May 2020; What's Next?

Page 1


Tiger Queen of Kansas PAGE 54

Hotdish is Hot PAGE 70

Touring KC Via the Net PAGE 28

What post-pandemic life looks like according to local and national experts PAGE 40

Caring for our C As the area’s leading faith-based health network, AdventHealth Shawnee Mission has always provided care for the whole person, body, mind and spirit. That’s more important than ever as we work as a community to fight the coronavirus outbreak. On behalf of our team members on the front lines, please wash your hands, practice social distancing, and if you are sick, isolate yourself and contact your physician.

Community For the latest updates, visit

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Julie Babcock COPY EDITOR

Kelsie Schrader SALES

Mark Ensminger Melanie Bremer EDITORIAL INTERN


Christian Toth WRITERS

Jordan Burns, Caleb Condit, Rebecca Norden, Natalie Gallagher PHOTOGRAPHERS & ILLUSTRATORS

Zach Bauman, Jeremey Theron Kirby, Samantha Levi, Chris Mullins, Caleb Condit, Rebecca Norden, Nicole Mertz


We love Kansas City like family. We know what makes it great, we know how it struggles and we know its secrets. Through great storytelling, photography and design, we help our readers celebrate our city’s triumphs, tend to its faults and revel in the things that make it unique.

SUBSCRIPTIONS or call 913-469-6700 Kansas City magazine is published monthly by 435 South, LLC. No part of this publication can be reprinted or reproduced without the publisher’s permission. Kansas City magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Kansas City magazine adheres to American Society of Magazine Editors guidelines, which requires a clear distinction between editorial content and paid advertising or marketing messages.


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Features 40

What's Next? What experts have to say about what the next chapter looks like.






Less Exotic

House of Wonder

Comfort Food

We chat with a local tiger keeper who has a lot to say about Netflix’s Tiger King.

A look inside the home of a former West Bottoms vintage dealer.

The pandemic has local chefs digging up favorite casserole recipes.

The owners and chef of The Campground celebrate Cristin's birthday with a shot while in quarantine together. Photo by Rebecca Norden and Caleb Condit.


866.568.3561 | BIGCEDAR.COM



Departments 36





19 Surreal Silence he pandemic has left normally T

31 Must-Have Accessory

busy parts of KC deserted.

20 Casting Votes A Kansas Democrat-designed voting system is the envy of other state parties.

22 Postponed Processionals The local wedding industry is struggling as a result of the pandemic.

24 Making the Trip Pandemic grocery shopping tips.

32 Mother Knows Best gift guide for your leading A lady this Mother’s Day.

34 Flipping Queen A chat with Tamara Day, host of Bargain Mansions.

36 Humble Abode An Overland Park home is filled with unique vintage finds and DIYs.

05.2020 W H AT ’ S N E X T ?



Hotdish is Hot PAGE 70

Touring KC Via the Net PAGE 28

What post-pandemic life looks like according to local and national experts PAGE 40



70 Heavenly Hotdish

14 Publisher’s Letter

Local chefs share their favorite casserole recipes.

Photography by Samantha Levi, retouching by Natalie at High Heart Creative, model is Auguste Pillatzke.

27 Calendar 80 Backstory

74 Newsfeed How KC’s food scene is handling the pandemic.

76 Pad Thai The restaurant’s new app minimizes personto-person contact.

78 Break the Internet A tiny KC brewery’s website keeps crashing due to high demand.


Tiger Queen of Kansas


Local and national designers are making and donating face masks.


SPECIAL SECTION 61 Ask the Expert


Cookie Crumbles A local baker shifts gears with pandemicappropriate creations.

From the Publisher

The Magazine That Almost Wasn’t


n April 3, I was forced to make the brutal decision to pause this magazine. Given there was no light at the end of the tunnel of the economic catastrophe wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, I temporarily laid off the entire Kansas City magazine team and planned to halt production until things could return to a more normal state. Much of our operating revenue comes from restaurants, retailers, events and travel. As everyone knows, those businesses came to a screeching halt, which, in turn, trickled down as they slashed their marketing and advertising budgets. I was crushed. I never anticipated a standstill in our fifteen-year-old publication, and I was sad to let go of our hardworking and talented staff—even for a moment. To my utter disbelief, that wasn’t how it went. Our writers, editors, designers and photographers immediately offered to continue putting this issue together, even though they wouldn’t be paid. Our staff rallied to tell the stories of this city through words, photography and design, and readers responded—our website saw in excess of 500,000 unique pageviews from the traffic generated by fresh COVID-19 news, information about how Kansas City can continue supporting local businesses during the pandemic and a mix of lighthearted content. They put aside our old plan for the month—a feature dedicated to road trips, which we hope to publish very soon—and put their heads together to create this

special edition, which we hope will serve as your guide to getting through this together. My hope is that in the very near future we are able to go back to business as usual. Until then, our very small but scrappy team remains committed to Kansas City, our advertisers and our readers—delivering journalism designed to heal the city we all love. We don’t know what the future holds, but because Kansas City needs as much information as possible during these trying times, we’ll continue working to bring you stories you need—and some you don’t. And, as our incredible team promises to continue serving you, we just ask that if you can support our advertisers who have stayed the course along with us and those advertisers who are on pause aching to get back to work, you will find it in your heart to hold them up in any way you can. It’s a hell of a time for everyone, but we’re up for the challenge and are grateful, dear reader, for your loyalty and support. With my deepest gratitude,

Kathy Boos Publisher






Percent of voters that turned out for the 2016 Kansas caucus.

Number of uses for tiger parts in the trade world.

Minutes Little Asia KC sold out in their first curbside carryout pop-up.

PA G E 2 0

PA G E 5 4

PA G E 74


See Where It Takes You

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WO E B E T O W I N S T E A D ’ S

Our April cover feature was a celebration of cheap eats in Kansas City—fifteen dollars-and-under meals that ranged from a size-of-your-head pork tenderloin sandwich to a hefty noodle bowl from a restaurant tucked inside an Asian grocery store. Also in our feature package was a story on the fall of Winstead’s, a nostalgic Kansas City burger joint that once had nine locations in the metro. Now, only three remain as the chain files for bankruptcy. Here’s what readers had to say about the fate of Winstead’s. “They relied too much on nostalgia, didn’t keep up with trends and simply lost the battle. Not all brands live forever. It is sad to see childhood favorites go downhill and disappear though.” — Julie Stryker “You went to this place for nostalgia and a certain atmosphere. The food hasn’t been competitive since before I was born, I’m sure (’83). The service is always hit or miss, but who didn’t love pretending you were back in whatever time?” — Damon Bailey


“I remember going to Winstead’s after church every Sunday!! And I continue to meet my high school friends there every time we’re home from college!” — Caroline Anthony “Thin and expensive burgers. Personally I’d only been there a few times and wasn’t ever impressed. Westport Flea Market and Wimpy’s are much better.” — Julian Palmer “People are looking for local, original restaurants, not big national chains. If the owners had kept a pulse on the tastes of the American public, they could have branded themselves as a KC original pretty easily.” — Brad Bruce

“What a shame. I was born in 1943 and lived my whole life in the KCMO area until 2005, when we retired. I have great memories of Winstead’s, Allen Drive-in, Mugs Up and other hangouts.” — Ardis Summers Pierron

“My parents said I was made out of Winstead’s, as they ate there frequently while my mother was pregnant with me. I was born in 1942.” — Merejo Dussair

“Sad to see it go downhill. The people that ran it up north weren’t so good. It took forever to go through the drive-thru. Service was better if you went indoors, though. My favorite place to go for lunch!” — Sandra Jones

“I grew up with Winstead’s and Zestos (Peter’s Drive-In). Sad to see the end of the great drive-ins.” — Ardis Summers Pierron


Our roundup of the best Mexican eats on Southwest Boulevard and Kansas Avenue. THEY SAID... Did not see any reference for chorizo or mole. Don’t people in KC eat anything but tacos? — JOE JOHNS

Shame on your reporting. You omitted El Patron, Margaritas and El Pueblito. — CHUCK ROMERO

Los Alamos Cocina on Summit Street is by far the best authentic Mexican restaurant in KC. It’s not just about tacos folks. — MICHAEL ALLEN

Yes! I absolutely love Pollo Rey. We also ordered six whole roasted chickens from them for a party last fall. The seasonings and way that the chicken is cooked is incomparable to anywhere else in KC. — LISA PEÑA


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Illustration by Daniel Sulzberg, Photo by Zach Bauman

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The Loop L E A D I N G T H E C O N V E R S AT I O N I N K A N S A S C I T Y

Sleeping Giants The coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of most businesses in the KC metro area, from the springs of Bonner to springs of Blue, through at least the middle of May. For those who’ve ventured out in their cars to run errands, surreal moments aren’t in short supply. The empty streets of downtown, desolate parking lots of the normally bustling Town Center in Leawood and orderly outdoor queues at Costco and Target feel like a strange and unpleasant dream—one we’ll surely awaken from to fill out our March Madness brackets. We want you to know you’re not alone in your struggle. We’ll get through this together. The Town Center parking lot, photo by Jeremey Theron Kirby



The Loop

Democratic Deliverance How Kansas Democrats overhauled their primary elections just in time to look brilliant and avoid facing a total debacle. BY M A RTIN CIZM A R

I N E A R LY F E B R U A R Y, the biggest news in the country was the Democratic party’s disastrous Iowa caucus. Iowa was the first state to weigh in on the 2020 presidential election, but a messy process left a tangle of inconsistent data, hurt feelings and rampant conspiracy theories. At her office in Topeka, Vicki Hiatt watched worriedly. “When the Iowa thing was going on, I was in the office and the TV was on and the [now former] chair of the Iowa party was on, ” she says. “I said, ‘Please, please, I do not want to be on national TV in that situation.’”



DID YOU K NOW ? The last time Johnson County was blue in a presidential election was 1916, when voters narrowly picked Woodrow Wilson over Charles Evans Hughes.

Hiatt, chair of the Kansas Democratic Party, had some reason to be concerned. She’s steered the party toward a groundbreaking new primary system, ditching the caucuses the party used since 1992 for ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to pick their favorite candidate using a system for reallocating votes based on viability. A doubtful Kansas City Star editorial board warned “there are reasons for worry” with the system. But with the coronavirus pandemic roiling the nation and questions about the way moderates consolidated around Joe Biden, Hiatt instead looks prescient. The system Kansas Democrats designed—rankedchoice, vote-by-mail and same-day registration—is now the envy of other state parties following the topsy-turvy 2020 primary. Kansas’ system is the “trifecta” of innovative electioneering according to Paul Gronke, professor of political science at Reed College in Oregon and head of a non-partisan institute that studies early voting and election reform. “This is Patrick Mahomes throwing a touchdown and then you go for it,” Gronke says. “It was a brilliant innovation by the party. The only reason they’re not going to be seen as innovators is that the race settled so quickly.” Gronke and other good government advocates “were ready to swoop in and try to study this” but now aren’t as interested in the data given that the race is no longer competitive. Still, it’s a big leap forward, Gronke says. “Kansas and Missouri and [that part of the Midwest] have not been viewed as particularly innovative, other than Nebraska’s unicameral legislature,” he says. “It hasn’t been viewed as problematic in terms of election administration but it’s simply not that innovative.” Either way, it’s a huge win for Hiatt seeing as the party can now deliver an election result via the United States Postal Service during a pandemic with required social distancing. If the party had still been using an in-person caucus as it did in 2016, the results could be disastrous. Even then, the turnout was only about nine percent, and some party voters had to travel up to four hours to caucus on a Saturday afternoon. “It just eliminated a lot of peoples’ opportunities to participate,” Hiatt says. The new system—designed entirely for fairness and to encourage participation—looks like a miracle during the coronavirus pandemic. Now the most important thing for Hiatt is that primary voters actually send their ballots back, even though the election is all but decided. “When we went into planning all of this, we weren’t looking specifically at what kind of horrible crisis we might run into,” Hyatt says. “We really just wanted to make sure that the whole process would be as inclusive as possible. I’m just hopeful that Democrats in Kansas are still pumped up enough that they get those ballots back to us because that’s going to be my strongest selling point in saying we need to move to all mail-in ballots.”


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The Loop

Save the Date The KC wedding world takes a huge hit in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. BY J O RDA N B U RNS

C O R O N AV I R U S C A M E A S S O O N as wedding season

DID YO U K N OW ? According to a study by Newlywed Report, on average couples hire 15 vendors for their wedding day.


was supposed to start. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending no more than ten people at gatherings and the Kansas City metro area under stay-at-home orders, a number of this year’s spring weddings are postponed or canceled. The result of the pandemic isn’t just disappointed soon-to-be brides and grooms. A multitude of wedding venues, planners, photographers, caterers and florists are suffering catastrophic losses in their businesses. According to The Knot, the U.S. had almost eight hundred and fifty thousand weddings planned this spring


between March and May. Locally, the wedding industry that produces those events is collapsing. A number of spring weddings have been pushed back to the fall, but for local vendors, surviving until then with little revenue is an extreme hardship. Ultrapom, a Kansas City-area wedding and event decor rental service, has been battered by coronavirus restrictions. “The events industry has essentially collapsed,” an Ultrapom spokesperson says. “We’ve furloughed everyone but our sales team, who are frantically helping people move their events or cancel. Our cash flow has come to an almost complete stop, right at the end of our slow season, so the timing couldn’t be worse.” When the pandemic was first declared, floral design studio Flowers by Emily in Park Place was still in operation because, although weddings were on hold, Kansas City folks still wanted to send flowers. Things changed when stay-at-home orders were announced. “Unfortunately, we had to close because of the stay-at-home order,” says owner Emily Fyten. “We tried to stay open by following CDC guidelines and by only doing no-contact deliveries, but [Johnson County] doesn’t consider flowers essential. It’s frustrating because California does. I realize you don’t need flowers to survive, but they help at times like these.” One small silver lining is that although wedding businesses are suffering, proprietors say they don’t feel alone. Nellie Sparkman, a Kansas City wedding planner and stationery designer, says that while it’s been discouraging to see wedding industry peers impacted by canceled or postponed events, it’s heartwarming to see everyone coming together during this trying time. “What I love seeing is the support that is surrounding them,” she says. “I’ve seen live DJing for donations, caterers providing food for first responders, photographers providing an incentive for booking with planners and stationers reprinting invitations/re-save the dates at no cost.” But in an events-banned playing field, how can we help these businesses survive? “Purchase gift cards from vendors, book them for a future date, follow them on social media, highlight their services in a blog post,” Sparkman says. “And continue to support them long after social distancing is a thing of the past.”

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The Loop Skip the gloves. “Gloves don’t really work once you touch a surface that may have COVID-19 on it,” Snook says. “At that point, it’s transferred to the glove, which now contaminates everything it touches.” Instead, he says, frequent hand-sanitizing will do the trick.


Aisle of Plan How to safely grocery shop during the coronavirus pandemic. BY NI C O LE B R A D LE Y

T H E C O R O N A V I R U S P A N D E M I C has turned the task of grocery shop-

ping on its head as shoppers fear confined spaces full of high-touch surfaces and unscreened strangers. The frenzy is begging a multitude of questions: Is produce safe to eat? When is the best time to shop? Do I need a mask? How do I prevent the virus from coming home with me? Bill Snook, senior information and policy officer with the Kansas City Health Department, answers these questions and offers tips for safely grocery shopping in this climate. Before You Shop… Have a plan. Make a comprehensive grocery list to limit your outdoor exposure and keep you from heading to the store more than once a week. Know when to go. “If you are immunocompromised or over sixty-five, try to find those times when it’s not as busy,” Snook says. Call your grocery store to see if they have special hours for at-risk shoppers, which are typically first thing in the morning. When You Get to the Store… Sanitize your hands. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car and use it before you get out. Cover your mouth. If you don’t need an N95 respirator mask, use a cloth mask or a makeshift bandana or scarf mask. Try not to touch it. “Pulling the mask down to your chin and then readjusting it doesn’t help because any particles that are on the outside of the mask will then touch your face,” Snook says.



