Looking At Kansas City's Vacant Land As Opportunity

A close-up of green spaces on a map called "Blue River Country Fingers." It's placed on top of a vacant land map, with Land Bank properties in red.
Laura Spencer KCUR

Vacant lots are a problem for cities across the country. They’re costly for city budgets, as the lots have to be mowed and cleared of trash. For neighborhood residents, they can affect quality of life, and decrease property values.

There are thousands of vacant lots in Kansas City, Mo., including at least 3,000 parcels in the city’s Land Bank, and most of them are located east of Troost Avenue. A team of University of Missouri-Kansas City students spent the semester investigating vacancy and mapping out creative solutions.

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Central Standard
3:36 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Kansas Pride: Loving A Big State With A Big Reputation

Kansas: It can sometimes be quite pretty in its own subtle way.
Credit Anita Wood / Flickr, Creative Commons

Kansans sometimes get picked on. They've heard every joke in the book about Toto and Dorothy, and they're not amused.

On Central Standard, we met with two people whose love for the state is both unconventional and all-consuming. They discuss the many rewards that await those willing to explore a state so often dismissed as empty and flat, suggesting ideas for enjoyable daytrips (see below).  They also offer suggestions for how Kansas can overcome some of its less flattering stereotypes. 

Guests:

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Tell KCUR
3:10 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Tell KCUR: Is The NFL Ready For Michael Sam? Why Or Why Not?

Is the NFL ready for Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player to be drafted? Why or why not? Tweet your answer with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit KCUR

Missouri’s Michael Sam jumped into the history books Saturday, when he became the first openly gay football player to be drafted into the NFL. 

There’s been an outpouring of support from the public for Sam.

As the 249th overall choice by the St. Louis Rams, President Obama called the pick from the University of Missouri an “important step forward” in “our nation’s journey,” according to a White House statement provided to ABC.

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Community
11:22 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Attorney In Power & Light Case Reacts To Cordish Lawsuit

The Power & Light District is at the center of two lawsuits.
Credit Ashley Turner / Flickr--CC

Linda Dickens of Dickens Law, LLC  is being sued by The Cordish Companies for extortion and defamation. Dickens says the claims against her and her firm are a scare tactic and without merit. Cordish Companies owns and operates The Kansas City Power & Light District.

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Community
10:35 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Going To Kansas City: Lifetime Midwesterner

Greg Vranicar taking a break from the Midwest in San Diego. As he looks forward to retirement he plans to do a lot of traveling,but he will always keep Kansas City as his home base.
Credit Courtesy / Greg Vranicar

“Going to Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of how people came to Kansas City — and why they stayed.

Greg Vranicar grew up in a small town in Nebraska and went to college in Iowa. He currently works in Kansas City, Mo., as a planned giving director for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Before that, he worked as a lawyer for Richard’s-Gebaur Air Force Base.

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Beyond Our Borders
1:10 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

What It’s Like To Live In Walt Disney’s Childhood Home In Kansas City

Walt Disney moved to this house at 3028 Bellefontaine Ave. in Kansas City's east side when he was 9 years old.
Alyson Raletz KCUR

The view from Roberta Long’s white rocking chair on the porch of her Kansas City, Mo., house has taught her it’s a small world, after all.

That’s where she sits and meets people from Europe, California and everywhere in between.

 They stop by the house and take pictures at all hours of the day and night. In the summer, buses roll by with more gawkers, Long says.

And it’s all because of the legend who used to live in her home more than 100 years ago — Walt Disney.

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Beyond Our Borders
11:20 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Two Maps That Show The Concentration Of Lot Vacancies In Kansas City

UMKC seniors Sean Partain and Karie Kneller were part of the team investigating vacant land in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

It's estimated Kansas City, Mo., has at least 4,000 to 5,000 vacant lots. These sites, sometimes weedy and filled with trash, contribute to neighborhood blight and lower property taxes.

This semester, 11 seniors in the Architecture, Urban Planning and Design department at UMKC documented the parcels of vacant land scattered across Kansas City, Mo. They zeroed in on an area with the highest rate of vacancies, predominantly in the urban core and east of Troost Avenue.

