On the side of a barn, both tribute and hope for the future | Opinion

BY: - October 22, 2021

Our century-old pink barn sits in an unfortunate trajectory on a treacherous curve on Old U.S. 59 Highway in rural Douglas County, Kansas. More than once, an over-served driver has topped the hill and launched their vehicle through the south side of the building. Whenever this happened my husband, Joe Skeeba, had to rebuild a […]

Where there’s a will there’s a way: Investing in Missouri public schools | Opinion

BY: and - October 19, 2021

Missourians, if you would be so kind, please indulge us by participating in a brief exercise. First, raise your hand if you would support proposals to increase our state’s public school teacher salaries — the salaries of those same teachers whose Social Security numbers recently were reported to be vulnerable to public access. Second, keep […]

Capitol Perspectives: A personal perspective of Todd Akin

BY: - October 18, 2021

I write this column about Todd Akin hoping it provides readers a better perspective about journalists and public officials, but also that it might encourage politicians and public officials to be less hostile about journalistic motivations. Akin’s Oct. 3 death reminded me of the special relationship we had which I suspect will surprise many of […]

Funding prisons is a higher priority than funding education in most states. Why? | Opinion

BY: - October 18, 2021

In America, the land of the free, there are more prisons and more prisoners than any other country in the world. This is not a new phenomenon. For decades, the rate of imprisonment in the United States has been more than twice that of its nearest developmental counterpart. The long-standing question, both at home and […]

Missouri’s black bear hunt is conservation in action | Opinion

BY: - October 15, 2021

Missourians should be ecstatic that we are now reopening bear hunting. Despite the claims in a recent opinion piece by the Humane Society’s Cody Atkinson that this is a “trophy” hunt, black bears have historically been and continue to be hunted for the same reasons that whitetail deer, elk and other charismatic wildlife are. Hunting fosters a […]

Capitol Perspectives: The governor’s charge of a journalist hack

BY: - October 15, 2021

I’m writing this column after one of the most vicious and unfounded attacks I’ve heard by a Missouri governor against a major Missouri news organization. It involves the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story published Thursday about how a state education department website allowed access to the Social Security numbers of teachers. Rather than praising the newspaper’s […]

How one policy change can help Missouri keep families together and reduce recidivism | Opinion

BY: - October 14, 2021

Imagine you are eight months pregnant and about to complete a prison sentence. You give birth and the baby is then taken away from you and placed into foster care. Now imagine the same scenario, except you give birth in a prison, are allowed to care for your baby until your brief sentence is over […]

Two yellow school buses are show in bright sunshine outside a two-story brick school building in Columbia, Missouri.

Rocky start to school year shows need for more choice in Missouri | Opinion

BY: - October 13, 2021

Talk about dashed hopes.  A school year that began weeks ago with at least the promise of a return to normalcy after 18 months of pandemic-driven disruption has again descended into near-chaos.  Across the state, thousands of students are quarantined, fistfights are breaking out at school board meetings in disputes over mask policies and the […]

The costs of not spending $3.5 trillion | Opinion

BY: - October 12, 2021

For weeks there’s been intense debate regarding a proposed $3.5 trillion-dollar budget plan facing the U.S. Senate. Some Democrats say we should spend more. Others say we should spend less. For the most part, Republicans say no to the whole darn thing. Politics are fun, are they not? Surely, dollars matter. Anyone making the case […]

Missouri’s upcoming black bear trophy hunt is reckless and irresponsible | Opinion

BY: - October 11, 2021

With its trophy hunt on black bears in the state set to begin in a few days, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has taken a reckless and irresponsible turn. A turn against science. A turn against ecology. A turn against public values. Like many wildlife agencies around the country, and driven by its governor-appointed […]

Corporate meat lobby claims they’re the scapegoat when they’re really the problem | Opinion

BY: - October 8, 2021

Recently, in a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), a mouthpiece for the corporate meatpacking industry, complained that the Biden Administration’s work to combat concentration in the agriculture industry cannot ignore the “fundamental principles of supply and demand.” Let us look at some facts to counter their claims. […]

Have Americans joined the two-thirds world? | Opinion

BY: - October 6, 2021

Since college, I have heard from people raised in other countries that Americans are uniquely optimistic people. I recall sharing a ride one Thanksgiving. We were moaning about our shared student poverty when a Korean student spoke up: “What’s different about you Americans is you all are certain you will outgrow your student poverty. It’s […]