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Fundamental questions about good governance
COLUMBIA, Mo 03/26/15 (Beat Byte) -- A controversy about First Ward Columbia City Council candidate Clyde Ruffin's ties to a nationwide ministry that advocates "curing" homosexuality through prayer has been playing out in social media, emails to local reporters, the Keep Columbia Free politics watch , and other forums since the campaign began.
The controversy turns on these questions: Can policy makers with personal or religious biases fairly decide issues, such as partner employment benefits and non-discrimination ordinances, that affect the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender (LGBT) community?
Does Ruffin have any such biases?
Prominent mention of Desert Stream Ministries on a 2nd Baptist Church profile page featuring Ruffin and wife Sheila sparked the questio...
Could City Hall's violation of two city laws make our power grid unstable?
COLUMBIA, Mo 03/25/15 (Op Ed) -- Dear Mr. or Ms. Utility Regulator:
Our city-owned utility, Columbia Water and Light, is using regulators as "bad cops" in its latest effort to raise utility rates. The SERC Reliability Corporation , for instance, is badgering city officials -- they say -- to assure our power transmission network won't fail.
For that reason, voters must approve Proposition 1 in April to provide $63 million in bond debt and a big rate hike to pay the money back.
If utility regulators are this concerned with Columbia's power grid , they may want to know about the missing "Depreciation Fund" a city commission -- the Downtown Columbia Leadership Council (DCLC) -- discovered last year.
This missing fund violates...
Can we ban these, please?
COLUMBIA, Mo 03/23/15 (Photo essay) -- Call it "brick-and-mortar spam."
Free newspapers few people read . Phone books fewer and fewer people need. ( Click pix for larger photos ).
Flyers, coupons, and other junk left hanging from doorknobs, all wrapped in plastic bags -- the kind of plastic Columbia's City Council considered banning at the grocery store .
To stem this tide of paper and plastic, I've been sending a "No Throw" list to its purveyors for nearly a decade, covering my home and some rental properties.
My contacts have changed, but the problem remains.
"Dear Dirk, Dear Patrick, Dear Johnnie," begin my many No Throw requests to the Columbia Daily Tribune's circulation department.
"Please be sure that NO free newspapers come to the addresses below. I've been having ...
In this unwinnable world, City Hall mistrust is only a mirage
COLUMBIA, Mo 03/19/15 (Op Ed) -- Michael Trapp tried to do something to his 2nd Ward Columbia City Council opponent he's done to the public many times during City Council hearings.
The incumbent Councilman tried to create an unwinnable situation during a public debate. By calling him a "nice guy" Paul Love had "slurred him," Mr. Trapp told a crowded League of Women Voters (LWV) audience Tuesday night.
"Paul uses my demeanor -- that I'm a nice guy, that I'm friendly -- as a slur ," Trapp explained.
The comment must have seemed a real head scratcher to those who haven't heard Mr. Trapp before, explaining -- sometimes endlessly -- how in trying to do the right thing , the public had gone hopelessly wrong.
Mr. Love was the picture of sinceri...
Number One priority
COLUMBIA, Mo 03/18/15 (Beat By...
A sustainable mission
COLUMBIA, Mo 03/17/15 (Reprin...
A muddied A-game vs. a clear C-game
COLUMBIA, Mo 03/14/15 (Beat By...
A 7,500% fee increase overnight
COLUMBIA, Mo 03/13/...
"You'll never beat the Richmond out of this band"
"No money"? How can that be?
COLUMBIA, Mo 03/11/15...
Blunted muckrakers and milquetoast bootlickers