Speak Out: Nov. 15, 2013 - July 1, 2014

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Marshall Democrat-News invites readers to share their views and questions on any issue. Open discussions are often useful and enlightening. Criticism is acceptable as an important part of public conversations, but we expect everyone to treat others with respect. Experience suggests it is best not to post comments while angry. We reserve the right to delete comments that we think include personal attacks, are disrespectful, threatening, obscene or in other ways objectionable. Anyone who repeatedly violates this policy will be banned from participating in our forums.

Past Speak Out conversations

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  • New Speak Out starts now!

    -- Posted by Rachel Knight on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 2:41 PM
  • News may recall the answer to your question, Smart Dog. Five or six years ago this same question was raised, and I recall that News talked about reading the policy then in place.

    -- Posted by Slater on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 4:56 PM
  • funny how a new speak seems to randomly start whenever topics are raised that the staff doesn't necessarily want to answer or want showing.

    -- Posted by hunterfisher on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 5:29 PM
  • What is TPP? Most folks don't know. The short version is that it is a nearly secret global agreement being sought by the Obama Administration. It will cause access to generic drugs to be undermined. It will hamper use of the internet. See for yourself, then contact your congress people, and tell them absolutely not. http://truth-out.org/news/item/20064-wikileaks-disclosure-of-trade-deal-chapter-...

    There is well founded resistance from many in Congress of both parties. Make sure those who represent you oppose it. Some folks say that it will kill people, and the internet.

    This is not politics as much as it is a consumer interest. Republican, Democrat or Independent this proposal needs to be smacked down.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 10:29 PM
  • Who is against TPP in Congress? A whole bunch of folks; left, right, and center. Please folks stand up for your rights! this is one we can win, we must win. http://www.citizen.org/documents/press-release-151-Ds-bloc-of-Rs-oppose-fast-tra...

    Here are some of those against it. From Elizabeth Warren (D MA) to Michelle Bachman (R MN), Alan Grayson (D FL) to Walter Jones (R NC); folks opposition can not get any broader than that. Make sure your representatives join in. Do not let them sell their vote for a few bucks slipped to them by sources out to destroy America.

    Please call your representative and make sure they are on board. http://www.globalresearch.ca/protest-against-the-trans-pacific-partnership-tpp-s...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Nov 15, 2013, at 11:08 PM
  • -- Posted by EiEiO on Sat, Nov 16, 2013, at 4:46 AM
  • I just received an email from McCaskill's office in reply to my concerns over TPP. The reply was better than the average standard format but with the usual political fence straddling. She said she would not vote to hurt Missouri but still said positive things about TPP.

    Empty factory buildings in Saline County are the legacy of Bill Clinton administration's NAFTA and landmark trade agreement with China. An estimated 52,000-56,000 U.S. factories have closed in the past dozen years. When will industries headquartered in other countries build factories here? Like Japan's automakers did? TPP goes the other way.

    The huge concern is 4/5 of the TPP does not involve trade directly but involves things like usurping U.S. sovereignty and threats to already endangered internet freedoms. TPP may be one of those "you have to pass it to find out what's in it" measures. Recently the internet quotes a physician as saying that "you have to pass it to find out what's in it" is the definition of a stool sample.

    -- Posted by former editor on Sat, Nov 16, 2013, at 6:06 AM
  • Well said Former Editor! All I got from my Congressman was thank you for your e mail.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Nov 16, 2013, at 11:40 AM
  • "The Marshall Republican" newspaper of 1900 online. This is a hoot for local history buffs. I found out something neat about my grandmother when she was a teenager that I had never heard.


    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Nov 16, 2013, at 11:43 PM
  • I have finally figured out why our pop media is saturated with zombies. The powers that be are preparing our society for that fast approaching day when the bulk of the baby boomers turn seventy.

    With our zombie prep we will be well accustomed to seeing multitudes of people with vacant stares, slowly shuffling around, smelling foul, making life harder for everyone else. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Nov 17, 2013, at 9:34 PM
  • hunterfisher: regarding your comment "funny how a new speak seems to randomly start whenever topics are raised that the staff doesn't necessarily want to answer or want showing."

    What total nonsense!

    -- Posted by Kathy Fairchild on Mon, Nov 18, 2013, at 8:31 AM
  • For all you JFK buffs, you must read JFK: The Smoking Gun by Colin McLaren when it comes out the end of December 2013.

    -- Posted by Pasta on Mon, Nov 18, 2013, at 2:28 PM
  • I do not believe we have had a policy requiring administrators live within the district boundaries. If we ever did, it was many years ago. However I believe that many years ago it would just be assumed administrators would live within the district. We do not require teachers or other district employees live within the district so I am guessing that administrators fall under the same guidelines. I know that many cities require other city employees live within their city boundaries, I can't think of any that require school district employees do the same. In some communities it would be financially out of the question for that to happen.

    -- Posted by inthemiddle on Mon, Nov 18, 2013, at 10:20 PM
  • I am wondering, why does the Democrat News rarely, if ever do any investigative reports on local civic leaders? There are a couple with some let's say, "questionalbe" practices, yet they are often held up as examples of virtue due to what the publilc at large knows about them.

    -- Posted by Armour-of-God on Tue, Nov 19, 2013, at 9:04 AM
  • Armour-of-God: When I was working for the newspaper several years ago, we did receive requests to investigate the kinds of things you're talking about. Unfortunately, not one single person who told us about those "questionable" items would speak on the record. Plenty of people want to point fingers, but they don't want anyone else to know they've done it. I understand completely that in some cases that might result in unwanted publicity for the accuser. On the other hand, surely you understand that the newspaper can't just print rumor, innuendo and hearsay and call it news.

    -- Posted by Kathy Fairchild on Wed, Nov 20, 2013, at 5:20 PM
  • Love it, hate it, or undecided the Affordable Care Act is law. Therefore you should know all you can about it. Please read this. Please, for your own sake. http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/clearing-the-air-affordable-care

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Nov 20, 2013, at 8:47 PM
  • Armour-of-God,

    This is one of the most frustrating aspects of small-town journalism. We always know there are more situations that we should, in our role as public watchdog, be looking into and reporting on than we can possibly pursue.

    Kathy's provided one factor -- the risk of leaving the shelter of anonymity is one few members of the community are willing to take. That limits what the paper can do. Without enough information to go on or a source willing to speak on the record, we often can't justify the staff time needed to find out more.

    Sorry as I am to say it, it comes down to money. Most community media organizations operate with very small staffs. Investigation requires quite a lot of time, and it's unwise to short-circuit the process, because getting it wrong can have dire consequences for the people involved and for the paper. The kind of stories that might involve ethical or legal problems have to be very thoroughly researched. The time it takes to pursue one story can take a reporter off other stories, possibly many other stories, that are not as dramatic or controversial but are nevertheless important, too.

    It's a tough call sometimes, but I'm afraid it often comes down to that. Can we justify skipping public meetings and community events in order to investigate reported wrongdoing -- especially when we're not sure the report will pan out?

    And how will we fill the front page with local news while a reporter is otherwise occupied?

    Investigative reporting is extremely important, but it's also risky and expensive. It's not impossible for small papers to do; it's just harder than you might expect.

    -- Posted by ewcrump on Thu, Nov 21, 2013, at 1:27 PM
  • Thanks for the answers to my questions. Now, I think it is tiime to start doing a little digging myself. If presented with evidence of a damning nature that could be backed up and verified, would the paper print it?

    -- Posted by Armour-of-God on Fri, Nov 22, 2013, at 8:52 AM
  • Armour-of-God: I no longer work for the paper, except as a very occasional columnist, so I can't say what the paper would do today. Eric's very thorough to your question gives you additional reasons. That said, the only way to find out if the paper will print your information is to ask.

    -- Posted by Kathy Fairchild on Sun, Nov 24, 2013, at 9:25 PM
  • -- Posted by EiEiO on Mon, Nov 25, 2013, at 2:30 AM
  • -- Posted by EiEiO on Mon, Nov 25, 2013, at 2:43 AM
  • I want to congratulate former Marshall High School Owls football coach Paul Thomas and all his young men on the Marceline High School Tigers football team on winning Saturday when they played Penney High School by a score of 42-22 and earning a chance to play for the Missouri Class 1 football State Championship next Saturday in St. Louis.

    -- Posted by Gal66 on Mon, Nov 25, 2013, at 11:49 AM
  • Wisconsin and Minnesota. Far Right and Modern Progressive. Which state is doing better? Find out at the political blog. (New Posting)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Nov 26, 2013, at 12:55 AM
  • Way to go Coach Thomas - have a good "rest of the post-season."

    -- Posted by bob stewart on Tue, Nov 26, 2013, at 1:37 PM
  • Turkey Thoughts

    For those who follow me (I'll soon be gone)

    I'm sharing what for us has been going on

    Once upon a time we were wild and free

    not pent up creatures like you and me

    We lived in the forests abundant food all around

    wonderful morsels we picked from the ground

    We could run we could soar as much as we pleased

    such freedom somehow from us was seized

    Don't get me wrong life was not always a grin

    we had a place in the food chain even back then

    One other thing that must surely be known

    the plight of we turkeys is not just our own

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Nov 27, 2013, at 2:49 PM
  • That's funny Oklahoma reader. Our current president wrote something very similar about the citizens of the U.S.

    -- Posted by Almost Critical on Wed, Nov 27, 2013, at 10:52 PM
  • This is the dish I prepared for Thanksgiving 2009. I hope it has not been presented too late this year to be a source of sustenance to some. ;)


    I know that some of us look toward the trip to Grandma's house with a sense of dread that would have been appropriate of Little Red Riding Hood had she only known what waited.

    My sympathy for those that encounter that particular holiday plight compels me to share a few tips that may make palatable the gathering, if not the food.

    A little preplanning, as with most things is imperative. Hence it is a necessity that in the week leading up to the event that you high yourself posthaste to the local dispenser of "view at home movies". Rent every one of the myriad of products that have a theme based on dysfunctional families at holiday gatherings. Take them home and view all prior to Thanksgiving Day. Hopefully you have a significant other, or at least a friend who will accompany you to your T-day event with whom to share the preconditioning.

    Upon arrival at the venerable event try to adopt a state of mind that you are not a part of this mess, that you are there merely as a social observer. Imagine that you have encroached upon a primitive society, and that your purpose is merely to attempt to understand their customs. Try to stay in the background as much as possible. Be sure to avoid all circles of three or more people. Do not ever walk between two people who are engaging in heated exchange. If you are familiar with the physical surroundings be sure to match your clothing to the color of the walls of the room where you will spend most of your time. Stand near a wall.

    That sounds like a lot of work you say? Well, now for the fun part. Remember all those movies you watched? Remember that I said it is best that you watch them with someone? Game on. As the day progresses meet intermittently with the person who came with you. Whisper, "Uncle Joe, the guy in the Chevy Chase movie". Hopefully, your companion will be able to retort "Cousin Gertrude, the obnoxious one in the Woody Allen movie". And so it will go all day as you match wits, each of you piling up points with your comparisons of real to fictional characters.

    One last thing, be sure to be front, and center at the days end group photo. It will save you endless argument the next Thanksgiving as to why in hell you were not there the year before.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Nov 28, 2013, at 12:49 PM
  • Really Walmart? You couldn't get a guy to play Santa Clause?

    -- Posted by momaster on Sat, Nov 30, 2013, at 1:07 PM
  • I thought the santa at walmart did a great job and at least that person stepped up to help out . What does it matter anyway if it's a guy or a girl ?

    -- Posted by ambsun on Sat, Nov 30, 2013, at 4:41 PM
  • Thanksgetting Day

    After the Thanksgiving feast shared with even the least,

    an inside us dark beast in some is released.

    It is about to begin, spend all we can spend

    as if the world is soon coming to end.

    Yet to come, for that troubled some, is the best part of all;

    Embracing, hearts racing, the yearly Wal-Mart brawl.

    A lynch mob without rope, short on all but hope,

    milling for hours, praying to powers, anything to cope.

    The doors not open, they jam up to them hopin' to score,

    a giant TV half way to free and maybe something more.

    Then the crowd, not to be cowed, breaks down the door;

    unheard sudden screaming of those trampled to the floor.

    They burst down the aisles donning demented smiles,

    using various wiles to secure looted piles.

    In the true madness it is each man for himself,

    kids abandoned, and babes tossed up on a shelf.

    Once again a few dead, and many more are maimed.

    Once again in their way, too few can say I'm ashamed.

    Once again it is Wal-Mart, not themselves that is blamed.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Dec 1, 2013, at 10:13 PM
  • does anyone know the link to submit letters to santa?

    -- Posted by joboda on Mon, Dec 2, 2013, at 4:22 PM
    Response by Rachel Knight/Editor:
  • thank you!

    -- Posted by joboda on Mon, Dec 2, 2013, at 6:41 PM
  • No Comments

    -- Posted by DALE_BETTY_PAYNE@comcast.net on Tue, Dec 3, 2013, at 10:19 AM
  • "No Comments."


    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Dec 3, 2013, at 12:42 PM
  • It would be nice to see more people take the opportunity to come out and learn about the new school proposal/initiative. 30+ people in attendance, for shame.

    next meeting on the 17th, come with questions, get them answered, vote as you wish.

    -- Posted by huh? on Wed, Dec 4, 2013, at 11:19 AM
  • I think that this change will bring the demise of the Speak Out feature.

    The original Speak Out in particular is one that folks utilize to share community issues with the entire community. To relegate them to at best a back burner, which only those who choose to click a tab will ever see, narrows the exposure of issues that occasionally are important, and deserving of consideration by the entire MDN readership.

    The politics and religion Speak Out features are a different matter. Originally established to remove what many believed was clutter from the community orientated original they have largely served that purpose. They are already isolated from the full on line MDN readership. One must click first, choose to view, to ever be exposed. It makes not a whit of difference to those who care about those broad subjects whether they have to click once, or twice to get to discussion of that favorite topic. It is a fact that both have become largely ignored as participation has declined over the last several months. I am one of the very few who even bothers to post at either these days.

    I hope that management will reconsider their decision regarding the original Speak Out. I think that this change muffles the voice of the community at large, and that is not a good thing. I further believe that it is an advantage of the online MDN over the print version. It is one of the many advantages that online has over print.

    I believe it is also a sound business practice to utilize all those advantages in order to be in as strong a position as possible when the inevitable disappearance of print newspapers occurs. The younger generations will ignore any medium that denies their open participation.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Dec 4, 2013, at 2:57 PM
  • Excellent points OK Reader. But, the demise of the Speak Out is exactly what they are hoping to accomplish. The new leadership has never liked it and could care less about reader engagement even though they need it desperately at this point. 3 day a week printed versions are coming soon, wait and see.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Wed, Dec 4, 2013, at 4:12 PM
  • It doesn't take a genius to know that the comments lately have been less than flattering about the decline of quality at the paper. Eric would let you speak your mind about the paper whether he agreed or not. This editor is very touchy about any negative comments. Cosa Nostra got banned a while back for comments they made about the quality decline. Be careful what you say. It's definitely their ball and they will take it home.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Wed, Dec 4, 2013, at 4:27 PM
  • This newspaper has a far better web presence than the average smaller, non-metro daily. I read a lot of them.

    Advertising is what pays the bulk of staff salaries and business expense; subscriptions are a much smaller revenue stream than ads. This web page does a good job with ads. The posterboard is great, classified access is easy, other ads flash across the screen.

    The main Speak Out feature draws some readers to the web page, and ads are right there. Local Speak Out readers are more likely to respond to local advertising than out-of-state readers - obviously. It takes a lot of time for staff to monitor comment sections, but comment opportunities draw readers in the internet age. Think of HuffPo's success. CNN's website draws readership with story comments. For those whose lives include or center on Marshall, the Speak Out feature is important even though it may not be an editor's or staff writer's favorite thing.

    -- Posted by former editor on Thu, Dec 5, 2013, at 1:20 AM
  • I hope the current publisher of the Marshall Democrat-News takes a look at the current Sedalia Democrat web page:


    He should be proud of the Marshall paper's web presence. I hope everybody here has a look for comparison purposes. The Marshall page is far more appealing and functional.

    I do not support removing the general themed "Speak Out" feature off the main web page. Many opinions, ideas, even reader provided news tips appeared here in the past. This Speak Out main page feature serves to draw readers who are interested in (occasionally upset by) other readers' postings. It has been a very brave thing to do, to allow comments. Traditionally newspapers have allowed letters to the editor to be published only after they are sorted through and selected by editorial staff. Removing the general topic Speak Out feature from the main web page would be a step backward.

    In the internet age, we have newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations all in web page competition with content and features tending to look more and more alike. Generally newspapers give more in depth coverage while other media concentrate more on headlines and short news bytes. The main page Speak Out puts this newspaper ahead of other media covering local events, and I would regret this reader attraction disappearing from immediate view.

