Branson Parents - Is your kids teacher smoking crack?

Is your Kid's Teacher Smoking Crack?
Written January 26th 2006

The Branson School Board has announced an aggressive policy regarding drug testing students. If my sources are correct, and they usually are, the school board is salivating over a new drug testing machine for Branson students.

The new drug testing machine and policy will include testing all students not just those that participate in sports.

Since the 1960's several teachers have recommended issuing Amphetamines to students who aren't paying enough attention in class . A study by Harvard proved the effects of these drugs parallel the brain damage caused by prolonged cocaine use. In other words, take a scan of your kids brain after feeding him Ritalin for 5 years and you'll have a hard time distinguishing it from someone who's been snorting coke for 5 years.

Another study by Harvard also found that rats do in fact like Cocaine. What if your child's teacher does too? As the Nixa school district recently found out – too bad. Drug testing, although ok for our children has been radically fought off by the teachers themselves. Working for the wages we as a society choose to pay teachers is suspicion enough to test any teacher.

Though drug testing of school bus drivers is allowed – teachers aren't. Perhaps, we need to start identifying children's brains as heavy equipment.

Maybe we ought to leave parenting to the parents and reserve drug testing for the administration we leave our children's minds and bodies to. If we tried it – I'm certain we'd learn a good lesson in civics.

Branson Makes Benton A Believer

This article was printed in the Benton Daily News this Week.

ARA) - Once you've visited Branson, you'll be a believer. Nestled in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, the new Branson is shattering old stereotypes.

Here are some common perceptions about Branson and the reality of what the city has to offer:

Perception: Branson is a sleepy little town filled with senior tour buses.

Reality: Branson is a small, but vibrant town nestled amidst sparkling lakes in the heart of the beautiful Ozark Mountains. While it remains a popular spot for seniors, Branson is frequented and enjoyed by visitors and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Perception: Branson is the place to see live performances.

Reality: Branson is filled with adventure. Yes, there are nearly 100 different shows to choose from, but Branson also offers much more. Visitors enjoy exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, biking, fishing, boating and water sports. In addition, there's exceptional dining and shopping as well as exciting theme and adventure parks, including Celebration City, Silver Dollar City and White Water.

Perception: One visit to Branson is enough.

Reality: Thousands of visitors and families return to Branson again and again. Many make the Branson Lakes Area an annual family adventure. Branson remains one of the most popular destinations in the United States - a unique place where children, parents and grandparents can all vacation together and find something for everyone to enjoy.

Perception: Branson is a summertime destination.

Reality: Summertime crowds are bigger, but Branson offers a wide variety of special winter holiday shows, a spectacular light display and enough shopping and dining alternatives to satisfy any taste.

Seeing is believing in Branson, and you can see Branson from land, sea or air. On land, you can walk or drive through the Branson Lakes area, admiring the scenery. On the water, you can enjoy a festive dinner cruise or experience the view from a World War II era amphibious vehicle. From the air, you can see Branson and the surrounding Ozark Mountain area via a helicopter ride or from a tethered helium balloon soaring 500 feet into the sky.

Gallagher On the Run - Branson Theatres Open Doors With Open Arms


On Gallagher's 60th birthday the famous comedian was told his show at Moe Bandy's theatre would be cancelled. In response to report's an assault charge was filed Gallagher Responded, "Just my luck I caught her between suits." A report from the Branson Edge is expected shortly detailing the incident and the communities response. It's been suggested that two vendors are seeking the legendary comedian's antics at theatres in Branson.

Branson Supports Nodler...Nodler Supports Branson

Senator Nodler has pledged support for State schoold to put off Fall Sessions until the Labor Day holiday has come to an end. The Turner Report notes Nodler is being financed by Branson area business. I want to take a moment to personally thank the following entities for thier contributions and support for Branson interest. Before I do, I want to note: This is the first time the Branson Edge has openly praised members of the Time Share industry whose demonstrated ethics in the past have, when I think about..."can't eat the amount of food that I need to vomit." Here, today, in an epic display of support and open arms to possibilities of redemption want to thank you ... along all the members of the community listed below.

