Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Columbia Heart Beat -- 3/25/08

News and Commentary for Columbia's Blogs and Listservs

WE ENDORSE: Schnarre, Parry, and the Race for Boone Hospital Board
ASHLAND COUNCILWOMAN: Files for County Assessor
PAUL STURTZ: On Paul Sturtz
RUMOR HAS IT: Roper, Williams, and Loveless? Oh My!
CHUCK GRAHAM: Draws (Like Tons of) Opponents

VILLAGE VOICEOVER: First Ward Candidates Debate the Overlay Ordinance
THE CHANGE GANG: Kennedy on the Levy; Rosman on Gangs; Schuster on CrossCreek

STAFF CHAT: Columbia's Sewer Bond, with Jerry Wade and Toni Messina
BETTY COOK ROTTMANN: Hails the Coming of Spring
PARTING THOUGHTS: Going Crazy, with Wonder and Aplomb


WE ENDORSE: Schnarre, Parry, and the Race for Boone Hospital Board

All cities, great and small, have a biggest fan, one person who is the city's biggest booster. In many cities, it's the mayor. But in Columbia, it's Fred Parry, a radio talk show host and magazine publisher who's been known to say, in the straightest of faces, that Columbia, Missouri "is the center of the Universe."

Located in Columbia is Boone Hospital, a county facility that serves folks from all over. An incumbent Boone Hospital Board member, Parry has practiced what he's preached, steadfastly guarding the hospital, its patients, employees, and patrons, for instance, against a bad contract with the hospital's manager, BJC.

"I am surprised to be in complete agreement with both Fred Parry and Tribune publisher Hank Waters - whom one trustee described as 'apoplectic' in his opposition to renewing the lease," Tribune columnist J. Scott Christianson wrote, in a story about the hospital board and Missouri's Sunshine Law. "But I think they are right. It is time to cancel the lease and bring our hospital back into the sunshine."

Christianson, a well-known Democrat, reflected the views of many other Democrats -- and Republicans -- in his support for Republican Parry on this issue. I'm hearing the same thing on his electoral campaign against former Boone County presiding commissioner and fellow Republican Keith Schnarre.

While completely within his rights, Schnarre may have made a political mistake in asking for Parry's removal from the Morning Meeting radio show until after the election, on the grounds of "equal time" (something Fred himself may have done if the case were reversed).

Bottom line: it's not nice to "pull a Parry" on Fred Parry!

Fred Parry's service as a hospital board trustee has been sterling, and for that reason we say it's Parry for Boone Hospital Trustee. Just don't tell him we said it.

ASHLAND COUNCILWOMAN: Files for County Assessor

Ashland alderwoman and certified real estate appraiser Barbara Bishop has filed to be Boone County's next assessor, Ashland's Boone County Journal reports.

Bishop's platform includes such common sense concepts as courteous, professional treatment of consituents and employees.

She's also tackling more technical concepts such as putting a vehicle tax based on vehicle identification numbers ( VINs) on the ballot or in front of county commissioners. A short while back, the current county assessor mandated the change on his own, boosting property taxes on cars and trucks for thousands of people.

"Tax increases should be voted on," Bishop says. "I believe in Taxation WITH Representation."

Boone County Journal editor Bruce Wallace says that Bishop has served with integrity and care as a member of Ashland's city council. He believes she will bring the same approach to the job of county assessor.

Bishop was one of four candidates interviewed by Citizens for Property Tax Fairness, a grassroots group seeking change in the county assessor's office. As a member of that group, I'm pleased. Few people in the county are truly qualified to hold this job, and with her city council, planning and zoning commission, and parks board service, Bishop adds a sense of good governance to 13 years experience as an appraiser.

Visit Barbara Bishop online at or email her at bishopforboone@live.com .

PAUL STURTZ: On Paul Sturtz

I’m Paul Sturtz and I’m running to represent YOU on Columbia’s City Council. It will be both an honor and a challenge to work with First Ward residents and others to revitalize Columbia’s central-city neighborhoods. I will work to represent the many interests of our First Ward from Clinkscales to College, from Broadway to the freeway, including our three campuses.

I have lived in Columbia since 1995 and in the First Ward for seven years. With my colleague David Wilson, I co-founded Ragtag Theater in 1998 and the True/False Film Festival in 2003. I was also one of the founding members of COLORS (Columbia Locally Owned Retail and Services), the Friends of Stephens Lake, and Big Canoe (an urban farm located on Sanford Avenue between Ash and Worley).

