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Chris Neal / For the Kansas News Service

Kansas Hopes To Convince California Students To Trade Beaches For Cheap College Tuition

Kansas universities are looking beyond the Midwest — as far out as California — for out-of-state students to fill their classrooms. But other states are competing just as hard for Kansas students.

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Spring is such a generous season. Without our having to lift a finger, nature showers us with spectacular abundance every April. It didn’t require a public vote on which trees would bud first. There was no legislation passed stipulating that by a certain date all tulips would burst open. The enthusiastic birdsong outside our kitchen windows every morning now does not have to be critiqued by a panel of celebrity judges.

My ego can beat up your ego. My team can beat your team. My political party can beat your political party. My country can beat your country. My planet can beat your planet. My galaxy can…well, we’re not quiet that far yet, but the time will come.

Bragging rights. We humans love ‘em. Gotta be the best, the biggest, the baddest. In a conversation with a friend recently I found myself saying this about the recent basketball season: “Thank goodness for the Emporia State women’s team! National Division II champs!”

What’s wrong with this picture: Here I am living in Wichita, Kansas, and I have to buy frozen White Castle cheeseburgers at the grocery. That’s right. Frozen. They come 6 to a box. Shipped in from God-knows-where. To Wichita.

Wichita is the home of White Castles. They were invented by Walter Anderson and Billy Ingram right here in 1921. They swept throughout the Midwest in the next decades. They continue to thrive all over the place. But are there any in Wichita? No, there are not.

I don’t know about you but I’m seeing signs of spring everywhere these days! The tiniest hint of green on my lawn; birdsong in the mornings; two whole weeks without snow and that surest indicator of Spring in Kansas – state legislators giving more tax breaks to businesses while our schools agonize over deep budget cuts.

You see, our legislators argue that they may be creating new jobs for our state by giving businesses these tax breaks. You know, to sort of offset the jobs lost due to school budget cuts.

Crowson Toon 2-25

Feb 25, 2010

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.


Commentary & Podcasts

Beth Golay / KMUW

Past & Present: Remembering John Bardo

Back in 2012, John Bardo became Wichita State University's president. Some presidents are caretakers, who maintain the status quo. That was not Bardo’s legacy. He took on an institution that was, in some ways, not that different from the one where he taught back in the 1970s. Now, as the university's head, he became a builder, a transformer, and the campus became a very different space.

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KMUW Music

Glen Rose

For the first time since its earliest hours as a Southern California jug band in the late 1960s, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band expanded to a sextet in 2018. The lineup now features co-founders Jeff Hanna (acoustic guitar, electric guitar) and Jimmie Fadden (drums, harmonica), as well as longtime member Bob Carpenter (keyboards) and new additions Jim Photoglo (bass, acoustic guitar), Ross Holmes (fiddle, mandolin) and Jaime Hanna (electric and acoustic guitar).

Album Cover Art

Thursday, March 21  

The Dark and The Light is the latest release from Chicago-born singer-songwriter Shawn James. We’ll hear selections from it on this episode of Strange Currency as well as music from Luther Dickinson & Sisters of the Strawberry Moon’s Solstice. Dickinson, perhaps best known for his work with the Black Crowes and as a member of The North Mississippi Allstars (with his brother Cody), assembled a number of singer-songwriters he respected for this recording, including Birds of Chicago and Amy Helm.

Friday, March 22

Following the dissolution of the “classic” lineup of Guided By Voices in the late 1990s, founding member Robert Pollard recruited the Cleveland, Ohio band Cobra Verde to support him on the album that would become Mag Earwhig! We’ll hear selections from that effort as well as music from Cobra Verde’s Egomania, released the same year.

Saturday, March 23

We’ll hear from Bossanova, the 1990 effort from the Pixies as well as Alien Lanes, the 1995 set from Guided By Voices. Former bassist James Greer once quipped that the record cost, less beer, “about ten dollars” to make.

Monday, March 25

Listen for music from Gallipoli, the latest by Beirut, as well as music from Sea Wolf’s 2007 effort, Leaves in the River.

Tuesday, March 26

Suitcase is a series of boxed sets released by the Ohio band Guided By Voices between 2000 and 2015. Featuring songs not included in the group’s main discography (and reportedly culled from a literal suitcase filled with tapes), the project spotlights various corners of GBV’s nature, including its forays into lo-fi and whimsical pieces such as “Little Jimmy The Giant.” We’ll hear pieces from the Suitcase sets as well as music from Robert Pollard’s 1999 effort, Kid Marine.

Wednesday, March 27

The Dark and The Light is the latest release from Chicago-born singer-songwriter Shawn James. We’ll hear selections from that effort as well as music from Mike Keneally’s Wooden Smoke.

Thursday, March 28  

Although he never broke through to major chart success, Tommy Keene, who died in 2017 at the age of 59, remained one of the best songwriters of his generation. We’ll music from his acclaimed 1986 record, Songs from the Film as well as from his 2006 collaboration with Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices as The Keene Brothers, Blues and Boogie Shoes.

Friday, March 29  

Listen for music from Split Lip Rayfield’s I’ll Be Around as well as selections from the 2019 archival release from Townes Van Zandt, Sky Blue.

