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UPDATE: Columbians deal with summer heat

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 7:53 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Roan Baxter-Marti, right, jumps into the water stream with friend Alexzander Sutherland at Stephens Lake Park on Monday. Baxter-Martin was part of a Camp Adventure summer camp, one of many camps out at the lake, who all went cool off from the scorching heat.

COLUMBIA — The heat index topped 100 degrees in Columbia by mid-morning Tuesday, which forecasters have pegged as the hottest day in the ongoing heat wave.

At 10:12 a.m. Tuesday, a temperature of 90.7 degrees and 67 percent humidity combined for a heat index of 106.0 at Sanborn Field on the MU campus.

Cooling Centers in Columbia

Activity and Recreation Center:     1707 W. Ash St.
Armory Sports and Community Center:     701 E. Ash St.
Columbia Public Library:     100 W. Broadway
Columbia Mall:     2300 Bernadette Drive
Health Department:     1005 W. Worley St.
Oakland Senior Center:     805 Old 63
Paquin Towers:     1201 Paquin St.


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On Monday, a local hardware store was running low on fans, kids ran in and out of the spray areas at Stephens Lake Park, and construction workers took regular breaks Monday as Columbia's temperature hit the mid-90s.

A heat advisory has been issued for all of Boone County, in effect until 7 p.m. Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

With temperatures peaking at about 93 degrees Monday, Columbia residents found different ways of dealing with the heat.

COOLING CENTER

The city encourages people to use seven locations during the hottest times of the summer. Being one of those seven places, the Columbia Public Library became not only a busy place for children to come and check out books for summer school but it was also a place to escape the heat.

“Because you can just come and be here, it’s hard to know (how many people are there for the cooling center),” said Kris Farris, public relations coordinator for the library. “But anecdotally I know people come here during the heat of the day because we are a cooling center.”

Farris said the library is an attractive place for a cooling center partly because it’s open seven days a week and is located near a bus stop.

“You don’t just have to sit and be bored,” Farris said. “You can get on the computers or just sit and read for a couple of hours.”

EQUESTRIAN STABLES

Large fans kept the air moving at the Stephen’s Equestrian Barn off of Old Highway 63. Some horses got  sponge baths while others stood outside in the heat, finding shade under a tree.

“(The three western horses) stay out until they come up and say ‘OK I want in now’ and kick and knock until I pay attention to them and let them in,” Jessica Schwartz said. Once the horses are let in, they get cooled down with sponge baths.

“Peyton (the horse) toed into the barn and over to the (cat's) bowl and just put his head down in it and drank it all,” Schwartz said. “I don’t know why he had to have that water and couldn’t wait to just get back in his stall.”

STEPHENS LAKE PARK

Helena Kowaleski, 17, and Taylor Steele, 16, spent a couple hours by the lake during the heat of the day on Monday afternoon, not an unusual summer activity for Kowaleski.

“I come here a lot and I see lots of people come here with their families,” she said. “You know people will come with their parents, uncles, cousins, whoever.”

She said the younger kids typically stay over by the spray area but will move to the lake when the sprayers turn off.

“It’s not that deep and kids can go out into the water,” she said.

She said she’s noticed that the spot has become more popular recently, gesturing to the kids running around and the couples spread out next to the water.

“A lot of people come here – it’s free and they’ve done a lot of work and it’s just really nice out here.”

WESTLAKE ACE HARDWARE STORE

Even though heat-related purchases only make up about 30 percent of Westlake’s business, according to sales associate Stan Williams, that 30 percent is going fast.

“The big hot seller is the small air conditioner that can be moved around,” he said.

Williams sees the most custumers around lunchtime and early in the morning before it’s “not too hot for people,” he said, and they’re coming for air conditioners and for fans.

“We’re pretty much out of air conditioners but we’re getting more in on Wednesday evening,” Williams said.

CONSTRUCTION AT STADIUM GRILL

Tony Billington, a Coil Construction project supervisor, explained the necessary actions he and his workers take while working on an especially hot day. 

