About the Columbia Heart Beat
Mike: I can't live long without a Heartbeat. Columbia is so boring in the summer.
-- Jim Fairchild, Columbia
Mike, I don't know how I got on your email list for the "heart beat" but I appreciate receiving it. Fundamental decisions about the future of Columbia and Boone County are repeatedly being made by a group of "insider" elites while "yahoos" like me remain on the outside looking in.
-- Roland Meinert, Columbia
Dear Mike, All I can say is, WOW! It's a shame more information as included in your whole "offering" isn't generally known. Thank goodness you do it. You are doing a BIG public service.
-- Elizabeth Phillips, Boone County
About Assessor Schauwecker Kudos
Mike, You are an enigma to me. You'll write something brilliant and then (to me, anyway) you'll turn around and go off the deep end and use a howitzer when a flyswatter would do. But the biggest thing that scores brownie points in my eyes is when someone, regardless of their political persuasion, will admit that the other side occasionally does something right. That shows me that someone is truly being objective. So big kudos on your kudos to Tom Schauwecker. Very few people would be big enough to do something like that. Good job. -- Brian Ash, Columbia
About developers who don't take public tax money
Mr. Martin, How about we just let the free market handle these issues? I'd say look at the guys doing it the right way in choosing with whom to do business. How about ol' Bob Lemone? That guy went out and started his business park years ago and did it right. He was one tough hombre to business with. How about David Atkins? He is a sharp guy doing it right. Look to the guys who aren't soaking up taxpayers' resources and do business with them. Be sure to take a pass on the dudes working us over on the downtown TIFs too. That is a story that needs to be smoked out.
Good job on continuing to do some real reporting. -- John Rentschler, Columbia
About our story on City Hall's Low-income housing rehab programs
Mike, Didn't realize that program participants are required to use Columbia Housing Rehab program contractors. Perhaps one of your readers can enlighten me. Assuming that the housing rehab program is federally funded, would a bid request process be required? Does the city conduct QA on these contractors? If the city entered the contract, why would the homeowner have to sue for damages? -- Krissy Heitkamp, Columbia
About the Columbia Area Jobs Foundation and Shovel Ready Sites
Does anyone know the actual inventory of shovel ready sites? Near the opposite intersection of the site referenced in your "Good Ol' Boys" story is about 100 acres of fully completed infrastructure, shovel ready sites. There is the site near the landfill, a site near the airport, a site near Ashland, and sites at Lamone Industrial Park. How much do we need? Is this really the issue: not enough shovel ready sites? -- Name Withheld by Request
About poor planning at the County Fairgrounds
Hi Mike, OK, I now agree, the County continues to go overboard on buildings. The Courthouse expansion, I approved of that and still do. But now comes the "free" building donated to the County for the fairgrounds with 22,000 sf (fire sprinklers required at 12,000 sf) touted for basketball, livestock shows, horse shows etc. The public seems to be going for it.
I e-mailed the Commission asking if this facility was fire sprinkled? No answer. I called Stan Shawver who confirmed "there is a problem". He explained that since it is not sprinkled, the building can only be used for equine practice.
No shows or gatherings whatsoever. So we now have a used building, over budget and unable to be used by the public...ouch...great planning.
Thanks for your work. -- John from Hallsville
About George Parker
Mike, Just saw your article on George Parker. Good job. Someone recently gave me the following quote: “The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." -- Plato I sure wish everyone would pay more attention to public affairs.
-- Carol Van Gorp, Columbia
About the ongoing bikes vs. cars debate
Mike, This issue of 'us vs them' is useless, counterproductive and recognizes a confrontation that does not exist. I am a cyclist and a motorist: I ride my bike to work when I can otherwise I take my car. I believe that the same is true of all Columbia cyclists. So stop giving this issue credence.
The real problem is the waste of $25 million on road markings. An egregious and dangerous example is the westbound lane on Stadium and Forum. The right turn lane, perhaps 50 yards in length, and correctly treated by motorists as a deceleration lane (from 50 mph to a stop), crosses the bike path at the initiation of the lane. Really? The city expects me to cross into 50 mph traffic? Perhaps some of that money should be invested in a direct line to a house of worship, a hospital or a funeral home.
Sharing the many sparsely travelled roads with cars by a simple painting helps cyclists feel less threatened and defines for motorists bicycle paths. But on 50 mph highway the bicycle path must be off the road. One possibility for those heavily travelled roads is sidewalks. Let's make the sidewalks easier for both cyclists and pedestrians.
I like riding my bike, and I like that my community has made a commitment to the safety of it's citizenry that ride bikes. But the joy goes away if I have to force a motorist choose between severely injuring or killing me and damaging cars and possibly injuring themselves.
-- Harry W. Tyrer, Columbia
About our Crimestoppers Forum
A very good idea Mike, especially when it's a cooperative effort between citizens and the CPD. Hope it works out well. -- Lorah Steiner, Columbia
About where to shop to avoid TDDs
Mike, Is it possible for you to put up a city may showing the special sales tax areas so a person can make a good decision as where to shop and save money?? Thanks.
-- Jack Rhoads, Columbia, MO
[Ed. Note: I don't know of any such map, but it sounds like a good idea].
About the "real" West Broadway folly
Mike, I always thought the West Broadway folly was the idea of widening it to 4 lanes. I fail to see a proportional need for such a major project, beyond regular maintenance and upgrade, and wish that someone would state the REAL reason behind the push to widen West Broadway. I don't live on West Broadway, but do enjoy its traditional, if not historical, neighborhood and ambiance, and never see a flow-of-traffic problem outside of a short 5 o'clock period, like so many other streets throughout the city. My opinion is that a major thoroughfare or highway through the center of a city deadens it and detracts from its character, and is divisive.
-- Vicki Smith, Columbia
About Pepper and Friends and Enemies
Mike: Most people whining about Pepper & Friends probably don't understand the logic for this decision. Few people watch this show regularly -- usually only when their relative or club is being featured. Most people are occupied with work or school at 11 AM weekdays. Those who are not, are watching the soaps or Martha Stewart. That leaves a small population. I don't hear the sponsors complaining. They have been very patient over the years in what is probably a poor advertising investment.. done more as a community service. Does anyone blame them for pulling financial support? -- John Dean, Columbia