HPPR Arts, Culture & History

History:
prehistory
Native American history
early exploration
trails and railroads
homesteading
community settlement
farming & farm life
Dust Bowl era
ghost towns
personal remembrances & biographies

Culture:
ethnic groups
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values
folklore
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Arts:
literature
folk art
visual arts
music
theatre
events & festivals

Life a Waste of Water?

Apr 17, 2017
Luqman Mohammed / Creative Commons

Leto Atreides mentions in a meeting he has with his trusted associates about how power has been acquired through using both air and sea, and now need to establish desert power, or specifically referred to as, “Desert Botanical Testing Station.” Interesting that author Frank Herbert would include alternative sources of power in a book about a barren planet with limited water supply. Can using alternative sources of power have any benefits to preserving and conserving water? The answer to that question is yes! Alternative sources of power have excellent benefits to preserve and conserve water. Alternative sources of power being solar electricity, wind electricity, Geothermal electricity, hydroelectric electricity, biomass that are being used nationwide. An example of how our current mode of obtaining electricity is tainting our water includes using fossil fuels to generate electricity because it creates air and water pollution. Not only does this pollution contaminate our water, our drinking source, but by drinking contaminated water it can cause series health problems. Alternative sources do not require water to operate. The consequences of this is two-fold in regards to benefits. Power sources that do not rely on water to operate means less water pollution, and reduced strain of competing for water sources with agriculture or livestock.

Free PBS Kids channel now airing in Texas panhandle

Apr 14, 2017
NPR

Texas Panhandle PBS audiences can now get the 24-7 PBS Kids channel on air and online.

As the Canadian Record reports, the free service features educational programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ensuring that the high-quality content is available to all children and caregivers on a platform and at a time that works for them.

Going it Alone

Apr 12, 2017
EMHKE

VANCE:   Hey! I'm Vance Ehmke and we farm in Lane County KS. Today Louise and I are going to talk about stretching water.

LOUISE: While most people in western Kansan would like to conserve irrigation water,can one man go it alone?

VANCE: 40 years ago I was up at K-State talking with ag economist Don Pretzer about ways to conserve the Ogallala aquifer. And he made a very good observation.

Waste Not. Want Not

Apr 10, 2017
CREATIVE COMMONS

Welcome to High Plains Radio Readers Book club, an on-air, on-line community of readers exploring themes of Water and Replenishment in our Book Club Series. Rediscovering an epic science fiction title, Dune, written in 1965 by Frank Herbert.

scgwynne.com

West Texas A&M University and the Center for the Study of the American West are welcoming a luminary of the American literary scene this Thursday night. S.C. Gwynne is the author of one of the most celebrated books ever written about the High Plains: Empire of the Summer Moon, a magisterial history of the Comanches and Quanah Parker.

It's the last day of our pledge drive, and we're thrilled to be featuring the community of Hays, KS.

We''ve got a giveaway, thanks to the generosity of High Plains artists MICHAEL JILG and LEON STAAB.

Their show, Eufloria, is from 4/7 - 4/29 at Garden City Arts in Garden City, KS. 

Renee Comet / Wikimedia Commons

After Sunday-Go-to-Meeting and Friday Night Football, Taco Tuesday is perhaps the most hallowed of weekly traditions in Texas.

But, as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, you might be surprised to learn that taco joints in the Lone Star State are forbidden from using the words “Taco Tuesday.”

Ancient Playa Lakes

Mar 29, 2017
FROM LOUISE AND VANCE EHMKE / Kansas Geological Survey

VANCE: Hey! I'm Vance Ehmke and we farm in Lane County KS. Today Louise and I are going to talk about playa lakes.

LOUISE: Here in this part of the state we are truly the Saudi Arabia of playa lakes because there are over 23,000 in western Kansas-the most in the world.

VANCE: We have mixed emotions about the playas. I don't know how many times we've had to pull tractors or combines out of them. And I can't count the number of crop failures we've had because of them.

LOUISE: But on most days we're thankful for them. If all we had were flat Harney silt loam soils, we'd lead a pretty plain life. But with the playas,we enjoy a lot of scenic and aesthetic breaks along with a greatly diversified flora and fauna.