Through Ragtag, True/False, Stephens Park, COLORS, and Big Canoe, I have worked for over a decade to bring jobs, business, culture, art, recreation, and sustainable living to Columbia’s Central City. Thanks to creative ideas and the involvement of numerous volunteers, each of these efforts has produced tangible results for Columbia.


We can build a livable community in the heart of our city. For a better First Ward and a better Columbia, please vote for me – Paul Sturtz – on Tuesday, April 8.

Thanks! -- Paul

Jennifer Wingert's fifth grade class at Grant Elementary has asked questions of candidates for various local political offices. Answers from school board candidate
Ines Segert and First Ward City Council candidate John Clark are here

RUMOR HAS IT: Roper, Williams, and Loveless? Oh My!

Could an English professor, former city councilman, and bank executive be considering -- or under consideration -- for a run as mayor of Columbia in a couple of years? Tongues are wagging at the possibility of a race that could include Boone County National Bank executive Bob Roper, whose recent columns in the Columbia Tribune indicate he'd be a tough-on-crime pragmatist with a no-nonsense style.

Former city councilman Jim Loveless has long been rumored to be considering a run. Loveless, a professional conservationist, served for several years on the city council.

MU English professor Jeffrey Williams, who co-chaired the city's visioning committee, may be a "dream candidate" for many people. Director of access and urban outreach in MU’s Office of Enrollment Management, Williams brings a long history of public service on the Minority Men’s Network and as board chairman for the Boone County Community Partnership.

Caution: Actually considering a run and being considered as a candidate are two different things. At this point, it's too early to tell. Lots of people engage in political wishful thinking.
CHUCK GRAHAM: Draws (Like Tons of) Opponents

Columbia Tribune reporter Jason Rosenbaum blogs that local Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, has drawn Libertarian, Republican, and Democratic opponents for his upcoming statehouse race. Here's what Rosenbaum writes:

Christopher Dwyer of Hallsville is running as a Libertarian.

Kurt Schaefer, a lawyer with Lathrop and Gage who worked previously for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, will run as a Republican.

Dr. Elizabeth Allemann filed to run against Graham as a Democrat. Allemann, a physician, is a home birth doctor and an expert in "natural childbirth." The Harrisburg native is a strong supporter of midwifery. She's written several letters to the Tribune about the issue and has criticized Graham for blocking legislation that would have expanded the practice. Graham drew ire of midwifery supporters last year.

Here's what we write: Tongues are wagging with some pretty juicy stuff about this race, and we'll keep you posted on what we hear -- and can confirm.
VILLAGE VOICEOVER: First Ward Council Candidates Debate the Overlay Ordinance

One of the hottest First Ward issues coming to the City Council is a proposal to establish an urban conservation overlay district for the North-Central Columbia neighborhood.

Read the rest here
THE CHANGE GANG: Kennedy on the Levy; Rosman on Gangs; Schuster on CrossCreek

"Like most of you, I’ve never hesitated in supporting school tax increases. They have always seemed money well spent. This year is different. The 54-cent increase being proposed in the April election is going to take some selling and some explaining. Judging from what I hear around town, a lot of other fans of education feel the same way."

Poor judgments make school tax a hard sell
By George Kennedy

"According to the Columbia Police Department, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be an armadillo in a duck costume trying to imitate a duck. The difference is that the armadillo does not sell drugs, engage in violent turf wars and seek out illegal activities that cause millions of dollars in harm and loss of life. Armadillos will eat your tulip bulbs. Devastating, but not life threatening."

Columbia City Council needs to address gang, economic problems
by David Rosman

"Now that the City Council has embarrassed itself in regards to the Crosscreek Center development at the east end of Stadium Boulevard, one must ask: Where in our city limits could we situate a new car dealership?"

CrossCreek Vote Raises Questions: If Not Here, Where?
by Larry Schuster
STAFF CHAT: Columbia's Sewer Bond, with Jerry Wade and Toni Messina

The City of Columbia has called for a special election on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 to submit a bond issue proposal to Columbia voters to improve the city’s sewer system to meet new federal regulations. For a fact sheet on this issue, please visit:


BETTY COOK ROTTMANN: Hails the Coming of Spring


This is the day that Spring is due.
A year is an interminable wait
And after all the weather I’ve been through
I hope the darling won’t be coming late…

Now Spring is pulling in. That carefree sprite
Will laugh at my exhilarated greeting,
Quite unaware how desperate my plight
To overcome the winter for our meeting


PARTING THOUGHTS: Going Crazy, with Wonder and Aplomb

If we go....go insane....we can all....go together.....In this wild...wanton world.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmnCteBCUi8

Mike Martin
National Press Club
National Association of Science Writers

The Columbia Heart Beat
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1 comment:

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