-$625 from American Council of Travel, Branson
-$200 from Denver Wood, Vacation Services of America, Branson
-$200 from Cindy Wood, Vacation Services of America, Branson
-$200 from Roark Travel Service Network, LLC, Branson
-$200 from Vacation Services of American, Inc., Branson
-$300 from Travel Access, Branson
-$200 from Thomas Wood, Vacation Services of America, Branson
-$200 from Deborah Wood, Vacation Services of America, Branson
-$200 from Crystal Hedrick, Vacation Services of America, Branson
-$200 from Brant Hedrick, Vacation Services of America, Branson

The bill was proposed during the last legislative session by Sen. Jack Goodman, R. Mount Vernon, who described it as a pro-family bill. As I wrote in the March 23 Turner Report:

In a news release, Goodman said the bill "protects families' ability to take summer vacations, be involved in sports and summer camps and take advantage of other important non-classroom learning opportunities."
Goodman continues, adding that this simple maneuver will increase student attendance "as parents are relieved of the burden of choosing between their children's education and these other vital activities."

The one thing Goodman did not mention in the press release is the interest of the tourism industry in the legislation...or the money he has received from Branson interests. As I noted in the same post:

A check of campaign disclosure forms filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission shows Goodman received at least $10,550 from Branson interests during the special election in which he succeeded the late Larry Gene Taylor.
In the disclosure form filed eight days before the election, Goodman received the following contributions:
Starboard Corporation $600 (the maximum at that time), Mark Still, Still Construction, Branson, $150; Kanakuk Camps $600, Raeanne Presley (of the Presley Theater) $150, Peter Herschend (Silver Dollar City) $300; American Council of Travel, $600; Ozark Travel Service Network LLC $600, Market Source LLC $600, Branson Hotline $600, Vacation Services of America, Inc. $600, Travel More Now, $600,Jack Herschend $300.
The October disclosure form shows Goodman receiving $600 from Grandvista LLC (Branson Yacht Club), and an additional $600 from GV 248 LLC at the same address as Grandvista; $600 from Kelly Swanson of What's Up Dock Marina; $600 from HCW LLC and $600 from HCW Development Corporation LLC at the same address.
On the form filed 15 days after his nomination, Goodman received $600 from Silver Dollar City BACPAC and $500 from the What's Up Dock Marina, as well as $150 from Burch and Associates, the lobbying firm run by former State Representative Jerry Burch. The firm's clients include the Branson Area Chamber of Commerce.

Many other business's and organizations have lobbied for the move. No one wants to schools to lose local control; however, three main factors make lobbying for the school issue important to Branson and important to Missouri.

1. Many Missouri school districts are so poorly funded they don't have air conditioning. Often school is cancelled due to the health issues associated with heat. Labor Day is a good marker after the dog days are done.

2. Branson Business's need the employment of our younger citizens; this helps them gain an understanding of responsibility - finances their education and in some cases helps them support thier families. The extra bit of time can make a lot of difference

3. Keeping school from opening early means a longer tourist season - more revenue for Branson and more revenue for the state.

We interrupt This Blog for WWW III - Brought to you by Wal-Mart

Newt Gingrich announced we're in World War III this week; however, his more loyal subjects claim it's acutally WWW IV (they count the cold war as three). This blog is reserved for information about Branson; so, I'll creatively integrate the three topics addressed so far.

{By the way Gallagher NOT H/BROTHER has an 11:00 show at Moe Bandy's Theatre Awesome}

I've had some communication's with a 17 year old from a bunker in Isreal. This is relevant as she reports about bombings in Nazareth - considering our local religous affilliations ...there's little to expain nor a need to tie the relevance. The image above is from her post today.

Let's bring this really close to home. I'm talking about World War III here and China's #7 largest trade partner - yes, nations included. Without a doubt this partner - who regularly jails journalists often turned in by American Companies such as Yahoo and gives the green (and I mean greebacks) light to search engines who "voluntarily" filter keywords such as freedom and democracy - this partner (as I was saying) - who undoubtedly through financial contributions has assisted China with building countless nuclear bombs (take GNP % Defense Spending x's (cost * Number of Nukes build this year) x's %Multinational Corporation Contributions to Economy)is being subsidized by the City through TIFF funds.)

New Policy: Anyone who supports facism, jailing those who promote democracy and partake in financing political censorship shouldn't be allocated revenue away from local schools. After all isn't this just burning the flag?

Branson Growin Up - Kathryn Buckstaff Report on Hilton Construction

Branson growing up

City's convention center site is a flurry of activity.

Kathryn Buckstaff

BRANSON — It was a scene never seen before in Branson.

