Friday, June 27, 2014

Public swimming pool in Forsyth Mo?

A public swimming pool located in Forsyth Missouri is a novel idea. I understand that it has even been proposed in the past, but I've never heard of it going anywhere. That's sad, because I think it would be a great thing for the city to have over the long term.

Over the years in cities and town all across America, public pools have served as informal meeting places for women, especially those with kinds. It gives the children something to do, during the hot summer months, that is both very healthy for the young (physically) and therapeutic for the older adults who generally may not get enough exercise due to sore joints! Properly run and maintained by the city, a public pool can be profit producer for the city's coffers.Oh, and did you know that sunbathing is back in?

I feel that this is an issue that should be brought up again by the City of Forsyth!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sluggish economy noticeable in small towns!

River Run Park, Forsyth MO
Forsyth MO. – As the country continue to grind along at a snails pace, the effects are beginning to be plainly seen even in the small town of Forsyth Missouri where I currently reside. Most notable was the relatively bare parks near where I live. Both Shadowrock and River Run are normally pretty full by this time of year, but as you can see that were rather empty in the mid week shot. I also noticed
Prime Time, Forsyth MO
that area restaurants seemed to be less busy than I remember them being last year, but that could be my imagination. What isn't my imagination, was the report in the local newspaper that tax receipts were down quite a bit for the month compared to years past. Fuel costs, (due in part to the problems in the Middle East) were also on the rise and could spike past the $6 a gallon mark if things go really sideways internationally.

So, things have been very quite early this summer of 2014. I haven't heard even one firecracker go off in my subdivision, and that concerns me more than anything else!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Taney County Fair opens June 24!

This is the most recent aerial  view I have. The Park is actually a lot nicer now!

Don't forget! The Taney County Fair opens Tuesday,June 24, located at the beautiful Shoals Bend Park near Forsyth MO. The park is located just behind some a storage enterprise at the intersection of Hwy 76 and Corner Stone Dr.

Admission to the lovely grounds is FREE this year, although there will be a $5 charge for arena events and rides... Well, you can purchase an armband, and then the rides will be free also!

I stopped by this location to see what was what - and as you can see very little was happening on Sunday, June the 22nd! I'm sure, however that this will change drastically over the next day or so as the Fair is only about 60 hours off.

Update: Tuesday, June 24 - I tried to get in close to see what rides were available when the Taney Fair kicks off, but there was a barrier, so I couldn't get very close. Here a a couple of pictures of what I could see.... Some of the rides are visible in the distance. It looks like it will be a lot of fun!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Taney County Fair is coming!

Everyone get set for the arrival of the Taney County Fair, due to arrive on Tuesday, June 24th and run through Saturday, June 28th!

This year is their 75th Anniversary, and the entrance fee will be free while Arena Events will cost $5 per. Free to rides to those who elect to purchase arm bands at select local stores in advance for $15 or $20 at the gate. Booklets are also currently available for free at selection area locations.

There remains some confusion as to the 4H event location, as one person told me it would be held at Shadowrock due to the lack of animal pens and water facilities at the Shoals Bend Park! But, even a cursory inspection of the facility at SR reveals there are no pens there anymore!So, who knows. I will guess that everything will be held ad Shoals Bend and that's a bit sad as I personally do not like the venue.

You can visit their site on Face Book at!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Is Charlie's Steak Ribs & Ale an upscale restaurant?

Asking whether Charlie's Steak Ribs and Ale, located in Forsyth Missouri is upscale depends on what you mean by that term 'upscale'. To me, a truly upscale eatery, must meet a few basics in order to qualify:

Fast service

When eating at Charlie's, I've rarely had to wait for great service. On a recent visit there for breakfast, I had the pleasure of  being served by a young lady named Lisa. She came to my table in a blur of motion - got me a cup of coffee and took my order, all in Wonder Woman style! That's the kind of service I appreciate - consistent and professional!

Great food

As you can see, The Works Platter, I ordered, looks pretty darn good! The eggs were done to perfection as was the bacon and hash browns! The taste was excellent in point of fact, and after eating at this venue for many years, I've always appreciated the consistency of how well the food is prepared and presented!

Competitive pricing

The Works meal was being offered at just $5.49 (at the time of this post). In my book, that a great deal and I know (after frequently checking other local venues) that the owner is consistently at or under the cost of similar meals offered at other nearby venues! In this economy, that's a good thing!

So, that's the word! Consistent! A term that is applicable in describing; the service, the menu and the costs, are what make for an upscale restaurant in my book!  Please consider stopping there for your next breakfast lunch or dinner! Charlie's can be reached at (417) 546-2011.

Friday, June 13, 2014

River Run quiet in Mid June 2014!