    -- Posted by former editor on Fri, Dec 6, 2013, at 5:16 AM
  • Some may believe that the concerns expressed about hiding the original Speak Out behind a wall are merely alarmist resistance to change, and will soon be forgotten. I think not.

    For years there has been a (roughly monthly) poll about various issues on the front page of this website. After the change in management it was never updated, then it vanished with no explanation. There was not a murmur of protest from anyone, nor even a query as to why. Folks obviously did not feel that it was a loss. Thus the concerns about Speak Out have nothing to do with resistance to change, and everything to do with preserving the extant version of a successful and much valued feature.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 6, 2013, at 2:54 PM
  • Agreed,the MDN is much better than the SD in the ways you mentioned.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 6, 2013, at 3:23 PM
  • Well the change has been made. It appears Cheese may have been on to something. It was going to be done come hell or highwater despite reasoned response advocating that the change not be made. There was no visible support for what I believe to be an ill concieved change, not even from one reader. Obviously management cares more about making things easier internally for themselves than what the subscribers desire.

    I haven't decided among the alternatives as to what my reaction will be. At the moment my inclination is to cancel my subscription, remaindering this site to what used to be part of my life. I will cool down and consider carefully before making my choice.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 6, 2013, at 6:40 PM
  • I am posting this because I came across a facebook group that is helping families in need and is a place where you know a family they can help with a little bit of christmas https://www.facebook.com/groups/564754753599371/ Thanks for looking at this and have a Happy Holidays.

    -- Posted by Jason1969 on Fri, Dec 6, 2013, at 7:58 PM
  • My first reaction is that I like getting to the Politics and Religion blogs via the Forum button at the top. We don't have to scroll to the bottom of the home page to get there, plus other forums could be added easily without cluttering up the home page. I think MDN should occasionally promote these forums by challenging readers to go there in an article written on the home page as a reminder.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sat, Dec 7, 2013, at 3:31 AM
  • RationalThinker - When the main Speak Out was at the bottom of the main web page, one had to scroll to the bottom. In the process, one had to look at all the advertising and other features. When arriving at the bottom of the page, one saw all the books the newspaper printed and sold/distributed. Will book publishing continue?

    Newspapers exist and produce because of advertisers. I used to scan the ads on the way down. Now one can skip the ads with a click at the top of the page. On this page I see only a banner ad across the top and a real estate company ad at top right. Not as much ad exposure with the new format. Important question is: "What do the advertisers think about this?".

    The parent company with the Southeast Missourian site uses a similar style of off-main-page forum. But theirs has a "news tips" button. I suppose news tips here go in the forum the way they have in the past. The parent company's flagship newspaper/website serves a town nearly six times the size of Marshall. Rust Communications still has superior websites compared to most non-metro papers. Just look around. Publisher - have you looked at the regressive Sedalia Democrat site lately? http://sedaliademocrat.com/

    -- Posted by former editor on Sat, Dec 7, 2013, at 6:09 AM
  • I see being out and about up there may be a bit testy, accounting for the chill factor. Here's a shock for the locals here in San Antonio - currently the ambient temp is +33 degrees Fahrenheit. I've been contemplating putting on socks, which generally aren't needed, even this time of the year.

    So, our meteorological temperatures seem closely akin to the emotional temperature resulting from relocating the Speak Out section, and so they should. Personally, I don't see a reason for concern. If I had to guess why it's been moved off the main page, I'd say it's due primarily to lack of use. Perhaps that space can/will be better utilized.

    At any rate, it's still here. Save your breath for the time when its imminent deletion is announced.

    -- Posted by Slater on Sat, Dec 7, 2013, at 2:38 PM
  • Former Editor, I don't know if market research bears out what you are saying, do you? Forums/Blogs/News promotes readership, and perhaps ads should accompany those forums, and perhaps the MDN should try to get churches and ANY organization to advertise on the Speak Out Religion forum here? Although I am an atheist, I certainly would understand all advertisements on that blog being present. Also, another idea might be to canvas the political parties and try to get paid advertisements from them as well. Both forums would then benefit from possibly more readership as the advertising group might want to promote their members "speaking out" on religion or politics.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 8, 2013, at 7:07 AM
  • Speaking of NEWS, why didn't this National Headline make the front page of the MDN? This should be on the front page and challenge readers to go post their opinions in the Speak Out Religion forum. Put that challenge at the bottom of that news item. That should certainly stir up conversation and promote a lot more interaction of the forum, and perhaps readership as well:


    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Dec 8, 2013, at 7:12 AM
  • The First Amendment says nothing of separation of church and state as the low information crowd would like for the masses to believe. I think it is really lame to sue on the grounds of something that is false. What will that teach our kids? If the staff is in violation of some law then lets state that clearly. Maybe they are in violation but it is really lame to stick to the age old liberal argument that the separation of church and state is somehow magically interpreted in the constitution.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Sun, Dec 8, 2013, at 3:55 PM
  • TIME Magazine did the best explorations of why the Bible should be carefully included in high school April 2, 2007 titled "Why We Should Teach the Bible in Public School." It was about understanding a belief system and cultural tradition that remains important, not about fostering believers. The reasoning and information were so rare and good, I saved the magazine. I'm not sure we could do what TIME recommended now, Common Core and all that. http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,20070402,00.html

    The Marshall Democrat-News originally covered Marshall news and county seat/county government news. In more recent years, they are covering other communities - but within the county. Yes, Howard County is a neighbor, but other news from around the state reaches the website through an AP feed. About the only way the Fayette story would fit into the Democrat is through an opinion or guest piece. I do not fault the Democrat-News for concentrating on Marshall and county news. They do sometimes cover national and state items that affect people on our local level.

    Since I just hit the forum button at top of the main web page, did not have to look at lots of local ad content to get here, I wonder if editor decided to move Speak Out away from so much ad exposure in the belief that most readers and posters do not shop in Marshall. ????

    -- Posted by former editor on Sun, Dec 8, 2013, at 4:07 PM
  • The previous editors would put closings on the front web page. I see there aren't any even though two schools are closed.

    -- Posted by momaster on Mon, Dec 9, 2013, at 7:02 AM
  • Well said Smart Dog, not that anything you said will penetrate the gray matter of those afflicted by Foxophilia.

    An additional point is that many of the Founders were Deists. Jefferson even edited the New Testament tossing out much of the fantastic junk found there. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/15/museum-restores-jefferson_n_836253.html

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Dec 9, 2013, at 11:54 AM
  • It would be kind of nice if the editor would at least post a little explanation in here for those of us wondering about the forum move. At least explain the reasons behind the move off the front page and what the plans are for that space. I guess that's just too much to ask as a customer. Unfortunately, not much that is ask of the staff in this forum gets an answer unless you press the issue.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Mon, Dec 9, 2013, at 9:02 PM
  • Not really sure what all the fuss is about, the speak out section is still here, just a different location - if the location of the "speck out" section is all we have to worry about, then we are a lucky group. Get a grip people, this is not the end of the world.

    -- Posted by pitbull on Tue, Dec 10, 2013, at 8:35 AM
  • Thank you Pitbull for the free mental health advice, much appreciated!

    One day in the near future when your hometown newspaper is but a shadow of it's former self because of declining ad revenue/readership you will look back and wonder what went wrong.

    Not engaging your customer and not listening to what they want will be at the top of the list.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Tue, Dec 10, 2013, at 4:48 PM
  • Cheese, take Pitbull's advice and don't let format cloud your view of content. My post was asking MDN to consider posting the Fayette student inspired lawsuit, as it really is important (and interesting) news. Then came the digression of everyone else that should be handled in the Religion blog. Bring your comments about church and state over to that blog, where I'll make my comment, and for the format of how to get to the Forums, I for one think it is a change for the better, and once you try it enough, there's a good chance you'll like it!

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Tue, Dec 10, 2013, at 6:17 PM
  • Actually, Rational...I'm not really talking about the move of the forums. I'm more concerned about the lack of good content, reader engagement and general reader awareness. I'm not so sure they get that eyes on a page are what drives ad rates. I'm afraid they are stuck in 1999.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Tue, Dec 10, 2013, at 7:05 PM
  • Thanks Rt for a couple of recent compliments. :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Dec 11, 2013, at 2:05 AM
  • -- Posted by EiEiO on Wed, Dec 11, 2013, at 3:07 AM
  • Does anyone know the status of the proposed senior housing out by the hospital? That seems to have disappeared from the news. Is it happening? When? I actually know some seniors who are interested but can't find answers.

    -- Posted by momaster on Wed, Dec 11, 2013, at 7:41 AM
    Response by Rachel Knight/Editor:
    The council approved rezoning for the building site in September. I have contacted MBL Development Company to see if any updates are available to answer your time frame questions.

    In my story written Sept. 4 (www.marshallnews.com/story/2000456), the company said it would take 9-13 months depending on the weather to complete the project and groundbreaking plans are set for the spring.

  • Dear CHESSE - You are very welcome for the free mental health advice, perhaps it is time for you to consider seeking the help of a "professional." This is my hometown newspaper too and there have been changes -- but change is not always good or bad -- it is just change -- get used to it - it happens all of the time. As for MDN not engaging their customer and not listening, what you are actually saying is they have not listened to YOU or done what YOU want. I for one do not believe that the sky is falling - it is just changing.

    -- Posted by pitbull on Wed, Dec 11, 2013, at 9:55 AM
  • Thank you Rachel Knight

    -- Posted by momaster on Wed, Dec 11, 2013, at 3:54 PM
  • Over this snow event, the Democrat again showed something it does well in service to internet readers. It posted closings and cancellations. Compare this to the Sedalia Democrat, larger town, more events, but nothing like what the Marshall paper does to serve web readers (subscribers and non subscribers alike). Newspapers could not do this before the internet age. In small markets without local TV stations the only other option was radio for quick information. In places like Sedalia, internet readers are going to visit radio station sites. The Marshall newspaper website is superior in several ways, including exposing readers to advertisers and a quick load for those who still use dial-up internet. My brother who moved back to Sedalia this year tried to email the Sedalia Democrat this morning about their not posting current information and could not get an email into their system, like they don't care, he says. The Marshall Democrat-News is superior that way as well.

    -- Posted by former editor on Sat, Dec 14, 2013, at 7:59 AM
  • Yes former they did post those...probably because it was the Marshall schools. A week or so ago there were two rural schools that were closed, Santa Fe was one as I recall, and they posted nothing. "Like they don't care"

    -- Posted by momaster on Sat, Dec 14, 2013, at 9:19 AM
  • After reading the letter to the editor today I think Roger Blakely made some very valuable points. We need to all get out to voice our opinions for the good of the district.

    -- Posted by Cat Lover on Tue, Dec 17, 2013, at 3:21 PM
  • What's that about SD?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Dec 19, 2013, at 10:46 PM
  • Why didn;t the MDN delete the comment on the letter to the editor posted by Cat Lover? It's still there.I guess you are on to something SD.

    -- Posted by momaster on Fri, Dec 20, 2013, at 1:21 PM
  • I can't help wondering about the rationale for not allowing responses to letters to the Editor.

    I think there is a better case for allowing them in order to stimulate interest and discussion of important local issues. That policy would also tend to increase readership.

    The editorial choice to not even allow an opinion in another forum (Speak Out) that was provoked by reading a letter to the Editor on the front page is a a curious and an unusual choice.

    There has for some time been a policy to not allow comments under crime reports. That policy was provoked by hate filled remarks such as "lock em up and throw away the key" directed toward alleged perpetrators. That is understandable for no good came from that behavior. Comparing that situation to the current one is comparing apples and oranges.

    This latest statement of change to new policy leaves me scratching my head as to why. We the readers have been given no reason why, just that it is policy. It is disappointing.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 20, 2013, at 1:28 PM
    Response by Rachel Knight/Editor:
    Thank you for expressing your concern.

    It is our policy to not allow comments on Letters to the Editor. We do encourage people to submit letters for publication in response to stimulate discussion on important local issues. Speak Out and story comments are only online. Letters to the Editor are published within our paper and online so we reach a wider audience.

    If you would like to submit a Letter to the Editor, you may do so by mail or email. All letters must be signed, include the writer's occupation and list a daytime contact number for the writer. Once we receive your letter, we reserve the right to edit it for clarity and content.

    Letters may be dropped off at the office from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday or sent to: Editor, The Marshall Democrat-News, P.O. Box 100, Marshall, Mo. 65340.

    We also accept letters via e-mail. Please send them to: rknight@marshallnews.com.

    Thank you.

  • Well Kelsey, do you, or Rachel have anything else to say on the subject?

    "Response by Kelsey Alumbaugh:Sorry for the confusion. We don't allow comments on letters to the editor. Whoever uploaded the story forgot to turn them off. I apologize. No one asked for the comment to be deleted, we noticed it was there and corrected the mistake."

    "Why didn;t the MDN delete the comment on the letter to the editor posted by Cat Lover? It's still there.I guess you are on to something SD.

    -- Posted by momaster on Fri, Dec 20, 2013, at 1:21 PM "

    "Hey, my post was not a comment following the letter to the editor. It was a comment posted in SPEAK OUT, buried back here in the dark pages. Nice rationalization though.

    -- Posted by Smart Dog on Fri, Dec 20, 2013, at 12:03 PM "

    "After reading the letter to the editor today I think Roger Blakely made some very valuable points. We need to all get out to voice our opinions for the good of the district.

    -- Posted by Cat Lover on Tue, Dec 17, 2013, at 3:21 PM"

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Dec 20, 2013, at 1:43 PM
    Response by Kelsey Alumbaugh:
    We don't allow comments on the letter to the editor. Comments about it in speak out are comments in speak out. Our system keeps all comments, deleted or otherwise, logged by username. Smart Dog has no deleted comments for all of December, so I'm not sure which comment he is referring to. His comment explaining what he said was deleted has been left on Speak Out, so we clearly didn't have a problem with the content. Cat Lover's comment was posted in Speak Out as well, not on the letter to the editor.

    This is how comments look in our system. Deleted comments appear the same, except have (DELETED) after the respond option.

    Re: Story: Speak Out [Delete] [Edit] [Respond]

    Posted by Cat Lover at 2013-12-17 15:21:23

    After reading the letter to the editor today I think Roger Blakely made some very valuable points. We need to all get out to voice our opinions for the good of the district.

  • Ms. Rachel Knight, thank you for all you do for our community, we may not tell you but you do a fantastic job and we do appreciate your hard work and dedication. again thank you. I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas.

    -- Posted by mofireman on Fri, Dec 20, 2013, at 1:45 PM
  • You all stuck in the idea that education is free it isn't and you get what you pay for.

    -- Posted by Jason1969 on Sun, Dec 22, 2013, at 9:11 AM
  • If that's the case; I want my money back!

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Dec 23, 2013, at 9:21 AM
  • Guess there was no news today.

    -- Posted by momaster on Mon, Dec 23, 2013, at 7:11 PM
    Response by Rachel Knight/Editor:
    We posted the stories we printed. Due to a school's policy, we weren't allowed to post one of them online.
  • Here I am, to wish my friends, old and new, along with those seemingly indifferent toward the inhabitants of the Earth, a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A FRUITFUL NEW YEAR!!

    -- Posted by Slater on Tue, Dec 24, 2013, at 11:49 AM
  • I too am logging in to wish peace and joy to all. To Slater may your stocking be filled w/perfect ribbon candy. Thanks to publishers of MDN for the forum to share memories of Saline County and keeping us up to date on current happenings. Warmer weather for everyone, soonest.

    -- Posted by upsedaisy on Wed, Dec 25, 2013, at 11:27 PM
  • Hi Upsedaisy,

    It's good to see you again, but I'm sad to say that no ribbon candy showed up in my stocking.

    This may be the first holiday season that I've managed to keep my diet under control. :)

    -- Posted by Slater on Fri, Dec 27, 2013, at 11:53 PM
  • Hi Upsedaisy! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas.

    I agree that the MDN is a good country newspaper though due to my cantankerous nature it may not seem so at times. It beats the tar out of several with which I am familiar.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sat, Dec 28, 2013, at 12:46 AM
  • I pronounce this forum officialy deceased.


    -- Posted by momaster on Tue, Dec 31, 2013, at 10:21 AM
  • So Momaster we should toast auld lang syne? ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 1, 2014, at 12:30 PM
  • Cheers! Hiccup!

    -- Posted by momaster on Fri, Jan 3, 2014, at 7:48 PM
  • I would say this was a wrong move by the Newspaper.

    -- Posted by Jason1969 on Fri, Jan 3, 2014, at 10:09 PM
  • I think that many of us agree with you Jason. I hasten to add that we should be careful about casting blame. We have no information as to whose bright idea it was to bury Speak Out. It may have been the Editor, the Publisher, or the owner. My inference is that we should lay off Ms. Knight.

    If it turns out to be a mistake from a financial perspective there is a good chance that heads will roll, unless of course it was an ownership decision. The bottom line is that it will not matter to any excepting you, me, and the others who have expressed similiar opinions unless there is a negative financial consequence. I have noted that there has been no stated support for the change on any of the Speak Outs.