The first tower crane ever brought to Branson smoothly lifted a pallet of lumber to the third floor of what will be the tallest hotel in town while workers in hard hats prepared an adjacent site for Branson's long-awaited convention center.

Modern Bath Solutions
The Branson Convention Center will ensure a bright future for the city, said Branson Mayor Lou Schaefer.

"There's no question in my mind that it will add to the entire expanse of what Branson can do in southwest Missouri," said Schaefer, who has worked in support of a convention center for more than the 12 years he has served as mayor. "It's a dream come true."

The greatest impact will be creating a year-round economy, Schaefer said.

"It will give us a 12-month season rather than 10 months, and I can remember when we operated on 100 days a year, from Memorial Day to Labor Day," he said. "The convention center is going to be the absolute climax to everything we've done here toward building tourism in this town."


With 14 months until projected completion, more than 100 people are at work on the site of the Branson Convention Center and the 12-story Hilton Convention Center Hotel in downtown Branson. The hotel is taller by two stories than the Chateau on the Lake hotel and convention center.

The complex project is progressing smoothly, said Sandy Steward, construction director for HCW Development Co. HCW also developed Branson Landing, the $420 million lakefront lifestyle center that opened in May next to the convention center site.

They'll soon be pouring concrete for the third floor of the hotel. Some steel is already up on the convention center site where all ground preparation will be completed by September, Steward said.

All the infrastructure, including drainage and underground utilities, have been in place for two years in conjunction with the building of Branson Landing.


Work on the interior design for both projects is under way, said architect John Stephenson of Ventulett, Stainback & Associates Inc. of Atlanta.

The 275-room Hilton Convention Center Hotel will be linked electronically to the 243-room Hilton Promenade Hotel on Branson Landing and to the convention center so that food, for example, may be charged from any of the properties through underground data lines.

The Promenade Hotel is a little more luxuriously appointed than the convention center hotel because it's designed for longer leisure stays, said Mark Hartman, manager for both the hotels. The Promenade Hotel will open in September.

The Hilton Convention Center Hotel includes a restaurant, swimming pool, atrium patio and landscaping on the east side to minimize the view of supply trucks arriving at loading docks.

On the west side are the railroad tracks that carry the Branson Scenic Railway and other trains. City officials are working with the railroad to install a quiet zone as trains pass the hotel and convention center. Such a quiet zone was recently erected in east Springfield.

The 220,000-square-foot convention center will feature an undulating facade of glass facing Lake Taneycomo. There will be a 50,000-square-foot open span exhibition hall, 23,000-square-foot ballroom and 15,000-square-feet of meeting space. The spaces can be joined for large events, "but the real heart and soul will be having multiple users at the same time," said TVS architect Mike Ezell.


Bill Tirone, marketing director for Hilton Hotels, the company managing the convention center, as well as Tracy Kimberlin, director of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, said they are not seeing a slowdown in convention business because of higher gasoline and transportation costs. But competition is on the rise, Kimberlin said.

"Cities are building or adding to convention center facilities all over the country," Kimberlin said. "They opened a convention center in St. Charles and one in Overland Park, Kansas. Lake of Ozarks would love to get one."

Kimberlin said Branson's convention center will provide competition, but he and Tirone have discussed ways to cooperate on convention marketing.

"You just have to find your market and go for it," Kimberlin said.

Sometimes price is less critical than facilities, but "it's often who gives the best deal," Kimberlin said.

Tirone said Hilton has already booked "a fair amount" of conventions for corporations, state association and public events including the Log Cabin Timber Frame Home Expo.

"We get two to three leads a day that are fairly decent-sized groups," ranging from 200 to about 4,000 attendees, Tirone said.

Hilton already has an extensive base of customers in the U.S. and abroad who stay at convention centers operated by Hilton Hotels or stay in Hiltons near sites of other convention centers, Tirone said.

But Branson will be a unique niche.

"I think of Branson as the leisure cousin to Springfield," Tirone said. Because of Branson's entertainment attractions including Branson Landing, "there will be conventions that have leisure as a portion of what their activities are about."

Branson Missouri Gambling - Booze - Prostitution Oh My


(Caption Above) Clayton Buthinhouer cracks open a can of Budweiser and drinks it along the boardwalk of the Branson Landing.

