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Carla Eckels / KMUW

Wichita's Spanish Speakers Getting Out The Vote

There are nearly 70,000 Spanish speaking people living in Wichita, many who could head to the polls next month. As the mid-term elections draw near, more Spanish speakers are being made aware of the election process and learning about who is running for office. A group of Hispanic women recently participated in a Spanish voter training session at Wichita’s Peace and Social Justice Center to help with that effort.

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Well, we’ve had some snow this winter. That proves there’s no global warming. No, really. Fox News has been all over it. See, they took Al Gore’s book, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and they set it outside in the snow and showed it on camera while they snickered and cackled about how the snow disproved it all.

Yeah. That’s what we’ve come to. Imbecilic “news reports” like that. The “gotcha” mentality rules stronger than ever.

I never thought I’d say this, but, man! I’m really into basketball these days! Generally I barely pay attention to it. But a couple of things happened recently that turned me around.

It’s felt like the dead of winter around here lately - day after day of dense fog, damp air and cool temperatures. We’re not used to this kind of fog here in Kansas.

It’s crow time in Wichita. Driving my daughter to school this morning we noticed the thousands of crows roosting in the trees along Grove Street. She took the same perspective on the sight that anyone who’s ever seen Hitchcock’s movie, The Birds, would take, and she pronounced it “creepy.”

There’s a little dog that usually appears somewhere in every cartoon I draw. His name is Al and he’s a wire-haired fox terrier that we once shared our home with. Al came from a background of abuse as was evidenced by his shy, cowering personality. There’s nothing normal about a terrier that’s shy but Al had been badly mistreated during his first four or five months and he never really got over it.

We don’t really have any hills here in Wichita so we couldn’t erect our Greek Temple to the Celebrity Gods up high where everybody could see it. But downtown was as good a place as any, better than most, for its location.

Celebrity worship continues to be one of our most popular religions. So it is that we find our modern equivalent of the Greek Temple, the downtown Intrust Arena, about ready to open its doors to that fervent flock, the Adorers of the Blessed People Magazine Cover Subjects.

One thing I’m betting you are not asking Santa for this year is a telephone book.

Yet another unrequested phone book was delivered to my front porch the other day. I dutifully brought it in and opened the cabinet door to the area where we store them to add it to the collection. It was hours later before the avalanche rescue team found me beneath the huge pile of phone books that had tumbled out of that cabinet and buried me.

I’ve never been able to pass up an estate sale and stopped in at one last week in modest little home. The tattered art prints and hundreds of books painted a picture of a person with intellectual curiosity about the world of ideas. The small living room was dominated by a seriously grand piano standing proudly out among a few worn and threadbare sticks of furniture.

While I was in the basement, someone sat at that piano and played a flourishing rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” It echoed easily through the thin floors and walls of that once-beloved home.

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New Location on October 13!

Commentary & Podcasts

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An Artist's Perspective: Amazing Art Finds

A friend of mine called me last week and said she was at an estate sale and had found something that caught her eye. She texted me a quick photo and I agreed she should buy it. She paid $200 for what is a signed Peter Max lithograph worth $3000.

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My Fellow Kansans: The latest episode

My Fellow Kansans: The Rise — And Fall — Of Sam Brownback

Before he was governor, Sam Brownback had been state agriculture secretary, congressman, and U.S. senator. But when he captured the state’s top office in 2010 he had even bigger plans: to transform Kansas into a red-state model for the nation. That’s not the way things panned out.

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KMUW Music

Sunday, October 14

Sunday on Soulsations we'll hear from a member of the long time popular gospel group "The Winans" who has launched his solo career. Multi-Grammy Award winner Carvin Winans released his new single "Once In A Lifetime." The love song is from his upcoming 2019 album The Softest Way.

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Tuesday, October 16

Serving as the soundtrack to the new documentary about Joan Jett, Bad Reputation, the film’s soundtrack arrives with a new song from Jett and her band the Blackhearts as well as guest appearances from members of the Sex Pistols, Bikini Kill and a new cover of The Replacements’ classic “Androgynous” featuring Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! and Miley Cyrus. Listen for selections from that release as well as new music from Cursive’s first album in six years, Vitriola.

