April 2017 - 2
Volume 34 • Issue 4 April 2017
ON THE COVER Leaving a legacy | 13
Jo Zakas was a supporter of Wichita businesses, of children in need, and of the arts. A sale of her art will benefit some of the causes she loved.
Features From the Publisher’s Files.....................4 Wichita Homes.........................................6
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Cuba: A promise of adventure close to home | 4 Eastside balloonist takes to Kansas skies | 8
East Wichita News
Dateline....................................................10 Focus On Business................................16 Cinema Scene........................................24 Cook’s Library........................................26 Performing Arts Calendar..................27 People & Places.....................................28
Publisher Paul Rhodes Managing Editor Travis Mounts Production Abbygail Brown Reporters/Contributors Sam Jack, Patsy Terrell, Philip Holmes, Jim Erickson
Sales & Billing
Sales Paul Rhodes, Valorie Castor, Briana Bade Billing/Circulation Briana Bade A Division of Times-Sentinel Newspapers 125 N. Main • P.O. Box 544 Cheney, KS 67025 Phone: (316) 540-0500 Fax: (316) 540-3283 © 2016 Times-Sentinel Newspapers LLC
Now in our 34th year! The East Wichita News is a monthly newspaper focused on the people and places on Wichita’s East Side. It is delivered free to most homes within our coverage area, although distribution is not guaranteed. Single copies are available in a variety of Eastside locations. One copy per person, please. Visit our website for more - www.eastwichitanews. com. Email story ideas and photographs to email@example.com. Visit us on Facebook.
Warmer temps and passing moments
“#*&%!” That was my reaction a few days before Daylight Saving Time began in early March. The time change had snuck up on me. It seems like winter never really got here. There was that one December weekend. I remember it mostly because I was outside in that bitter cold to cheer on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. But other than that, we never really had a winter. I’m not sure what that means for this summer’s temperatures. A mild winter does not guarantee anything come July and August, although the lack of cold and now a lot of standing water will probably be a huge boost to mosquitos. But spring’s early arrival does mean many of us are thinking about outdoor projects. I’m not much of a home improvement guy. I’ve done the work. My current home has undergone tremendous work inside and out over the past few years, thanks in large part to the help provided by my parents. The repainting project still needs another coat. But this year I do have a list of things I need to do. I’ve got a wonderful screened-in patio that connects the house to the garage. It’s been a wonderful, bug-free way to enjoy nice days and evenings. However, the interior walls aren’t finished, the concrete needs covering, and I think a TV and some kind of permanent cooler would be great additions. I want to build an outdoor patio right next to the screened-in patio, for sitting out under the starts on those rare nights when the mosquitos and other bugs aren’t too bad. My grill and smoker need a better home than the
Travis Mounts | Managing Editor
driveway. On the other side of the patio is a little grassy area. Well, it’s not really grass. Mostly weeds grow there. I want to build a little garden that can serve as a small reminder of our dog, Maggie, who passed away last year. The spot sits close to where she used to nap in the flowers. She lost that space a few years ago when the driveway leading to the garage went in. She never complained – she just found a new spot to lay in. I’ve got a handful of branches to trim and weeds to kill. The worst part of our mild winter and early spring means my yard already is past due for mowing. At least I have kids to do that work. I don’t really mind the work – well, not too much. It’s the quick passage of time that I don’t like. I really feel like it needs to slow down, just a little. Even when I am doing well enjoying the moments, the seconds, days and weeks tick off too quickly. It seems I was just roaming the sidelines of football games, waiting for the weather to cool. Now, spring sports are underway. The first day of spring has come and gone, so it’s time to start working on your spring to-do list. And do your best to slow down and enjoy the moment. Autumn will be here before you know it.
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April 2017 - 4
A trip to Cuba isn’t complete without a tour of Havana in one of the city’s famous classic cars. Driver Louis Miguel took Paul Rhodes and Kim Swansen on a tour of Havana in his 1954 Ford Mercury convertible.
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Photos by Paul Rhodes and Kim Swansen
Cuba: A promise of adventure close to home From the Publisher’s Files
Paul Rhodes | Publisher
ver since returning from Cuba, my girlfriend Kim and I have had a running debate about whether this intriguing island nation is a good choice for firsttime international travelers, or better suited for more experienced adventurers. Guess what? It’s actually perfect for both. And now that travel has become less restricted between the United States and Cuba, anyone who has an interest in traveling there should give it serious consideration. It just takes some simple planning to get there, and
options are growing all the time. You can travel with a group if that fits your comfort level, or be a little more adventurous and book your own travel arrangements and accommodations. For now, forget about your credit cards – they don’t work there. Just think cash, in proportions that seem to fit your lifestyle. If you need a little luxury when you travel, then by all means book a nice hotel. The city of Havana is full of high-end hotels that will cater to your every need…for a price. For that, I would budget $300 a
See CUBA, Page 25 An evening view of the Capitolio in the heart of Old Havana. The building was modeled after the U.S. Capitol, and is under renovation.
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night, or a little more. There are hotels in Havana in all price ranges, but you’ll get what you pay for. Kim and I, on the other hand, booked a one-bedroom apartment through Airbnb for $30 a night. That’s right…one less zero. Just remember, we were roughing it just a bit, in a less comfortable bed, and with a few quirks like a cantankerous toilet that needed to be babied and a daily climb up and down three flights of stairs. But still, we had air conditioning, a well-equipped kitchen and the opportunity to live like Cubans for a week in an early 1800s apartment building. It was worth every penny we saved. We had many favorite spots in Old Havana, which was where we concentrated our week of travels in the city. We didn’t get out of Havana… but hey, that’s another trip! And yes, it was such a great experience, we hope to return. Our location was perfect for exploring on foot. We were just across the street from the Capitolio, which is under renovation. It was a great landmark for getting back home some days. Numerous buildings and monuments in Old Havana are currently being restored, which speaks to the anticipated
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Finding the right contractor
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Spring will be here shortly. It’s a great time to start working on all of those home improvement projects that you have been contemplating all winter long. But unless you have the skill, the equipment and the time, chances are that you will need to hire a contractor for the really substantial projects. So where do you start? To find the best contractor for your project, you need to invest a little time researching potential contractors – that is, unless you are lucky enough to have had a long-term contractor, or know a friend or neighbor who has someone they can highly recommend. Referrals from trusted sources can be golden. If you don’t have a recommendation, you should really narrow your search to local folks. You are going to have more success in seeing some of their previous work, as well as talking to some of their previous clients. And, if there is ever a problem, a local business will prove to be your best option. Sorting through newspaper and internet advertising can be overwhelming. While you are looking for a contractor and not an advertising executive, you would hope for care to be taken in their advertising. The ad is a reflection of the company and may indicate the quality of work you might receive. You may not want the business with the biggest ad, however, because you know who eventually ends up paying for the advertising. You can always call the Better Business Bureau, the Wichita Area Builders Association, and other similar trade-related organizations to inquire about specific contractors. At some point, though, the selection process comes down to an interview and an estimate. For best results, you should get at least three bids. Do your homework in advance of the initial contact. Define your project in writing and be as detailed as possible. You may not be an architect or an engineer, but the more specific you can get with measurements, materials and your vision of the final project, the better off you will be. This detailed description will likely be the basis for the final contract and will give prospective contractors an equal understanding of the project. And, by all means, do have a written contract. Besides the submitted bids, there are
Philip Holmes | Interior Designer
other objective and subjective criteria by which to evaluate the prospective contractors. A reputable contractor will have the appropriate licenses and insurance. He will also build to code and pull the required building permits. The contract should specify how change orders are dealt with as well as warranties for the work performed. Don’t hesitate to ask about these. You also should prepare a list of questions such as: • Who will actually be doing the work? • How do we address changes to the plan? • What experience do you have with this type of work? There are several subjective criteria that should be considered before hiring a contractor. First of all, there should be personality match. This will be a person in your home who should make you feel feel comfortable and assured. If you’re worried about theft or personal safety, you probably don’t have the right person. A good contractor will have the ability to listen, which includes being able to guide clients through decisions. This should be evident in your first meeting. He or shee should display good project management skills – being able to balance activities with the right people in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing. For the best results, plan and think through all aspects of the project including, your budget. Many times home improvement projects involve unexpected situations that are difficult to plan around. It’s not a bad idea to build in a contingency fund into your plan’s budget. Be sure to hire the person who exhibits good problem-solving skills and can offer suggestions on how to improve your plan. It’s better to pay a little more for the peace of mind of having a competent contractor and a project well done.