Branson City Hall has asked Huffman to "rethink" the issue of drinking on the Landing. The Landing, though publicly financed is clearly a private facility. There are different school's of thought on this topic; however, some locals believe that Branson's old watch is on its way out. Herschend recently described Branson's Christian culture as fragile in an interview earlier this year he described the climate as much bigger than him, suggesting he's taking a backseat to the conservative political activism that once defined the family persona. Rumor’s have circulated suggesting a more liberal perspective on issues the family has publicly taken a hard line on. The values that have defined the community seem to be in question. It hasn't been suggested that a new breed of conservative religious leaders will take place of a much more liberal "newer" perspective on what form Branson should take in the future.
As the issue of Gambling takes the forefront on the Eastern side of the county some business leaders appear to have taken a more accepting view of the idea. Opponents cite higher instances of violent crime to proceed the acceptance of gambling in communities that have previously embraced the idea. Powerful players from outside the region promise to push the fight through substantial capital contributions whose counterbalance in previous fights may dwindle in the years to come.

*Branson Edge Perspective*
The Branson brand is clearly about family values, a culture of music and majestic scenery. This is why one of the largest publications in America syndicated through countless newspapers around the nation cited Branson as the way "America Ought To Be". We have extremely low crime, low unemployment, excellent schools and a strong moral culture unique to America. This is a unique economy and because of its uniqueness people want to come here. We have our problems - just like anywhere else in America - but no where near the scale. Casino's are in much shorter proximity surround and cutoff all major tourist routes into the tri-lakes area. All of our major markets have casinos on the way or in the cities people actually leave to come to Branson. Still, people drive here and I think we should be asking ourselves ...Why? Those of us "outsiders" - those who've lived here for decades and the 7 million of us who visit understand something perhaps those staring into the light bulb of short term trends may fail to see. The Branson area is unique because the Chief of Police has to tell you to remember to lock your doors. There is innocence and a comfort living in a safe place brings. Those gambling on gambling, and it appears the numbers are rising, believe "God will soon be Dead in Branson." By God, I mean community leaders who believe in the religious values as political platform. This isn't my argument; however it's true that if a younger generation of leaders don't arise gambling and its sister prostitution will take the role a despotic desert in the west has done such a fine job of creating a brand of. The landscape near Vegas is so ugly nuclear bombs were tested there with little protest. What does Nevada have to offer besides selling her daughters into prostitution? We have something more, something unique and I maintain little hope that we'll create a better Babylon. I really don't think we have it in us. There are countless casino's within a four hour drive but no town in the world can claim the type and density of live entertainment offered in Branson. No city can claim such a low ratio of visitors to crime. Something about Branson is inspiring and those that leave these hills bring with them an indescribable gift they can find nowhere else. They don't come here to play the slots. They don't come here for high crime. They don't come here to see a city government who fears a prayer before meetings. They don't come here to stuff strippers g-strings with dollar bills. Why would they? They can find these things at home. Most don't even have to drive far if at all. I know firsthand that we have problems. .
The Branson Landing has created as Huffman called it "A new Center of Gravity" some of which is pulling from our existing economy. Vendors here for years are seeing the pull and in combination with high gas prices wonder how permanent and if the Landing itself is creating somewhat of a vacuum. This was anticipated early and studies conducted by the Branson Edge show the majority of visitors come from a short radius to the new mall - galleria - or unique shopping experience that is the Landing. They’re mostly locals (does it really matter if they have a beer?)
You have to admire Rick, or at least I do for making the right political moves and having his project financed in such a creative way. He is a business leader not a moral leader - I respect him because he doesn't claim to be anything else. I hope our religious leaders are as forthcoming with the agendas they bring to the table.
I warned them after the last vote....we have some problems...people in communities that are suffering. I asked them to do something about it. They built a church. Good, but not good enough. It's not just about a church - in fact the church isn't even needed - the faith - goodwill and mission of the church is! Perhaps, feeding the poor through good economic structures is demonstration of the faith. Isn't this what Silver Dollar City is about?
The casino industry is slicker than ya'all - they have been bred by a different code and have little concern other than the checkbook balance. Don't think you can control them because as certain as they'll sell your daughters into prostitution they will certainly make you one as well. Branson, you are too kind, you have too much virtue, you will never make a better Babylon - so for the brand's sake...Why try?
Many think gambling arrival is inevitable - many believe that God will soon be dead in America.
If you are from the outside area and have strong feelings about the gambling issue or like the idea of a vacation destination with live entertainment and a strong view against gambling - don't march in the streets with your picket signs right before elections. If you’re a family in the Midwest - If you're a church from Kansas City - If you're a church from Tulsa,- A church from Oklahoma City..If you're a, youth group planning a family reunion - military reunion - support Branson now. Come and spend your vacation here. That's what it will take for the city to make a gamble against odds we can’t win. Posted by Picasa