Wednesday, October 17

Fair Enough is the latest from Seattle Band Minus The Bear. The EP maintains the group’s trademark use of electronics and futuristic sounds and recalls some of the band’s earliest work. We’ll hear selections from it as well as from Tokyo Police Club, TPC.

Thursday, October 18

C'est La Vie is the first album from Phosphorescent in five years and highlights the experiences of founding member Matthew Houck in that time, which included leaving New York City for Nashville, becoming a father and nearly dying from a life-threatening illness. We’ll hear music from that effort as well as song from Different Windows, the new effort from Smokey Delights.

Friday, October 19

Years In The Making is a new collection from singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III featuring previously unheard studio material, live radio performances and demo recordings. Listen for selections from that release as well as music from Rachel Eckroth’s When It Falls.

Saturday, October 20

Loving The Alien (1983-1988) is a new boxed set from David Bowie which spans from re-emergence into the pop world with 1983’s Let’s Dance and also includes a new production of his 1987 effort Never Let Me Down featuring longtime collaborators such as Reeves Gabrels (guitar) and Sterling Campbell (drums). We’ll hear music from across that box on this episode as well as selections from Wanderer, the latest by Cat Power.

Monday, October 22

Listen for selections from Poor Until Payday, the latest by The Reverent Peyton’s Big Damn Band as well as selections from Iron and Wine’s new EP, Weed Garden.

October 12/14

Crossroads kicks off the October feature celebrating the 70th birthday of guitarist, songwriter and producer Duke Robillard with music he did on the debut album from Roomful of Blues and from one of a couple of releases he did with jazz guitar legend Herb Ellis.

Plus birthday salutes to R&B pioneer Jimmy Liggins and Louisiana bluesman Kenny Neal (including a special featuring Neal in hour two of the show), regional blues concert previews, and the latest from Marcia Ball, Nick Moss, Mike Zito, Bernard Allison and Anthony Geraci.

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Tuesday, October 9

Well Kept Thing is the latest release from post-rock outfit Foxhole. Twelve years in the making, this new effort chronicles changes in the members’ lives as they grew into their adults selves and became as a coffee shop owner, a farmer and commercial fisherman, a creative director, an admission to MIT’s Media Lab. Listen for music from that release as well songs from the band Sonna.

Wednesday, October 10

Released in 2002, Fashionably Late was Linda Thompson’s first solo recording in 17 years. Aided by her son Teddy and a host of other players, the record returned the English vocalist to the spotlight. We’ll hear music from that effort as well as from Plays Well With Others, a new boxed set chronicling Phil Collins’ time as a guest musician and producer with a range of artists including John Martyn, Robert Plant, David Crosby and Brand X.

Thursday, October 11

Pour Down Like Silver was the fourth album from Richard and Linda Thompson, recorded not long after the couple had adopted the Sufi faith. We’ll hear selections from that as well as from The Who’s 1975 effort, The Who By Numbers.

Friday, October 12

Listen for selections from Teddy Thompson’s 2011 release, Bella, as well as selections from Lindsey Buckingham’s new Solo Anthology.

Saturday, October 13

We’ll hear selections from Other Arrangements by singer-songwriter Parker Milsap as well as selections from Crowded House’s 1988 effort, Temple of Low Men.

Monday, October 15

Released in 2010 Midnight Souvenirs was the seventh solo release from J. Geils Band vocalist Peter Wolf. The record features guest appearances from Merle Haggard, Shelby Lynne and Neko Case. We’ll hear selections from it as well as from the 1974 effort from the J. Geils Band, Nightmares...and Other Tales from the Vinyl Jungle.

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Sunday, October 7

Sunday on Soulsations, new music by Anthony David.  The singer/songwriter’s release is called Hello Like Before, a tribute album to the legendary Bill Withers. David says, “In many ways Bill Withers is the artist most influential to my music career."

Noteworthy

Sedgwick County Zoo

Sedgwick County Zoo Unveils 25-Year Master Plan

The Sedgwick County Zoo could in 25 years be unrecognizable from the zoo visitors know today. A new master plan unveiled Wednesday lays out a vision for the zoo's future, including expanded exhibits, a concert venue, an aquarium and an African savanna-themed hotel and resort. The plan aims to take the zoo, now nearing its 50th birthday, to "the next level."

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