In the Store… Follow store guidelines. Grocery stores are taking action to prevent further spread of the virus, such as installing plexiglass shields on registers, prohibiting reusable grocery bags and using arrows to make aisles one-way. Keep your distance. Be mindful of how close you’re standing or walking next to people. A few local grocery stores—like Hy-Vee and Cosentino’s— utilize social distance-spaced ground markers. Don’t touch more than you need to. This comes with having a prepared list. Try not to touch any more items outside of what you’ll be taking home with you. When You Leave… Sanitize (again). As soon as you get back to your car, sanitize your hands. Have a dedicated spot for groceries in your car. Leave room in your trunk for groceries or store them in the backseat if you don’t plan on having backseat passengers anytime soon. When You Get Home… Take off your shoes and change your clothes. “I’m not advocating for this, but it’s something you can do if you want to be extra careful,” Snook says. Leave your shoes outside in the sun and throw your clothes directly into your washing machine. Have two sides to your kitchen. Snook recommends having a clean side whose countertops have already been wiped down and is ready for food prep and then another side to put your groceries to prevent cross-contamination. Prep produce. Instead of trying to decontaminate your fresh fruits and vegetables, wash them under cold water. “Doing so will most likely kill the virus,” Snook says. “The FDA has reassured that food is safe.” Disinfect. This includes your car door handles, steering wheel, doorknob and phone—especially if you used it for your grocery shopping list. If You Get Groceries Delivered… Avoid direct handoff. Instead, have the delivery dropped at your front door. Order early. Try to set your pickup and delivery for first thing in the morning. There’s less of a chance that those handling your groceries were exposed to anything. Pay electronically. “When possible, pay and tip through the app to avoid passing cards and cash,” Snook says.

05.2020 W H AT ’ S N E X T ?

Tiger Queen of Kansas PAGE 54

Hotdish is Hot PAGE 70

Touring KC Via the Net PAGE 28

What post-pandemic life looks like according to local and national experts PAGE 40

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H O U S E PA R T Y Although bars and clubs are closed for the coronavirus pandemic, KC hasn’t quite gone dry and silent. Instead, across town we’ve found social drinking of all stripes has migrated online. One of the most successful local projects of the quarantine era is the Facebook group Quarantined Beer Chugs ( groups/quarantinedbeerchugs), started by Andrew Beile, a bartender at Liberty’s old Rock and Run Brewery. Rodney Beagle, who now brews for 3Halves in the space, was one of the first to join and started aggressively promoting it—his brewery even makes the group’s official beer, a chuggable wheat. “It went from fifteen people to twenty-thousand in three days!” Beagle says. “Now it’s over threehundred thousand. We’re giving back to first responders, Northland charities, and the U.S. Bartenders Guild through donations from merch sales.”

Kansas City born and raised, DJ Doop is part of KC Daiquiri’s KC vs. the Nation DJ contest

It’s not just beer chugs—it’s also wine sips. Cellar Rat Wine Merchants in the Crossroads has been hosting virtual wine tastings via Facebook Live ( Store owner Kevin Hodge hosts the tastings, which customers prepare for by ordering the scheduled drops for curbside pickup. Topics range from an analysis of why wines deteriorate after being opened to food pairings featuring dishes from Antler Room and Nara. “We want to support them as much as possible,” Hodge says of local restaurants featured in his tastings, “so if they can get it all from the restaurant, then we have done our duty in getting people to go.” And if you want to drink and sip a daiquiri, tune into the KC Daiquiri Shop’s Facebook page (, where they’re hosting a wide variety of DJ sets—some of which are well and truly banging. You can pick up drinks to go from the shop in all sizes and flavors.



May W H AT YO U WA N T T O D 0 T H I S M O N T H

QUEEN NEFERTARI: ETERNAL EGYPT AT THE NELSON-ATKINS Coronavirus closures came abruptly, which meant that people hoping to catch the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s featured exhibit, Queen Nefertari: Eternal Egypt, in its last two weeks were left in the lurch. Never fear, because on their website ( you’ll find an impromptu fourteen-minute video tour filmed by director Julián Zugazagoitia. You’ll get insight into the mysteries of the queen’s tomb as well as the basics of Egypian burial practices, such as the canopic jars in which certain organs were stored.


Tour de KC You don’t have to leave your house to get a dose of KC arts and culture. ST E VIE M E Y ERS

W E ’ V E B E E N S O C I A L D I S TA N C I N G for weeks now, and entertainment is running low.

You’ve got a lot on your plate—schools are closed, playgrounds are taped off and keeping kids focused on their education is becoming increasingly difficult. If you’re itching to avoid cabin fever, a number of local attractions are offering free virtual tours and educational activities. Although exploring through a screen doesn’t have quite the same appeal as doing so on foot, it’s one more thing to keep kids entertained through a time of isolation. Enjoy these virtual tours from the comfort of your couch.



Union Station’s Science City is hosting thriceweekly interactive virtual tours of the night sky via Facebook Live (facebook. com/unionstationkcmo). Best of all, these tours by Planetarium Specialist Patrick Hess are different every time, with Mondays focused on what you can see in the night sky each week, Wednesdays taking you up to a black hole and Fridays featuring a Q&A on all things astronomy. Log on at 6 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

SUMMER WHEAT TALK AT THE KEMPER The spring exhibit at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art was Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears, featuring vibrant large-scale works by the Oklahoma-bred artist. The exhibit was slated to wrap near the end of May, which means your window to see it may have closed. With the museum shuttered, you can peruse images of Wheat’s work and listen to the one-hour talk she gave at the opening event, in which she discusses finding inspiration in medieval tapestries and mysterious artifacts ( KANSAS CITY ARCHITECTURE VIA GOOGLE Google’s Arts and Culture wing ( has prepared tours of various Kansas City museums, which vary widely in depth. One tour you won’t regret logging on for, though, is an overview of KC architecture that’s basically like an annotated Google Maps street view. The tour touches on the city’s towering city hall (the second-highest in the nation) and the house of worship designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on the Plaza.

planting this year, there will be Q&As with horticulture staff on Powell’s Facebook and Instagram. JOHNSON COUNTY MUSEUM The Johnson County Museum is offering a few virtual delights during this time, including an online database of historical photo collections and the AllElectric House, a 1954 ranch that was promoted as a “lazy man’s paradise” because of all its special bells and whistles ( WORLD WAR I MUSEUM

POWELL GARDENS For some, Powell Gardens’ spring blooms are as exciting as the Royals home opener. Unfortunately, both are holding off this year. For the time being, the gardens launched an online program offering digital videos and downloadable activities for kids ( teachers-schools). And for parents needing help with

The World War I Museum’s website (theworldwar. org) features a number of its exhibits online, mostly powered by Google’s virtual tours. The museum is also hosting a series of virtual events, including Mrs. Wilson’s

Photos provided by respective museums/venues. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum photos provided by Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Inc.

Knitting Circle on May 2. The event seeks to recreate the era’s stitching-themed gatherings, with participants knitting and chatting virtually. MUSEUM AT PRAIRIEFIRE The Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park is adding educational resources for kids at home. Through Steam At Home ( at-home), the museum posts weekly interactive STEM activities for parents and kids under a range of topics, like shadows, kites and dinosaurs.

NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM offers visual tours of Kansas City businesses, museums and attractions, including a panoramic look at a Negro Leagues Baseball Museum exhibit to hold us over until baseball’s back (

KANSAS CITY ZOO Several zoos across the country are turning to online streaming of their animal exhibits, including the Kansas City Zoo, which hosts live streams of the penguin and otter exhibits and posts scholarly videos on subjects like animal skulls and endangered species on its Facebook page ( kansascityzoo).





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Couture in Corona After the government announced guidelines that all Americans should wear something to cover their mouths and noses in public spaces, a new market emerged: masks. Fashionable nonmedical masks have hit the e-commerce sphere, from contemporary New Yorkbased clothing company Alice and Olivia’s ten-dollar illustrated print cloth masks to a sixty-dollar lace mask from emerging sustainable mask maker Maison Modulare. A number of fashionrelated businesses are giving back to the cause: Local nonprofit seamstress program Rightfully Sewn started an initiative to make and donate cloth masks to local hospitals. Sewing machine manufacturer Singer got wind of their efforts and donated thirty sewing machines to the cause. International designers such as Christian Siriano and Armani have turned production sites into mask-making empires to donate to medical staff. ABOVE: Kendra Scott repurposes its signature yellow bandanas into masks to be donated to hospitals in Kansas City, Austin, New Orleans, New York and California. Photography by Itzel Sanchez, Collective EX member




Mother’s Day Gift Guide Show your mom how much you love her with these gift ideas. BY NI C O LE B R A D LE Y

M O T H E R ’ S D AY is May 10, and with all that’s

going on in the world, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that many will get to spend it with their mothers. Show Mom you love her with these gift ideas, which can all be ordered online and shipped to her doorstep.

Boca Raton Earrings Rattan will be in again this summer, and these earrings with gold accents pair well with any outfit. $18,

Eggtronic Wireless Charging Stone Busy moms often tote batterydrained phones. These stone chargers from Eggtronics are the opposite of eyesore charging ports. Put this functional decor piece in the kitchen or on your nightstand and just set your phone on it to charge. $70,

Terra-cotta Footed Planter This earth-toned artisan pot is perfect for a back deck. Terracotta sweats, so pair the pot with a cactus or other desert plant. $52,

Natural Life Mug Moms are strong, and this handpainted ceramic mug says it all. $15,

Hari Mari Slides Everyone deserves a faithful pair of slides to slip on all summer—especially moms. The buttery soft memory foam on these sandals make them comfy enough for toying around the farmer’s market all morning or corralling the kids at the lake. $88,



Tesalate Beach Towel The beach is fun, but bringing the sand back with you—and all over your car—isn’t. Tesalate uses what they call “cutting-edge fabric technology” to make a towel that propels sand. This summery pattern, Alchemist, is our personal favorite. $59,



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New Encrypted Applications Gaining Prevelance

In divorce and family law litigation, text, email and cell phone records are often important. In many cases, parties seek this evidence in discovery when it bears on relevant issues. Text, email and cell phone records can sometimes be relevant as to child custody. For example, it might relate to inappropriate behavior and conduct that could bear on the fitness of a parent. The possibilities can be infinite, but it can show drug and alcohol abuse, inappropriate behavior and activities or time away from the family and children. In states where marital misconduct is a factor, it can also be relevant. In other words, it could provide evidence of affairs. It could also provide evidence of gambling, illicit behavior or even physical or mental abuse. Electronic evidence may also be important as to income and hidden assets. Some parties might, as an example, get their paycheck stubs emailed to them. They also might have receipts and statements emailed to them relative to unknown marital assets or bank or credit card accounts. To get this information, lawyers oftentimes issue requests for produc-

tion. In other cases, lawyers may issue subpoenas for this information to the other party or third party carriers. A lawyer may also take a deposition or hire a private investigator. An increasing trend now is for parties to use encrypted applications to conceal communications that they do not want others to see. Three common applications are Wickr, Vaporstream and Confide. These applications boast military-grade technology where they assert that the communication is protected. The features vary by application, but the messages often self-destruct after being read and do not have the name of the sender or receiver of a message on the same page. For lawyers, they have to be cognizant that individuals going through divorce or family law matters may be using these applications. For parties going through a divorce or family law matter, or where they reasonably anticipate litigation, an important question is whether they should use these applications. Ultimately, the big risk is that a court might conclude that a party is spoliating relevant evidence by using these applications. If the court concludes that a party is spoliating evidence, that party could be subject to sanctions in the family court. A family court judge might also conclude that a party using these applica-

tions has something to hide. Otherwise, why use applications like this? This may mean that the party ends up getting an adverse result as it relates to important components of a divorce or family law matter. Ultimately, anybody going through a divorce or family law matter should speak to a lawyer about their specific situation. However, parties should also probably steer clear from these encrypted applications. While the privacy components may be appealing, and may conceal the exact nature of the communications, the appearance of having something to hide is likely not worth the risk. Nonetheless, encrypted applications are likely to become an increasing trend in divorce and family law litigation. The popularity, and ease of downloading these applications, is likely to make it an increasing trend. Stange Law Firm, PC limits their practice to family law matters including divorce, child custody, child support, paternity, guardianship, adoption, mediation, collaborative law and other domestic relation matters. Stange Law Firm, PC gives clients 24/7 access to their case through a secured online case tracker found on the website. They also give their clients their cell phone numbers. Call for a consultation today at 855-805-0595.

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Brighter Days Bargain Mansions host Tamara Day talks about her show’s new season and gives us a few home renovation pointers. BY NI C O LE B R A D LE Y

I T ’ S B E E N A B U S Y few months for Tamara Day.

Just before Christmas last year, the Leawoodbased designer opened Growing Days Home, a vibrant home furnishings store in Prairie Village. Now the recently-premiered third season of her ever-popular home flipping show on HGTV, Bargain Mansions, is shifting from half-hour episodes to hour-long ones. The designer shared some highlights from this season, which premiered on April 14, along with a few simple tips to give your home a facelift.

What was the most memorable moment from this season? The episodes are longer, so there’s more time to get to know me and my family and they’ve gotten to be a lot more involved. There have also been several moments with my baby girl in particular because she loves the camera and loves to help. My boys are more like, “Meh, how fast can we do this?” Anyway, I picked her up from school one day and we were filming at my shop. They filmed us walking into the store holding hands and then I said to her, “Hey, we need to pick some tile. These are the ones I’m picking from.” In the episode, production added a little name banner for her that says Nora with the title Junior Home Renovator. I died.

Are there any specific neighborhoods in Kansas City you’re particularly drawn to when finding bargain homes to flip? Hyde Park is always my go-to. Like, if I have a choice in the matter, I’m going to Hyde Park. Old Leawood is always really fun for me, as well. Sunset Hill would be another top-notch one that I love. It’s hard to find a bargain there, though. Those are probably my three favorite pockets of the city to work in, but it’s really just when the right project finds me.



You’ve worked on quite a few shirtwaist homes, which are fairly prominent in KC. How do you like working on them? I feel like the shirtwaist house is a classic time period home. Every city has something similar to it and their own style of it. It’s such a common style, and Kansas City’s is the beautiful Midwest limestone on the first floor of the home exterior. The thing that I think is really interesting is you can look at one hundred shirtwaist-style homes in Kansas City and ninety-nine of them are going to have the limestone. We might see brick sometimes, but that’s pretty unusual. But the limestone is often laid in unique ways. Some of them have awesome patterns—we did one where the whole front porch was wrapped in limestone in a sort of checkerboard effect with holes. They’re always a fun project because I know shirtwaists really well at this point. I never want to do the same house twice—I always want to keep it fresh and unique and to feel like I tried instead of

just churning it out. So finding new ways to reinvent a shirtwaist is a really fun challenge for me.

When working on a home, what’s one thing that can make the biggest difference with the interior and exterior? Inside, a light fixture is inexpensive to hang. You can find awesome fixtures for really reasonable prices, and they transform the room very quickly. But I always love a good wallpaper inside, too. For exterior, a fresh coat of paint is the biggest bang for your buck. If you’re looking for something smaller scale but still want a refreshed look, paint your shutters. People tend to not care about their shutters. There’s a house we drive by regularly and they did a gorgeous job on the exterior paint, but they don’t have shutters. I drive past it every day and I feel like knocking on their door and saying, “Can I just help you with some shutters?”

Photography by Paul Versluis

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A Knack for Knickknacks A former vintage dealer’s boho-style Overland Park home is filled with wonders. BY NI C O LE B R A D LE Y | PH OTOS BY NI C O LE M ERT Z

K A N S A S C I T I A N S K N O W that the West Bottoms is home to

some of the best vintage finds in the city. That’s where Nicole Mertz got her start in home design. As a vintage dealer and furniture artist, she learned a range of skills including interior decorating, hand-painting furniture and vignette styling. These talents come to life in her bohoeccentric home in Overland Park, where every corner tells a story through vintage artifacts, do-it-yourself projects and playful textiles. Take a walk through her home and keep up with her projects—she recently painted her kitchen cabinets—on her Instagram, @kansasgirlvintage.

1 L AY E R E D R U G S The goal behind the layered and angled rugs in Mertz’s living room is to take away the square shape of the room. To do this, she recommends to start working with what you already might have or try thrifting before indulging in multiple pricey rugs. “It’s something that takes a lot of tries until the right flow comes to shape,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to play around.”

M I D - C E N T U R Y C O F F E E TA B L E 2

“If you think about antiques and vintage, we’re a relatively young country, right?” Mertz says. “And as we progress each decade, it’s getting harder to get our hands on quality furniture. There’s not much left.” She’s had this coffee table for nearly twenty years, and she believes it was built in the sixties or seventies.