    My belief is that one of the advantages of internet journalism over print journalism is the opportunity for the customers to interact, and to instantly express themselves. Internet users have come to expect that. Though that opportunity has not been denied by the change in policy it has been obstructed.

    Speaking more generally I think that many in the print journalism business have not yet accepted that journalism is in a state of transition from print to electronic media. There came a time when even a state of the art buggy was rejected in favor of even the most poorly constructed automobile.

    I feel sorry for those who love and have thrown themselves passionately into print journalism just as I do for those in other occupations that have been, or are being relegated to obscurity. It is a sad time for many.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 7, 2014, at 2:53 PM
  • I would just say this sometimes change can kill off something. I think that if you want people to buy something like a subscription to the paper. You should make your online site user friendly and bury the speak out is frankly unfriendly.

    -- Posted by Jason1969 on Wed, Jan 8, 2014, at 1:46 AM
  • LOL. What next? The "Forum" header has disappeared, and I can not discern a notice of notice of explanation nor direction to a new location anywhere at the online front page. Taking a chance I clicked on "Opinion" and sho nuff I found the three "Speak Outs".

    I wonder if anyone else will find the new site. I wonder if anyone will ever read this comment. I must say it is an interesting twist on the old shell game. I got it right this time, but as is the case with shell games it is highly likely that I won't next time.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 8, 2014, at 6:25 PM
  • They done it again, tried to read an article and it said I had used my limit for month. CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG, BUT I THOUGHT YOU COULD READ SEVEN IN A MONTH BEFORE GETTING CUT OFF, I HAVE READ ONE IN JAN,. So tell me why I got cut off.

    And yes I had to search to find forum blog, another change without notice, sometimes I get so disappointed with MDN, paper is printed so small you can't hardly read it, then you are cut off from reading anything of interest to you on line, guess I will go back listning to KMMO.

    -- Posted by buttons on Thu, Jan 9, 2014, at 9:01 AM
  • Buttons,

    perhaps this article can help.


    It's my understanding that you have 7 "article clicks" (my term) per 30 day period, not per calendar month.

    Here, an excerpt from the link above:

    "Current print subscribers will enjoy unlimited access to website content as part of their basic subscription, but online-only users will be asked to pay a modest subscription fee after surpassing a certain number of story views per 30-day period."

    -- Posted by My_Two_Cents on Thu, Jan 9, 2014, at 9:27 AM
  • Now for the other side of the issue; before these recent changes by the MDN there were troubles in Speak Out land. The number of posters had dropped off drastically and there were only a very few of us posting regularly. There are several reasons for that which I may address at another time. Suffice to say that had the Speak Out sites been thriving, as they had in the past the MDN would likely have hesitated to make changes.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Jan 10, 2014, at 5:34 PM
  • MY TWO CENTS, sorry I could not see the article you referred me to, would not let me see it, how ever I thank you for your time and interest,

    -- Posted by buttons on Fri, Jan 10, 2014, at 7:44 PM
  • :)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jan 12, 2014, at 12:42 AM
  • Hey News! Glad you are back. Unfortunately very little is happening on these blogs recently. It is my opinion that if activity does not pick up their demise is eminent.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jan 12, 2014, at 12:59 PM
  • Here is the problem News; there is no Tea Party presence on these blogs. There is also little participation by the center. I am thinking that if we want the political blog to survive we who do persist are going to have to change the slant toward collegial and equanimous discussion as to how "our side" can best achieve the goals we desire. It seems it is that, or soliloquy and splitting hairs. ;)

    Watcha think? I'll take your answer on the political blog.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jan 12, 2014, at 11:57 PM
  • Does anyone know why Bob Stewart's "Shepherd's Heart" has disappeared from the Blogs category? Is he alright?

    The only way I can find any of his work past, or present is to insert "Shepherd's Heart" in the MDN search engine, select the category "blogs" and then it comes up. It is not among the list of bloggers at the left side of the front wall nor does it come up when one clicks on blogs.

    So it goes.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 14, 2014, at 6:13 PM
    Response by Rachel Knight/Editor:
    OKR, Shepherd's Heart hasn't shown in the blog tab since before my time, but I have tailored the widget to show it now. Thank you for noticing it. We have more bloggers than the widget allows along the left side of the blog page.
  • Thanks Rachel. :-)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jan 15, 2014, at 12:48 PM
  • Mr. Lockhart. I greatly appreciate your sign in front of your business that shows the time and temp. However, I noticed it has shown the temp to be 30 degrees for several days now. If you're going to have it showing the wrong temp could you at least make it 70 instead of 30. Maybe we could get a little false hope.

    -- Posted by Almost Critical on Mon, Jan 27, 2014, at 7:38 PM
    Response by Rachel Knight/Editor:
    I noticed Wednesday morning, Jan. 29, that they are working on the sign.
  • I have asked off and on that should any of the older regulars on "Speak Out" kick the bucket that they designate someone to let us know. I had asked my wife to do so should it happen to me.

    I believe that I am going to move on to greener pastures. I may consider an infrequent reappearance, but that is unlikely. I just want my friends to know that I am not dead.

    Though Speak Out is not dead it hardly has a pulse, thus I do understand the MDN management's choice to bury it in an unmarked grave. If someone who enjoyed Speak Out, but for whatever reason had not visited the online MDN for a while were to return to this site their likely assumption would be that Speak Out is gone. I have visited the grave site every day recently as I know its location. Each time I find it essentially undisturbed as if frozen in time for the ages.

    Today I visited it one more time, and am leaving virtual flowers behind as I walk away. This is an old song I wrote a couple of years ago, and at the time posted the lyrics somewhere on Speak Out. To me it seems appropriate at this time.

    Pretty words, fall like flowers,

    and then they wend their way.

    Sometime spoken, by some other

    So you'll remember me some day.

    Pretty words, just like flowers,

    at last must come to end,

    unless they are remembered,

    by some lover, or some friend.

    Pretty words can last forever,

    I heard someone say.

    Pretty words, so like flowers,

    may bloom again some day.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jan 28, 2014, at 3:28 PM
  • OK Reader, the editor got exactly what she wanted. She couldn't take criticism and it was one of her priorities to get Speak Out off the front page and bury it deep. Mission accomplished, but at what cost? She might have won the battle, but the paper is losing the war.

    If you don't believe me, you should have seen her Facebook post the night the firefighters got hurt on I70. It spoke volumes about her character and intent with Speak Out.

    Read fast as I doubt she'll let this post stay around long.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Tue, Jan 28, 2014, at 7:40 PM
    Response by Rachel Knight/Editor:
    Thank you.

    Yes, I was upset because I had to ignore my best friend at her wedding and work instead. I found it completely rude to my best friend as the matron of honor on her special day to ignore her while I feverishly worked with only my cell phone handy. My staff was unavailable at the time because they were spending time with their loved ones around the holiday season.

    Even when tragedy happens, the newspaper was willing to step up and report the news in inconvenient personal moments. It can be frustrating at times, but we take our jobs seriously.

    I do care very much about the people at the fire department. I have the honor to call many of them my close friends!

    To address the other concern: The move of Speak Out was a decision not only made by me at the company. It was part of a bigger web redesign to come in line with other publications.

  • Maybe you should look into a job where news only happens when it's convenient to you and your staff.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Wed, Jan 29, 2014, at 3:39 PM
  • Cheese,

    I thought long and hard about replying to your vitriol, but what the hey, here goes.

    Sometimes, unfortunately, news happens when it is inconvenient.

    Take for instance, the accident to which your previous post referred. It was midday on a Saturday. Rachel has pointed out that the news staff (by my count, a whopping two people) were unavailable due to being with their families, and that she herself was Matron of Honor at a dear friend's wedding. In spite of this, there is an article, dated the 21st, i.e. the day of the accident, detailing what happened. Granted, it is an article that has been updated, but I suppose that is because not all information was immediately available. I don't have access to a copy of the following Monday's paper, but if memory serves correctly, the story was above-the-fold, front page.

    Personally, I'm shocked that public service workers such as those at the newspaper are allowed out of the office on weekends like I am to have lives outside of their work. And in this day and age, when absolutely everyone and their dog has an internet-capable smartphone with a time-travel-teleportation app, I find it inconceivable that news staff wasn't on scene three minutes before the accident to record the entire thing.

    Oh, wait. The news staff is employed by a private company that (I assume) pays them hourly/salary, with zero-to-limited overtime, and Saturday/Sunday off. I presume that as regular human beings with lives and loved ones, they use said non-working time to relax, celebrate milestones, and occasionally sleep in. These are just my musings, however. Take 'em or leave 'em. It's a free country, and you and I are under no obligation to agree. I just felt like offering up a different viewpoint.

    As for the "death and burial of Speak Out", I myself am part of the problem. I'm not a subscriber, but I read the free Speak Out page (incidentally, it never moved from marshallnews.com/forums) every day and still don't comment. I guess I don't usually have much to say. But I'm almost off work, which means leaving the internet behind for the day (out in the sticks where I live, I'd have to pay a small fortune to access the Interwebs).

    -- Posted by My_Two_Cents on Wed, Jan 29, 2014, at 5:26 PM
  • Cents, I'm not complaining that the Democrat did or didn't report the article in a timely fashion. I was speaking about her classless and unprofessional Facebook rant on the night of the accident.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Wed, Jan 29, 2014, at 6:22 PM
  • Cheese,

    as Ms. Knight's facebook profile is both personal and private, I believe she is entitled to her own opinion. I know I rant about my job on my private facebook page. Although, if I were her, I'd be going through my "friends" list.

    I'm done, now. Think what you want.

    -- Posted by My_Two_Cents on Thu, Jan 30, 2014, at 9:52 AM
  • You are very naive if you think anything you put on the internet, especially Facebook, is private.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Thu, Jan 30, 2014, at 12:05 PM
  • Cheese

    It would appear to the casual 'speak-out' reader that you have too much time on your hands. Perhaps it is time for you consider a career in journalism, as you seem to think you are an expert. If journalism is not your thing, volunteering at the animal shelter or other community service program might help you to learn a little compassion. You seem very bitter

    -- Posted by pitbull on Fri, Jan 31, 2014, at 10:46 AM
  • When you have no good argument, you attack the person and not the message. Sad.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Fri, Jan 31, 2014, at 1:03 PM
  • Pot meet kettle.

    -- Posted by pitbull on Fri, Jan 31, 2014, at 2:11 PM
  • And the band played on while readership and ad revenue continued to tank...

    -- Posted by Cheese on Fri, Jan 31, 2014, at 3:33 PM
  • Best action there's been in here for weeks, if not months. Sad, huh?

    -- Posted by Cheese on Mon, Feb 3, 2014, at 5:12 PM
  • I originally posted this under an article about the snowfall, but thought here would be a better place to post it:

    Just happened to drive by the Animal Shelter today and noticed that its parking lot was still not plowed. Surely the street department, MMU, or someone working for the city can plow their parking lot. It might take maybe 15 minutes to quickly blade it off while plowing the street in front of it. They shouldn't expect volunteers or staff to try to shovel it.

    Of course, it's really no surprise given that the Shelter is the step-child of the city, being understaffed and having to rely on volunteer help and funding. And, for some reason there is no internet access provided so they can post animals on the web on city time rather than their own time. The city didn't even provide the computer or copier that the shelter uses. Private donations had to cover those costs. I also wonder how many city councilmen have even visited the shelter. Or has the city administrator or mayor visited in recent history?

    We have a good facility, clean and well managed, but this is in spite of a great deal of neglect by the city itself. It's time the city stepped up and properly financed the operation.

    -- Posted by cmasretire on Thu, Feb 6, 2014, at 3:55 PM
  • I'm curious if people have just lost interest in the "Speak Out" on religion and politics, or perhaps making this another level down by requiring the use of the Opinions, then Forums selection to arrive here could be the problem? I'd like to suggest that you put the Politics and Religion selection at the bottom of the home page again to determine the answer? User interface can sometimes mean more than content when it comes to participation.

    -- Posted by RationalThinker on Sun, Feb 23, 2014, at 10:53 AM
  • R.T.: There is always someone who wants to change something! Can't leave it alone! If it works,leave it alone! Our Government is one of them! If it works well, we don't want that,we want confusion! Thats why we don't have Single Payer.They know it has worked well for everyone else in the World!

    -- Posted by Jo on Sun, Feb 23, 2014, at 6:04 PM
  • The commentary at the following link expresses many of the reasons why I am saddened that the MDN chose to make "Speak Out" obscure.

    Speak Out's greater value is not the money it may lose or make for the MDN. It is instead the opportunity, lost or gained by the MDN readers to if they so choose, be exposed to various ideas concerning how best to face the many problems that we as a society must solve. Problems of a local nature, to a global nature all harm us locally. http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/22126-william-rivers-pitt-the-ocean-is-com...

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, Feb 28, 2014, at 3:16 AM
  • You wonder why they buried Speak Out? It's times like this when they completely miss a decent news story in the Democrat's own backyard that others catch, even another small town news outlet. They don't want readers pointing out their lack of coverage and mistakes right on the front page.

    This happened Thursday night and was reported on by KMMO and Carrollton's KMZU the very next day. Apparently, the Democrat had bigger stories to cover and completely missed it. I'm sure most of Marshall would have liked to read about this. Don't worry, they'll get around to covering it next week though.



    And you wonder why ad revenue and readership is falling..

    -- Posted by Cheese on Sat, Mar 1, 2014, at 3:24 PM
  • News, We stay the hell out of their problems? Of course it's my opinion! How's things been going with you & Family? You doing well with the Bass?

    -- Posted by Jo on Sat, Mar 1, 2014, at 3:46 PM
  • Continuing to not enjoy the sub-zero effects of global warming a.k.a. climate change. Both this newspaper and, of course, KMMO do a pretty good job of listing closings and postponements. My brother complains about how neither Sedalia based radio stations nor the Sedalia Democrat are functional with such weather related information.

    My son who was traveling I-70 in the western part of the county and brother traveling Highway 50 west of Sedalia report traffic excitement, created especially by those in 4-wheel drive who do not understand that ice-slick is not conquered by 4-wheel traction. Ice = no traction. Son said a big, late model, lifted 4WD truck passed him going twice his speed then tumbled. Son said he thought flying parts from the disintegrating truck would hit his, and it looked like a movie stunt. This was at Sweet Springs. This wreck isn't on the MSHP crash list yet. Bet the Patrol was overly busy yesterday. Brother said an SUV passed him on 50, then made a left turn into the median where there was no crossroad. At least no vehicular shrapnel with that one.

    -- Posted by former editor on Mon, Mar 3, 2014, at 4:09 AM
  • Smart Dog. Thanks for posting here. I agree with everything you say and I know for sure many feel the same. Keep posting please!!!!!

    -- Posted by Cat Lover on Tue, Mar 4, 2014, at 10:42 AM
  • SmartDog,

    I agree with you 98.6% of the time, but not on the levy issue.

    You can toss out number after number, but the kids are still in trailers and the buildings are still substandard.

    I hope that you were one of the volunteers to be on the Citizen's Advisory Committee, it sounds like they would have benefitted from your wisdom.

    I guess my vote will cancel yours out though.



    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Mar 4, 2014, at 3:07 PM
  • The trailers have been addressed. Unfortunately, the voters kept denying plans for new buildings, and the trailers stayed.

    Where would you add classrooms at Benton and Southeast anyway?

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Mar 4, 2014, at 6:04 PM
  • I appreciate SmartDog pointing out an error in my letter to the editor. I do not want to put out information that is not correct to the public. Since the writing of that letter it was pointed out to me that it may not be 100% accurate. So I did some more research about the history of past tax levy increases in Marshall. In 1987 the voters approved a bond issue of roughly $3.8 million to do some renovations to the old buildings. I believe at that time the library addition was made to Southeast Elementary. I am going to make the assumption that this bond issue was in place of the 1973 high school bond issue sunsetting. In December of 2002 the 1987 bond issue sunsetted. In April of 2003 the voters approved to roll over the sunsetted bond issue levy and place it on the operating levy. This was in the amount of roughly $0.31. This resulted in a total levy of roughly $3.33, which did not increase the total levy. Since 2003 there was a large reassessment of county property. This was due to the fact that the local assessments were being kept artificially low and the state assessors office forced counties to reassess property to a more realistic figure. The State of Missouri also has something called the Hancock Amendment which keeps taxing entities such as school districts from benefiting fully from reassessments. As a result, the total tax levy has DECREASED to roughly $3.12. I read an article just today that the costs of building a school since 2001 has doubled. How long is the community going to put off the inevitable? Are we going to wait until it doubles again? These buildings are not going to last forever. And the cost is only going to go up. The buildings are needed. Period. Eastwood, Benton, Southeast, & Bueker were all built in the 1920's. The citizens at that time built those buildings for many of Marshall's residents to be educated in. They supported the public schools and were proud to be a part of building the community. They did it at a time in which money was a lot harder to come by than today. Why is it too much to ask community members to step up to the plate and take responsibility for funding the building of public schools today? Somebody stepped up and did it for you. If not now, when?

