Life in black and white

To many, traditional black-and-white photography is an out-of-date practice. At first glance, a colorless image may seem like a representation of the past — a piece of history captured for personal or collective posterity. And because today’s digital cameras can transform the most fumble-fingered into an accidental pro, black-and-white photography may hold little appeal for some beginners.

But for amateur and professional photographers, shooting and developing black-and-white pictures can present a unique challenge to their creative and technical skills. The craft of taking black-and-white photographs is what Michael Lising, who teaches a photography class at the MU Craft Studio, finds most appealing about the medium. Lising compares it to cooking, another pursuit with rules that beg to be broken.

Voter Preference or Visual Pollution?

With the campaign season at its height, election propaganda has saturated our lives. Yard signs, buttons and live debates all try to persuade us to cast our votes in a particular direction. Political society scrutinizes everything from size and placement of signs to the potential backlash and spin of negative advertising. Taking a casual glace at our landscape, some could debate whether campaign advertising has reached a point of diminishing returns. Does a discarded sticker really aid political understanding or simply litter the sidewalk? Does a flurry of campaign signs actually encourage voting or simply mar the ambience of downtown? Are we visually shouting so loud that we have become numb to the process?

Air filters can improve quality of air, quality of life

When Lindsey Suntrup, an MU junior plagued by 39 allergies, found herself in the heartland of allergens, she frantically searched the Internet for some relief.

Suntrup, a 20-year-old from St. Louis, said she has difficulty enjoying fall in mid-Missouri because of its high weed pollen index. Kansas City and St. Louis are among the top six worst U.S. cities for allergies, according to a study by Sperling’s BestPlaces, a research firm that analyzes quality-of-life data.

Cooper wins liquor license appeal, for now

The sign reading “No beer until we obtain a new liquor license” has faded and cracked since it was taped to the cooler at Cooper’s Landing in Easley four months ago. But Cooper now has reason to remove that sign — as long as it sticks.

Four months after the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control refused to renew owner Mike Cooper’s liquor license, a state commis-sion ruled Thursday that his license should be reinstated.In its ruling, the Administrative Hearing Commission — an organization that handles disputes involving state agencies and the public — ruled that Cooper did not lack good moral character, as the division had alleged. The division has been ordered to reinstate his license, but it can appeal.“It makes me feel like there’s some hope that when an injustice has been done, sensible people will realize that and fix the problem,” said Jim Karpowicz, a coordinator of the Missouri River Relief Project and one of Cooper’s character witnesses at the August appeal hearing.

Prescription Pot

Heather De Mian has vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a disorder that weakens the body’s collagen — what she calls the “rubber bands and glue that hold the body together.” She suffers from gastro-intestinal problems and is prone to dislocated bones and bruises because of ligament weakness and feeble blood vessels. Eventually, the disease may kill her.

De Mian takes seven prescription drugs, two of which, Zofran and Marinol, are used specifically to treat the nausea and vomiting she experiences regularly. Because she qualifies for Medicare and Medicaid, taxpayers pick up the tab for her prescriptions; the Zofran and Marinol alone cost $32,000 per year.

Secrecy in aftermath of raid continues

Somewhere in the federal courthouse in Jefferson City, a search warrant contains the information regarding a search conducted in Columbia by the FBI and other federal agencies. The warrant is sealed and not open to public inspection. Its secrets are known to the federal magistrate who authorized the search and the agency that made the request, which itself is not publicly known.

The U. S. Treasury Department alleges that the Islamic American Relief Agency is part of an international network that helped finance terrorism abroad. If any criminal charges arise from the search of its office, that information could also be kept secret. The FBI is giving no indication of when — if ever — the information will become public. Search warrants are often sealed before the searches are conducted to avoid alerting those under investigation, however, they usually become a matter of public record shortly thereafter.

FBI reportedly finds Hamed not a ‘concern’

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri government lacked the ability to detect connections between a state employee and a Columbia-based charity that federal investigators allege was financially aiding terrorists, the director of Missouri’s Homeland Security office said Friday.

“We’re not sophisticated enough to make that connection. It’s not easy, and it’s not cheap,” Tim Daniel said. “Trying to get that information is going to be impossible unless you hire a private investigator.”

Speakers tout merits of medical marijuana

Supporters of Propositions 1 and 2 have reached the home stretch.

As Election Day approaches, several groups behind the upcoming marijuana initiatives sponsored two events this weekend to promote the cause of medicinal marijuana and decriminalization, as well as other issues pertinent to the movement.

