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SHRUGGING IT OFF: Kewpies overcome losing streak, beat Washington to advance to district semifinals.

SPORTS, 1B
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“JUST HEARTBREAKING”
AT LEAST 65 DEAD AFTER QUAKE STRIKES ONE OF NEW ZEALAND’S LARGEST CITIES

COLUMBIA DAILY

22 pages — 50 cents ■ Columbia, Missouri ■ www.columbiatribune.com TUESDAY, February 22, 2011

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI Council


OKs plan
for hotel
Tax money would go
toward development.
BY WILL GULDIN
wguldin@columbiatribune.com | 815-1733
The Regency Hotel redevelopment plan
received the Columbia City Council’s unani-
mous approval last night. The project would
use tax increment financing to help pay for its
costs.
This form of taxpayer support would use
some of the new tax revenue the project gen-
erates to pay back the developer, David Parm-
ley, for some of his costs. This project would
receive about $3.2 million in TIF funding over
23 years. Overall, the project’s cost is around
$17.5 million.
Parmley’s plan for the Regency would
replace the downtown hotel with a seven-sto-
ry boutique hotel with more than 100 rooms.
It would create about 30 jobs and drastically
increase sales tax revenue, according to a pre-
sentation from attorney Robert Hollis.
Much like other steps in the approval pro-
cess, the TIF application received wide sup-
port from the council.
“I think we’re very fortunate to have some-
Parker Eshelman/Tribune
one with some roots in town here,” First Ward
Councilman Paul Sturtz said, noting Parmley’s
MU engineering Professor Randy Curry leads a tour of the Center for Physical and Power Electronics today before a groundbreaking ceremony for
a second lab. Curry’s projects have included devising a way for military troops to disarm improvised explosive devices from a safe distance.
Hampton Inn project at Stadium Boulevard
and College Avenue. “It looks like he has a
commitment to do an excellent project.”

A JOLT FOR RESEARCH


Other members of the council also voiced
their support.
“As a community, we should feel fortunate,”
Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser said.
“We are in an economy that is seeing many
communities dwindling. We have people that
Power projects get brief tour of the lab space he has out-
grown. Although the building is not
Inside one chamber in the lab, Curry
and his team are developing a new type
months. The roughly $600,000 project
will be paid for by the College of Engi-
are wanting to invest in our downtown.”
No one from the public spoke against the
additional space. much more than a warehouse, it lets his
team of 28 faculty and staff members
of antenna that could someday replace
large-scale cell phone towers.
neering and Curry’s research money,
said Jan Wiese-Fales, a spokeswoman
project.
Also on the agenda was an agreement for a
BY JANESE SILVEY and students work with some of the The existing lab simply isn’t large for the department. new parking garage along Short Street. This
jsilvey@columbiatribune.com | 815-1705 most sophisticated equipment in the enough to house other projects Curry Curry is one of the most well-funded would be next to the new Regency Hotel.
University of Missouri administra- country. That gives students a chance has in mind. He won’t delve too deeply researchers on the MU campus. Since Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine
tors today broke ground on a second to work with technology on par with or into details of his work, citing both early 2008, he has snagged more than said the new garage would cost around $7 mil-
facility where a computer engineering even better than what they’ll find in the classified and proprietary information, $9 million from federal agencies, main- lion. The city also would pay Parmley slightly
professor plans to expand research industry. but in general he said the new facility ly through the Department of Defense more than a million dollars for the land itself.
aimed to help U.S. troops and improve There are a number of projects going will house projects relating to alterna- and the Department of Energy. He has Of the 300 spaces, Parmley would lease a third
life on the home front. on at the center. Over the past several tive energies and lasers. He expects MU contracts with all branches of the mili- from the city. Another 100, according to city
It’s the second roughly 6,000-square- years, Curry has developed a way to use to lead the way when it comes to find- tary and also is securing patents that documents, are expected to be leased by the
foot lab College of Engineering Profes- short bursts of electricity, or pulse ing new compact ways to store energy, have civilian applications. time the garage would be finished. The coun-
sor Randy Curry has helped fund in the power, to allow troops to disarm impro- which could lead to more practical use Ultimately, the expansion of Curry’s cil could vote on the garage proposal during
past three years. In 2008, the existing vised explosive devices from a safe dis- of wind turbines and electric cars. work should mean more spinoff com- its March 7 meeting.
Center for Physical and Power Elec- tance. He also has found a way to lessen “We’ve got some new, exciting proj- panies and high-tech jobs in Missouri, Hollis said the next step is for Parmley to
tronics lab was built off Carrie Francke the impact of shock waves from explo- ects on the horizon,” Curry said. “Some said Marty Walker, director of adminis- secure private financing for the project. He
Drive, but Curry said he quickly ran out sions, and he has been developing I can’t go into.” trative services for the College of Engi- has until December to do that, according to
of space there. high-voltage switches “that can be very The new building, which will extend neering. “The main question is, ‘Will all the plan, and then demolition would begin.
Before the noon groundbreaking compact and fit onboard mobile plat- off the east side of the existing center, is of these projects make society better?’ ” “It’s his intention to move much more
ceremony, Curry took reporters on a forms,” he said. expected to be built in about three Walker said. “The answer is ‘yes.’ ” quickly than that,” Hollis said of the timeline.

