Thursday, August 26, 2010

Name that Park Contest

Forsyth Missouri will be getting a new park that is situated on Birmingham Road just off Hwy 76. When complete it will have two baseball fields, a walking path and playground equipment. The most important thing, however, it is won’t flood in the manner the Shadowrock has in the past.

The park is scheduled for completion by mid 2011 and folks can help out by giving it a name as part of a contest that runs until September 7th. It asks local residents to submit names (no person’s, service organization or business allowed) at City Hall or on the City’s Web site. You can save postage or gas by emailing your entry to the mayor (link is provided on entry page). The winning entry will receive a $50 saving bond after the announcement should be made sometime around September 17th. The winning entry will be based on how well it describes the distinctiveness, creativity, marketing and branding potential of the park itself.

I drove by this area but was unable to find any evidence of construction.

Empire Electric Rate Increase in September!

A rate hike of 13.35% was announced recently by Bill Gipson, president and CEO of Empire Electric Company. Apparently the Missouri Public Service Commission approved the increase after it was announced that he Plum Point generating station in Osceola, Arkansas was completed ahead of schedule. Accord to Mr. Gipson, “The new rates will allow us to begin recovery of the costs associated with the environmental upgrades at Iatan I and the new Plum Point generating station.”

What this means to the average customer of Empire will be and increase of about $13 a month per thousand kilowatts of use.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

River Run Park – A sign of rough financial times?

Living close to the River Run Park in Forsyth Missouri affords me a chance to keep an eye on the goings on in this popular vacation spot. This summer I’ve tried to make it a point to drive through the park every so often just to check things out. In years past, it has been crowded (when it wasn’t flooded) this time of year. I’m sad, however to report that this season, attendance seems to be off a bit. Actually, a lot!

Now it’s true, we’ve had a very hot summer with most of August sporting temperatures in the mid nineties. I’m sure that may have kept some away, even though many of the people who come here do so in state of the art RV’s complete with air conditioning and satellite TV’s. Also, the park has not been maintained as well as in past years and that may have been a turnoff. I’ve noticed that the grass has been allowed to get high enough to go to seed before it’s cut with other areas have been let go all together. To me high grass means lots of bugs. Not sure if that is true though.

To the parks credit, when I was out taking pictures, a company called Loftis Mowing was cutting the grass in selected areas. Even so, there was only a camper or two in the entire park!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hang in there. The Wx in SW Mo is about to get a little cooler! I Hope!

Starting on Sunday, August the 15th, the weather here in southwest Missouri should start a process of moderation that will result in ‘cooler than normal’ temperatures starting as early as Monday and continuing on through the balance of the week. The yellow arrows point to two cooler fronts that should swing through our neck of the woods. Praise God.

Meteor Shower - You missed it!

Tonight (Aug 12th) and tomorrow night marks peak viewing for one of the most prolific and awe-inspiring annual meteor showers visible in North America, the Perseids, which will rise from the northeast beginning around 11 p.m. At times as many as 60 shooting stars are visible during the shower.
Named because they come from the direction of the constellation Perseus, the meteors are actually the stream of debris cascading from the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years.Because there's a waxing crescent moon just now, the Perseids should be visible in most of the country where skies are clear.

Astronomers suggest driving away from city lights and finding a dark spot with good vantage of the entire sky, preferably at an angle so you're looking up at the sky without craning your neck.While the eye adapts to the dark within 10 minutes, a full switch to night vision can take up to 45 minutes, so the falling stars will become brighter and more visible as the night wears on. Be careful not to place yourself where you see oncoming car headlights, which can 'reset' the eyes for light, meaning it will take another 45 minutes to get full night vision back.

NASA astronomer Bill Cooke will hold a Web chat from 11:00 p.m. tonight to 5 a.m. EDT about the Perseids and how best to view them from the Marshall Space Flight Center. Most of the meteors in the shower Americans will see tonight and tomorrow night are from a filament of dust from the comet that streamed off in 1862.

Humans have been seeing the Perseids for at least 2,000 years and are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years. The Earth passes through the tiny debris cloud that trails the comet every August. The particles of ice and dust burn up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere, creating a beautiful shower of meteors.

NASA will also be running a live feed of the shower beginning as darkness falls on the East coast.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Thanks Empire Electric, I think…

In the mail this afternoon was a box of Lumacoil energy saving compact fluorescent lamps. Four in all. They were really neat and I appreciate my Electric Company for sending them to me. Maybe this is some government program trickle down thingy that has finally made its way to my humble door!

Enclosed with the lamps were two pages from Empire with a bunch of information showing how there are various rebates and incentives for both home owners and building contractors. Nowhere does Empire actually address in these papers why they sent me these nifty lamps in the first place. (Must be a gift horse kind of deal. Just don’t look too far into its mouth…).

Could this be some kind of government benefit thing? And if so, who's paying for it? I’m only asking because the lamps actually came from China! What?

The Fire Department in Forsyth Missouri

Located in City Hall at 15405 US Hwy 160 across from the National Enzyme Company, the Forsyth Missouri Fire Department performs a critical role in safe guarding homes and businesses from the ravages of fire and other threats to both structures and human life. I had the pleasure, recently of meeting Nathan Bower, the Fire Chief. He told me that the Fire Department is currently looking for able-bodied volunteers. Interested parties or anyone who would like additional information can call 417-546-3074.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Library in Forsyth Missouri

A great resource, even in the age of computers can be found at the Library in Forsyth. It was established in 1969 as a small enterprise begun by a group of women and has grown ever since. It’s located at 162 Main Street or across the street from the County building. Their phone number is 417-546-5257.

I’ve been going there for well over a decade and still have yet to make a dent in reading all the books they have on the shelves. In addition to books, they also have videos, books on cassettes and even a thrift shop. In addition, I’ve recently discovered that their resource and genealogy area is available for those interested in researching the history of folks who have called this area home in the past.

If you have not in the past, please stop in and say hi. You’ll find some extremely nice people inside.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Taney County's Senior Tax Levy

Tomorrow, on August the 3rd, Taney County Missouri residents will be voting on a number of important issues. One of these is a levy that seeks to add five cents per one hundred dollars assessed valuation. The money thus collected would then be administered by a seven member panel as aid to senior citizens that live in that county.
I would bet that similar such levies exist in one form or another all over the country. In seventeen counties that neighbor Taney in southwest Missouri, nine have passed similar measures.

While at first glance, this might seem a noble gesture by county leadership, I do have a few reservations. My first is that this action, should it pass, will collect about $450,000 in funds the first year. Is that even enough?  No one knows because at the time of passage there is no plan or budget in place on how to spend it. As of this writing, one day before the vote will be cast, there is not even a board with which to pose questions concerning the who, what, where and why of this action. To me this is a little too much like the recent passage of the financial reform bill. A two thousand plus page document that voter’s were advised to, “just pass the thing, so we can see what’s in it.” A concept that leaves any thinking man or woman a little concerned.

Well, here’s my thought. Let’s get the board in place, have them come up with a plan, access the probable costs versus the benefits and present that to the citizens of Taney County. Then give them a little time to digest it prior to actually asking them to vote yea or nay. Does that sound like a bad plan? At least I have one. :)

My feeling will be on this go around is to vote no. Let the County get its act together, form a cohesive plan and then present it properly to the people who will ultimately pay for it. Most importantly, let's have our leadership stop acting like they are working in Washington.