By. Adolfo Blanco
The cost of living for many in Manhattan, Kansas has continued to rise. For students, many have taken support and help from Cats Cupboard for their food and supplies. Of course, not everyone can be eligible for the Cupboard. There is still hope for those in need of a meal and products for the week.
Professor Andrew Smith, an Assistant Director for News and Sports Media, is actively involved with First Lutheran Church's Common Table, a coalition of churches providing free meals to those in need every night of the week.
"Ten different churches have come together to make sure that there's a meal every night for those who are hungry,” Smith Said. “It's a community meal. It's not for the homeless. It's just for anybody that feels like they need a community meal."
Andrew Smith assures individuals that they are not alone in their struggles. Many caring people are dedicated to helping, offering food every week. "Food is scarce in the city of Manhattan, and Manhattan is considered one of the lowest income cities in the United States, and it's the highest food scarcity place, but it exists, you just got to know where to go," Smith Said.
He commented that the rising stigma towards being seen as “poor” or “homeless” could cause people not to use the resources provided by the community. "Life is just hard for them. And so, I think it's an important service that still needs to be," Smith said. "Be aware of your surroundings. Understand that people, the kids sitting next to you in class may be food insecure."
One such person who is homeless, Earl Mims, has expressed his positive experience with Common Table. He explained that Manhattan has supported him over the years and how he appreciates the number of places that offer food and shelter.
"The majority of us go up and help clean up the stadiums after football games,” Mims said. “You get to meet a lot of different people that are homeless. Those guys turn out to be more of the nitty gritty guys. We know the nitty gritty are getting a lot of stuff done.”
He commented that he has faith and hope for the future for both him and the various people that are facing insecurity. The people who work for The Common Table are doing a service to the community.
"I'm still here another day. God has me here for something. Which is why all the churches help out. It is wondrous,” said Mims. “We're nitty-gritty people. It's awesome here, man.”
For Manhattan, Little Apple has extended its support to those in need year in and year out. With hope for more funding for the Common Table. The church community strives to serve the local people of the city as best as they can.
By. Adolfo Blanco
During the college semester, many students relied on Cats Cupboard to give them basic supplies such as food and hygienic products. For the students of K-State's resource center- which houses the university’s LGBTQ+ community- they recognize the growing need for supplies and banded together to help support the Cupboard’s needs.
K-State's Resource Center’s Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) has come together to support the Cats Cupboard. By participating in the Growing Wellness Program, they have offered support and supplies.
Student Services Coordinator of Student Belonging and Inclusion, Brandon Haddock, in an email that the “Growing Wellness is a program that started out as an idea to help create more enjoyable and healthy living spaces.”
Haddock commented that this program was first conceived after the events of COVID. With many students and staff having suffered from the effects, the Growing Wellness program has dedicated its knowledge to promoting the effects of plants, wellness activities, and food for personal health both physically and mentally.
“This is a great opportunity for the Spectrum Center and oSTEM to give back to our community and provide CC with a fun treat available to patrons for the Halloween season,” said Haddock.
Cecilia Davila Vasquez, an undergraduate working for Haddock, was approached by the coordinator and asked to think about what events and treats could be given to Cats Cupboard. Her idea was to gather up the members of oSTEM and create bags of food and recipes that are nutritious and fun to make.
“I kind of just sat down and just, whatever came to my mind, just like, OK, stuff that was possible to do... It's just like kind of connecting it to part of mental wellness. Keeping yourself fed and not only just like nutritious food, like it's also important for you to give yourself treats.” said Vasquez.
oSTEM has earned gratitude from many students, as college costs and living expenses add to their stress. Dallas Hopper, a student, mentioned how Cats Cupboard and oSTEM benefit him greatly.
“Financial situations have been tough with college and all that, but it really does help financially, so I would prefer it to any other grocery shopping,” said Hopper. “Since Manhattan is more of a college town, I feel like that's (oSTEM) a good thing to have here. I feel like other college cities and other college campuses should have something similar because it can help a lot of people who need that sort of thing.”
Shelly Williams, Director of Cats Cupboard, in an email expressed thankfulness towards oSTEM and wished to tell the university that they are always happy to receive donations and support from the campus community. She has asked that anyone wishing to donate can visit the Cats Cupboard site for a list of items needed.
By. Breanna Palmer
Claud on their second album Supermodels brings listeners into an audio hug through the 13 track list. Whether you’re a fan or not, Claud is able in these few songs to give an intimate performance with vocals, and acoustics to share on relationships both romantic and platonic.
Known for making the kind of pop music that goes well with a midnight snack, Claud opens Supermodel with ‘Crumbs’ setting the album off with guitar acoustics and drowsy vocals pulling the listener into their void.