Disney’s live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” has a little trouble with the combination of real people, playing in stylized sets, and support
animations like a teapot, a candelabra, a clock and an armoire. It starts with an origin story, like a comic-book movie, and takes forever getting to the Beast. But the backstory is eventually integrated into the main plot better than I expected, and in any case, things pick up with the appearance of the Beast in the second hour, which I enjoyed thoroughly. Characterizations of the Beast and the Beauty are given time and pace for careful construction, and the acting is first-rate throughout; I won’t spoil the pleasant surprises when the closing credits identify who does the voiceovers for the animations. Emma Watson and Kevin Kline are the only actors you are likely to recognize, but you can take everybody on faith as to acting and singing and dancing, though Kline’s part as Beauty’s father is under-written. Special effects vary from CGI to stop motion with puppets to whatever techniques are used for the clock, which may be an actual mechanized puppet. But they are always done well, even if they at times draw too much attention to the comparison with real human faces. The teapot’s face, designed to appear as touches of paint, is very expressive. Nothing is overdone to show off the technology. There are surprisingly few belly laughs, but there is a continual undercurrent of chuckles over human foibles; the relationship between Beauty and the Beast is carefully developed, though some reviewers thought the pair lacked chemistry. The ending battle is over-long. But this is quibbling. I still don’t see the necessity for a remake of the original, animated “Beauty and the Beast,” but this is a good one.
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The famous final line of the original 1933 “King Kong” is, “’Twas beauty killed the beast.” Well, in the latest King Kong feature, “Kong: Skull Island,” the beauty (Brie Larson) neither kills nor tames the title ape. In fact, “Skull Island” is not really a King Kong movie at all; Kong himself is definitely a supporting character, and most of his human touches from the original are neglected. Kong is never killed or taken off the island. This version of Kong is too big to fit into the original story. When 1933’s Kong gripped Fay Wray in his fist, her head stuck out on one side so she could scream, and her legs stuck out on the other, so she could kick. But when this Kong gets the heroine in an identical grip across his palm, he can’t close his fist, because that would hide Brie Larson from view completely. Kong does rescue Larson’s character a couple times, but never shows any particular affection for her. With the romance angle mostly removed, what’s left is a pretty good adventure, traveling across an island of varying geography and truly frightening monsters, including one that appears to be a snake that developed forefeet and that vomits human bones. There is also, very briefly, an unconvincing creature that suggests a pile of rotten logs, but all he does is run away. There is an elephantine graveyard of ape bones that suggests that Kong is not very large for his species; a man makes a couch out of a jawbone. Skull Island is more of an archipelago than an island, which allows aerial long shots to not match what we see on the ground. There are gaudily painted natives who are not particularly hostile. The cast is stereotypical. In addition to Larson as the heroine, we have John Goodman as the scientist, Samuel L. Jackson as the military man and Tom Hiddleston as the hero. But none of them stand out. The island itself is the feature.
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In current films, Beauty goes 1-1 at taming Beast
April 2017 - 8
Solo effort | East Wichitan flying high
Balloonist takes to Kansas skies
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East Wichita resident Jeremy King caught the hot air ballooning bug from his father, Kevin King. During the 1990s, Kevin was part of a now-defunct club called the Kansas Highwinders. Ballooning in Wichita thrived during those years; the Highwinders could put as many as 13 balloons in the air at one time, and they often flew as a group during Riverfest. In recent years, several Wichita-area pilots have aged out of the pastime, turning balloons into a relatively rare site. But Jeremy, an engineering and architectural design instructor at Wichita Area Technical College, is part of a younger group of balloonists who are pursuing their commercial balloon pilot’s licenses and hoping to revive the hobby in the local area. He has been a student pilot since 2010 and got his own balloon, “Cheeky Shenanigans” last November. With his flight over northern Haysville a few weeks ago, he qualified to fly solo, and he is looking forward to going up without a more experienced balloon pilot keeping watch. “I can fly solo as many times as I need, and then eventually you have to go with a designated examiner from the FAA, who will test you on your flying skills,” Jeremy said. “Can you ascend at a certain rate per minute? Can you descend? Can you fly level? Things like that. Once he approves, I get my pilot’s license and can fly with passengers.” Kevin, who lives in Haysville and stores Jeremy’s balloon, is not a pilot himself but he has a lot of experience serving as
“ground crew” for Jeremy and other balloonists. He follows balloons in his truck, scoping out potential landing sites and getting permission from landowners. He has attended the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, the largest gathering of hot air balloons in the world. “It’s 600 or 700 balloons, all up at one time,” Kevin said. “It draws millions of spectators. They fly what’s called the ‘box,’ because of the winds off the mountains. You can just go around and around. It’s the perfect place for ballooning.” A flight in “Cheeky Shenanigans” generally lasts about an hour, but the whole process of flying can take up most of a day, starting with a morning check of weather conditions. “If the forecast is for wind above 10 miles an hour on the surface, I’ve pretty much made my decision that I’m not going to fly,” Jeremy said. “If it’s under 10 on the surface, then I’ll go and look at winds up to 3,000 feet above the surface. Can I navigate and feel safe at any altitude between the surface and 3,000 feet? You also have to watch for rain, for cloud ceiling height. If the weather looks nice, I’ll keep watching it clear through lunch.” See BALLOON, Page 11 Father Kevin and son Jeremy King work on the basket of “Cheeky Shenanigans,” the hot air balloon Jeremy bought last year. Jeremy recently qualified as a solo hot air balloon pilot and is working toward his commercial license.
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April 2017 - 10
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April 5 – An Evening of Moviemaking and Martinis, presented by the Tallgrass Film Association, 6-9 p.m. at Abode Venue. Wine, beer and craft cocktails from local mixologists, food from The Flying Stove. Create an actual movie set that will be used by TFA’s student filmmakers when they make their group film in June. Hosted by Tallgrass Film Festival alumnus and filmmaker Blayne Weaver. Tickets $65 online at www.tallgrassfilm.org or at the door. April 5, April 12 – Budgeting basics, presented by K-State Research and Extension. Workshops will be at the Downtown Senior Services Center, 200 S. Walnut, from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Fee $10; register online at www.sedgwick.ksu. edu. Do you have control over how you spend your money? Can you live within your income – meeting expenses, putting money aside for emergencies, and meeting long-term goals? Participant will learn simple tools to start on the right financial path. April 6, with additional dates on April 13, 20, 27, May 4, 11 – Women Investment Education Program, 6-8 p.m. at the Sunflower Room, Sedgwick County Extension Education Center, 21st Street N. and Ridge Road. The cost is $20. Register at www.sedgwick.ksu.edu or call 316-6600100, ext. 0127. April 7 – Women’s Association of the Wichita Symphony’s spring luncheon, Crestview Country Club, 1000 N. 127th St. E. Check-in at 11:30 a.m. while members of the Wichita Youth Chamber Players perform. Lunch is at noon, followed by guest speakers Maestro Daniel Hege, WSO musical director and conductor. Cost is $18; call Janet Elliott at 316-2654492 by April 4 to make reservations. Guests and newcomers are welcome. April 11 – Riverfest button kickoff, 2 p.m., Cox Solutions Store, 2556 N. Maize Road in New Market Square. Join Mayor Jeff Longwell, Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIV Wendy Johnson, and the Wichita Wagonmasters. Discounted tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for children, and are available only through May 4. More information online at www.wichitafestivals.com. April 11 – Wichita Rose Society presentation and meeting, 7 p.m. at Botanica, The Wichita Gardens, 701 Amidon. Social and meet-and-greet at 6:30 p.m. Floanna Crowley will speak about creating beau-
Upcoming events in and around Wichita tiful rose arrangements. She is a K-State Extension master gardener and National Garden Clubs master judge. Admission is free, guests are welcome. April 15 – Wichita Genealogical Society, 1 p.m. at Lionel Alford Library, 3447 S. Meridian. This month’s program is “Internet indices can help find your ancestors.” Wild cards will be discussed and show how they can help you find a lost ancestory. For more information, visit www. wichitagensoc.org. April 20 – Project Beauty annual basket party, noon at the Catholic Spiritual Life Center, 7100 E. 45th St. N. Lunch is $20, RSVP by April 13 to Pat Whitney, 3222 N. Clarence Circle, Wichita, KS 67204, or call 316-838-3608. Guests are welcome. April 22 – Wichita Golden Wheat Chapter of American Historical Society of Germans from Russia; Genealogy Roadshow Workshop, 10 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 909 S. Market St. The program will examine the history of Germans from Russia, researching Germans from Russia, and a slide show of a recent visit to Russian villages. Information will be provided concerning the local Golden Wheat Chapter; personal genealogy help if needed. Call 316-634-0353 for further information. April 23 – Delano Chamber Brass Ensemble, 3 p.m. at West Side Baptist Church, 304 S. Seneca. Free, donations accepted. The 28-piece orchestra will feature the trumpet section in Leroy Anderson’s “Bugler’s Holiday.” The concert will last about an hour, and a reception will follow. April 27 – Passport to Nature, fundraiser for the Great Plains Nature Center. Event runs 6-9 p.m., with local food vendors, a wine pull, outdoor recreation demonstrations, entertainment, and a live and silent auction. Cost is $50. Purchase tickets and get more information online at www.gpnc.org.
