Friday, September 29, 2017

Random thoughts heading into October!

No jeans, no job, lady!

Apparently a waitress was fired on her first day for showing up in a denim skirt! The dress code of Georgia Blue, a restaurant chain, requires the wearing of jeans. So, now she's suing the chain because her religion (Pentecostal) requires the wearing of skirts, not jeans at ones place of employment!

Me, I would much prefer women wearing skirts over jeans, any day!

Long time contributor gone from local paper!

Jann Clark, a long time correspondent for the Taney County Times is no longer officially with the paper as she has apparently decided to go look for greener pastures. I understand she will remain active, however, as a correspondent.

She will be missed greatly and the Times will have a hard time replacing her even assuming they get qualified people to answer the large call for reporters that they placed in a recent edition!

October 7 Harvest Moon should be fun!

The Forsyth Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the annual Harvest Moon Car/Truck Show and Craft Festival on Saturday, Oct 7 right smack dab in the middle of town on Main Street. I attended this event last year and greatly enjoyed the vendors, the music and the cars! The action starts at 8AM and goes until about 3PM.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Bull Shoals Bridge project - Traffic flow - Video 1!

Photo courtesy of Craig B Smith - Sept 20, 2017
Forsyth MO - In my never ending desire to make myself useless, I thought it to be a good idea to do a series of drives across the old Bull Shoals bridge just to see how much commuter traffic is affected over time. The project is expected to take about eight months or longer depending or weather and the potential for flooding. Click here for Video 1, taken September 25, 2017. That was on a Monday at about Noon!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Stoplights needed at Highways 160 and Y?

Proposed roundabout!
Forsyth MO. – After a clean start on the Bull Shoals bridge project by both MODOT and Lehman Construction, it seems that all is well. Traffic problems have been reduced as much as possible considering the sheer size of the project and even the weather has been kind. So, I'm guessing somewhere down the road, say about seven to eight months from now, Taney County residents will have themselves a brand new bridge and roundabout. Once finished, I feel that the increased traffic loads expected over time will sail through that intersection in fine style!

But, there always seems to be a fly in the ointment and sure enough a friend, Scott Novak, asked me a question that made me take pause. He mentioned that during the rush times, both in the mornings and evenings, Highway 160 sees a large influx of cars, truck and school buses. Long line can often happen for traffic heading up the hill at Y Highway! He then wondered how much worst that could get with any increase in the rate of traffic flow at the Highway 76-160 junction where the roundabout will be created!

At this time that intersection is basically a four way stop with one blinking red light suspended in the middle (see short video clip). Perhaps it's time for the County and the City to begin making plans to upgrade it with the installment of regular stoplights?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Charlie's in Forsyth to close for good!

Sunday, October 1, 2017 will be the last day for Charlie's Steak Ribs and Ale. The establishment will close for about a week and reportedly reopen on Sunday, October the 8th!

When it does reopen, there will be changes including a new name – C and C's Pizza and Pub (?) with menu changes in the types of fare offered to the public. Look for some new menu items including a salad bar, a buffet and pizza!

Personally, I think the changes will be fun and readily accepted by the local eating crowd.

Update: October 2, 2017 - I just learned that Charlie's, in Forsyth, has closed permanently...Perhaps the owner was in deeper trouble than was suspected (my opinion)... As of July 2018, the establisment still stands empty...

Update:  August 20, 2018 - Still closed.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blues, Brews and BBQ festival!

BRANSON, Mo. – The Branson Landing invites the community to join them this Saturday, September 23rd, for its inaugural Blues, Brews and Barbecue Festival.

From Noon to 10 p.m., live entertainment will be provided from the center stage by the Sister Lucille Band, Dylan Whitney Band, Papa Green Shoes, The Bel Airs and The Norman Jackson Band. The event will also feature BBQ, and brews provided via the Budweiser Beer Truck.

Additional activities will include bounce houses, children’s activities, ice cream floats by Kilwins and Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper Bottling Company and a raffle for a 2017 Ford Escape.

Raffle tickets are 25-dollars apiece. All proceeds raised during this event will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the Ozarks. Additional information on this event can be found here. Story appeared on KRZK radio website and the article was written by Tim Church!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cabin deemed a safety hazard!

Forsyth, Mo -- This excerpt is from KSPR 33 - A piece of history in the Ozarks is now a safety hazard.

Yellow caution tape now surrounds the iconic homestead at Shadow Rock Park in Forsyth. After almost 50 years in that location right next to the water, city officials say it's seen at least 20 floods and now they have deemed it unsafe.

The homestead cabin was originally built in 1886. That makes it 131 years old. It was restored and moved to Shadow Rock Park in 1969.

While it was an actual house historical experts say there isn't a lot of the original features left. They even call it a “replica.”

City officials have been keeping a close eye on the building over the past few years.

“Over the years, we’ve inspected it after each flood and seen that each time it's gotten a little worse. This time we've had the historical society look at it, we've had FEMA look at it and we've had several people who know cabins have looked at it and they’ve all agreed it’s in disrepair to either repair or to move,” said Forsyth Public Works Director Chris Robertson.

The City of Forsyth wants to hear what you think they should do with the building. They are open to options and are going to be talking about that at Monday night’s city council meeting.

A call was made to City Hall to inquire in what manner should interested parties communicate with the council and was told that someone would get back to me.... I'll post an update when that happens...

Update: I received a callback from Public Works Director Chris Robertson who divulged to me that there were a couple of options already being considered. He indicated that a final decision would be made at the October 13th Council meeting. In the meantime, Mr. Robertson urged me to tell one and all, that if they would like to offer constructive opinions as to what to do with the building, to please give him a call at 417-251-1380 during regular business hours.

Bull Shoals bridge project may get webcam!

