Thursday, October 15, 2009

BEAT BYTE: Columbia realtor battles new tax idea

1)  LEADING COLUMBIA REALTOR:  Battles new tax idea
2)  RATE MY COP:  Lets Columbians praise or pan police 
3)  BILL GATES:  Helps Centralia Library;  Barber steps in for City Hall
4)  DIGITAL PATRONAGE:  Saves Columbia Record Label 
5)  MIZZOU STUDENTS:  Build solar house on DC's National Mall
6)  DINERS REVIEW:  Bangkok Gardens
7)  HEAR YE!  HEAR YE!   Boone County Republicans Chili Supper
Mid-Missouri Renaissance Fest
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LEADING COLUMBIA REALTOR:  Battles new tax idea

COLUMBIA, 10/13/09 (Beat Byte) -- Yet another new tax is angling its way up the government flagpole, as Missouri realtors battle a sales tax on real estate.  Take it from someone who has paid this onerous tax in another state:  We don't want it here.
And we won't have it here if REMAX/Boone Realty honcho Elizabeth Mendenhall has anything to say about it.  The incoming president of the Missouri Association of Realtors, Mendenhall called sales taxes on real estate "double taxation" in yesterday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  She argues that homeowners and landowners already pay property taxes and shouldn't have to pay another tax to sell property.
Missouri is one of only 13 states without such a sales tax, which hits a property owner regardless whether they profit from the real estate sale or not.  It can even put sellers in the hole or further in the hole:  a 1% tax on the gross sales price of a $200,000 home -- modest by today's standards -- is $2,000.00   In Philadelphia, the tax is 4%, which would mean $8,000.00.
RATE MY COP:  Lets Columbians praise or pan police
COLUMBIA, 10/13/09 (Beat Byte) --  Columbia police (CPD) officer Trisha Rigsby gets five stars for being "cool and professional."  But officer Latisha Stroer only gets one star, and a nasty note from someone she arrested:  "Stroer was involved in an incident where my friend was being held in a cop car (later released). I asked why and was told it wasn't my business so I called my lawyer. When they heard him actually answer my call I was tackled by 4 officers and my phone taken from me. I was arrested for trespassing on a public sidewalk (later dropped)."
It's all part of the dialogue on, where citizens get to talk back to police officers and "rate" them with one to five stars.  The comments can be tough -- " This guy was a moron.  A complete loser," about CPD officer Aaron Wheeler -- or kind, as in this note about CPD officer Michael Youtsey:  "Responded quickly and got as much information as he could. We need more like him."   
My favorite CPD officers get mixed reviews.  Zim Schwartze, writes the same person who hammered officer Wheeler, is "dishonest." while Michael Hayes, who coordinates the Neighborhood Watch program, is "as fair as they come. He is one of the cops who really listen to what you have to say."
Check out, Columbia at:
BILL GATES:  Helps Centralia Library; Local barber steps in for City Hall