Culture and Water in Dune

Mar 27, 2017
J. Stephen Conn (2009) / PhotosForClass.com

Welcome to High Plains Radio Readers Book club, an on-air, on-line community of readers exploring themes of Water and Replenishment in our Book Club Series. Rediscovering an epic science fiction title, Dune, written in 1965 by Frank Herbert.

Book I of Dune sets the scene of the political volatile environment between the Houses, specifically the Atreides House. Events of Barron’s well thought out plan to annihilate the Atreides House thickens the plot, and yet main character, Paul Atreides is a greater threat than the Barron is willing to consider. Barron’s perfect plan hinges on a traitor in the Atreides House, a traitor who becomes a wild card and this takes place on a desert planet caked Arrakis, a.k.a. Dune.

The HPPR Living Room Concert Series is pleased to present: TERRI HENDRIX & LLOYD MAINES, live in Amarillo on Earth Day!

Saturday, April 22nd

Chamber Music Amarillo's Fibonacci Space (3306 SW 6th Ave.)

Doors @ 7p | Show @ 7:30p — Sugg. Donation: $15

RSVP online here, or call Jenny at 806-367-9088.

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April Showers

Mar 24, 2017
Janet Huelskamp - Fowler, KS

Hello, Radio Readers! Where have the books in our spring series Water and Replenishment been taking you?

Me? Well, talking about these books have made for some fantastic conversations! One example: some friends and I were noticing surprising similarities between Milagro Beanfield War and Dune. Sure, one is set in northern New Mexico almost 50 years ago while the other takes place on a desert planet 20,000 years in the future. But both show the ways that limiting access to a limited resource empowers a few and deprives many. William Ashworth’s 2006 Ogallah Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains documents the consequences of certain entrenched beliefs that some have a greater right to, a greater need of, water than others. Listen to the questions he asks: “should underground water be a public resource, as it is in six of eight High Plain states, or should it belong to the owner of the overlying earth, as in Oklahoma, or to no one, as in Texas?” He also wonders whether a standard of “beneficial use” should be applied when pumping ground water. Who defines that standard? Who resolves conflicts between competing needs?  These are the same questions at the heart of the fictional Milagro Beanfield War and of Dune, right?

Conserving Water in Hays, Kansas

Mar 22, 2017
JASON RIEGEL / City of Hays, Kansas

Ogallala Blue, Water and Life on the High Plains explains how groundwater mining of the Ogallala has become a way of life. How much water do we urban folk utilize, and what can we do to reduce groundwater usage?  Fortunately, a modal to answer this question exists in Ellis County, KS, the only KS County having more than 15,000 population, too dry to rely on surface water supplies and lacking a substantial aquifer.

For the 20,000 citizens of Hays Kansas, located in Ellis County, retaining a quality life has meant water conservation.  Comparisons by USGS of City average per capita water usage in gallons from 2009 to 2013 measures Hay’s water efficiency: Colby 294 gpc, Goodland  283, Garden City: 204, Liberal 188, Dodge City 175 and Hays 93 gpc.

HPPR's Living Room Concert Series presents The DustJackets - TWO SHOWS! (Garden City & St. Francis)

Shows @ 7p ~ Suggested donation: $15

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FIRST SHOW: Friday, April 14 @ HPPR Studios - Garden City, KS

RSVP HERE FOR GARDEN CITY!

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To our Crazy Beautiful fans in the HPPR area: 

 Due to restrictions on travel visas coming into the United States, Tommy & I regret that we are unable to travel to Amarillo, Texas for our 3/30 concert. It's truly beyond our control and we hope to reschedule for Fall. Please accept our apology for any inconvenience.    Peace, Tia

Full Circle or Not

Mar 20, 2017
SUSAN STOVER

Who owns the water, who speaks for future generations’ right to water and what comes after the Ogallala aquifer is gone? William Ashworth raises these questions in his book, Ogallala Blue, the High Plains Public Radio community read, as he ponders what a “post-Ogallala economy” will look like.

We likely won’t recognize the day when the High Plains states enter a “post-Ogallala economy,” as adjustments happen continually. Some changes are triggered when individual wells fail, producers age and get out of farming, or low commodity prices force hard decisions.  Other changes are being made by people with vision and opportunities to adjust their businesses to a long-term reality of less available water.  

