A bullying habit hard to give up

There have been several stories on television lately about bullies and bullying. And thinking back to my childhood, I can remember some incidents that remain painful even a half-century later.

I think we all have bully tendencies depending on where we are in the family lineup. It’s kind of a domino effect. The oldest picks on the next in line and so on. My older brother targeted me early on and I, of course, set my sights on my younger sister. As toddlers, I would take away a toy if she looked like she was having too much fun. And in school, I didn’t want her to play with my friends. But I could make her cry every time I told her her lips were too thin.

Family Fishing Day

Near the bank of a fishing pond in Columbia, an epic battle is taking place. Thrashing and fighting, straining against the limitations of being a toddler, Kalea Zielinski is struggling to fish.

Kalea wants to catch the fish. Not Dad. Kalea.

Cheney to speak in Fulton

Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to visit Westminster College in Fulton on Monday.

Sgt. Paul Reinsch of the Missouri Highway Patrol confirmed that troops will be assisting the U.S. Secret Service in transporting the vice president to Fulton on Monday.

Energy center helps homeless

Two years ago, Mark Bernier was homeless, living day to day on the streets of Springfield. Then, he met the Rev. Larry Rice and found his salvation in the form of renewable energy.

Bernier is using scrap materials and other low-cost innovations, such as “papercrete” — a highly efficient insulation made from newspapers and concrete mix, to build his own house.

Leaving big footprints

Richard H. Knipp came to Columbia around 1938 as a carpenter with nothing but a car, a shovel, a shirt on his back and a lot of determination.

With no formal education and through hard work and frugality, he became the owner of a major construction company that has left its indelible mark on Columbia.

A troubling forecast

An abrupt climate change caused by global warming — long thought to be centuries away — could take place in a few decades. That’s one of the scenarios proposed by a new Pentagon report that stirred European public opinion earlier this year.

The report, published earlier this year in the British newspaper The Observer, has raised eyebrows among environmentalists because it is one of the first times the threat of global warming has been tied to national security.

Gas bags

Have you heard? Gas prices could reach $3 a gallon this summer, forcing Americans to radically rethink the SUVs they drive and causing politicians to expend enormous amounts of political capital reshaping the country’s energy consumption.

Please. Sockdolager has a request for those spouting such nonsense: Stop patronizing us. The current angst over rising gas prices will not result in any substantive changes to the country’s energy policy. Paying next to nothing for fuel has become as American as tax cuts for the filthy rich. That said, Thursday was Earth Day, and we can’t resist ranting a bit about the country’s dependence on black gold.

Columbia airport will get new evening flight

AmericanConnection will add an additional evening flight from Columbia Regional Airport to St. Louis beginning June 1.

The 30-passenger plane will depart Columbia at 5:12 p.m. and arrive in St. Louis at 5:57 p.m.

Day of Silence a success

Carol Snively spent Thursday in silence. Her phone would ring, but she couldn't pick it up. Her colleagues asked her questions, but she just looked at them blankly. Throughout the day, she used sign language and notes to communicate.

When those didn't work, she just gave up. For someone who is "very vocal," keeping silent wasn't easy.

Marriage bill clears House — 124-19

JEFFERSON CITY— The House on Thursday passed a proposed constitutional amendment barring gay marriage — a move supporters said would guard against activist judges but opponents criticized as discriminatory.

On a 124-19 announced vote, the House sent its version of the proposed amendment of the Missouri Constitution to the Senate. The Senate has passed a simpler version and that bill is pending in the House.

Despite rancor, liability bill passes Senate

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate came to what one senior member called the “edge of chaos” Thursday as Democratic floor leader Ken Jacob and Democratic Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell created a two-hour block on a Republican attempt to end a Democratic filibuster. The fight was over a medical liability lawsuit awards bill.

At issue was a Republican motion to move the previous question— a rare procedural move that cuts off debate and forces a vote.

Supporters say bill will stop frivolous lawsuits

JEFFERSON CITY — Supporters of the medical liability lawsuit awards bill say the legislation would prevent frivolous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals. Large awards are cited as a major reason for the rising medical malpractice insurance claims. Supporters say doctors are, in many cases, being forced to give up their medical practices totally or move to another state with lower malpractice insurance premium rates.

Sen. Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, told the Senate that Missouri is facing a crisis.

West Boulevard principal announced

Vickie Robb will be the new principal of West Boulevard Elementary School, the school chosen by the district as the new model school to help with achievement disparities. Robb is currently the principal of Russell Boulevard Elementary School, a position she has held since 1990.

Organizers hope event encourages awareness

Up to 10,000 people are expected to hit Columbia’s streets with their friends and families on Sunday to celebrate Earth Day 2004.

Once a small event observed by a few environmentalists, the event has become a popular annual fixture in Columbia, packed with information and fun activities.

A quick and quiet quitting

JEFFERSON CITY — With Republican senators out of the chamber during floor debate Wednesday, Columbia state Sen. Ken Jacob told four other Democrats to snatch control and adjourn for the day to prevent debate on a bill to limit liability lawsuit awards.

The move angered Republicans — and some Democrats — who said it violated Senate customs and traditions.

Financial aid slump reshapes MU

Mike Harrison relaxed in his duplex after work on a recent Thursday night. Friends wandered through his front door, making plans for the weekend. Many were returning home. Harrison, however, was not. He would spend the weekend working at Home Depot, his part-time job, so he can pay for college.

Harrison’s case is not unique. The decrease in state appropriations for higher education and rising educational fees make it difficult for low-income students to afford a college degree, MU leaders say.

Faculty gives high marks to Deaton

Faculty members voiced their approval Wednesday at the announcement that MU provost Brady Deaton would become MU’s interim chancellor.

In a Wednesday press release, Deaton formally announced he had accepted the post of interim chancellor that had been offered to him by UM system President Elson Floyd.

MU activists heading to Washington

They’re armed with sleeping bags, ear plugs, comfortable shoes and “fabulous, low-maintenance outfits.” But they’re mentally armed as well for dealing with counter-demonstrators, a march crowd as large as 1 million and for spending every waking moment of the three days with thousands of other protesters.

A Columbia group composed of mostly MU students will join about 200 others from Kansas to participate in a women’s rights march on Saturday.

Big dreams, tiny race

In a fictional story called “Pierre’s River Adventure,” young Pierre and his father canoe down the Missouri River, trading furs and having the time of their lives. The story became the basis for a project involving fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders in almost 125 classrooms across mid-Missouri. In addition to the story, a miniature canoe was delivered to each classroom to be named and decorated for the “Great Canoe Race of 2004” on Saturday. In the race, the 15-inch-long canoes will float the Missouri from Brunswick, northwest of Columbia, to Augusta, west of St. Louis, a voyage of about 190 river ...

Council cooks up kitchen parade idea

While remodeled kitchens can be stunning, they are usually only enjoyed by the homeowners and their friends and family. However, thanks to the Boone County Council on Aging, four remodeled kitchens will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday for public viewing.

“Kitchens In Bloom,” a new event, will raise funds for the council.