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Columbia Missourian FRIDAY & SATURDAY, March 5-6, 2010 — Page 5A

Write.
Reflect.
Respond.

TODAY’S QUESTION
What can be done to bring Google fiber-optic Internet
to Columbia?

C
ities around the U.S. have until March 26 to tell Google if they
are interested in becoming part of its program that would
bring new Internet connections 100 times faster than most
services to communities.
Local businesses are among those showing interest in the 1-gigabit-
per-second trial service.
Although a response from state, county or city governments is
required for consideration, residents and local groups can show their
support on the program’s Web site.
Cities are responding to this call for candidates in a variety of ways.
For the month, Topeka, Kan., has changed its name to “Google, Kan-
sas” in hopes of becoming a candidate for Google’s pilot program. On
the other hand, Columbians have joined together in groups on social
networking sites such as Facebook.
Ian Eyberg, a 26-year-old software developer, co-created a group
called CoMo Fiber in response to the opportunity. He said the fiber-
optic Internet would force other service providers such as Mediacom
and CenturyLink to upgrade services.
— Kourtney Geers
Tell us what you think
E-mail your comments to letters@ColumbiaMissourian.com
Or mail them to: Idea of the Day, P.O. Box 917, Columbia, MO 65205

Child prodigy brings


FAA problems to light
W
hat a week. Health care
debates or non-debates,
that it is fuel for the fires. What else
would Jay Leno, David Letterman,
City Council has bigger
issues than seating
depending on which side Jon Stewart, Comedy Central and
you are on. The war in SNL talk about? They all ran out of
Afghanistan, is it good, better, best, drunk-pilot jokes. Rush Limbaugh
worse or “let’s get out of there.” Eth- will call this a socialist plot lead
ics violations in the U.S. House, at by President Obama. Ralph Nader

