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Ascha Lee / KMUW

To Paint A Mural: Horizontes Project Helps North Wichitans See In Color

Take a drive through the north side of Wichita and you might notice some new faces. They live on the walls of buildings, under bridges and on other structures that weren’t necessarily designed to be painted, but were anyway. “To paint a mural in a public space,” said Wichita artist Armando Minjarez, “it’s itself a form of invasion.”

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My Tho

Sep 10, 2010

I have good news. We are seriously blessed with wonderful Vietnamese food in Wichita.

If you are unfamiliar with Vietnamese cooking, it is easy to like, even for a beginner. It’s fresh and healthy, relying on noodles and rice, small amounts of meat, and lots of vegetables and fresh herbs. Oftentimes raw ingredients will be used to garnish cooked dishes by the diner to her own tastes, so it’s a great cuisine for people who like to play with their food.

Isn’t passion great? Not the romantic kind of “oh, baby, I love you, I love you” passion, but the everyday sort of passion that people feel for practically every kind of imaginable thing.

Lots of good folks locally feel pretty strongly about college football. Some of them are convinced that Wichita State University made a wrong-headed move when it punted its own football program into the trash bin of history at the end of the 1986 season.

There is always a conspicuous absence of WSU on the sports pages this time of year as Kansas State and KU become the subjects of endless speculation about this season’s football teams.

The unprecedented nastiness of this season’s primary campaign seems noteworthy. Has there ever been a political atmosphere as charged with negativity as this one? Have there ever been so many candidates who’ve had so little to say about what they are actually in favor of? Okay, we did hear some platitudes about “Kansas values.” But mostly we heard negative messages telling us what they were against. They were against President Obama. They were against health care reform. They were against taxation. They were against undocumented immigrants.

Wichita Public Library

Wichita has a long and proud history as a baseball town-- from club games in the 1870s, to serving as the home of the NBC Tournament since its beginning in 1935, to the national championship success of Wichita State University. But last month marked the anniversary of a lost piece of Wichita baseball history that almost seems too strange to be true: A game in 1925 between the Wichita Monrovians-- an all African-American professional team-- and the Wichita chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.

So my family went out of town for a week and Wichita had a whole lot of rain during that time. There was the usual indicator of too much moisture in Wichita yards: a mushrooming bumper crop of political yard signs.

The recent death of Tom Leahy Jr., better known as Major Astro to Kansas baby boomers, caused my mind to rocket into the past. The good major wore his astronaut jumpsuit while hosting a daily afterschool kiddie show on local TV from 1962 to 1973. Wally Gator, Touche Turtle and Felix the Cat cartoons were beamed earthward to all the little tykes watching their rabbit-eared TV sets. Many were, no doubt, clutching their membership cards to the Major Astro Club.


Commentary & Podcasts

Your Move: 'Ace Combat 7' Is Melodramatic, But Good

I really enjoy flight simulator games, and even more when air-to-air combat is thrown in. Unfortunately, they don’t come out very often. Thankfully, a new entry in the Ace Combat series was just released - the first for the current generation of consoles.

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KMUW Music

Sunday, January 27  

R&B artist Deniece Williams is known for her 1976 signature song "Free," produced by Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White. Now, more than 40 years later, jazz guitarist Norman Brown features Williams singing the classic on his new release The Highest Act of Love. Hear both versions on Soulsations, Sunday at 6 p.m. on KMUW.

Album Cover Art

Saturday, January 26

Phoenix is the first album from Pedro The Lion since 2004. We’ll hear music from it as well as the upcoming release by Mercury Rev, a re-imagining of Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete, The Delta Sweete Revisited with appearances from Margot Price, Norah Jones and Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star.

Monday, January 28

Listen for selections from Jeff Tweedy’s Warm as well as music from Love’s Middle Name by Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles.

Tuesday, January 29

Having recently relocated to Berlin, Germany and having released a series of albums that found him reflecting on, among other things, the death of both of his parents, Bob Mould approached his latest work with a simple directive: Write some happy music. The result is Sunshine Rock, one of his most aggressive albums to date. We’ll hear music from that as well as from Slim Dunlap’s The Old New Me.

Wednesday, January 30

Released in 1978, Tracks On Wax 4 was British musician Dave Edmunds’ fourth solo LP and the first to feature members of his band Rockpile. Listen for selections from that as well as from The Replacements’ 1983 effort Hootenanny.

Thursday, January 31

We’ll preview our February featured artists, Bob Mould and Juliana Hatfield.

Friday, February 1

It’s our New Month, New Music feature with selections from Bob Mould, Juliana Hatfield, Mercury Rev and a preview of the reissue of Keith Richards’ solo debut, Talk Is Cheap.

