Thursday, December 10, 2009

BOONE HOSPITAL NURSE: Saves young woman's life with personal gift

1)  EARLY BIRD CANDIDATE SURVEY:  Sid Sullivan for Columbia Mayor, Pt. 1
2)  BOONE HOSPITAL NURSE:  Saves young woman's life with personal gift 
3)  COLUMBIA TOPS LAWRENCE:  In ranking of "smartest college towns"
4)  COLUMBIA RESIDENT WINS:  Marathon run in Karen Kahler's honor
5)  COLUMBIA MOM:  Calms son with yoga
6)  MIZZOU RESEARCHERS:  Create online course for divorcing parents
7)  MAMMOGRAM FIRESTORM:  Controversial panel includes Mizzou physician

8)  MIZZOU RESEARCHERS:  Study power of U.S. President's words
9)  COLUMBIA FILMMAKER:  Gets national attention for unique bird DVD
10)  READERS WRITE:  Angry over City Hall/home loan story 
11)  HEAR YE!  HEAR YE!   Local Announcements


EARLY BIRD CANDIDATE SURVEY:  Sid Sullivan for Columbia Mayor, Pt. 1

Introducing the Columbia Heart Beat's Early Bird Candidate Survey from local journalists.   Survey questions went out to early filers only, for mayor and city council.  We won't be repeating the survey with any subsequent filers. 

This time, Mayoral candidate Sid Sullivan (left) answers questions from:

George Kennedy, professor of journalism and columnist, The Columbia Missourian
Tyree Byndom, Host, Kore Issues, KOPN radio
Mary Daly, Managing Editor, The MU Maneater
Jonathan Sessions, columnist/blogger, Columbia Business Times

Answers may be reprinted or broadcast in any of these publications/formats.

KOPN radio's Tyree Byndom asks

1.  If elected Mayor of Columbia, Missouri what will be your main priorities? 

The main task will be to help steer the city through this economic crisis that has signs of worsening over the next few years.  

A second and equally important priority is governance.  In order to achieve a more responsive government, council need to have advice and consent for the appointment of all department heads.   There is a delicate balance between the City manager running the city and department heads providing the unvarnished truth to Council. 

Justice and safety for all is important.   It’s important for the city to treat all our inhabitants with civility.

2.  How will you implement your plans/vision to better our city?                         

My vision for Columbia is intertwined with the update of the City Charter.  

I visualize a city where all citizens are treated equally.  Planning is key to how we grow and I intend to engage City Council in a proactive role. 

My background in finance, criminal justice and urban problems should serve the citizens as your spokesperson. We have a well educated community many of whom are engaged in city commissions or in an advisory capacity.  We have a well trained city staff who, in this economic downturn may need to assume more of the work farmed out to consultants.

3. What type of Legacy would you like to leave behind?

Since I am not trying to build my resume as I am retired, my desire as mentioned is to leave the city with power centralized in the council.  These are tough times with budget constraints looming. I think my steady hand would be of benefit.

I will urge transparency each step of the way and take counsel from all who wish our city to prosper.  My legacy should be to help guide us through these times and in the process strengthen our city for all of us.

MU Maneater Managing Editor Mary Daly asks:   The  How do you view students living in the city of Columbia as part of your plans for mayor?

As mayor it would be my duty to embrace all those who work, live and go to school in Columbia. I recognize that students too are being affected deeply by the economic downturn in the country.  Students feel the anxiety of their parents coupled with worries of future job prospects.

We'll print the rest of Sullivan's responses in a subsequent issue. 

BOONE HOSPITAL NURSE:  Saves young woman's life with personal gift 

COLUMBIA, 12/10/09 (Beat Byte) --  Just in time for the holidays comes the touching story of a registered nurse at Columbia's Boone Hospital Center who saved the life of a young leukemia patient with a very personal gift:  Her own bone marrow.

After a relapse, two rounds of chemotherapy, and an unusually hard-to-treat form of the disease, Anna Robinson wasn't a likely candidate for a successful marrow transplant.  But now, two years later, Robinson is in full remission thanks to Katie Quinn, an MU-Sinclair nursing school graduate who, ironically, was turned away from a blood drive and decided to donate bone marrow instead. 