I
the New York governor’s mansion will write a book about it, “Unsafe
and not being taken seriously under at Any Airport.” Al Gore will call it t was a small item on Mon- one. That’s why the idea of student
Missouri’s Gray Dome. Bath water a global catastrophe and Sen. John day’s City Council agenda, interns appeals.
contains germs. Leno is back on late McCain will sit back in his leather and council members
night. And the story of the week? senator chair, laugh and say, “The promptly passed the buck to GEORGE Mayoral candidate Sid Sul-
livan touched on this problem of
It is the embar- other guy won.”
rassment of the Third, this was an exceptional
the mayor, who was absent.
I dredge up the seemingly
KENNEDY dependence in his contribution to
Thursday’s Missourian. Candidate
highly trained rare breach of security. Yet there insignificant question of where the Jerry Wade also has mentioned
professionals who are at least six people in the air-con- city manager sits during council council capability in his campaign
occupy the con- trol tower at JFK at any one time, if
trol tower at J. F. not more, according to Sharon Sil-
meetings because it seems to me
– and, I’m pretty sure, to more than
Do we want to be governed literature. When Karl brought it up,
though, Jerry joined the decision to
Kennedy Inter- vering, a retired air traffic control- one council member – symptomatic by the leaders we choose or table. Maybe he thought the time
national Airport ler who worked at the airport. There of a bigger, more important issue
outdone by a kid, are hundreds sitting in darkened that hasn’t gotten the public discus-
by the administrators? wasn’t right.
David who controlled rooms with dancing lights of radar sion it deserves so far in campaign theory of the council-manager form
As outgoing Mayor Darwin Hind-
man ponders the placement of Bill
flight operations
Rosman at one of the
screens showing in two-dimensions
a three-dimensional world. There
season.
That issue is the proper relation-
of government. His question went to
the reality of it. The reality is that
Watkins’ nameplate, he may find
world’s busiest are security doors and locks that the Columbia School Board’s action
ship between the manager, who is the manager typically sets not only instructive. After Ken Green ques-
airports. must be properly keyed. Supervi- hired to administer our city govern- the agenda for council meetings
Yet he was good. The kid did not sors are overlooking every opera- tioned the centrality of the super-
ment, and the council, which we but the agenda for city government
skip a beat. His language was better tion and command. What the heck intendent at board meetings, Chris
elect to set policies for the manager itself. There’s nothing new about
than the air-traffic controller from happened? Belcher was displaced from the
to administer. that. His critics, of whom I occa-
Brooklyn. I did not understand him Who knew that the FAA had a middle of the table.
The bigger issue was raised last sionally was one, complained of Ray
and I am a pilot and Brooklyn is “Bring your kid to work and let him My impression is that activist
year by Third Ward Councilman Beck’s dominance. It’s true that Ray
my native language. Listen to the guide the international flights from School Board members, unham-
Karl Skala, first when he wanted was an uncommonly effective and
recordings online. I personally liked the runways” day. pered by a restrictive charter, also
to advise City Manager Bill Wat- dedicated leader. These days, his
the report on Fox News linked by are getting more closely involved
In my half-century of flying pri- kins on the hiring of a new police successor is playing the same role,
AOL. than their City Council counter-
vate aircraft, I can say that one idiot chief and again when he suggested if less overtly.
Fox’s Scott Brenner, when asked if parts.
does not represent the air traffic that council members should have How could it be otherwise? Knowl-
he could explain how this could hap-
controllers I have worked with and I “advise and consent” authority in edge is power, and the manager has Reasonable people will disagree
pen, responded the same as every
have known. Their professionalism the hiring of all department heads. a huge built-in knowledge advantage about the proper relationship
pilot responded today, “No. I can’t
as the silent hands guiding those Karl got slapped around a bit by over his putative bosses. He and between elected officials and hired
explain it.” My dad, a pilot since
magnificent men and their flying some colleagues and the commen- his staff draw up the budget, the professionals. As a small “d” demo-
1939, laughed. I laughed. The con-
machines is unmatched. tariat and shut up, at least tempo- blueprint for government action. He crat, I’d put the question this way:
trollers? They did not laugh.
Before 9/11, pilots were often Let the FAA handle the internal rarily. and his staff suggest how the coun- Do we want to be governed by the
encouraged to visit an airport’s con- affairs of dad’s day gone bad; a lot Then last month he raised the cil should decide most of the major leaders we choose or by the admin-
trol tower by the FAA. Even in sim- of people will be losing their jobs smaller issue. Ken Green, biblio- questions. It is, after all, his staff. istrators they select?
pler days, they would never allow over this. More importantly, Con- phile, newspaper reader and all- Council members, while they do However you answer that ques-
me, a pilot since 1969, to control a gress must look at this incident in around good citizen, chimed in. hear from constituents and while tion, I suspect you agree that the
Piper Cub taking off from a dirt the light of the successes and fail- The Missourian report quoted him: some of them do undertake individ- candidates for City Council and
strip. Today, the control tower and ures of the Transportation Security “Why does our City Council give ual fact-finding, know mostly what School Board should explain their
air traffic control centers are sup- Administration and Homeland Secu- our manager a seat, and dead center the manager tells them about most views before we vote in April.
posed to be sterile environments, as rity and ask, “Can you explain how to boot? The city manager works for issues. They’re not even supposed to
this happened?” the council, which in turn works for George Kennedy is a former managing
secure as Fort Knox. Was this kid’s question the manager’s staff except editor at the Missourian and professor
name Goldfinger? If the answer is “no,” consider the citizens of Columbia.” through him. They have no inde- emeritus at the Missouri School of
There are three reasons why this revamping the entire system. Or Ken accurately summarized the pendent staff and no budget to hire Journalism.
story is so important. Stunts like allow the 7-year-olds to take care of
this kill people. OK, the kid, 6 or 7
years old, had a handle on the situ-
America’s security needs. After all,
they have proved themselves on the
To the editor To the editor
ation, had the language down pat,
was understandable and may even
be a child aviation prodigy. But
flight line at J.F.K.
David Rosman is an award-winning
editor, writer, professional speaker and
No-brainer that installing Nolen’s urging for passage of
control 747s? He’s not had time to
finish the FAA controller’s training
college instructor in communications,
ethics, business and politics. Read cameras will deter crime health care strikes a chord

W T
his blog at InkandVoice.wordpress.
program. com. He welcomes your comments at e support city-placed surveillance cameras hanks to Rose Nolen for her article about pass-
Second, the stupidity is so rare ProfDave1011@netscape.net. downtown. The police chief ing health care legislation now.
would control their place-
ment. We already have
Scott & It would be a crime against
humanity to allow this opportu-
George
city-owned cameras in police vehicles Cheryl nity for health care legislation to falter. W.
controlled by the police chief. Many I listened to the health care summit last
businesses have cameras. The city has Orr week and, in reality, I could hear very Burgin
cameras on the new municipal build- little difference between the two parties
ing. Cameras are an excellent crime deterrent with no as they discussed our current system and its need for
downside. If you want privacy, stay home. Cameras do reform. This legislation should have passed months ago.
work; they caught Adam Taylor’s attackers. Please vote If it takes the reconciliation method, let’s get it done.
“yes” on cameras. The Democrats may lose some seats in November, but
Scott and Cheryl Orr live in Boone County; Scott Orr’s office is they will gain them back in a short time.
in downtown Columbia. George W. Burgin lives in Columbia.
General Manager Executive Editor Managing Editor Opinion Editor
Daniel S. Potter Tom Warhover Jeanne Abbott Jake Sherlock
potterds@ warhovert@ abbottjm@ sherlockj@ DOONESBURY by GaRry Trudeau
missouri.edu missouri.edu missouri.edu missouri.edu

“I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected
with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for
the public; that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is
a betrayal of this trust. I believe that clear thinking and clear statement,
accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism.”
Walter Williams, founding dean,
missouri school of journalism
WRITE: Letter to Editor, P.O. Box 917, Columbia, MO 65205
E-MAIL: letters@ColumbiaMissourian.com
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