Perception of public unions takes a hit


Wisconsin clash are bleeding state governments since 1985. According to a survey
dry. released last year by the Pew
“In a sense you could argue that
they were too successful,” Gely
workers are the lowest paid of any
U.S. state.
and instead maintain a meet-and-
confer policy with regard to labor
ignites debates. According to figures released in Research Center, favorability for
January by the U.S. Department of labor unions was at 42 percent in
said.
In Missouri, lawmakers in the
And, in the past, Missouri lead-
ers have shown their willingness to
disputes.
As a result of the 2007 Supreme
BY ANDREW DENNEY Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010. Republican-controlled General restrain the power of public-sector Court decision, governments do
adenney@columbiatribune.com | 815-1719 total union membership — includ- Rafael Gely, a University of Mis- Assembly have shown their dis- unions. not have to take part in collective
In Wisconsin, a proposal to end ing private- and public-sec- INSIDE: souri law professor who taste for unions in general, and In 2005, then-Gov. Matt Blunt, a bargaining with employees, but
collective-bargaining rights for tor employees — declined Wisconsin specializes in labor law, legislative panels have heard pro- Republican, rescinded an execu- agreements reached in meet-and-
public employees has driven thou- nationwide from 2009 to governor said resentment toward posals to make Missouri a right-to- tive order that permitted state confer proceedings are legally
sands to the streets in protest, and 2010. However, during that warns of unionized workers is work state. workers to take part in collective binding.
similar clashes between labor and period, unions in Missouri layoffs. fueled by the comparative- In addition, state leaders have bargaining. Kevin Boyer, president of the
Republican governors have ignited bucked the trend and added PAGE 10A ly lucrative pension and shown their willingness to attempt But in 2007, the Missouri Missouri chapter of the National
in other Midwestern states. about 10,000 more workers. health insurance plans to remedy the state’s budget deficit Supreme Court ruled teachers and Association of Letter Carriers, a
While there is no similar pro- More than 36 percent of public- they receive. through hiring freezes, layoffs and public employees have the consti- public-sector union for postal
posal in Missouri now, the contro- sector employees were union In addition, unions have been mandatory payments into pension tutional right to bargain collec- workers, said collective bargaining
versy in Wisconsin comes at a time members. successful in the past with advo- funds by employees. tively with their employers. protects government workers’ right
when most states — Missouri The controversy over public- cating for legislation protecting According to a 2010 report from The city of Columbia and Boone to a fair wage.
included — are facing budget defi- sector unions also is erupting at a workers’ rights, thus eroding their the Missouri Budget Project, a County, like most local entities in “If you don’t have collective bar-
cits, and opponents of public-sec- time when public favorability for image as the defender of those think-tank that advocates for low- Missouri, do not take part in col- gaining, the best you can hope for
tor unions are arguing such groups unions has reached its lowest point rights. income residents, Missouri state lective bargaining with employees is collective begging,” Boyer said.

WEATHER INDEX DEATHS


City picks temporary leader for tourism bureau Tonight Annie’s Mailbox 9A Lydia Dowdell
Eddie Lewis
City Manager Bill Watkins has chosen the welcome mat out.” ment Council in Flor- Business 7B
an acting director for the Columbia Although the announcement about ida. Steiner’s salary in Suzanne Ferris
Convention and Visitors Bureau, tempo- the appointment was made yesterday, the final year of her Classified 9B Ellen McCubbin
John Grider
rarily filling the vacancy left when Lorah
Steiner departed last week.
Amy Schneider joined the CVB staff in
Schneider’s employment will be consid-
ered effective as of last Wednesday, and
her annual salary will increase from
tenure was $100,408.
Steiner’s position
was one of several top
LOW 29 Comics
Contract Bridge
6B
9A
DAILY
July 2007 as sales manager, and Watkins around $46,300 to $76,000 during the city posts to come Amy Schneider Tomorrow Editorial 4A
said her experience there will make for appointment. She has more than 16 open in recent months. Those departing Horoscope 9A
an easier transition. years of experience in the hospitality include Watkins and Columbia Fire Lottery numbers 11A
“I will depend on Amy’s steady hand business, mostly with hotels. She has a Chief Bill Markgraf, both retiring soon.
in this key position as we continue to bachelor’s degree in hotel and restau- The application deadline for a perma- Movies 9A

51 36 5A
recruit and select a permanent bureau rant management from the University of nent director of the CVB was Feb. 8, and Opinion
director,” Watkins said in a prepared Missouri. an advisory committee will have its first HIGH LOW Scoreboard 2B 6 31045 24001 6
statement. “CVB is a gateway to the Steiner left the CVB for a position with meeting Feb. 28.
community, and I know she will keep the Charlotte County Tourist Develop- — Andrew Denney More weather on Page 11A VOL. CX, NO. 161