Chronicling North Central Village, the Heart of Columbia

-- Men Parading Badly: Seen and Heard at a Theatre of the Absurd
-- MO Theatre plans a Walk Around The Village (WAVE)
-- Midnight Movers Leave HUD in the Lurch
-- Rumor Has It: Ott Buying Big In The Village? CHA and Yarco
Venturing into the Lyons Den? Marlon v. Almeta: Say What?

-- From iHeartColumbia: Happenings Around Town

1) Men Parading Badly:  Seen and Heard at a Theatre of the Absurd

The uniformed gang o'seven and their skin-headed entourage being hustled along the 9th Street sidewalk and mobbed like rock stars.

Police officers marching opposite the Nazis in full riot regalia -- transparent shields, machine guns, heavy duty padded leg chaps, protective eyewear, and reinforced helmets.

Me getting whacked hard with one of those acrylic riot-guard shields as I moved in for an extreme gawk.

A black man handing out fliers while saying, "You know if a black man is advertising barbecue at a Nazi march, it MUST be good!"

A man wearing a giant court jester's hat with jangling bells right out of Mardi Gras.

A woman screaming "Keep It Peaceful" during crowd surges, which actually worked.

Small children passing out "Kittens: Free to Good Home" fliers with photos of the kitties

A woman whose face got maced screaming "get me some vinegar! I need some f---- vinegar" -- which only made it worse.

Columbia resident Perry J. Mace getting arrested.

Guys gunning the CPD armored humvee down Ninth and around the block (people DID get back on the sidewalk).

Two very sharp-looking female police officers astride their horses prancing handsomely between crowd control stops.

Nazis yelling "Jews Go Home" with the crowd rejoinder "They are Home!"

Crowd yelling, "Police State! Police State! This is what it looks like!" (The police did a great job and I shook several of their
hands, including crowd controller (Lt?) Moriarty).

Finally, as the Nazis marched by, faces smooshed against the glass, my daughter eating lunch with mom and little bro near the front window of Upper Crust tells me, "It was so weird! They looked in and took my picture!"

2) MO Theatre plans a Walk Around the Village (WAVE)

David White, the Executive Director of the Missouri Theatre, wants to personally knock on 25,000 Columbia/Boone County doors over the next few months in an effort to raise $500,000.00 toward the historic Missouri Theatre renovation.

But where to start such a daunting endeavor? Tentatively, on Wednesday, April 4th, he'll kick off the door-knocking campaign in North Central Village, where the unofficial slogan is "art at every turn."

"I call this a daring, innovative idea, and most appropriate to suggest White's door-to-door campaign come first to the city's area that is focusing on the arts," said Village resident and arts promoter Betty Cook Rottmann.

3) Midnight Movers Leave HUD in the Lurch

Some folks who used HUD low-income housing assistance money to buy a brand new, student-built house in the Village with a proviso that they stay for at least 5 years appear to have skedaddled in less than one year.

"It was the fastest move out I've ever seen," said a neighbor. One of the owners has several other rental properties and the HUD subsidized home now appears to be -- you got it: a rental.

"If the owner is no longer occupying the property, then he will need to pay back the City's funds," said Columbia Community Development Coordinator Tom Lata.  "We are in the process of obtaining additional information, from which a ruling can be made on this matter."

4) Rumor Has It..

a) Ott Buying Big In The Village?

The street's all abuzz with the rumor that downtown preservationist extraordinaire John Ott has purchased the old Geiger Warehouse at the corner of Orr and Walnut streets, just kitty corner from the Orr Street Studios and across from D-Sport and Lou's Palace. Geiger's price for the giant warehouse had been rumored around $3.2 million.

Also heard: that Mr. Ott purchased the former Columbia Art League building nearby.

b) Marlon v. Almeta: Say What?

A story in yesterday's Missourian about the Almeta Crayton recall/replace effort:

...prompts a memo encouraging reporters to be more discerning about what they imply.

Describing Marlon Jordan as a "43-year-old Columbian who actively campaigns against racial profiling" and says he is "beginning my campaign to win Almeta Crayton's seat," implies a serious challenger. A little reportorial homework may be in order here.

Related stories:

c) Into the Lyons Den with CHA and Yarco

The street's also abuzz with the possibility of a joint venture between Yarco and the Columbia Housing Authority. We first reported rumors of a Yarco-wide blitz of Lyons Street property owners with buyout options for property bordering the Park Avenue public housing complex, which is slated for redevelopment.

Back in Sept. 2006, Yarco met with CHA over an agenda that included partnerships with public housing authorities, so the theory has some credence. CHA Director Phil Steinhaus has not returned requests for comment.

For a community trying to encourage home ownership among all income brackets, the Yarco news is discouraging -- unless they want to build low-income owner-occupied homes.

Low-income home ownership doesn't have nearly the incentives or tax credits behind it that low income rentals do. That stinks, because the primary way to wealth in this country has been through home ownership. Even the McBaine Townhomes must be rentals for four years before they can be sold to low income owners.

Related stories:


Subsidized housing developer eyes north central properties

McBaine plan gets go-ahead: Agency townhomes a rent-to-own deal.

-- Mike Martin
Editor and Webmaster

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