“We drink a lot of Gatorade and vitamin water and we take the necessary breaks,” Billington said.

Billington and his men have about six weeks of construction left on the Stadium Grill, a restaurant connected to the Hampton Inn on 1225 Fellows Place, set to open mid- to late August of this year. The restaurant lacks air conditioning, Billington said, and some of the men work in the roof on the rafters.

“The men who work in the rafters work for about an hour and then take 10-minute breaks every hour,” he said. “We have the men get by a fan; we have four fans inside to the keep the air circulating.” 

FARMERS MARKET

Members of the Columbia Farmers Market on Ash Street must stand outside and endure the heat in order to sell their produce and other goods.

Caroline Todd, the Columbia Farmers Market manager, listed some of the steps she and vendors take before venturing outside in the heat during their working hours. 

“We drink lots of water the day before and we give away free water some days,” Todd said.

Sandy Creek Farms owner Rhonda Thiessen gave tips on how she deals with the heat.

“We try to assimilate to the heat; we don’t turn on our air conditioners unless we absolutely need to,” Thiessen said. “We also mist each other with spray bottles.”

Along with keeping themselves cool, Todd and the others members of the market keep the vegetables and fruits as fresh as possible by spraying them with water and only taking them out a little bit at a time.


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Comments

Jason Entermyer June 23, 2009 | 7:34 a.m.

Chuck Dudley....Just wanted to point out that these are some of the great things that the park tax is providing. The water play ground at Stephens is a great example. I also think the City did the water play ground at Flat Branch behind Hardees. These features serve all demographics. Now, let's see how you make these a negative to the city.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 23, 2009 | 8:33 a.m.

Jason Entermyer once again you have missed my past points posted not only here but over on the Trib on this issue,Trib Board and on Mike Martin's Beat Board.

We have enough parks and park lands already in this city. We do not need more to be purchased by the city itself at tax payer expense. We as a city need to grow up and not out. That is a fact.

Instead as other cities do they make the developer of any new housing area development build parks to city code and then once that area in question is annexed into the city or finished if it already is with in city limits those parks are deeded over to said city thus costing tax payers nothing in the beginning and only meager maintenance fees on down the road.

That is how you save your tax payers money they need in their own pocket books to support their families in this obviously failing economy.

Now yes if there is a tiny area such as Flat Branch is that needs to be rehabilitated I can see these kinds of projects but there are also other ways of funding these besides tax payer dollars that are voted on and mandated into being.

The funds for building new parks needs to be reduced and brought under control instead of just blatantly building more and more.

For instance why not develop the already existing parks we have. The small lake at Cosmo/Bethel park is in serious need of being drained,dredged out,relined and rehabilitated so it can be a decent lake once again. That is one of many projects I can think of that could be done with that "park tax only fund" instead of building or acquiring new park lands.

The point in question are the needless fleecing of the citizens in this community out of their hard earned dollars only to front some City Official's private agenda.

We have bigger things that need to be looked at before parks are built or developed such as more police patrols on our streets,road repairs,youth education,EMS service expansions and more.

If parks are to be developed we really only need to develop what we already have until the point they can be developed no more and only then look at the next park in question one at a time and not by the multitude of sprawl we have now.

To deny the above priorities in favor of some odd ball park that is not needed is just plain ignorant by alot of citizen views.

(Report Comment)
Jason Entermyer June 23, 2009 | 11:12 a.m.

Wrong again Charles. In fact, Jeff City has more park land/resident than Columbia does. They have 30 residents per acre 39636/1300) compared to Columbia's 33 residents per acre (99174/2984). Their Binder Park is over 640 acres which is 100 acres larger than Cosmo. The problem is that it's in your self-serving mind that we have too many parks when in fact Columbia is average compared many cities their size and even smaller.

Do you play baseball? Do you have kids that play baseball? Do you even know anyone that plays baseball? If so, you would know that Columbia needs more baseball fields in order to accommodate the current needs, much less future growth. Diamond Council even has a split season in order to fit all of the games in.