Saturday, March 30

We’ll preview our April featured artists, Richard Thompson and Robin Trower. We’ll hear from the former’s 1000 Years Of Popular Music as well as the latter’s classic Bridge Of Sighs release.

Monday, March 18

Night Train marks birthdays of guitarist Bill Frisell (including his appearance on Hal Willner’s Amarcord Nino Rota project and a concert performance from the Savannah Music Festival in hour two of the show), steel drum player Andy Narell, and vibes player Joe Locke.  Plus concert previews and music from March featured artist Nat ‘King’ Cole.

Global Village and Strange Currency also feature music from Frisell tonight, 7 to 10 p.m., and Global Village also highlights some of the world jazz work of Andy Narell.

Tuesday, March 19

More music from March featured artist Nat Cole tonight, including a classic, an early transcription recording, and a rarity as part of the Metronome All Stars. We’ll also hear from brother Freddy Cole with his classic tune, “I’m Not My Brother, I’m Me.” Also on tap birthday salutes to Brazilian singer, pianist and composer Eliane Elias, singer and actor Bill Henderson, pianist and former Dizzy Gillespie Musical Director Mike Longo, and Chris Brubeck, son of Dave and part of the Brubeck Brothers group with sibling Dan Brubeck. And there’s new music from singer Catherine Russell, Django inspired guitarist Stephane Wrembel, pianist Harold Mabern and more.

Wednesday, March 20

Night Train teams up with Global Village and Strange Currency to celebrate the first day of Spring, with new and classic spring songs from Pat Metheny with Jim Hall, Larry Coryell with Philip Catherine, Billie Holiday, Bennie Golson, Abbey Lincoln, Betty Carter, Clifford Brown and more. And a birthday salute to pianist, singer and painter Meredith D’Ambrosio, who nearly always includes a song about spring on all of her albums.

Thursday, March 21

It’s World Poetry Day (following a 1999 UNESCO declaration) and Night Train celebrates with a program devoted to the intersection of jazz and poetry. We’ll hear works inspired by Elizabeth Bishop, ee cummings, Theodore Roethke, Margaret Atwood, and others done by Kurt Elling, Luciana Souza, Patricia Barber, Benjamin Boone with Pulitzer Prize winning poet Philip Levine, Jack Kerouac with Steve Allen, and also Word Jazz master Ken Nordine, who passed away in February. We’ll hear some of Nordine’s work in hour one, and in a special in hour two celebrating his Word Jazz and highlighting other jazz poetry pieces.

Monday, March 18

Global Village marks birthdays of guitarist Bill Frisell and steel drum player Andy Narell; continues the Ghana music feature with K. Frimpong and the new album from Ghanaian reggae star Rocky Dawuni; two duets from eclectic mandolinist Mike Marshall; and Indian blues from Aki Kumar and West Indian blues from Taj Mahal.

Night Train also features music from both Bill Frisell and Andy Narell tonight, 10 p.m. to midnight.

Tuesday, March 19

Global Village marks birthdays of Brazilian pianist, singer and composer Eliane Elias, singer and songwriter Terry Hall of the Specials, and Crescent City R&B hitmaker Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry. Plus more music from Ghana for the March feature, this time from the Ghana Special collection, the new album from Ghanaian reggae star Rocky Dawuni, and from the popular Ghanaian rock group Osibisa – and new music from the French/Ethiopian group Ukandanz and from Burkina Faso’s Baba Commandant & the Mandingo Band.

Night Train also features music tonight from Eliane Elias tonight, 10 p.m. to midnight.  

Wednesday, March 20

Spring is here! Global Village welcomes in the new season with a wide array of artists, styles and songs celebrating the ups (and downs) of spring. Among the artists featured: Brazil’s Dori Caymmi, the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York, Mei Han and her Red Chamber Chinese ensemble, South African legend Hugh Masekela, singer-songwriter Erin McKeown, and Portuguese fado star Mariza.

Strange Currency and Night Train also have spring specials tonight, 8 p.m. to midnight.

Thursday, March 21

Global Village marks the International Day of Nowruz. Honored in a UN Resolution, the date was chosen to mark the celebration of Persian New Year and the arrival of spring. It has been celebrated for several thousand years and across countries spanning Central Asia, the Balkans, and the Middle East. The show highlights music from a number of countries that celebrate Noruz as a national holiday and includes both traditional and contemporary music, even some ‘70s rock-inspired releases.

Friday, March 22

Global Village highlights some key African guitarists in this visit, including Malian artists Boubacar Traore, Ali Farka Toure (with Ry Cooder), and Djelimady Tounkara, Benin’s Lionel Loueke, and D’Gary from Madagascar. Plus music from Songhoy Blues, Taj Mahal with Keb’Mo, the Playing for Change project, and The Vampires.

Courtesy photo


The Wichita Symphony Orchestra presents a program of musical and visual virtuosity on Saturday, March 16 and Sunday, March 17 via an evening of film and music.

In collaboration with astronomer and visual artist Dr. José Francisco Salgado, the WSO will perform Maurice Ravel's Daphnis & Chloe while the audience takes in the spectacular film Moonrise, which Salgado has prepared.


Wichita State University

Wichita State University President And 'Innovator' John Bardo Dies At 70

Wichita State University President John Bardo, who transformed the school with the development of the Innovation Campus, has died.

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