A huge drive of Mertz’s work is coziness. “I like design,” she says, “but I also like to be comfortable. Both are possible.” Test-drive a piece of furniture before buying it. If a couch matches your space but isn’t comfy, it’s not worth the investment.



“I work part-time for a wedding florist,” Mertz says. “That’s why you’ll start to see florals kind of creep into spaces.” She painted the vanity and decoupaged floral paper to it, which is seen on multiple pieces of furniture in her home. 5 A C C E N T WA L L The black accent wall in the dining room is contrasted with painted pink shutters. And if you’re really trying to spice up a room? “Paint the ceiling,” she says. “I mean, that’s your fifth wall.”








Sway 1 POCKET DOORS Mertz and her husband dug these pocket doors out of a basement during a Westside estate sale. “I used them once at a show and they fell on my husband’s head when we tore down. I think they’ll stay here a while,” she jokes.

2 B E D D I N G Mixing patterns and colors in a scene is an art, and Mertz takes it in stride, allowing herself wiggle room and time to perfect it. When creating a mixed-pattern look, Mertz recommends starting with an inspiration piece, whether it be a painting or a textile, and building a color story off that.



The mid-century modern hutch in Mertz’s living room is one of the pieces she’s most proud of, as it was one of the first real furniture items she invested in. “The owner actually allowed me to put it on layaway,” she says. “I took a lot of pride in paying off this piece bit by bit. I believe I was twenty at the time. Quality vintage pieces are timeless and worth the investment.”










Mertz’s craft room is where you’ll find some of her favorite vintage pieces, including a card table turned desk, a woven basket collection and a Kokeshi doll collection. 5 B R E A K FA S T N O O K Most of the items on these farmhouse cabinet shelves are antique, with the exception of a few books gifted to Mertz. She says the keys to styling a shelf without it looking cluttered is playing with heights and having a constant element—in this shelf’s case, that’s a bronze accent.



What’s Next?



That’s the question on everyone’s lips right now as we grapple with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, which has tossed the world into chaos. In times like these, journalists are called upon to get answers from the people who know the most. We had so many questions: What’s keeping local leaders up at night? Will the Royals take the field this season? What have we learned from past pandemics? What will it take to jolt the economy back to life? How will local restaurants adapt? Are Americans going to start wearing medical masks everywhere? Kansas City magazine set out to get answers from the smartest people around so we could bring readers expert insight on what’s next for our city, the regional economy and society at large.




patronize a local restaurant every single day during his term as a way of supporting the local economy and service industry. Still, it’s a long road from here to normal— and we wanted to know how the mayor of the largest city in Missouri is planning to get there. His answers have been edited for length and clarity. Of all the nightmare scenarios out there, what is most keeping you awake? I worry about those areas of the community where we have our poorer population—if we start to see a rash of coronavirus in those communities. People that are able to get diagnosed quickly, who have a primary care physician and resources to get care more, are having better results. I worry a lot about the people who are most vulnerable. I have a lot of fear about what happens if our homeless population is negatively impacted. That’s why [KCMO] purchased a block of hotel rooms for homeless persons, to make sure that those who need to be quarantined aren’t spreading throughout the community and can receive care.

‘We Are One Place’ How Mayor Quinton led the region in taking early steps to combat the coronavirus—and how he hopes to get the local economy back on track. BY MARTIN CIZMAR

ON A TYPICAL TUESDAY, the average American can spend an entire day busy with the business of life without once stopping to consider what’s going on in the marbled halls of government. The coronavirus pandemic has upended that, as citizens face down the twin plagues of deadly disease and mass unemployment. Normal life has powered down, and every decision our leaders make juts into stark relief. Based on public commentary, it seems that most of Kansas City has been happy to see Mayor Quinton Lucas at the wheel. The charismatic “Mayor Q” won the election in a landslide last year when he was not yet thirty-five years old. As the severity of the pandemic came into focus, he worked with leaders across the region to implement policies that have seemingly stopped the deadly virus from finding a large toehold in the region. Lucas has also shown the common touch that made him an electoral force last year, displaying leadership through simple gestures like honoring a vow to



In the 1918 flu pandemic, historians say Kansas City had things worse than other cities because the various jurisdictions could not come together and work out a plan for a quarantine that covered everyone. It was really impressive, and a little surprising, that in the coronavirus pandemic, you all came out with the same rules at the same time. We very rarely get that on anything. In terms of how the core four [Jackson, Johnson and Wyandotte counties and KCMO] got together, it was interesting. I think I’d actually convened the call, and my goal was to talk about our economic reaction to things. I wanted to make sure that we were doing work to create a small business support fund and that sort of thing. Wisely, I think, all of the leaders on the call wanted to talk about what we were doing from a public health perspective. KCK Mayor David Alvey, I think, started asking, “Is there a stay-at-home order coming? Is it shelter in place? What will this all look like?” Kansas City, Missouri, already had plans to do that. We were able to share that plan with every other jurisdiction on the phone and they seemed to think it was important not only that we all take this important public health step but that we do it together.

What’s Next? OUR CITY

It’s never an easy conversation because we’re four people. We all have city councils and county legislatures, county commissions. But I think we said, “Well, this is pretty darn important. Let’s kind of stick our necks out there.” And we were able to get it done. And I think the public has responded to it tremendously.

in America, to our detriment in some ways, is we thought, “This is a China thing. It’s an Italy thing.” I didn’t want us to fall behind saying, “Oh, that’s a New York thing, that’s a West Coast thing.” It’s something that all of us are dealing with and confronting, and I think Kansas City can be proud of the steps we took.

If you hadn’t been able to agree, do you think we might have been looking at a border war situation?

On the other side of this, how are we possibly going to find a way to make up the lost productivity and economic opportunity from being shut down maybe two months?

Yes, it’s that—but it’s also the idea that we are one place. I say that all the time to people, but it’s not B.S. At the end of the day, yes, I got elected by people in Kansas City, Missouri. But I grew up going to school on the state line itself. I still work at the University of Kansas. There are no lines between where we go. So yeah, different rules for Price Chopper in Leawood versus Kansas City versus Blue Springs are just really unnecessary. That’s why I think it was important for us to just agree, and I’m proud of that. Looking at the projections everyone is looking at from the University of Washington, it was interesting how Kansas City went from a situation where it was like, “this could be really, really bad” to “this isn’t good, but we’ve got this under control.” Were you watching those same projections and reacting? I’m in my office just today—with my chief of staff and my team—and we were looking at some of the projections. It’s not just amazing, but something that I think shows how important early intervention is, especially when you see the difference in our trajectory versus other cities in the middle of the map. I’m looking at what’s happening in Detroit right now and my heart goes out to them. They’ve got a high number of infections and deaths there when compared to this region. And I think that relates in large part to the steps that we took early to make sure we were counteracting this crisis that we saw coming our way. I’ve lived and worked on both coasts, and it was interesting to hear people there say to me, “You guys are behind, but this is coming for you.” And I’m like, “We already closed our restaurants and you haven’t—why are you lecturing me?” I think people were really surprised that Kansas City was at the absolute forefront—especially for a place that didn’t have a crisis yet. We weren’t shy about the steps we needed to take. I still remember I think the first night of the Big 12 tournament, when the big leagues canceled. I had a meeting at City Hall and convened a number of other leaders, and people thought it was odd because I’m [a huge basketball fan]. Nevertheless, I had the chance to kind of say, “This is gonna be more serious than we might think.” And I think we made one hundred percent the right call, and the reason behind that is that we’ve recognized time and time again how important it is for us to always look to the public health data, more than anything. I know there were some people who were pushing back when we issued our early orders, saying, “That’s necessary in New York City. That’s necessary in Seattle. That’s not necessary in Kansas City.” I know I have to change some of my preconceived notions on it because I think the way that this crisis was originally being seen

We all have to do a lot of things. There are the government answers that the Kansas City, Missouri, government has already started doing, including, of course, our small business Emergency Relief Fund. I’m proud of the fact that we announced that and we were able to get it past City Council and we’re gonna have money out on the streets even before the end of this crisis. There is work we all need to do as individuals—as consumers. Instead of canceling events, we postpone them. When we’re planning expenditures, we figure out how we can support a small business in our own communities. For those of us in government, we need to see how we’re charging fees and taxes in the future to make sure that we can defer them and, to whatever extent we can, waive them for folks so we’re in a better position long term. So I think there are going to be a limitless number of steps. I’m committed to making sure we address them, particularly in those communities that are most negatively impacted—the businesses that don’t have the ability to operate remotely, which is a lot of them. I was talking to a barber last weekend about the fact that he has no way to make money right now. We’ve got to make sure we stabilize him. Now, I wish I could continue to grow hair for the barber, but I guess I won’t be able to do that quickly. But nevertheless, there are lots of ways we can find to support him. Speaking of that: You made a pledge to get food from a local restaurant every day because of this crisis. How’s that going? Oh, I’ve been very good at ordering and getting takeout to make sure we support Kansas City businesses. I made a pledge to eat out every day for the rest of my term, so I will be rolling into the mayor’s office by my third year. But I think it’ll be important for us to step up. And I think a lot of Kansas Citians will be with me once we’re ready to reopen. No politician answers here: Of all the new places you’ve tried, what’s the one you were blown away by? I will be good. I won’t be that equivocating mayor who picks seven but they’re all connected. It was a place by the name of South of Summit, which is not only providing a wonderful build-yourown Mexican-American meal but also provides toilet paper, which really has their sales going. It’s down on 75th Street in Waldo. I’m at 18th and Vine, and to the extent I can go somewhere, it’s usually City Hall. So it’s nice to get out of downtown and support a Waldo business. It was a great meal—better than I would have ever thought, and it was a brand new place for me. I hope to go back when we’re through the crisis.



We asked bioethics professor Jessica Berg from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio for a glimpse of where we could be going in mask culture and the impact of a simple face covering. Do you think there will be a cultural shift in the U.S. where everyone will start wearing masks while sick even when this pandemic is over?

‘We Really Need That Cultural Shift’ Will face masks become a permanent fixture in American society? BY NICOLE BRADLEY

DO A QUICK GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH of “1918 Spanish flu” and you’ll find hundreds of black and white photographs of Americans doing everyday things: getting their hair trimmed at the barbershop, playing baseball, sitting in church— all while wearing face masks. When the pandemic subsided, so did the use of masks. Americans—and most western countries, for that matter—have long stigmatized mask wearing with viral illnesses. In Asian countries, on the other hand, masks are encouraged. In early April, the CDC announced that all Americans should wear face coverings in public to slow the spread of the coronavirus. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams tweeted a video detailing how to DIY a mask and suggested using items found around the house, like “an old scarf, a bandana or a hand towel or an old t-shirt.” After this pandemic ends, will masks become a permanent staple of American culture, as in Asia? Or will the custom dissipate, as it did in 1918?



It certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing from a public health standpoint for it to be more socially acceptable for people to wear masks during common flu and cold season when they’re taking public transportation or in crowded areas. I think there’s still a genuine question about how hard it’s going to be for us, culturally, to accept masks now as not either stigmatizing or even problematic. We’re certainly not a culture comfortable with masks outside of, you know, a ski slope. It could be that we get to that point and from a health standpoint, it’s not a bad thing. There is evidence that it does protect other people, and it’s not a bad thing for us to start. Do you think masks could even become “trendy”? It could be something that becomes a fashion statement. There’s evidence that, in other countries, Asian countries specifically, masks are as much a fashion statement as they are a health choice. If you can get it to be picked up as a fashion statement by young people, that's pretty much the best way you can get something integrated into society. Aside from masks, are there any other practices that you think will stick when the pandemic is over? It may be that people wash their hands a lot more and that people are more conscious of touching their faces. It also may be that we move away from handshakes, which are a very common way to greet people. From a public health standpoint, you’re better off waving at someone. Do you think that Asian countries, where it’s common to wear masks every day, look at countries like ours,


“If you can get it to be picked up as a fashion statement by young people, that’s pretty much the best way you can get something integrated into society.”

where wearing masks isn’t necessarily normal, and think we’re being careless? I think there is sort of an element of, “How could you not care about other people so much that you wouldn’t wear a mask in public?” Honestly, we’re not doing great as a country right now overall when other places look at us. There are states that aren’t even issuing stay at home orders or in the states that are issuing them, there are people who are disregarding them. There are certainly other countries that look at us and think that we don’t take these public health concerns seriously. They think it’s horrifying. I suspect there are a number of people here who are here studying, students who come from a variety of countries, who are so terrified by the idea that people here won’t wear [masks]. From their perspectives, everybody here is just happily spreading the virus. And that, to them, is horrifying. For them it’s comforting to see people in masks, whereas we look at someone wearing a mask and think, “What does that mean? Are you sick?” They look at people in masks and think, “Well, thank goodness. If you’re all wearing masks, then I can safely go out to the supermarket.” That’s a real cultural difference. Do people need to worry about getting the N95 masks, or could wearing something like a bandana, scarf or handkerchief make a difference? It’s really important to stress that people should not be going out and buying N95 respirators. Those are absolutely necessary for health care professionals and should be left to them, and it’s ethically problematic to be purchasing those if you are not a health care professional in need of a mask like that. By the way, most individuals who get an N95 respirator don’t even wear them correctly. To correctly wear an N95 respirator, you have to get a pretty good seal around it. It's not comfortable. If you’re wearing it correctly and it’s really sealed on there, you’ll end up with a big red mark on your nose and your cheeks. So most people who buy them are not only taking them from people who really truly need them, but they’re probably not even wearing them the correct way to make them really useful. So that’s sort of a problem. Generally speaking, the N95 respirators are designed to protect by limiting

the number of particles that can get into your respiratory system. The mask doesn’t help if you’ve touched things and not washed your hands and touched your face again. For the rest of us, we’re recommending the reverse. The reason you want to get people to wear a face covering, even if they’re healthy, is because you want to prevent them from spewing out respirations. From that perspective, if you have almost any covering on your face or you sneeze into your elbow as you’re supposed to or into a tissue, fewer droplets come out. And since we know so much of this virus can be spread while people are either asymptomatic or just haven’t started showing symptoms yet, this could, in theory, cut down on a lot of people spreading out the virus versus taking it in. We have very little scientific evidence on whether or not particles would come through fabric. Of course, it’s possible, but if it doesn’t, that’s great—more power to you that you’ve blocked that off to some extent. But I would say there’s so much benefit on the other side and that’s really why we want to encourage people to wear masks.

Do you think it would be hard for our society to accept wearing masks? I think so. That means you’re making decisions to do things that are not necessarily to your direct health benefit. But everybody doing this absolutely helps your health. In other words, it truly is a public health benefit, right? You are better off living in a world where everybody wears a face mask regularly during seasons where there’s high transmission visibility, because you don’t know who you will come in contact with that might give you something. And if everybody wears them, you included, that’s only beneficial. And that’s where we really need that cultural shift. You should start looking at people who aren’t wearing a mask like, “Whoa, they’re not wearing a mask. That’s weird. I’m gonna walk away from them.” As we start doing that, the shift becomes sort of like, “Well, of course I wear a mask because I don’t want to give you coronavirus or I don’t want to give you my cold because I am a responsible person. I wear a mask to make sure that I’m not spreading anything to you, your loved ones, your friends and everyone you would come in contact with.”



happen. I’m not an economist. I call myself a market economist because I’m trying to figure out what the economy will do and what it will mean to our markets. And our goal, of course, is controlling risk and making money for our clients over a cycle. When you talk about black swans and data, do you look back at events like the 1918 pandemic, or is that old data incompatible with our modern markets? Do you look at 9/11?