    -- Posted by Ryan Huff, Superintendent on Wed, Mar 5, 2014, at 9:06 PM
  • SmartDog - As property values increase (wealth), taxes increase. Nobody is disputing that fact. If your taxes have increased then you have become more wealthy. A property tax is a wealth tax. However, the district's expenses have continued to rise as well due to inflation. The district does not operate in an economic bubble.

    When was the last time you visited with a teacher? Ask them how much focus is being put on student achievement in the district. There is so much focus being put on student achievement now that the teaching staff is on the verge of being overwhelmed. They are working extremely hard as is the administration and school board. The district has some very legitimate educational concerns that can only be fixed with new buildings. You can ignore the facts all you want and put your head in the sand and pretend that these issues will go away. But in reality you just want to kick the can down the road so that someone else can pick up the responsibility instead of you. As a community member it is everyone's responsibilty to make sure that basic services are provided and adequate for the times. Currently, the school system is in need of a lot of help and the only ones that are going to help us is our own community members. From one side of your mouth you want the district scores and education to improve and out of the other you don't want to pay to fix it. I know that I am not going to convince SmartDog that the buildings are needed. His mind is made up. But there are a lot of educational experts that say they are needed. And they have been saying this for years. That is why you will continue to see this issue come up for vote year, after year, after year. The issues are not going away.

    -- Posted by Ryan Huff, Superintendent on Thu, Mar 6, 2014, at 11:22 AM
  • Respectfully Mr. Huff being as you are new to our town do you really know about the wealth of our town and what the taxes will do to many of our older residents. As an older resident on social security I just get by. Will the city, county,

    let me pay the added taxes on monthly installments or will I lose my home? You have to consider both sides. New schools are nice but the levy is just to high for many of us.

    -- Posted by Cat Lover on Thu, Mar 6, 2014, at 4:09 PM
  • Regarding the schools - First, I will vote for the levy increase, to me it is a no-brainer and it is essential to our community. However, Mr. Huff PLEASE stand down and let your very articulate advisory committee do the talking. Each time I hear you give a presentation on this topic I cringe. I have no first hand knowledge of your expertise but you do not come across in a particularly positive light. I believe that we need this levy increase but I fear you are putting it jeopardy with your musings and ramblings. Please pass the microphone.

    -- Posted by pitbull on Fri, Mar 7, 2014, at 9:55 AM
  • Smart Dog says: "Approximately 15 to 20 years ago, the Marshall Public Schools annual budget was around $13 million dollars per year. Now the annual budget is around $21 million dollars per year."

    Superintendent Huff says: "I read an article just today that the costs of building a school since 2001 has doubled."

    Credit the Federal Reserve (the private central bank with a government name) for their policy of creating inflation to fool us all with a "wealth effect" designed to make us feel we have more money/assets than we actually do. This policy has negative side effects when planning for the future since yesterday's dollars are not comparable to today's. I believe we fail to appreciate how much our lives are impacted on a local level by their policies. Communities have no say in Federal Reserve actions, yet as Huff points out, it is local community that has basic responsibility for public education.

    -- Posted by former editor on Sat, Mar 8, 2014, at 3:49 AM
  • It is true that the voters have said no, but I believe that only one time recently were there more no votes than yes votes; so this is just about 50:50.

    It's OK being the lone voice.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 10, 2014, at 6:53 PM
  • Smart Dog, using some of your own logic, you may have hit the nail on the head as to why we actually do need new buildings. You said that it is only the teachers and administrators, not the 2nd graders, that think we need new buildings. You also said that the main focus should be getting and training better teachers to make our school system better, not new buildings. Could it be that we need new buildings to actually attract better teachers? Maybe the best teachers are all going to where the best buildings are, in other districts.

    Having said that, I personally plan to vote against this particular issue, not because I don't think we need new buildings, but because of numerous other reasons at this particular time. I have actually voted for previous bond issues, but this time I really haven't appreciated how they have gone about it, not to mention how gigantic of an increase it is all at once.

    -- Posted by Philemon on Tue, Mar 11, 2014, at 8:52 AM
  • If I were a teacher looking for a position and it came down to working in a newer facility or a trailer....gee...which one would I choose?

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Mar 11, 2014, at 10:15 AM
  • You want better performance you have to get better teachers. How do you get and KEEP the best teachers? Pay them at a comparable rate of what other districts are paying their teachers plain and simple. Marshall's teacher salaries are a joke in comparison to other comparable districts.

    A teacher looks at the pay scale before they even consider the facility. A new facility doesn't attract the best teachers and keep them, the best salary attracts them and keeps them. I know several very good teachers who would love to teach here, but it's not the lack of a new school keeping them elsewhere, it's the poor pay scale. A building is only as good as it's staff, new or old.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Wed, Mar 12, 2014, at 12:03 AM
  • To change the subject...has anyone visited the new "The Brick BBQ" just off the southwest corner of the square in the old carpet store location (across from Scruggs)? The food is good and the people are very nice. They have a nice lunch special at a good price. Unfortunately, the only mention I could find of it in the D-N was a reference to being granted a liquor license at a city council meeting. It makes you wonder why the D-N doesn't report on new businesses that are about to open. Or are they holding out to try to force them to take out a paid ad. Maybe a nice introduction article about them would gain some good faith feelings.

    I've proposed to the previous editor that the paper start a column about local businesses such as "What's Happening Around Town" and simply report what businesses are doing as far as remodeling, expanding, about to open, closing their doors, expanding their line of wares, etc. Just short snippets of info about them would keep the citizens informed. There are often times when we see construction taking place, but have no idea what is about to open. If they need the space, they could ditch the 'Ambulance Report' which tells you nothing but eats up lots of space repeating the same lines about people needing advanced life support over and over. Please, editor, gives this some serious thought.

    -- Posted by cmasretire on Wed, Mar 12, 2014, at 1:15 PM
  • cmasretire,

    I heard somewhere that the Brick BBQ place will be in one of the MDN Progress editions. jsyk

    -- Posted by My_Two_Cents on Wed, Mar 12, 2014, at 3:46 PM
  • I hope they do have an article coming out about The Brick BBQ, but my point is why don't they do articles about new businesses before they open to help them get started well, and why don't they simply do articles about any business that is making changes? The only way I knew it was open was by word of mouth, but that doesn't get to everyone. The D-N advocates more businesses, but does a poor job, in my opinion, of promoting those who open new businesses. For example, have they done an in-depth article about the new Caseys which is opening tomorrow?

    -- Posted by cmasretire on Wed, Mar 12, 2014, at 6:48 PM
    Response by Rachel Knight/Editor:
    We do write feature articles about new businesses and on businesses that make changes. They are featured in our Progress editions, which come out in February and March. There are five editions total.

    The stories can also be found online, located here: www.marshallnews.com/topic/progress. There is a shortcut on the web's home page, if you desire to find them that way.

    We have our second Marshall edition which will come out this Friday and the third and final edition will come out the following Friday (March 21). Both businesses in question will be featured in the third edition.

    Happy reading.

  • Not admitting to being wrong is not the same thing as being right.

    No one at any point of this has said that new buildings will be a cure-all for our schools.

    New buildings are one of many steps being taken

    No one at any point has said that it is the age of the buildings that causes us to need new facilities. It is the fact that even in new condition they do not meet our current needs. If we woke up tomorrow and everything in every building was restored to original condition, it would not be enough to educate our children. Both in terms of current educational best practices, and in terms of numbers. We aren't saying we need new, we're saying we need improved. If it were economically feasible to upgrade and expand current buildings, we would. But we can't.

    I'm not sure where the idea that new schools in the wonder pill that's going to fix everything is coming from. And I am really not sure about how the public expects us to improve when there is so much indifference and/or negativity towards the schools. They're doing the best they can with what they have. If we expect them to do more, we need to give them the resources to improve.

    Regardless of teacher salary and test scores, if I were a teacher considering relocation and I happened across this blog I'd write this community off of my list of potentials. Teaching is a largely thankless job anyway, to see such lack of support and skepticism towards the people we ourselves have put in charge of our children, I guarantee I'd look elsewhere.

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Sun, Mar 16, 2014, at 6:13 PM
  • I'm thinking that this levy issue will easily pass.

    People have been seeing what goes on in other towns, and the time has come for a nice, safe, education friendly environment for our youth.

    I do hope that the school board finds resources to raise the salaries of the teachers.

    There is really only one strong dissenter on the forums this time, and the town meetings have been well attended, the meetings well received and most people that I discuss this with are ready to move forward.

    There is a big meeting tomorrow night at the Martin Center for those who have not yet made up their minds. There will also be council and school board candidates present as well.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 17, 2014, at 12:40 PM
  • I'm assuming you've not based your opinions on your personal years of experience and your thorough understanding of current educational best practices.

    Other wise you'd understand the additional needs of school districts compared to the record setting class sizes of the 60's and 70's. Each building now has several rooms dedicated to special education, technology, etc. Those required classrooms don't just magically appear. They are created by condensing other classes into fewer rooms. So we have a comparable number of students, in many fewer classrooms.

    Also the way classes are taught has changed. When I was in school I sat down, took notes, and went to the next class. Today's classrooms (should) look nothing like that. With increased group work, more products (instead of paper assessment), and problem solving. All of these take more room than a typical student desk in an already crowded classroom.

    Technology has also increased the demands on a building. In terms of ventilation, electrical load, and in space requirements.

    Again- this isn't about having the new and shiny things. It isn't about keeping up with any other district. It isn't about keeping a job. It isn't about not being able to improve with out it.

    It IS about being able to do more with better resources. That is all. It doesn't guarantee success, and it may not be an absolute requirement. Stradivarius worked with out powertools and modern adhesives, but imagine what he could have done with them.

    The idea that 'you can do a better job with better tools' isn't new and certainly isn't unique to education. I'm sure some one will find a way to argue with even that though.

    The most unfortunate thing, to me, in all of this is that there is so little support of any kind for our school. Teachers are underpaid, many parents are indifferent to their student's success, and our administration isn't trusted at all. Lets not forget that we as a voting public elected our school board. We selected them to become informed and to make decisions on the best way to educate our students. And because we've spent a little time googling 'education' or 'school finance' or what ever, we think that we're more informed than the people whose full-time responsibility it is to understand these things? Because of idle internet research we think that we've got a solid understanding of the intricacies of school law and the ever growing understanding on the best ways to educate? I don't go to Web M.d. and assume I understand a health condition more than a medical professional, why should it be any different for and education professional?

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Mon, Mar 17, 2014, at 1:12 PM
  • to The birdman - Amen! Keep posting!

    -- Posted by pitbull on Mon, Mar 17, 2014, at 2:51 PM
  • Birdman -well said.

    Smart Dog - you have contradicted yourself by saying what changes need to be made to education and then saying "Doing the same things, the same way, but in new buildings will yield the same results." That is the point they can't do things differently because the facilities with not allow things to be done differently. You also say "I swear I have never seen a group of people who claim belief in conservative politics yet who vote for every single tax increase put before them as we have living here in Saline County. Only conservative on Sundays, I reckon." Look at how many times it took to bring Marshall/Saline county into the 21 century with the Health Department and also how many times the school have been voted down. I wouldn't say every tax increase is voted for.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE people take a tour of the crumbling schools that have been crumbling since at least 1987 when I first had children in the schools. I personally know they have been inadequate since then except for maybe Northwest.

    The kids in school now are our future. I don't know about you but I want them to be able to have the technical and hands on knowledge that they need to take care of we baby boomers. We are going to need qualified technical up-to-date people helping us in our "golden years". The three "R's" are not all that is needed anymore. So sitting in nice straight rows of desk is not all that is needed either.

    A side note I will add is I have never liked the fact that all children go to the high school and switch buses to go to the various school buildings - to me it would save a lot of money in transportation to have all elementary children going to the same school campus.

    -- Posted by Pidge on Mon, Mar 17, 2014, at 4:33 PM
  • Let me preface what I'm going to say with saying that I'm not trying to say that someone isn't entitled to their opinions, or anything similar to that. I believe the only way forward is with honest and open discussion. Having said that...

    I do wish people wouldn't muddy the water with peripheral issues to the tax levy. I apologize SD if you feel targeted here, it is not my intent, it is just that your references to the 4/7ths rule is the most recent example.

    The debate isn't about the legality or politics of the issue (it is legal). The debate also isn't about the board 'shoving things down voters throats'. As I've pointed out before, voting on something doesn't mean the issue is resolved and permanently settled forever.

    SD, I will say that we agree on the backlash to common core. I will also agree that high expectations for teacher performance will also help us find and retain good teachers. I will also agree that, not just locally, students need to have a more rigorous education. And I will enthusiastically agree that activities, not just sports, are given entirely too much attention and cause entirely too much interruption to our educational processes. Extracurriculars should be done outside of 8am-3pm, IMO.

    In one piece of research I saw, schools had no extracurriculars. School was for education, and only education. Two teachers per classroom, and admin were teachers half the day. If the community wanted a football (futball probably, I believe the country was in Europe, but where exactly escapes me) then the community organized the team and all things associated with it. The school was independent of anything but educating. But I digress, and I have to keep my expectations reasonable... :)

    I will also agree that there is a lot of things that we can learn from other countries in terms of our overall educational system, but with an * next to it. We need to be very careful when drawing comparisons between us and other countries because not everywhere educates all of their students for free (FAPE) like we do, plus there are huge differences ideas like tracking and trade schools. Another huge difference is the amount of parental involvement. I know it is too often used as a scapegoat for underperformance, but it does matter to some extent, and we do struggle compared to other places.

    What I find so hard to believe is that someone with claims to so much understanding of education does not see the value of new facilities for students. Again I agree that it is not a guarantee or a silver bullet, but these buildings were designed for teaching with a composition book and a slide rule, not PBL's and computerized data gathering and problem solving.

    I also am having a hard time believing that some one with such understanding of the educational system can believe that the new building is the only thing being done, by the district, to try to improve performance. Improved teacher evaluations, rigorous student data tracking, improvements to technologies, a push for PBL's, etc...

    At the high school level changes have already been made to assist students with the newly mandated ACT. Less than a month after the state made that decision, our teachers began working to help the students with the new expectation. The new facilities and resources with the levy are just a part of what is being done, and to claim otherwise is either uninformed or intentionally misleading.

    If we want to improve outcomes as much as possible for our students, we need to make sure that we as a community are doing what we can to assist them. Giving them additional resources cannot be and is not the only steps that can be taken, but it is a significant one.

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Mon, Mar 17, 2014, at 9:40 PM
  • Well said birdman. I don't live in Marshall but I do have a student in high school. It worried me to send my child to Marshall because I went there 35 years ago but found that it has improved over what it was.

    My child plays sports and they are very strict about what they expect of the students that play sports. They must perform academically and behave at school and outside of school to be able to continue to play.

    My child pulls straight A's in the all their classes so they have excelled in the Marshall system.

    I just hope the Marshall school staff and administration don't use the excuse that the only way they can succeed is to have a new building. They need to sell to the people, showing what they have done and how the people can benefit from it and it should be an easy sell.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, Mar 19, 2014, at 11:18 AM
  • You are absolutely right, there are good reasons for the laws to be set up the way they are. They protect every one's best interests and promote responsibility. But- the board is operating within the law! The laws that you yourself say are so good are not being broken! IF (again as you say) there is reason for the prohibitions in the laws to be prohibited, THEN there is reason for the abilities within the law to be allowed.

    There is no ploy here. At least on the part of the school board. If there is a ploy at play, it is from the opposition in trying to create issues with the bond that do not exist. There is no law being skirted or game being played. No one is trying to protect a job, or keep up with other districts in terms of facilities, or just want it because it is shiny.

    If you disagree with the levy, that is fine. But don't do it on the premise that some one is trying to hoodwink the public. If you have legitimate questions about why the board proceeded the way they did, then ask. I think they've done as well as possible to answer the public's questions.

    But don't create issues where there aren't any.

    I'll also add that to deny our students these resources because we don't like the way the board went about it is questionable at best. "I'm for the new facilities, but since they bought the land first I'm offended, so no new stuff" If you're for it you're for it, and if you're against it you're against it. But don't be against it because some one didn't handle it exactly the way you would have. That just doesn't seem reasonable to me.

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Fri, Mar 21, 2014, at 12:49 PM
  • You continue to make this about anything other than what it is. You either didn't have or didn't want to share a good response to my points, then decided to argue with my word choice, and refused to respond to anything I offered. I used bond and levy interchangeably. I messed up, there is a big difference and I misspoke. You win that one. You have my heartfelt apology. But you completely ignored anything else I had to say.