Many large sports tournaments have left Columbia for other towns (Springfield MO for example) as Columbia doesn't have the numer of fields needed to host these tournaments. These tournaments bring in big bucks for the economy, but not to Columbia's economy anymore.

At a chamber meeting earlier in the year, the guest speaker indicated that 66% of the City's budget (of those funds that aren't dedicated...street tax, sewer tax, water tax, etc) is being spent on life and safety issues which police and fire represent the most expenditures. These are the funds that the Council has discretion over how they're spent.

I do agree that a dedicated park or public land ordinance is needed and would take pressure off of the City. However, just watch the contractors and real estate agents scream if you try to start that again.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz June 23, 2009 | 1:20 p.m.

Chuck, the city has absolutely no say on development outside of the city. It's ludicrous to think the city can tell a developer to build a park that will be present when the city annexs that land, unless the developer is already planning to annex into the city.

You say such an action will save taxpayers money, but don't forget that forcing developers to put in a park will raise the cost of the lots and houses in that particular development to offset the park mandate.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 23, 2009 | 1:52 p.m.

>>> John Schultz June 23, 2009 | 1:20 p.m.
Chuck, the city has absolutely no say on development outside of the city. It's ludicrous to think the city can tell a developer to build a park that will be present when the city annexes that land, unless the developer is already planning to annex into the city. <<<

See that is where you miss the point of City P & Z working hand in hand with County P & Z should be going on as it does in alot of other cities. Obviously Columbia cannot get its act together so the citizens of Columbia are forced in one way or the other to pay those taxes that in reality if our City and County Officials would think farther out side of the box than the sand box in the park these types of things would not have to happen.

Tell me what developer that builds on the edge of an already expanding City does not think about future incorporation and a City who is not looking at developers to do the same.

Does that make sense to you John being you are all for well organized government.

As far as raising the price on a lot well just look at what the buyer is getting is all I have to say on that matter. It also puts developers and realitors back into the game of competition to see who can develop better than the other while keeping the price affordable yet complying with City and County Codes.

>>> Jason Entermyer June 23, 2009 | 11:12 a.m. I do agree that a dedicated park or public land ordinance is needed and would take pressure off of the City. However, just watch the contractors and real estate agents scream if you try to start that again. <<<

So let them scream bloody murder. What are they going to do pack up their marbles and go home crying to mommy all the while some smart developers will come in and see what the market is and want to cooperate. Let the crying begin IMHO! Too many times a County or City will cater too much to developers only to screw itself and it's own community in the end needlessly.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz June 23, 2009 | 5:15 p.m.

I believe the city and county P&Z are working together on the urban fringe to some degree, but such a park requirement should not be mandated by those bodies. It reeks too much of pay to play in my opinion.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 23, 2009 | 5:42 p.m.

>>> John Schultz June 23, 2009 | 5:15 p.m. I believe the city and county P&Z are working together on the urban fringe to some degree, but such a park requirement should not be mandated by those bodies. It reeks too much of pay to play in my opinion. <<<

Actually John it shows long term responsibility to the tax payers to not rape their pocket books because some county or city wants to baby coddle certain developers instead of looking out for their citizens' needs/interests such as keeping money in their pockets instead of the pockets of the "Bob the Builder" types.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz June 23, 2009 | 6:31 p.m.

Then should we also privatize the Adapted Recreation Program as I once suggested so that Paquin Tower residents aren't raping my wallet? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 23, 2009 | 7:49 p.m.

The issue above is totally different but since you insist to continually attack a community based program for the disabled I will respond in kind. After this lets keep it on the issue above.

>>> John Schultz June 23, 2009 | 6:31 p.m. Then should we also privatize the Adapted Recreation Program as I once suggested so that Paquin Tower residents aren't raping my wallet? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right? <<<

If you can prove and provide beyond all reasonable doubt the funding and the professional people who are running that program now then put it up to the community and City Council if you have the balls to do it openly in public for all to see your proposal. After all you are still the Chairman of the Great Libertarian Party of Boone County aren't you?