JIm Cox Speaks about Marketing Branson

Jim Cox owns two of the most elite businesses in Branson Missouri. Candlestick Inn, a restaurant in the Branson area provides one of the finest dining areas in the region and boasts 417 Magazines award for "Best Restaurant in Branson" 5 years running. The Branson Collector Car Auction attracts a unique demographic and exposes a premium demographic to the Branson Area. In this clip Jim admits to a budget in excess of 500k annually - all of which is dedicated to attracting customers outside of the area.

Branson Politicians Meeting Hosted by Hollister Chamber


The Hollister Chamber of commerce hosted a forum for all the local politicians to speak on why they wanted to serve the community. Each candidate was given 3 minutes to speak about issues involving why they wanted to serve. This is the seconod political event sponsored by the new watch at the Hollister Chamber. Common themes were experience, education, enviormentalism and cohesion of community relationships. Several of the candidates brought up the issue "who is more local." Video clips were taken by the Branson Edge and will be posted before the August election.
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Marie Osmond comes back to Branson

Marie and Merrill Osmond 
After turning down eleven Broadway shows and numerous television
projects Marie Osmond made a guest appearance at the Branson Mall on
Wendsday to promote a health and wellness product distributed in the
form of chocolate.
Marie's career includes four decades of television performances, 14
albums, 2 Broadway shows, a radio show and at thirteen earned the
title of youngest female artist in history to top the Country Music
Chart. Over the past four years Marie's public appearances have been
limited to QVC promotion of "Marie Osmond Fine Porcelain Collector
Dolls", the third largest doll design company in the world, QVC's top
selling line, as well as promotions for the Children's Miracle Network
an organization she co-founded.
Marie Osmond, the eighth of nine children and only daughter of George
and Olive Osmond has demonstrated unmatched support of family both on
and off stage. Marie, mother of eight, acted in brother Jimmy's TV
movie production Inside The Osmond's, Co-hosted a talk show with Donny
from 1998 to 2000 and performed with family in Branson as she says,
"before Branson was like.... Branson" Commenting on her absence from
the public eye Marie said, "For the past four years I've basically
stopped working because I took care of my mother who was in the
hospital, my father who was in the hospital and most recently my
husband who has been in the hospital for a week, all I did was eat and
I put on 20 lbs.. If you watch QVC you know I can't make it through a
show without eating chocolate."
Marie claims to be taking off the pounds through the same activity
that helped her put on the weight to begin with. "I've lost 17 pounds
so far and all I did was eat chocolate." The product Xocai claims to
be rich in antioxidants, non-caffeinated, safe for diabetics with
substantial benefits to overall health.
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Branson Google Mash-ups

Branson Edge is currently looking for an investor interested in Google Mash ups. It's been a long time coming and several implemenations on the Branson Edge website. Interested in your own Google Mash up integrating geo-data about Branson?


Huffman and Miss USA at Branson Landing Opening

Rick Huffman says "At my age the smiles are more important than the money". Rick was talking about smiles from the "ladies." This Post is for Rick.

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Darren Romeo Former Miss USA Photoshoot with Skydiver Delivering Champagne

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Branson Landing Opening Water and Fire Show Unvieling

Branson's multi million dollar water and fire display was experienced by locals and visitors for the first time. Wet Designs had four songs in que but only one worked. As a result the National Anthem played every hour on the hour all day. Currently all four are working.

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Branson Landing Opening Shots

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Hanging or Celebration at the Branson Landing + Huffman

An alderman suggested a "stringing" or celebration was in question before the Landing actually opened.

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Branson Landing Grand Opening Street Performers and the Mayor

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Branson Landing Build a Bear

Lines formed at the Build a Bear grand opening.

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Setting up for the Branson Landing Grand Opening Performance

Chris Cathcart was the first to take the stage at the Branson Landing opening celebration. Chris took the stage early morn hours after it was setup. He kicked out Jazz musings before Branson city leadership took the stage.

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Branson Landing Opening

Garfield's at the Branson Landing was the first establishment to serve breakfast. A buffet attracted few guests early in the morning leaving the lake view an experience of solitude.
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