WEEK IN COMMENTS: Pedestrians, peace, progress and police

Sunday, September 12, 2010 | 7:51 p.m. CDT

Every week, readers of 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.

Tabled pedestrian improvements would help Hickman High students

Comments: 29/Commenters: 6

Eric Holmberg wrote about a proposal before the City Council to add pedestrian signals, crosswalks and concrete islands to the intersection of Providence Road and Business Loop 70. The council tabled the proposal Tuesday night and will discuss it again on Oct. 4.

Ray Shapiro said students shouldn't be allowed to eat lunch off campus. "A closed campus is a safe campus, both for the students, motorists and the community at-large," he said. Mike Sykuta disagreed, suggesting students simply should be held accountable for whatever happens to them off campus. Carlos Sanchez and John Schultz discussed the feasibility of adding cafeteria space at Hickman. Holmberg, the reporter, joined the conversation to say more things need to be considered. "If students had a safe option (to cross the street), it's perfectly reasonable to blame them, but unfortunately, they don't," he said.

GEORGE KENNEDY: It's been nine years since our last day of peace

Comments: 5/Commenters: 5

Columnist George Kennedy summarized the news of Sept. 10, 2001, and called on readers to remember "our last day of peace."

Julie Davis said she met with members of her book group to discuss a book about the Civil War's Battle of Gettysburg. "We spoke of war in the abstract — an idea — but not as something possible on our own lands in our time," she said. Bailey Brewer called reading the list of headlines from Sept. 10 "such an eerie experience." Suggesting that the past few years weren't so bad, Ellis Smith said people eventually will say "a period of nine years without peace was a relatively good time."

TODAY'S QUESTION: How do you feel about a Florida church's plan to hold a Quran burning?

Comments: 8/Commenters: 6

Writer Ayla Kremen asked readers their thoughts about a Gainesville, Fla., pastor's plan to burn 200 copies of the Quran on Saturday — an event that eventually was called off.

Carlos Sanchez said to consider the pastor's constitutional rights: "I do not agree with what he is doing ,but what does the Constitution allow?" Beverly Schooler said, "To me this is just pure hate. My Bible teaches me to love and pray for my enemies. This is AMERICA and there is freedom of religion!" Melinda Lockwood criticized media coverage of the plans, asking, "When are we going to stop encouraging these idiots by giving them attention?"

COLUMN: MU touts campus diversity, but seeing isn't believing

Comments: 9/Commenters: 5

Columnist Jennifer Wilmot questioned some of MU's announcements about increased diversity within the student body. She commended university officials for their work so far, but she said her everyday experience on campus doesn't match up with some of the numbers that have been published.

Karen Pojmann said any progress, even slow progress, is still a step in the right direction and should be promoted.  Mark Foecking said the statistics in the article — which were mainly for this year's freshman class — might not match those of MU's entire student population. He agreed with Pojmann, though, saying, "If we were only seeing single-digit minority enrollment then perhaps more concern would be justified." Wilmot responded, emphasizing she wasn't devaluing the university's accomplishments. "Sure, we should promote our achievements, but let's be cautious about it," she said.

UPDATE: Woman who fell at Quinton's identified

Comments: 10/Commenters: 8

Kelsey McQuade wrote about the condition of Kelsi Poe, 19, who was taken to University Hospital after falling from a staircase at Quinton's Bar & Deli on Saturday evening. According to the Columbia Police Department, Poe had "four times the legal limit of alcohol in her system."

Daniel Jordan asked, "What is 'the legal limit of alcohol' for being on a staircase?" Roger Dowis suggested incidents such as this one are a "cultural thing" that "will take a commitment of the university leadership and the students to change." John Schultz, Seth Schuster and Carlos Sanchez discussed the potential legal issues involved with Poe being a minor at the bar and the responsibilities associated with holding a liquor license.

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