Saturday, February 2

We’ll celebrate the birthday of musician Graham Nash with music from his solo career, his work with The Hollies and selections from his time with both Crosby, Stills and Nash as well as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Monday 1.21.19

Night Train steps aside for two specials – from Night Lights and Blues & Beyond – featuring music in celebration of Dr. King Day.

(Global Village also celebrates Dr. King Day this evening.)

Tuesday 1.22.19

Night Train marks birthdays of trombone pioneer J.J. Johnson, singer Lizz Wright, bassist Eberhard Weber, and saxophonist Tony Campise. Plus more for the January Best of 2018 feature, including more show favorites and this year’s jazz Grammy nominees.

Wednesday 1.23.19

Night Train celebrates two major jazz birthdays tonight – vibes master Gary Burton (including music from a new five-disc career retrospective) and guitar great Django Reinhardt. Along with music from the ‘gypsy jazz’ legend, we’ll hear music from other artists and groups inspired by his sound, including a special in hour two featuring a performance from the Hot Club of Detroit.  Plus more for the January Best of 2018 feature, including music from show favorite, the Hot Club of San Francisco, from a recent 30th anniversary compilation.

(Global Village also celebrates Django Reinhardt’s birthday this evening.)

Thursday 1.24.19

It’s music with a Latin influence tonight on the Night Train, including a number of 2018 releases for the January feature. We’ll hear music from Nestor Torres’ Latin Grammy nominated release, Eddie Daniels’ Grammy nominated album, the intriguing China Caribe Night Train favorite from Dongfeng Liu, and another show pick from inventive Cuban artist Alfredo Rodriguez. We also remember trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Jerry Gonazlez who passed away in 2018 – and get to the latest from Chucho Valdes, Charlie Dennard, Aaron Goldberg, Stefon Harris, and more.

Monday, January 21

Global Village celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with songs dedicated to him, music inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, and pieces that reflect human rights themes as performed by artists from around the globe, including Mavis Staples, the Soweto Gospel Choir, Toots & the Maytals, Stevie Wonder, and more.

(Night Train also celebrates Dr. King’s birthday tonight.)

Tuesday, January 22

Global Village highlights world mandolins– with influences from Brazilian (Hamilton de Holanda), Western and Arabic classical (Avi Avital) and folk (Solas, MandolinMan and Runa). Plus music from Cal Tjader, the Nordic group Sver, and contemporary Brazilian band Forro in the Dark.

Wednesday, January 23

Global Village celebrates the birthday of gypsy jazz guitar great Django Reinhardt with music from the master himself and from his Hot Club of France partner – violinist Stephane Grappelli. We’ll also hear from some of the many contemporary artists and groups inspired by his music to offer both traditional and contemporary forms of his trademark ‘gypsy jazz’ sound, including Tchavolo Schmitt, Bireli Lagrene, Pearl Django, the Hot Club of San Francisco, the Hot Club of Detroit and Hot Club Sandwich.

(Night Train also celebrates Django Reinhardt’s birthday tonight.)

Thursday, January 24

Global Village continues the January Best of 2018 feature and celebrates the birthday of Crescent City great Aaron Neville. We’ll hear Neville solo and with the Neville Brothers, and get to music from the 2018 and nominated album from Ziggy Marley, along with show favorites from Bombino (the featured artist for the January Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival show, which airs next week), Hugh Masekela, and the Dur-Dur Band.

Friday, January 25

Global Village marks the birthday of pianist, composer and bossa nova pioneer Antonio Carlos Jobim with performances from the legendary Brazilian artist and covers of some of his many classics from Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd, Sting, Quarteto Jobim Morelenbaum, the Jobim Orchestra, classical guitarist Berta Rojas, and John Pizzarelli’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of a classic album from Jobim with Frank Sinatra.

January 25/27

Crossroads wraps up the January Best of 2018 feature with more Blues Music Awards and Grammy nominees – this time including Shemekia Copeland, Dom Flemons, Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite, Maria Muldaur, Elvin Bishop and Bettye LaVette. We also remember some artists who passed away in 2018, including Terry Evans, Eddie C. Campbell, Otis Rush and, in hour two, a special tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Airing Sundays in February, this four-part radio documentary from WXPN and NPR celebrates gospel music's influence on early rock and soul.


Stephan Bisaha/Source: Kansas State Department of Education

Kansas' Worsening Teacher Shortage In Four Graphs

Kansas' teacher shortage is growing worse. The latest numbers from the Kansas State Department of Education for fall 2018 show 612 teaching positions remain unfilled by a qualified teacher. That's up from the 513 vacant positions from the same time last year. According to the state, one possible explanation for the shortage is that schools have become less reluctant to report their vacancies.

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