The record through the next few songs, ‘Dirt’, 'A Good Thing’ and ‘Wet’ is able to blend both pop and alternative elements and brings in a sense of early alternative 2000’s nostalgia which sets up the perfect playlist for either a walk to class, or a midnight drive. One continuous feeling felt through the album is a bond through the experiences Claud sings about, either it being in the song ‘It’s Not About You’, where they share the experience of trying something new, and it breaking a relationship, or ‘The Moving On’, where Claud explains in a quirky way the struggles of moving on from one relationship to another.
‘Paul Rudd’, one of the most relatable and funniest track on the album, with the starting lyric, “And I hardly even noticed, you walk in with that atrocious looking guy on your shoulder” an unexpected line but as the song continues explains a story, that is almost too embarrassingly relatable. When thinking, or choosing a favorite song from Supermodels, I struggled a bit, because I related and connected to several of the songs and lyrics on the album as a whole. However, ‘Spare Tire’, not only was there the emotion and refocus on guitar acoustics and vocals, but a relation in the lyrics of how much time we should give to one person before it becomes too much, and invades your own time for yourself and personal growth.
The last two songs on the album ‘All Over’ and ‘Screwdriver’ do a beautiful job of wrapping the entire work as a whole, with reimplementing those alternative rock elements but also with a pop flare. Calud in these final songs puts their heart on their sleeves and expresses raw emotion with storytelling.
If you're looking to expand your reach when it comes to music, a fan of alternative or pop, or just in need of a really good breakup album. Cauld captures a bit of it all in Supermodels, and leaves fans and new listernes more connected to them and their journey in music, relationships, and life.
By. Dawson Wagner
The approach that Jon Batiste used in this album is a stark contrast compared to his previous jazz only influenced material. While that genre still exists and pervades throughout the album there is a larger goal that Jon Batiste appears to be trying to shoot for. âUniversalityâ a concept that Batiste uses in this album in what seems to be part of his plan to take his music to a global audience and create an album that seeks a universal listener.
This universal approach is framed within the boundaries of a traditional radio show. Using this ubiquitous technology Batiste is able to connect with a global audience that he aims to convince us; are listening to a âWorld Music Radioâ with the majority of the album being conceived like a timeless radio broadcast from a sort of interstellar DJ, gradually taking the listener from a hip-hop, pop and dance party to soul, Latin, folk and gospel. Beginning with a deep bassline in âHello, Billy Bobâ and continuing with a reggae-influenced beat, the smooth vocals of âRaindanceâ create a nostalgic feeling of familiarity to any American pop music listener, all the while giving those who havenât heard a Native Soul song before, a culture shock that will leave you wondering what you just heard at the end of the second song on the album.
Particularly wonder-esque is the adult-contempo-ish "Calling Your Name," filled with a harmonica solo and fuzzy synth backgrounds. This comes after a build up of numerous features from Jon Bellion, JID, NewJeans, Camilo, Fireboy DML, Rita Payes and Native Soul. Spanning the first five songs these features create a feeling of diversity and expansion from the jazz background batiste was raised in. While simultaneously creating a feeling of vagueness and loss of personal connection to Batiste himself, all to try and imbed so many different directions of music that it can make you feel as if the album has no direction at all.
At one point it feels like moving from a rave to a church. From the tribal group chorus of âworshipâ to the soaring vocals of âMy Heartâ with Rita Payes into âdrink waterâ with Jon Bellion & Fireboy DML who create a cloying summer jam. Itâs the feeling of spontaneity that this album does a good job at maintaining, whether you like unpredictably or not; the first eight songs will leave you all over the place. That is until âButterflyâ, this intimate, soft piano ballad will pull at your heart strings with lyrics such as âbutterfly flying homeâ and âall dressed in white,â this piece feels by far the most personal song on World Music Radio. Immediately following that â17th ward Preludeâ helps set up one of the most powerful songs on the album âUneasyâ (feat. Lil Wayne) providing us with a jazzy piano synth that gives Lil Wayne plenty of room to show off why he is one of the best rappers of our time.
Now maybe I was too easily persuaded by the lyrics of âCall Nowâ but the opening lines acknowledge the enjoyment of the dancefloor and invite listeners to participate in a call-in contest. This sets the stage for what follows â a celebration of individuality and the freedom to express oneself. The intoxicating rhythm of âCall Now (504-305-8269)â features his dad, Michael Batiste and provides lyrics like âYour favorite song, you sang your song. Don't say I'm wrong, this is your favorite songâ sold me on why this song is by far one of my favorites on the album. Not even including the fact that you can actually call the number 504-305-8269 and listen to the first song of the album. There are so many creative antidotes that Batiste included throughout this album that made it difficult to critique.