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If the weather works out, flight preparations begin about three hours before the planned launch time, with calls to friends who might want to come out to watch or launch their own balloons, followed by measurements of wind conditions at the launch site. “From there, we pull the balloon out, hook everything up, and start adding cold air into the envelope with a fan,”
See KING, Page 23
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Jeremy King, right, caught the ballooning bug from his father, Kevin.
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Jeremy said. “Once the balloon gets as fat as it can, we start adding heat, which will cause the balloon to rise. From there, we load passengers, take off and fly for about an hour, looking for places to land as we’re going. Then land, pack it all up and go home.” Balloons can gain altitude by adding heat to the balloon, or lose it by opening the top of the envelope to let hot air spill out. But direction of travel is at the mercy of the winds; pilots have to calculate their likely course in advance and make sure to avoid restricted airspace around airports and military
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Eastsiders to appear in MTYP’s ‘Annie’ Music Theatre for Young People will wrap up the 2016-17 season later this month with the classic musical “Annie.”
The beloved story features several Eastside youth: Maisy Blanton, Sadie Burris, Whitney Carmichael, Brooklyn Castillo, Jake Castillo, Ian Collins, Skyler
Copeland, Juliette Falo, Ava Graves, Abby Hoglen, Goldie Lane, Alyssa Linhardt, Jacob Linhardt, Nick Linhardt, Daniel Lydia, Malea Olsen, Liz Raehpour, Mallory Rife, Lana Sandid, Noah Sickman, Riley Simmons, McKenzie Snell, Maggie Steel and McKenzie Varenhorst. The show will be April 28, 29 and 30 at the Mary Jane Teall Theatre in Century II. Tickets go on sale April 10. Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students, and can be purchases at the Century II box office, online at www.wichitatix.com, or by calling 316-303-8100. Tickets at the door are $15. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 28-29, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 30. Based on the popular comic strip by Harold Gray, Annie has become a worldwide phenomenon and was the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The beloved book and score by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, features some of the greatest musical theatre hits ever written, including “Tomorrow.”
Art sale will benefit Jo Zakas’ foundation It’s been eight months since businesswoman and philanthropist Jo Zakas died, but she continues to have an impact on the city of Wichita. This month, the Jo Zakas Legacy Foundation will have a sale and auction of her original artwork. Proceeds will further the legacy of giving that was a key part of Zakas’ life. The sale will feature more than 100 pieces of art. “Jo was a great role model for entrepreneurs in the business world,” said Cathy Feemster,
T r av i s M o u n t s
president of the Jo Zakas Legacy Foundation. Feemster, former publisher of the East Wichita News, was a friend of Zakas. “Personally, she was determined to be helpful, and she was a role model for many young women who needed direction.”
Zakas set up her foundation more than a decade ago. Feemster said Zakas sought organizations that mentored young people. At the age of 12, Zakas ran away from home to live with her grandmother. She never finished high school, Feemster said. But she was determined to make her mark on the world. She owned her own business while still a teenager. See ZAKAS, Page 14
Jo Zakas Legacy Foundation Public Art Auction/Sale
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Leaving a legacy
Tuesday, April 18 5-9 p.m. Aero Plains Brewing 117 N. Handley
Appetizers from Olive Tree Catering Music from the Friends University Jazz Trio This acrylic painting, titled “Down Beat,” is one of more than 100 works of art created by the late Jo Zakas that will be sold later this month. Proceeds from the sale and auction will benefit the Jo Zakas Legacy Foundation.
Wine and spirits from Aero Plains
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Zakas Continued from Page 13
“She made a decision to better herself,” Feemster said. She shared her struggles and successes with other young people in a variety of settings, including camps hosted by Legacy Ministries in Wichita. “She spoke with the girls there, and she’d speak with the girls at the Wichita Children’s home about life choices,” Feemster said. Zakas liked to support charities that flew under the radar, the ones that did not get a lot of media attention or were new and trying to get their feet underneath them. That list included the Legacy camps, Wichita Children’s Home, Young Entrepreneurs, the Wichita Jazz Festival, and the fledgling Tallgrass Film Association. She helped the filmmaker’s contest get started. The arts were a big part of Zakas’ life. In addition to supporting the arts, she became an artist herself. She began painting in the 1980s, but become much more prolific in the last five or six years of her life. This interest in the arts led her to establish Artists Central, a gallery for artists, especially new artists who would benefit from an incubator-type space. Most of Zakas’ works are abstract
This photo of the Eiffel Tower was taken by Jo Zakas on a trip to Paris. The image, printed on canvas, will be among more than 100 of her works for sale.
ABOVE: “Space Grotto” is an acrylic painting by Jo Zakas. LEFT: Zakas is pictured with one of her sculptures at Clifton Square in July 2016, just a few weeks before her passing (photo by Travis Mounts/East Wichita News). BELOW: Committee members show off various works of art by Zakas that will be sold later this month to benefit her foundation.
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my sentence started with ‘I can’t’ or ‘I don’t know if,’ her response was always, ‘Well, why not!” She gave great advice and you could tell her anything with confidence and without judgement. She always had a funny story, an invitation and a compliment for me every time I saw her,” Christie Benton said in a post. Lynn Gilkey wrote: “Jo Zakas was such a wonderful friend. She was so passionate about empowering women and girls. I will never forget how she encouraged me to stay true to my vision and how she took the time to motivate the girls in CLASS to make good choices and stay true to their dreams. Jo Zakas started the Clifton Square Foundation and gave education scholarships to deserving CLASS seniors. Jo, your legacy will live on through the lives of the young women you touched. See you on the other side my friend.” Many of Zakas’ friends are involved in putting together the art sale and auction, although many of them wish to remain nameless. The sale will be 5-9 p.m. Tuesday, April 18. It will take place at Aero Plains Brewing, 117 N. Handley in the Delano District. The brewery will provide wine and beer. Olive Tree Catering will provide appetizers. Friends University’s Jazz Trio will perform. The new owners of Clifton Square also are helping to stage the event. The mission of the Jo Zakas Legacy Foundation is “to help at-risk children and struggling adults that other charities have overlooked. In addition, we continue Jo’s generosity to Wichita’s arts community.” Those who are unable to attend the sale and auction can donate directly to the foundation. Send a check to the Jo Zakas Legacy Foundation, 6506 E. Central, P.O. Box 115, Wichita, KS 67206.