Frankly all I see is alot of talk by alot of 501c3's in this area who still have their hands out to big government due to a failing economy.

You keep coming back to this established program for the disabled in this community that has been here in the same place since 1973 and do you have something against programs for the disabled in this community or is it just your personal Libertarian vendetta to target this one program.

By all of your past posts it is the very latter obviously.

Why don't the Libertarians step up to help this program for the disabled since you are so concerned it privatize? Oh that's right you have the all of the solutions just no plans to implement them.

Typical.

Back on track now: If the County and City worked together as they should the citizens of this community would be spared all of the expenses that are now incurred to them for building these parks in new developments and the real burden would be on the developer where it belongs.

That is John unless you Libertarians want to see this community keep shoveling money out of their pockets in a failing economy for parks that are better left to being built by the developers as they continue to build the sprawl we are all forced to deal with.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 24, 2009 | 3:53 a.m.

@John Schultz:
("raping my wallet? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?")

"Idiom Definitions for 'What's good for the goose is good for the gander'
This idiom means that the sexes should be treated the same way and not be subjected to different standards."

John: References to rape and an improper use of an idiom?
Surely the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County
can make a better argument for not giving a ratz arse about people with mental/emotional and physical disabilities.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 24, 2009 | 4:17 a.m.

John Schultz, Chairman of the Boone County Libertarian Party.
Is that a lifetime appointment, or the kind of position that no one else wants?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 24, 2009 | 5:04 a.m.

Ray it is obviously the latter you stated.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz June 24, 2009 | 8:23 a.m.

Chuck, you don't think people consider it just a bit hypocritical to demand that the city continue to fund "your" program while cutting the parks and rec budget? That is what I am trying to get you to understand. I don't have anything against the program, but I think that by contacting private businesses in the area that a lot of the material costs could be covered, and possibly the staffing element as well. Has the group raising money to supplement what the city cut even considered that option?

To address the parks issue again, do you know how much the city is spending to develop parks beyond what is coming in from the voter-approved sales tax? I don't off the top of my head, but I'm guessing you have not researched the numbers either, or have a feel for just how many developers are really being "subsidized" in your words.

Ray, if you want to jump me for the rape comment, better start with Chuck as I was just using his words.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 24, 2009 | 12:19 p.m.

>>> Has the group raising money to supplement what the city cut even considered that option? <<<

Yes they have John but as we know in this failing economy it is never enough. Also privatizing this program is not the long term answer either you think it is. Why don't you become a participant and talk to those who use the program and get some education on how well it helps those who utilize it. The numbers show that it is growing more but slowly and hopefully it will grow more as time continues.

You forget John that this one tiny program operates on only roughly $80k a year. That is it only $80k. Now out of that there are materials,fuel,salaries and Administrative fees. That is a pretty dam tight program for the measly cost of $80k compared to the $25 mill that is being wasted on the SpendAboutColumbia program isn't it.

On the park issue there is no good reason that the community should have to foot out their own taxes for new parks in "new developments" when the original developers can be made to install said parks and create them to City Code then when said development is finished deed the parks over to the City.

Case in point the new park that was proposed last year at The Cascades because somebody on P & Z obviously could not think outside of the dam box.

The original developer could have built a park in there very easily while doing the original construction and then deeded it over to the City once completed thus saving the City the costs of construction and the tax payers money out of pocket to build it.

This is where County P & Z and City P & Z should be working side by side to make their long term goals the same across the board. It is called smart development and not sprawl development at tax payer expense.

Other cities do it that way to save their citizens the tax burden so what is so different about Columbia?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro June 24, 2009 | 1:08 p.m.

("Ray, if you want to jump me for the rape comment, better start with Chuck as I was just using his words.")
That was your first mistake.
I never read anything Chuck posts.
I apologize for thinking you had an original idea.
("Rape" is such a horrible word. It's like rap with an extra letter.)