If I had to choose one song that confused me the most âMovement 18â (Heroes) would take the WHOLE cake of confusion. I know that I should know the Lordâs Prayer because it is important to Catholics, Christians and any church that subscribes to Jesus Christ. But I also realize that if this is a âUniversalâ album for listeners all around the world then why was the Lordâs Prayer (a prominently Western) prayer included? For the most part I think it comes from Jon Batisteâs faith and how he aims to include as many people as possible when thinking/believing in Christ, no matter who they are, what they identify as or who they marry. When viewed from this perspective I gained a new layer of appreciation for the album and the amount of time Batiste spent pouring into songs like âwhite spaceâ and âwherever you areâ which help put a soulful, ethereal bow tie on an emotional roller coaster of an album.
The final song âLife Lessonâ ends with Lana Del Rey and her heart wrenching emotional lyrics âYou were my biggest blessingâ and âI'm your life lessonâ that make you want to choke back tears so that you donât end up ruining the good vibes of the album. Batiste does a beautiful job highlighting so many talented artists throughout but almost loses touch with reality when trying to make a âuniversalâ sound that attempts to allow all cultures to resonate with. Batiste toes that line of almost taking it too far where there is no cohesion and the songs are all over the place, while at the same time he was able to highlight some unique sounds that Iâve never heard before and I appreciate him for exposing them to me.
By Adolfo Blanco and Sophie Lenkiewicz
Aggieville, known for the catchphrase come early, stay late is the home for local businesses, restaurants and bars. For the Manhattan community members it is a place to spend their evenings and weekends with family and friends, a space where the community supports one another. The plans however to expand and grow Aggieville brings a threat to this once local hub.
The project for midtown Aggieville has been an on-going issue since 2022 and continues to be debated and discussed in city offices now. Tuesday, September 26 the continuation of the construction was discussed by the Back Nine Development, a privately held residential construction and land development company.
Inside the meeting
During the meeting the firm was seeking the city’s approval to resume work on its paused million “Midtown” building project in Aggieville as well as a new hotel/parking garage across the street. President TJ Vilkanskas of Back Nine tried sympathizing with locals by ensuring they are also a local business and could relate to the concerns many locals and business owners expressed.
"We started Back Nine Development out of my house, we operated from there for about six years. So we are the definition of a very small, locally owned business. And we are familiar with many of the challenges that face other businesses,” Vilkanskas said.
The firm specializes in custom residential construction as well as commercial and residential land development. In the meeting they asked city commissioners for tax increment financing and an exemption on sales taxes on construction materials for the Midtown development plan. Originally they had an agreement for a $40 million Aggieville commercial and residential project, but after 11 weeks of construction the development halted in Aggieville after an investor pulled out. Since then many small business owners have raised complaints contributing to the construction and effects it has on business.
Tuesday, Back Nine mentioned their goal of wanting to start the project again in June 2024, Vilkanskas said they are very excited to bring around 400 plus jobs to the district. Utilizing around 60,000 square feet for office space and retail.
”The project as a whole, we're going to see an investment of, $100 million, it's going to generate 400 plus jobs, 108 hotel rooms and 500 parking spots— it’s really going to help that district [Aggieville] and bring some growth for that district in all of the small businesses.”
After an hour of questions directed to Back Nine Development from the residents of the town. Hatesohl had a direct response to the people of Aggieville’s concerns.
“You've got to seriously consider that there's no reason that, while you can be sentimental, as much as you want about business, the bottom line is, if you own a piece of property, you'd like to maximize how much you can get for that,” Hatesohl said, “that's, market economics, that the city can't do anything about there.”
Hearing from the townies
The meeting left many people with a bittersweet taste in their mouths. For some, such as Joyce Bright, a long time resident of Manhattan was concerned for what the development prioritized.
“I don't see any planned disabled parking around the outside, maybe it's there somewhere, but I don't see it — I had major surgery, and I had a temporary handicap parking permit. So I know what it's like,” Bright said, “ to have to walk slowly and walk carefully and in much pain to get to a place. I know the developer didn't talk about it, but it needs to be addressed.”
For business owner Ken Ward, his thoughts about the development project differed in ways for other business owners, Ward said at first he had concerns but has recently seen it as a positive and is going to wait to see the economic impact it brings.
“Sometimes I think about what they see and think about. Aggieville is, you know, just the bars. That's all they see is the bars…what happens when it's all of a sudden, you're not catering to the football crowd anymore,” Sarah Cunnick, co-owner of Sister of Sound Record Store said.
Cunnick said she wished to express to the people of Aggieville her discontent on the entire plan from Back Nine Development. She explained how Aggiville could benefit with small stores and business, local to the public district. However, with the development taking place and taking a considerable amount of businesses with its construction. Cunnick expresses doubt for the plans and if they can really benefit Manhattan as much as the Mayor hopes.
“Don't be ‘sentimental’ about a business that has been here for 30 years and that I consider an anchor business for all the other businesses in Aggieville — I mean, once a lot of this stuff goes away, it will never be replaced.” Cunnick said.
Kolby and Dawson sit down with associate professor of physics at Kansas State University, Dr. Lado Samushia, to discuss his expertise in dark matter and dark energy and the research he is conducting in the field of cosmology.