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Local Columnists

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.

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.

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