A short run taken through River Run Park near Forsyth Missouri showed just a few slots taken by campers on what promises to be a quiet weekend in mid June. Lake levels are up a bit at 662.63 feet making boat ramp access a breeze!

Everything is very green due to the recent rains with lots of clean air and low pollen counts to help make an outing enjoyable at this time!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Marketing keys for success!

 A few random thoughts about the value of advertizing in a competitive marketplace.

In order to survive in a highly competitive market, a small business needs to use most every trick in the trade in order to survive. No where is this more true than in the restaurant industry where eatery's can be stacked check to jowl even in small towns, such as I find myself in. Forsyth Missouri has a population of something like 1300. It's small by most small town standards and is basically laid out on one highway – Hwy160. From one end to the other, is not much above 4 miles and most of the ten eateries are all situated along about a one mile distance.

Of course, all these venues stay competitive price-wise within the framework of like establishments. The two fast food joints watch each other price points as does the two meat houses, two American, two Asian and two specialty houses. Each sub group offers up a unique eating experience to be sure, but the shear numbers (10 establishments) crammed so close together mean that garnering the money from a particular diners pocket will be challenging!

What sets each establishment apart and either make the more or less attractive, in my mind, is as follows:
  1. Good signage – are they easy to spot from the road!
  2. Cleanliness – are there any rumors of disease?
  3. Ambiance – how the venue makes you feel when you enter!
  4. Service – are they fast to get and create your order?
  5. Parking – can you find a spot during typical rush times?
  6. Menu – does the venue offer a wide choice of food?
  7. Prices – is the place affordable?
  8. Longevity – Has the venue been around for some time?
  9. Amenities – does the venue have something extra like a bar, specials, wifi or a drive thru?
  10. Advertising – What media channels does the venue employ to garner business?
This last item in the list is, to my mind, one of the most important and yet most often abused of anything else on the list! Some establishment do everything right with the exception that the advertising of their presence really sucks! The five channels that are realistically available to them (TV is not for most) would typically include:
  1. Word of mouth – Getting people to talk about an establishment is very effective!
  2. Radio – Expensive, but also effective over the long haul!
  3. Local newspaper – Helps to announce, maintain interest, promote specials, etc.
  4. Flyers – Time consuming and marginal in overall effectiveness.
  5. The Internet (web pages, Facebook, Blogs, etc.) - Can make or break a venue, in my view.
Very few of the local establishments make use of all five outlets or exploit them to full advantage. To my mind, the one that comes closest is Fat Daddy's, followed closely behind by Charlie's and perhaps the Mug. All three are visible on the Internet and use Facebook extensively. What about Sonic and McDonald's? I don't really like to count national chains as they are in a whole different ballpark when compared to the small business owner – even when they are individually owned they typically have access to a very well run advertising machine!

Today's eating crowd is a whole lot more techno-savy than they were even just a few years prior. Even grandpa and grandma jump on the net, without nary a thought, when they want to check out a new or exiting eatery. In today's very fast paced and hi tech world, a well maintained Facebook, web page or blog can sell what you got for literally pennies a day! In additional, establishments that actively promote the collection of Email addresses have a ready made method of communication without resort to expensive snail mail! After all, one email blast to a thousand customers costs exactly zilch! 

Disclaimer: I'm sure there are many other aspects to helping a business succeed. The ones presented here were off the top of my aging head!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Friday, June 6, 2014

Candidates for August 5th Republican primary election in Taney County!

The ballot is set for the August 5th Republican primary election in Taney County. Candidate filing closed Tuesday evening. Several contested races will appear on the ballot.

Incumbent Tony Williams is running unopposed for Associate Circuit Judge, Division 1. In Division 2, four candidates have filed for judge, including Eric Eighmy, Bob Paulson, Tim Davis and Michele Wilson.

Four candidates are running for Circuit Clerk, including Reba Retell, James Holvick, Beth Wyman and Scott Starrett.

Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell has re-filed for his position, and is not facing a running opponent.

Incumbent Ron Houseman has re-filed for Presiding Commissioner, and is facing a challenge from Mike Scofield.

Sheila Wyatt is running unopposed for re-election as Taney County Collector.

Incumbent Robert Dixon is facing a challenge from Josh Smith for the office of Recorder of Deeds.

Former County Assessor James Strahan has filed for County Clerk. He will appear on the ballot along with incumbent Donna Neeley.

County Auditor Rick Findley has filed for re-election, and is running unopposed in the Republican primary.

This information was provided by KRZK radio webpage.The candidates who are in bold type are the ones this author intends to vote for.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Hills & Hollows Gardens now closed!

Forsyth MO - Located at 20130 US Hwy 160 near the intersection of Hwy 160-76 and just across from the Taney Center is a small greenhouse called Hill and Hollow Gardens. It's run by a nice lady by the name of Rachael and is open just about every day of the week during regular business hours.