‘It’s All About How You Instill Confidence’ The chief investment officer at UMB bank on why it’ll take a coronavirus vaccine to kickstart the economy. BY MARTIN CIZMAR

UNTIL JANUARY, the American economy was robust. Very few Americans outside academia and doomsday prepper circles talked about pandemics. Then, suddenly, everything changed—just as author and investor Nassim Nicholas Taleb warned they would. To be sure, Taleb didn’t predict an outbreak of a novel coronavirus originating in a Chinese wet animal market. But the author and former options trader wrote the widely influential best-seller Black Swan, which examines outlier events such as unexpected pandemics. It’s a philosophy that informs the work of KC Mathews, the chief investment officer for Kansas City-based UMB Bank. Black swans such as the coronavirus are brutal moments of existential crisis for many asset managers, who spend years meticulously building portfolios and developing trust with clients. We chatted with Mathews about his strategy for navigating this topsy-turvy market. His answers have been edited for length and clarity. What’s the philosophical approach of an asset manager in this situation? It’s a humbling business, especially when you have these black swans where you don’t have any history to rely on to give you clues as to what might



When you look at the 1918 flu, it’s so far back there that times are very different. So we try to look at modern history, if you will, and study the empirical evidence to find out if there are clues that can help us. We have had events—shocks, black swans—that have shut down economies. September 11 was a perfect example. The economy was shut down for a short period of time, and airlines weren’t flying for a week or two. You had a case in Japan 2011 with the tsunami—it just shut down the economy. But the difference is those have been short-lived, and it’s in those periods that I cite the government leaders that have been out there saying, “Go back to your normal life; go back and consume.” And you had the opportunity to consume—the dry cleaners were open, the movie theaters were open. Today it’s a little different in that you have this shock, but instead of saying, “go out and consume,” they’re saying “shelter in place.” So what was “the shock,” in your mind? Was there a moment you would define as the shock? There are actually two shocks that I would cite. One, of course, was the number of COVID-19 cases spiking here in the United States, which started around February 20. Health care professionals didn’t quite understand the contagious nature of the virus. There were all kinds of issues. The United States didn’t close down the economy until about March 16, and I would say it was a soft close. Whereas you try to study China—their cases spiked January 15, but they shut down the economy on January 23, eight days later. So I would say around late February or the first of March is when we kind of said, “We need to de-risk portfolios because this thing isn’t gonna resolve itself anytime soon.” But there were still, at that time, so many unknowns. Now, there was another shock and that was, of course, the breakdown in negotiations between OPEC’s Alliance Plus—OPEC negotiating with Saudi Arabia and Russia—and that could not have come at a worse time. We already had a destruction of demand for fossil fuels as the economy was shutting down. Because those

What’s Next? ECONOMY

negotiations broke down, all of a sudden it was a pump-at-will strategy. So the Saudis and the Russians just pumped like crazy and flooded the market, and oil prices had a waterfall event. I don’t think I’m alone in sort of being stuck in the mindset that lower oil prices are great for the American economy. We consume the most oil! However, we are also now the largest producer. Is this the first time we’ve gone through a financial crisis where we’re an oil exporter? Well, we have some history. You can find recent data from 2014 to 2016 when oil prices came down sixty to seventy percent, exactly like they’ve done now. The difference was we were still jetting around the country burning a lot of jet fuel and driving to work. And there were a lot of people driving to work—the labor market was strong. The economy was chugging along. The difference now is we’re working from home. We’re following the CDC guidelines. I’ve gotten in the car twice in the last three weeks. I went to the grocery store, and I had to get a garbage disposal because ours went on the fritz. Under normal conditions, we would drive by a gas station and think, “This is great!” Well, right now, because we’re all sheltering in place, we’re not spending that money on gasoline. And we’re not spending it on other discretionary items, such as entertainment, because we can’t.

We reduce risk across the board. Because even if you look at good stocks—I’ll just pick one; I’m not here to give you stock tips—but Johnson & Johnson. I think Johnson & Johnson is a great stock, but it’s down. There was no place to hide when the tide went out. All the boats went down… or just about all the boats. This is a very emotional time. In the markets, there are always two very strong forces at play: fear and greed. And you saw that with the panic selling. It was just craziness. That was the fear. And then all of a sudden you got a couple of good days, and the greed comes in. “Maybe we need to get back to the market and we need to buy stocks.” Historically, you can look at 2008 and what we went through. If you go look at 2008 and 2009, the market was going down, but you had all these false signals, all these head fakes. In October of 2008, the market went up eighteen percent! Then it went down further. Then from November to December it went up twenty one percent! And then it went down further. And then in March of 2009 it bottomed. So our take is when you have the uncertainty—there are so many unknowns out there—I think at that time you tried to swim close to shore. Because you can always go to Vegas and put it on red or black. That’s not what we’re doing here. How do you see the next year playing out for the American economy?

I just have to follow up: You replaced your own garbage disposal? Doggone right I did! I guess this is the point we’re at in this pandemic. One of the top finance guys in town is replacing his own garbage disposal. I’m not sure how the opportunity cost could possibly work out there in a normal world. In all fairness, my father was a civil engineer. So he taught me many things in my childhood. This gave me an opportunity to teach my son how to change one. So what do you say to people you talk to casually about the local economy? The key is to get our arms around this virus. Since I’m not a doctor or a scientist, I don’t know how you do that. I guess you listen to the CDC. Let’s nip this situation in the bud. One of the things that we’re watching is, as China reopens their economy, are we going to see a resurgence of the virus as they’re on trains and buses together, in group gatherings at work? It would be terrible if all of a sudden you saw spiking cases again. So I guess my casual advice would be to get our arms around this virus. Let’s stay at home and work from home. There are a lot of companies that are studying the virus. Right now, there are over two hundred and seventy different drugs in the works—that’s the whole pharmaceutical biotech industry. They’re working real hard to try and find a way to stop this thing. But the key is to stop the spread of it, first and foremost. When you mentioned de-risking portfolios, what is sort of a nutshell summary of what you do? Do you just try to get out of airlines, hotels and the most volatile things?

We have to brace ourselves for a few weeks of really bad information. We’ll start with first-quarter earnings season, and first-quarter earnings might not be that bad. But these corporations are going to have to say, “I have no idea what’s going to happen in the second quarter because we’re shut down.” You get second quarter earnings in July—it could be pretty bad when they say, “My business was shut down.” So the economic data is going to be soft. We’re going to go into recession. Then the big unknown is: How fast will a consumer come back? Even if you get all clear, when will you be comfortable taking your family on an airplane ride? Or staying in a hotel? Or going to the movies and sitting right next to someone? Those are unknown. People are talking about a V-shaped recovery—it’s going to go down swiftly and then we’ll be through this thing as soon as you know it. I just think it’s going to take a little bit longer to instill confidence in the consumer to go out and consume the way they used to. I think the third quarter is probably going to be contracting. Then, hopefully, once we get some type of vaccine, we will get our arms ripped around this thing and people will be consuming again. I’m hoping with all the stimulus in the market place—with all this pent-up demand—whether it’s the fourth quarter, or maybe into 2021, you get some really nice robust economic activity. So you really feel like a vaccine is critical to turning things around? It’s critical. If it’s similar to a flu shot, where I know that next fall I can get the COVID-19 shot like a flu shot—I get a flu shot every year and I haven’t had the flu in ten or twenty years—then yeah, I’d go on an airplane. Yeah, I’d go stay at a hotel. I think that’s a significant breakthrough. If we could have a vaccine that’s credible. It’s all about how you instill confidence.



Bernstein believes that baseball will return sooner rather than later—though maybe not in the familiar form. “Big cultural institutions like the MLB can be leaders on things like this if they want to be,” he says. “But it’s really important with something like this, when it's a really serious issue, for them to not consider dollar signs first.” For a preview of what Royals games might look like this year, Bernstein says that we should look to pro wrestling, which may have cracked the code for sports during the coronavirus pandemic. When did you know that the coronavirus pandemic was going to be a big deal? Doing what we do for a living, the brain goes to the worst case pretty quickly for a lot of situations. All of our crisis plans have forever included things like possibilities of epidemics or pandemics. We also have a big network of crisis management folks that are based overseas, including in Asia and in Italy. So we were getting word of how bad this thing really was earlier than most. When we started hearing first reports from medical experts about how quickly and silently it can spread, we started getting concerned. Frankly, I’m still a little surprised at how severe it’s gotten. But our ears pricked up pretty quickly when we started hearing about the virus spreading out of China.

‘It’s Going to Be Strange’ An expert explains how the Royals and the rest of MLB could start playing during coronavirus by following the pro-wrestling model. BY MARTIN CIZMAR

THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS were supposed to be hosting the Detroit Tigers right now. But with the coronavirus pandemic forcing an end to all scheduled sports, Kauffman Stadium sits empty as baseball fans await developments that could prompt a return to normalcy—or some sort of new normalcy that includes televised sports. What will the baseball season look like in 2020? Will the league resume play in time to stage an abbreviated season, or will the World Series be canceled for only the third time in history? We reached out to an expert with deep sourcing in the league. Erik Bernstein runs a crisis management firm with offices in Los Angeles and Denver. Bernstein can’t rattle off a list of clients given the nature of his work, but he has worked with clients in Major League Baseball. His firm somewhat famously turned down former LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA for life over racist comments.



With all the usual disclaimers—nobody knows anything right now—what’s your best guess for what happens to the MLB season, based on what you’re hearing from league sources? I think they’re going to try to run a season whenever they can. They want to get a return on their investment. Not only that, thinking more positively, I think everyone knows that America kind of needs this. Sports being put on hold was really the wake up call for a lot of people that this thing is real. I saw more reactions to them halting the sports season than any of the other early news. So I think that they're going to try to put on a season whenever they can. I think that the games are going to look very different when they come back. What are the games going to look like? There’s either going to be no crowd or it’s going to be people who are significantly spaced out, probably with masks. It’s going to be strange. And I think one thing that they’re going to need to not shy away from is acknowledging, “Hey, this is strange. But we want to bring

What’s Next? MLB

baseball back for America as soon as possible, and here’s how we need to do it.” So, like, are the players going to wear masks? That’s going to be the trick, right? How do you get these players around and make them feel safe? Being transported around to different places and interacting with other players? It’s a pretty huge amount of people, even if you strip it down—players and staff for a single team, that’s a lot of people. As strange as it sounds, I think what pro wrestling is doing right now might give some insight for the league and for team owners as far as what's possible. And what is pro wrestling doing? WWE is continuing to run shows with no physical audience. They’re running them out of a studio facility that they have. And it's admittedly very awkward to watch. But, you know, it could provide a template because these entertainers are keeping a strict fitness regime and they’re going out and doing their job. It’s not exactly a sport, but it's similar in how it operates. So will it be a situation where we go to Kauffman Stadium and sit every three or four seats or that there’s no one in the stadium? If I were advising them, I’d say no crowd until we know the virus is beat. We’re still learning more about how far it can travel—they’re saying that it could be transmitted by breathing now instead of droplets. So it’s going to be awkward. I would guess that we see some games played with empty stadiums. And they’re going to need to do something to try to make it less awkward. I don’t know if they pipe crowd noise in. I don’t know if they continue to play music and things, but I think they’re going to need to try to make it as normal as possible while acknowledging that it’s not. Are you hearing from league insiders that they want sports on the air more than they want them to be normal?

Everyone wants to get sports back on the air for the good of the nation and to make some money. Obviously, everyone would prefer to go back to business as usual. But I think the reality is setting in that it's going to be a long road. So the folks that are smart are thinking about how we can make this work. If they wanted to have all of the MLB teams go live in one huge facility and we play the games from here and no one goes anywhere, they probably could. So that’s a possibility, the teams don’t travel, they all stay someplace with enough luxury hotels to accommodate the teams and they just schedule games? I mean, MLB could afford to essentially rent out a hotel and take control of it for however long they wanted to as long as they could keep putting on games and selling ad space. If MLB commissioner Rob Manfred called you to ask for advice, what would you tell him? First of all, don’t tell people that you're only pushing opening day back two weeks. There's no way it’s only going to be two weeks—I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see things start up late summer, if that, depending how quickly the whole country can get a handle on this thing. The teams all need to be on the same page. It's going to be really important for teams to be doing a lot of external messaging to address the concerns of all their fans and business partners. And if they're saying things that are even a little bit different, people are gonna feel like there's spin. Even if you're saying the exact same thing, if you word it a little bit differently, they feel like you're being dishonest. And, of course, the players are going to need to have faith that MLB is really thinking about their safety when they're making these decisions. So one big time player saying they don't feel safe and they don't trust MLB could easily make a huge snowball effect where no one wants to play or go to work.



Part of Tomes’ knowledge comes from a project for which she joined with a team of historians, epidemiologists and virologists to do a comprehensive cross-disciplinary study of the Spanish flu pandemic on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense. When she first heard about the novel coronavirus that emerged in a wet animal market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, she started to worry. Then, like a lot of us, she stopped worrying so much for a few months. “There’s been this sense that the big one was coming—we just didn’t know which one it was going to be,” she says. “Finally, it’s here. And I’ll be the first to admit that when the first word of it came out, I thought to myself, ‘Whoa, this is creepy,’ but then there was sort of this period when it was kind of like, ‘Well, this isn’t so bad.’ I think we were lulled into a false sense of security that it couldn’t possibly be as bad as the 1918-1919 pandemic or, God help us, the bubonic plague. But, dang, it’s turning out to be pretty bad.” We spoke to Tomes about how this pandemic compares to the one a century ago. Her answers have been edited for length and clarity. Why did you start studying the Spanish flu?

‘I Was Primed to See This as a Possible Nightmare’ The nation’s foremost historian of the Spanish flu pandemic talks about eerie parallels and toilet paper hoarding. BY MARTIN CIZMAR

IT’S BEEN A CENTURY since a pandemic brought the nation to an unsteady stop. After such a passage of time, there’s only the faintest public memory of the deadliest disease outbreak humanity has ever seen, one that claimed fifty million lives worldwide. That’s why Nancy Tomes is suddenly getting calls from across the country. Tomes, a professor of history at Stony Brook University on Long Island, is lauded as one of the world’s most knowledgeable scholars of the pandemic in which a third of the world’s population fell ill. “It’s a very weird sensation to be in this smallish clan of historians who have studied the Spanish flu in depth,” she says. “We’re all dumbfounded to think that all this old stuff that I’ve read and studied still comes in handy.”



I got interested in why ordinary people came to believe in the existence of germs. With the germ theory of disease, there’s a before and an after. That was not the common way of explaining what we call infectious diseases in the 1830s or 1840s, and there’s this shift that takes place. It begins with scientists experimenting and saying, “I think what passes from one person with smallpox to another person with smallpox is not just some inert thing; it’s alive, and it’s a microbe.” Louis Pasteur has this concept that germs are like a ferment in yeast. That was around 1857, and then there’s a lot of arguing about it for about twenty years. But by the mid-1870s there’s a really conclusive body of laboratory experiments. This guy, Robert Koch in Germany, does this brilliant series of steps where he can show you the bacteria that causes cholera under a microscope. Cholera doesn’t just pop out of the air or the water or whatever, which was the miasma theory. It’s a very specific bacteria that lives in people and goes out in your feces and into the water. Basically, I was studying how those ideas got out to the general public and how people changed the way they behaved to keep from getting these terrible diseases. I wrote a book about it called The Gospel of Germs, and it’s all about how everyday life changed when people started believing in germs. When I go back and look at that book, I’m struck by the fact that I kind of threw in the Spanish flu pandemic at the end because so much happened before it. But because I had written about the popular understandings of germs, when the CDC and the Department of Defense wanted to do a comprehensive look back at the Spanish flu, I was part of the team. And that’s when I did all that research. I went back and I was like, “Whoa, I should have spent more time looking at this.” But it was already a long book. What similarities do you see between the Spanish flu pandemic and what happening right now?


