DEAR READER: Meet the 2014-15 Missourian Readers Board

Readers Board members help the Missourian stay connected to the community and get a behind-the-scenes look at the work we do.

GEORGE KENNEDY: Oak sapling symbolizes history, hope and tradition on MU campus

The dedication of a newly developed and planted tree, the Buck's Unlimited Oak, gives students and faculty alike a chance to take a breathe and look forward.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: What to do with a surplus military tank? Send it back

Sending the armored vehicle back from whence it came saves taxpayer dollars and begin demilitarizing local police forces.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Don't buy into this ill-conceived amendment on teacher evaluations

The best teachers adapt their instruction to reach the greatest number of students. We fear a statewide standard may not acknowledge and reward that asset and, worse, might discourage teachers from reaching out to the spectrum of students.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: St. Louis 'craft beer' has suspicious origins

This is craft beer on a semi-industrial scale, but still keeping production under the arbitrary 6-million-barrel-a-year limit that the Brewers Association says defines a craft beer.

TIM MAYLANDER: Goodell, NFL miss point on domestic violence

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league had a perfect opportunity to take a stand and protect women who are victims of domestic abuse. Instead, they opted to protect themselves and "protect the shield."

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tell Department of Natural Resources to oppose CAFOs

Research studies highlight the unintended consequences of large-scale confined-animal feeding operations (CAFO).

DAVID ROSMAN: Legislature did nothing to improve the lives of Missourians

Overriding Gov. Jay Nixon's vetoes appeased corporate lobbies and special interest groups, created no jobs.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Even when Rex loses, Missouri loses worse

If money is a form of speech, as the court has ruled, then Mr. Sinquefield is talking freely, loudly and ceaselessly.

WHAT OTHER SAY: Why America should care about Scottish secession

Neither Scotland nor England has a real plan about how to go forward if the two lands, linked for more than three centuries, are suddenly severed.

ROSE NOLEN: Americans must assist those in need at home

Financial greed should not distract from helping those in need.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Veto session does offer few encouraging signs

Sen. Bob Dixon of Springfield and Rep. Jay Barnes of Jefferson City were among the Republican lawmakers who backed off targeted tax relief in favor of pursuing more far-reaching tax reform when the regular session convenes in January.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: America's reluctant warrior-in-chief needs allies

A discussion about what national security interests are at stake is essential. A forecast of possible exit options would be helpful. Playing politics while U.S. troops have their hides on the line is despicable.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: To the NFL: This is what domestic assault looks like

When powerful people don't call out domestic violence as a brutal act worthy of stiff punishment, every victim suffers.

DEAR READER: Amendment 3 campaign falls flat, but how to assess teachers rolls on

Proponents of the amendment to mandate teacher evaluations by student progress didn't like what they saw in the polls and withdrew from active campaigning.  Amendment 3 might not pass, but it's not going away.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: Mo. lawmakers show 'callous disregard' for women

Missouri's new 72-hour abortion waiting period is the second-most restrictive abortion law in the country.

GEORGE KENNEDY: Early childhood education, job prospects could fight crime

Instead of investing in the police force, we should be putting our money toward long-term solutions.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Highway tolls forecast economic disaster

Tolling existing interstates is double taxation because it charges people for using roads for which their tax dollars have already paid.

DAVID ROSMAN: Memory of 9/11 reinforces need to strangle new threats of terrorism

We need to act, and we need to act sooner rather than later. America’s air support of the Iraqi and Kurdish ground troops is only a start.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Obama strategy against ISIS — deliberate, thorough, cautious

To have an actual national conversation about ISIS, we first need to understand what it is and how we can beat it.