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paintings, although there are other types of paintings as well as photographs. She also tried her hand at sculpting. Some of her art reflects the love she had for travel. She spoke of her travels in a 2016 profile with the East Wichita News. She loved Paris, but traveled to many places. Her last trip included stops in Bali, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Zakas also had a love for business. She built up Clifton Square, starting with one building. She sold it for $1.4 million the month before she died. She continued to have her hand in other real estate ventures throughout the city. And she mentored many of Wichita’s biggest business names, both women and men. Feemster was among those whom Zakas pulled under wing. Feemster was part of group that purchased East Wichita News in 1993. “She heard I was looking for office space after I bought out my partners. She said, “This (Clifton Square) was the place to be,” Feemster said. She kept the office there for 20 years. “I’m so happy I moved my office to Clifton Square. “Clifton Square was like an incubator. When I got Jo as a landlord, I also got her as a friend. When I bought the East Wichita News, it was down and out. She was always very helpful. That’s the way she was with everybody.” Zakas’ impact can be seen in the many comments left on her Facebook page in the days, weeks and months after death. “Jo Zakas was the most worldly, driven, savvy, sassy, and kind person I knew and I will miss her. She encouraged so many friends to step outside of their comfort zone and follow their dreams. She was a great mentor to me and many other women in business. If
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Featured this month Kitchen Tune-Up........................... Page 16
FOCUS ON BUSINESS
Wichita Festivals, Inc..................... Page 17 Wichita Grand Opera..................... Page 19
Focus On Business is a monthly feature offered to area advertisers. If you would like your business featured here, please contact our sales office at (316) 540-0500.
Gross Tile & Custom Remodeling... Page 20 Lawn Buddy................................... Page 21
A ‘perfect transformation’ thanks to Kitchen Tune-Up When a Wichita family started sharing their dreams about the perfect kitchen, the experts at Kitchen Tune-Up were there to listen. In the end, Kitchen Tune-Up was able to give the homeowners everything they wanted in a kitchen… and more. “This was all about making their kitchen easy to cook in and entertain in,” said Rachel Phillips, who owns and operates the local Kitchen Tune-Up franchise with her husband Adam. “This was a family referral, and they loved what we had done with their family member’s kitchen.” This project started with removal of the wall between the kitchen and dining room. That opened up the feel of the kitchen, and from there Rachel found a rustic, comfortable look that was perfect for the client. “We went with a French country look,” said Rachel. The kitchen got all new cabinets, including three pantries with roll-out trays. A wine rack and serving bar area was added, as well as large pots and pans drawers and a spice rack. Completing the kitchen’s unique look is a large medallion over the cook top, surrounded by stone. There also is a custom hood with ornate details. “This is a space where the family can hang out together,” said Rachel. “It’s both functional and beautiful.” If you’re ready to transform your kitchen, it’s time
to call Kitchen Tune-Up! Now that spring is here, you can be working in the yard while Kitchen Tune-Up transforms your kitchen. The experts with Wichita’s Kitchen Tune-Up team can provide customers with finished projects ranging from easy and inexpensive to breathtaking and cutting edge. Kitchen Tune-Up has remodeled hundreds of kitchens since the local franchise was launched in 2005. The company’s services range from One-Day Restoration or
“Tune-Up” of cabinets or any interior wood surfaces, to cabinet refacing projects to complete custom kitchens. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call Kitchen Tune-Up at 316-558-8888. You also can find more information at www.kitchentuneup.com. Be sure to check out the company’s extensive BEFORE/AFTER portfolio on Facebook! When you visit the local Kitchen Tune-Up Facebook page, be sure to ‘LIKE’ Kitchen Tune-Up, Wichita.
Kitchen Tune-Up can produce dramatic results for your home, like this spectacular kitchen transformation that gave its owners the perfect space to cook and entertain.
Cox Solutions Store at 2556 N. Maize Road at New Market Square. Discounted buttons can be purchased – cash only – at the following Cox Solutions Store locations: 2240 N. Rock Road, 446 S. Ridge Road and 2556 N. Maize Road at New Market Square in Wichita and at 1636 N. Rock Road in Derby. Wichita Festivals, Inc., at 444 E. William, and the Intrust Bank Arena box office will also carry early-bird buttons. Buy online at www.selectaseat.com. “This is one of your first chances to buy the 2017 button and show your Wichita pride. We expect to see this adorable design on a lot of lapels this spring and summer,” said Mott, referring to the artwork created by local artists, Rebekah Lewis and Josh Tripoli. Wichita Riverfest 2017 runs June 2-10, and includes 120 events for all ages and interests in and around downtown Wichita. A Riverfest button is required for entry. More than 455,000 festival fans attended in 2016. Business owners, community groups and big families might want to consider buying group buttons. Orders for 20 or more buttons can be placed by calling WFI at (316) 267-2817, and if placed by May 22, can be delivered for free. The discount price applies to group buttons, too, during the sales early-bird period. Those
purchasing 20 or more buttons are also eligible to reserve a shaded table for 20 or more guests in the Century II Food Court, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays during the festival.
FOCUS ON BUSINESS
It’s that time of year when Wichitans ask their neighbors, “When do discounted Riverfest buttons go on sale?” The answer is this month at Cox Solutions Stores in Wichita and Derby. The colorful buttons, which provide admission to the festival and all concerts for nine days, will be available at a discount for a limited time, April 10 through May 4. Adult buttons during this early-bird period are $7, with children’s buttons (for kids 6-12 years old) available for $3. Starting May 5, adult buttons will be $10 and children’s buttons will be $5. Little ones under five enter free. “We are so excited that we can offer a nine-day party at a price that’s affordable for all,” said Teri Mott, director of marketing and communication for Wichita Festivals, Inc. “Even at full-price, the entertainment value of a Riverfest button is unbeatable, but the early-bird discount makes Riverfest even more accessible, especially for families. ” The public is invited to a Button Launch Party to celebrate early-bird sales. A terrific opportunity to pick up your buttons, the event will feature appearances by Mayor Jeff Longwell and Admiral Windwagon Smith XLIV Wendy Johnson, news about this year’s festival and Riverfest-related fun. The festivities will take place starting at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 11 at the
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Get your Riverfest button early and save
FOCUS ON BUSINESS
April 2017 -18
Princess Aurora and Prince Desiré dance together for their wedding festivities.
Princess Aurora’s parents react in despair as the evil fairy’s curse takes hold.
FOCUS ON BUSINESS
“Sleeping Beauty,” a tale of a young princess and her kingdom put to sleep by an evil fairy, only to be awoken 100 years later by “true Love’s kiss,” is synonymous with Walt Disney, whose animation studio produced one of the most iconic versions of the fairy tale. However, 70 years before Disney’s version first appeared on screen, Russia’s greatest composer, Tchaikovsky, and Russia’s greatest choreographer, Marius Petipa, joined forces for the first time to redefine the art of ballet. Wichita Grand Opera opens its 2017 Spring Season on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 6:30pm in the Century II Concert Hall, with Tchaikovsky and Petipa’s definitive version of “The Sleeping Beauty” as performed by the famed Russian National Ballet Theatre (RNBT). Direct from Moscow, the RNBT is described by The Washington Post as “the real thing,” and “a cut above many of (their) rivals.” Using traditional Russian ballet training and choreography, the RNBT works to keep the grand traditions of Russian Ballet alive. Their specialty is bringing the choreography of Marius Petipa, widely considered to be the most influential ballet master and choreographer in ballet history, to the world outside of Russia itself. Stories such as “The Sleeping Beauty” and “Swan Lake” come out of long traditions of family storytelling, and because of this background, the story of “Sleeping Beauty” is simple, profound, charming, and perfect for the whole family to enjoy together. In celebration of Princess Aurora’s christening, the King invited the entire kingdom, with the exception of the evil fairy Carabosse. She turns up anyway, fuming, and puts a curse on Aurora. When she turns 16, the Princess will prick her finger and die. But the good Lilac Fairy comes to the rescue, and reduces the curse to 100 years of sleep. On her 16th birthday, the curse comes true and the kingdom falls into a century long sleep. In 100 years, the dashing Prince stumbles on the old castle where Aurora slumbers. He kisses her, breaking the spell. In the grand wedding scene, everyone dances and celebrates, joined by fairy tale characters from different stories. In addition, one of the many charming aspects of bringing ballet to Wichita audiences is the opportunity to see many younger audience members in attendance of the production. So many little girls dream of being the princess and young boys dream of being the dashing prince, and by bringing the Russian National Ballet Theatre to Wichita, parents can let their children dream and become fascinated by the story on stage. To aid in this, the Wichita Grand Opera offers a special Day at the Opera educational outreach program. For more information on this program, call the WGO box office at 316262-8054. Tickets for this beloved ballet range in price from $85 to $37, with senior, student, group, and corporate discounts are available. To purchase tickets for “The Sleeping Beauty,” call the WGO box office at 316-262-8054, buy online at www.SelectASeat.com, or in person at Century II, or the Select-A-Seat Box Office at Intrust Bank Arena. For more information about the 2017 spring season, visit the WGO website at www.WichitaGrandOpera.org.
