This Week in Comments: Jail bed & breakfast, dinner train protests, Islamic Center expansion

Sunday, July 17, 2011 | 8:27 p.m. CDT; updated 8:35 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 17, 2011

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. Click any of the links to join in.


Ninety guests spend a night in Cole County Jail, for the experience

Comments: 11/Commenters: 5

Missourian reporter Robson Abbott spent a night in Cole County Jail and reported why people chose this unusual activity for a Friday night. 

Ellis Smith says, "Forcing inmates to pay for their expenses while in jail or prison might sound appealing and even 'fair' but would almost certainly be unconstitutional."

Mike Hughes says, "Sounds like the new jail is EXACTLY like all jails & prisons should be: a VERY uncomfortable place with institutional food."


Columbia Star Dinner Train's opening night met with protest

Comments: 37/Commenters: 10

Missourian reporter Abby Eisenberg talked to advocates for people with disabilities, who are unhappy that the train lacks an accessible car.

Frank Christian says, "This 'protest' in my opinion, is the worst waste of time and effort for disabled rights that might be imagined ... Some of the concern expressed above has to do with private business using public money and infrastructure."

Mike Martin says, "These disability advocates have every American right to protest the dinner train subsidy, as it's their tax money too."

Harold Sutton says, "If enough people keep complaining and finding fault with what is being attempted here with the dinning train, then it is quite likely that paying clients will avoid being singled out and protested against."


Islamic Center of  Central Missouri plans expansion

Comments: 27/Commenters: 11

Soo Ji Lee, a reporter with the Urban Journalism Workshop, wrote a story for the Missourian about the Islamic Center's plans. Many of the comments were about the state of Islam in general, not the center's expansion.

Louis Schneebaum says, "As a native Missourian, I look forward to the construction of the Islamic Center and welcome all of its visitors in advance."

Tim Trayle says "... perhaps we could acknowledge that the good people at Islamic Center of Central Missouri have been an asset to Columbia, and that this expansion should not be viewed as part of that threat except by the Chicken Littles of the world."

Ellis Smith says, "Obviously this matter won't be resolved this weekend or any time soon. As I pointed out above, the article being commented upon concerns expansion of an existing local Muslim facility. Has anyone read the article?"


J. KARL MILLER: The true definitions of dressing up and down

Comments: 6/Commenters: 6

In this column piece, J. Karl Miller talks about modern dress codes.

Michael Williams says, "The "attire" question is a huge reason I spend as much time on my farm as possible. So far, the oaks, corn, soybeans, deer and turkeys have made no complaints within my hearing about torn jeans, raggedy shorts, ball cap, and T-shirts ..."

Evelyn Dunn says, "Unfortuately it seems to me our young people don't even know the rules presented here. I do believe that schools which have and enforce dress codes are better preparing the students for what the adult world should be."
Jim Clayton says, "When I was younger in the 1960's everyone wore a suit to church and women wore nice dresses from young kids, to teens and adults. I always liked that myself."


Columbia's feral cat ordinance is headed in wrong direction

Comments:6/ Commenters:5

This letter to the editor by Becky Robinson says that trap-neuter-return is the only effective course of action for feral cats.

Mitchell Moore says, "Feral cat supporters are misguided. The new city ordinance should be repealed and one enacted banning the feeding of feral cats."

Elaine Hartley says, "When a human being says that cats are so destructive to wildlife they should be exterminated, I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Human beings are the single most destructive and rapacious force on this planet."

Allan Sharrock says, "But at least we know what the issues are. We humans can change our behaviors and make choices. Animals are driven by two things. Eating and making more of their kind."


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Ellis Smith July 19, 2011 | 7:09 a.m.

Looking at three of the categories shown above I am reminded of advice I received during my formal education. It was delivered neither at a university nor by a PhD, but by an English teacher:

"First, THINK; then write."

Modern communication devices have made it easy to write - garbage can be spewed out at an alarming rate - but thinking seems to be in short supply. Miss Dorothy Hall, the English teacher, is doubtless spinning around in her grave. :(

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