At the time, Quinn didn't know Robinson -- donor/recipient identities are kept confidential.  The story of how they eventually met is in this month's Self Magazine:

"Katie Quinn was feeling dejected as she headed out of the annual Greek Week blood drive at the University of Missouri at Columbia in the spring of 2007.  She had been all set to represent her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, by giving a pint.  But a finger prick revealed that her iron was too low to qualify.  The red-haired 20-year-old nursing student was genuinely disappointed as she slung her book bag over her shoulder and started off to class.  So when she heard a young woman at a booth call out, 'Hi, would you like to sign up?' she stopped walking.

"'Sure. What is it?' asked Quinn, athletic and vivacious, with smiling brown eyes. She filled out a form to become a bone marrow donor."   

Tests determined that Quinn was a perfect 1 in 10 billion match for Robinson, a Smith College student with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, a fast-growing cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

From Self Magazine:  "Quinn listened in shock as she was briefed about 'her' patient: a desperately ill 22-year-old woman in Seattle, 'This is an urgent patient,' Quinn was told; she'd need to decide quickly whether she was willing to donate bone marrow."

Quinn, a 2005 Chillicothe, Mo. High School graduate, donated her marrow, a harrowing experience in itself.  Self Magazine reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely captured a final, touching moment between the two women: 

"Anna Robinson presented Katie Quinn with a black velvet box wrapped in white ribbon. 'I have your [bone marrow] cells to remember you by,' she said. 'I wanted to give you something to remember me by.'   She looked on bashfully as Quinn pulled off the ribbon and opened the box. 

Inside was a round silver pendant bearing an inscription that summed up everything she wanted to say: The things that matter the most in the world can never be held in our hand." 

SELF MAGAZINE:  The Stranger Who Saved Me
Anna Robinson beat back cancer with the help of an anonymous bone marrow donation. Then she began to wonder: Who was the woman who gifted her with a second chance?


COLUMBIA TOPS LAWRENCE:  In ranking of "smartest college towns"

COLUMBIA, 12/10/09 (Beat Byte) -- As the nation's 12th smartest college town, Columbia, Missouri tops Lawrence, Kansas by 8 points in a new ranking of the twenty five smartest college towns in America.  Compiled by the popular New York City-based news site The Daily Beast, the ranking looked at college towns with a minimum population of 25,000.  Editors ranked the cities based on:

1. Bachelor's degrees per capita for the over-25 population.
2. Graduate degrees per capita for the over-25 population.
3. Median SAT score for the town's student population.

4. Voter turnout in the 2008 election.  Political engagement, whether left or right, has repeatedly correlated with higher intelligence.

The top 20 percent of cities got As, the next 40 percent got Bs, the following 20 percent got Cs, and then the bottom fifth got Ds, with the exception of the very last town, which got an F.

The towns are, from smartest to dumbest:

1. Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Grade: A)
2. Ann Arbor, Michigan (Grade: A)
3. Boulder, Colorado (Grade: A)
4. Cambridge, Massachusetts (Grade: A)
5. Berkeley, California (Grade: A)
6. Madison, Wisconsin (Grade: B)
7. East Lansing, Michigan (Grade: B)
8. State College, Pennsylvania (Grade: B)
9. Ames, Iowa (Grade: B)
10. Amherst, Massachusetts (Grade: B)
11. Ithaca, New York (Grade: B)
12. Columbia, Missouri (Grade: B)
13. Charlottesville, Virginia (Grade: B)
14. Davis, California (Grade: B)
15. Corvallis, Oregon (Grade: B)
16. College Station, Texas (Grade: C)
17. Gainesville, Florida (Grade: C)
18. Auburn, Alabama (Grade: C)
19. College Park, Maryland (Grade: C)
20. Lawrence, Kansas (Grade: C)
21. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois (Grade: D)
22. Norman, Oklahoma (Grade: D)
23. South Bend, Indiana (Grade: D)
24. Kent, Ohio (Grade: D)
25. Athens, Georgia (Grade: F)


COLUMBIA RESIDENT WINS:  Marathon run in Karen Kahler's honor

COLUMBIA, 12/10/09 (Beat Bytes) --  Columbia resident and ARC aficionado Keith Fernandez ran the St. Jude Memphis Marathon last Saturday in honor of Karen Kahler, her daughters, and grandmother slain over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Trained by Kahler at the ARC, Fernandez placed near the top 10% of runners, #293 of 2,445.  

