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Segment 1: A New York Times reporter sees votes for Quinton Lucas as votes for neighborhoods.

The weekend before Kansas City's mayoral election, a story appeared in the New York Times suggesting that this election came down to a choice: continued emphasis on downtown, or a shift toward prioritizing neighborhoods struggling in downtown's shadow. The author joins us to reflect on the outcome.

Segment 1: Why we don't fix things any more, and why that matters.

There's a national movement encouraging people to learn how to fix things as an antidote to consumer waste and excess spending. But fix-it-yourself workshops happening around the country are having trouble getting off the ground in Kansas City. Our guests give the spiels they'd deliver at such workshops, if they did exist here.

Advice For High School Graduates

May 22, 2019

Graduation season is upon us, which means celebration and cliché advice. But a lot of the age-old wisdom doesn't quite ring true in today's changing world. Hear about the helpful and not-so-helpful nuggets doled out to high school seniors. Plus, Kansas Citians share their own tips.

Guests:

City of Shawnee

Last week, ballots started arriving in Shawnee mailboxes, asking voters to decide on a $38 million bond issue to build a new community center with a pool and fitness center in the city's growing western end.

Local Heroes

Apr 10, 2019

You could argue that our town is full of superheroes. In this episode, we look back at some of our favorite conversations with "ordinary" Kansas Citians who have done extraordinary things.

Segment 1: KC's Running Superman, Michael Wheeler retires.

Segment 1: Architects need to change the way they design buildings to adapt to the complex changes in our environment.

The benefits outweigh the costs when designing architecture that can withstand the effects of climate change, says one leading voice on the matter. Natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy and recent flooding throughout the Midwest show why cities need resilient design that also makes them quicker to recover.

Chicken & Egg

Mar 22, 2019

In a riff on the age old question about what comes first, this is a food show about chicken and eggs. Eggs come first, with a lesson on making Mexican-style eggs using the secret ingredient, which is love. Then the food critics lead a search for the best chicken dishes in town, whether you like it fried, roasted, broasted, boiled, in a sandwich or tamale, biryani or pot pie. 

Raytown Rocks

Karen Houck referred to her grief as a "bag of rocks" for years before she ever painted one or lived in a Lee's Summit house landscaped with a hundred tons of them.

UMKC Athletics

For Michael Watson, playing pro basketball was like being in an entirely different world from the one he grew up in, shooting hoops at Kansas City's Central High School.

"Everything is done at the highest level of excellence — from the GMs down to the players to the managers and the coaches and the staff — everything is done 100 percent and at the top of what you can get," he says. "That's what you dream about doing."

Segment 1: Community newspaper check-in with Camp Magazine.

From a continent-wide softball competition, to a ‘rainbow wave’ in local government — there’s a lot of news in Kansas City’s LGBTQ community. We visit with the editor of Camp Magazine, to take a look at recent headlines. 

Segment 2, beginning at 13:20: A local icon hangs up his cape.

Segment 1: Celebrating indigenous foods at Thanksgiving.

Turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce are staples for the modern-day Thanksgiving feast. But the story of the first Thanksgiving is one where indigenous people prepared food with ingredients and cooking methods native to North America. We explore native cuisine with two indigenous chefs.

The Renaissance Festival

Oct 9, 2018

The Renaissance Festival is something of a divisive subject in Kansas City. Some people don't quite "get it" while others are obsessed. We hear what the 'huzzahs!' are all about from the perspective of local performers. Plus, a look at the latest episode from My Fellow Kansans.

Guests:

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3 file photo

The Kansas City Chiefs' first home game of the season brought a packed stadium, loud fans — and the rollout of a new tailgaiting policy.  

The Chiefs announced last month the new rules, which require fans in the parking lots to either enter the stadium or leave at kickoff, not allowing for people to watch the game or keep partying. So far, the rules have not gone over well, and fan reactions on Sunday were no exception.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, approved $162,000 of funding for a conviction integrity unit, $155,000 of which will go toward the salaries of the unit's three staff members.