A tradition of tiger spirit

Grand marshal shares memories of MU fun

At a Friday luncheon organized by Boone County National Bank, Homecoming Grand Marshal Chuck Roberts spoke to a group of MU faculty and other community members about his memories from the two years he spent studying at MU’s School of Journalism. Since graduating from MU, Roberts has held several jobs in broadcast journalism and has worked as a news anchor for CNN since 1982.

Missouri senior citizen legislature discusses list of high-priority issues

JEFFERSON CITY — Once the Silver Haired Legislators were settled in at the Missouri House chambers, results came quickly.

On Friday, the senior advocates came to Jefferson City from all corners of Missouri to discuss a list of priority issues for presentation to the General Assembly. With concerns ranging from meals to Medicare, the seniors wrapped the two-day annual conference with a top-five list of proposals they will push when the next legislative session begins in January.

With open arms

Caira Bolen sees her job as a calling, not just a career. Her work at the Voluntary Action Center — helping people find what they need to get by — is simply an extension of the most important thing in her life.

“Pretty much all day, every day, is representing the relationship I have with the Lord,” Bolen says. “If I did not have that, I would not be able to look at people for who they are. Homeless, holes in their shirt, dirty … I know that’s not who they were created to be.”

On the long road home

LUAU, Angola —The last of the seven trucks lines up for an hour in front of Luau’s transit camp as the sun sets over Angola’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. About 50 refugees are squashed together on the truck’s rear, among them Benson Soneka and six of his family members.

When the back is finally opened, the Zambian refugees grab water cups, soap-size packets of dry food and plastic mats from the aid workers and stumble into the night, searching for a grass hut — their shelter for the coming days.

U.K. paper tries to sway Ohio vote

LONDON — The Guardian newspaper is offering its readers a role as little birds on the shoulder of some Ohio voters in the presidential election. So far, there’s not much to indicate the voters are particularly interested.

On Oct. 13, the British newspaper launched a campaign to give its readers the addresses of voters in Clark County, Ohio, so they could write letters offering opinions on whom to vote for in the U.S. presidential election. The paper, which bought the list of voters, would only give out names of people who had not registered with a political party.

Health fair educates local children

Jane Garrett counted slowly out loud as she poured teaspoons of sugar into a glass of water.

“One, two, three,” she counted up to nine.

Local candidates appeal to voters with disabilities

State senate hopeful Chuck Graham, who uses a wheelchair, had a hard time finding a handicapped parking space Thursday night at the Boone County Government Center. All the spots were taken by people packing in to see candidates for five local races debate issues affecting people with disabilities.

Topics such as how to increase employment among people with disabilities, how to improve transportation availability and whether builders should be offered tax credits for constructing accessible homes were discussed by candidates running for the 21st, 23rd, 24th and 25th districts state House seats and the 19th District Senate seat.

Road management, storm-water maintenance focus of commission debate

Sitting onstage in front of a mostly empty auditorium at Columbia College Thursday night, all four candidates for two open seats on the Boone County Commission attended a debate that lasted no more than 15 minutes and allowed little time for disputation

The event, which followed a 90-minute debate between the candidates for the 9th District U.S. House of Representatives, featured Democratic incumbents Skip Elkin and Karen Miller and their respective Republican challengers, Jerry Carrington and Mike Asmus.

9th District candidates hash out differing views

While many people in the 9th Congressional District were preparing to watch the final game of the Cardinals-Astros series, three candidates vying to represent the district in Washington in the next term were preparing to debate for the first time this election season.

Libertarian Tamara Millay, Democrat Linda Jacobsen and Republican incumbent Kenny Hulshof met at Launer Auditorium at Columbia College to answer questions formulated by a group of journalists and political science professors. The debate was sponsored by the League of Women Voters, KBIA/91.3 FM and the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Lawyer backs Islamic agency

The Islamic American Relief Agency, which was raided last week as part of a nationwide terror investigation, has retained lawyer Shareef Akeel for representation. Akeel, a civil rights lawyer from Detroit, is also leading the class action suit filed on behalf of Abu Ghraib prisoners in Iraq. Akeel states that the Columbia charity is not tied to the Sudan-based Islamic African Relief Agency, which the Department states raised funds to support the terrorist activities of al-Quaida and Hamas.

Practicing Politics

Bianca Aaron said she was born in 1946, went to Yale for her master’s and got an MBA from Harvard in 1975.

Her father had been in politics all her life, she said.

Election observers to return

When a group of international election experts visited Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren in September to look at her office’s election techniques, they liked what they saw.

Now they’re coming back to see those techniques in practice.