Local Columnists

GEORGE KENNEDY: City still struggling to address strain on basic services

Currently there's a dispute over whether to create a "blue ribbon commission" to take another look at our future needs for such basics of modern civilization as adequate sewers, potable water, electricity to power our computers and reasonably smooth roads.

DAVID ROSMAN: Missouri is ready to put a cap on payday loans

HB 820 would cap the interest rate on payday loans at 36 percent annually.

DEAR READER: The weather from Planet Boone is much more than a forecast

No green screen, no Doppler radar, no five-day forecast graphic — the forecast from Planet Boone is the Missourian's John Schneller at his campfire best.

DAVID ROSMAN: Legislator's bill hurts, rather than helps, middle class, local governments

HB-865, a proposed bill that would prevent towns from raising the minimum wage, could inhibit the middle class as well as those in lower economic classes.

DAVID ROSMAN: IBM layoffs are another sign of civic blindness

The City Council seems to be choosing big business over the citizens of Columbia with increased frequency. Whether it is about IBM or Opus, the council has been ignoring the needs of the 130,000 residents of the city.

GENE ROBERTSON: Claim Black History Month for action, as well as celebration

Rarely are contemporary issues given contemporary attention, despite the vast belief that few of the old issues have been resolved. They have just been masked.


DEAR READER: Searching for stories in a losing season

Losing is a drag. Writing about MU's losing basketball season requires creativity.

DAVID ROSMAN: Time to provide relief for crushing student debt

Today, student loans are nearly impossible to discharge in a bankruptcy proceeding, but many students have such high loan amounts they believe they will have problems paying off those loans.

GEORGE KENNEDY: Skirmishes leading to open warfare in the state Capitol

"Rising tide of cynicism" regarding Missouri government may be deserved.

DAVID ROSMAN: Right to work is not right for Missouri

Placing limitations on the organization of labor unions will hurt the conduct of business and limit the number of qualified workers in Missouri.

DEAR READER: The art of writing headlines, indeed

The more complex the topic and the more stakeholders involved in the issue, the more challenging it becomes to summarize an article in so few words.

DEAR READER: Stories 'for the freezer' are some of the best

The reserve of stories to run any time over the holiday season have run out — just in time for restocking by the next group of reporters.

DAVID ROSMAN: Everyone wins with Missouri HealthNet

Please call your state representative and senator and tell them to vote in favor of HB 153 before the state loses more money, jobs and lives.

DEAR READER: Terrorists spread, not suppress, Charlie Hebdo's free speech

Charlie Hebdo's cartoons are seen 'round the world now. And the assassins found out that you shouldn't bring a gun to a pen fight.


GEORGE KENNEDY: Former public servant takes on city with justice in mind

Bill Weitkemper is pursuing the self-assigned mission of repeatedly insisting that the managers of our water, sewer and electric utilities are levying unfair charges and not following the rules spelled out in city ordinances.

DAVID ROSMAN: Time to prod legislature to rein in lobbyists

It is the unrestricted and unlimited money that ethics laws need to address in Missouri.

GEORGE KENNEDY: Determined attorney needs a little help from his friends

Stephen Wyse is trying to appeal a civil rights case to the U.S. Supreme Court and is reaching out to 100,000 people to sign a petition.

DAVID ROSMAN: Bad idea — an abortion bill that would give fathers more rights than mothers

HB 131 would require "the written consent of the father of the child before an abortion can be performed, with certain exceptions."

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: College students will suffer without Medicaid expansion

We need to stop making the assumption that college students are always on their parent or guardian’s health insurance plan.

DEAR READER: Never too late to add to store of knowledge

As journalism graduates enter the next phase of their careers, they would do well to heed my father: You're not finished yet.