Thursday, October 15, 2009


1)  POPULAR ASHLAND MAYOR:  To step down
2)  MU "NUCLEAR BATTERY":  Rocks world news media
3)  PIONEERING MU STUDY:  Blames teacher pay for global ed disparity
4)  TIGER-HAWKS:  Build Mizzou alumni group in KU town
5)  COLUMBIA COLLEGE:  Ends print version of student newspaper
6)  MIZZOU McDONALDS:  Serves "Anus" burgers
7)  COLUMBIA HOOTERS:  Named "family friendly"
8)  BIG FESTIVAL WEEK:  Citizen Jane for films; Bluebird for bands
9)  HEAR YE!  HEAR YE!   Boone County Republicans Chili Supper


ASHLAND, 10/15/09 (Beat Byte) -- Campaigning door-to-door by bicycle against southern Boone County commissioner Karen Miller in 2004, Mike Asmus put the Pednet in politics, and a classic Trib photo emerged:  Asmus swerving his bike on a literal campaign "swing" through a neighborhood. 

Not long after, the Missouri senate speechwriter and long-time Ashland resident was elected mayor of the small town to our south, a position he's held through two elections.   

But this month, Asmus announced on Facebook that he is stepping down and moving to Austin, Texas with wife Elaine to be closer to family.  "He will resign his elected position sometime after the October 20, 2009 Board of Aldermen meeting," the Boone County Journal reports. 

Volunteering for over a decade in southern Boone County, Asmus served on the Ashland Planning and Zoning Committee and the Board of Alderman (city council) before becoming Mayor.   He led city officials to make what Boone County Journal (BoCoJo) editor Bruce Wallace calls "major improvements in water, sewer and other infrastructure areas, as well as updating codes and ordinances that will benefit this city for decades." 

Five years ago, Asmus led a clean, common-sense campaign against Miller, arguing for action -- like finishing the long-empty third floor of the Roger Wilson county government building in downtown Columbia -- that seems prescient today.  He also criticized how commissioners, including Miller, used long-time public works director David Mink as a political football, a problem that would rear its ugly head again in 2006, when county maintenance chief Ken Roberts abruptly quit in a storm of controversy over a contract bidding brouhaha; and in late 2008, when Mink finally resigned his position under yet another cloud of political suspicions and official doublespeak. 

"Mike Asmus spent untold hours working for the betterment of this community and not just at City Hall," former BoCoJo publisher Jane Flink wrote with Wallace last week.  "If you read Boone County history, in town after town when difficult decisions had to be made, a few men and women stood up and stood out.  It is Ashland's good fortune that at a critical time in the city's history the Mayor was Mike Asmus, a man who made a difference." 

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MU "NUCLEAR BATTERY":  Rocks world news media

COLUMBIA, 10/15/09 (Beat Byte) -- A tiny nuclear power plant the size of a penny that MU engineering researchers announced last week has news media around the world going ga-ga.  Discover, the BBC, UPI, and CNET are among nearly 100 national and international media outlets and blogs to pick up and analyze the story. 

"Researchers at the University of Missouri said the batteries hold a million times more charge than a conventional battery," writes the San Francisco Technology Examiner.   "Researchers at the University of Missouri in Columbia have demonstrated a penny-sized 'nuclear battery' that produces energy from the decay of radioisotopes," reports the BBC. 

“To provide enough power, we need certain methods with high energy density,” said Jae Kwon, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at MU. “The radioisotope battery can provide power density that is six orders of magnitude higher than chemical batteries.”  And it's perfectly safe. 


PIONEERING MU STUDY:  Blames teacher pay for global ed disparity

COLUMBIA, 10/15/09 (MU News) --  A groundbreaking University of Missouri study released this month puts the blame for a well-known global disparity in grade school education firmly at the feet of a previously little-acknowledged source:  poor teacher pay. 

"American teachers work longer hours in the classroom, but are paid less and do less preparation outside of class," claims MU assistant professor of education policy Motoko Akiba and her research partner, Gerald LeTendre.  "As a result, U.S. students are achieving less." 

Akiba and LeTendre compared qualifications, working conditions, and professional learning opportunities for math teachers in the U.S., Japan and Australia.  They found that with better support systems and higher pay, teachers in Japan and Australia are outperforming their American peers -- even though American teachers work longer hours in the classroom.  Akiba believes the way to improve teaching quality is to overhaul the way teachers are recruited, trained, hired, distributed, supported and retained.

“Our study proved that developing a coherent policy to support teachers is not only what should be done, but also what must be done in the United States,” Akiba said.


TIGER-HAWKS:  Build Mizzou alumni group in KU town

LAWRENCE, Ks., 10/15/09 (Beat Byte) --  Call them Tiger Hawks. 

A group of MU alums in Lawrence, Kansas -- ground zero for MU archrivals the University of Kansas Jayhawks -- is forming a KU student group for Mizzou alumni. 

Leading the effort, Robert Rescot -- a KU civil engineering graduate student with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri -- calls his group, which includes Mizzou alum/KU students Tiffany Huggard-Lee and Charlie Huggard-Lee -- a rare breed:  people who love both schools.