I stopped in on a lark to see what was being offered and saw that there was a good selection of both vegetables as well as flowering plants and herbs! I was also amazed to see other cars pulling in while I was there, so the establishment was fairly busy. I'm guessing there are a lot of folks who are itching to get something planted in the ground even though it is very early April.
While there, I noticed a selection of tomatoes I was not familiar with called MarGlobe. Evidently they are a well know heirloom variety that offers a good old fashioned tomato taste! Each four pack was priced at just $2 and so I bought a tray of those as well as a 4-pack of Better Boy tomatoes which are a variety I've grown before. I was also pleased to find that Rachael accepts all forms of payment including visa, debit, checks and cash.

If you get a chance, make it a point to stop by and take advantage of plants that are just the right size for early transplanting. Update: I believe they are now closed for the season and will be returning next year!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Charlie's endless cup of coffee dilemma!

Let's see now, the word dilemma means the following according to some dictionaries:

'a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, esp. equally undesirable ones.'

That could well describe the current situation at Charlie's Ribs Steak and Ale located in Forsyth Missouri where a program whereby patrons could buy a plastic mug and get an endless cup of coffee for a buck has come to an end. Or, has it??

The plastic mug pictured above used to be available for something like $7 at this very popular eatery and it afforded the purchaser the ability to get free refills of coffee for only about a dollar. However, starting in January 2014, there has been a severe shortage of coffee beans which has meant the prices have doubled due in large part to a continuing drought in Brazil! So, without further ado, the owner pulled these cups from display and is no longer offering them for sale. However, that still leaves a small group of customers who eat there on a regular basis and who still have their mugs! The question on their minds is whether the deal they made when they originally bought their mugs is still good?

As one of those customers who owns a mug, I will be anxious to find out for myself....

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The entrepreneurial spirit is not dead! Yet!

I stopped, recently, at a booth located in from of the Country Mart in Forsyth and bought a cross from a young lady who had informed me that God had saved her from a life of drug addition!

It's good to see that the entrepreneurial spirit has not been completely destroyed by our government. At least not yet!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Charlie's egg, hash brown and toast breakfast!

A good, nutritional breakfast starts any day off on the right foot. Today, I stopped at a local eatery for just such a meal!

Charlie's Steak-Ribs and Ale is located in Forsyth Missouri on Highway 160 just across from City Hall. They serve up a full menu breakfast including their menu item #1 selection, aka eggs, hash browns and toast. At just $3.49 (effective price as of this post), I feel this is a real meal deal.

Service at this establishment is brisk and professional. I love the relaxed ambiance and how clean everything is. Charlie's also features a full service bar, takeouts as well as lunch and dinner service. You can reach them at (417) 546-2011.

One word of caution: If you order anything other than scrambled eggs, they will hit you with a fifty cent extra charge! That's a 14% increase in the cost of this meal!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Auto detailing available in Forsyth area!

There's a young man here in the Forsyth Missouri area, by the name of Matt Lynch, who is advertising auto detaining work that he can perform. The work includes such items as a car wash, interior vacuum and windows among other services. Matt can also perform oil changes,fluid inspections, power washing of boats, home siding or driveways.

Anyone interested in this form of service can reach him by calling 636-388-2477 during regular business hours!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Troubled bridge over Bull Shoals!

Just this morning (January the 28th) on Hwy 76 as you cross the Bull Shoals bridge near Forsyth Missouri, there is a lit sign advertising a meeting at the local High School concerning the 'Bridge Project' to be held Tuesday, February the 4th at 5PM. Interestingly, no one at the local Bridge and Planning office seemed to know anything about it. I then contacted MoDot in Springfield at (417) 895-7600 and was told by the person who answered that they also had no idea of who erected the sign, but that they would get back to me.

Jann Clark of the Taney Country Times was the only person I contacted who seemed to know what
was going on. Yes, evidently a District Manager (Modot?) would be available to answer questions at the school cafeteria on that date presumably concerning some of the impacts that would result as part of the extensive renovation efforts that could see the bridge closed down for many months.

Fortunately, an article published, last Tuesday, in the Branson Tri-Lakes News on January the 21st went into better detail as to some of the particulars concerning this effort. The bottom line seems to be that Mo-Dot is just beginning to look at the entire project, slated for 2017, and may even elect to push it back in time if needed.

Update: I'm not sure who I heard this from, but a person I know that went to the Bridge Project meeting held at the Forsyth High School on February the 11th told me that one idea was to just leave the old bridge standing even after a new one is built. The old bridge could then be used exclusively for foot and bicycle traffic for pedestrians. I like that!