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‘From Russia With Love: The Sleeping Beauty’ with the Russian National Ballet Theatre
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Back to their roots
Gross Tile is moving to the Delano District It’s true: you can go back home. Mark Gross, founder of Gross Tile and Custom Remodeling of Wichita, smiles about that prospect as he surveys the finishing touches being done on his company’s new showroom at 1528 W. Douglas in the historic Delano District of downtown Wichita. This showroom will be Gross Tile’s new home as it moves from West Wichita to better meet the needs of customers all across Wichita. The current showroom near Maple Street and Maize Road has been sold, and showroom in downtown Wichita will bring a new level of customer service for clients in the midtown and eastern areas of the city, while still serving clients in the western half of Wichita. “We are so excited about this location,” said Cathy Gross, Mark’s wife, as she talked about the work that has been done to convert the historic brick building on the northeast corner of Douglas and Fern streets. There’s a high volume of traffic in the renaissance business neighborhood, and it is easily accessible from all across the city of Wichita. And, there’s a little something else just across the intersection to the southwest: An important slice of Gross Tile history. “See the Wichita Fish Company?” Mark asks as he points to the landmark business location. “Their restaurant space was my first showroom.” Gross Tile was located there beginning in 1997. From there, the company moved to Tyler and Maple for a few years before building the Gross Tile showroom at 10680 W. Maple, near Maple and Maize Road. But Mark’s history in the flooring and remodeling industry goes back much further. Decades of experience Mark Gross grew up in Wichita, and after attending North High School he started working on his business degree at Wichita State University. While in college, he started working in the flooring business.
Gross Tile and Custom Remodeling owners Mark and Cathy Gross are excited about their move to the Delano District.
Gross Tile’s new showroom in the Delano District is opening this month at 1528 W. Douglas.
“I was installing hard-surface flooring and countertops for a company here in Wichita,” he said. “I was working with vinyl and tile flooring, and was doing old-time plaster showers with concrete walls.” Mark loved the work, and stayed in the industry after earning his business degree from WSU. He opened a floor-covering store with a partner in the early 1980s, and later did installation work as a private contractor before he and his wife Cathy – also a Wichita native who graduated from West High and Newman University – opened the first Gross Tile Location at Fern and Douglas. Now, all these years later, they’re back. “There’s such a good energy in this area, and a lot of locally owned and operated businesses,” Cathy said. “We think this will be a great location for us and our clients.” “We’ve got a lot of satisfied customers, and we want to continue to focus on our remodeling work, especially with bathroom renovations and custom curbless showers,” said Mark. “I love it when I can share my ideas with clients and give them the ‘wow’ factor they’re looking for.” As the new showroom is being completed, Gross Tile can schedule appointments there on request. By the end of April, the Gross Tile team hopes to be completely moved into the Delano District location. Making dreams happen Gross Tile has been bringing fresh ideas and exciting new products to the table for the past three decades, and his excitement level to meet customers’
needs isn’t diminishing. One of those great ideas is the concept of “curbless showers,” which can accomplish many things for new and remodeled bathrooms. While the concept has been around for some time, Gross Tile is making a name for itself as a leader in curbless shower designs for today’s homes. These highly individualized shower designs offer roomier spaces for homeowners, modern looks, and easy access for handicapped individuals. “Imagine a shower that is both beautiful in design and also has easy walk-in access as well as the ability to move a wheelchair in and out of the shower,” said Mark. “It’s a perfect solution for both those who want that kind of look and design, and those who need to address accessibility issues.” Customers also can take advantage of Gross Tile’s extensive lines of quartz and concrete countertops. Gross Tile specializes in complete kitchen and bath remodeling projects, and will be running numerous specials once they are in the new showroom. For more information about everything Gross Tile has to offer, call 316-773-1600, or visit the company’s website, www.grosstileremodeling.com. You can also find Gross Tile on Facebook.
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Wichita Symphony Orchestra presents
April 8/9 | Century II Concert Hall
BUY TICKETS TODAY AT WichitaSymphony.org | 316.267.7658
Andrew von Oeyen, piano
Mahler’s transcendent 7th Symphony concludes the Wichita Symphony’s 2016-2017 Classics Season!
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B y L t . J i ll R y a n N av y O f f i c e o f C o m m u n i t y O u t r e a c h A Northeast Magnet High School graduate and Wichita native is serving in the U.S. Navy with Commander Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CSFWP). Petty Officer 3rd Class Kayley Whitehurst works as an aviation structural mechanic (equipment) and operates out of Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, Calif. Whitehurst is responsible for maintaining aircraft and ensuring that the people who are in the cockpit remain safe. “I like that my job turns wrenches and that a new task can pop up every day,” said Whitehurst. Lemoore has been home to the Navy¹s west coast strike fighter community since 1980, when strike fighter squadron VFA-125 was the first squadron established to train Navy and Marine Corps aviators in the F/A-18 Hornet. The strike fighter wing, headquartered at NAS Lemoore, ensures that each squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for the Pacific Fleet. “I like how within your shop you develop close working relationships,” said Whitehurst. With the CSFWP consisting of more than 20 squadrons, highly specialized jobs range from training new aviators to maintaining airframes and engines, to handling and flying aircraft. “I have learned in the Navy that the smallest difference matters,” said Whitehurst. “It is important to pay attention to each and every small detail.”
Library to hold annual book sale The Friends of the Andover Public Library will hold a book sale, one of their most popular events, April 7-8. All proceeds are used to provide and enhance the children’s summer reading program and year-around activities at the library. The Friends of the Library help in a variety of ways. They offer financial support for special library programs and services and volunteer assistance with children’s summer program and other activities as requested by the library director and supported by the library board of trustees. A sneak peek will be held for Friends members from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on April 6. Refreshments will be served. Join the Friends for $25 per year. Membership forms are available at the book sale or at the front circulation desk at the library. Hours of the sale are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The sale will be held in the art gallery at the library, 1511 East Central Avenue, Andover.
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bases. A hot air balloon’s “cruising altitude” averages about 1,000 feet – which is not as high as it sounds, according to the Kings. “I tell people who are afraid of heights, ‘Just don’t look down. Look out.’ It gives you a different perspective,” Kevin said. “Especially in fall time, around deer season, you can watch all the deer run through the trees,” Jeremy added. “Even if you are scared of heights, it’s a different feeling from what you’re used to. It’s peaceful.” There are risks to hot air ballooning, including takeoff and landing mishaps as well as midair equipment malfunctions. “The envelope is made of high-tech fabric that is really thin and very easy to puncture, so you have to be careful. I’ve seen trees rip holes in envelopes,” Kevin said. “And if (the envelope)
At East Wichita News, we’re already working on feature stories for upcoming editions. If you know of someone whose face (and story) should appear on these pages, please let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org 316-540-0500 www.facebook.com/EastWichitaNews
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starts burning, it’ll go like instantly.” Still, the pastime does not exactly attract risk-takers, Jeremy said, and proper procedures and training get the danger down to a level where most people should feel comfortable. “For a passenger, all you need to know is, bend your knees on touch down, and watch out for power lines – and enjoy the flight,” Kevin said. Large or fancy balloons can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but a basic, no-frills balloon like “Cheeky Shenanigans” goes for $10,000 to $20,000 used, Jeremy said. And the ballooning community is always welcoming to people who want to get involved, whether or not they own a balloon themselves. The unique appeal of ballooning is the opportunity to stand on a quiet perch, high above the Earth, both Jeremy and Kevin King said. “On my last flight, I got the chance to fly right over my parents’ house,” Jeremy said. “To see it on the ground is one thing, but from the sky, it’s totally different. Things that look so big on the ground, you get up in the sky and they look small.”
