"Helle, Yes"

Surely we "indigenous hillbillies" have not become so "moral majority straight" that we can't laugh at life's little improv humor.  I suspect that Lori Helle,  Branson's new CFO (chief financial officer),  has  absorbed more than a few "Oh Hell" jokes. Indeed, there are rumors that as she acclimates to her new responsibility she routinely is heard muttering "Oh Hell".  

In these "high politics" days when at least half of the people in America want the leader of the free world to be a minimally experienced/educated, but moral/ authentic, "soccer mom", one would have to conclude that Helle is prepared for her job. Hell, a quick search of Hells'  soccer prowess puts poor "point guard sara" to shame.  Further to her credit, while she is trying to lead our most atypical "billion dollar small town" into the perilous 21st century, she is at least taking "business classes" at a community liberal arts college"  As the gum chewing bridge inspector on the TV commercial says, "That should do it!"  

In all seriousness, this is no doubt a fine young lady, facing a task that most of us can't even imagine.  We may be blessed by her profile blend of long tenacity and short credentials.  I suspect a "Ben Barnacke look- a- like" wouldn't have touched the job with a ten foot pole.


Better Branson Jobs......WHERE?

I'm retired and not looking for a job, but about fourteen times a day I absorb the "Branson Better Jobs" TV ad promising that their agency/website is the obvious source for employment opportunities in Branson.  Well, is it?  A recent visit to their touted website confirms that, in this ostensibly mega successful community, there are exactly 11 jobs available;  most of which are entry level  jobs at or near minimum wage.  Setting aside the implied question as to how this media presence is being funded, the more notable question viable is the Branson Community if there is such a minimal employment base.  Does this community have sufficient economic opportunity to attract the educated and purposeful citizen base necessary to create a culture as inspiring as our visitor count. 


Child Labor, Ozarks Style!

"Please Mommy, do I have to sing and dance again tonight"?  Sure, it isn't an Ecuadorian Sweat Shop, but my God the increasing pivot toward "family value" entertainment  is filling Branson with family acts dependent on kids hoofing through schedules that would put Shirley Temple to shame.  If singing/dancing isn't a big business then why the big bucks, and if it is, then where is the protection for little Susie and Billy singing those good old gospel hymns 24/7.   


A Pretty Casual Emergency

Yes, we are saturated with the media portrait of Skaggs Community Hospital, as "the best little hospital this side of Mass General".  I for one cannot dispute the accolades, but am troubled by a recent close encounter with the ER.  Pretty common story, chest pains, dizzy, unconscious, EMT, emergency room and then..........a sense that their triage protocol was compromised by the obvious fact that they were doing "primary care" for the Taney County poor/under insured. Admin/Nures/Docs all had that air of mild contempt for the imposition of the days dubiously entitled customers and had lost all discression as to which "carbon units" were either paying, or at risk, or both.   My hope is that next time "through the doors', I would like a little less objectiification and a little more action....please!


That'll be $10 for Ben & $10 for Jerry

The new Ben & Jerry Ice Cream Store at the Landing is breaking new ground in the evolution of "pricing strategy".  Many of we locals have coughed up our $20 for a couple of cones, but just once.  The Ice Cream is good, the menu displays are oblique and the prices are just stupid.  No doubt their strategy arises from a "holiday syndrome" psychology that presumes they will never have the same customer twice and that "daddy just can't say no".  Hell, I'm not sure they are not  right.  However, according to this capitalist wisdom they should just go for a $100 a cone and wait for a few Arabs to come in and spend some of the $76 Billion were sending to  OPEC.