Notes from the front lines

(being an irregular compilation of miscellaneous things that cross the Missourinet news desk that don’t rise to the level of full bloghood.)

We wonder how many Missourians get automated calls from polling companies that ask people to use the touch pad on their phones to give answers to various questions—and they are so irritated by (a) the call and (b) the automated poll that indicates the interested party doesn’t really care about them enough to have a real person call. And we wonder how many people getting those calls are upset enough that they answer every question with a lie. We wonder if the polling firms that compile the results have a system that factors in the likelihood that people do just that.

We got a call the other day asking us about Amendment 7, the transportation sales tax.

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We wrote a story the other day and all the time we were writing we asked ourselves, “Why are we writing this story?’ It was about a Laclede County man whose death was attributed to the West Nile Virus. He’s the first fatality from the mosquito-borne disease. Last year, two Missouri deaths were attributed to WNV and 29 illnesses.

West Nile deaths have been news stories for years and we have started to wonder why they are news.

We’re about to declare that it isn’t as far as the Missourinet is concerned, and won’t be unless we see the number of cases reach triple or quadruple numbers.

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The next time your state Senator or Representative starts talking about the need for tax cuts for small businesses being essential to a growing economy, consider this:

The Small Business Administration is redefining “small business.” J. D. Harrison of the Washington Post reports the new definition could include a family clothing store or software publisher with income up to $38.5 million a year. He also reports companies can have as many as 1,500 workers and still be considered “small businesses.”

The definitions will apply at different levels to different kinds of businesses.

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And finally–

We hope it’s more than just going through the movements: Springfield will be the host city of the North American Manure Expo tomorrow and Wednesday. These folks seem to have a certain drollness about them. Their website says: “We know your time is valuable. But so is every gallon and pound of manure being applied to your fields. You can’t afford to miss the 2014 North American Manure Expo, the only trade show on the continent to focus specifically on manure management and application issues. It would be a real waste to your wallet.”

Nothing on the webpage indicates if the conference will focus on getting the straight poop about what flows downhill. But there are plenty of Ozarky places in the Springfield area to demonstrate the validity of the long-held belief.

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