(Report Comment)
John Schultz June 24, 2009 | 1:10 p.m.

Have you contacted Breaktime or other local vendors for fuel donations? Art houses and studios for supplies? Faculty and students from the arts programs at Stephens and Mizzou to lead classes?

I don't have time to research it now, but I would be curious to know how much many of these parks you are complaining are in new developments as opposed to those that have been in the city for some time, or redevelopment/repair of existing parks. Hmm, actually not as hard to find as I thought, take a look at the Parks and Rec capital improvement projects list here:

http://www.gocolumbiamo.com/ParksandRec/...

Yes, there are some new parks in new developments, but there are also new parks in older areas, such as the Grasslands and Stephens Lake, as well as the new baseball fields on donated land (Atkins property).

You seem to think the developers will fund the parks out of the goodness of their hearts, but those costs will be passed right along to the buyers of those homes. That might save the general taxpayer a few bucks here and there, but don't forget such an action would result in higher housing prices as well.

Again, city and county P&Z are working together somewhat (I'm not sure of the exact degree), but such mandates should absolutely not be decided at that level. That is a decision only for the city council in my opinion.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 24, 2009 | 2:37 p.m.

>>> John Schultz June 24, 2009 | 1:10 p.m.
Have you contacted Breaktime or other local vendors for fuel donations? Art houses and studios for supplies? Faculty and students from the arts programs at Stephens and Mizzou to lead classes? <<<

They tried that and very little action but alot of words. Typical. Every one for themselves in this fading economy.

Sure developers would have to pass the costs along and your point is?

Wha wha wha wha the home owner might have to suck that up a little but look what they are getting right off the get go in a properly developed area,not having to go to City Council begging for a park to be built,thus waiting and waiting and all of the red tape and eternal B.S. of P & Z meetings and such.

They would have it right now which is how this present day society functions.

If they want it all right now then give it to them I say and save the community and it's citizens as a whole the cost of the tax on their already over burdened incomes in having to build some park clear across town they might never use in a development they will probably never visit.

This is about physical parks not about programs that are open to all from all over. Huge difference.

(Report Comment)
Annie Pimple June 24, 2009 | 3:29 p.m.

>>>Wha wha wha wha the home owner might have to suck that up a little<<<

When you bought your house how much more would you have been willing to pay to have a park in your neighborhood?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 24, 2009 | 3:58 p.m.

Annie Pimple think of it this way. How much can a park cost to build on a 1/4 acre or a 1/2 acre lot and split the cost between however may homes (say roughly 60 average) in that new subdivision/development?

The average buyer would hardly notice the difference unless they are long lost relatives of Ebeneser Scrooge.

Once the park was built by the original developer then deeded to the city after annexation or inclusion upon completion of said development then all there is for the city to do is mow and maintain.

Saves all of the community as a whole the tax burden on building it.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz June 24, 2009 | 4:10 p.m.

Either way, mandating that the developer put a park in costs someone money - either the buyers of the home or those who pay the parks sales tax. Might have to check with "New Dad" to get figures, but would expect that most developments are much larger than 60 houses, Vanderveen for instance.

Chuck, just how much is the city paying out for these new parks in new developments? Have you researched the number? It it a huge value or more manageable?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr June 24, 2009 | 4:48 p.m.

>>> Chuck, just how much is the city paying out for these new parks in new developments? <<<

John the fact is why should Joe the Schmo living off of Clark Lane in Rink A Dink Subdivisionpay for Sally the Sitter's park over on Scott Blvd on Boone Tooley Nowhere that Joe will more than likely never ever visit?

Do ya see what I mean? Alot of communities,counties and cities make the developer install a park in their developments per city,county code and will agree to take over the maintenance of said park once the development is complete thus saving the governing entity the hassle,headaches,B.S.,paper work,Admin fees and more of having to install said park and freeing up resources that could be used elsewhere.

So easy a cave mam=n could do it or better yet a smart politician looking to save their constituents money out of the pockets needlessly.

(Report Comment)

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