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THE WEEK IN COMMENTS: Evaluating President Barack Obama, Proposition B, cameras downtown, brick streets

Sunday, September 26, 2010 | 7:26 p.m. CDT; updated 7:04 a.m. CDT, Monday, September 27, 2010

COLUMBIA — 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.

TODAY'S QUESTION: What do you think about Proposition B?

Comments: 179/Commenters: 47

Proposition B, formerly known as the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, requires proper shelter, nourishment and care for dogs in large breeding operations. The Missourian asked readers to weigh in on the proposition's value.

Of 3,024 online responses to our poll, 43 percent supported the proposition. Commenter Dee Green mentioned the larger repercussions of the legislation for the state of Missouri, understood to be the "Puppy Mill Capital" of the nation. Commenter Marcus Richmond believes the issue is part of a larger discussion of private liberty and the extent to which the government may regulate areas of citizens' lives.

The debate among Missourian Web readers largely centered on the ethics of dog breeding, the semantics of the discussion — what defines a "puppy mill" versus a legitimate, humane breeding operation, the efficacy of legislative action in curbing poor treatment of animals and the double standard involved in attacking animal rights organizations.

LETTER: Prop B 'sounds cruel'

Comments: 13/Commenters: 9

Stacy Farley, a Lancaster dog breeder, believes Proposition B will not stop unlicensed breeders and that proposed regulations might potentially harm animals.

Commenter Anne Hogan believes the proposition would quite simply create avenues for enforcement of humane standards, yet Kara Crass acknowledges what she perceives as a quantity flaw in the proposal: "This will affect anyone with over 10 dogs. So if you have 1 or 9, you can treat them anyway you want and it doesn't matter?" 

Commenters brought to the floor other topics such as the lack of medical exemptions in the proposition and the influence of organizations such as PETA and Humane Society of the United States.

Preservation leader wants downtown Columbia's brick streets restored

Comments: 6/Commenters: 4

Last week's article by Kelsey Kennedy analyzed one resident's proposal to scrap off existing pavement of several Columbia thoroughfares and to uncover the more elegant brickwork below. Brent Gardner, vice president of the Historic Preservation Commission, has seen some concerns about his proposal that largely have to do with maintenance.

Bill Fisher worries that the addition of more bricks would not be friendly toward cyclists, and Ellis Smith believes that a brick composition might better lend itself to a residential street than a commercial one.

TODAY'S QUESTION: Is Columbia dangerous enough for downtown cameras?

Comments: 6/Commenters: 2

Carla Jimenez, a reporter for the Missourian, posed a question to the community regarding the utility of having cameras downtown.

Of 26 responses to a poll included in the Web article, 62 percent felt that the cameras are unwarranted. Lacinda Florez took the contrary position, drawing on the fact that she believes the Columbia Police Department has fallen short in catching criminals.

St. Louis-area school named after Obama

Comments: 5/Commenters: 4

The Missourian featured an AP brief Monday that announced a suburban St. Louis school district's plans to name an elementary school after President Barack Obama.

John Schultz asked a fellow commenter how many schools he knew of that were named after an incumbent president, believing that such a designation comes far too soon.

GEORGE KENNEDY: It's a tough job, but the president has already accomplished a great deal

Comments: 5/Commenters: 3

Opinion columnist George Kennedy pondered Thursday whether the president's accomplishments since he took office have been de-emphasized. Kennedy points out how the Obama administration's education and health care reform initiatives and the stimulus package have become targets of disproportionate criticism.

Commenter Rick Huffman lauded the president's job, with particular reference to the automotive industry. Huffman also feels that the president has made strides in restoring the United States' international credibility. 

 


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