Sunday, October 4, 2009

Noted 4th Ward residents mull city council race

Columbia's Alternative News Source

1)  ROPER DEFINITE:  "No" on mayors race
2)  NOTED 4th WARDERS:  Mull city council race
3)  CITY HALL:  Over-charging local landlords for permits?
4)  BACK TO THE FUTURE:  At Chert Hollow Farm 
5)  COUNTY UPDATE:  Ashland, Centralia tackle hate crimes and sexual orientation 
6)  LOCAL BURGER KING:  Becomes national family favorite 
7)  HEAR YE!  HEAR YE!   Central Mo Renaissance Fest; Council Office Hours

ROPER DEFINITE:  "No" on mayoral run

COLUMBIA, 10/2/09 (Beat Byte) -- Earlier this week, Columbia banker and Tribune pundit Bob Roper told listeners of the KFRU Sunday Morning Roundtable that he was "definitely not running for mayor."  Polling just ahead of Arnie Fagan and just behind "Other" in our long-running online tally, Roper was the 3rd most popular candidate, behind former state representative Vicky Riback-Wilson, whom sources also say will not be a candidate.  Telling hosts Al Germond and David Shorr that he had talked about a possible candidacy with his wife, former Boone County circuit court judge Ellen Roper, Bob Roper sounded final and decided.     

With that in mind, we've tightened up our Columbia Heart Beat mayoral poll, leaving the hypothetical candidates who polled the highest votes; removing the definite "no's"; and removing the lowest vote getters.  As of the close of this poll, the vote counts are in the order below.  VOTE IN OUR NEW POLL UP NOW! 

And though he received the lowest number of votes, if you still want Hank Waters to do the job he knows he was born to do, you can draft him with our new online petition

Hypothetical candidate........Number of votes
Vicky Riback-Wilson, former state rep.....123

Bob Roper, banker and pundit......49 
Arnie Fagan, Cool Stuff owner.......46
Larry Schuster, former councilman......42
Barbara Hoppe, council person.....40
Fred Parry, Inside Columbia publisher.....28 

Gary Nolan, Libertarian radio host.....27
Jerry Wade, council person.....22 
Karl Skala, council person.....21 
Laura Nauser, council person.....15   
Don Stamper, developer lobbyist.....11 
Ray Beck, former city manager.....9
Hank Waters, Trib publisher.....7  


NOTED 4th WARD RESIDENTS:  Mull city council race

COLUMBIA, 10/2/09 (Beat Byte) --  A historically-minded realtor, a civically-involved engineer, and an MU data analyst many consider the smartest person they've ever met are considering April's 4th Ward council race to replace Jerry Wade.

This weekend, historic preservation commission member and long-time local realtor Brent Gardner (right) stated that he might throw his hat into the ring, and that the Columbia Heart Beat was welcome to print such.  Gardner specializes in historic properties, and has sold and renovated many of them, particularly in the Old Southwest, during his Columbia career. 

Dan Goldstein, Councilman Wade's campaign adviser, is also in the throes of serious consideration.  A mechanical engineering Ph.D who works as a research scientist for a firm out of Colorado, Goldstein is a member of the Visioning Committee and largely considered one of the city's best-informed citizens on a wide variety of civic topics.  He confirmed that he is "seriously considering the race, and the big commitment it will all entail," with the Heart Beat last night. 

Finally, if you've ever read one of her brilliant ruminations on local public policy, you'll know why folks in the know call Tracy Greever-Rice (above), associate director for community and economic development at the University of Missouri Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis, the smartest person they've ever met.   She's been on the 4th Ward council recruitment radar ever since Wade declared his candidacy for mayor, but -- like the other considerees -- has yet to decide. 
CITY HALL:  Over-charging local landlords for permits?

COLUMBIA, 10/2/09 (Beat Byte) --  In a departure from city law, the City of Columbia has been overcharging local landlords for so-called "Occupancy Certificates Without Inspection."  With some 6,000 rental units in Columbia, a rough estimate has City Hall taking in roughly $250,000 to $300,000.00 more than it should have in occupancy permit overcharges.

City ordinance requires all rental properties to maintain occupancy permits.  Every six years, the ordinance requires a physical inspection of the premises, at a cost of $35.00.  These permits are termed renewals WITH inspection

But every third year, the certificate is renewed WITHOUT inspection, at a cost of $25.00. 

For the past decade, the city's Department of Protective Inspection has been charging local landlords -- who may own just one house or an entire apartment complex -- $35.00 per certificate no matter what, or $10.00 more than the law allows for the second type of occupancy permit that requires no inspection.   

Informed of the situation, 1st Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz assured that it would be thoroughly investigated. 

Sec. 22-191, City of Columbia Code of Ordinances, Pg. 47.   
BACK TO THE FUTURE:  At Chert Hollow Farm 

Imagine visiting a real, working, certified organic farm to enjoy the following goodies on the evening menu:  Black Cherry tomatoes, Sheepnose pimento, Costata Romanesco squash, Burmese okra, White Acre cowpeas, cornbread made with fresh-ground cornmeal, farm yogurt, farm eggs, served with Missouri honey or sorghum and finished off with an Apple-pecan cake made with Missouri apples, pecans, honey, and wheat flour.

Visitors to Boone County's Chert Hollow Farm -- "set in a narrow, Ozark-type valley with bottomland fields along a winding stream and upland slopes covered in a mix of pasture, prairie, and forest" -- enjoyed just such a feast last month, at an event farm proprietor Eric Reuter called "a whole-farm dinner for members of our local Slow Food chapter" in his Food for Thought blog.  

