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Central Standard

Lucas Richardz / Flickr CC

A vibrant restaurant scene brings comings and goings. Guest host Brian Ellison spoke Friday with Central Standard's local Food Critics — Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch, and Jenny Vergara — about what's new and what's out in the Kansas City area. 

Opening

Catapla / Facebook

If you've listened to any of our previous conversations with the Food Critics, you know that there isn't a shortage of top-notch food options in the Kansas City metro area.

Sometimes, though, you want a change of scenery during dinner.

"It has to have something special that makes you want to get in the car and go," said Food Critic Mary Bloch. 

Oleta Adams / Folly Theater

A Grammy-nominated singer and pianist who has traveled the world performing blues and gospel music has a pretty simple answer for the question of why she still lives in Kansas City.

"Why not?"

Oleta Adams tried living other places that people might more quickly associate with an internationally recognized performer, but it just didn't seem practical.

Segment 1: Growing up is hard, just ask writer and critic Michelle Tea. 

Her road to adulthood wasn't always an easy one, but she made it there. Today, Michelle Tea told us about growing up in poverty and about her coming of age as a queer person in an unwelcoming culture. She offered her perspective on how to find your way as a young artist.

Food Critics: The Best Pork Dishes In Kansas City In 2018

Sep 2, 2018
A sandwich with meat, cheese, pickles and mustard on a wooden surface.
Pigwich / Facebook

Located in the heart of the Midwest with some of the most famous barbecue joints in the world, it's no surprise there are lots of meaty meal options to be found in Kansas City. 

"Since the dawn of Kansas City I would say pork's been having a moment," KCUR Food Critic Jenny Vergara said. "It's definitely on the menu."

But what menus have the best pig dishes around?

Segment 1: Local chef brings Samoan family tradition of the pig roast to celebrations in Kansas City.

We chatted with Chef Howard Hanna, of The Rieger and Ca Va, about pork's place in Midwestern food culture. He also told us about the significance of pig roasts in Samoan culture and about what it takes to throw a successful one here in Kansas City. Then, we heard a piece by KCUR's Michelle Tyrene Johnson about a beloved sandwich shop that's been serving up pork tenderloin sandwiches for decades. 

Grecian-style columns wrapped in colorful banners. A sign that reads "Open Spaces" hangs below.
Kathleen Pointer / KCUR 89.3

For a while now, much of Kansas City's arts community has been abuzz about Open Spaces, the 62-day arts festival that's giving a platform to local, national and international artists. The plan, hatched nearly five years years ago by an arts commission Mayor Sly James put together, is becoming a reality this weekend.

Shy Boys

Segment 1: For All The World To See exhibit at the Black Archives of Mid-America.

A nationally touring exhibit from NEH on the Road has made its way to Kansas City. "For All The World To See" displays photographs and other visuals from the civil rights era. We talked about the ways art and culture influence each other.

Midterm elections will soon be upon us, and we're curious-- will this be your first time voting? Whether you just turned 18, recently became a U.S. citizen, or have just gotten more interested in the democratic process, we want to hear from you.

If you're willing to be a source for this series on KCUR's Central Standard, please fill out this form.

The Best Frozen Treats In Kansas City In 2018

Jul 28, 2018
The display case at an ice cream shop. It shows various brightly colored tubs of ice cream
Jpellgen / Flickr

Was the Choco Taco, a concoctation that nestles vanilla ice cream and fudgey swirls into a sugar cone-turned-shell, a part of your childhood summers? It was for Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann.

Turns out the treat isn't something that can only be found in the halls of one's memory! You can recreate those summertime vibes of youth (or, at least, Gina can) by picking them up in boxes of four at the Roeland Park Price Chopper.

A black and white aerial photo from 1945. It shows a swimming pool filled with people and a parking lot filled with cars.
Missouri Valley Special Collections

When the director of Open Spaces, the upcoming city-wide arts festival, came to Kansas City to explore the selected hub location, all he saw was something “spectacular”: A large piece of land that lived up to its designation as the “crown jewel” of Kansas City’s park system.

Segment 1: Tomato season is upon us. Here's everything you need to know.

James Worley blogs about growing and eating tomatoes in Kansas City. He also organizes the annual "totally tomato weekend." Hear his growing tips and favorite recipes as he makes the case that all local menus should revolve around tomatoes right now.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Phillip Jackson — better known by his stage name, Eems — grew up in what he reluctantly calls "the hood."

"I mean, single-parent household, went to Kansas City, Missouri, public schools, and just living in, I don't want to call it the hood, but, the hood," he said on Central Standard on July 6.

Now, he's a touring musician with fans all over the country, a new EP and a unique sound that defies genre: a mix of hip-hop, R&B and lots of ukulele. That's right: ukulele. 

Segment 1: A puppeteer takes on a beloved childhood classic with virtually no narrative, but lots of dogs.

Mesner Puppet Theater is staging two very different productions this summer: P.D. Eastman's Go, Dog, Go! and The Tempest, by William Shakespeare.

Segment 2, beginning at 12:35: A photographer on being the artist-in-residence at the Missouri State Fair.

A piece of funnel cake, dusted in powdered sugar.
Jamiesrabbits / Flickr - CC

Summer in Kansas City means braving the heat and humidity for the metro's many outdoor festivals, where snack offerings are so plentiful and varied that we asked our food critics for guidance on navigating the options.

