Factory Merchants Mall Takeover Contract Unveiled Tonight - Officials Signal They Want to Rush Contract

Update: 2-29-11

Branson City Leaders passed the bill to takeover Factory Merchants Mall as described below.

A volunteer  effort staged to educate Branson City hall on the virtues and value of commercial real estate yielded a net gain in negotiations with Branson's mayor and alderpeople.

Tonight, Tuesday Dec. 27, a contract will be presented during a special meeting to expedite a transfer of property from Factory Merchants Mall owners to the city with  $300,000 at closing. The city had initially planned to release Simon Properties from a contract with 9 years before a contract with the city expired. 

Simon Property Group provides $129,000 annually for use of the land Factory Merchant's Outlet is built on.

Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley publicly offered to socialize the property for purposes of a new park under protest from Branson's economic conservatives. The city's official stance rapidly changed when local officials learned accepting the offer would immediately require an additional $84,000 annually in insurance fees alone while details of socialization are being worked out including payment to contractors which must be approved through  a slow bureaucratic process.

The city is currently hosting a wave of contracts on W. 76 Blvd. where notable multillion dollar generating tourist venues such as HFE (Herschend Family Entertainment)'s  White Water and Mickey Gilley's theater host buildings uner long term contracts.

The Factory Outlet Merchant's aka Red Roof Mall has has an estimated value of $6,400,000. In 2010 the property was assessed at $11,812,000 before the Taney County Assessor James Strahan's office was ordered to drop the estimated value through a Taney County Board of Equalization decision.

Property tax for commercial property  is assessed at 32% of real value with 70% going to school district funding. Value is determined in Missouri by County Assessors using the "Honeycomb Appraisal Process" and under normal circumstances is a calculation of what the building would cost to build at current construction rates minus depreciation. Appeals generally include comparable valuation and/or operating cost calculations considering cash flow into the formula.

The Factory Outlet Mall, if the city plans what appears to be an eminent takeover,  will eliminate a tax liability  of  $101,244 ; $70,000 of which would take directly from Branson's School District.

To further complicate the matter Simon Property also manages the TIFF (Tax Increment Financed) Branson Meadows property. Branson Meadows is  a poor performer when considering the economic success of the Branson Landing and Branson Hill's TIF cash cows. Simon is attempting to transfer tenants to the Branson Meadows. While there may be an apparent conflict of interest; the contract proposed this evening includes a six-month management agreement with Simon to help the existing tenants find new locations.

If all tenants moved to the TIF district,  the city would forfeit an additional $180,000 annually in sales tax.

City officials have signaled they intend to rush the contract through an alternative process rushing a first reading tonight at Branso Council Chambers of Branson City Hall, 110 West Maddux and the mandatory second reading Thus Thursday Dec. 29th at the same location.



Factory Merchants Outlet Tabled

A Mexican standoff stalled City of Branson officials last night during a public meeting that went into private session closed to the public.

The complexity of the arguments presented by real estate professionals, tenants and public leaders afforded city leaders reason to take a break  before a decision can be made on a contract offering a voluntary public takeover by the City of Branson..

The Branson Board of Aldermen held a special meeting Monday evening, December 19, to consider the transfer of property contract and property management agreement with the owners of Factory Merchants Branson on West Highway 76. The meeting
began at 6:20 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Branson City Hall, 110 West Maddux.

The current operator of Factory Merchants Branson, Simon Property Group, wants to discontinue management and  transfer ownership of the building,  commonly known as the Red Roof Mall, to the city of Branson by the first of the year. The property is located on 32 acres of land owned by the city and leased to Simon Property Group.

In a transfer contract is a proposal for a six month management agreement with
Simon Property to work with the current tenants to transition them to other locations like the
Shoppes at Branson Meadows, which is also owned by Simon.

The terms of agreement, liability to the City, value of the property and long term value is being considered.

Currently, under an existing contract,  Simon Property Group owes $1.3 million to the city over the next 9 years.

The city backed off their impulse position of immediate socialization for purposes of the park.

New York Sun - Virginia's Santa Claus Question 1897

New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.
"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Kirby Van Burch 2011 DUI Arrest Record Magically Appears Despite Coverup

If there is one magical mystery I'd like to steal from Kirby Van Burch it's the black arts used to convince Branson's mayor to suppress police reports. Before I go any further I'd like to post the actual charges as obtained through official channels:

-------------Excerpt Official Document - Full Week Arrest Report ----
Book Date:    08/30/2011    Release Date:    08/31/2011
Additional Charges:
Bond:  / NB
    Primary Charge:    DRV W/INTOX/DRG(M A)

Book Date:    08/30/2011    Release Date:    08/30/2011
Additional Charges:




It is rather explicit from the Branson Police Department records that Kirby was detained on the 30th of August 2011 for 1. Driving While Intoxicated 2. Possession of Opium or an analog (similiar compound) 3. No insurance for the vehicle Kirby was driving at the time the incident occurred.

Why Haven't Local Media Outlets Reported the Story ?
In an unusual move Branson held the weeks arrest report from the press.

Local news outlets have still failed to report the story unlike other similar incidents prior to Mayor Raeanne Presley taking office. In 2003 when Kirby Van Burch was accused of assaulting a police officer, drunk driving (took out a few signs), and fleeing the scene of an accident, a Branson Police Department  press release was issued. In this case, the incident was actively covered up.

After formal request the Branson Police Department responded in a courteous and efficient manner. The request was found nearly a month after the discovery when it was immediately posted. At the time, Branson's prosecuting attorney hadn't passed the information to the county. Under a new Missouri law municipalities are required to send second offense DUI's to the Circuit Court. This prevents persistent drunk driving offendors from evading charges due to a municipal relationship. The case is currently being reviewed by the prosecutor.

If Ameica has Judeo-Christian roots it is clearest in the declaration that all men are created equal and thus deserve equal treatment under the law.

But while our Mayor has yet to recuse herself from negotiating contracts with entities she has a conflicting fiduciary relationship with; allowing marketing and lobbying partners alternative treatment when they commit crime is a form of witchcraft Branson can do without.

Branson Reconsidered

 (Currently in Edit)

 I'm forcing myself to rewrite this piece in a simpler, gentler fashion, and it's not because my editor is writing nasty colored notes below .

I believe Branson residents have reason to be concerned with the breadth of ethical violtions that have occured under Branson municipal leadership. It is with sadness that Missouri leadership deems us merely out-state affording less protection to Branson than the more populated thus vote coveted districts to the north.

Ethical and Sunshine Law (open government)  violations have become such  commonplace occurrence under Branson Missouri's Mayor Raeanne Presley's guidance that such statements of fact no longer wield shock. To speak of our leadership as corrupt is no more profound than to state chocolate is brown. Though the color is without controversy the flavor leaves no sweet aftertaste.

With the passing of time our situation seems to be worsening. I ponder to what degree of crime is allowed to occur unabated with the current cast of characters. My fear grows stronger with every count of randomly discovered malfeasance.

I wonder if our children our safe from the worst predators be the aggressor a business partner of our mayor. An incident with a recent entertainer and Presley lobbying partner inspired this frightful notion.

It is a constitutional imperative, both federal and within the state of Missouri, that prisoner rosters remain available. The reason this is so important is to ensure that a government body doesn't kidnap a citizen and deny due process. We the people have the right to know who we are holding.

After a painstaking effort, Branson's compliance ....(Continuing)

Even our local press has become compliant. We have leadership ripe and willing to carry canned messages but little to verify fact and conduct research. Though it's my belief that such studiousness to verify fact divides journalism from mere scribble, in the end its every citizens right to access and check their own governmental body's work.

Being able to access basic information in regards to government and trusting laws that protect citizens from conflicts of interest are in effect allows ordinary folk to rest peacefully at night. We can do so because as Americans we believe in a government where people are treated with equity. We have faith in a judicial system that can protect us against

Perhaps, if I am exceedingly clear, I can effectively communicate both the sincerity of my grievances, failure to honor state law which protect us against the type behavior costly to the livelihoods of innocent parties whose only crime is to live under leadership with a blatant disregard for

Just when it seems Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley's fiscal idiocy can't possibly reveal a higher degree of misconduct she one-ups herself. (Bad taste/Mean Spirited)

When it comes to pay the cities contractual obligations Presley ensures and every regional newspaper prints on command, "Branson is broke Can't Pay Contract". The cost of pretending Branson is broke costs us millions. In fact, this years expense for outside legal counsel is set at $1,000,000.  Branson's estimated income is understated by nearly 10 million to where it will be laundered we can only speculate.For details read, "Branson Mayor and the Anti Tea-Party Movement". (Boasting, unnecessary )

When it comes time to socialize private property Presley's budget overfloweth. No expense is too little to buy land adjacent to a business partner or Presley's alma mater.

When it comes to fiscal accountability the press is silent. You see, the city never put out a press release , "Corrupt politician dwindles Branson's Savings" ($12 million in reserves dwindled by Mayor). Or, "Mayor Spends $5,000 on Saturday Meetings At Convention Center Away From Press".  Or, "Mayor takes third vacation on public dime at tune of $25,000 to taxpayers". (Convuluted, too many ideas colliding at once)

We never read, "Mayor Ignores Conflict of Interest Sits on Board Recieving No-Bid Contract From City". Curiously, we never hear, "Crooked Mayor Calls State Officials To Block Low Income Housing Initiative Funding - State Officials Ignore  ".  Or of late, "Project Pitched as Funded By Grant Eyes $8.3 million expense and New Taxes".

And yet, all of these headlines are accurate.

Local press is very happy to regurgitate provably false information to such an extent that a new public relations director for the city may be sidelined. After all, if local reporters will print whatever a corrupt politician wants to publish (true or false) why pay for someone to answer with integrity ?

I think that it is important to note that the Branson Daily Independent's  Sunday's column is usually written by a long time supporter of Presley's fiscally liberal policies. This Sunday's opinion section was written by conservative advocate Phyllis Schlafly who  attacks Presley's political agenda in great detail. If you don't have time to pick up Sunday's paper, I've re-published the article here.   (Schlafly )

After the supposedly broke city miraculously uncovered enough tax money to purchase a high school we were told a grant would cover the cost of a project to restore the high school.

Local newspapers printed the project would be covered by a grant. Cool, free money right ? I mean, this is what the newspaper told us. But, the newspapers did what they were told. They printed a press release and marked it as fact. No questions asked, no research needed, no citation necessary . (Argumentative, Assumptive regarding several organizations, backup)

While there is a great deal of interest in re-vitalizing the old Branson High School, shouldn't local architectural firms have the opportunity to pitch the project ?

Normally, when government is abiding by law and attempting to act honorably, projects are bid through an Request For Proposal (RFP) Process.

Competing companies enter proposals into the marketplace of ideas at their own expense in the hopes of winning a contract.  The cost to the public is free. Engineering firms invest time and money in hopes of outperforming other entities. Companies generate competing proposals and provide multiple options for the community to chose from.

Normally the Price is $0
Instead of "free" , we were offered a free $5,000 coupon as long as we spent $5,000 to purchase a product that is available for free. The difference is, local companies were not allowed to compete. The recommendation from the Sustainable Design Assesmet Team (SDAT) paid for through the grant (wink wink) is to spend much more money. Just to get the engineering team to Branson taxpayers were forced to pay $5,000 to fly no-bid contractors to Branson under the premise of a grant.

Furthermore, while the articles regurgitated by the Branson Daily Independent and Branson Daily News suggest the project will be funded through a grant, we now learn that nothing is further from the truth.

The team hired by Presley, consulted with outside of the public eye and promoted through the guarantee of free service says the basic cost of the project will be $8.3 million.

But Presley has already worked on a plan to finance the project. A no-bid contract could be funded through a new tax. Presley's charter city initiative , (which in its current form ignores community values) could include a real estate transfer tax. The new tax is a "real estate transfer tax." The tax would have to be paid in order to legally buy or sell property in Branson.

The fiscal irresponsibility which has yet to be examined by either press or public since Presley took office will undoubtedly result in new taxes already.

 While the $75 million annual warchest Branson taxpayers give to Presley  (and has been exceeded 5 years running) may be free to Presley it isn't free to Branson residents.

But it's understandable why Presley would think its free money. While our hospitals are now denying services to the poor ($45 upfront expense required) , Presley gets free medical insurance from city tax income. Integrity free Press releases are regularly printed free of  review. And Presley's squandering of public funds for personal gain have been left unchecked for too long free from the eyes of those who pay the bill completely free of public review.

Much worse is the inevitable suffering that occurs when civic leaders hot for new positions of power lead free of public interest.

Yakov Leaving Branson - WTF

Branson, MO ~ After two decades, Yakov Smirnoff announces that 2012 will be his last full season performing at his Branson theatre and that the multi-talented comedian will be touring the country in 2013 with his hilariously-funny standup comedy show. Smirnoff will continue to call Branson his home and remain actively involved in the community and his theatre.

His newest production, Happily Ever Laughter, builds on his critically acclaimed one-man Broadway show, about whichThe New York Times said, "His Broadway show is splendidly funny, and a generous display of warmhearted, high-quality humor."  His longevity in Branson has given him a chance to evolve as an entertainer, writer and producer but Smirnoff relishes the opportunity to get back to his comedic roots. Innovative and funny standup comedy that reveals how to sustain love and laughter in relationships is supported with knowledge from his master's degree in psychology.

Though he is celebrating his 20thand his last full season performing the Yakov LIVE!production, Smirnoff will continue to produce world-class entertainment for his Branson theatre. He recently announced the five-year run of a brand new show that was designed especially for Branson calledBrady Brunch with Barry Williams, the real Greg Brady from the 1970's hit television show The Brady Bunch.

"Actor, Barry Williams, who portrayed Greg Brady in America's best-loved television series The Brady Bunch, is a fantastic entertainer" said Smirnoff. "It's a privilege to produce his Branson multimedia variety show. I love Branson! It's a great place to live. I've been here for 19 years, and I never lock my car. I don't know where it is..."

About Yakov Smirnoff:

America's favorite Russian comedian, Yakov Smirnoff has been a mainstay in the entertainment scene since the late 1970s. By the mid 1980s he had several films and television appearances under his belt, joining the ranks of icons Robin Williams and Tom Hanks. After performing in his own 2,000 seat Branson, MO theatre for years, in 2003 he landed on Broadway performing in his critically acclaimed, one-man show As Long As We Both Shall Laugh. In addition to his standup comedy, television, film and stage success, he has written several books, recorded CDs, DVDs, and is a talented artist.  In 2006, Smirnoff received his master's degree in psychology from the Ivy-League University of Pennsylvania. While performing more than 200 shows per yea r at his Branson theatre, he also speaks to business groups, presents seminars, is a published columnist for national magazines, and is a professor teaching classes about the relationship of Love and Laughter at Missouri State University and Drury University. He's taking his Happily Ever Laughter show on the road where audiences across America will see that you can live Happily Ever Laughter and laugh your Yak-off!

Branson's Vacation County and Other Charter Options (Part 1)

Multiple efforts are underway to liberate Taney County from state law. Two terms for the same principal and three competing proposals have been floating for the last decade to reshape local politics and governments form and role in the community. The two terms describing the new structure is called  "Home Rule" by supporters and "Charter Government" by the Missouri Constitution.

 They describe a system where locals determine a new set of laws by which the state government and by association, state guidelines submit to "Charter" standards. The process involves throwing out current county organization established by the state and a proposal which will go before voters to determine a yes / no answer to forming the new set of laws known which will be known as the Charter. A Charter government would reform government management, number function and pay of elected officials and likely the creation of new taxing categories.

Missouri is hyperlocal. Missouri has 115 counties and a population of 5,987,580. The disparity of population per county makes Missouri residents in close proximity of government leaders with a very low ration of citizens to county officials. In fact, it is so great a differential between other states that it requires some examination.

In contrast to Missouri's 115 counties, California has 58 Counties. If we deduct population of Missouri's four charter Counties which are Jackson, St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson the ratio of County to citizen is  32,763. California by contrast has a 637,270 citizen to county average, a ratio 19 larger than Missouri.

Charters and constitutions are difficult to change once enacted requiring competing factions to create supermajorities to alter. The expense and cooperation required to update a constitution leaves some laws, according to "Home Rule" advocates outdated. Opponents of charter counties worry that government leaders can expand their power into areas they should refrain from interfering with.

Taney County is a first class county. Only first class counties can qualify for charter status leaving 16 possible charters in Missouri .The state changed the requirements for a first class county this year which is determined by total valuation within county borders.Total property valuation moved from $600,000,000 to $900,000,000 in order for a county to be considered first class by the state.

Creation of a charter city for Branson, MO and creation of a charter county have former political bedfellows   with opposing political agendas. The two notable forces are those of Taney County Commissioner Ron Houseman and Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley. Both have been quietly supporting the idea for several years. For Houseman, the issue was raised during public meetings. Presley's been quieter on the subject publicly but has spend in excess of $750,000 in political surveys.

The third option is the possibility of a new county. This county could encompass the small geographic area in Stone County that derives its primary income from tourism extending westward. The numbers would allow for Vacation County Missouri to conduct a tourism agenda without outside influence.

-------------------------------Stats and Citations

Opposition Lobby
"The government has to be prepared to say no to certain things and concentrate on what it's supposed to do," said Ortwerth, a Republican who served as county executive for 12 years and is now executive director of the Missouri Family Policy Council, a Christian lobbying group. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/article_955be1e0-e373-59c7-9f1f-6c42043ee92a.html#ixzz1fercQzyK

California Vs Missouri County Government:

Missouri 115 counties 5,987,580
California 58 Counties  36,961,664

Missouri Charter Counties & Population
Jackson 664,098
St. Louis 1.000.510
St. Charles 338,719
Jefferson 216,469

Population Per County (Excluding Charter)
California - 637,270
Missouri -    32,763

600,000,000 to 900,000,000

Opposition Lobby
"The government has to be prepared to say no to certain things and concentrate on what it's supposed to do," said Ortwerth, a Republican who served as county executive for 12 years and is now executive director of the Missouri Family Policy Council, a Christian lobbying group.


Branson Mayor and the Anti-Tea Party Movement (Editorial)

When Fiscal Liberals Attack 
An acid test for modern conservative and liberal politicians can most easily be found by how the term "sustainability" is defined. For an economic conservative the term sustainability refers to fiscal restraint. The battle cry of the current tea party movement requires government to respect the right of persons to maintain their acquired wealth without the impediment of government interference.

For the liberal, private property rights are nullified by the greater good of the community. The extreme is socialism whose tenants state that all land is the public domain. Branson's current mayor and by association Branosn's current Board of Alderman have taken an extremely liberal  leaning perspective on economic policy, and development. 

Over the past two years, thousands of pages of new legislation dictate restrictions on property rights for land owners in Branson. Sustainability for Mayor Raeanne Presley means limiting property rights and strict adherence to the United Nation's agenda 21. Agenda 21 defines sustainability as a local issue and conducts training classes for different organizations on how to legally limit private property rights for the "greater social good".. 

We've heard numerous speakers at city hall helping promote a fiscally liberal agenda negating private property rights in favor of environmental regulation. Over a million in tax payer dollars handed out to left-wing community planners and most recently paid an estimated $20,000 for Branson's mayor and friends to attend a conference on how to implement "environmental sustainability" objectives that were birthed far from Branson. Since the trip lacks fiscal practicality I call it one of Presley's many pointless vacations on the taxpayer dime. 

Dictation regarding what people do on their private property, including the type of vehicle in their driveway, signage in front of their building and soon strict restrictions on building altogether are inspired by a generation of business heirs who desire protectionist legislation to prevent  competition in the marketplace. They're grandparents were great innovators and they see no need for others to continue the tradition.

The battle cry of Branson's Hotel and Restaurant association of late is, "We have too many hotels". They've adopted the anti-development protectionist attitude which will continue to harm the local economy if it remains unquestioned. 

Our political leaders have been attending planning meetings in an attempt to stop development in neighboring communities, they fear growth and entrepreneurial endeavors will threaten their established businesses. Not only does this contradict conservative economics it directly contradicts the traditions of the very families they've been born or married into. Shouldn't new families have the same rights as the Presley and Meyers family had when they begat their citizenship in Branson not so many years ago ?

In essence, their very financial sustainability is dependent on the fact other families were not interfering with their ambitions as the partook in business development. These great additions to the already existing entertainment and nightly rental market wouldn't exist if there were anti free market agendas interfering with an ambition to innovate. These great additions to Branson's economy might not exist if their grandchildren were at the helm.

Branson is the richest per capita county in Missouri; yet our fiscally irresponsible leaders are spending tax dollars to stop business development instead of promote it. Sadly for the community they've been successful and we've seen the results. 

We've watched crime rates rise. We've watched Presley spend $12 million in savings above the estimated $75 million budget allocated annually. We've seen tax increases, utility increases (a hidden business tax), increased red tape for business and  rising poverty. The Obama administration's reinvestment act brought an additional $12 million to build a new bridge which wasn't used as an incentive to save but rather incentive to increase deficit spending. 

An anti-business agenda is not Branson's past. It is the current administration at city hall's objective - to stop development and if it continues we have no bright future. Eventually, the heir of Branson's entrepreneurial families cut their own throats by denying our heritage. 

Branson's leadership has determined that they were elected to stop economic growth. The Branson Landing, Branson Hills and Branson Airport in many's eyes represent unbalanced  business development. We now see that they are financial engines generating millions in new revenue - new revenue our mayor is happy to spend while criticizing. 

The community's rejection of past leaders was not a referendum on development, free market economics nor capitalism. It was a referendum on corruption and a new breed of fiscal liberals prove corruption takes many forms. Corruption can be utilized to stop growth as it can to greedily promote it.

Much more of the same is to come. Presley has been scheduling public meetings at the Branson Convention Center on Saturday's to plot new spending. Neither the public nor press has attended these meetings. And while on many occasions Presley has given the middle finger to the sunshine law; public notice has been given with little notation on the public record. 

If you want to understand corruption and liberal politics in Branson; allow me to riddle you this: Branson's leader's are underestimating general fund revenue expenditures by as much as $10 million.

You might ask yourself, "Why would Presley under-budget ?"  When retailers audit for theft they look for disparity. A cash drawer over stocked is as much a sign of theft as a short changed drawer. It is a sign that money put in the cash drawer has other purposes. 

The current state of the media - one which republishes prepared statements - often misleading - will report Branson has millions in unanticipated revenue later this year. This will be a precept to new spending. You can bet your business the money will be spent. And you can bet your bottom dollar it won't be spent on economic sustainability measures. After all, fiscal liberals don't understand sustainability, they undermine it.  

Chick Fight at Branson Convention Center Titan's Rumble

Jeri Sitzes and Jessica Bartess (photo above) will be appearing at the Hilton  Branson Convention Center tonight at 7:00.

Sitzes holds  a World Boxing Council (WBC) Muay Thai belt and competes in title fights with contenders from around the world. Though Bartness is a relative newcomer; she's aggressive in the ring and notes, "I'm happy to find a girl to fight with". Female fighters are a rarity but the trend is changing. Bartness started training for fitness purposes laying a path for what promises to be a fruitful career.

Though Sites is chased by those hoping to dethrone her from her title both her and Bartness generally spar with men. Sitzes wouldn't give names last night when asked for a list of  men she's beaten  during an interview at Hong Kong Buffet on Branson's famous 76 strip.

Like jellyfish, female fighters may look pretty but can sting - much worse than a bee.

Here's the thing. Outside of being skilled athletes, both girls come across as down to earth and, well, sweet.

It's a large contrast from male competitors who tend to be more emotional about their contests.

Kru Shane Williams, Bartness' trainer addresses the issue of female fighters. When asked, "Is it socially awkward for female's with lethal fighting ability? Williams responds:

"No I actually think they handle it better than a lot of males. most of the female fighters I have dealt with have a inner switch so when its time to train and or fight they turn the switch on but when its time to be a lady they can turn the switch off."
Sitzes lost her game face a few times during weigh-in last night with warm embraces with fellow fighters. She seemed to catch herself and retract - something that didn't come naturally. By nature these are skilled athletes with a proven ability to issue a beating while keeping their natural sugar and spice outside the ring.

The Thai Boxing showdown will occur tonight at 7:00. Tickets are still available by calling promoter Tommy Tran (417) 365-1143

Official  Weigh-In
Jessica Bartness 132 vs Jerry Sitzes 126

MMA Fights At Branson Convention Center Tonight (Photos From Weigh-In)

Branson's Black Friday (2011)

Large croud  lines outside Branson KMART at 3:00 AM
Christmas in Branson begins two days before Halloween. The first Christmas lights and publicly funded street lights line Branson's main arteries before the 1st of November.

Thanksgiving leftovers have made way to late not shopping. Lost leader specials drawing mobs assimilated in long lines outside Branson's department stores.

Early reports from Branson beat cops push Target as the most heated frenzy. Apparently a couple patrons had to be subdued with handcuffs but were eventually calmed down enough to be released before formal arrests.

Google scores big this holiday season. Android leveraged devices in the form of touch screen phones and pads drastically discount similar offerings from Apple.

Walmart launched "doorbuster" specials at 10:00 PM Thanksgiving eve and 12:00 to open Black Friday. Territorial position circled pallets of limited quantities of low price merchandise.

A Walmart in Los Angeles was partially evacuated this morning.. To gain competitive advantage 20 people were pepper sprayed by an aggressive shopper reported the Los Angeles Times this morning with detailed accounts of the incident.

Black Friday's total spending has been forceast at $500 billion this season up 3% from lats year.


Titans Rumble - Pro MMA Fight at Branson Convention Center Nov. 26th

Pro MMA Fight at Branson Convention Center
Press Release (October 22, 2011)

(Branson, MO) Some of the nation’s top Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters will battle at the Hilton Branson Convention Center November 26th in an event billed as “Titan’s Rumble”. Tickets are available for purchase through the Midwest Ultimate Cagefights website (see link at bottom of article.

Eighteen live matches will demonstrate a triathlon of hand-to-hand combat skills -- striking, wrestling and ground fighting. The American MMA tradition utilizes efficiencies from a variety of international fighting schools including boxing, wrestling, jui-jitsu, muay thai, judo and karate.

Athletes can earn victory through knockout, submission or decision. A technical knockout occurs when an opponent is stunned, submission at the will of a fighter and if necessary, a decision by three judges who will be scoring the event.

The United States Marines MMA program has the motto, “One Mind, Any Weapon”. In combat lack of lucidity is certain death forcing an end to the contest. Though combatants serve and receive hard blows,  the threshold for a technical knockout is low. MMA is one of the safest contact sports in America.

Training videos from the United States Army circa 1909 define the sequence of a typical match starting with striking and ending with wrestling or jui-jitsu. Full body boxing or striking is generally followed by wrestling a.k.a. grappling. Match sequences vary by the disciplines and skill sets mastered by participating athletes. Forty-five percent of fights end on the ground with a fighter surrendering (submission).

At Midwest Ultimate Cage Fights Titan’s Rumble, eight featured professional fights will compete in three 5-minute rounds with a maximum score of 10 points per round.

“Most rounds end with a 10 to 9 score, unless the referee issues a penalty, which is rare or there is severe domination in the octagon,” said Ross Swanberg, one of three judges officiating the matches. Swanberg added, “Rounds can be  won in the last 10 seconds with a rally of repeated blows.”

UFC Featured Fighter
Seven time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contestant Rob “The Rosedale Reaper” Kimmons will come to Branson hungry for victory. Kimmons fought in two UFC events in the last year. He was outfought by Korean Dong Yi Yang during March 3rd’s UFC Live Event, and submitted with a rear-naked choke by Austrailiajn Kyle Noke in UFC 122.

In a statement to MMA Weekly, Kimmons said, “Losing is not an option.” He demonstrated that resolve this year in Independence, MO, where Chuck Parmelee was submitted by Kimmons’ dealing a guillotine choke in the first minute of combat. Kimmons hopes to ride a streak back to the UFC for a spring match. In order to qualify for the UFC, Kimmons must win in Branson and take an additional professional victory. His fighting record boasts 24 wins and only 8 losses.

Kimmons will be challenged by Brandon Gaines of Miami, Oklahoma. Both Gaines and Kimmons are contractually committed to compete at 185 pound body-weight. Competitors must meet their designated weight within a mere one-pound variance.

Female Full Body Boxing - Freedom Fighter Rules
One of the most decorated female fighters in MMA is Springfield, MO native Jeri “Fists of Fury” Sitzes, who will battle Jessica “Bam Bam” Bartness of Seattle, Washington. For promoter Tommy Tran it’s a battle of youth vs. experience with two extremely aggressive fighters. “Neither has ever been knocked out,” notes Tran, who expressed it was a fight he was looking forward to witnessing.

Sitzes and Bartness will compete using the “8 point contact Freedom Fighting rules”. The traditional name of the sport is Muay Thai and is the most powerful striking discipline known to man.

Muay translates to “8 limbs” which identifies the different parts of the arms and legs available for  offensive fighting maneuvers. Thai means freedom and is the national sport of Thailand which translates to “Land of the Free”. While brutal warrior nations surround Thailand, it is the only Southeast Asian culture that has never been colonized. Thailand’s national freedom is credited to this distinctive fighting style and has been adapted in various forms by all its regional neighbors including Burmese, Vietnamese and Laotian cultures. The United States military utilizes the striking style as it delivers the most intensive impact pound for pound.

The striking style uses torque created by the rapid swivel of the hips to deliver blows with up to 1400 pounds of pressure, a force equivalent to the swing of a baseball bat.

Sitzes and Bartness exhibition will span five 2-minute rounds unless a fighter is disabled by blows. The rules allow for punches, kicks, knees and elbows delivered both above and below the waist.

Hometown Fighters Make Professional Debuts
Two Branson fighters -- Kenny “Hitman” Fredenburg and Bradley Hamrick -- will make their pro debuts at the Titan’s Rumble. In the heavyweight category, Fredenburg will test Matthew Foster. Both are scheduled to weigh-in at 250 pounds. Hamrick will challenge Aaron Mayes as a Superheavyweight each weighing 265 pounds.

Fredenburg was a Branson High School wrestling champion before becoming a decorated Marine Veteran. Fredenberg said, “Hamrick and I spend five hours training a day together, it’s an aggressive schedule. We spend more time with each other than most married people do.”

Fredenburg has ambitions to compete in the UFC and compares his pre-fight study to preparation for a chess match. After intense daily workouts Hamrick and Fredenburg spar, often emulating styles they are likely to face in the octagon.

Tickets are available online at Titan's Rumble Tickets.

Professional MMA Fight Card:

Luke Shepard  vs. Adam Cella
John Devall vs. Dave Burrow
Bradley Hamrick  vs. Aaron Mays
AJ Van Camp vs. Brian Phillips
Kenny Fredenburg vs. Mathew Foster
Allan Gibson vs. Damien Jones
Jeri Sitzes vs. Jessica Bartness
Rob Kimmons vs. Brandon Gains

Author and Media Contact: Darin Codon (417) 243-0668
CEO Midwest Ultimate Cagefights: Tommy Tran (417) 365-1143
Email Inquiries to bransonfights@gmail.com

***Content in this press release is available for use without further permission.

Branson Motorway Hurdles Taney County Board of Adjustments - Branson Entertainment Sports Complex has challenges ahead

Rendering of proposed Branson Motorplex scaled with Branson Airport and Hwy 65
(Forsyth) - Branson Sports Entertainment Complex will likely race to the 38th Circuit Court in both offensive and defensive capacities after appeals to the Taney County Board of Adjustments failed to appease neither the developer of a proposed NASCAR style race track or neighboring land owners who pleaded to the five member panel at a hearing held in the Forsyth High School gym last night.

Potential witnesses swear-in
Proceedings lasted over three and a half hours as each appeal was heard. Promises of legal action opened proceedings after nearly half an hour was dedicated to debate the Taney County Board of Adjustment newest member Mark Weiss's recuse from participation. Weiss cited a conflict of interest which Branson Sports Entertainment Complex noted would lessen their chances of a favorable outcome.

Displeased with the Taney County Planning and Zoning decision to allow a racetrack south of Hollister project to proceed under specific conditions inspired appeals from five separate parties: Paul Vozar, Anthony and Nyla Espey, Stacy Whitfield, Country Farm Estates Homeowner's Association and Big Cedar Lodge. In order to win an appeal each party would have to win three of four Taney County Adjustment board member's approval as opposed to three of five.

The five plantiffs against the development of a racetrack argued that the project would adversely affect property values, increase noise polution and was approved on false, partial and/or incomplete data. Branson Sports Entertainment Complex refuted the accusations and presented testimony regarding specific issues raised. Sound, engineering and economic development specialists spoke to specific issues as instructions were issued from legal counsel.

Substantial time was spent discussing means, measuring methods and interpretation of sound limitations. Among other grievances the  Branson Sports Entertainment Complex argues there is ambiguity in a decibel limit which was partially resolved by the Taney County Board of Adjustments. Multiple monitoring stations will ensure that a misreading doesn't occur. If noise levels exceed 68 decibels Taney County Planning and Zoning requires the facility pay a $5,000 fine. Engineers questioned the meaning of the term decibels arguing the notation be more specific.

Before engaging aggressive legal action Branson Sports Entertainment Complex displayed a track of breadcrumbs proving they were seeking peaceful resolution. The most formidable foe to the project Bass Pro owner John L. Morris was sought to conduct a sound experiment with the motorplex developers. Two of John L. Morriss's race cars were revved at the grounds of the facility while spotters took sound readings. Though sound test results  were below the ceiling set by Taney County Planning and Zoning; experts assessed changes in wind an increase in vehicles on the track and neighboring traffic from adjacent hwy 65 could adversley affect readings.

There are only a handful of attorneys skilled in fighting off government intrusion on private developers and in a twist of irony one of the regions top attorneys experienced in fighting for private property rights is being retained to halt the development. Adding to the paradoxical twist, counselor Bryan Wade battled through the Taney County government channels to get a race track approved at Emory Creek. Compounding the twist further Wade worked with Government/Real Estate specialist Harry Styron to completely disband neighboring Stone County's Planning and Zoning all together by having it deemed "illegal". Styron elaborates on his Ozark Law and Economy Blog in 2009 where Styron declares:
"..Taney ...crafted unusual planning and zoning regulations in the late 1980s and early 1990s, to impose much-needed development controls. Rather than create traditional zoning districts, each of these three counties essentially have treated each application for a development permit as a special use permit. Permits for use changes are determined by appointed P & Z board members, not elected officials, under these novel regulations."  Stone County Planning and Zoning Declared Invalid
In a pinch Branson Sports Entertainment Complex could argue the current Performance Zoning method implies the characteristics of Spot Zoning and lacks compliance with Missouri law. The illegality of Taney County Planning and Zoning could also be used to fight off Bryan Wade using precedents set by Wade himself. In other words Branson Sports Entertainment Complex could fight off Wade's efforts by citing Wade's victories. Some real estate professionals argue Taney County's policy reek of spot zoning applying specific laws to isolated members of the community.

While Taney County's Board of Adjustments failed to rule in favor of opponents, the battle is far from over. Political influence including favors from state officials and lobbying efforts to increase red tape seem to be factoring in as a means to slow the project down. Litigation appears likely.

Press gets wary after proceedings move into third hour
A protectionist posture from some of Branson's private businesses also play a role. Branson Mayor Raeanne Presley has cited concern regarding competition for her private business whose defense and success have taken front seat at Branson City Hall. Branson Hotel owners have mirrored the sentiment hoping to spread an anti-development trend in the county perpetuating policies and local governmental procedures designed to inhibit growth.Attempts to sway public opinion assert Branson's lodging industry is overbuilt while some real estate professionals state some hotels are mismanaged.

Elizabeth Link  addresses delay of economic impact study

Hollister, a city directly south of Branson, which sits between the city and motorplex voted to refrain from taking a position on the project. Hollister City Administrator Rick Ziggenfuss noted infrastructure improvements could have a positive environmental impact as waste treatment arrangements would move more to sewage lines and away from septic tanks which are more likely to pollute ground water.

The minor victory for the Branson Sports Entertainment complex is one of many hurdles the organization will have to face before the project can be completed.
Todd Aeschliman shares disapproval from neighboring Country Farm Estates

KY3 Reporter Mike Landis (front) Taney County Sheriff Jim Russell and Taney County Comissioner Danny Strahan (Back Right to Left)

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Branson Tea Party Staw Poll (Results & Full Press Release Below)

Eric Farris, seen above with Missouri District 29 Senate contender Jam and Taney County Assessor James Strahan discuss the Republican landscape at a straw poll being conducted by Tea Party platform friendly organizations across the state of Missouri. Farris estimated an attendence of 200 people and sacrificed the interior of his vehicle transporting chili to feed hungry citizens many of who sat to discuss politics at the Branson Community Center Monday night. (Poll results Not Yet Published

Public gathering after ballots were cast at a straw poll being conducted by Missouri  organizations associated with regional Tea Party groups




November 21, 2011
CONTACT:  Jeannine Huskey  (636) 549-3242 (office); (636) 938-9348 (cell)
A coalition of conservative grassroots organizations in Missouri have COMPLETED a Statewide Presidential Straw Poll from November 9-16, 2011, which were conducted from various poll stations across the state of Missouri organized by Citizens Alliance for Missouri Patriots, a Missouri 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  
In order to make publicly known the preferences of the Missouri tea party and grassroots activists for current Republican candidates running in the 2012 presidential race, the following groups and individuals came to a consensus about forming a statewide straw poll in which their groups’ opinions would challenge all other polls and political news coverage broadcast by the mainstream media outlets.
Blue Springs Individual David Lay
Boonville Individual Ron Swift
Branson Branson Tea Party Eric Farris
Camdenton Camdenton Tea Party Cliff Luber
Cape Girardeau Cape County Tea Party Brian Bollmann
Chesterfield, St. Peters, Warrenton Concerned Women of America Bev Ehlen
Eureka Eureka Tea Party/CAMP Jeannine Huskey
Jefferson City Capitol Tea Party Phil Todd
Joplin SW Conservative Network John Putnam
Kansas City Free For All of Greater Kansas City Karen Randall
Kansas City, Lee’s Summit Republican Women of Kansas City Nola Wood
Lebanon Lebanon Tea Party Todd “Ike” Skelton
Lee’s Summit Free For All of Greater Kansas City Jamie Barker Landes
Springfield The Young Conservatives of America Thomas Martz
St. Joseph St. Joseph Tea Party Maggie Siegmund
St. Louis Individual Patricia Breed
As the President and Founder of Citizens Alliance for Missouri Patriots (CAMP), this straw poll was created and conducted using an online program referred to as Zoomerang®, purchased and licensed by CAMP.  The Poll Station Hosts were all responsible in managing their poll station by accumulating online and paper ballot votes with registered Missouri voters who came to their nearest registered poll location.  
To see the location map of poll stations in Missouri, go here:  http://www.zeemaps.com/map?group=283031
The results of the Missouri Statewide Tea Party Presidential Straw Poll (taken from November 9-16, 2011) are as follows:
Herman Cain 32% 320
Ron Paul 28% 282
Newt Gingrich 28% 276
Mitt Romney 3% 32
Michele Bachmann 3% 31
Rick Perry 3% 30
Rick Santorum 1% 13
Jon Huntsman 1% 3
Carl Person 1% 2
Lee Wrights 1% 2
Roger Gary 1% 2
Gary Johnson 1% 1
Barack Obama 1% 1

Below are the additional comments included by some of the group leaders who hosted the straw poll stations (which may be utilized as quotes in any press coverage of this Straw Poll):
The results of this Missouri Tea Party Straw Poll are significant in its simple statement as to who the conservative grassroots do NOT support for President as much as who they DO support.  Those who are striving to advance the core values of the Tea Party Movement (i.e., fiscal responsibility, constitutionally-limited government, and economic freedom), reveal with their votes in this straw poll that, although members of Patriot groups across the State of Missouri do not support the same candidate for President, the vast majority agree on who they do not support and have narrowed their choices to a select few.
---Eric Farris, Director (Branson Tea Party Coalition)
“This straw poll is another tool for the people’s voice to be heard about the choices being offered as presidential candidates for 2012.  Many came and participated, wanting to support their current candidate of choice, although some felt no candidate really struck a chord with the Tea Party movement.  We do reserve the right to change our opinions as the political landscape changes over time, but as of this moment in time we desire to state that Missouri is watching and that we are earnestly motivated to search for our country’s most liberty minded candidate to hold the highest office in our land.”
---Jeannine Huskey (Eureka Tea Party/CAMP)

“Many have incorrectly stated that the Tea Party movement has faded into the background of the American political scene when this is further from the truth.  The Tea Party Movement has moved beyond the protesting stage into the land of action.  This movement stands between chaos and order; we are a force to be reckoned with for both parties.”  
---Granketha Major (Kansas City’s Free For All)
The Republican Women of Greater Kansas City and KC Conservatives were glad to have the opportunity to participate in the straw poll, to weigh in on this process at the grassroots level.  There has been frustration over the process of selecting our presidential candidates through primaries that have left many wondering if Republicans were really getting to choose our own candidates, or if the media and crossover voters were telling us who we could choose.  Sadly, that has resulted in some of our conservative voters “sitting it out” in past election years, due to dissatisfaction with the final choice.  We must do better this time, to steer our nation back on the right course!
---Nola Wood, President (Republican Women of Greater Kansas City)
“There is no greater time in America’s history for the people to assert their power and band together in our struggle for Liberty.  The Tea Party movement must stay informed and must stay engaged in the fight against tyranny in our time.”
---Todd Isaac Skelton (Core Group Member, Lebanon Tea Party)
“It was a great opportunity to present this to my community.  I thoroughly enjoyed meeting fellow Patriots who have a great desire to bring our great Country back to her Founding Principles and protect our God-given rights.  Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this event.”
---Patricia Breed, St. Louis
“The Y.O.U.N.G. Conservatives of America would like to thank all voters for their careful consideration as to who can best lead this country into prosperity for the remainder of this decade and into the future.”  
---Tom Martz, TYCOA
“We have an active fully committed group of over 300 Tea Party Patriot Members here in Northwest Missouri. We are a community committed to standing together, shoulder to shoulder, to protect our country and the Constitution upon which we were founded! We are dedicated to educating our members in the Constitution and Founding Principles, and to have our members share that information as they go about their business in our communities.”
– Maggie Siegmund, Ellis Cross (St. Joseph Tea Party)


Eric Farris and James Strahan