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Finding Fresh Products In The Farmers' Market

Eighteen-year-old Michelle Sullivan helps a customer at her family's fresh vegetable and flower stall.
Beth Lipoff/KCUR

It's the season for farm-fresh local produce, and one of the popular spots in the Kansas City metro area is the Overland Park Farmers' Market.

On Friday's Up to Date, we take a trip to that market and talk with vendors ages 18 to 80 about what they’re selling and why they’ve chosen this particular spot to sell their wares.

The vendors and market-goers:

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Youth
7:45 am
Fri May 9, 2014

KCPD To Step Up Plaza Patrols For Summer

A 9 p.m. curfew for teens 17 and younger goes into effect Memorial Day weekend for Kansas City's entertainment districts.
Credit Photo courtesy of Charvex.

It’s not a new problem in Kansas City: Large groups of teens flock to the Plaza on summer weekends, and they don’t always follow the rules. 

Kansas City Police Department Central Patrol Operations Sgt. Greg Williams says the plan this summer is to take a harder line if teens are violating any city ordinances.

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Tell KCUR
2:47 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Turning Into Your Mother? These Kansas Citians Are

Susan Foster says she built this garden as a tribute to her mother, who always kept a vibrant flower garden on a budget.
Credit Susan Foster / Submitted photo

From an appreciation of art to a knack for grammar, moms pass down a lot of traits to their sons and daughters that go beyond eye color.

In honor of Mother’s Day, KCUR wanted to know what about your mom you see in yourself. We used our airwaves and social media this week to ask: How are you like your mother?

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Central Standard
1:12 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Mother's Day: A Radical History, Plus Kansas Citians' Stories

Flowers are a nice gesture on Mother's Day, but there's more to this holiday than meets the eye.
Credit julie / Flickr, Creative Commons

You could be forgiven if you happen to believe that Mother's Day is a holiday invented by florists, candy stores and greeting card companies. In point of fact, however, this holiday has a hard-won, grassroots history that puts today's celebrations in context.

On Central Standard, a historian introduced us to three women who lobbied for a mother's day of sorts: the first out of a desire for peace, the second to decrease infant mortality through education, and the third in service of her own professional yearnings.

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Central Standard
11:04 am
Thu May 8, 2014

On Motherhood: When You Were A Fish

Liz Tascio and her 8-month-old daughter.
Credit Courtesy of Liz Tascio

Liz Tascio is a guest contributor to Central Standard, she first shared the essay below at a Kansas City event called Listen To Your Mother

Before you were born, you were a fish. When you were a fish I tried imagining you as a baby, as my baby, but I couldn’t. I was 35 years old and nervous. I was afraid I’d get my heart set on you and then lose you to miscarriage. I was also scared that everything would be fine but that I'd fail you somehow, that I wouldn’t be a good mom.

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Community
4:51 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Cordish Hits Back Against Discrimination Allegations At Power & Light

The Power and Light district in downtown Kansas City, Mo., is at the center of two lawsuits.
Credit Maria Carter / KCUR

The Cordish Companies, owners and operators of the Power & Light District in Kansas City, are alleging a Kansas lawyer conspired to extort “large amounts of money” from Cordish as part of  race discrimination lawsuit against the company.

In a racketeering lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., Cordish further alleges Dickens Law LLC, principal Linda Dickens and attorney Austin Johnston engaged in witness tampering, and that Linda Dickens either deliberately or recklessly lied to the news media .

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Central Standard
2:15 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Share Economies On The Rise

Share economies are trending in the Kansas City marketplace. These are networks that give people access to goods and services without ownership. Airbnb, for example, is a service in which travelers can rent a living space from a complete stranger for a short time.

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Central Standard
9:47 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Latest On The Lyft Situation In Kansas City

Lyft members attach a hot pink mustache to the front of their car so passengers can easily identify them on the street.
Credit Via Tsuji / Flickr / Creative Commons

There's a new kid in town, and Kansas City government officials are concerned about its unconventional arrival.

