Local Columnists

It’s harder to get the gold in ‘golden years’

I can remember the days when folks reached middle age and eagerly looked forward to the time when they could retire.

Freedom of the press backslides

Each year, several respected surveys measure press freedom around the world. Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press Survey is probably the oldest. When did it start and what nations does it cover?

Rising rivers parallel Mo. legislative sessions

As I write, the river is rising. It’s not really reasonable to expect that it will reach the House and Senate chambers in the state Capitol. Still, without torturing the metaphor, I think we can say that a flood is a lot like a legislative session.

Grass — and mower — grows patience

I was scanning quotes on on mowing grass, and this popped up.

Perfect. Because if one thing is going to test your persistence week after week after week after week, it is the persistence of grass to keep growing and growing and growing and growing.

Predictions of mass flooding didn’t hold water, reporting did

A Missouri River flood is a strange sort of disaster. Not like a tornado, which forms in an instant and destroys in seconds. Not like an ice storm, which leaves one guessing how much will accumulate and what the impact will be. Not like an earthquake, which comes with no warning and lasts but a moment.

Calif. college offers degree in activism

Just heard that New College in San Francisco is beginning to offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Activism and Social Change.

Let damaged plants recover first before pruning away

Luckily I had gone outside and taken pictures of my early flowering plants and shrubs before the 20 degrees and below temperatures turned them all into brown and green mush.

Food inspections need to be a higher priority

It seemed strange to me last Saturday, when I found myself standing in the aisle of the lawn and garden center pondering whether I should plant a few vegetables in my flower garden. Let’s face it, except for a couple of tomato and green pepper plants, I haven’t done any serious vegetable gardening since my son went off to college more than 20 years ago.

When carving budgets, start from the top

The Missourian reported last week that the University of Missouri System Board of Curators has ordered each campus to carve 1 percent from next year’s budget to sweeten the pot for faculty salaries. For the flagship campus, that will come to about $4.2 million. (As the Missourian noted in one of those helpful little charts, MU’s budget is almost as big as the budgets of the three satellite campuses combined.)

Springtime cleanup spares sports gear

There is one yearly ritual that I endure to ensure that spring is really here — and that is the annual garage clean up. My husband and I tackle the daylong task together.

Web video of Erikson’s confession illustrates community journalism

Bill Ferguson isn’t giving up, it seems. He’s convinced his son Ryan didn’t murder Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt in 2001, despite the verdict to the contrary by 12 presumably honest men and women.

Immigration issues have no quick fix

Where are all the bees going? These members of the insect family Apoidea with broad bodies and four wings are communitarian colonists that gather nectar and pollen.

A 24-hour vacation can help lift spirits

If you are going to maintain your sanity, you may need to take some down time. It’s vacation time, even if you spend it at home.

‘Great MOHELA Shuffle’ rivals Shakespearean tragedy

If you were at last Sunday’s performance of “Romeo and Juliet” in Jesse Hall, as I was, I’m sure you spotted right away, as I did, the obvious parallels between that classic and the long-running show that is on stage again this week down in the City of Jefferson. Of course, I mean the “Great MOHELA Shuffle.”

Response to page 1A placement warrants greater discussion

News of the shooting that killed 17-year-old Tedarrian Robinson belonged on A1 by most standards.

But did his Life Story several days later deserve the same prominent placement?

Counter late frost with rainbow of flowers

My gorgeous spring ladies, the bleeding hearts are a sad sight right now.

In their frozen and wilted state, they are not the usual harbingers of spring in my backyard. My largest plant is a large mass of rotten vegetation.

Mis-Representative trying to reverse Prop. B

Rep. Shannon Cooper has a different interpretation of the term “represent” than I do. I can’t imagine that the good people of western Missouri sent him to Jeff City to undo the expressed will of the voters, but that’s his intention.

A day of writing, a day full of struggles

It’s never happened to me before. And I never want it to happen again. Every week when I sit down to write this column I have an idea or two as to what topic I will write about. But last week when I sat down at 5 a.m. (my usual time to begin writing) my mind went blank.

For breaking news, newspapers must label information accordingly

Wednesday afternoon, the word came: shooting reported at Reactor Field on MU.

Lessons to learn from Imus fiasco

Some of us who grew up in homes where lewd and irreverent language was not allowed often learned pretty fast that the same was not true in every household. This was so, even at a time when good manners were the order of the day. Until about 15 years ago, I can remember being shocked at the words and phrases children used in front of their parents and adults used in public. Nowadays, my senses are pretty much dulled to inappropriate language.