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We built this city on sewers

Thursday, April 3, 2008 | 6:26 p.m. CDT; updated 8:42 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Last month, I gave a reporter an improbable task: Make sewers sexy.

There’s nothing hotter than sewers. Cities are built on them. All those pipes snaking here, there and yonder define Columbia’s past and future. Anyone who has been a public official or city hall reporter has at one time or another gotten sucked (pun intended) into the science, art and politics of sewage. The only thing more fascinating might be roads. Or schools.

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At this point, my kids are saying, “Dad, you gotta get out more.”

Some of you will eagerly await the results from Election Day on Tuesday, where schools and hospitals and, yes, even sewers play prominently. Others would rather join my offspring in pondering the fates of the free world on the World of Warcraft (III? IV? XX?) video game. I’m OK with either.

It’s become tradition over the years to publish a complete voters’ guide for the more civically inclined, and thus the theme of Saturday’s print edition. Its niche is for all of us who have tried to keep up with the issues and candidates but have a hard time keeping everything straight. There’s more — much more — on ColumbiaMissourian.com and on SmartDecision08.com, where election reporting of KBIA radio, KOMU television and this newspaper come together. I like the print version because you can make notes all over it and take it with you to the polling place.

Speaking of print: The Paul Sturtz campaign asked for a PDF version of the Missourian profile for use in fliers. Newspapers get a little touchy about appearing to favor a candidate, and this newspaper in no way endorses Sturtz or any other aspiring First Ward councilperson. The answer: All the candidates in the race received a copy of their profiles as designed for the print edition, to do with as they wished.

At any rate, there’s plenty of homework available if you want to find out about any of the races. Presidential elections get lots of press, but the results of a local election are the only ones you can, well, flush.

Exciting, isn’t it?


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