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The week in comments: Election results, downtown camera performance art and traffic changes

Sunday, April 11, 2010 | 5:33 p.m. CDT; updated 11:21 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Every week, readers of ColumbiaMissourian.com offer their opinions on the news and the Missourian's coverage of it. Here, we offer you a digest of some of the conversations we found most interesting. Click any of the links to join in.

Kespohl, Dudley win City Council races

Comments: 16 / Commenters: 12

This Missourian report from Tuesday night announces the winners of the Third and Fourth Ward seats of the Columbia City Council. The article was met with mixed responses from Missourian readers.

Kevin Gable calls Kespohl's win "a sign that ugliness, slander, and propaganda are now accepted as reasonable by a (razor-thin) majority of Third Ward voters," and labels Dudley's victory as "a defeat for substance and thoughtfulness." Michael Sleadd noted that "65% of the 4th ward did not vote for Daryl Dudley," also adding that, "It is a dark and dangerous time for the city."

Not all commenters were unhappy with the election results. Michael Scott said, "The bottom line is that the Citizens of this community have sent the message that jobs and safety are their main priority. Fortunately, we have 3 new council members that understand that and can move forward." Allan Sharrock responded to Sleadd's comment saying, among other things, that "Columbia has very informed voters."

Downtown cameras spur Facebook performance art group

Comments: 15 / Commenters: 9

This articles describes a new group, formed on Facebook, that is electing to have "some fun" with the downtown security cameras, approved by voters on Tuesday, by performing in front of the cameras and requesting footage of their performances. Comments focused both on the performance art group as well as the issue of the cameras themselves.

Carl Kabler
wrote, "You go Shane, I think you have a fabulous idea and it does sound like alot of fun, perhaps we can make this waste (IMO) of tax payers money pan out after all...Cheers and kudos for thinking 'outside the box.'" Cecelia Ryder commented that, "It says a lot when the opponents of Prop 1 take the least mature response possible."  Other readers disagreed that the response was immature. Shane Ferguson, creator of the group, responded by saying, "I can think (and have thought) of plenty of other 'responses' I would love to take (once the cameras are installed) that would be quite immature. This just so happens to have been the most mature idea of all that I was inspired into thinking about." Carl Kabler also responded saying, "I have to disagree if I read you correctly and you are insinuating Shane's idea is 'the least mature response possible', nope, I hear in the totalitarian Big Brother U.K., citizens are simply placing tires around 'gatsos' and setting them ablaze. Ouch!"

TODAY'S QUESTION: Are you for or against Proposition 1?

Comments: 10 / Commenters: 6

Monday's "Today's Question" asked Missourian readers what their opinion was of the proposition to install cameras in downtown Columbia, a measure that passed on Tuesday.

Deidra Lookingbill led the discussion by asking why people were upset at the idea: "The security cameras in no way infringe upon private lives or individual rights as they are to be used in public locations, not private homes." Carl Kabler countered that the cameras were a waste of money, and said, "Can you cite statistics on serious downtown crime and give evidenced facts that clearly show the downtown NEEDS these at all?" Al Bundy responded to Kabler, questioning whether he really knew what downtown was like at night. He said that there was a lot of unreported crime and a lot of "scumbags" out after 10 p.m. Kabler said, "Yes, Orwell's book '1984' was set in a fictional setting, but the ideas he expressed about a 'Big Brother' total surveillance state apparatus are FACT and coming true faster and faster each day."

MU students ask for change in marijuana use policy

Comments: 7 / Commenters: 3

Students involved with the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws held a demonstration at MU asking Chancellor Brady Deaton to endorse marijuana as a relatively safe alternative to alcohol.

Reader Carl Kabler thinks it is a great thing that students are speaking out, but Ray Shapiro says he is "concerned about the control and influence NORML has over our younger generation."

Speed limit is going lower on U.S. 63

Comments: 4 / Commenters: 4

Some readers, like Ray Shapiro, mock the speed limit reduction saying, "The speed limit on I-63 should be 63 and the speed limit on I-70 should be 70." John Schultz doesn't think a 5 mph reduction will help safety issues.

City hopes to lure large employer with 'Project Tiger'

Comments: 4 / Commenters: 3

Readers have mixed reactions to "Project Tiger," an initiative to bring several hundred jobs to Columbia.

Dan Goldstein is cautious about the project, little of which is being disclosed to the public: "The word is they hold all the cards and all we can do is do exactly what we are told. Or they will not come." Ed Ricciotti thinks it could be a good plan, but wants to know why this information did not surface until the recent elections.

MoDOT installs flashing yellow arrows on College Avenue

Comments: 3 / Commenters: 3

The Missouri Department of Transportation said installing yellow flashing lights will help avoid confusion regarding left turn signals.

Reader Blake Segafredo thinks it is a waste of tax dollars: "We are replacing a system that has been in use for decades that everyone understands with a new system that are supposed to avoid confusion." Segafredo says it will cause more confusion. Reader Ray Shapiro agrees, raising several questions to MoDOT such as "Should pedestrians and other vehicles be more careful with these yellow blinking arrows are flashing away?"


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