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Federal Judge: Kansas Cannot Require Proof Of Citizenship To Vote

A federal judge ruled Monday that Kansas cannot require documentary proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote, finding such laws violate the constitutional right to vote in a ruling with national implications. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson is the latest setback for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has championed such laws and led President Donald Trump's now-defunct voter fraud commission. The 118-page decision came in two consolidated cases challenging a...

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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!”

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.

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@chollette / femdotdot.com

Femdot's Delacreme 2 | NAS

I’ve been really impressed with the hip hop coming out of Chicago lately--emcees like Mick Jenkins, Noname and of course Chance the Rapper have developed a wonderful and distinct sound and emotional range that feels rare in contemporary hip hop.

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KMUW Music

Monday 6.18.18

Night Train continues the June Caribbean American Heritage Month feature with music from Jamaican-born artists Monty Alexander, Dizzy Reece and Joe Harriott, the Mozayik Haitian jazz group, Dominican pianist Michel Camilo, Puerto Rican saxophonist David Sanchez, and a fascinating new album exploring the connections between Caribbean and Chinese music from Dongfeng Liu.  Plus new tribute albums from Eddie Daniels (for Egberto Gismonti) and Don Braden (Stevie Wonder, and Earth, Wind & Fire), along with the latest from Kenny Barron, Wali Ali, and the Barrett Martin Group.

Tuesday 6.19.18

Night Train highlights standards tonight – both classic recordings of these songs and new versions of old favorites. Among the artists featured, guitarist Kenny Burrell, Dinah Washington, Etta Jones, Art Blakey, Antonio Adolfo, Houston Person with Ron Carter, Gene Ammons and Jimmy Smith.

Wednesday 6.20.18

Night Train marks the birthday of saxophone, flute and bass clarinet great Eric Dolphy with music he did early in his career with Chico Hamilton, later with Charles Mingus, and also as a leader.  Plus more music for the Caribbean American Heritage Month feature – this time from the Essence All Stars Afro Cubano Chant album, from the Caribbean All Stars, and from Latin jazz great Tito Puente, including a Jazz Profiles special about him in hour two of the show. Also two impressive new albums from pianists Bill Anschell and Bill O’Connell.

Thursday 6.21.18

Night Train joins in with Global Village and Strange Currency to celebrate the first day of summer with a program devoted to summer songs from Kenny Burrell, Shirley Horn, Pat Metheny, Marian McPartland, Oscar Peterson, the Godfathers of Groove, and more.

Monday, June 18

Global Village continues the June Caribbean Heritage Month feature with a trip to Haiti. We’ll hear music from featured group Tabou Combo, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year; the roots music group Chouk Bwa Libete, featured next week in the next edition of our special series, Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival; one of the legends of Haitian music, Nemours Jean-Baptiste; and the Creole Choir of Cuba, a vocal group made up of Cubans of Haitian descent.

Tuesday, June 19

Global Village continues the June Caribbean Heritage Month feature with a trip to Jamaica to celebrate the birthday of guitar great Ernest Ranglin. The show features music from his solo projects, as well work he did as lead guitarist and musical director for Jimmy Cliff, and as a guest artist with the Skatalites, Monty Alexander, the Melodians, Millie Small, Jackie Mittoo and more.

Wednesday, June 20

Global Village marks World Refugee Day with music from artists from many different corners of the world who were once refugees. Among the artists featured: the Refugees for Refugees project, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, NEA Heritage Fellow Rahim Alhaj, Western Sahara’s Aziza Brahim, Ugandan artist Samite and more.

Thursday, June 21

Global Village welcomes in the new season with songs of summer from Bob Marley & the Wailers, Desmond Dekker, Ray Barretto, Bill Withers, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Michael Franti & Spearhead and more.

(Strange Currency & Night Train also have summer specials tonight.)

Friday, June 22

It’s Take Your Dog to Work Day and Global Village (and four legged friends) howl along to songs from Jesse Winchester, the Roches, Rufus Thomas, Nick Drake, Big Mama Thornton and more. Plus music from African greats Orchestra Baobab and King Sunny Ade, the Balkan-inspired group Tipsy Oxcart, kora player Seckou Keita, and the Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten Cambodian rock soundtrack.

June 22/24

Crossroads continues the June Caribbean American Heritage Month feature with more music from the Crescent City, including ‘the Soul Queen of New Orleans’ Irma Thomas, bluesman Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington, the Soul Rebels, the Neville Brothers, and in hour two, a special feature Cyril Neville.

Crossroads also continues its month-long tributes to Chicago bluesman Eddy ‘the Chief’ Clearwater, and gospel singer and cofounder of the Blind Boys of Alabama, Clarence Fountain, who both passed away at the beginning of the month.

And there’s new music from Bettye LaVette, Sue Foley, Mike Zito, and Lurrie Bell & the Bell Dynasty.

Tuesday, June 19

We remember Matt “Guitar” Murphy, who died on Friday, June 15. Although perhaps most widely known for his work with The Blues Brothers, Murphy also performed alongside Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon among others. Plus: Selections featuring Murphy’s Blues Brothers bandmate, Steve Cropper.

Wednesday, June 20 

Released in 1993, Rumble Doll is the debut album from Patti Scialfa and features performances from members of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers as well as members of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Springsteen, who Scialfa married in 1991, also appears. We’ll hear selections from that recording as well as Slim Dunlap’s 1993 solo debut, The Old New Me.

Thursday, June 21

We celebrate the first day of summer with selections from The Jam, X, BB King and The Alarm.

Friday, June 22

Arthur Buck is the new collaboration between singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur and former REM guitarist Peter Buck. We’ll hear music from the duo’s debut album as well as selections from REM’s Life’s Rich Pagaent LP.

Saturday, June 23

Hollow Bones is the latest release by singer-songwriter Maria Elena. We’ll hear selections from that as well as from Shane Marler’s latest, One Stop.

Monday, June 25

Up To The Sky is the new recording from cellist Serena Jost. Listen for music from that release as well as from Zoe Keating’s 2010 effort, Into The Trees.

Anson Brody

Based in Fort Worth, Texas singer-songwriter Tommy Luke’s songs recall the dusty, well-worn sounds of western music. His earthy voice drives the narrative of songs such as “The Ground,” “I Don’t Know (I Had It All)” and “Oklahoma Hula Hoopin’ Angel” with a confidence and honesty that recalls Kris Kristofferson’s best, early work.

You might be forgiven for thinking that his work emerged from an earlier time in music. It’s unencumbered by the trappings of contemporary music and free of the irony that some bring to traditional music. This is to say that there’s an undeniable appeal to the songs that populate his album Life Ain’t Hard and his live shows.

Speaking from his Texas home, Luke, who performs at Barleycorn’s on Thursday, June 14, says that he’s looking forward to returning to Wichita for the concert.

Noteworthy

Mirna Bonilla Salazar, K-State Research and Extension / Kansas State University

Immigration To Southwest Kansas Is Creating A New Accent

Southwest Kansas has a new accent due to the rapidly growing Latino population in the area. New research from Kansas State University and its Kansas Speaks Project, which documents language shifts in Kansas, shows younger people in the region have started to take on the characteristics of Spanish speakers, even if they don’t speak Spanish themselves.

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