Honest Questions

Mar 17, 2017
JONATHAN BAKER / Canyon, Texas

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’ve been asked to talk a little bit about Ogallala Blue by William Ashworth, the latest selection in the HPPR Radio Readers Book Club. The book concerns the Ogallala Aquifer, the vast body of groundwater that exists beneath the feet of High Plains residents and is sometimes referred to as an “underground ocean,” though it’s more akin to a sponge made of permeable rock and silt.

What is the Right Thing?

Mar 15, 2017
KAREN MADORIN / Logan, Kansas

I’m Matthew Sanderson. Today, I’ve been asked to share a few thoughts on the book, Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains, by William Ashworth.

I approach the issue of water in Kansas from both personal and professional angles. As a fifth-generation Kansan, I grew up hearing about the loss of groundwater in the western part of the state. As a sociologist, I apply the methods of social science to try and understand a puzzle: after nearly 40 years of policy efforts, institutional reforms, economic incentives, and technological innovations, why do we still see declining groundwater levels? It is a deceptively simple question. Ashworth takes us down the path toward answers.

Tulsa World

As the United States—and the State of Oklahoma—remain mired in fights over women’s rights in the twenty-first century, The Tulsa World has published a reminder of Oklahoma’s past.

Can Technology Help the Ogallala?

Mar 13, 2017
Kansas Geological Survey

Technology made it possible to develop the Ogallala aquifer and turn the High Plains region into the nation’s breadbasket. William Ashworth describes this transition in Ogallala Blue, the High Plains Public Radio community read.  Intense pumping, though, has caused many areas to have large groundwater declines.  Can technology also provide a way to extend and conserve the aquifer into the future?

That is certainly a possibility.  The state water plans for Texas, Kansas and Colorado all propose meeting future water needs, in part, by implementing technology to conserve water today.

Texas Department of Transportation

“Don’t Mess with Texas” is the phrase that has come to symbolize the Lone Star State, more than any other slogan. It’s a source of pride to the state’s residents, and it’s used by people all over the world to poke fun at the bravado and swagger of Texans. But older Texans will remember when the phrase was merely a slogan used to remind Texans not to litter on the highway.

Reflections on Ogallala Blue

Mar 10, 2017
CREATIVE COMMONS

I appreciate Kathy Holt asking me to review Ogallala Blue by William Ashworth for High Plains Public Radio. I had read the book several years ago, and recently read it again for the review. 

Ogallala Blue is a good read for those who are focused on water resource challenges from the environmental, socio-economic, engineering, or well owner perspective. Ashworth uses a series of case studies to describe the history and future challenges of the Ogallala aquifer on the High Plains.    Today, many High Plains communities exist and thrive because of the Ogallala.

In Texas, Ogallala water levels have been declining since the 1930’s because well owners have been pumping more water from the aquifer’s storage than recharge can replenish.  As aquifer levels decline, finding and pumping water becomes progressively costlier to the region’s economy.  I agree with Jeff Johnson’s interview in the book that the High Plains economy based on pumping from the Ogallala will not experience a collapse but “a long slow decline to a lower level”.  To maintain the High Plains economy, stakeholders will need to develop other economic input sources that do not rely so heavily on groundwater.

HPPR's Living Room Concert Series presents Santa Fe folksinger: DAVID BERKELEY

Live in Amarillo ~ Friday, March 10th
Chalice Abbey (2717 Stanley)
Doors @ 7p | Show @ 7:30p

Suggested Donation: $15
RSVP online or call 806.367.9088

Sihuatl - Mujer - Woman: International Women's Day

Mar 8, 2017
Xánath Caraza / Conjuro - Mammoth Publications, 2012

Sihuatl

By Xánath Caraza

Tlatoli, tlen mo nenemilia ipan to tenshipal.

Ti kamatics campa ne

kuatinijic tlayeyekapa miyotia.

Huan tlaejekapa tlamasi kama ki totomosa no tonal

Ni sasilia to teko tlen ki ajamatij no lalamikilis.

Mujer

By Xánath Caraza

Palabra que se disuelve entre los labios.

Encantamiento de los bosques

con sus aromas más exquisitos.

Viento suave que toca el alma,

susurro de dioses que encanta mi razón.

Water in Native American Ledger Art

Mar 8, 2017
Northern Cheyenne leader Wild Hog / Mandeville Library and Plains Indian Ledger Art Publishing Project

Cheyenne people, who are two nations today, Southern and Northern, live in Oklahoma and Montana. Their 19th century relatives drew glyphic images on hide and then paper, often ledger books obtained from traders. Water in a plains ledger art scenery has importance in surprising ways.

