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Tell us what you think needs to change in 2009

Friday, November 28, 2008 | 12:00 p.m. CST; updated 5:28 p.m. CST, Monday, December 15, 2008

Dear Reader,

For the last several months, there’s been a lot of talk about change.

Change in 2009: What do you want to see?

This is an invitation to share your thoughts in the coming weeks with other readers.

Tell us: What kind of change do you want to see in 2009?

Submissions will be published at ColumbiaMissourian.com and in the Missourian starting on New Year's Day. All we ask is that you sign your name and provide a telephone number (not printed; just there in case we have a question).

To send in your submission:

E-mail: editor@ColumbiaMissourian.com
FAX: 882-5702
Postal delivery: Letter to Editor, P.O. Box 917, Columbia, MO 65205

Questions? Send an e-mail to Jake Sherlock, opinion editor, at SherlockJ@missouri.edu.


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Barack Obama and Jay Nixon both ran on the notion that Missourians wanted a new direction. For that matter, so did John McCain and Kenny Hulshof. Heck, every politician promised change in one way, shape or form.

With the new year ahead, change is likely to be on our minds. Some of us think about changes promised by newly elected officials. Some of us ponder how to change ourselves for the better through resolutions. The civic-minded among us are likely to contemplate how to change Columbia and Boone County for the better.

With that thought in mind, I hope you’ll accept this invitation to share your thoughts on change in the coming weeks.

The topic: What kind of change do you want to see in 2009?

That’s a mighty broad topic, but everyone can participate. Regardless of your political bent, whether you’re young or old, new to the town or a longtime resident, I know you have an opinion. So why not share it? To quote Plato: “Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”

In case you’re in need of inspiration, look no further than the comments left recently at ColumbiaMissourian.com. Here are a few examples:

  • “My view is instead of making (Douglass Park) so cutsie tootsie, why not get the crime under control first and foremost so it will be safe for those things the city wants to do?”
  • “What makes members of these organizations think they are as, or more, qualified to determine proper usage of a Taser than are trained law enforcement officers and officials?”
  • “Go ahead and make fun of the air service in Columbia, Mo. Without the continuation and support of the quality of air service, Columbia will go nowhere.”
  • “The Humane Society takes in about 22 animals a day. If they instituted a no-kill policy, what would they do with all of those animals?”
  • “It's hard to miss the sad irony of a hiring freeze the same week that the football coach might get a raise from $1.85 million to $2.5 million.”

Do any of those topics resonate with you or get your dander up? If so, speak up. And if not, speak up about a topic that does.

For this project, let’s take advantage of all the bells and whistles we can. Pick the medium you’re most comfortable with and share your thoughts. Maybe it’s through a video diary or a podcast. Maybe it’s through illustration or animation. Or maybe it’s via the good ol’ written word. The important thing is to express it.

All I ask is that you keep profanities and personal attacks out of your work. Please share your name with readers (no anonymous submissions) and provide a phone number for verification (it won’t be published). The box to the left includes all the contact info you should need.

I look forward to seeing your ideas about the changes we need here in Boone County, in Missouri, the country and the world. Hopefully we can share enough opinions to find some common ground between all of us.

Now that’s change I know I can get behind. How about you?

Jake

 


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Comments

Charles Davis December 1, 2008 | 11:07 a.m.

In 2009, I would like to see some serious discussion as to how Columbia balances growth and standard of living in a recessionary economy. As a university town, we've always been a bit recession-proof, but this year we all know that the sour economy has reached us all. I would like to see the Missourian spend a lot of time looking at the microeconomic effects of the macroeconomic news, and bring it down to as local a level as possible.

What businesses have closed this month? Where? What kinds? I see, for example, that Backyard Burgers out on Clark Lane is shuttered....

(Report Comment)
David Rosman December 2, 2008 | 10:54 a.m.

The J-School has convinced me that "Twittering" would be the easy way to keep in touch with the latest news. However, the last time the Missourian Twitter was updated with news was November 25. It is now December 2. You cannot keep up with the Tribune if you do not embrace the technology as they have.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 2, 2008 | 11:26 a.m.

I think by keeping the latest stories flowing on the front page they are actually out performing the Tribune on news coverages alot of times.

The Tribune does not hardly update their front page on the net as often as the Missourian does.

Twitter is nice if but maybe a running script of the latest headlines would also work on the front page here if it did not drag the server down. They would need the script to run just like a "ticker" would with those stories clickable as well.

It can be done if you have great coders working on it and maintaining it.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz December 2, 2008 | 11:35 a.m.

I think the Tribune does a pretty decent job of updating their news page. As an example, I noticed three local stories that are new there this morning, as well as various AP stories that appear on the right side. I actually don't like the way that the Missourian's news page updates in that some of the more "hot" stories bubble to the top, and I might miss "lesser" stories that don't receive the prominent placement.

As for Twitter, I'm not convinced about it yet. The 140 character limit does not allow for much news to be told, other than a brief headline and "Go to the Missourian online for the full story" or something similar.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr December 2, 2008 | 12:47 p.m.

For as big though as the Tribune is though it does not update local stories or state stories as fast as the Missourian does with it's online front page.

Many times this paper has had the headlines on the front page many many hours before the Tribune did.

The Missourian is not so much a national news outlet like the Tribune obviously is but for being on the local and state scenes it does post more of those types of stories and often per hour I have noticed.

It is refreshing to have such a service where you do not have to wait all day long for even the littlest of stories to be published.

No newspaper is ever going to get everything that is for sure.

(Report Comment)
Linda Green December 4, 2008 | 1:51 a.m.

What needs changed in Columbia in 2009:
We need much stricter TASER regulations for police including oversight that those regulations are being followed. If you get the DVD from the police department of TASER use cases and read them over, you will see why.

We need our state legislators to stop the attempted overthrow by AmerenUE of the citizen-mandated anti-CWIP law, which prevents utility companies from charging for power not yet received. AmerenUE wants to overthrow the anti-CWIP law so the public will be forced to pick up the tab for building a new for-profit nuclear plant. We need to say no to nuke plants because they are too risky, too dangerous, too expensive and are too little too late as far as meeting our energy needs.

We need a new public school superintendent who looks for ways our school physical plants can go green and also ways to provide more choices and more individualized instruction to students--especially in math. This can be done with increased use of computer programs in math. Go to www.acellus.com and see what you think.

(Report Comment)
Melanie Cheney December 11, 2008 | 7:02 p.m.

I would love to see the city stop throwing so many Chlorides (de-icers/salts) on the sidewalks & roads every time it so much as threatens to freeze or bad weather is in the forecast. I've seen them throwing that stuff around in the rain before. Why not A. Conserve our de-icers for when it really hits, and B. Preserve our water quality by reducing the amount of pollutants we are putting out there. In 2009, I would really love to see more attention focused on keeping our rivers & streams healthier! Our water is such a precious resource that we all take for granted.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 11, 2008 | 8:02 p.m.

I wish they would save the salt for bad storms also. But it's a liability for the city if someone gets injured in an accident on a road that "should" have been treated.

Calcium chloride, in concentrations low enough to be non-irritating, is good for you. Same for all other common chlorides. The form of chlorine that depletes the ozone layer and promotes free radical formation in the body is not chloride.

DK

(Report Comment)

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