    You have legitimate concerns about the amount of debt the school is trying to assume. And I encourage you to find schools in similar situations and see what they did, or ask admin/board about their thoughts on this particular issue. To that, I cannot impact your amount of 'too much debt' any more than you can impact mine. To me, the plan to repay that debt seems more than acceptable. You point out that this amount of debt should raise red flags, and it does, which is why it has to go to a public vote. I'm not aware of any information about contingencies if we lose major employers, but I would also be curious to find out.

    As you pointed out, you and I don't know the actual numbers in terms of employment at our major employers. But I will say that with the exception of the state funded rehab center, the other businesses seem to be expanding their investment in their facilities at least, and that does not indicate a business on the verge of leaving town.

    As for the rest of your post, it is getting disappointingly predictable. Please share questions and concerns, but don't confuse the issue. I even looked up 'ploy' in the dictionary to see if maybe there was some meaning I didn't know, but there wasn't. If you don't like that they're trying for a levy instead of a bond again, then say that. But to accuse them of trying something underhanded is wrong in every sense of the word. The district's job, as well as every one who is affiliated with it, is to get all of the resources and opportunities they can for our students. It was clear that our voting public wasn't keen on a bond, so they are trying another option. If you don't like that option then say so, and say why, and have an open and public debate. But don't accuse them of something nefarious.

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Sun, Mar 23, 2014, at 9:15 PM
  • Levies and bonds are two different animals.

    Bonds have a definitive beginning and an ending, that's why there are limits. If not paid in time, there is a penalty.

    Levies such as this one are permanent and thus have nothing at all to do with bonding capacities.

    That's like saying we can't pass the levy because the national debt is going up every day.

    The two are just not related.

    Passing this levy may actually increase our bonding capacity.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 24, 2014, at 8:33 AM
  • That gave me quite a chuckle. Now I'm being asked to keep it on topic? That's laughable and transparent. And again you've blown off every point I've tried to make in response to the issues that you have about the levy. If you'd like me to keep it on topic, your advice would be given more significance if you hadn't already brought up dishonest ploys, employment numbers, business tax rates, long term business plans, supposed incidences of ignoring state law, construction trends, Common Core, the motives for hiring certain individuals, and corrected vocabulary. And that's just the top half of this thread, I got tired of scrolling...

    The truly funny part of this, as it has been thoroughly pointed out to me, is that this is a levy and not a bond. The purpose of the levy is to build a new school. The 4/7ths rule and bonding capacities are only relevant to conversations about bonds. The voting public didn't want bonds, so they are trying something else. The only motive here is to provide a better environment for our students. No more, no less.

    Try to turn the point or what ever, I've done nothing but try to have a civil debate, taking care to acknowledge and thoughtfully respond to your points. In turn I'm ignored and/or criticized.

    It is a shame that people would rather use this type of forum as a platform for stating that their way is the only way or to criticize others, instead of try to build their own knowledge or try to understand the position of others.

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Mon, Mar 24, 2014, at 12:54 PM
  • I guess I'll say it for every one else who is reading then, since no one is looking to engage in conversation. Voting no on a bond doesn't change the need for facilities. Voting no on a bond isn't voting on a levy. This is a new idea for a solution to the same problem. When the previous solution was voted down, the need still existed. If the levy is voted down, the need still exists.

    What some are interpreting as 'shoving it down voters throats' is what others would call 'trying to do their job'. The fact that bonds didn't pass doesn't change the need for facilities. The people in charge of meeting students' needs are trying to meet those needs in a way the community will agree to. The community didn't like bonds, so they're trying something else.

    Some also continue to suggest that focusing on student performance and trying to pass a levy are mutually exclusive, like you have to choose one or the other. That is not the case. In fact they are very much linked. Should the levy pass or fail, the district is doing everything it can to increase student education. The point of the levy, and the facilities it would purchase, is to allow the district to do more. That is all it has ever been.

    We should not be saying that it should be one or the other, or that we can't have one with out the other. What I believe is that we should be doing everything we can on both fronts- educational practices and educational facilities.

    I too am curious about the 15% rule. I looked on the constitution site, as well as a little at the DESE and didn't find much of use. I would like to know more about the issue, but I'm not going to assume laws have been ignored and broken because I'm uninformed on that particular aspect of school finance law.

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Mon, Mar 24, 2014, at 4:02 PM
  • With the changes coming in our trash dumping site, will there be any provisions for curb side recycling by the city. Could they start collecting the things that are dropped off at the recycle center like plastic, glass, tin, aluminum and electronics? How many miles down 20 highway will our trucks have to travel? Will Thompsons do any recycling? Where will the trash from Thompson's go?

    -- Posted by Pasta on Sat, Mar 29, 2014, at 2:28 PM
  • In regards to the relationship between the superintendent and the school board with the public, it reminds me of the story of "The Emperor's New Clothes".

    When the sign went up in the farmland and the money spent then things were already going wrong. I think when these elected school officials had the architects and our Middle School children view the new school model it was an air of assumption of power.

    -- Posted by cjcb on Mon, Mar 31, 2014, at 2:02 PM
  • Pasta,

    I believe the Thompson trash goes to Warrensburg's landfill.

    Not sure about the recycling, but they have to adhere to Federal standards, so I am sure that a lot of that goes on.

    The city still picks up the trash, so I would guess that curbside pickups will remain the same, and the recycling center will still be your focus for electronics, etc.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Mar 31, 2014, at 3:18 PM
  • The school levy issue has gone on and one. But I am surprised that some are going on and on about how those who don't want it don't care about kids or don't think we need a new school. WE NEED A NEW SCHOOL but NOT THAT LARGE A DEBT. Plus, in these times of economic crisis and concerns, why cannot existing empty buildings be used? And where is the demographic studies? Slater has less number of children and spend more per child. We have something like the United Nations here with lots of children and renters who cannot afford the increased rent this will cause. We don't have to have a brand new beautiful building. We can use some existing structures instead of those boxes the kids go to school in and/or build a very modest school. What is wrong with a PLAIN school. Every year the parents can supply less and less and now school supplies have to be given out, backpacks have to be given out, and a close friends family had their clothes bought by the school along with many families. So EVEN the schools have gone into buying clothes for these poor families. What now? Are they are not helping these families by crushing them with debt. This is a tax levy but it will be THEIR money not just those people with the signs in the yards.

    -- Posted by cjcb on Tue, Apr 1, 2014, at 6:22 PM
  • cj- I'm not sure if I follow on your 'existing empty buildings' comment. The school has no empty buildings that I am aware of. On top of that, we are using temporary buildings and leasing space to make up for the room we don't have. If you are referring to empty buildings outside of district property, I'm also at a loss. The only relevant structure that comes to mind would be the old hospital on Brunswick, which has been largely abandoned. Even in new condition the hospital rooms would not be near big enough for a classroom. There's barely enough room for 1-2 sick people in a hospital room. Imagine trying to fit 25 children. The amount of work it would take to repair, improve, and modify the structure to make it appropriate for education would likely be on par with the costs of building a new building.

    I'm also not sure what you consider a 'plain' school. The suggested structure has enough room for expansion, but other than that I can think of no added 'options' that I would consider fancy or upgraded. It has an elevator, but we have students that need one, and I believe there's at least one already in use in the district.

    I understand that the amount of debt is an intimidating number. But for the scale of the district it is an appropriate amount. Not to mention the fact that the same amount of money will buy less in the future, so we'd either have to spend more to get the same or settle for less of a project.

    It is unfortunate, to me, to see the idea of 'it was good enough for me, so it is good enough for the kids' being so prevalent in our community. Not all that long ago life expectancy was 65 years old or so. Since it was good enough for our parents, shouldn't it be good enough for us?? Of course the answer is no. Just like the 'best way' in medicine has changed, the 'best way' in education has changed. I've also read comments along the line of 'people used to learn in a one room school house'. Yes they did. But they didn't learn stoichiometry, debate, building trades, and computer networking in the same day either. They didn't do project based learning, or work in a green house, or any number of other tasks that occur daily in today's schools. Schools are built to house the educational process. The way we educate is changing, why should our facilities not reflect that?

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Wed, Apr 2, 2014, at 1:12 PM
  • Smart Dog you are so right about all of this.

    I wish more people of our thinking would post here.

    If this passes we are going to have older folks lose their homes and renters not able to pay their


    -- Posted by Cat Lover on Wed, Apr 2, 2014, at 8:26 PM
  • Smart Dog -- Wow - I am stunned - So, what you are saying is that the letters to the editor supporting the school levy are not relevant because they were submitted by educators or those who actually WORK in the school system and have first hand, credible knowledge and experience? Your "logic" is puzzling at best.

    -- Posted by pitbull on Thu, Apr 3, 2014, at 9:04 AM
  • Sorry to burst some bubbles, but I am a hard-working citizen with 2 jobs, a mortgage, I am not a business owner nor am I a prominent community member, my children are no longer in Marshall schools, I do not work for nor am I affiliated with the school district, and I too struggle to pay all my bills each month.

    However, I am 100% IN FAVOR of new schools!! When my kids were in school here 15 years ago, these buildings were unsafe and an embarrassment. My kids learned in trailers and had to bundle up in the snow to eat lunch or even to go to the bathroom. I cannot imagine what conditions the kids are expected to learn in today. Our children, and our community, deserves better. What message are we sending if we refuse to invest in the future of Marshall? It's well past time that we start investing in our future and start educating our children with up-to-date facilities, equipment and a SAFE environment.

    This problem is not going to go away. It is only going to get more and more expensive to fix. If not now, then when? If not us, then who?

    -- Posted by k_m on Thu, Apr 3, 2014, at 10:40 AM
  • First, shame on Smartdog and others who hide behind the anonymity of this blog to disrespect those who wrote letters to the editor and who put their name, reputation and personal integrity on the line to publicly support the levy increase - all for different reasons. Even those who wrote letters in opposition who had the guts to sign them should be applauded for taking a position. We can agree to disagree on this one.

    Smartdog is obviously not only misguided but not especially well-informed in his recent posts. And he is alleging a constitutional violation on the part of the school district, which is both reckless and irresponsible, but also potentially slanderous. His comments are merely designed to raise an element of doubt in voters on the fence in an effort to save himself a few bucks. SHAME ON HIM!

    In response to his comment about "no evidence" that increased spending on schools actually improved student performance, perhaps (instead of reading his OWN self-important blogs in which he touts his own level of education) he needs to read the series of news articles specifically linking better school buildings to better academic performance. They cited study after study. There was also a column in the Democrat-News on Tuesday by a doctor, who certainly has more training and insight into the capacity of our kids to learn effectively, which also cited study after study and real statistics showing kids housed in newer schools do better in the classroom. She listed a myriad of reasons. I'd call that pretty credible.

    His statement about the Marshall Public School enrollment slightly decreasing also is false. Enrollment numbers provided by the district itself shows enrollment in 2008 was 2,466; for the 2014 academic year enrollment is 2,471.

    The only observation (and not necessarily fact, because no figures have been verified with the County Assessor's office) is about no significant growth in Marshall's tax base with which to finance school expansion. However, has anyone considered the impact on the local economy of a construction project of this size? Think of the jobs for construction, heating and cooling installation, finish work, landscaping and ground preparation, the materials which will be ordered (hopefully some locally). Ultimately, consider the fact that employers thinking about relocating their businesses - and hence, JOBS - to Marshall will have great new schools for their employees' kids - not the rundown, outdated structures that are in existence today. New jobs, new businesses mean an expanded tax base.

    How many of you have gone 40 years with no increase in pay or cost of living increase to your social security? Well, that's what the Marshall School District has done, and the results in the classroom are finally reflecting the COMMUNITY'S (that means all of us) lack of investment in education.

    No one - rich or poor - wants to pay more taxes, but we cannot continue to turn a blind eye to our nearly 100-year-old schools by saying, "It's not my problem. I don't have kids in these schools."

    Regardless of what you think about the board, the administration, the location, the signage, the landscaping, the planned school exterior or the quality of the teachers in the district, EVERY child in Marshall deserves the right to have every opportunity to the finest education this community can offer. Isn't it time we think less selfishly and consider the future of our children? They, in fact, ARE the future of our town. They are the future teachers, the future lawyers, the future doctors, the future policemen, the future hairdressers, the future farmers, the future accountants that those of us who are 30 or older will be relying on when we can no longer care for ourselves (God willing we live that long). To think of the levy increase request any other way is extraordinarily short-sighted.

    -- Posted by no dummy on Thu, Apr 3, 2014, at 12:55 PM
  • "Smart" dog - Please re-read my post - There is a question mark at the end of sentence. but ... be honest - your comment was snarky and implies distain for the letter writers who work or have worked for the School District. Back peddle all you want, your words are right there in black and white - Also if you read No Dummy's post, you will find that I am not the only one who heard you loud and clear.

    -- Posted by pitbull on Thu, Apr 3, 2014, at 1:16 PM
  • "Smart" Dog - Again, "Wow" is the first word out of my mouth after reading your post. It is obvious that you are privy to faaaaaar more information than I in regard to some of our citizen's personal finances. Thanks for the chuckles -- you just can't make this stuff up.

    -- Posted by pitbull on Thu, Apr 3, 2014, at 2:08 PM
  • I think I've finally figured out how message board conversations work.

    1. Make the same points over and over, often with the exact same comments.

    2. Ignore any thoughtful responses to my posts.

    3. Respond to people when, and only when, I feel attacked; at which point I still ignore the relevant points they made.

    I've been doing it wrong the whole time!

    I kid, but only a little. :)

    To any impartial or open minded reader: the concerns about school population are understandable. However, while numbers may or may not have significantly changed, requirements placed on the school have changed dramatically. When the high school was built special education looked very different than it does today. Now, at least at the high school, they are the largest department in a building that did not originally allot much (if any) space for them. Their classrooms were made by taking space from other departments. This increases class sizes and limits resources across the board.

    I will say it again: People are welcome to bring up what ever peripheral information that they would like.

    It does not, however, change the fact that the issue that we are voting on is to increase the support that our school receives from our community. That is it.

    Do we believe that the education of our students is worth more than what we are currently putting in. We are expecting the schools to step it up, should we expect it of ourselves as well?

    Bring up 'fancy' buildings, the reputation / character / finances of those discussing it, the legality of the vote, your opinion of the members of the board, or the credibility of your research over that of some one else.

    None, and exactly none, of that is relevant.

    There are valid concerns, and some unanswered questions coming from some people. But there is a lot of irrelevant topics coming up as well.

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Thu, Apr 3, 2014, at 3:44 PM
  • I do not have an answer for you on the topic of the 15% limit to the amount of debt. I've already stated that. A couple of times. I also referred to it again in my last post when I commented on the 'unanswered questions'. I also didn't say that it was not a legitimate concern. In fact, I agreed that it was legitimate and stated that I would like to know that piece of information as well. I apologize if you misunderstood that as me being dismissive of your point, but I've been nothing but civil and forthcoming.

    The difference I was trying to illustrate is that I don't assume laws are being broken because I do not understand them. I do not understand how it is an option to go over the limit. However, I do not assume laws are broken because I have an incomplete picture of school finance law.

    I even took the time to try to find some information on the 15% rule, to no avail, and pointed that out. Did you extend the same courtesy when I encouraged you to do some research on how schools in similar situations are handling this? If you did, you didn't share your findings.

    Some articles you requested:


    "The review concludes that school facilities affect learning."


    "Researchers have consistently found a difference of 5-17 percentile points difference between achievement of students in poor buildings and those students in standard buildings..."

    (I shortened the url on these for convenience)


    This one links facilities to teacher retention, which I hope we can agree is a good thing.


    "Students are less likely to attend schools in need of structural repair, schools that use temporary structures..."

    Hopefully we can also agree that high attendance and low drop-out rates are good things.

    Again, I'm not saying that your facts are incorrect. I'm disagreeing with you on your assumptions about the facts. You've pointed out the state constitution a number of times. I've not once questioned that the constitution says what it says. What I have questioned is your assumption that laws are being broken because we don't understand how the district can take on more debt. Maybe it is illegal, maybe it isn't. That's the whole 'unanswered question' thing again...

    You have stated that people 'blast you' for disagreeing with you. In the very same post you state that you've seen no 'credible evidence' or 'valid responses', and "Just a bunch of opinions."

    THEN you state that people 'get defensive when someone doesn't agree with you'.

    I get defensive when some one calls me and my contributions to the conversation not credible, valid, or that they are just opinions.

    Humor me while I dig back through my comments...

    1. Increase in funding to pay for new structures and beyond is just one of the things being done by the district to improve student performance. How is that an opinion? How is that not valid?

    2. Expectations of the district in terms of technology, SpEd, best practices, and learning outcomes have changed drastically since even our newest structure was built. Students now use technology daily, a large part of which didn't exist when even our newest building was built. How is that an opinion? How is that not valid?

    3. You can do a job more efficiently with better resources. How is that an opinion? How is that not valid?

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Thu, Apr 3, 2014, at 6:01 PM
  • Again, Smartdog, your comment that the district is "exceeding its legal limit" on indebtedness implies that they are doing something illegal or at best untrustworthy. Stop it with your malicious innuendoes and downright fabrications in an attempt to discredit the board and the district. As a taxpayer, I find that offensive and certainly not in the best interest of anyone in this community, especially our kids.