Water is essential for courtship. Young women fetched water for their families every morning and evening, so

references to water suggests trysts. George Bird Grinnell writes about courtship, a woman would appear unchaperoned, “on her way to get wood or water.” The man “stepped up beside her, and threw his arms and his blanket around her, quite covering her person with the blanket. Then he held her fast and began to talk with her.” (Grinnell 1, 132; Wild Hog-Schoyen, plate 9). In an image attributed to Northern Cheyenne leader Wild Hog, a well-dressed man, his braids wrapped in otter fur, wears a bright red blanket. He accosts a woman wearing a fancy belt and dress. Her legs and face are painted red. This is no chance meeting, as both are dressed up. In the image, a blue circle represents a spring or small lake. Dashes lead away from the blue water, which are her steps. The steps meander, indicating the leisurely walk of the courting couple. They are in no rush to part company.

Who knew so many of the good people of Garden City would venture out on a Sunday night for a live jazz concert? 

HPPR would like to thank our honored guests, The Bob Bowman Trio from Kansas City, for their phenomenal concert on  March 6th. It was broadcast live on air from our Garden City studio in front of a live audience.  

This show was made possible by: Hicks Thomas LLC - A Texas energy and trial law firm.

Whose Rights are Right?

Mar 6, 2017
James Miller, 1999 / USGS

What do we say when we talk about the Ogallala aquifer? It’s the “life-blood” and “linchpin to the economy.”  Some farmers point out they aren’t growing crops, they’re exporting water in bushels of corn and soybean, and bales of alfalfa and cotton.   That is also true with the beef and milk produced.  What the aquifer isn’t:  it isn’t an ocean, although it held more water in its silty, sandy layers than five Lake Eries; it isn’t a river, although more water is pumped annually than flows in the Colorado River; and it isn’t inexhaustible.  

The High Plains Pubic Radio community read, Ogallala Blue by William Ashworth, describes the development of the aquifer and water laws to manage it.

Will We be Here When the River Returns?

Mar 3, 2017
MAX McCOY / Emporia, Kansas

I’m hiking down a dry riverbed on a cold morning in winter, and with each step my boots make a sharp sound in the gravel. This is Cimarron Crossing, where travelers along the Santa Fe Trail had a serious choice: They could continue up the Arkansas River on the mountain route, which would take them to Bent’s Old Fort and then south over the Raton pass. Or, they could choose the middle crossing. They might ford the river here, or at points nearby, and follow the Cimarron Route, which was shorter but had less water and poorer grass, often called “The Waterscrape.” Neither route was easy, and the consequences of a bad choice could mean hardship or even death.

Water & Replenishment - A Poet's View

Mar 1, 2017
Denise Low

Ogallala Aquifer

As the water table sinks

mid-range rivers falter.

The Arkansas River loses its way

to Wichita. The Smoky Hill

lapses into gravel

and long stretches of silence,

like Heraclitus, muffled,

only fragments remaining

from his distant writings.

Or Sappho—her broken

songs are beds of old lakes,

just the outlines visible

like wheel ruts

of the Oregon Trail,

almost imaginary traces

across grasslands.

Luca Nebuloni / Flickr Creative Commons

A Texas man has garnered hundreds of signatures on a petition that would designate the taco as the official food of Texas.

As Vice.com reports, the current official food is chili, but taco aficionado Mando Rayo believes it’s time for a change. The chili designation officially occurred in 1977, with a state decree that began:

The Ogallala Aquifer

Feb 27, 2017
Janet Huelskamp - Fowler, KS

Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains, by William Ashworth, is a High Plains Public Radio community read.  The book chronicles the development, management and possible fate of the Ogallala, the largest aquifer within the High Plains aquifer system.  At its essence, the book is about the people and the place that rely on the aquifer. I am Susan Stover with the Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas.   

The High Plains aquifer stretches from South Dakota to Texas and New Mexico. It supplies the water for nearly a third of our nation’s irrigated crops and has transformed the region into some of the nation’s most productive acreage with fields upon fields of corn, alfalfa, soybeans, wheat, sorghum and cotton.  The aquifer also supports the cattle, dairy and hog industries, meatpacking and milk processing plants, ethanol production, and communities.  It is a vibrant economy, one that runs on water.

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