I went back and I looked at what we now call social distancing. All of the rules that we’re now following were things people were being taught—not coughing and spitting in what they called “a careless fashion.” All those things were called upon during the pandemic to try to slow the transmission of that very deadly strain of influenza. I was also interested in this as a moment of American life where the interdependence that we are now so familiar with was just coming into focus. The ideas that if you shut down the city, people were going to starve, or that you take public transportation to work [were new]. By then, people were even used to going out for entertainment, whether it was vaudeville or movies. This was the moment people realized there was something—the old fashioned term for it was mass society—but it’s basically just a whole lot of people connected to each other through work or play. That made it really difficult to shut down this fast-moving infection. If you go back and read these public health accounts of what they tried to do to slow the Spanish flu down, it really is like reading what’s in the papers today. Very similar tactics and very similar concerns. This question is probably more philosophical because I don’t think there’s a real answer, but was it easier or harder to shut down a city in 1918 as opposed to today? It seems to me that the vast majority of Americans really could not leave their house right now, but they also have different expectations about life. It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about. In some ways, I’d say it’s easier for us now—but I draw a big asterisk on that and say it’s easy for those of us who own our home and have secure incomes. What we’re seeing in cities like New York is that this pandemic is showing the number of people who don’t have somewhere secure to live. Historians will tell you that pandemics always show you the vulnerable parts of your society—it’s like a heat-seeking missile. You can say coronavirus will affect the rich as well as the poor, but it’s always going to hit poor people harder. But if we limit it to relatively comfortable people, it’s easier because one thing that I’m looking at right now is a large refrigerator. Back then, even wealthy homes still had ice boxes—they didn’t have freezers. So the struggle to get fresh food was more of a problem. We can sit here and turn on Netflix. My daughter and my husband and I are watching Tiger King. Wow, what a crazy show. Back in the day, if you were stuck at home, I guess you could play the piano and sing songs, but our ability to entertain ourselves or even talk to each other was very limited. What did regular people in 1918 have going for them that we don’t have today? I think they were better prepared to deal with the lack of order and the unpredictability of this. This was a generation that had bad infectious diseases all the time, and there were no antibiotics. They were better at understanding that Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with and didn’t think we should be able to snap a finger and have a cure for the virus or even a vaccine. I think we’ve been schooled to expect that medical science can perform miracles. One of the things that really surprised me in reading about the 1918 flu epidemic was that when modern scientists finally

found a way to identify the virus from frozen bodies in the Norwegian Arctic, they found out that it was just H1N1—it’s the most common, vanilla cause of influenza today. It’s just not as deadly because we’ve built up immunity. H1N1 is now plain vanilla, yeah. And you could say the same thing about the coronavirus. It’s in the same family as the common cold. This is one reason I try not to get hyper-judgmental about the way people are reacting—because of what we didn’t know in the beginning. There are other ways that I’m hoping we come out of this, including taking the planning piece of it more seriously. That’s my hopeful scenario: that this will be the wake-up call that we needed. Some of what I’ve read has suggested that the countries that got hit really hard by SARS—South Korea being one of them—did better this time around because they knew better what to expect. Whereas with the United States, it was kind of like, “Yeah, it’s not going to be a big deal. It’s a Chinese virus. We’re not Chinese.” Did you hear about this virus in January, and what was your immediate reaction? Yeah, I was on top of it in January—but I freely admit I’m weird in the sense that that’s kind of the stuff that I listen for. So my little ears perked up right away: “Uh-oh. Wet markets. Wuhan.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been invited to give a talk where, for example, I’m supposed to put Ebola in historical perspective and Zika popped up before I could give the talk. So I was already attuned to the problem of emerging diseases. I was primed to see this as a possible nightmare. But again, it’s kind of my line of work to expect that kind of thing to come along. You’re not a scientist, but as you’ve studied pandemics, I want you to play Monday Morning Quarterback here. Hop back to the beginning. If you’re leading the country, what do you do differently? Do you shut the border, Madam President? OK, I’ll be armchair quarterback. My understanding is that there has been a plan agreed upon by whoever does these things—the CDC and others. We had a plan. So Madam President would have said, “I want that plan.” My understanding is that in that plan, there are messages to immediately up the amount of protective gear. If we had placed those orders in late January, we wouldn’t be sitting here in the mess we are now. There is stuff in that plan about testing—you know, making sure you get quick testing and you make it freely available to everyone. To me, the fatal lack of preparedness was the inability of anybody to get test kits—reliable test kits. You’re a historian who has studied how regular people change their behavior as a result of these pandemics, so I have to ask: Do you think Americans are going to start wearing masks when they’re sick now? My guess is that, from now until the people who are old enough to remember this die, most American homes are going to have an N95 mask or something comparable on hand. That this is going to remain as such a trauma in our collective memories that having a mask on hand—and probably also a case of toilet paper—may in fact become the new normal.



‘I Have Seen Actual Tumbleweeds Roll Down Genessee Street’ The Stockyards was becoming one of the city’s hottest nightlife neighborhoods, but the pandemic has left it mostly vacant. BY CALEB CONDIT AND REBECCA NORDEN/ PILSEN PHOTO CO-OP

THE CAMPGROUND STARTED IN A SHED. When Cristin Llewellyn and Christopher Ciesiel bought a house in South Hyde Park, they also acquired a shed, which they painted pastel pink and adorned with antlers. It was a fun place for friends to try Christopher’s drink experiments and offer feedback on recipes like the couple’s signature bacon-wrapped avocado. The Campground morphed over time, first into a monthly get-together complete with cocktails and small plates. After having a child, Cristin and Christopher wanted to hold parties somewhere they could grow into a full-fledged business. The Campground, as it exists in the Stockyards today, is an oasis for unique experiences. Cristin and Cristopher are obsessed with tweaking existing cocktail ingredients by infusing them with herbs or smoking them with sage. Normally, you’d walk into the place to find an ambient

pedal steel player performing, palo santo wafting through the air and perfectly balanced cocktails taking you to a refined version of what a campground bar in upper Wisconsin might feel like in the mid-50s. But this time is anything but normal, and today The Campground sits among deserted bars and restaurants. The Stockyards doesn’t have much of a residential population, so under the stay-at-home order, it’s become so quiet you could pop a bottle of natural wine in the middle of Genessee Street and nobody would even notice. What’s it been like being the last restaurant open in the West Bottoms/Stockyards? Cristin: Just the other week, Lucky Boys opened up for carryout food, Amigoni Winery has to-go wine, and Stockyards Brewery has to-go beer, but the other restaurants all closed up. It’s pretty desolate. We’ve been in our space for only two years, but I have been working in the Stockyards District for ten years. The neighborhood, just in the last few years, was really starting to take off and get that bustling neighborhood vibe where you see people going from place to place. It was becoming more walkable and people would make a night of it before all of this. It’s eerie because it's turning back to like it was before. It feels like how it felt eight years ago. It’s very quiet. We’ll be at the restaurant and no one will pass by for hours. It’s weird. Christopher: It seems like it’s reverting back to the “Wild West.” I have seen actual tumbleweeds roll down Genessee Street. It’s a one-stop-sign town, and it’s literally dangling by a nail. Christopher has a background in the nursing field. Can you tell us about how that has influenced your approach to this? Christopher: Owning a bar and restaurant, we have always had really high standards for sanitation. We’ve been taking extra care in regard to making sure we are wearing masks, gloves and offering all our food to-go. We were definitely prepared for this. It's keeping us grounded, in reality. Many people think this can be over soon, but I guess just knowing what I know, medically, this hasn’t really even started yet here. Cristin: Chris has a lot of connections in the health industry, so we’ve been doing food for hospitals. People are buying meals that can go directly to them. It's been cool to see all of his old coworkers and people we know. Even those who don't work there are donating money so that we can send food to hospitals around Kansas City every week. Chris knows what it can be like to work in an ER and how things get crazy. He can relate to that and knows how important it is to boost morale. Everyone at the hospitals right now is working so hard and risking their lives. We’ve already delivered five large meals that feed up to forty people, and we have two or three more that we are delivering in the next week. We also see a lot of nurses and doctors ordering food and drinks to go because they just need a break from all the work they are doing. Some people may not think that restaurants are essential businesses, but I think for some people, it’s just about being able to do something normal while their life is not normal. It’s really important.




When the stay-at-home order is lifted, will you still keep your carryout system? Christopher: I think for sure it’s going to be a part of our business one way or another. We’ll see how the laws change moving forward. It's going to be a different time. It was a part of our original plan to do a bottle shop and bar, so this isn’t really that foreign of a concept to us. If we are able to maintain the right to do this, then for sure it will be there. Cristin: We’ve been changing everything as we go for the past month, just figuring out what works well for us and for other people. I think the need of the community and our customers is going to change as well. It’s hard to make a plan right now when everything is so uncertain, so we’ll just ease back in and figure out what feels best for us, our staff and the community. We definitely want to get our staff back and working. I think it will be different than it was in the past and hopefully for the good. What challenges do you face trying to give someone an elevated cocktail experience in a take-home cocktail? Christopher: I think the biggest challenge is only being able to make the connection with the guest for the fifteen seconds they are here to pick up their bottle to take home. I would hope the main reason any of us are in this industry is the human interaction, to make people's lives or days better than they were before they came in your doors. It’s been kind of exciting yet challenging making that connection and trying to gain people's trust in the fifteen to thirty seconds they are here picking up a cocktail to go. On the other hand, just like our glassware that we would serve a cocktail in, we’re trying to delineate our bottle sizes, crown cap covers and things of that nature so you can still make the experience unique.

Photography by Rebecca Norden and Caleb Condit

So literally each cocktail coming out in a to-go fashion has a different bottle, a different color or is associated with a different style. Crisitn: We’re also trying to make it easy so that anyone can do it—so that it's not intimidating when you take it home. People love coming in to get our martini because it’s a whole experience. You get the sea salt and vinegar chips, olives and a lemon twist. That way when you go home to have your martini, it feels special. What one skill or idea should every home bartender know or learn now that they have a ton of time on their hands? Christopher: Honestly, it’s how I taught myself: Keep it simple. That's what we try to do at The Campground. The best drinks only require three ingredients or less. Also, don't overthink it. Now is definitely a good time to get creative because we all have nothing but time, but at the end of the day it's about keeping it simple. What are you looking forward to once things go back to normal? Christopher: Just the laughter and banter of people, playing the music loud, all the smells of the drinks and the food, the palo santo and sage that we burn. Cristin: Having people dine in our restaurant again. Being able to see it full. Seeing everything working again and having our staff come back and having their jobs. We want those people back to take care of. It’s been really cool for Chris and me to have this time because we had never worked together before. We always tried to switch shifts so one of us was home with our daughter. It’s been our first time working side by side, and it’s been nice. It’s been a family affair at The Campground.





K A N S A S C I T Y | M AY 2 0 2 0

QUEEN The Netflix documentary Tiger King became a surprise breakout hit during the coronavirus quarantine. For more insight into this wild world, we connected with a Kansas big cat keeper who knows Joe Exotic and the other characters. INTERVIEW BY MARTIN CIZMAR

Photography Courtesy Cedar Cover Feline Conservatory

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ITH MUCH OF THE WESTERN WORLD under quarantine and all sporting events canceled, America faced the greatest entertainment vacuum in our nation’s history. Through these dark times, one piece of television programming emerged as a great unifying force: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. The Netflix original series chronicles the bitter and violent rivalry between two big cat keepers, Oklahoma’s likeable and flamboyant Joe Exotic and puritancial crank Carole Baskin of Florida. Without spoiling too much: Joe Exotic is currently in federal prison after being convicted of charges including a murder-for-hire plot to kill Baskin. Meanwhile, Baskin is roundly mocked for her hypocrisy and the suspicious facts surrounding the unsolved disappearance of her wealthy first husband, who many viewers believe she killed and fed to a tiger. The drama went all the way to the top, popping up as a question in one of the president’s daily briefings. Bettie “BJ” Auch didn’t need to see the show to know the story. The senior curator of Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory in Louisburg, twenty miles south of Kansas City, is deeply immersed in the world of big cats. “Everybody in this industry talks about it,” Auch says. “We’ve met Joe and we’ve dealt with Joe. So we follow it more closely because we know who these people are.” Although her facility in Louisburg is focused on education and contains a comparatively minor menagerie, Auch was once given a behind-thescenes tour of Joe Exotic’s roadside zoo by the man himself. She’s also watched as his rival, Baskin, pushed for legislation that would make it impossible for operations like Cedar Cove to exist—though she counts herself lucky that Cedar Cove has never come under fire by Baskin, who commands a small army of activists. “Generally, [Carole’s] not liked by a lot of people,” Auch says. “Joe just took it to another level. He would speak out and attack her, and so he set himself up for her retaliation. We try to take the higher road. We don’t discuss these other people and talk about how bad they are. We kind of


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do on our tours, but we try not to name names. We don’t want to fight with them.” After watching Tiger King ourselves, we wanted to know more about this intensely odd subculture. So we chatted with Auch, who had not yet seen the documentary, despite entreaties from her friends and family outside the big cat community. (Her interview has been edited for length and clarity.) Once this pandemic passes, you can visit Auch and her cats in Louisburg. Find more information and updates at So you’ve personally met the Tiger King, Joe Exotic. What’s he like? He’s weird and very full of himself. There are a lot of people in this cat world that have huge egos and they do it because they’re “really cool people” and they “get to get in with big cats.” It’s very ego-driven. I wasn’t very impressed with him at all—or the living conditions of some of the animals that I saw. I can’t give any specifics on cases of abuse, but I know he’s been under fire for a long time from PETA and the USDA. I think his feud with Carole Baskin started because she also has a giant ego and thinks she’s the only one that should be able to have big cats and wanted to get him shut down. One thing led to another and then he, uh, tried to kill her. Do people in the big cat community dislike Carole Baskin? People don’t like her because she puts everybody down and she doesn’t believe in interaction with the cats. She thinks she’s the only one that can do this. Here, we are a USDA-inspected facility and we follow strict rules. We don’t go in the enclosures with any of these big cats, but we do interact with them. They’re cats—they’re big cats, but they’re still cats and in a captive situation. They’re friendly, they want attention, so we try to make sure they feel safe and protected. And we do interact with them. If you ever come out there you will see that they’re different from other cats you see at the zoo. They seem happy. They seem relaxed. They aren’t alone in a corner.

We constantly work to make sure their environment and their enclosures are the best we can possibly afford to do. Have you personally interacted with Carole Baskin? Has she tried to get you shut down? I’ve never interacted with her. She’s left us alone. We’re very small compared to what she goes after and we’re really different. We pride ourselves on the lack of ego involved in this and our main goal is education—conservation education. Ironically, we’ve all been speaking of zoonotic diseases in our tours for quite a long time, that [a virus passed from animals like SARS-Coronavirus-2] is a true risk as the population increases and as our wild areas decrease. This has been a known risk for a long time. People, I guess, didn’t understand it, believe it or think it would affect them at all. So you haven’t watched Tiger King, but what are you hearing from friends and family? I actually had a lot of interaction with my nieces who are all, “Oh, you’ve got to watch this show!” And I’m like, “No I don’t, because I already know what happened.” And I’m an animal empath so it’s difficult for me to hear about, much less see, any abuse. My niece told me it doesn’t actually show cases of abuse, but we know of them. I’ve also heard that it doesn’t paint either one of them in a very good light. One of my nieces posted something the other day and I got all over her. She posted about this and then she posted our name in addition to it. I called her and I said “Carly, stop this! Don’t associate us with them. We’re not like them!” They’re calling me saying, “You know this guy? Oh my God, he’s terrible!” And I’m like, “Yes, I do, and I don’t want to talk about him.” Well, I’m sorry but I have to ask: What were your dealings with this guy? You mean Joe?

takes a village. I suppose that’s our motto. It’s all of us, not one person. I wouldn’t hold myself any higher than I hold any of the volunteers there. He was just—he was weird. And you know, his interactions with the animals were very “showoff what I can do” kind of stuff. We don’t let people touch. Even if Joe would have come to our facility, we wouldn’t have let him touch a tiger. But I was down there and he’d let us touch anything. He has a low level of concern about safety. A big part of the show is the culture in the big cat world. It also involves that guy “Doc” Antle in South Carolina. Yes, I know “Doc” Antle and I know Tim Stark. I’ve met them all. I’m probably the only one here that’s met all of them because I belonged to Feline Conservation Federation for a while. It’s kind of like a network of conservationists, but it also includes a lot of private owners. So when I first got started, it was a way for me to learn a little bit more. But our main goal is conservation of these animals. We give tours and we do educational programs. What we talk about when people come visit is conservation of these animals. We really try to encourage people to realize that they need to be in the wild, and the reason they’re not in the wild is because of deforestation, primarily. I hope that after this, you know, people come out and visit us. Right now, this is supposed to be a really busy time of year for us. We have a lot of schools that come out from the Kansas City area and they’ve all canceled this course. So we’re going to struggle a bit [because of coronavirus], but we’ve got a little bit of extra funds, so we hope we’ll be OK. I gotta tell you, ma’am, you are not going to be hurting for business—as soon as the quarantine is lifted, there are going to be people lined up at your door because of this show. People are going crazy over big cats right now—it's bigger than Game of Thrones.