    If a lease-purchase financing arrangement were illegal I am pretty sure the 199 other districts in Missouri, per the Securities Data Corporation, and as cited in the financing article about the levy published by this paper last week would ALL be violating the law. Or is that just some way-smarter-than-the-rest-of-us constitutional scholar hasn't pressed for a state attorney general investigation into this financing mechanism? Again, in an attempt to avoid paying HIS fair share of the tax burden?

    Let the districts take whatever means in their power to lawfully fund the best education they can. If that means using a different funding mechanism to a construction bond issue, then so be it. I - and hopefully 51% of the other voters in Marshall - are still voting "yes" to support our schools. Obviously you won't, Smartdog, because it is perfectly clear you really don't like Marshall. I counted 8 to 10 insults about this community in only one of your prior posts - everything from our being close-minded and backwards to a bunch of judgmental bumpkins who don't welcome new ideas and instead prefer to "bandwagon" together.

    Well here's a new idea -

    Why don't dozens of community-minded people donate hundreds of hours of their own time to help the district try to pass the first levy increase in 40 years? (That's a correction to the erroneous teacher's salary comment that Smartdog cleverly twisted in his disinformation campaign earlier.)

    Here's another new idea:

    Why doesn't the district use a means to fund the enormous project they need to make up for 40 years of basically doing NOTHING. That funding - a lease/purchase would require only a simple majority. That way we can hopefully institute some systemic changes which will help us come up to par with schools around us in which the kids are performing way better academically? We can do more outreach with parents of all backgrounds and cultures and build a sense of community that we all can be proud of.

    Better yet, maybe the new schools will attract new business to town and expand the tax base. It will also attract the brightest young teachers and help the district keep the best ones from leaving. New schools will send the message to students that THEY ARE WORTH IT, and their performance in class will inherently rise because they will want to learn and can focus on learning instead of the leaking roof, the faulty wiring and the kid whose desk is so close to theirs because the classroom is overcrowded.

    And your comment about "graduating class size" is totally invalid when I mentioned enrollment earlier, not graduating class size. The district has to find space for ALL students, not just graduates. And currently 409 of those enrollees are in temporary trailers. AND THEY HAVE BEEN THERE FOR DECADES. This is not a new project due to some rapid increase in enrollment, it has been an ongoing problem - like some sort of cancer that can't be cured.

    And every time a cure IS proposed, there are just enough anonymous people with malicious intent ready to poke holes with innuendo and untruths. Keeping the status quo is what they are all about.

    The fact that our district requires all those new school transitions is part of the reason we have kids DROP OUT and NOT graduate.

    I, for one, am ready to do something about it.

    -- Posted by no dummy on Thu, Apr 3, 2014, at 6:13 PM
  • Here is a idea. Let the people writing letters and looking for a new regime (the bankers, pharmacists superior businessmen, and most importantly, their spouses) save up 10% of there massive wealth and buy the darn school. Simple. If they want it that bad and really want to help, pay for it yourselves. Don't make the poor and disenfranchised suffer anymore than they already are.

    -- Posted by Merica on Fri, Apr 4, 2014, at 7:44 AM
  • More blatant untruths from Smartdog, who cannot be trusted to state anything factual - He knows only enough to twist the argument his way via falsehoods and partial truths. Raising doubts is the disinformation campaign he is engaging in and it will continue until the election.

    His statement regarding the 70% requirement for spending on teachers' salaries applies ONLY to monies received from the state as part of the foundation formula, NOT to local operating levy money. So AGAIN, this is a big lie designed to create an element of doubt among his faithful followers.

    Locally generated tax monies are spent at the discretion of the board of education; in this case, they have committed the levy money for the payment for school improvements. If you want more information, I recommend you get off this forum and read the news side of this issue which will tell you a lot more about what will happen than the ridiculous and inflammatory nature of this forum.

    FACT: There has been no net increase in the Marshall School Levy in 40 years. This is direct from the administrative offices at Marshall Public Schools. They said voters have approved smaller increases one to offset a debt service amount which was expiring, but the bottom line is that the net total amount that local taxpayers are levied for the school portion of their property taxes HAS NOT CHANGED FOR 40 YEARS. Any attempt to state otherwise is simply untrue.

    And his statement that the board has INTENTIONALLY let the buildings fall into disrepair? Seriously??? Putting school children at risk would be a violation of one of the primary responsibilities of the district - to educate kids in a safe environment.

    The annex at BMS was removed because they found it to be unsafe, full of peeling paint and mold. The only alternative method of housing all those fifth graders was to put them into trailers.

    Again, 409 students in the Marshall Public School District are housed in trailers each and every day. Makeshift classroom space at best.

    Reduced class size, which Smartdog concurs DOES impact learning, is impossible because the district has NO SPACE for new classrooms. They have resorted to converting spaces like closets, storage spaces, and stages in gymnasiums into classrooms for students. Because educational methods have continued to evolve, space allocation has also changed. The district is now unable to accommodate the most modern teaching methods; this impacts academic performance of the district.

    Again, please make sure you have the facts on the issue and do not trust Smartdog. He is engaging in a campaign of misinformation and untruths aimed at creating doubt among voters. He is likely a large property owner himself who just doesn't want to pay more in taxes.

    Neither do I, but I am still voting yes for new schools. We cannot wait any longer.

    If not now, when?

    -- Posted by no dummy on Fri, Apr 4, 2014, at 11:34 AM
  • Again, I don't disagree with the facts, just the assumptions about the facts. The 70% rule is a perfect example. It was assumed that the rule applied to all school revenue, when a complete understanding of the rule, or a simple glance at the budget, could have shown we were missing information. To state that the majority of the levy was going to teacher pay was either erroneous or intentionally misleading.

    Thank you for providing the information about how it is legal for the school to go beyond the 15% rule. I'm not going to take the time to disagree with your comments on lawyers having a field day and the like. Because it is irrelevant.

    As for the rest- the document the first link points to is 26 pages long, all you've got to do is scroll down. I will pose a question though: Which is more safe- multiple buildings with multiple entries each, or a single building with fewer, more secure entries? I'm fine with agreeing to disagree on the rest. I do try to be reasonable...

    You stated "Reduced class size has a big impact on learning, but that does not require new buildings, just more properly maintained classrooms." How does proper maintenance increase the size of a room? Or the number of people in it? You pointed out the class size impacts learning, then reference the article's 'HVAC, leaky roofs, no windows, and bad lighting'. How does good a/c in a room change the number of people in it?

    And I'm not entirely sure what synopsis you're referring to on the 4th article. You stated " this article concludes that quality of janitorial services is important in Houston schools." That is at the very least incomplete. I won't go so far as to assume that you are intentionally trying to be misleading though. I will copy the articles posted conclusion and let people decide for themselves.

    "School districts who wish to maximize attendance and minimize drop-out rates should avoid temporary solutions to school building inadequacies and provide students, teachers, and administrators with quality permanent structure schools, and quality janitorial staffs to maintain those schools."

    Sure janitorial staffs were mentioned, but I'd say it was only part of the findings.

    Almost forgot about the fair comparisons bit. Here again I'll say that I disagree with your assumptions. You are correct in that urban and rural schools are very different and that we need to be careful when drawing comparisons. However, I believe that there is good and relevant information that can be gleaned from some of these comparisons. An example is the 90/90/90 research. Granted we don't have 90% minority, or 90% free/reduced lunch, but we certainly have a high percentage of both. If some of the practices done in those schools could help our poor/minority students, why wouldn't we try them? I believe the research started in Chicago (I may be off..) which is an urban school, but if there's something useful there I say use it.

    You also comment more than once about how you 'believe you're still entitled to your opinions' or some such thing. If you're entitled to say that the school board is intentionally jeopardizing the safety of our students to get a new building, then I am entitled to say that your statement has no evidence or basis in reality, and is libelous.

    I also find it strange that some one who loves to post the big wall of text as much as I do is against actually engaging in conversation. "About the individual and not the topic?" How can one not know the difference between talking TO some one and talking ABOUT some one? I fully understand the irony of bringing it up now, but I did anyway. While the iron is hot, and all that. Debate as you'd like to do it does nothing more than let people state opinions as facts, with no sort of engagement or accountability. I feel it is much more effective of a conversation when we question each other, learn the others' opinion and what they have to offer. Plus I'm not afraid to say that I've learned from your posts. I'm much more likely to write some one off if they can not defend their stance, and I figure it is a safe bet that you act the same way. How can they defend with out engagement. Just wondering- Not 'miffed', just puzzled.

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Fri, Apr 4, 2014, at 1:09 PM
  • Here is a idea. Let the people writing letters and looking for a new regime (the bankers, pharmacists, superior businessmen, and most importantly, their spouses) save up 10% of there massive wealth and buy the darn school. Simple. If they want it that bad and REALLY want to help, pay for it yourselves. Don't make the poor and disenfranchised suffer anymore than they already are. Also---

    Thanks for the premature sign. No means Know!!!

    If people think this tax is the only way to pay for this massive brick (brick being completely unnecessary, by the way) complex they are misinformed by the group of folks putting this farce on the table. This is a perfect example of top wanting the bottom to pay for their ideas.

    -- Posted by Merica on Sun, Apr 6, 2014, at 11:20 AM
  • A perfect example of what I was referring to in the last paragraph in my previous post.

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Sun, Apr 6, 2014, at 2:40 PM
  • No means no

    -- Posted by Merica on Tue, Apr 8, 2014, at 8:39 PM
  • Well, it would appear that not only did Marshallites vote a resounding 'no' to the levy; they also tossed out all 4 school board incumbents.

    Time for a change in policy.

    I'll admit,I am surprised by the margin of the vote difference.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Tue, Apr 8, 2014, at 8:51 PM
  • Maybe the school board can raise cattle on their new land to raise a few bucks.

    -- Posted by motor-man on Tue, Apr 8, 2014, at 9:42 PM
  • Nearly 60% against the proposal. That is a resounding NO!

    School board incumbents were also dumped.

    Obviously the promoters of the levy were not convincing. It is also obvious folks people were unhappy with the school board.

    It is time for a fresh start with realistic expectations. Folks have got to realize that real wages have been decreasing for thirty years, and it continually will get harder to squeeze blood out of an ever shrinking turnip.

    The real question now is how to do more with less, which is just how most households have been adjusting for years. Welcome to the new reality of America.

    One final rumination; I am wondering if the Republican national battle cry of no new taxes, instead lower taxes; has at last spilled over into hindering local attempts to raise money from citizens. It seems likely to me. This is a worse defeat than was the case in prior attempts.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Apr 8, 2014, at 10:37 PM
  • Sorry to disagree with many on here. I for one am actuall quite glad that the paper took a little more control of this area. Some use it for its intended use, but for most it is just a venue of never ending complaints about something. Not sure that any of this type of thing really helps anyone, but just keeps things stirred up. Marshall is my hometown and I want to see it grow and prosper . Today, however, was a continuation of burying our head in the sand. Education and all that it stands for is your ticket to moving forward, and making a better life for you and those around you. No, it is not just about new buildings but it needs to be about pride in our community and that we want to move forward. People sometimes need to think about the big picture and not what is in it for them. I am sad for this community and our kids of the future because they deserve a better support system than what was evidenced today.

    -- Posted by music12345 on Tue, Apr 8, 2014, at 10:48 PM
  • I would like to know what is going to happen to the land that was bought with tax-payer money, With out tax-payer permission for an Idea tax-payers have said "NO" to 4 times before? Now it is 5. The answer is still "NO"!

    -- Posted by Selmac8 on Wed, Apr 9, 2014, at 2:18 AM
  • The land isn't going any where. The district owned the land the high school was on for a decade before it was built upon.

    The only difference is that now we'll spend more money for the same resources the building would have provided.

    -- Posted by thebirdman on Wed, Apr 9, 2014, at 7:50 AM
  • Smart Dog what would it take to get you to vote for a bond issue or levy increase to build new facilities?

    -- Posted by Gal66 on Wed, Apr 9, 2014, at 1:36 PM
  • I'm sorry I'm no longer a Marshall resident, though I remain proud of my home town. If I could have voted, I'd have indicated my choice for a new school, even though I'd have no children in the school district. It seems short sighted to deny our kids decent, modern school facilities. I would miss my dear old Southeast, of course. But time marches on, right? Do the right thing.

    -- Posted by Bob Kennedy on Wed, Apr 9, 2014, at 7:09 PM
  • Oklahoma, how can you spend so much time on this site and still know so little about the people of this town? This is not the only time the school board has been cleared. Next week the same people who voted for them yesterday, will be complaining that they won't support anything this group does until we clean house and get a new board, new city council, etc. I've been here over 30 years and the names and face on our boards and councils have been changed several times over, but the people still complain. I've heard the same arguments since I moved here.

    Selmac, the land belongs to the district. The United States (which includes Marshall)is a republic, not a democracy. That means we elect people to make decisions for us. They are not required to run every decision by us. Granted they probably should have mentioned this, but they had the money and by electing them we had given them the permission to do it.

    -- Posted by inthemiddle on Wed, Apr 9, 2014, at 8:05 PM
  • ITM you have no idea as to the depth of my knowledge of Marshall. As that was the theme of your address to me, and I learned nothing new from the remainder I won't dignify it with further response. You have done better in past comments.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Apr 9, 2014, at 9:53 PM
  • Personally,i find both Okla & News have Interesting Comments,along with others! Whats happend to white tornado,and Nanadot,slater,? Hope their Good! I guess a person gravitates to whom you agree with. Thats fact i guess?

    -- Posted by Jo on Thu, Apr 10, 2014, at 1:12 PM
  • My friends and I cheered and were thrilled when the vote went to "NO" for the new tax levy. I was relieved that this thing was finally over and the school board and Mr. Huff would finally see they were abusing a lot of people. And that we were sick of it. Today I see they are going to press on. And I resent, thoroughly resent the posts the imply those that voted NO do not have an interest in the schools. It is a matter that we have to tighten our belts and also we have to leave room for the future when there may be some unforeseen need for a tax levy for something else.

    Can you all just quit pushing unrealistic demands? Give us a breathing space before we are battered again.

    -- Posted by cjcb on Fri, Apr 11, 2014, at 12:55 AM
  • cjcb what would it take for you and your friends to vote for a bond issue or a tax levy to build new facilities?

    Smart Dog in case you did not see my question to you the other day what would it take to get you to vote for a bond issue or levy increase to build new facilities?

    -- Posted by Gal66 on Fri, Apr 11, 2014, at 6:38 AM
  • Good Question Gal66 - I too am very interested to hear the ideas of those who voted NO. I truly believe that they DO care about the schools but did not like the proposed plan. So let's hear it folks. What are your solutions? I think many people agree that there is a need for improvement of our school facilities. Let's put aside the personal ranker that has been going on all over town and unite to find an answer for our children and our community. This is a great community, let's find a solution.

    -- Posted by pitbull on Fri, Apr 11, 2014, at 9:08 AM
  • I am happy to hear that some people want to know what suggestions we, who voted against the tax levy, have. That is a surprise! I have a lot of ideas, but no real solid info on financial costs. I would like to see the school board and Mr. Huff let the community brainstorm and send in their suggestions to some place where they can be reviewed and discussed by our school board. I would like to see the suggestions published! Would that hurt? Somebody has an answer that is manageable and therefore amenable to the community as a whole.

    -- Posted by cjcb on Fri, Apr 11, 2014, at 6:47 PM
  • News Across: you keep bringing up Bobby James. I was reading his Bio and seem to remember him in high School. Mr. Licky was teaching when i was there. He was 4 younger than me!

    -- Posted by Jo on Fri, Apr 11, 2014, at 6:55 PM
  • Interesting you mention "perfect pitch." My uncle, a professional musician, had that ability. It is rare even among musicians. I remember that uncle could listen to noises like factory whistle, train whistle and tell the note, whether it was sharp or flat and degree of divergence. My uncle was also an arranger, could write/arrange music in his head and did not have to hear it to know what it sounded like. That was one reason band leaders recruited him. Uncle spent most of his final years in Chicago playing for Franz Benteler. Chicago has union scale for musicians, and one can afford to play and live there as a professional.

    -- Posted by former editor on Fri, Apr 11, 2014, at 9:40 PM
  • news: My Dad had a Jazz,Blues band back in the early 20's through the middle 50's! Speakeasy back then. He had a James that played Trumpet.I wonder if he could have been Bobby's Dad or related? He knew Harold Licky well! Phillip Land was on Piano with the band. I do wish i could see Picture's of James when he was in School! Back in the 40's Dad would rent a hall for Friday & Sat for a Dance,50 cents a pop per Person. Had a good take for a couple of days! He had several girl singers from Marshall. He would have Auditions for Talented People. I'm wondering if James could have been one of them! Interesting,sure takes me back!

