Local Columnists

For MU, troubled times are already here

Some of my university friends worry that we’re headed back to the bad old days of the Ashcroft administration, when a hostile governor and a politicized Board of Curators thought — or said they thought — that they could achieve greatness by slashing away at the institution.

Watching the school board is a group effort by journalists, citizens

Missourian reporters Kendra Lueckert and Jewels Phraner on Wednesday tried to meet one of journalism’s higher callings — holding your government accountable — with a story about school district officials’ decision on where to place Columbia’s third major high school.

Religious freedom under attack

Attacks on humanism, whether secular or sectarian, is on the rise and we, as Americans of religion or of heresy, should be very angry.

Take care in alley names, signs stolen

Recently a local newspaper carried a story about theft of Columbia street signs. Vandals (read: thieves) increasingly, says the report, abscond with street signs that make it difficult for emergency vehicles to find addresses. Life and death emergencies result from missing signs.

Some crimes require final punishment

Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the death penalty as an appropriate punishment for aggravated murder or other grievous assaults upon humanity, we should applaud the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Missouri’s lethal injection procedure is neither cruel nor unusual punishment.

Strong family values help throughout life

Building a scrapbook is one way of collecting personal memories. Family photographs and other memorabilia serve as great reminders of times and places that are sometimes lost in the busyness of everyday life.

National holidays unite citizens

With the U.S. at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, what are the country’s commitments to traditional values on this July 4th?

After ‘Sicko,’ old American ideals seem lost

When I read the Declaration of Independence in the Missourian on the morning of our 231st birthday, I had to wonder whether ­— amidst parades, cookouts and fireworks — we’ve forgotten something important.

Few responses, but worthy book titles

I invited all my readers on June 9 to recommend books for summer and ... one letter poured in.

New insights for the future of your newspaper born at retreat

A couple of weeks ago, 15 Missourian editors went to the woods to talk. I described the goal this way in an earlier letter to you: What is the new compact between the Missourian and the citizens it serves?

Language limits means to equality

The U.S. Supreme Court has made its decision. Race cannot be a factor in deciding how schools select which students may or may not attend.

History is history to youngsters

Young people today are bright and energetic. They have fantastic technological abilities, able to handle the Internet with few, if any problems.

Free speech at air show applies to all

The public’s view of the rights to free speech and expression as defined by the First Amendment ranges the entire gamut of beliefs.

Harvest onions, garlic now to enjoy over winter

It will soon be time to harvest the alliums, particularly onions and garlic. Their storage longevity varies and one is challenged to make use of these food essentials in ways that exploit their goodness.

Prosperity lost: U.S. on way down

With the number of foreclosures and the cost of living steadily climbing, some working-class families are finding themselves moving back into their parents’ home or taking up residence with siblings. This is definitely not the lifestyle they had planned for themselves in the process of raising a family.

World is watching Blair, Brown

Tony Blair left office last week after serving 10 years as Britain’s prime minister. As he left office, he said, “I wish everyone, friend or foe, well, and that is that, the end.” Is it really the end? And what did Gordon Brown mean when he mentioned a new government with a new set of priorities?

Dogs, or any animal, can be therapeutic

My brother in ink, John Merrill, declared “I am decisively a dog hater,” on these pages a few days ago. I could understand not caring for dogs. But hating them? How could anyone hate dogs?

Dialogue and community input lacking in choice of school site

Last week, the Missourian reported on a hearing about the school board decision to locate a new high school on South Rangeline Road. The online headline began with “Public unhappy.”

‘Sopranos’ weren’t the ‘good guys’

Despite the entertainment media’s hyped promise of excitement and mystery in the long awaited finale, I must admit that I did not watch the final episode of “The Sopranos.”

Can you have a great yard if you own pets?

Most of my friends and neighbors have pets. Some of them even manage to have pets and an attractive yard. Others seem to struggle, and in the battle between attractive yard and pet run, often the pet wins and the yard becomes a patchy bit of grass and weeds.