Yeah, Joe. I’m trying to remember when I met him the first time. Probably at a Feline Conservation Federation meeting when I was first into this, which was eighteen years ago. I started volunteering at Cedar Cove and I wanted to learn more. I may have met him there the first time. Then, later, we visited his facility and he gave us kind of an inside tour—around 2010, I’d say. He wasn’t as bad as he is now. I was interested in what other people were doing and I was naive. I just wanted to know what other organizations did and how we were doing compared to them. And your read on him was just that he’s a kooky guy? Yeah, and very, very full of himself: He’s the only one that could do this, he’s the only one who could do that. Here, we’re pretty focused on the idea that no one single person can do this. It

OPPOSITE PAGE LEFT: You can find several big cats at Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory in Louisburg. OPPOSITE PAGE RIGHT: Bettie "BJ" Auch THIS PAGE RIGHT: Joe Exotic poses with one of his tigers.

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If it brings people out to visit, I’m fine with that. We are not like that, so they’re not going to get a drama. We are a very professional organization and pride ourselves on what we do. Can we go all the way back and you tell me how you got into this? Cedar Cove was founded by a man named William Pottorff. He grew up in the Louisburg area and had a strong love for animals. He did a lot of animal rehabilitation in the local area with racoons—just our native species, not any exotics. He served two tours in Vietnam, and his passion for the tiger was really ignited when he was there because he saw the wildlife trade and saw baby tigers being sold. He saw people selling tiger parts. There's approximately thirty different uses for tiger parts in the animal trade world. They make wine out of their bones. Anyway, he saw firsthand the effect of that. And when he came back to the United States, of course, he was a Vietnam vet and not really interested in working too much with people. So he did a few things, just different types of work. And then he decided he wanted to build this educational facility. You go to a zoo—and I'm not trying to put down zoos—but I'm not sure when you leave the zoo how much you've learned. You see the animals and you might read a sign about where they're from. We give tours because we want people to leave with a greater understanding of what's really happening in this world. Pottorff started working on this around 1992, and then he got some land donated to him. He worked with people in the Louisburg area for about six years, getting licenses—Miami county licenses, USDA licenses. He met a variety of different people that he ended up getting cats from, and then we opened to the public in September 2000. I’ve loved cats since I was a little kid. When I was two or three years old—my sisters have helped me remember this because I don’t—Born Free was the first show I ever watched. I just love big cats. I love wild cats and I always have. There’s something about them. When I started out here, it was the lure of the beauty of the animal, really, but now it’s a fight to save them. I mean, there were one hundred thousand tigers a hundred years ago and today there are less than thirty-five hundred wild tigers all throughout Asia because they’re losing habitat. You know, you can talk about DNA sequencing, and keeping their DNA, but there’s nowhere to put them. The human population has recklessly deforested the entire Earth, pretty much, and they can’t live without viable

habitats. So right now, the focus is a fight to educate and to save these animals in the wild because we cannot have a healthy ecosystem without animals—we will die. I visited Cedar Cove for the first time in August of 2001 with a friend of mine, Steve Klein, who is also now part of this organization. I went back in May of 2002 and began volunteering. I worked under the direction of Billy and Shelly Tooley. Shelly was also one of the original founders from Louisburg. And we got trained by them. Unfortunately, Shelley died suddenly in 2008 at the age of forty-nine, so that was a big blow to us. Then Billy passed away from a heart attack in April of 2012. Me and Steve both relocated our lives to live in Louisburg so we could do this. I work full time still and I’m at Cedar Cove on all my off time. Steve gave up his career to live out there permanently. I grew up in Topeka, Kansas. I work for a public accounting firm in Louisburg—I’m an accountant. So Steve and I have been out there since 2002, basically, and we have an amazing group of volunteers that are dedicated to the same cause that we are. From Tiger King, it seems like all of these big cat operations run with armies of volunteers. In the case of Joe Exotic, he had guys that were going down and getting carcasses to save money or getting expired meat or whatever. In the case of Carole, there’s, like, a five-year process they go through before they’re really part of it. It talks about the lure of these animals and how people get involved. Is that something that you guys experience? We’re a little more intimate than that. We have about twenty core volunteers, and we all know each other. We all work very closely together, and we’re a family. We call it the Cedar Cove family. We emphasize that you’ve got to drop your ego at the door. This is not about you or about you getting to interact with these animals. This is about education of the public and care of the animals. If you think this is about you and you think that you’re going to go post your interactions on Facebook, you need to leave because our first priority is the animals. Somebody told me that [in Tiger King] Carole Baskin said, “I don’t know who they are until they’ve been there for five years.” Well, I kind of understand what she’s saying. But for me, it’s maybe like three months. The first day we say hello, but some of us, like me and a few others, work with big cats. And our new volunteers don’t get to work with the big cats. So I come in and I say hello to everybody, and we get started working with the tigers and cleaning and feeding and things like that. Steve and I are both deep into the conservation, so we also support field operations. He just went to India for two weeks in March and worked with the fishing cat conservancy over there to restore the mangroves. I went to Brazil in September for two weeks. We encourage all of our volunteers to actually get out in the field. It isn’t just about the animals within our care; it’s about the animals in nature. We also heavily promote getting out in the field and supporting groups that are on the ground out there to protect these animals and to save their wild habitats because that’s what really matters—not what we do in captivity.

THIS PAGE: BJ Auch with Billy and Shelly Tooley OPPOSITE PAGE: Big cats you will find at Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory in Louisburg.


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How many animals do you currently have? Do you guys have a breeding program or are they rescues? We do not have a breeding program. We did actually have tiger cubs that were born here in 2005—it was not on purpose, but it happened. We have twenty-seven animals, and we get them from a variety of places. We’ve gotten them from other sanctuaries. We’ve gotten them from private ownership groups. There are some animals that we have in our care like a leopard who came from a private ownership situation. We’ve had him since he was six months old and now he’s twenty. We have animals from other sanctuaries were donated to us. A small example is we have an arctic fox. Apparently there’s a breeder in Indiana that sells arctic foxes to people. Some gentleman had her for six months. If you’ve ever been around a fox, first of all, they’re very skittish. They’re not cuddly creatures, even in a captive environment. Also, their urine smells like skunk, so I’m sure the potty training was not pleasant. So he had her for six months and he couldn’t deal with her anymore. We have a serval that was a private pet and they couldn’t handle her anymore. Then we have tigers—none of them came from a private organization. Some of them came from where someone needed to downsize or whatever, and zoos won’t take them a lot of the time. Really, we don’t try to have a lot of animals. That is not our goal. We want to have enough animals where we have a draw that people want to come see us. But we’re not trying to build some sort of kingdom like Carole Baskin is—where she’s the only one that thinks she can do this. The show talks a little bit about the fact that there are so many more tigers in captivity in the United States than there are in the wild. It sounds like Joe Exotic himself may have had almost as many tigers in captivity as there are in the wild in Asia. That’s possible. I never knew how many he had. We rely on people that need us to help them, so we don’t have a breeding program. That’s why we take any opportunity to rescue them from other places. Our goal isn’t to grow our cat population, like I said. Our goal is to educate people. The hooks are the animals to get them out here. One of the other things in the Netflix show is that lots of these big cat people are polygamists?

Yeah, yep. I met Doc Antle at a convention in Cincinnati and, yeah, I knew he had two wives. I met one of them, Moksha. She’s very nice. And then China is his other one. So I talked to them a lot and I was going to go visit them some time, but I didn’t like Doc Antle. I liked one of his wives, she was very nice, and I like some of the other members of the group he was with. I just don’t dig egotistical people. Not in this industry. It’s not about you. So when I see that, it turns me off. So I didn't care much for Doc, nor did I care much for Joe. At these conferences are the people just, like, characters? Yeah, a lot of them are. I was at one conference in particular— and I can’t remember the guy’s name; I’m not just saying that; I really don’t. But he was from another place in Oklahoma. And he comes in with a plastic tub full of tiger cubs and literally just dumps them out on the floor for everybody to play with in a big hotel conference room. I was disgusted by that. That’s like handing your newborn baby to a group of people. They’re more precious to me than that—they’re not commodities. And that’s the way these people view them a lot of times. They make money off people playing with them as babies. We had tiger cubs and I didn’t let anybody near them. I went to a couple of these conferences and I'm like, “You know, no, this doesn’t feel like me.” I’m not saying everybody there is weird, but there were a lot of weird people in this industry. And they don’t like to work together. They all want to be the best. Were you previously aware of the whole thing about how Carole Baskin’s first husband mysteriously disappeared and she was able to get most of his money? Yes, I’ve heard that rumor. There’s always conspiracy theories about where he’s buried, whether the tigers ate him. He disappeared. No one found his body, so everybody surmises that she chopped him up and fed him to the cats. Which you think is improbable? No, I don’t think it’s improbable. I think she would have had to chop him up. I don’t think a tiger would have just eaten a human and fully digested every trace, you know. But it’s completely within the realm of reasonableness that she could have done that. But, I mean, yeah, if you chopped up a human and they’re bloody and it’s raw meat, a tiger would eat it.

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When considering any task, it’s important to do your homework. These professionals offer their expertise on an array of popular subjects in order to help you decide what’s right for you.



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Karin Ross ABOUT

and can add a real “wow” factor to your kitchen.

Karin Ross Design + Remodel is an award-winning husband-wife team with a combined 30 years of experience in the remodeling industry. Their projects have been featured in local and national magazines and television stations including Kansas City magazine, KCH&G, Dwell and HGTV, among other outlets.

Q: What’s new in appliances for 2020? A: Appliances such as refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers will be moving back to colors such as light blue or matte black. Small appliances such as coffee machines will be in the blue range, and airfrying ovens are also popular. Q: How will COVID-19 effect our home decisions?

Kitchen Design Q: What are the kitchen design trends for 2020? A: For 2020, the pure white shaker-style cabinets are absolutely out. They are everywhere now and have become overused. So be warned, the all white kitchen is going the way of Johnson County beige. For those who still feel they must have a white kitchen, they should go for mixed white or an offwhite with brown or grey undertones. This can be accomplished with highlights and glazing, which create a richer, more elegant option. We won’t be seeing solid grey islands, either. In 2020 you’ll see grey-blue or just plain blue. Blue is having a strong impact in new design, and the blues can range as dark as a navy or as light as azure. Newer kitchens will

have at least two supporting areas for contrasting colors. So not only the island will be the accent color; the coffee or wine bar will be, too. If you don’t drink coffee or wine, then the accent color can be supported in the backsplash. When it comes to countertops for 2020, if someone suggests anything that looks busy or that would remind you of the granite look from several years ago, run away! Lighter colors such as pale or subdued greys and blues are popular now. Countertops are taking a backseat and need to let the backsplash do all the talking. And backsplashes, too, will be a variation of blue. The tilework can be glass or porcelain, but make no mistake about it: If you’re installing a new backsplash in 2020, it’s most likely going to be blue. Another important trend for 2020 is the mixing of elements of hardware. We are seeing more and more combinations like the use of a rosy gold champagne faucet with stainless steel or brushed nickel knobs and pulls. We are also going to see wallpaper back in a big way. This time it will be self-adhesive paper that applies easily and removes easily. Visit the online retailer tempaperdesigners. com for a wide variety of dramatic designs and ideas. Used as an accent wall or as a border, the patterns are spectacular

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A: COVID-19 will change how we use things on a daily basis. Once we learn how to overcome the health crisis, we will have to face some other adjustments. For some, working from home has benefits, like being able to convert your typical driving time into extra time for your kids, husband or wife, cooking from scratch or for that hobby you once had. For others, working from home and/or having to apply social distancing is a learning curve and an adjustment. In both scenarios, having a home, a place you love and feel comfortable in, is everything. So in our kitchens in 2020 we will add that something that is specifically appealing to you–it maybe a specific colorful plate that brings good memories or a recipe from your childhood that brings warmth to your day. #feelgoodathome is the new and latest trend.

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C. Lan Fotopoulos, MD ABOUT

Q: Who would benefit from the Intracept Procedure?

C. Lan Fotopoulos, M.D., is an interventional physiatrist specializing in minimally invasive and interventional procedures in the treatment of spinal disorders, including epidural injections, vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty, radiofrequency ablation, spinal cord stimulation and sacroplasty. From skillful diagnosis to advanced treatment options and attentive follow-up care, you’ll find a comprehensive range of orthopedic services at DicksonDiveley Orthopaedics.


A: Intracept is indicated for patients with chronic low back pain who don’t have a spinal instability or scoliosis, but they do have changes present on an MRI, called modic changes. These patients generally have experienced chronic low back pain for more than six months and have not responded to nonsurgical treatments. Intracept addresses modic changes that stem from degeneration rather than a tear or rupture. An MRI and physical examination will be performed to determine patients who qualify.

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Q: What are the key benefits of the Intracept Procedure?

A: When patients don’t respond well to nonsurgical treatment methods for lower back pain, they often think spinal fusion surgery is their only remaining option. But for some, there is another type of treatment that could relieve their back pain: the Intracept Procedure. It’s an outpatient, minimally invasive procedure that

targets the basivertebral nerve, which is located in the bones of the spine (vertebrae). Q: How does Intracept help relieve chronic low back pain? A: The pain-sensing basivertebral nerve is responsible for applying innervation to the bony end plates of the vertebral body. When the Intracept probe burns that nerve, it blocks the pain signals before they have a chance to branch to those end plates.

A: Intracept is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure, so the recovery period is rapid—often not more than a couple of days. It is implant-free and preserves the structure of the spine. There are no restrictions placed on patients afterward, and in many instances the pain relief is almost immediate.

Dickson-Diveley Midwest Orthopaedic Clinics Kansas City Orthopaedic Institute: 3651 College Blvd., Leawood | 913.319.7678 ext.3109 | Saint Luke’s Hospital: Medical Plaza Building 1, 4320 Wornall Road, Suite 610, Kansas City, MO | 913.319.7678 ext.3109 |



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Tim Herre, DDS ABOUT

and stressed, wreaking havoc on our personal and professional lives. The good news is we have the ability to permanently change the size and volume of ones airway for 24/7 improved breathing with the use of a biological dental appliance. No more managing with just a nighttime appliance or CPAP. My goal is to help you BREATHE,

Dr. Tim Herre is a graduate of Saint Thomas Aquinas and UMKC dental school. He is a third generation dentist in Johnson County and is passionate about Kansas City. He practices holistic and biological dentistry with an emphasis on treating TMJ disorders, childhood growth and development and airway/ sleep concerns for all ages. His wellness philosophy aims at treating the root cause of disease, which enables you be the best version of yourself.


Q: Should I be concerned if my child snores, mouth breathes, grinds their teeth, has ADHD or wets the bed?

Holistic Dentistry Q: Is there a solution to my chronic TMJ pain? I can’t deal with this! A: Jaw pain, worn teeth, receding gums, headaches, earaches and clenching or grinding your teeth are all common TMJ symptoms. These are all signs that the chewing system is breaking down and not functioning properly. By focusing on the root cause of the symptoms, the chewing system is able to be conservatively rejuvenated back to a state of optimal health and well-being. This type of dentistry isn’t focused on managing the disease with

a typical night guard but asking why and what is causing the breakdown and providing a permanent fix. The good news is there is hope for those suffering from long-term chronic pain. Q: I don’t sleep well: I snore, I never feel rested when I wake up, and I’m tired of wearing a CPAP. What is going on? A: Up to seventy million Americans are affected by chronic sleep disorders. It’s well known that sleep apnea can cause systemic disease such as high blood pressure, fatigue, weight gain and diabetes. Now we know that grinding one’s teeth and snoring can be directly linked to the size of one’s face, jaw and airway. When our jaws don’t grow properly, our airway from inside the nose to behind the tongue become a choke point to our breathing. As a result, we aren’t able to breathe properly, we get inadequate restorative sleep, and our health suffers. This can make us more irritable, anxious

A: YES! The above symptoms, plus crowded teeth, enlarged tonsils, tongue tie and inability to nurse, are all signs there is a problem. In our modern society, there is an epidemic among children due to poor growth and development of their jaws and face. If not addressed early in life, the airway becomes constricted and may predispose your child to needing teeth removed for orthodontic purposes, sleep apnea, TMJ and other health issues. We screen and evaluate all childrens’ growth, airway and tonsils with a 3D scan of their jaws. The ideal age for this is three to six years old to harness the child’s true growth potential. My goal is to catch any potential airway issue at an early stage so your child can grow and develop to their full potential.

Dental Health by Herre | The Breathe To Thrive Center 11201 Nall Ave., Suite 120 Leawood, KS | 913.491.4466 | |



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Maniza Ehtesham, MD, FACP ABOUT

gain, trouble with sleep onset or maintaining sleep, frequent awakenings, frequent urination at night, headaches, decreased productivity at work, nightmares, acting out dreams, restless legs etc.