"I’ll root for KU anytime," he told the Lawrence Journal-World. "Except when they’re playing Missouri."  He also said he gets strange looks in Lawrence when he dons Missouri garb, recalling a time when a small group of his friends wore Tiger black and gold to a restaurant on a KU football game day.

"I’m pretty sure the waitress was petrified," Rescot said.

COLUMBIA COLLEGE:  Ends print version of student newspaper

COLUMBIA, 10/15/09 (BeatBytes) --  In a nod to changing times in print media, the Columbia College student newspaper, The Columbian, printed its first-ever online edition this month, "marking
the first of the last year of printed editions forever," writes editor Amanda Noel.  "With ever-changing technology, declining readership of printed newspapers, and more and more people getting their news online, The Columbian has decided to hop on the bandwagon and follow the trend."
The Columbian has a long and storied history at the Columbia, Missouri-based college, starting as The Ragtime Gazette in 1902, which became The Campus Coverall in 1926.  Educator Mary Paxton Keeley -- for whom a Columbia elementary school is named -- converted the Coverall into The Microphone in 1929.   The Columbian debuted 50 years later, in 1979.
Readers "will still be able to access our printed newspapers from the stands," Noel says, but for the remainder of this year only.  "Next year, they will be nonexistent." 

MIZZOU McDONALDS:  Serves "Anus" burgers
COLUMBIA, 10/15/09 (BeatBytes) -- It's what happened when "Columbia Public Schools" became "Columbia Pubic Schools" in a press release last year.  A minor mis-spelling that became a major gaffe. 
McDonald's new Angus burgers became McDonald's new Anus burgers on a misspelled McDonald's sign at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO, last month's Consumerist reported.   Anus burgers are apparently sweeping the country, showing up at a McDonald's in Hartford, Connecticut as a "bacon and cheese anus burger," for instance.
COLUMBIA HOOTERS:  Named "family friendly"

COLUMBIA, 10/15/09 (BeatBytes) --  In another rowdy restaurant story, AOL Travel's this month named the Columbia, Missouri Hooters a family friendly restaurant.  Best known for its scantily-clad waitresses and bosomy name, the Hooters chain wasn't a first pick for writer Sean McLachlan, who "was driving across Missouri with my friends Rex and Caitlin and Rex's four-year-old daughter Aly.  We wanted some wings, so we stopped at Hooters just outside Columbia."
Going in, McLachlan thought their 4-year-old travel buddy would be "the only kid in a room full of frat boys and lonely old men. Boy, was I wrong!  Half the tables had children at them. Entire families had come out to enjoy Hooters!"   Hooters offers a special kids menu, games and crayons, and a waitress made 4-year-old Aly the center of attention.  "While the idea of taking a child to Hooters is a bit odd, the fact is they really are kid friendly," McLachlan writes. 
BIG FESTIVAL WEEK:  Citizen Jane for films; Bluebird for bands
COLUMBIA, 10/15/09 (BeatBytes) --  The Bluebird Music and Arts Festival returns to downtown Columbia this weekend in its second year.  So does the Citizen Jane Film Fest and the Columbia Sustainability Fair.
Check them out!

HEAR YE!  HEAR YE!   Boone County Republicans Chili Supper
Longtime local radio talk show host Tom Bradley will host/emcee the Boone County Republicans Annual Chili Supper
next 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. 
Children's Playroom Will Be Open During the Event
Confirmed Speakers include
- Keynote: Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, 9th Congressional District*
- Congressman Roy Blunt, 7th Congressional District*, candidate for U.S. Senate
- State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, 19th State Senatorial District
- State Sen. Chuck Purgason, 33rd State Senatorial District, candidate for U.S. Senate
- State Representative Allen Icet, candidate for Missouri Auditor
*Plan to attend but are dependent on House of Representatives' schedule. Other speakers TBA.
Tickets: $12.00/person in advance; $15/person at the door; Children 3 and under free. Make checks payable to Columbia Pachyderm Club.  Tickets are also available for purchase at The Columbia Pachyderm Club meetings on Fridays at Noon at Jack's Gourmet Restaurant on Business Loop 70 (across from Westlake's at Old Hwy. 63).
You can also contact Jerry at 573-489-0106 or via e-mail at,or at
Directions to the Elks Lodge of Columbia:

- From Hwy. 63, go East, follow East Broadway/Route WW East approximately 1.5 miles, just past Cedar Ridge School (at street light), turn right onto E. Elk Park Drive.
- Then merge left to access Lodge parking
If you cannot make it, but would still like to support the Columbia Pachyderm Club, please send your non tax-deductible donation to:

Columbia Pachyderm Club
PO Box 30642
Columbia, MO 65205

Third Ward City Councilman Karl Skala invites you to join him at Sven's Kafe′ this Saturday, October 17th, from 8:00-10:00 a.m.  Please stop by and share your ideas, concerns, comments and/or questions, 3rd ward and/or citywide.  110 Orr Street, Suite 101, in the North Central Village.

Mike Martin
Blogitor in Chief
The Columbia Heart Beat


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