    -- Posted by Jo on Sat, Apr 12, 2014, at 2:14 AM
  • cjcb - Your Comment -"I would like to see the school board and Mr. Huff let the community brainstorm and send in their suggestions to some place where they can be reviewed and discussed by our school board." Just DO it - don't wait for Mr. Huff to "let" you make suggestions - call a school board member, write a note with your suggestions, go to a school board meeting - the lack of adequate schools is a problem shared by the entire community - would love to hear your ideas. There has to be an answer and I hope it comes soon.

    -- Posted by pitbull on Mon, Apr 14, 2014, at 9:37 AM
  • I think that's a great idea.

    While we're waiting for responses; I'd like to see 3 estimates for repairs to the present schools, plus estimates to update the schools for wireless internet.

    I also thought the STEM building was a good idea, but not the greeting/ welcome center.

    Perhaps a single building for 5th grade could be looked at as well.

    None of these ideas are as good as new buildings and teacher recruitment, but they may give the voters ideas as to which programs are the most palatable.

    Would love to read other ideas here.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Apr 14, 2014, at 9:49 AM
  • Why is the governor coming to MHS?

    -- Posted by momaster on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 6:46 AM
  • I just ran across this survey regarding the Marshall Schools - here is the perfect opportunity to share your opinions, ideas and/or concerns. Here is the link to the Page - https://www.facebook.com/MarshallCARESforKids

    And a link to the survey


    I believe that this community can find a solution for our district's problems - let your voices be heard!

    -- Posted by pitbull on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 2:06 PM
  • If anyone would know it would be New's! I would like a bio of Bobby James Mother & Father? How can i find this information?

    -- Posted by Jo on Thu, Apr 17, 2014, at 12:46 PM
  • Thank you Empress,thats kind of you!

    -- Posted by Jo on Fri, Apr 18, 2014, at 1:16 PM
  • I believe Lamkin James was a lawyer here in the

    1950's. Believe they lived for awhile on Mitchell street not too far from Southeast School.

    -- Posted by Cat Lover on Fri, Apr 18, 2014, at 3:31 PM
  • Thank's Cat Lover!

    -- Posted by Jo on Mon, Apr 21, 2014, at 3:28 PM
  • I am uncertain to where this comment belongs. The new school board is giving it a good heave-ho but I am so upset about something I have to make this comment. My sep-granddaughter is on the B honor roll in Beuker Middle School. I have asked her repeatedly to show me North South East and West by pointing. She does not know them. She does not know her states. I have a map and tried to work with her but she is not interested.They are on Pompei and the Wall of China. I am unable to get her interested in knowing where anything is in the United States. There is something wrong with our geography teaching. I would like to see a testing of the students on the states and capitols in sixth grade. She cannot tell if a storm is coming on the map but is excited about Pompeii. Just desperate to see a change in our teaching.

    -- Posted by cjcb on Wed, Apr 30, 2014, at 1:09 AM
  • With what I am about to write I sure wish "Speak Out" was still on the front page.

    I have become a grouchy old man and quite cynical but I am here to say just maybe not all is lost in our society.

    Today our disabled daughter had a doctors appointment in Columbia my wife and our daughters personal assistant took her.

    After the appointment they stopped to feed our daughter and to eat themselves.

    My wife and her PA had our daughter laughing and grinning by kissing and hugging her, now our daughter is 21 years old tube fed in diapers non verbal and can walk but with help so we have seen all the looks and caught a lot of low mumbled words that to be honest make me mad as hell.

    The waitress comes over and asked if they needed anything else my wife says no just the bill, the waitress looks at my wife and says someone paid your bill, my wife starts to tear up the waitress say no no no you can't cry I will start and I can't cry at work!

    We have no idea who it was or why they did it and I know they will never see this but I just wanted to say thank you so much you will never know what that meant to my wife.

    It also shows me that not all is lost!

    -- Posted by Gal66 on Thu, May 1, 2014, at 2:04 PM
  • Congratulations to the Marshall FFA and designated members for their recent honors! You make Saline County Proud!

    -- Posted by farmer'sgranddaughter on Sat, May 3, 2014, at 8:14 AM
  • cjb geography is not taught at 6th grade, World History is 6th grade. Geography is more in 7th grade. Many adults cannot point NWSE. They do cover it in lower elementary as most cant say Never Eat Soggy Wheat (NESW), but forget what it means by the next grade. Geography is not tested in the USA (Not just Marshall, MO)

    Social Studies is not a priority. Math and Language Arts are the primary focus. Science is secondary. Social Studies (American History, World History, Government, Geography, etc) are barely above the arts in this country. History is not included on either the ACT or SAT college tests.

    Ask any student and they will tell you that Social Studies is

    "boring" or

    "We're never gonna use this" or

    "Social Studies is supposed to be easy" or,

    "why do I need to know these, I'm never going to these places" or

    as my nephew said, "If I need to know this when I am grown up, I can look it up."

    Ask any social studies teacher and they will tell you how often former students who are now adults, say to them "I wish I had paid more attention in your class because I find it so interesting now."

    Your granddaughter is in 6th grade. She is like the typical teens of today. Why do we need to know this when we have apps on our phones that tell us these things? I am in my 50s and I know that as teens most of my peers said similar things all those years ago. Your granddaughter probably does like most "smart" kids do, she crams the information for the test, but forgets it once the test is over.

    -- Posted by inthemiddle on Sat, May 3, 2014, at 9:22 PM
  • Good people in this world.

    I know that some have been upset with the city of Marshall for hiring Poor Boys tree service to do utility tree trimming instead of local tree companies.

    But I want to share what the Poor Boy crew did today. They had cut down a big tree in front yard of my daughters house. When her 5 year old son got off of his early childhood bus this morning he was quite upset. He said, "My tree, that was my favorite tree, they cut down my favorite tree" The men stopped for a moment and let him come over to show and explain to him that the tree was hollow and the reasons they had to cut it down. They then gave him a pair of safety goggles so he could go back over and sit on his front step with his mom and watch them work until he had to leave for another school.

    That type of care, kindness and compassion is going above and beyond. I am a believer in shopping local but this is an example of caring for a community where you are working whether your company is from the town or not.

    A grantful grandma

    -- Posted by Pidge on Wed, May 7, 2014, at 1:41 PM
  • Pidge,

    In fifth grade I had to know all states and Capitals and I am not sorry. My granddaugther's teacher had them learn the presidents while another class learned the states. I am working with her with a big rewards system and so far she has made a list and has made the list into a song just to know what they are. Then second step is to put them on a map. I learned Geography and I am 58. To dummy down our schools is not acceptable. Smaller schools teach these things. I wish we could even get her into a smaller school.

    It isn't that she didn't want to learn them it is that she would not get a grade for it in school and she is only interested in grades and getting kudos from her teachers/school.

    Now I am getting somewhere. I don't know what kind of reward I am going to have to give her but it will be costly knowing her! I am determined she won't be dumb. At least she should know if he sun goes down in the West then she can locate the other directions from that.


    -- Posted by cjcb on Fri, May 9, 2014, at 6:19 AM
  • My comment was not posted to Pidge.Sorry about that! It was posted to the person who was commenting on Geography. I too, am sorry about the trees that are coming down. It makes me very sad. I think it is unnecessary to cut down large beautiful trees like they have on certain routes and they are NOT rotten, too. I am just trusting that there is a good cause for it.


    -- Posted by cjcb on Fri, May 9, 2014, at 6:24 AM
  • Tar Baby and Troll

    Fraught with dangers is a forum's path.

    Woe to you if you stir someone's wrath.

    Especially troublesome are one, or two;

    first is the Troll who will gnaw and chew.

    The Troll goal is to stir all your hate,

    bite at your head, and slowly masticate.

    After all of your senses are pulverized

    you blurt to hurt, and become despised.

    Equally troubling in my jaundiced view

    is what a lurking Tar Baby can do to you.

    They twist your words as well as their own.

    The more you engage and try best to explain,

    the more they twist and treat with disdain.

    Being stuck to a Tar Baby is not any fun.

    Pull back as you will you can't get undone.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, May 12, 2014, at 1:07 PM
  • Thank you News.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, May 15, 2014, at 12:32 AM
  • Just for clarification I am posting this definition from Wikipedia of "Tar Baby".

    "The Tar-Baby is a fictional character in the second of the Uncle Remus stories published in 1881; it is a doll made of tar and turpentine used to entrap Br'er Rabbit. The more that Br'er Rabbit fights the Tar-Baby, the more entangled he becomes.

    In modern usage, "tar baby" refers to any "sticky situation" that is only aggravated by additional contact."

    Obviously the pragmatic way to thwart a Tar Baby is to ignore it. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, May 15, 2014, at 1:22 AM
  • Empress I pity you, and at the same time find you really creepy for the way you follow me around these forums twisting my words out of context. I could not have been clearer in my use of the term Tar Baby in its original connotation, and you are not so dense as to be unaware of that.

    There is no way in hell you will ever draw me into any sort of discourse with you. So, continue your stalking if it is a compulsion that you can not resist. You have become a non-person to me, someone to be ignored. Get some help so you are able to get a life. Good grief!

    I suppose you will be compelled to respond to this comment. Fire away you will be met only by my silence, and possibly the judgment of others who participate, or read these forums.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, May 15, 2014, at 12:35 PM
  • Hmmm? Did Empress escalate her attacks to another level resulting in her comments being expunged, and banishment?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, May 16, 2014, at 4:04 PM
  • Yes; DO. They not so strangely had a strange affinity for one another, and at times would become a team on certain endeavors. I think that Empress learned the divide and conquer ploy from DO.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, May 16, 2014, at 10:33 PM
  • Great times on Marshall's square on Saturday.

    The weather cooperated and it seemed as if half of the county's citizens were there at one time or another.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, May 19, 2014, at 10:35 AM
  • For a very long time one thing that I have regretted is the lack of a public sense of regret within our observation of Memorial Day.

    It is there on a personal level. I am certain that many who have suffered from a personal loss, that is the death of a loved one in armed conflict, in any one of our many wars, are overcome with regret caused by the attendant loss of one near and dear, as well as the futility of the causative circumstances.

    Yet among all the grand words publically spoken honoring the sacrifice, few deal with the regret at strategic mistakes made leading to the unnecessary deaths of thousands whose absence is grieved.

    How can we properly honor those lost without emphasizing that caution, and care must be taken that not more precious life is lost in those wars essentially provoked by unfounded aggression?

    Somehow though we always manage to do just that with much of the general public address, ignoring regret at our mistakes, and instead ramping up patriotic, jingoistic support for the next, which is likely just around the corner.

    Perhaps it causes just too much anguish for us to collectively acknowledge, and bear; that our pain, our grief, and our loved one's loss all was for naught, when stripped even of the dignity afforded by necessity.

    Thank you for your service, including all of you who continue to serve, voluntarily, or not; by every day bearing the loss of a loved one. Though your hero's pain is gone, yours will always linger on; I am sorry.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, May 26, 2014, at 11:57 AM
  • Though the good times are long gone

    we still some how carry on

    Your loss is with us every day

    we cry or fumble for words to say or pray

    Every morning again it starts

    your absence breaks all our hearts

    Lengthy sighs so like air slowly escaping from a punctured tire

    We some how slog on through this, our enduring mire

    If somehow your effort had assured it would not happen again

    we would all feel better now, about what happened back then

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, May 26, 2014, at 2:23 PM
  • Why do some want us to feel bad or regret having a loved one make the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country?

    We have the most successful voluntary military in the history of the world and I have never talked to a service member that said that they regret that they voluteered. There may be some but I haven't met them. These men and women volunteer knowing that they could lose their life in the line of duty. They don't regret that. They know that the decisions that may put them in danger may be misguided and political but they still serve and do the job to the best of their ability. They may not even respect their boss but their committment to service is unwaivering. The people that make the decisions to send them in harms way should be the ones with regret if their is any. We should be proud as Americans that people are willing to do the job. Our political views should not get in the way of remembering those that have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

    I am proud and when I see a man or woman that is actively serving I like to personally thank them for their service allowing us to have the freedom here that we enjoy. My only regret is that some don't appreciate the freedom they have in this country. The Greatest Country in the history of the World.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Tue, May 27, 2014, at 2:09 PM
  • rr3, what News said plus; I feel fortunate that my step-son was not killed in Iraq, and instead was "just" badly wounded, to the point that he is on permanent 100% disability.

    Have you no shame, or are you simply just ignorant? You said, "Why do some want us to feel bad, or regret having a loved one make the ultimate sacrifice in service to this country?" As you posed it as a question I will explain to you some of the reasons. Firstly, it would be a very sick person who would not regret the death of their child, or loved one under any circumstance.

    If you do not regret the death of everyone of our troops as you insinuate is your position, you do not truly comprehend the sacrifice that has been made by each of them, and their families. On such occasions as Memorial Day it leaves you in the position of hypocritically mouthing patriotic platitudes with no real feelings about the depth of the sacrifice.

    Further, if one truly supports our troops, and loves them for their effort; it require an effort on one's part to do all one can to support them by resisting efforts to put them in harm's way for nefarious reasons. To be in position to accomplish that citizen's (and brother's keeper) duty one must personally examine every call to war. A failure to do so by the citizenry discounts the citizenry's love, and respect for the troops. Additionally it leaves the citizenry in the perilous position of supporting a county's actions whether right, or wrong, which results in abominations such as Nazi Germany.

    I hope that you will consider these points. There are others, but I don't want to overload you at the moment. For all I know you will read them, sneer, and go watch some old John Wayne war movies to avoid reexamining any of your perceptions.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, May 27, 2014, at 4:51 PM
  • I have personally seen a Judge sentence to a year in jail a combat injured soldier suffering from severe PTSD for a non-violent relatively minor crime stimulated by the disability. . The judge then concluded with "thank you for your service". What hypocrisy, what hubris that was.

    It is a good illustration of how meaningless that phrase "thank you for your service" has become. I roll my eye, and nearly throw up when I see folks mutter that cliché out of one side of there mouth while out of the other side they advocate to send them into a new conflict at every latest excuse promoted by the rabble rousing Right to settle any conflict.

    It has become no more than the verbal equivalent of the tattered yellow ribbons people once put on their cars as their only act of patriotism. It has become de rigueur to parrot it when acknowledging a soldier. Most just rattle it off without even thinking about it.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, May 27, 2014, at 8:00 PM
  • Sorry for the loss of your Loved ones for NO reason at all that i can think of! Why hasn't Bush and Cheney Paid with their lives!??? Hope everyone hasn't forgot!!!

    -- Posted by Jo on Tue, May 27, 2014, at 11:00 PM
  • Right on SD!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, May 28, 2014, at 10:42 AM
  • I guess if we never fought a war we would still be ruled by England. If we had never fought a war we would have never had the opportunity to live in the greatest country in the world. If we had never fought a war we would be ruled by Japan or Germany. No country in world has achieved what we have. Totalitarian or communists governments can't do it, they always fail to give their people the freedom and the opportunity that we enjoy. We have enjoyed more wealth in this country then anyone thought possible. Our poor are rich in other countries.

    My only regret is that the people that die in the line of duty cannot enjoy what we do. They serve because they want to, for whatever reason.

    What is funny about how speaking my opinion prompts the name calling from the left. Then they try to tell me that I hate this country more then they do. Well let's just say you got to laugh at what some will say when they have the freedom to say it. Thank you veterans and those actively serving for your service and may we remember always, not just on a special day.

    Another thing the left likes for all of us to forget is that they were for both of the recent wars. That was until the going got tough then they want to turn there back on our men and women. The only thing we should regret about any war is when we don't go in to win it. Once we are in it no matter the reason let's use all of our military force and might to win it and get our men and women back. We let the left prolong Vietnam at the cost of a lot of lives. They have had the same result in Irag and Afghanistan.

    Yes we should regret that people elect politician that will vote for a war then turn against it using men and women's live as pawns for their political gain. Yes we should regret that people in this country will not hold the media in this country accountable for lives they have ruined. Finally yes we should regret that America has been dumbed down to believe that we should feel bad and apologize for the evil of our fore fathers. Some things I do regret but not that people serve this country or that we live in the greatest country in the world. I do not regret the freedom that people can call someone a name when they have a different opinion. I wanted to serve but couldn't but I will always defend freedom even for those that don't agree with me.

    -- Posted by rr3yv0 on Wed, May 28, 2014, at 2:43 PM
  • "Another thing the left likes for all of us to forget is that they were for both of the recent wars. That was until the going got tough then they want to turn there back on our men and women. The only thing we should regret about any war is when we don't go in to win it."-rr3

    That is more uninformed hogwash, and nonsense rr3. All you have to do to rid your mind of such cuckoo perceptions is check the roll call in Congress regarding the Iraq War vote. It was the left that voted against it, excepting courageous votes against it by at least one Republican, Chuck Hagel who had actually seen the horrors of combat and knew better. The center, and the right was who supported that misbegotten mistake.