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Movies I unwillingly enjoyed This month, I had to go to a handful movies I did not really want to see – but I enjoyed all of them. Maybe I am getting acclimated to the new concepts of movies, or maybe I am overcoming some of my prejudice in favor of the old-fashioned. In any case, here we go with my reactions. Despite my intense dislike of comic-book movies, so many of my friends urged us to see “The Lego Batman Movie” that I finally broke down and checked it out. After all, it’s an animated parody of the whole superhero genre, so how annoying could it be? Well, I’m glad I went, though my hesitation was a little justified. It was fun, for a while, and to some extent all the way through. At its worst, it didn’t take itself or the genre too seriously. The animation was consistently enjoyable, and surprisingly effective, considering that the faces were almost all just paint on what appeared to be blocks of wood. I suspect a lot of computer graphics and very little use of actual Lego construction toys, but there seem to be a variety of animation techniques – whatever worked for the individual scene or even the specific shot. There isn’t much concern with detailed characterization, just stereotype role identification. But parody doesn’t usually allow for character study, and comic-book movies don’t indulge in it much, if my limited experience allows me to make generalizations at all. And while my limited knowledge of the genre ensures that I missed a lot of the parodic references, even an interloper like me can’t miss King Kong, Godzilla, Superman, Wonder Woman, Star Wars, Ben-Hur, Jurassic Park, Dracula, the Mummy...well. Even I could go on and on. The musical score sounded familiar, too. Parodies that are as long as the thing parodied are seldom entirely successful; even “Young Frankenstein” stepped outside its parody for a sojourn into show business. And “The Lego Batman Movie” shares too many of the shortcomings of what inspired it. It is all one pace-less rush of one action scene after another, like a trip down Fury Road, and what original
elements there are – like the question of whether Batman is a suitable father for Robin and the long-abandoned questions of sexual deviance – don’t get enough attention to relieve the familiarity. The urge for parodic completeness leads to multiple apparent endings, just one more example of redundancy. In a very different spin on an aging franchise, we have “Logan.” Played by Hugh Jackman, the title superhero, better known as Wolverine, is 150 years old, and is feeling his age to the point that, while he can still take on a whole street gang and win, he takes a hell of a beating doing it. “Logan” is a movie that, while not as corpse-jammed as the reviews suggested, emphasizes wounds and pain and gory suffering to a greater extent than I enjoy. Wolverine is depressed and discouraged at the futility of vigilante action against the wholesale evil of the world, and has pretty much retired into poverty and alcoholism while an entire generation of mutant superheroes seems to be dying off (though you will not be surprised at later evidence that the whole series is about to start over in the woody mountains of North Dakota). Logan and the semi-invalid Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) are about all that remain. The Establishment is too rotten at core to be changed one villain at a time, and the X-Men (and other comic-book supercreatures) have never been much like Martin Luther King in terms of starting larger social movements. In the world as “Logan” presents it, there is little, over the long pull, that Wolverine et al. can do. There is a welcome realism to this, but “Logan” is too much a genre movie See CINEMA, Page 31
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increase in tourism there. Every morning, we were greeted with new and incredible scenes as we hit the streets of Old Havana…everything from breathtaking buildings and landscapes to the sandwich maker on the corner. He was usually making hamburguesas, which is a Cuban hamburger made from sausage and served on a homemade bun with catsup and mustard. Lluvia de Oro, a popular restaurant and bar in Old Havana, was a perfect hangout. We would eat and dance there, or just stop in to dance a bit with the nightly live band. We met some great folks there…especially other tourists. By our estimate, U.S. tourists were about half Baby Boomers like us, and half young travelers in their 20s and 30s. It certainly represented two distinct levels of fascination with the country. See RHODES, Page 30
ABOVE LEFT: Kim Swansen and Paul Rhodes at the Gran Teatro, just before a performance of Giselle by the Cuban National Ballet. ABOVE RIGHT: Street food is a mainstay in Havana. Here, a street chef prepares hamburguesas – Cuban hamburgers served on buns with catsup and mustard. LEFT: The Havana skyline, showing parts of Central Havana and Modern Havana.
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Grandma’s cole slaw, and a sense of time “It might have been otherwise” is a line from a poem that reminds me how important it is to appreciate the ordinary. What a miracle it is that we are able to walk and talk and think, much less see and hear. When Jane Kenyon wrote those words, she doubtless felt their truth. She died of leukemia shortly after writing “Otherwise.” She was 47. The idea that our time is limited can cause us to look at the world differently. Even songs on the radio encourage us to live like we were dying. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with an ovarian tumor. When I left on an icy January morning for surgery, I looked back at my living room and realized that the next time I saw it I would either be celebrating a new lease on life or preparing for the end of my life. It’s not that we don’t all know our time is limited, but we can push it aside until we are forced to face it. I was forced. People ask how it changed my perception of the world. In all honesty, I’ve always had a sense that time is limited. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because I was born so late in my parents’ lives. I was very fortunate. Although one doctor had told me, “The radiology looks bad. It looks very bad,” I got the news that people pray for three weeks later. On a Tuesday evening, a surgeon delivered the most beautiful word, “benign,” during a brief phone call. I’m sure he had said it thousands of times. It was the only time I’ve heard it in relation to me,
and few things have ever brought such relief.
The ordinary may be a goodnight ritual, a stop at the neighborhood coffee shop or a favorite pen in hand. These are simple things, but they are the moments that make up a life. Few things are more precious than time with a loved one, and yet as the play “Our Town” reminds us, we don’t even take time to look at each other. I’m challenging you this month to really look at someone. Really see them. And appreciate some ordinary life because as the poem says, “But one day, I
know, it will be otherwise.” As summer approaches, you’ll no doubt have chances to gather with family and friends. This is a great accompaniment to any meal and requires no actual cooking. Editor’s note: Patsy lives her ordinary life being grateful for the daily joys and anticipating more delights. See photos and read more at cookslibrarywithpatsy.com. While there sign up for her free monthly newsletter that has tidbits and photos.
Cole slaw like Grandma made Cole slaw is one of those things that varies depending on the cook. I like it creamy with a touch of sweetness. If you prefer more tartness you can lower the sugar amount. I confess I usually buy the bagged cole slaw ready for dressing, but if I’m chopping up my own mix, I keep it pretty simple. Cabbage, chopped (about a pound – about half a head) 1 carrot, diced
1 tablespoon distilled vinegar 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon white sugar 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together and pour over cabbage and carrot mixture. Mix well. Letting it sit for about an hour in the fridge will meld the flavors. But it will get watery if you let it sit too long. I sometimes make the dressing and stash it in the fridge. Then I just mix up the amount of cole slaw I want at any given moment. You can add onions, radishes or celery to your mix if you want, and adjust the sugar to make this more or less tart. Some like to add in a dash of cayenne pepper or even some horseradish for a little kick. I like my coleslaw sweet and creamy so I keep it simple.
April 8-9 – “Mahler 7,” Wichita Symphony, Century II Concert Hall. Soar to great heights with Mahler’s Seventh Symphony. Tickets $25-$70, purchase online at www.wichitasymphony.org. April 18-20 – “Dirty Dancing,” Theater League, Century II. Featuring the hit songs “Hungry Eyes, “Hey Baby, “Do You Love Me?” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” Tickets starting at $45, www. wichitatix.com. April 21-May 20 – “Six Women with Brain Death, or Expiring Minds Want to Know,” Roxy’s Downtown, 412-1/2 E. Douglas. To the expiring mind of a modern American woman, life can read like a tabloid headline. “Six Women With Brain Death” is a wild and very left-of-center view of the world from an entirely feminine standpoint. Shows Thursday-Sunday, tickets $20-$30, dinner $15; call 316-265-4400. More information at www.roxysdowntown.com.
