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Sedgwick County Wants Ban On Abortion Services During Coronavirus Outbreak

Sedgwick County commissioners plan to ask the governor and health leaders to reconsider an exemption allowing abortion services to continue during the COVID-19 crisis. Women’s health clinics, like other medical offices, are classified as essential businesses and are allowed to stay open during the state and county stay-at-home orders. The commissioners voted 4 to 1 Wednesday to recommend that the clinics temporarily stop performing abortion services. The commissioners plan to send a letter to...

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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.

Had a garage sale the other day. Swore I’d never have another one 2 sales ago. But stuff just kept piling up and something had to be done. So my wife, my daughter and I spent a long 90-degree June day saying over and over, “Yes, we’ll take 50 cents instead of 75 cents for that.”

I was going to do another commentary today about British Petroleum’s oil massacre of the Gulf of Mexico. But when I sat down to write it and began thinking about the leak which is a mile below the surface of the water, my thoughts were interrupted by a BP official who burst into my brain and quickly waved me away from the scene.

“You can’t consider this at all,” he ordered. “This entire area of thought is off-limits to anyone except employees of BP. Cease all mental cogitation on this subject immediately.”

The amazing thing about the tragic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico for me, is not that it happened. It’s not the gargantuan size of the spill itself. And it’s not that the three corporations involved are each blaming the other. What’s unbelievable about this disaster is the fact that the drilling industry had no plan for what to do in the event that such a spill took place. They seem to be scrambling and improvising in a way that reminds me of a three-year-old who shattered Mom’s favorite flower vase all over the kitchen floor while trying to get to the cookie jar.

There’s a local businessman who’s running for Representative Todd Tiahrt’s congressional seat.  This guy is apparently just nuts about me. He really really really wants to be my pal. I know this because he’s tried three times to “friend” me on Facebook. Each time I turn him down and it never hurts his feelings. He just comes back again with another request. He’s positively smitten with me, I can only surmise.

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.


Digital Democracy on Tap: Emergency Homeschooling

Commentary & Podcasts

Next Best Thing: Community Connections

While it's tough to get out and do much these days, KMUW's Jordan Kirtley brings us the "Next Best Thing"—what we hope will be a very limited series where we look at ways we can stay connected through *virtual* events and activities.

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Explore world music, blues, jazz, R&B and gospel, local spotlights and new releases.

KMUW Music

Courtesy Tiger Bomb

Wednesday, April 1

We mark April Fools’ Day with music from Robert Plant, Grateful Dead, Rufus Wainwright, John Prine and more.

Thursday, April 2

Released in 1976, Big Beat was the sixth album released by the band Sparks and is notable for featuring the fan favorite “I Want To Be Like Everybody Else.” We’ll hear music from that set as well as music from Caribou’s Suddenly.

Friday, April 3

It’s our New Month, New Music feature with music from Matt Wilson & his Orchestra, Pearl Jam, Lilly Hiatt, Sam Doores and Sparks.

Saturday, April 4

Gigaton is the first studio album from Pearl Jam in seven years. We’ll hear selections from that effort as well as music from Sparks’ Kimono My House.

Monday, April 6

We’ll hear music from Burn The Witch, the new release from singer-songwriter Sarah Peacock as well as songs from Sparks’ 2006 album Hello Young Lovers.

Tuesday, April 7

Sorry You Couldn't Make It is the latest from 77-year-old soul hero Jerry Williams, who performs under the name Swamp Dogg. This new set features guest appearances from John Prine, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), and Jenny Lewis (ex-Rilo Kiley). We’ll hear from it as well as music from Medicine Show, the 1984 album by The Dream Syndicate.

Wednesday, April 8

Walking Proof is the latest album from Nashville-based singer-songwriter Lilly Hiatt. We’ll hear music from it as well as songs from the 2019 self-titled effort from Mercy Bell.

  1. Various – Soul Sega Sa, Vol. 2 (Bongo Joe)
  2. Various – Leve Leve (Bongo Joe)
  3. Erlend Viken – Sastrugi (Grappa)
  4. Bossacucanova – Bossa Got the Blues (Six Degrees)
  5. Gyedu-Blay Ambolley - 11th Street, Sekondi (Agogo)
  6. Dàibhidh Stiùbhard – An Sionnach Dubh (Wildtune)
  7. Yukihiro Atsumi – Kachofugetsu (Nippon Notes)
  8. V.A. – 12 Bombazos Bailables (Vampi Soul)
  9. Vedan Kolod – Wild Games (CPKL Music)
  10. Mahala – Californeasca (Mahala)

  1. James Hunter Six – Nick of Time (Daptone)
  2. Jimmy Johnson – Every Day of Your Life (Delmark)
  3. Whitney Shay – Stand Up! (Ruf)
  4. Roomful of Blues – In a Roomful of Blues (Alligator)
  5. Frank Bey – All My Dues Are Paid (NOLA Blue)
  6. Phantom Blues Band – Still Cookin’ (Vizztone)
  7. Tinsley Ellis – Ice Cream in Hell (Alligator)
  8. Chanda Rule + Sweet Emma Band – Hold On (PAO)
  9. Robert Cray Band – That’s What I Heard (Nozzle)
  10. Jimmy Carpenter – Soul Doctor (Gulf Coast)

  1. Guitar Elation – Double Live at the Green Lady (Jazz Daddy)
  2. Andrea Brachfeld – Brazilian Whispers (Origin)
  3. Bill Cunliffe Trio – Sunrise Over Molokai (Metre)
  4. Aaron Diehl – The Vagabond (Mack Avenue)
  5. Lolly Allen – Coming Home (OA2)
  6. Delfeayo Marsalis – Jazz Party (Troubadour Jass)
  7. Calle Loiza Jazz Project – There Will Never Be Another You (Goose Mountain)
  8. Bobby Watson/Vincent Herring/Gary Bartz – Bird at 100 (Smoke Sessions)
  9. Alex Levin Trio – A Sunday Kind of Love (Alex Levin)
  10. Erroll Garner – Feeling Is Believing (Mack Avenue/Octave)

Sunday, April 5

Award-winning producer Fred Jerkins presents a new release called A Project of Healing. It features music by gospel artists Trini-i-Tee 5:7 and Lowell Pye.  The new project is designed to provide a message of encouragement and healing, perfect for such a time as this. Hear selections from that release tonight at 6 p.m. on Soulsations.