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N E W S
June 1, 2008 — 9A
Bargain hunters relish treasures
Hundreds of early risers flock to MU’s rummage sale.
By MICHAEL SEWALL
news@ColumbiaMissourian.com It’s 4:30 Saturday morning, still dark. A heavy fog hovers above the bleachers of Memorial Stadium. The only noises are birds chirping, streetlights buzzing and the fading sound of cars passing. A car pulls up and a woman in a yellow volunteer shirt gets out. It’s Janet Kimmons, a volunteer coordinator with the Salvation Army, who showed up early expecting a large crowd. “They’ll show up anytime now,” Kimmons said. And they did. Most said they came for bargains or shopping for school. Others said “insomnia and idiocy” and “early bird gets the worm.” MU student Ray Mitchell and Pooneh Bagher, a postdoctoral fellow at MU, were the first members of what was soon to be a long line. “Is there some garage sale thing here?” Mitchell said. The “garage sale” he asked about was Tiger Treasures, a rummage sale of items donated by
MU students, collected in MU residence halls, Greek houses and university student apartments. The official start time was 7 a.m., but by 5:30 a.m. a line wrapping around the east side stands had already formed. Each of the “early birds” paid $5 to enter at 6 a.m. Mitchell and Bagher didn’t have a problem waking up to be the first in line — they didn’t sleep. Mitchell heard about the sale from a coworker at Eastside Tavern, where he got off his shift at 1:30 a.m. He and Bagher then killed time getting a late night breakfast at IHOP, and then Waffle House, before heading to Memorial Stadium. They said they were bargain hunters and fans of thrift stores. “Look at us,” Bagher said, describing hers and Mitchell’s thrift store clothes. Columbia College student Meredith Green also showed up early with friends and said she liked bargains. “I want the best picks,” said Green, who was hoping to find a TV and a coffee table, among other things. But Green said her thriftiness is nothing compared
Treasure hunters search for clothing and other items Saturday morning at the Tiger Treasures rummage sale at Memorial Stadium. Those at the beginning of the line for the 6 a.m. opening had been waiting almost two hours. Admission was $5 before 7 a.m. and free after.
to that of her aunt, who told Green about Tiger Treasures. “She calls me every time she finds a garage sale,” Green said. Boonville resident Helen Sutton described herself as a frequent garage saler. She said she goes to garage sales around Boonville almost every weekend, most times just to see what is available. Sutton runs a day care out of her home and said she finds a lot of toys for children. “You never know what you’ll come across,” Sutton said. When the time finally came for the early birds to enter, the line had amassed to about 800 people, Tiger Treasures coordinator Steve Burdic said. When the gate opened, the crowd rushed through, intent on finding the best items they could and beating others to the punch. Inside, frenzied shoppers jogged between the various areas — clothing, appliances, electronics. Within minutes, almost every television, couch and refrigerator was claimed, and the people who failed to arrive sooner were the ones who suffered. “You can’t get here early enough,” Columbia resident Steve Harris said. Even the early birds couldn’t catch all the worms. Green found the coffee table, couch and television stand she wanted but couldn’t reach the televisions before they were spoken for. Burdic said the day was successful as both a recycling promotion and a community event. “One of the things we worked on this year was making it a community event,” said Burdic, who is also MU’s coordinator of solid waste and recycling. “The takeaway for me is how happy the people are to come buy the stuff.” Last year, the sale raised about $10,000 to donate to United Way. Official numbers will not be released for a few weeks, but Burdic said he expected about the same result as last year. By about 10 a.m., Burdic said 2,500 people came to the sale, with others trickling in after that.
View more photos and video of the rummage sale online at ColumbiaMissourian.com.
Students’ trash is another’s treasure. Patrons wait with their morning finds in the checkout line at the second annual Tiger Treasures sale on Saturday.
City Council, advisory boards try to improve relations
A work session was held to better communication.
By KOURTNEY GEERS
news@ColumbiaMissourian.com For the first time, four of Columbia’s advisory boards and commissions were able to meet with the City Council in an effort to improve communications and facilitate better relations. During the City Council’s work session Saturday morning, representatives from GetAbout Columbia, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Water and Light Advisory Board and the Environment and Energy Commission came before the council to introduce ideas and voice their concerns. The groups were chosen as priorities by the council.
“At 30 minutes each, we were only able to meet with so many commissions. We picked the ones that were important to meet with prior to the retreat and budget process,” Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said. Hoppe indicated that prior to this meeting, communication was less than ideal. “Occassionally, there would be some meetings. There really has not been much communication formally. If you were interested in communicating with your councilperson, you could call up the chair or talk to someone when you see them in the store or downtown,” Hoppe said. Council members are pleased to see that a change is taking place. “There has been an interest since I have been on the
council to pay more attention to the work of the boards and commissions and to have more official interaction,” Hoppe said. Each group expressed their gratitude for the opportunity. John Ott, who was representing GetAbout Columbia, said, “The attention of the whole council outside of a council meeting and in a work session is rare so it was a great chance to talk to them about the project.” In preparation for the meeting, the council sent a questionnaire to each board in order to gauge concerns and priorities that needed to be addressed. Responses varied from budget concerns to fundamental alterations to the city’s charter. Some responses addressed
concerns with the performance of the council in terms of its ability to communicate effectively with advisory groups. For example, Water and Light Advisory Board Chairman John Conway wrote that his commission is “not always sure what the council expects from the board.” Conway’s response was directly addressed in the work session by Hoppe, illustrating the council’s concern for failures in communication such as this. The council has created a rough outline of improved communication through two avenues. They intend to meet with every board and commission, and also have requested written quarterly reports from each group as needed. Fourth Ward Councilman
Jerry Wade said, “The quarterly information will serve as an open line of communication for overarching concerns.” Quarterly reports will be formally introduced into the council agenda for review. “The meeting was beneficial for both groups. We can’t communicate enough,” Ott said. “My preference would be to get another meeting in person if at all possible, but I still think reports could be a positive thing.” The council was also able to make connections between groups with common interests and further the goals of the commissions. “Our commissioners are great resources and we should make good use of their work,” Hoppe said. “We should help them accomplish more, which will help us accomplish more.”
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