Performing Arts Calendar
April 2017 April 22 – “The Music of John Williams,” Wichita Symphony, Century II Concert Hall. Music from John Williams’ most iconic film scores. Tickets $30-$70, purchase online at www.wichitasymphony. org. April 23 – Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty,” performed by the Russian National Ballet Theatre. Wichita Grand Opera, Century II Concert Hall, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $37-$85, $20 for students. Tickets at www.selectaseat.com. March 31-May 20 – “The Dukes of Haysville,” Mosley Street Melodrama, 234 N. Mosley St. Written by Jeff Gates and Tom Frye, directed by Tom Frye. Followed by “Motown and More” musical comedy revue, written by Patty Reeder, musical direction by Karla Burns. Shows Thursday-Saturday. Tickets $30 for dinner and show, $20 show only, call 316-263-7999. Additional information at www.mosleystreet.com.
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April 3 – Friends University Concert Band spring concert with Robert Buckley, special appearance by the Baker University Concert Band, 7:30 p.m. Buckley is a renowned composer of wind band repertoire, and has conducted his music throughout the world. Tickets $6, seniors and students $4; call Friends University at 316-295-5677. The concert will take place in Sebits Auditorium, 2100 W. University Ave.
Wichita Jazz Festival | Events run April 4-16
• April 4 – Wichita Jazz Festival panel discussion, 8-10 p.m., Fisch Haus. Free. • April 9 – Jazz brunch with the WJF Sessions Band, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Wichita Art Museum. Free. • April 10 – Kickoff party featuring Daydream and Odisea, 5:30-7 p.m., ICT Pop-Up Urban Park. • April 10 – WJF coffeehouse crawl, 7-10 p.m. Free music from students bands, featuring Wichita State University at KMUW radio, Bethel College at Reverie Coffee Roasters, Hutchinson Community College at Mead’s Corner, and Friends University at R Coffeehouse. • April 11 – Guest author talk with Paul Youngquist, 6-7 p.m. at Watermark Books. Free. • April 11 – WJF jazz jam session, 8-11:59 p.m. at Mort’s Martini and Cigar Bar. Free, 21+. • April 12 – Ad Astra Night featuring Alaturka, 8-11 p.m. at Roxy’s Downtown, tickets $10 ($5 students) available at www.wichitajazzfestival.com. • April 13 – Beyond Borders Night: The Kandinsky Effect, 8-10 p.m., Roxy’s Downtown, tickets $10 ($5 students) available at www.wichitajazzfestival.com. • April 14 – WSU Jazz Invitational, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., WSU Duerksen Fine Arts Center, featuring top high school and college bands in a juried competition. Free. • April 14 – Big Band Night: Deborah Brown with the WJF All-Star Big Band, 8-10 p.m. Roxy’s Downtown, tickets $15 ($8 students) available at www.wichitajazzfestival.com. • April 15 – A jazz celebration with KMUW’s Chris Heim, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Watermark Books. Heim discusses top new books about jazz followed by a performance from the WJF Sessions Band. Free. • April 15 – Headliner concert: Pat Metheny with Martin Wind and Matt Wilson, featuring the Wichita State University Orchestra, 8-9:30 p.m., Orpheum Theatre. Tickets $47.50-$67.50, www.selectaseat.com. • April 15 – Afterparty at Barleycorn’s featuring The Kandinsky Effect and Odisea, 9:30-11 p.m. • April 16 – Jerry Hahn Trio, 4-6 p.m., Bartlett Arboretum, Belle Plaine. Tickets $10, www.wichitajazzfestival.com.
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East Wichita News People and Places U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Conner J. Barragree graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio. The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force. Barragree is the son of Stacy and Troy Barragree of Wichita. The airman graduated in 2011 from Wichita Collegiate School, and earned a bachelor’s degree in 2015 from Washburn University, Topeka. A team of Kansas State University animal sciences and industry students won the 2017 Midwest Regional Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon, earning them a spot in the national meet this summer. Kansas State beat 12 teams from other universities. The competition includes four events: laboratory practicum, written exam, oral presentation and quiz bowl. Taylor Ochsner, a junior from Andover, was among the team members. Kansas State won the laboratory practicum and written exam, placed fourth in the quiz bowl and fifth in the oral presentation to win the regional competition. The Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) has announced the recipients of the 2017 Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education Awards. Nominated by their peers, these awardees exhibit outstanding innovation, leadership and achievement, as well as collaboration and cooperation within and beyond the environmental education field. The first recipient of the 2017 Kansas Green School of the Year was awarded to the Environmental Action Club at The Independent School. In 2012, the Independent School Environmental Action Club was established and in just five years, the club has grown and tackles everything from campus-wide green project activities, to student led research projects,
to tailoring leadership roles to future career goals and talents, to providing environmental education projects for students in grades K-12. The Environmental Action Club has been responsible for engaging K-12 students in going green, implementing an all-school campus recycling program, eliminating Styrofoam from the cafeteria and encouraging participation in “Lights Out” campaigns.
The Rev. Jeff Gannon, senior pastor at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in east Wichita, was invited by State Rep. Roger Elliott of Kansas House District 87 to give the prayer as State Chaplain before the Legislature on Thursday, March 9. Gannon, left, is pictured with Elliott on the floor of the House of Representatives. U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Austin J. Bechler and Airman Javon B. Bembry graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas. The airmen completed an intensive, eightweek program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force. Bechler is the son of Heath W. and Shannon M. Bechler, and brother of Blake L. Bechler, all of Wichita. He is a 2016 graduate of Wichita High School East. Bembry is the son of Candy L. Pierce of Wichita. He is a 2016 graduate of
Wichita Heights High School. Hunter Health Clinic has announced it is breaking ground on a new clinic, directly north of its existing building at 2318 E. Central. Hunter Health Clinic is a community-based health center that provides health care on a sliding fee scale to patients with a focus on the uninsured and underinsured. Plans call for a new 21,000 square foot patient services building. All patient services will be in the new building. The existing building will continue to serve the administration offices. Kansas State University students have elected Jack Ayres, junior in chemical engineering, Overland Park, as student body president. His running mate, Eastsider Olivia Baalman, junior in computer science, will serve as student body vice president. Ayres and Baalman will take office on April 7, when they will begin to advocate for the three themes of their campaign: “Your Degree, Your Campus, Your Voice.” Baalman is the governing association’s health and safety director. Wesley Healthcare has named Scott Barnett its new market director of cardiovascular services. He will oversee all cardiovascular services, cath labs and electrophysiology labs at all campuses, including Wesley’s Heart Valve Clinic and structural heart program. Barnett began his career in health care in 2002 working as a pharmaceutical sales representative at Schering-Plough. Since then he has served in a variety of physician relations roles from outreach manager to surgery specialist for the Wichita market. He most recently served as HCA’s Continental Division Care Assure program director in Denver. He received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., and his master’s
degree in healthcare leadership from Friends University in Wichita. “Global Village” took home top place for Most Licensed Series in the 2016 PRX Zeitfunk Awards, announced in March 2017 by PRX. Each year PRX, which along with NPR and PRI is the main route for distribution of audio content to public and community radio stations, presents the Zeitfunk Awards. They are based entirely on the actual number of individual shows stations take through PRX for air. “Global Village,” which placed in the top 10 several times and as high as top three in the past, this year was named the Number One Most Licensed Series taken by stations through PRX. “Global Village” went on the air on KMUW in January 2007, the outgrowth of a world music radio show started in 1989 by host Chris Heim and one of the longest-running world music shows in public radio. It offers an eclectic mix of programming that highlights not only a wide array of world styles and artists, but jazz, folk, rock and blues performers who incorporate world influences in their work. “Global Village” began national and international distribution in September 2010 and has aired to date on more than 325 stations in 40 states, Canada, New Zealand and Cambodia. The show is also offered to stations directly through KMUW. “Global Village” was named Readers’ Poll Best World Music Radio Show and was honored by the KAB Awards in the Large Market/DJ Personality category. Creative agency Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS) has announced leadership changes to the 45-year-old, employee-owned company that was formerly led by a group of managing partners. The changes include the promotion of four vice presidents: Tony Robinson is now chief financial officer; Jim Vranicar is chief operating officer; and Lathi de Silva and P. Scott Flemming are now managing directors of the agency’s Wichita office. The group was cited for their abilities to influence and grow the SHS business and have been working
Toni Porter has been promoted to director of government relations for the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. In her new position, Porter will lead the Chamber’s government relations efforts. She originally joined the Chamber in 2015, in a part-time position as the government relations project manager. Also announced was the departure of Barby Jobe Myers from the Chamber. Myers joined the organization in 2008 and has most recently served as the vice president of government relations. Her last day at
the Chamber is April 28. Myers is relocating to Oklahoma to join her family. Amber Beck has been named account manager in charge of marketing and new business development for Wichita Women’s Initiative Network. She most recently had been executive director of Children’s First: Children’s Educational Opportunity Kansas, Inc. Judy Conkling has been named development director for Wichita WIN. She most recently had been communications coordinator for Via Christi Health in Wichita. Wichita author Cindy M. Amos had “Everglades Entanglement” selected to debut a novella collection commemorating the 100th anniversary of America’s National Parks. A project of Winged Publications out of Surprise, Ariz., the romance collection will also feature fictional stories set in Yellowstone, Rocky Mountains, Glacier, Voyageurs and Hot Springs national parks. Everglades Entanglement was inspired by the work of two Kansas herpetologists, Joseph and Suzanne Collins, who researched how invasive pythons were altering the fragile Everglades ecosystem. The series is available on Amazon.
