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The week in comments: Immigration law, ice rinks and a visit by Obama

Sunday, May 2, 2010 | 6:23 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.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Arizona law instills fear in all citizens
Comments: 18 / Commenters: 9

Michael Grinfeld, an associate professor at the MU school of Journalism, wrote his opinion of the new immigration laws in Arizona requiring all immigrants to carry proper identification and how it "essentially gives Arizona law enforcement officers Gestapo-like powers."

Readers took sides quickly. Sean Coder said the issue in Arizona is "a messy situation, one that deserves not to be quickly swept under any rugs by ignorance." Other readers, like Dale Jones said, "Illegals need to be put in jail or deported per our law." A debate was started over what control America had over what can be construed as "stolen land." Ultimately no one changed their opinion of the statute, but the issue of whether it was constitutionally acceptable was brought forth. Christopher Foote said, "The Arizona law is in affect saying that one's ethnicity is probable cause that a law (a federal immigration law) has been violated, thus allowing for a search of one's papers. Frankly, I find that sentiment contrary to the principles of a free democratic society."

TODAY'S QUESTION: Do you think Columbia should get an ice rink?
Comments: 6 / Commenters: 6

Boone Ice Group is working with the city’s parks and recreation department to bring a rink to Columbia.

There were a few different views on the issue. The first was the viability of an ice rink in Columbia. Allan Sharrock was of the opinion that "There are not enough hockey players in Columbia to pay for the rink and after the newness of the rink wears off people will not go." The second issue was whether it should be publicly or privately funded. "If you want it---buy it. As for public funds; if most want it--buy it," said Tom Kelly. Countering that was Mark Flakne who said, "Columbia doesn’t need a frozen financial albatross hanging from its already burdened neck." Ellis Smith closed the discussion by saying, "It is easy to make bold forecasts for something which doesn't yet exist."

TODAY'S QUESTION: Should red-light cameras be banned in Missouri?
Comments: 7 / Commenters: 3

The Missouri Senate passed an amendment to an omnibus transportation bill that would ban the use of red-light cameras.

Reader Mark Flanke agrees with the ban, saying they do not reduce drivers running red lights, rather they are a money-making scheme. "Citizens of Columbia have become gatso's ATM." Elizabeth Thomas suggests "if their product did as they promise, which is 'reducing red-light violations and accidents,' then they wouldn't make a lot of money off of their product."

U.TOWN BLOG: Journalism school restrictions briefly prompt plans for sit-in
Comments: 6 / Commenters: 4

After confusion arose with the announcement that police would be patrolling hallways in journalism buildings after hours, many journalism students organized a "study-in" in protest.

Reader Tina Fey says that this is proof of journalism students being dramatic and tells students to wake up and "get a real profession," for the MU J-school "is a joke" and a waste of students' time. Ellis Smith responded Fey by suggesting "Stop by our campus any time and we'll buy you a coffee ... or something far stronger. Would you also care for an honorary degree?"

Macon prepares for President Barack Obama visit
Comments: 4 /
Commenters: 5

President Barack Obama stopped in Macon, a small farming community in north-Central Missouri, as part of his Main Street Tour. His visit was met with mixed emotions from Macon residents, being celebrated by some and protested by others.

Missourian readers commented on the visit and protests.

Mark Flanke said, "Now I'm no fan of Obama, but should't that old tea partier in the top picture know that making a shirt from the American flag is pretty darned un-patriotic." Larry Palmer said, "I went to the rally last night and it was really wonderful. Like most of the folks there, I share the sentiment that the President isn't handling this visit appropriately."

Former Boonville priest indicted on sodomy charges
Comments: 4 / Commenters: 4

A former Boonville priest and employee of the Charter Hospital in Columbia (no longer open) has been indicted on several counts of sodomy, attempted sodomy and kidnapping, all of which is believed to have occurred in the 1980s.

Don Asbee praises this outcome, saying that all clergy sex abuse "must be stopped." Judy Jones, associate director of SNAP Midwest encourages people to come forward to tell their stories and "start to heal." Tom Kelly says this is reason to end all organized religion, because "to support itself, a church needs money and a hierarchy--therefore corruption."

Missouri S&T wins $1 million grant for energy research
Comments: 3 / Commenters: 2

The Missouri University of Science and Technology has recently won many grants to further their energy research.

Reader Ellis Smith expands on the article, explaining what kind of projects are planned for the research and with whom the university is partnered with for the studies. Mark Foecking says this method, gasification "is a more efficient way to brun coal" and is cleaner for the environment.


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