Tract development plan passes despite opposition

Despite hearing from nine residents who opposed the plan, the Columbia City Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday to develop a 23-acre tract of land at the corner of Stadium Boulevard and Audubon Drive.

Councilman Brian Ash of Ward Six, where the tract is located, was highly in favor of the Stratford Chase development proposed by Rex and Patricia Waid.

Legacy for GOP may be cultural

JEFFERSON CITY — After two years in power, Republican state lawmakers are leaving their mark on society — one that may subtly influence the way Missourians live for years to come.

The GOP’s greatest legacy likely does not lie in the incremental spending cuts or increases contained in the much ballyhooed state budgets of this year or last.

Teaching is next lesson for MU grad

Some people are content to let life happen to them. Others are compelled to pursue every possible opportunity.

Nabiha Calcuttawala is one of those people. Somebody with drive, with ambition and a huge need to constantly help people. A 21-year-old raised middle-class in Hannibal, she graduated Sunday from MU with a degree in communications and a minor in sociology. But she’s not going to St. Louis for a job in advertising, or back to live in her cushy home to save money.

"What does the school mean to me? It means home."

The room next to Beulah Ralph’s office is a shrine to the glory years of Frederick Douglass School.

Dust covers trophies from the ’40s and ’50s. Photos hang from the room’s east wall in a glass case. The images are stirring. Move through each school year. Take in each smiling face, each still and perfect moment. There are prom photos and banquet photos. There are images of science fairs and art exhibits.

Union Station, trains are links to our past

Kansas City’s Union Station is one of my favorite Missouri places. During the days when railroads were a major form of transportation, I spent many Sunday afternoons there, sitting with my notebook, watching passengers depart and arrive. I’d make up my own stories about the people, making them residents in my own little fantasy world. I’d have them visiting relatives, going off on honeymoons, taking their first trip to Chicago or New York. Because I was a small person and never intrusive, people came and went and never seemed to notice me.

Because I was a longtime train rider, I was able to provide my characters with authentic, detailed adventures. I almost always had them aboard the Rock Island lines because that was the best connection between Kansas City and Minneapolis, where I spent most of my summers. My trips back and forth provided me with enough information to write a book because I always spent a lot of time visiting with the train porters and listening to their stories.

Council to review ARC rules

Jim Windsor has two adult daughters with disabilities, neither of whom qualifies as a family member under the five-person Activity and Recreation Center Family Group Membership. Under current membership rules, Windsor must pay an additional $25 annually for each of his daughters. He said he and his family are not ARC members because of additional costs and an implicit lack of attention to people with disabilities.

“The Parks Department didn’t do its homework when setting up rules,” Windsor said. “People with disabilities are overlooked in situations like this.”

Planning and Zoning seats up for grabs

Time has become an issue as the Columbia City Council seeks to fill what will soon be three vacancies on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The terms of both Michael Perkins and Karl Skala expire May 31. Cyndy Jones, whose term expires on May 31, 2005, resigned six weeks ago because of health concerns. The council hopes to interview the people seeking a position on the commission, but after tonight’s meeting it will not meet again until June 7. This would give the three new commissioners only a few days to prepare for the commission’s first meeting in June.

Awaiting new challenges

For family and friends snapping pictures during graduation weekend at MU, nature provided an ideal backdrop of blue skies peppered with fluffy white clouds Saturday.

MU Chancellor Richard Wallace, participating in his last graduation ceremonies as chancellor this weekend, commented on the clear and cool weather as he began the 10th annual Honors Convocation, the ceremony for the 821 students graduating with honors. MU is giving out a total of 4,281 degrees.

NCAA: Snyder ’failed’

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The NCAA alleges that University of Missouri basketball coach Quin Snyder “failed at all times” to maintain an environment of rules compliance, documents obtained by The Associated Press show.

Snyder made multiple impermissible calls and personal contacts to recruiting prospects, provided impermissible meals for recruits and student-athletes and didn’t keep tabs on his staff’s compliance with rules, the NCAA asserts in its formal notice of allegations.