Dr. Maniza Ehtesham is a board-certified sleep physician and the medical director at Excellhealth Sleep Center. She is an associate professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and enjoys teaching medical students and residents. She has also served as an associate residency program director at UMKC. She is currently a staff physician at Advent Health Shawnee Mission and Excellhealth Sleep Center.

Q: What are the risks of leaving a sleep disorder untreated?

Sleep Disorders Q: How many hours should an average adult sleep? A: Preferably seven to eight hours but a minimum of six hours. Q: How important is sleep amid coronavirus pandemic? A: Sleep improves your immunity. In addition to eating immune boosting foods, adding exercise daily –getting your 7-8 hours of sleep is very important for your immune system to function optimally. Q: I am anxious amidst this COVID 19 pandemic and cant sleep. What should I do? A: Try to set a sleep and wake up routine even though you may be working from home or doing school online. Try to

do a few relaxing activities close to bedtime like stretching, soft music, massage your hands and feet with a lavender based cream or lotion, do not watch TV and read on your phones at bedtime. If sleep hygiene tips don’t help- try melatonin, and contact your doctor for further advise. Q: Amidst the corona virus I have more time on hand and I can nap. Is this ok? A: Yes, that is ok but try to keep naps limited to 20-30 min. Long naps can disrupt your night time sleep and are best avoided. Q: I think I have a sleep disorder, can I still do a sleep appointment or sleep testing during the pandemic? A: Yes, video telehealth visits are available and some in person visits available as well. Home sleep testing is available- so yes you can do the test safely in your own home. For severe disease patients we are arranging for in lab tests also. Q: How do I know I may have a sleep disorder? A: Common symptoms include- snoring, gasping/choking in sleep, excessive sleepiness or naps in day, attention/ concentration/focus/memory problems during daytime, weight

A: Sleep disorders have been linked to many chronic diseases. Persons with sleep apnea have been found to be at increased risk for cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, stroke, coronary heart disease, irregular heartbeat and strokes. Laboratory research and epidemiologic studies have found that short sleep duration results in metabolic changes that may be linked to obesity and diabetes. Studies have also indicated that depression may decrease once sleep disorders have been effectively treated and sufficient sleep cycles are restored. The interrelatedness of sleep and depression suggests that irregular sleep is a driver for this disease. . Q: What are some other other common conditions associated with untreated sleep problems? A: Memory problems, dementia, acid reflux, chronic kidney disease, anxiety, depression, ADHD/ADD are some of the other problems associated with poor sleep. Sleep apnea/sleep disorders can contribute to seizures and migraine headaches as well.

Excellhealth Sleep Center 8901 W 74th St., Suite 350 Overland Park, KS | 913.203.4040 |



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Katie Dunn Fitzgerald ABOUT US

Mariner Wealth Advisors, a privately held national advisory firm founded in 2006, offers clients wealth management services designed to help them navigate their financial future. Our teams, including tax, estate planning and trust services, investment management and insurance, are under one roof, which provides clients with a coordinated, personalized experience. Our advisors are focused on partnering with clients for whatever life brings their way and are committed to always putting their interests first. As a senior wealth consultant, Katie Dunn Fitzgerald helps business owners and senior-level executives formulate and implement financial plans, while actively volunteering in the Kansas City community. Katie’s current community involvement includes serving the following organizations: the University of Kansas Health System, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, the Foundation board for Johnson County Community College, the United Way of Greater Kansas City Tocqueville Society, BOTAR, multiple women’s causes and her children’s grade school.

Act authorized the Small Business Administration to provide Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses to cover payroll and other basic expenses. The added benefit of these loans is they can potentially be forgiven if certain rules are adhered to. The other option we’re recommending small business owners explore are Emergency Injury Disaster Loans. These already existed prior to the CARES Act but were expanded significantly to provide additional assistance. If you own a business, I highly recommend visiting MarinerWealthAdvisors. com for a more in-depth discussion of both of these loan options.

Wealth Advice Q: What is the most pressing topic you see clients needing to address right now? A: With the ongoing personal and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, clients who own small businesses are having to navigate a crisis that’s truly unprecedented. At Mariner Wealth Advisors, we’ve been really focusing on educating those clients about what their options may be in pursuing financing for their business as a result of the recent legislation passed and how those decisions will impact their personal financial plan. While we don’t know how this whole thing will end up, our objective is to make clients as educated and updated on the legislation to help them make informed decisions for both the short- and long-term. Q: Should I apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan? A: In short, if you own a small business, even as a sole proprietor or as an independent contractor, I recommend that you seriously consider applying for these loans. The recent CARES

*MWA does not provide all services listed in this piece. Some services are provided by affiliates and are subject to additional fees. Additional fees may also apply for tax planning and preparation services. This article is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to Mariner Wealth Advisors’ investment advisory services and general economic market conditions. The views expressed are for commentary purposes only and do not take into account any individual personal, financial, or tax considerations. As such, the information contained herein is not intended to be personal legal, investment or tax advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any security or engage in a particular investment strategy. Nothing herein should be relied upon as such, and there is no guarantee that any claims made will come to pass. Any opinions and forecasts contained herein are based on information and sources of information deemed to be reliable, but Mariner Wealth Advisors does not warrant the accuracy of the information that this opinion and forecast is based upon. You should note that the materials are provided “as is” without any express or implied warranties. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision. Mariner Wealth Advisors (“MWA”), is an SEC registered investment adviser with its principal place of business in the State of Kansas. Registration of an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. MWA is in compliance with the current notice filing requirements imposed upon registered investment advisers by those states in which MWA maintains clients. MWA may only transact business in those states in which it is notice filed or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from notice filing requirements. Any subsequent, direct communication by MWA with a prospective client shall be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. For additional information about MWA, including fees and services, please contact MWA or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website ( Please read the disclosure statement carefully before you invest or send money.

Mariner Wealth Advisors 5700 W 112th St., Suite 200, Overland Park, KS 913.647.9700 |



Ask the Expert


Bill Eckert, CAP® ABOUT

guaranteed income for life are extremely reassuring. We have increased our personal communication with our clients because we care! We want to work with them and build lifetime relationships because to us, they are family!

Bill Eckert is the President and CEO of Strategic Financial Partners Kansas City. Bill has been a financial advisor for over 32 years and he has used his financial education, experience, and resources to benefit his client’s nationwide. Bill’s clients truly become family and he treats them as such. He has been providing weekly private market update calls for his clients to assist with the current market volatility and will continue to do so to keep his clients informed during this difficult time.

Financial Advising Q: How should I manage my investments during this time of market volatility? A: The current coronavirus pandemic

and corresponding stock market volatility creates a lot of fear for Americans. As the owner, CEO and President of Strategic Financial Partners Kansas City, I have 32 years of experience helping clients weather the storm and I strive to make lemonade out of lemons. Proper financial management includes helping our clients through this scary time, with diversified portfolios that consist of annuities with guarantees, fixed income, and high-quality US dividend paying equities. Rebalancing at this time could be an option to harvest tax losses that can be used offset gains and lower taxes. Stocks with stop loss provisions provide exceptional security. Annuity products that provide

*Neither asset allocation nor diversification guarantee against loss. They are methods used to manage risk. All guarantees are subject to the financial strength and claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Financial Advisors do not provide specific tax/legal advice and this information should not be considered as such. You should always consult your tax/ legal advisor regarding your own specific tax/legal situation. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any funds or stocks in particular, nor should it be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell a security. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. Bill Eckert is a registered representative and investment advisor representative of Securian Financial Services, Inc. Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Securian Financial Services, Inc. Member of FINRA/SIPC. SFP is independently owned and operated. 4000 West 114th Street, Suite 180, Leawood, KS 66211. 3032153 DOFU 042020

Bill Eckert, CAP® | Strategic Financial Partners 4000 W 114th St. Leawood, KS | 913.322.9177 | |



The 31st Annual Jazzoo

A Toast to Tusks August 28, 2020 7:30pm–Midnight Proceeds from the event feed the Zoo’s 1,700 animals, and provide funds for the Zoo’s education programs.

For tickets and more information, visit 68


Dish E AT I N G A N D D R I N K I N G W E L L I N K A N S A S C I T Y

Tough Cookies Local sugar cookie baker switches from special occasions to self-care. S O M A N Y O F U S have a memory tied to sugar cookies. Knee-high to a grasshopper, orbiting our grandmother’s hips as she guided our fingers around the cookie cutters. Sticky-fingered scamps playing DaVinci with tubes of icing on miniature angels. Weary parents sweeping broken sprinkles into a dustpan. Swoon Cookie Crafters owner Sofia Hudson inherited a recipe from her mother-in-law, whose buttery creations were a staple at family holiday gatherings. Hudson started putting out those sugar cookies on First Fridays at her Crossroads furniture showroom. Before long, Swoon was delivering orders to company parties and birthday gatherings. Swoon’s simple recipe of high-quality flour, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla makes for snappy little bites of delight. Swoon is especially noteworthy for artistry, from delicately piped flowers to glittering engagement rings to watercolor portraits of beloved pets. The coronavirus pandemic has forced the company to adapt with topical additions like a “Homebound Care Kit” featuring cookies wearing masks and shaped like toilet paper rolls ($48, order at “We’re an event-based business, and when events got canceled, so did our orders,” Hudson says. “There will be adjustments for quite some time to how life is lived and how we celebrate with people. People are taking comfort in small luxuries, and we’re happy to help.” — NATALI E GALL AG H ER

Photo by Zach Bauman







Hotdish is the New Hot Dish The coronavirus pandemic has many rediscovering the ultimate comfort food: casserole. BY N ATA LIE G A LL AG H ER | PH OTOS BY CA LEB C O N D IT & REB EC CA N O RD EN

What I wouldn’t give right now for some tater tot hotdish. That’s what I found myself thinking just a few days into the stay-at-home directive. It might have had something to do with the fact that, as I write, I am sequestered in my childhood home in rural Wisconsin, where church basement comforts like tater tot hotdish and its ilk are a constant. I recall, with absolutely zero fondness, the amorphous blob that was unceremoniously plopped down on my grade school cafeteria tray: a beige-gray mixture of lukewarm tater tots, barely seasoned ground beef and canned green beans encased in gelatinous cream of mushroom soup. And yet, there I was, day whatever of the apocalypse, longing for a taste of that much-maligned, often-mocked Midwestern staple. I’m not alone. As the quarantine days have rolled into weeks, I’ve watched my social media feeds fill with images of friends baking tedious breads for the first time. Virtual cooking clubs are sprouting up. The other day, I got an invite to a recipe-exchange forum. This return to home cooking says to me that Americans are finding solace in their kitchens. The simple act of preparing food, creating a finished product out of raw materials, gives us a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of control that we need now more than ever. Casseroles are the ultimate comfort food—relatively easy, generally nourishing one-pan meals that can feed a family. They’re the kind of dish perfect for newly minted home chefs unaccustomed to preparing anything beyond a bowl of cereal or weary parents whose responsibilities now include homeschooling. The humble casserole has made its return. Thank goodness. Casseroles rose to prominence in the Nuclear era when housewives began turning to convenience cooking with processed and packaged food. All you needed was a pound of meat, cream of mushroom soup and canned green beans to get dinner going. But the history of the casserole stretches back much farther. The word “casserole” was born in the 1600s in France, derived from older Provencal and Latin words. It literally translates to “sauce-pan,” which, at that time, was a deep dish used to cook something in. Originally, a casserole referred to the physical cookware rather than whatever meal was prepared in it. By this definition, casseroles as we know them today have been prepared for centuries in various cultures the world over without anyone referring to them as such. We might not think of Spanish paella, Greek moussaka or Italian lasagna as casseroles, but in fact, they are the originals. The casserole of today does not have to be the green bean casserole or the tater tot hotdish of church basements past. We spoke to three local chefs about what the tradition of casserole means to them and how it can be a comfort in these trying times.


C H E F A N D C O - O W N E R AT F OX A N D P E A R L “My grandmother would make casseroles all the time,” says chef Vaughn Good, who owns and operates Fox and Pearl with his wife Kristine Hull. “There’s minimal prep work, and it’s an easy way for someone to feed a lot of people. My grandmother did that a lot, and I remember watching her cook. She always had this collection of community spiral bound cookbooks, you know, from church and stuff, and they were full of casseroles.” At his Westside restaurant, Good pays homage to Midwestern cooking traditions. Over an open hearth in the main dining room, guests can observe Good and his team smoking ham. In his basement prep kitchen, there is a devoted charcuterie station. On a busy night, guests crowd around the marble horseshoe bar, sipping natural wine and enjoying Good’s sublime fried chicken or his signature foie gras and pork sausage.

LEFT: Our photographers demoed the recipe sent by Fox and Pearl chef Vaughn Good in their own kitchen.

RIGHT: Good's recipe is as rich, rustic and soul-filling as the fare served at his restaurant.




Of course, right now, there are no busy nights. Most of Fox and Pearl’s staff has been furloughed in light of the pandemic. Good has kept on a skeleton crew to help with to-go orders, and he has also launched the Fox and Pearl Mercantile, an online shop stocked with take-and-bake meals, produce, dairy, proteins and other provisions, all available for curbside pick-up. “When we started doing take-out orders, we had to produce leftovers that we needed to move through, so the idea partly came from there,” Good says. “Right now, restaurants are in such a bind. We’re finding any way we can to bump up our ticket averages. It’s like swimming with your hands tied behind your back.” The Fox and Pearl Mercantile, Good says, is also a way to provide other options to people who might not want to go into a grocery store and likewise can’t order take-out for every meal. “I think there’s a good portion of the Midwest that knows how to live out of a garden and cook for themselves,” he says. “We’re adaptable and tough people.” Good’s recipe is a take on the traditional French cassoulet, a slowcooked dish with meat, pork skin and white beans.

Vaughn’s Good Gratin Prep time: 5-10 minutes Cook time: 25-30 minutes Yield: 4-6 servings 1 pound collard greens, stems and ribs removed (about two bunches) 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 cup smoked sausage (We use smoked chorizo) 1/4 cup bacon, diced 6 cloves garlic, minced 1 medium yellow onion, diced 1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced 2 cans (3 cups cooked) white beans (reserve cooking liquid) 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 1/2 teaspoon toasted coriander 1 tablespoon lemon zest Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

We’re adaptable and tough people.



1. In a large pot of boiling salted water (it should taste like sea water), blanch collard greens until tender. 2. Preheat oven to 475°. Rub the inside of a 12-inch gratin dish or cast-iron Dutch oven with ½ tablespoon butter and set aside. 3. Over medium-high heat, pan-sear sausages and set aside. In the same pan, cook bacon and set aside. In the same pan, sauté garlic, onion and poblano in the bacon fat until tender and fragrant. Add blanched collard greens and remove from heat. 4. Place vegetable mixture in a large mixing bowl. Add cooked white beans, sausage chunks, bacon, parsley, toasted coriander, lemon zest, salt, pepper, Parmigiano and enough of the bean cooking liquid to moisten the mix. 5. Spread mix into reserved gratin dish. Top with breadcrumbs and more Parmigiano if desired. 6. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and brown the dish for another 5-10 minutes before serving. Notes: This is a versatile recipe and can be adapted for whatever you have on hand. If you don’t have collard greens, any kind of heartier braised green will work, like kale, mustard greens or spinach. If you don’t have fresh herbs, substitute dried. (If you’re going to substitute dried for fresh, cut the measurement by half.) Instead of coriander, you can use any kind of toasted seed, such as cumin or fennel.

In most Greek households, the pastitsio is very popular all year round.