But a different Columbia resident -- Kipruto Rotich, 29 -- has been declared the new winner after the original 2009 winner shattered the previous course record, only to have race officials overturn the results. 

Traffic cones inadvertently left after the Memphis Grizzlies House 5K sent previous winner Jynocel Basweti and the next three runners the wrong way, running a distance 647 feet short of the required 26.2 miles.  Following USA Track and Field Rules of Competition, race officials disqualified the group.  To make things fair, however, they will still be awarded prize money of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.

The disqualifications left Rotich the new marathon winner -- who, with the other new top 3 winners, will also receive the prize money.

Karen Kahler was the estranged wife of former Columbia City and Light director Kraig Kahler, who is being held in the homicides.

COLUMBIA MOM:  Calms son with yoga

COLUMBIA, 12/10/09 (CNN) --  After struggling for months to address her son's high energy, Columbia mom Sarah Wells Kohl enrolled her 9-year-old son Dakota in a yoga class

"He couldn't settle himself, he was just very high-strung and bored with everything," she told CNN.  "But, wow, yoga opened something in him. Pranayama breathing (slow, steady deep yogic breaths) put him in his space. When things get too tight, rough and crazy, do his own little Eagle pose."

"I once found him in his bedroom chanting," she said. "It almost seems like we put him on a yoga mat instead of putting him on medication."


MIZZOU RESEARCHERS:  Create online course for divorcing parents

COLUMBIA, 12/10/09 (Beat Bytes) --  Mizzou researchers have created an online course that helps divorcing parents improve relationships with their children.   Called Focus on Kids, the course comes in two formats:  online and face to face, says MU human and family studies professor David Schramm.   The face-to-face version of Focus on Kids satisfies a Missouri law that requires divorcing parents to attend an educational program. 

Schramm and colleagues recommend divorcing parents:

-- Avoid criticizing the other parent and arguing in front of children.
-- Reassure children conflict and divorce are not their fault.
-- Plan relaxing activities for kids to make transitions between households less stressful.
-- Establish consistent routines and responsibilities in each household.
-- Avoid using the child as a messenger. Discuss parenting and financial issues directly.
-- Avoid asking questions about the other parent, which can make children uncomfortable.


MAMMOGRAM FIRESTORM:  Controversial panel includes Mizzou physician 

COLUMBIA, 12/10/09 (Beat Bytes) --  The only representative from Missouri and Illinois on a controversial government task force that set off a firestorm with new recommendations for breast cancer screening, Dr. Michael LeFevre from the Mizzou School of Medicine spoke at length with FOX 4 Kansas City Medical Reporter Meryl Lin McKean about why the panel recommended against routine mammograms for women in their 40s.

"We’re not looking at the politics, we’re not looking at insurance coverage, we’re not rationing care," LeFevre, professor of family and community medicine, earlier told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  "We’re looking at whether the benefit to patients outweighs the harms."

Watch the interview with Dr. LeFevre:

MIZZOU RESEARCHERS:  Study power of President's words 

COLUMBIA, 12/6/09 (Beat Bytes) --  University of Missouri, Columbia researchers have found that when the U.S. President speaks plainly on foreign policy, he's more likely to receive public support.  Complicated policy explanations incite public skepticism.

"If the president is able to define an intervention in simple, compelling terms, he is likely to get considerably more support from the public," said A. Cooper Drury, associate professor of political science and the new editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy Analysis.

In the study, researchers distributed mock news stories that looked like articles from the New York Times.  The two articles described a conflict between two fictitious Latin American countries and a policy to stop the aggression, one in complex terms and the other in simple terms.  The researchers surveyed study participants for their responses. 

"Presidents have a great deal of power to shape public opinion of policy goals that require military action if they have the ability to manipulate the type of language that is used," Drury said. "The public needs to pay attention to the political world around them so that they can cut through the White House’s rhetoric and truly evaluate policy." 

Published in the Political Research Quarterly,  'Pretty Prudent' or Rhetorically Responsive? The American Public’s Support for Military Action, was co-authored by Drury; L. Marvin Overby; Adrian Ang; and Yitan Li. 


COLUMBIA FILMMAKER:  Gets national attention for unique bird DVD

COLUMBIA, 12/10/09 (Beat Bytes) --   Just in time for the 110th annual Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count, Columbia-based nature videographer and Songbird Station employee Joe LaFleur has a new DVD on eastern birds for television and computer screens.  The $29.99 DVD has been getting national attention. 

The three-hour compilation features 270 species commonly found east of the Missouri River, with searchable indices that allow users to locate species of interest, display diagnostic field marks, and observe natural bird behaviors. 

During the Audubon count season, thousands of birdwatchers nationwide index the numbers and distribution of bird species.  The observations make up the Audubon's State of the Birds Report.  In 2008, 60,000 participants counted nearly 65.6 million birds in all 50 states, every Canadian province, parts of Central and South America, Bermuda, the West Indies, and Pacific Islands.

Better Birdwatching in the East may be ordered at:


READERS WRITE:  Angry over City Hall/home loan story 

Mike:  I respect Muckrakers, so long as they have their muck straight in the first place, and respect their contacts.  You have missed the boat on both counts here, and I deeply regret trying to call your attention to a city policy which should be changed.  Most irritating is that you have used my name and situation without my permission to jump to the wacko conclusion that the city is using the Energy Saver Loan  program as a land grab, reminiscent of old practices used against Blacks.  Please. And you even faked a quote you attribute to me.  I never used the word "nightmare." I said "a cluster f%$#."   

That being said, had you called me for more information, as I requested in my email to you, I would have told you to stay tuned, that Jerry Wade and Karl Skala acted immediately to get a report from the city on this practice once I contacted them about it.  Moreover, Bill Watkins also acted immediately to produce the report and ask the City Council to change the ordinance to allow subordination of Energy Saver loans. He is bucking the City Attorney and the Finance Department to do this – otherwise would have asked the Council to make the change last night with a simple resolution.

If this turns out the way we hope, it is an example of a responsive city council and city manager, acting on important information from a concerned citizen, and that is a very good thing. 

Here is a link to the report that explains the history of this change in city ordinances and presents arguments for restoring the practice of allowing subordination of these loans to subsequent deeds of trust.

Finally, rest assured I will never again pass along to you any good government issues that might merit muckraking, and will take with several grains of salt any and all of your reporting.
-- Kay Callison, Columbia

[Ed. Note:  Glad to hear this is resolved.  But I couldn't get past the language in the letters Mrs. Callison sent and decided not to run them.   There was no hint of resolution in those letters, and only when the issue appeared on the council's pre-meeting agenda did I think it merited attention.   And yes, I did substitute the word "nightmare" for the term Callison used about her City Hall experience:  clusterf---.] 

HEAR YE!  HEAR YE!   Local Announcements

Columbia Second Chance!  
2009 Year-End BLOWOUT SALE!
Hurry!  Now until the end of December, check out our selection of slightly used, pre-owned kitties for just $49.99 (regularly $100)  Low Miles!  Lots of Colors!  Older models also available....All cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated & Microchipped   Visit our Adoption Center at Ash St & Providence (behind Brady's Glass) from noon to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday or online at

Inside Columbia Magazine's 6th annual Cookies with Santa
Saturday, December 12
301 West Broadway in Columbia 
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.  
The magazine's photographer will be on hand to snap complimentary souvenir photos with Santa.  They promise plenty of kid's activities and treats for all to enjoy.   This event is free and open to the public.

If you have an announcement, please send it along, but only in the body of an email.  We cannot accept attachments of any kind.  Not-for-profit announcements are free of charge.  For-profit announcements require a nominal fee. 

Mike Martin
Editor in Chief
The Columbia Heart Beat


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