Education funding unsettled

JEFFERSON CITY — When it comes to Missouri education policy, what the General Assembly didn’t do this session may turn out to be more important than what it did.

State legislators failed to revise Missouri’s Foundation Formula, the key mechanism through which the state distributes $2.4 billion to its public schools. The formula is also the subject of a major lawsuit involving nearly half of the state’s school districts.

Hot topics pepper session’s close

JEFFERSON CITY — The lieutenant governor, foster care and same-sex marriage highlighted the last day of the legislative session Friday.

Senate Democratic Floor Leader Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, stalled a foster care bill until the last minute of the session. The House passed the Senate’s version of a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages, sending it to the ballot.

Politics, math don’t mix well for legislature

JEFFERSON CITY — A mathematical misunderstanding became the center of one of the biggest political disputes in the Missouri legislature’s 2004 session.

“During the month of March, we added more than 1,000 recipients daily,” wrote Rep. Larry Morris, R-Springfield, in response to a newspaper’s editorial criticizing a GOP plan to cut the Medicaid program that funds health coverage for lower income Missourians.

Paper proliferation

JEFFERSON CITY — Over the course of a legislative session, many things can flow out of a statehouse, like vitriol, rhetoric and legislation. In Missouri’s case, add paper products to that list.

Administrative officials in Missouri’s House and Senate estimated that the two branches of government combined used roughly six million sheets of paper during the session.

Car crash leaves two college students dead

Two college students died in a fatal car crash early Friday morning, bringing the total of people who have died in car accidents in the last week to five.

Brandon Perkins, 23, a business student at Columbia College, and Samantha Black, 22, a senior at MU who was set to graduate today with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, were involved in a single-car accident at 12:50 a.m. on Providence Road at the Hinkson Creek bridge.

What passed, what failed

What passed

Moving takes toll on family

I was an Army brat growing up, so I consider myself somewhat of an expert at packing and moving. Recently, my youngest son and his wife found their “dream” home. With our big family, I figured helping them move would be easy — maybe even fun. After all, my son and his wife have only been married nine years. How many possessions could they have accrued in less than a decade?

My daughter-in-law began packing at least a month before the move. I must say I was impressed with the stacks of boxes that covered the living and dining room floors. The family ate out every night the week before the big day because she had packed all of the pots, pans and dinnerware. There was method to her madness.

Rustic living

About 30 long miles west of Columbia, Martin Bellmann has built a cabin even Henry David Thoreau would respect on 17 acres that just might be prettier than Shangri-La.

It is a place where the wind plays through groves of walnut and oak like breath on a flute, where neighbors are separated by acres of grass and oaks and where farmers ride tractors through sweaty afternoons and beg the sky for a cloud to blot the sun.

A ‘job well done’

No wonder Richard Wallace keeps saying it’s hard to leave MU. About 400 faculty and staff members gathered at a reception Thursday to celebrate the chancellor and his nearly 40 years of service to the university.

A long line of well-wishers snaked out of the Reynolds Alumni Center ballroom, as administrators, faculty, staff, students and community leaders waited patiently to shake the departing chancellor’s hand. Both Wallace, who will step down in August, and his wife, Patricia, took a few moments to acknowledge the guests.

Diversity seen as limited by few options

Reinforcing claims made in a recently released campus diversity report, leaders of several MU academic departments said they’ve seen problems with recruiting and retaining African-American and female faculty.

A lack of commitment to diversity and discrimination in departments was cited in the independent report and by Robert Weems, MU’s vice chancellor for equity, as reasons the numbers of minority faculty, especially African Americans, and female faculty in leadership positions are still low.

Volunteers cleaning up Missouri River

Jeff Barrow has seen a lot of junk on the Missouri River’s banks.

“We’ve gotten everything from pool tables to pianos,” said Barrow, an event coordinator for Missouri River Relief. “Last weekend, (in Washington, Mo.,) someone found a bowling ball.”