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closely together. All four report to CoCEOs Ali Mahaffy and John January. The news follows the February retirement of Rand Mikulecky, the agency’s only remaining managing partner who served the agency for 35 years. Vice presidents de Silva and Flemming have been promoted to managing directors, taking on the role of leading the day-today operations of the 40-person Wichita office. In addition, both will continue in their cross-office roles providing oversight for each of their areas of expertise. Flemming remains executive creative director for all of SHS. De Silva will maintain leading the reputation management and public relations discipline for the agency.
Kansas State Polytechnic elects new student body president, vice president
The student body of Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus has elected its new undergraduate leadership. Nicholas Ramirez, freshman in professional pilot, Wichita, has been chosen as student body president of Kansas State Polytechnic. Christian Coker, sophomore in professional pilot, Tulsa, will serve as student body vice president. When the two took office in the Student Governing Association, or SGA, on Tuesday, March 28, they began implementing their platform of advocating for students’ needs and increasing student involvement on campus. “I believe students on this campus deserve to have a SGA that really cares about them, their challenges and their ideas. It is important to Christian and me that students feel like their voices matter and that we’re here to represent them,” Ramirez said. “Despite having a little bit of a learning curve, I am honored and humbled that my fellow students have faith in me to lead their student government.” Ramirez, who graduated from Andover High School, got started in SGA last semester when he acted as a senator for the aviation program. Though initially he didn’t have any intention of running for president when the elections were first announced, he received an outpouring of support that swayed his decision.
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One of our favorite days was a car tour of the city. We rode in a 1954 Ford Mercury convertible with a driver who spoke English and was having fun with us…we saw the sights, including the unique statue of John Lennon, the Memorial of the Revolution, and prominent governmental buildings. A favorite night was the Cuba National Ballet performing Giselle at the Gran Teatro – a vintage 1830s theater
that’s in immaculate condition inside and out. It was a spectacular performance, and a wonderful night. We also had a favorite bakery that we visited almost daily for coffee and pastries, and we thoroughly enjoyed the museums we toured. But mostly, we just enjoyed walking the streets, dining in wonderful (and inexpensive) restaurants, and savoring the exciting Cuban nightlife. We also were able to do lots of shopping – and yes, you can bring home Cuban cigars, rum and coffee, all within certain limits. But there was no limit on the amount of fun you can experience while in Cuba, and for that…we were grateful.
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Wichita plays key role in history of Chisholm Trail The Chisholm Trail, celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2017, played a significant role in creating towns in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas after the Civil War. The cattle markets were in Kansas and so was the railroad, which shipped the beef back East. Beginning in 1867, vast herds of cattle were driven up to the Chisholm Trail from Texas to Wichita and other cowtowns of Kansas. Many believe that, without the cattle drive, Wichita might not have developed into the thriving city it is today. The trail is named after Jesse Chisholm, who had a trading post in Wichita and frequently traded with American Indian tribes throughout much of the region. To acknowledge the legacy of the trail, Wichita, along with many other cities in Texas and Oklahoma, are holding events throughout the year. “With attractions like Old Cowtown Museum and the Wichita/Sedgwick County Historical Museum, there are opportunities year-round to take in the history of the Chisholm Trail,” said Susie Santo, president & CEO of Visit Wichita. “We’re thrilled that the 150th anniversary brings even more opportunities to learn about the trail and its significance to Wichita.” Cowboy music, Chisholm Trail Camp-ins, book club readings, or even drinking a sarsaparilla with a cowboy in the saloon at Cowtown, are all ways you can celebrate the milestone in Wichita. In October, the Delano Fall Fair will honor the anniversary. The historic Delano District in Wichita is known for its history as a place where cowboys – after collecting their pay at the end of a cattle drive – could patronize its many saloons. For a full listing of the many ways to experience “The Year of the Chisholm Trail” in Wichita, visit www.VisitWichita.com/chisholmtrail-150. In addition to events, the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County have issued proclamations honoring the trail. To learn more about the history of the Chisholm Trail, read information from the Kansas Historical Society here or visit the Wichita/Sedgwick County Historical Museum and Old Cowtown Museum to experience the history as it comes to life.
Two Wichita high school seniors have won the 2017-18 Professor Fran Jabara Scholarship in Entrepreneurship at Wichita State University. The winners, Zaena Helm and Riley Webb, will each receive $25,000 over four years to attend Wichita State. The scholarship is one of the most prestigious at WSU and one of the largest entrepreneurship scholarships nationally. To qualify, a student must have a minimum ACT score of 24, a minimum high school GPA of 3.5 and be a declared entrepreneurship major, admitted to WSU by Feb. 1. The scholarship is named for the late Fran Jabara, who served on the Wichita State faculty for 40 years. He was dean of the College of Business Administration for seven years and founded the Center for Entrepreneurship at WSU, the first of its kind. He received the Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 and the President’s Medal in 2002.
Jabara’s son, Harvey, will represent him at the reception, along with WSU president John Bardo, Barton School of Business dean Anand Desai, faculty and staff. Zaena Helm Helm is a senior at Wichita High School East and plans to major in entrepreneurship. She has been involved as president of the Spanish Honors Society and has participated in scholar’s bowl, track and field, and theater. She also is the co-founder of the Middle Eastern Dance Club at East. Helm has spent time as a tutor for several years and enjoys volunteering for runs and walks in the Wichita area. She was recognized as a regional Track and Field qualifier and placed third in the 2015 Fairfield Scholar’s Bowl
Eastsider Zaena Helm, right, and Riley Webb are the winners of the Professor Fran Jabara Scholarship in Entrepresneurship at WSU.
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to do much with it. The villains, in fact, are forming the kind of organization that the heroes should be but aren’t. Like other movies of its type, “Logan” suggests no solution to social problems other than violence – mostly slugfests, despite the razor sharp claws Wolverine and his protege X-23 can extend from their clenched fists. The newest, and possible best, single
element in “Logan” is the 11-year-old newcomer who portrays X-23, Dafne Keen. Keen has almost no lines in English, but has a menacing, alert charisma that rules the screen and promises a long career in the kind of movies Hollywood feeds on. She offers the only reason I might hope that present trends do not entirely die out too soon. And unlike almost anything major studios release, “Logan” allows some relaxation between battles and bouts of reckless driving. It’s a reminder that in an effective action movie, the descriptor “pacing” does not always need to be preceded by “breakneck.”
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Eastsider is a Jabara Scholarship winner
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