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Woman Claiming Harassment By Ex-Kansas Official Pursues Complaint Against Former Employer

A discrimination complaint filed earlier this year by a Tennessee woman who claims a former Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services official sexually harassed her is still pending before the Kansas Human Rights Commission.

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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.

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!”

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Commentary

Past & Present: Demographic Shifts

A person standing at Broadway and 21st Street can see how immigration has reshaped the urban landscape.

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KMUW Music

Michael Delsol

The World of Captain Beefheart unites vocalist Nona Hendryx and guitarist/producer Gary Lucas in one of the most imaginative pairings in recent memory. More than that, it serves as a tribute to Captain Beefheart, the late Don Van Vliet, the musician and painter who wore the Captain’s guys from the 1960s until the early 1980s when he retired from music. Though a figure central to the avant garde, Van Vliet, like his school friend Frank Zappa, had a deep love of R&B and soul music.

Monday 12.11.17

Night Train marks the birthday of one of the giants of jazz piano, McCoy Tyner, with music he did as a leader, along with John Coltrane, Grant Green and Joe Henderson, and in a concert special in hour two of the show. Plus new music from trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, saxophonist Eric Alexander, guitarist Jacques Lesure, and bassist Gerald Cannon.

Tuesday 12.12.17

Night Train marks a host of jazz birthdays tonight – including singers Joe Williams and Bob Dorough, saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., accordionist Richard Galliano, and pianists John Hicks and Toshiko Akiyoshi. It’s also the birthday of Frank Sinatra and there’s a special in hour two exploring his musical legacy.

Wednesday 12.13.17

Night Train highlights some big bands and large ensembles – including those led by Carla Bley, Gil Evans and Duke Ellington, along with the WDR Big Band, the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, the Great American Music Ensemble, and Randy Brecker with the WDR Big Band. Plus music from vocalists Kevin Mahogany, the New York Voices, Billy Eckstine and Ernestine Anderson, and classics from Quincy Jones, Paul Gonsalves, and Jimmy Smith with Wes Montgomery.

Thursday 12.14.17

Night Train highlights music from three artists born on this day: trombonist Dan Barrett (as a leader and with the Alden/Barrett Quintet), trumpeter Clark Terry (as a leader and with Dinah Washington), and baritone saxophonist Cecil Payne (also as a leader and with Dinah Washington, and guesting with Kenny Burrell, Kenny Dorham, and Cannonball Adderley). Plus new music from bassist, singer and composer Katie Thiroux, pianist and composer Yoko Miwa, trombonist Roswell Rudd, and the new Bird tribute, The Passion of Charlie Parker.

Blues Holiday Specials

Dec 11, 2017

December 15/17

Crossroads takes a holiday to make way for blues holiday specials from Blue Dimensions and Juke in the Back.

Courtesy photo

Wichita band Tideway released its full-length debut album in January 2017 and closes out the calendar by issuing a new EP with close friends Kill Vargas. Both bands are on the bill for a show at the Crown Uptown Saturday, Dec. 9 which also feature local act The Cavves and Salt Creek from Lincoln, Nebraska.

Tideway guitarist and vocalist Trent Gaddie (the band is rounded out by drummer Will Mercer and bassist/vocalist Scott Garver) stopped by the KMUW studios recently to chat about the new EP and Tideway’s history.

Saturday, December 9

Tonight we'll hear singer songwriters Sally Barris and Celeste Krenz from their concert at the Old Settlers Inn.

Noteworthy

wichita.gov

Wichita City Council Sets Hearing Over Tax District For Pickleball Restaurant

City Council will hold a public hearing next month over a tax district meant to support a combination entertainment venue-restaurant in east Wichita.

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