About our essay on human dignity in a CoMo church
"Touched by Angels" brought tears to my eyes. Thanks, Mike.
-- Judith Tharp, Kansas City

What a beautiful essay. Thanks for sharing,
-- Nancy Yang, Columbia
While I agree with most of your other endorsements, I have to differ with you on Mary Still. I have known her for over 20 years, and she is a true-blue Democrat. She was my supervisor at the MU News Bureau and was the best boss I ever had, hands down.
Now, your assertion that classifies some people as BIG vs. small Democrats troubles me. Willingness to compromise to make something happen for the greater good is perhaps the most important hallmark of American democracy, and it is one of the main things that attracts me to the Democratic Party at this time. We are a party of rational people willing to work with the other side, but they aren’t. In fact, studies have shown recently that Democrats are willing to compromise while Republicans aren’t willing at all.
Let the other side do the ideological litmus-testing. That’s Tea Party talk. -- Jim Muench, Columbia
I have found that the best way to be heard by elected officials that will not listen is to run against them. Incumbent career politicians are hard to beat. My advice is to take a position and not allow yourself to be distracted. In the end, stay focused and true to what you believe. -- James Pounds, Columbia
[Ed. Note: Mr. Pounds ran against incumbent Boone County Commissioner Karen Miller.]
About our stories on efforts to help Shakir Hamoodi

I find it a bit hard to swallow that you are supporting a person, convicted of funneling money to terrorist groups with an auction. I can understand your getting upset because the tax assessor would not work with you on your taxes so you went after him, you are part of the media so I expect things of this nature, I even applaud it at times, however supporting a convicted person, goes a bit far, even for a “journalist”.


Not sure which way your compass leans at times and find it hard to believe you are against any form of urban renewal and wish to put the hands of all things development back in the hands of not the people elected to serve, or the people it affects but those that attend meetings, according to you, seem to know best. Mob rules? Please take me off your list. -- Mike Burnam, Columbia


About Bill Weitkemper's retirement plans
Good article, thanks. Just one correction, I managed Eastgate Apartments and Houses from 1979 until 2005, 26 years not 16.
-- Bill Weitkemper, Columbia
This letter to the editor [from Tim Paul] in Mike Martin's BEAT BYTE is totally wrong. The trail proposed that was "killed" several years ago was very different. It would have taken out many more trees in Clyde Wilson Park & would have involved three bridges crossing the Hinkson and a paved concrete 10 foot path running the entire lenth of next Hinkson all the way to Stadium, with many trees taken out the length of the Hinkson.

The cost was estimated for the old route was between $1.7 million to $2.4 million, and with three bridges, crossing the Hinkson three times, the higher amount is more likely. If low water crossings were used the cost would be the lower amount, but would also not work for kayakers and would create significant log jams and back flooding problems.

I worked with three neighborhood associations for two years exporing alternative routes. We walked and examine 9 possible alternatives, with an engineer as part of that group. We came up with the new shorter more direct E/W route that has less impact to Clyde Wilson Park and the Hinkson-less trees removed, involved only one bridge and goes up a gas line behind Valleyview to Old 63. The Valleyview residents have been part of the group exploring alternatives and support this route. The land owner is not opposed to a trail -his only concerned is to ultimately sell the entire land for the most $$$ he can get.
-- Barbara Hoppe, 6th Ward City Council, Columbia
Great piece on Adams Books. It goes back farther than you told us -- to Ike Adam's father. It was Adams Antiques then. Ike was my neighbor growing up. He taught me stamp collecting, bird watching, and coin collecting. My older brother still owns the huge book on "Birds of North America" that we used as kids. Ike was our mentor. His daughter Nancy Adams just a little girl then. -- Bob Taylor, Columbia
You wrote, “I've received several letters recently more or less asking "what to do when the Council doesn't listen." May I sharpen the point a bit? Here’s the definition of Council: A body of people elected to manage the affairs of a city, county, or other municipal district. But I don’t believe that’s what they are “honestly” doing in Columbia.
What makes me uncomfortable is a City Council that is perfectly willing to go along with the Good Ol’ Boys who are in this for the money. Every time the Council comes out with a proposal that reeks of special-interest agendas it gives me the willies. I simply don’t trust them to look out for the citizens of Columbia, as they are elected to do, as opposed to helping their rich/powerful friends make even more off our backs. -- W. T., Columbia

I have a question on the EEZ/blight issue that I have not seen addressed-- maybe I missed it.

I have looked at a couple of the proposed blight maps, both here and in the Tribune. If I am reading those maps correctly, it appears that a portion of the boundaries of the areas proposed to be blighted are outside the city limits of Columbia and extend into Boone County.

If so, is that a mistake, or is that land intended to be included in the blight zone? Does the city have authority to establish an EEZ on land outside its limits, or is it working with the county on this?

Or maybe has that land been designated for annexation in the near future, either voluntarily or involuntarily, and is included for that reason? It may be that I am mistaken in my interpretation of the maps -- if not, I think the issue deserves clarification.

Keep up the fine work on Columbia Heartbeat/Beat Byte. I think many in the community must agree with me -- your circulation numbers clearly reflect the value and importance of what you do. Thank you and best regards. -- Carl M. Edwards, Sr. Columbia
[Thanks very much for the note. The blighted area for the EEZ has included county land, and a county representative was appointed to the Blight Board. See:

About a reader letter asking if local gazillionaires donate to local causes
Also, on Laurie family giving donations, I know that they also help underwrite the Columbia Performing Arts Centre (dance studio) and also act as catalyst for donations thru the Centre. Just an FYI for further story follow up if you want. -- Steve Twitchell, Columbia