As a sustainability/technology savvy farmer-blogger-businessperson duo, Reuter and his wife Joanna appear to be combining the best of past and present with what can only be described as a 21st century hip take on the very old profession of farming and agriculture.  They practice a green, resource conservation ethic that involves growing -- and sharing -- much of their own food and even logging their own lumber, while keeping waste -- and utility bills -- to a minimum.   

"Our total electric bill averages $50 a month, we use virtually no gas, and  produce about one bag of trash every 4-6 weeks," they write on their website.  

They also practice sophisticated growing methods that involve everything from crop mapping ( to what Reuter calls "the complex process of organic management, which integrates ecology and agriculture by working with natural systems rather than against them."

For their efforts, Chert Hollow Farm received organic certification in April 2009 from the Midwest Organic Services Association: 

Blogging -- and posting virtually everything about their operation -- is another 21st century ag innovation that Reuter attributes to a goal of "complete openness about our growing methods, so that customers can make an educated evaluation regarding the quality and price of our products." 

The end result is a uniquely post-modern approach to farm and food management that adds philosophy to utility:  A guiding ethic of conservation and sustainability to utilitarian concerns like soil conditions, crop rotations, and weather.   


COUNTY UPDATE:  Ashland, Centralia tackle hate crimes and sexual orientation 

COLUMBIA, 10/2/09 (Beat Byte) -- The newspaper of record for southern Boone County including Ashland and Hartsburg, the Boone County Journal ( is reporting that Ashland police arrested two Ashland men last Thursday on charges of felony vandalism.

The two men allegedly painted the letters 'KKK' and 'AV' -- possibly for Ashland Vandals -- on the top of the City of Ashland water tower and curse words on the tower legs.  Taken to mean Ku Klux Klan, the KKK lettering has left open the possibility of a hate crime charge.  

More at:

The newspaper of record for northern Boone County including Hallsville and Centralia, the Fireside-Guard (  is reporting that Centralia alderpersons tabled a nondiscrimination ordinance dealing with gender identity and sexual orientation until their Nov. 16, 2009 meeting.  The ordinance would address such discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation.  The Board of Aldermen -- Centralia's city council -- also enacted a novel ordinance that makes harassment by texting or e-mail a crime punishable in municipal court. 

LOCAL BURGER KING:  Becomes National Family Favorite 

COLUMBIA, 10/2/09 (Beat Byte) --  A national publication called The Examiner gives the Burger King at 3400 Clark Lane -- off exit 128-A from westbound I-70 -- "a very enthusiastic recommendation" as one of the best places to stop with kids on a cross-state I-70 journey between Kansas City and St. Louis. 

The big attraction:  What Burger King bills as the world's largest indoor playground.  "Kids will have a blast climbing, crawling, and sliding in this Burger King's gigantic, colorful indoor play structure," reports writer Maria Roth.  It's the “coolest play place I've ever been at,” said her seven-year-old Zach.  "The enclosed play area is twice the size of the main dining room.  On the ground level, you will see padded flooring and a crawl-through train.  Up higher, kids will find an airplane-shaped tunnel and two twisty slides—a yellow one and a blue one." 

Writers for The Examiner, which has various incarnations around the nation, weighed in favorably.  Rachel de Carlos from the Los Angeles Cultural Travel Examiner said, "That's awesome!  How did you ever get them out of that place? I wish they had these kinds of places for adults.  LOL!" 


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:

3rd Ward councilman Karl Skala OFFICE HOURS at SVEN'S KAFE′ & GALLERY this Saturday, October 3rd. Please stop by and share your ideas, concerns, comments and/or questions, 3rd ward and/or citywide.  Sven's Kafe′ & Gallery, 110 Orr Street, Suite 101, Village Art  District

8:30-11:00 a.m.

Everyone is Welcome!

TOPICS:  The Mayoral race, the proposed downtown Community Improvement District (CID) and the continuing controversy swirling around general surveillance cameras!   If you can't make it to my Saturday morning Office Hours at Sven's Kafe′ but would like assistance, additional information or your questions answered, just send me an e-mail at  If you wish, I'll also put you on my personal e-mail distribution list.

The City Council Meetings are now available with "live streaming" with "searchable archives" on your computer. For more details please visit the city's website:

4th Ward Councilman Jerry Wade office hours, Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Rendezvous Coffeehouse from 9:00 am to 12:00noon to talk to anyone who would like to visit with me. Rendezvous Coffeehouse is at 3304 Broadway Business Park Ct., which is on thesouth side of West Broadway west of HyVee.


1.  Wednesday, Oct. 7. The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a public park planning meeting for the Bonnie View Park area (Russell donation property). The meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, October 7 at the ARC, 1701 W. Ash Street.

 2.  DATE CHANGE:  The Safe Routes to school design Charrettes scheduled for Tuesday, October 20 have been rescheduled:

Monday, March 15  (5:30-8:30pm): Main design charrette at Grant School.
Tuesday, March 16  (5:30-6:30pm): Shorter public feedback meeting at Grant.

3. Tuesday, October 27, Reichmann Pavillon, Stephens Lake Park.  Fall "Keys to the city" event.  

BOARDS & COMMISSIONS:  The Columbia city clerk is accepting  applications for boards and commissions. Applications must be received by the clerk’s office, 701 E. Broadway, 4th floor, by noon on Friday, Oct. 9.  Applications are available at the clerk’s office or on the city’s Web site at on the City Council page.

Mike Martin
Blogitor in Chief
The Columbia Heart Beat


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