I received a note from the head engineer of the Bull Shoals bride project who informed me that they were 'looking at getting an Ox Blue construction webcam' if one was available. These are Internet accessible cameras that can allow the public to view to see what the traffic and overall construction progress looks like. Very cool if that were to happen.

He also wanted to reiterate that they were not anticipating back-ups beyond the normal morning and afternoon commutes since the contractor cannot 'close the road during peak hours'. He stated that it is also the 'contractor’s intent is to conduct flagging operations during non-peak hours while they pour the intermediate bents in the lake'.

Finally, he reiterated that 'the only road closure intended for the project will be the time it is needed to make the final tie-ins which can take up to 2 weeks'. But, that they intend to do everything they can ahead of time to greatly reduce this inconvenience. 

I was very happy to hear from them and to know that MODOT and Lehman Construction are doing the absolute best they can to resolve public concerns during the construction phase of a multi million dollar effort that is sure to cause some problems with commuters and emergency personnel even as the engineering experts will be striving to mitigate the pain.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Hoofing it to the grocery store!

A few miles from my home is one of two grocery stores in the small town of Forsyth Missouri. The one I prefer (and which is also the closest) is called Country Mart. I like this store for the great variety of foodstuffs offered not to mention the very efficient checkout staff.
As I am also a very OCD kind of individual, I like to keep good records on what I purchase there. I keep the records in a data file and am about to produce a number of useful reports as a result. This report shown at right, reflects my purchases on a typical Saturday in September. I generally like to shop about twice a week, getting only the items I would need for the next several days. And, as a person living on a fixed income, I look for generic or for stuff on sale. Still, I've noticed that the cost of groceries has slowly crept upwards over time. Seriously, twenty bucks just don't buy all that much anymore. 

If I were to state any complaints, it would be the manner in which you 'save' on particular items. I've always felt that these supposed savings are somewhat contrived. Just give me the best deal you can and I would be happy!

Bridge construction side benefits?

Forsyth MO. – The long awaited building of a new bridge that will span Bull Shoals has finally begun. And, while some people were already complaining, it came to me that there might be some side benefits to the businesses in and around Forsyth!

While enjoying a libation at Charlie's Steak Ribs and Ale near Y Highway, I overheard one of the servers stating that their lunch time crowd had swelled a bit due to a number of bridge workers who showed up with empty stomachs and bulging wallets. It suddenly occurred to me that the nearly year long project would see a goodly number of workers from MODOT and Lehman Construction. I also guessed that some of them would be staying in town for varying periods of time, and so, might help bolster the income of many businesses by their presence...

I've formally requested that Lehman Construction set up a live camera feed on the Internet so that commuters and emergency personnel could be aware of traffic conditions on the bridge while construction is underway!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bull Shoals Bridge Project September 11, 2017

Forsyth MO. – I thought to go down and see what was going on with the Bull Shoals Bridge project, a 10.4 million dollar effort to replace another older bridge structure that had been constructed back in 1951.

The water level in Bull Shoals had dropped to 667.66 feet msl (mean sea level) and so, was almost back to 'normal' levels. Even River Run looked to be drying out! And, since it had been about a week since the official start of the construction effort, I wanted to get some idea of any progress that had been made.

When I arrived in the park area, I noticed that the gate for access to the back of the park had been closed. There were two white vehicles inside along with a couple of men. I couldn't tell if these people were from Lehman Construction (bridge project guys) or were part of some cleanup crew that was trying to get the park back on its feet. 

Off towards the base of the bridge, I could discern what looked like a pile of rocks and maybe some other equipment. Perhaps this was the area (along with the balance of the park behind it) that would serve as a staging ground for materials yet to come. After all, building a structure as a large as a bridge will require an awful lot in terms of components!

I'm hoping to have the opportunity to visit and take pictures of the new bridge as it is erected over the next year. I'm also sure I will hear about the challenges that the city will have to endure in terms of emergency service response times, the busing of students and how the commuters will feel about all this!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Thrive Coffe Shop and Cafe!

Forsyth MO. - Just across the street from the Library, sits a cozy little eatery that caught my interest during the early going of September. I'd seen the marquee a few times when cruising up Main Street and had heard from a couple of friends that it was a sort of unique experience. So, curiosity killed the cat once again.

On my first visit, I talked to one of the owners, a nice woman named Charyle who quickly filled me in on some of the particulars of the place. I learned right off that she was one of four sisters who ran the shop, a venue that is open from 7AM to 2 PM Monday through Friday. And while they do not have carry out menu, at that point in time, did maintain a large chalkboard with all the days offerings. I was amazed to learn that everything offered in the way of pastries was made on site! 

As I talked to Charyle, I learned that Thrive was a smoke free establishment which seats about 30, has restrooms and takes Visa card payments. Even more interesting to me was the fact that they offer community WiFi so that a diner can sit and browse the Internet while enjoying a cup of coffee or a sandwich. As I understand it, the pass code for access was 'drinkmorecoffee'! Inquiries can be made by calling 417-251-2375 and the formal location is 153 Main Street, Forsyth MO 65653.

Sadly, I did not have time to stop and sample any of their offerings, but will do so in the future and plan to enter the experience via an update to this post!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Charlie's to offer a salad bar!

Forsyth MO. - I only recently learned that Charlie's, a popular restaurant, located near the intersection of Hwy 160 and Y, was planning to change things up a bit. One of the changes was the desire to set up a salad bar that would offer customer a tantalizing array of veggies from which they could build their own creations. I don't mind telling people I know that I thought this was a great idea!

One other location, to my knowledge, offers or offered a salad bar - The Longhorn Family Dining establishments salad bar (pictured above) has always been a big draw and I'm hoping that Charlie's (soon to become C's Pizza and Pub) will be also fully stocked with all sorts of tempting goodies!