Old Drum

Commentary on Warrensburg, Johnson County and Missouri issues from a Libertarian perspective. View my earlier commentary at www.olddrum.net.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Frustrating Things

A totally non-political posting this time. I find 2 things with local "media" very frustrating.

1. The peson who delivers the DSJ throws it into the deepest patch of weeds he can reach. My driveway is all of about 10 yeards wide, you'd think he could drop a paper into that size space.

2. I-land internet dialup. It's become highly undependable lately (since the 800-number debacle). We get dropped, connected at very slow speeds, etc. If anyone has any experience, good or bad, with any of the many other dial-up ISPs around, plesae let me know so I can do something while waiting for WIld Blue to be available. And they have to compatible with Firefox, Thunderbird and Opera.


Friday, July 28, 2006

All the News follow-up

Kudos to digitalBurg.com for investigating the Scully case dispute in detail. The article provides a lot of background information. I do not see why the Daily Star Journal could not have conducted a similar in-depth reporting and saved themselves a lot of criticism.

Well, actually, I do. They,like most print news, are understaffed in the reportage department, and there's a lot of local activity to cover. It's too bad that there is no way for the regular citizen to access the agendas and minutes of the dozens of committees, boards and other organizations subject to the Sunshine Law.

In Liberty

Monday, July 24, 2006

Candidates on the radio

If you want to learn more about the candidates for the 121st District legislative seat, listen to KOKO. That's right, there are 3 candidates for the seat, which represents the Holden, Centerview, Warrensburg, Montserrat and Knob Noster areas. Each of them has a program on Warrensburg's KOKO 1450 AM radio, where each talks with local radio icon Marion Woods.

Here's the schedule:
Republican incumbent David Pearce - Fridays at 8:30 AM
Democrat Jeffrey Alvorado - Wednesdays at about 8:45 or 8:50 AM
Libertarian Bill Wayne (yup, that's me) - Wednesdays at 9:10 AM

So y'all come, listen and hear where each of us stands!


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Prosecutors and Judges

Last night at a local Libertarian Party meeting, we were discussing the various races in other parties (since our candidates are unopposed in August). We reached the conclusion that it's kind of a shame that candidates for judge aren't allowed to actually "campaign." Last week I commented on Robin Scully case, pressed by the local prosecutor who is running for Associate Circuit Judge. That brought to mind the Raymond Wood case, in which the same prosecutor was chastized for "coercive government misconduct" when the cofession, gained by Wood's minister, was thrown out see Gadfly 203 [link corrected]. Somebody else thought they remembered a problem with the CMSU dorm fire case. I wonder what else is out there?

Those are the kind of thing a judicial candidate should be asked to discuss, even under current rules, since they bear on judicial philosophy and temperament. Even those who vote based on name recognition ought to at least have the information available to ignore if that's their desire.


Friday, July 07, 2006

All the News They See Fit to Print?

Did you see the letter in today's DSJ? The one from Robin Scully's atttorney which essentially accused the DSJ of shoddy journalism? In essence, it says that they printed a press release from the Prosecutor's office as a news story and, not only wouldn't check with the defense attorney, but wouldn't print anything showing a second side to the story.

This isn't the first time there's been some questionable material presented as news. Back in 1997, during the run-up to the zoning election, the DSJ printed a series of "factual answers" about the zoning plan, written by the chairman of the zoning board. The opposition had to buy ads to refute these "factual answers." If you're interested, I still have the info at Olddrum.net. A few months ago, an article criticizing President Bush was printed without identifying it as opinion or identifying the author as a local Democratic Party activist and "strategist." These are a couple off the top of my head.

Now, I don't know any more about whatever details of the Scully case may be under dispute. I do know that the evidence gathered was thrown out, and with it the case against Mr. Scully. It would have been nice to know the details.

I've never claimed to be a journalist and was always more comfortable doing "commentary" than news in the infrequent items I wrote for the late and lamented "Warrensburg Free Press." Nevertheless, when doing news or candidate interviews I tried ot keep my personal opinion out of the article (and yes, it's hard sometimes). I believe that the press has the duty to present unslanted news (vs. opinion or "analysis"), and that it has even a stronger duty to balance what it may inadvertently slant.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July 5thThoughts

Have you noticed that E-10 ethanol gas is no longer cheaper than regular? Demand increased as more E-85 stations opened and more consumers decided to take advantage of the lower price of E-10. Increased demand and static supply equals higher prices - it's an immutable law of economics. Normally, additional production comes on line and prices eventually return to competitive levels. However, this doesn't happen when the government meddles - Governor Blunt is going around the state bragging on his new state law to require all regular gas to contain ethanol. He thinks that supply will grow enough in 18 months to meet demand; we'll see about that. I'm well aware of the economic squeeze affecting farmers, but they were doing well enough on building the ethanol market without state "help."

Warrensburg's Zoning Commission approves a replat of one property that was laid out improperly, while the Board of Adjustment is forcing another property owner to tear down part of a garage that was laid out improperly. Application of zoning rules seems to be highly arbitrary, which is a good reason to oppose zoning in the country.

Great fireworks display last night. Good crowd over by the Multi where we watched the show; I heard that not so many people went to crane Stadium (the ballpark) to listen to the concert first. It's supposedly paid for by donation, so I tossed in some money when the contribution box came along - entertainment shouldn't be a function of government (although city and county emergency services were definitely there, just in case).

In Liberty

Monday, July 03, 2006

Persona non grata follow-up

(see my 6/13 post before reading this)

Well, Sandra did get an email from the Mayor stating that she had attempted to call Sandra and the line was always busy (must have used the phone book - that's the line I use for internet!). Mayor Arwood also said that her appointments were required to be city residents. OK, we can accept that. However -

We're still personae non grata with the Chamber, otherwise maybe they'd have tried to get us to join. Despite my lack of enthusiasm about the quality of their efforts to promote tourism, we'd join if we thought it would create a reasonable amount of business for our B&B. Unfortunately, they couldn't answer some basic questions about their website traffic - it turns out they have no tracker on the site.

It's essential for a commercial website to have a tracker that tells how much traffic each page gets and where it comes from. That's just a basic part of the internet marketing budget, and it's CHEAP! I work with a program called SuperStatZ which is widely used by the B&B industry - only $120 per year. Then, there's Google Analytics, which is free. I don't know exactly what it does, but almost anything Google does works well.

As we travel throughout the state & country (see our travel website at MissouriDayTrips.com where we just posted info from our trip west back in March/April), we pick up brochures for various localities. Without fail, they do a better job of presenting attractions that people might want to stop and see than does anything Warrensburg puts out.

Isn't it time that the GWACC&VC started using its $90,000 room tax money to promote Warrensburg tourism instead of just responding to requests? Isn't it time to get "proactive?" Create an "attractions" page at the website? Create a real tourism brochure? Create a group travel and convention page on the website (plus a brochure)? Prove to the in-town lodging owners that they're doing something to bring in the guests who pay the bills? Isn't it better to earn more more than to beg for it (the Chamber's "Twilight Cruise" event).

For Tourism and Accountability