Lyft, a San Francisco-based transportation network company that connects people through a mobile app, started business in the area on April 24. Users request a ride and they are matched with a driver from the Lyft community. 

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Community
8:15 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Dying Doctor And Woodworker Forge Tight Bond While Building Coffin

Local woodworker and artist Peter Warren met Dr. Jeff Piehler, a retired thoracic surgeon, at an art opening some years ago. But last year, the doctor came to visit Warren at his studio with an unusual request.

“He came to me and said ‘what do you think about building a casket?’” Warren said. "I told him I was fine with that."

Building his own casket

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

How Human Sex Life Compares To The Birds And The Bees

Credit Penguin Group (Canada)

The publisher of Nature's Nether Regions begins the book summary this way: "What’s the easiest way to tell species apart? Check their genitals."

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Public Transportation: Trends And Challenges

Credit www.kcstreetcar.org/

A new era in public transportation is underway in Kansas City with the construction of the downtown streetcar system, but will the future needs of aging baby boomers and mobile millennials be met? 

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Tell KCUR
4:30 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Tell KCUR: How Are You Like Your Mother?

What about your mother do you see in yourself? Tweet us your answer with the #TellKCUR hashtag.
Credit KCUR

 Maybe you inherited your mother’s chin or singing voice.

Perhaps you picked up her talent for chess, her calm frame of mind — or her hot temper?

Help KCUR celebrate Mother's Day. We're collecting motherhood messages and we're wondering what about your mother you see in yourself.

Tell KCUR: How are you like your mother?

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Central Standard
4:00 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Graduation Anxiety

Credit Dave Herholz / Flickr/CC

    

Spring is the season of change. Many high school seniors are preparing to leave the familiar to experience the independence that comes with university life. College seniors are expected to go out into the "real world" and take on new responsibilities. On today's Central Standard, psychologist Bruce Liese guides both students and parents through the uncertainties of this transitional period.

Guest:

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JCC Shootings
2:31 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

In The Wake Of Tragedy, Overland Park JCC Flooded With Condolences

Cards have flooded the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan., since the April 13 attack that took the lives of three people.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

In the weeks since a gunman shot and killed three people at Jewish facilities in Overland Park, Kan., hundreds of cards, letters and other expressions of sympathy have poured in.

Jacob Schreiber, President and CEO of the Jewish Community Center said a number of the written expressions are displayed on a bulletin board in the center’s lobby. Some of the expressions of sympathy include:

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Kansas City's World War I Monuments

James J. Heiman is the author of Voices in Bronze and Stone: Kansas City's World War I Monuments and Memorials
Credit Whoever Credit Goes To / Flickr--CC

Everyone is familiar with the National World War I Monument in Kansas City, but there are others.

On Monday, we'll hear the stories behind some of the most prominent WWI monuments and memorials in Kansas City. James J. Heiman the author of Voices In the Bronze and Stone: Kansas City's World War I Monuments and Memorials joins us.

Guest:

James J. Heiman is the author of Voices In Bronze and Stone: Kansas City's World War I Monuments and Memorials.

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Community
5:57 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Conservative Advocacy Group Draws Protesters To Downtown Kansas City

Protestors, like disabled veteran Sara Campbell (at right), held signs across the street from ALEC's meeting in Kansas City, Mo. Chuck and Tina Tribble (left, and center) planned to stay until the meeting "broke for dinner."
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC, hosted two days of meetings on May 1 - 2, with about 600 legislative leaders at the Downtown Marriott in Kansas City, Mo. The council is a conservative advocacy group.

On Friday, protesters gathered across the street for a Stand Up to ALEC event.

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Beyond Our Borders
6:06 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Walt Disney's Role In Transforming Troost

A view looking west to Troost from the Laugh-O-Gram Studio at 31st and Forest, Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

An attempt to breathe life into a building near Troost Avenue with ties to Walt Disney could help erase the corridor’s stigma as a key dividing line in Kansas City, says Butch Rigby.

Rigby, chairman of the non-profit Thank you Walt Disney, is behind an effort to revitalize Laugh-O-Gram Studio, which is just east of 31st Street and Troost.

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