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Local Columnists

DEAR READER: MU fails with sexual violence policies, reacts slowly with task force

The first phase of a task force formed in the wake of Sasha Menu Courey's death was stunningly underwhelming. The task force made an inventory of resources and found the phone book, but you have to start somewhere.

 

GEORGE KENNEDY: Democrats will have to fight to win and retain Missouri seats

Matt Nappe, data and technology manager for state Democrats, presented a plausible but difficult-to-execute strategy for the state party to prevent Republicans from gaining a veto-proof edge in the General Assembly.

DAVID ROSMAN: Right to Work needs parity; MoDOT needs more money

Although certain pieces of legislation may be written by organizations with particular political leanings, they should not be summarily dismissed. The legislation can be co-opted across party lines to better serve the citizens of Missouri.

ROSE NOLEN: One person, one vote — no matter the race, color or creed

Voting is a basic right for all Americans, and there should not be any restrictions on when and how people can vote.

DEAR READER: Redesigned Vox features new cover, content, type

Vox magazine unveiled a new look this week, and the whole staff is abuzz. We kept our audience in mind as we worked to create the new Vox.

GENE ROBERTSON: Strong values play a crucial role in our lives

Educators and parents need to focus on the value of positive values early in a child's life to avoid many of the troubles that follow us around today.

GEORGE KENNEDY: Civic leaders play catch-up in wake of downtown infrastructure muddle

An unintended consequence of the Great TIF Debacle of 2014 was that it united several interests in concern for the future of Columbia. This might turn out to be the most positive result of the ordeal.

DAVID ROSMAN: Untreated mental disorders can have dire consequences

Unless we recognize the need for better psychiatric care for our veterans and civilians, incidents like the Fort Hood shooting will continue to happen.

ROSE NOLEN: Obama and his health care plan are part of our lives. Deal with it.

There are more pressing issues than repealing a law that appears to be meeting its goal of providing health insurance to Americans.

DEAR READER: Darwin's theory is proved daily as changes, connections move us forward

A science fiction book, a new car and two celebrations of women might seem unrelated at first glance, but they all reinforce that change is supposed to happen — and you can't run from it.

DAVID ROSMAN: The Affordable Care Act is doing what it is meant to do

The health care act is not as confusing as many have made it out to be. Even those dead set against it for political reasons seem to like many of the provisions.

ROSE NOLEN: Too many kids are going to jail when they should be going to school

I worry parents are forgetting to insist on their kids staying in school.

DEAR READER: 'Over' causes 'more than' a little stir at editing conference

The AP's distinction between "over" and "more than" has caused more than enough problems for editors and writers. After this past weekend, we can finally get over it.

 

GUEST COMMENTARY: Missouri legislators flush with fancy gifts from lobbyists

A review of the Missouri Ethics Commission reports shows that the lion’s share of lobbyist gifts comes from regulated industries and industries that receive state subsidies. Prominent among them are utilities, which set our electric rates; telecom companies, which set our phone rates; and metro area real estate developers, who receive tens of millions of dollars in annual tax subsidies.

DAVID ROSMAN: Missouri loses millions by supporting cheap cigarettes

In the greater scheme of things, the $69 million is less than  1 percent of the state’s 2014 budget. But considering that the state plans to use $64 million from our reserve fund and from facility maintenance for the budget, that money looks pretty good right now.

ROSE NOLEN: Perhaps we've been misled about the entitled rich

It stands to reason that one of our biggest problems is that we have allowed too many of our manufacturing companies to leave the country.

DEAR READER: When should we say an online article has been changed?

The news is always changing, but do readers need to know every time an online article undergoes an edit? The question of when news editors should mention that an online article has been changed offers a new transparency challenge for journalists.

DAVID ROSMAN: Women at the mercy of abortion bills before state legislature

The press has focused on a section of one bill that extends the waiting period before the procedure from 24 to 72 hours, but it also requires a woman be shown a video of the procedure.

DEAR READER: Kurt Schaefer's bill adds some heft to state's Sunshine Law

Exceptions to the Sunshine Law effectively restrict government transparency in some cases. (Did you know the U.S. didn't even make the top 50 in the World Press Freedom Index?) Legislation in the state Senate would tighten some language in those exceptions.

GENE ROBERTSON: Beware of quick sales pitches and empty promises

Sales pitches can come from the mayor, city manager or the school superintendent.

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