C H E F- O W N E R AT PA R O S E ST I ATO R I O AND COZY’S CAFÉ When I first tried the moussaka at Paros Estiatorio in Leawood, I knew it was special. Layers of eggplant, spiced beef and bechamel came together in a dish full of old-world heart. This Greek dish has origins in the Balkans and the Middle East, but the modern version served at Paros Estiatorio features a French influence—the bechamel—that was incorporated into the recipe in the 1920s. Kozeta “Cozy” Kreka, the Greek chef who owns Paros and Cozy’s Café with her family, prepares her great-grandmother’s recipe for moussaka. It’s not something she shares with anyone who’s not related by blood. But her pastitsio, a dish commonly referred to as Greek lasagna, shares similar ingredients and has the added benefit of an easier prep. “Pastitsio for me is very special,” Kreka says. “It’s tradition for my family. Growing up, once a week we did spanakopita and pastitsio. In most Greek households, the pastitsio is very popular all year round. In the summer, my family did it without ground beef and in winter we did it heavier—and always, of course, feta cheese was involved.” Kreka began cooking when she was just nine years old, following her mother around the kitchen. “My mom got it from her mom and so on. I’m fifty-five and I’ve been making these recipes, this pastitsio, for forty or forty-five years,” she says. Pastitsio, Kreka says, is the original Greek casserole. “In every cuisine in the world, casserole is part of the menu,” she says. “The Greeks do these kinds of casseroles. In the Midwest sometimes it’s hotdish, and the French, they call it something else. At the end of the day, it’s generations before us that invented it, using all the vegetables they had in the kitchen and trying to make something comfortable.” Right now, guests can order Kreka’s moussaka and pastitsio for take-out from Paros Estiatorio, along with several other menu favorites, but Kreka is anxious to re-open her doors to the public. “It’s not just cooking the food for me. I want to host people. I want them to feel special when they come here,” she says.

Pastitsio Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Yield: 8-10 servings Base ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, diced 1 clove garlic, diced Salt and pepper, to taste 3 pounds ground beef 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 16-ounce cans diced tomatoes 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 sprig fresh thyme 3 bay leaves 1 pound bucatini pasta (or any pasta you have) 4 eggs 1/2 pound feta cheese (or Parmesan, gruyere or your favorite cheese) Bechamel sauce ingredients: 1 cup butter 1 cup flour 5 cups whole milk Salt and pepper, to taste

Base directions: 1. In a large pot, add olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes over medium heat. 2. Add ground beef and cook for another 10 minutes, until meat is browned. 3. Add tomato paste and diced tomatoes. (“I use fresh tomatoes in the restaurant,” Kreka says, but canned is fine.) Add cinnamon and stir together, then add fresh thyme and bay leaves. 4. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat and cook slowly, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Once meat is done cooking, remove bay leaves and thyme. 5. While the meat is


OWNER OF RUBY JEAN’S Chris Goode has always maintained that comfort food can—and should—be good for you. That’s the foundation of Ruby Jean’s Juicery. Goode opened his first juicery in 2015 and currently has three locations, all offering cold-pressed juices, fresh smoothies and plenty of vegan and gluten-free meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With the outbreak of COVID-19, however, Goode has closed all storefronts except the location at 3000 Troost Ave., which is taking to-go orders for pickup only. “Even before this happened, it was important that, no matter what, we maintained the ability to treat our bodies well,” Goode says, “and the importance of doing so at a time like this is heightened. We need to boost our immune systems because we need to protect ourselves from the inside out.” Good for the body, good for the soul—that’s the inspiration behind Goode’s brand. He named the business after his beloved grandmother, whose kitchen was always swirling with the heady aromas of her favorite soul food dishes, like macaroni and cheese bakes and casseroles loaded with heavy cream and butter. “Unfortunately, the soul food that she grew up on and fed us was unhealthy, and it led to her early death with Type 2 diabetes,” Goode says. “Everything we do is in her honor. We want to channel her amazing cooking ability. Soul food is in our blood and on our menu, but we flip that idea of what soul food is on its head because it’s gotta be good for you.”

cooking, prepare the noodles. Boil noodles with salted water, cooking to al dente. (“I always cook the pasta two minutes less than what the box says,” Kreka advises.) 6. Drain pasta, toss with a little bit of olive oil (to keep it from sticking together) and put it aside. 7. Preheat the oven to 350°. Drizzle olive oil on a 12-by18-inch dish and add the noodles, spreading evenly in the pan. 8. Crack eggs onto the pasta, then mix together in the pan. Add feta cheese and mix again. 9. Add a layer of meat, spreading it until you can’t see the pasta. 10. Add more cheese, then bechamel sauce (recipe

below), then more cheese. 11. Bake for 1 hour until the top is golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes. (Don’t cut it before 15 minutes or it will open up and get messy.) Leftovers will keep in the fridge for three to four days. Bechamel directions: 1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then add flour and cook on low to medium heat for 4-6 minutes, stirring constantly. 2. Add milk slowly, continuing to stir. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. 3. Add salt and pepper and cook for 4-6 minutes more before removing from heat and allowing to cool.

Soulful Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Prep time: 25-30 minutes Cook time: 35-45 minutes Yield: 12 servings Sweet potato topping ingredients: 5 medium to large skinned sweet potatoes 1/2 cup almond milk 2 tablespoons coconut oil (substitute with butter if not keeping vegan) 3 tablespoons agave syrup 2-3 pinches nutmeg Base ingredients: 3 cups Brussels sprouts, halved 2 medium-size carrots, diced 2 small yellow onions, diced 5 cloves garlic, minced 3 tablespoons blackening seasoning (mix of cayenne, garlic salt, black pepper, paprika, dehydrated onion, dried oregano, dried parsley) 1 cup peas 1 red bell pepper, diced 2 cups kale, chopped 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil for sauteing 1/4 cup gluten-free flour 1 cup veggie stock or broth 2 cups almond milk

Sweet potato topping directions: 1. Fill a large pot with salted water and boil skinned sweet potatoes until tender all the way through, about 15 minutes. 2. Remove from water and let cool. 3. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add almond milk, coconut oil, agave syrup and nutmeg. Using an electric mixer, whip together until completely smooth. Base directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray 16inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. 2. In a large pan, saute Brussels sprouts and carrots in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic along with blackening seasoning and cook another 5 minutes. Add peas, pepper and kale and cook another 4 minutes. 3. In small mixing bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil and flour to make a roux. Combine with sauté mix and cook another 4-5 minutes, until there is no visible flour. 4. Mix in veggie stock and almond milk, stirring constantly until gravy thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Pour mixture into baking dish. 5. Spread sweet potato topping on top of veggie mixture. Place dish in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling slightly.





Chaos and Carryout Newsy nibbles from a food scene battling the pandemic with creativity.

Brisket and Antlers

How’s this for a silver lining: Two of our absolute favorites in Kansas City have been collaborating on Fridays and Saturdays. Harp Barbecue, which we named the best ’cue in town back in October, and Antler Room, which we named Kansas City’s best restaurant overall in December, have teamed up. On Fridays, they’re making mish-mash menus with items like pastrami reubens and brisket banh mi featuring Harp’s smoked meats and Antler Room chef Nick Goellner’s deft hand with balancing acids, fats and spices. On Saturdays, pitmaster Tyler Harp sells slabs of his world-class ribs while Antler Room does its carryout menu. Collaborations and restaurants making comfort food have been the trend nationally, and KC was lucky to get two of its best working in concert.



Little Asia, Big Response Likewise, a curbside pickup collaboration from prominent local Asian restaurants has KC extremely excited. Little Asia is a “virtual Asian district” that takes the form of a pop-up to-go meetup. The first one featured chefs like Waldo Thai’s Pam Liberda and Korean eats from Sura Eats chef

Banh mi from Harp Barbecue and Antler Room

Keeyoung Kim, and the food sold out instantly. In the next round, volunteer Danielle Lehman says they will look to implement preordering. “We were really overwhelmed with the amount of support we received at the first pop-up and were shocked when we sold out in just 15 minutes,” she says. “For the next pop-up, we’re working on a number of ways to streamline operations.”

Staying Closed Not all restaurants that have closed for the coronavirus pandemic plan to return when stay-at-home orders are lifted. Cajun eatery Beignet in City Market announced that they were shutting their doors after seven years of service, according to reporting by The Pitch. Just off the Plaza, Nick and Jake’s closed their Main Street location permanently, saying that “recovery over the next six months will be slow” and that this location would remain shuttered to help the rest of the chain “survive and stay healthy.” In Mission, Lucky Brewgrille will also permanently close after twenty years. Owner Greg Fuciu said he’s retiring from the restaurant business.

Good and Good For You As KC’s economy has been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, a number of restaurants that normally serve customers have pivoted to serve people struggling to make ends meet. On the same day it closed for business, The Rieger transformed into

Photos from respective venues Facebook pages

the Crossroads Community Kitchen, which serves meals to neighbors, guests and staff on a pay-as-you-can basis. Meanwhile, 30,000-plus meals have been delivered around the city by Operation BBQ Relief and Plowboys. The local relief organization is normally

dispatched to natural disaster areas to serve up smoked meats after hurricanes and the like, but during the Operation Restaurant Relief pilot program, they’ve instead focused locally on essential workers, nonprofits and other organizations in need of a meal.

Margherita from Waldo Pizza

Peak Pizza The coronavirus pandemic has been uncharted waters for local pizza shops. Waldo Pizza has converted to a seamless carryout business operated by a small army of staffers wearing orange safety vests and wielding portable card readers. “They really did a good job—I was honestly impressed,” says staffer Kat Pearson. “It is like we’ve been doing it forever.” KC-based Sarpino’s has been winning fans with free delivery and by supporting local farmers. The pandemic has also brought about the return of standard-bearing local neapolitan pie makers, Cult of Pi. Pizzaiolo Brent Gunnels is firing up the brick oven in his backyard for his pop-up pizza shop (technically, it’s a church) but now instead of a patio party, you get your pay-what-you-can pies to go. “Weird times call for weird measures,” the church

bulletin reads. “Pi is always here to lift your spirits.” Likewise, The Savoy at 21c sous chef Nick Vella is doing a no-contact pizza pickup pop-up at Observation Park on the Westside (instagram. com/observationpizza). Pies are ten dollars and include oddball creations like the European Elvis (Nutella, bacon, Reese’s Pieces).

Runnin’ Hot With the service industry hammered by layoffs and closures, various charity efforts are underway to raise funds. One of the more creative is a custom T-shirt by local graphic artist Frank Norton. The retro-style shirt reads “Kansas City Runs on Hospitality” and retails for $25. The shirts demonstrate solidarity with out-ofwork service industry staffers, and all of the net proceeds are donated to locally owned restaurants to distribute to their employees.

Lift Me Up With laws loosened during the pandemic, cocktail kits have been legalized and are available from some of the city’s finest bars and distilleries. The latest to hit the market comes from Lifted Spirits, which is launching a new guest bartender series. Every week, the East Crossroads distillery is offering a new take-home cocktail kit created by a local bartender. The first week featured Eric Schmidt of Dodson’s Bar & Commons in Waldo, with more notable bartenders from around the city to follow.




Why did you decide to create an app for Pad Thai? I wanted to make sure my customers and employees come first. They’re the most important thing. Since they’ve all become like a family to me, I wanted everyone to be as safe as possible. The app will help them all practice social distancing. They won’t have to come into the restaurant anymore or touch any doors—they just order and pay online. I’m just concerned about everyone’s health. I don’t think things will go back to normal for a long time, probably until the year is over.

What has the process of making an app been like?

There’s an App for Phat A Johnson County Thai restaurant is developing an app to streamline no-contact carryout. BY CA LEB C O N D IT & REB EC CA N O RD EN / PILSEN PH OTO C O - O P

D R I V I N G T H R O U G H most of the city right now feels like a ghost town. What once was a city teeming with people looking for something to do and new food to eat has been reduced to a place where people carefully decide if they really need to make a trip to the grocery store. In this chaotic time, some are seeking to innovate. We spoke with Ann Piyapant, one of the owners of Pad Thai and I Am Frozen Dessert Cafe, about how the businesses are using a phone app to reduce in-person contact and increase efficiency for carryout customers.



I posted on my social feed asking for help making an app for Pad Thai, and a customer wrote to me to say they could help create it. Normally, it would cost twenty-thousand dollars to create a custom app like I wanted, so I’m grateful for all the help. To start the project, we found examples of what we wanted it to look like and then handed over the menu and photos of all of the food to someone who worked on the design and a custom logo. We are working on getting it all working smoothly so that when a customer arrives for curbside pickup, we can be notified that they’ve arrived and we know which car to drop the food off to. We will also be offering delivery for the first time and that will all work within the app, as well. Basically, I’m trying to make it safe and easy for everyone.

What have you been doing to stay positive during these tough times? We’re doing new things day-by-day right now. I am keeping all my staff busy currently. I’m trying to help everyone out. Last week, we helped health care workers by giving them all free lunch. Giving to others makes you feel good about yourself. The community gives us so much, and all of our customers have been coming in and buying gift cards and carryout, so we are trying to pass that onto others whenever possible. They’ve sent me so many messages telling me how thankful they are for the food. That made me happy. We had heard of an ER doctor that had to move their whole family to sleep in another location because they were trying to make sure they would be safe from the virus. That’s why we thought of giving away food to health care workers. I love giving. It’s how I stay positive right now. I feel like giving, even though I’m not in the best position right now. The little bit that I can give makes everything a bit better.

Photos by Rebecca Norden and Caleb Condit

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3/6/20 1:03 PM


Canned Heat The only website getting hammered as hard as the Kansas unemployment site is the ordering page for this Brookside brewery. BY M A RTIN CIZM A R

I F Y O U W A N T C A N S of BKS beer during the coronavirus pandemic, you’re going to need quick fingers and a speedy internet connection. For whatever reason, during our current troubles, the teeny-tiny brewery in the Brookside neighborhood—maker of our 2019 Beer of the Year, a hazy blonde ale called Tiny Clouds—has gone from extremely popular to wildly popular. As so many craft breweries struggle in a brutal economic environment, somehow the city stopped to take notice of brilliant BKS Artisan Ales’ brewer Brian Rooney, one of the full-time employees at his small brewery on 63rd Street, which operated a weekends-only taproom before switching to to-go because of the pandemic. BKS posts its weekly offerings of four packs on Thursday nights at 7 pm. Not only have those cans sold out in minutes, but the surge is also now overwhelming the BKS website, which has crashed during instant sell-outs. So skip the cans of hazy IPA (unless you can actually get the cans—then, by all means, get the cans) and instead opt for the usually available seven-hundred-and-fifty-milliliter growler of Simplicity and Patience. Brewers, it’s said, tend to drink their own Pilsners instead of their own IPAs, and Rooney spent some time mastering this recipe for a dry-hopped lager that’s got a satisfyingly bready body and a nice dose of hops. Those hops read as lightly floral without too much bitterness and make this a beer that pairs perfectly with backyard barbecue.



Photo by Chris Mullins



10333 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 913-381-1335

109 NE 91st Kansas City, MO 816-436-4545



Backstory I M P O R TA N T M O M E N T S I N K A N S A S C I T Y H I S T O R Y


A Kansas City audience was the first to experience revolution in modern American cinema at a preview screening of “The Wild Bunch.”



n the early 1960s, the studios were falling apart. As they collapsed, these young filmmakers came in with sort of bold ideas. So because of social unrest, the Vietnam War and then the fact that the production code went away, there was nobody telling the studios what you can and can’t do anymore. They just wanted to make money, so they were willing to take chances. In a way, the beauty of The Wild Bunch is you’ve got these men who are killers and misogynists and outlaws and miscreants, and yet [director Sam] Peckinpah treats them with this real affection. This was the reputation that the film would have. When the premiere was in Kansas City, there were stories that people got physically ill, that they were throwing up outside and that they left the theater. They wanted to see how an audience is going to react to this movie, which had big movie stars in it at the time. They thought they were going to see a traditional Hollywood movie and they got something that no one had ever seen before. With a preview movie, they find an audience, they give out free tickets and they give you a very tiny little descriptor to kind of let you know what you’re seeing, but no one had ever done anything like this before. There’s


no way to prepare anybody for this. This was revolutionary in American cinema. Of course, that weekend there was a teachers convention in town and they had given all these free tickets to teachers. One of the guys who was there told me that at the end, there were a bunch of people down front and they started sarcastically chanting, ‘More blood! More blood! More blood!’ Peckinpah paid attention to the reaction and went back to edit the film and shorten the climax. He said to [film editor] Lou Lombardo up in the projection booth, ‘We better get out of here now or they’re going to kill us,’ because there was such a reaction to the movie and people either hated it or loved it. I don’t think there’s any way that there’s any action director working that isn’t working in the shadow of Peckinpah. He really did revolutionize storytelling and the amount of shots in a minute, you know, how fast the film is edited. Everybody is sort of standing on Sam’s shoulders. It really is in some ways the greatest action movie and one of the greatest westerns for me.” — Mitch Brian, screenwriter and associate film professor at UMKC, as told to Kansas City

ABOVE: © 1969 Warner Brothers, Inc.


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