    I believe that it is psychopathic to not regret anything about any war except not going in it to win it. I think most people would think that it is only very sick people who do not regret that thousands of innocent children died agonizing deaths when we dropped atomic bombs on Japan. You do not regret that? Really?

    Oh well sorry to distract you. Go on back to your library of old John Wayne war movies. By the way you are aware that he never served a day during WWII, typical right wing hypocrite in my opinion.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, May 28, 2014, at 5:18 PM
  • " We have enjoyed more wealth in this country then anyone thought possible. Our poor are rich in other countries."-rr3

    It seems to me rr3 that most thought that this country would enjoy more wealth than most countries for the simple reason that this country had an astounding unrivaled abundance of natural resources. Who is it that you cite that thought any differently than that?

    Our poor are rich in other countries you say. Yes if you consider only those other countries that are in the underdeveloped third world, and in some cases those who are extremely overpopulated such as India. Even India's poor are rising toward the standard of living of our poor because our unchecked corporatocracy aided, and abetted by their Republican lackeys have sent our jobs to India. Compared to the thirty five to forty or so developed nations our poor, and in fact many more of us above the poorest lag woefully behind in most categories.

    Wherever do you get your information? Never mind, I know Limbaugh the big fat druggie liar.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, May 28, 2014, at 11:33 PM
  • I'm fairly liberal fire and I was bullied a little bit, I also did a little bullying I'm ashamed to admit. You live, and learn, right?

    I sure wouldn't want to be on either end of it today, I might get shot. Well, some people live and learn anyway. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, May 29, 2014, at 11:52 PM
  • Reference concern about roughing up rr3; I think rr3 delights in stirring us up, and gets a good laugh every time that we respond at length to his declarations.

    Maybe there is even a remote possibility that he is a brilliant liberal in disguise tutoring us all in responding to the right wing assault on reason. After all no rational person could believe some of the bait he tosses out there for us to chop up. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, May 30, 2014, at 11:47 AM
  • Rr3 is the Costello to our Abbott, the Laurel to our Hardy, the Lewis to our Martin. Without him the show would not go on. The show must go on; so I say to rr3, break a leg trouper!

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Fri, May 30, 2014, at 12:06 PM
  • Here's a question for smokers or non-smokers if they know the answer. Why do smokers think the world is their ashtray? Discarded cigarette butts are everywhere, not to mention the packages and that clear wrapper that comes off of them.

    Do smokers think that all of this just disappears or biodegrades magically? Or, do they really just not care they are trashing up the world?

    -- Posted by Cheese on Sun, Jun 1, 2014, at 11:53 PM
  • Honestly, whenever possible, I just stay away from smokers for the simple reason that they smell bad.

    I am sure that loads of them are nice people with plenty to offer, but given the choice, I stay as far away as necessary.

    -- Posted by Interested Too on Mon, Jun 2, 2014, at 7:57 AM
  • On the topic of littering, I've noticed it's not just cigarette trash. I live on a rural road, and every time I mow the yard/ditch at the edge of my property, I find beer cans/bottles, fast food trash, and occasionally large full bags of trash. I notice them on the highway on my way to town, too -- and not the "No MOre Trash" bags provided by Adopt-A-Highway. The Great Outdoors is not actually a trash receptacle, though it seems no one realizes that. People these days seem to value less and less the land that gives us life, and it irritates me, to say the least.

    -- Posted by My_Two_Cents on Mon, Jun 2, 2014, at 12:16 PM
  • Unfortunately, I think you guys might be right. They just don't care. 90% of the trash I pick up in my yard is either a discarded butt or the wrapper/package. It's really frustrating because as you've said, the thought of tossing anything out my window or when I get out of a car is just something I'd never do. I'd really like to get a smokers thoughts.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Mon, Jun 2, 2014, at 4:07 PM
  • Glad you asked Cheese, lifetime smoker here. As it happens a lifetime smoker who does not smoke in the house, stays away from folks excepting other smokers when I am smoking, and on point; never, ever throw my butts, pack, etc. on the ground.

    There is one exception, if I am on a lawn for instance, I remove the filter, place it in my pocket, shred the tobacco which has a high nitrogen content, and cast it on the ground. I also roll the paper into a tiny ball (about the size of a match head), and discard it. the paper breaks down rapidly remaining unseen until it does.

    In my opinion smokers are like any other group. There is all sort of litter everywhere. I suspect that it is a minority of folks who do it these days. That point would be hard to prove either way without an actual stakeout wherein folks are under surveillance and an actual count is made as to how many do, or don't. When I see trash cans full of the stuff, much more than litters the ground, I'm reckoning that most are doing the right thing.

    Regarding cigarettes, it is a little more difficult to make the determination as outside ashtrays are not as available these days as in the past. However if you really want to get some idea as to how many smokers are using each approach, go to a place outside a building where there is a large ashtray available. Get a rough count as to how many are in the ashtray, compared to how many are littering the ground. Let me know what you come up with. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jun 2, 2014, at 7:37 PM
  • OKR, thanks for being a gracious smoker. If only all smokers were as considerate.

    I think it's a combination of people generally caring less and less about anything other than their own agenda and pure laziness. It's much easier to toss trash and cigarettes out your window than to do the right thing.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Mon, Jun 2, 2014, at 11:53 PM
  • I agree Cheese that there are a lot of thoughtless people around. It has probably always been the case. I reckon the best case scenario is that we can set a good example, and hope that the herd mentality will set in among the offenders, the herd mentality in a good way for a change.;)

    Thanks for the attaboy (you too News). Which also reminds me that perhaps we should give kudos when we are aware of decent behavior.

    Good topic Cheese, thanks for bringing it up.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jun 3, 2014, at 12:36 AM
  • Speaking of being inconsiderate, now if we can only do something about the car stereos with the very loud and thunderous sub-woofers. My house shakes every time one goes by.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Tue, Jun 3, 2014, at 12:51 AM
  • Speaking of littering. How many of you remember what the highways were like back in the early 60's prior to Lady Bird Johnson's no littering campaign. I do it was terrible there was all kind of trash everywhere - people even would dump their old furniture etc just in any old ditch. One of my favorite things when I was little was hanging a piece of paper or tissue out the window of the car to see how long it took to be torn apart and go out the window. Also, having paper cups catch the air and even sometime a hankerchief etc and it would get loose. After Lady Bird and the push in school about littering I stopped doing those things. Dumping laws were put in place and adopt a highway efforts stemmed from back then as our 4-H club did highway clean up.

    -- Posted by Pidge on Wed, Jun 4, 2014, at 4:15 PM
  • Good point Pidge, I well remember the cavalier attitude people had about litter until Lady Bird's appropriate pitch.

    Going back further to the late 40s and the 50s there was much less litter. We bought most of our soda pop, and beer in bottles which were redeemable, two cents per soda bottle a little more for beer bottles as I recall. That was a significant amount in the days when the minimum wage was from eighty cents, graduating to one dollar per hour.

    As kids we used to pick up soda bottles on the way to the neighborhood stores, and have enough to load up on candy when we got there. As we got older we would gather bottles, and with just a little effort gather enough to cruise the traditional route all evening. Gas was twenty cents a gallon, or ten pop bottles a gallon.

    There was less paper, and hardly any plastic/styrofoam litter to discard. Additionally most stopped at drive inn restaurants, parked, ordered, ate, then the wrappers, and empty containers were placed on the tray that hung from your car window. The car hops would then take it back inside when they (mostly teen girls) picked up the trays. There was no drive up window to dispense a load of litter to be tossed out the window after eating, and drinking.

    In the drugstores with soda fountains soft drinks were served in glasses, at the counter, or a booth; you drank them there unless you were a person of color. I had to throw that last phrase in because this was getting to read like things were idyllic. Frankly it was far from that; it was just different problems in a different day.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jun 4, 2014, at 8:15 PM
  • OKR you are confusing me. There was less litter, but people had a more cavalier attitude toward litter. As I follow this, the majority of the litter came only between 1960 and 1965?

    As a product of about the same time period, I can tell you that you are either misremembering the 40s and 50s or you grew up in some very different part of America. Lots of trash along the highways and bi-ways. I can remember as a kid seeing many cars either throwing trash out the windows of moving cars, or pull over to just dump it. Lots of bottles and cans.

    -- Posted by inthemiddle on Sun, Jun 8, 2014, at 7:38 PM
  • Always good Inthemiddle to have more than one perspective on an era. Thanks for sharing.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jun 8, 2014, at 10:49 PM
  • The Highway Beautification Act kicked in in late 1965. The cavalier attitude toward litter of which I spoke was in reference to the sixties; half of said decade had passed before the Act was law. I was not referencing the 40s, and 50s with the statement about people not caring about litter.

    It is not unusual for different people to have different perspectives regarding the past, happens all the time. If we all nailed it I don't suppose we would have a need for so many history books. Even in that venue there are long discussions, and disagreements about what has transpired.

    I did grow up in Marshall and vicinity. Inthemiddle if you were there in the 40s and 50s you do remember the part I shared about recycling bottles?

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jun 8, 2014, at 11:06 PM
  • We use to walk the Highways and pick up Bottles for the Deposit, 2 Cents,a bottle. This was in the early 40s! That took care of the Glass Bottle's!

    -- Posted by Jo on Mon, Jun 9, 2014, at 2:23 PM
  • Hey Jo good to hear from you! I did the same thing that you did, only in the early 50s. It was a good way for poor kids to pick up a little money.

    What a great way it was to encourage recycling, and an effective one. Soda pop was a nickel and you got 40% of that back when you returned the bottle. Do you also remember when folks also saved their bottles at home, then returned them to the grocery store when next getting groceries.

    It is not an idea whose time has passed, it is a timely idea passed over.

    However ten states do have "bottle laws" based on the premise. Oregon has had one for over forty years. In my opinion one of the best ways to get people to do something constructive is to reward them for doing it, and penalize them if they don't. The double whammy works like a charm.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jun 9, 2014, at 5:20 PM
  • For those interested in knowing more about "bottle laws", particularly Oregon's method check out the following link. http://www.deq.state.or.us/lq/sw/bottlebill/index.htm

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jun 9, 2014, at 5:23 PM
  • I wonder how much (or if) a phobia over germs contributed to the end of reusing glass containers. More likely it was an economy move.

    -- Posted by Slater on Thu, Jun 12, 2014, at 7:18 AM
  • Good to hear from you Slater!

    I think it likely that we switched from glass to plastic for economic efficiency. Glass weighs more thus transporting it costs more. Glass is subject to breakage, thus it costs more. Glass containers cost more to produce.

    As is usual we did not look at hidden costs before the move. Our oceans are full of plastic, as are our landfills. That is ignored by most, and cleaning it up is an option, not a necessity to most. We can just kick that plastic bottle down the road. Glass bottles? Not so easy, literally, or figuratively. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Thu, Jun 12, 2014, at 1:23 PM
  • Hey OKR! Hey Jo!

    Disposal certainly is its own animal. I was just recalling the images of the vacated space after the first Earth Day observance ended, spring of around 1969 or 1970? Remember? The mountain of trash left behind by the crowd of 300,000? was disgusting to me, to say the least. Generally speaking, Americans have to be the most hypocritical humans on the planet.

    -- Posted by Slater on Thu, Jun 12, 2014, at 8:25 PM
  • Slater,good to see your OK! You haven't been Posting Lately. Hope everything good with your Health!

    -- Posted by Jo on Fri, Jun 13, 2014, at 5:16 PM
  • All is good Jo, and hope the same for you!

    I look in every now and then, and the glass recycling discussion got me remembering how it used to be.

    I think people our age got to grow up at maybe the best time ever.

    Take care!

    -- Posted by Slater on Sat, Jun 14, 2014, at 11:41 PM
  • There is a good discussion raging in the comments section of the story on the feral cat program/problem.

    Check it out in one click to the link: http://www.marshallnews.com/story/2091972.html

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Sun, Jun 15, 2014, at 12:47 AM
  • Bravo Smart Dog! You should get up on your soap box, er, fire hydrant more often. It enhances saturation when you p*ss off instead of p*ss on. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Mon, Jun 16, 2014, at 9:08 PM
  • Now this is interesting. Yesterday I posted a comment under the feral cat article suggesting that people who don't like the program should consider volunteering or donating to the Animal Shelter or Saline Animal League (SAL). I also criticized the city for not more properly funding the shelter and also suggested that some of the city council people had never visited the shelter nor even understood the role that the SAL played. That posting is now gone! Is the D-N so 'in bed' with the city administration that they won't even allow criticism of them? This removal demands an explanation!

    -- Posted by cmasretire on Tue, Jun 17, 2014, at 11:12 AM
  • I read your post cmasretire and did not note anything particularly incendiary, insulting, or super critical about it. I am in no position to fact check your expressed opinions however. Maybe there will be a word of explanation.

    I certainly did not see anything that my grandmother would be ashamed to read. ;)

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jun 17, 2014, at 11:27 AM
  • Thanks, OR, for the comments. I have criticized the city previously for the way they treat the Animal Shelter as the step-child of the police department, and pointed out that they often have to rely on volunteer help to even blade their parking lot after a snow. City support has improved lately, but still has a long way to go as the Shelter still has to rely too heavily on volunteer help and donations for upkeep, maintenance, and animal care. Our animals deserve better from the city. Shelter staff work hard to maintain a quality facility, but they can only do so much without proper city administration support.

    -- Posted by cmasretire on Tue, Jun 17, 2014, at 11:56 AM
  • Cmas, I didn't see any reason for the comment to be deleted either. It named no names and was a criticism of our city. Fair game in my opinion.

    Shame on you Democrat News for deleting the comment. It's pretty obvious where your favoritism lie. Too bad you've obviously never heard of of unbiased journalism. Did you not learn anything in J-school?

    I hope somebody at city hall is buying you dinner, because they obviously owe you one.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Tue, Jun 17, 2014, at 4:13 PM
  • Do not forget that this forum is a private one, that its very existence is at the discretion of the publisher.

    One's "rights" here are non-existent. We should all keep that in mind.

    So it goes.

    -- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Jun 17, 2014, at 5:19 PM
  • At least there should be an explanation posted. Eric used to give the courtesy of explaining his reasons.

    -- Posted by Cheese on Tue, Jun 17, 2014, at 7:31 PM
  • News,

    Maybe you could offer a primer on the pros and cons of a flat tax system, for me and others with varying degrees of ignorance on the subject.

    -- Posted by Slater on Fri, Jun 20, 2014, at 12:27 PM
  • Slater; I think New & Okla,and myself talked about this on one of my out burst's ! Its been awhile.There is a lot of changes that should be made. Another suggestion is a clear 51% percent Vote on anything taken up for a Vote! And there is other?

    -- Posted by Jo on Fri, Jun 20, 2014, at 8:58 PM
  • When i made a statement back when Bush was Elected. i said that Bush & Cheney would make some strategic appointments to the Courts and other appointments around the states that would destroy our Legal System, when trying to indict some of these corrupt Political Figures! Well look at Chris Christie & that crook Waker! There are other Indictments too numerous to mention! When you have that many Corrupt people to deal with, and so many crooks in the right Position,they get away with it ,or it takes years of our money and time to correct it? Another thing, what happened to the idea of too big to fail! Has anything been broken up??This Country would be in turmoil for a long time to change these things But it would be worth it to the People!!!! Another rant from the old Political dummy!

    -- Posted by Jo on Sat, Jun 21, 2014, at 12:49 AM
  • Jo, I suppose I missed that conversation, but it would be very interesting to see what would happen to a bushel basket full of people directly affected by a flat tax system. I don't think our present congress has enough bran power to figure that part out, even if they had the will.

    -- Posted by Slater on Mon, Jun 23, 2014, at 11:21 PM
  • Why do we have to hear about this after it has followed its course. Were the parties involved too socially important to have a bad light shed upon them? Marshall Democrat News, how did you, in good conscience, ignore this story for so long?


    -- Posted by Who on Thu, Jun 26, 2014, at 1:07 PM
  • I learned on KMBC news today that the former abuse shelter director pled guilty today of embezzlement from the shelter over a five year period. This is the first I have heard about any of this. Will MDN be providing any coverage of this???

    -- Posted by born-n-raised on Thu, Jun 26, 2014, at 1:13 PM
  • Slater: I know the Flat Tax i brought up some time back,But i don't think it was discussed! Sorry,i would like some good information about the idea myself!

    -- Posted by Jo on Thu, Jun 26, 2014, at 3:57 PM
  • Jo, on the surface a flat tax seems to be a logical and straightforward approach for raising money, but maybe the concept is incongruent with capitalism, at least for big money people and corporations.

    Did you know the IRS tax code is over 66,000 pages long?

    lol - Just think! Coupling Reagan's paperwork reduction with no more IRS code books, the country could be re-forested in, oh, 200 years maybe!

    -- Posted by Slater on Thu, Jun 26, 2014, at 8:01 PM
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