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Local Columnists

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.

GEORGE KENNEDY: Don't look for consensus on infrastructure solution

Monday's City Council meeting is certain to be contentious as both the council and the community remain divided over downtown Columbia's infrastructure needs.

Housing developers agree to shoulder some downtown sewer costs

There is an estimated $6.7 million in downtown city sewer work payments left, even after possible contributions from development companies.

DAVID ROSMAN: The trademark Schlafly better fits a beer than a politician

Phyllis Schlafly's trademark dispute with the Saint Louis Brewing Company is not about beer, but about the name, reputations and politics.

DEAR READER: Documents in University Village fatal collapse are numerous and not pretty

Digging out the facts about University Village and the safety of its buildings is a task that is far from over.

GEORGE KENNEDY: Charting the future of downtown development demands a skillful approach

The real questions that face the Columbia City Council and the community's residents and are whether we can guide growth and how we’ll pay for it.

DAVID ROSMAN: Beware of threats to individual rights, religious liberty and the First Amendment

Forcing one’s beliefs upon another is a threat to the religious freedoms of all. At the same time, if religion is used to discriminate against a class of persons, in this case members of the LGBT community, then the situation changes.

ROSE NOLEN: Stay on course when the path to success gets crooked

The world is still open to dreamers. Sometimes you have to wait until it’s it your turn to shine.

GEORGE KENNEDY: Positive signs that new chancellor might be skillful leader

As he ends his first month on the job, here’s a preliminary impression of our university’s new chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin.

DAVID ROSMAN: Death of loved ones brings mortality into sharper focus

Recent deaths of loved ones, and the death of a Columbia Fire Department firefighter this week, reflect the realness of mortality.

GEORGE KENNEDY: In the wake of TIF rejection, city officials weigh the next move

I was surprised that only Michael Trapp joined Mayor Bob McDavid in supporting the proposal. In retrospect, I overestimated the appeal of a device that would have used the increased tax revenue from new development to pay for the necessary sewer, water and electricity upgrades and underestimated the influence of a strongly negative reaction from the vocal segment of the public.

DAVID ROSMAN: Let's find practical ways out of student-loan debt

Columbia represents MU, Stephens and Columbia colleges, one community college and a number of private for-profit institutions. It is time that U.S. Rep. Vicki Hartzler, R-Mo., take a stand for students and alumni by adding her name as a co-sponsor of H.R 532.

DEAR READER: Amid the news of Michael Sam, a titan in Columbia passes

Wynna Faye Elbert spent a lifetime giving voice to those who were otherwise voiceless. It is ironic that her life story was buried in the public conversation this week by news of Michael Sam’s coming out.

DEAR READER: Too many Americans didn't read in 2013

Even though more Americans opted for e-books than ever last year, nearly 25 percent of U.S. adults didn't read a single book — in print or on screen.

 

GEORGE KENNEDY: Trip to Cuba reveals country conflicted about its future

Cuba is a land of contrasts, where the old accompanies the new. But when the "old" is former President Fidel Castro and his socialistic views and the "new" is President Raul Castro and his capitalistic spin, where will Cuba find the balance?

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