"Sometimes in those festivals, you can get foods that you can't find in any restaurant in Kansas City. It's a real treat," said Charles Ferruzza.

The Land Institute's Wes Jackson has spent decades pushing for a radical return to a pre-industrial prairie ecology, going back to how we sustained ourselves before the advent of modern agriculture. But his story begins on a farm, where his waste-not-want-not values were born. "I was raised on the back of a hoe-handle," he says. Originally broadcast in April, 2016.

Oscar Sanisidro / KU

Silvisaurus condrayi, the only dinosaur known to have lived on the land that is now Kansas, is strutting its stuff again in Lawrence.

The dinosaur's skeleton is featured in a new exhibit at the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum, along with an interactive display with images of the creature and the environment where it lived 100 million years ago.

Jen Chen / KCUR 89.3

Dana Tippin Cutler and Keith Cutler aren’t your typical Kansas City couple. The two practicing lawyers are the hosts of “Couples Court with the Cutlers,” a reality TV show.

“(The show) combines our experience as a couple for 35 years now along with our legal experience,” Keith told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard. On the show, the Cutlers said they preside over real cases with real people in real situations. All of the featured couples have some element of alleged infidelity. 

Joe Carson/Courtesy of Bob Hughes Jr.

On Jan. 19, 1968, Chester Owens Jr., and several other Kansas City leaders posed for a photo with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a TWA lounge. King was passing through due to a speech at Kansas State University. The men had been summoned, “really just there to make him comfortable,” as Owens put it on KCUR’s Central Standard.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Lonnie and Ronnie McFadden, of Kansas City's McFadden Brothers, grew up at 19th and Euclid, on Kansas City's east side. They've been a tap-dancing duo for as long as they can remember. But it wasn't until long after the art form went out of style that they made it their own — and made it cool

"We grew up in a household that was probably about as close to Norman Rockwell as I've seen to this day," says Lonnie, remembering the elaborate hot meals his mom used to make before working evenings at a country club.

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

First there was the craft beer craze and then craft distilling. Now soda pop is the latest beverage to get a craft makeover. The growth of craft soda comes despite corporate pop companies Coca-Cola and PepsiCo seeing U.S. soda consumption hit a 30-year low.

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

We often hear and read about the need for diverse sources in the media, particularly when it comes to news. The question of who is given voice is critically important to understanding what informs our view of the world.

Along those lines, I wanted to understand which voices are given opportunity to share their perspective on the program I’m responsible for producing — KCUR’s Central Standard. So I started surveying our on-air guests in early January 2016.

Glenn McCoy / Belleville News-Democrat / Universal Press Syndicate

You might know their opinions — even if you don't know their names.

Political cartoons are a fixture that appear alongside news stories and editorials, providing humorous and absurd commentary on issues and current events.

Cartoonists Lee Judge and Glenn McCoy told Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann that political cartoons have a special place in the world of media.

National Weather Service Pleasant Hill Kansas City/Pleasant Hill / Facebook

"For those wishing for an oak mite apocalypse, you'll get your wish Sunday morning (11/20) when lows hit the mid-20s."

This quip was posted on the National Weather Service's Facebook page last autumn by Forecaster Mike July. Some people have a knack for knowing exactly what an audience is looking for in a weather forecast. For many, July is one of those people.

Wikimedia Commons

Echinacea has become one of the more common natural remedies for colds, but the herb has deep roots across many cultures in the Great Plains, used at times to treat everything from burns to toothaches to snake bites.

Kansas Collection / The University of Kansas

The Chiefs’ latest loss in the NFL playoffs began another year of collective waiting for Kansas City – and for the entire region that wears red and lives and dies red, too.

Dies? Consider the obituaries in The Kansas City Star, where a remarkable number list as one of a deceased’s noteworthy attributes “avid Chiefs fan.” In this part of the world, following the fortunes of the Chiefs has ranked as one of the great pleasures. It has been that way more than half a century.

Jin Lee / 9/11 Memorial & Museum

At the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, there’s a giant wall showing photos of all 2,983 people who died in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks of Feb. 26, 1993, and Sept. 11, 2001. For a long time seven of these portraits were missing. But recently, five of the missing pictures turned up in a limestone cave in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Chess may not be the first thing that comes to mind when discussing Missouri's fame, but St. Louis, Missouri, was declared by congress the "chess capital of the nation," and the reigning state champion is a Kansas City local.

Tony Rich, the executive director at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis (CCSCSL) attributes the success of St. Louis as an epicenter for chess to the chess community that has developed there in the last 10 years.

Chiming Huang

Revelations about the grave dangers of concussions have led to numerous lawsuits brought by college and pro football players and have prompted many parents and health advocates to question whether children and teams should even be playing contact sports.

Not so fast, say a growing group of researchers, who hope to save football by building a better helmet.

Anna Leach / KCUR

    

Gillham Park Pool at 41st St. and Gillham Road in Midtown Kansas City, was built in 1977 as a fountain-wading pool hybrid. Generations of Kansas Citians have swum at the free facility — but this generation could be the last to remember the quirky pool.

Julian Gabriel started coming to the pool 13 years ago as a recent high school graduate, right after moving to the neighborhood from Jefferson City, Missouri.

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