CENTRALIA, 10/13/09 (Fireside-Guard) --  The Centralia Public Library will receive $9,750 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to purchase six public computers in 2010-11, the Centralia Fireside Guard has reported.  This is the third year of the grant program, which awards libraries in selected states across the nation with matching grants for new and updated technology.
The Centralia Public Library will match the foundation's grant with $5,850 over the next two years. The library's first computers were supplied by a Gates Foundation grant seven years ago.
In other recent news, a Centralia barber, fed up with City Hall feet-dragging over an eyesore near his shop, took up the job of painting and fixing it himself -- something Columbians ought to do with the Heibel-March Store/Field Park Building!   This summer, six years after a gas-main explosion gutted the building at 105 N. Allen Street, LeeAllen Smith took his wife, two children and 20 gallons of paint and gave the make-shift storefront a makeover, the Fireside Guard reported. 
"I understand the city is moving as fast as it can," said Smith, a former Centralia alderman.  "But it needed to be done because it was an eyesore."
He found a few people of like-mind to support him: Denny Rusch of LaCrosse Lumber mixed and donated the light tan latex paint, paint brushes and rollers; Charlie Stidham of Stidham Electric loaned Smith a scissor lift to paint the 32-foot tall storefront; and Smith's own business, the Centralia Barber Shop, provided the labor.
Columbia City Hall -- take note! 
Read all about it at:
DIGITAL PATRONAGE:  Saves Columbia Record Label 
COLUMBIA, 10/13/09 (Beat Byte) --  Centuries ago, all the big artists had patrons -- wealthy benefactors who commissioned and supported their work.  Michelangelo had the Pope; Mozart and Wagner had kings and emperors;  William Shakespeare had Henry Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton.
Turns out patronage is back, online, and not just for the rich.  In fact, a unique website called Kickstarter helped save Columbia-based Emergency Umbrella Records from a big headache: How to clear an overcrowded warehouse of a bulging CD backlog.
First reported by by Annie Zaleski in the Riverfront Times, Emergency Umbrella -- label home to a number of local bands including St. Louis-based Gentleman Auction House -- was facing the kind of massive storage crunch that forced Columbia's City Hall and County Courthouse to expand themselves for about $40 million.  Artists, sadly, are never so lucky.  Instead of relying on unsuspecting taxpayers, Emergency Umbrella turned to Facebook and Kickstarter, Zaleski reported.   
The call for help went out on Facebook in September:  "Emergency Umbrella Records needs your help!  Our warehouses are overcrowded with CD's and LP's and we need to clear them out before they get destroyed or we face high storage costs.  Destroying these records is just not an option for us (these are great records that our bands worked really hard on, they're just overstocked)." 
Facebookers were directed to Kickstarter, "where people looking to help can become a 'patron' of the label by pledging money.  In return, donors receive an assortment of albums" at an amazing, bargain basement price.   A $15.00 pledge might merit 10 CDs, for instance. 
Emergency Umbrella reported meeting their fundraising goal and clearing out their warehouse thanks to Kickstarter.   
Check it out at :
MIZZOU STUDENTS:  Build solar house on National Mall
COLUMBIA, 10/13/09 (Mizzouwire) --  Two years ago, University of Missouri engineering students stopped a longtime project to build and race a car powered by sunlight.
But Mizzou students aren't done with the sun.  As part of the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon, Mizzou architecture students joined Missouri University of Science and Technology to build a solar house on the National Mall in Washington, DC this month.   Sunlight powers every light, appliance, climate-control system, entertainment device and high-tech gadget.
"The three-week-long international competition brings together 20 teams selected by a DOE committee to show off forward-thinking students’ most innovative approaches to sustainable living in solar-powered housing," writes Karen Pojmann in this week's Mizzouwire.   "Planned, constructed and decked out entirely by undergrads, each self-sufficient house is evaluated for its integration of earth-friendly, budget-conscious efficiency with user-driven, style-savvy design."
Check it out at:
DINERS REVIEW:  Bangkok Gardens
Twelve years ago, when I first arrived in Columbia, I was working on a project to move a restaurant from the downtown area to Ashland.  My restaurant was closed and in boxes, but the most scrumptious smells were wafting in from next door.  I was starving and John Pham's phabulous Thom Yum Gung soup would be my first meal in a downtown Columbia restaurant.  I've been hooked on his establishment, Bangkok Gardens, ever since.
Few people know that Pham is a certified French chef, a training and sensibility that makes his sauces and curries among the best I've tasted in Thai restaurants across the country.  I've dined at Bangkok Gardens three times in the past two weeks, bringing friends and business associates to savor what I've long enjoyed.  Lately, I've been on a dumpling soup kick, ordering the veggie version of this filling meal each time.
Bangkok Gardens gets 3.5 out of 5 stars at, and here's what other diners have to say.  "I've been a Bangkok Gardens fan for a long time.  They've moved into a new spacious locale on Cherry Street just west of 9th St.  It's bright and airy, with upstairs and downstairs dining areas. Their pad thai is still stellar, and their curries are awesome as well.  They have Thai beer (Singha), which, in my opinion, gives Bangkok an extra boost above most Thai places."

"The food was alright.  The ingredients seemed fresh enough.  The veggie egg rolls were especially fat.  I liked them.  The rest was just ok..."
"Excellent Thai food.  Nice selection of typical Thai dishes and unique dishes with exotic flavors.  Good Service.  Fair prices.  Appeared very clean.  What more can I say?  Give it a try."
Check out Bangkok Gardens at 811 Cherry Street, just off 9th Street in the Downtown District. 
HEAR YE!  HEAR YE!   Boone County Republicans Chili Supper; Mid-Missouri Renaissance Fest
Longtime local radio talk show host Tom Bradley will host/emcee the Boone County Republicans Annual Chili Supper Friday, October 23rd, at the Elks Lodge in Columbia (4747 E. Elk Park Drive). 
Dinner starts at 6 P.M., Program begins at 7:15 P.M.  Several speakers are tentatively confirmed, including Congressional representatives Blaine Luetkemeyer and Roy Blunt; and State Senator Kurt Schaefer.  More details to follow, but meanwhile check out:
The 4th Annual Central Missouri Renaissance Festival will be held October 17 & 18 at the Boone County Fairgrounds in Columbia, MO.  Come experience the valor of Medieval Europe from 10am to 6pm each day.  Admission is $5 at the gate. Children 5 and under are free.   More details:
2009 Honor Ball benefiting Central Missouri Honor Flight
The Central Missouri Honor Ball will be held Saturday, October 17, 2009 from 5:30 pm onward at the Holiday Inn Select in Columbia.   The Honor Flight, works in the mid-Missouri area to raise money to take our WWII veterans to DC to see their memorial.  We have made four trips (185 veterans) since May 5. Our next trip is scheduled for Oct. 13.  We will take 80 more veterans with us that day, and we hope to have at least one more trip before the end of the year.   For more information, contact Mary Paulsell at
Mike Martin
Blogitor in Chief
The Columbia Heart Beat

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