The unit will be responsible for investigating alleged wrongful conviction cases, a task which previously fell on the district attorney's desk. 

Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate

Developers of the new terminal at Kansas City International airport may not be able to follow through on a promise to help fund initiatives for minorities and disadvantaged parts of the city.

The so-called Community Benefits Agreement is a package of initiatives that include free or subsidized transportation options and licensed childcare for workers, as well as an on-site health clinic, expedited payment and workforce training during the project.

For many immigrants, art is a comfort — a home no one can take away. On this episode, we hear the immigration stories, filled with triumph and heartbreak, from the local arts community. 

File photo / Kansas News Service

Stories of small-town Kansas usually deal with issues like population decline, the brain drain or boarded up downtowns and food deserts. A different story played out last year in Tonganoxie, a growing town of about 5,000 people that rejected a proposal for a chicken plant that would offer more than 1,000 jobs. On this episode, we dig into Tonganoxie, a town where the population is changing and where the controversy over a poultry plant has raised questions about what that change will look like in the future.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

In the early 2000s, Tim Finn was raising two young daughters while working as The Kansas City Star's full-time pop music critic. His wife, Lauren Chapin, was the paper's food critic. They were eating in restaurants, bringing home tons of free music and going to shows all the time. He still wonders whether his daughters thought that was just how people lived.

"They must have thought, 'Wow, this is ... you know, what a glorious life.' And it was."

Segment 1: Poetry Editor for The New Yorker was influenced by childhood in Topeka.

Kevin Young's latest collection of poems Brown reminisces about his childhood in Kansas and how figures like Linda Brown, James Brown and John Brown have made an impact on both a historic and personal level.

Michelle Tyrene Johnson / KCUR 89.3

This spring marks 25 years since 23rd Street in the Westside neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, was named after civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.

The efforts the community went through echo the current attempt by a coalition of black leaders to rename Paseo Boulevard after Martin Luther King Jr.

Segment 1: How will automation affect the future of work?

Self-driving cars, ATMs and self-checkouts ... many fields have been affected by technology. And studies project that half our current work activities could be automated by 2055. What kind of work will we do — and will there be enough of it?

Segment 1: A local dance troupe performs an original piece based on people's experience with cancer.

The Owen/Cox Dance Group has collaborated with Gilda's Club Kansas City and will perform a piece about how people's lives are impacted by cancer. We talk to the choreographer, and we hear from patients, survivors and caregivers.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

It took Sandra Allen a few years but when she finally read the 60-page autobiographical manuscript her paranoid schizophrenic uncle Bob sent her, she found a lens into his creative, curious and sometimes discombobulating mind. Today, Allen reflects on what her uncle's life reveals about mental health in America.

Across America, gentrification is pricing people out of the communities they grew up in. Today, we look at alternatives to avoid raising the cost of living in existing neighborhoods.

Then, we learn how Jamie Sanders, the lead actor in the KC Rep's latest play about a young boy with autism, forged a connection with his character through his own experience with Tourette syndrome. 

Guests:

Allan Warren / Wikimedia Commons

Today, we speak with a University of Kansas student who won an international competition focused on designing a spacecraft capable of reaching Mars and returning to Earth.

Then: James Baldwin's legacy still resonates with today's thinkers on race in Kansas City. We discuss how his ideas still relate with the current social climate.

Guests:

Mike Mozart / Flickr-CC

Today, we meet two high school students from Kansas City's Central Academy of Excellence who are using art to tell stories about gun violence. 

Plus, find out how communities, both rural and urban, are affected by the expansion of dollar stores such as Dollar General.

Guests:

Jake William Heckey / Pixabay-CC

Looking back, this year was slammed with national news: tropical storms, wildfires, protests and even Twitter wars. But plenty happened here in Kansas City, too! So before entering a new year, we check in with community newspapers to learn about the important local stories of 2017.

Guests: