In the News

If you subscribe as I do to Mike Martin’s Columbia Heart Beat blog, you’ve probably read the angry exchange between Councilperson-elect Anthony and union President Brad Fraizer. The conflict extended to a phone conversation that left Ms. Anthony feeling threatened and Mr. Fraizer feeling insulted.
Columnist George Kennedy 
Columbia Missourian
 April 7, 2011

The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval Jan. 20 for a 632-bed apartment complex at Rock Quarry Road and Grindstone Parkway. Columbia Heart Beat blogger Mike Martin and later the Columbia Daily Tribune reported that the development company, North Carolina-based Campus Crest Communities, has had lawsuits filed against it alleging racism and sexual discrimination and liens from contractors who said they weren’t paid on time for work they performed.
Columbia Business Times
February 4, 2011

Mike Martin, a local blogger, heard about the e-mail campaign and on Dec. 13, 2009, wrote a piece about Main Squeeze on his blog, The Columbia Heart Beat.  “The next three days after his article came out, we were slammed,” Lockhart says. “His article was pretty much: ‘Hey, the little guy is trying to make it; go help her out.’ People just really rallied and that’s … It makes me cry when I think about it … If it really hadn’t been for all that, then who knows what would have happened?
Vox Magazine
Nov. 11, 2010

You might call Mike Martin the anti-Hank Waters.  As you may know, Hank presides over the Columbia Daily Tribune, filling the hole in the upper left-hand corner of the editorial page every day and sitting comfortably at the heart of Columbia’s establishment. He writes often and usually approvingly of the actions of our rulers in city and county governments.  Mike, a freelance science journalist, makes his living fixing up and renting out houses in the First Ward. His avocation is his weekly online publication, the Columbia Heart Beat. His particular delight is skewering city and county officials. Favorite targets are County Assessor Tom Schauwecker and, these days, City Manager Bill Watkins.
Columnist George Kennedy 
September 2, 2010

Then there is the issue of “The e-mail.”  As some of you read in Mike Martin’s Columbia Heart Beat or my columns, a Columbia Police Department detective, on his or her own time, sent an e-mail to friends, who sent it to friends and eventually it made its way to an MU listserv.  There were allegations that the National Biker Roundup represented the worst of the worst of motorcycle clubs. The e-mail insinuated that Columbia would experience an untold number of motorcycle and car thefts, raging gang fights, pillaging … OK, it was not that bad, but the e-mail caused much ado about nothing among our more genteel citizens.  Martin’s columns, four in total, concerning this issue can be found here.
Columnist David Rosman
September 1, 2010

The nearly 90-minute discussion opened with Watkins addressing an allegation by local blogger Mike Martin that the city has a nearly $500 million “cash stash that sits in a quiet corner.” Watkins said, “Would we not be filling positions? Would we be laying people off and asking for utility rate increases if this were so?”  Watkins said the city has various funds, such as enterprise, fiduciary and special revenue, in which the city holds its finances. “If you add all that up it’s $166,404,198.”
August 17, 2010

If the list of REDI prospects Mike Martin posted last week on The Columbia Heart Beat blog is even close to accurate, there’ll be another deal before long. Next time, council members should be in on the negotiations. All the important questions should be answered before we celebrate.
Columnist George Kennedy 
May 27, 2010

An e-mail newsletter sent yesterday accused Fourth Ward Columbia City Council candidate Daryl Dudley of being “in bed” with developers because his campaign post office box is the same as the box used by local businessmen Tom Atkins and Scott Atkins.  The report, however — in the Columbia Heart Beat newsletter by Mike Martin — did not mention that P.O. Box 756 also is the business address of Dudley’s campaign treasurer, Pat Wilson, who works for the developers.
March 25, 2010

Mayoral candidate Sid Sullivan did something highly unusual last week. He declined an invitation to an interview with Columbia Daily Tribune Editor and Publisher Hank Waters.  You may have learned about that, as I did, on the Columbia Heart Beat, Mike Martin’s feisty online publication, which he describes as our “alternative news source.” In this case, as in others, the news seems to have struck a nerve with Mike’s progressive/liberal/activist readership.
Columnist George Kennedy 
February 18, 2010

There is no one more aware and involved in the heart of what is going on in Columbia than Mike Martin. He is the “blogitor in chief” of the Columbia Heart Beat, where he fearlessly takes on the issues of the day without worry of being politically correct or bumping up against the powers that be.
Dec. 4, 2009 

Mike Martin announced this week on his blog, The Columbia Heart Beat, that he is launching his own investigation into the 2005 murder of MU professor Jeong Im.
Columbia Missourian
August 28, 2009

Great news that you've provided the resources for investigative journalism and that you and David are working together on the project. I cannot help but think that Mike Martin has made a huge contribution to making this possible through the investigative work he does. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his findings, unpaid community journalists are gaining more and more recognition in communities across the nation.
Joy Piazza, Columbia Missourian reader, May 1, 2009

The Columbia Heart Beat hasn't been free of controversy.  Mayor Darwin Hindman, for example, denied one report in the Heart Beat that he had participated in a discussion of strategies for removing "activist" members of the City Council.
Columbia Missourian
July 3, 2009

In November 2005, Martin started the Columbia Heart Beat. Today, the Columbia Heart Beat claims more than 5,200 subscribers.
November 12, 2009

His dual roles in the site search are revealed in a set of e-mails disclosed under the state Sunshine Law at the request of community gadfly Traci Wilson-Kleekamp and published this week in Mike Martin’s online newsletter, Columbia Heart Beat. You can read Mike’s report for yourself at  The e-mails show Hank as urging City Manager Bill Watkins to support the use of eminent domain to buy a privately owned block just west of the eventual site.  He also advised fellow trustees on how to handle negotiations with university and city leaders. At the same time, he editorialized in favor of the positions he was pushing as a society trustee.
Columnist George Kennedy 
April 16, 2009

Mike Martin's Columbia Heart Beat and the West Seattle Blog, run by a husband-and-wife team, are both making waves and leading to tremendous interest among their respective communities.  Audiences are invited to contribute to the reporting - through an email newsgroup in Martin's case - and they appreciate and respond to it.
April 29, 2009

Thus, the Columbia Heart Beat was born. It's a beat about the heart of the City of Columbia.
Martin turned what he called “over-the-fence talk” into The Columbia Heart Beat...Martin’s insider’s take on the area has attracted the attention of community members and officials across Columbia, including the City Council.
May 7, 2007